Branch Out in Your Job Search

by Derrick Meyer '03, Marketing/Communication Professional

Applying for positions on social media job boards can lead to that all-important phone call with a company recruiter, but more often it feels like your application has gone into a black hole. These sites have landed some good solid leads In my job hunt and have also enabled me to connect with recruiters whom I ping (check-in via email or a phone call) for possible leads.

If you connect with a few good recruiters, remember that they are probably keeping an eye out for hundreds of people, so remember that you might not be their first thought of the day. It is important that you keep in touch with them. Call them or email them about every two weeks to remind them who you are and what you are looking for. This method has also worked for me in landing more good leads that have led to phone screens as well as in-person interviews.

It's not what you know, it's who you know that could land you that job. On Linkedin, reconnect with old colleagues or friends. Do you remember a mover and shaker at your last job or in school? Look that person up if you had any sort of relationship with him or her. Join some groups on Linkedin. Menlo College Alumni Council is a great place to start. I reached out to an Oak from the Class of 1968 because I saw he was a recruiter at a company with a job opening I was interested in. He was more than happy to pass my resume onto the hiring manager.

You might also join a group representing the profession you are in. I've done this and asked a group member to pass on my resume or refer me internally. She was able to help me out. Even if you aren't connected to a person on Linkedin, do not be afraid to ask them questions. I took the liberty of asking someone about a particular job at her company. I wanted to know who the hiring manager was and if I could get her email address. Honestly, I didn't expect a reply, but I got one! I was supplied the hiring manager's information as well as the recruiter's.

If you have former colleagues, classmates or friends who are employed at companies that interest you, set up a lunch or dinner date. You would be surprised how many people are open to talking face-to-face to get acquainted with you or just catch up if you are old friends. They can give you insight on the company that might not get from any other source. I've had some eye-opening conversations over meals where I was given the low-down on a company's culture, hiring practice and management style. This is all good information if you are looking to position yourself for a job or if you manage to get an interview.

Don't become a pest and brow beat your contacts about a job. Touch base with them at safe intervals. If they referred you, thank them and then ask about the position a few weeks later. Most likely the reverse will happen. They will contact you and ask if you heard from the recruiter or hiring manager.

Keep a good mix of social media and face-to-face networking going in your job hunt mode. Both will serve you well and will keep your networking skills sharp. If someone does help you land a job, don't forget to thank them when the dust settles. Good luck and good job-hunting!