Q: I went to a city on vacation and decided I want to live there. None of the people I met would be good ones for me to use as contacts. How do I find my first contact?
A: Before you start contacting people, develop a strong resume. Immerse yourself in the news in the area and the people involved in it. Subscribe to the paper. You’ll find lots of companies and contacts.
Develop a list of companies where you want to interview so you can mention them as ideas to people who try to help you. They may know a person in one or more of them or a person who knows people in them.
Review the website of your professional association’s local chapter. Does it list members? Do any upcoming events make sense for you to attend? Write down your questions about it and call.
A successful job search takes only one contact. If you keep asking people for other contacts and provide them direction, you probably will never complete your list. Document your progress and be gracious. You never know when you may go back to a person.
Q: I give up. I’ve spent the last year trying to find a good job in my field. I don’t know why no one is hiring me after 14 interviews, most of which were good. I’m sick of people explaining away their lack of interest by saying that “things have changed.” I know a lot of other people who are having problems finding work, but they aren’t getting many interviews. What could be the problem?
A: I assume that you interviewed the interviewers, including those who said, “Things have changed,” to get some specific information. I’m also assuming you asked each of them for a referral inside their company or not. Did you follow up on every viable lead and get back to companies on the schedule they set?
If you’ve been an ace job hunter, either your industry or occupation is declining or you don’t fit where you’re looking. Instead of viewing not fitting as a liability, seize on it and become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have their own gifts that often don’t fly in interviews. As one of my editors said, “Entrepreneurs have a job.”
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 Passage Media. The opinions are solely those of the writer.)