Posted October 21, 2014 by

7 Underused Job Search Tricks for Grads

Portrait of a young woman in an academic gown, future trends.

Portrait of a young woman in an academic gown, future trends. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Grads looking for work have it tough, as they try to enter a difficult job market while also trying to learn the intricacies of a job search. They don’t yet know for themselves what works in a job search and what doesn’t.

For most inexperienced job seekers, the main strategy is simply to apply for jobs on major job boards, not realizing that most job openings aren’t ever posted on the likes of Monster or Workopolis. So if you want to make the most out of your job search, here are 7 job search tricks and resources that are underused by grads.

Niche Job Boards

Niche job boards are made for specific locations or industries and can provide great opportunities for networking and job hunting. As a result, there is a MUCH smaller pool of applicants than on major boards, meaning you have better odds at getting hired and, on some niche boards, you can communicate directly with recruiters or hiring managers.

Another great feature of some niche boards are established communities where users can interact with each other by sharing advice and industry news or trends.

Job Alerts

Most job boards allow you to set up email alerts whenever new jobs you’d be interested in are posted. You can set up the alerts according to geographic range and certain keywords or job titles.

This feature is very useful because most jobs that are filled via online applications come from those made in the first few days. This is because most online job postings receive hundreds of applications, and so companies will find enough interesting candidates very quickly. It pays to be prepared and react quickly to the alerts!

Twitter Lists

Recruiters, companies, influencers and job boards are tweeting out job openings more and more often these days. Some of the jobs they tweet out aren’t posted anywhere else either, which could give you an edge if you stay on top of them.

Create a list of the various accounts that tweet out the sorts of jobs you want. If you can, try and find accounts for specific managers and employees at a company you want to target, as they sometimes retweet job openings that are posted you might miss.

LinkedIn Groups

There are groups for your school alumni, geographic location, industry or specific job type, and relevant hobbies. After that there are a number of larger, more general groups that post job openings or give job search and networking tips.

Each group will expose you to thousands of members—potentially tens of thousands—giving you a great chance to grow your connections and gain influence. Similar to niche boards, you can seek or give advice, get industry news and trends, and find job openings that won’t be posted elsewhere online.

Job Search Groups

Job search groups are similar to LinkedIn groups, in that they exist for school alumni and specific cities and industries. The big difference is that they’re in-person rather than online. You can find these groups online at Facebook or sites like, or at places like universities/colleges, churches, community centres, or libraries.

The point of the groups is the same as with LinkedIn groups: they give you the chance to ask advice, network with people in your city or industry, and maybe hear about job openings that you wouldn’t learn about anywhere else. The in-person aspect means there might be fewer people in the group, but the connections you make can be much stronger and more personal.

Cold Calling

Sometimes, it pays to take the initiative and directly contact the employer about a potential job opportunity yourself. This is especially true during the busiest times of the year for hiring, specifically for companies that you really want to work for but don’t have any job openings for which you’re qualified.

Because a lot of job openings aren’t ever mentioned on job boards, you might catch them at the right time and, if you play your cards right, get a job interview you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Mobile Apps

Considering that you have better odds at getting a job interview the sooner you apply for a job that’s posted online, having a mobile app that lets you send off applications whenever and wherever you are can be a big help.

There are also tons of great mobile apps for your job search that can help in other ways: finding jobs that are only found on the company’s website, organizing all of your network contacts, or showing what jobs are available closest to wherever you might be at that given time.

Have a Balanced Job Search!

If there’s one thing that this list should convey to you, it’s that there are many ways that you can help your job search and you shouldn’t over rely on just one or two methods. Instead, if you spend a bit of time with several methods you’ll find that you get far more results than you would otherwise.

Happy hunting!

Brian Stewart is a Career Content Writer at They are the only resume writing company that offers a professionally written resume, coupled with the guidance of recruiters, to guarantee that your resume will get results.

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