Tag Archives: networking

Job Search: Are you new to networking? Tips to help you!

Positive-Attitude-During-a-Job-Search-300x260Job Search: Are you new to networking? Tips to help you!

 is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career

If you are a new job seeker it might surprise you to learn that 60% of jobs are never advertised.  That means that most vacancies are filled by word of mouth or by networking.

Why are so few vacancies advertised?

Advertising costs a lot of money.  And then it takes a lot of time to sort through application forms and CVs and even more resource to interview candidates. All this can be avoided by promoting from within the organisation or by employing people who are known to them. Some organisations actively encourage their staff to refer friends with suitable skills and most are happy to receive introductions to, or approaches from, good people.

How do I begin?

Most people are anxious about networking if they’ve never done it before. Taking an organised approach and working to your plan can help you to get over your nerves.

Steps to networking!

  1. Make a list of the people you know – including the sector they work in and who they might know.
  2. Look out for networks that relate to your own sector – check out industry conferences, events and forums.
  3. Exploit the possibilities of social networking. Join business networking sites such as LinkedIn; look for relevant groups and organisations on social networking sites including Facebook.  You could consider establishing your own networking group on LinkedIn or Facebook.
  4. Plan your approach. Have a clear idea of who you want to talk to or make contact with at events and online; why you are interested in the organisation and why you’re approaching them.
  5. Do your homework. When approaching an individual or organisation, be sure to research what they do. LinkedIn is a great tool for researching people. Get to understand their culture and the language of the sector they work in.
  6. Focus on what you can offer. Before setting up a networking meeting, think about what you can do for them. Could you suggest a contact that might help their business or offer to help out with a busy project they are involved in? Do you have specialist advice to offer?
  7. Tailor your communication. Don’t send out the same version of your speculative application letter or CV to all organisations. Make sure they are tailored to the organisation and show how your skills are relevant.
  8. Keep records.   Keep an excel spreadsheet or a notebook listing contacts, who you’ve spoken to or written to, their contact details and their position and how you are going to follow up. This record can be invaluable if your contacts get in touch at a later date.
  9. Be yourself. The most important parts of networking are to be yourself and to treat other people with courtesy and respect. You don’t have to have overwhelming confidence – just remember other people at networking events may be feeling just like you. Show a real interest in other people and start a conversation, and then follow up; you will become a good networker and it will pay dividends.

If you need support in developing the confidence to network please get in touch.

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com 
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Job Search and Career Development – Top 10 Tips On How To Work A Crowd

Job Search and Career Development – Top 10 Tips On How To Work A Crowd

English: babies talking

Whether you are looking for work or looking for promotion at work, knowing how to work a crowd is invaluable. So here are my top 10 tips.

1. First – find your crowd. Go to every likely event that you can. Even in these days of virtual communication, personal contact makes all the difference. The more networking events, professional conferences, job fairs, professional associations, senior meetings, board meetings and other gatherings you go to, the better your chance of meeting someone who can help you. Getting into meetings and events with senior staff at work gets you noticed.
2. Don’t let lack of confidence be a barrier. If you necessary go with a friend; if you are nervous of crowds take a willing friend along. It can be much easier to have a conversation when you’re not the only one trying to think of what to say. If you don’t have someone to bring then find the out layer on the edge crowd when you get there and start a conversation. Ask how they got there, perhaps, and who do they know. The chances are they are as nervous as you and will be grateful that you spoke to them. Don’t be shy or embarrassed that you’re unemployed. So are millions of other good people.
3. Smile. Smiles are contagious and they show energy. The more you smile the more pleasant the reception you’ll get – people like people who smile.
4. Do your introduction. Prepare your short introduction/elevator speech before you get there and practice saying it.
5. Keep the conversation going. After you start a conversation by introducing yourself, keep up the momentum. It’s much easier to converse when you’re on first name terms with the person you are talking to – so exchange names. Then ask a question using their first name. Once you’ve said hello, ask the person you’re talking to about their job or their field of interest. Show a genuine interest in them and what they are doing – people usually love talking about what they do. If you ask an open-ended question like “What do you think about…” you’ll be able to keep the conversation rolling.
6. Be prepared to answer questions. If the person you’re talking to seems interested in you and asks questions – answer them fully and don’t be dismissive of what you have to offer. Be prepared to explain what qualifications and skills you have and what you are looking for. If you are in employment, be ready to talk about your job and make it interesting.
7. Give out your Business Cards. Have business cards printed with your contact information (name, address, phone, email, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and ready to hand out. That way it’s easy for people to get in touch with you. Keep in them in your pocket or the side of your bag so you can get to them without making a production out of it.
8. Get Business Cards and offer help if you can. If you’re at a professional function, collect business cards. Send a follow up email thanking the person for talking to you. Let them know you appreciate anything they can do to help. Offer to help and contacts if you can. “Giving to get” works every time. Offering to help someone else with their career goals or with job leads, will pay you back with more help than you might imagine.
9. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Spend a few minutes discussion learning about others and talking about your goals, then move on. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have.
10. Don’t Be Negative. People don’t like negativity, so don’t bad mouth your (old) job, your (old) boss and the company. Rather put a positive spin on your situation and your future plans.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

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Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

When you are interested in a job and someone refers you, you can mention that in your covering letter.  It will mean you start ahead of the field.  Having a referral is having a recommendation.

When you identify a job you wish to apply for check your network for contacts with the right connections – LinkedIn is great for this. If you can find someone who already works for the company you wish to apply to that is great.

