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Job Search and Networking Strategies


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Title: Job Search and Networking Strategies

Job Search and Networking Strategies
  • Employment Assistance
  • Floris United Methodist Church

Team Members
  • Bill Lankenau (
  • Recently unemployed
  • Tech Industry
  • Louise Williams (
  • Retired Air Force and Defense Contractor
  • Tech Industry
  • Barbara Sweet (
  • Executive Recruiter
  • Tech Industry

Job Search and Networking Strategies Module Agenda
  • Job search must haves
  • Budgeting your time
  • Job Pathways
  • Searching for an advertised job
  • Job websites
  • Finding advertised jobs
  • Taking action on job opportunities
  • Following up on job applications
  • Positioning yourself to be found - unadvertised
  • Helping employers find you
  • Turning human resource needs into a job
  • Networking 101

  • At the end of this module, you will know how to
  • Discover the full scope of potential job
  • Find, prioritize, take action, and follow up on
    advertised jobs
  • Help employers and recruiters with unadvertised
    jobs find you
  • Promote yourself in a way that will highlight
    resource needs and turn them into a job
  • Prioritize and budget the time you spend in the
    job search
  • And the result will be
  • One or more opportunities that lead to a job

Job Search Must Haves
  • Clear definition of the position(s), role(s),
    career level(s), industry(ies), location(s)
  • Need to be specific
  • Need to consider which parameters are more
    flexible than others (location/salary/career
  • Proper resume cover letter
  • Proper use of keywords
  • Multiple versions
  • Tight, well rehearsed elevator pitch
  • Personal and Professional networks
  • Can start small, but needs to grow
  • Positive, can-do attitude

Many Dimensions to Consider
  • Government / Private
  • Profit / Non-profit
  • Retail / Administrative / Service
  • Professional / Teaching / Sales
  • Construction / Installation / Transportation
  • Professional / Management / Executive
  • Full-time / Part time
  • Internships / Volunteer
  • Temporary / Freelance
  • Uniquely qualified (e.g., Veterans Preference,
    Security Clearance, People with Disabilities,
  • Perform a self-assessment to best focus your
    efforts and understand your priorities and
    limitations before you embark on the job search

Job Opportunity Pathways
  • Your next job will come to you in one of three
  • Advertised Job a job that is formally posted or
    published in some manner to job seekers
  • Unadvertised Job a job that is not directly
    published the hiring company or a 3rd party
    recruiter seeks out qualified candidates
  • Resource Need that Turns into a Job a need at a
    company exists, but needs to be formalized into a
    job requirement

Advertised Jobs
Where to Find Advertised Jobs?
  • Specialized Job Websites
  • Commercial (e.g., http//
  • Government (e.g., http//,
    http//, http//www.fairfaxcount )
  • Company Websites (e.g., http//
  • Job Fairs
  • Professional Associations, Labor Unions, State
    Employment Offices, Community Agencies
  • Private employment agencies and career
  • Classified Ads (National and local newspapers,
    professional journals, trade magazines)

Specialized Job Websites how do they work?
  • Employers post job opportunity page
  • Title, location, job description,
    responsibilities, category, etc.
  • Seekers use search and filtering features to find
  • Seekers express interest in the job
  • Email, complete a webform, or upload a resume
  • Usually free to seekers

Specialized Job Websites which ones matter?
  • General Purpose Career Builder, Monster, Yahoo!
  • Aggregator Indeed and Simply Hired
  • Location specific Washington Post (Washington DC
  • Industry specific Dice (technology),
  • Career Level LinkedIn, Ladders (senior level and
    positions over 100k),

Using a Specialized Job Website
  • All work generally the same
  • Create an account
  • Search for opportunities
  • Use the parameters you defined earlier
  • Tune results by expanding/narrowing terms
  • Save one or more search query(ies)
  • Set-up alerts to email you daily search results

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Taking Action on Job Opportunities
  • Before You Act, Remember .
  • The numbers game does not work a generic
    application or resume is not looked at or
  • Many qualified people apply to the same job
  • Your Choices are
  • Shot-gun out your resume to cover your bases OR
  • Play to win on fewer opportunities
  • Recommendation play to win
  • Find the openings that are the best fit and focus
    your time on them
  • Play to win means custom cover letter, custom
    resume, extensive follow-up

