#1 Networking

Are you a person that can make friends easily? Do you have a difficult time remembering names? When was the last time you spoke with any of your former managers or co-workers? Is your reference information up to date? Do your references know that you are on the market? Would you know how to get a hold of them if you needed to? How many times, as a sales person, has someone told you that sales is a "24/7" job? Networking is the same.

Whether or not you are currently in a position or looking for employment, you should have a healthy network before you no longer have a job. The reality of it is that many times people do not.

Is it too late? NO! The beauty about networking is that you can start today.

In a recent Union Tribune article, about heavy year- end downsizing, common issues were addressed such as: frustration levels, length of time to secure a new position and the increase of overall unemployment rates. Continued heavy downsizing is expected to continue well into Q2 of 2009. Yet, there are companies continuing to hire! Many companies still need to replace employees that quit, retire or add to staff.

Once you have decided that now is the time to look for a new job or if you have been forced into the issue by a recent layoff, tell everyone. It is important that you don't use this as a forum to complain and whine, instead, "Massage the message" by positively letting people know that you are in the market. In this economy it is important to be aggressive in your search, but, not in how you approach people.

Find a quiet spot at home that you can draft a list of individuals that you know without interruption. Immediate groups to consider: local religious affiliations, gym classes, former co-workers, former managers, former clients and even casual business acquaintances. This is also the time to take advantage of the internet and join social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Naymz and Facebook. Was there a professional networking group that you never had time to attend or perhaps you have actively volunteered for causes that are important to you? All of these can make up a solid networking list that you can immediately inform of your new status.

Lastly, never underestimate a face to face meeting. As a sales person, we all know that people buy from who they like. Well, people are more apt to offer assistance when they get to meet you and get to know you better. Don't get overwhelmed in your search and realize that you have spent the entire day on the internet and really did not accomplish much. Pre-plan your day's activities, internet time, resume submissions, interviews and meeting new contacts. Attend trade shows and go to industry meetings. Never put all of your eggs in one basket. NOW is the time to cast a wide net and connect with people that you might not others wise have.

Networking is an art and it is all in how you "massage" the message, but, it is never too late to start! For more information, please contact us for individualized information that will most maximize your time and effort.

Resume Writing:

Is there one set format to write a resume that will land you the perfect job each time? NO.

How many times have you actually sat down to write your resume, once, twice or do you have multiple copies and formats for various positions or industries? Either way, it is never easy to sit down and put pen to paper to inform perspective employers about your qualifications, skills and responsibilities.

There are many formats and styles for writing resumes. At the end of the day, a resume is an infomercial designed to intrigue interest to get your foot in the door and in front of a decision maker that could take you to the next level. In person you can show them what you are made of and why you should be the natural choice.

A resume should reflect the tasks and expectations of the job you are after. Research the company, research the position and research the job description. Today's technology puts all of that information at your fingertips. How well does your background and experience match what they are looking for? If you have done everything that they are requiring for the position, list those as your bullet points. It is ok, to use their verbiage to describe your key points. Your bullet points should reflect what your primary responsibilities were day to day in your current/ most recent position. Keep your bullet points to 4-6 per position and don't repeat the same bullets. If you did the same task at multiple employers, state that point when you were first responsible for it. It will be assumed that you still have that skill.

Education, top of the page or at the bottom? What should guide you is whether or not education is a requirement. If the position requires you to have an education, it is assumed that you have one and you can start the resume with your highlights and objective. Your thought process should be, "What will catch their eye?"

"How many positions or years should I go back?" For more information, contact us for individualized information.

Research:

Research in the job search involves at least two different facets and each is equally important. The first facet is the industry itself that you are interested in pursuing employment. Specifically, what are the challenges, issues or innovations that are occurring in that particular industry? Who are the major players in that industry and of those companies, who is in the best position for not only their future success but your future success as well? Are they a "Most Admired or Best Company to work for"? You may think that if you have worked in that particular industry for a period of time that you have a good feel for what is going on, however, the reality is that your perspective may be tainted or heavily influenced from the limited sphere of your last company. The question that you have to ask yourself is when was the last time you really took a look at what was happening in your field of expertise.

Company websites are an excellent start, but there are others that may be particularly useful. One good example is if the company is publicly traded, you can go to any of the finance reporting websites to get the latest headlines or pertinent company information. A recommendation is Yahoo finance however, there a number of others that fulfill the same purpose. Another good resource is the local newspapers, industry newspapers or regional business journal.

Another facet that needs to be researched may be as simple as taking stock of your network. There will be more on the mechanics of networking in this education tab and for now we will deal with how you use that network. Specifically, when you are on "the hunt" it is important to know who the decision makers are more importantly where the jobs are. As we are sure that you realize, the best positions may not necessarily be posted anywhere and for that reason, it is absolutely imperative that you use all the arrows in our quiver. One note however, your network will only get you so far and subsequently there is some research that you will need to do to find the decision makers and the location of the "good" jobs. Subsequently, a very important arrow in your quiver and in the spirit of using all your resources, research the recruiters that have those connections in your particular industry.

There are probably a number of different things that you can probably think of that you would like to know before you hit the job hunting trail. It is important to do the due diligence and more importantly your homework. For more information on Research, contact us.