Q: I normally look for job openings through the typical channels. However, I recently heard some interesting advice encouraging a job-seeker to essentially cold-call firms in their area by sending out resumes and cover letters regardless of whether the firm was actively advertising an open position. The thought behind it is if a position comes open, they already have a qualified candidate to think about without posting the position. Can you speak to the job search experience? What were your own first job searches like? What channels did you use? Now that they have experience in the industry, what advice do you give to new candidates? — Sara Page, CPA
A: Kay Gotshall, CPA, Sr. Tax Manager at Keiter in Richmond, VA
Personally, I do not have a ton of experience in job searching since I have been a committed employee and tend to stay with one company for long periods of time. But from what I have seen in my twenty plus year career is that having a good network really helps with job searching. I hear of a lot of job opportunities from my clients before they are ever advertised to the general public. This helps get a foot in the door and I am happy to refer in a person from my networking group that is a good fit for a client. It can be a win/ win situation.
As far as other advice, you cannot look for a job through one channel, you need to check as many channels as you can depending on the type of job you are interested in. I think the higher up in management a position is, the more likely it will be filled through networking and using a staffing company. More entry level positions are filled through social media and advertising. Also, if in college, trying to get externships or internships are also very helpful in getting a good position with a company. Good luck with you job searching!
A: Shelly Gams CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, CFP®, a Financial Planner in Billings, MT
I didn’t enjoy the job searching process. It is such a demeaning process, worse than going on a blind date! That is probably why I decided to be an entrepreneur. I only had to interview myself. When it comes the job search process, I am a fossil. When I graduated from college jobs were found from newspapers and my parents friends. There was no internet, Facebook or Linked-In.
However for those in the process of searching for a new job, I would say don’t get discouraged. Finding the right job takes time, effort and discipline. Don’t be afraid of taking a job that is out of your comfort zone. You never know where it is going to take you. It may give you valuable experience latter in your career.