I recently met with a recent college graduate seeking a job in the international world. I was struck by this young woman’s approach to her job search—namely her insistence on pursuing face-to-face contact. While she relied heavily on web resources and email contact while still in school, once she moved to DC, she set about contacting people directly and doing informational interviews rather than relying solely on Idealist and other sites. This seemed to be an incredibly effective strategy since, by the time she met with me, she’d already interviewed for two jobs and had two more on the horizon.
Her strategy reinforced for me the notion that simply searching for jobs online, and then applying for them, probably isn’t going to cut it (especially in a down economy). Getting in front of people and making yourself a “known quantity” will prove to be much more effective.
UPDATE: I just got an email from this job seeker and she got a job! Persistence, and face-to-face contact, does indeed pay off.