Finding a job can be a lonely pursuit. When you're searching for a new position, you can spend hours scrolling through online job databases, fine-tuning your resume and waiting for the phone to ring. Disappointment and frustration can build quickly, especially if you’re out of work and need employment fast.
The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, you shouldn’t. Whether you’re a newly minted university grad or a seasoned executive, you have a network you can tap into and professional advocates you can enlist. Read on to learn how to work four key resources that can help you find your next position.
1. Your LinkedIn connections
You've already updated your profile and added all your coworkers, past and present. You've also checked the box signifying that you're open to new opportunities. But what now? Sending a mass email with a subject line that pleads, "Help me find a job!" won't be as helpful as crafting personalized messages to connections who might have a lead for you. Reach out to trusted LinkedIn contacts individually to catch up with them and let them know you're in the job market. Here's a sample email you can customize:
Hi, [LinkedIn connection],
It's been a while! How do you like [current company or employer]? [Compliment him or her on a recent success or ask what he or she is working on].
I'm actually in the market for a new job as [desired position]. If you hear of any opportunity at [company or employer] or anywhere else in [city/area], please let me know. I can provide work samples and a resume if you see something suitable for me.
Let's catch up over lunch or coffee sometime soon. When would be good for you?
2. Your fellow alumni
University and college camaraderie can cultivate lifelong career connections. If you're not already connected to friends and classmates from your alma mater on LinkedIn, add them to expand your network. Join your university's alumni association to take advantage of their career services and networking events. Many alumni associations have dedicated groups on LinkedIn, as well. Join a group to search for members who are working in your industry or in your area. Use a version of the email above to reconnect with former classmates and reach out to new contacts for informational interviews or advice.
3. Industry leaders on Twitter
You should already be following the influencers in your field on Twitter. But are you interacting with them? Doing so can bring you front of mind when they're looking for a new addition to their team. When you're using Twitter for your job hunt, make sure to keep your tweets on-topic: Links about industry issues and your thoughts on current trends are a good idea; links to party pics or live-tweeting The Voice (or any other TV show) are not. Consider creating a Twitter background with similar design elements that appear on your resume, business cards and online portfolio (if you have one) to maintain a unified personal brand.
4. Recruiting agencies
When you work with a top-ranked employment agency such as Robert Half, you bring a professional advocate onto your team. Specialized recruiters will get to know you, your skills, your needs, and your salary expectations. That helps them match you with employers looking for job candidates with backgrounds similar to yours. Recruiters can also provide critical advice, such as how you can prepare for an interview or polish your resume and cover letter, that can give you an advantage over the competition. By tapping into an employment agency’s expertise and deep network, you can expand your career opportunities and get the help you need to find the job you want.