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3 Words To Remember In Your Job Search

As a former retail executive, avid reader and a person committed to lifelong learning, I enjoy reading books and articles about establishing successful relationships. There are thousands of self-help books and articles written about the keys to successful personal relationships, and many quote three little words: “I Love You" or "I Am Sorry.” 

As a Senior Career Consultant, I try to help my clients navigate the world of extensive job search articles, thousands of job help books, and the advice of well-meaning family and friends.

Can I boil the advice down to three little words?  If so, what words would I choose?  

I would choose the following words: NETWORK & FOLLOW UP.

Why Network?

Facts are 7 out of 10 jobs today are obtained through networking, referral or direct contact. The traditional method of searching the job boards and applying online is the least effective job search strategy.  

Networking is proactive and provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Applying for jobs online is reactive and can be extremely discouraging and frustrating.

Networking gets you out of your pajamas, out of the house, and interacting with human beings. Applying online does nothing for your appearance and self-confidence. (Trust me, interacting with the job boards for 8 hours a day will decrease your self-esteem and self-worth.)

Networking can lead to immediate results like another lead, contact, or event to attend. Applying online leads to frustration and wasted time while you refuse to leave your house in fear that someone will call.

Networking leads to new relationships, new contacts, and new friends. Applying online reminds me of the song: “One is the loneliest number, it can ever be.”

Why Follow Up?

Follow Up implies action that can lead to results.

Follow Up shows potential contacts and hiring managers that you are serious and committed regarding the informational meeting or job interview.

Follow Up requires patience and persistence and doesn’t leave opportunities to chance.

Follow Up demonstrates your professionalism and tenaciousness, traits that are valued by hiring managers.

Follow Up keeps you top of mind with the recruiter, HR or hiring manager.

Follow Up can be the tie breaker between candidates with equal skills and qualifications.

Consider moving forward from the online generated email, “I am sorry, at this time you are not a fit for the position" to Network and Follow Up.

Paula Pope is a Senior Consultant with The Frontier Group. Her practice specialties are career coaching, outplacement, and executive coaching.