Job Search Part 3:What networking can do for your job search!

Job Search Part 3:What networking can do for your job search!

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the third in our new series on Job Search. In the first at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post last week at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/, I set out some options for you in terms of where to look for work

  • Recruitment agencies
  • On-Line Job Sites
  • Contacting employers directly
  • LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Local newspapers and bulletin boards
  • Graduate and Intern schemes
  • Word of mouth – Networking

I said that I thought networking was the most effective way to look for work; so that is what we are going to tackle to-day.

Most jobs, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through talking to people – networking.

Letting people you know, and people they can introduce you to, know what you have to offer, really does bring new opportunities. These contacts can offer advice from own their experiences of job search. They can tell you about the sector they work in and they can introduce you to others, so that your network expands.

But networking is more than just asking for help! You need to make it a two-way conversation. In order to receive, you must be ready to give.

So what have you got to share in this conversation? Well, you can be an attentive audience! You can listen with real interest, attention and respect to what they have to say. Plus you can share your own knowledge. You can talk about your own sector and you can share your own contacts. Sometimes people are really grateful for an opportunity to talk about what is happening to them at work. Play your part and offer support when it is needed.

Make it an on-going and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.

You can network beyond your existing circle at, such as, an event run by your professional organization. If you don’t already belong to the professional organization for your sector, now is the time to join. It can be expensive but it really is a good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, as well as getting early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out of work.

You can network, as well, at events like job fairs which are intended to bring employers together with potential new employees. And if you are thinking of making a career change into starting your own business, lots of business networking events are held for you each week.

But, remember, the keys to success on any networking occasion are establishing a relationship and having a conversation. It is about showing you are someone they want, but it is not about selling yourself in a way that embarrasses you or the people you talk to. Have an elevator pitch (a 30-60 second description of what you do and why someone should work with you) but craft, and use it, with care.

To network well you need to understand the networking process and have the confidence to take an active part in it. If you would like one to one advice on networking email me. I am happy to offer readers of this blog a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype

Next week we’ll tackle writing a winning CV

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?

  • Job Search – Dealing with rejection

  • Job Search:What kind of Work Are You Looking For?

  • How networking can help your career and your business

Thursday Quotes – Job Search – Keep Your Spirits Up

Thursday Quotes – Job Search – Keep Your Spirits Up

  1. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door Milton Berle
  2. Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius 
  3. Getting fired is nature’s way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place. Hal Lancaster
  4. Fall seven times, stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
  5. Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it Theodore Roosevelt
  6. The résumé focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future. Joyce Lain Kennedy, Cover Letters for Dummies
  7. If you can’t communicate and prove your value, no one will see your value. Megan Pittsley
  8. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou
  9. Can’t find a job? Find an organization with a need you can fill. Then offer to fill it. Susan Ireland
  10. 10. Interviewing is like tasting wine: a first impression, the taste while drinking & the feeling left behind. @workcoachcafe on Twitter

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Related articles

 

  • Career Development – Dealing With a New Boss

  • Wednesday Quotes – Career Development – Taking a Sabbatical

  • Job Search When You Are In Work – Career Development in a Cold Climate

  • 100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiter


Job Search – The Importance of Knowing What You Don't Want

Job Search – The Importance of Knowing What You Don’t Want!

Over a very long career, I have advised and a coached lots of gifted, intelligent and ambitious people who were unhappy in their present job. I’ve learned lots of strategies for coping and for turning a negative short term experience into a long-term gain. I am writing today because there a has been a recurring theme. Most of those people had doubts before they took the job.

The exceptions were usually people whose circumstances changed. For example, they had a new boss they didn’t get on with or they had been through a badly handled outsourcing exercise where they ended up feeling like a victim. Sometimes, it was their own personal circumstances that had been changed. For example, a job with a lot of travelling was difficult to accommodate along side a very young family (for fathers as well as mothers).

For most, they knew when they took the job that it was wasn’t quite right.

Now, we have to be very realistic here. A good job is hard to find now. And jobs are very rarely the perfect fit. Common-sense says you apply the 80/20 principle in reverse. If 80 percent fits and the the 20 percent misfit is not in highly significant areas, most of the time that is good enough. But what about those highly significant areas?

