Networking & Resume Do’s & Don’ts

What is NETWORKING?

Networking & Resume Do's & Don'tsPeople network everyday and don’t realize it. The conversation you had with the boss this morning or that brief encounter with the grocery clerk is all part of networking. Some networking is work related, some is not, but it is the work related networking you should use first to find a new job. These are the people who know you, know what you can do and probably know where other jobs are at you can apply for. You need to seek out those people and let them know what you need.

Networking is:

Your Professional Network!
A professional network includes co-workers, vendors, suppliers, industry associates, trade show contacts, customers and headhunters, but not your family.

Using your family is a waste of time. Your family may mean well, but their efforts to help you find a job can sometimes be more depressing than helpful.

Your family does not really understand what it is you do and what you want to do. They’ll make suggestions like “Get a job as a waiter!” or “How about going back into the military?”. Not bad suggestions unless you just happen to be a 50 year-old rocket engineer. See my point?

So forget the family and stay with the professionals.

Headhunters!
Update your resume and send it out to as many headhunters as you can. A trip to the library or a look in the yellow pages will give you enough info to put together a pretty good list of headhunters. Watch out for headhunters though, many like to have you sign a contract with upfront fees in the thousands of dollars. DO NOT PAY THESE FEES!

Distribute Your Resume!
Resume distribution services e-mail your resume, cover letter, and career profile to thousands of recruiters and search firms that specialize in your industry. It’s like sending a free resume sample out to targeted industries. Just make sure they send out what you give them. Normally the resumes and cover letters you submit go out exactly as you entered them, but every now and then, one gets a little screwed up. Just keep that in mind.

If you don’t personally know at least 10 recruiters, this is a good way to maximize your networking exposure. I have used distribution services with success. You can check them out and other free resume sample websites at my Links page.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage!
The Internet opens a whole new world to job shopping. Job Boards are very helpful when searching for positions. I have listed many of these websites on my Links page.

Set Goals!
Contact as many people as possible. Set weekly goals for yourself like:

“This week I will post my resume to 5 job boards and will respond to 20 job openings!”

Keep Track and Follow-Up!
A key to good career marketing is keeping track of all contacts you make.

Keep track of:

  • Who you called.
  • Who called you and their contact information.
  • Whether you sent a resume or not.
  • What you talked about.
  • Whether you received new leads or not.

Remember to send out thank you notes to people who help you. It’s just good politics and another way to keep them thinking about you.

Do’s & Don’ts

DO!

    • DO use 8.5″ X 11″ 20 lb. bond white or ivory paper.
    • DO use a “letter quality” printer.
    • DO include a cover letter.
    • DO write an easy to read resume.
    • DO use straight-forward language.
    • DO know your audience.
    • DO use keywords specific to your industry.
    • DO list your accomplishments and the skills as they relate to the job you are applying for.
    • DO begin accomplishment statements with ACTION VERBS instead of pronouns like “I” or “we”.

Action Verbs & Keywords

DON’T!

  • DO NOT enclose a photograph of yourself!
  • DO NOT list reasons of why you left or are leaving a job.
  • DO NOT include references.
  • DO NOT add jokes to your resume.
  • DO NOT lie on your resume!
  • DO NOT apply for jobs that you know you are not qualified for. (skill set does not match job description)
  • DO NOT list hobbies unless they directly relate to your job.
  • DO NOT flood the market with your resume. Sending out your resume in mass to every person on a mailing list is not smart, and it is a waste of your time and money. Using resume distribution services is okay, but sending out resumes from a mailing list that someone has convinced you to buy is normally not going to land you a job either.

Want to change careers? Not sure how to write a career change resume? Then I suggest you look at Career Tests Guide. This is a good service and will help you in your career decision.