Case Study – Targeted Job Search

Case Study – A Real Life Example of a Targeted Job Search

case studyI met my client, who I will call Susan, 18 months ago—and this was the start of her targeted job search.

Susan is a project manager and marketing professional. She worked for a small firm where the founding partners were in disagreement on the direction of the company. It looked like the company would be sold or close its doors.

Susan is unmarried and is very worried about her retirement. She is like many women in her position—worried about becoming a bag lady.

She decided to target institutions that could provide a pension, which meant universities and government institutions.

I explained to her the aspects of a targeted job search that she needed to understand:

  • Her next position would come through a relationship
  • She has absolutely no control over the timing

Step #1 – Building her target list

Susan decided to target a very large university in the area. This university had a lot of colleges that were fairly autonomous in their hiring. She targeted the colleges and departments that most attracted her.

Step #2 – Started to strategically networking

Susan created a list of everyone she knew at the university and started to reach out to those people. She regularly scheduled coffee or lunch meetings with her contacts and she followed my strategy of “Asking for AIR” (Advice, Insights and Recommendations).

Step #3 – Leveraging Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are golden. Each time she heard about a position opening up or found one listed on the university job board, she customized her resume and had someone in her network pass it along to the hiring manager before applying on-line.

Susan got a some interviews and was a finalist a few times, but wasn’t offered a position. This continued for over a year. She was getting very discouraged. The situation at her current job had not gotten any better.

About a month ago, she got an e-mail from someone in her network. A position was available that was a really good fit for her. The problem was that they were already interviewing candidates. She needed to move fast! Susan’s contact passed her customized resume in to HR. Within a couple of days, the university called her to schedule an interview.

Susan was not immediately available to interview. The hiring manager was extremely patient and waited to interview her.

What was going on?

It turned out that Susan had applied for a similar position earlier in the year. The person they hired did not work out and was let go. When her resume was submitted to the hiring committee, someone immediately recognized her name from the previous application and fast tracked the resume to the right people.

A couple of rigorous interviews later, she had an offer letter.

What had Susan done right?

Susan did a lot of things right over the past year:

  • She diligently and consistently worked her network.
  • She attended regular meetups on digital marketing and was a regular at PMI meetings. She was up on the latest advances and, more importantly, she knew the lingo!
  • She focused much of the last year on her health. She felt good and it showed!

Susan was even able to negotiate a salary at the university that was very close to her current salary. She was moving from the private to public sector. She knew she would take a pay cut, but it ended up being minimal.

The new position came through a relationship. The timing was a complete surprise.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for April 12

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Networking

Career

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Build Your Referral Network – The Targeted Job Search

Your Referral Network

referral networkAbout 85% of all jobs are filled through employee referrals. Therefore, it makes sense to build a referral network at every company where you might like to work in the future.

Before you read on, this is the fourth in this series on the Targeted Job Search. If you have not read the previous steps this is a good time to read them:

I have written about building and researching your target list. You connected to recruiters inside your target companies, primarily to have closer connections to their employees via Linkedin. Now it is time to build your referral network.

Using LinkedIn advanced search, locate employees with similar job titles and certifications and develop a list of potential new connections.

At this point you can take a couple of different strategies:

Strategy #1 – Look for a Common Connection

For each 2nd degree person on your list, look to see how you are connected on LinkedIn.  Pick one of your common connections and ask how well they are acquainted and would they be willing to make an introduction?

What you are looking for is a personal introduction. In the sales world, this is referred to as a warm lead.

Strategy #2 – Systematically Look at LinkedIn Profiles

Every day, look at a couple of LinkedIn profiles on your list. Make sure your LinkedIn setting called “Select what other see when you’ve viewed their profile” is set to display your name.  On a daily basis, look to see who has looked at your profile.

When someone pokes their head into your profile, send them a LinkedIn connection request and ask for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

Once they have looked at your profile, you are no longer an unknown. They should recognize your name and know a little bit about you.

Whether you use strategy #1 or #2, the idea is to get to meet each person and develop a relationship. You are looking for an internal advocate so that, when a position becomes available, they will be willing and able to pass your resume through company channels.

