These days almost everyone relies on the internet in some way or another. To the person looking for employment, the internet is a powerful tool that provides an efficient way to reach employers, do research on companies, and most importantly apply for jobs online. So with such a dependency on the internet, what does a person do when the internet is down, or unavailable?
Well some people just throw up their hands in frustration and complain that there’s nothing that can be done; that they’ll just watch T.V. until it’s back up, or lie down and take a nap. Really? If you are competing against people for employment, this should be music to your ears. I mean if the competition has gone home to sleep on the couch, this is your opportunity to job search in other ways.
So what can you do? Well, what did people do BEFORE computers were in every house and in every internet cafe? For starters, you could pick up the phone and network with some of your networking contacts. Check in and let them know you are still looking for employment so they don’t forget about you. Have they got any leads or jobs coming up that they could share with you? If anything has changed in your situation such as a phone number, address or maybe the kind of work you are looking for, make sure you let these people know. After all, what if they did hear of a job you are now interested in, but the last time you spoke, you were looking for something different?
You could also use this time to get into your computer or one at the library and update your resume, assuming you have it saved somewhere other than in your email which requires the internet. Have you added any recent training, courses, volunteer jobs, new address or phone number, etc.? If you have a posting for a job you want to apply to, now might be the time to draft the cover letter. None of these activities requires the internet. When the internet does come back up or you get access to a computer with internet capabilities, you are closer to just firing off your application on-line if you saved in MS Word or some such program.
Another thing you might do is to actually get out of your place and knock on some doors. Say you are interested in retail work; get over to a shopping mall and with your best clothes on, walk in and introduce yourself. Ask to speak with the Manager and have something to write down any information you are given. Be sure to get spelling of names correct, job titles, and perhaps ask when they would be in to call back in person. Whatever you do, write down the name of the store and match up the name of the Hiring Manager. Nothing worse than getting home with a list of names and job titles and not knowing which goes with which company. That would unfortunately be a waste of time and effort.
Don’t forget the usefulness of the telephone books by the way. If you were interested in being a Plumber, why not look up Plumbing Services in the book and get a head start on the names of company’s, phone numbers, and what information does the ad provide for you. If you only have a phone number, maybe making a cold call and checking on their hiring schedule or trying to set up an information interview would be useful to you.
Now suppose you were hoping to do some research on trends in your industry, a certain company or other information. Even though the internet might be down, head on over to a local library and tell one of the Librarians what it is that you are after; they love this stuff! In no time at all, a reputable library will give you some advice, maybe load you up with some books or magazines. You can get the information you need and you’re making good use of your time in the process.
How are your references? Is now maybe a good time to make a few phone calls to past employers, co-workers, friends and neighbours who might be willing to lend their name and say some positive things about your work ethic, and dependability? If so, pick up a phone, or again get out and visit these people.
Think about your grooming perhaps. The hairstylist doesn’t need the internet to give you a hair cut and stores don’t need the internet to sell you some interview or work clothes. So if you’ve got issues with clothing or something as mundane as being out of deodorant, you’ve got options for doing these things, you just have to decide what to do and in what order.
Sure the internet is a significant tool to have in your toolbox as you move forward with your job search. However, like any tool, you should never rely on it to the extent that you forget how to go about using other tools. If your rusty in the old-fashioned job search techniques, I couldn’t think of a better time to make good use of your time and brush up your skills the old-fashioned way.