The world of job search has changed dramatically over the years. It’s rare to find your next position in a newspaper wanted ad, and social media is an indispensable tool for both identifying opportunities and establishing credibility with prospective employers. Nevertheless, certain strategies from the “old school” of job search are still applicable today, and Menlo Partners strongly recommends that you use a combination of traditional and new elements in your approach to seeking employment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Face-to-Face Still Works Effectively
While there are now over 100 job boards targeted to niche markets, face-to-face meetings are still one of the best ways to connect with key people who can assist you in your search. Look for Meetups and other networking events to introduce yourself to entrepreneurs, fellow job seekers and possible mentors. In addition, informational interviews can be excellent resources for receiving feedback about your resume and gaining insights into the current hiring market. Some of your most valuable conversations may be with human resources professionals, current hiring managers at companies similar to those you’re targeting, and individuals who have recently been hired themselves and can share lessons learned during their own searches.
What about Cover Letters?
Does anyone even read cover letters anymore? While it’s true that cover letters are requested and provided less frequently than in the past, a great cover letter can help you stand out from the crowd! When you apply for a truly amazing position, take the time to tailor your cover letter for that specific company and industry. Describe what about this opportunity appeals to you and why you are uniquely qualified to excel in the role. Remember to proofread and make sure that your letter is well-written and persuasive. Avoid generalities and vague “fluff” entirely.
Dress for Success
The dress code at Silicon Valley companies is far more relaxed than at Wall Street firms, and high heels are definitely *not* required. Having said that, many applicants seem to arrive at job interviews looking disheveled. Men, you don’t need to wear a tie, but make sure your shirt is not wrinkled. Project an image that says you treat yourself and your work with respect.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Thank you notes go a long way in helping interviewers remember you. They are a wonderful way to reinforce your desire and commitment to work at a particular organization. If you choose handwritten notes, remember that snail mail takes 1 to 3 days. (One person who has worked for Menlo Partners is in the habit of pre-addressing his notes, writing messages in the car, and going back inside to leave a note at the front desk on the same day of his interview.) But email messages are acceptable too. Be thoughtful and write a few sentences in your email to offer feedback about your experience and remind the interviewer of what an awesome candidate you are!
Your Partner and Guide to Job Search
For additional advice regarding your job search, contact the professional recruiters at Menlo Partners today! We have extensive experience in assisting applicants with short-term, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements in high tech, small business and non-profit organizations.