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Executive Job Search

I was recently the keynote speaker for an organization that helps professionals who have found themselves in search of a job.
When the executive director called me about giving this talk, I thought a moment, and then asked why she was interested in me. Typically, I speak about sales.
She said: “Greta, that is what our entire program is based on. Most of these professionals have not been in the job market for years. Therefore, they are not familiar with what to do to get a job – which is basically sales, right?”
It made perfect sense. Looking for a job – especially one an experienced professional would be interested in – isn’t easy.
Just sending out résumés to a list of positions advertised in the paper or on the Internet is like cold calling.
We need to be better than that. We need to create our own destiny.
In light of our recession, more and more professionals are finding themselves laid off and in the job market again.
There are five things that can help professionals find work that is satisfying and at the level of employment and salary they deserve:
1. Create a clear picture of what you are looking for. What type of position, for what type of organization, what specific duties, etc. You are in control of your destiny when you carve out the position that’s best for you.
Don’t wait until someone posts notice of an opening, and then say, “Oh, yes. I can do that.” Be proactive. The law of attraction says if you define it and put it out there, you will find it.
2. Network. Networking has never been more important than when you are looking for work. The type of employment a professional wants is not necessarily something that will be posted publicly.
When a well-respected professional is available for work, often a position can be created that’s dependent upon the person’s skills.
Use the clear picture you have created in looking for the right position. But, remember this: In networking, it’s always about the other person first, then you. When you show an interest in others, they show a real interest in you and want to help.
3. Prequalify the initial phone call. If you get a lead from someone about a position, don’t immediately call and ask for an appointment.
Instead, tell the interviewer you appreciate John’s recommending you for a potential position, but you thought it might make sense to talk a bit on the phone first to see if it is a fit.
Remember, you can’t look desperate, even if you are. Desperation is easy to see, and it’s not attractive to any employer.
4. Interview the company. If you proceed to an interview, don’t worry so much about your résumé. Be much more concerned about learning about the organization you are interviewing with.
Spend your time looking at the company’s Web site. Google the company and its officers. Use that information to create excellent questions to ask. That will not only tell you about the organization, but also will allow you to ask relevant questions about things it is doing – and to look smart in the process. You will separate yourself from others the company is considering by asking intelligent questions.
5. If you decide you are interested in the job, ask for it. Consider what the company says is important, and match those traits with your skills. Then, tell the company that is why you are a good fit.
If a follow-up meeting is necessary, set a time and date. When you get home, immediately write down all the topics discussed during the interview in a follow-up e-mail. It is professional to summarize what you have heard and what you both said.
Searching for a new career is selling at its finest.

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