Once you have prepared a resume that shows your skills and abilities, the next step is to bring it to the attention of those who are responsible for hiring. Remember that posting your resume on one or more job-boards is not enough. You have to find and actively approach employer organizations to find a suitable job.
The major sources for locating suitable job openings include: targeting companies of special interest; networking through business and personal contacts; approaching search firms and employment agencies; replying to ads in newspapers and trade publications; finding job postings on the Internet job boards and employer websites; attending job fairs; and resume posting on the Internet. If possible, identify unique sources of job leads that other candidates may not be using. For example, venture capital firms can be an excellent source of job leads as they have in-depth knowledge of hiring needs within industries in which they invest.
Targeting companies of special interest and networking are the two most effective methods of finding suitable jobs. However, even these two methods will not always result in a successful job search. You need to use three to four sources to locate suitable job openings. The candidates who rely upon just one or two of the available sources to find job openings are likely to be disappointed. There is no one source for job openings that will always lead to a successful job search.
Your objective in contacting potential employers is to get job interviews. Therefore, you should try to determine what sources are resulting in more job interviews and give more attention to such sources. On the other hand, you should continue to use more than one source for locating job openings.
You have to find the job openings for which you are qualified and that meet your requirements. You can find such job postings on the Internet job boards and employer websites; ads in newspapers and trade journals; and websites of executive search firms. In addition, you need to look for unadvertised jobs by targeting companies of special interest and through networking.
Here is a suggestion to help you improve your effectiveness in contacting potential employers. Whenever an e-mail address is given in the job posting, send your resume by e-mail and include a cover note highlighting how you match the job requirements. In addition, follow-up the e-mailed resume by sending a hard copy of the resume and a tailor-made cover letter. This will enable you to get a well prepared and formatted resume and cover letter in the employer’s hands, and give you an edge as most other candidates will just e-mail their resumes. Another suggestion is to follow-up by phone. You should make a follow-up phone call, within a week after sending a resume, to confirm that the resume was received and to try to schedule an appointment for an interview. This is also an opportunity to get the full job description and other information about the hiring company.