When you are looking for a job you have a few places to access. One is the internet and these days it turns out that’s quite a good resource. We have social media, where we can upload our resume and have prospective employers take a look at our background and skill level. We can go directly to company websites and apply there. We can simply google our job search and see what comes up. Undoubtedly, that’ll put us in touch with avenues we may have yet to consider.
We can still use search firms or recruiters, who sometimes have a real relationship with an employer and that could result in an advantage for you. At the same time, we need to understand that recruiters normally work for the employer, seeking only those candidates they feel fit the job description and they routinely access their own network to locate those people.
By and large, the most productive use of our time is spent on our own networking, via internet, yes, but especially those with whom we can connect face to face. Here is the advice: You make a list of names and contact information for people you know and have known, personally and professionally. Contacting these folks will not be for the purposes of asking for a job or if they know of any jobs. The purpose is twofold. To inform them that you are now engaged in an active search and to ask if they know of anyone (including themselves) who might be willing to have a conversation around aspects of your search in a particular area. This includes “picking their brain” about how to approach a company, an industry, etc., based on their knowledge and/or experience, which you have pre-determined via your research.
The other reason to meet with contacts is to ask for their input on your ‘marketing plan,’ which is basically a written document that describes a couple of job options with your corresponding skill level. These two or three options are identified with due consideration to your motivational needs, those aspects of yourself that you will hopefully have taken the time and effort to acknowledge.
Spend your time accordingly, meaning spend 80% of your time just speaking to others about what you want to do and where you’d like to be. Keep asking for other names with whom you might speak. This will undoubtedly result in a good number of interviews and discussions that will ultimately result in putting you in contact with your ‘best fit’ job placement.
Stay the course, work the plan and know that it does work! Don’t lose faith!