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March 10, 2009

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Looking for the perfect job, but need some help landing it? Vault's Job Search expert, tackles the question of networking.

Question: I recently relocated, and I am looking to change careers from executive level management in the not-for-profit sector to project management in the technology area. I have extensive project management experience and technology experience.

I am looking for individuals I can meet with to discuss entry points into the job market. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Ellis: First thing--don't use the expression "career change." It puts prospective employers off, implying that you'll accept an entry level position with very little salary. Talk about it in terms of "job change", utilizing generic skills that you want to transfer from one arena to another.

First thing you must do is identify your exact targets. What industry? What job? Where? What kind of culture? What size organization? What salary level? You don't want to sound vague when you begin your search. In order to do this, you might list some ideas and then proceed with some "informational networking" so that you can refine your target. Since you're new to the area where you're living, a quick and easy way to develop such a network would be to join a professionalassociation in your area of interest. Get on a committee. Read professional journals and write inquiries to the writers and the people who are featured in the articles. The key to all this is developing relationships and increasing your exposure. You want to transform yourself from an outsider to an insider, and be perceived that way when your search is launched.

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Filed Under: Networking

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