Her points (read the article because she has more details):
Find Out The Next Step
Don’t Think The Worst
Use Your Common Sense
Leave A Great Follow Up Voicemail
Send A Thank You Letter
Include A ‘P.S.’ In Your Follow Up Letter
Send A Follow Up List Of Short Testimonials
Note three opportunities to FOLLOW-UP! As you follow-up, focus on potential long-term relationships, not just on a yes/no answer. Of course you want a yes/no answer, but if you change your mentality from “it’s a numbers game,” you’ll leave less casualties on your job search journey and strengthen your network size and depth (of relationships).
Attitude is so powerful, isn’t it? Just going through the motions without the right attitude will be detrimental (trust me, I did that).
I saw this blog post somewhere… I thought it was going to be a junky, unqualified article written by an entry level writer or someone who was writing nine points for SEO… but then I noticed it was written by Sultan Camp. Sultan works with veterans and helps them land their next gig. He’s a military recruiter. He’s definitely qualified to make these observations, and I know that he shares them in the spirit of helping you NOT make the mistakes he lists.
In her post, Jennifer suggests four steps (my comments after the bold):
1. Have a system for dealing with the business cards ASAP. I think “system” means process…. whether you have technology (like JibberJobber) or not, you need to have a process. My old process was to put a rubber band around the stack of business cards and put them in my desk…. not to be disturbed for months (when I coudln’t make heads or tails of any card). I even had a CRM, but it wasn’t a part of my business card process. What is your “system?” I suggest it isn’t “hide them in a dark, cold place right away!”
2. Connect with each person on LinkedIn. I’m on the fence on this one. Typically, I say that you should be very careful of this being your “first” contact with them. Obviously, to have gotten the card, you’ve already had a at least one communication. I think when you reach out after the event, though, you are almost starting over. You should remind them who you are, and maybe what you talked about. I think you can group your cards into two categories: (1) I don’t really care about this person, but I’m interested in connecting just to see who else I can meet through them, and (2) I really should nurture a relationship with this person. I encourage you to focus your time on getting cards and having conversations with the #2 people! Don’t waste too much time on #1 people! Anyway, as long as you recognize that getting a LinkedIn connection is not the ultimate goal, go ahead and connect with people. Too often, though, it becomes the final communication. Don’t let that happen.
3. Arrange follow-up meetings, where applicable. Going back to my #1 person or #2 person, you should hope to have a lot of people you want to follow-up with. For some this will be a phone call, for others it will be an email, or face-to-face… but start to stay in touch. The concept of “nurturing a relationship” is that there are multiple touch-points… which means that your follow-up will not be a one-time thing in your relationship. Start somewhere, and let it grow from there. Even if you feel uncomfortable making that first phone call (we all do).
4. Add these contacts to your tickler system.Tickler System must be Jennifer’s hidden code phrase for JibberJobber. Add these people to JibberJobber. JibberJobber is your tickler system. I find it interesting that she says to add them to LinkedIn, which a lot of people think is their contact system, and then says to add them to your tickler system. This is because LinkedIn is NOT your tickler system. It is a social network that has pros and cons. A “tickler system” is your roladex… it has private information and notes that you enter and track. When I was at the FBI they talked about “tickler” files. This was something that would somehow remind you of something you needed to do later. It “tickles” you. I’m not going to beat a dead horse here, but you need to put enough contact info (first name, last name, email, perhaps company) into JibberJobber, and create an Action Item to follow-up with them next week, or each quarter, or whatever, so you can nurture the relationship.
Great tips from Jennifer – are you doing any of them? Are you purposefully networking?
It’s true – if you are in a transition, and are not working right now, then your job search should be a full-time job. I got beat up on a radio show once by someone saying the average time a person spends on a job search, per week, is 10 hours. If you have responsibilities (bills, spouse, kids, etc.) then 10 hours a week is not enough. Especially if you are looking for a job that pays a lot (because it typically takes a long time to land those).
Bonnie continues, listing the things we’re “supposed” to do:
She listed things that I’ve heard over the last 8+ years… the “experts” will indeed claim you “have to” do these things. That’s one of the problems with so many “experts.” You’ll get advice that’s all over the place, and many of them say “you HAVE TO do this(, OR ELSE)!”
But we only have so much time. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. Some of us will gravitate towards research (quiet, peaceful, stressless) while a very small group of others will actually pick up the phone and network. The extroverts will be fine to go to network meetings, others would rather stay in their pajamas, stay home and read and write blog posts. What’s the answer? What’s the best strategy?
I don’t know – I think it depends on YOU, your market, what you are looking for, etc. There are too many variables to say that everyone must do the same things… you need to figure out what your job search strategy should look like, and determine what from “the list” from experts, you keep, and what you throw away.
For example, I would put a Twitter strategy at the bottom of the list of tactics for most people (unless you are in marketing, and even then it’s questionable).
I would suggest you don’t spend too much time reading blog posts, because that can take a lot of time, and get too comfortable. Most people aren’t ready to start writing blog posts… they need to do a lot of other stuff first, before they write blog posts.
Just because an “expert” said you MUST do it doesn’t mean that you should spend time on it. Figure out what is best for you to do, and what will get closer to landing a job, and spend your time there.
Should you do it all? NO! Figure out your job search strategy, throw enough “me time” stuff in there to keep sane (like exercise, meditation, etc.), and take this step-by-step. And quickly stop doing things that are a waste of time (or, that don’t get you closer to landing the job you want/need).
