Articles from TheCareerAdvisor
25 Ways to Develop Job Leads
  There are an infinite number of ways to approach the job market. The more strategies you put into play, the greater your chances for success. Here are 24 proven tactics for developing job leads:
  1. Write to Personal Friends & Business Acquaintances
    Explain your situation, paint a Polaroid picture of your ideal next job or opportunity, and ask for advice and ideas. It's a good idea to write to friends of your spouse, and to fellow association members, too. Read about The most important letter you'll ever write.

  2. Contact Headhunters or Executive Recruiters
    Explain your situation, describe your job target in detail, and give salary requirements (optional) and geographic preferences. Broadcast your letter and resume using The Directory of Executive Recruiters created by Kennedy Information. It is always the most up-to-date list of recruiters.

  3. Answer Want Ads and Online Job Postings
    They're listed in newspaper classifieds, on-line services, company websites, state job service centers, association periodicals, and on employment TV. The best letter format is to list the job requirements in a column on the left side of the page, then show how you fit in a column on the right side. It's not a bad idea to answer important ads twice, a week apart; be sure to include a note expressing keen interest the second time.

  4. Sign up for Job Search Seminars

  5. Attend Job Fairs

  6. Join a Job-Finding Club
    They're listed in the classified section of your local newspapers and in the career journal published by The Wall Street Journal.

  7. Attend Organizational Meetings and National Conferences
    Gale Research publishes The Encyclopedia of Associations and Association Periodicals. To learn who's coming to town, contact your local convention and visitor's bureau, or your chamber of commerce.

  8. Read Association Periodicals
    Job leads appear in feature articles. Look for what's new, what's changing. See Association Periodicals by Gale Research.

  9. Attend Business and Personal Social Events
    The jobs are where the people are, namely at parties, get-togethers, sporting events, health clubs—anywhere people gather.

  10. Write a Direct Mail Letter to Companies
    Lists change so often that printed directories are obsolete the day they're published. The best way to get current data is to type "Mailing Lists" into a search engine like Google and scan the results.

  11. Contact Companies by Telephone
    You might want to read Cold Calling Techniques, by Stephan Schiffman. It makes phoning much easier.

  12. Call Job Hotlines
    Many are listed in The National Job Hotline Directory. (An annual publication.)

  13. Register With Your College Alumni Association

  14. Seek Part-Time or Consulting Work
    Temporary employment agencies are listed in the yellow pages.

  15. Volunteer Your Expertise
    Choose an organization where you might later be hired; little jobs lead to bigger jobs.

  16. Watch the Media and Play Off Trends
    Pay attention to radio and television, newspapers and professional journals. Look for change, opportunities, and problems to solve.

  17. Visit the Prospective Company's Website
    Fill out any online job applications that look interesting.

  18. Write a Letter to Newsmakers
    Check "People On the Move" columns in newspapers, magazines, trade journals.

  19. Advertise Yourself
    In the business section of metropolitan dailies, or in any media of your choice: for example, targeted bulletin boards or neighborhood newsletters. Hip executives are using Google AdWords to advertise themselves internationally. Extraordinarily effective and avant-garde.

  20. Sign Up With a Job Networking Service
    They usually cater to $100,000+ opportunities. The Wall Street Journal lists them, and ExecuNet is one such service.

  21. Give Classes or Presentations
    Teach in local community colleges, at business meetings, in professional associations—anywhere you will be seen and noticed.

  22. Take a Continuing Education Class
    Meet the instructor(s); rub shoulders with fellow attendees.

  23. Conduct Informational Interviews
    Dick Bolles explains it best in his annual edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? (Ten Speed Press)

  24. Try Offbeat Ideas
    Over the years, participants in outplacement workshops have made some wild suggestions. One that always comes up is, "Read the obituaries—there's bound to be a job vacancy." Everyone in class laughs. It's a not-too-practical idea, and I've never seen it pay off, but you could try it—or any other creative idea you might find. | Return to index of articles.

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