Creative Job Search
When you’re job searching, don’t just rely on advertised job vacancies. Being proactive in your job search in trying to access the jobs that never get advertised can really be a good way of getting ahead of your peers in the job market. Some companies recruit internally or are happy to recruit from speculative approaches or from people who are known to them.
Creative job search involves networking effectively, which involves gathering information, discussing ideas and in some cases raising your profile within a professional setting. By doing this you may make useful contacts and find out about opportunities that have not been advertised.
Networking can also help as it can be hard to know whether a job or career is right for you, talking to people who do that job can help you clarify your ideas and give you some tips on where to find opportunities.
There are plenty of opportunities to meet and network with professionals or other students/graduates interested in your chosen field.
- Start with Student societies - there are lots of societies listed on the Student Union website many of them will run social and networking events for you to get involved with.
- Careers & Employability fairs and events - we run employer events for you to attend where you can ask questions and find out more from the people who currently work in the profession.
- Student membership of professional bodies - many offer reduced price membership to students and may have events or activities especially for student members.
- Of particular use when you graduate could be Salford alumni groups. There may be alumni of a particular course or from a particular country of origin. Contact the Alumni office to find out about events.
- Join the Salford alumni group on LinkedIn
Facebook and Twitter
Both offer opportunities to link with potential employers or people you would like to work for. Be careful how you present yourself on these social networking sites. Employers do check out candidates and it is often possible to find information about you that you would rather they didn't know. So manage your digital identity.
LinkedIn is a work related social networking site it has a much more professional feel. If you want to register your profile should definitely be professional. It's a great opportunity to join work related groups and read or contribute to discussion threads to help you improve your knowledge of a topic.
Linkedin for Students provides some useful information and tutorials to help you whilst a student and beyond into the world of work.
Visit our Careers Blog for posts on using social media in job searching.
Top tips for networking and creative search
- Make a mind map of people you know - what do they do and can they be of help to you?
- Keep contact details or business cards of people you meet at conferences or events. You never know when you might want to get in touch. Always thank people in writing for any help/advice they offer you.
- Join professional and student groups, and be active. Increase the number of people you know especially outside your immediate social circle, e.g., consider joining a committee and helping to organise membership activities or events.
- Plan your first approach to a contact carefully. What is it you would like from someone?
- Google your name: make sure you have a digital identity that represents you well by using social media effectively.
- Do your research if you are going to make speculative applications. Find out more about what a company, individual or sector before you approach someone. Our “researching companies” page can help.
- Remember when making speculative applications/enquiries about work, always start by asking advice first, never ask for a job straight up.
- If you are making speculative applications you will need to make sure your CV and covering letter are up-to-scratch. Check out our pages on Applications and Interviews for advice in putting together a CV and covering letter.