Take Your Job Search Offline

Would you be surprised to learn that in the age of the Internet and Social Media there is a better way to search for a job? As a cooperative education teacher I repeatedly told my students that the people you know or those with whom you communicate personally are more likely to lead you to your next job than any other approach. Apparently, my advice still holds.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Take Your Search for a Job Offline,” by Dennis Nishi describes the fruitless results when a woman mostly relied on the Internet to look for work. Her searched consisted of e-mailing her résumé in response to job postings then waiting. A career coach’s advice to get more face-to-face got her back on track.  Following the career coach’s advice, the woman expanded her professional network and found creative ways to meet the right people. The focus of the article is on relationship building as opposed to making contacts. Because 80% of jobs aren’t publicly advertised, networking efforts to meet people and get introductions can pay high dividends.

When I taught cooperative education, I told my students that unless you tell everyone you know, everyone you meet, and everyone with whom you can make contact that you are looking for a job, you will never know what opportunities you are missing. One student got a job at a hospital as a result of a brief conversation with a woman ahead of her in line at a movie theater. Another student interested  in underwater welding located the name of a welder in a company’s online directory and obtained tons of useful information by placing a single phone call.

The article describes several other effective face-to-face networking tactics. These include getting involved in professional trade associations, asking someone you know within an organization to hand deliver your résumé to the hiring manager, and requesting an exploratory informational interview to learn about a company or industry.

You need to know that online searches are better for supporting offline networking than as the sole source for finding a job. How have you successfully used the above techniques to find a job?

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