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Network when you don’t need it

Have you ever had a friend who disappeared a few years ago? The one you never hear from, until they pop up and they need something. I’ll admit it. I’ve been this person before, and it’s a reminder of something not to do.

If you’re like me, the type of person you want to devote your time to helping is the same person you feel appreciates you. They’re someone who takes the time to check on you. They ask about your family and your life. It’s someone you feel like you know well. They know you well. They care about you, and you care about them.

When a friend pops in out of the blue and asks for a favor – they begin to feel like a sales person. You wonder where they’ve been and what their real motive is. You wonder if they’re your real friend, or if your friendship is contingent upon something else.

It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, right? And, chances are good that you aren’t as helpful to that friend as someone who genuinely takes the time to stay in touch with you.

It’s a great reminder to network when you don’t need it. Stay in touch even when you’re not looking for a job. Offer help when you don’t need anything in return.

Someone recently shared the way they’re doing this with me. Each day, they go through their cell phone and pick someone to call at random. On the first day, they pick an A name such as Amanda. On the second day, they pick a B name such as Bob. They call at least one person each day, and they say hello with no motive. If the person isn’t there, they leave a friendly voice message for the person. They rotate through the entire alphabet and start over the next month.

I haven’t tried this method yet, but it sounds like a great way to get started. I know what you’re thinking though. It can be weird to call someone with no appointment – no text message – no email. You’re right – it can be weird. It can also be really normal. The more you reach out to friends for connection, the less surprising it will be when you do.

And, when you do need something, your friends will be more likely to step up. They’ll know that you really need help, and that you’re truly invested in your friendship with them.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

3 job search tips for the introvert

I have to confess: I’m an introvert. People I’ve met in person are often surprised by this little known fact. They assume that public speaking and networking skills equate to extroversion. And, this makes sense on the surface. But, introverts can excel too. If you struggle, here are three tips to help you excel in your job search.

First, practice networking. Don’t wait until it really counts to go to networking events. Prepare by writing down and practicing your elevator pitch. Get your business cards together. Think through how you will approach a business social event, and whether or not you’re comfortable going alone. Set a goal to meet at least five new people per event, to exchange business cards, and to follow up with them after the event online and potentially in person.

Second, look for opportunities to have private meetings with networking contacts. One on one meetings are typically much easier (and more fruitful) for introverts. Despite only meeting with one person at a time, quality often trumps quantity. Invite new contacts for a coffee, or for lunch. Take the time to get to know each person, and to find out what you have in common. Look for opportunities to help the other person, and try to avoid asking for favors up front. Relationship building takes time, and isn’t all about landing a job in the moment.

Here’s a bonus tip about events. If you struggle to remember names or details, write notes on the back of every business card you receive. Include the date you met the person, where you were, and a few things you talked about. Before you attend future networking events, review your business card notes. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be to remember names, and how impressed your new contacts will be.

Third, use the internet to your advantage. If you aren’t tapped into the latest gossip on a company, check out their reviews on Glassdoor.com. If you have an interview coming up, use LinkedIn to research your future hiring manager. Use sites like Salary.com to find out what other people are making in your field and in your city. In the past, much of this information was gathered by word of mouth. But, the internet gives you the power to learn more about the company, the hiring manager, and the job – all from the comfort of your living room.

Just remember, being an introvert is an asset. Depending on the type of job you do, the hiring manager may be looking for someone who’s a little quieter or a little more serious. And, if you struggle at networking events, keep in mind that the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Plus, you don’t have to be the best networker to be a great one. Networking isn’t a one-time event, or a competition. Your network is something you develop and grow over time, in many settings. This means that you’ll have many chances to make a great impression.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Will I scare the hiring manager away?

You know the drill. “If you’re interested in a job, apply on our website. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you.” That’s what the company’s telling us anyway.

So, what’s wrong with this approach? And, what should we really be doing?

This is a great question. The first thing that’s “wrong” is that applying online almost never works – really. There’s a good chance the applicant tracking system (the online website) the company uses doesn’t work. It’s not the company’s fault. They’re probably relying on a third party product they purchased to help them to manage their hiring process. But, when you put your resume into one of these systems, there’s a pretty slim chance that it will make it to the hiring manager. And, even if it does, there’s a smaller chance the hiring manager will select you.

Why is that? Well, when a hiring manager is hiring, they try to think of someone they already know. Or, they may ask around to find a friend-of-a-friend. They’re definitely not going to look at online applications first.

So, if you don’t know the hiring manager already, what can you do? I often advise job seekers to find a way to connect to the hiring manager. Perhaps you reach out to them on LinkedIn. Or, maybe you find their email address and send them a note.

As you can imagine, reaching out to a total stranger can be a scary thought. I often hear questions like, “Won’t I scare the hiring manager away?” This is a good question, and in all honestly, it’s possible that you might. But, let’s consider this.

  1. The hiring manager may never learn your name otherwise.
  2. You could be just who the hiring manager was looking for. And, they may be grateful that you reached out.
  3. The hiring manager may network in the same way. Being a competitive job seeker may be the way they became the boss.
  4. Nobody has ever not been hired because they were too excited about a job.
  5. What do you really have to lose?

