Job Search Tips

How to find a job without using job sites

June 3, 2020

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Prefer to read? The transcript is below 🙂

Hey, it’s Iris and welcome back to my channel!

In this video, I’m going to share with you how to get a job without using those awful job boards, because 1) it’s actually one of the least effective ways to find work you love, 2) the best jobs aren’t often posted on job boards, and 3) job boards tend to be soul-destroying energy suckers. Right?

Wouldn’t you want to find your dream job without having to spend hours and hours on job boards?

I thought so. I’m going to give you 3 tips to help you get there.

But before I do that, please like this video if you like it and subscribe to my channel. It’ll help me to get this video out to more people, AND it tells me exactly what type of content you’re finding helpful.

So, let’s dive right in.

What I want you to know about applying for jobs is this:

Job boards aren’t effective.

The author of the best selling career advice book of all time, What colour is your parachute , estimates that the chance of landing a job from just sending your resume to a company is around 1 in 1,000.

Employers prefer to hire people they already know or to hire through referrals.

SO, please don’t waste your time browsing those awful job boards for your next job. I’m not saying you can’t apply for a job through a job board, I’m just saying don’t waste your time finding one. 

So, what should you do instead? 

Focus on building your network. 

You want to get to know people in the companies you’d like to work for or the industry you’d like to work in. Rule of thumb: you should begin reaching out to others and building your network of contacts before you need anything from them. So start today 🙂 

Now, how do you do this? Here are some tips to help you nail it:


Turn to your friends and LinkedIn to find connections (or connections of connections) who work at the company(ies) or in the industry that you’re interested in.

Send an email to your friends, and ask if they know anyone who works at companies X, Y or Z, or if they know anyone who works in the industry/sector you’re interested in.

In this email, you want to make it clear that you’re not asking for a job, but that you’d like to speak with people who work at these companies or in that industry, to learn more about it and get a better idea of what it’s really like. 

Okay, so you’ve found some interesting people to speak with. What do you do then? 

Reach out to them and ask for a (virtual) meeting to find out more about the industry or company they work for. 

If, and only IF, you personally know that person quite well and they’re in a position where they have the power to hire people, you can discuss opportunities in the industry during that meeting. If you know them less well, then don’t ask for this. Keep it informational, and aim to learn more about the company or industry. 


Before you speak with someone, make a genuine effort to learn more about their background, position within the company + things you have in common. 

Also do a bit of desk research to learn more about the company they work for and any interesting current trends or developments in the industry. 

For example, how’s the organisation set up or structured? What is its vision or mission? What does it see as its strengths and weaknesses? What recent press coverage has the organisation or industry as a whole received? 

Then, make a list of questions that you’d like to ask them in the meeting.

This shows that you value and respect their time, and it helps you to have a meaningful conversation with them. 

A few examples of questions you can ask are; 

  • How would you describe the work culture of your organisation? Is it typical for this industry?

  • How did you land your current role? What previous experience, skills or knowledge did you have that helped you get this job? 

  • In your opinion, what are the most important skills required for your role?

  • What are the issues facing your company in the next 3 – 5 years? 

  • Do you have any advice for someone trying to work at this company or break into this sector? 


Remember what I said earlier on in this video: as a rule of thumb, you should begin to build connections before you need anything from them. 

So, when you’re connecting with someone, focus on building a relationship. How do you do that? You start by being helpful. My motto is: if you have the opportunity to help someone out, always do it.

But, if you’re like a lot of people I speak with, you might doubt that you’ve got anything worthwhile to offer the person you’re speaking with. 

If that’s the case, make sure you watch this video after you’ve finished watching this one. I’ll be sharing some tips on how to add value to others when networking. 

You don’t build a relationship with someone though by being helpful once. No. That’s like thinking that you’ll live happily ever after after having done one nice thing for your other half. Relationships require work. 

You get out of it what you put into it. 

So, the day after you’ve had that initial meeting, send a follow up email to thank them for their time. 

Then, 10 days to 2 weeks later, do something nice for them. You could share an article they’ve posted on LinkedIn, or send them an email with a link to an article, podcast or book that they might find interesting. 

Then, say, a month later, you re-connect with them again. Say you’ve had a meeting with the person they connected you with, tell them how helpful this introduction was and thank them for it. 

Then keep on doing things like this, keep on re-connecting, doing nice things and helping out. 

Now, if you’ve been doing this for, say 3 – 6 months, and you see that the company this person is working for is hiring, reach out to them, tell them you’d be interested in this role and ask them if they know who you should be speaking to to learn more about the opportunity. 

So, there you have it. That’s how you find a job without a job board. 

Focus on making connections and building relationships, and do this the right way by….

  • Turning to your friends and linkedin

  • Doing your homework, and

  • Going for the long term

It’s not quick fix, but it’s a proven strategy that works. 

That’s it for this week! Next week I’ll be talking about how to choose the right career, so if you don’t want to miss that, make sure you subscribe to my channel. 

And obviously, if you liked this, hit that thumbs up button. It’ll help me to grow my channel, and tells me exactly what kind of stuff you’re finding most helpful, so I can go and create more on that topic! 

Thank you so much for watching, see you again next week! 

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