This takes time and persistence. If you spend 15-30 minutes reaching out to new connections and meet one new person week, you will build a significant referral network in just a few months.

As you build your referral network, it is equally as important to maintain that network through careful and persistent cultivation.

The goal is to have a referral network at every company on your target list.

We know that people change jobs every few years. You will want to review your target list to check who is working at each company every six months.

If you carefully follow all of the steps in the Targeted Job Search, you will have choices in where you work for the rest of your career.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Registration is now open for the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series

Check it out!

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Creating Your Network for Career Success

Creating Your Network

creating your networkCreating your network can and should be done strategically. In my last post, Networking Strategically to Your Next Position, I discussed the need for you to define your tribe and your fan club.

Who should be in your network?

Connectors

You should have at least 5% of your network be connectors. Connectors are those who know a lot of people and enjoy making connections between them.

I am a connector. I know a lot of people and thoroughly enjoy playing matchmaker. I will warn you that you should be careful in over using any one connector. That is why you should have many connectors in your network.

There are special connectors called recruiters.  In a previous post called Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career, I wrote that you should carefully cultivate strategic relationships with recruiters. They are very busy people but they are people people. Whenever you engage with them, do it with a purpose that is clearly stated.

Connectors are a small but key component when creating your network.

Mentors

As a baby boomer and having started my career in the 1970s, no one encouraged me to find a mentor.

When I started my career with IBM in 1978, I knew to seek out those in the area that really knew what they were talking about AND were not jerks! There were some really big egos who would not help anyone, but there were also those who you could learn from. Seek those people out and cultivate formal mentoring relationships.

I now have multiple mentors each in a different subject area.

Think about who you can ask to be a mentor when creating your network.

Industry or Company Expert

Who in your industry or company do you need to know? Be very selective and make sure they know who you are and what value you bring to the table. You do not need to form a bond with these people, but you do need to be on their radar screen.

I have a client who works for a company that is downsizing. My client is working to maintain “their seat” until they can move on. When the last round of layoffs came my client went to a person of importance within the company and asked for advice.

The person of importance could assure my client of nothing, but we found out later that the person of importance stepped in to make sure my client had “their seat”.

That relationship was built several years earlier!

When creating your network, are their industry experts that you should include?

Peers

This may sound odd, but seek out peers and see how you can help them. I wrote about this in a previous article called Paying It Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand.

What I clearly stated in that post was that it is important to help others and expect nothing in return. Be that guy or gal that people know they can turn to when they need help.

When creating your network, which peers can you help?

Now that we have defined the components of your network, my next post will be about finding and cultivating relationships.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. This webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for December 15

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Networking

Career

Workplace

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe

Do you have a tribe?

tribeWhat I mean by a tribe is the people in your network you can go to for a favor and actually expect it to be granted.

How many relationships can you maintain? You may have 10K followers on Twitter or 5K connections on LinkedIn, but how many do you really know? The number of relationships you can maintain is also known as the Dunbar Number. Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar began a study of the Christmas-card-sending habits of the English and found that they sent on average 153.5 cards each year. The number of 150 has come up over and over in society. The Amish break up communities when they reach 150. Chimpanzee families reach a maximum of 150……

Do you have 150 people in your network that you can go to for a favor?

Last week I wrote about the kinds of people you want in your network:

  • Connectors
  • Mentors
  • Company or Industry Experts
  • Peers

Take a moment to locate the LinkedIn profile of everyone you know who could be part of your tribe. Tag each profile in LinkedIn with the category that they fall under.

This may take you a week or more to think of every person and then categorize them.

Do you have 150 in your tribe?

If the answer is no then you have some work to do.

Is there an area where you are weak or have too few?

Time to strategically network to build your tribe

Leverage your network to help you develop those strategic relationships!

What is missing from your network? Too few connectors? Too few company or industry experts? Do you have one or more mentors? Do you need a mentor in a particular skill area?

Develop a list of people who you would like to meet. Who in your network knows them well enough to make an introduction? I always want an introduction to a new connection. Think of this in sales terminology as a warm lead.

