I just received an e-mail with some unusual job search advice. At first glance, it seemed a bit bizarre to me. But after giving it more attention, I had to admit, some of the pointers are pretty good, particularly for those who sense layoffs ahead and are trying to fit a job search in with an already busy schedule.
Kaplan University’s Director of Career Resources Betsy Richards suggests some creative places to look for career opportunities:
· Alumni events. Schmoozing with fellow alumni in a relaxed atmosphere can be a great career move.
· Any sporting event. Mutual affection for the same team can be a great conversation starter.
· Social networking sites. Each day literally millions of people make connections through Facebook, MySpace, Meetup and LinkedIn. Consider sending out a note to your “friends” and “connections” about your job search.
· Conferences not related to your expertise. For service professionals, industry events and seminars that attract subject matter experts and not your professional peers is a good way to regenerate your network.
· Nail salon, hairdresser, local restaurant, the gym. The places we frequent can be an oversight when it comes to the job search. The opportunities to strike up conversations with the familiar could be breeding ground for job opportunities.
Okay, now that you know where to go, you're wondering how to get the conversation started, right? Betsy advises that job seekers have a plan of action before they start chatting it up in the gym. Her tips:
- Prepare an “elevator speech” of three to four sentences that introduces your most marketable skills. Keep it succinct at no more than 20 seconds.
- When networking, introduce yourself and ask the person what they do for work. After they tell you, you have the opportunity to let him/her know that you are searching for a job. Explain what type of position fits your particular background. You should ask if he/she has heard of anything that could be a match for your skills.
- Always carry a business card no matter what the circumstance. Keep them in your wallet, handbag and cardholder at all times.
- Make sure your resume and/or bio and cover letter are prepared so you can quickly send out the information if a contact is made.
Have you ever learned about a job opening at a nail salon or other unusual place? Do you think there are any inappropriate places to network/conduct a job search?