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The Key To A Successful Job Search In A Recession Is Networking

In recent months, I have been flooded with stories from talented candidates that send out countless resumes without landing a single interview. The good job postings seem to have dried up. Currently less than 3% of jobs are posted anywhere.

In this job market simply posting your resume online and responding to job postings will not land the dream job. The problem is that the few jobs that are posted receive a barrage of resumes from very qualified candidates.

To succeed you must put yourself on the inside track. If you are like most of us, you probably do not have close social connections with the hiring manager for the position that you have targeted. Remember, everyone knows someone that knows someone.

Years ago I was contacted by an individual that took a unique approach to networking. At 50 years old, he had been downsized from a high pay executive position. He tried the standard online job hunt for some time with no success. He knew he had to do something different to get in front of hiring managers. What he needed was an inside connection. The problem was, he did not seem to have any useful connections.

It was time to get creative. He looked for executives in his industry who were also looking for a new position. He reached out to these individuals to discuss their experiences in the job search. The response was very positive. The individuals he contacted turned into a powerful networking group. It was not long before these efforts helped him land exactly the position he was looking for.

Put together a Networking project plan:

Develop a 60 second elevator commercial describing what you do and the position you are looking for. Practice your commercial until it flows naturally.

Have business cards printed. Include your name, profession and contact information. Business cards act as a reminder for your network and facilitate passing along your contact information.

Make a list of everyone that you come in contact with that could possibly know someone that could help you. Include: neighbors, family, members of your church, people at your gym, old school buddies, etc. Do not just include those you know well. Make the list as long as possible.

Make everyone on the list above aware that you are looking for a new position. Ask them specific questions about contacts they may have that could help and follow up. Do not feel like you are imposing when you ask for a member of your network for help. Everyone loves to feel like they were able to help someone out. Look at it as you are giving them the opportunity to feel good about themselves.

Join networking groups such as alumni groups, Business Networking International and professional organizations. Jobs posted with these groups do not have the exposure of jobs on sites such as Monster.

Make a concerted effort to establish a contact in the companies that you have targeted for employment. Call everyone you know that could possibly be connected to the company and ask for an introduction. Use your Linkedin network to get an online introduction. When ever you apply for a position, you should drop the name of a contact within the company. Human resources will always look an individual with a company contact to avoid offending a fellow employee.

Join online networking groups. may be the best professional networking site. Linkedin can put you in touch with a huge population of individuals in any industry. I have 62 contacts on my Linkedin network. Those contacts have a total of 13,800 contacts. If I include everyone connected to someone connected to that 13,800, my total network is 1,390,400 people. Linkedin is set up so that you can quickly sort out individuals that may be in a position to help you. Many have also had success building a network through social networks such as

The secret to success is to approach networking like a full time job. Organization is essential. Set aside time to complete networking tasks. Follow a project plan. Measure your success.

To jump start the process, I strongly recommend that you spend an hour or so with a professional. They will help you put together a plan that will save you weeks or even months from trying to do it blindly.

Pete Cantey is a Vice President of Staffing and Job Search Coaching Snelling Littleton. or 866-386-6793)

Pete Cantey is Vice President of Staffing and Job Search Coaching at Snelling Littleton. Pete can be reached at 866-386-6793 or Pete has been an executive recruiter since 2006. Prior to that, Pete owned and operated his own commercial construction company and was an officer in a Fortune 500 financial services company. Pete has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas. Pete is passionate about helping others succeed.

Image taken on 2009-09-28 15:11:16. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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