As well as LinkedIn, you can also use tools like BranchOut which is a Facebook app that helps you find your friends at companies you are interested in. Search by company name and you’ll see a list of your Facebook friends at the company. Then you can approach them to  see if they are willing to help.

You can approach contacts in a number of ways

  • An old-fashioned letter,
  • an email message,
  • Sending a message on a networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook or by, for example, Skype.

It is usually better to ask in writing rather than by phone. That means your contact has time to think about your request and how they can refer you. It is fair to give them the opportunity to refuse and that is easier to do in writing

When you ask someone to refer you, you are not asking for a reference letter.  But they do need to know something about you to refer with confidence.  You can ask “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” or “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” That way, they have an out if they don’t feel comfortable and you can be assured that those who do refer you will be enthusiastic about your performance. They will write a positive letter or give you a strong endorsement.

You could always offer to provide an updated copy of your resume and information on your skills and experiences so your contact has the right information to work with.

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no – there could be all kinds of reasons for their refusal and lots that have nothing to do with you.

But don’t feel diffident about making your request – people usually feel flattered to be asked. And if you are asked to make a referral, do your best to help but don’t duck away from refusing if you don’t feel comfortable. Perhaps, you know the person they want to contact will not welcome the approach.

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

 

 

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Job search – how to network to find a job!

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Job search – how to network to find a job!

Job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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Job Search and Career Development:How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Job Search and Career Development:How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

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Be ready to pitch your skills or business quickly, succinctly, and impressively when opportunities arise.

This video is from Howcast: http://howc.st/ytmainplaylists

I have started a new Career Development Group on LinkedIn where you will find lots of tips and other resources in due course – you can join it by clicking here 

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 
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Job Search – Networking – Asking Friends For Help

Job Search – Networking – Asking Friends For Help

There are lots of people who still think there is something a bit naff about networking. “It isn’t something that people “like us” engage in!”

Well, of course you do! You do it all the time. You may, or may not do it well. And you may do it for all kinds of different motives – for example, to raise money for a local charity. But you do it just the same. Networking is just getting to know people and then offering them something (be it dinner or a sales product) and sometimes asking them for something.

Good networking is usually about reciprocity. So, what about networking when you are looking for a job? What is reciprocal about that?

Well, networking isn’t a short-term thing. The relationships you develop need to be built for the long-term – this is not about short-term exploitation; it is about investing something of yourself in a relationship that can stand the tests of time. At some point in any relationship, sometimes quite early on, there will usually be something one party asks of the other.

What makes a good networker?

Becoming a good listener and knowing how to encourage other people to talk are important skills, if you want to be a good networker. And both require you to take, and show, a real interest in the other person. Listen hard and listen quietly – hear the words and the music in terms of their tone and the body language that accompanies their words. Most of us enjoy being listened to fully – it reinforces our sense of ourselves.

Learn to make the conversation flow – from what you have heard, link to a new question – learn about the how and the why as well as the what. Find out more about them. Then let them find out about you – be open and ready to show them a real person.

In networking, establish the relationship before you ask for anything. And in job search be clear about what you are asking. Of course, you can let them know that you are looking but do more than that. Find out from your contact about their organization and the sector they work in. What are the latest developments? And be honest about your request for help. Tell them a little about you and what you could bring with you – what is the value you might add if they do pass your name on.

Make sure they have your clear contact details and follow-up with a note of thanks. If you can give something back – perhaps you have a contact that might be useful for them – or you might find an article in a magazine or know of book they might like. Because you are asking for something doesn’t mean you have nothing to give back.  Just remember what I said above – networking is all about reciprocity.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Job Search Part 3:What networking can do for your job search!

Job Search Part 3:What networking can do for your job search!

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the third in our new series on Job Search. In the first at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post last week at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/, I set out some options for you in terms of where to look for work

  • Recruitment agencies
  • On-Line Job Sites
  • Contacting employers directly
  • LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Local newspapers and bulletin boards
  • Graduate and Intern schemes
  • Word of mouth – Networking

I said that I thought networking was the most effective way to look for work; so that is what we are going to tackle to-day.

Most jobs, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through talking to people – networking.

Letting people you know, and people they can introduce you to, know what you have to offer, really does bring new opportunities. These contacts can offer advice from own their experiences of job search. They can tell you about the sector they work in and they can introduce you to others, so that your network expands.

But networking is more than just asking for help! You need to make it a two-way conversation. In order to receive, you must be ready to give.

So what have you got to share in this conversation? Well, you can be an attentive audience! You can listen with real interest, attention and respect to what they have to say. Plus you can share your own knowledge. You can talk about your own sector and you can share your own contacts. Sometimes people are really grateful for an opportunity to talk about what is happening to them at work. Play your part and offer support when it is needed.

Make it an on-going and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.

You can network beyond your existing circle at, such as, an event run by your professional organization. If you don’t already belong to the professional organization for your sector, now is the time to join. It can be expensive but it really is a good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, as well as getting early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out of work.

You can network, as well, at events like job fairs which are intended to bring employers together with potential new employees. And if you are thinking of making a career change into starting your own business, lots of business networking events are held for you each week.

But, remember, the keys to success on any networking occasion are establishing a relationship and having a conversation. It is about showing you are someone they want, but it is not about selling yourself in a way that embarrasses you or the people you talk to. Have an elevator pitch (a 30-60 second description of what you do and why someone should work with you) but craft, and use it, with care.

To network well you need to understand the networking process and have the confidence to take an active part in it. If you would like one to one advice on networking email me. I am happy to offer readers of this blog a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype

Next week we’ll tackle writing a winning CV

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

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