Are you ready to be a little more creative in your approach to job hunting? Are you willing to consider positions beyond the narrow spectrum you’ve been targeting? Here are five of the most potent ways I know to land work:
1. Get a job created for you.
You call an employer, but the company isn’t interested in hiring. Try asking the magic question: "What could you use some help with?" More often than you might expect, that question can lead to a temporary or full-time job created just for you.
2. The biggest-steak-in-Texas guarantee.
Marketing guru Dan Kennedy wagers, "I’ll bet you the biggest steak in Texas that if you use this method, you’re going to land a job fast."
- Scour the large employment ads in the Sunday paper. Pick the names of ten companies you’ve never heard of.
- Visit each company’s website to find a reason you’d like to work for it.
- Write a letter to the CEO explaining why you’d like to work there. Include what you would bring to the table. Give a reassuring explanation for why, if you’re so good, you’re looking for a job. End with the line, "I would guess that, at some point, someone gave you a break. I’m hoping you will give me one."
- FedEx the ten letters and you are bound to get some responses and, if you’re any good, a job offer or two – quickly.
3. Create your resume from a template.
It’s tough to create a resume from scratch, but you don’t have to go it alone. Search the hundreds of model resumes at Rebecca Smith’s eResumes & Resources at eresumes.com. When you find a good fit, cut and paste the example into your word processor. Retain the parts of the resume that fit you, adapt the rest, then plunk in your work history and accomplishments. Voila! In a few hours you’ll have an ahead-of-the-pack resume. For an alternative source of 200+ model resumes, try David Noble’s book, Gallery of Best Resumes (Jist Works, 2000).
4. Take the road less traveled.
Jobseekers are lemmings. Many go after jobs in the obvious industries – high tech, biotech and environmental. The fact is, there are hundreds of industries where it’s much easier to get hired because few people think of targeting those companies. Do you know of anyone who aspires for a career in the sheet-metal or mobile-park brokerage industries? Neither do I. Yet these fields employ thousands of people, the jobs tend to pay well, and there’s less competition.
5. Think about low-risk self-employment.
Never want to be downsized again? How about becoming an instant president and CEO by starting your own business? Afraid of the risk? There are thousands of high-profit-margin, low-investment businesses you can start. For example, it costs Starbucks about 15 cents to make your $3 latte. The company’s biggest expense is rent. You won’t have to pay rent if you buy one or more espresso carts. Strategically place them in office buildings, in hospital lobbies, or across the street from busy Starbucks cafes (with a "Noncorporate Cafe" sign). Suddenly you’re the president and CEO of the Noncorporate Cafe Company, with locations throughout the metropolitan area.