Books by Maribeth:
...And the Clients Went Wild!: How Savvy Professionals Win All the Business They Want
The Connectors: How the World's Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life
Rejuvenate your résumé
Résumés rarely showcase how great you are. That's why it's probably time to breathe a little life into yours. Think of it this way: If you are the CEO of Me, Myself, and I, Inc., you will need some marketing materials to promote your brand. Your résumé and cover letter will serve as those marketing materials.
Build your online résumé using LinkedIn
According to Jobvite.com's 2010 Social Recruiting survey, 83 percent of employers plan to use social networks to recruit this year. If you aren't already on business-focused social media sites like LinkedIn, take the time to set up a profile.
Get face-to-face with potential employers
Find a way to get in front of your potential employers. These days it is much harder to show potential employers what you are all about and to forge a connection with them because so much of the pre-hiring process is done online and through email. That is why it is essential that you find a way to communicate with them face-to-face. Dropping off a follow-up note or a résumé is a great opportunity for getting some face time with a potential employer. Another great face-to-face opportunity comes after the interview. To show you paid close attention to everything your interviewer said, stop by her office with an article that you think would be of interest to her or a small gift (e.g., a box of candy) based on some key piece of information -- what Kuzmeski calls the "remarkable" -- you found out about the interviewer during the interview.
Make an impact by using video.
If you really want to capture the attention of a potential employer, record a quick video. Use it to get an interview or as a follow-up after an interview. Here's how it works: Instead of just emailing a résumé or a post-interview thank-you note, include a link to a video of you. Carefully script your response and record the quick message using a Flip video camera or even a web cam. Post it on YouTube or some other service and send a link for the video to your potential employer.
Here are some helpful scripting tips for getting the interview:
1. The video should be no longer than one or two minutes.
2. Introduce yourself.
3. Identify the job you would like to be interviewed for.
4. Tell them three things about your background that may make them interested in interviewing you.
5. Thank them for watching the video and ask them for the interview.
Become a contrarian networker
The focus of networking should not be on gaining an immediate job offer from the people you network with. In fact, that tactic almost never works. The goal should, instead, be to build a mutually beneficial relationship with someone who may never even be able to give you a job, but might know someone who can.
Let them do the talking.
(You ask the questions!) There's nothing worse than coming away from a great networking opportunity realizing that you didn't capitalize on the situation. Be sure to have more in your arsenal than small talk. Come up with a list of questions to get the conversation going.
Be prepared to pitch yourself in fifteen seconds.
It's no doubt that you have a lot of qualifications and experience. So much that you could probably go on for hours about yourself. But the hard reality is that no one (except for your mom!) wants to hear that much about your accomplishments. When you are networking and getting the word out about yourself, you should resist the urge to give a ten-minute introduction about yourself. Instead, prepare a short, fifteen-second elevator pitch that hits on your career high points and top skills. Think about what's unique about what you have done and what will help you stand out from a crowd of other job seekers.
Network to the people you know.
Sometimes the most obvious connections are the ones most easily ignored. When you are building your network or considering who might be able to lend you a helping hand during your job search, don't forget about the fruit closest to the ground.
Get involved in organizations that are connected to your profession.
Job fairs can be great ways to get in front of potential employers, but you might not want to focus only on companies you know are hiring. In order to meet people within your industry who might have the potential to hire you, attend trade shows and seminars and join organizations or associations connected to your profession.
Volunteering is a great way to give back, but it is also a great way to sneak in some networking. For example, if you are in marketing, volunteer to work with the PR director at a nonprofit, or if you are an accountant, volunteer your financial expertise.
Be a mover and a shaker
The next time you attend a networking event or even just a party, force yourself to get outside your comfort zone. Don't just hang out with the people you already know. Make it a point to introduce yourself to new people and find out as much as you can about them. The more you move around from group to group the more connections you will be able to make.
Always be networking
You don't have to be at an event or party or working your social networks to build your connections.