As a post grad, usually the first place you go to job search is the Internet. With Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Monster.com, Craiglist, and many other networking and job search websites, it is a great place to begin. Yet, most new graduates forget about other networking and job search opportunities that don't involve a computer. Any employer would say that they get a better read on an applicant and more importantly, remember an applicant that greets them face-to-face rather than sending in a generic email application. Here are some tips on networking and job searching in the real world:
1. Find job fairs in your area. Job fairs often come to colleges or even local stores and businesses. For example, Meijer held a job fair for their new location last year. Job fairs at local colleges and universities are the best way to meet potential employers in a professional setting, hand out resumes and business cards, and get a feel for jobs in your area. Some even hold specific job fairs for different fields or events for college students that anyone can attend.
2. Bring business cards and resumes every where you go. You never know when you might meet someone that can get your foot in the door. Being prepared is an excellent way to show how qualified you are for a job.
3. Instead of simply applying for jobs via email or on a website, visit the place you want to apply for. Even if they tell you they only take applicants online, perhaps you can leave your resume or talk to the person who does the hiring for the job you desire. It will put you apart from the hundreds of applicants who simply send in their online application.
4. Find professional networking events and professional groups for the job field you want to jump into. Connecting with people in the field you want to work in is a great way to find jobs, meet new people, hand out business cards, and learn. Win, win, win! Simply do a search for 'networking events' in your area or 'professional groups' in your area and field of work and you may be surprised at what you find.
Remember that job searching and networking online are great ways to find jobs and keep in touch with your professional contacts, but never forget that speaking face-to-face is a great way to get remembered and get that dream job!