Networking to find a job is very effective. It works especially well when you make it easy for your network to help you. Here are some tips to do it for the best results.
1. Start with your “natural network.” You have good friends, former colleagues, current colleagues you trust completely, and family members. These are the first people with whom you can network. They know you, you know them, it’s relatively easy to ask them for help. See below for the help you will request.
Later you will branch out, contacting people you know less well and contacting people two or three degrees of connection away from you. I believe a successful networking meeting is one where you walk away with at least one more person to contact who could help you in your job search.
2. Clarify what you want to do for work in an “intention statement” so you can communicate it easily and quickly to people in conversation and via e-mail.
* Use your written intention statement in emails to people, to help them help you.
* Rehearse your intention statement verbally, putting it into colloquial language so it sounds natural yet clear when you are talking to someone.
3. Tell people exactly what you want them to do for you. This insight comes from my background raising tens of millions of dollars through direct mail. If you don’t tell people what you want them to do, they won’t do it. No one is a mind reader. It’s called the “Call to Action” or CTA. Here are the exact words you need to say:
“Would you be willing to introduce me to people you think could give me advice and guidance on my job search?”
* “Introduce me” says you want them to write an e-mail, make a phone call, or cross the hall to pave the way for you to then make contact.
* “Advice and guidance” leaves people off the hook for recommending you for an actual job. That might be awkward and people might say “no” or that they don’t know anyone. You are not asking for a job, you are asking for their wisdom. It appeals to the ego, too – who doesn’t like giving advice and guidance?
A variant of this is “would you be willing to introduce me to that person?” when they suggest a specific name. If they are not willing to introduce you, then ask if you can use their name in the email you plan to send. If they’re not willing to do that either, then you will be making a “cold call” and will have to build in a lot of flattery to your request.
4. Ask for 20 minutes of someone’s time, preferably in person, to get their advice and guidance on your job search.
* 20 minutes is long enough to be serious, yet not so long that someone can’t spare it. Stick to the 20 minutes unless the other person insists. Show you care about them and their time.
* Ask for an in-person meeting so you can impress them with your demeanor, appearance, and intelligence. Personal connections get people more invested in helping you, when you make a good first impression.
5. Complete your resume well before you start networking. Every networking request must be accompanied by or followed up with a resume that represents you as completely capable and qualified for the work you want to do.
* Attach to e-mail requests for advice and guidance.
* Send it to your friends with your intention statement.
* Bring an extra copy of it to your in-person meeting.
* Have it ready to send at a moment’s notice when someone suggests you contact so-and-so.
If you don’t have a great resume before you start networking, you may blow an opportunity because you take too long to contact someone.
Last word on networking: Ask for help, not for a job. People rarely have jobs. Friends rarely hire friends. People hate being put on the spot. And you are looking for your “right fit” job, not just any job. So be strategic about your job search by using networking to reach the people who can hire you for that right fit work.
Julia Erickson coaches and teaches people to find and do their “right fit” work – work they love and want to do again. Visit her blog, http://www.myrightfitjob.com, for practical guidance and tips about job search, career management, and how to be happy in your work. Her e-book, available on her website, will guide you on your own search to find and get your “right fit” work. Follow her on Twitter @juliaerickson for useful tips on job search, careers and leadership. Her Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/JobSearchSuccess.
Tips to analyze your and improve your job hunting results.
Your car won’t start or your dishwasher quits working what’s the first thing you do? Right, you begin troubleshooting. Sometimes it’s easy to fix-maybe your car is out of gas or the circuit breaker is tripped to the dishwasher. All solved through carefully examining the simple and obvious before we call in the experts. Here are some simple and obvious job hunting problems that you can probably fix yourself.
If your job search has been going on for some time with unacceptable results maybe it’s time to do some critical thinking and analysis of your job hunting efforts. First, you have to discover where your job search is not working and fix what is wrong, or develop additional options and perhaps move in another direction. Further, some of your job seeking efforts may need to be analyzed to find out what specifically you can do to improve results.
Here are four job hunting problem areas you can start to examine so you can properly analyze and improve your job search efforts:
1. Problem: Not generating enough viable job openings. Usually this is caused by career and job goals that are too broad or you are restricting your job search to a narrow geographical area or an industry where there are few job openings.
Take a careful look at your career objectives. Focus your job hunting efforts that closely match you skills and qualifications. If you are changing careers work hard on finding transferable skills that match the qualifications for the new career.
Work more on uncovering job leads by networking. Make sure everyone in your network is crystal clear as to your job objectives.
Spend more time researching possible job opportunities. Reject possible dead-end careers and industries.
