By: Tony Doster
As a newly discharged servicemember, the best thing you can do for your job search is probably the thing you hate the most!
In a previous article, networking was presented as one of the most important actions that any job seeker should do. While one main objective of networking is to find out about available job openings, another benefit is that job seekers may position themselves to be considered for new positions before they even become publicly announced.
While emails and letters (are these even sent anymore?) can often be a first attempt to network, at some point, it is the personal direct communication with others that networkers should seek. But that action proves to be so stressful for some, that these encounters turn out to be less-than-successful opportunities. When approaching a new contact, many fear that the only thing that comes to mind and they blurt out is “Hi, I’m Jim. I’m looking for a job. Are you hiring?"
Networking tip # 1
As with many unfamiliar activities, practice really does improve the results. Write out a script and practice it until it doesn't sound rehearsed. Such as:
"Hi, my name is Jim.
I’m reaching out to you because I've heard that you're a leading firm for Widget manufacturing. I've worked in the area for 12 years supporting XYZ Corp, which recently downsized.
I'm looking for a position as a lead machine operator and just ask that you keep me in mind for any positions that might open up. Should I send you a resume or is there another person at your company I should contact?"
Networking tip # 2
Be yourself, be confident, and don’t worry that your first few attempts may be a little rough. They will be. Just take a deep breath and think of the new job which may be revealed the next time you walk up to a new contact!