Tired of Looking for a Job Online? 4 Tips for Enhancing your Offline Job Search

Let's face it—everyone and their mom are utilizing job search sites like Monster and Craigslist in order to find a job. While this is a perfectly viable way to look for work, expect to wait several months before hearing back, if at all. Whenever you respond to a job listing, you'll likely be competing with hundreds if not thousands of job searchers, just because these listings are so visible and you'll all be on equal footing—just another candidate who happened to find the job ad. The quickest and most effective way to find a job is by looking both online and offline. Since the Internet job search is all the rage, far too few people pay attention to the opportunities available offline. Here are a few tips:
    1. Make a list of who you know and what they do.
    Networking offline always starts at home. Think about the people in your immediate social circle. Does your brother know someone who works in an industry you'd like to venture into? Does a friend of a friend have your dream job? Once you've identified the people you know who might be able to help you get your foot in the door, shoot them an email to get together. Even if your meeting doesn't lead directly to a job, they might be able to help you get some leads.
    2. Don't be afraid to contact alumni from your alma mater.
    Almost every university has an alumni database, which lists their contact information, the year they graduated, what they studied, and where they may be working now. The main point of this database is to help alumni keep in touch with each other in various ways. Even if you've found alums who are much older than you, they usually are very willing to help those who attended the same school. Leverage that school connection to see if there are any job possibilities.
    3. Brush up on your interview and speaking skills.
    In order to find a job by networking offline, you'll have to do a lot of talking. Brush up on your speaking and interviewing skills by practicing with friends or joining a public speaking club. One of the most prominent of such clubs is Toast Masters, which has chapters in various large and mid-size cities.
    4. Attend conferences and job fairs.
    As old-fashioned as it may sound, job fairs are a very effective way to talk your way into a potential interview. Industry conferences are less direct but also great way to scope out job opportunities. Even if you come out of conference without a lead on a job, you'll still have met with professionals in your current or potential field, and you'll be up-to-date on the latest happening within the industry.
    5. Set up informational interviews.
    Informational interviews are interviews that you set up yourself. Do a basic search, using Google or LinkedIn, for leaders in your area who work in different fields you may be interested in pursuing. Send them a courteous email in which you ask if you could meet them for lunch to discuss the work that they do. Most people, especially those in higher positions, love to talk about their work, so you'd be surprised by how responsive this offline, though indirect, job search method can be. For more on informational interviews and how best to utilize them, check out this New York Times article.
Whether offline or online, your job search will obviously not be easy. But if you make sure that your online brand complements your offline persona as you go about looking for networking opportunities, you'll find that there's more than one way to find the best job for you. Good luck

About Eliza Morgan

This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan who is a full time blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards. You can reach her at: elizamorgan856 at gmail dot com.

Photo: ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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