Leadership Management & Training for the 21st Century

LMT 21 The Vision for the Future

Job Hunting? Avoid “Shampoo Mentality”

Image from Microsoft Office ImagesI recently had the pleasure to speak to a group of unemployed professionals at the Lewiston Career Center who were seeking information on leveraging the latest social media in their job searching efforts. The main focus was on “What does their social digital footprint say about them?” How are they marketing themselves? What are they focusing their efforts on to maximize their resources? Today I am posting a blog from a technical writer (Ellen Schulman) who attended the workshop. I really like her perspective on job searching and today she is my guest blogger for my post:

Walk into any good-sized drug store and you’ll find shelves full of different shampoos, all of which will do an acceptable job of cleaning hair. Some of them are more versatile than others, and have specialized capabilities like getting rid of dandruff or preventing frizz.

How do shoppers choose which one to buy? They might base their decisions on advertisements they’ve seen or recommendations from friends. Then again, they might just select the lowest cost item that seems to meet their basic requirements.

Job hunters who only apply for advertised positions are a lot like those bottles on the shelf. They’re competing against dozens (if not hundreds!) of potentially acceptable choices. And even if they do have some noteworthy specialized capabilities, there’s no guarantee that those “extras” will factor into the final hiring decision.

Here’s my advice for ad-addicted applicants: You’re not shampoo, you’re a person; start acting like one!

Use your people skills to network, which will help you find unadvertised positions, the so-called “hidden” job market. Presenting yourself as an applicant for jobs no one else knows about is more likely to get you hired than any other job hunting technique. Here are some suggestions on how to network effectively, condensed from eHow.com.

  1. Stay in touch with people you like and respect even if they can’t help you immediately.
  2. Try to talk to people you don’t know everywhere you go.
  3. Learn to ask “What do you do?” with comfort, sincerity and interest.
  4. Become a better listener. Ask a question and then be quiet until you hear the answer.
  5. Practice your own presentation of your skills.
  6. Keep a great updated brochure, business card or other form of information about yourself on you at all times.
  7. Take classes to improve your public speaking, body language and writing skills.
  8. Join every networking club and association in your field.
  9. Follow up on any lead, no matter how minor.

Have you tried these or any other networking techniques? If so, let us know how they worked for you. And good luck in your job search.

I want to thank Ellen Schulman for a great blog.


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