Tag Archives: networking

What to do With Your References After You Get the Job

ThankingReferences_May2011_web Now more than ever, having positive references to cite during your job search is invaluable. With job markets becoming more and more competitive, potential employers will look to your contacts as testaments of your work ethic, personality, and ability to perform. However, once you achieve employment, it is important to show your gratitude to those who helped you along the way.

Send a thank-you note.

Although you may be tempted to send a thank-you via e-mail, don’t. Take the old fashion route and send a handwritten thank-you card to those who served as a reference. Spending the extra five minutes to write a note will show your appreciation in a personal and memorable way. Be sure to thank your contact for serving as a reference and assure them you will continue to work hard in order to reaffirm their praise of you. Your new job will keep you busy, but remember to show your gratitude in a prompt manner.

Exceed expectations.

Perhaps the greatest way to repay a reference is to perform well in your new position. This is especially important if your reference used personal or professional connections to help you secure an interview and job. Excelling in your job will not only make you look good, but will also reinforce your reference’s trust in you. Think of your reference as an endorsement on your behalf. In order to keep a positive, professional relationship, it is important to excel in your new position and prove yourself to both your new employer and your reference.

Keep your contacts updated.

Updating your contact on your success and growth is another thoughtful way to include them in your endeavors. Sending information regarding your job development or a recent promotion every now and then will make your reference feel involved and appreciated. This will also help keep you in contact for any future recommendations you may need.

The reality is most of us get our foot in the door based on who we know. Showing gratitude to your contacts is a great way to maintain a professional relationship that will continue to benefit you throughout your career.



The Future of Your Career

Careerfuture_May2011_web Entering the career world is an exciting yet scary time. Numerous unknowns, like job success, meeting deadlines, and understanding your role, can cause new job seekers and new employees to experience doubt, concern, and stress. The better prepared you can be during the on boarding process, the better your end results will be.

Networking is an invaluable skill that comes with time and produces countless benefits. While seeking employment and even after landing your new job, take time to get to know other professionals in your area. Utilize local networking groups, social media, and people you’ve met along the way to make the most of your time. Networking is a fabulous way to learn from others in your desired field, establish contacts that you may work with in the future, and develop confidence in a professional setting.

Set Goals.
The goal setting process allows you to consider all that you want and need in life and requires thought on how to achieve it all. Set goals for your immediate, near, and distant future that can be realistically achieved and maintained. Setting goals will better help you learn how to plan and organize your accomplishments.

Follow the Leaders.
Each industry has established leaders who have paved the way. Look to those leaders in your chosen field and follow their example. These leaders can vary from the CEO of your company to an established co-worker you’ve befriended.  Study their work ethic, relationships with co-workers and clients, and business habits. By adapting similar characteristics you can begin establishing a career path that resembles theirs.

Starting out in your career can be a little scary and intimidating. But, by surrounding yourself with positive leaders and goals, you will be able to focus on what is most important rather than what is most frightening.

A Breakthrough Role Starring You and Your New Job

At one time or another, you’ve probably dreamed of being a movie star. You could see yourself in the spotlight and walking the red carpet. However, if you are like me, you had to find your calling elsewhere due to a lack of theatrical talent.

Instead, I’ve focused my energy and talents on jobs and leadership roles that would allow me to help influence and shape other people’s lives. And, here I am writing to you with career advice and tips.

So, how did I find my calling and career path in life? Here are three tips that helped me visualize my breakthrough role.

Script Writing
Write down your goals and script out your career path. Try to visualize what your career path will look like in three to five years. Where do you want to be? Does it involve learning new skills or going back to school? Identify what steps you need to take to reach your goals, and then create your game plan for achieving those goals.

Also, as you map out your career, continue to build your network and seek out those leaders who inspire and motivate you. Study their behavior, ask about their management style, and inquire about their favorite resources to learn more about leadership. Remember, knowledge is power.

Don’t Settle for a Stand-in Role
In the movies, a stand-in is a substitute for the star during the tedious process of scene preparation, set up, and lighting. So, how can you get past that stand-in role and be recognized as the potential leader you know you can be? It’s important not to give up on your career advancement. Stay motivated. Take on additional tasks or brainstorm a new project and present it to your boss. Showing that you have determination and drive will be viewed as an asset to the company and will help you advance in your career journey.

It’s Show Time
You know your lines and now it’s your time to shine. With a little preparation, you can demonstrate leadership and show you are ready for that breakthrough role. And, as with every great actor, their skills continue to grow with every new role. Continue to build on your leadership and supervisory skills so you can perform bigger and better roles in the future.

As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” So, visualize yourself in the starring role of your new job, be confident and go for it.

