Other Ways to Find Jobs

A reader writes…

Dear Anita,

Could you please address ways for finding employment opportunities outside of job boards and “want ads,” such as networking and how to do that effectively?

Dear, “Opportunities,”

Believe it or not, employment opportunities are all around us – everyday… everywhere we go.  It’s just a matter of discovering them, getting the word out, and playing off the old saying, “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know!”

Here are a few places to search (outside of job boards and want ads):

  1. Social Networking sites:  The whole purpose of sites like Facebook is to make connections, stay in touch with friends, family, co-workers, etc., and share what’s going on in your life.  Just as cute or funny pictures tend to spread like wildfire online… the fact that you’re looking for a job is no different.  Get the word out to the people in your social network.  Who knows, they may have a relative, buddy, or colleague that is hiring or would be open to meeting with you!

    LinkedIn is another, highly respected social networking site that specifically caters to professionals.  Like Facebook, this is a free site but in the case of LinkedIn, the objective is to complete a professional profile about yourself – like a résumé.  You will have the opportunity to state your work history, areas of expertise, and interests.  Before you know it, you can get “linked” with other people who either share your interests, profession, or that even worked with you (or went to school with you) in the past.You can easily run searches for people and companies in your area (or anywhere for that matter).  From there, you’ll see how you may be connected (through somebody else) to potentially key contacts.  Again… it’s all about the people OTHER people may know that can get you hooked up with great opportunities.  Likewise, businesses often list job openings on LinkedIn (that may not appear on standard job boards).One more comment about LinkedIn – Another cool and effective feature is the fact that you can request “Introductions” and/or have people “Endorse” (recommend) you for your great work.  It’s like an instant referral system that potential employers can look at and see how wonderful you are!

    This leads me to my next reminder:

  2. Referrals from Family and Friends:  I know I basically covered this in point #1, but it’s worth stating on its own… particularly if you have not yet explored the social networking scene online.  Spread the word to friends and family that you are looking for work.  The people who care about you the most will put on their thinking caps and pass along any recommendations or suggestions.  I firmly believe “it’s a small world after all…!” (Sing it if you know it!)
  3. Volunteer Groups: Participating in volunteer groups or charity events is another great way to network with people.  I’ve said this in previous posts, and I’ll say it again…  People generally prefer working with people they like.  If you already share a common goal or interest, you’ve already broken the ice and accomplished a major step.  Befriend as many people as you can and get involved.  Who knows, the person running the race, planting a tree, or picking up trash by your side… may have a job opening that you can fill!
  4. Church Groups / Alumni Groups: These are just a couple of other resources that come to mind when it comes to networking opportunities and finding possible jobs.
  5. Toastmasters: This is a nonprofit, international leadership group that has been around since 1924 and helps people develop their public speaking and leadership skills.  Groups meet regularly to network and interact in a comfortable setting. Part of the problem many job seekers have is a lack of confidence in front of strangers.  Before convincing someone else that you should be hired… you need to convince yourself! It’s groups like these that help you build that much needed self-esteem.One quick tip… when attending a networking session, don’t feel like you need to own the room or be the center of attention.  Try to make meaningful connections and spend quality time with individuals… that’s what ignites long term relationships (not the quick handshakes in passing).
  6. Internships:  Sometimes you can get your foot in the door by doing paid (or unpaid) internships for businesses or organizations.  If anything, this is a great way to gain first-hand experience in a particular industry and again, it exposes you to a whole new set of people (and potential hiring managers).  I frequently encourage college students to do internships while in school (to help build an effective résumé).  Whether you’re interested in working in the medical field, a law office, a publishing company, or government agency (as examples)… this may be a good route to explore.  Pick up the phone and ask around, or stop by in person (professionally dressed!).  You never know… unless you ask! 
  7. Temporary Agencies:  Last, but certainly not least, I highly recommend going through a temporary agency.  Let a professional recruiter do the searching for you at no cost (it doesn’t get any better than that, right?)  Many companies do 100% of their hiring through services… in some cases; it’s the only way to get in. I highly recommend my old friends at Select Staffing (www.selectstaffing.com).

