I got an e-mail from a new friend in South Carolina a few weeks ago which basically said:
I hope that you could possibly offer me some advice. I live in Charleston, SC and I have read your article that was posted on the CharlestonJob Network and I have attempted to follow your advice to the tee, but without success.
I’m leaving out details, of course, but my reply listed the best practices that I could think of… I’d like to present these seven things to you so you can ask where you stand on each of these things:
- Have you read Never Eat Alone? Simple stuff, common sense, especially for a sales veteran. But there are lots of things in there that might be reminders, or something like that. It might be educational or motivational (for me it was both) â€“ but it should be read. (Another great networking book I just finished is Thom Singer’s Some Assemby Required – different than Keith Ferrazzi’s book and style, I consider it very complementary)
- Do you have a tight relationship with a recruiter? This can be someone local, or someone far away. But you need to be able to get coaching from a professional recruiter before an interview, after the interview, with regard to your resume, etc.
- Would you consider a career coach? I “work with” or at least network with a few career coaches. I think that when you are in a state of despair its so helpful to have someone that can help you, hold you accountable, and their focus is to help you move on to that next step!
- How effectively do you network locally? 30 interviews is a ton, and now you know some important people in lots of companies. Do you go to any networking meetings? I’m not talking about the job seeker meetings, but industry or niche associations? These are smaller, tight-nit groups that focus on their specialty, but the relationships there are usually really valuable. I never did this because I was too busy working, but now I’ll never NOT do it.
- Do you work on personal branding? From what you told me you could be an established authority in the sales space. There are tons of specialties, like you mention (you are B2B software) â€“ are any of them underserved, or can you transfer your knowledge from your specialty to help in another specialty? You would do this with a blog (see my Monthly Winners in my blog for excellent examples) or by writing articles. You need to be THE AUTHORITY, someone that is a superstar, and undisputed â€“ and you can do this through your personal branding strategy.
- Do you give service regularly? I had a blog carnival where I basically said “Yikes! You just lost your job and your network has been neglected â€“ what do you do now??” Seth Godin replied with “Do service for 6 months!!!” It was an amazing answer, and I think many felt it was unrealistic, but doing service allows you to substantiate yourself, and rub shoulders with other execs, hiring managers and professionals that want to give back â€“ these are excellent network contacts!
- I think you are a prime candidate for a professional resume writer. I would have cringed to think about paying for that because its such a simple document, but you clearly have issues with your moving around (I don’t think they are issues but you have to figure out how to communicate it both on the resume and in an interview!). I could be wrong here because you have already had 30 interviews (which leads me to believe you need to network more â€“ apparently getting an interview isn’t a problem), and you need coaching on the interview (and how to answer questions regarding moving/job changes). This is NOT insurmountable, and I wish I could tell you the answer, but it ain’t my thing.
This is stuff I didn’t think about a year ago, but might constitute my response for best practices in a job search. What do you think – are these things you need to reconsider?