Increasing Your Odds for an Interview Personal
  • Makes a HUGE difference it is worth your time
  • How? Use your network to find a contact at the
  • Ideally someone in your network who knows you
  • Friend of a friend ask for an introduction to a
  • Introduce yourself, why you are contacting them
    (you have something that you think they need
    you), and ask for their help
  • Ask the contact to introduce you to the
    recruiter/hiring manager
  • Would they mind forwarding your resume (a sales
    job is not necessary that is your job)?
  • Dont worry most people will be happy to do this
    and some companies pay for employee referrals
  • After your contact has introduced you, be sure to
    e-mail or call the recruiter/hiring manager
  • Let them know what you have to offer (elevator
  • How interested you are in learning more about the
    company and position
  • Suggest a follow-up conversation if appropriate
  • Thank your contact

  • Be careful how much time you spend with on-site
    searching and re-searching
  • limit to 5 hr/week typical week
  • Play to win!
  • Invest time in writing a custom resume and custom
    cover letter for each target opportunity (at
    least 5 hrs/week)
  • Follow-up is critical
  • Know when to call, email, get a reference, ask
    for feedback, get more help

Unadvertised Jobs
Where to Find Unadvertised Jobs
  • You dont they find you
  • Employers (or their proxies recruiters)
    actively seek qualified candidates
  • Your job
  • Make yourself easily found
  • Resume must be current, relevant, and contain
    proper keywords
  • Distinguish yourself from others with similar
  • Network with people in the biz and ask for

Unadvertised Jobs Making Yourself Found
  • Upload your resume to all of the specialized job
  • Resume MUST be properly coded
  • Edit your account/profile on a weekly basis to
    keep it fresh
  • Create a profile on LinkedIn
  • Update status frequently
  • Contact recruiters in your profession/industry
  • Let them know what you are looking for
  • Give them talking points (your elevator pitch)
  • Check back regularly
  • Check in with your college/university and see
    what alumni career services they offer

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Unadvertised Jobs Distinguishing Yourself
  • Participate in relevant industry/professional/loca
    l organizations and events
  • Volunteer to be an officer, offer to speak
  • Take a course, get a certification
  • Print business cards w/ contact info and hand
    them out
  • Strongly consider blogging and/or tweeting
  • Employers ARE going to social networking sites to
    find job candidates
  • Google yourself and see what comes back
  • At a minimum, respond to industry articles/blogs
    with well thought-out ideas
  • Look for relevant temporary or part time

Should I Hire a Career Coach/Personal Marketer?
  • Answer maybe
  • Feedback on the quality of your resume and cover
    letter can't hurt
  • They can help you identify ways to distinguish
  • Often claim to have access to unadvertised jobs
  • But at what price?
  • Be sure to
  • Ask for references
  • Have they placed people in your industry and
  • Check with your college/university they might
    offer discounts (e.g. UMD CareerBeam)

  • A good resume and profile is critical dont
    forget to keep it fresh
  • Be careful how much time you spend with
    recruiters (they dont work for you)
  • Come up with a strategy to distinguish yourself
    and stick to it
  • Industry organizations
  • Blogs/blog replies
  • Career coach may help

Turning a Resource Need into a Job
Turn a Resource Need into a Job What does that
  • Some companies/agencies have a need for someone
    like you, but dont know it
  • Your job is to convince them that
  • they have this need, and
  • you are the one to help them
  • Examples
  • Downsizing in one area might actually produce new
    requirements in another
  • Your knowledge of new technology might be more
    cost effective than training current employees

Professional Networking 101
  • Nine tips for starting, developing, fueling and
    leveraging a professional network

Why Bother?
  • Over 80 of job seekers say that their network
    has helped with their job search
  • Networks can provide referrals to or insider
    information about companies you might be
    interested in working for.
  • Networks can provide information on career fields
    you might want to explore or what the job market
    is like on the other side of the country.
  • Networks can give you advice on where to look for
    jobs or review your resume.