2. Problem: Few good results compared to effort. Probably no job search plan, with measurable daily job hunting effort. May be not spending enough time on productive job hunting efforts.
Build a job search plan with daily, weekly and monthly goals. Make you goals measurable and celebrate each milestone. Get off the job boards and spend the time in more productive pursuits like networking and appropriate research.
Plan on working full-time on your job search campaign. After a medical check-up add some regular physical activity goals to your job hunting plan. Watch your diet. This combination will add to your self-confidence and job hunting is all about self-confidence.
3. Problem: Little or no telephone or face-to-face job interviews. Probably caused by a too general a resume and a cookie-cutter cover letter and few job leads from you network.
Focus you resume and cover letter on the specific requirements and qualifications required to do the job.
Re-energize you network. Work harder to add more people to your network.
Since it’s been said that up to 75% of all positions are in the “hidden” job market plan to do more, make more contacts, ask for referrals and widen you network to generate more interviews.
4. Problem: Interviews but no job offers. May be caused by too little interview research and preparation.
Improve you interview communication skills by video taping mock interviews. Practice both telephone interview techniques and face-to-face interviewing skills. Work hard to eliminate annoying habits. Practice good answers to tough questions. Research the employer, the industry and the interviewer. Have questions ready to turn the interview into a conversation.
Search your network to learn more about the open position and possible employees currently working for the employer.
Sell yourself as a problem solver who can resolve the challenges facing the job, department and possibly the company.
If any of these job search problems match what may be wrong with your job hunting efforts, hopefully we’ve got you started in the right direction. At a minimum it should spark an examination of your job search campaign and motivate you to upgrade your activity in areas that you can improve. Taking daily action on these upgraded methods should help you find the right job sooner rather than later.
John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about job search techniques and career planning at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right jobs and careers by career planning after 50.
In successful job hunting we know the value of asking others for assistance in finding the right job, even though we may be reluctant to do so. And equally important you must work hard to discover how you can assist those in your network. If you get in the habit of assisting others it won’t be long before you’ll be on the receiving end of someone else’s help.
To be effective you need to build a network of contacts that you keep in touch with, that understand your job objectives and your skills and experience. Your effectiveness will be a function of having an organized well thought out method of discovering individuals who could be helpful in your job search. Further, you have to be disciplined to follow-up and remind them on a schedule that your job hunt is still open.
Here’s a suggested method to build and organize your job hunting networking efforts:
1. Start with a list of people who can tell you about possible job openings. They may also provide you with industry and career related information. How big should the initial list be? You be the judge, but it should start with at least twenty names to over thirty or more. Be sure to exclude people who might put your current job in jeopardy. Individuals you worked with in previous jobs, close friends where you currently work, old classmates, neighbors, individuals you know from community activities and professional groups could all be in your network.
2. Now send each individual in your network a short personalized letter along with your resume. Indicate you need their assistance to possibly identify relevant job openings or perhaps refer you to others who might be helpful in your job hunt. Thank them in advance for their help and comment you’ll be in touch by phone in about a week. If you send out 15 or so letters a week, plan to follow-up in about another week. Try for a short meeting over a cup of coffee, if that’s not possible do the meet by phone.
Since most in your network will not be in a position to offer you a job this is not you main focus. You want to make them aware of your skills, experience and job objectives and ask that they direct you to possible job opportunities. Of course if you can help them, or someone in their network do everything you can. You can also ask them for job hunting ideas. If they can direct you to someone who may have an opening ask if you can use their name as an introduction.
It’s very important to ask each of your contacts if they can give you three to five names of others that might be able to assist you in your job search. Find out something about the individual’s relationship with the new contact, what job they hold and where they work.
Repeat the networking process with the new names. If you, for example, start with 30 names and each gives you two new contacts and each of the new contacts gives you two names you network has now grown to over 200.
3. Devote up to half of your job hunting time meeting and contacting the individuals in your network. If you get a good idea be sure to send an appropriate thank you. Set up a detailed system helping you keep track of the many contacts in your network. Perhaps even setting up a specific email address for your job hunt would be helpful. Something like: first.last(at)gmail.com would be appropriate. Follow-up at a minimum of every two months or so, as they may have forgotten about your job hunt, indicating you job hunt is still active and inquire if they have any new ideas for you.
Don’t forget a network works both ways. If you can help someone in your network connect with a job, or generate sales for their business or help in other ways by all means pass the information on. The more you can help others means it’s more likely you’ll be helped in your job hunt.
After 4 to 6 weeks of this kind of effort the individuals in your network will continue to grow and you may have problems acting on all the suggestions.
