When it comes to job search, we hugely bank on job boards and networking websites. While it is okay to prioritize these, it doesn’t mean that these two are the only job resources out there. In fact, there are a host of other resources and professional networking opportunities that we usually overlook despite running into them quite often; if not daily!
So, did you ever use any offbeat resource to land a job interview? If your answer is ‘no,’ don’t worry since you are not alone. Even the most career-oriented professionals, who is actively looking for job opportunities, tend to miss out on these lesser-known job and networking resources. Reason being, most of us exactly don’t know where else a job opportunity could lie other than the conventional options.
The off-center resources we are talking about can be anything from people who you meet regularly and places you visit frequently to online resources you check every hour. Someone you met randomly, who you don’t know but like to know can be a professional worth networking.
You should never hesitate to interact with those who you think can never help you in getting a job. Yes, you read that right! Without judging the book by its cover, just go for it. Quite possible, a person you regularly meet at your gym or a nearby café might introduce you to a guy who personally knows or works in your dream company. The formula is to keep oneself open to the possibility that anyone out there can be a prospective link to the job you are looking for.
Likewise, attend events and gatherings that you don’t think can directly help you. Possibility is there that at such venues, you may chance upon someone that can be worth meeting in relation to your job search. Besides, there are several associations and networks too that are not exactly meant to hunt for a job but can be a great destination to meet up with professionals and like-minded people, who can lend you a helping hand.
- Now, when you know that you actually don’t know what exactly would open a window of opportunity, here is a list of some untapped job opportunity resources that can help you get hired.
- Alumni Career Services Center: If you haven’t thought about alumni career services center of your college, it is time to consider it now. A lot of companies these days post job openings with local career services to find fresh graduates and experienced alumni. Also, several colleges too have upgraded their career services platforms that act as a more focused and structured alternative to job boards available to the public.
- Industry Association: On the basis of your field and industry, you can reap benefits of joining an industry association by partaking in events, seminars and conferences that give you umpteen networking opportunities. A few industry associations have their personal job boards and offer email newsletter services for job openings related to their corresponding fields.
An industry association can also help you meet professionals who can exclusively introduce your resume to people inside your dream company.
- Corporate Alumni Network: These days, big corporations are offering online as well as offline networking opportunities among alumni of different colleges. Many companies and professional service organizations maintain alumni network databases, comprising contact information and present positions of their members.
It is good to be a part of any of such networks since you may get an opportunity to connect with someone from your college, who might be working in your target company and could possibly help you getting your dream job.
- Industry Publication: Subscribing to industry-specific newsletters and magazines can be really helpful. Not only this helps you gain insights into your field, it keeps you abreast of industry updates or vacancies in your sector, such as where your dream company is opening its next office and into which area the company is planning to expand.
Moreover, it is quite easy to keep track of everything since a major share of industry publications are now digital and you can access most of them for free. Follow social media handles of your dream companies, where you can find posts on current job openings too.
- Facebook Group: The scope of Facebook is now more than just keeping in touch with your old and new pals. Professional organization of today are known to maintain invite-only groups on this social networking website, which people with similar professions and industries can join to share knowledge. These groups are filled with experienced professionals who can either directly assist you or may introduce you to someone, who can help you secure a job interview.
- Unemployment Office: If someone is currently not employed, it doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t know someone who is. Just like you have some tips, skills and expertise, people you meet here may have these too. You can meet up with these people while filling the form for unemployment benefits or attending a workshop on how to create a great resume. All you need is to be generous with your suggestions and expertise, and then you will find people actually interested in returning the favor.
- Recreational Classes and Events: Regardless of your employment status, it is always a wonderful idea to attend events, where you are likely to meet new people. If you attend a bowling match or basketball tournament, you may get a chance to add people to your network that can help with your job search.
You can also join some class if you feel the need to kick start your networking. It is not essentially required to be directly related to your profession, but you can probably meet someone new while developing new skills.
- Volunteering: Apart from being a great way to give back to the community, volunteering of all types can help in networking. You never know a person beside you, serving meals to the homeless can be worthy of your contact list. Besides, some organizations do count volunteering experience that may lead to a full-time opportunity.
Charitable volunteering is just wonderful, but you should also volunteer for your professional association or organization. These associations usually need people to carry out miscellaneous tasks at conferences and seminar. And, if you get a chance at a renowned event to introduce a keynote speaker, meeting whom can be your key to landing your target job interview.
- Gymnasium: Generally, we do not prefer seeking a networking opportunity when we are sweaty and drained, but this too is a great place to find worthy contacts. Act smartly and carry some business cards in your gym bag, ready to be dispersed whenever you get an opportunity to interact with your gym-mates in a different way.
- Coffee Shop: You shouldn’t be one of those loudmouths, who don’t stop blabbering to someone when he/she is busy working. But if you happen to be a regular visitor to a nearby café, you could possibly meet new people or new customers of the café. Be calm and recognize if he/she is really interested in talking to you. Try visiting the café when it is not busy, so that you get the right atmosphere to start a conversation.
- Shopping Venues: You can even spark a conversation at a shopping mall or your preferred boutique, no matter if it is a dressing room. Since most people love to hear that they look fab in that outfit inside a dressing room, you already have an excellent opening line.
- Places with Kids and Pets: Small children don’t go alone to places; they are mostly accompanied by their parents. Same is the case with pets. A dog park is a great place to meet pet lovers with similar non-professional and professional interests. If your kid is engaged in ballet, sports, art classes or simply enjoys playing in the park, you have ample opportunity to meet other parents at these places. So just need to keep your eyes off your smartphone and try not to be that complaining parent at such places.
- Queue: Until you are nor not sick or in a hospital, any queue or waiting room can be a wonderful place to network. You can probably have a brief conversation with someone who is standing in the queue at your nearby grocery store or post office and can later get in touch with them for a detailed one.
- Salon: Remember that a hairdresser daily meet and indulge in lengthy conversations with people from varied backgrounds. Chances are there that your barber might be knowing someone, who might help you with your job search.
So, when you are at a salon, never hesitate in striking a conversation with your hairdresser, during which he may introduce you to someone of your interest.
- Unorganized Gathering: People are known to successfully network while being at a church or temple close by or attending a local festival. Ideally, you shouldn’t be there with a sole intention to add people to your network. But, at the same time, there is also nothing wrong about starting a conversation with someone at such places and calling him/her later of a detailed session of exchanging ideas.
While conventional job resources have their own values in the job market, the ones discussed above are either lesser known or completely untapped. Interestingly, there are people, who have successfully networked and given a phenomenal boost to their career by following these less popular job resources.