Find the Right Job WITHOUT Big Job Boards

Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed are flooded with jobs, but they're not the only game in town. Use these techniques to uncover amazing work opportunities -- including ones you won't find on those big job boards:

Searching job boards is a passive way to grow your career. If you want to jumpstart your search, you must take control of the situation and generate your own opportunities to connect with your ideal job.

Work Your Professional Network

You've spent years building your network, and now is the time to tap it for resources. Reach out to your LinkedIn connections individually with a personalized note. Send each contact a short InMail letting them know you're looking for a new opportunity and you'd welcome suggestions, introductions or leads on open positions they may know of. Email or call the people in your network that you have strong relationships with, rather than using InMail -- it's a little more personal.

Search Social Media

Make sure to search listings on LinkedIn, but don't neglect other networks. Search your favorite platforms for job-related hashtags like #SalesJobs, #DeveloperJobs or #SanFranciscoJobs. More and more companies are advertising openings on social media, and they use hashtags to attract people just like you.

Make sure to follow your target companies on LinkedIn and social media as well so you can be alerted to new openings. As a bonus, you'll get a feel for their social presence and company culture; knowledge that will come in handy during an interview.

Target Your Ideal Employers

If you sit around waiting for your dream job to find you, you'll be waiting forever. Successful people don't get to the top by relying on luck. Make a list of your target employers and spend time studying their websites and social media profiles for potential openings.

You can expand your list of targets by searching online for "Best Places to Work In (your City)." These awards are usually administered by your local business journal. Those lists are good starting places because the employees actually have to go out of their way to vote, which is a good indication that they are truly happy where they work.

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Step Away From the Computer

A vast majority of the work you do on a job search happens in front of your computer. However, it pays to get up and get out of the house to network face to face. Formal networking events are important, but so are community events, volunteer events and even social events with friends and acquaintances. The more you get out and let people know you're on the hunt for new opportunities, the better.

No matter how you choose to network, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone. You must force yourself to meet new people and make new connections, and you must be able to speak up and tell people you're searching. You don't have to be overly forward or pushy, however. When someone asks what you do for a living say something like, "I'm a sales rep for ABC Enterprise Software, but I am looking to make a switch to Healthcare IT software sales." The more you talk to people about what you want to do, the more chances you'll have to hear about great companies looking to hire.

Work With an "Insider"

When it comes to new opportunities, the old saying often holds true: It's not what you know, it's whom you know. While it's important to cultivate a professional network of influencers, movers and shakers, you can rise to the top with one simple phone call to a professional recruiting firm.

A recruiter is your "inside" man or woman, and they can instantly accelerate your search. They will get to know you as a person and as a professional. They can offer career guidance, help you understand your value in the market and polish your resume and interviewing skills. Successful recruiters work diligently to make strong matches between candidates and employers, and they take not only your experience into account, but your personality, goals, preferences and workstyle.

They also have a line on jobs that have not been posted to the public yet, which means discovering openings you would have never known about on job boards. And best of all, when they find a great match, they do advanced "sales work" with the hiring manager. They will discuss your background and strengths before your interview, so you'll have an edge over people walking in off the street.

Make a New Year's resolution to stop scouring job boards and connect with The Advance Group. Take the first step toward a great new job by registering with us today.