5) Realize The Awesome Size Of Your Network for Your Job Search
People tend to try and do their Job Search solo. This is a mistake.
Did you know there’s an army of volunteers — 62,500 people strong — sitting right under your nose, waiting to send you job leads?
Now. do you think you MIGHT get an interview or two every week if you had 62,500 pairs of eyes and ears on the lookout for job openings?
Well, you do! Because, according to most research, the average person is acquainted with about 250 other people. And those 250 people know 250 more. Multiply the two and you get 62,500 people, enough to fill Ross-Ade Stadium at the University of Purdue.
This huge figure is the true value of your network. Because it’s not just who YOU know, it’s who THEY know. That’s what counts.
So right now — today — please do these 3 things.
Write down the name of every single person you know, from friends and family to casual acquaintances. That includes your CPA, attorney, hair stylist, manicurist, pastor, dentist, banker, real estate agent, neighbors and pastor, to name just a few.
Put special emphasis on listing affluent people (most wealthy people own their own business or know someone who does) and centers of influence (local leaders who know the movers in shakers in town, like pastors, superstar real estate agents and attorneys).
Don’t stop writing until you have at least 250 names.
Contact 10 people a day for the next 25 days and say these words when you call or write:
“I’m looking for a position where I can help a ___ company with my expertise in ____. Who do you know that I should be talking to?”
Try to get at least 3 names from each person.
Be sure to thank your contacts for every name they give you. Then, ask each contact to please pass your name and number on to anyone they think of later whom you might be able to help.
(Notice, you’re not begging for a job here. You’re offering to help a company with your expertise. Big difference. And it gives you the enthusiasm that encourages others to respond.)
Pick up the phone, call each potential job lead and follow this script:
“My friend, Joe Jones, in Chicago told me to give you a call. I’m a Manufacturing Manager in Minneapolis and Joe said you would know who to talk to for advice. For the past ___ years I’ve specialized in ____ and I’m looking for a company that needs to get the most out of its ____. Who do you know that I should be talking to?”
Fill in the bl___anks, and substitute the examples in bolded underline with your own information.
If that person can’t help you directly, he or she should give you the name of someone who can.
Use of a script is important, since you can practice until it flows naturally. And be sure to stand up when you make your phone calls — this gives your voice an extra dose of vitality, a definite plus.
Action Step: It’s not who YOU know, but who THEY know – that’s what you should focus on. Doing so will help you tap into the HUGE power of your network, right now.
The successful job search all boils down to one word — synergy.
Synergy is defined as “the interaction of two or more agents so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.”
Synergy explains the difference between John, Paul, George and Ringo (individual musicians) and The Beatles (a magical combination).
Most job seekers apply for positions haphazardly — sending out an email resume for this opening, a printed resume for that one, sometimes following up and most often not.
But you’ll get far better results — and create synergy — if you first write out a job search calendar, to schedule your efforts over the next 60-90 days. Then, follow your plan and systematically use as many tactics as possible for each job you apply for. Organizing your efforts this way will focus your job search, like sunlight through a magnifying glass.
Here’s how to create synergy and job search magic, in 5 easy steps.
Step 1 — Choose your target job
You can do so by picking a job title (example: Sales Manager) or skill set to shoot for (example: sales, marketing, management). No target job = no results in your job search. Because you can’t score if you don’t have a goal.
Step 2 — Choose your tactics
There are many. Among the most effective is networking with your personal and professional contacts. Let people know you’re in the job market and tell them what you’re looking for. Then ask this question:
“Who do you know that I should be talking to?”
This one question can double or triple the size of your network.
Other job hunting tactics include submitting your resume to online job postings, the newspaper classifieds, recruiters and temp agencies. But try to spend 80% of your time networking.
Step 3 — Plan your work.
Create a job search calendar. This time of year, you can get free wall calendars from many stores and businesses. Any calendar will do, so long as there’s room to write brief notes for each day.
Map out the next 30-90 days with specific goals for every day, such as visiting 5 Web sites, calling 10 networking contacts and mailing 7 resumes.
Post your job search calendar prominently. Then …
Step 4 — Work your plan.
Devote at least 3-5 hours a day to your job search if you’re currently employed, and 5-8 hours a day if you’re unemployed.
