Five tips to increase your visibility when networking in the job search.
Submitting your resume to any position is stressful, but submitting it to the job of your dreams can sometimes be paralyzing. You’ve read the job description, and you’ve acknowledged that you’re the best candidate for the role. You cross your fingers and your “t’s,” you dot your “i’s,” and you run spell and grammar check on your resume; finally you send your resume into the system and wait for the automated “Thank you for your interest” reply.
Getting your resume into the hands of an influential party at your target company is one of the best things you can do to increase your odds of visibility. This is one simple reminder as to why networking your way into a career has been proven to be the most effective!
Here are five more tips to follow in your executive job search:
1. Look for a Career, Not a Job
In many cases, as you reflect back on your professional journey, you may see several examples of job tenure that could be perceived as “short-lived.” That’s OK as long as you continue to build upon your career when you change positions. The days of long-tenured opportunities dissipated a long time ago, but the attitude of the job seeker must stay sharp and on track.
You want to make sure to drive your search strategies towards an opportunity that you can enjoy; know where you can be fulfilled in all that you love to do professionally. Most of us need to work, but the idea of going to a “job” sounds so depressing! You must approach your search with the mindset of someone that gets to go to a career, not someone who has to go to a job! The idea of looking for a career is simple if you really understand it.
2. Study the Company
It’s imperative that you study the company and the person who you will be working with, before the interview. This gives you the opportunity to share insights or ideas that will immediately put you both on a common ground, making the interview much less stressful and much more conversational.
Investigating the background of a company, and its place in the market, is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
3. Develop a Positive Online Presence
I am a big believer in developing an online presence as a way to increase your visibility and credibility with your next employer. Participate in, or start, an online forum that will embrace your professional experience. Write articles, give book reviews or develop a blog. These are all free venues for you to leverage in your search strategy.
Other ways to develop an online presence for a nominal fee include developing a personal website or participating in a professional, community-minded organization that publishes their activity online, like the Rotary Club. Remember that most hiring managers and recruiters will often check the Internet for any type of reference to you or your activities or associations. It can be a fantastic resource for you, especially if you are recognized as a leader in that environment or setting!
4. Your Email Address – Huh?
You must have a professional email address! Using personal hobbies, pet names or inappropriate identifiers as an email account can deflate or diminish your credibility with your next employer.
There are plenty of free services that you can use, but if you have an Internet provider, then chances are good that multiple email accounts are available to you within your primary provider. Create or use an email account name that professionally represents you – not one that may be received as negative or offensive.
5. Have Your People Call Their People
Especially for $100K+ earners, it’s a great idea to engage with a career coach who can guide you into an opportunity. This is good on all levels, but mostly because the career coach may already have contacts at the company you’re targeting. If they don’t, then it gives them an opportunity to increase their network as well.
I did this with a client I was coaching in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nick Pollard engaged my services to represent him into an opportunity with a San Jose based technology company. We studied the company, did our homework and discussed why he was the best candidate for the job. I called the CEO of this same company, represented Nick into the opportunity, and – based upon my recommendation – Nick got the interview, and ultimately got the job of his dreams!
Having your people call their people is one of the best ways to engage with your target companies.
Here’s the best advice I can give you: maximize your career search by studying the company and the leaders of that company, and engage with someone that can help increase your visibility and penetration into the target company of your dreams.