This blog post is the second of a 5-part series titled “Everything You Need to Know Before you Enter the Job Market.” Our career expert, Sadie Guzman, will explore the job search process from start to finish to make sure you are fully prepared to land your next career opportunity. Haven’t read the first blog yet? Find it here.
“Where are the Jobs?”
When beginning your job search, the first place you might think to look is at an online job board. However, if you only focus on online applications, you are missing many other opportunities. The best place to look for a job is not through a specific website, but through your network, giving you access to the hidden job market!
To tap into your network, the first step is to let them know that you are on the hunt for a job! This will help them keep you at the forefront of their minds if they hear of anything that aligns with your skillset. Your immediate network could be your aunt, a former colleague, or even your barista that you visit every day. You can also let recruiters know that you are open to work on LinkedIn.
While you will want to start by reaching out to your immediate contacts, you should also strategize how to expand your network. Building your network and making connections will lead to referrals and future job opportunities. You may not see the immediate results of your networking efforts daily, but in the long run, it will yield greater results than just submitting online applications. Many times, you will land a job not just through who you know, but who they know.
We often think the job search process can be boiled down to creating your resume, applying, getting interviews, and landing a role. In reality, most of your time is spent researching companies and positions, building your network, and having conversations with your connections or recruiters. The time spent creating your documents and applying is very little in comparison!
Networking for your search can happen in person or online, it is as simple as having a conversation with someone at a party or the grocery store; it does not have to be formal. If you are looking for more formal settings, career fairs, conferences, and industry professional groups in your area are great places to start! Want to know more strategies for networking? You can explore a previous blog I have written on the subject.
Company Referral Programs
In today’s job market, referrals are key to getting to the interview process. Company referral programs are opportunities for employees to put forth names from their network that they think would be a good fit for the role. Companies have already hired someone they trust, so this process allows them to find similar candidates that are equally as trustworthy and likable! This gives companies access to better quality candidates, and an overall better return on investment. Oftentimes, jobs are filled without ever being posted online.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers can see that an applicant had a referral and are more likely to want to talk to these applicants. Every organization does their referral process differently, check with your contact about how their company does their process!
So, if you have a friend or have a contact at a company you are applying for, ask them to recommend you for the job. Elevate your chances of getting through to the interview process! If you don’t know someone at the company, this is where your great networking skills come into play.
Reach out to them and ask for an informational interview. Start building a relationship with that contact, so hopefully they will want to refer you to a position at their company! Asking for informational interviews and acquiring referrals will create the perfect path to landing your future role.
All this being said, you will still need to apply online and think strategically about where you will find those job postings.
Here are some of my favorite job boards and the reasons why you should incorporate them into your search.
- LinkedIn is my favorite job site due to the insights they provide. You can filter by jobs that have been posted within the past 24 hours or past week. Being an early applicant for jobs is extremely important! You can also instantly see how many people have applied and which of your connections currently work at the company.
- Glassdoor Many people use Glassdoor to read employee reviews of companies. Think Yelp, but for your future place of work. Glassdoor also has job postings, so you can easily apply and gain salary information and reviews all in one place.
- Company Websites. If you are targeting specific companies, going directly to their websites will provide better results. Often time’s jobs are reposted on job boards well beyond the original post date. Going directly to the source is always the best bet!
- Alumni job boards or groups. If you received a degree from a college or university, chances are there are resources available to you and often at no cost!
- Job sites based on industry or preference. For example, are you wanting to work at a startup? Try Startup Jobs or AngelList! Wanting to work in tech? Utilize BuiltIn! There are websites for any niche job search, it is up to you to discover which ones best fit your needs.
Remember to incorporate a variety of search methods in your strategy. Finding a good balance between approaches that support your personal style and needs, while continuing to adjust as you go will be key to your success! Now that you are equipped with knowledge on where to find the jobs, we will explore how to make sure your application is seen in the next blog post. Stay tuned!
Sadie Guzman has over 7 years of experience in the career services field, supporting job seekers to achieve their career goals. She is passionate about hiring trends, recruiting best practices, and demystifying job search myths, and considers herself an advocate for those seeking employment. She currently serves as the Associate Director for MIS Career Management in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, where she advises graduate students on all aspects of career development and connects employers, alumni, and students. In her free time, Sadie loves traveling, spending time with her husband and Pomeranian, and playing in an adult kickball league!
Connect with Sadie on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sadieguzman/