Monday, November 30, 2009

Trends Post #4: Small Employers.. who they are, how to find them

"Small employers are the backbone of the college labor market and they expect to increase hiring over the next 10 months," says Dr. Phil Gardner in his Recruiting Trends report.

I gave you a brief description of who is hiring in the last post. SMALL EMPLOYERS. So how do you find jobs at these somewhat elusive organizations?

First, here is where you won't find jobs with small employers (and why):
  • Career Fairs: due to their small number of employees, being away from the office and spending a day at a career fair to hire one person is not a good use of their time.

  • On Campus Interviews: really, same reason as above.

  • Anywhere it costs to post a job: newspapers, for-profit job boards (Monster, Career builder, etc.) why... you can probably figure that out for yourself. MU Career Manager does not charge employers making it easier for all employers to attract MU students!

Now, here are some first steps in finding jobs with SMALL EMPLOYERS:

  • If you're not connected, then you're not going to like this but NETWORKING is the key. This doesn't mean that if your uncle or sister or neighbor isn't "in-the-know" then you are out-of-luck. Anyone can be connected. The trick is knowing HOW to capitalize on those connections.

  • Having a Linkedin account isn't enough; you have to know how to use it. Read this, Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job. It's ancient in Internet-time but I think it is still relevant.

  • You will first have to FIND the small employers. The Career Services Center has lists and lists of the biggest XYZs but that won't help you in this search. Instead, use one of our great resources, Reference USA. You can search for organizations by size, industry, and location which is exactly what parameters you need in this economy.

Who cares whether or not the small organizations you are pursuing actually have jobs posted! Either way, do the following:

  • Make a list of organizations based on industry (think outside the box... would a manufacturing company hire a communications major? They might if they needed publicity! or had customers! or were in the news!), size (<500), location(remember, you can go ANYWHERE!)

  • Research at least 20 of them. Since they are small they may not have their own web pages (don't judge, give them a break!, maybe offer your web-skills) so you will have to research using resources such as Vault (accessed through out career gateway) and by searching media sites for news about the org.

  • Use your connections to see if someone you know knows someone who works at one of your targeted orgs. CONTACT THEM!

  • Develop a targeted cover letter (or email message...using complete sentences)

  • Talk to them about how your skills will help them do something better. Be specific.

Okay, that's a lot for now. I'll go into more details on HOW TO DO THIS tomorrow on my next post.

Until then... enjoy this quote by Ronald Reagan which is still true today...

Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

THINK small!

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