I know it’s overwhelming. At some point, you have to turn the experts off and just start doing the right things to land your job.
Do your work upfront! Too many job seekers have very vague requests for help. Most vague requests are about as helpful as this: “I’m looking for a job.” Geesh! Can you tell me ANYTHING about you, what you’re looking for, what you want to do, etc.? I can’t help you if I don’t know if you want to be a lifeguard at the local rec center, or a CEO of a multi-national company! When you do your homework, you’ll know how I might be able to help you… and you’ll be able to have a better conversation. Ignore this at your own peril (or, extended job search).
DO NOT name drop… without permission. Hunter is kind of a big deal… and I’m sure has this happen all the time. If someone didn’t say “tell them I sent you,” then DON’T TELL THEM THEY SENT YOU! You can say “oh yeah, I know Jason…. I just read his blog post and ….” But don’t say “Jason sent you.” You will ruin your credibility and likely come across as a liar, perhaps ruining two relationships with one unfortunate white lie.
Don’t ask your contact for too much. If you want an introduction, make it super-easy for your contact to facilitate the introduction. This means you write something they could forward… why the introduction is happening, etc. Make it easy for them to forward something without thinking too much.
Follow-up with the person who made the introduction for you. It’s critical that you do this, if you want to improve relationships and get more introductions. When someone follows-up with me, no matter how good the meeting went (even if it didn’t happen), I can trust that the person I’m introducing will respect my contacts. I want to help more. If I don’t know what you are doing with my introductions, I am not inclined to give you more.
Keep the person posted about what’s going on. If you trust someone enough to ask for an introduction, and they trust you enough to do the introduction, why not keep them abreast of what’s going on, even outside of that introduction? Keep them posted perhaps monthly or quarterly…. stay on their radar. I wrote about this using a job seeker newsletter, which is a monthly email that I personally think every job seeker should have.
Too many people want to finish the job search and never, ever do it again. But the truth is, we will do it again… regularly. We need to figure out how to make this type of stuff be part of our DNA… how we work, how we communicate, etc. Whether you are looking for a job, funding, or customers, this is basic communication and networking stuff we need to internalize.
On my Focus Friday call this morning, which was 10 minutes of focus and 20 minutes of awesome Q&A (thanks everyone!), Norm made this comment:
Yes, Norm is 1,000% right. I’ve seen it over and over again. The people who are secure in their job lose it. The people who have recently found their dream job lose it. The people who are in a job they don’t really like, but the money and benefits are too good, lose it.
A SVP in HR in a huge, huge company told me a few years ago that they try to impress upon everyone in their company something to this effect: “within four years you won’t be here anymore.” Whether that is up to the company, or the employee, we need to start thinking about career management.
That’s why JibberJobber is such an important, critical part of the new normal with regard to your career.
Valerie Gonyea is one of my favorite people… she recently posted this on Facebook:
In the comment thread, she continued:
The hidden job market has been defined as job opportunities that exist but aren’t posted for the public to know about them. In other words, once it’s online, or on a job board, it is not “hidden.” In this example, this opporunity came when “the CEO and the CFO had just started to come to the conclusion that they needed some help.” Who knew about it? NO ONE. It was “hidden.” No one could have known about it because the to CxOs had just started to come to the conclusion… this was far from being posted online, and far away from them going to a recruiter to find talent.
Valerie “tapped into the hidden job market” (which is what we all want to do) by, as she said, working it. She reached out, and I’m sure she let the two people she reached out to know who she was (what kind of work she does) and what she was looking for. She did it in a clear enough way that they could communicate that to their network… and it worked.
Will you talk to only and exactly two people? Probably not… some people talk to two hundred plus people…. but talking is where it is at. Valerie probably had NO competition in the decision-making phase… contrast that with the idea of being one of hundreds of resumes submitted online.
Think differently about where you spend your time. This concept would have changed the way my job search went entirely.
Elliot makes great points about the education we get, what is required to graduate, and electives. He says that students should HAVE TO go through a career course. I know this is required at some schools (who I’ve worked with), but it’s by no means required everywhere. I would suggest that in too many classes it’s seen as a lame freshman course, with no meat (substance) and no teeth (or authority).
Check out the bottom of the post to see what Elliot suggests would be covered in the 16 weeks. You might have better ideas (mine would be to focus more on long-term career management, not just immediate job search skills), but the main idea is that this should really happen. It would have provided me more value than some of the other required classes I had to take to graduate.
Bonus: his other idea is the next required class would be for programming. I think this is a really intriguing idea… ! What do you think?
Nine times out of ten, when someone asks me to look at their resume, I’m assuming it’s because they want me to make an introduction, or help them find a job. I don’t assume it’s because they really want my feedback on their resume.
Maybe you have truer intentions, and only want feedback on the resume, but the truth is, I’m not the person to give it to you. My brain and resumes don’t mix very well. They are too formal, with boundaries that I think are dumb. I can point out glaring issues, but so can most people. Why are you taking up my time (and potential help) by asking me for something that doesn’t make sense.
It’s like asking your neighbors to check your oil in your car. You can do it, you can learn to do it, or you can find someone qualified to do it. But you don’t ask all of your neighbors to check your oil, right?
If you really want my help with your job search, find out how I can help you, and then ask for that! It might be networking, introductions, sitting down and giving you ideas, participating in a mock interview, or a host of other things. But don’t let the first request be “will you look at my resume?”
There comes a time when you have to stop hiding behind “I’m working on my resume” and realize you simply need to have the right conversations with the right people. And you don’t need to use your resume to do that.