Recruitment fairs and employment search engines are fine when scouting for new jobs, but they’re also conventional and accessible by anyone. You can do better.

Think outside the box by pursuing different job-hunting tactics that, maybe, your competition hasn’t considered. Here are seven tips you should try if you want to land that dream job.


  1. Check Out Industry Events

If you’ve been to a career fair, you know they’re crowded and competitive. It’s tough to wow your potential employer with a few precious seconds, especially when five other people are waiting behind you to do the same thing.

Instead, see if companies in your ideal industry are hosting any special events. They could be sponsoring an event or advertising a product. Investing extra time in industry events gives you an edge over your competitors and showcases your passion for the field and, more specifically, their company.


  1. Follow Companies on Social Media

Did you know that 81% of small – and medium – sized businesses use social media? For them, it’s a popular marketing tool, but for you it’s an inside peek at their culture and advertising techniques. It’s also a window into the field for which you aspire to work.

Facebook is a given by now, but also follow the company’s Twitter for frequent updates and job postings. See if they have a blog and offer any insightful comments. Depending on the company, some might use Pinterest or YouTube. Cover all possibilities, so you know all about the business and its trends.

Don’t forget to update your own social media accounts and develop social networking skills. Employers love to see that in a candidate.


  1. Look Up Employees

Think of your job search as a funnel. You start with big concepts like “administration” or “advertising jobs” and gradually filter your way down to specific titles and descriptions.

Flip the funnel upside down and start with the specifics instead. Search on LinkedIn for people work or have worked at your desired place of employment for an idea of what qualifications you should have. See where their career trajectory has taken them and what got them there. If you’re feeling brave, contact them for advice or an informational interview.


  1. Create a Writing Portfolio

Just like interpersonal skills, writing skills show some, if not more, of your professional ability to communicate. That’s why employers are now requesting writing samples or exercises to find the best employees.

Perfect your business writing in emails, cover letters and common texts that will be part of the job you’re applying for. This could consist of press releases, white papers or business letters. Have a portfolio ready to go with multiple samples of your previous work, and proofread, proofread, proofread!

Brush up on the various kinds of written tests employers might ask of you, and become knowledgeable about the company before doing them.


  1. Sign Up with an Association

Take a step back into college, when you joined professional organizations on campus for those resume boosters. Now, step into the real world, where joining an association in your chosen industry is the eye-catcher.

This gives you access to news articles, advanced training, trending ideas and technology, further industry access and more. Perhaps more valuable than all this insight is the potential to develop new connections with professionals, some of whom could offer helpful information in your field.

If you’re lucky, those professionals will be the reason you land that dream job.


  1. Build Your Own Personal Website

Most people already have a LinkendIn profile and a Facebook page. For an original way to market yourself and show off your professional skills, create your own website.

This gives you free reign to be as inventive as you want. You can design your own logo, develop the content and reach more employers. Designing a website also proves that you have both marketing and technical skills.

Research what makes a good website before getting started. Include your resume and samples of work that will impress viewers.


  1. Go with Your Passions

When all else fails and you can’t seem to find any other opportunities, think about the things you love and use most in life.

Someone is working behind-the-scenes of your favorite television commercials or your go-to products. That could be you, writing witty catch phrases or designing creative advertisements.

Employers appreciate when people truly care about the product or service they’re advertising. They want people like that working for them because those people identify most with their mission.

Try substituting these methods for the conventional ones and you will be one step closer to landing that dream job.


Photo Credit: Work in Entertainment

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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