Career Search Leverage – How to Find It, Use It and Measure It!
I participated in a career fair on Friday, October 29th, 2010 at Windows in the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. The event was sponsored by www.TorontoJobs.ca While 2,000 pre-registered, over 7,000 attended!
What an incredible number of individuals from all walks of life, some with graduate degrees and some with high school – all in search of that next career opportunity. They all came in with one purpose – to give out resumes and find a job! How discouraging it must have been for so many of them that were told, “go to the company website to apply”. How can they leverage attending the career fair and meeting with company representatives, if they now have to apply on line?
It’s a simple strategy; I know it works, because I’m able to measure the results. For the people who were in my very brief presentation, presented in tandem with Yousuf Khatib from www.WorldFinancialGroup.com they heard the message, and many of them will act on what they learned. Yousuf offers opportunities for anyone interested in knowing how to manage money, to save money, or to actually make that money grow!
What’s the strategy? It’s leverage! It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know, and how they might be valuable to the company you want to work with. It’s being that person who actually sends a thank you note to the representative of the company you visited at the Career Fair. It’s taking the time to share what you learned with others, so that the focus is no longer on “me” but turned outward to “we” and using that leverage every chance you get.
I talked briefly about how Yousuf and I met – and how each of us has used leverage to increase our visibility and to be able to measure the results of our knowing each other. Similarly, leverage is used between Marc Belaiche, the owner of www.TorontoJobs.ca and my company www.ConnectUsCanada.com Do either of us hire the other? No, we find joint ventures, strategic alliances and opportunities to share resources. Who benefits? Both of us! What’s the cost? Nothing, it’s taking the time to find out who I know, that might need to know Marc and Toronto Jobs. His role is to do likewise. We are both practicing the art of ethical and effective networking that will generate measurable results.
For everyone looking for that next job there are so many ways to improve your chances of moving to the head of the line when it comes to interviews. It’s not just about your education and your experience, it’s about who you are and what you do, outside of the job, it’s about who you know and what you know about them.
In order to really benefit from attending this career fair – use the following steps. If you gathered business cards from each of the companies exhibiting that you might want to work with, send that person a personal note of thanks. If you can take the time to actually mail your thanks, making sure your English is correct. If you don’t want to send via Canada Post, use an email, but make sure you say where you met in the subject line. And let that person know that you will be applying on line. If you’ve heard what I’ve been saying, you will include in that note, something about you or who you know that will help them remember you. There is a wonderful blog written by Lee Koren I recommend you read http://bselected.wordpress.com It tracks a job search to a successful hire!
I suggested that people attend events that are not just career fairs, but places they can volunteer, or meet new people. For those interested, I’ve listed a few of the places I will be speaking in November I encourage you to consider attending some of them, if it can help you use your leverage! If you want details on any of the events below visit the websites.
Queens University – Nov. 5th – QBET www.qbet.ca
HAPPEN – Mississauga – Nov. 9th www.happen.ca
MITACS – U of T – Toronto Chestnut Residence – Nov. 9th www.mitacs.ca
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce – Nov. 16th – www.hamiltonchamber.on.ca
Company of Women – Pickering – Nov. 17th www.companyofwomen.ca
PMI – U of T, Mississauga Campus – Nov. 20th http://www.pmi-lakeshore.org
Leads, Needs and Good Deeds – Oakville – Nov 24th www.connectuscanada.com
My final words for this blog are simple – Make sure that you have turned your job search into a rapport building exercise. Take time to find out what you have in common and what you can share that goes beyond just who you are and what you know. Take a leap of faith and share more – your understanding of cultural diversity, technology, people and most of all – your desire to share your resources. People like people who are like themselves, they buy from them, sell to them and most of all they hire them! Good luck and if you need a little help – check out the ConnectUs Career Café! It’s run by experts who are part of the ConnectUs network – there is a fee, and it’s your choice to choose what you need and when you need it.