If you're in the Central Texas area and you're a technology dude or dudette, you probably already know about door64 (http://door64.com/). door64 is run by Matt Genovese (thanks Matt!!) who is a Functional Verification Engineer at Freescale Semiconductor...

Anyway, yesterday door64 held a Tech Fair at the Goodwill Center here in Ausin. They had over 1000 folks RSVP and 37 companies exhibiting. Can you say success??!! I attended the 3 sessions offered (all excellent!) but 1 entitled "Ten Job Search Attitudes that will Get You More Interviews at the Places You Want to Work,", by Brian Massey, got me thinking.

What Brian proposed is pretty standard... use your network to find your next job. The big thing he proposes is to actively ask your network for help finding your next job. Send them an email telling them you're out of work and ask them to help you get a job. He has a lot of ideas about this approach, enough so that he's written a book and started a company around these them. The company is called CardboardResume and is marketed as a CRM for job seekers. Great idea! I've signed up to help with the beta test and can't wait to check it out. Brian's book is called "The Market for Me: Surviving Job Loss and Building Your Lifetime Career Network" and I want to be clear that I've not read it. I've requested a copy and it should be on the way to me soon... Ok, what's my point in bringing this up? Real simple. I don't think email should be your only tool in a job search. I don't think phone and voice mail should be your only tool either... Read on.

Too many people (myself included) are drowning in email. I get over a 100 a day. When I was working at Adobe, it wasn't unusual for me to get well over 200 a day. Email is such a problem that there are startups out there trying to create solutions. Otherinbox (www.oib.com) was at the Tech Fair talking about their cool new email filtering service. Out in the bay area, PostBox (http://www.postbox-inc.com/) has a new mail client (Mac and Windows) based off the Firebird source that looks to have some cool tools to help with the load as well... Point of all this is that when you send email to someone, likely they won't see your email. If they do, it probably won't be on the day you send it. And maybe they'll reply to it...

Ok, what about voice mail. I attended a seminar with noted recruiting pundit Danny Cahill the other day and he declared voice mail dead. It made me laugh. I've been trying to get ahold of clients who are also old, dear friends of mine and both of these busy VP/CTO types have voice mail boxes that are full to capacity. So much for voice mail. Danny has statistics that say most voice mail is not listened for at least three days, and many voice messages are simply erased. Ok, email doesn't work, voice mail doesn't work, what does?

Danny suggested, are you ready? Text messaging!! His research shows that most text messages are answered almost immediately! Now that's communication! So, as you use your network to help you find jobs, don't be afraid to use email and voice mail as tools in the hunt. But if you have access to your contacts through text messaging, use it!!! As with any tool, use it wisely. I use it exclusively with some of my clients and it means that I get more or less instant feedback, feedback that would normally take days or worse if I only used email and voice.

But wait, there's more. I hear you thinking, but Donald, I don't have the phone number necessary to text some of my most important contacts. How can that work for me? Well, one answer is ask for their number using one of the other approaches. Or ask a mutual contact if they have the number and are willing to share it with you. Another approach I've used successfully is to use the power of social networking. In this case, Facebook. I've found that many of the contacts I'm trying to get in touch with have Facebook accounts. More importantly, they'll accept my invitation to be 'friends'. I've also found that many folks that have Facebook accounts keep a Facebook window open in their browser... this means they are online and open to chat through the Facebook chat interface. I've used this technique to get in contact with a client who was doing a marketing tour in Europe and wouldn't/couldn't talk with me via phone or email...

Ok, to summarize, use email, voice/voicemail, text, IM, social computing... what ever works. In the end it boils down to understanding the communication style of the person your trying to reach, and working with them in the way they are comfortable with, not the way you are comfortable...

This is also posted at: http://recruitingbits.blogspot.com/

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