4. Aside from the above listed method to grow your network don’t forget other valuable sources of contacts, like:
A. Job Fairs
B. Meet and greet events, sponsored by a local Chamber of Commerce, for example.
C. Seminars and Workshops
D. Career or industry related conventions and meetings
E. Linkedin and other career based websites
F. Alumni and career associations
G. Formal training with like-minded individuals
H. Local job hunting groups
I. Informational Interviews
All of the above will help you grow your job hunting network. Before each event plan you approach, have business cards ready, your 30 second elevator speech down pat, ask a lot of questions and follow-up with all your new contacts.
Is there any doubt with this robust networking effort that it will greatly assist you in your job search? When you do find the right job, send everyone in your network an email and thank them for their efforts. Keep the lines of communication open as your network can help you in your career and new job. Also, you’re now better available to assist others in their job search. Moreover, you never know when you’ll have need for their help in another job hunt.
John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and job hunting at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by career planning after 50.
Banish your fears and turn networking into a powerful force in successfully helping you make your career change after age 50. We all know the awesome power of networking in sourcing and finding jobs. It’s the gateway to the hidden job market and gives you the opportunity to possibly design your dream career.
However, in properly managing your career change after age 50, what if you feel uncomfortable networking? Or even worse, you’re terrified about the prospect of involving people you do not know in your job hunt.
It is little solace that others have the same problem opening up to strangers. It appears you have two choices: reject networking but understand you are at a considerable disadvantage in your job hunt and it will take longer to find a job. Further, you may not get a job that matches up to your career objectives. A better choice is you can plan and work to overcome your fears.
Let’s carefully examine your second more profitable choice. In any change in direction, start with small steps and as you grow more comfortable build on your prior successes. With everyone interconnected today, the easy way out is to use the internet or cell phone to network. It has its place, but aside from the electronic gadgets, live personal contacts with others is the best way to build connections, network, and get the most from long-term relationships.
Here are five ideas that should stop you from holding back and assist you in using networking as an important tool in your job hunting toolbox:
1. Admit your networking fears: Accept your fears for what they are. It’s not because you’re a bad person or some horrible thing will happen to you if you reach out to strangers. Tell yourself that it’s normal to fear something just as another emotion may feel great. Don’t judge yourself or pretend that the fear doesn’t exist. Just as you don’t give yourself a hard time for feeling great why beat yourself up for having fears over this activity?
2. Discover what is causing your networking problem: Ask yourself what specifically is causing the problem? Drill down to break your concerns down into small bit sized pieces.
If for example, you have a problem introducing yourself develop a role-playing model and practice doing it right until it’s no longer a problem. Do this with each piece of the problem until you reach an acceptable level of comfort. With experience, your networking will become easier.
3. Lose your fears: You now have a choice to make. Either the fears control you or you banish them so they no longer have control over you. If necessary get help, get the problem out into the open. What is the worse thing that can happen? The light of day will go a long way in making the networking fears a distant memory.
4. Build your networking career plan: Develop a networking plan to assist you in your job hunting after age 50. In any career change after age 50 you are stepping into a career unknown. So it’s vital to build a written career change networking plan. Take it one small step at a time. Need help in telephone inquiries? Practice until it becomes more natural.
Reluctant to meet new people? Work up to it slowly and practice how you will be learning something new from each contact. Doing an informational interview? Write out possible questions and again practice your approach. Your networking career change plan will have two main components: (1) Each skill or exercise, and (2) How often-daily, weekly you will engage in each networking activity. Keep good records of your progress.
5. Celebrate each step in your networking career plan: As you build your network of others helping you in your career change celebrate each step in your plan. If you plan on having lunch twice a week building up relationships with your network and you accomplish that planned task-do something special on Saturday. If you plan on finding 12 people working in you planned career and asking for a 10-15 minute informational interview, when completed; celebrate.
When you find five former classmates and co-workers and ask for their help; celebrate. If you go to a networking event and your plan is to find five people with similar interests and you call each of them; celebrate. If your plan is to work on a committee associated with your planned career and you make it happen; celebrate. The secret is to build on each success. Contact those you know and work outward. Whenever possible help others and always ask for referrals.
With continued research and experience in the best practices in networking helping you in your career change beyond age 50, each step will become easier. Others will ask you for networking advice and isn’t that what networking is all about; helping others. Moreover, don’t forget to continue your networking efforts when you find your dream career, your experience in career change and networking will be a terrific benefit to others.
For more about how career change planning and working your career plan with networking can help you find your dream job in a career that you’ll love. Discover up to date ideas and tips at http://careersafter50.com. You’ll find informative articles on career planning and job hunting along with stories of individuals just like you who successfully made after 50 career changes.
