Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some Good Job Search Advice from Austin, Texas

I'm a member of Door 64, an Austin (Texas) High Tech STEM LinkedIn group. A recent college graduate posted the following question to the group a few days ago:

I have been looking for a new job for a few months now with only a few leads. If I could just get an interview I KNOW I would get almost any position. Any advice on job searches? Thanks!
Charles D. came back with a really good reply and he has given the ok to reuse. I wish I could have written something half this good. Here it is: 
Use networking to your advantage and play the numbers game. I was laid off 4 weeks ago and already have had 8 interviews with 2 more this afternoon. You seem to be somewhat knowledgeable about using LinkedIn and super connectors. However, have you created a plan of attack for getting the right career? Don't look for a job, this is your life you are talking about. Focus on a career. Let me break down some of these comments.  
Using networking to your advantage: 
  • Get familiar with LinkedIn Signal apps. It will help out a lot if you use it correctly 
  • Focus on positions with companies that have employees with connections to you 
  • Ask your connections to submit your resume 
  • Ask your connections to be make references for you to employees 
  • Network with other people looking for work. I have two other dear friends that are also recently unemployed. I share information with them and they share it with me. 
Playing the numbers game: 
  • I have applied to over 40 positions in the last 4 weeks. Many of them I was very well qualified for but still received rejection notices, however I manage to turn several of the applications into interviews. 
  • Apply for contract, temp, full-time and positions in industries other than your primary focus. Think outside the box. Check Craigslist. One of my more recent positions was from Craigslist and one of my upcoming interviews is from the same source. 
Planning your attack: 
  • I have created a spreadsheet and list every position I have applied for. I keep notes about dates, where I found the position, who contacted me, when, interviews, who interviewed me and some other notes. I don't have this information just for the fun of it. I use it to follow up, reapply if I have not heard from a company, send thank you letters, etc. 
  • Use your network and follow up. I plan on being at the Doors64 event. I will follow up with anyone I have connected with recently and thank them in person. One super connector I connected with recently sent me a nice thank you letter because I personalized my connection request. He said that less than 1% of requests he gets actually do that. Wow, how amazing is that. People will remember you when you personalize. 
  • Plan your game and game your plan. In other words, make tasks for everyday of the week. Things you will do each day to look for opportunities. Do them. Wake up with a smile and go to sleep with a smile knowing that you did as much as you could that day to find your next position. 
  • Review your resume with others you trust and ask for feedback. Use the good feedback. Trust me, everyone has feedback, but it is not always good. You have to filter out what is good and what isn't by doing some of your own research.  
Finally, this is your career: 
  • If you want a job, I can refer you to a dozen temporary placement companies that will help to get you a job. However, if you want a career, you have to think like that. What is your ideal career? What skills do you need for it? Do you have them? If not, how can you get them? This is your life you are talking about. Manage it with the positive thoughts and images that you believe you already have. 
  • Always be positive, kind and grateful. If you do this with everyone, everywhere, you will find that the karma will be returned to you. 
Hope this information helps you out...... You will get what you want if you want it bad enough, plan well for it, try hard enough and thank everyone along the way who helped you out.  
Anyone who agrees with any of the above comments, feel free to reuse any or all of it in other postings for career searchers. It is not original, not unique, but just old time tested and true strategies and beliefs that may help others.
Excellent advice Charles - thank you!

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