Beyond Job Boards: 5 Other Ways to Learn About Job Opportunities

If you’re spending most of your time searching for your next position on job boards, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Although it’s possible to land an interview from responding to a job board ad, it’s more likely that your resume will fall into a “black hole” and you won’t hear back from the company at all.

Instead, focus on relationship-building activities that can help you meet people and engage in conversations—a key way to landing your next opportunity. Where can you do this?

  • Social media. Social networking sites and blogs have helped individuals connect with people across the globe that may have never had a chance to meet in real life. This is a great chance to connect with companies, hiring managers, recruiters and other professionals in your field. Look for lists of thought leaders to follow, participate in chats and provide value to increase your visibility on the platform.
  • Volunteering. Accepting a volunteer position helps you fill your resume while job seeking. It also adds to your leadership experience and allows you to network within the organization. Find a group that you’re passionate about and offer to help in your area of expertise. Even if it’s only a few times per month, it’s worth it.
  • Events. Participating in industry events, conferences and meetups are a great way to increase your visibility and meet new people. Search for events in your area and connect with the organizers and attendees beforehand to introduce yourself. Once you’ve met in-person, don’t forget to follow-up or add the new contacts into your address book or social networking accounts.
  • Professional associations. Joining a professional group, such as your alumni association or a local group focused on your industry, can build leadership skills and introduce you to new individuals. It looks great on your resume and helps build accomplishment stories and additional skills. Of course, you’ll also meet some key individuals that can help boost your job search, introduce you to new connections and refer you to unadvertised job openings.
  • Talent communities. Interested in working at a specific organization? Search their careers section for a talent community to join. Sometimes these are message boards or email lists, and other times they’re social networks aimed at connecting the employer with the job candidate. Being active in the community can help you learn more about the company and increase your visibility with employees at the organization.

How did you learn about your last job opportunity? Did networking play a role in some way?

About Heather R. Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. She is also the founder & president of Come Recommended, the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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One Response to Beyond Job Boards: 5 Other Ways to Learn About Job Opportunities

  1. Charles Purdy May 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    There are some great tips here — excellent methods of expanding your professional network (not to mention your skill set).

    But about that “black hole” thing: Having a great resume posted at Monster.com is still a foundation of a job search; many of our customers (more than 90% of Fortune 1000 companies) don’t use our resume-posting product; they use, instead, our state-of-the-art resume search — they’re looking for you before (or instead of) posting a job. Our advice is to explore every avenue available to you.

    And when you apply for a job, avoid the “black hole” by making sure you’ve customized your resume to align with the post’s priorities and wording — that’s one of the most important things you can do when applying directly for a job.

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