Key numbers to remember when it comes to methods of successful job search and how you allocate your time:
- Depending upon level, 75% of all jobs are found through networking
- For executives, up to 9% find new positions through working with recruiters/executive search firms
- Traditional classifieds can account for how 10% find new jobs
- Fewer than 4% find their jobs via the internet
- Combined, mass distribution of resumes and outplacement accounts for less than 2% of all new positions found
- Your goal is to identify opportunities and prospective openings before they’re advertised by making warm and cold calls (once advertised or on a company’s website, literally thousands, if not tens of thousands, of candidates will be inundating the company).
- To tap the “hidden” job market through networking, it’s essential to
(a) learn your 90-second commercial (memorize key accomplishments and core competencies that define who you are) and (b) create a networking business card (your contact information as it appears on your resume and top keywords describing your level and areas of expertise: Finance VP / Director / CFO – M&A, Capital Raising, Risk Management, Turnaround).
- Remember, people want to help. Never lead with a question that can be answered no (just as with sales). In other words, don’t make a networking call asking for a job.
- Instead, call seeking professional advice (“I’d value another opinion of my resume”), an opinion (“You’re respected in Connecticut’s financial community—what are your thoughts about the proposed bank merger?”), or an introduction (“I know you’re affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce—would you be willing to introduce me to the Manufacturing Division chairperson?”).
- Try never to hang up the phone without getting at least two referral contacts (“I appreciate your time—who do you know whom you think would be important for me to contact?”).
- Get creative in sourcing leads: business news headlines, trade data, financial filings, company websites, news of promotions, yellow pages … all possible avenues for contact (“I read about the Jones Company’s plans to open a new CRC in Waterbury and have contacts that may prove valuable to you.” [candidates for rep positions as well as yourself as manager]).
- Conduct exploratory/informational meetings (in fact, you can say, “I understand you may not be hiring now—I’m interested in picking your brain: how you got into this line of work, what you like best, your ideas for someone with my background and skills, what trends you see.”).
- Follow through! Thank you notes are as essential to all your referral contacts as they are when actually interviewing. And be sure to update everyone who assisted you once you are successful—and offer to be a resource to them. Enclose several networking cards.
- Use the internet for follow-up networking, e-mailing, and due diligence. A search engine (Google, Kartoo) is invaluable for finding industry news and key information about target companies. Mine as much data as you can before making your calls—just reasonably limit that time so that half a day doesn’t pass without making phone calls!
- Just do it! The more calls you make, the more quickly you’ll begin interviewing (the best place to sell yourself is in person) … and the faster you’ll secure the right offer.