Here are a few ideas borrowed from some of Momentum Resources's super-smart candidates that really worked in 2011 and that you should try this year:
- Form Your Own Group. In most cities, and Washington, D.C., for sure, you could attend a different networking event each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. I bet you'd have a lot of business cards and an expanded waistline (see: New Year's Resolutions, above) but no real solid relationships. While it's important to be out there, deeper two-way relationships will bring you the kind of support you're looking for in your job search and career path. One Development Director we know gets together monthly for an informal lunch with about a half-dozen other area Development Directors to share frustrations, solutions, fundraising strategies in a tough economy and most importantly, job opportunities.
- Book Regular Daycare (Even if you're not working) I know it seems like an unreasonable expense, but if you're a job-seeking parent, you need some regular, predictable time to dedicate to reconnecting with your professional network, researching and interviewing. If you apply for a job through us and I call you today to ask for interview availability, I need a reasonable, solid answer. One of the smartest solutions we saw was a mom returning to work after a 2 year hiatus. This clever job-seeker set up a "play date swap" with another mom so she spent every Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-11:30am, dedicated to her job search. That uninterrupted and predictable block of time allowed her to do networking coffees, develop a solid "target" list and go on interviews without last-minute babysitter drama.
- LinkedIn Profile Makeover. First of all, you need a LinkedIn Profile, and it needs to be good. It should also be current, have recommendations for your past work and include keywords for the jobs you are seeking. Not sure where to begin? Check out this article on the Profile Makeover.