Articles written by Bettina Seidman
Best Practices in Job Search
Sometimes job searchers do not spend enough time using networking and targeting techniques to identify interesting positions. It often seems so easy to contact the search firms with whom you have a relationship, and hope that they will "do all the legwork". Don't forget that when you are the candidate, you are not the client and search firms are not in the business of finding jobs for anyone. The fact is that you will achieve success sooner if you conduct a comprehensive job search utilizing all possible job search techniques and budgeting time for targeting and networking.
Networking is still the single most successful job search technique. Today, it is common for professionals and executives to belong to more than one professional organization and to have many other business contacts such as vendors and consultants. Begin by making a list of people who know you and would be happy to take your telephone call, and briefly explain that you are beginning to explore the marketplace (perhaps confidentially) and you would like to know if they have any contacts who are not currently in your network.
Networking consists of a few simple steps:
It is important to maintain thorough notes about all your contacts and,
therefore, a great opportunity to learn to use a contact database such
as ACT!, Outlook, or Access. A good tip is to keep a hard copy on hand
so you can update your notes when you receive an important telephone call
and you are not near your computer.
The next step in a targeted search is to write a creative letter to go
along with your resume. It is often possible to use just one or two letters
to contact over 100 groups in your area, and then use a mail merge technique.
Putting the time into identifying the "decisionmaker" and writing
a really good letter, highlighting the skills and experience you bring
to the table, will definitely pay off. Always follow up with a telephone
call in about a week.
Bettina Seidman is an experienced career counselor and career coach in private practice. Her services include providing career management assistance to individuals and groups in clarifying goals, job search strategies, resume development, interviewing, networking, and negotiating. She also works with clients on improving interpersonal, presentation, and political skills.
For a copy of the 2-Minute Pitch Worksheet and sample networking questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org