Using LinkedIn for your job search can be a powerful tool that can help you get noticed by potential employers. However, most people don’t really use it effectively to get noticed. Below are 4 steps you need to take to make your LinkedIn profile work for you in your job search.
1. Fill out your entire profile – Most people don’t take the time to complete their entire profile. In the name box make sure you provide a crisp description of how you want employers to perceive you.
If you want to be positioned as a “senior marketing executive” put those words in the introduction box.
You can include 2-3 other descriptions besides your work title depending on how you want to position yourself.
Also, make sure to include a professional picture, it’s a simple step that most people don’t do, but doing so will help you make the most of LinkedIn for your job search.
2. Optimize a primary term in your profile – Most people don’t know this but LinkedIn uses rudimentary search engine criteria to rank profiles. Although it is a social network first and foremost, it’s also a search engine for recruiters.
You’ll notice a search box on the top right of the LinkedIn page which usually defaults to “people” as a drop down choice. Recruiters enter a term such as “Vice President Marketing” or “Channel Business Development”. If you are using LinkedIn for your job search correctly your profile reflects the term in your background and positioning. The search will look at the number of instances of the specific term searched for in each profile. The profiles with the most references to a specific term get ranked higher.
Make sure you work in your primary term that you want to be positioned for in every place that is reasonable including your title profile, the summary box, the specialty box, and the experience section where each job description is listed.
This is an excellent way to use LinkedIn for Job Seekers as it helps you get noticed in the way you want to.
3. Ask For Recommendations – You can have people you have worked with to write a recommendation for you. One thing it does is to show what others think of you professionally, which does have value. Just make sure not to overdo it.
You only need 3-5 references to show a potential recruiter that people will say positive things about you.
We recommend you select potential recommendation authors with the types of companies you want to be associated with to support your positioning as it a perfect way to use LinkedIn for your job search. For example, if you work in wireless and want to show you have worked with companies in that space look for connections to larger name brand companies (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, Motorola, etc…) you may have relationships with. This way you can leverage companies you have worked with, not necessarily for.
By getting references you are associating brand names in a specific sector with you.
Recruiters will simply scan your profile and see those companies quickly which helps to form a positive opinion about you and your qualifications. This is an example of how to use your LinkedIn for your job search more effectively.
4. Use Social Media in your profile – If you write a blog or use social media, such as Twitter, and the content of either is relevant to how you want yourself positioned when a potential employer or recruiter looks at your profile, integrated into your profile.
For a blog feed go to the “More” drop down on the left hand tool bar and select “more applications” and find your blogging platform application you want to feed to your profile.
For Twitter users, consider attaching your Twitter feed, or at least add your Twitter handle (name) to your profile box.
Optimizing your profile on LinkedIn for your job search is a good use of time and can pay dividends to help get you noticed.
TX (Trevor) Jackson writes about employment and career issues and his current project Jobs That Pay Over 100K helps people find jobs in today’s highly competitive job market. His recently published book provides job seekers with innovative strategies and techniques to get noticed by employers and get job interviews.
At 50 years, I am starting over on a new career path.
It’s not too late. Not at all. You see, fearlessness is a perspective that the young do not have a monopoly on. The “No Fear” decal that appeared on back windows of trucks a few years back, I shrugged off… until now.
“No Fear” fits easier the with the “X-Games” generation than the with the “Wide World of Sports” generation.
Nevertheless, I find myself now in a unsettled place, an economy, a job market, where movement is a must. Staying put means a declining real income as inflation edges upward. Gradually, being jobbed-out by young executives, carrying bigger debts at home, living more expensively with no new extravagances, it is like entering a haunted house and losing the way out.
It is scarier to “stay put” than to peer into unknown rooms. Something different, something new, something expansive. A second career.
At fifty, the key to removing the fear of starting over in pursuit of a new career translates into, literally, trying an online opportunity. Online, I am free to continue to grow as a professional, yet able to market my unique skillset in the world. Online Branding. Online Marketing. Online Anything, really.
If I were to pursue a new career, a new job that is really trading a specific number of my breathing hours per day for a specific dollar amount in a paycheck, then, yeah, I would be hard pressed to start over. Picture me leaning back, holding my hands upside down, behing my back and wincing the words, “Ouch!”
My breathing is shorter these days, my stamina less. You, too? Over 50? Well, listen, ever since I joined the 50+ Club, I pushed my mind to embrace it with a positive outlook.
In fact, one thing I did to scare away my “fifties” fears is to spend time hangin’ with 20-somethings. I met some new “youngsters” who are making tens of thousands of dollars per month on the internet. I was floored. I decided to learn from them. And — don’t tell them — subliminally absorb their youth. Yee Haw!
