5). Do you have any networking tips?
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 its 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. Lets look at the various network channels:
- Friends: Both personal and professional.
- 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.
- 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
dont 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.
- 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.
- 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
companys 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.
- 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.