Know Where You’re Going: Job Search Over 50 Part 3
Many job searchers are reluctant to reach out to people they haven’t talked to in years. Don’t let that stop you. They haven’t contacted you either. The number success key to find a job at any age, but especially for those who are over 50 is networking.
14. Network! Network! Network!
It’s unanimous; career/job search professionals agree the best way to find a job is through networking. You’ll want to utilize all job search possibilities; spend the most time connecting with people. This means connecting with people in person, on the phone and even via e-mail, but focus on one-on-one interactions.
15. Make a list – checking it twice
Make a list of the people in your network. Include family, friends, professionals, former classmates, teachers, colleagues, bosses, vendors, clients, customers, charitable organizations you were with, hobbies, and religious activities.
16. Going Up
Have an elevator speech. Develop a 30 second job search commercial or introduction that can be delivered to anyone at anytime, even while riding an elevator! It should contain a brief summary of your past job and the type of organization or industry where you performed it. The elevator speech should also contain your future target industry and/or positions. You may want to mention specific organizations you are targeting. Customize your 30-second introduction to your listener. Don’t hesitate to ask for their ideas and suggestions about how you can improve your job search.
Example: “For the last 10 years my career has focused on marketing management and sales training primarily in the medical products industry. Most recently I was a Marketing Consultant with Eckart Company in Houston. I’d like to continue my career in this field, so I’m targeting medium size medical and pharmaceutical companies, such as Albright Medical Supplies. Do you know anyone who works for them or has in the past?“
Cold calling is often a necessary part of looking for a job. And calling someone you don’t know can be very difficult if you don’t have a sales background. Try these two things. First, if you get nervous about cold calling, write out a script for your phone calls. This will help ease the nervousness. Second, instead of directly asking the person for a job, tell them you are looking, would like to send them your resume, and if they know of anyone who is looking, would they please pass your resume along. This relieves some of the stress of asking someone directly for a job and extends your reach beyond this individual person.
18. Help me help you
Remember, people want to help you. Your biggest responsibility when reaching out to others is to provide enough information about yourself and what you need, so they have something to work with. Don’t call friends and associates up and just say, “Hey, I’m looking for a job, do you know someone who is hiring?” Instead, them tell them what kind of you work you are looking for, in what general area, for what type of organization. Contrary to conventional thinking, the more specific you are, the more likely it will trigger their knowledge and resources.
19. Fresh AIRS
Whenever you network with people, always ask for Advice, Ideas/Information, Referrals and Support. Ask everyone you meet for ideas, suggestion and advice on how to get the job you want. You won’t necessarily take everyone’s advice, but everyone loves giving and you might get some great suggestions you hadn’t thought of.
The concept of Six Degrees of Separation suggests you are only six people away from anyone in the world. Try it and you’ll be surprised how true it is. When talking to your network, always ask them if they know someone who knows someone who… Always conclude every conversation asking for another referral. It is so easier to call a stranger saying, “John Smith suggested I give you a call.” You can never have too many names in reservoir.