11 resources we recommend, along with some suggestions for effectively using them.
The entire job searching process, including the resources you utilize and how you use them, has evolved and changed substantially! It’s a struggle for job seekers to navigate this new process and it produces a lot of frustration and anxiety. New platforms have provided additional resources, new tools have provided additional advantages (if you know what they are and how to use them), and both job seekers and the potential employers they’re trying to get an interview with have a wealth of information about each other at the click of a ‘Search’ button.
According to one CareerBuilder study, candidates use an average of 16 resources when looking for their next job. Some strategies and channels still exist and are recommended, such as identifying companies through online ads found via searching or setting up alerts and/or networking and community/association/user group involvement. However, new job searching resources have launched, others have grown in popularity, and the process of using others has changed!
Let's outline the 11 resources we recommend, along with some suggestions for effectively using them.
1. Engage your network for leads, advice, and support.
Many job seekers don’t engage their network to assist during this process; a common response is “I don’t want to bother them” or “I haven’t talked to them in years.” Don’t shy away from this! Generate a ‘Network Contact List’ that includes past managers and peers, community leaders and members, and recruiters you’ve worked with in the past, and simply communicate “I’m looking for a new opportunity! Here’s a snapshot of my background and interests. Do you have any openings or is your company hiring? Any advice on resources or possible companies to pursue would be wonderful!”
2. Sign up for alerts via 2-3+ channels and optimize applications.
This strategy is an easy, customizable (to your job specifications) way to get real-time notifications when new jobs matching your criteria are posted. Job alerts are available through many of the main job boards, LinkedIn, and companies. When applying for a position, help increase the chance that your resume will be seen by optimizing it for the role you’re applying for! You can do this organically by reviewing your resume against the key responsibilities and requirements of the job and adding more of the relevant pieces you’ve done, and/or you can use a Resume Optimization tool such as JobScan to give you pointers.
3. Partner with Recruiters.
Building a relationship, communicating clear preferences and goals, and keeping lines of communication open with 1-2 tenured recruiters at reputable staffing firms who support a good client base in your area can be incredibly beneficial to your job search, and help minimize your anxiety level throughout the process. If local, make an effort to meet them in person to further build a relationship and trust. If that’s not possible, request a Skype or FaceTime. Leverage your recruiter, viewing them as somewhat of a technology career/transition coach, seeking guidance and advice to better position yourself throughout the process!
There are at least 5 ways you can leverage LinkedIn for job searching, such as signing up for alerts, using advanced search, reviewing job discussions in the groups you’re in, reviewing company pages of the firms you’re targeting, and simply adding ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ to the tag line of your LI profile. Also, view your LI profile as a professional branding channel, and ensure your profile has a great picture, skills summary, skills/technologies, recommendations, examples of work you’re allowed to share, and any other sections that might be relevant. Remember, LinkedIn is one of the top resources recruiters and other hiring Managers use for both identifying candidates and screening them out. Once you have a quality LinkedIn profile that demonstrates credibility and “acts as a positive reference check,” leverage LI for identifying jobs and helping recruiters find you.
Like LinkedIn, there are various ways you can use Facebook for your job search. Many cities now have groups dedicated to job postings; ‘DC Tech Jobs’ is one example. If you have companies you’re targeting, you can keep a pulse on their page and/or reach out via Chat to express interest.
6. Utilize other social media channels.
In addition to LinkedIn and Facebook, remember that platforms like Twitter can also provide solid job leads, and others like Instagram and Snapchat will likely start to feature more jobs at some point in their evolution. Since hashtags are now recognized across most platforms, try to identify a few of the most relevant hashtags for jobs in your skill set, and do some searches on the platforms you’re on. For example, if you’re a Developer with a focus on Java, you will quickly discover that savvy employers use #JavaJobs when posting positions via Twitter.
7. Increase user group/association attendance.
Attending relevant IT User Group/MeetUp meetings is great for many reasons, including expanding your knowledge base on the types of skills/technologies employers are starting to adopt, connecting with sponsors who are hiring, and identifying additional leads and recommendations. Many sponsors at your local technical community events are involved in supporting groups since they frequently hire the skill set/s of the members who go to those meetings.
8. Prospect companies hiring and submit your resume via their website.
The majority of organizations will post their openings via their website, although many are not great at removing the job after it has been “filled.” If you identify a company that seems to have an opening, remember the power of using a recruiter to “bridge the gap” here! If you identify available jobs, call the recruiter/s you trust and have a strong relationship with, and ask them if they have a contact and/or relationship with that company, and honestly, the strength of that relationship. Any time you can use a common connection to get your resume submitted, the more likely it is for your resume to be seen and strongly considered.
9. Identify Local Job Fairs.
The amount of job fairs has dwindled, but many cities and some user groups/associations still host an annual fair. Ask a couple of the organizers of groups you’re involved with if they know of any, or if they plan to host one in the future.
10. Upload resume to job boards.
If you have a minimal network that can help you generate a list of target companies and you’re not working with helpful recruiters who you feel could be strong partners, posting your resume on specific job boards could be a great strategy for generating a lot of contacts quickly! Be as clear as possible about what you’re looking for, and if you want to minimize the number of calls (we’ve heard from our technology candidates that posting a resume on a job board can generate upwards of 50+ calls/emails a day!), label yourself as ‘Confidential’ and/or only include an email (preferably an email address created and used solely when in a job search!).
11. Online searches.
Simply putting “Project Manager Jobs in Tampa” in a search engine can help you quickly uncover job leads. One of our .NET focused recruiters once had a developer contact her and he referenced that he had Googled “.NET Developer jobs in Baltimore,” and her name came up associated with several related job postings. She was able to get him considered for several positions and he had a job offer within a week! Always think through how you can get connected with the people who will be in the best position to help you!