A common meme these days is that almost all jobs are found through networking. While I think networking is very important, I believe that the best job search strategy is to use multiple "channels":
One of the broad themes: you want to make yourself stand out - find ways to be a bit different from everyone else. A couple of ideas:
- If you can identify the hiring manager, send him/her a Fedex package with a short letter and your resume. Fedex Ground is just a bit over $7.00, so it isn't costly, but people pay attention to Fedex packages in a way that they don't pay attention to one email out of several hundred that they get in a day. This probably works better for more senior and/or management positions. Part of the challenge, especially in larger firms, is finding the right person. This got me one very serious interview that I would not have gotten without this approach.
- If you are trying to get into a variation of the kind of position you have been doing (for me, moving from product development into consulting), offering to work for a while on an internship can open up the conversation. This has two benefits to the employer: they are not making a long-term commitment to the same degree they will if you are employed, and you will work for less than full price (be prepared to have a conversation about what you're willing to accept while you're on the internship. They might expect you to work for nothing.)
I find it useful to create my own internet domain (if you can't get the .com you want, try a .biz or .info) - it presents you as a bit more credible and professional, and it is surprisingly simple and inexpensive - you can register a domain for about $10 a year with GoDaddy, or tierra.net or an assortment of other providers. Most will allow you to set up both web and email forwarding, in my case, http://stanneumann.com redirects to http://stanneumann.home.comcast.net/~stanneumann/ (the page I get for free with my Comcast account), and email@example.com forwards to firstname.lastname@example.org. The other value of this is that email@example.com is a bit more memorable and typable, and it can be redirected if I ever move to a new service.
I recommend creating your own personal home page (I use a family home page - if you do this, make it professional in style) - this makes you more findable. Be sure to link to it from LinkedIn, so that the search crawlers will find it. And post a copy of your resume there.
Interviewing Tips and Resources
Assorted articles on interviewing and presenting yourself from John Hadley
Pearls of wisdom from Ask the Headhunter
For a little self-confidence: 10 Rejection letters sent to famous people
Company Research Links (finding out more about a company you might want to apply to)
- GlassDoor Create an account and submit a review or salary information for a former company, and that gives you full access to company reviews and salary information. Recognize that the discontented people tend to be the ones that bother to write a review, but it is a good way to compare one company to another.
- InsideView Google InsideView and the company name - it usually will find a page with general business information about the company, usually with the company size and the senior management team. Usually a little out of date, but better than nothing.
- Crunchbase "CrunchBase is the free database of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit." Which means that it may not be really current or accurate, but it doesn't appear to bad in my experience...
- Startupscanner Google startupscanner and the company name
- Hoovers Google Hoovers and the company name
- Google Finanace Appears to be only publicly traded companies
- Reuters Appears to be only publicly traded companies
- Web-based Whois Service (Use this to figure out who owns the domain name - enter just the last two nodes, e.g. Lexign.com - sometimes this gives you hints for their mail account naming algorithm (look at the person who registered the account)
- ZoomInfo (Use this find out information about people you might want to approach - it can also give you other names at the same company)
- Linked In Primarily a networking tool, but can be useful to find a person at the company that you might be able to ask questions of.
- Nashua Public Library Business department (Pick the EBSCO database)
- Mass High Tech Article Search (Enter the company name into the keywords - can give you names of executives)
- Business Wire On-line business news - Click on "Search News" - tends to cover only newsworthy companies
- Bizjournals.com Search archives of 41 business journals - tends to cover only newsworthy companies
- New Edgar search (hosted by the Federal Government - free)
- Old Edgar search(hosted by the Federal Government - free)
- CorporateInformation Links to lots of reports on companies
- FreeEdgar.com 10 reports/month
- Vault.com Requires a free account Only the larger firms
- WetFeet.com Only the larger firms - has edited summaries
- NewsLink Find the local paper, and look for articles
- www.knowx.com All reports are for a fee
- DunAndBradstreet Strictly paid reports
Prospecting for potential companies
- scholarly-societies.org Find associations to join for networking purposes
- Reference USA database (at your local library)
- www.masshightech.com (An on-line magazine; has a searchable database of high-tech companies)
- The library has books of organizations (ask the reference librarian, and sign up for on-line access - often they will have EBSCO databases)
- Look at lists posted by venture Capitol firms if you can find them
- The Book of Lists (There are regional versions of this - Boston Business Journal publishes one with names, sizes, contacts, etc.) Look for it in your library, because it is expensive...
- New Hampshire High Tech Council (Membership list is free)
- New Hampshire Business Review
- Venture Capitol firms, such as Polaris Ventures (A Mass-based venture capitol firm)
- Superpages (Verizon)
And finally, someone else with a set of useful job hunting links (who thought to link to me!) Nick Niquette
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