Networking is a critical part of your job search. Often, job seekers will admit that networking is their least favorite part of looking for new opportunities. Networking, like all other uncomfortable tasks in life, can be avoided with a variety of excuses. These excuses need to be addresses, evaluated and then overcome. Networking is absolutely necessary if you want to secure employment within a reasonable amount of time.
The following are a few of the most common excuses given when a job seeker doesn’t want to network:
I’m too busy – first define what “busy” means. We can all be too busy to avoid doing things that we don’t want to do. You need to prioritize your day and see where your job search falls in order of importance. If you are seeking employment and need a new opportunity now, then you need to be “busy” working on your job search! If you are unemployed, you should make searching for a new opportunity your full time job. If you are currently networking, one way to drastically increase your job leads is to make increases in your number of contacts. Even small increases can have very positive impact on your search. If you make only one new contact every day, that is 30 new active job leads every day! You are not too busy to meet one new person!
I’m too shy – this is a very common statement. The truth is that most people feel that they are not outgoing enough to network. If you attend an event focused on networking, you need to remind yourself that most of the professionals there are also uncomfortable. You need to stay focused on the reason why you are at the event. It is not necessary for you to make friends or to talk with numerous people. It is more effective to watch, listen and then make your move. Attempt to target those professionals who can advance your search! One additional approach is to talk with others with the idea that you might be able to assist them. Keep in mind that quality contacts are better than a quantity of contacts.
I really don’t need help from others – this excuse doesn’t really count as an excuse! If you are in a job search, you need help from anyone who will help! It is your responsibility to tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new opportunity. Go a step further and ask them to ask others if they know of any job leads. This is networking, it is as simple as asking others to keep their eyes open for you. Many times resumes are passed on, interviews are scheduled and jobs are offered because a name was mentioned by the “right person.”
While the word “Networking” may initially seem like a lot of work. It may also seem intimidating. The truth is; it necessary and it is extremely effective in your job search.
Once you practice the skill of networking, your confidence will build and your results will positively impact your overall search!
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Job-seekers are figuring out from harsh personal experience — the best teacher there is — that the traditional job-search machine is broken. It doesn’t work. You could literally lob applications into automated recruiting sites forever and never get a job. To get hired and especially to get a job that deserves your talents, you have to take a more proactive approach.
You don’t have to follow the traditional job-search rules or even the rules laid out in employers’ own job ads. You are not responsible for reading job ads! You can reach out to anyone you like, and I encourage you to reach out to hiring managers at every organization on your Target Employer List.
You will find your specific hiring manager like this, and then you’ll send him or her a paper letter in the mail, the old-fashioned way. Your letter is called a Pain Letter because it digs into the most likely source of Business Pain to be vexing your hiring manager right now.
When you send your hiring manager a pithy Pain Letter along with your one- or two-page Human-Voiced Resume, you will make much stronger and more relevant impression than your automated application could ever do.
Your direct approach to your hiring manager is one important job-search channel. Two other channels to get up and running are your Networking channel and your Consulting channel. It is imperative for you to get consulting business cards (for instance, at Vistaprint online) and give them out to everyone you know and everyone you meet. You are creating a new persona for yourself.
You are not a lowly and desperate job-seeker, but rather a consultant! The more time and thought you give to your fledgling consulting business, the more effective a networker and a job-seeker you will become!
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Why is that? It’s because business consultants are experts in solving thorny problems. They are intimately familiar with the problems their employers and clients run into most often, and the cost of those problems to clients until they get solved. You have to know the same thing. Your investment of time and energy in developing your new consulting business will shed light on the areas where your Pain-Solving abilities will have the most impact.
Here are three techniques every job-seeker should incorporate into his or her job-search approach. In combination these three shifts in your job-search methodology and mindset will cut your job-search time in half.
The concept of Business Pain can revolutionize your job search. When you know before you reach out to a hiring manager how you can solve his or her most likely problem rather than just performing a function, you have power in the hiring equation.
Nancy used Business Pain to equalize the traditionally unequal power relationship when she was job-hunting. Nancy researched each employer she approached before she ever reached out to them and she didn’t apply for jobs through faceless Black Hole recruiting sites. Nancy is an administrative assistant. She knows how administrative hassles slow organizations down and cost them money and customers.
