Separating yourself from the job-seeking crowd
6 Old Fashioned Tricks That Put You Ahead of the Tech Savvy Job Seeker
by Alex J. Coyne
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Modern technology has made everything faster and easier. Now you can upload your resume directly to a job-search website with little more than a few clicks of a button, and it's assumed by many that things will happen on their own from there. While technology might have made things quicker in some ways and more efficient in others, it hasn't become a total replacement for doing things the old-fashioned way and some say it never will.
Here's how you can blend some old-fashioned techniques with modern technology to help you find your way in the job market.
1. Putting Your Face to It
Unless you're an actor or model, sticking your face on the front page of your resume is generally discouraged. If you have a website, though, make sure there's a professionally taken, clear image of you on the "About" page. This adds a face to the person that prospective clients will be dealing with, and you'll often find that it makes communication go smoother. It's a strategy you'll often see with careers that need a personal touch, like real estate agents.
2. Old-Fashioned Getting to Know People
The buzzword is "networking," but it's really just down to old-fashioned getting to know people. Find out who you will be working with before you approach the company and know the names of the key-players. Introduce yourself to people when the opportunity arises, even if they are completely out of your field. Somewhere, it will be useful. Building and strengthening relationships with people is everything in business.
3. Phone Calls First
Introducing yourself over the phone prior to a visit or meeting is a good way to familiarize yourself with the rest of the company and how things are done. You'll often get to the front desk. Note the way the phone is answered and the tone of the general conversation. Yes, this is down to training within the company you want to work for, so pay attention to it. If you get the chance to speak to your prospective employer beforehand, be friendly, speak clearly, and toss your nerves out the window. It is just one person speaking to another.
4. Visiting the Company
You can and should visit the company in person when the opportunity arises. This is a great chance to scope out the habitat, and it applies to most careers. For example, someone in the service industry might visit the establishment beforehand as a customer to see how they do things. The same is true for almost all office jobs, too. How do things flow?
Of course, you can also visit the company in person once you have an appointment to drop off your resume in person. The same applies to this scenario. Look and listen, as this is where you may end up working.
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5. Hanging Around
Sometimes it can be hard to reach top-level management or the owner of a business. Maybe you keep getting referred back into the loop, and it's clear that they have no intention of letting you speak to anyone. In that case, try the ancient strategy of hanging around until the right person walks in and walking right up to them. (This does have a proven track record and has gotten people high-end jobs.)
It will only work if you know exactly who you are waiting for, so do thorough research on the right people in the company beforehand. High-end management tends to be busy. Therefore, once your window of opportunity opens, you might have less than 15 seconds to make your point. Why does he or she need you as part of their company? Why should they listen? Make sure you can answer in 10 seconds flat.
6. Cold Calling
Cold calling is generally considered calling, emailing, or showing up without an appointment. It's something writers and business people do a lot of, and it can be applied to almost every career. For example, if you want to work in any kind of specialty career or one that requires a hands-on apprenticeship (like an artisan baker, tattoo artist, graphic designer or painter), then you might have to "cold call" several business to find the right one.
Technology is a great resource when you're trying to find a job, but putting your CV (Curriculum Vitae) online and waiting for responses is far from enough to establish yourself as a career professional. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile, and sometimes you have to do things the old-fashioned way. Have you made use of any old-fashioned techniques blended with modern technology to help you look for a job?
Alex J. Coyne is a freelance journalist and author with years of experience in the field of personal finance. He has written for a wide range of publications (including The Dollar Stretcher, Funds for Writers, The Penny Hoarder, The Investor and People Magazine) and been featured as a guest on KayaFM and Radio Namakwaland.
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