Calling on innovative job search ideas

The competition for jobs is intense.

There are 6.1 unemployed workers, on average, competing for each job opening, a Labor Department report shows according to the Associated Press.

That’s down slightly from 6.2 last month — the most since the department began tracking job openings nine years ago, AP reports.

But it’s a dramatic increase from only 1.7 workers per opening when the recession began in December 2007.

Question:

Have you heard of any innovative ideas to cut through the clutter and, at least, land an interview — something that goes beyond the obvious suggestions that people like me have been writing about for months? I know there’s no silver bullet in this economy, but have you come across a bronze one that people could learn from?

15 comments Add your comment

James

November 11th, 2009
8:45 am

The best strategy is always nepotism, but particularly right now. The 6.2 applicants for every opening is considerably higher if you take skilled professions or those requiring at least a college degree into account. I would be interested to see that figure if you omit the number of minimum wage jobs in the equation. The probability that hiring managers have already identified 2 or 3 top candidates before even posting jobs is at an all time high, particularly in large corporate or educational settings. I hate to be pessimistic, but if you don’t have a contact in the department you are applying to, it’s probably not worth your time to write a cover letter and fine-tune your resume for that position, as your submission will most likely go straight into a database field that will never be queried.

clyde

November 11th, 2009
8:59 am

You can try lowering your salary expectations.Right now half a loaf is better than nothing.I know that’s a nasty thought but I know of cases where it’s worked.

lovelyliz

November 11th, 2009
9:11 am

It’s all who you know.

Tee

November 11th, 2009
9:16 am

This draws attention to the need for a 4-day work week. (32 hour week = full time). It would created more jobs, people would be less stressed, they would spend more money, travel more. Just as a 40-hour work week was considered a breakthrough decades ago (in a simpler time), now is the time to push even further. It could increase productivity. Places could stay open 7 days a week. Job opportunities would increase significantly. Utah is already trying it with great success.

Sunshine

November 11th, 2009
9:18 am

It’s really is all about who you know. Networking, Networking, Networking. I’d say do some volunteering in the field of your interest. They get to know you and can lead to a full-time position. It also looks great on a resume, shows that you are not just sitting around but actively involved in the community.

bbb

November 11th, 2009
10:36 am

I have a job that pays well but I hate what I do. I hve been looking for the past few months for a job that I am passionate about and send about 3 resumes a day out. It is really time to start networking- thanks guys!

Patinum President

November 11th, 2009
10:37 am

Get innovative with the type of work you are looking for. Settling for a “job” barely pays the bills now. Why make $60,000 a year when you be making that a month. Recession proof your life by working for yourself -think rich dad poor dad. An appointmnet with Ardyss will change your life http://www.ardysslife.com/perfectimage

Mike

November 11th, 2009
10:53 am

I suggest contacting your school/college alumni. Every school has an alum database you can use, and you can search for alums in your field. Find local alums and email/call them asking them to lunch or a cup of coffee. Tell them you’re not looking for a job offer, but that you just want to discuss job search strategy/network and you’d like their advice. This usually will get you a face-to-face meeting, and you can go from there. You’ll usually walk away with some good contacts, either at their company or they will refer you to someone else who might be hiring or willing to help. Keep at it and eventually you’ll get a job.

It’s not easy reaching out to people you don’t know, but it worked for me. People are usually receptive and eager to help.

It is shocking the number of people who just sit at a computer and email resumes all day, without trying to network or even pick up the phone. You HAVE TO get out of your comfort zone to get a job these days!

Mishap

November 11th, 2009
11:09 am

Patinum(is that supposed to be platinum?)…how sad it is that you’ll prey on people’s desperation for an opportunity to pump your multi-level marketing junk. How much money have you ever made from this crap? Amway is the biggest/most successful MLM out there and its IBO’s make an average $115/mon so they’re pretty far from your $60k/mon figure. Assuming there are 3M people in their MLM, .168%(5,000) managed to hit platinum for an average of $47k and .0012%(360) broke $140k. I think your odds are better to play in the NBA.

Ron

November 11th, 2009
1:49 pm

I agree with most of the commenters here that networking will be one of your best strategies. Applying on-line and sending out resumes just puts you in the pool with thousands of others and then it becomes a crap shoot as to which applicant gets picked. But still, you have to do it because you may be the one who gets picked. Kinda like buying a lottery ticket. Can’t win if you don’t play.

But beyond networking and applying, you need to know what organizations are looking for in a new employee. Specifically, what skills, talents and experience are they seeking. This is where people make their biggest mistake – not knowing what the employer wants. So, their resume lists all kinda stuff that is not important to the hiring employer. Therefore, an important part of anyone’s strategy has to be researching and finding out what skills and experience are needed today.

What is the hottest skill needed today??? — Answer – problem solving. Knowing how to help an organization solve it’s problems and challenges in this economic crisis.

Ron

Dena

November 12th, 2009
5:42 pm

Don’t let your appearance get shabby. Stay positive and focused. Desperation doesn’t sell. Doing your homework and diligently following up on leads works. Be politely persistent.|| I’d also like to suggest … go to the mall around lunch time and/or late afternoon on a Friday. I ran into 6 people I knew;yet hadn’t seen in quite a while — got quick updates and a few leads. Chat people up! Get out there.

Catherine

November 14th, 2009
4:13 pm

Don’t be afraid to take temp or contract work. I’ve managed to get two full-time, regular positions — the second one in 2007, when the economy was already headed down — because I was able to get my foot in the door via working as a temp. Even now, on paper, I’m not qualified for the job I hold. But via the temp work, I was able to prove to the right people that I could do it and do it well.

If you have some trouble with a professional network, I suggest this as a way to get your name in front of the right people and jump to the front of the queue. The pay and benefits are a pain, but it beats nothing and it can be leveraged.

[...] AJC gave Atlanta as one of the toughest places to find work right now; and one of their bloggers opened a discussion about innovative job search ideas. Of course, networking came up — that’s always the best way to get a job — but I [...]

JWC

November 15th, 2009
9:26 am

Yes. I have one. In spite of the current administration’s out of control spending and soon to be rising income taxes, hang on any way you can until 2012 and vote these economic criminals out of office.

Right or Rich

November 18th, 2009
3:44 pm

Wow Mishap ! Patinum President was not preying on anyone. She was simply sharing that there is another way to make a living. You are spewing old statistics about a very old network marketing company. Network marketing is a noble industry that has helped many people save themselves and their families from financial ruin in this crazy economy. Network marketing as an industry is creating more millionaires than any other industry right now. After reading your post I would feel safe to say that you would rather be right than rich. So enjoy your J.O.B (Just Over Broke)!