Shorten Your Job Search by Becoming a Networking Pro

Networking When your job search stalls, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Many people assume all it takes to land a new job is sending out a handful of résumés and waiting for the phone to ring.

However, the reality is the average job search can take months – even a year or more. But with a little networking savvy, you can greatly improve your chances of landing your perfect job in record time.

Bring back the personal communication. Don’t underestimate the human element in landing a new job. Job boards and internet postings are great resources, but when your job search slows, it’s time to step out from behind the computer screen. In fact, many job postings are never even advertised. That means the only way you’ll learn about these hidden gems is by networking with others.

Let others help. Surveys reveal that approximately 80% of jobs are found as a result of a personal referral. So don’t let your contacts go to waste. Make sure that everybody – from your Great Aunt Ethel to your mail carrier to the man sitting next to you on the airplane – knows you’re looking for a job and you’re open to recommendations. You might be surprised to discover how eager friends, family, and even casual acquaintances are to help you in your hunt for a job.

Make the most of referrals. After you put the word out that you’re in the market for a new job, keep the ball rolling by following up on all leads. For example, if the man on the airplane gives you his business card, send him an email or traditional letter within a day or two of your meeting. Thank him for taking the time to discuss your job search, and briefly reiterate what sort of job you’re seeking. Don’t forget to include an updated copy of your résumé in case your contact knows of an immediate opening.

Broaden your circle. If you’ve run out of leads using your current contacts, it’s time to expand your network. Joining professional groups, taking continuing education classes, or attending chamber of commerce meetings are great ways to widen your professional sphere. You’ll develop deeper relationships within these new networks by selecting the most promising groups and becoming an active member. Again, don’t keep your search a secret. Your new acquaintances can only help you if they know what you need.

Make the most of social networking sites. If you’re not currently using websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter consider creating profiles on these sites today. Used wisely, these sites can be powerful tools for connecting with a large network of potential employers and colleagues.

Set goals to keep you on track. Determine how much time you can invest in networking and set daily and weekly goals for meeting and following up with new contacts. Even making just a few extra phone calls or in-person visits each week can greatly speed up your job search.

Networking is a learned skill, and just like anything else worth developing, it requires practice to become a professional at it. From neighbors to former bosses, anyone can provide the referral you need to land your next big job. To make the most of your contacts, it’s essential to communicate your needs and ask for help.

If you’re ready to put your job search in the fast lane, take a step out of your comfort zone and away from the computer screen. You’ll soon discover the truth behind the saying, “It’s all about who you know.”

Saving Contacts for a Rainy Day?

Have you ever felt awkward calling someone you haven’t spoken to in months? The task can be especially daunting if you have to ask for a favor. Just the thought of it can cause your stomach to flutter with butterflies, your palms to sweat, and a large lump to grow in your throat. So you put off making the phone call or hope for the answering machine to pick it up. If you dislike the “sorry it’s been so long” phone call, the best way to avoid this is to maintain the quality relationships you’ve built with individuals in your industry. Instead of storing business cards in your wallet to gather dust while you save them for a rainy day, put them to good use and strengthen your business connections right away.

Networking is a very important tool for being successful in the professional world. Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to land a contract, making connections with people in your field can help open doors. Career fairs, networking seminars, conferences, or even volunteering at a local charity are all great places to network, but what you do after making those connections is what really counts. Maximize your networking relationships with these tips.

Connect with social networking: After you meet a new contact, find out if that professional has an account on a social networking site like LinkedIn or Twitter. If they do, make a connection with them. Following a contact on Twitter, for instance, is a great way for you to continue building a relationship with them, and vice versa. If they have a blog, leave comments and contribute to the conversation. And, remember that although you want them to know who you are, you don’t want them to think you are a creeper or a stalker, so leave comments or messages in moderation and always be professional.

Send e-mails or make phone calls: A good time to make a phone call or send an e-mail to a new contact is after you run into a person that can help enhance the success of your career. Either call or send an e-mail a day after meeting them, letting them know you enjoyed getting to speak with them. Also, inform them of your current status in the industry. If you are unemployed, they may refer you to a company looking to hire someone with your qualifications.

Send greeting cards: Greeting cards are a thoughtful way to stay in touch with someone. Depending on the relationship you have with the person, sending appropriate greeting cards can be a considerate gesture your contacts won’t forget. Send birthday cards, notes, or congratulations cards when you notice they’ve received an award or their company has an achievement. Also, keep in mind that hand-written cards will probably be more appreciated and memorable, since they’re not as common as e-mails. Most people communicate via e-mail because it’s more convenient. So hand-written notes help you stand out from the crowd and keep you top of mind. Always send a thank-you note whenever your contact helps you. Though a thank-you note may be short, the thought goes a long way!

