Tag Archives: resume

An email from God gives me a crazy idea

God sent me an email today.

The sender name was “God” and evidently wants me to buy his products.   Obviously this was spam. But sometimes even email that doesn’t interest you can provide a door to a job opportunity.

Since I request white papers and manuals online, I end up on various email lists.  The senders assume I still work for a medium to large company and invite me to attend conferences or listen to sales pitches.

I used to delete these emails because I’m unemployed. Today I did something different.

A salesperson at a company I admire requested that I listen to his pitch.  I am aware that I am just one of possibly hundreds receiving the email.  Instead of tossing it, though, I sent a thank you note. 

I apologized for not being able to accommodate his sales effort at this time and explained that I’m looking for full-time regular work.  If the sender knew someone in the Chicago area interested in hiring a communications professional, I wrote, then I would appreciate the tip.

I was surprised when I got a quick and positive response. The company representative said he would be glad to send my resume to a contact in Chicago. I responded with my resume and my gratitude.

If you hope to take the same steps, keep these points in mind:

  • Only respond to a company you know and admire
  • Acknowledge the email and thank him/her
  • Keep your note brief and concise.

If you find this advice helpful, let me know. And good hunting!


Enhance Your Networking!

Networking is THE most important activity for job seekers. Some people network to expand their business contacts, get story ideas, or mine for talent, but most of us are in the same boat (the size of an aircraft carrier). Whether you attend formal or informal events, these guidelines make a difference:

DON’T BE SHY. A few days before a big networking event, I suddenly wanted to cancel my reservation, which is not like me. I was overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainty, inadequacy and awkwardness. I attended the event anyway–and found a lot of people had felt the same way.

PREPARE TO MARKET YOURSELF. Bring several copies of your resume or a personal flyer. Make business cards with important details about your qualifications and contact information. Create a 30-second speech about what you can offer a company. Don’t make yourself memorable by being the endless talker, though. Plan to spend a lot of time listening.

GIVE AS WELL AS TAKE. Networking is not just about finding someone to help you but what you can do for others. Typically that help is along the lines of who you know. However, if you don’t know many people, strong communication skills are also appreciated. One financial manager told me, “I wish I could write! That takes real talent,” and I saw other heads around me nod in agreement.

So put your skills to work: offer to edit resumes and cover letters, design a brochure for a new entrepreneur, or explain social media to the uninitiated. If you don’t want to make the offer to everyone (editing 30 resumes is a lot to ask), then consider adding it to your thank you notes.

FOLLOW UP. I bet a survey of networkers would reveal that many of them neglect to follow up after a networking event. Formal event planners make it easier by sending all participants a list of who attended and their contact information. For informal events, you have to rely on your own skills to collect and store information.

Speaking of networking, I have been interviewed by a recruiter for a communications position at Allstate in South Barrington, IL. I don’t know the name of the hiring manager. Does anyone know someone there I can talk to?
Continue reading