Something has changed in the world of talent, in the world of information, in the world of entertainment, and commerce, and services. It is a shift in the “fearless” generation. A change that has catapulted this midlife man who was dreading a new career decision. Not any longer. The Internet world rescued me.
The Internet has opened up vistas upon vistas (Microsoft pun not intended). Okay. The Internet has opened up an entire new solar system of possibilities. The options to market my ideas over the Internet, to work from home on the Internet, to develop new skills based upon the Internet, and well… it is simply phenomenal.
It means I have no fear and no doubts about changing my career at fifty. And it should mean that same thing for any of you deciding to expand your life from fifty onwards.
Eugene Harnett is a business and success consultant. He runs a Real Estate Investment firm and an Internet Marketing Business. He expands your knowledge, urging you to be the best possible person you can be in both life and in business. His experience covers 30 years of working in sales, in the ministry, and in the civic arena. He offers a panoramic, yet piquant, view on matters of human importance. Try him. HighIncomeNetwork
The first networking event (a “Mixer”) that I ever went to was right after I was terminated by a company where I was part of a “big, happy family” in a massive, nation-wide reduction in force. I was probably still in “shell shock” but I knew that networking was an important part of getting my next job. I paid for the event, bought a new outfit, worked up a clear, concise elevator pitch, and forced myself to go. Since it was local, I was sure that I would see people I knew when I got there. I was shy but I knew I could leverage my diminished confidence with the friends I would see in the room. When I got there, there were more than 200 total strangers. I stood just inside the door, off to the side, my back against the wall, for about 20 minutes of sheer terror and fled. I was out $50 for the event, more than that for the outfit but that would be reusable for interviews, and completely stressed out by my utter failure at my first networking effort.
What would have made the difference? What could I have done to get a better outcome? I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills. I heard this a while ago and did one of those slap to the forehead “duh” moments. I could have turned around and that would have turned around the whole experience.
When you arrive at any kind of mixer, forget that you’re shy if you are. Forget that your confidence is at a low point. Pretend to be confident, sure of yourself, easy to connect with. Stand off to the side a little, just inside the door, and greet people as they enter. You’ll not only help them break the ice, you’ll seem like someone who belongs there, someone they want to know. Ask them what they do. Show interest in their response. When they are done, let them know what you do and, maybe, how you might have an opportunity to collaborate. It’s something like the song from The King and I, “Whenever I feel afraid, I whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid.” Just like the song says, the result is that you’ll fool yourself as well. The event may have started with you pretending but it will end with you making real life mutually beneficial connections with other professionals. Try it – it works.
Conclusion: Networking supports your job search best with confident, clear, concise communication of your value and a sincere effort at mutual support. Don’t waste the effort you put into developing your clear, concise message go to waste. Face the opportunity head on!
Got drama in your workplace? Drama comes from confusion and resulting dissatisfaction. Put a solid, structured business system and clear, concise communication in place and end the drama.
Joy Montgomery converts business requirements to system specifications, presentations, and documents in a way that strengthens teams – a friendly way. She puts you in a position to succeed with consistently satisfied customers and employees.
“Which are the best social networks to use for job search?” That’s a good question with no clear-cut answer, as it depends on your definition of “best.” There are an overwhelmingly large number of social networks, and new ones being created weekly. Examples include business social network sites, more socially-oriented networks sites, photo and music sharing social network sites, dating social network sites, highly vertical professional social network sites, and social network aggregation sites.
Each one is slightly different. And none have the same type of social network members. But just because there are many social networks, it doesn’t mean that you need to join a large number of them.
To avoid information overload, start by focusing on just one or two networks. Facebook and LinkedIn are two great choices. Once you become familiar with these two main networks, the transition to any other network will be an easy one. You will already have your content in place, so it is just a matter of making a few tweaks to accommodate the social network specifics.
Due to its focus and Fortune 500 pedigree, LinkedIn is a tremendous channel to leverage in your people-search. Bear in mind, though, that you can only connect directly to people in your own personal network. No introduction is needed; just send them an ‘invitation’). To safeguard its unique niche, respect its members’ time, and eliminate potential spamming, or UCE (unsolicited commercial email), LinkedIn does not allow you to connect to people beyond your personal network.
Connecting to the contacts of one of your personal network acquaintances is highly recommended to vastly expand your personal network. These are individuals who are one time or two times removed from your personal network. You will need an “introduction” to be made on your behalf by your acquaintance to their contact. This helps to maintain the high quality of LinkedIn’s online network.
LinkedIn’s features include a profile page that is customizable by adding a head-shot image, personal/business information, email address, and other relevant information. Users can seek endorsements from past clients or colleagues who are willing to provide testimonials on their behalf. This is a great way to build you credibility and have potential recruiters, employers, and consultants learn more about you.
