Friday, December 10, 2010

Developing Job Leads

Most people would agree that the best job leads come from friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. Someone who knows someone who may have an opening—you know the drill.
The more people you have out there aware of your situation—what you have to offer, where your interests lie—the more likely employment opportunities arise. Some ways of developing job leads include:
  • E-networking: There are many internet sites designed to quickly connect you to people in your industry or field. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site offering you access to your contacts’ connections. Other sites to check out include Ryze and Plaxo.
  • Professional organizations: There is a professional group for every industry and discipline. Gateway to Associations, offered through the Center for Association Leadership, allows you to search by industry and geographic location.
  • Informational interviews: The quality of your connections is at least as important as the quantity. Generally, people like to share their expertise with others. These interviews are not specific to an open position, but allow you to find out more about a field or industry in which you are interested. The personal contact will keep you top-of-mind when opportunities arise.
  • Project work: If you are between jobs, consider doing some consulting in your field. It is an easier way to get your foot in the door and a great way to build your resume while you meet new people—which can lead to additional projects or permanent positions.

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