In today’s economy, job applicants are flooding the market, making it very hard to break through the static and get noticed by a potential employer. To get a job, you are going to have to get creative!
Ask your family and friends. This core circle of your community is often overlooked, because you assume they know you need a job and would tell you if they heard something. However people need directives for action – so hit up each person on an individual basis, let them know you that are looking for a job, and what type of work you are searching for. Do this in person or at least over the phone, as blanket “Hey can anyone help me?” statements on Facebook will get lost in a flash.
Connect with former employers that you are in good standing with, and ask them for leads. Although you may no longer be in the same industry, they may know of other people or organizations that need your help.
Talk to everyone you can, and make friends wherever you go. It has been said that 90% of jobs go to someone who knows someone. By that idea, the more people you know, the better chance you have of getting a job, wherever you are. And don’t prejudge people based on their appearance or anything else – resolve to connect with as many human beings as you can, no matter what their status. That guy taking out the trash may have an uncle who owns a technology company.
Go in person to the job location and try to talk to the manager. This will work better if you do a little research first and find out who the manager is and when he or she will be in. Many companies now encourage you to fill out job applications online, but if you can dodge this and put your face on your name, your chances of getting the gig will increase. March in there with supreme confidence and tell the manager why you are the best person for the job. And don’t forget to smile.
Work for free. If you are able to, working as a volunteer or intern will give you skills and connections that will benefit your future career immensely. Plus, the boss may be so impressed with your work that they will hire you later.
Check categories on Craigslist you usually don’t. In fact, check them all- besides the jobs that are misplaced, you might find a great opportunity when you search outside the box. Don’t forget the “gigs” section at the bottom of the page.
Turn a small job into a big one. Do you have a job babysitting every Friday night? Ask the parents if they have any friends who might also need a babysitter. Did someone hire you to paint their front porch? Let them know you do landscaping as well. Serving smoothies at a mall café in the afternoons? Tell your boss you are ready and available for any extra work they might have. You can often turn a small or one-time gig into a more profitable work experience.
Forge strategic relationships and connect with your community. If you are trying to get a job at a certain bank, and all the bankers go out to happy hour every Wednesday, then socialize there and try to connect with people in your circle; this will make it much easier for you to get “in” with a job, because you are already “in” with the crew! You don’t have to be sneaky or underhanded about it- just be yourself, and show that you fit in and would make a nice addition to the team.
Peace Corps. Is this whole “job” thing just not cutting it? Are you tired of your surroundings, bored of your friends and yearning to live a life less ordinary? The Peace Corps is looking for you. You may earn a pittance during your time working abroad, but the knowledge, experience and connections you will make will benefit you for your entire life.