We are often asked to help our friends in the community plan their next career move. Sometimes we can help them connect directly to a hiring manager- and sometimes the timing or skill sets are off target. One of the things that people find most valuable is our multi-step process to getting organized. Below you will find an outline of the advice we give to folks looking to find their dream jobs. We hope you find it helpful!
Job Search Best Practices From Technical Integrity
Create a spreadsheet– After doing your homework, on companies you WANT to work for on sites like BuiltInColorado.com or Colorado Biz Magazine, get organized by creating a spreadsheet of your target orgs. Columns should include contact, phone number, website, notes and dates you called etc. Track this actively and adjust priority on each depending on your interest level in each. Your best resources are listings in your local newspaper or business list of “Best places to work for” and “Best Culture” as these are ranked by internal employees. Also be sure to check sites like Glassdoor.com for reviews on the company before adding them to your list.
Use TweetDeck or HootSuite to monitor all of your target organization’s Twitter feeds and see what they are up to (this allows you to create endless columns where you can track each company or executive individually) This can turn into an information treasure trove. Just as powerful is setting up columns with search terms like “BigData, Career, Boulder” this will bring up all relevant results in real time. If you feel comfortable, start to tweet to/with your targets and convince them you’re excited about their vision and see if you can set up an informational meeting via DM/Direct Message.
Give First– You likely have expertise that others may grow from. Offer your lessons learned to a group that you care about, consider being a mentor, organizing a Meetup, or just offer to connect people who deserve to be connected. While this can be a longer term play, What goes around, always comes around.
Reach out and ask for help– Spend 85% of your time on networking, building your LinkedIN network and going to professional organization meetings in your area- that is where you will find your next job
Spend ONLY 15% of your time online looking for a job (ie on Built In Colorado, Indeed or Monster etc)
Have the web work for you– Use Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, GlassDoor.com and start search agents to understand hiring trends and get alerts on jobs and companies you want to target.
Find free resources– Use Hoovers.com free version, Google Alerts, or a simple web search to determine who decision makers are in your target orgs and cross reference each on LinkedIN or GitHub and hook up with them there.
Expand your network quickly– Contact at least five local recruiters / executive search firms and meet with them once and stay in touch with them every two weeks. It’s your job to stay in touch.
Create a business card– You should carry these with you to every meeting you attend- be succinct and use humor to stand out. Nobody accepts paper resumes anymore.
LinkedIn is your friend– Join 50 groups on LinkedIN, and consider paying for the entry level membership to have access to third degree contacts and use InMails to ping them. You can also just pick up the phone and say you saw their profile on LI.
Figure out which groups your decision makers are a part of on LI and join those groups. Follow their activity and engage with them in intelligent conversation, demonstrating that you’ve done your homework.
Group organizers are key to your search– Ask the organizers of each Professional Organization(local chapter) or Meetup to introduce you around to members since they are a hub of the group.
Volunteer– Take an active part in one or two related organizations – you will meet a ton of people through organizing events or taking over membership. Volunteering is powerful for making solid connections- especially when you are passionate about what you are working on.
Polite Persistence is key– Use this phrase when you are calling people (decision makers) for the sixth time “Forgive my polite persistence but I am eager to chat with you about how I can make a difference for your organization…would you be open to a cup of coffee on the X of January…my treat”. If the answer is ultimately no, be graceful and respectful and perhaps consider asking for someone in their network that may benefit from your expertise. You’ll never know until you ask.