129 ways to get a job

An article is going a bit viral this week. It’s from a 1958 issue of McCall’s Magazine and is titled 129 Ways to Get a Husband. 

As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s amusingly outdated and contains all sort of ridiculous suggestions like “Stand in a corner and cry softly. Chances are good that he’ll come over to find out what’s wrong.” And “Hide your Phi Beta Kappa Key…Later on, Junior can play with it.” (Translated: don’t let him know you’re smart.)

But while reading it, I couldn’t help but notice that with some tweaking, many of the suggestions could actually be really good ones for finding a job. Joining clubs, being nice to everyone, tapping your network…these are all things you have to do.

You know what they say: the job search is like dating. My friend and colleague Peter Harris likes to argue that this isn’t true at all. But hey, listicles don’t lie, especially if you find them on the internet.

So, I made a new list, based on the 1958 McCall’s article, and titled it 129 ways to get a job. Here they are. Good luck.

How and where to find jobs
  1. Check online job boards (like CareerBeacon)
  2. Get out of the house.
  3. Go to everything you’re invited to.
  4. Talk to the people there.
  5. Give out your contact information.
  6. Connect with the people you meet on social media.
  7. Take classes or seminars.
  8. Join a club. A hiking club, for example. Skiing and coding clubs are also good.
  9. Meet other professionals through meetup.com
  10. Consider relocating.
  11. Look for the cities in your country with the most job openings in your industry.
  12. Look at other countries.
  13. Travel.
  14. Talk to people sitting beside you on the bus, train, plane, boat, etc.
  15. Talk to people in your hotel.
  16. Take a job to pay the bills, even if it’s not what you want.
  17. Keep networking.
  18. Keep an eye on LinkedIn to see who is leaving their current positions.
  19. Volunteer
  20. Network while you volunteer.
  21. Ask your employed friends if there are any open positions in their workplaces.
  22. Be nice to everybody. You never know who might lead you to a job.
  23. Remember to be friendly to people who can do nothing for you. (you should just do this anyway.)
  24. Tell your friends that you’re looking for work. Don’t keep it a secret.
  25. Go to networking events alone so you have no choice but to talk to people.
  26. Attend events where you will find managers and directors of companies.
  27. Associate with people who are more successful than you. Maybe some of what they have will run off.
  28. Stay in touch with your former colleagues. They can be valuable resources.
  29. Don’t hang out with negative people who will pull you down to their level.
  30. Take a part-time job.
  31. Attend industry conferences.
  32. Learn a new craft or hobby. Meet whole new groups of people through this hobby.
Get noticed
  1. Upgrade your LinkedIn.
  2. Upgrade your resume.
  3. Send emails, say hello, introduce yourself.
  4. Connect with people on social media and send direct messages.
  5. Say hello to everyone.
  6. Learn conversations starters for any situation, and use them.
  7. Make bold fashion choices. People may talk to you about your clothes, hair, etc.
  8. Always overdress a little for every occasion. People will appreciate the effort.
  9. Have several funny stories, and learn to tell them well. Make sure you don’t repeat them to the same audience.
  10. Invite people to events.
  11. Invite people to lunch.
  12. Invite people for coffee.
  13. If you have an extra ticket to something, invite someone you don’t know very well and want to get to know better.
  14. Remember people’s names.
  15. When you run into an acquaintance, always graciously remind them of your name before they have to admit they forgot it.
  16. Learn how to cook awesome food, and bring an incredible dish to the next potluck.
  17. Laugh at people’s jokes. (When they’re funny)
  18. When you see someone hanging back at a party or networking event, include them and start a conversation.
  19. Post-industry-relevant content on your LinkedIn page and other social media.
  20. Start a blog and post-industry-relevant content on it.
Be someone others want to help and hire
  1. Ask people about themselves. Get them talking.
  2. Be polite.
  3. Ask people for advice. People love it when you make them feel that what they have to say is important.
  4. Compliment people in a genuine fashion.
  5. Ask yourself if you would hire you. If not, why not? Fix it.
  6. Be knowledgeable about your field of expertise.
  7. Look for ways to share this knowledge without being pedantic or a blowhard.
  8. Don’t drink too much at events.
  9. Wear red. People are attracted to others who wear red.
  10. Be well spoken.
  11. Never lose your cool in a heated discussion.
  12. Wear glasses. Research shows they make you look smarter.
  13. Always be willing to help people when you can.
  14. Don’t ask for anything in return.
  15. Be generous with your resources, time, and knowledge.
  16. Clean up your social media.
  17. Be interested in the world around you.
  18. Ask questions.
  19. Be willing to learn.
  20. Don’t complain.
  21. Be mindful of your body language and the impression you are making.
  22. Shower
  23. Take care of your teeth and keep mints or gum on hand. Bad breath is the worst.
  24. Clean up after yourself.
  25. Clean up after others.
  26. Learn to make gracious introductions.
  27. Learn to give a proper handshake.
  28. Think before you speak.
  29. Don’t gossip.
  30. Don’t insult people.
  31. Always bring a host/hostess gift.
  32. Remember birthdays and special occasions.
  33. Don’t take anything personally.
  34. Make other people feel special and valued.
How to land the job
  1. Help other people get jobs. They may return the favour.
  2. Make your application materials awesome
  3. Tailor your resume to every specific job.
  4. Tailor your cover letter to every specific job.
  5. Make lists of your skills and accomplishments.
  6. Put these in your resume in impressive, action language
  7. Be confident.
  8. Make bold choices.
  9. Follow up on resumes, emails, and messages.
  10. Don’t be timid. If someone is going to hire you, they’re not going to change their mind because you followed up on an email.
  11. Be on time.
  12. Proofread all your communications.
  13. Practice your interview skills with a friend.
  14. Have a plan for what you will bring to the table.
  15. Understand how you will bring value to an organization.
  16. Be able to explain this.
  17. Be flexible.
  18. Be charismatic.
  19. Get someone at the company to put in a good word for you.
  20. Do your research on the company and the role you’re going for.
  21. Have stories prepared that showcase your accomplishments.
  22. Find ways to showcase your problem solving and communication skills.
  23. Ask questions.
  24. Find ways to connect with the hiring manager as a person.
  25. Don’t talk too much about yourself.
  26. If there are skills you need to upgrade, do it.
  27. Dress for the job you want.
  28. Add “nice to have” skills to your arsenal, to become a more complete package.
  29. Never give the impression that you’re desperate.
  30. Post something complimentary about the company on your social media.
  31. Never trash your former workplace.
  32. Never trash your former boss.
  33. Send a thank you note.
Wild ideas – anything goes
  1. Buy a billboard with your picture, name, and website on it.
  2. Take out an ad on Google
  3. Buy an ad on LinkedIn or Facebook
  4. Stand at the side of the road and hand out resumes.
  5. Create an amazing and creative resume that will stand out from the crowd. (Like these people)
  6. Show up in person and ask to see the hiring manager.
  7. Buy tickets to gala and black tie events and introduce yourself to executives.
  8. Join the gym where the hiring manager you want to work for goes and strike up a conversation.
  9. Change careers. Maybe you’re in the wrong one.
  10. Start your own business instead.

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