Thursday, July 29, 2010

Network like it’s your job

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Finding a job in today’s job market can be like conquering a new frontier for many job seekers. With the unemployment rate still over 9 percent, the job market has been flooded with tons of competition for job seekers—many of whom are experiencing a culture shock when they send out their résumés. After all, the days of mailing in your résumé and receiving a phone call to set up an interview are over. Today, everything is done online, from sending in your résumé to setting up your first interview—and nine times out of ten, you’re lucky to receive any kind of response, even if it’s an automatic one thanking you for your submission.

It doesn’t take long to discover that in a virtual world it can be very difficult to get noticed by the decision makers whom you need to impress in order to land the job. Maribeth Kuzmeski says there are three easy steps to getting noticed in today’s digitally dominated job market—networking, networking, networking.

“Today you need more than a résumé and a cover letter to get that dream job,” says Kuzmeski, author of The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life. “Think of yourself as CEO of Me, Myself, and I, Inc. You need to be doing everything you can to get the word out about your brand. That means networking.

“Great networkers are capable of leaving something behind with everyone they encounter—a thought, a memory, or a connection. This is exactly what you need to do if you are in the job market. You need to make strong connections, become a relationship builder. You want to be the first person who comes to mind when someone in your network hears about a great job opening.”

Kuzmeski offers advice for how you can network your way to a great new job:

... Rejuvenate your résumé.

... Build your online résumé using LinkedIn.

... Get face-to-face with potential employers!

... Make an impact by using video.

... Become a contrarian networker.

... Let them do the talking.

... Be prepared to pitch yourself in fifteen seconds.

... Network to the people you know.

... Get involved in organizations that are connected to your profession.

... Volunteer.

... Be a mover and a shaker.

... Always be networking.

“Trying to find a job in such an overcrowded job market can be a daunting task,” says Kuzmeski. “But by placing a renewed focus on networking, you open yourself up to many more opportunities than just the ones on the job boards or those being offered at your local job fair. I truly feel that there are only six degrees of separation between everyone in the world—or at the very least the U.S. Every time you make a new connection you get that much closer to a great new opportunity.”

What do you think?

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