Friday, April 30, 2010

Job Search Networking - Two Essentials and Neither is Your Resume

The hidden job market really isn't all that hidden.
It's actually right in front of you, and all you need to do is network your way in. You'll be surprised at how willing people are to assist. You can accelerate getting into the hidden job market when you are prepared for networking.

So if you're going to a networking meeting-coffee with someone, an association meeting or conference where you will meet people who can hire you, an informational interview phone call-please have these things in place first.

First create your search strategy.
I'm amazed at how many people ask to talk to me about their job search without having defined who they want to meet, companies they would like to work in, etc.

I was talking to one job seeker and told her that I was really unfamiliar with her job function. But I might know people in her target companies so could perhaps help by introducing her. I asked if she had a list of companies where she wanted to work. What was her strategy?

Her response was that she was hoping she could just network and not have to create a strategy. When you have a strategy defined, you know exactly what to ask for. One way to guarantee they won't be able to help you is to say, "Well if you hear of anything I might be interested in, let me know."

Creating a strategy takes some time and perhaps some introspection and honesty. It's time well spent.

The second essential is your career brand.
This is how you become memorable. By having your brand statement, you help people talk about you! You stand out and capture their attention.

Sadly and surprisingly, most job seekers today cannot tell a recruiter, hiring manager or networking connection what is compelling about them-what makes them the candidate to hire. In today's economic climate, it may feel as though experience and skills are just commodities. What can put you in the lead, make you memorable to your networking contacts and irresistible to the hiring manager is all built around your brand.

With these two essentials in place, you're ready to make a big impact with your networking. Enjoy!

Admitting to being the original reluctant networker, Katherine Moody would do almost anything, including hiding out in the ladies room, to avoid a networking event. So she interviewed some networking masters to learn their simple and rarely discussed secrets. Then she went on to get her last 4 jobs by networking her way into the hidden job market with those simple secrets. Katherine shares those insider techniques on her job secrets blog. While there, get her free report: How to create a memorable brand for your networking. You'll love what it does for your networking!

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