Network with Who?

October 13, 2009

NetworkIt is often said that the key to an effective job search is networking. We’re all in. But what happens when you want to work at Sony BMG and you can’t identify someone you know who remotely knows anyone there? So you bravely call the main number at Sony to uncover who the head of record sales is for the southeast region. The operator has no clue. She only has first and last names. Then you ask for human resources and she refers you to the career section of their web site.

You then decide to look on the internet. You find a ton of names and titles and even some e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Sadly, none of them are the correct titles of people that you’re seeking. Even if they were, how would you get the person’s phone number? How would you get around their secretary? And, even if you got to them, what would you say that would engage their attention and interest? Now what?

The best way to get by an administrative assistant is to have him/her collaborate with you. We call this the “best friend” approach. For example, as a recruiter, when I (Ira) reach an assistant of an executive I’m trying to contact, I say; ”Let me tell you who I am and why I’m calling. I’m an executive recruiter who is in the business of helping Fortune 500 finance clients optimize their investment in human capital. My claim to fame is filling 100% of my assignments in our industry where 70-80% fill rate is considered exceptional. I’d like to talk to (your boss) about how I can add value to his/her growth strategies.”

Most people don’t bother giving any time or courtesy to an assistant. Yet, if you convey a message that positions the assistant to be a “hero” for referring your call, then you have enlisted an enthusiastic advocate. Furthermore, you’ve involved them in the process of enhancing their own employer. How refreshing!

Using this approach almost always gets you safely to your target. When you gain the trust and confidence of the gatekeeper, you’ll gain a friend who will lend a helping hand and do some of the “work” in networking.

Read more tips & strategies on this and other topics  from the Get What You Set web site.

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When You Must Create Your Own Job

September 15, 2009

Create Your OwnWe consulted with a candidate who is an expert in the market space where mobile technology intersects with business commerce. After many months of fruitlessly searching for a job, he needs to re-assess his go-to-market strategy. Most companies and recruiters he’s speaking with don’t have these jobs to fill, at least not yet. While he’s in a technology sector that’s rapidly emerging, many companies have yet to embrace this new media tool.

Thus, he would be better served by changing his search paradigm from seeking a job to building an opportunity that will enrich an enterprise. Companies that have a commercially viable application for this technology and have not yet leveraged it have an unrealized revenue opportunity that he can actualize.

In other words, the job that he wants is the job that needs to be created. His success will be a function of his ability to target specific “market aggressive” companies and demonstrate how he can create a bridge that connects unmet opportunities with the promise of otherwise unmet profits.

If you can articulate your potential to add value somewhere in the business cycle, then opportunities will present themselves, doors will open and your career will flourish. Sometimes you, as the prospective employee, need to create the imperative for a job opening before it can be filled.

Read more tips & strategies on this and other topics  from the Get What You Set web site.