So, let’s look at it this way. What’s the worst thing that could happen? The worst thing that could happen is…. Wait for it…. Your email is ignored.

Yep. Almost always, the worst case scenario is that the hiring manager ignores you. Is it because you “scared” them away? Probably not. It’s more likely that:

  1. They were busy.
  2. They misplaced your email and forgot to respond.
  3. They gave your application to HR, and asked them to add you to the list for consideration (but never emailed you to tell you).
  4. You weren’t a good fit for the role.

Picture this: You’re a perfect fit for a job. You are so excited that after you apply, you reach out to the hiring manager directly via email. You send a killer cover letter about how excited you are about the role, and you attach your resume.

In this example, what are the chances that the hiring manager responds by thinking, “Man, that person is the perfect fit. I mean, their resume is just what we were looking for. And, they’re super excited about the job. And, they’re proactive too. But, no. Let’s not interview them. It’s totally weird that they sent me an email. I’m sure we can find another equally qualified candidate in the stack of applications from the internet.”

I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea. The chances that this occurs is slim.

So, get your courage together and test out contacting the hiring manager directly. You’ll show that you’re excited, qualified, and proactive – all great qualities to have when you’re interviewing for a job.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Don’t be afraid to bend the rules

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Inevitably when I meet a job seeker, I ask a question that makes them pretty uncomfortable. Most of the time, the question is along the lines of, “Why don’t you send that hiring manager an email on LinkedIn?”

The person has very often found a job posting for their perfect job at a great company. But, they don’t have any connections at the company. So, I will suggest that they introduce themselves to the hiring manager – via LinkedIn or in an e-mail.

The most common objection is that the job seeker doesn’t want to bother the hiring manager. They feel that contacting the hiring manager directly would be breaking the rules. It would be going around the online system the company has designed. On top of that, they assume they’d be a bother to the hiring manager.

The thing to remember is this. It’s a great idea to apply online. But, online application systems aren’t perfect and there’s a chance your resume will never be seen by human eyes if you only apply online. In all likelihood, the hiring manager knows this. If you’re a qualified candidate, they will be more than happy to hear from you. They’re probably dying to find the right candidate to fill their opening.

On top of that, most hiring managers are themselves networkers. The higher you go up the food chain at most companies, the more your own networking abilities help to promote you. So, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager you email has done the very same thing before too.

And, the risk is pretty small. In a worst case scenario, the hiring manager will ignore your message. The chance that they will send you an angry response is very low. And, if you don’t contact them via e-mail, they may never know you exist in the first place.

You may be reading this and wondering how in the world you would find the name of the hiring manager if you don’t know them already. It can be tricky, but it’s often more possible than you think.

I’ll give you an example. Years ago, I was searching for a job when I came across a perfect digital marketing opportunity at a large company. I didn’t know anyone there, so I used LinkedIn to research who the hiring manager might be. I looked at the company’s page on LinkedIn. Then, I looked at all of the employees who worked there. I scanned each employee’s title until I found the vice president of digital marketing. I used LinkedIn to send him a message asking for a networking lunch, and the rest is history. Granted – I didn’t get hired right away, but after the company got to know me, my email paid off and I got the job.

The next time you’re hesitant to break the rules, ask yourself why. What’s the worst that will happen? And, if the worst isn’t too terrible, bend them a bit. It just might pay off.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

112 | Hacking the Hidden Job Market – Interview with Mac Prichard from Mac’s List in Portland, OR

Episode 112 is live! This week, we talk with Mac Prichard in Portland, OR.

Mac is the Founder and Publisher of Mac’s List. Mac’s List is an online community that connects more than 80,000 passionate, creative professionals a month to meaningful and creative work and careers. He also hosts career podcast Find Your Dream Job, a podcast for professionals who are looking for new work, meaningful employment, and an opportunity to make a difference in life.

On today’s episode, Mac shares his secrets to hacking the hidden job market, to mastering informational interviews, and how long your job search should really take.

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Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on iTunes or Stitcher.

To learn more about Mac’s List and the Find Your Dream Job Podcast, visit Macslist.org.

Thanks to everyone for listening! if you have questions, you can e-mail me at Angela(at)CopelandCoaching(dot)com. If you’ve enjoyed the program today, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave me a review!

 

Copeland Coaching Podcast Episode 9: Julianne Watt with RedRover Sales & Marketing

Episode 9 of the Copeland Coaching Podcast is live! I’m so excited to share this great episode with you!

This week we talk with Julianne Watt, Project Coordinator at RedRover Sales and Marketing. Julianne shares her secrets to changing career fields, and how to find your perfect next job.

Listen and learn more! (You can play the podcast below, and you can also download it on iTunes.)

If you’re not familiar with RedRover Sales & Marketing already, it’s an advertising agency that integrates sales training and coaching with marketing and public relations, combining traditional and guerrilla strategies.

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