There are several strategies involved in a successful job search. Unfortunately, most people concentrate on the strategies they have the greatest level of comfort with. In a labor market as competitive as the current one, such an approach will likely extend a job search. Think about some job search activities you’re not comfortable engaging in or familiar with. Use the start of fall to target one of these and make commitment to work on improving it. Some possible suggestions:
Social Media-Do you utilize Twitter at all for your job search? What percentage of your LinkedIn profile is complete, and how many connections do you have? Select one or both of these and start learning more about how to use or increase your value from them. For a resource, pick up a copy of Jason Alba’s book I’m on LinkedIn, Now What.
Networking-Since hiring data consistently shows that more than half of all jobs continue to be filled through networking, how close to fifty percent of your job search time do you spend on networking activities? Set some goals designed to increase your level of networking activity. These could involve scheduling more informational meetings or interviews, joining networking groups or attending networking events. If you struggle getting started in this area, I’m more than happy to plug my book Networking for the Novice, Nervous or Naïve Job Seeker.
Job Fairs-Fall is a popular time for job and career fairs, and you can expect standing room only crowds in the current labor market. Don’t let this or the fact that many employers now will not take a résumé but advise you to apply online deter you. The fairs offer you an opportunity for personal interaction with company representatives that can differentiate you from candidates they only see on paper. In such a competitive market, a job seeker needs to use every possible advantage to full potential.