By Janice Burch, Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, Co-Owner at Pro Resume Center, LLC
We have met many amazing clients since our business launched. Some need just a little bit of help with their resume, while others utilize our full spectrum of writing and coaching services to improve and accelerate their job search traction.
Sometimes though, someone comes along who has put everything they need to succeed in place and is executing every job search tactic and utilizing every networking tool available to them to their fullest benefit — to the point where it blows us away.
Meet Sara, a job seeker who connected with my business partner and me on LinkedIn recently. She was a complete stranger to both of us. But we were so impressed with how she has managed her job search efforts that we needed to write about it in hopes of helping others understand the impact of follow-through and networking.
Sara started with a “cold” LinkedIn message to me – a stranger looking for help to land a position and expand her network.
She asked for insights to help her connect in the HR or marketing fields. A recent college graduate but with a decade of job experience already under her belt, she was earnest in requesting help from someone who has been around the block a few times (yes, that would be me).
She also asked if there was something she could do to help us in return.
Normally, we work just with clients on networking following their resume rewrite, but I recognized the effort she already had made in connecting with us and the detail with which she spelled out her interest areas.
Sure, I said, and agreed to look at her resume to see if we could help her make some connections.
From that moment on, we saw in Sara a perfect example in how to network for your next job.
Here’s a breakdown of the specific outstanding things we noted in this job seeker’s strategic actions:
- Knew her audience. She not only looked at my profile and sent me a connection request but took time to read about me, find out what my skills are and the services provided by our company, Pro Resume Center, LLC. This framed up the questions she asked about my connections and her request of me to assist in her job search. Know who you are connecting with, what they might be able to offer you and how your talents fit in with their area of expertise and or/needs.
- Had fully prepared and integrated all her marketing and self-branding tools. She has a compelling and complete resume, has developed an engaging website with a project gallery showcasing past work and also has a robust LinkedIn profile highlighting her strengths and personality. PRC TIP: Remember – no matter the industry in which you are trying to land a job, you should develop a marketing campaign to sell yourself and be executing it as best you can. Make sure all the components fit well together, like a well-thought out puzzle that creates a memorable and strong statement for hiring managers.
- She follows through – on everything. Using email, LinkedIn, snail mail and yes, a good old fashioned phone call. After I spent some time with her reviewing her materials, she sent a thank you note –via email and snail mail – an often neglected communication in today’s business world. She understands the value of touch points – commenting on posts and articles (not just our company’s but others as well) on LinkedIn and consistent outreach to her network in order to maintain contact and help others important to her job search so they remember her name. PRC TIP: Every touch point you have with a networking contact is valuable. Use each opportunity to showcase your follow up skills, something every employer wants to see in a potential candidate. Send thank you notes – via email and through the post office. Make a phone call with important points you might want to make or updates on your job search success.
- Understands the power of constant networking. Sara is now meeting with top recruiters in the area, some of whom we have connected her with, and is constantly expanding her business network. Every day she adds a valuable business connection to her LinkedIn network. Every day she reaches out, comments on posts and engages with new, old and potential contacts. Sara is working it and serious bites are coming in. PRC TIP: Never underestimate the power of networking – with your neighbors, with strangers, with friends, family and old college professors. Your job search will be much more successful if you let others know that you are looking and what you are looking for. This is no time to be shy.
- Thirsty for knowledge. Sara is eager to soak up information that she can use in the hunt for her dream job and implements new things as they come across her computer or other resources. It is very important to show potential employers how much you know but equally important to show them how willing you are to learn. PRC TIP: Become a stellar student, no matter what your age or level of experience. Keep learning and show that you are learning. If a valuable network contact offers you some wise advice or recommendations, take it to heart and if it makes sense to you, implement it and then follow up and thank that person for their recommendation.
After speaking with Sara, viewing all of her materials and seeing her follow up skills, my business partner and I wished we were in a hiring phase as we would have offered Sara a job. But we have no doubt, however, that the right offer will come her way soon and she will be well on her way to a very successful career.
Are you leveraging your network for your next job search?
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Pro Resume Center, LLC offers the highest quality career services available, along with personal consultations and coaching for every stage of your career. We provide one-on-one sessions with EVERY purchase, connecting you with experienced, seasoned professionals who understand how to strategically position you for job search success. To find out why Pro Resume Center, LLC is the best choice to help with your job search CLICK HERE.