Don’t let the recent heat wave coupled with the lack of response to your resume drive you over the edge. It’s time to take a deep breath and consider new ways to make the summer job less heated and more rewarding. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Leverage your network. Don’t just send out one resume after another without rhyme or reason. Look at your network of contacts and find out what they can do for you. Don’t just reach out to immediate contacts; take a step back and reach out to past contacts that might be able to offer you a fresh perspective in your job search.
2. Don't be a bother to your colleagues. Don’t just reach out to your professional contacts and ask them if their company is hiring. Talk to them. Discuss how their summer has been going and then ease into the point where you tell them what you have been going through. Use that moment to ask them for contacts or leads. They will be more happy to help you there if they don’t feel put on the spot.
3. Networking With a Purpose. You want to work for Morgan Stanley or Skadden Arps? Find a contact on LinkedIn that either works there or is connected to someone that works at those firms. Ask to be introduced over LinkedIn and work your magic from there.
4. Don't leave it in a recruiter’s hands. You need to remain active in a job search. Sure, a recruiter can help, but handing them a resume and expecting them to do the work for you will not get you the job. Recruiters are only one cog in the wheel. You are still the most important person when it comes to moving forward with your career.
5. Be aggressive, but not too aggressive. Target a company you want to work for and reach out to someone within that organization that might be able to help you in your search. Inquire about the possibility of an informational interview – not a job. Cold calling is effective, but don’t expect to hear back right away. When you don’t hear back, wait a short while and then reach out to them again. Continue in this manner without appearing to be a stalker. Eventually, the contact will recognize your persistence and desire. When they respond, you have a foot in the door.
6. Take time on your resume. If you are not hearing back from companies you apply for, you need to examine your resume and/or cover letter and see if the problem lies in these documents. Are they conveying your desires, work experience, reasons why you would be perfect for the job opening? Are their grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, inconsistencies within the document? Don’t work so hard to get an opportunity only to blow it because you didn’t take the time to keep your resume up to snuff.
7. Connect with the right people. If you see a job posting, you might want to identify the hiring manager for that position and contact them rather than blindly sending out a resume and hoping HR moves it to the top of the pile. Be resourceful.
8. Keep yourself in check. Always remember your manners. Say "thank you," and be courteous, polite, patient and cooperative. And don’t get too comfortable in an interview. When you get too comfortable, annoying habits, such as a foul mouth, rambling about topics, and diverging unnecessarily off-topic, start to shine through and no one hires a potty mouth.
9. Enjoy the summer. If you don’t take time to enjoy life a little, you become one giant ball of stress, which leads to costly mistakes. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and go to the beach, relax in the park, play some ball. Remember how you stressed over finding a girlfriend or boyfriend and finally found them when you stopped trying too hard. The same applies here. Live a little. You never know who you will meet on the basketball courts.
10. Give back. While you are searching, make sure you help others find work, too. Build some good karma. In the future, the person you helped might be in the position to pay it forward and help you on your path to a successful new career.
--Jon Minners, Vault.com