Find a New Job in Today's Economy
May 7, 2009
by Debra Feldman
Today’s economy has knocked many savvy financial executives for a loop as they struggle to grab employers’ attentions. Sooner or later they recognize that their traditional job searching methods are ineffective and they need game-changing techniques to break through barriers to land a new career challenge.
Follow the tips below while summoning up courage, focusing with determination and persisting with the right strategies and tactics to deliver results. Giving up is not an option and neither is expecting a positive outcome unless all the chips are moved into their proper places:
- Leverage your network. Distant business contacts will often help by making introductions or passing along contact information. More jobs result from distant connections than from direct contacts owing to the exponential impact of referrals.
- Don't put contacts on the spot (making them feel responsible for your future, finances, health, happiness, etc.) by asking for a job per se. Encourage more referrals and recommendations to additional resources. Don’t restrict the conversation to only official positions or job openings. Lead the dialogue towards thoughts, ideas, guidance and industry buzz — and let your contacts volunteer assistance. Remember that networking is a two-way relationship, not a one-off transaction. Keep in touch. Give back more than you receive.
- Network purposefully! It’s okay to ask your networking contact if they are able to connect you with a specific person. In fact, it may be an easier request to fill than if they have to research the correct contact.
- Don’t count on recruiters. Unless you happen to fit their very narrow job specs, you are not what they need to complete their assignment or what their client (an employer) is paying them to deliver. Today, 85 percent of openings are never advertised, which means that only employees on a project team are aware of a company’s needs. HR might be the last to know and outside recruiters are left out of the equation completely.
- Target companies and then contact senior executives directly. Direct contact and cold calling are very effective methods for getting initial attention that can then develop into a relationship by building common experience, increasing shared interests and developing mutual trust.
- Make your résumé communicate a message focused to attract the attention of the employer-market you want to reach. Don’t take yourself out of the running by offering a less-than-perfect document. Stand out as the solution for the employer’s needs.
- Keep your efforts to the barest minimum when applying online to postings. Personal connections have a far greater yield for generating new opportunities than online job applications. Networking is more challenging but it also yields better results.
- Identify the hiring manager. If there is an Internet posting that is a fit contact them directly rather than depending on HR or a recruiter to triage you onto the short list. Even better, get to know the hiring manager before the job gets posted and you get an insider’s advantage.
- Remember your manners. Say "thank you," and be courteous, polite, patient and cooperative. Remember that organizations usually move pretty slowly, so give them breathing room and continue to keep in touch on a regular basis until the opportunity is definitely no longer available.
- Give back to others. One you land a new job, grow your newer connections and resolve to strengthen your online identity to promote yourself as a passive candidate. Aim to be “Googled” and discovered in an online search by future employers instead of proactively seeking your next challenge. In addition to doing your best to shine at your new job, do your best to build credibility in the virtual world and promote recognition for your achievements and knowledge outside of your employer.
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© 2009 Debra Feldman
Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic, and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for cold calling, executed with high energy and savvy panache, connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Network Purposefully™ with the JobWhiz, and compress your job search into mere weeks, using groundbreaking techniques profiled in Forbes magazine. In addition to her private practice, writing featured columns and conducting exclusive workshops, Debra is a recommended resource to alumni of top-tier business schools. Contact Debra at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent.