If you do with the right way, you will establish your references at the beginning of the job search so you know who they are and what they will say and can include them in an application when you fill one out. But, often, a lot of time goes by from the time that you first speak with them until the time that you need them. How do you stay in contact? How do you keep them on their toes so they are ready when you need them?
How do you stay in contact with the references when you know you to be involved with a lengthy job search?
So much of this question reveals a lack of confidence on the part of the job hunter. First of all, I don’t know how long a “long job search” is. Let’s assume this person knows it will be a long job search because they realize that they are a beginner or they have antiquated skills or experience that will cause it to be a long job search.
First of all, you need to accept the fact that you will need to do work in order to make this not a long job search. By that, I mean that there are things you will need to learn or relearn that the job market demands of you that will improve your chances, instead of being like a feather in the wind blowing from place to place. You take charge of your own career and learn what you need to learn. That’s step number one
Step number two is how do you stay in contact with people? You stay in contact are limited basis but not an abusive basis. For example, you write what seems like a personal note. Instead of doing a bulk copy or blind copy to five people who might be references, and send it to one person at a time.
The subject line could be something like, “Status update.” The message could read, “I’m not at a point yet where my interviews will yield an offer, but I want to let you know that I’m still looking, keep this in your mind.” Then remind them of the few points you want them to make at the right time so it just doesn’t hit the like a ton of bricks.
Continue by saying, “Have no fear. When I need you I will contact you immediately and say,” ‘It’s time.'” That will give them the habit of knowing that that is the code phrase for, “I really need you.”
Doing it every 4 to 6 weeks is fine, just to send a quick report on your job search and where you are. You don’t have to mention companies by name. You just want them to know that she was still looking for a position and you’ll be in contact when you need them.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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