The #1 source of jobs is ‘networking’ which simply means telling EVERYONE you know or meet what you are looking for. In your case that will include all your former classmates from all years (who knows what great companies they’re working for now) and all your profs, lab instructors, etc., etc., as well as family, friends, etc. You need to distill your request into a short sentence they are likely to remember. It could be as short as just the name of one job/job title “World class Human Resource manager.” (Don’t use an acronym here, as many won’t know it.) What’s memorable – well you’ll know when you think of it. One guy I chatted with at a presentation I was doing on job search happened to mention he’d researched sexual behavior. If he could work that into what he was looking for, that was memorable. Who wouldn’t be intrigued into talking to someone with that background.
Weak connections actually work better than strong ones in this type of networking according to research – more is definitely more important that closeness. One woman switching careers I know found a key person in the field she wanted by talking to her dry cleaner while she waited for one-hour laundry – his sister linked her to several in that field (happened to be high end charity fund-raising, not dry cleaning) and she got one exactly what she wanted.
This means tackling the toughest job search challenge – narrowing your ‘ask’ to just one job. People may well offer ‘near jobs,’ sometimes even totally unrelated ones, but if you say ‘I can do anything’ or name several things, you just confuse people. All you want is for them to remember they ‘met someone like that’ when their cousin, co-worker, boss, whoever mentions they are looking for someone to fill whatever… and then be able to find your info. So get a card (usually you can find places that offer 500 free) with your name, what you’re looking for phone, email and LinkedIn link (where you have posted your info, carefully edited to provide a focus on what you say you’re looking for and the same sort of info you’d have on a resume. Your card then becomes a pocket resume basically.
When you thank people or send a follow up resume by email, DON’T use the subject line “My resume” as thousands of others do. Then the person files it somewhere and when they go to the file the see a list of people they hardly know and subjects: My Resume. If yours says: “Resume for ” they don’t have to open 20 emails to find the one person who sent an email with a resume related to the job their pal is looking to fill. I sometimes give up when faced with several dozen My Resume emails to try to look through.