Whether it's your first day on severance or you've decided to make a job change, getting your resume out to people who can assit you with your job search is one of the most important facets of your job search.
Simply put, networking is getting your resume to people who can either hire you or refer you to someone who can. Your goal is to gain as much exposure as possible in the job market as quickly as possible. The Internet has made self-promotion easier and much more efficient. Remember, it's the proactive job seeker that gets the best job the fastest.
The following steps can help you effectively network your resume:
- Identify your professional network -
Who is included in your professional network? Co-workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, co-workers at former companies, contacts in industry associations, people you have met at trade shows, and headhunters you've worked with in the past. Let these people know you're on the market. Call the ones you know personally and ask them if they've heard about any positions that may match your background. Don't be afraid to ask them if they will "keep their ears open" for you, as they may need you to do the same for them in the future.
- Call your industry association -
Most associations keep a list of Human Resource professionals and industry specific Search Firms.Many will send you the list for free or for a small charge. Check out your industry association's web site to see if it has an area to post resumes or to search for positions.
- What Headhunters do you know? -
Send an updated copy of your resume out to headhunters with whom you've dealt in the past, advising them you're in the market. Keep in mind that the average headhunter works multiple search assignments at a time and doesn't usually "market" candidates. So, the more headhunters who receive your resume, the better.
- Maximize contact with industry recruiters - In this economy the average recruiter is probably working on 5 to 10 search assignments a month. Do the math, if your resume goes to 1,000 recruiting firms, you'll be getting exposure to potentially 5,000 to 10,000 job openings all at once. If you don't personally know at least 10 recruiters this is a good way to maximize your networking exposure.
Resume distribution services such as ResumeZapper.com offer the job seeker the advantage of large-volume resume distribution at a fraction of the cost of traditional mailing or faxing. These services will e-mail your resume, cover letter, and career profile to thousands of recruiters and search firms that specialize in your industry. The headhunters will match up your resume with existing search assignments, and if you fit, they'll call you or contact you for more information. If you don't fit anything that they're working on today, at least you will be in their database for future assignments.
- Using the Internet to your advantage -
The Internet has changed both the way people look for jobs and how companies and headhunters recruit. When searching for positions on job boards use your competitors' company names as key words to see what types of positions they're posting. Even if your career history doesn't match a particular position posted, send your resume anyway. Phrase your cover letter to ask about openings within the companies that fit your background.
- Set Networking Goals -
The numbers game does matter in networking. The more people you contact the better. Set weekly goals for yourself like:
- This week I will post my resume to 5 jobboards and will respond to 30 job Openings.
- This week I will call 10 HeadHunters that I know and will call 10 HR managers from companies I want to work with.
- Keep track and Follow-up -
A key to good career marketing is keeping track of all contacts you make. You can track the information in a contact manager that comes bundled with most computers or use index cards or plain old paper and pencil. Keep track of whom you called or which headhunters called you, their contact numbers, whether you sent a resume, what you talked about, and whether you got new leads. Don't be afraid to send thank you notes to people who helped you out. It's just another way to keep them thinking about you.
By following these simple yet effective networking tips, and realizing that the more people who know you're available the better, you'll be in your new job before you know it.