Any face-to-face contact with a person with the authority to hire or supervise an employee, even if there is no job opening at the time of the meeting, is an interview. Many of the articles I’ve seen on the internet claim that something like 40% of job seekers report finding jobs in this way.
Regardless of the accuracy of this statistic, you should consider changing your definition of an interview. The reason is simple: If you can interview with potential employers before a job opens up or is advertised you are more like to be considered for the positions when they do become available.
Finding a Job is a Job. Whether you are currently employed, unemployed, or underemployed, job search is tough and requires an extensive time commitment. To be effective, you will need a solid, thoughtful plan.
- Make time in your schedule to spend at least 20 hours a week looking for your next position. This means committing 20 hours of your week to targeted job search activities.
- Prepare a daily schedule so that you stay on task and productive each day. Don’t just make a to-do list. List specific activities on the hour or 1/2 hour. Post your schedule in a highly visible place or on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- Use Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar at www.google.com/calendar to keep track of your activities.
- Use your smartphone to set up automatic reminders and organize daily activities.
- Manage your contacts and activities electronically. Track the time spent on activities and the contacts that you make. Use free websites such as JibberJobber.com to help you manage and organize your contacts and tasks. Keep track of who you met, where, what was discussed, and when you plan to reconnect.
Resume: Begin by making a list of your job experience, job titles, dates of employment and salary history. You won’t use all of this information for your resume but may need it when completing a job application, preparing for an interview or drafting a cover letter.
There are a lot of resources available to help:
- Resume writing books are available at your library. Also check your local library for job/career resources and support.
- Free resume coaching is available at the state Department of Labor, Good Will Industries, and many other local organizations and agencies.
- Online resources such a O*NET Online (www.onetonline.org) provide useful information for job/career exploration and analysis.
Email account: Create an email account to use exclusively for your job search. The user name must be professional. An appropriate user name looks something like email@example.com or john firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact telephone number: You must have a reliable contact telephone number with voice mail. The outgoing message should be professional and straightforward. This means no background noise like music or children/dogs or quotes from spiritual sources. The outgoing message should identify you as the receiver and state that you are unavailable but will get back to the caller as soon as possible.
Professional attire: Have business attire available for networking events, job fairs, interviews, etc. Articles describing appropriate dress can be found by typing “help dressing for work” in your web browser. For example, www.wikihow.com/Dress-for-Work has an article describing appropriate formal and casual business attire for men and women.
Business cards: Create and carry business cards with you at all times because you never know who you will meet or where.
- Business cards should be simple and inexpensive. Take a look at the offerings at Staples, vistaprint.com, and avery.com.
- Do not buy too many at first because you are likely to make changes during the job search process.
Networking speech: Prepare a short “elevator speech.” This is a 30 second to one minute statement describing your skills and qualifications, the position you want, and the people you want to meet. An example of a networking speech follows. However, you must craft a statement that fits your unique experience and skills.
I am a ____ professional with experience in ____ and ____. Most recently, I worked at ____. My unique strengths/abilities are in the areas of ____ and ____. I am looking to talk with people that work for companies such as (list 3 to 7 target companies). Are you available to meet with me over coffee to all about ____?
Enroll in job placement websites like www.Indeed.com and www.LindedIn.com.
Register with your target companies to received job postings. Follow your target companies on LinkedIn and Twitter/Instagram.
Follow websites like dailyworth.com, IvyExec.com, and theladders.com to keep current with job search trends and available resources.
Now, get to it . . .
Source: Quick Online Job Search, Michael Farr and The Editors @ JIST, 2011 ed.
This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.