Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

Volunteering and Cold Calling Success

Don't overlook these job-search techniques.

My iRelaunch co-founder and I recently heard from two acquaintances who landed jobs using some of our favorite strategies. Although their stories are unique, their strategies can be used by almost anyone. Here are their stories and strategies:Erica’s story:

(Erica is a 15-year Wall Street veteran who had taken a long career break):

“After 9 years out of the corporate world raising my family, I interviewed intensely for months with several financial services firms, only to have each job filled by an internal person who was about to lose his/her job. So I decided to switch angles. I volunteered for Resources for Children with Special Needs as a Parent Educator (I have a special needs child myself, and they had been extremely helpful to me in the past), and after the agency received additional funding they offered me the choice of a full-time or part-time job as a Parent Educator. I opted for a part-time position, since my youngest still requires homework attention and transportation to after-school activities, and the agency was willing to accommodate me. At Resources, I work with parents and conduct workshops. Recently, I've been busy giving presentations about the agency at Department of Education fairs and conferences.  I never thought I would end up in this field. However, I find it extremely rewarding and love the flexibility.”

Strategy: Volunteer for an organization you like. When a paid position opens up, you’ll be well-positioned to get hired.

Martine’s story:

(Martine worked in the financial services industry for almost 10 years prior to becoming a career counselor and career coach five years ago) 

“After running my own career counseling and coaching business, I have accepted a position with a university career office focusing on MBA students as a career consultant and program director. I’ll work four days a week during the fall and winter recruiting seasons and two to three days a week during late spring, summer and holidays. It’s pretty flexible and fits my needs at this time. I got the job by simply emailing the director my resume. I wasn't responding to an ad or posting. I just researched them and thought I would be a good match. It turns out, they were actually expanding the office without advertising, called me a week later for a phone interview, invited me in for a face-to-face, and then offered me a job right then and there. It was a unique situation, but I’m certainly glad I took the initiative to contact them.”

Strategy: Research organizations you’re interested in. Pinpoint the department where you think you’re a fit, and email the department head a brief cover letter, along with your resume. This strategy works more often than you might think, but is best suited to targeting smaller companies, nonprofits and educational institutions.

Note: The names and university mentioned have been changed for privacy reasons.

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