How to get a job in an industry where you haven’t any any contacts!

Have you ever been told you can’t get a job in a certain industry unless you know someone? Well, I don’t care what the field is, it’s so not true. It may be more challenging but it certainly isn’t impossible

I work with a very talented, creative young woman. She has been depressed because she feels very bored and unfulfilled in her current job. She wasn’t even sure how to go about finding a job that she would love. We had a conversation and I convinced her to stop wasting time and just go for it.

I told her to brush up her resume and go to the HR departments of each of the companies (in her particular case, magazines) and drop off her resume personally. With her great style and good communication skills, I know it will take no time at all before someone snapped her up. The key message here is: do not be deterred. Find out the kind of companies you want to work for and go after them. Make believe you are going after a buyer who is going to buy your product, you!! Then mount a campaign. Find out who does the hiring at the companies where you want to work. Send them your resume with a cover letter telling them why you would be an asset to their company. Then follow-up with a phone call to set up an interview. Be creative. Once I sent a statue of Mickey Mouse in a magic costume (like the one he wears in Fantasia), to a buyer that I was trying to meet, with no success. I put a note on the box saying “What magic do I have to do to set up an appointment?” It got her attention (she said it was the funniest thing she ever received) and I got the appointment. Remember, perseverance is what it takes.

Associations: It’s not who you know, rather who you meet! The trick is to meet the people you don’t know. Who are they, where do they go? There are associations for every career field — insurance, fashion, medical, acting and so on… What you want to do is join these associations or even work at them or maybe volunteer your services. Networking with an association is also a great way to meet people, go to at these association events this way you can meet a lot of people. You never know which one can help you. When you meet someone, don’t just jump on them and ask for a favor. Develop a relationship, do something for them. Listen carefully and they will give you some clue. Maybe you discuss a book that you’ve read. Send them the book after the event with a note telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them. Ask them to join you for lunch one day or perhaps a drink. As you get involved with the group you can, send out feelers stating you’re looking for a job. Someone actually might approach you. Association members can also give you tips about how to get a job in their industry and guide you on the steps to take.

Colleges and Universities: Great Places to Connect

Another place to meet people in the field you want to break into is by attending classes at colleges or universities which support specific industries. Many times professors have worked or are still working in a particular field, and can help you meet people. A lot of these colleges also offer outplacement services that help students find jobs. Make sure the college you attend offers this valuable service, as it does give you an advantage. When I first joined my current company, I needed to find an assistant designer. I listed the position at a local college, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Many great applicants applied and I hired a terrific person! My boss was so impressed with the quality of these applicants that he asked me to interview and hire two additional assistants from FIT. Laboratory of Institute Merchandising (LIM) is another college that I’ve used to find assistants. I find their applicants have the appropriate education requirements and outlook to be an asset to me and my division.

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