Looking for a Job? Market Yourself!

March 23rd, 2012

You can look for a job by reading “help wanted” ads online or in the newspaper. Or you can take a more pro-active role by marketing yourself through your current contacts and others who can help you land that dream job.

Spread the word

How many “warm contacts” do you have – people you already have a relationship with? These may include the obvious, such as friends, relatives, former employers and co-workers.  But what about former school classmates? Members of your church? People you hang out with at the gym?

Let everyone know you’re actively job-seeking and to please keep you in mind should they hear about an opening somewhere. Expand your network by adding friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. Just be sure that everyone you connect with has your contact information (and it doesn’t hurt to give out copies of your resume).

A business card is another useful tool for networking. It’s a quick and easy way to provide people with your information. Add the URLs to your social media sites and online portfolios so people can check you out later on their laptops or smartphones.

If you get a lead, follow up

A friend or colleague hears about a possible open position at XYZ company. They give you the name of a person to reach out to, but that’s about all the information they have. The next step is up to you. Place a call to your friend’s contact. Introduce yourself and immediately mention the name of the friend/colleague who referred you. Then say, “My friend suggested I talk to you about a job opening. Can you offer some details on this position?” That should get the ball rolling.

You should always be prepared to talk about yourself and your background in a succinct and enticing way. Think of it as a “commercial” about you. Write down a very short speech (30 or 60 seconds, tops) about who you are, something about your background, why you believe you’re a good fit for the open position, and how you can use your skills and experience to benefit the potential employer. Rehearse your commercial for a friend or family member, until you’re confident enough to use it as part of your marketing activities.

Always send a short thank-you email message to the person you spoke with, as well as the friend/colleague who gave you the original referral. Everyone wants to feel appreciated when they help someone out.

Ready to start looking? Meador Staffing Services offers great opportunities for new positions in Austin, Houston and across Texas.

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