Despite the slow economy, you can land a job you’ll love. While I personally think this is just about the best time ever to start a small business, you may not be of the same mind. So be it. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. So if you’re interested in landing a great job, here’s how to do it:
1. Set a Target
Your first step is to be crystal clear on what you want to do and (preferably) for whom. I’ll assume you have this step taken care of. (If you go fishin’ you better know what you’re fishin’ for. If not, you’ll use the wrong bait and go home with nothing but empty beer cans.)
2. Never Send Out a Resume
Your chances of getting a job by sending a blind resume are close to zero. You will need a killer resume, but it’ll be a support item rather than the main line of attack. Don’t waste time sending out resumes hoping for a positive response – it’s not going to come.
3. Interview – Don’t Network
Networking with people is fine, but I’ve got a much more powerful idea. Tell your friends and family what your career goals are. Continue by telling them you want to learn more about the opportunities and would like to interview people in the industry. Ask if they know people in the industry. And if you don’t have a degree, don’t be intimidated. You can use this technique to get great jobs without a college degree.
Then have your friends and family introduce you to them. Tell the people you are introduced to that you aren’t looking for a job offer (and mean it). You simply want to interview them to get to know more about the industry. This is something that will get you in front of prime decision-makers six out of 10 times (which is a heck of a lot better than what your resume would do for you.) Remember you told these people you aren’t looking for a job interview, so don’t ask for one.
4. Ask Questions
You asked for an interview, so interview them. Don’t sell yourself – you won’t have to. By asking the right questions, you will be selling yourself. Find out about the industry as a whole. What challenges are they facing? What are the opportunities? Get to know the person you’re talking to. Come into the meeting prepared. Have a list of 10 to 15 questions.
As I said, you must resist the urge to ask for a job. But at the end of the interview ask your guest what she would do if she were in your place and trying to land a job in the industry. Ask who else you should interview to get more information. Then close by asking if it’s OK for you to stay in contact with them.
5. Focus on Your Plan
If you want to land a great job, you have to talk to a lot of people. Sooner or later you’re going to interview someone or touch base with someone you interviewed in the past who happens to need someone like you. You goal should be to conduct two interviews each week – more if possible. If you exhaust your list of contacts, call companies and ask for interviews even without being introduced. Most people are inclined to help and will accept your invitation.
How did you land your last job? If you are an employer, would you accept an invitation for an interview from a person you didn’t know?
photo by The CreativePenn, Flikr