Examples of Networks Leading to Jobs
  • Susan noticed a help-wanted ad for a job at a
    local veterinary clinic. She called a friend who
    happened to use that vet. Her friend called the
    vet and recommended Susan. Susan got an interview
    and got the job. The vet was glad to hire someone
    who came highly recommended by a good client.
  • John was interested in pursuing a career in
    medicine. He mentioned his interest to a family
    friend who happened to be a doctor. The doctor
    arranged for John to spend a day shadowing him at
    the hospital and provided an excellent
    recommendation for medical school.
  • Angela was interested in changing careers and
    moving from public relations to publishing. Even
    though she graduated more than a few years ago,
    she tapped her college career network and came up
    with a contact at a top New York publishing firm.
    In addition to being sent new job postings, her
    resume was hand-delivered to Human Resources when
    she found a position she wanted to apply for.
  • In casual conversation at the orthodontist's
    office, Jeannie, the assistant, just happened to
    mention to a patient's mom that she was
    interested in horses and in a part-time job
    working with them. The mom had horses and a bunch
    of contacts. Jeannie had a part-time job working
    on a local horse farm by the end of the week!

Tip 1 Discard Your Fears Stereotypes about
  • Networking can seem insincere, pretentious, or
    even manipulative
  • You might think you're too shy or self-conscious
    to schmooze get over it
  • Most people want to help, some dont dont take
    rejection personally
  • Yes, networking takes time and effort

Tip 2 Get Ready to Network
  • Get organized
  • Elevator pitch
  • Business card
  • LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, Twitter account
  • Be current, have some small talk topics
  • Be ready with answers to questions you might be
  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • What can I do for you?
  • What makes you unique?

Tip 3 Improve Your Networking Skills
  • Become a better listener. Ask a question and then
    be quiet until you hear the answer.
  • Learn to ask questions like "What do you do?"
    with comfort, sincerity and interest
  • Practice your own presentation of your skills.
    Learn more than one approach, whether frank or
  • Consider taking classes to improve your public
    speaking, body language and writing skills.
  • Get comfortable approaching others and learn to
  • Smile always!
  • Come up with icebreaker questions

Tip 4 Build Your Network
  • Tap into your existing connections friends,
    family, alumni, co-workers,
  • Talk to people you don't know everywhere you go
  • Pursue interests and activities that mean a lot
    to you
  • Go to industry and community related conferences
    and events, join associations in your field
  • Find the extroverts get to know the people who
    know others
  • Ask for introductions
  • Always, always follow-up with a new contact

Tip 5 Strengthen Your Network
  • Think of ways to help those in your network
  • Gestures of kindness and generosity are
    appreciated and remembered
  • Stay in regular contact
  • Articles, birthdays,
  • Establish more personal connections
  • Invite people out to lunch or morning coffee

Tip 6 Tap into Your Network
  • Cast your net and see what happens
  • Describe what you need in a friendly tone and be
    specific, e.g.
  • Introduction to recruiters in a specific location
    or field
  • Information about a company
  • Job opportunities in a specific field
  • References for an informational interview
  • Don't ever apologize when asking for a favor or
    help (you are not making a demand)

Tip 7 Use Networking Tools
  • LinkedIn
  • Great tool for managing your network
  • Search on companies of interest and see how well
    your are connected
  • Facebook
  • Friend your friends and your friends friends
  • Twitter
  • Follow people in your industry and see what they
    are saying
  • Meetup
  • Find others with shared interests
  • Fuel and Expand your network by joining these and
    other groups

Tip 8 Set Weekly Goals
  • Treat networking as a job and allocate time every
  • Set weekly goals
  • X of new people added to my network
  • Y of personal meetings
  • Z of phone calls/e-mails to people in my network

Networking Reference Materials
  • Books
  • Never eat alone (Keith Ferrazzi)
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale
  • Wishcraft How to Get What You Really Want
    (Barbara Sher)
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//

Sample Networking email
  • Dear Mr. Contact,
  • I was referred to you by Diane Smithers from XYZ
    company in New York. She recommended you as an
    excellent source of information on the
    communications industry.
  • My goal is to secure an entry-level position in
    communications. I would appreciate hearing your
    advice on career opportunities in the
    communications industry, on conducting an
    effective job search, and on how best to uncover
    job leads.
  • Thanks so much, in advance, for any insight and
    advice you would be willing to share. I look
    forward to contacting you early next week to set
    up a telephone informational interview. Thank you
    for your consideration.
  • Sincerely,

