Networking is a CONTACT Sport!

Job search does not happen in a digital vacuum.

Compass-seaLYou have learned in embracing the OTHER job market that the key to the whole notion of productive and efficient networking is to generate INTERACTIVE communication, the initial basis of relationship building!  When involved with active job search, part of our preparation is to develop our set of Personal Marketing collateral materials.

I have long suggested that steps one and two of our 12-step Process M.A.P. give us all the ingredients we need to “get in the galley” and cook up a three course meal of our personal marketing collateral materials.


NEXT WEEK’s Session, Thursday, March 16th: IMPLEMENTING Your PMP


Pilot OnboardWhile most job seekers seem to prefer starting with a resume, so that they can begin simply applying to any job that seems remotely close to what they can do… I encourage you to work with all your ingredients at the same time…if your desired result is a nice prime rib dinner, don’t start with the meat—start with the seasonings and vegetables, even get your dessert started…

Because that “meaty” resume is the easiest and quickest of what you need to prepare, let’s look at the ingredients that you have identified through assessment of your galley shelves, and your dinner of choice.

WHERE To Start

As a contact sport, networking is about interaction between sender and receiver, buyer and seller… job seeker and potential employers. The great news is that you get to start from YOUR ‘sweet spot’ or middle ground where all this interaction occurs the easiest!

You start with people that you already know or have some connection to. If your ‘natural network’ doesn’t have a regular meeting—most do not, by their very diverse nature—groups of like-minded people are easy to identify and attend. As you begin to reach out and broaden your ‘sweet spot,’ be selective in your attempt to create a supportive ‘community’ grouping close to your targeted marketplace.

Networking within your targeted marketplace, your unique, job search ‘community’ should play a critical role in your Personal Marketing strategies. It is an easy means to getting the word out about your business to people who may purchase and influence others to purchase your service or goods. But just as with any other job search activity, we get what we put into it.

That being said, local networking events are seeing record turnouts lately, a sign that leads us to believe the networking is paying off. A Local Networking Group is any organization, which meets on a regular basis, to share and receive referrals and leads. Examples of formal Local Networking groups for small and medium sized business include: BNI (Business Networking International), Merchants’ Associations, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Associations.

Some of the largest local organizations devoted to supporting job seeker efforts are  Frisco Connect, Cathedral of Hope, the Southlake Group, Watermark Church… to name just a few. Many are associated with church support organizations… but are completely nondenominational in their approach, operation and outreach.

The WAVES of PMP Implementation

The concept, here, is to keep a pulse of activity going consistently and regularly into the job market.  When you let up, if you take time away from the marketplace, they will tend to forget you…the job market has no memory.  It’s up to you to achieve top-of-mind awareness.

Get the Most From Your ‘first wave’ of Networking… Your purpose in this ‘first wave’ of networking is to gain information, advice, and most importantly names of other individuals you can call. The lifeline of networking is to always get more names. Be sure to ask each person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

Make networking calls in a block of time. Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive. THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL JOB SEARCH ARE ALWAYS THE SAME: the search process itself is time consuming work, and the more productive time you spend on your job search the more interviews and job offers you will generate.

So the question at this point is “Where do you find out about job openings and on which avenues of job search should you spend the most time?”

 THE BEST (And Worst) OF BOTH WORLDS

Technology has done a terrific job of consolidating posted job leads. Web crawling software can reach out and consolidate classified ads, recruitment posts and company posted job opportunities. We know these consolidated sites as Internet Job Banks… and some of them contain a huge amount of postings.

Unfortunately, their very size makes it challenging to stay current and eliminate redundancy. Also unfortunate is the fact that these very same job banks have consolidated your competition and rejection from Corporate America. This is not even mentioning that Corporate America is also missing it’s goal of better qualified resumes to fuel its recruitment effort… they’re simply getting MORE resumes to process!

Solution? Use the Job Banks to generate your most attractive leads, then network your way into those targeted organizations.

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