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How Active is Your Job Search?

by Melissa Zettel

Putting yourself out there can be tough. Whether you are trying something for the first time, looking to meet new people, or embarking on a new adventure, the fear of the unknown can be intimidating. The same can be true when job searching. The fear of rejection or of making a poor first impression will often stop people from actively seeking out job opportunities – but it doesn’t have to.

Many people use a “passive approach” to their job search. The passive job seeker often focuses their time on searching and applying for online postings, and waits for employers to call them.

More successful people use an “active approach”. Active job seekers look for employers and job opportunities that may not even be posted yet. They work to build their contacts and use networking strategies to secure job leads and increase their contact list. The active job seeker will often discover more job opportunities than a passive job seeker.

Be honest, are you a passive job seeker? If so, there are several easy networking strategies that you can follow to become more active in your job search.

First, write out a list of current contacts. This could include family, friends as well as previous coworkers. Ask yourself this question - do these contacts know that you are looking for work? If not, it is time to reconnect with them and make them aware of your current situation. Consider asking them if they have any contacts that may be helpful for your job search, or if they are aware of any job openings that match what you are looking for.

Secondly, increase your network with informational interviews. Make a list of companies that you are most interested in working for. Contact those companies and ask to speak with someone who could help you learn more about the role you are most interested in doing. Employers are often more open to speaking to you if you are asking for information as opposed to a job. This is a great way to create a new contact and could lead to job opportunities in the future.

Finally, consider volunteering for an organization that you are interested in and could see yourself working for one day. This way you can develop some internal contacts, watch for internal job postings, and possibly even find an employee willing to be a reference for any job opportunities that may become available.

All in all, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there when it comes to the job search. True success in the job search can come from overcoming your fear of doing just that.