The 24/7 Brand YOU Campaign
  • Elevator Speech
  • Know it cold and know how it is received
  • Develop and fuel your network
  • Professionals, friends, family, church members,
  • Differentiate yourself
  • Enroll in a course, get certification, volunteer
  • Look sharp
  • Know the sound of your voice and the look of your
  • Know how to ask for referrals
  • Practice

Budget Your Time Sample 40 Hour Week
Final Thoughts
  • Practice, role play and ask for feedback
  • Respond promptly dont wait until tomorrow to
    do what can be done today
  • Save all search data (know where youve been, who
    you talked to and when)
  • Carefully manage the sound of your voice and the
    tone of your emails
  • Never turn down an interview
  • Think positively
  • Remember you are not alone! We are praying with
    you and for you!

Extra Material
Finding an Advertised Job (cont.)
  • Run searches and set-up saved searches
  • For each site listed, create an account (all but are free) and execute a few job
    opportunity searches using the parameters you
    defined earlier.
  • Tune the search by adding and removing parameters
    and see what drives the results.
  • Look at the results themselves do they seem
    like a good fit? If not, try different
    combinations of parameters. How many results come
    back? If more than 20, try adding parameters. If
    only a few, try changing values or removing
  • Once you are satisfied with the search query you
    have created, look for the way the site allows
    you to save the query. Each site does this a
    little bit differently, but look for the term
    saved search or alert. Create one or more
    saved search/alert, save it and configure the
    website to send you a daily email.
  • Setting up a saved search/alert will save you
    hours of time each day the site will re-run
    your search and send you the results in the body
    of an email.
  • So now you should start receiving daily emails
    that contain relevant job opportunities.

Advertised Job - Overview
  • Specialized job websites and corporate websites
    on the Internet are THE source for advertised
  • Advertised jobs are created by corporate
    recruiters or 3rd party recruiters by creating a
    job opportunity page (with a title, location, job
    description, responsibilities, category, etc.)
    and publishing it to one or more websites.
  • The job opportunity page also includes a
    mechanism for job seekers to express interest
    in the job typically an email link, webform, or
    a way to upload a resume.
  • Job seekers find relevant job opportunities using
    search and filtering features on the website.

Following up on Target Opportunities
  • Need to find a contact at hiring company and make
    your case
  • Personal introduction makes a HUGE difference
    it is worth your time
  • Tip 1 use your network to find a contact at the
  • Ideally someone in your network who knows your
  • Friend of a friend ask for an introduction
  • Send them your resume, reference job opening,
    give them your elevator pitch, and ask them to
    forward your email/resume to recruiter or hiring
  • Follow-up and thank them
  • I just submitted my resume to the job website
    now I wait to hear back from the employer, right?
  • You need to find a contact at the hiring company
    to present your resume and cover letter
  • At a minimum, find a contact at the company
    (through your network) who is willing to forward
    your resume and cover letter to the internal
    recruiter/HR. Dont worry most people will be
    happy to do this even if they have only met you
    over the phone through a common friend (and some
    companies pay for employee referrals)
  • Even better if your contact knows you
    professionally and can say something positive
    about you and/or can forward your cover
    letter/resume to the hiring manager.
  • After your contact has introduced you, be sure to
    e-mail or call the recruiter/hiring manager, let
    them know what you have to offer (elevator
    pitch), how interested you are in learning more
    about the company and position, and suggest a
    follow-up conversation if appropriate.
  • Dont give up!

Example General Networking
  • You meet Mary at a book club meeting and you find
    out that her cousin is an expert windsurfer.
  • A few months later, your niece reveals to you
    that one of her life's goals is to go
  • Instead of scratching your head and thinking "I
    know somebody mentioned windsurfing recently but
    I can't remember who..." you look at your address
    book, find "windsurfing cousin" written next to
    Mary's name, call her up and ask her if her
    cousin is available to give your niece a private
  • Mary says "Sure!" and convinces her cousin to
    give you a discount.
  • Your niece is thrilled. A month later, your car
    breaks down, and you remember that your niece's
    boyfriend is an aspiring auto mechanic...

How to make sure employers can find you
  • http//
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