So you’re in the market for a new position. Perhaps you’re motivated by better pay, more time with family and friends, or just a new challenge. Whatever it is you’re looking for, if all you do is apply to postings on job boards, you won’t get very far. Competing with hoi polloi for available spots is guaranteed to be an exercise in frustration, whether or not you even land any interviews. So don’t do that.
Instead, check out these best kept secrets for how to search for jobs. This is how smart candidates get access to all the best roles before you even know they’ve been posted. If you learn these strategies, you can stop losing out to other jobseekers and start making your name right away.
1. Use Job Boards for Inspiration
The jobs listed on job boards all have one thing in common: They will get a million applicants. However, that doesn’t mean they’re bad jobs… it just means you can’t compete for them through job board portals, where you will get buried in other resumes. Instead, use job boards as inspiration. Write down interesting leads, then apply through a company websites or a well-worded cover letter directly to the HR director.
2. Find Stakeholders on LinkedIn
If you find a job posting you’re interested in, try to find a stakeholder to reach out to on any channel. If you can find the department head or HR director for a certain job, for instance, you’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview. Just be sure your social profiles are shiny and up to date.
3. Check the ‘Best of’ Lists
One way to find a job you’ll love is to check best of lists. There’s no special place to find these; just Google “best jobs in [Your City]” and you’ll immediately pull up a list of companies people like working at. Another search you can try is “best companies in [Your City]” and this will give you more results.
4. Leverage Your Alumni Association
Your alumni association can help more than you know. They’ve got the resources and connections to set you up with companies who can pay well and offer opportunities you’ll enjoy. You can attend these open events or reach out to alumni members personally. This is a great conversation starter and an excellent way to make connections that may lead to potential jobs.
5. Head to Social Media
Your social network has lots of opportunities, if only you know where to look for them. If you’re out of work and can afford to, just post that you’re looking for a job and how you can help. If you’re keeping your search secret, then try scanning the industry chats (a fancy way of saying the hashtag rolls) for pertinent positions.
6. Talk to a Job Placement Agency
Believe it or not, job placement agencies are one of your best tools for finding the right job. Not only do staffing services understand the market better than you ever will, they have access to open positions long before they’re posted on job boards or company websites. Making friends with a recruiter is an excellent way to set yourself up for a good job now, and whenever the next search rolls around.
At the end of the day, applying to a post listed on a job board isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not the smartest nor most efficient way to go. Try these back door methods to finding the job you want, and we’re betting you’ll have an easier time now and love your job more over the long run.
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