Job hunting techniques

Best ways to job hunt

Best way to job hunt

Four of the best ways to hunt for a job

These techniques offer the best results, according to career expert Richard Bolles, author of “What Color is My Parachute.”

1. Ask for job leads from family members, friends, and people in the community. Ask them if they might know somebody who knows somebody who works in a company that you’re interested in or might work in a place that has the type of job you’d like to do. Your contacts are key and your next job is likely to come from someone you know or a person someone you know knows! You can get ideas about how to build your network by using this Networking Checklist. This method has a 33% success rate, according to Bolles.

2. Knock on the door of any employer, factory, or office that interests you, whether they are known to have a vacancy or not. Talk to the hiring manager, the manager of the department you’re interested in working in, and avoid the human resource department. Tell them about your skills, and ask for their advice. If you make a good enough impression, you’ll have an inside track, creating a job for yourself, or they even might create a job for you, if they like you enough. But the odds are small that this will happen, so you have to visit as many companies as possible. It’s a numbers game. This has a 47% success rate.

3. Use the yellow pages either online or in the phone book to identify fields of interest to you. Make a list of 100 employers and call at least 10 per day. Speak with the hiring managers of the departments you’re interested in about your qualities for the type of position you can do and do well. (And don’t forget to pursue companies that have 20 or fewer employees, since they offer two-thirds of all new jobs.) This has a 69% success rate.

You can also use the American Job Center’s Employer Locator to build your list of 100 employers. Search by Industry, Occupation, Location, Keyword and Firm Size (number of employees).

Once a job is advertised there is much more competition. Career expert Marty Nemko states that cold calling and creating your own leads, “except for the highest level positions, is the most potent strategy.”

4. Job hunt buddy or job-club. Team up with someone else who is looking for a job or create your own job-hunting club with other job hunters. Hang out with positive people. Share ideas, provide emotional support to one another, talk by phone and even meet one or more times each week. This has a 70% success rate.

Online job boards

Although your focus should be primarily on sourcing employers by directly making phone calls, getting referrals, sending e-mails and knocking on doors, you can also search online job boards for openings. According to Richard Bolles, statistics change over time but past studies have shown that using the Internet results in a job for 10 out of 100 job hunters who try it. The other 90 have to turn elsewhere. He calls it the 10% solution. Therefore, it deserves 10% of every job hunter’s time.

These web sites search for all job listings on the Internet—from a variety of sources, including corporate websites—so you don’t have to visit each job-board one by one: Searches job sites, newspapers, associations and company career pages. Searches job sites and company career pages.

Other sites you should check out: Jobs come directly from company web sites. Regional community board, a favorite of many employers.

Temporary employment agencies can be a good option too

Some short-term assignments can turn into full-time job offers. Many employers like the temp-to-perm model, since they can see what kind of workers people are before hiring them. Temp agencies place everything from factory assemblers and warehouse workers to administrative assistants and accountants. Check out our Choosing a temp agency section for more details.