By Olga Kingsbury, CPDC Undergraduate Career Coach
During turbulent times, when economic and labor market conditions are as ambiguous and uncertain as they are now, one of the best job search strategies is to think outside of the box and use non-traditional ways of getting hired. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Reach out to the person you want to work for/with directly and offer your services. We are living in an increasingly transparent and interconnected world, which means you can easily access professionals via LinkedIn, email, and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Use this opportunity to get in front of them and offer paid and non-paid work. Remember: an opportunity may come when you least expect it.
- Join online meetups that align with your interests. One of the goals of meetups is to connect people with opportunities. It is not uncommon for employers to attend these events to search for talent. For example, if you are looking for a job in programming in the Salt Lake area, join the Python Meetup. The first 15 minutes of every meetup, employers advertise their openings and job seekers share what positions they are seeking.
- Ask to shadow a working professional. Shadowing is a great way to figure out if a field is right for you by observing what the day-to-day of a certain role is like. This is a great activity to do while shifting careers because it can give you a very clear understanding of what skills, qualifications, and experiences are valued in a certain field. Shadowing someone for a couple of days also means you can get to know their colleagues and become a part of their professional network, which means they may keep you on their radar if a job opportunity arises.
- Reach out to a person working in your dream career/organization for an informational interview. Similar to shadowing, an informational interview is a great way to create a connection in the industry, learn valuable insights, and put yourself out there so an opportunity may find you. While shadowing is a bigger time commitment on both sides and may require more coordination, having a 30-minute Zoom call with a professional is a much easier thing to do. Especially now, when much of the workforce is working from home, may have more time on their hands, and may also be craving more social interaction.
Does submitting a traditional resume for an on-line application on a company website not work anymore? Yes and No. With increasing competition for jobs, recruiters are getting about 250 resumes on average for any given job opening. Adobe’s careers webpage is known as a “black hole” for a reason. Rumor has it that it is nearly impossible to get a job in the company by simply submitting a resume because recruiters get thousands of applications per position. In a situation like this, simultaneously employing the strategies discussed above will maximize your chance for success. For additional support, see a Career Coach or visit our Virtual Career Studio.