Tag Archives: job search techniques

Building Your Network

Develop your network of contacts by:

  • Making a list of all the people you know personally, professionally, or from school.
    • Include family members, classmates, neighbors, your kids’ teachers, co-workers, professional or social organizations, people you speak to at the dog park, who go to the same salon, etc.
    • Research contact information on-line to find out how to communicate with the people on your list. Some ways to do this are to:
      • Join LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) and set up a profile. Don’t just phone it in, really spend some time building an awesome profile.
      • Start a Facebook account (www.facebook.com) for professional contacts and networking. Include job titles, former employers, the names of schools you attended, and organizational affiliations.
        • If you have a personal Facebook account, consider using the available privacy settings to close your account to anyone outside your personal circle.
        • Do not post anything that might make you look bad. Stay positive, avoid controversial topics such as politics, religion, and money.
      • Network with potential contacts, business owners, and others Twitter. Twitter is a social networking site that allows people to share information through 140-character messages called tweets.
    • In addition to providing the means to research your contacts, these activities will increase your web presence and provide benefits such as 24 hour, 7 day a week accessibility and an easy and inexpensive way to market your brand.
  • Setting a weekly goal for networking contacts. Let your contacts know that you are looking for a job and need their help. Be clear as to the type of work you want and the skills and qualifications you bring to an organization. Have your networking or elevator speech ready whether you are emailing, calling, or run into a contact at the coffee shop.
  • Asking your contacts for leads to expand your network. For example:
    • Do you know of anyone with skills and interests similar to mine?
    • Do you have contact with anyone in a similar business or litigation area as me?
    • Do you know of anyone interested in working with or hiring a person with my skills and experience?
  • Contacting anyone identified by your contacts and ask them the same questions and more, like:
    • What separates you from the competition?
    • What significant changes have you seen take place in your professional area of expertise through the years?
    • What was the strangest or funniest incident you experienced in your practice or business?
  • Trying to get at least one name from each of your contacts and then emailing or calling the new contacts. Remember to invite each contact to connect with you on LinkedIn.

There is no end to the number of different networking building strategies available to you and any one of these strategies could serve you well. If one strategy is not working, don’t be afraid to try something else. You will find that some methods are more effective than others.

I hope that this posting will help you to spend more of your time using super effective networking methods. To get started, be brave and take the first step today.

This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of 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 presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Job Search Is All About First Impressions

On your next interview, networking event, or other event in which you will be meeting with people remember that job search is all about impressions. Your

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Viewed on linked on Monday, March 28, 2016.

Original post: https//www/linkedin.com/hp/update/6117433865121325056
bitmoji1895589661This 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.

Researching the Job Titles and Industries That Interest You

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Businesses and organizations are so diverse and complicated that you may very well find your ideal job in an occupation you haven’t even considered or don’t know about. Even if you are sure of the occupation you want, it may be in an industry presently unknown or unfamiliar to you.

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If your job search focuses on a combination of occupation and industries, you may uncover a variety of unknown opportunities for your next position. Your ideal job is probably in the area that overlaps the jobs that interest you most and in those industries that best meet your needs and interests.

How do you uncover those unknown opportunities?

One excellent source of information is the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This governmental agency does extensive research on careers and the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a biennial guide to nearly 300 of the top jobs available to those of us in the U.S. workforce. The guide is called the Occupational Outlook Handbook or OOH, for short.

The OOH is a guide that provides detailed information about the nearly 300 jobs such as the training and other qualifications needed to perform in the job, the number of people working in the job, the outlook for job openings in the future, salary range, related occupations, and additional information and various online links to track down even more information.

  • OOH data is available online at www.bls.gov/oco/.
  • O*Net is another valuable resource that provides similar job and industry information. O*NET is available at www.onetonline.com.

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You will find that these resources, and resources like these, identify hundreds (maybe even thousands) of job titles in more industries than you can imagine. Many jobs are highly specialized and employ just a few people. Other jobs are more general and employ large numbers of people.

To identify your ideal job, look through these online resources and identify the 10 job titles that seem the most interesting to you and write them down.






Then look at the Labor Department’s Career Guide available at www.bls.gov/oco/cg/ to identify the industries that most interest you.