Share industry articles: Sending industry articles or interesting materials you find that your contact could benefit from is also a thoughtful way of being helpful and staying in touch. You’re providing them with relevant information that shows you’re well informed about what’s going on in their industry.

Be a connector: Even as you look for influential contacts who can help you succeed, you should also be influential in helping your contacts to network. Find out how you can assist those you’re networking with and who you know that would benefit them. Introduce your contacts to other people you know to help make great connections, too.

Don’t become the awkward person who only calls when they need a favor. This can make you appear selfish and often leads to one-way relationships with your contacts. Ensure that both you and everyone you are networking with benefit from the relationships you share. You may be surprised how much of a difference you can make in the lives of those you help, not to mention the help you will get in return.

Looking for New Job Opportunities? Advice to Improve Your Results

How are you looking for new job opportunities? Are you waiting for them to just appear or are you actively seeking them out? Searching for a career is a full-time job in itself, and it’s important to exhaust all your avenues for finding employment. To help you be more proactive with your efforts, here are some tips to improve your job search efforts today.

Attend networking events. If you know what industry you want to work in, try to get plugged into professional meetings in that field. This will give you an opportunity to network with others who work in that field and make valuable connections. Introduce yourself to them and don’t be afraid to tell them what your goals are. When you attend these meetings, always have your résumé and business cards on hand with you and pass them out. You want people to leave that meeting with a good impression of you.

Talk to people. You never know if somebody knows somebody who is looking for a new employee. Make it a point to get out there and just meet new people. When you’re at your local coffee shop, strike up a conversation with those around you. Ask others what they do for a living, and then tell them about yourself and what you want to do in life. Also, keep your friends and family updated about what’s going on with you. It never hurts to share your story with others.

Volunteer for organizations. Seek out volunteer opportunities that would provide you with experience related to what you want in a job. If you like marketing, volunteer to do some writing for a non-profit organization. If you want to do construction, contact Habitat for Humanity to see if they have any projects for you. These are great ways to build your skill set and be able to measure the impact of your results.

Get online. Check out company websites and others like Indeed.com to search for job openings. Submit your résumés online, along with a copy of your cover letter. Be sure your contact information is included. Apply for all the job openings you qualify for. The more you apply, the more your chances go up of hearing from an employer about a possible interview.

Also, set up social media networking accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, if you don’t already have one. This is another great way to make connections with others. You can include information on these profiles about your skills, experiences, and what type of jobs you’re looking for. Again, you never know who could see your online profile and want to meet you.

Instead of waiting for opportunity to knock on the door, it’s important for you to take some initiative and push that door open just a bit and introduce yourself to new possibilities. If you keep approaching the job hunt the same way you always have, you will get the same results. Try these tips to help find the job you want.

New Job on the Horizon? 4 Ways to Make an Easy Transition.

The global economy is improving, according to the chairman and chief executive of Monster Worldwide Inc. in a recent article on The Wall Street Journal. And that means the job market is on the rise. Job postings across every industry, from professional to occupational sectors, are increasing on the popular job search engine website, giving experts hope that the economy is beginning to stabilize, allowing job seekers to breathe a sigh of relief.

As the job market loosens and employers start to hire again, job seekers and those looking to change professions may find themselves in a transition – moving back into a full-time career or starting a new one. This can be overwhelming, exciting, nerve racking, and stressful. If you’re about to embark on a new journey on your career path, make your transition easier with these four tips.

Know your industry. Whether you’re jumping back into the job market after some time off or just changing careers, make sure you’re up to speed on the desired industry you want to work in. Research the latest trends by attending workshops, conferences, or education seminars that are geared for the career you’re searching for. This will help you be prepared when opportunity comes knocking.

Identify your transferable skills. Once you’re updated with the latest industry trends, identify the transferable skills you need to be successful in that line of work. All transferable skills fit into five broad skill categories: leadership and management, professionalism, communication, research and planning, and relational. To help you organize and clarify your skills, check out Secrets of the Job Search: Identify Your Transferable Skills.

Update your résumé. Now that you have researched your industry and identified your transferable skills, it’s time to update your résumé to reflect the career you want. Create a standout résumé that showcases you and your skills, helping you transition from one type of job to another.  

Network. Your next step is to attend every possible networking event. You can even join organizations that don’t directly align with your industry, just as long as you get out there and meet people. Focus on building strong relationships with your contacts. Use networking opportunities to your advantage.

No matter if you’re changing jobs, just starting out, or starting over in the workforce, the time has come to prepare for the job search again. And, using these four tips will help you transition from one to another. So, stop dragging your feet. Get out there and start searching for your next adventure.