I want a job! It could be you or you know somebody who is looking. Are you looking for summer employment, part time job, full time job or a career position? You may be young, old or in the middle, it does not matter! What should you do?
If you are unemployed or looking for work, getting a job is hard! There is too much competition and too few jobs. What do you do? You need to be in front of people who have an opening or people who know of such openings. It is called networking. Isn’t everyone networking? How can you do it differently? First you need to get their ear.
Find your audience
Start with your rolodex! If you are too young to know what a rolodex is, start with everyone you know. This means think of all your bosses, colleagues, employees and associates. Add your friends and other people you know. Don’t forget professional associates such as your accountant, banker, and attorney. These are people who will be consulted when openings do occur.
You now have your network! What are you going to say to them when you see them? Remember you are selling or marketing you. Start selling! Just sending out your resume does not work in this market. Prepare some sales points that would make someone want to hire you. What makes you special? Most employers want someone who will help their company grow and solve problems.
It is probably easier to just send out resumes, but it won’t get you the job. Your next step is to figure out what a specific company is looking for and make yourself the solution. It requires research! The Internet makes it much easier though. Finding a job requires marketing yourself even if you are not a sales person. Place yourself in the role of the hiring manager. What are they looking for in an employee? How to make yourself the ideal candidate?
After you figure out what they are looking for in a candidate, prepare your sales pitch. Make your pitch as solutions to their problems. You are matching your skills and experience to what they want. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The hard part is getting the right people to listen to you. The right people are people who have openings or know of openings. You are trying to convince them that you are the right solution to their problem.
What are you willing to do to get that job? If you want to publish a book; you need to prove you have a following. Publishers expect to take no risk in publishing your book. How can you convince an employer that you can do the job? One way that worked for me was to show examples of my work. Use of technology can be as simple as a creating a website, use Twitter to market yourself or Facebook as part of your marketing yourself. Online job search and sending resumes place you with the rest of the herd applying for a job.
How else can you market yourself? There are recruiters who may specialize in a particular industry or segment. Unless you know one, you will need to research that has an exclusive job listing. If it is not exclusive, then every recruiter is competing to get their candidate interviewed. That is almost the same as just sending out resumes. You want no competition or just a couple of other candidates.
Informational interviews work. You find people who are doing what you want to do. You contact enough people to get interviews. You are not asking for a job, but you are marketing yourself. Your goal is to impress them enough that they pick up the phone to call someone for you. Either you walk away with a referral or another contact. You won!
By now you made a lot of contacts. Just like a sales call, no one just immediately says yes! You have to sell them on you. Thank you notes, follow up and tenacity works. Don’t ignore any opportunities and try all of them because you do not know where your next job is coming from. Better yet don’t wait until you lose your job to network. Have you ever run across people who are lured away to a bigger and better job? It could be you. Do you know any job seekers or are you looking to make a change? I want a job
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