By Amy Levin-Epstein
Do you feel like you’re spending 24/7 on the computer, applying to job after job and constantly tweaking your online profiles, but are no closer to securing a new position? The digital aspect of today’s job search can be downright demoralizing. But there are some things you can do offline that will be complementary to your online efforts. (After you read this, be sure to read “How to make sure a person sees your online resume” for more tips on making sure your digital resume is read by an actual human being.)
Work with headhunters: Utilizing these professionals can not only help you get an interview, but also a competitive salary once you’re the one that they want. “It behooves them to get you the highest salary since their fee is based on it,” says human resources consultant Sharon Armstrong, author of “The Essential Performance Review Handbook.” “The downside is that they will present several qualified candidates. That is a minor drawback.”
Attend a job fair: A job fair can feel like the equivalent of that online job hunt — like you’re trying to stand out from a big crowd and be the needle in the haystack for recruiters. But you can set yourself apart by doing research about each company attending the event, prior to the fair. “Get to know the representatives and let them know what you learned about their company and how your skills match their needs,” says Armstrong. Then apply through their company website, but follow up with your new contact.
Contact your alumni office: Relatively recent graduates should always be in touch with their alumni career services offices. “Some even have job postings exclusively for their alumni,” says career coach Kathleen Brady, author of “GET A JOB! 10 Steps to Career Success.” And be sure to attend that local Christmas cocktail party for recent grads, even if you’re busy and no one you know will be there—the latter point is exactly the reason to go.
Network like it’s your job: “People hire people,” says Louise Kusmark, resume expert and founder of career consulting firm Best Impression Career Services, Inc. The problem with online is that there is no connection — the goal with networking is to put faces to names. “You can reach out to people at companies you are interested in, even if they do not have a job posting, and try to engage in conversations and build relationships,” says Kusmark. Of course, you don’t want to be a pest to already overworked people, but asking for a quick informational interview (and being exceedingly well-prepared for it) shows that you’re someone to keep on their short-list.