Trying to find a job can be an intimidating and frustrating process. This is exacerbated if you’ve been out of work for a while and the bills are piling up.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of very effective but unconventional job-seeking tips.
Be Your Authentic Self
Sometimes, we may be tempted to put on a theatrical performance at a job interview, acting the role of the perfect employee.
At other times, it may be more advantageous to be your vulnerable, authentic self.
Consider the example of Ryan Lowery, a 19-year-old who posted a handwritten cover letter on LinkedIn. In it, Lowery acknowledged that “someone like you will have to take a chance on me,” as he is a person with autism. He also clearly stated his goal of working as an animator or in IT.
Finally, Lowery stated what he would bring to the table: “If you hire me and teach me, you’ll be glad that you did. I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard.”
The result? Not only did his letter go viral, but he was given a scholarship to attend an animation academy.
Create Your Own Job – See a Need and Fill It
Landing a job doesn’t necessarily mean getting hired by an existing company. Have you ever seen a need in your community or in business-to-business operations? Sometimes, you can create your own position by filling an existing need.
For example, a military veteran founded a company to fill the need for pet waste clean-up. They themed the business around their veteran status, naming themselves the “Parapooper Scoopers.”
Lean on LinkedIn
When you create a LinkedIn profile and connect with others, you are opening yourself to a professional network of job seekers and employers. You can let recruiters know that you’re looking for a job by setting your status to Open to Work.
Though caution is needed in accepting any online job offer, as a freelancer, I found this to be an effective tool for finding work. In fact, it was through a LinkedIn contact that I began working with the photography broker Ocus.
Develop a Passion, Don’t Follow One
Follow your passion is a common piece of career advice. However, this conventional wisdom could prevent you from taking a perfectly good job outside of your passion.
According to Forbes, “If you study people who end up loving their work, most of them did not follow a pre-existing passion… Instead, their passion for the work developed over time as they got better at what they did and took more control over their career.”
Look for “Help Wanted”
Today, many people turn to the internet for job opportunities. However, you may be passing by valid opportunities in the community where you live. Look for help-wanted signs or local job fairs.
Build Relationships at the Company
From the administrative assistant to the highest level executive, it helps to build relationships at the company you would like to work with.
Consider one example. A young man worked in a customer service position in a supermarket. He conversed with and built rapport with customers. Even during times of economic downturn, this man was never out of work, as decision-makers in organizations as diverse as the fire and rescue service, electricians, and pest control offered him jobs. He had met all of them at the checkout counter.
Pay Attention to Your Body Language
When you go for an interview, make sure that your body language conveys the right message. Watch your posture, hands, and feet. Make sure that you look relaxed and confident, not nervous or uncertain.
Additionally, you can watch the interviewer’s body language to gauge how the interview is going.
At your interview, you may be preoccupied with giving a good impression and answering questions just as you rehearsed.
However, it might be more important to listen – really listen.
Listen actively – make eye contact, pay close attention to what the interviewer is saying, don’t let your thoughts wander, and repeat back statements or questions at appropriate intervals.
Also, know when to speak and when to remain silent. Don’t interrupt.
Be a Loyal Fan
Ideal employees are enthusiastic about their job. When you’re looking for a job and you want to work with a specific company, becoming a brand loyalist is a way to get noticed.
One way to do this is to become a social media influence or micro-influencer. Talk about the company’s product or services. Tag them in your posts. Contact them directly and ask to work with them. Your enthusiasm, coupled with your abilities, may eventually lead to a job.
Don’t Wait for the Perfect Job
The truth is, there are no perfect jobs out there. You may be waiting for the ideal work environment and salary. In the meantime, don’t turn down less than perfect jobs that could help you provide for your family and build your career.