4 ways to combine web-based and face-to-face-based job hunting for great results

I have my resume on all the job board sites, I’m continually looking online for open positions, and am emailing them my resume. I also participate actively on a couple of job search blog sites. I have been looking for a job for over six months and have only had three responses and one interview. What am I doing wrong?

The better question to ask may be “What am I not doing?” Certainly the online job boards are a great place to look for a job. In fact, I previously worked at one. That said, don’t underestimate the incredible value of looking for a job the old fashion way, face-to-face.

By face-to-face job hunting I mean all non-web based activities such as

  • Participating in professional organizations
  • Participating in job hunting groups
  • Cold calling companies where you would really like to work to see if any openings are available
  • Calling people you know who are working at companies where you would really like to work to see if any openings are available
  • . . . and other similar person-to-person related activities

Let’s first look at the advantages and disadvantages of looking for a job via the web and then the advantages of looking for a job face-to-face. As you will see, they both have value, but because they have different advantages, the best way for you to find a job is to do both.

Top two advantages of online job search

  • It’s very efficient in regard to finding companies with job openings
  • It’s easy to apply via online forms and/or email

Top two disadvantages of online job search

  • Statistically, there is a very low chance of you getting an interview
  • You don’t know if there is actually a potential job to be filled

Top two advantages of face-to-face job search

  • Having made a personal connection to the Human Resources group or hiring manager, you have a much higher chance of getting the job
  • If you made a good impression, but didn’t get the job, you have at worst expanded your professional network and at best, will be called at a later time when another job opens

Top two disadvantages of online job search

  • It’s more work and more time consuming.
  • It’s a numbers game, you end up talking to many people that can’t help you find a job in the effort of finding a few people that can help

My suggestion to you is to combine online and face-to-face job search activities to maximize your effectiveness. It will give you the advantages of both. That said, consider the following:

  1. Use web searches to find companies that are hiring and then use face-to-face networking to find contacts at these companies that can help you get the job.
  2. Target companies where you would like to work, use LinkedIn to identify people that work at those companies, and personally contact these people via phone call and/or email.
  3. Participate in active discussion boards and blog sites in the technical area where you are looking for a job, then personally contact people who comment favorably on your posts.
  4. Write a blog in your professional area. If you get noticed great, if not, you are building your personal brand and can talk about your blog at networking meetings and during job interviews.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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