In Step 5, you should have identified the ‘bottom 10’ companies in your Research Universe of companies, and written to them to see if they have any openings. You should then have followed this up with a phone call and generally pestered them until they either said ‘No’ or invited you to meet them.
In Step 6, you should have followed up any ‘No’ response with a request for an Information Meeting.
So, let’s say you write 10 e-mails. You may well get 10 ‘No’s. Or maybe only 9. If so, don’t be discouraged. You then follow up those 10 with a request for an information meeting. Probably 6 still say ‘No’ but hopefully 4 say ‘Yes’.
- You meet those 4, ask for any other referrals, and get 2 more names to call.
- You write to those 2, asking for an Information Meeting only. They will probably both say Yes as they are referrals.
- You do those two meetings. You ask for referrals. They have none.
- You write 6 ‘thank you’ notes to the 6 people you have met.
- End of process. So what next…
Simple: you simply repeat the whole process with the next 10 companies on the list.
You may want to tweak your covering letter in the light of any information that your meetings revealed. But essentially, you just do the same thing again…and then again…and then again – until you have approached every company on your Research Universe.
Now hopefully, at some point during this process, you will be invited in for interviews, or information meetings might lead to interviews, which might lead to a job offer. That’s what happened to me when I followed this process. Within three months I had two job offers – one in PR and one in Headhunting.
But it is also possible that you might do all this, and nothing comes up. That’s what happened to me when, as part of that process, I looked at jobs as an Analyst in The City. Turned out in 1997 no one in the City was in the mood to hire an ex-Diplomat as an analyst. If that happens to you, you have two choices:
First, you can just accept that there are no jobs available in that area, and just continue the job hunt in other sectors (as I did); or
Secondly, if you are completely determined to find a job in that area, you can simply wait for 6 months and then repeat the whole process – though of course mentioning the fact that you spoke to them 6 months ago, but that you are keen to see if their hiring plans have changed. And if that draws a blank, wait another 6 months and try again, etc.
Quite often, when people apply for jobs and are told No, that decision has little do with them or their employability; but more to do with the current budget of the company they are applying to. So, just because they said no 6 months ago does not mean they will say no again now. In the meantime, they might have lost a key member of staff whom they need to replace; or they might have won a new large contract, giving them capacity issues; or they may simply have implemented a new hiring budget. So it is always worth trying again after a reasonable period has gone by. The only problem then becomes how you support yourself in the meantime. One possibility is to get a less than ideal job as a stepping stone, and then simply keep the job hunt going while you find the job you actually want.