Followup: the most important steps in your job search

Finding a job is a human interaction

Followup is essential in building relationships and getting a job is the beginning of a number of new relationships

 What would you like in a new friend?  How will you make some new friends in your potential new places of business?

Thank you notes are important.  Being face-to-face is important.  Initiating contact is important.

How will you do each of these?

Need some help? Book a call here

Steps to your next bioscience job!

The steps before your resume and why you need them

If you remember nothing else from this article, please remember these words if you want to succeed in finding a new job: follow up, follow up, follow up

How to Network at an Event

How to network at an event!

Don’t: try to get every business card in the room or give your to everyone there

Do this instead:

Choose 5-10 people to talk with whom you don’t currently know.  Use the attendee sheet if there is one or get there early and look over the name tags.

Spend at least 5 minutes with each one.  If this is a dinner or presentation, you may not have quite enough time.  But don’t do hit-and-run business card exchange.  Very disappointing.

Take notes on the back of their business card.  Find out what you can give them. Link? Introduction? A coffee date? What are they curious about?

Follow up within 24 hours with the link, intro, time and place to talk over coffee.  If you know what they are working on, look it up for a link or two.  Ask a good, geeky question.

At NO point beg for a job.  This is not an interview, even if you are networking with someone at a company where you would like to work.

Get your questions answered here: Complimentary Open Office Hours

You might also like:

The MOST important part of networking for a job

What does networking mean to you?

What is Targeted Networking?

What is Targeted Networking?

Networking at a gathering

Most jobs are found through networking.  But you need to be strategic and targeted!

So what is targeted networking?  Check out this short video or listen to the podcast on Targeted Networking and Your Career Portfolio

And Don’t do these things

Will you meet your next boss at a holiday party?

holiday networking

A Snowy Day


The season of holiday parties has begun. Will you meet your next boss at your partner’s company’s holiday party? At your neighbor’s cookie exchange? What are the chances?

You have to be there anyway, so why not lay the groundwork for a new career networking buddy?

But what does that actually mean? You don’t want to seem desperate and needy. Nor do you want to be a “used car salesman” – aggressive and pushy. So what do you do?

Targeted Networking at Holiday Parties

Because you are smart and know what you want to do next AND you know which companies meet your criteria, you can ask people if they know anyone at X or Y or Z companies. Are they at the party? Could the person you are talking with introduce you?

But be aware that if they do you that favor, you have to return it! Whom do they want to be introduced to? What do you know that they want to know?

NO elevator speeches

NO elevator speeches – you don’t want to listen to them, what makes you think anyone else wants to listen to yours? Be interested in what the other person has to say, what they think about, what they do. Build a connection that you can come back to – don’t burn bridges!!

What parties are on your schedule?

If you want to talk more about your job search, set up a time to talk here.

Networking at Holiday Parties

Networking at holiday parties

Image by leyla.a via Flickr

The Holidays are upon us!  Should you be networking at holiday parties?

We are all busy both giving and going to parties, shopping, wrapping, reconnecting with people we have not connected with since last year.  Is now the time to do some job search networking at holiday parties?

Of course!  This is a great time to extend your network to include all those people you have not seen for a year, only meet at your friend’s annual party, etc.

But how?

Of course you need a plan.

If you have followed this blog for any time at all, you know that you need to know what you want.  The next step is to find out who works at the companies you would like to be employed by and if that company should stay on your top ten list.  And parties are a great place to work on that!

Where are you in your job search?

Networking is…

Networking is where you give something that does not cost you much. Give your attention and focus and interest over drinks at your friend’s party to get what you value – insight into a company that you are interested in.

So step up to that new person and find out where they work and what they do.  Give them the gift of actually being interested.

If they work at one of the companies you have already determined to be of interest to you, get their take on how the company is doing, what the company is doing, what they think will happen next for that company.

Ask about their job, what they like, what they don’t like.  When they ask you why you are asking (if they do!), tell them that you think that company has a very interesting (whatever you have discovered in your earlier research into that company) and that you are excited to know more.

What is targeted networking?

But what if they don’t even work in my industry?

If the person you are talking with does not work at one of the companies you are interested in, then you should still give them the gift of your attention.  Ask if they know anyone who works at one or two of the companies you are interested in.  Ask them what they know about the company.  Have a conversation!! Make a friend!! Trade business cards, if that will work, but even more important is to take some notes when you are finished talking. Follow-up with an email later, thanking them for taking the time to talk with you!

Add them to your network!  Send them a Holiday card!

What are you doing over the Holidays?

Need some help with this? Schedule a coaching session here.

SECRET #2: Strategic Networking


Networking ad 3SECRET #2:  Strategic Networking

So what is strategic networking?  It is not handing out your personal card at every party or event, nor is it just getting on LinkedIn, etc.

Strategic networking is using your time in a targeted manner to connect with the people who will be your career network for the rest of your career.

To be strategic you need to know a few things:

What exactly do you want to do in your next job? – write it down!

Where exactly do you want to work? – locally or can you move?

What companies are in that locale?

Which ones do you think are interesting and would need your skills?  Costco doesn’t hire biotech scientists.

Who do you know who works at each one?  Not the hiring manager and not the person who is trying to do your job and his own.

The people you need to network with first are the ones who can give you the inside scoop about the company.