Hey Readers… Please share some additional methods for finding job opportunities and/or networking (aside from standard job boards or help wanted ads).  Blogs like this are an excellent forum for networking and helping one another.  We’d all love to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions!


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Yvette K
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 10:27:19

    My name is Ms K. I have applir for jobs online for the same company,but I apply in different locations. When I apply, my user name and password do not corespond with the previsious information. Can anyone give me some advise? I can keeping errors messages.


  2. Yahya hamza
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 20:33:50

    I would like to do work from home , i don’t know how to start?
    tell me if you have help.


    • anitaclew
      Jan 12, 2012 @ 08:30:56

      Working from home is becoming more and more common in today’s web world! There are often opportunities posted online (though I warn you… many are scams promising huge pay rates for little to no effort – not realistic or trustworthy!)

      By simply running a search on “work from home jobs” or something similar, you’ll see a long list of potential opportunities that you can sift through. As you narrow down the list to jobs that seem like a good fit for your skills, experience, availability, etc… DO YOUR HOMEWORK. You need to thoroughly research each company to ensure they are legitimate before eagerly diving into anything.

      Working from home definitely has its benefits, but it’s not for everyone. It takes discipline, dedication, and an ability to work independently. I wrote an article on this subject that you may find interesting… take a look here: http://anitaclew.com/2011/09/27/remote-part-of-a-team/

      I wish you all the best!


  3. Shynice McGraw
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 16:47:44

    Hey my name is Shynice and Im looking for a job ASAP do anybody know any jobs.


  4. josue soliz
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 08:47:27

    i considered these advices and ive already started puttin them to use


  5. Gwen
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 04:16:11

    In Ocala FL I’ve found that most of the jobs listed on the “search engines” INDEED, JOB ALERT, ETC., are either filled, old, or do not exist. i.e., Lockheed Martin, they told me they do NOT post at all except on their website… Seems for every job you find on the internet, you have to go directly to the company website, rather than file thru the online application??? there must be a better way!


  6. Mike E.
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 04:12:10

    Volunteer! It provides visibility, a reference, and fills a time hole on a resume. I have had two jobs “created” just for me, because the organization I volunteered at decided they needed me full time


  7. pravinchn
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 18:41:32

    interesting topic………..


  8. Rob
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 15:37:00

    Many of those tips are only helpful for a select group. In smaller markets where there are far fewer openings those tips do not help. Go on LinkedIn and see that it’s an international mix of members and finding anything local in one’s smaller hometown is impossible. Plus, LI doesn’t want to be used as a job board and prohibits some job seeking activities. If you don’t already have a working network and are not a social butterfly in a larger market – that advice is equally useless.


  9. Anne Michener
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 11:26:58

    I need a job asap, I wish I had the gas to go drive everywhere and fill out applications but I don’t. If I can’t find anything by the end of the month I’m looking towards Tennesee to be with my older son. Please, if you can find me something third shift that would be a big help, I figure third shift, my second oldest can be home with the other two and no time would be lost. Thank you, Anne


  10. Diane Irwin
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 10:37:48

    These are great tips! Here’s a new idea: carry around magazines related to your industry…when you need to wait somewhere (doctors appointments, riding trains, etc), they are easy conversation starters. My college age daughter had jury duty yesterday and was reading some engineering journals…turned out the guy next to her was an engineer and started talking with her; then a woman at the same table piped up that her son was an engineer and had just gotten a job at a certain company….she couldn’t believe how easy it was to connect with others just from reading her magazine!


  11. bonnev659
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:32:24

    very nice list, too bad some companies won’t let you do unpaid internships if you are not enrolled in college program or something….

    alumni/linkedin/ and word of month are very helfpul


  12. Artina Leatrice Graves
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:14:35

    Most of them I tried and I usually revert back to online job search. I would like to know more about the Toastmasters though if I can. Anyone knows something.


  13. Anthony
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:14:25

    Im looking for a Job in my area ASAP (El Paso TX 79925) In the Medical Field


  14. harold
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:06:56

    thank u


  15. Manage Better Now
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:06:49

    On LinkedIn, make sure that your network knows you are looking for a job. You want to make sure that you have all of your information up to date, but letting people know you are in the job market may get them thinking proactively how they can help you.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.

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