Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Structured Job Search

Of course you can also keep your contact notes manually-just use legal pad paper and keep a separate set of notes for each contact-electronically or manually, why do it? Because it keeps your job search organized and "structured". Your notes serve as reminders of "who, what , where, when, and how"-who did you talk to, what did you talk about, where did you meet, when did you meet, and how will this contact be most helpful to you. If you don't keep notes, the entire process gets jumbled and confused quickly. For example, one day you think about one of your strong contacts, Jackie Hildebrand. You think-I don't need to follow up with him yet-I just spoke with him a few days ago. However, the truth is that it has been (3) weeks since you last had contact with Jackie-time goes by quickly. So having a system reminds you to contact the members of your network on a frequent and regular basis.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Structured Job Search

Let's go back to the assumption that you started with only (25) names in your network-you now see how this list can quickly grow to (75) names and beyond. How do you keep up with all of these people?! It is a simple process, and you can do it manually or electronically. If you choose to do it electronically and you have a Google account like I do, you can set up a "Label" for each of your contacts. Each time you interact with someone in your network, you can e-mail yourself with a summary of your notes regarding that particular interaction. For example: "I had lunch with Lee Bussard today at Applebee's. He gave me the names of (3) people that I should contact. Before I e-mail these people, follow up with Lee by the end of this week to make sure he has told them about me."

Friday, April 25, 2008


For my readers who live in the Lynchburg, Virginia area, I want to make you aware of a great opportunity that is available:Leadership Lynchburg is an opportunity for professionals to develop both personally and professionally. This program is administered by the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and has a successful (30) year history and over 800 graduates. Some of the many advantages of attending Leadership Lynchburg are the opportunities to network with other professionals, to develop as a leader, and to develop more skills as a member of a team. I have never met anyone who attended this program that has been disappointed-it always receives rave reviews from its graduates. If you are interested in learning more about Leadership Lynchburg, visit and click on the Leadership Lynchburg tab.

Structured Job Search

Let's say that you had only (25) people on your original list of personal contacts in your network. You meet with (5) of them each week. You ask each of them for the names of (3) of their network the original list of (25) people has grown to (75) people. Imagine if you started with (100) people in your would grow to (300) people! This is why I tell the people that I have coached during their job searches over the years this fact-using this networking method, you will find the job that is right for you BEFORE you exhaust this list of (300) people.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Structured Job Search

OK, you are sitting in front of your network contact-now what?

1) First of all, keep your promise and make sure the meeting lasts no more than 15 minutes-set
your watch timer is you have to- :0) -just make the meeting brief!

2) Thank her for seeing you.

3) Tell her that you are not there to necessary inquire about employment at her company-you
just need her advice and suggestions.

4) Make sure to bring copies of your resume-give her one if she has not already printed a
copy-briefly review your background and what type of position interests you.

5) Ask her if she has any questions about your background and career goals.

6) Now here is an important and valuable technique-ask her for the names of (3) people in her
personal network, then write down their names.

7) Ask her if she is willing to e-mail each of them a copy of your resume along with a brief
introduction of you.

8) Thank her and leave before your (15) minutes runs out....and by the way, some contacts will
be so impressed that you are keeping your "(15) minute promise" that they will give you
more than (15) minutes!

9) Send her a WRITTEN thank you note, NOT an e-mail. Buy (50) of these thank-you notes at
Wally World (no one calls it Wall-Mart anymore!) and use them. Most job-seekers will send
a thank-you different! Stand out from the crowd by sending a written thank-you
note. Trust me-it will make a positive impression.

More on this particular technique is coming soon....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Structured Job Search

OK-you have started the process-you sent out (5) resumes yesterday (Monday). Wait until tomorrow (Wednesday-48 hours later)-contact each person by phone. Review the following:

1) Did you receive my resume?

2) Can we set up a time when I can meet with you for (15) minutes to discuss my job search?

3) If it helps the process, volunteer to meet with your network contact early in the morning for
coffee, for lunch, or after normal work hours. Remember, he is doing you a favor-
accommodate his work schedule.

4) Follow up immediately after your phone conversation with an e-mail thanking him for
agreeing to meet with you.