Her branding doesn’t say “I’m a skilled Administrator.” It talks about the aggravation and costs associated with a disorganized office, instead! Nancy knows how to solve that kind of Business Pain. That’s why she never stays unemployed.
Nancy sent a Pain Letter to the CEO of each company on her target employer list, and in her letter she focused on missed appointments, out-of-date office systems and the confusion that results when an overbooked CEO lacks a capable first mate to manage his or her calendar. Nancy got a job in six weeks because she didn’t go the job market hat-in-hand, but rather as the solution to a stressed-out CEO’s problem.
Get Out Fast
Nancy and every other Mojofied Job Seeker knows this about a job search: there are many more hiring managers who won’t appreciate your brand of jazz than those who will. The last thing Nancy wants to do is waste time running down an opportunity that shows all the signs of going nowhere. Nancy trusts her gut. If she gets a weird feeling or the sense that she’s beating her head against the wall in one opportunity, she doesn’t stick around. She moves on!
The key to becoming a Mojofied Job Seeker is to believe in yourself and back up that belief with a highly-targeted, carefully-researched approach to a few employers that you choose — the opposite of the traditional, thoughtless ‘Spray and Pray’ approach.
Nancy knows the names of every hiring manager she has in her sights. She doesn’t take the view “Somebody will hire me!” but rather goes after her target managers one by one. Her Pain Letters are thoroughly researched before she sends them out and her Human-Voiced Resume is customized for every opportunity.
We all like to feel that people have taken time and invested energy to learn about us when they approach us with a sales pitch. Hiring managers are no different! You can get your job search moving the same way Nancy did. It takes a shift in mindset and a new methodology, but the benefits are enormous!
Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Follow her on Twitter. Read the rest of Liz's Forbes.com columns here.
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As the experts job seekers turn to during the job search, we all have go-to pieces of advice we dish out when they need support. But with so many changes happening in the way people find jobs, are some of our traditional job search tips becoming outdated?
Just as we know longer encourage job seekers to send out their resumes through snail mail, there are other pieces of advice we need to take out of our repertoire.
Here are four common job search tips we need to stop telling our job seekers:
1. “Keep your nonprofessional social media profiles private.”
When social media first became popular, job seekers were told to hide their Facebook and Twitter pages from the scrutiny of employers and recruiters. One inappropriate comment or unprofessional photo could cost them their dream job. But now, not being able to find a job seeker on social media is just as bad.
A 2015 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 35 percent of employers are less likely to hire someone if they can’t find out about them online.
What we need to be telling job seekers now is how to manage and leverage social media to their advantage during the job search. It’s important for them to have a professional LinkedIn profile, as well as other social media presence that supports the credentials on their resume.
That’s not to say job seekers shouldn’t post personal things on social media. On the contrary, employers look at their profiles to get an idea of their personality and culture fit. We just need to remind them to not post anything they wouldn’t want their grandma, or a recruiter, to see.
2. “Look for new opportunities.”
This may seem like one of the timeless job search tips, but it’s becoming more common for employees to return to their old employers — and for their bosses to welcome them back with open arms.
A 2015 survey found that over three quarters of HR professionals and nearly two thirds of managers were more willing to rehire an old employee than in the past.
If your job seeker left a company on good terms, have them reconsider it as a possible place of employment. There might be better opportunities for them and the organization may even be willing to pay more knowing first hand what a qualified employee they are.
3. “Mobile devices are good for researching jobs, but not for applying for them.”
Smartphones and the rise of mobile websites have made it incredibly easy for job seekers to search on the go. And we’ve always encouraged them to do so. But when it came to submitting resumes, cover letters, or filling out applications they needed to use a computer.
This was simply because that’s where most people had those types of job search documents stored.
However, now with cloud apps, job seekers have access to everything they need. A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that, out of the adults who used their smartphone during the job search, 50 percent had filled out an application with their phone and 23 percent created a resume or cover letter.
So instead of telling job seekers that they need to divide their job search tasks between devices, find out which apps can help them do it all mobily.