Recognize that your job search is a job in itself, the most important one you have right now. And that means you look for work EVERY day, Monday through Friday. Because just one day skipped per week equals a 20% loss in output. You can’t afford that.
Step 5 — Fail your way to a new job.
As you follow your job search plan and contact all those people every day, you’re going to hear one word more than any other: “No.”
Learn to embrace failure like Micheal Jordan:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Every “no” you hear in your job search is another step closer to the one “yes” you need to get that position you really want. It’s simply a numbers game. Take heart in this fact.
Action Step: By following this five-step formula, you can create synergy, magic and the job offer you’re dreaming about.
7) Move Up Inside Before Going Outside for Your Job Search
If you’re currently employed, why not ask your manager about the possibility of creating a new job that suits you better? Or, ask your co-workers to see if any job functions were created for them. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find!
Here are two ways to create a new job in your current company.
1) Add Value
“Adding value is the single most powerful personal attribute you can possess,” says Les McKeown, President & CEO of Predictable Success and author of numerous books on career achievement.
Did you ever hand a job or task to someone, knowing you would have to go back over it once they finished, to fix the inevitable errors and generally “mop up” after them?
“People who add value are just the opposite. You *know* when you give them a task that it will be completed on time, the way you want it, with no loose ends or unfinished parts,” says McKeown.
However, really successful “value adders” see the completion of an allocated task as only the starting point.
Maybe it’s by turning an event into a process. Example: not just clearing up a filing mess, but putting a filing system in place to avoid future backlogs.
“In whatever form it shows itself, naturally successful people consistently and appropriately add value — all the time,” says McKeown.
2) Become an Expert
A sure-fire way to increase your value on the job is to keep learning. This can be as complex as getting your MBA or as simple as reading a book every week.
Whatever you do to increase your expertise, make sure your boss knows about it! Completing training, such as Microsoft’s MCSE certification, can make it more likely that you’ll be rewarded appropriately in your next performance review.
Here’s an example from the field of medicine.
I’m told the average physician makes $160,000 per year. Not bad. But I know a liver specialist in Michigan who makes $500,000 and lives in a house the size of an airplane hanger. He’s a recognized expert. And he’s rewarded appropriately.
What subject can you become an expert in for your employer?
3) Be There Every Day
Can 80% of success really come just from showing up, to paraphrase Woody Allen?
In the minds of many, the answer is “yes!”
“I still remember my first promotion with a mixture of pride and amusement,” says McKeown.
“I was a young kid back in Ireland, and I had a paper-route before school. I needed the money and never missed a morning.”
“After 3 months, the owner pulled me aside and said: ‘Les, I’m going on vacation for three weeks. I want you to be in charge. I’ll give you an extra five shillings every week.”
When McKeown asked his manager why he had been chosen over older, more-experienced newsboys, he got this reply:
“Simple. You’re always there. That means more to me than anything else. I wanted piece of mind on vacation. I knew you’d be there every morning.”
Are you THERE every day for your employer? If so, you may find your steady presence makes you more valuable than less-dependable co-workers.
Action Step: By adding value, becoming an expert, and “being there” every day, you can make yourself indispensable to any employer. Which can lead to faster promotions, keys to the executive washroom — whatever it is that defines career success for you.
8) Follow Up After You Send Your Resume
It’s vital that you call, email, fax and/or write to every employer you send your resume to, to make sure they received it.
If you think this is a lot of wasted effort, think again.
It’s possible — even common, given the blizzard of resumes most employer get — for the hiring manager to never receive your resume, even if you follow the instructions in their want ad or online job posting.
And if they don’t get your resume, how can you get an interview?
So, keep this in mind each time you contact an employer to follow up on your resume — you’re doing them a big favor. After all, why would they spend all that time reading resumes and interviewing people if they didn’t want to hear from every qualified candidate, especially you?
This happened two weeks ago to a client of mine, whom we’ll call Stacey.
She faxed her resume to a Fortune 500 company in Bloomington, Minn., to apply for a job she was eminently qualified for. But she never heard back. After three days, she called to ask if they had any questions about her resume.
Surprise! They never got her resume.
Stacey sent it again, this time by email. And she was called for an interview. Which would have NEVER happened if she hadn’t taken two minutes to call and follow up.
Action Step: Trust, but verify. Send your resume with the expectation that it will be read by the right person. Then call to make sure that it actually was.