In difficult economic times, moving your resume (electronic or paper) to the top of the pile is extraordinarily difficult if not impossible, and the resume pile in hard times often resembles Mt. Everest. But as every successful sales person knows, face-time, not read-time remains the key to closing the sale.
Q. So how do you get face-time with a prospective employer without being a nuisance?
More specifically, volunteer for the organization(s) which supports the field in which you want to work and/or whose board members may be prospective employers. In the case of the former, there are associations for every profession and industry under the sun. If you’re an event planner, hook up with the local chapter of the Meeting Planners International or the International Special Events Society. Both associations use volunteers on a regular basis to produce programs – what better way to meet and demonstrate your work habits/skills to a prospective employer than to help put on a program from which they benefit and in which they participate!
In the case of the latter, do a web search of companies and or individuals for whom you’d like to work. Invariably you’ll find non-profits on whose boards they serve and for which you can volunteer. Again, what better way to meet and demonstrate your work habits/skills to a prospective employer than to help put on a program they support!
N.B. This is a relationship building strategy that will undoubtedly take a few months to bear fruit, but in the long run, may well result in a far better result than the scattershot process of flooding the market with resumes. With this approach you, the prospective employee, often gets a chance to view your prospective employer in a non-work context, which may reveal a side you appreciate or realize – before you take a job with this person – that you would rather not be around 40 or more hours a week!
Want to learn more? Here are a couple additional sources to read.
- Volunteerism – A Beneficial Job Seeker Strategy
- Volunteering: A Generous Job Search Strategy
- Top 5 Career Networking Strategies for Established Job-Seekers