Once you have an introduction, schedule either a face-to-face meeting over a cup of coffee or, if they are not local, on the phone.

What will you ask for?

You will ask for A-I-R – Advice, Insights and Recommendations.

The magic word is advice! When you ask for advice, you will rarely be turned down. It is a compliment. Ask for their insights and then ask for their recommendations. Who else should I meet? Can you make an introduction?

If you will make one outreach a week, you will find that your tribe will grow naturally and strategically.

Do you know who is in your tribe?

Do you need to grow your tribe?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for December 8

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Networking

Baby Boomer

Workplace

Job Search

Career

Social Media

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Strategic Networking uh err .. Strategic Relationships

Strategic Networking

strategic networkingOften when I talk about strategic networking, people will immediately think of networking events. Their palms will get sweaty as they would rather get a root canal surgery than walk into a room full of strangers.

I now say strategic relationships because that is what we are really creating. Also, relationships are rarely created at networking events. Relationships are created after the event when you sit down and meet one on one. You get to know one another and find common ground.

What strategic relationships should you have?

Connectors

You should have at least 5% of your network… err.. relationships be connectors. Connectors are people who know a lot of people and enjoy making connections between them.

I am a connector. I know a lot of people and thoroughly enjoy playing matchmaker. I will warn you that you should be careful in over using any one connector. That is why you should have many connectors in your network.

There is a special kind of connectors called recruiters.  I wrote in a previous post-called Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career that you should carefully cultivate strategic relationships with recruiters. They are very busy people but they are people people. Whenever you engage with them do it with a purpose and state it clearly.

Mentors

As a baby boomer and having started my career in the 1970’s, no one encouraged me to find mentors.

When I started my career with IBM in 1978, I knew to seek out those in the area that really knew what they were talking about AND were not jerks! There were some really big egos, who would not help anyone but there were those who you could learn from. Seek those people out and cultivate formal mentoring relationships.

I now have multiple mentors each in a different subject area.

Industry or Company Expert

Who in your industry or company do you need to know? Be very selective and make sure they know who you are and what value you bring to the table. You do not need to form a bond with these people but you do need to be on their radar screen.

I have a client who works for a company that is downsizing. My client is working to maintain “their seat” until they can move on. When the last round of layoffs came my client went to a person of importance within the company and asked for advice.

The person of importance could assure my client of nothing but we found out later that the person of importance stepped in to make sure my client had “their seat”.

That relationship was built several years earlier!

Peers

This may sound odd but seek out peers and see how you can help them. I wrote in a previous article called Paying It Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand.

What I clearly stated in that post was it was important to help others and expect nothing in return. Be that guy or gal that people know that they can turn to when they need help.

Go look at your network err.. relationships! What role does everyone play in your success?

What strategic relationships are missing? Which types of relationships do you need to cultivate?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Promiscuous LinkedIn Connections and Your Personal Brand

connectionsPromiscuous Connections?

Yes, you heard me right, promiscuous connections.

I got the term from LinkedIn Director of Insights James Raybould. He was on a video talking to a recruiter who complained of getting endorsements from people he had never worked with and didn’t know at all.

James Raybould’s response was “You have promiscuous connections.” In other words, this recruiter connected with anyone.

By the numbers

LinkedIn advises you only connect with people you know personally. But when you first get your LinkedIn account, your numbers look so puny. Those people with 500 connections look so influential. It’s tempting to beef up the numbers and, especially if you don’t meet new people all the time, fudge the lines of who you “know.”

But here’s the question: What is the purpose of your LinkedIn profile? If you’re a business owner, it might be to become visible to prospective clients, partners and vendors. If you’re working for a company, it might have the same purpose, except that you’re representing your company. If you’re looking for a job, it’s to highlight your skills and connect you with people who might be able to help.

So you should decide: What is your profile supposed to do and who should you connect with that will help it serve its purpose? Probably that doesn’t mean sending invitations to total strangers in other industries, or accepting them. That would be promiscuous connecting.

I am an author. My book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers was published in January, 2013. I was recently on a book publishing webinar run by social media guru and published author Guy Kawasaki. Guy said you want as large as a following as you can get on Social Media. In order to promote a book you will want a large following.