Most people have a list of things they want in a job. This is in their head, if not committed to paper/laptop. (By the way, it is always best committed to paper/laptop, so that when you look through jobs specs you don’t miss something).

What many people forget to produce is a list of things that they don’t want. I’m not talking here about having just left a job where you had a bad experience, so now you swear never again to work with men or women with red hair.

Spending time on your real “no, noes” is time well invested. Make your list carefully and be very honest with your self. For example, if regular travelling really isn’t practical then put it on the list.

Some people do not want a job that is largely transactional (lots of processes to be applied), others do not want a role that requires a long period of quiet work on their own. Some people want to practice their technical and professional skills at a high level and will never feel truly fulfilled managing a team. You will find your list of don’t wants is not necessarily an exact mirror of what you do want. And there will be degrees of dislike.

To take the example above, “no regular travelling” may not mean no travelling at all. As you go through your list make sure you define what you don’t want carefully and then decide whether each item is of high, medium or low importance.

Now, of course, life and job search is all about compromise. Sometimes you may think that it is worth taking a job that hits so many buttons on your wanted list it balances out the buttons on your not wanted list. Please have a care, particularly with those items you marked as high. There really is a risk for you with those items. Only you can decide whether it is worth that risk. But please do it understanding the potential consequences.

Do not go into a job knowing you don’t want something and banking on your influence growing so quickly that you will be able to avoid it. For example, if a company has a long hours culture and you go in thinking it isn’t what you really want but over time you’ll find a way round it, you really are setting your self up for trouble and a potential loss of reputation. That particular item, like travel, is recurring theme.

Be careful, as well, with what companies say they want at interviews, if it is different to what they have said explicitly in their recruitment literature.

To take travel again, suppose the chair of the interviewing panel really likes you and wants you to join the company. All of sudden, you are being told the travelling isn’t so regular really and they are sure they can work round it. Now the hairs on your neck should start to rise. If it wasn’t so important, why did they bother to put it in their literature. If you are really interested, you need to ask lots of questions and, if you still have doubts, ask them to confirm in writing.

So I hope you will produce your “don’t want” list with the same enthusiasm or you apply to your “wants” list. If you need help. or you are already is a role you don’t like, please get in touch. As I’ve said above, I’ve worked with lots of other people just like you.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the 

confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com


  • Career Development – Dealing With a New Boss

  • Wednesday Quotes – Career Development – Taking a Sabbatical

  • Job Search When You Are In Work – Career Development in a Cold Climate

  • 100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters

Asking for a Job Reference

Asking for a Job Reference

Asking for a Job Reference – if you are applying for a job, you can expect the recruiter to ask for a reference. They will ask for, at least two and probably three of your references. And they will check them out. So you need to be prepared.

It is a good idea to have a number of potential referees for you to choose from. But the recruiter is likely to expect to see the details of your most recent employer. This is one reason why it is always a good idea to leave on good terms. This is even if you have been made redundant. However, you can include other people too, if they know your work and your capabilities.

For example, if you volunteer you could ask a senior manager from within the voluntary organization. They may be prepared to give you a personal reference. If you have recently left college, you should certainly include your course tutor. Business acquaintances, suppliers and former clients can also make good referees.

You need to ask the referee’s permission before you give out their details. Even if they have agreed in principle, you should ask them whether they would be happy to provide a reference on this occasion. I know someone who lost an opportunity when they quoted the name of a referee who had past history with the recruiter. If the candidate had checked he would have had forewarning that this was a possibility

You need to know that your referees will respond quickly and that what they say will be positive. Some people don’t like to say no, when asked for a reference. Then the reference they provide is either vague or lukewarm. This usually works to your disadvantage; particularly if the recruiters follows up the letter they receive with a telephone call.

Have an idea what your referee is going to say

Only ask people to be referees if they really do know you well enough to provide a reference that means something.

It is important to have a good idea of what they are going to say about your background and your performance. Keep them briefed on what you have been doing. It is a good idea to offer them an up to date copy of your CV. You can point out, for example which of your competencies are likely fit most closely to the job you are applying for. If they need further guidance on what to write there are examples of reference letters at this link.

When you leave a position, always ask for a recommendation letter for your future use from your manager. Over time, people move on and others lose track. But if you have that letter you have a record you can share.

Giving a reference

And when, in due course, you are asked to provide a reference, play fair.

Never, never say yes, if you don’t feel you can write a sincere recommendation. “Damning with faint praise” is still damning and in this job climate, I believe it is unforgivable!

If you have tips for others, please pass them on.

Working with a coach can make all the difference in your job search – my email address is below.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search When You Are In Work – Career Development in a Cold Climate

Old Town|, Prague. Tourist spy-glass automat.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Job Search When You Are In Work – Career Development in a Cold Climate

In this economic climate, people in work sometimes feel uncomfortable admitting they are looking round for other jobs.

Looking for work when you are in work often sounds to others as if there is some kind of problem. Or perhaps you don’t understand just how hard the job market has become. But people who are very happy in their present roles, loyal to their present employers and serious about career development, do look round to see what else might be out there. And, yes, some organizations are still hiring!

When you start a new role, you often have a three-part cycle in your mind;

  1. In the first period things are fresh and you are learning about the new organization and its customers/users. You are getting to grips with office politics, making yourself part of the team and building your relationship with the boss.
  2. The second period is spent making your mark and excelling in the role. Now you become invaluable to the boss. You start to innovate – this is the time to bring in your new ideas.
  3. Then you move into the last period which traditionally has been about moving on. This might be moving up in the same organization or sideways to extend your professional experience. But if there are no opportunities for career development where you are, you start looking round outside.

If all is well, your boss will not want you to go and an opportunity might be made for you. But if there are no possibilities and you are serious about career progression, you start looking round.

This is healthy. But, you need to handle this third stage with care, particularly now. You do not want to find yourself being moved on because the organization begins to have doubts about your loyalty.

You need to commit to continuing to deliver good quality of work in your present role. You should continue to nurse and develop your relationships within the organization. With care, you can still make it clear you would like to develop further without raising questions about your loyalty.

If they value your contribution, even in this climate there may be more they can do for you. For example, they may not be able to pay for more training but they may be able to give you some time for study while you pay the fees.

Be imaginative and be flexible. Continue to learn and continue to look for new ways to innovate in the work you are doing. Help your present organization to survive and thrive with you doing so too. But don’t lose your ambitions and your wish to develop your career.

Yes, do keep your eyes open for other possibilities. Have a well planned exit strategy if something does come up. Don’t dump on your present employer – look after their interests as well as your own. It will pay dividends in the future and who know what else that may hold.

If you would like support in developing your career, get in touch. My email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Leading Change: High Levels Of Engagement Could Actually Put Your Change At Risk

  • Learning to Lead – Giving that Presentation

  • Job Search – Saying Thank You After The Interview Is A Must

  • Job Search – Dealing with rejection

Thursday Quotes – Acing the Job Interview

Thursday Quotes – Acing the Job Interview

Job Interview

  1. Remember why you are going! “You go to a job interview to discover whether your talents, abilities, interests and direction are a good fit for the job, the company, and the company’s mission.” Susan M Heathfield
  2. Research the company ahead of time. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be to respond to questions. Alison Doyle
  3. Use Your Contacts! “Who you know at the company really does matter. ….use your contacts and connections to get an insider advantage so you can ace the interview and impress the interviewer.” Alison Doyle
  4. Check the Job Requirements. Before you go to an interview, check the job requirements listed in the job posting you responded to. Make a list of the skills you have that match those requirements. Review the list prior to the interview and if you need a “cheat sheet” jot down the list on the notepad that you bring to the interview with you. Alison Doyle
  5. Dress for success! “Before job interviews, I think: What colour tie best represents me as a person this company would be interested in?
” Jarod Kintz,
  6. Walk in confidently. It’s important you look as professional as possible from the outset. As soon as you walk into the building you’ll begin to be judged on your behaviour. There are even instances where recruiters watch from their office as candidates arrive, to see how their body language changes. Reed.co.uk
  7. Watch your Body Language “Remember: recruiters will only see how you behave; they won’t see how you’re feeling. By getting an interview, the prospective employer already thinks you can do the job on paper. Now it’s up to you to show your confidence and use body language to your advantage.” Reed.co.uk 
  8. Keep your pitch simple and direct: This is what I can do for you. Scott Reeves
  9. The interviewer’s stock question “Tell me about yourself” isn’t a request for childhood memories or a run-down of academic prizes won, but a call for a brief overview of what you bring to the table. Scott Reeves
  10. If they ask “Why were you fired?” try this! “Being cut loose was a blessing in disguise. Now I have an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit my qualifications and interests. My research suggests that such an opportunity may be the one on your table. Would you like to hear more about my skills in working with new technology?” Joyce Lain Kennedy.
  11. Think before you speak! “Sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it is going. I just hope I find it a long the way” Unnamed unsuccessful candidate.
  12.  Good Luck. You dreamed, you believed and you worked. Now, go and achieve!

