I have a friend who has been looking for a job for several months. It's been frustrating and demoralizing, but he keeps trying. Just last week, we were talking about job search tactics and he asked me if it was better to conduct his job search online or if face-to-face worked better. He had posted his resume on several job search boards and applies to every job opening in his field, but still wasn't getting many nibbles.
To be honest, I think the internet is one of the key tools in a job seekers bag. Although there is certainly a place for face-to-face job searching, I don't think that it is a question of one or the other. Both methods have value. They have good points and bad points. The key is to know how to use them and, more importantly, when.
First, let's look at some of the off-line job search tactics:
- Attending job fairs or networking events
- Calling companies you want to work for and asking if they have openings.
- Asking people you know if their employer is hiring.
- Submitting resumes or applications in person.
Compared to online job searching, these activities have a higher success rate - but only when used in conjunction with online strategies as well. If you're looking to really get your resume seen, you have to use both methods. For example, use online job boards to find out about job openings. Once you have a short list of job openings that sound as though they could be the job you want, do some research to find out all you can about the company. Check them out on Linkedin and other social networking sites. From there, ask your friends and family if they know anyone who works at the company. If so, use the contact to get a foot in the door.
Another strategy is to target a couple of companies that you really want to work for. Then, use Linkedin (or other social networking sites) to find people who are in charge of hiring at those companies. From there, you can email or call them to find out about the position or to express your interest.
By mixing the best of both worlds, you can formulate a targeted job search strategy that really works.
How do you look for a job? Do you primarily search online or off? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.