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Networking

How to Romance Your Next Employer

Job searching is a lot like dating. You have to put yourself out there to find the right match.

By Debra Feldman
FILED UNDER: Assessment.
Networking

With valentines around the corner, it reminds us of how the job market is a lot like dating. Be prepared for some rough-and-tumble times as you’ll have to really put yourself out there to find the right match. But like all things that take time, it’s worth it in the end.

After all, it’s really about relationships. And it’s important to be mindful of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. In the job search, you’ve got to network purposefully: identify individuals expected to have access to desirable connections and opportunities, and develop a relationship focused on mutual support, not just focused on leads. The more people who know what you know, the faster the path to a new job.

Modern success requires game-changing activities. A few confidential calls to eager headhunters, several smartly placed online profiles and some finely tuned resumes circulating discretely won’t lead to a calendar overbooked with interview appointments anymore. So what will? Intentionally scouting out key players.

Outlined below is a job-search plan that will accelerate your progress and land you in a new role faster by creating an effective go-to-market strategy.

What traits do you seek in your ideal companion/ employer?
Determine characteristics of your target employer, and describe companies where you would like to work or whose employees can refer you to opportunities. Beyond target employers, create a potential networking target list of individuals who may be able to make valuable referrals to job leads.

  • Don’t attempt to represent yourself as everyone’s perfect employee. Do focus on being an expert with special value to a select group of appreciative employers.
  • Don’t sum up the quantity of your applications or size of your network. Do emphasize the quality of your contacts and the strength of your relationships.

What does your ideal companion/ employer look for in someone?
Describe where your abilities and knowledge intersect with each target employer’s needs, and show how you will satisfy these requirements. Individualize campaign communications (resume, letters of introduction and elevator pitch) for each target employer or contact. Identify your outstanding strengths and credentials, and match them to the needs of each individual target company.

  • Don’t list everything you’ve achieved; just the highlights most relevant to the employer’s current needs and appropriate for your current career goal. Do create a high-impact profile supported with accomplishments communicating what the employer needs to know to appreciate your value to their organization.
  • Don’t focus on your career goals or your interest in learning at the employer’s expense. Do concentrate on what employers expect from their team members and demonstrate your skills and talents that will provide an immediate, measurable contribution.

Concentrate on similar interests.
Detail distinguishing characteristics that separate you from competitors (e.g., background, connections, passion or unique experiences). Describe your unique value contribution using quantifiable terms to show remarkable influence and quantified impact. Individualize campaign communications (resume, letters of introduction, elevator pitch) for each target employer or contact.

  • Don’t lose sight that a resume is a marketing document, not a chronological report. Do customize resumes to address specific requirements and rearrange resume content in order of employer’s priorities.
  • Don’t include irrelevant information or simply list various talents – be selective. Do demonstrate specific skills and special talents with illustrative examples using dollars, numbers or percentages to show measurable impact.

Interested in learning more on how to pinpoint your next employer? Look out for more tips on producing successful job search results in next month’s article.

Debra Feldman, JobWhiz, is an executive talent agent who accesses opportunities in the hidden job market by personally developing inside connections for her clients. Forbes labeled her Matchmaker: Part sleuth, Part networker. Contact her for details on how to accelerate your career.

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