Frank Kovacs, founder of The Breakfast Club, a group that meets at the Days Inn in East Brunswick loves to share job search information and tips. He started the club in 2001 after the 9-11 attacks when businesses were downsizing and people were having a hard time finding positions. Kovacs landed jobs during this difficult period by contacting his network and getting referrals.
Helping others land is what motivates Kovacs who says that more than 6,000 people have landed jobs by networking at The Breakfast Club. Social Networking has always been an important component of the The Breakfast Club. They started with a Yahoo group and web site and can now be found on LinkedIn boasting a membership of 3,800.
Those interested in joining The Breakfast Club on LinkedIn and Yahoo should attend the meetings that start promptly at 8 a.m. Brian Mecca, Director of Membership can usually be found at the door to collect the $10 and sign people in. The fee is used to cover the cost of the conference room. There is a speaker at every meeting who presents for 60 minutes on a topic of interest to job seekers. Attendees go around the room and give their 30- second elevator pitch. The rest of the meeting time is left for networking. Many of the attendees have jobs and are there to help others land.
1. Finding A Job Is One Of The Hardest Jobs You Will Ever Do.
It takes a lot of time, effort and skill to land. Job seekers should feel confident in the process because you are working very hard to secure your next position and not receiving a paycheck for your efforts. You always want to be growing and strengthening your brand. Use the time of unemployment to find out who you are and what you want to do professionally.
2. Take Time To Remember You Still Have Value.
You didn‘t lose your skills just because you lost your job. Now is to time to find out what skills that you have that are still in demand. This may require some online research and informational interviews with individuals who work at companies you are interested in. You may even have to visit the library and use their reference materials. You need to find out which skills are needed in the marketplace and make sure that these items are highlighted on your cover letter and resume. Look for transferrable skills if you are trying to move to another industry.
3. Schedule Time for Your Job Search Activities.
Make looking for a job a top priority and take time to get to know your network. Call up former colleagues and meet them for coffee to get their insight on a job or industry. These encounters can often generate leads that will help you land a job.
Researching the job market and your individual skills takes time. Dedicate set hours for attending job related meetings, networking events, contacting and meeting former colleagues, applying to positions, researching industry trends and other job related duties.
4. When You Get The Job Search Blues Reach Out To Your Own Cheering Section.
Set up a personal board of directors that will edit and review your resume for typos, grammatical errors and use of key words. These people can often give you tips and words of encouragement when you become stressed about the search. This group should consist of people who have positions in companies you are interested in or they may be your former managers or colleagues.
They should also be able to provide feedback on interviewing, cover letters and job search strategies. Use LinkedIn to get inductions to key people to help you develop your own personal board of directors.
5. Impress Recruiters and Hiring Managers With T-Letter Proposals.
Using the T-letter is a great tool to hand to someone you are looking to refer you into a position. The T-letter is a letter that lists the job descriptions on the left and your qualifications on the right. Sending in a T-Letter with your resume shows that you have given a lot of thought to the position and company. Recruiters and hiring managers will feel confident submitting your application for open positions because your qualifications for the position are clearly spelled out. This may help you overcome objections especially if you are moving to a new industry.
6. Find a Job Search Group That Lets You Network.
The Breakfast Club is a great way to connect with potential advocates. People are more likely to help those they have met or spoken to on the phone. This is one reason why it is a good idea to include a photo on your LinkedIn profile and meet people for coffee. There may be 50 or more people at The Breakfast Club meetings. Seeing a professional looking photo on LinkedIn can help jog someone’s memory that you met at the meeting and encourage them to connect with you.
7. Follow Up on All Leads.
This is an important step that many people fail to do. You must follow up on all leads. It may take numerous attempts to get in touch with key people. Remember that they have other responsibilities so making a connection may not happen the first or second time. Make sure that you keep the person who gave you the referral abreast of your progress.
8. Be Thankful and Persistent.
Any time someone gives you a referral be sure to thank that person for helping you. People are happy to help out others and acknowledging their kindness is a good way to develop leads and advocates in a company or industry.
Towards the end of your job interview make sure you find out when a decision is being made and get permission to follow up. This persistence will often keep you in the running for the job. Even if you are not chosen for the second round, thank the interviewer and let them know you are interested in their company and position. The people chosen for the second round may not be approved or stay in the position. Stay positive in all encounters to keeping the door open. Using this strategy could lead to a future job with the company.
9. Don’t Give Up!
The successful job seeker knows that it may take time to find the right position. Realize that you will land and it will happen faster if you follow these tips. Persistence, following up and presenting your value preposition are keys to finding a job you will love.
The Breakfast Club meets the second Saturday of the month from 8-10 a.m., at the Days Inn in East Brunswick. The next meeting is February 16, and the presenter is Debra Wheatman who will be presenting Social Media Networking Strategy. You can learn more about the group via their websitehttp://www.thebreakfastclubnj.com/.