We are ready to finish our Job Search Action Plan with Step 8: Networking, and Step 9: Follow Through. If you are serious about finding your next job in the first part of 2011, I hope that you have taken the time and effort required to formulate a strong Job Search Action Plan!
Job Search Action Plan
Read all the steps in the Job Search Action Plan on the Re-Employment Tips blog
Step 8: Networking
Where you aware that approximately 80 percent of jobs are found/filled through some type of networking? So who should you build into your network?
- Everyone who you come into contact with is a potential job contact. Friends, family, church members, hair dressers, delivery drivers, past colleagues, insurance agents, medical care providers and alumni are all folks you should communicate with often about what kind of job opportunity you are looking for and what kind of skills you have to offer.
- Have you ever heard the saying, "Your contacts' contacts can become your contacts?" this means that everybody you talk to about job opportunities has people that they can talk to about what kind of job opportunities you are looking for. Before you know it, you have hundreds of sets of eyes and ears looking for employment for you!
- Make sure you are clearly communicating your qualifications, desired position, geographic preference, and, if the topic arises, salary requirements.
- Establish an online presence on Linkedin or Facebook. Take the time to build a strong profile and then join online associations or build a website or even write a blog. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can do it!
- Be friendly to everyone you encounter. Believe me, I know this sometimes can take a great effort, but I promise it will pay off! Friendly conversations often present very useful information you can apply to your job hunt.
- Volunteer! Not only does volunteering give back to the community but it also gives you the chance to reach out to more people, thus, building your network! Try volunteering in your field of interest. www.volunteermatch.org is a great website to check out to learn of volunteer opportunities in your area.
- Like a tree, a network requires caring and time to branch out to its full potential. The more you invest in your network, the more you'll get out of it. Even if you can only afford a few minutes per day, start growing your network and before you know it, opportunities will begin to blossom!
Step 9: Follow Through
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is thinking "the ball's in the employer's court."
- Follow up after applying online ... it's not enough to upload your resume and hit send! Try and find someone who works for the company you just applied to and network! Some companies are offering their employees referral incentives!
- Call employers and ask for an interview
- Follow up after an interview with a thank you note. Use this as another opportunity to reiterate your skills and interest in the position.
- Follow up will set you apart from average applicants who don't make that extra effort.
Step 9.5: Realistic Expectations
I knew I would remember something else to mention! Hopefully you now have a Job Search Action Plan in place for 2011. While job hunting may sound like no big deal when it is spelled out in black and white, the truth of the matter is, it is not that easy (of course I am not telling you anything you did not already know!). For a multitude of reasons, things can go wrong; your e-mails go unanswered, messages not returned, job postings turning into duds ... whatever. You need to make sure you have realistic expectations so you do not drive yourself crazy! In sales, the ration of cold calls to actual sales varies, but at best let's say it's 10 to 1. Please do not expect your phone to ring off the hook with requests for interviews and job offers. The process takes time and most people do not have instant results. My final bit of advice is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, try to remain positive, do the very best you can and something will happen sooner or later.
Whew! We have covered a lot of ground these past two weeks. From making a commitment to a Job Search Action plan to reflecting on our strengths and weaknesses and developing a personal brand, you should now have a strong tool in place that will hopefully lead to your next job.
Remember the Winchester Workforce Center is here to help with resume writing and mock interviews. With a new year just a few days away, please let us help you in your individual job search challenges!
Warm regards -
YES!!! I will be conducting a workshop this week!
- Tuesday, Jan 4 @ 8:30 a.m.: Networking Job Club
- Tuesday, Jan 4 @ 9:30 a.m.: Mastering the Electronic Job Search