Are you at a convention? If your boss is sending you to learn something, attend the seminars first. If you have a booth, man the booth first. And while you are doing your bosses work, collect all the business cards you can. Make a copy of every card for yourself.
Serious about your job search? Sort the cards out into three piles by company:
- I’d love to work there.
- I’d consider working there.
- I’d never work there.
Contact everyone you have a card for. Send them an email or give them a quick phone call. Tell them you were pleased to meet with them. Ask if you can help them.
Wait a week or two. Now it is time to use the convention network you are creating to get a job. Of all the people you contacted, which ones are most likely to know about jobs you want? The people in pile “1” know about jobs in their company. People in pile “3” are likely to be actively looking for jobs and know about jobs in good companies. People in pile “2” are a combination of the other two. So you should contact people in all three piles.
Why sort cards into 3 piles? Because you need to decide who to ask directly for a job.
Most of the people you meet cannot give you a job. They can point you to a job, or pass your information along. You don’t want to work with some of the people. Ask people to help you in the way that you and they feel most comfortable. Call them up and say, “Jim, I’m keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. We talked a couple of weeks ago at the convention. Who do you know who I should talk to about a job as a (job you want)?”
If they say they don’t know where you could go, then say, “Jim, I appreciate your thinking about this for me. I’m going to send you an email. Could you forward it to anyone you think might be closer to that job I’m looking for? Thanks. I appreciate your help.”
Now send him an email with a brief description of your skills. Don’t send a full resume. Instead send a hard hitting 100 word message containing bullets of only your 3 greatest accomplishments. Thank him for his help. Ask him to get the email closer to someone who can help you find that job.
Want to get even more help? Tally the jobs you are finding out about. In 3 weeks send an email out to everyone you contacted and say, “I found out about 14 jobs thanks to the help you and a few friends gave me. I haven’t made a decision yet on what I am going to do. If any other jobs have come across your desk, I’d like to know about those too. Thanks.”
This is networking at its best. Of course you can use this in any job hunt. Conventions are just very convenient for this kind of job search because you meet so many people so fast.
Something To Do Today
If you are serious about finding a new job, conventions are great. They are also a LOT of work. Decide how much time you are really interested in spending on that job search.
Later: What to leave out
Job security – what permanent means
$250,000 too proud