Kevin Donlin encourages job seekers to consider temporary work and to make smart connections online.
Before you get hired for a new job, you have to get found by a hiring manager.
But how do you get found? How can you get on the radar of top employers and make them call you for an interview?
That's not so obvious.
You could troll the Web and apply for posted jobs, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. For every advertised opening there may be five or more "hidden" ones.
To solve this problem, here are three simple ways to get noticed – and get hired – by your next boss.
1) Temp is Not a Four-Letter Word
If you've never considered taking a temporary or contract position, you should rethink that attitude, according to Jackie Engmark, Executive Director of the Minnesota Recruiting & Staffing Association (www.mnrsa.org).
The 75 firms in the MNRSA fill positions ranging from entry-level to executive, with up to 70-75% of those jobs being temp-to-hire positions, according to Engmark.
"Businesses look to staffing firms as a good source for permanent employees. Regardless of whether they need the talent on a temporary, contract, or permanent basis, businesses tap staffing companies for that talent," says Engmark.
Approximately 35% of people who take a temp job end up getting hired full-time, according to Engmark. That's a .350 batting average – not bad.
And smart employers will create a full-time job for the right temp worker. "With the current talent shortage, if a company brings in someone who catches on fast and has the right attitude, more often than not they will find a place for you," says Engmark.
She says the secret lies in having the right attitude and work ethic – two traits that can't be taught. "Employers can invest in training you other skills. If you are outgoing, friendly and work hard, jobs will find you."
To find staffing and recruiting firms near you, Google the following phrase: "YOUR STATE staffing firms."
2) Get Connected
You may use LinkedIn.com, Facebook.com and MySpace.com. But are you getting all that you can out of these social networking sites?
One way to get found faster by employers is to enhance your profile. For a dramatic before-and-after example, take a look at the Extreme Makeover that marketing guru Guy Kawasaki got for his LinkedIn.com profile - blog.guykawasaki.com.
Tip: The more high-quality connections you make on sites like LinkedIn.com, the more likely you are to get found by employers. On his blog, Kawasaki writes: "People with more than 20 connections are 34 times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five."
3) Keep Your Dirt to Yourself
According to NBC news, 77% of employers will search the Internet to check your background, and 35% of employers have eliminated a candidate for consideration after finding "digital dirt" about them online.
That means you have to be extra careful about what you post in your profile on LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook and other sites.
"My advice is to post only information online that you would feel comfortable sharing with your grandmother. If you wouldn't want her to see your photos or learn about your drunken behavior, don't post it anywhere online," advises Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of CollegeRecruiter.com.
One hiring professional, posting on a CollegeRecruiter blog, wrote: "My team and I use sources such as facebook.com and myspace.com on a regular basis to screen candidates. We have on many occasions stopped the interview process with candidates based on their online profiles. Think twice before you post anything out there for us to see."
So, to find your next job, you might want to take another look at temping, get connected online, and get smart.