Resume and Networking to Land a Job

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The answer is – both! You need a network to help you identify the right job, and you have to create it yourself, each day, with steady effort. You also need a top quality resume.

Why a career network? Think of the successful people you know. Most likely they are well connected in their industry. For example, former President Clinton, is certainly a man with a strong resume.  Additionally, throughout his life, Bill Clinton was always a superb networker. When he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, whenever he met someone new, he wrote down the names of people he met, always including details about person that he could refer to later.

Clinton said, “I’m going into politics and plan to run for governor of Arkansas, and I’m keeping track of everyone I meet.”

This practice hasn’t changed in decades and networking will work for you too. As a career coach, I always urge my clients that networking is key and just as crucial as a resume. On your  resume you will probably emphasize effective communication skills. Well, put those skills to work as you get your job search going.

A professionally written resume helps you put your best foot forward. You’ll also need to prepare for job interviews. But just as crucial is social networking. If you spend your time solely searching for jobs on major job boards, you will miss many available opportunities.

Most jobs are available to networkers – if you uncover them. Why? Studies show repeatedly that it is because people do the hiring and people are less comfortable with strangers. Get an introduction to a company and you will start out the job search process with a greater comfort level than you could by entering the process as an unknown.

You will learn of jobs before thousands of others learn about them, if you are networking well. Networking, then, is simply the best way to find a job. Even a professional resume writer knows that. Logically, then, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to network and how to take advantage of your networking.

From that first phone call to having a cup of coffee with friends to brainstorming about the direction of your career to emailing former colleagues you haven’t kept in touch with, there are many networking approaches that can accelerate your job search.

It’s the old-boy network,” used to be an excuse, sometimes a reasonable one, for not getting the job. Today, great job-hunting means joining the network.

How do you network effectively? Don’t just tell yourself that you’ll do a better job of keeping in touch with friends, former colleagues, school alumni, and former teammates or that you will be more disciplined about handing out your business card at gatherings. No. It won’t work. To advance your job search, you need to actively cultivate and expand the circle of people you regularly keep in touch with.

Here are a few tips:

Create a plan.
Write it down and follow it. The words on the page will give you better direction than the vague ideas in your head.

Keep Track of Your Activities.
You likely have acquaintances that can lead you to professional contacts and interviews, or just other people to help identify more contacts. Keep track of these individuals using a written routine and calendar. Include names, phone numbers, email addresses, and descriptions of how you plan to keep in touch.

Schedule meetings and calls.
You may be comfortable calling some friends several times a week, while others you might contact weekly by phone or email or even less often. Be consistent.

After each phone call, jot down any notions and prospects generated during the call.

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