5 Old School Job Search Tactics That Still Work Today

business-woman-on-phone-at-desk

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Some of the job search tactics of yesterday are still applicable today. You may be surprised at the results you get with these strategies.

1. Going Door-to-Door

Businesses today have mostly streamlined the job application process through online forms, email, and automated messages. Applicants and employers both lose a certain sense of personalization in this modern job recruitment process.

Arriving in person to ask about open positions shows gumption, ambition, and personality. Bring a hard-copy job portfolio to leave. You may only meet the receptionist on the first try, but don’t doubt the usefulness of even this first meeting. Many receptionists are highly trusted by their employers and if he/she gives a good word on your behalf, who knows where this could take you! Visit the business again a second time in a week if you haven’t heard anything.

Going door to door to inquire about job opportunities has certain advantages, but may only be suitable for smaller firms and businesses.

2. Phone Inquiries

Phone inquiries are the next best thing to going door to door. This tactic may work well with larger companies. The key here is leveraging a phone call to lead to an in-person interview. Directly ask to set-up a meeting with at least one key contact at the business. This will require some advance knowledge and research to discover the best person with whom to introduce yourself.

3. Recruitment

Recruiters are hired by a variety of Fortune 500 companies and others to seek out the best candidates for top level positions. 

However, before introducing yourself to a recruiter, get prepared. There are several portfolio items you’ll want to have on hand. A resume, professional headshot, and samples of accomplishments are the basics. Impress your recruiter with a nicely laid out portfolio showcasing your creativity and vision.

If you think working with a recruiter seems the best fit for your goals, please go on to read 7 Ways To Finding Your Next Job With A Recruiter” for more tips.

4. Networking

Networking at professional events is a highly effective job search tool. Meeting business contacts in a structured environment reduces the anxiety of cold-contacting. You already know you have something in common with the person you are introducing yourself to. Typical networking events include industry workshops, trade shows, professional organization meetings, and recruitment activities.

More socially oriented events can also serve as great networking opportunities. These type of events may include fundraisers, dinner parties, and ticketed entertainment. If you have a contact you’d like to re-introduce yourself to, but prefer a face-to-face approach, then this is a great way to say hello. Find out what types of events he or she is likely to attend — yes, do a little internet spying or inquire with mutual friends. Show up to several social functions and you may likely “run into” this person.

Attending a variety of industry specific and social networking events is a great long-term career strategy. It will also help you maintain sharp communication and inter-relationship skills.

5. Hand-scripted Thank You

Even after years of implementing email, social media, texting, and other digital communications into our daily lives, nothing beats a hand-written note. Receiving personalized mail has become a rare pleasure in today’s modern world.

Make yourself stand out after an interview, introduction, or casual meeting with a potential employer or business contact. Old-fashioned etiquette combined with a hand-scripted thank you card is a sure way to show your enthusiasm, professionalism, and regard for the meaningful communication. It’s a skill that must be developed through regular practice. Once you land the job, maintain this habit and see what benefits arise in sales and future partnerships.

Most Importantly

The most important old-school job search tactic actually has less to do with strategy and more to do with you. That is, exude confidence. Maintain a healthy belief in yourself and your abilities to find the job of your dreams.

Let’s get to work!

– Linda

If you have questions about your executive job search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com.

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