The majority of students focus on the “traditional” job search methods that have been used for decades. While these can work, focusing on smarter, less utilized techniques will likely get you better results.
Establishing a narrow focus in your job search and sticking to it will dramatically increase your chances of having success with these methods. You’ll have a better sense of which industries/companies will view your methods favorably. Remember, some of these outside-the-box tactics may NOT be the right fit for a particular company and will not work. Do your research up front and then consider using a few of the following techniques …
- Visit the offices of potential employer and ask to learn about the company. Don’t say you want to know about jobs, but instead say something along the lines of: “I’ve doing quite a bit of research on your company – and actually do it – and I’m really attracted to *fill in the blank (culture, size, technology, cause, customers)* – and mean it. I stopped by today to see if there is any way I could either speak with someone to learn even more about the company or setup a time to meet with someone in the next week.” Having this conversation via phone would work too, but you definitely won’t be as memorable to the potential employer. (In case you were wondering, you’re asking for an “informational interview.” P.S. Don’t use the phrase “informational interview” as it the word “interview” might turn some people off.)
- Reach out to people on LinkedIn and form new connections. Ask about their career paths and learn from them. (Check out Mike Ursiny’s book, LinkedIn Distilled: A Recent Grad’s Guide to Landing an Entry Level Job for more info.)
- Use expedited mail envelopes to get the attention of potential employer. I recommend Priority Mail envelopes from the USPS as I describe in VIDEO: Mailing Resumes Using Priority Mail Envelopes. FedEx, UPS, etc. will work just fine.
- Use a stand-out resume design. You can check out some examples of resume designs for ideas in the 5 Unique Resume Designs that You Should Consider Emulating post.
- Get custom business cards printed to use when you meet with or otherwise talk to people and when you go on interviews. A good place to get custom business cards is Zazzle.com.
- Be creative and differentiated. Really. Doing thing differently (in a positive way) will get you noticed and will increase the chances of landing an interview where you can really show the value you bring to the table.
It might go without saying, but DON’T STOCK OR ANNOY PEOPLE. (Or write your text in all caps for that matter.) This is probably one of the fastest ways to get the boot. The goal is to get their attention, not make them want to block all your communications.
Have you had success with any of these unconventional techniques? Leave your comments below!