Note: Don’t discount the notion of creating your job. Jot down ideas you get while reading, watching TV or listening to others, regardless of how wild they may seem.

The next step is to identify your network — all the people you know who may be helpful resources in your job search. Take a piece of paper, and in the middle of the page, write “Me.” Then in a circle, quickly jot down the names of your friends and relatives.

Everyone you know is a potential contact in generating job leads. Traditionally, we’ve relied on what we see advertised in the career ads for job leads. But these ads represent only about 20 percent of available jobs.

You’ll want to explore the other 80 percent — the jobs that get filled through word-of-mouth and personal contacts.

Each of your contacts has a whole network of contacts — employees and employers — whom you may not know.

Now you should have a reasonably long list of possible contacts. Develop a plan to reach some contacts each day. Initially, make your contacts by phone, starting with those that are least threatening and most likely to produce some positive results. Success breeds success, so you want to begin with the natural ones.

What are you going to say?

  1. First, say “hello” and identify yourself.
  2. If applicable, mention who or what you know in common.
  3. Be sure to state what you want in your employment.
  4. Ask if they can think of any person, place or idea that would help you in your job search at this time.
  5. Thank them for their time and help.

In this way, you start to schedule appointments, which is bound to create positive results because you’re taking control and taking action.

Cold Calls – Once you have your list of job leads, the next step is to follow up on them, most likely starting with a cold call. A cold call is a phone call or visits in-person to an organization to explore employment possibilities, to set up an appointment, or to follow up on a lead.

To give yourself confidence in making cold calls, write a script of what you’ll say. Think about what the potential employer needs to know about you. Don’t memorize your script. Only use it to organize your thoughts. Then practice saying clearly and confidently what you want. Tape-record yourself and play it back to get an idea of how you sound to another person. Make the necessary changes to improve.

Be sure to take copies of your resume on your cold calls.

If you don’t have a resume or you suspect that your resume needs updating because you’re not getting any interviews, employ the assistance of an experienced resume writer.

A good formula for the job search is to spend as much time looking for work each day as you would working if you had a job. For most of us, that would be seven to eight hours a day.

© Wordscapes® (David Turner). All Rights Reserved.