ALC Consulting

October 6, 2009

An Unabashed Plug for a Group

As you are looking for a job and getting beyond the applying online route and are actually talking to real people, you may find yourself panicking. You have to talk to real people and you do not know how to do it! How do you carry on a conversation? How do you gauge what kind of impression you make on others? How do you answer even basic questions about who you are?

There are several solutions besides the one of not doing anything. You can pay lots of money to a professional coach and take lots of public speaking classes.

But if you are on a tight budget and cannot afford any of these solutions, there is a rather inexpensive and fun way to develop your skills at speaking in front of and to others: The answer is (drum roll please) Toastmasters. They can be found at http://www.toastmasters.org/

Or, if you are local to Oregon, try this URL, http://reports.toastmasters.org/findaclub/searchresults.cfm?Country=United%20States&State=Oregon

Why would joining an organization, which forces you to get up and speak before others be good for me, if the job I am searching after doesn’t require me to do a lot of speaking? Well, even in IT shops, where I have toiled for years, you have to present information to colleagues and bosses in an organized manner. You have to talk to people who do not share your background and expertise, and get them to understand what it is you are trying to do. You generally have to go through an interview in which you want to present your best self. What better place to learn all of these skills for a very small amount of money.

I speak from personal experience. Most Toastmaster clubs are filled with supportive people who help each other develop their abilities presenting their best selves in front of others. Even though I have spoken in public many times, and taught school for many years, there are still many valuable things I have learned from my club; how to run a meeting, how to be a better listener, how to think on my feet.

Besides that, Toastmasters can be a lot of fun. You get to meet interesting people and who knows, one of them might know of an opportunity for you. Ya never know.

September 28, 2009

The Secret to Finding Jobs When “There Are No Jobs”

Filed under: connections,job search,Networking — Anne Cloward @ 6:18 am
Tags: , , ,

Condensed from an article by Richard N. Bolles, (author of What Color Is Your Parachute?) in Bottom Line Magazine, September, 20009.

Common Strategies That Do NOT Work

% Success

Strategy

Notes

7% Mailing out resumes /submitting or posting them online They get lost in the massive pile. Often are scanned by machine and never get viewed by human eyes.
7% Responding to ads in trade journals Only lower level positions are posted here.

Might work if you have an exotic skill set.

10% Responding to ads on Internet job sites These jobs are usually posted as a last resort or if you are in IT. Your information is often sold and you get a lot of spam.
5-24% Responding to jobs in newspapers Mostly low-paying minimum wage jobs are posted here.
5-28% Working with a private agency or search firm Many employers are cutting costs and not using them. Recruiters are struggling.

Best Strategies That Do Work

% Success

Strategy

Notes

33% Networking for leads Employers like personal recommendations. Build your network
47% Knocking on doors unannounced at employers of interest Works best on small to medium companies, NOT large corporations.
69% Calling on companies of interest listed in the Yellow Pages Works with small companies. Best to schedule and informational interview.
70% Partnering with other job seekers More eyes looking out for you, but you need to reciprocate.
86% Taking inventory of yourself, then targeting potential employers It can give you a focus and clarity that other seekers don’t have.

Upon reviewing this information, how will you modify your job search?

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