Today’s tip:  How to get leads for your job search with things you can do today.

Not tomorrow, or when you have a moment, but TODAY, this very day.  If you have 30 minutes at some point today (I’m guessing you can watch Orange is the New Black tomorrow night instead), you can do this.

Here’s why:  I’m guessing that, like many job seekers, you have a general sense of what you want to do to move your job search forward.  You may even have a master plan (good for you, if you do!) or a scribbled list of notes of “good ideas” for your search.  Or some “job search notes” filed away in an Evernote or Dropbox folder or in a pile on your desk.

But, some days you just want someone to tell you what to do next, and you want to actually make progress.

So, here goes:

1. Find a new recruiter in your professional field:

There are many ways to do this, but here’s the fastest, for today:

Google something like this:  “Your Desired Job Title” YourCity  Recruiting

For example:  “Director of Marketing” Boston Recruiting

Here’s why: the recruiters who are placing people JUST LIKE YOU have their own websites, where they market their services to hiring companies.  They almost always have a page that describes the kind of searches they work on, and/or a list of current openings.  Whether or not they have a current search going, they’ll likely be advertising their services to possible hiring companies.  So- today- find a new recruiting firm, browse the “our team” page to find the most likely recruiter, and put that person on your list to reach out to by the end of the week.

2.  Dig up one employee referral program at a target employer:

Let’s say you want to work at Company X or one of its competitors.  Or even if you don’t yet have some target employers (although you should!) you’ve got an industry in mind, for example healthcare.  Go to the target company’s employee benefits page to see if they have an employee referral program, and/or just Google the company name (or your target industry) and “employee referral.”  If you have already applied to the company, this won’t work- an employee needs to be your first entry point into the recruiting system in order to get a bonus for referring you.  However, if you haven’t yet applied, then you may have a win-win idea on your hands.

Employers love getting referrals, and internal employees love getting paid to make referrals.  (Who wouldn’t?) Instead of reaching out to a friend-of-a-friend to ask for vague “career advice,” you can make it worth their while.  If you mention that you learned that Company X pays employee referral bonuses, and you were hoping to apply for Position Y… (as long as you have direct experience that’s relevant to Position Y), then you’ll likely capture that person’s interest in helping your job search.  So- for today, find one employee referral program, and make a note to reach out later in the week.

3.  Search for, and ask to join, one LinkedIn group that’s relevant to your industry and geographic area.

Recruiters and hiring managers are MUCH more likely to be able to find you if you’re on a LinkedIn group that’s applicable to your future career path.  Better yet, they’re more likely to find you if you’re ACTIVE in a LinkedIn group, but that takes time.  Today, just find one new LinkedIn group and join it.

4.  Reach out to say “hi” to one former potential hiring manager, recruiter or influential contact. 

In marketing terms, they’d call this “reactivating old leads.”  Is there anyone you’ve spoken with over the past 3-4 years with whom you had a good connection, but they either chose a different candidate, suspended the search, or indicated they’d be growing over time and just couldn’t hire you yet?  I have yet to work with any clients where they didn’t at least have ONE person they thought might be interesting to reach out to.  Figure out a “past lead” for you, and dig up the email address (or LinkedIn profile if you’ve lost their email address).  Reach out to that person before the end of the week.

5.  Find ONE interesting article about trends in your industry and share it on LinkedIn.

Another approach in marketing is called “thought leadership,” where you educate potential customers about a topic so that they see you as an industry leader and are more inclined to buy from you.  In an ideal world, you’d be creating content for LinkedIn, but that either might need to be approved by your company and/or take you a while to come up with the right message.  So, for today, “curate” (aka find) ONE PIECE of interesting content and share it, instead of creating it from scratch.  You get the benefit of looking like you’re on top of industry trends without dealing with writers’ block.

So, that’s it!  To recap:

  1. Find one recruiter (reach out later in the week)
  2. Find at least one interesting employee referral program (reach out later in the week)
  3. Find and join one LinkedIn group
  4. Email one “inactive” lead to see if any new possibilities exist or to keep you in mind
  5. Share one interesting article on LinkedIn.

If you’re very focused, you can do all 5 of these things within 30 minutes.  Of course, crafting emails to the recruiter and a potential employee-referral contact will take longer than that, but you’ll have a game plan to follow.

So, what are you waiting for?  Jump in!

Kathy Robinson, Founder