The jobs and industries that you identified in the lists above are the ones you should research to find your next position. Your ideal job is likely some combination of the jobs and industries that you listed above.

Now, get to it . . .

Source:  Quick Online Job Search, Michael Farr and The Editors @ JIST, 2011.

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This Blog/Web Site 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.

Marc Cenedella’s (Theladders.com) Best Interview Tip

According to Marc Cenedella of TheLadders.com: “In the decade I’ve been writing this newsletter, the single best tip I’ve given, that has come back to me over, and over, and over again, is this:

“When it gets to that part of the interview with your future boss where they ask, ‘well, do you have any questions for me?’, say yes, and ask . . .

“‘How do I help you get a gold star on your review next year?’

“This bit of advice has helped more people in more interviews than any other bit of advice I’ve shared in the last decade that I’ve been writing to you.

“Why?

“Well, the interview process lends itself to self-absorption. We spend so much of the time talking about ourselves that we can sound like one of those people who talks only about themselves.

“Or, conversely, we become ‘job analysis engineers’ and ask all sorts of questions about the job and reporting structure and how it fits in with the company’s five-year plan and so on. I love getting questions from candidates in interviews, but I do have to admit that I feel they’re not quite getting the point of a ‘face-to-face’ interview when they pull out six pages of typed, single-spaced questions and promptly bury their nose in their papers without making eye contact.

“We get so obsessed with the detail of the job that we forget about the work.

“Working together and being a good addition to the team means being concerned with how you are making the team successful. And that means being concerned with how well you are helping your boss to succeed.

“Asking this question shows that you have empathy. It shows that you have an interest in your boss’ career and future success. It shows that you are not just a self-absorbed ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ kind of person. And it shows that you know you are there to ‘give’ as much as you are there to ‘get’.

“Dozens of subscribers have told me how the interviewer’s face lights up when asked this question. I have heard time and time and time again from our six million subscribers how effective it’s been in interviews.

“(And, remember, you want the vibe to be cool & relaxed Vince Vaughn, not an obsequious Steve Buscemi.)”

Source: Marc Cenedella, TheLadders.com newsletter, viewed February 15, 2016.

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog/Web Site 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.

Turning Awkward Inquiries into Networking Opportunities

 

bitmoji155069107-3New Years 2016 is just around the corner. January may provide you with wonderful opportunities to network during for a few more family gatherings, work functions, and neighborhood pot luck dinners.

Undoubtedly, Aunt Susie and Uncle Robbie will corner you near the dessert table and ask you about your job search. How will you respond to these well meaning and loving family members?

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Don’t feel obligated to educate anyone on the full scope of what you do each day as a job seeker. Nor should you try to justify or explain your unemployment or underemployment. Your job search is your private business and yours alone.

Do refocus or reshape these unwelcome and uncomfortable inquiries into networking conversations. Recognize that these awkward inquiries about your job search efforts are actually incredible opportunities to expand your network and build meaningful connections.

Networking is about building rapport, establishing relationships, and determining who can help you gain valuable information or connection. Meeting people and expanding your network is not just for job search, it is also for growing your career or business as you see fit. Your network should be in place before you begin looking for your next opportunity.

The main goals of networking are:

  • Getting the word out – letting people in your industry or profession know that you are a valuable talent;
  • Gathering information about the industry and potential employers;
  • Meeting insiders at targeted organizations; and
  • Meeting decision makers who may be interested in partnering with your or offering you a job.

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Don’t exclude anyone from your network. A large number of job referrals and business connections are made through the friends of friends and family. You never know who might be a valuable networking contact, even if that person does not work directly in your field or industry.

When it comes to building your network, size does matter.

 

In a busy social setting you may only have a few moments to capture someone’s attention or make a good impression. Begin with your elevator pitch (your verbal calling card). You may recall from several earlier posts, an elevator pitch is a clear, concise, and specific statement that describes you and lists your unique strengths or skills in 30 to 60 seconds.

Your elevator pitch must be customized for each target audience. You would not give the same elevator pitch to Aunt Susie as you would to a person you meet at a networking or business function. Therefore, you will have several different versions of your elevator pitch; each with the same message of who you are, what sets you apart from others in your field or industry, and how you add value to your company or customers.