Hmmm…. This makes sense. Does that mean that in some cases promiscuous connecting is fine?

What do you think when someone has thousands of connections?

When someone has tens of thousands of LinkedIn connections, can you go to them for an introduction?

What do you think when they are connected to controversial figures?

Here are some options

On LinkedIn, if you haven’t met the person either online or offline and you receive a connection request, search for a button (it’s very hard to find) that says, “reply but do not connect.” Ask the person if you’ve met before or if they can tell you why they want to connect. If they have a good answer, go ahead and connect.

What about other social media platforms?

Some people connect with everyone they meet on Facebook. Some only with close friends or family. Me, I connect with people I’ve personally met and ignore requests from people I haven’t.

It’s the same with Twitter. Some people follow everyone who follows them and some people who don’t. I use Twitter to promote my business, so as long as you tweet in English, the only language I speak fluently, and are not pornographic in your tweets, I will follow you back.

I struggle with Google+. I use it to promote my business, too. When someone “circles me” and I cannot classify their profile to put them in an existing circle, I place them in the circle called “huh”. As long as they speak English, I connect with them.

So when it comes to promoting my business, I don’t really care who you are as long as you might buy my book or hire me. I’m pretty promiscuous. But Facebook is personal and I’m definitely not.

What do you think of people with hundreds of “friends” and “connections” ? Do you think, wow that person is popular and influential or that person is promiscuous? Does having a lot of connections promote your personal brand?

What do you think?

This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Cultivating Your Tribe for Career Success

Cultivating Your TribeCultivating Your Tribe

In my previous post, Building Your Tribe for Career Success, I defined the concept of a tribe:

“Your tribe is the group you can call on for an introduction or some advice over coffee. And they can call on you, too–whether for themselves, or for a friend who wants some intelligence about your areas of expertise.”

In my book, Repurpose Your Career -  A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, which I co-authored with Susan Lahey, we described cultivating your tribe as the following:

The thing about a tribe is, you have to cultivate it, like a garden. You need to weed it from time to time of people you have no real connection with. You have to water it when there’s no rain. You may need to apply fertilizer. Most importantly, you should not neglect it. You need to cultivate a habit of giving it Tender Loving Care (TLC). It needs to be part of the way you think and live, or it will wither.

Do you have friends when the only time you hear from them is when they want something?

One of the easiest way to provide TLC for your tribe is to make it a habit of cultivating the relationships. Do you have friends you have not seen in months?  Why not reach out with an e-mail and check in. At least once a week, I glance through LinkedIn or Outlook contacts and find someone I have not heard from in a while.  I send them my checking in e-mail.  It could be as simple as:

Bob,
I have not heard from you in a while.  How are you doing?  How is your family?  Things are going well with my business. Son got married last year, and they make a great couple. My wife’s business is still slow but getting better.

Let me know how you are doing and do you want to meet for a cup of coffee sometime soon?

Marc

I almost always get a response like the following:

Marc,
Thanks for checking in with me.  Life is good…… Too busy to meet for coffee, but check back in….
Bob

I now know how he is doing, and he knows that I care about him. Cultivating is all about building relationships.

What about meeting face to face?

There is no substitute for face to face meetings to establish and maintain relationships. I like social media but that good old face to face meeting where you get to shake hands and read body language is critical to long term relationships. When do you have the time to do this?

I like to have coffee meetings first thing in the morning at 7 or 7:30 AM.  When our son was small I learned that it was difficult for anyone to schedule my time for me at that hour.  My wife, boss, teammates, son,…. could schedule things for me to do at any other time, but first thing in the morning was sacred.

Sometimes it is not to meet for coffee.  Last week, I met a new contact at 7 AM for a morning walk.

What time works for you?  Lunch, after work for a beer or other libation, or maybe Saturdays. Pick a time, once a week, once every two weeks or once a month, to meet face to face with someone in your tribe. Make it a pattern.

Just do it! Make it a habit!

Are you cultivating your tribe? Are you doing something new and original that you would like to share?

Are you going to wait until you need something before you reach out?

Are you going to be that guy or gal?

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist