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Q
Long distance job search
I am thinking of relocating to Los Angeles. I have been watching the classifieds and have sent my resume to a few headhunters in that area. I keep hearing that networking could be the most effecitve way to get a position. What is the best strategy for conducting a long distance job search? I am a Financial Analyst with three years experience. Thanks.

A
Resumes and classifieds are the worst ways to find a job. Networking is good, but only if it is geared to get you in front of the hiring manager. That means your networking must get you close to people who know the manager and who can give you a good lead in the door.

Please beware of the entire concept of networking. Too often, people think it means that you talk to others and they do the work for you, if you get lucky. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Don't let yourself get passive, waiting for others to help you find a job. Do it yourself -- become your own headhunter!

The best way to conduct a long-distance search is to eliminate the distance, after you've done your homework. Go visit the city! You can make it worth your while by getting at least a couple of introductory meetings scheduled before you depart. Here's how.

Do your homework on the companies you'd like to work for in LA (5 or 6 of them). Find out who the manager is that you'd be working for (this will take some digging). Do not waste time with a personnel dept. Call each manager and explain that you will be in town on business, that your research tells you his/her company is one of the best in the business, and you'd like to get some "insider" advice about the financial industry in L.A. Would he have 15 minutes to meet with you? Explain that you understand he's very busy, and commit to limiting the meeting to 15 minutes.

Not every manager you call will be willing to meet with you. But a few will give you the lay of the land. This approach works best if you can get introduced to a manager by a mutual friend or associate. Comb your contacts for people who know people who work in finance in L.A. Schedule as many meetings as you can. Be careful to make them "easy" meetings for the other person. If you indicate that you expect them to help you find a job, you'll put some people off. Just ask for a little advice and "background" on the finance industry in L.A. Make it easy for them to help you.

If you can arrange at least three such meetings, it could be worth the cost of the trip. A few doors might open. If they don't, you've still made some good contacts.

You can try the same thing with headhunters, after you've identified them using the suggestions I provided in that other posting I mentioned.

Remember: make it easy for the person you want to meet with. That could make or break your efforts.

Hope that helps (I know - this isn't easy. But what good job is?)

Best,
The Headhunter

 

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