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Are you ‘In The Hunt’ for a new position?

May 18, 2010

   In this time of economic uncertainty, you may find yourself on the outside looking in.  I was there just a few short months ago.  Networking, and Researching becomes your new “full-time” job in order to be able to apply, and land that new job. 

You may ask yourself, I haven’t looked for a job in some time, what’s changed?  Answer, while it may feel different, it’s actually the same, though much harder.  Sorry I didn’t “sugar coat it” for you, but I want to be honest with you in order for you to identify the realism you’ll be going through in order to be successful.

  1. You’ll need to start with your Networks.  This can mean your Phone listings, your Email connections, your Online networks, and your  good ‘ol fashioned Face-to-Face Friends.  Let them know what you do, how you contribute, and what you are targeting.  Ask them to help, if they can.  Get a referral, an idea, or suggestion.  Networks are for life, so never stop networking.  I like referring to it as going from Active to Passive, and back again, as needed.  The days of the 30 year GM jobs are long gone.  Many jobs may now be for a particular project versus for a particular company for many years. [tweetmeme source=”@Aidan_Foley” only_single=false]
  2. You’ll need to identify your Target agencies, companies, industries, job titles, types of work, etc.  Research your background, your interests, and your options to narrow down your possibilities.  You may ask, Why do I need to research my background, I already know what I do?  Because you may be a Manufacturing type, but if there are no jobs, you may have to re-invent yourself.  Then, what do you “like” to do.  It’s been said that if you like what you do, and you are very good at it, then you’ll be a superior employee.  Then, and only then, can you then develop your options open to you.
  3.  Go the Source.  It’s like hunting.  You need to establish your target, develop a strategy, then go with the best approach to achieve a successful hunt.  That could mean looking through the newspaper, checking their website, or even slow network with one of the influencers to the hiring manager.  Remember, that many jobs right now are never even posted.  Making the direct contact to the source is often the best way to capture these hidden opportunities.

Be persistent

No matter what path you take to reach your next position, you must have a plan.  The days of blanket resume sending to 1,000’s are over.  Get over it.  Ask yourself, and your family, What are you willing to do?  Where are you willing to do it?  What role are you looking to play?

Once your target has been identified, you can move onto other things that will get you there:

  • Start with a generic resume, and cover letter.
  • Tailor your resume to fit the position for each, and every submittal.
  • Write each cover letter as if to say, 1) Why you’re contacting them, 2) How you demonstrate the things they are looking for, and 3) How you will follow-up.
  • Create on-line profiles, and maintain monthly updates to the large ones like CareerBuilder, and Monster.  Yes, some companies still use them.
  • Develop, practice, and perfect your Elevator Speech so it is polished, and doesn’t come across rehearsed.

There are a few ways to keep track of your efforts.  I prefer an Excel Spreadsheet.  Keep track of the dates, recruiter contact info, client, location, job ID, responsibilities, rates, etc.  Anything that you think is important to you, and worth the effort to track for easy recall.  It’s a great way to track your job information, and to support your follow-up efforts as well.  Don’t lose a job just because you didn’t follow-up with someone to give them a reminder that you’re still interested in their position.  If that position has an “on hold” status, ask for something else that you may both pursue.  If you don’t hear anything, and you’ve contacted them a couple of times by phone, email, and/or LinkedIn, scratch them off the list, and save your drive for more worthwhile opportunities.

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