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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Job Search Outline

The following is an abbreviated job search outline.

  1. Create/fill your toolkit
    1. Résumé
    2. Cover letter
    3. Tracking log or database
    4. Perspective
      1. Full-time job-seeker
      2. I have value
      3. I am proactive
      4. Remember that the job search is your current job
    5. Understand the market
      1. Personal contacts and referrals lead to the best opportunities
      2. Want ads, job sites, and placement agencies are just a small part of your search
  2. Print several copies of your résumé and cover letter
    1. The number of résumé copies you need depends on how active you decide to be
  3. Distribute your résumé to local businesses between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.—during normal working hours
    1. Attempt to say hello to someone at the company
    2. Track each company
      1. Keep a card, name, time to call
      2. Find information on the company
        1. Ask about the company
        2. Notice company computers
      3. Notice signs of prosperity and culture (office space, furniture, autos in lot, demeanor of staff)
      4. Mark date, time, and information of first visit
  4. Call back in two days
    1. The goal is a short personal conversation
    2. Ask about opportunities
      1. Ask permission to do the following:
        1. Follow up from time to time
        2. Inquire about anyone else who might need your skills
          1. Artificial referrals
          2. If yes, can you use their name when you call
          3. Call this other person and refer to Step V
  5. First contact (whether while canvassing or calling back)
    1. Introduce yourself
    2. Let the person know you are looking for employment opportunities
    3. Let the person know what you would like to do and what you can do
    4. Find out if the company is looking for someone and what needs to be done
      1. If the company does not need anything, refer to Step IV B
      2. If the company does need your skills, find out when you can formally interview
      3. Be interested, and ask the person's time frame for making a decision
      4. Be up-front, and ask the person's criteria for making a decision
      5. Ask what you can do to increase your chances of being selected for this position (this separates you from other potential employees)

In short, that's about it. It's simple, really. However, for this to work, your toolkit must be fairly well developed. Action must substitute the romance that is connected with landing a new job.

I make this simple because I don't want you to worry or complain about its difficulty or substitute thinking about your job search, the perfect résumé, the five ideal employers, and so on with the actual work of getting your name into as many potential employers as possible.

This is critical for two reasons:

  • Directed activity provides its own energy and motivation.
  • Opportunities for career development and growth occur while you're working, not while you're training—and not while you're out of work. Your influence and reach into other professional lives—the extension of your professional contacts—occurs while you're on the job.
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