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24 Ways to Develop Job Leads

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There are an infinite number of ways to approach the job market. The more strategies you put into play, the greater your chances for success. Here are 24 world-class tactics for developing job leads:

1. Write to Personal Friends & Business Acquaintances

Explain your situation, paint a Polaroid picture of your ideal next job or opportunity, and ask for advice and ideas. It's a good idea to write to friends of your spouse, and to fellow association members, too.

2. Contact Employment Agencies or Recruiters

Explain your situation, describe your job target in detail, and give salary requirements (optional) and geographic preferences. Find lists of recruiters in The Directory of Executive Recruiters (Kennedy Publications), which may be purchased from the bookstore.

3. Answer Want Ads

They're listed in newspaper classifieds, on-line services (especially the Internet), state job service centers, association periodicals, and on employment TV. The best letter format is to list the job requirements in a column on the left side of the page, then show how you fit in a column on the right side. It's not a bad idea to answer important ads twice, a week apart; be sure to include a note expressing keen interest the second time.

4. Sign up for Job Search Seminars

5. Attend Job Fairs

6. Join a Job-Finding Club

They're listed in the classified section of the Denver Post & Rocky Mountain News, and in The National Business Employment Weekly, published by The Wall Street Journal.

7. Attend Organizational Meetings and National Conferences

Gale Research publishes The Encyclopedia of Associations and Association Periodicals. To learn who's coming to town, contact your local convention and visitor's bureau, or your chamber of commerce.

8. Read Association Periodicals

Job leads appear in feature articles. Look for what's new, what's changing. See Association Periodicals by Gale Research.

9. Attend Business and Personal Social Events

The jobs are where the people are, namely at parties, get-togethers, sporting events, health clubs--anywhere people gather.

10. Write a Direct Mail Letter to Companies

Get lists from the 1996 Directories in Print, Contacts Influential, or the National Directory of Mailing Lists.

11. Contact Companies by Telephone

You might want to read Cold Calling Techniques, by Stephan Schiffman. It makes phoning much easier.

12. Call Job Hotlines

Many are listed in The National Job Hotline Directory. (An annual publication.)

13. Register With Your College Alumni Association

14. Seek Part-Time or Consulting Work

Temporary employment agencies are listed in the yellow pages.

15. Volunteer Your Expertise

Choose an organization where you might later be hired; little jobs lead to bigger jobs.

16. <>Watch the Media and Play Off Trends

Pay attention to radio and television, newspapers and professional journals. Look for change, opportunities, and problems to solve.

17. Call the Human Resources Department

Ask, "Are you Accepting Applications for (your specialty)? If so, what is the application process?"

18. Write a Letter to Newsmakers

Check "People On the Move" columns in newspapers, magazines, trade journals.

19. Advertise Yourself

In The National Business Employment Weekly, in the business section of metropolitan dailies, or in any media of your choice: for example, targeted bulletin boards or neighborhood newsletters.

20. Sign Up With a Job Networking Service

They usually cater to $50,000+ opportunities. The National Business Employment Weekly lists them, and Exec-U-Net is one such service.

21. Give Classes or Presentations

Teach in local community colleges, at business meetings, in professional associations--anywhere you will be seen and noticed.

22. Take a Continuing Education Class

Meet the instructor(s); rub shoulders with fellow attendees.

23. Conduct Informational Interviews

Dick Bolles explains it best in his annual edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? (Ten Speed Press)

24. Try Offbeat Ideas

Over the years, participants in outplacement workshops have made some wild suggestions. One that always comes up is, "Read the obituaries--there's bound to be a job vacancy." Everyone in class laughs. It's a not-too-practical idea, and I've never seen it pay off, but you could try it--or any other creative idea you might find.
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