For almost anyone in the current job market, the old phrase still applies. It's not what you know, but who you know, that can help you land a breakthrough for your next job opportunity. There are a number of different methods that can be used to extend your job searching resources, helping you better meet managers' expectations.
Forbes writes that as many as 41 percent of hiring managers consider volunteer work just as legitimate of a job reference as a past position. This means that job seekers have one way they can expand their networks. By volunteering, not only will you be able to test your abilities by taking on new and different responsibilities, but you'll get to meet a large number of different people. No matter the cause you plan to help, there will be a number of people with similar interests more than ready to get to work.
By expanding your network to include these people, which can be done as simply as an introduction or conversation, you'll gain a strong opportunity to meet others, some of whom may have potential job openings you'd be perfect for. If it's been a while since you've been in the job market, listing such volunteer experience will also work to help fill any employment gaps on your resume.
If you'd like to make a beeline back into the workforce, there's another option ready and waiting. Getting into contact with a staffing services company can help you find a new entry point into the job market. Based on your current levels of experience, an employee will work with you to find a contract position. From there, you'll have a number of options. You'll be able to boost your resume with new levels of relevant industry experience. This will pay off in future job applications. There's also a decent chance that with hard work, this contract position will be extended into a full-time one in the long-term. Even if you're not a fan of the job in a long-term sense, you can still use your experience as an entry point into a future career.
If you're open to relocation, you may be able to help your efforts even more. Parade reported that unemployment rates can waver from state to state. Some locations like North Dakota may see rates as low as 2.6 percent, while others like Rhode Island can sit as high as 9.2 percent. If you're seriously considering moving, you should look at different markets and see which ones are on the rise, then work to network with people in those cities. Your network members will be more than willing to help you out in the long term.
In some industries, it can be difficult to get your name out there, according to Forbes. To fight this challenge, the news source recommends looking at the hidden job market by talking to different workers in the industry. This can be done any way from searching LinkedIn for specific names or companies to even cold-calling them to set up meetings. When doing this, try to play up your best skills in the hopes that your efforts will better connect with their interests.
Revising your job searching efforts in this way can pay off heavily in the long run. In the event that you can't find a job in the industry itself, you'll not only give yourself a new approach, but you'll be selling yourself on the strength of your skills. This is a strong and effortless way to build your confidence and efforts alike.