You know what? I have a rare opportunity today to talk about both my job search and my training. What do they have in common? They are both really blowing.
That’s right. From a training perspective, we had a “significant meteorological event” this week. You folks in Colorado are probably familiar with the Chinooks or Boras. We have a similar scenario here in Southern California called the Santa Ana winds. Well – we had them this week. Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday they were blowing 20 – 30 mph down here along the coast. We got off pretty light. The damage was devastating in other parts of Los Angeles, where sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts in the 70 to 90 mph range were clocked.
The effect that it had on me was that my four miler on Wednesday turned into a frigid 3 miler, and yesterday turned into zero as I was not about to brave the 20 mph winds and the blowing sand, dust, leaves and litter. I know. What a wimp.
So then you ask – how does the job search blow? Well, in my last post I talked about putting together a complete networking strategy. And I thought that that was the holy grail. That the job interviews and offers would come trickling in. But alas. Meeting people is just step 1 of a multi-faceted gem. Remember when you meet people, you are telling a story. Make sure that your story is consistent. What does that mean? Here are some of the details:
- Have a resume handy at all times. The resume you’ll need for networking is probably different than the resume that you’ll have for your job interviews (more on that in a different post). Focus on things that will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- Business cards: Have them ready. And no – not your cards from the company you used to work for (unless you want people to call you at your place of business, or worse yet, call you somewhere that you are no longer at). And no – not the ones with the Vista Print logo on them (the free ones).
- Elevator pitch: If someone asks you what you do, be ready to tell them. In 30 seconds. And not what you did. But what you do.
- Practice, practice, practice: Be able to tell someone everything they need to know about you that would make them want to develop a relationship with you in two minutes or less.
- Have your “close” ready: If you feel that this is someone you want to have coffee or lunch with, ask for the appointment. Have your calendar ready and set the date.
- Know what your looking for: If someone asks – “What are you looking for?” be able to answer the question. Once again – not what you did, but what you want to do.
- Don’t be bashful: If this is someone you really don’t want to develop a further relationship with, don’t be bashful.Tell them so. You wasted five minutes with introductions and your story. Get on to someone who can help you.
- LinkedIn: This is not an option. You simply must have presence on LinkedIn. And the story you are telling there must be consistent with the story that you are telling your connections. The first thing that HR organization who is interested in you is going to do is to look you up on LinkedIn.
Learn from my mistakes and have your ducks in a row when you start. I learned how to network, and *then* I had to take another month to get the rest of these things in order.
I think Miss Zippy put it best in a comment she left here the other day – “Most people don't realize that job hunting is a job in and of itself.” Nothing is more truthful than this…..