Posts Tagged ‘networking’

A 60-Second Commercial – Essential For Anyone Who Has a Career

May 25, 2012

I attended a local Chamber of Commerce meeting recently to do some networking. Of course, the question most often asked of me, and the one I always asked of other was, “What do you do?” While I was prepared to answer that question with my 60-Second Commercial, many I talked with were not. There were some answers to that question that left me confused as to what they did, and others who went on and on about themselves until I zoned out.

When attending a networking event, make sure you go with a purpose in mind. That purpose could be to meet five specific people, it could be to find out specific information that you want, or it could be something else. Whatever it is, keep your goal in mind while attending the event. Know what will make the event successful for you – have a plan of action in mind for each event you attend so that you get the most from it.

Part of your objective at each event you attend should be to let others know about yourself. This is best accomplished through a 60-Second Commercial – your answer to the question, “Tell me about yourself” when you are in an interview or “What do you do?” when you are networking. Your 60-Second Commercial is a great tool to use at any time, but it’s essential when conducting a job search. Make sure you have one that shows your uniqueness. It can be used:

  • While responding to the question, “Tell me about yourself” when networking
  • At any networking event
  • during an informational interview
  • At a pre-screening interview
  • At a job interview
  • In social situations with family and friends
  • Wherever there is an occasion to market yourself

Do you have a 60-Second Commercial that lets you hone in on exactly what you do and succinctly states what you do and succinctly states what you are looking for, or the value you bring to your job? Is it clear, simple and to the point? Check yours now and see if others know exactly what you do, or want to do and what you have to offer an employer. If you do not already have this important tool, now is the time to get one.

I would love your feedback on having 60-Second Commercials.

Do You Know How to Access the Hidden Job Market?

November 23, 2009

Even though the news reminds us every night that more and more people are out of work, I am here to tell you that there are jobs being fill every day – in the hidden job market – it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and how to find them.

While estimates vary as to how big the hidden job market really is, most people tracking these things agree that it makes up about 75% of total employment opportunities. Yet, many job seekers have their heads stuck in the job board postings that make up about 3% to 5% of job opportunities, and really yield few results. So you see, you have a much higher chance of landing the right job when you seek out the hidden job market – there are many more jobs and there is much less competition.

How do you find the hidden job market?
• Focus on several target companies you would like to work for, rather than on specific job openings
• Research these companies, thoroughly, finding out what their challenges might be and learning about the people who can help you get in the door – look on the Internet, in general publications and trade journals
• Look for articles written by people who work at your target companies and begin building relationships with them by email, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – ask them to recommend others who might talk with you
• Talk with vendors, customers and employees of your target company – they can often tell you about upcoming jobs and opportunities (these are the hidden sources in the hidden job market)
• Finally, call the target manager at each of your chosen companies – briefly explain who you are, what you know about their business, and how you might help with some of the challenges they are facing. Ask for a 12-minute meeting so you can demonstrate you ability to contribute to the bottom line – stick to 12-minutes. Be prepared to offer ideas and solutions the manager needs.

Using this approach can lead a manager to create a new job for you, once you’ve shown how talented and self-motivated you are.

Additional resources for you to use when accessing the hidden job market include:
• Networking: Reach out to family, friends, professional contacts (peers and colleagues), academic contacts, community contacts, etc. and let them know you are looking for a new opportunity. Be clear and concise about the type of position you are seeking and be prepared to send your updated resume
• Print Ads in Industry Publications: Remember to look at the career postings in the newsletters and journals you receive through memberships to professional associations
• Meta-search Job Boards: Try sites like or to search multiple job boards at once, based upon key words and location
• Specialty Job Boards: The idea is to identify job boards that represent your location, occupation, industry, etc. Job boards with a niche focus will likely provide a greater percentage of qualified leads. Some of these may require a monthly subscription. So what? Consider it an investment! Sign up for a few months, take a look around and cancel if you are not getting the leads you expected
• Professional Associations: Join groups that represent your industry and/or occupation. Then make the effort to attend lunch meetings, workshops and roundtable discussions. These groups offer you an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet new peers, thereby expanding your network
• Alumni Associations: Remember these? Instead of throwing away the newsletters and magazines from your alma mater, check out what the alumni career services department has to offer in terms of free or low cost job search, company research and networking resources.

If you spend your time on the above activities instead of spending all your time searching job boards and hoping they will work, I know you will experience much better results, as far as getting calls for interviews.