By Brian Pho
Job searching is tough work. It requires time, energy and effort on the part of the candidate. There are different approaches when searching for a job. The most common these days is to look at the job boards on the internet for the most active job openings but it may not be the most effective way of finding the career position you really want.
Networking with professional acquaintances and friends is another method which might be a better solution for finding that great position. However, I still believe your friends might know you personally but do not know you on a professional level. This makes it difficult for a friend to refer you to that great company you always wanted to work for.
Expanding your network beyond your professional and personal contacts is probably the most effective way of conducting your job search. Job seekers must start conversations or talk to people they don’t already know outside their professional and personal network. This can happen through a professional referral, the correct use of social networking (LinkedIN is one place to start) or hiring the services of a recruiter.
Specialized networking events within the candidate’s reach are good to attend as it introduces the candidate to new people within their own industry as well as outside.
If one wants to change industries completely, I would recommend building a list of contacts/relationships within the industry the candidate is looking to pursue. These contacts don’t have to be decision makers or hiring managers but talking to anybody within that particular industry would give a clearer insight into that specific market.
Arrange informational meetings with people in a different industry or revamping your personal 'marketing strategy' may be better options.
Overall, looking for a job/career is a marketing/sales job in itself. It requires the right mix of networking, referrals and information gathering in order to obtain the position you dream of. It is hard work and sometimes feels like a full time job, but with persistence, consistency and dedication, I believe any candidate can find their dream job.