Find a Job

Two Essential Steps For Finding a New Job

Are you out of work or looking for a better job?  Executive transition coach Gordon Curtis recommends that you concentrate and connect.  Curtis, author of the book Well Connected, says it’s easy to believe that sending out lots of résumés will improve your odds of success, but that’s a mistake.

Aim For The Job And Employer You Want

A better approach is to concentrate your search.  Instead of looking at job postings and applying for the ones that look like a fit, hone in on the work you’d like to do and where you’d like to do it.  Identify about 10 companies you’d like to work for.  Keep in mind that, by some estimates, as many as 80 percent of available jobs are not posted.

Find An Insider

Then use your social network to find someone at the company with whom you can connect.  Ask friends if they know anyone who works at the company.  Use LinkedIn to find connections.  If it’s a big enough company, chances are you’ll be able to find someone who knows someone who works there.

Once you find a connection at the company, don’t ask them to refer you for an open position or put in a good word for you.  If they don’t know the person who referred you to them very well they’re not likely to make a very strong recommendation.

Instead, ask if you can use their name when you apply for the job.  That may help you get your foot in the door and then you can sell yourself.  Also, ask this person good questions about the company so you can talk intelligently about the organization during an interview.  And, genuinely ask if there’s any way you could help them in return.

I once took a similar approach in landing a corporate job.  I knew the type of work I wanted to do, identified what looked like an ideal company to work for, and found someone who knew someone who worked there.  The only nuance is that when contacting the insider friend of a friend, I asked for an in-person meeting in order to learn more about the company.

We had a great conversation and he was then kind enough to recommend that I talk with a colleague who had an unadvertised opening in his department.  Eventually, I got a great job at the company.

What’s been your experience either with landing a job where none were posted or with utilizing a friend of a friend to get a foot in the door?

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3 Responses to Two Essential Steps For Finding a New Job

  1. Martha July 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    @Julia, thanks for the encouragement.

    I’ve been aware of positions which would match my job skills to a tee, however at the very end or near the bottom of the job requirements, Spanish speaking applicants are required.

    I’ve taken Spanish in school, lived in neighborhoods where I interacted with Spanish speaking people, attended grammar, middle school and high school, all with fellow spanish speaking students. I have family members who are of Spanish descent and speak the language fluently!

    The next position I see which match my job skills and also are requiring me to speak, write and/or understand Spanish, I’m going for it!

    Nothing beats a failure but a try!
    Nada mejor que un fracaso pero un try!

    Martha or “Marta” 🙂

  2. Julia June 29, 2011 at 11:56 PM #

    There was a job posted for this one organization, and I knew I wasn’t entirely qualified for it since I wasn’t fluent in Spanish, but I knew if I got my foot in with an interview, there could be some doors opened. They had me speak some Spanish, and I faltered- a lot, but they recommended me to a different unposted position, and I got it, and stayed there 3 years before I moved out of state.

  3. Laquetta June 29, 2011 at 2:56 PM #

    I’ve landed jobs in a variety of ways but one time, I worked for a temp agency who assigned me to an office position with a title company for 6 weeks. As a result, 5 months later, the title company called me directly and offered me a full-time job. The beauty of it was the office was only 3 miles from my house. I took the job! Building a positive relationship, proving my skills and abilities and establishing my reputation resulted in a long term position. Reaching out, meeting people and networking is a lifestyle for helping both yourself and others.

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