Now, what do you say during this brief meeting.....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Structured Job Search

One of my readers recently shared some excellent suggestions on my blog under "comments"-

"I think some people don't really put the effort and heart into searching for a job that is needed. You have to use and exhaust every possible contact and network possible to find that one job that is right for you.....One has to use unconventional methods when talking to acquaintances and bring up what you are doing and want to do to friends and family.....they might say one thing that you haven't been doing that could really get things going.....they might actually have a contact or network that they would be willing to let work for you."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Structured Job Search

One of the the most effective job search techniques is to contact the people in your personal network. Simply sit down and write down the name of every single solitary soul that you know-the list should include business contacts, friends, relatives, neighbors, members of your faith community, parents of your kids' friends, people that you bowl with, people in your Corvette Club, retirees-you get the idea-include EVERYONE. You will probably come up with more people than you think you will.

Start by sending a brief e-mail with your resume attached to no more than (5) of your contacts. Give a brief review of your particular situation and what types of job opportunities interest you. State that you will follow up with a phone call within (48) hours. Limiting the number of e-mails to (5) or less each day gives you a realistic chance to follow up on each one within (2) days.

Repeat this process each weekday-sending out (5) resumes, then following up with a phone call (2) days later. Now you have started to "get the word out" to the people that have the best chance of helping you find your next job.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Structured Job Search

It is very important that an individual who is looking for a job conduct a structured job search. A structured job search is an organized job search. Many people don't follow this method, and it usually costs them a lot in time and missed job opportunities. These folks, whether they are right out of college or have (25) years of experience, conduct a search that is random and lacks focus. They check the local newspaper want ads and send out a few resumes. Then they are surprised when they don't secure (5) interviews within the first week of their search. Well, a successful job search doesn't work that way. Many years ago I learned first hand what does work, and I have taught literally hundreds of people over the years how to find their next job the right way.

This successful journey begins with your personal network. You will be amazed on how well this process works.....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Structured Job Search

Its time to take a break from talking about change and focus on what I call the "structured job search." The US economy is shaky right now-many employees have lost their jobs-others are still employed, but looking for something better. So it is a good time to learn how to conduct a successful job search. It all starts with putting structure to your search.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I like what one of my readers said:

"I view change as a positive when it comes to expanding your horizons. Many times, it is essential for change in the workplace to improve operations and conditions. I wish more employees would be more accepting to change."

This reader's fundamental, positive attitude about change is refreshing. It also reveals a key point- an organization's culture will not change unless its employees change, one by one.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


What are your beliefs about change? Do you believe that you can change what you need to change in your life?

I like what Henry Ford said-"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."

A good example is weight loss-if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to fundamentally change the way you think about food-in other words, is food fuel or is it for pleasure only? Do you eat more when you are depressed or bored? If you think of food strictly as something that makes you "feel better", you may lose weight on one of a number of diets, but you will gain it back quickly-why? Because you did not change your beliefs about food.

So.....successful change starts with your belief system.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Change can be a very good thing! All progress involves change-and success creates change, too. It is interesting to note that a lot of folks fear success more than failure.....that's right-sounds weird doesn't it? But it is absolutely true, because being successful means having to deal with change, and some of us don't want to deal with it. So we don't go back to school, we don't accept that promotion, we don't get on that airplane since we have never flown before-and what happens? We miss out on so many good things!

So what are the tools that we can use to embrace change and therefore benefit from it! The process starts with our beliefs and our attitudes.........

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It is a good idea to face change with confidence and courage rather than with fear. But think about this... we get used to things, don't we?-we eat the same breakfast cereal day after day-when we shower, some of us wash our hair before we wash the rest of our body, some of us do the opposite, we sit in the same pew in church, we go the same restaurants (even when we have multiple choices). In other words, even regarding everyday events like those mentioned above, some of us get into a rut.

Then what happens? When faced with a major change personally or professionally, we freak out! But it does not have to be this way-we can embrace change with confidence, learn from it, grow as a result of it.....stay tuned for more on change.....I am confident you will like what is coming.

On a humorous note-"The only person who likes change is a wet baby." :0)

In your opinion, which of the following is the most effective way to recognize an employee for a significant accomplishment at work?