The basics are:
1) Know what you want – write out a position description for yourself – you will know how close any job matches your ideal
2) Know what you offer – write out all of your skills and experience – this is not a résumé but a treasure chest for writing resumes
3) Know where you want to live – draw the reasonable commute distance on the map or choose a city.
4) Know what companies in your commute or new city use your skills – I’m thinking that Macy’s probably doesn’t!
5) Know which 10 – 20 look good to you
6) Know your current network, who they are, where they work, how to get in touch with them (I recommend a database or spreadsheet)
7) Know which of your current network works at each of those 10-20 companies
8) Talk with someone from each of the top 10 companies (NOT the hiring manager and NOT someone from the department you want to join) – find out if the company is a good one, has enough money for a couple of years, the FDA likes them, is not laying off, etc.
9) IF the company passes this test, get introduced (or call your contact) to someone in the department you are interested in.
- Find out what problems they are working on a) because no company hires unless they have a problem that the people they are currently paying can’t solve and b) because you have solved lots of problems and there is at least one you don’t ever want to see again. (If they have a problem that you don’t want, thank them and pay for the coffee)
- Position yourself as the person who can solve their problem by listening very carefully, asking really good, geeky questions about it and offering a tiny piece of advice – “When I was at X place, we had a similar problem. They tried Y but that didn’t work. I suggested Z and it did.”
- At the end, shake their hand and say, “What an interesting project! That must be so much fun/so interesting to work on!”
- Do not take a résumé, do not beg for a job.
10) Go home and write a thank you note and put the company, the people you have met with and the hiring manager on www.gist.com Review what Gist gathers from the internet once a week and send a “saw this and thought of you” email to the person you met with so that when his/her boss says, “Dang, we are going to have to hire someone! Who do we know?” it will be your name that comes up.
Call me if you would like to discuss this.
To schedule a time with me, click here