What an interesting and productive week this has been for me.
I’ve been in a rut lately doing the same thing each day and not really getting any results, so I finally accepted that I needed to try something different. I’m a very social person, but I moved a little while ago and do not know many people in the area other than relatives. This is a problem because as much as I love my family, a girl needs a life. Plus, I’m looking for a new job and have learned that a huge part of even getting an interview depends on having contacts who can vouch for you. It really helps if you know someone who can make an introduction or at least pass along your information to the hiring manager.
Determined to make some things happen sooner rather than later, I put on some real clothes and my business wig – don’t judge me – and headed over to a Women’s Power Networking Cocktails and Contacts event that was held at a local winery. Not only did I have fun, but I also met some wonderful ladies who were friendly and helpful. The wine was not bad either. I am usually not one for small talk, but I made an effort and it paid off. The ladies meet weekly for coffee at a local restaurant, and I will be joining them again to make even more connections.
Now I of course already understood the importance of networking which is why I’m on LinkedIn. Still, there is no substitute for meeting someone in person, looking them in the eye and shaking hands. You want to make an impression to separate yourself from the crowd, and you can do this more easily face to face rather than from behind a computer screen.
The next thing that I learned is the importance of enhancing your digital presence by owning a URL that contains your full name. You can use this URL to promote your work, post your resume or just post pictures of your pet if that is all you want to do. The URL gives you a digital home and improves search engine optimization (SEO) so that you can influence what comes up first when people Google you. Also, a recruiter explained to me that a lot of companies do not want to pay to view resumes, so if you have a resume on a web page that is easily accessible it will improve your chances of gaining a hiring manager’s attention. He explained this during a seminar about searching for hidden jobs – the ones that are not advertised to the public.
I purchased http://www.marlashepard.com and am working on creating a professional site right now. Domain names are really cheap and you can get one for as little as 99 cents for the first year so long as you check around. Web hosting is a little bit more but again, you can find a good deal if you shop around.
I feel good about what I’ve done this week and believe that it will pay off. This calls for a happy dance!