An example of a elevator pitch is:

I am a _________ professional with experience in _________, _________, and _________. Mostly recently, I worked at __________ and have also worked for __________. My unique strengths are in the areas of __________ for __________. I am now looking to talk with people that work in companies that do ___________ such as (list several companies by name).

You will not be able to read your elevator pitch so it must be memorized. Make sure that you rehearse it in front of a mirror and with friends or family so that it flows freely and does not sound mechanical or stiff.

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If the listener has the name of a person he or she thinks you should talk to, you might want to approach that network contact as follows:

Good morning, my name is _________ and I received your name and contact information from _________. He said you would be a terrific person to talk with regarding (state industry or company name). I am a ________ professional with experience in ________ and I am looking to learn more about ________ or talk with you about __________.  Quite possibly, could we meet for 20 minutes or so?

Networking is a two-way street. You shouldn’t monopolize the conversation by talking only about yourself. You will need to show an interest in what the other person.

  • Ask the listener about his or her family and interests. You may uncover even more connections and shared interests if you talk less, ask questions, and listen more. [Note: It is never a good idea to talk about money, politics and religion.]
  • Ask the listener purposeful questions like:
    • How did you get started in your current career?
    • What do you like most about your job/company/industry?
    • What are the biggest challenges you face in your job/industry?
    • Would you choose the same career path if you had it to do all over again?

You are not asking your networking contact for a job. You are asking for information, building rapport, and establishing a new relationship.

Project confidence and optimism. Keep your frustrations and negativity to yourself. You may be looking for information or job leads today but tomorrow a networking contact may email you for information about a job or industry or the name of a contact in your network.

Source: http://gcflearnfree.org/jobsearchandnetworking/networking

Now, get to it . . .

 

This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, with extensive human resources experience. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. I am not an expert in any of the areas of job search. I am writing to share 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.

Recommit to Your Job Search During the Holiday Season

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Many people may make the decision to slow down their job search activities during the holiday season. These people may think employers are too busy to think about hiring new employees because they are preoccupied with year-end tasks or are taking time off to spend with family and friends.

This is a mistake. The hiring process may slow down during the holidays but it does not stop. Companies are interviewing and extending offers to the most qualified candidates. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities resulting from the void left by job seekers who have abandoned their job search and headed to the mall?

An argument can be made that you may even benefit from pursuing your job search during the busy holiday season.

  1. There may be less competition for positions because many job seekers are on holiday.
  2. Some employers may be in a rush to onboard new hirers before the end of the year or immediately after the new year.

The holiday season is also a great time to refresh your job search efforts. You should review your marketing materials and business cards, reassess your short and long-term goals (including researching your target companies), update your resume and LinkedIn profile, and practice your interviewing skills and networking speech.

Here are a few thoughts you should keep in mind when practicing your interviewing skills.

  1. Interviewers will rate your educational background and prior work experience. They will want to know if you have (a) the appropriate educational qualifications or training for the position and (b) acquired, in your previous work assignments, the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in the position.
  2. Employers may also test your knowledge of the company. Have you researched the company prior to the interview? Have you looked on the internet, including the company’s website, read their Twitter feed and Facebook account, looked up comments from former employees on glassdoor.com, and read the interviewer’s LinkedIn page?
  3. Interviewers will be interested in how well you will fit with the company culture. They will be interested in your personality, manner, attitude and whether you made a good first impression. Be yourself and let your personality and charisma shine. You want to project a warm, open and accepting attitude that attracts others.
  4. Keep in mind that potential employers may want a candidate who works effectively with other. Are you able to convey to an interviewer that you have outstanding interpersonal relationship abilities and perception? Do you have an exceptional ability to organize your thoughts and make decisions which exhibit sound judgment and common sense? Are you a self-starter who can motivate others but recognize that there are times when team work is best?
  5. Do not forget your S*T*A*R* stories. Depending on the story you choose, you will be able to demonstrate to a prospective employer that you have the technical skills necessary for the position, good team building and interpersonal skills, a high degree of initiative, good management skills, a high level of customer service abilities, your greatest strengths, and the value that you will bring to the company. “S” stands for situation. You must describe the situation with enough detail so that the interviewer understands the specific event that was at issue.
    “T” is the task you needed to accomplish.
    “A” is the action that you took to accomplish the task.
    “R” are the results that you achieved. The results do not have to be yours alone if you worked with a group to resolve the task.

