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by Debra Feldman, the JobWhiz | March 10, 2009

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When you don't have the inside contacts you need to find the job you want or you are not getting presented with new opportunities that pique your interest or fit into your career plans you can Network Purposefully to jumpstart your campaign and get right on the inside track to access high quality leads.

  • Expand your network purposefully by initiating contact and introducing yourself to authors, speakers, bloggers, academics and other key leaders in your field. Then stay in touch and let them know you want to learn more about them. By being generous and staying in touch you show that you value your contacts.

    Networking is not a transaction-oriented exchange but a series of mutually gratifying relationships that grow over time through shared experiences and common interests. Continually nourish, update and maintain your connections whether you are looking for a new job or happy where you are.

  • Cold calling is a very effective method for initiating contact with hiring decision makers at target companies. Commanding proper attention requires research, planning and much persistence coupled with luck and good timing.

    Deliver a compelling message demonstrating unequivocally how you can benefit the organization and show your understanding of their needs. In addition to providing them with an outstanding potential value contribution, employers have to be confident of your abilities to get the job done for them. Communicating the right message to the right person at the right time is key to success.

  • Get on decisions makers' radar screens by demonstrating your knowledge, achievements, talents and extraordinary ability to deliver the results. If you want employers to find you, first they need to know what you can do for their bottom line.

    Increase your visibility to attract hiring authorities. Volunteer to chair a section at a professional meeting. Make a presentation or publish an article and be sure it is accessible to your target employers by having your white paper or hand out disseminated through the media used by your target employers. Participate respected on e-lists and forums, post comments on widely revered blogs, or send letters to the editor. Then, share these citations with your current contacts and ask them to pass along the information to others.

By continually refreshing existing connections and adding new contacts, you build "career insurance." Personal referrals are the main source of new executive job leads. Contacts play a major role to smoothing the transition process. Your network can plug you into unadvertised positions and deliver a competitive advantage in today's job market. By keeping your contacts fresh and maintaining good relationships, it is more likely that new opportunities will find you even when you are not actively seeking a new challenge and when you decide to launch a search, your network will be ready to respond to this initiative with advice and access to new challenges. Similarly, if you are offering help from your end, all of your contacts (and theirs as well) benefit from the chain of network connections. Vibrant connections benefit everyone current job seekers and passive ones, too.

©2008 Debra Feldman

Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior-level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for cold calling, executed with high energy and savvy panache, connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Network Purposefully with the JobWhiz, and compress your job search into mere weeks, using groundbreaking techniques profiled in Forbes magazine. In addition to her private practice, writing featured columns and conducting exclusive workshops, Debra is a recommended resource to alumni of top-tier business schools. Contact Debra at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent.

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