One of the richest oil and gas reserves in the United States, as well as supplying approximately 90% of the world’s crawfish product, Louisiana also hosts many important cultural events every year. It is possible to find a top job opening in any sector in this state, from the energy sector to the tourism industry.
Many times top positions in companies are not even advertised in the traditional way. Classifieds, online ads and so forth are not used to invite candidates to the higher level job opening. It is done through word-of-mouth. Sometimes companies will even offer their current employees some incentive to find the applicant.
What this means, essentially, is that in order to land the big fish you’ve got to spread your net wider. Network, network, network! All it entails is initiating and cultivating contacts through people you already know: your friends, family, neighbors, former and present work colleagues, bosses and teachers and so forth. It is important for networking to keep cordial relations with everyone you meet in a formal capacity.
Of course, a certain amount of networking is necessary everyday – whether because it’s unavoidable or because you feel you need it to stay sane. Taking that a step further takes some doing and is not always easy. The payback can be tremendous however and completely worth every minute you spend cultivating somebody at lunch. Make a schedule for networking, be in touch with people and make plans with them regularly.
Organize your contact list. It gets easier and easier to do so every day – whether it’s your mailbox contacts or business cards. Do it yourself or hire somebody to organize it for you cheaply online. A neat, usable contact database is a great asset when deciding who to call, when to call and where. If you’ve got references for people, keep those in your notes as well so next time you call somebody you don’t know too well, you can give the name of your reference.
Regular communication is key to maintaining and expanding your contact database. Phone calls, emails, greeting cards are a great way to stay in touch remotely. Meeting up, lunches, dinners, parties, even concerts and operas, are a great way to enjoy time with people you know and meet new people you want to know.
Remember, networking is all about helping each other out. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to ask somebody to refer you for a position you’re applying for. People love to be of service and will be willing to help you out. And the flipside, of course, you’ve got to be willing to help others out as well. This is how you maintain a great, healthy network of contacts.
Keep your resume ready. Go over it every now and then, keep it updated and to the point and be ready to tailor it to whatever job position you’re applying for. If you suddenly need to give it to somebody it should be there, ready and waiting to hook a potential employer.
Finally, set up informal interviews. Or make good use of casual meetings with relevant people if they happen by chance. Be open and willing to answer questions and ask questions about the job and the company. And don’t stop networking! Even if you’ve got the post you wanted, keep up the lunch meetings and so forth. Don’t disappear on people, at least not for too long. Who knows, you may need your contacts again someday.