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Most of us know the job search basics. Create a resume. Visit recruiters. Answer ads. Increase our networking efforts. But in today’s competitive market, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. Which may mean taking a few chances. Here six professionals share innovative ways to find work to help revitalize your job search:
One of my clients went to the parking lot of one of her target companies at 5 p.m. She went up to an employee heading for his car, introduced herself, and told him she thought his company was great and asked what it was like to work there – an instant informational interview! He was so charmed by her that he marched her into the personnel director’s office; they had a conversation and her resume was passed to every hiring manager in the company.
Alisa Cohn, MBA, Alisa Cohn, Business & Personal Coach
I created a PowerPoint resume and e-mailed it out. The presentation included my education background, my internships and other professional information. I augmented it with graphics and animation.
It was great because positions that I applied to by e-mail I could send the PowerPoint presentation as an attachment and then I burned it onto CD for places that I sent in via mail.
I had just taken a refresher class on PowerPoint and it got me thinking that it might be worth trying. The reaction was great, because it was different than the rest of the resumes they were sifting through. It also proved that when I listed PowerPoint as a software program that I could use, that I wasn’t just padding my resume.
When it comes right down to it, it’s all about making yourself stand out.
When I first started my freelance public relations business, I sent letters to all my friends–personal and business–to let them know that I was out on my own.
It did two things for me: it resulted in a number of referrals, but it also made me commit to what I was doing because I broadcasted to the world my intentions. I wasn’t about to wimp out after that!
Cooper Smith, principal, Cooper Smith Agency
I spoke to a person recently who said she went down to a company, spoke to the receptionist, and said “I will sit in the reception area until someone interviews me.” And, this is what she did. They were so impressed with this move that they gave her the job.
People today are passively looking for jobs and then wondering why they are still unemployed. Boldness is the way to a new position.
Deborah Brown-Volkman, Surpass Your Dreams, Career & Mentor Coaching
A client had just left a large company, where she had a high position. She loved project work, was dithering about whether to start her own company. I told her that 75% of all new businesses fail within two years, but that she use that time to start a consulting firm, work out of her house, get cards printed up, and start looking for project work. Her REAL task, however, was to find the boss she would probably want to have when she got tired of the entrepreneur thing. She did and she did.
She made sales calls, took work, and about a year into it found the guy whose coo she wanted to be. He realized that paying her a salary was cheaper than those consultant fees.
M. Rose Jonas, Ph.D. The Jonas Company, “The Job Doctor”
If all else fails, keep an eye on breaking industry news. Pay special attention to big account wins and new business announcements. Contact those firms and cite their recent growth…and your interest in coming on board.
Chances are you’ll be ahead of the curve — even before they’ve put out a job listing.
Andrew Foote, Account Executive Peppercom, Inc.