Two More Job-Search Success Stories

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: February 2, 2009 - 11:53 AM

Despite the down economy, there are plenty of jobs and internships to be had for anyone willing to work smartly and diligently to meet more hiring authorities. You can do it the old-fashioned way -- networking in person and by phone -- or using new social media, like Facebook.

Here are two recent success stories from job seekers who did both, with lessons you can use today …

1) Work the Phone and the Room

“I started my job search in late August 2008 and had a new job on October 13. In addition, I had two other offers and each was $25,000 more than my previous position. I eventually ended up with a $40,000 pay raise. I count my lucky stars every day,” says Christopher Kelly, who now works at Burlington, Mass.-based nSight.

How did Kelly do it? Two ways …

First, he picked up the phone. “I called my top-tier employers before sending any resume. In fact, every interview I received was the result of a proactive phone call.”

Kelly researched employers using sites like MarksGuide.com and LinkedIn.com.

How many calls did Kelly make? “I’m not sure, but my September phone bill was for 3500 minutes,” adding that he used downtime while driving to make as many calls as possible.

Can you make 3500 minutes of phone calls today? No.

This week? Not likely.

But can you spend 35 minutes a day on the phone for 30 days? That’s 3500 minutes. And that’s very doable.

So, are you willing to make 35 minutes of phone calls today, to build relationships with people who can help you get hired? The answer should be yes.

Second, Kelly went to networking events. “The job I landed was the result of attending a mixer sponsored by a local industry association. I met someone who was looking for the exact background I have. I called him 9:00 a.m. the next day and set up an interview. I had an offer sheet 14 days later,” he says.

How did Kelly connect with this person? “I talked to as many people as possible. One person I spoke to told me he had just met someone looking for someone like me, and that man pointed me to my current employer,” he says.

To sum up, Kelly worked very hard -- but for less than two months -- to build relationships, by phone and in person, until meeting the manager who hired him.

2) Use Social Media Smartly

When Jamie Favreau, from Warren, Mich., updated her Facebook profile in mid-December 2008, she didn’t know how quickly it would lead to a new position.

“I changed my status on Facebook to ‘Looking to volunteer for a new non-profit,’” she says. That evening, a friend who saw her new status brought Favreau’s name up to a hiring manager, who later called to interview her.

Within three weeks, Favreau was working as an intern for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, doing media relations, social media, and public relations.

Favreau’s job search was simple, and can be boiled down to three key actions …

First, she built her network before she needed it.

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