8 Ways to Find a Job Without the Internet

Believe it or not, there was a time when there was no Internet. Using the job-hunting techniques people used back then will still work today.

The national unemployment rate is still north of 7.5 percent, meaning more than 12 million Americans are out of work.

That’s a lot of people who could be looking for the same job you are. With online job listings for every business, not to mention sites for every occupation, specialization, or generalization, it’s hard to cover all the online bases, much less have any idea if anyone is looking at your application after you click “submit.”

While we don’t support staying off the Internet (how else will you read us?), there are lots of ways to get recognized by companies without searching endless Web pages.

We’ll start with a video Money Talks founder Stacy Johnson did about working free. It’s a few years old, but still applies. Check it out, then read on…

Now, let’s explore some additional tips…

1. Keep your ear to the ground and your resume at the ready

Even if you have a job and aren’t in the market for a new one, you should keep your resume ready. It only takes a few minutes to add new skills and update work responsibilities. If your title has changed or you got a promotion, add that too.

Check out 10 Tips to Writing a Resume Better Than Yahoo’s CEO for some modern ways to write a resume. Then read 12 Totally Ridiculous Resume Mistakes and make sure your resume doesn’t feature any.

If you’re out of work, ABL: Always be looking. A party, a store, church – you never know when you may encounter someone who might help. Think of everyone as a potential job source and be ready with your resume.

2. Have a pitch

Can you explain who you are and what you want to do in less than 10 seconds? For example, here’s my pitch: I’m Dori. I write about personal finance for MoneyTalksNews.com.

The purpose is to get the person you’re pitching to immediately begin thinking about how you’d fit in their organization. When I use my pitch, I’m trying to invite questions like, “What have you covered?and “Have you heard of my company?” Then, hopefully, they’ll say something like,I’m looking for a writer,” or “I have a friend looking for a writer.”

Nobody wants to listen to a drawn-out explanation. Imagine you’re pitching a fifth grader: Boil it down, spice it up, and communicate it effectively.

3. Network

The more people you know, the more potential job contacts you have. The more contacts you have, the sooner you’ll find work.

Get to know everyone, not by pitching yourself, but simply being nice. Help a neighbor with groceries or offer to house sit when they go out of town. They could have a friend who wants to hire someone but doesn’t want to broadcast it.

Many professions have organizations that meet once a month. Join, attend, shake lots of hands, and practice your pitch. And if there’s no professional organization to join, there are plenty of civic ones, like Rotary or Kiwanis

4. Cruise your neighborhood

Scour the flyers on boards in your apartment building, coffee shop, even grocery store. One thing communities still do is support their community. And if you’re an employer with an opening, post it in these places. A little more hassle, perhaps, but at least you’ll avoid spam.

5. Remember the little guys

Sure, all your friends are on Facebook – and if you feel comfortable doing it, no harm in spreading the word there. But there’s also no harm reconnecting with old work or school contacts one-on-one.

A few years ago a friend of mine found a job through one of her favorite teachers who knew an employer that was looking. Old college professors, former employers, even people you went to school with might know something you don’t.

An old college adviser told me to always leave on good terms so you can use old bosses as references later on. Keep in touch: They may know of jobs at other companies, or new ones at theirs.

6. Work for free

As Stacy said in the video above, while working free isn’t the best scenario, it could lead to a job.

When I graduated from college, I started a food blog, making basically nothing. But because of that, I got an offer to freelance for a local alternative weekly newspaper and blog about food. Eventually that led to working for Money Talks.

While you obviously don’t want to be taken advantage of, working without pay can be better than nothing. If nothing else, it shows dedication to a potential future employer.

7. Hang out at your local employment office

While it may seem counter-intuitive to join an office filled with unemployed people, this should be a regular stop for several reasons.

First, you’ll be getting out of the house. Next, you’ll be meeting people in the same situation you’re in. This is not only spiritually uplifting: Make a few friends, and when they get a job, they might find a place for you as well. Most important, your local workforce office has a ton of resources to help you land a job, from training on resume writing and interviewing to actual job postings.

Can you get a lot of the same info online? Sure. But why not stop by in person?

8. Work temporarily

There are plenty of employers looking for someone to work for a few weeks or a few months. Job placement agencies – like Kelly Services and Manpower – can help you connect with them. Not only will this get some money coming in, but a lot of temporary jobs become permanent.

If you insist on the Internet…

Facebook is a great place to start. A Jobvite survey says the social networking site helped more than 18 million people find a job last year. Check out LinkedIn as well. On it you’ll find old colleagues, college classmates, and potential employers who might help you find a job. If you don’t have a profile there, create one and start networking. Twitter is also worth exploring.

Have you found a job in a non-traditional way? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • Allan Gomez

    This a truly poor example of writing and logic. The examples given are so astoundingly absurd that it really made think that this must be a comedy piece. In example #1 the author states to have your resume in hand and your ear to the ground. Of course, you should always be ready, but you assume that people want you handing them pieces of paper that you have been carrying around all over the place with you everywhere you go. They will most likely say, email it to me. And for almost all the other examples, people will say to email them. The best example, however, must be where you provide your experience of working for free (remember that this whole “article” is supposed to be about finding employment without the internet) by starting a blog on the INTERNET. I know that you want to infuse the article with your personal experience, and that is commendable, but write an honest article about the subject matter. None of the examples you give are (except perhaps the one about looking throughout your neighborhood and the employment office, but even those will be greatly facilitated by the internet) realistically successful en mass, particularly without the use of the internet. The world has changed and it makes it difficult when employers want to streamline the process via the automation that the internet can offer. I know that you are probably trying to encourage people not to let access to the internet become a hurdle (or an excuse to not even try) but this is so far from being an honest depiction of what people are currently undergoing. The internet has become an utility, much like a phone, electricity, and even heating. The world is moving further and further into a realm where you cannot do many necessary things unless you are online. A better resource would be to demonstrate how people can access the internet for free (which is very limited of course) and all the tools it has to offer (as you started to mention in the end) to help maximize your outcomes in job searches. I spent years working as an employment specialist for young people and people with other barriers to employment. It is clear that this article is just a “my personal experience must be the truth for all” type of misinformed piece that should have really never seen the light of day or the internet.

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