By Armando Silva and David Pastore
When I first went into transition, I was excited about the opportunity of finding a new position. After three months of getting no results, I started getting discouraged. It was only after I started attending networking events and joining PSGCNJ that I understood the importance of networking and staying positive in my job-search approach.
Statistics show that the majority of people land new positions through networking. In my case, however, that was not the way for me. I applied to a blind listing on Career Builder. The position was a perfect match for me but since the company was not identified I felt it was just another application sent to the “black hole of the internet.” After six weeks, I was contacted by the hiring manager for a face-to–face interview with her and the VP of Sales & Marketing. As it turned out, the company, Falcon Safety Products, was one that I previously did business with.
I prepared for the interview by developing a “T Letter” and CAR stories for all the job requirements and duties. I visited over 15 retail locations to become more familiar with their products as well as their competitors. I also researched the company on Reference USA, LinkedIn, and the internet to get as much information as possible. This preparation made me very confident for the interview. The interviews went very well and I was called back to meet the President. Shortly thereafter, I was offered a Marketing Product Manager position.
My recommendations are:
- Develop a job-search plan and “work it”
- Always have your elevator speech “ready to go” – you never know when a chance meeting will develop into a networking opportunity
- Stay positive, don’t use age or the economy as a reason to get discouraged
- Develop CAR stories
- Prepare “T Letters” for all positions applied for – they’re very helpful when preparing for interviews and writing cover letters
- Keep your LinkedIn profile and posted resumes “fresh”
- Become active in PSGCNJ and different networking groups As Abby Kohut says, be realistic; if your resume isn’t getting responses, revise it and attend PSGCNJ’s Advance Resume Review. If you’re getting interviews but no job offers, improve your interviewing skills. Schedule a “Mock” interview.
I would like to thank everyone at PSGCNJ, especially my fellow Training Committee members for keeping me positive and focused. Good luck to all!