WHY SHOULD YOU NETWORK?

Workshop Facilitator- Pegui Mariduena, StarMar Consulting LLC-Star

Why Should You Network?

64% of jobs are found through networking!

Networking is important in job search to:

Get your message out
Get marketplace information
Get information on target companies
Get advice, ideas
Get referrals, more networking contact names
Consider spending up to 20 hours a week on networking activities: resume, calling people, reading about job descriptions, etc.

What Do You Need to Prepare?

In order to sound confident and focused, prepare and practice:

Reason for leaving statement
Positioning Statement
Marketing plan
STAR stories-Situation, Task, Action, Results
Questions
“The more you practice, the better you’ll sound, and the more confident you’ll feel.”

-Accomplishment stories using STAR Format

What Do You Do In A Networking Meeting?

Use the S-M-A-R-T approach:

Summarize your message
Marketing Plan: Open your meeting with it
Ask Questions
Referrals: ask for introduction to others
Trade Information
Always follow up:

Linkedin invitation
Email
Letter
Reason for Leaving/Exit Statement

“What happened to your job?” ¬†Why did you leave?

Don’t be afraid of these questions! ¬†Prepare a Reason for Leaving / Exit Statement that is truthful and acceptable to you (and to your previous employer). ¬†This statement becomes the public story of why you left. ¬†It’s not personal, even if it feels like it!

You’ll need to practic your Reason for Leaving / Exit Statement several times to make sure you are concise and have it fimrly in your mind. ¬†Keep your statement:

Short- Keep it brief, simple and factual.  The more you try to explain, the more difficult your explanation becomes.  You should be prepared to answer follow-up questions, but only if they are asked.

Truthful-¬†A number of factors result in someone leaving an employer. ¬†Pick the reason that is most positive, easiest to explain and doesn’t generate more questions than it answers.

Positive- State your reason for leaving in a neutral and confident manner.  Be mindful of industry issues and look for transitions to a networking request.  Remember, do not make negative statements about your former boss or organization, they can only hurt you.

Potential reasons for leaving a job:

Re-organization
Downsized, position eliminated
Merger/acquisition
New Management
Relocation
Expense Cuts (LIFO)
Volunteered to leave
Accepted early retirement
Prepare your statement by using the Funnel Format

State business or industry conditions
Impact on your company / department/ division
Result on your position or personal perspective
Future focus
Sample Reason for Leaving / Exit Statements

Restructuring / Downsizing / Eliminated Job

Like many organizations in the healthcare industry, XYZ hospital is going through a major restructuring and donwsizing. ¬†This has meant the eliminations of many positions, inlcuding mine. ¬†I am proud of the many contributions I made during my years at the hospital and I’m looking forward to putting my skils and experience to work in a new setting.

Reorganization / Changed Responsibilities

Due to a recent corporate shift to “matrix” management, many of my responsibilities were reaassigned to others within the organization. ¬†This move reduced my opportunities to grow personally and professoinally, therefore, I am seeking new opportunities outside the company. ¬†I have worked within the (insert) industry for many years and have acquired expertise in Finance and Marketing. ¬†I am looking forward to networking with others in marketing /industry.

New Boss

I have had many rewarding years at the XYZ company and contributed to many achievements in R&D.  About two years ago, my boss retired.  It has beome apparent to me that my new manager and I have different management styles an methods of operating.  While I would like to continue with XYZ company, I believe it would be best for me to look for new opportunities to achieve my career goals outside of the company.

Positioning Statement

“Tell me about yourself…”

The Positioning Statement is your personal pitch, a 90-second commercial about yourself to be used at networking events, with neighbors, friends, former colleagues, informational interviews, etc. ¬†It’s your opportunity to concisely and confidently let someone know about your background, strengths, industry experience, and potentially how to help you in your job search.

First, shape your positioning statement around the following areas:

Line of work. ¬†First state your “professional identity” in the present tense. ¬†Create a vivid personal image by assocaiting yourself with your true profession and/or professional level (rather than your previous job title or organization). ¬†For example, even if your job title is Director, Midwest Sales you might consider Sales Executive a truer picture.
Expertise.  When talking about your expertise, you can focus on competencies and skills (team management, negotiating, building strategic alliances, etc.), years of experience, and or/industries or functions.  Consider preparing brief accomplishment stories that demonstrate your competencies.  State your years of experience by giving a number (over 15 years) or using descriptors (seasoned, highly experienced, early career).
Types of organizations / settings. ¬†Sum up th organizations or settings in which you’ve worked, such as Forune 500, entrepreneurial business, government agency, non-profit entity or small consulting firm. ¬†Insert types of activities, such as taking a leadership role, representing the company with your community or a professional association or participating on a board of committees.
Unique Strengths/ value.  Articulate what sets you apart from your competition, emphasizing a particularly deep (and marketable) technical knowledge, an exceptional approach to finding solutions to problems, or something else that differentiates you from others in your field.
What you seek in a new position.  Describe the type of opportunity you are looking for by stating it in terms of management level, functional area, or role and how you can contribute.
Next, you’ll need a practice you pitch¬†out loud¬†several times so that it sounds natural and unrehearsed AND you can deliver it in under 2 minutes.

Finally, once you’ve got your commercial down to 90-seconds…boil it down even more to 15 seconds (this is called your elevator speech)!

90-second Commercial Format

I am a Communications and Social Media Intern with 5 years experience in Sales and Marketing.

State your pforessional identifier and level – Senior Sales Executive
State either years of expeerience or derscriptor of experience- extensive experience.
Indicate industries and/or functions- the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry or the areas of Sales and Marketing
Can also state level of education
Most recently, I worked for the Latin American Association as Communications and Social Media Intern where I was responsible for strategic communications for the organization.

State the name of your last employer. ¬†If still currently employed and don’t want to name the company, you can indicate size of company and line of business- international beverage company.
Indicate the title of your most recent role and concisely list 1 to 2 key responsiblities. ¬†Provide metrics if possible-leading the Wendy’s accout team delivering $25 million in revenues.
I have specific experience in Social Media.

State Industry, functional or technical specialties.
My strengths/core competencies include executing marketing strategy, global communication, and creating long-term relationships.

List 2 to 3 competencies that support the expertise areas listed- should be the same as thos listed on your resume.
Can also provide examples of how you leveraged these strenghts/competencies.
I am currently exploring opportunities in experiential marketing.

Identify the industry of interest / size of company/  role in organization.
Describe what you can contribute.
Do not state a specific title, rather describe the level of responsibility or impact you would like to make.
Sample Position Statements:

Sales and Marketing

I am a senior business executive with over 20 years experience in the consumer packaged goods indusry. ¬†Most recetnly, I worked for the Coca-Cola Company as Director, Wendy’s Account Team where I was responsible for leading a team of 25 account executives and delivering $25 million in annual revenues.

I have specific expertise in sales and markeing and my core strengths include buildig value-based relationships, leasdig successful teams, and strategic decision making. ¬†I leveraged theste strenth to renegotiate the company’s beverage conract with Wendy’s International by quantifying the value the company delivered in thea reas of marketing and account management. ¬† The result was the renewal of a 10-year exclusive beverage contract.

I am currently exploring management opportunities within mid-size company in the consumer packaged goods industry.  I am seeking an opportunity for P&L responsibility for a division or business unit where I can define vision and strategies to grow organizational talent and deliver on business results.

Personal Marketing Plan

Why a Personal Marketing Plan?

Gives direction/focus to a network meeting.

much more comfortable opener for everyone involved- takes the pressure off!
sets a business-like tone
makes it easy to increase referrals to target companies
It’s a tool to help you remain productive and provides a road map to guide your search so that you don’t go off in too many directions.
Creating the Marketing Plan

The four parts to your personal Marketing plan are:

Professional objective with preffred functions / job titles
Positioning statement with competency list
Target Market (Geographic, Industry, Size, Culture (optional)
Target list of appropriate companies (at least 50)

Categorize it
Prioritize your top 10
Consult the folwing resources to create your list: CRN: CareerSearch, D&B Million Dollar Database, Hoovers, business directories, internet, networking
Professional Objective-A concise phrase or sentence that describes the kind of work you are seeking.

Prefereed functions-those functions or roles you are good at and that you enjoy doing.  You may have used some of these on your resume, either in your summary or as a bulleted list below.

Positioning Statement

The positioning statement answers the question: Tell me about yourself.  It is a fundamental communication tool you will use throughout your search during casual conversations, for marketing and during interviews.

Core Competencies

Competencies are the categories of skills and personal characteristics that make you successful and enable you to perform certain kinds of work effectively.  Skills are what you can do; competencies are braoder areas of expertise.  During a job search, your ability to articulate the combination of your skills, knowledge and abilities as they relate to those of your target organizations is an important part of your communications strategy.

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