4. “Cater your cover letters and resumes to the company.”
OK, so this isn’t bad advice. But job seekers shouldn’t be sneaking in references to a company’s community involvement so the hiring manager will like them more.
It’s a subtle difference, but instead of finding an open position and then looking for any connection they have with the company, job seekers need to create their own priorities for organizations and then find what organizations fit them.
Company culture is important, and just as companies make lists of the qualities that constitute a good fit, job seekers need to make their own criteria of what will mesh with their personality. Then, when they find a job that meets those needs, they can point out authentic connections in their cover letter and resumes.
What other common job search tips are becoming outdated? Share in the comments below!
When we first met 'Joan' her job search was in chaos!
She was a well qualified candidate for her field. Joan's credentials were best in class and she had the kind of employment tenure companies want. But she was all over the place in her search - applying online, no consistent follow up, never really preparing for interviews. Once she got herself organized and re-launched her search like a project manager might do, she had a big increase in results. More than that, her level of frustration and anxiety decreased and she became more relaxed and confident in her follow up calls, networking meetings, and job interviews
Sometimes all it take is to just get a bit more organized. There are lot of tools available to help you make the most of your job search efforts. Some of the best are right under your nose and you don't even realize its there!
A Free Job Search Tool
One of those tools is Google Drive. You've probably heard of it. It is a free tool Google offers that can help take your job search organization to another level. Recently we ran across a great article that shows you six ways you can use Google Drive in your job search. We've provided a link for you below. Take a look and try some of these ideas. Let us know what works for you and how it has impacted your job search. Your feedback will allow us to help many others as well!
Are you racing toward the finish line of getting a new job? Or are you stuck in the pits with your job search?
There are few simple steps you can take to super-charge your search. To beat your competition, however, you need to do the things other job seekers aren't doing.
In this short video you'll learn simple, easy to implement steps, so you can accelerate your search and get to your new job quicker. Don't forget to download a PDF transcript of this video at the bottom of the page.
In today’s world having the best resume you can is essential. Life happens and sometimes you encounter employment gaps in your resume. If you don’t know how to handle these gaps they can severely hurt your ability to find a new job. In this article we are going to teach you how to handle these gaps like a professional and come out looking better in the end.
Do you have a legitimate reason for having a gap in your resume? There are many different reasons that you could have a gap in your resume that can be easily explained in a way that a potential employer would completely understand. The most important thing to do about gaps in your resume is to have an explanation that you can give to a potential future employer.
If you are out of work for a while it is important that you spend that time doing something productive. Doing volunteer work is a great way to handle time away from being employed. You can actually list volunteer work on your resume and cite it as a core value of yours that you help others out. If you are out of work and not volunteering, start now.
EMPLOYERS WILL UNDERSTAND
One reason people cannot relocate today is because they are care providers for family members. If you were providing care for a family member and you needed to leave your full time job to do so, this is a perfectly valid reason. Many people want to shy away from saying that they were taking care of a family member. Employers understand these issues arise. Be sure to stress that now you are out of the role of caregiver and do not foresee needing to take up that role again any time in the future. They want to know that you are now available.
Another good reason for having an employment gap in your resume is that you did not believe in doing a job search while working. Explain that your ethics dictated that you focus all of your time working on the job you had so when it came time to leave it was also time to start looking for a job.
Continuing your education is never a bad thing, it shows employers that you want to better yourself and fulfill your role to the best of your ability. When it comes to going back to school though, most people need to leave their job in order to focus all of the time and energy on their education. Make sure to list going back to school on your resume and explain to employers that you were looking to better yourself by going back to school.
PACK YOUR BAGS!
Yet another one of the major reasons for having an employment gap in your resume is spending time traveling. Like education, traveling can actually be a big benefit if you are looking for certain jobs. Spending time traveling shows that you have experience with other cultures. Jobs that require you to interact with different cultures or travel will look upon time spent traveling as a benefit. Make sure to explain that you were spending time traveling during your interview and, if relevant, mention it in your cover letter.
