Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Personal Marketing Plans
Many job seekers make the mistake of investing all their time and energy seeking out open positions on the job boards and then trying to make their skill set match the job specification. The reality is that only a small percentage of job seekers find their jobs through the boards. A better strategy is to research companies that you have an interest in and market yourself to the decision makers in these companies whether there is an open position or not. Your goal is to get your foot in the door and create a relationship where none existed before. To make a marketing plan, analyze the following criteria: 1. What types of positions are you suited for? 2. What industries do you wish to target or which industries will derive the most value from your skill set? 3. What cities and states are you willing to work in? 4. What size company do you want to work for? Once you deterime your search parameters you can research specific companies that fall into your designated categories. For example, if you are a financial services professional in New York City, you can research firms that have a significant presence in Manhattan. Search engines, local newspapers, business magazines, and even the yellow pages can provide valuable information regarding companies that meet your search criteria. By incorporating a marketing plan into your search methodology you can increase your chances of meeting people in a position to hire and potentially decrease the amount of time you spend in search.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Build your network through professional associations
Networking is the cornerstone of a successful job search campaign. It is the on-going process of building and maintaining relationships with people who have information you want and need and reciprocating with information that is useful to others. Joining a professional organization related to your field is an excellent way to build your network of contacts and quickly gain visibility within an affinity group of potential decision makers. Members of the group work in the same industry or perform a similar job function for an organization and in turn they share similar interests. By building trust and rapport within this group you improve your chances of sourcing new business contacts or job leads that in turn can accelerate your search. These communities offer multiple opportunities to contribute your knowledge and expertise which results in greater credibility within the group. If you're not familiar with the professional organizations for your industry or function an excellent resource is available at

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Deferring questions about salary expectations
My clients often ask me when is the appropriate time to discuss salary expectations. It's in the candidate's best interest not to discuss compensation until there is an offer on the table. You need to first get the employer to love you and feel that they've got to have you. Once you've accomplished this you will be in a much better position to negotiate your employment package. If asked for salary expectation early on in the interview process, you can respond by saying "I'm happy to discuss salary at the appropriate time but for now I'd like to discuss how I can add value to your organization and learn more about the position to determine if it is a good fit. Would that be alright with you?" or "I'm sure that your company pays competitively and I don't anticipate that salary will be an issue."

Another strategy is to turn the question back on the employer and ask a question of your own. For example, you can ask what the salary range is for the position. Once you have this information, you can let the employer know if this range is consistent with what you are looking for without disclosing an actual dollar amount.

Friday, February 10, 2006

More often than not, people lose touch with former business colleagues. They cite multiple reasons including lack of accurate contact information and lack of time. After a certain amount of time passes, people often report feeling awkward making a call to a former colleague. Losing contact with former co-workers can be detrimental to your career health. Since 70-80% of people source new opportunities through trusted friends and colleagues, it’s imperative that your career management strategy incorporates ways to stay in touch with people you have worked with in the past.

Corporate Alumni ( is a free service that leverages and restores former employment relationships via active, vibrant, online communities. Visitors can search the existing corporate online communities or start their own. Becoming a member of an alumni community can contribute to the success of your future business and professional goals. Membership can help you find your next job, generate new business for yourself or your company, accelerate recruiting of qualified applicants from an existing pool of contacts, or increase your visibility among your peers on an exciting new project. Best of all, participation enables you to reconnect with old friends. Corporate Alumni is a valuable social networking resource and worth checking out.