Groups within LinkedIn will provide you with the ability to research and join specific groups of interest around product/services, markets/industries, or other focal points. This, too, is a great way to expand your presence/brand and network via people-searching.
The Answers feature within LinkedIn offers the ability to pose questions to your network if looking for solutions to a business problem or market research. These questions are posed and emailed only to your personal network, and you have the ability to mail to all or to be selective about who will receive your message. This also enables you to reply to questions you receive from others in your network, and it’s a fabulous tool for positioning yourself by adding value and demonstrating your willingness to help and offer solutions to others.
NOTE:Do not use this vehicle to ‘sell’ or ‘solicit’ business. This is a surefire way to isolate yourself from the very network that can help you. The business that does come your way will arrive more indirectly as a result of your ‘contributions’ in asking/answering questions and providing value.
By inviting others to join your network, you can increase your network of professional contacts and broaden your connections exponentially. You can identify potential connections via LinkedIn’s search functionality.
The other place to start with social media is Facebook. whose sheer size makes it the largest online social networking site and one of the Internet’s most trafficked destinations. When many people think of Facebook, they envision it as the place where college students post photos from parties and attempt to hook up with romantic partners. However, this social networking site is now a dynamo that has been increasingly embraced by individuals over 25.
Today it is a viable place for professionals to network with the ultimate goal of finding their next jobs. So despite their high number of younger users, don’t look down on Facebook or MySpace. Recruiters and HR mine these huge pools of social communities every day, looking for candidates for their job assignments.
Why ignore such a potentially rich source of contacts that can help you in many different ways? Whereas LinkedIn is more business focused, Facebook and MySpace are just the opposite. They emphasize the ‘social’ component of the phrase ‘social media.”
That means you will need to be more deliberate when setting up your profile if you’re new to these sites. You also should consider modifying your profile if you’re a current member to take a more professional approach with it. You may wish to forgo filling out certain sections that make it seem too personal (e.g., relationship status, interested in, favorite books/movies).
That said, you won’t want to eliminate your personal side. You’ll want some personal aspects so as to demonstrate your authenticity as a qualified individual. Also, letting part of “you” show through helps make you more multidimensional. Noting some of your unique interests, hobbies, and pursuits can help others make more of a ‘connection’ with you. These qualities can humanize you. It’s always easier to write off a candidate who is no more than a name on a page along with some job experiences as opposed to someone who comes off as a real person.
Let’s face it: People hire people, not profiles. This is what makes informational meetings so important. They enable you to explore career opportunities and learn about those who are working in an industry or company you might like to enter. While social networking can make connecting all the more efficient, it still doesn’t replace the face-to-face meeting.
Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author, and trainer. Her most recent books include The Social Media Survival Guide (Also available in Spanish), The Online Job Search Survival Guide, and S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP: The Secrets of Repeatable Business Success. She is frequently cited by the national media as an expert in social media. She is Director of Communications, External Affairs, and a Lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
To schedule an individual consultation or group workshop on online job-search, visit http://www.OnlineJobSearchBook.com.
Below is a telephone script you can use to follow up the emailed resume’s or web applications you’ve submitted. This is not exact, but it’s a start. As you use it, edit it so you’re more comfortable with it. After a while you’ll have the script memorized and it will come easy. Also, feel free to ad-lib. It will sound more natural. Finally don’t get tied to a script. If the conversation moves in another direction, go with it. The key is to be relaxed and natural. This will be difficult at first, but will become easier the more you do it. If you blow it, don’t worry, you get to do it 10 more times tomorrow (if you’re using my “Selling Yourself Into a Job” system.)
Practice this several (MANY) times before you make your first call. Print a copy for you and a friend and practice with them (this is easier with a glass of wine or beer…trust me.) Have your friend ad-lib to so they can try to throw you off the script, since this will probably happen on most calls
Have fun with this. If you enjoy it, the people on the other end of the phone will sense it and will be more engaging. Smile when you talk; people can actually tell when your smiling over the phone.
Hello, my name is _________________ and I’m calling to confirm that you received the resume’ I emailed you a couple of days ago. Do you recall seeing it?
NO, who did you send it to?
I sent it to (Contact Name) (or, I applied in the employment section of your web page, or I entered some notes in your “Contact Us” Section of the web page)
I don’t recall seeing it. When did you send it?
I sent it two days ago (or on Monday.)
It usually takes several days to review these
OK, I understand. When should I call back? (after they answer, go to “Ending the Call” below.)
