25 Ways To Generate Job Leads (That Actually Work)

“What is the best source for finding good jobs and Generate Job Leads?” How do you generate job leads… and “Where should I focus my time?”

If your days are primarily characterised by searching and responding to ads online, you are spending most of your time using the same resources as the vast majority of other job seekers out there. To effectively find and connect to someone that is not being overwhelmed by candidates, you must go where others don’t and do things differently.

So what does that mean for you? The reality and the challenge for the job seeker is that you need to consistently pursue dozens of avenues all the time! The best leads often come from the least likely sources and you never know where your next job lead will come from. Here are my 25 job lead generation ideas (that actually work).

#1   Grow your network online and offline

The more you give to your network, the more you can get from it. That applies especially to online networking.

#2   Become a true networker, not a stalker 

Networking is not about meeting as many people as you can. It’s about meeting up with a few well-connected people you already know who can introduce you to a few well-connected people you don’t know.

#3   Meet 3 new people each week

You might meet 1 at work, 1 while shopping and 1 in the neighbourhood.  Just bring new people into your life. New connections bring ideas, information about jobs, companies and industries.

#4   Use the backdoor

If you’re not a direct match on skills and experience you need to be referred by a company employee or someone connected to the hiring manager.

#5   Don’t spend more than 20% of your time applying directly to jobs

Unless you’re a perfect fit, it’s a waste of time. Use the other 80% by applying the ideas below.

#6   Use the job posting as a lead

Once you see a job of interest, search for all the jobs the company has posted. Then use some of the non-resume ideas below to connect directly with the department head or someone connected to the hiring manager.

#7   Join a sport club, social club a gym 

Sport and other social activities are perfect for networking with people across different industries and positions whilst having fun and staying healthy. Chances are you have at least 3 or 4 things in common including your love of that activity. They may be professionals like you, only they work in other businesses. As you get to know them, you will learn a lot about other jobs, companies and industries.

#8   Get an email address that’s easy to remember

A good format is [email protected] (or icloud.com, Yahoo.com, Outlook.com, etc.). This address should be for your job search only.

#9   Create your own personal tagline

Find a 3-4 word phrase that relates to who you are professionally and puts you in a positive light. Use it in your email signature and begin by saying it when people ask what you do.

#10   Prepare an elevator pitch

In 30 seconds you need to be able to describe who you are and which problems your expertise can solve. Practice until it comes naturally. Tweak as you go, judging by listener response.

#11   Set up an impressive web profile

A great LinkedIn profile is one simple version of a web profile and it can showcase your accomplishments, successes and even your above elevator pitch if set up properly.  Just be aware that LinkedIn recommendations have lost a lot of real value over time as they have become more ubiquitous.

#12   Be active on LinkedIn

Being a LinkedIn Open Networker makes it easier to grow your connections to the top level, but remember to not expect too much from them. Still, all it takes is one good connection for this to be worthwhile.

#13   Join Twitter

Take a few moments to flesh out your profile, putting your personal tagline in the Bio box and customising the background image. Once your network has grown a bit, use Twitter #Discover to find more people to follow.

#14   Carry business cards and ask for referrals

Have business cards with your personal tagline and contact information. Try to always leave a note on the back before handing over your card. For example, write where you met the recipient (for them to remember later). Maybe even give them extra cards if they have any potential referrals to put you in contact with.

#15    Follow industry blogs and maybe start blogging

Both big and small, subscribe and comment on them so that their bloggers discover and interact with you, especially if you have your own blog too. Blogging is a terrific way to grow your network and show off your expertise while helping others.

#16   Join professional associations and go to their events

Every market has a group of people who are creating the standards and organising member professionals. Being part of such groups can net you recognition from across the industry.

#17   Join a job search support club

Network with like-minded people and learn from their mistakes and successes. Commiserating is a great conversation starter.

#18   Volunteer

Meeting new people is one of the best reasons why job seekers should volunteer. If there aren’t many opportunities locally through NGOs that you know, find them online using a site like Idealist.org.

#19   Hire a coach or join a mentor or mentoring community

Among the many benefits of having a job search coach or a career coach is that they’ll be able to guide you to success.  In a coach look for someone that has a track record and a good presence online.  Regarding mentors, look for people who have achieved your goals (or goals that you admire or can identify with) and are willing to try and help you achieve similar success. Take your mentor out for lunch and pick their brain.

#20   Do information interviews

This is a great way to get your foot in the door, and you’d be surprised how often an info interview can lead to a job, even in a different department or company.

#21   Talk to people you see regularly

Get help from people who want to help you by default. Ask them to put you in contact with anyone that can help your job search. Cast your net as wide as possible.

#22   Dinner Treat or Bottle of Champagne Reward

Use the Offer / Reward as a way to activate your social and private network to assist with your job search. Mention the reward in an email to your personal contacts, and ask them to forward your message to relevant contacts of their own, for whom the incentive could be a big motivator.

#23   Send updates to your contacts

If they don’t hear from you they’ll just assume you found a job, so nudge people in your network from time to time. A simple “Any way I can help?” is a great way to stay in touch and not be forgotten. The more you give, the more you’ll get.

#24   Follow up and use thank you notes

Whether to confirm a referral or send over a link to an article you discussed, find a good reason to follow up with new contacts before they forget about you, which is usually within 24-48 hours.

#25   “Hunt wisely”

Remember that to be truly successful in your job search, you not only need to develop as many job leads from as many sources as possible, but you need to follow up every job lead.

What’s the point in investing all the time and effort in developing a solid list of job leads if you then let them slip away by not hunting with wisdom, good organisation and a genuine follow-up?

Try some or all of these ideas and I am confident that you will generate job leads to help you secure a new job. As I said before… Just remember to hunt wisely!