When you're searching for a new position, you probably regularly check online job boards for leads, but those platforms certainly shouldn't be the only places you look. Many vacancies, in fact, are filled through networking or are publicized in places that older adults might not have previously used to look for jobs. Notably, in Jobvite's “2020 Job Seeker Nation” survey, 42 percent of respondents said they learned of job openings on social media.
Making use of every available avenue to find a job is important now.
“Every time you apply online for a job, you are hoping that you're one of the handful out of hundreds to apply that they pick to interview,” says senior career consultant Steve Dalton, the program director for daytime career services at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina, and author of The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster. And because so many positions are filled through internal hires and referrals, you're also hoping that you're not applying for a role that's no longer available, he says.
Fortunately, there are ways to give yourself an edge by finding the jobs that others may not have heard about. To put the odds in your favor, try these strategies.
Take stock of your “communities.” You likely belong to some combination of business and industry groups, alumni associations, or other organizations related to your career. And though belonging to these kind of groups is a start, getting involved strategically can raise your visibility in important ways, advises Jodi Standke, CEO of Talon Performance Group, a Minneapolis-based performance management consulting firm.
You might write a piece for the group's newsletter showcasing your expertise or thought leadership. Or, perhaps, a role on the membership committee would help you get to know more colleagues in a shorter time (they may be holding meetings virtually, as many professional and social activities are done now because of the COVID-19 pandemic). One way to get noticed in online groups is to share relevant articles and other information. Look for ways you can highlight your skills in front of the group and get your name out there, Standke says. Once people are aware of your specific skills, they will be more able to connect you with job opportunities before they are posted online.
Spend more time on social media
LinkedIn, the widely used networking site for professionals, has many tools to help you find jobs and let recruiters know you're looking. Seek out groups related to your occupation. Check out the Who's Hiring Now section to find companies that are actively looking for talent, and publish your own articles or share those you find interesting. “With LinkedIn, there's not one approach,” Standke says.