Best part: These 3 habits are recession-proof.
Here they are ...
1. Focus on results, not processes-
People who struggle to find work always seem to be in the process of doing something. They can't tell friends exactly what job they seek because they're in the process of deciding. Or they can't improve their Linkedin profile because they're in the process of revising their resume. Highly successful job seekers know that results are what count. So, they just get stuff done.
A job seeker who meets 3 networking contacts with an imperfect resume will get hired faster than one who spends all week revising their resume and zapping out emails. Every time.
2. Pick up the phone and call
I have never met anyone who was hired solely on the strength of their resume or cover letter. You have to talk to and meet employers first. In other words, it takes multiple conversations to get a job. Successful job seekers know this. They stack the odds in their favor by proactively calling, talking to, and asking to meet employers they've sent resumes to.
What's the worst that can happen if you call and ask an employer to meet?
They say no.
But ... if you wait for a phone call that never comes, you're still getting a "No" from that employer, albeit a tacit one that can take weeks to play out.
Make your own luck. Call to verify that employers got the resume and cover letter you emailed.
Better: Print and mail your documents. In your cover letter, say: "I will call your office at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday to answer any questions you may have."
Two very good things can happen when you call at a specific time to follow up:
1. Your call may turn into a phone interview.
2. If you get voicemail, your message will be stamped with the time you called, which should be when you said you would in your cover letter. Congratulations -- you've proven that you're detail-oriented and keep promises. And you're not even on the payroll yet.
3. Contact employers 7 times-
In advertising, it's a rule of thumb that prospects must be exposed to your pitch at least 7 times before they buy. Successful job seekers recognize this. So, create a plan for contacting target employers 7 times in the next 3-4 weeks. Be sure to vary the means of contact and -- this is vital -- always give employers another reason to hire you with every contact.
Here's an example campaign to illustrate:
Day 1: Mail well-researched cover letter and resume to ABC Corp., promising to call in two days to follow up.
Day 3: Call, as promised. Ask for interview.
Day 5: Mail newspaper clipping of interview with company president, underlining comments about strategic plan that I can help achieve.
Day 8: Visit company office, saying I was "in the area." Ask if president got article by mail.
Day 14: Mail hiring manager a white paper, "5 Ways to Save on Purchasing at ABC Corp.," based on research done on days 1-10.
Day 16: Call hiring manager to follow up. Ask for interview.
Day 22: Email company president with 5 news items about ABC Corp. found via www.Google.com/alerts in days 1-21. Offer suggestions for how I could help with each.
Now. Is contacting one employer 7 times a lot of work?
Do you think any other job seeker will create and follow such a detailed plan of action?
So, which is better: a little work now, or no work later?