Paris Hilton, barbecue parties and your job searchBy Kevin Donlin
Fact: The more people who know you, the less time you'll spend hunting for employment.
Few people are more famous -- and less employable -- than Paris Hilton.
Yet, paid gigs keep falling into her lap. This defies all reason, of course, until you look at the numbers. If 100 million people know who you are and what you do, and 99.9999% of them don't want to hire you, that still leaves 100 potential employers. That equation seems to work for Paris.
So employment is really a numbers game. And you might as well have fun at it, as Paris does.
With that in mind, here are two ways to have fun in your job search and let the world know what you're looking for. One's "high touch" and the other is "high tech."
First, to "touch" more people who can give you employment leads, why not throw a party?
Hosting a get-together can jumpstart your search, according to John Challenger, CEO of executive search firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "When you hold an event where you visit with lots of people, you are leveraging your time to get your message out in more directions," he says.
You can plan a backyard BBQ or casual party, and invite 15-20 friends who might be connected to companies you'd like to work for. To create a stimulating atmosphere, try introducing different groups of people to each other. Example: invite five workplace friends, five neighbors and five of your college buddies.
At your party, avoid buttonholing and pestering people for job leads. "I would not make it so clear that this party is to help me find a job. You want to meet people socially and set up meetings later, when it's appropriate to talk about business," suggests Challenger.
So, try the subtle approach. Speak to everyone at your event with the goal of setting up a second meeting, in person or by phone, where you can exchange job leads.
Hosting a party like this can benefit your job search in the short-term, while building yourself a long-term reputation as someone who's a "hub" of personal contacts. The more people you introduce to each other, the more people will remember you fondly and want to introduce you to their friends. It's a "virtuous circle" of positive reinforcement that builds your network rapidly -- and it could shorten your job search dramatically.
Try throwing a "networking party" within the next 10 days. The worst that can happen is you spend an enjoyable evening making and renewing friendships.
Now, for a second method that's "high tech" -- try using voicemail marketing to get the word out.
That's because, the more you think like a marketer, the faster you can spread the word (and get hired).
So, why not change your voicemail greeting to let people know you're in the job market? (Just make sure it's a number your boss won't call, if you're currently employed).
Here's an example voicemail greeting, adapted from a script provided by financial service marketer Bill Cates at ReferralCoach.com:
"Hi, this is Jane Jobseeker. Please leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible, and even sooner if you know someone who's looking for a sales rep who beat quota the last 9 quarters in a row -- I'm in the job market for just such a position. Thanks!"
Or, try this ...
"Hi, this is Jane Jobseeker. Please leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible. Meanwhile, please pass the word that I'm looking for a company that wants to cut their shipping costs by 55% in 90 days -- that's what I did as an operations manager in my last position. Thanks!"
The keywords here are IMAGINATION and ADAPT.
Starting today, use your IMAGINATION to ADAPT the voicemail scripts above, then try them out on your cell and home phones.
(Admittedly, voicemail is not fun, but you read this far, right? So the lie at the start of this article was a noble one.)Now, go throw a networking party, modify your voicemail, and create your own job-search success story!