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Entrepreneurs and Job Hunting

Entrepreneurs frequently have a regular job they need to keep everything together while they are building their business. In this New Millennium environment, you are probably going to need to be creative, in order to compete effectively for your next assignment. Most of the work Deborah and I do is with boards of directors. They can be as difficult as Human Resources departments, when it comes to new hires.

As a technical professional, looking for a job of any kind, you are going to need to do a lot of the homework yourself, rather than rely on advertisements, or recruiters. Frequently, you will be communicating with the Boss, Chairman, CEO, Managing Director, direct, rather than going through the company HR department. The HR folks, like recruiters, overwhelmed with responses to their openings. If it turns out the Boss sends you back to the human resources department for the details, go ahead and accept it. At least now you have a referral from the boss; it should move you through the process quicker, and ahead of those other 10,000+ resumes.

In order to compete effectively, I believe a candidate has to really become a master of their own information, and take advantage of the employer information that is available to them today. Landing a great job is going to depend on the packaging of this information. And the packaging depends on you, the master of your own information.

In a nutshell, I have been advocating:

1. Know exactly what you want to do. "I'm looking for a job, any job", won't do it anymore. Know your own strengths and skills, make sure they are on your resume. I would try to add some $ values to some of the bullet points that you may be using. You may not know exactly, of course, but you may have an idea about how much budget you were responsible for, how much you saved the company, how much you helped increase revenues, things like that. Like everybody else, boards only spend about 10 seconds on a resume, and $ figures seem to catch their attention. Roberts Rules of Order is going to be important, too, if you took any courses in parliamentary procedure.

2. Know exactly who is going to hire you to do it. Research! You will need to research exactly who the likely employers might be, and exactly who the hiring managers are. It is probably better to by-pass HR, at this point, if at all possible. The reason is, HR is overworked, has a ton of resumes, and you will be 1 of 10,000, applying the old fashioned way. Your hiring manager may send you back to HR, but that is fine. You now have a company reference when you go to HR, and you will be on top of the list.

VentureStreet provides useful tools for finding potential employers and hiring managers. Research!

3. Keep your expectations realistic. "I'll go anywhere for this job", is just not true anymore. Most everyone has friends, relatives, homes, kids in school, and relationships that help to keep them where they are. Travelling to a new location is probably not going to happen, and the prospective employer is less likely to pay for it these days.

4. Have an 'elevator pitch' memorized, so you can speak it (or email it) to anyone, anywhere, immediately. About 20 seconds worth of information, in 4 or 5 sentences is probably maximum. Just enough to attract some interest, and set an appointment for further discussion. This approach is useful on golf courses, restaurants, social functions, just about anywhere you are meeting and greeting people - even in elevators.

5. Have a basic presentation ready, should an interview transpire at any given time, or is actually planned for. You can modify for circumstances. Know your own basic story, goals, vision, everything that is not on the resume.

6. NEVER send a resume to anyone, unless you either hand deliver it, or email it shortly before the first interview. Never post it online either. Recruiters like to collect resumes, it makes them feel they are on top of their market niche. Sometimes they use the information in a negative way, such as searching for someone to replace you in your current job. Identity theft is an issue, too. If you feel you should work with a recruiter, choose one (and only one) that you are comfortable working with, and feel that you can trust.

7. Follow up, follow up, follow up.

If a potential employer does not want to have at least a telecon interview with you, based solely upon your 'elevator pitch', move on to 'next'. They are not for you, don't even bother sending them a resume.

Here is an example for an 'elevator pitch' - something you can say to anyone, anywhere, in 10-20 seconds (even elevators):

Created and executed $1.5 million advertising campaign for corporate and private banking in North America during expansionary growth period in corporate loan portfolio.

Accounted for $2 billion growth in corporate lending business and improved bottom line through efficient budgeting.

Led $500 million growth in corporate lending business.

These three sentences have plenty of data and dollar information, and gives a potential employer an idea of your qualifications, without passing out a resume, and 'too much information'. Also, consider putting these three sentences in an 'Accomplishments' section, right at the top of your resume, so your potential employer can be reminded of what you can do for them, when they get the resume.

I have found that networking, and keeping in touch with likely employers is worthwhile.

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About the Author

W Hamilton Jones, Hamilton Jones Associates, Inc.
2842 Main St #165
Glastonbury, CT 06033

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