I did receive it. We currently don’t have any positions open, but we’ll keep it on file in case a position opens
I appreciate that. I know you’re busy, but can I ask one more question? Is this the best way to apply for a position at your company?
They may say, yes, or provide some advice, or say anything. Be prepared for a conversation. Take brief notes and then either ask additional questions or End The Call.
I didn’t receive it. Resume’s and applications usually go to (someone’s name.)
I see. Can you connect me with him/her?
I’m afraid they are unavailable.
May I have their voice mail? If you get their voicemail, Leave the following message.
“Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m calling to follow up on a resume’ I sent you on Monday.
or (to follow up on an application I submitted on your web site on Monday)
or (to follow up on a message I submitted to your web site on Monday.)
I’m interested in learning more about employment opportunities at (Company Name) and specifically, a position in the (Department Name) doing (brief job description.)
If you have a few minutes, I’d like to talk to you about my qualifications and how I believe I can help (Company Name) (Value Proposition: Examples are; “to retain their customers by creating a positive customer service experience”…”to increase its revenues by creating compelling marketing messages”…”to become more efficient by accurately managing the information you collect and retain.”) Pick one of these or create one of your own for each position you apply for.
If you’d like to learn more about my qualifications and experience you can contact me at (Phone Number) Say the number slowly and clearly, then repeat it at a normal pace.
Thanks for your time today. I look forward to speaking with you.
PS: If you get through to the person you want to speak with, you can use this same script. Just stop after each paragraph as they respond to you and/or follow their lead in the conversation.
ENDING THE CALL
Thank you very much for your time today. You’ve been very helpful. If all the people at (Company Name) are as friendly as you, it must be a great place to work! (Be prepared for any type of response at this point; either more conversation or an end to the call.)
If you found this article helpful and would like to learn more about my “Selling Yourself Into a Job” system, visit my website at http://www.bilkswansen.com. All the resources and tips are free.
Thanks for reading my article.
Bill Swansen, [email protected], 760-525-4260
Bill Swansen is a expert author on the subject of job search techniques. He as helped dozens of people find their ideal job using a systematic approach to the job search process. Bill has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and has applied the techniques he’s used in his career to create a system to help people find employment. Bill’s website discusses the system he developed and provides visitors with a wealth of resources to help them find a job and thrive once they’ve been hired.
The LinkedIn social networking site is a valuable platform for job hunters to make contacts with potential employers or clients. Take advantage of the profile page to make an advertisement for your unique skills and abilities.
The first thing you’ll want to do is complete your LinkedIn profile. Take your time to do it as well as you can, and return and tweak it often. It’s like a job application, except that it goes out to all kinds of people you would never have a chance to talk to otherwise.
1. Post a Photo
It doesn’t need to be a professional shot, but it should represent you as a competent professional in your field. Your facial expression should be friendly and alert, and the photo should be appropriate for the kind of job you’re looking for.
2. Benefits of Hiring You
As you write your profile, think about what you offer to the reader, not what the reader can give you. So instead of saying that you’re looking for a job, tell the reader what kind of problems you solve.
A landscaper might say that he increases the value of homes. A day care provider might say that she provides peace of mind to working parents. Those are called benefit statements, and they put what you do in terms of what the employer or buyer really wants or needs.
3. Keep to Relevant Education and Job History
When you come to the education and job history, put in what is relevant to your current job search and leave out what’s not. No one is looking at this as an exhaustive job history, only an indication of your qualifications for the job you’re looking for.
4. Get Recommendations
Recommendations are an important part of your profile. Collect and display them. Ask people who have been happy with your work to recommend you. Even if you did something for free for a relative, have the person set up a free LinkedIn account and say what a good job you did.
Also, be generous in recommending other people, because what goes around really does come around.
Your Competence: Your Value
Change and tweak your profile page every week or so until you feel really good about it. Get feedback from friends and trusted mentors. Once you have gotten it the way you want it, go back every month or so and update it to keep the information current and find other tweaks you might want to make.
Include your profile URL on your resume, business cards, and other places around the web where you show your expertise, such as your blog, your YouTube profile pages, and other places.
You can get a shorter, more user-friendly URL for your profile page by going to the menu tab “Profile.” Select “Edit My Profile.” At the tab where it says, “Your Public Profile URL,” click [Edit]. You’ll be able to put your name or some good keywords into the blank, and if the URL is available, you’ll be able to use that.
More people will see this than will see your resume, so your job search will be well served if you make your LinkedIn profile the best it can be and keep it fresh.
By Jan Bear. To get valuable insider tips on how job hunters can use social marketing sites to get a job fast and how to make the most of the opportunities each one affords, see Job Hunter’s Guide to Social Media.
