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Posted June 22, 2016 by

The power of networking

 

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Kenneth Heinzel’s 33 years of experience shine through in his recently published book, Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads. Throughout the job search process, Heinzel suggests that job seekers never underestimate the power of networking and your network. Ever. Your personal network and support group are two key elements of a successful job search.

Your personal network includes people who can provide you with leads that result in your getting an interview or job. Your support group should include friends or associates who are also currently looking for work. Meeting with your support group on a regular basis allows you to share contacts, research information, and discuss what worked or didn’t work in a job search or an interview.

“Many, if not most, of the jobs that you land in your career will come from information and contacts discovered in your own personal network,” says Heinzel.

 

Heinzel also touches on the role recruiters and career professionals play in getting job seekers interviews and jobs. Remember these tips: Never ever pay a recruiter for anything. Almost all legitimate recruiters are paid by the client (the hiring company) in the form of a fee that is based on a retainer (fee paid in advance), or on contingency (fee paid after successful placement). If you are working with a career coach, employment agency or career marketer, Heinzel’s advice is to never pay more than $500 for those services. Before paying for services, check to see if these services are available for free through an organization like College Recruiter, which offers a free resume editing service. If you must pay, pay only for three things, says Heinzel:

  1. Help in improving your interviewing skills
  2. Your resume (especially if you’re not used to writing resumes or your writing skills are shaky)
  3. Contact names.

Do you apply for jobs but never hear back from an actual person?

Remember, Heinzel points out, HR’s number one job is to protect the company. They act as the screener for almost all incoming resumes. If someone in HR doesn’t feel that your resume is what they are looking for or if the resume screening software determines that your resume doesn’t have enough of the keywords found in the online job description, it won’t advance to the next step in the application process.

Picture this possible scenario, says Heinzel: The screener is an HR staffer and not feeling well that day, and even if he sees that you are marginally qualified, because he is a Cal grad and you graduated from Stanford… well, so long, buddy.

Remember, there are hundreds to thousands of resumes coming in, so the majority of HR’s time is spent eliminating candidates, says Heinzel.

The hiring manager is the one with the power to interview and hire you, not HR. So what do you do?

Get to the hiring manager – a direct contact responsible for hiring for the position for which you are applying. Networking with the right people at companies is important. This can be difficult unless you have a contact within the target company.

Heinzel provides encouragement and educates readers on the importance of being persistent but gracious. Getting an interview and getting a job is hard work.

“Looking for work is a full-time job in itself,” says Heinzel. “If you’re not putting in at least six hours a day in related job search activities, you’re not doing the job you’re supposed to be doing right now, until you find a better one.”

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Kenneth A. Heinzel

Kenneth A. Heinzel

About Ken Heinzel
Ken Heinzel, author of  Private Notes From a Headhunter: Proven Job Search and Interviewing Techniques for College Students and Recent Grads taught marketing and business management at Sonoma State University in Northern California from 2000 to 2009. Prior to teaching at SSU, professor Heinzel was an Executive Recruiter (Headhunter), in the high-tech industry. He placed scores of candidates over a ten-year period in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In addition, he was an executive and sales manager in corporate America for twenty years at large corporations, such as Xerox and Ameritech. He and his editor/wife Inese live in Santa Rosa, California.