Many people include consulting projects as different jobs on their resumes. Instead of this, list consulting as only ONE job on your resume. Put the time you were consulting as one period and then in points under that job put the different consulting contracts you worked. If you list each consulting project as a different job it makes employers think you are just bouncing around between jobs. Remember they are usually just glancing at resumes before actually reading them.
Having an employment gap in your resume can be a red flag during the hiring process. Prepare to discuss the reasons before the interview or make sure your resume reflects the reasons you were without a job (consulting, education, volunteer work). Having a gap on your resume doesn’t have to kill you. Just make sure that you can prove that you have done something productive during that gap.
Are you networking on LinkedIn or are you just fire hosing the network with your presence? There is a real difference and that difference will have a dramatic impact on your LinkedIn jobs networking results. Our friend Alon Blankstein writes a post that explains. When you are a Linkedin jobs networker follow Alon's advice.
LinkedIn is without a doubt one of the better social networking platforms out there and probably the best for cultivating a business oriented social network. But somewhere along the way many have lost the real meaning of what it is to network. I think I was also lost there for a second or two. I remember in the early days of LinkedIn, the innocent days, I would have gladly accepted almost anyone that asked to connect, it was not a bad concept at the time but things have changed fast.
LinkedIn Jobs From Mega Networkers
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Today we have mega networkers that developed their LinkedIn skills in to an art and some have turned it into an Olympic challenge to gather as many contacts as they can, some even passing the 30k contact limit and opening additional profiles!! Some taking it to such an extreme that they feel the need to post the number of contacts they have at the head of their profile, as this is the first and foremost achievement that they would like to be recognized by!!, For me this is a huge turnoff. What they all have in common is that they don’t really manage their network, do very little if any screening when accepting invitations to connect and they are becoming a breeding ground and a stepping stone for SPAMERs and worst people with Criminal intent to launch their LinkedIn profile.
The Right Way for LinkedIn Jobs Networking
So how can we change all that? How should we conduct ourselves when faced with an invite to connect from someone we do not know? .. Well 1st if you see no common ground for networking, then just don’t. Take the time to read his/her profile, get to know this potential connection. Check for mutual contacts and ask them to act as a reference. Communicate, ask for the reason for connecting, just NETWORK, is this not what social networking is all about?
I still believe LinkedIn to be the ultimate social networking tool, and i hear many voice an opinion that LinkedIn management should put a greater efforts to address this growing alarming trend, maybe they should and they probably are ... BUT I think the blame 1st and fore most falls on us all .. How we conduct ourselves, What we would like our network to look like .. and .. What are we willing to do to make it so ..
Don’t Miss the Powerful Career Acceleration
Potential of LinkedIn
Last week I was talking with someone about where they wanted their career to go and we got on the topic of how to use social media as a networking tool.
"You mean like Facebook?" the person asked.
"No", I said, "I mean like LinkedIn. In case you haven't noticed, there are over 400 million business and professional people on LinkedIn. You can't ignore something that that and be serious about your career."
If you spend anytime on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc... you probably don't need just another social network to waste your time. I agree. However, LinkedIn is not a waste. It is not a waste to employers. It is not a waste to executives leading corporations. It is not a waste to business people looking for your skills and experience! In fact, when you list skills on your profile you get 13 times more views!
IT'S JUST STRANGE!
Not having an up-to-date presence on LinkedIn is like a business without a website. It is just strange!
Like a business website your profile needs to be optimized. It needs to be engaging to encourage people to reach out to you. You can be a passive member on LinkedIn and still get a lot of value. Optimizing your profile is not hard. It takes a little thought and time. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it as well. You can find a lot of information on the web about optimizing your profile.
One way to gain a high level of engagement on LinkedIn is by adding some video to your profile. This is very easy to do. Just draft a quick, 30 to 60 second personal value proposition and record it with your mobile device or webcam. Save it to YouTube and paste the embed link into your LinkedIn profile.
Here's a short tutorial I did about how to add this to your profile...
30 MINUTE CAREER INVESTMENT
There are some other things you can do to increase egagement and your network on LinkedIn. It doesn't take hours a day to be Active on LinkedIn. It does take a focused effort and setting aside perhaps 30 minutes each week. Most busy professionals can squeeze in 30 minutes a week to keep their careers on the fast track.
