smart spending

5 innovative job search strategies

Words of Wisdom: Used wisely, Twitter can lead to real job opportunities. "I used to use Twitter only for my friends, but when I started looking for a job, I started accepting other followers and I stopped posting personal stuff like pictures," he says. "You have to be a bit more careful, but when you open yourself up, it can be really helpful."

Name: Anthony Badillo

Old gig: Integration manager in the brokerage division at Merrill Lynch in New York
New gig: Financial planning assistant in Jersey City, N.J.

Smart strategy: With the help of the career center at his alma mater, Badillo tapped the knowledge of alumni. One fellow alumnus told Badillo to do research about the companies he was applying to, take time to determine the best career choice and to keep a job-hunting spreadsheet.

By using the spreadsheet, he had quick access to everyone's contact information and could quickly find the details he needed about people and jobs, instead of keeping track of dozens of business cards, e-mail messages and written notes.

Words of wisdom: In a tight job market, getting all the details right matters, and a spreadsheet helps. "(It allowed me to have) a much more personalized approach and whenever communication would occur I could check the spreadsheet and know exactly where we left off."

Name: Lauren Gard

Old gig: Legal assistant for Scott Cole & Associates, a class-action employment law firm in Oakland, Calif.
New gig: Client manager at the public relations firm Infinite Public Relations in San Francisco

Smart strategy: Gard met her current boss a decade ago when she worked at a legal newspaper. He had often made public relations pitches to her for possible stories. When Gard was ready to make the move out of journalism, they reconnected and he offered her a PR job. Now she's the one pitching stories to reporters.

Words of wisdom: Mine your past for unexpected networking opportunities, and that doesn't just mean former colleagues. "Anyone that you come into contact with or get along with can be a genuine help to you," says Gard.

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