Graduates

Six Steps to Find a Job Through Networking For New Graduates

It’s graduation season so, I thought I would share some ideas on how new graduates (or even seasoned professionals) can find a new job if they are looking for employment.

Over 80% of all jobs are found through networking according to a recent study published on LinkedIn.   Here are six steps to help someone who is looking for work (along with two bonus ideas when they get a great connection).

  1. First, get your mindset right. Desperation is not referable. Since you’ll be depending on your network to speak highly of you to their hiring manager and contacts, practice confidently touting your skills.
  2. Image-check your social media. Potential employers will – and you won’t want to make your network look bad if they stick their neck out and recommend you.  I was once considering hiring someone and I checked out his Facebook page.  OMG!  He threw out the “F” bomb time after time on his posts.  In addition, he posted widely inappropriate comments and tirades about people.  He was not the kind of influence I wanted in my office.
  3. Start with current relationships. Reach out to friends, family and business contacts in person, on LinkedIn and via social media to tell them exactly what kind of position you’re looking for. Ask if they can check for any upcoming openings and keep you in mind.
  4. Inventory your other connections. Don’t forget to check in with neighbors, professional organizations, past customers, and community organizations for more contacts.  When it comes to referrals for employment, don’t underestimate the strength of weak ties.
  5. Determine where you stand with these contacts. Whether they are active, passive, or dormant will determine the strategy. I can outline how to approach each.  Active; pick up the phone and ask for assistance.  There’s a relationship.  They will most likely love to help. Passive; set an appointment to reconnect (preferably in person).  Find out about them and let them know you’re looking for something.  Dormant; reconnect by social media or email.  Just talk.  Don’t ask for anything – yet.  Stay in touch, build the relationship before you ask.
  6. Visit organizations in the industry you want. Network right there, on the ground. Check in with the front desk, drop your resume off in-person and ask to meet with the HR director. Better yet, find out if someone in your network can connect you to a current employee in that company. Contact them through the referral.  Meet them for coffee and come prepared.

Once you get a referral, do these two things:

  1. Research your prospective employer. Never go in without being prepared on the history of the company, their latest press releases, their corporate culture and values – whatever you can find.  Checking out their website is only the start.  Google the organization to get more information.   If possible, find out who might be interviewing you and learn more about them.  I landed one of the biggest jobs of my career (before starting BNI and long before Google) because I researched the company and knew so much about the organization and the professional background of the person interviewing me that it blew him away and he hired me.
  2. Offer to do a “working interview.” This is a great way for any company to take your experience and work ethic for a “test drive.” It will give you an opportunity to show them what you’re made of. If all goes well, ask them to consider you for the position.  I’ve been recommending this to job-seekers for many years.  In fact, one week before I wrote this article, I suggested this idea to my eldest daughter.  She tried it out with a company she wanted to work for and they took her up on a “working interview.”  She did such a great job, they hired her the next day!

Your network is the lifeblood of your career.  Don’t let it die of professional loneliness.  Learn how to network your way into a job.

Share this with anyone you know who is looking for employment.

 

Battling Millennial Stereotypes in the Workplace

ID-100342595As I announced in my blog last week, for the 2016 International Networking Week, we’re asking that everyone bring a young professional to their networking meeting sometime between February 1 through 5, 2016.

Young professionals and millennials are hitting the job market in masses right now, and there are plenty of misconceptions regarding the age group. They’re lazy, they expect things to be handed to them, they can’t do things the way they have been done before. You name it, someone has said it – not just about them though, but about every generation before them, as well! Older generations always say that the one after them is like this; the only difference with millennials is the use of the internet to spread this.

While the stereotypes about millennials are just that – stereotypes – there are a few codes of conduct that millennials in particular need to be sure to adhere to in order to avoid negative views on them and their generation in the workplace or in business settings.

As if I even need to say it, say please and thank you. Good manners go a long way to establish credibility and a positive rapport with coworkers and contacts. Stand when you’re introduced to a new person, extend your hand for a handshake whether the other person is or not, and ignore the gossip around the office.

In the same vein with good manners, be respectful of others’ time. Never be late. It seems cliché, but people will never notice if you are on time, they’ll notice but say nothing if you’re early, but the moment you’re late, you’ve tarnished your reputation.

Finally, millennials should always be willing to take on additional responsibilities. When your boss or supervisor asks you to do something, always do it with a smile. Even if it is a task that isn’t in your job description, or is something that maybe you’ve never done before, you should always be willing to give something at work your all.

Millennials are fighting an uphill battle to gain credibility – a battle that as a whole the generation can definitely win.

What workplace suggestions do you have for millennials – or, if you are a millennial, what has worked for you? Share them in the comments below!

Millennials Have Bad Manners

It’s a phrase that has been echoed throughout the years about any given era’s younger generation . . . “Young people today have bad manners.”   It seems like every generation looks at the next generation and finds fault.   Currently, it’s today’s Millennial Generation which is being saddled with this proverbial character judgment.

But, is this assessment of Millennials really accurate? Do they truly deserve this negative estimation of their generation’s collective attitude?

In this video, I  explain not only why I disagree with the bad reputation many older folks associate with Millennials, but also why I firmly believe that the Baby Boomers of my generation should take a good hard look at how they themselves were viewed by previous generations back in the ’60s and ’70s, and why they should then reconsider their assumptions about Millennials.

I’m really eager to hear your thoughts and opinions on this one!  What do you think about today’s youth?  Also, I’d particularly like to hear what you think about the ‘old guys’ complaining about today’s youth.  Please share your feedback in the comment forum below.  I read absolutely every comment and I’d love to hear from you–thanks!

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