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason

 

 

Help Me Get A Job – Providing A Reference

Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife

Help Me Get A Job – Providing A Reference

If you are applying for a job, you can expect the recruiter to ask for, and check out, at least two and probably three of your references. So you need to be prepared.

It is a good idea to have a number of potential referees for you to choose from. But the recruiter is likely to expect to see the details of your most recent employer. This is one reason why it is always a good idea to leave on good terms, even if you have been made redundant. But you can include other people too, if they know your work and your capabilities.

For example, if you volunteer you could ask a senior manager from within the voluntary organization if they would be prepared to give you a personal reference. If you have recently left college, you should certainly include your course tutor. Business acquaintances, suppliers and former clients can also make good referees.

But you do need to ask the referee’s permission, before you give out their details. Even if they have agreed in principle, you should ask them whether they would be happy to provide a reference on this occasion. I know someone who lost an opportunity when they quoted the name of a referee who had past history with the recruiter. If the candidate had checked he would have had forewarning that this was a possibility

You need to know that your referees will respond quickly and that what they say will be positive. Some people don’t like to say no, when asked for a reference. But then the reference they provide is either vague or lukewarm. This usually works to your disadvantage,particularly if the recruiters follows up the letter they receive with a telephone call.

Only ask people to be referees if they really do know you well enough to provide a reference that means something.

It is important to have a good idea of what they are going to say about your background and your performance. Keep them briefed on what you have been doing and it is a good idea to offer them an up to date copy of your CV. If they need further guidance on what to write there are examples of reference letters at this link.

When you leave a position always ask for a recommendation letter for your future use from your manager. Over time, people move on and others lose track. But if you have that letter you have a record you can share.

And when in due course you are asked to provide a reference, play fair.

Never, never say yes, if you don’t feel you can write a sincere recommendation. “Damning with faint praise” is still damning and in this job climate, I believe it is unforgivable!

If you have tips for others, please pass them on.

Working with a coach can make all the difference in your job search – my email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Learning to Lead – Giving that Presentation

  • Monday Quotes for Leaders and Managers – Management and Motivation

  • Job Search – Saying Thank You After The Interview Is A Must

Job Search – Saying Thank You After The Interview Is A Must

In a successful job search, saying thank after an interview is a must.

Quill pen
Photo credit: Wikipedia

You can do it by email or by letter but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you these days, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos.  If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Remember timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

If you need support in your job search then please get in touch – my email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
@wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles:

  • Before the CV- Establishing your true marketability!
  • Adding value to your CV
  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees!

After the Interview – Now What?

After the Interview

After You Interview – Now What?

What to do after the interview – there is very good advice in this post that appeared recently on the Resume Bear Blog

Now that your interview is over you can relax and wait for the answer –WRONG! In any good sales campaign, you have a plan, and you keep on selling. No interview is over until you’ve assessed the interview and written and mailed the thank you notes to all who interviewed you. You should also notify your references that they may soon be getting a telephone call from your prospective employer. Be sure to coach them on what you’d like them to emphasize.

These are the extra steps that go into making you the outstanding and memorable candidate in the mind of the employer. If done correctly, these steps can put you a cut above the competition.

You can continue reading at this link.