Non-Traditional Job Search

The other day, I had lunch with a former colleague who is a landscape architect and is hoping to relocate to another part of the country.

When it comes to finding a job, it really is who you know.

While we sat outside, sipped our iced tea and enjoyed our lunch, we reminisced about “the good old days” when the economy was booming and we were working late nights to meet deadlines.

It is interesting that it really wasn’t that long ago. It’s hard to imagine that within a matter of four and half years, we saw the economy of our industry go from very robust to almost stagnant.

In Arizona, our economy has been hit particularly hard, and while I hear from colleagues across the country who are seeing signs on recovery, here, we are not.

As we talked about the strategies that she and her husband had been using to look for new jobs in the city where they are hoping to relocate, I was surprised to hear about how difficult a time they were having getting a response back from prospective employers who were running employment ads.

While they had tried everything they could think of to look for a job, I was able to offer some advice and tips on using social media to aid in their job search.

In the back of my mind the old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” kept coming to mind.

When I recently switched companies, I saw an ad on an industry job board and knew I had a contact who worked in that office. With a quick email and follow-up phone call, I was able to find out who the supervisor for the position was and, by contacting them directly and referencing my contact who was their fellow co-worker, I was able to forward my resume and schedule an appointment to talk to them in person about the position.

I told my friend that they should make a list of the companies they would like to work for in the city where they wanted to relocate. Once they had a list of prospective companies, then they should find those companies on LinkedIn and follow the company pages of the firms.

The next thing I advised them to do was to reach out and introduce themselves to employees at that firm and make connections with them and learn as much about the company as they can. By establishing a relationship and credibility with employees of the firm, they can then inquire about opportunities for employment when they come available.

It seems that in this day and age, the job board posting is becoming obsolete. Sure, there are a few more active boards with solid leads on employment opportunities, but I have talked to a lot of people in recent months that have found new jobs at firms who weren’t actively recruiting by knowing someone at the firm.

Have you or someone you know recently changed jobs? Did you or they use a non-traditional method in searching for their job? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

As always, you can leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: bcoleman001@gmail.com.

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