Your Chamber of Commerce: A Little Diamond in the Job Search Rough

There are a plethora of job search resources out there, from LinkedIn, to networking events, to taking advantage of career centers on campus. However, when you feel like your search methods have been exhausted, think about this: are you missing the most obvious option?

For many, your local Chamber of Commerce isn’t the first place you think of when conducting a thorough job search. It seems old school, outdated, or not the place your dream job may be. However, we encourage you to rethink your preconceived notions. Your local chamber could be the diamond in what is truly a job search rough.

Go ahead and check out your local chambers website. For many, there are handfuls of job listings   (as well as resources) which may not have been seen had you not taken a peak. Why is this the case, though? Why aren’t these gems posted on other career boards or websites? The answer is simple: many employers want local candidates.

Remember hearing your mentor or former colleague telling you that the job search is much easier if you’re already in the place you want to work in? That is, many employers want local candidates. So, instead of pulling your hair out trying to find these “hidden” opportunities, look no further than your local Chamber of Commerce. Take the following steps to find and follow through with these opportunities:

Visit your local chamber, either in person or online

You may find lots of opportunities online, but also consider physically going to your Chamber of Commerce. The employees are there to help you and may have more job listings that haven’t made it online yet. With this step, try to also create a relationship with the Chamber of Commerce members. Chamber members are often those business owners in the community. If they already have formed a rapport with you, they can keep you updated, and in mind, when opportunities come their way.

Contact the employer or apply through the chamber website

Your next step is to apply to the listing as soon as possible. Remember, these could be time sensitive so you want your application or resume to be seen first. Emphasize that you’re local, either through your cover letter or through your previous employers. Either way, be sure to reiterate that you’re the right candidate for the job, skill and location-wise.

Follow-up, indicating that you found the listing through the Chamber of Commerce

As with any other job listing, be sure to follow-up after you’ve sent out an application. The difference with this tactic from regular follow-up is to highlight that you found the listing on the chamber website. You can even point out a chamber member or employee if there’s a relationship. You’ll not only keep your application top of mind, you’ll also link the source to the end result as well.

 

What do you think? Have you ever used your local chamber to find jobs?

About Mary Marino

Mary Marino is the founder of EmploymentPipeline.com, a job search resource. EmploymentPipeline.com has launched its “Occupation Pipeline” widget, a unique tool which enables users to search employment opportunities by sourcing occupations and employers, rather than job titles. Connect with Mary at EmploymentPipeline.com or on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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