Perhaps most importantly, the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to establish new connections and refresh your existing network. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google to reconnect with distant relatives, former co-workers, neighbors, schoolmates and friends and to expand your network. Expand your network by meeting new people at holiday parties and  your child’s year end school play or holiday concert.

Do not let the gifts of the season pass you by.

Now, get to it . . .

 

You survived a company-wide layoff. Now what?

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Last week, an insurance company employed dozens of loyal and hardworking employees. Today there are 10 less employees at that company. Simon B., part of a team of risk managers, survived the layoffs but says that the entire experience has left a sour taste in his mouth. Below is my interview of Simon B.

Debra Cohen: Your company recently went through a layoff. What happened?

Simon B.: Layoffs are never easy. The company laid off people in three rounds from September to November. First the VPs, then the Directors, and finally everyone else.

DC: Thankfully, you survived the layoffs. How did your department fare?

SB: My department survived the layoffs. I guess you could say that there was little impact to our department because personally we made out okay. I am grateful that my department survived the layoffs but it was a very difficult situation.

DC: What do you mean?

SB: The layoffs were drawn out over several months. During that period productivity and morale really employees screamingisuffered. People were walking on egg shells waiting for the hammer to fall. Actually, waiting for three hammers to fall. The week prior to the layoff round that could have affected me, I was told to stay close to my desk so that I could be easily reached in case I had to leave. I felt stressed and anxious as I am sure everyone else did as well.

DC: What have you learned from this experience?

SB: When you work for anyone but yourself you subrogate control over your career to that other person. You are subject to the whims of management. Some people get comfortable with what they are doing and thing that it will last forever. I am comfortable in my position, I like what I am doing and I like my company. But as a risk manager I know my relationship with my company could change in a heartbeat. Therefore, I need to hedge myself; I need to take steps to keep current with my industry and profession. I need to be in a position to take advantage of other opportunities should my situation with the company change.

DC: What are the kinds of things that you are doing to hedge yourself?

SB: I am putting feelers out and networking. I am reconnecting with people and trying to make new connections. I have to create opportunities to hedge myself.

DC: Any final thoughts?

SB: Taking things for granted is a mistake. Companies today are constrained in many different ways. Even though I survived these three (3) rounds of layoffs, my company is going through a retraction phase. We have been told that it is unlikely that there will be raises, promotions or bonuses for some time. In addition, the company is making severe spending cuts like cutting travel and other benefits.

Even if everything is going great, a company can be bought and the employees could be out of a job. A friend of mine has been working for a company for a really long time. The company was just bought by a larger company. It is likely that all of the employees, including my friend, will lose their jobs.

I am reminded of the beer commercial in which the main character says to the audience, “stay thirsty my friends.” There should always be a little fire under every employee’s behind. Keep your ear to the ground and network so that you will be aware of the opportunities in your field in the event that your work world is turned upside down.

 

Interview Preparation Exercise

In order to get the job you want you will have to master the interview process. Think of the interview as a buyer and seller relationship or interaction. You are selling your services to a company willing to pay you for your skills and experience.

An interview consists of five opportunities. First, establishing rapport and creating a favorable impression with the interviewer/hiring manager.

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Second, obtaining a detailed description of the position and ideal candidate. Third, if you obtained a detailed description of the position and ideal candidate, you now know the employer’s specific needs and can share the benefits of hiring you. In other words, you will have the specific information you need to prove to and persuade the interviewer that you are the ideal candidate for the position.

Fourth, asking the interviewer/hiring manager if she has any  concerns about hiring you. By doing this you are creating an opening to share specific information to overcome and neutralize any objections to your candidacy through targeted STAR stories.

STAR stories are an interviewing technique for responding to behavioral job interview questions. The premise behind the behavior job interview is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance. With that said:

  • “S” stands for situation. You must describe the situation with enough detail so that the interviewer understands the specific event that was at issue.
  • “T” is the task you needed to accomplish.
  • “A” is the action that you took to accomplish the task.
  • “R” are the results that you achieved. The results do not have to be yours alone if you worked with a group to resolve the task.

