Finding work in tough times is like marketing in an environment that's flooded with sellers. At the executive end of the job market, compensation is high enough to support professional executive placement specialists, but if you aren't one of the elite, you'll be doing your own marketing.
Here are some suggestions for positioning yourself as a superior product, reaching the buyer ahead of your competitors, creating a compelling message, and making yourself easy to find for anyone looking for someone like you.
- Participate in local chapters of professional societies
- Professional societies emphasize education, networking, and job search services tuned to your profession. You can exchange news and techniques with colleagues. Especially valuable: leadership positions or responsibility for posting job openings.
- Teaching in continuing education programs dresses your resume; keeps you fresh; and gives you networking opportunities, access to library facilities, and faculty discounts for equipment and software.
- Tight budgets are compelling chapters of professional societies to favor local nonprofessional speakers. Extra income is unlikely, but you'll make yourself known to people who might want to hire you.
- Use Google alerts
- Avoid surprises in interviews by being informed about current events in your profession. And be among the first to learn of new opportunities. If you're targeting a particular company, set a Google alert related to your target. Set alerts for people you know, your target industry, yourself, and anything that appears on your resume or record, or anything anyone might ask you about. Include misspellings.
- Avoid surprises in interviews
by being informed about current
events in your profession
- Network, network, network
- Effective networking requires discipline, organization, and dedication. Networking in person is best; telephone is next best. Networking through Web sites can be helpful, too. There are books and Web sites galore. And job search networking groups are almost everywhere. Search for groups in your area by modifying this example for Boston.
- Get into electronic business networking
- As an active electronic networker, with a presence at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter you'll create a multi-media resume. You'll gain a clean, professional presence that highlights your accomplishments, capabilities, and assets.
- Keep submitted resumes fresh
- On-line resume databases often display submission dates to employers, who sometimes interpret older dates as indicators of undesirability. Visiting your submitted resumes monthly and making slight modifications probably resets the submission date.
- Publish books, scholarly articles, book reviews, or articles in trade magazines or Web sites. Regular book reviewers often get free books, and you'll be helping the world find you.
- Blog or tweet
- If you have useful things to say, create a blog, or tweet regularly. It's a commitment, but it can also keep you sharp and engaged, and the word will get around.
In this environment, you have to be inventive to stand out. Sending out resumes isn't enough. In May, 2009, software engineer Larry Fowler placed ads on WCRB, a Boston radio station. Whatever works. First in this series Next in this series Top Next Issue
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For more on finding work in tough times, see "Finding Work in Tough Times: Strategy," Point Lookout for July 8, 2009; "Finding Work in Tough Times: Infrastructure," Point Lookout for July 15, 2009; and "Finding Work in Tough Times: Communications," Point Lookout for July 29, 2009.
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