Here are three simple things you can do on a regular basis to stay tapped into the career building power of LinkedIn:
Keep your profile up to date. Don’t wait until you need a job to update your profile. You never know when the perfect opportunity is trolling the LinkedIn directory looking for a profile just like yours. This can’t happen if you haven’t updated your profile in the past few years.
Write a reference for people you work for. Not only is this highly appreciated, but the odds are very strong that you’ll get a glowing reference back from them. Give and you shall receive.
Join and participate in groups. Answer one question a week. Comment on a link someone posted. Be sure to answer it in such a way that clearly demonstrates your area of expertise or profession.
As soon as you finish reading this look at your calendar and decide when you are going to spend 30 minutes this week to proactively manage your career. Make the appointment with yourself and write it down. Image the network you could build in a year’s time by spending an accumulated 26 hours on LinkedIn.
You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that come your way and new connections you will make.
With every new year comes a fresh start and your job search is no different. This is especially true if you are tired and frustrated with your results. Here are five resolutions that will pull you out of your job search rut and back on the fast track.
Resolve to Get Organized
Few things kill a job search more than disorganization. When you are hunting for a job by the seat of your plants, that disorganization comes through in your interviews, phone conversations, and follow ups. Put together a job search plan. Map out who you know or who you are connected with on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc... Track where you send resumes, who you sent them to, and when you will follow up. Track where you applied. Nothing turns off an employer than calling a job applicant and then hear them say they can't remember to what job they applied. Get organized and watch your job activity start to grow.
Resolve to Network Daily
If you haven't heard it before, networking is your fastest way to a new job. Don't rely on job boards for your next position. Responding to job ads is the least effective way to find a job! A good networking week would include a networking meeting each day, at least 10 networking phone calls each day, and at least one networking event during the week. It takes a lot of connections to find a job, however, they won't happen unless you make it happen. Be proactive in your networking and reach out to people every day. Louise Fletcher offers an excellent guide to LinkedIn for job hunters. Click here to get more information about her guide.
Resolve to Update Your Resume
You can't get a job unless you get an interview. Resumes are tickets to interviews. If you are like most people your resume is too long. Take time to research the job postings that attract you. Make notes about the requirements listed in those job postings. How do you match those requirements? Are those matches clearly visible in the top third of your resume? Most resumes get about a 15 second glance by employers. If they don't see what they need to see popping out at that first glance then they won't look twice. Watch THIS VIDEO about sharpening your resume.
Resolve to Tailor Your Cover Letters
Don't be the person who mass mails generic cover letters. Does your cover letter begin with "Dear Madam", "To whom it may concern", or "Dear Recruiter"? If so, just stop sending them. You are doing yourself more harm than good. Tailor your cover letter to the position or company you are interested in applying. Address it to a real person. Cover letters are tricky. If you need help go HERE for a free video lesson on cover letters.
Resolve to Have a Great Attitude
A job search is filled with anxiety, frustration, and rejection. It is easy for this to get you down. Maybe you have been unfairly treated. Maybe your previous company made promises that were never fulfilled. All of this may be true, but it is not your future employer's problem. No company wants to hire someone who is bitter and frustrated. This attitude comes through loud and clear over the phone and in interviews. While it may be unfair the fact is you are out of work and you need to find your next position. Don't go into the new year with a chip on your shoulder. Employers don't want it and it will up to you to get knock it off.
What are you going to do differently in your job search for the new year? Let us know in the comments below.
You have NO control over what is happening in the job market or in the economy. You DO HAVE control over how you react to this.In this short video, career search expert Richard Yadon, CPC, CERS, talks about the importance of attitude in your job search and interviews.
Are you ready to accelerate your career? Get out of your Comfort Zone with our Special Report. Download it HERE
Since 2006, MMS has been involved in building their clients’ senior management teams as well as their sales, medical management, and HIM staff.
When you need top talent, you want the best and you want it quickly. That can only happen when your search partner understands your business and your needs. The MMS Perfect Match search process delivers the comprehensive search results you need.
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