I give this list out to a lot of people - so thought it would simplify it to just write it for you. I'm a headhunter, but a niche one. I only work on jobs that clients give me in digital and social marketing, and I have never been successful in taking a candidate call and shopping them around.
Maybe it's me.
Here's what I tell every candidate/manager/executive/friend/family member I don't have a job for. It works, but only if you do it.
1) Make a list of 10-20 companies you want to work for that are local, and find one executive at that company that could hire you at the level you want. Write the company, name, and title in a spreadsheet.
2) Follow every company on that list on LinkedIn.
3) Search for recruiters and headhunters who have your resume keywords on their profile. Send an invitation to every one you can. Focus on ones with experience that you would call back (they are usually called executive search). Don't write anything in your invitation, and don't send a note if they do accept .
4) Go through the companies and look at 1st and 2nd degree connections. See if there's anyone you know. Send a message to your first degree with a short positive memory of how you know each other, and send a connection invite to anyone you've met in the 2nd degree. Don't ask for anything, unless they reply and specifically want to help you. (no, they don't want your resume, and you shouldn't send it).
5) ) Get a google voice number and put it at the bottom of your summary. You can always turn it off when you get the job. Send the phone to your cell and have it ring your number, so if someone calls, you'll know it's a recruiting call from LinkedIn
6) Connect to senior executives (VP HR and above), and executives senior enough in marketing to hire you. Send them an invitation and simply say (same industry, respect for your company).
7) Search for jobs at the company website and on LinkedIn. If you see a job you like, look at your connections. Message them and say, "I'm going to submit, but if you get a referral fee, I'll let you do it."
8) Carry your list with you. Anytime you meet or talk to someone, and the subject of employment comes up, ask them if they know a name on the list. If they do - ask them to text their contact with your name, because you're going to email them. If they don't have the cell, ask them to email from their phone or send a LinkedIn message, and you'll email the executive afterwards (ask if you can use their name - but even if you can't, that's okay. The exec saw your name).
9) You want to start an application, but if all you get is a call with an executive, tell them it's 20 minutes, you want to talk about the list of companies you want to work for and see if you're missing one, and ask about trends in the market you should look for.
10) At all times, your goal is information and connection. Never ask for help with the job search. Ask for a job or ask if they can connect you to someone on your list who can offer you a job. This is very important. "Networking, coffee, casual interviews, and help" are nonsense words you use to hide the fact that you want a job. Instead, be clear your intent is either to get a job with that company, or with a company they refer you to.
That's it. Those ten bullet points will improve your job search, and find you employment faster than you could imagine. They will also strengthen your network. Most important, they won't fool you into believing that you're making progress because someone took your call.
Don't agree? Post your experiences.