This one goes out to anyone in the job search funk. You feel like you’ve done it all and you’re worn out. You probably debate with yourself if it’s even worth continuing to look for a job, especially if you hear that some people aren’t even landing-just “touching down” briefly, to be sent back into unemployment several months later.
It completely stinks. I’ve been there. I conducted my last job search 9 years ago in an era of Internet dialup where I had to tightly schedule my online time vs. my phone availability for employers to contact me. On top of that, I wanted to relocate. And I was coming from a career in the performing arts-talk about worrying that employers would have no clue about understanding my transferrable skills.
I’ve also gotten jobs through networking, headhunters and putting myself in a position to meet the CEO of my target company. I have “worked it”, and this era requires the same tenacity and creativity.
So here’s a few inspirational stories that I’m noticing about my clients who are getting interviews and landing.
#1: Shortly after being laid off, a client contacted a vendor he worked with regularly. They didn’t have anything for him at the time, but were very interested in his background. They realized he’d be a great addition to their team because he had actually used their product, liked it, and could speak as a peer to their customers. Stop thinking of all sales opportunities as if you’d be selling used cars. Successful salespeople are far more consultative and knowledgeable than pushy-especially in this environment where people recognize value over flash. He contacted them 3 months later, and they were able to make an opening for him.
The moral: Be open to new directions and proactively keep in touch with everyone. Don’t assume that they would have contacted you if something opened up.
#2: Another client had been on the hunt for over a year. At one point she was very close to landing an opportunity with a local corporation, and at the same time a friend of hers was interviewing at a firm in DC. Unfortunately a few days before they were about to extend the offer to her, the company locked down in a hiring freeze and the job dried up. As fate would have it, the opportunity in DC wasn’t a fit for her friend, but was a great fit for her. She interviewed there, they loved her, and even paid her relocation expenses.
The moral: Keep everyone updated on your search. Don’t wait for them to ask you, and if a job isn’t a good fit for you-actively reach out to your friends who may be interested.
#3: I had done a resume for a client who had a very specific niche job at a large corporation. I was worried that there really wasn’t a large pool of jobs out there for her to choose from. I also made her a softer customer service-targeted resume, and explained to her exactly which positions this would be good for, and how to read job descriptions. She ended up needing to simplify what I sent her even further to land an opportunity as an administrative assistant.
The moral: There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume. They will need to be targeted for the position, and the clients who are doing it well are reading job descriptions, pulling out the job requirements and writing their accomplishments relative to what the employer is looking for. Job descriptions are the equivalent of open book tests. They’re telling you exactly what they want-why are you sending them a resume and cover letter that doesn’t fit?
Melanie Szlucha has been a hiring manager for over 15 years and a career coach for over 4 through her company Red Inc. She writes resumes, coaches clients for job interviews, and works with them to strategize networking opportunities and job search tactics.
She offers a packet of FREE job search articles–worth over $100, through her website: http://www.reallygreatresume.com.
Following her on Twitter gives you one great job search tip per day for free!
Do you know how to make meaningful connections via LinkedIn to HR professionals and/or company executives? I certainly don’t, and so if you can inform me, I would be happy to learn. I have heard from no small number of people that are disappointed with their LinkedIn results, and in many cases, when you delve into the problem, the cause is a mistaken focus or understanding of what is appropriate to expect from this medium.
However, and I don’t want to brag, when I send out short introduction messages to people on LinkedIn that I have never met, I get more than a one-third response rate. That is phenomenal as any sales person who has ever made cold calls knows. This is just one of the many reasons that I love LinkedIn; you can easily identify and reach a wide variety of professionals that can serve as excellent resources for you whatever your objectives are.
While I think that LinkedIn is an excellent resource, this site is not able to change certain laws of nature. One of these is that it is extremely difficult to start conversations with HR people and/or company executives, especially when you are totally unknown to them. These are by definition very busy individuals, with a large number of people asking for their time daily. Do not think that simply because you are approaching by LinkedIn, they will magically become more accessible. It doesn’t happen this way.
So, if your target is HR recruiters / executives, does this mean that LinkedIn will not be useful for you? Certainly not! However, you do need to consider your options:
Is it really the recruiters/executives that are the best target for you? This of course depends upon your objective. If your employment goal is found in the HR or executive realm, then clearly the people suited to network with are those in similar roles. LinkedIn can be used to identify the relevant players, as well as their current employers, and sometimes other people that are personally connected to them that you also know. At this point, your HR/executive cleverness needs to be used to its fullest, finding a way to get to them by telephone via the company switchboard, or by gaining access through a mutual acquaintance. It is very rare that sending a message, via LinkedIn or otherwise, will get you a response. Article by Ron Machol