You have your resume, your sample cover letter, your targeted industries and now, your understanding of what your personal brand is…i.e., what all your attributes say to your potential employer. Now you have to find the way to get your message across.
1. Post, post and post. Find every resume posting site you can find and get your resume online. Of course, post on Gen Plus as we are niched to 50 plus. But there are at least a dozen more online job search firms that allow you to post your resume as well as apply to jobs. Do NOT pay a headhunter to find you a job.
We do NOT charge a fee to find you a job. However, there are many shady operators who will ask you for a percentage of the salary they secure for you, or a high, straight fee. That is not the way headhunters are supposed to work. A legitimate headhunter will have a contract to source for a position and they are paid by the employer. Before you give the go ahead to ANY headhunter to forward your resume, you must find out if they have the contract for the position. Otherwise, it means that they have just found the position on a job site (just like you would) and they are planning to “present” you to the company for a finder’s fee. If the company declines their offer, you will not be able to contact that company personally, as the headhunter will now have dibs on you. The employer will have to avoid you in order to walk away from the finder’s fee.
A legitimate headhunter who is interested in you, on the other hand, is gold to you. As long as they are contracted to represent the position, you are in good hands. If you “pass” their phone interview, you might make it to an in person interview. Keep in mind, you are only useful to a headhunter if they think you will fill a specific position. A headhunter will generally not keep you in mind for future postings. However, if you are in a niched industry, you may be contacted again by the headhunter who is similarly niched, such as engineering, actuary, education, healthcare, etc.
2. Be polite and respectful to anyone you speak to who represents a potential job. The junior HR assistant will report to the HR Director on your phone conversation, so you must wow everyone you speak with at every stage of the process. You do NOT know in conversation who the hiring manager is. Assume they all are.
3. Maintain consistent (not irritating) contact with any company you are interested in. As a 50 plusser, you’ll find a better chance of getting in with a smaller company (under $50 million) for several reasons.
- They can’t always afford to spend money on recruiting, so if you come to them, you have a foot in the door.
- Any company prefers to hire someone who is very interested in their business over someone who is not familiar with the company.
- They will not be able to afford top dogs. If you are looking for a lateral or down-sized job this is a great way to go. If you are looking for an executive position you are more likely to be considered at a smaller company than at a bigger one that will attract the big earners.
- You can actually speak to a human being. Rather than trying to reach one of many and more often than not getting voice mail, at a smaller company, HR Directors are usually closer to the ground and therefore more receptive to conversations and with introductory meetings.
- Most people get jobs through contacts over job postings. That doesn’t mean not to post for jobs and that doesn’t mean to stop applying to postings. You MUST do that to get your profile out there. But you also need to network. The more you network, the more you’ll find your 6 degrees of separation.