(To see Part 2, click here.)
Continuing along in this series — in Part 2, we discussed where to begin your job search and how to use online job banks to your advantage. We also discussed how you can leverage LinkedIn to create the perfect job list for you. Now that we’ve spent the bulk of our time online looking for a job, it’s time to start meeting people face-to-face. Welcome to Part 3: How can you look for jobs offline?
It’s safe to say that online technology has grown to become a massive part of our lives. In 2015, Pew Research Center stated that 73% of Americans go online on a daily basis and only 13% of adults say they do not use the internet at all. And while using online resources are extremely useful for your job search (or any other search, for that matter), it’s not ALL you have.
Good old-fashioned networking can always help you find jobs. I’ve been offered jobs several times at seminars and other industry events just by holding good conversations with people.
If you haven’t already, try doing a search online for seminars and industry conferences that will be in your area soon. For example, going to a writing workshop or visiting a public relations conference would be very beneficial for someone in my industry who is looking for jobs. Not only will you learn more about you career field, but you’ll meet other aspiring professionals who are eager to learn more, too.
Another great way to look for these events is by registering for relevant newsletters. Like I mentioned in Part 2, search for professional associations in your industry. They always have newsletters that include valuable information, such as open job positions, major industry changes and upcoming conferences/seminars.
If you’re tired of looking at your computer screen, there are other options! Take the time to visit a headhunter in your area, or you can grab your local newspaper and look for jobs and upcoming events there, as well.
When networking with other professionals at an event, you want to make sure you’re genuine and easy to talk to. I came across these networking tips on Entrepreneur.com, and I thought the author did a good job describing what networking should actually be. My favorite point is:
Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.
It’s so true! Building on those relationships can be the start of something great. I’m very aggressive when it comes to following up with other professionals, and I’ve gotten good friends, job offers and invites to exclusive events from doing so.
It’s easy to find job fairs in your area. Doing a simple search online or reading a local newspaper can help you find this information. You can also visit local staffing agencies or other career services organizations.
If you’re currently unemployed, job fairs can be very useful for you, if you handle them correctly. It’s a quick and efficient way to learn more about the companies you’re applying for. Having these one-on-one conversations is also great for building your reputation. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for someone to get a good (or bad) impression of you.
If you’re currently employed, going to a job fair may be a bit risky. I read a Forbes article about job hunting while you’re employed. Of course it’s OK for you to do it. But job hunting while you’re employed can present many risks for you. One of the biggest includes attending job fairs. The author mentioned that “job fairs are not a great job search channel for stealth job-seekers because…the risk of broadcasting your job-hunting status is so high.” While this is something to consider during your covert job search, it’s not something that should stop you either. Ultimately, you have to make the decision that’s best for you and your needs.
Whether you’re employed or not, just remember to be your best self at these job fairs. If you have questions for these companies, don’t be afraid to ask them. Remember, just as these companies are interviewing you, you are interviewing them, as well, to make sure they are the right fit for you. Make sure you have your resume, cover letter and/or writing samples organized and ready to distribute. And remember, always dress accordingly. To learn more about appropriate business wear, click here to read one of my past Workin’ Wednesday posts.
Although Part 3 was brief, the purpose of this post was to get you thinking about ways you can make a good impression on people face-to-face. Have you ever gone to a networking event or job fair? Please share your stories in the comment section below!
We have one more part to go in this series, so stay tuned!
(To see Part 4, click here.)