5 Unusual Ways to Look for Your Tech Job

Typically, we think of job searches as being about networking, resumes, interviews and the like. But sometimes unusual approaches can pay off, too, especially when you’re in the early stages and working to identify prospective employers. Zach Dearth, recruiting director at Randstad Technologies in Boston, says he and his team have heard of some interesting approaches over the years.

Google T-shirtJob hunting is never fun and at times it can be ego-bruising, so some of the tactics below can seem like the kind of thing you’d never want to consider. But when you’re looking for work, a little experimentation never hurts. And, besides, sometimes unusual ideas get you thinking along lines you’d never have otherwise considered.

“It’s just as valuable to use these techniques,” Dearth says. “The people who use these tactics are people who go after their passion-dream job or project.”

Here are five examples that Dearth lays out:

  • Look for people wearing logos of companies you’d like to work for. One job seeker in Cambridge, Mass., used to strike up conversations with people based on the logo on their backpacks. It turned out to be a good networking tool.
  • Hold a contest among members of your social networks to encourage them to offer up job referrals. The winner is the one who provided the job-landing lead. One job seeker, whose family held Red Sox season tickets, offered some as a prize.
  • Get to know the people in your community who issue business permits or handle commercial real estate. Seriously. Doing so can provide a huge jump by letting you know which companies are moving into town and so possibly hiring. The advantage, says Dearth, is “you can try to network early on.”
  • Don’t overlook company advertisements, even on a Jumbotron. One job seeker saw an ad that dovetailed with a project he was working on. He immediately tweeted the company to say it was “cool.” A couple of discussions later, he was called in for an interview and hired.
  • Find the companies whose mission aligns with your interests and reach out to them via their social networks. “I had an acquaintance I followed because we were into the same music, and one day he reached out because he knew I was a recruiter,” Dearth says. “I ended up hiring him.”

On the other hand, Dearth suggests you avoid trying to network at the bars and restaurants frequented by employees of your target companies. “That’s their personal sanctuary,” he points out, but notes, “If you happen to be there and it happens organically, that’s another thing.”

Plus, it’s not really safe to assume a hiring manager will remember your name after several drinks.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

4 Responses to “5 Unusual Ways to Look for Your Tech Job”

  1. Darian Dunn, CISSP, CISA, CRISC

    I am not sure if any of the above suggestions would work in my environment/field.

    I am a CISSP. I was given a jacket and a briefcase many years ago with the Cert on them. I have had many conversations about the cert. So far none have led to a job lead going either direction.

  2. jgalt2000

    > Look for people wearing logos of companies you’d like to work for.

    HAH! In the Hudson Valley? The last scragglers still in the HV are too poor to have logo-ed *anything*; they’re saving up enough cash to pack up and leave. And no-one still left at IBM is going to brag they work there (and it’s not anyplace anyone wants to work anymore).

  3. emilov

    How strange… I remember in the 90s there was an article saying if one could read a few lines of Java, one could get a real world job.
    Now, here it is written… read company logos on T-shirts, you may find a job ?

  4. Michael Hawkins

    No disrespect to Zach. But this is the kind of advice that you’re going to get from someone who interned as a recruiter and has done nothing else but recruit. Recruiting is NOT the same as being an actual professional in a specific field with a desired career path. So let me give some free advice to any juniors in the IT world that might happen to read this comment. Don’t get all googley eyed with t-shirts or logos printed on them. Don’t run competitions for job referrals and especially don’t listen to recruiters advice. Those logos come from the marketing department. And competitions are for the desperate that line up outside of lotto outlets. If you like marketing, check out the logos on t-shirts. If you’re in any other field in IT, be interested in those things that matter to your field. Be the best you can be. Learn constantly, work hard. Enjoy letting other people get the credit.