Most open positions are filled through personal networking

Personal Networking works the best for finding jobs.

Personal Networking works the best for finding jobs.

#1:  Most open positions are filled through personal networking.


Only 20% (at the most, quite possibly closer to 10%) of jobs are filled through postings on job sites or company websites.

And … HR really doesn’t have the time to sort through all the resumes of people who just want a job, any job.  Please do NOT send your resume to a company just because you want to work there when you don’t have the right skills for the job they have posted.  There simply is not enough time in the day for an HR person to really read resumes and put yours aside for a role that has not opened.

More than 50% of jobs (and perhaps as much as 85%) are filled through a direct connection with someone in the company that eventually hires you.  Employee referrals and offline (face to face) networking fill at least 45%.

So where does that leave you? 

You have to be the one to initiate the contacts.  And you need to be strategic about it.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – NOT

Also … just like you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, so you need to divide up and prioritize your search, target your networking in a way that makes sense to you to be hired for the position you want.

targeted networking

revised 4/18/17

Does your LinkedIn Profile turn off recruiters?


Nederlands: Linked In icon

Nederlands: Linked In icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recruiters are all over LinkedIn, searching daily for the right people to fill their open positions.  Are you visible?  Do they like what they see?

The people who are most active on LinkedIn are seen the most – just as the people who attend networking events are seen by more people than those who sit behind their computer instead.  You really need both.

How can you be active on LinkedIn?

First, use that Status Update box at the top of your Home page.  Ask a question, share a link, make a statement.  This is called “engaging”.  Do be engaging in the other meaning of the word – be nice.
You can Like, Comment or Share right from your Home page.  Choose to do so once or twice a day.  Pick the people from companies you are interested in, or who have jobs like the one you are interested in, or just because you agree or disagree with what they posted.  You will also find jobs listed here. (Remember to apply only for those for which you have at least 85% of the requirements)

Go a bit deeper:

Join a few appropriate groups (you can have as many as 50, but only join those you can keep up with). Like, comment, share AND start a new conversation/discussion. Check out the Members tab in the Group.  Invite a few from the group, especially those whose posts you have commented on or who have commented on your posts. 

What should go on your Profile?

LinkedIn has choices for everyone, but some won’t apply to you.  Remember that this is where you go to see and be seen.  There will be some things that you don’t want people to know about – that dreadful short-term job you had in college, the exact date you graduated from school or left a job, or got an award.  You only need to go back 10-15 years in your experience section.  Put your volunteer work, boards of directors you have been on, all non-employment information in the Additional Information section and use the categories there.

And if you are looking for work, please put your contact info – either email or phone number somewhere in the Summary or Additional Info. If you are not a 1st degree connection of the recruiter or hiring manager (and how could you be?), they will have to dig to connect with you outside of LinkedIn.  

Most frustrating of all are the Profiles that have your name and title and that is all.  You are missing a wonderful chance to be seen while still behind your computer.

Contact me if you need some help with your Profile!





Don’t be a Networking Nuisance

don't be a networking nuisance

Don’t beg for a job like Oliver Twist!

Does networking makes you feel like Oliver Twist, begging for another bowl of gruel?  That you are bothering people?

Well, that is NOT networking!

Networking is where you give something that doesn’t cost you much and your networking partner receives something that he/she values and the other way as well.  You need to give at least four times before you ask for something. Networking is not a one-time event.  It includes, at the least, 5 follow-up connections (emails, letters, phone calls, coffee dates, etc.)

So what can you give?

Time, attention and active listening – with our short attention spans these days, truly attentive, active listening (not planning what you are going to say next) is a rare and precious gift.

Knowledge – you are spending your time wrapping your arms around your industry (especially if you are networking for your next job).  Put the information you are gathering for your search in a “swipe file” so that you can share it with the people to whom you have listened and with whom you are networking. Send them the information that connects with what they have talked about.

Links – you are also collecting links of information. Save the web pages in a Favorites file on your browser titled Swipe for Job Search or Swipe for (your department or industry here). You will want these for general networking and also specifically for follow up with the people you have talked with about their problems at their companies.

Connections – as you grow your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Labroots, Naymz, Viadeo, etc networks, you can connect your new networking connections to others that they might be interested in. Remember that your career network is one that will last you for the rest of your career and you will find jobs for people in your network as much as they find jobs for you.

What other ways can you think of that you can give to your network?

Another job search coach, J.T. O’Donnell, has also talked about this.

Want to talk about it?  Book a call here!

Targeted Networking: Connecting with the right people

We had a great webinar today about Targeted Networking for your career, but I was all thumbs on the tech and it did not record properly.  So I re-recorded it and here it is for those of you who could not make an 11 am call.

You don’t need to be known by many, many people: the beekeepers of Africa and the shepherds of Mongolia probably don’t need to know your name.  But you do want to be known by the people you work with or want to work with.  You want to know them and be known to them as someone who is a member of their “tribe” and who speaks the same jargon about the problems in your field.  

But before they can know you, you have to find them and introduce yourself. You don’t want to spin your wheels with the people who are not a future “member of your tribe” if you are urgently looking for your next job.  (Of course these other people can make your life far more interesting, but not in a targeted, strategic way!)

So where can you find them?  Watch the video above or come to Open Office Hours and we can talk about it.

Please do leave your comments or questions below!