Fifth and finally, taking the opportunity to look the interviewer/hiring manager in the eye and ask for the job.

Interviewing does not come naturally to most of us and practice is absolutely necessary. Below is an exercise you can do with two friends to simulate an interview and improve your interviewing skills:

1. Each person plays a part. You are the interviewee, one friend acts as an interviewer and the other friend observes the interview. You can do this exercise with one friend but the friend will have to play the roles of interviewer and observer.
2. You provide the interviewer with a job lead (description of a position that you are interested in)
3. You are interviewed by the interviewer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. The interviewer can ask you questions based on the job lead or ask “typical” interview questions such as:
  • What interests you about this position?
  • Why should we hire you? and
  • Why are tennis balls yellow?
5. The observer completes an interview evaluation/feedback form that rates you (the interviewee) on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) in the following areas of interviewing skill:
  • Professional Presentation
    • appropriately dressed
    • firmly shook hands with interviewer before and after interview
    • maintained good eye contact with interviewer
    • energy level and enthusiasm
    • greeted interviewer by name, spoke clearly
    • thanked interviewer
    • stayed calm and responded to questions promptly but not hurriedly

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  • Articulation of Professional Skills and Experience
    • answered questions completely yet briefly
    • emphasized qualifications, transferable skills, experience, STAR stories
6. When the interview is over, the interviewer and observer give you (the interviewee) their critique. The three of you discuss ways in which you can improve your interviewing skills.
Good luck!

Determining Whether a Company’s Culture is the Right Fit

Company culture is the personality of an organization. It is the values, behaviors, and beliefs held by the employees of a company.

Before you can know if a company’s culture is the right fit, you have to know what you want or need in the work environment. In other words, you have to get to know yourself in order to define the type of culture you want in the workplace.

Begin by listing the values that are most important to you in life and at work. Ask yourself, is money most important or a generous benefit package? Are you concerned with the length of the commute or the location of the office? Perhaps it is the potential for advancement, the opportunity for travel or the thrill of a challenge that interests you.

Next, identify your most marketable job skills. Do you have administrative, supervisory or management skills? Are you an organizational genius or a talented presenter, trainer, or public speaker? Is your strength in public relations and marketing? Are you a relentless research analyst with excellent compilation and writing skills?

Be honest about any problem areas or skills that need improvement. For example, are you a procrastinator? Do you have difficulty managing your time or staying on task? Are your skills outdated?

Once you have identified the values and marketable job skills most important to you, you are ready to research the company to determine whether the culture is right for you. An effective search will require you to:

Scour the internet for annual reports and other public documents (if it is a public company). Also look for news reports, press releases, and human interest stories. Check out social media sources such as the company’s Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and You Tube videos.

Talk to anyone you know who works or worked for the company or has a sister, brother-in-law or best friend who works or worked for the company. Websites like Glassdoor.com provide a forum for former employees to post comments about companies.

Observe the people around you. Watch how the people in the company interact with one another and with you.

Ask questions. The interviewer can describe the culture of the organization or department including the leadership or managerial style, the manner in which conflict is handled, and the qualities of successful employees.

The interview provides the recruiter with the opportunity to assess your skills and capabilities. The interview provides you with the opportunity to determine whether your values and beliefs align with the company culture.

Now, get to it . . .

This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, with extensive human resources experience. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. I am not an expert in any of the areas of job search. I am writing to share 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.

Guide for the Job Seeker

 

Ignore GPS

Navigating a job search can be confusing and frustrating. This article is intended to provide information to help orient, organize and guide the job seeker to develop a professional business presence. A business presence is the foundation of any successful job search.

Set your goals and make a plan.

Job search should be a calculated, coordinated effort. You must ask yourself, what it is that I want in my next position?

Are you looking for a similar position in a similar company or industry or are you planning to reinvest yourself? Perhaps you fall somewhere in between. Do you want to work closer to home or move to a new location? Do you want to work for a non-profit?

Tools to prepare building your job search presence:

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.

Resume coaching is available at the state Department of Labor, Good Will Industries and many other 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. An appropriate user name looks something like john.doe@gmail.com or john doe.us@live.com.

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 . . .

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, with extensive human resources experience. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. I am not an expert in any of the areas of job search. I am writing to share my job search experiences and interests 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.