When it comes to job hunting it’s easy to get beguiled by the shiny-new allure of the Internet.
Online jobs boards list a whole host of vacancies in easy to navigate, searchable categories. They make short-listing suitable jobs a breeze, and will even notify you by e-mail when new jobs are posted that match your chosen keywords.
Professional web-based social networks like LinkedIn, and even less formal networks like Facebook and Twitter let you highlight your range of skills and expertise, and can act as a sort of living, breathing CV, helping you to connect with potential employers and giving you the inside track on upcoming vacancies.
There’s no doubt that the internet is an invaluable resource when it comes to your quest for a new job… but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only show in town.
The internet doesn’t replace traditional job-seeking tools and techniques, it serves to augment and enhance them. It ads several strings to the proverbial bow, but if you’re focussing all of your job seeking efforts online, you could be missing out on some of the best job opportunities out there.
Newspapers and periodicals
Newspapers… local, regional and national… can be excellent sources of new vacancies, and not all of the companies listing their jobs in newspapers will necessarily be advertising online. It’s always worth checking both regular newspaper listings and you’ll find specialist job newspapers available in most areas. Magazines focussed on your particular area of interest may also dedicate a section to ads for job vacancies.
Trade publications, journals and specialist magazines specific to your industry are also a great place to look for suitable vacancies. If you’re already in a particular industry you’ll probably find that subscription to many relevant publications is free, or involves only a nominal fee. Large newsagents and libraries may also stock these titles… and if you can’t find the publication you’re looking for, put in a request — they may be able to get it for you.
As well as job listings trade publications can also offer news on which companies are expanding, or have recently won new contracts in your industry. Even if they’re not actually advertising vacancies, there’s a good chance these firms will be hiring in the near future… a well timed speculative application can help you to get in ahead of the crowd.
Real world networking
Online networking can be a really powerful way of expanding the reach of your professional network and getting "brand you" out in front of some really influential people in your industry… but there’s no replacement for actual face-time if you’re looking to make a real impression. Check the newspapers, magazines and trade publications mentioned above, and / or tap into your online network, to find out about real-world networking opportunities in your area. Attend a few of them, talk to people, and don’t forget to mention that you’re open to new opportunities in your area of expertise.
Exchange contact details (if you don’t already have some, get a few business cards printed up) and follow up with the relevant people by telephone or e-mail a day or two later.
Use the internet — it’s a great tool for helping you with your job search — just stay open to other opportunities to maximise your chances of finding the best job for you.