Archive for October, 2011

Networking 201

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Networking 101: Start Today and Everyday

Networking. Not a scary word, but for some it is, and yet this is the key way of locating new job leads for your job search. We at Razor want results, and this is step one in finding that great job. We don’t know your contact lists, but we will ask you. We can’t promise an instant hire after one day of calling, but starting today is the key. You can generate job leads today even within the next 30 minutes just if you simply take action and just start today, right now. Here are three kinds of people to call today. We dare you to call. Just try it and see what happens. Let’s say it’s your classroom assignment for today to do by 3pm. Give it a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

1. Call a former client you liked in the past

Call a company or organization that you really could see yourself working for or see them as a great company. You have contacts there you might not know of, and would just not know unless you call. There is a CAUTION here: If you’re working now, never, never ever call current customers for job leads, ever. That’s conflict of interest. No matter how sensible you think they may be, or how sensible you are, this will almost always get back to your employer.

2. Call a well-connected friend you know, or your significant other knows from the recent past

Make your labyrinth of friends work for you in a new and fresh way. We all have at least one friend or our significant other’s friend who seems to know everyone in town. Now that is the call you need to make today for sure. By inviting them to dinner at your home, you might advantage the situation in a way you never thought. Dinner out? You can try that too. Be sincere and show that you are really a person they want to help. Sometimes the people we think are friends, are just by-name, but be assured that well-connected people love to chat, and give help when they can.

And when you meet, bring a list of the 10 companies you’d most like to work for. Ask if she knows anyone who might know someone at those top 10 companies. Friend-of-a-friend always worked for me. Bring more companies if you want. From this dinner you should glean from the conversation at least 10 names and phone numbers you can call for informational interviews later.

3. Call a former employer today: make it #1 priority

Pick up your cell phone and call a supervisor or boss from any job you’ve had since the age of 18, or even earlier. Tell them how much you enjoyed working at their organization. First of all, your former manager will be happily pleased by your call. A surprise call is always enjoyable to anyone.
So you got Networking 101 down now. It’s not a scary word, but step one in finding that great job you’ve always wanted, and it revolves around the people you know already. As said before, we at Razor don’t know your contact lists. You know them the best. We can’t promise an instant hire after one day of calling, but starting today is the most important key. It’s your classroom assignment for today. Give it a go.


Subtle Ways to Tell Your Story in Your Resume

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A frequent theme of our blogs is limiting your resume to information that’s truly relevant to the position for which you’re applying.  You should feel free to leave off your high school job serving fast food or your college job working retail if you have years of subsequent work experience.  Also, listing only the achievements from your previous jobs can actually omit an important component of your career: your personal story.
Many of the clients I work with put themselves through graduate programs years into their career, while they were working full-time.  This is no small feat!  If you know anyone who has gone to grad school while they were working, you probably remember that period of their life as one of high stress and limited play.  However, making this career move almost always pays off with greater career opportunities and a higher salary.  It requires (and displays) real ambition to return to school when you already have a job.  So, if you’re one of the many people who has done this, one way to highlight it on your resume is to stick it right into the job summary:

Manager, ABC Company
Managed a department of 20 employees. Directed all sales and billing.  Earned MBA while working full-time.
Many job seekers have also performed years of consulting services on the side.  Some do not include this on their resume, as they think of it as irrelevant additional information.  Not so!  If you have the business wherewithal to handle some amount of self-employment in addition to your regular job, that’s a valuable skill.  And even if you don’t end up getting the job for which you applied, you may just gain yourself a new client!
Another way to spark great interview conversation is by including any education or work relevant to your personal passions or hobbies.  I’m not suggesting that you put “likes to play golf” on your resume, but if you’re good enough to have won numerous tournaments, that shows dedication and skill that most people don’t possess.  I recently worked with a woman who had taken more than 30 classes at her local culinary school over the years.  I jokingly asked her if her retirement plan was to open a restaurant, and guess what … it was!
Ninety-nine percent of your resume’s content should relate directly to the position you’re targeting.  However, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in a few sentences that differentiate you from the other candidates in the pile.  After all, hiring managers want to work with interesting people!