5). Do you have any networking tips?

Networking
Perhaps the most difficult aspect most marketing candidates experience in their job search is in the area of networking. Networking, as it is loosely defined, if the contacting of friends and acquaintances (both personal and professional) in order to have them point you toward job leads. The difficulty lies in the fact that most marketing people are accustomed to having people call them. Whether it’s the ad agency pitching business, the headhunter recruiting you or the sales promotion agency looking to sell FSI"s, the relationship is still the same. People come to you. This relationship is now reversed. You must go to them and, in some cases, with not much to sell except for perhaps some good will. Your approach, therefore, is of prime importance. Let’s look at the various network channels:

  1. Friends: Both personal and professional.
  2. Peers: Perhaps the most important channel. Your contacts with peers, or individuals who have credentials similar to your own, are invaluable. These will be the people who will have contacts with other search firms appropriate for yourself and they will be the ones getting recruiting calls from search firms where the assignment would probably be right for you as well. If they themselves are not interested, they should be more than willing to pass along those leads.
  3. Suppliers: Generally speaking, suppliers will have contacts appropriate in their own area of expertise (ie. ad agencies will know agency recruiters etc.) Suppliers though work on accounts other than yours and in this sense make excellent networking contacts. "Why don’t you call Joe over at XYZ Manufacturing and tell him you and I were talking" are seventeen words that will be music to your ears.
  4. Former suppliers and peers: This is where all those years of keeping these people on the Christmas card list pays off. Though these network contacts can sometimes be awkward ("How long has it been?"), they still can bear fruit.
  5. Your former company: Another good source. The relationship that your former company has with their own suppliers can be very important. The recruiting firm that handles your company’s business should be most receptive to helping you network, if for no other reason than it helps them solidify their own relationship with your former company. Remember when we discussed your role in the outplacement process and we discussed your attitude? This is where that tone will come into play.
  6. Answering Ads: Obviously, answering ads is an important aspect of any search, but there is also networking involved in the process. XYZ Manufacturing is looking for a Vice President of Marketing. Rather than just sending your resumé blindly, give some thought to who you might know within the company or perhaps their ad agency. The ultimate aim is to somehow differentiate your resumé from all the other resumés received on the ad. In essence, you are being referred by a supplier or company employee.




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