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.

Who actually has the job?

Who actually has the job? Not your buddies, or you would already have it. Not your extended family either. Do you currently know the people who need your skills?

job

noun, verb, jobbed, job·bing, adjective

noun

1.  a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price: She gave him the job of mowing the lawn.
2.  a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.
3.  anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility: It is your job to be on time.
4.  an affair, matter, occurrence, or state of affairs: to make the best of a bad job.
5.  the material, project, assignment, etc., being worked upon: The housing project was a long and costly job.
  – Dictionary.com

So who actually has the job you want?

Job postings are lists of jobs.  Recruiters do the job of finding the right person for their client.  HR does the job of bringing the desired person into the company and/or may do the job of the recruiter.  But it is the hiring manager who actually has the 1.  a piece of work, especially a specific task. 

How can you be known by the hiring manager?

For a full view and more info, click 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.

Job-Postings2

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

Looking for work? Get a strategy!

Do you have a work strategy when you see the writing on the wall?

Are you about to be downsized?

Is that expensive PhD not insulating you from the economy?

Now is the time to develop your Job Search Strategy using Targeted Networking so that you are not dependent on job postings, job fairs or recruiters to find the next step in your career, but you can use each to your advantage.

Do you know what the next step should be?  What your title should be? Which companies employ people with that title? Which ones are the best fit for you?  How to network your way into those companies?

If you are not ready with that, then I have a simple (although perhaps not easy) program to polish your network and manage your career.

5 secrets to steer your career to greater heights

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I will not share your contact information with anyone unless you give me your explicit permission (for a specific job).


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!

Connie

 

 

 

Which are the top ten companies for your job search?

the top ten companies for your job searchWhen I go to networking meetings and talk with someone about their job search, I ask them to tell me the top 10 companies that they would prefer to work for.  Most people can’t name three, give me only the names of the largest, most visible, ones or tell me that they will take any job.

You can’t network with every one, or even all the people in your industry in your region.  Even if you could, you would have to start somewhere.  Going to random meetings, putting your resume in a little boat on the ocean, or replying to every job opening with a generic resume is simply a waste of your time and hope. 

Take a good look at your industry.  Here in the SF Bay Area there are many, many bioscience companies.  Some are in tools or life science, some in diagnostics, both clinical and molecular, some are in therapeutics, both large and small molecule, some in medical devices, both implantable and not.  Which ones are likely to need your skills?  An oncology researcher is unlikely to be of interest to a life science tools company, but may find a place in diagnostics or therapeutics.  A biophysicist might be more interested in building tools than in taking data.  But only you can decide where you would be happiest. If you don’t know yet, you still need to pick a direction. 

No company has your best interest or your career path in mind for you.  None will hire you because you need a job.  You are the only one to choose a career path for your own best interest. 

Once you decide on an industry, what are the names of the companies in your industry and in your commute distance?  Do your homework!    What is their URL? What is their street address? What is the main phone number?  What, exactly do they do?  Why are you interested in them (you will be asked this one!)?  What are the details of their product development?  Who is on the management team?

Of the 10 to 50 companies that you have researched, which ten do you like the most? 

How Did You Get Your Last Job?

network with red person in centerMost 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 yet 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%. These are sometimes called “hidden” jobs.  That means that they simply have not been posted.

So where does that leave you? 

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

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

Sign up for the free newsletter (below right) for my free tips on how to create your job search strategy.

Or click here to schedule a complementary consultation

Do you have a step-by-step plan for your job search?

Looking for a new or next job can be completely overwhelming.  It is not something that we take classes in for years, like English or Math or whatever our major is or was.  It seems that everyone simply expects us to know how to do it or that getting a job is a judgment of our personal worthiness. 

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it is not something that you are born knowing.  Job search skills are just that – skills that can be taught and learned. 

But like any skill, it must be practiced and you have to know what you are doing first and for each step of the way.

I’ve drawn you a map:

Job Search Map

Job Search Map

For more information, contact Connie Hampton at connie@biosciencejobkit.com

Recruiters, Candidates and Money

money

One of my colleagues, Phil Rosenberg, spoke to the question of money, candidates and recruiters.  What do you think of his answer?

 

Job Search Answers – Why Don’t Recruiters Understand My Financial Needs?

Feb 9 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

“The fact is, recruiters really don’t give a damn about your financial needs. Recruiters don’t work for you, they work for employers.

It’s not a recruiter’s job to find you a job that meets your needs – it’s their job to find a candidate that meets an employer’s needs. And one of those needs is based on budgets.

When a recruiter discusses salary with you, they aren’t looking at what you made, what you’re used to, or the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. They are merely comparing your skills/background to what the market currently pays for that skill/background.

There can be circumstances where a candidate’s market value could be less, sometimes significantly less than what the market will bear. This is rarely pleasant information for the candidate, but it’s critical information for a you to know.

You may be wondering … You’ve worked hard, managed your career, continued to invest in your own education, so why do you have to take a pay cut?

Look at it from an employer’s (and therefore, the recruiter’s) point of view. The longer you work for an employer, the more knowledge you gain about the employers’ operations, competitors, customers, and the industry … so you become more valuable to that employer the longer you’re there. Over the years, your value to that employer has been rewarded with pay raises, which can eventually allow you to enjoy above market value salary – because you’re more valuable to that one employer.

That excess value often doesn’t translate to other employers. If other employers need your specific in-depth knowledge of your past employer, of their competitors or customers, you’ll have a better chance of continuing to be paid an above market value salary. It’s when you move beyond your industry, your target employer probably won’t see the same value. All that concentrated information about your past employer, competitors, customers, industry just isn’t valuable to companies outside of the industry – so why would they pay you for it?

While this can be a bitter pill to swallow as a candidate, it’s important information to receive. It’s important to know what employers see as your market value, even if that information is disappointing – because it gives you a wake-up call.

Waking up to smell the coffee allows you to make important decisions effectively:

  1. Do you try to stay in the industry to make more money (if that’s an option)?

or

  1. Do you change your lifestyle so that you can live within what the market is willing to pay?

It’s never fun to be disappointed.

But it’s better to be disappointed than to keep living beyond your means, based on unrealistic salary expectations, isn’t it?”

It is much better to be upfront with the recruiter early in the conversation and save you both some time.  But don’t do this with the company interviewer/hiring manager until after you both feel that the fit is right. If the recruiter made a mistake and called you about a job above or below your pay grade, then you can make points by referring someone who would be a better fit.  And you will find out approximately what that company considers the right salary level for the skills the recruiter is looking for.  This is valuable information and will help you either screen in or screen out that particular company.

What do you do?

updated 4/4/17

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