The Problem With Networking, Part 3

If you haven’t yet, go back and read The problem with networking, Part 1 and The problem with networking, Part 2.

The brand of “you”

The brand of you is the tool you need to get remembered. A quality brand of you is the tool you need to get referrals. A quality brand is not only memorable but also relevant to the intended audience. This relevance is key. Without it you will not be more successful than those that rely on random chance.

The key ingredient is personal relevance, or value. To successfully network, you need to get past the charity mentality. Everything is a two-way sales transaction. You need to recognize that you are asking for something of value; either reputation or time. You are not going to get good results unless you have something of value to give in return. This is your brand. When people hear your name, they need a value statement to associate with it, and in turn, with you.

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The Problem With Networking, Part 2

If you haven’t yet, go back and read The problem with networking, Part 1.

There is a lot of truth to the statement: “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” While many employment consultants will tell you to get right out there, doing so before you are prepared is not far different from going to a job interview wearing pajamas. They will tell you to go to networking events now and often, to make contacts and give out business cards. They will tell you to use these contacts to expand your network.

In a down industry, networking events tend to be empathy events. Rather than entering a room full of potential employers or even leads, the networker is entering a room full of peers sharing a common problem. There is plenty of opportunity to commiserate but little opportunity to get closer to employment. If that is what you want or need to help your emotional state, fine. Just don’t waste the chance to make a good first impression on any real opportunities.

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The Problem With Networking, Part 1

Unemployed? Looking for a job? Network. Get out to all those networking events. Call people and ask for informational interviews. Whenever you speak with anyone, get referrals from them. Right? Well, maybe. Sort of.

A number of years ago, I went through a period of fairly long-term unemployment, and I think I learned quite a bit about that world. Not much was really new to me, but the perspective certainly was.

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30 Minute Job Interview Seminar, Part 2

If you haven’t read it yet, might want check out Part 1 of this series.

The job applicant needs to not just show competence, but also needs to show fit in the company. As a hiring manager, I know it’s rare to find candidates that have all of the skills and experience I need. Given that, what I’m looking for is relevance, transferable skills, and a willingness to learn. Actually, “eagerness to learn” is probably a lot closer to what I need. I like to see a candidate that is not just willing to learn, but that actively seeks our new knowledge. A healthy thirst for new knowledge can be the difference between a good fit and a one-way trip out the door.

If you know enough about the company, you can get a feel for what they really need. You can highlight skills that are relevant to the company, even if not listed in the job description. You can fill in the skill blanks, or discuss how you can fill those blanks. Like step 1, step 2 should be obvious as well, but also like step 1, it’s far less common than you might think.

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30 Minute Job Interview Seminar, Part 1

I’ve been interviewing potential hires for close to twenty years now and a number of years back, I had a long unemployment stint myself. I think it’s fair to say that I have quite a bit of interview experience on both sides of the table. I’ve been recruiting a few positions here at Screaming Circuits recently. At times it’s gone quite well, and at other times it’s been pretty frustrating.

There aren’t really that many things to think of when attempting to get a job. Most should be pretty basic. Sadly, though, it’s frequently those very basics that candidates miss on. There are a million books on the job searching process – yes, a million. Not one more and not one less – and there are day long and multi-day seminars and classes all over the place.

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