THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- The job hunt: Unlikely sources of contacts
Here are 10 ways to find a job. Some will help when you're just starting and some when you're stuck.
1. Hire a cold caller. Cold calling to get a job works– if you're good at it. Your ability to sell yourself on the phone shows exceptional sales skills, self-confidence, drive, and commitment.
2. Use proactive recommendations. Instead of waiting for a hiring manager to ask for references, have your reference call immediately. This works well if you have a heavy-weight reference, like a well-known CEO or someone who knows the hiring manager.
"The good employers have relationships with professors and they forward students who seem exceptional," says Joel Spolsky, chief executive of Fog Creek Software. Also tap your coaches. They tend to know students well after meeting daily for practice over the course of a few years.
3. Stay organized with job hunt software. How many times have you put the wrong name on a cover letter? Forgotten where you applied? Forgotten what the job was? You need to be organized right off the bat – maintain an Excel spreadsheet with all your contacts.
A serious job hunter who recognizes that a hunt never ends could try JibberJobber, which not only helps organize information, but can bug you about the things you should be doing but might not be, such as following up with a phone call.
4. Turn a non-job into a job. Many companies use temp agencies as recruiting firms. Instead of going through the interview process, companies sift through temp workers until they find one they like.
So when you find yourself temping at a company you like, give a star performance; even if the work doesn't require much skill, personality matters a lot in this sort of situation, so be fun and charming. And don't be shy about asking for full-time work. Note that this tactic will work for an internship as well.
5. Date someone with a network. Ubiquitous job hunting question: What if I don't have a good network? Befriend someone who does and use theirs.
6. Write a blog. Don't tell yourself that blogs are for kids. They're not. They're for professionals to get noticed.
7. Comment on blogs. Realistically, most people don't have the time or mental energy to maintain a blog. But you can target people you would like to work for and start commenting on their blog.
Bloggers notice the people who regularly send great comments. This is a way to enter into a conversation with someone you want to notice you. This is a good tactic for not just hiring managers but also a person in your industry who is well-connected and could help you if he knew you.
Michael Keleman, who blogs at Recruiting Animal, says that headhunters who blog regularly turn their commenters into job candidates.