If you're testing the market to find a job, you'll likely find that almost everyone you meet will have advice. At the same time, you may also find this advice can be confusing or sometimes contradictory. A better strategy may be breaking these rules.
According to Forbes, it's no longer necessary to follow what is widely perceived as the "defined process" of job searching. Instead of endlessly sending out applications to job boards and Craigslist listings, it's a better idea to study the environment of the industry you're looking to apply to. You may find better success with other strategies, from approaching leaders and members of your network on LinkedIn for leads to working with a staffing agency to help find an entry-level or contract position.
You may also have heard it's common to find people you know from inside the company and have them give you a recommendation. This has its benefits in some situations, but it can also backfire. No matter how sterling someone's reputation seems from the outside, office politics and unknown factors can affect the legitimacy of their referral for you. It may be better to use them as an inside source on how most employees are hired and the most successful strategies for their applications, then adapting that advice to improve your personal approach.
That being said, such inside information can heavily help your efforts. With an active network, many people hear about positions that haven't even been opened to the public. Whether you blindly appeal directly to hiring managers about potential openings or speak to your friends and family about upcoming changes at work, you might help yourself get on the inside track for a new position. Many managers like to hire without even posting a job listing, and the best way to position yourself for such a hire is to make your own opportunity.
If you already have a job, it's important to keep additional search efforts under wraps. If your current employer hears something they don't like about your intentions to move on, they may not be happy. However, many industries can see benefits if you're openly searching. It's important to make sure you block your current employers and coworkers from seeing these efforts, but at the same time you'll gain a more active understanding among those in your network who can help.
Being active online with these efforts can be crucial. The Huffington Post reported that employers use search engines when they research potential hires more than 80 percent of the time. This means you need to develop a positive online persona and reputation that aligns with your current resume so that hiring managers are more confident about hiring you. While reliance on Google results can lead to confusion if you have a common name, as many other people may share your interests, it's definitely a plus when you're considering a new job.
It's also important to make sure you're prepared for as many questions as you can think of. This goes further than just researching the position itself and its expected roles. You'll also want to look into the company's history, any reviews of their job search process on sites like Glassdoor and the person you'll speak to. With the Internet as a resource, there's no reason why you shouldn't work to be at your best before the big day. In the long run, extensive research will likely only help your efforts further.