How Do You Get “A Foot In The Door”?

by on August 24, 2010

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Having the necessary tools and knowledge is critical to the job seeker’s success. Networking can often be the key! Writing a good resume is usually considered a vital part of getting an interview. Finding an appropriate resume template is one step. Applying various resume tips is another. However, sometimes networking can get you a foot in the door before you even write your resume. So, you may want to spend some time learning about effective ways to find and contact potential employers.

I found Dr. Katharine Hansen’s book A Foot In The Door a helpful resource. Dr. Hansen is a trained founding member of Quintessential Careers and an expert in career search. This book deals with job networking in unique and effective ways. She breaks the book down into four parts: “Networking: What, Why, How, Who, Where, and When,” “The Nitty Gritty of Networking,” “Informational Interviewing: The Ultimate Networking Technique,” and “Next Steps.”

Each section provides interesting suggestions, sample questions to ask, ideas and “Foot Notes” at the bottom of the page designed to give additional helpful tips. One of the great things about this book is that it works for the brand new college student as well as someone in the job scene looking for additional pointers.

How do you feel about networking? How do you feel about your job prospects (especially in current economical conditions)? Where should you start? Who should you contact? Are there such things as networking tips? What is the hidden job market? Are there specific organizations that help with networking? These questions are answered in this book.

Whatever the reader’s current situation is, this book does a wonderful job of showing them the way. Hansen outlines a very organized and detailed way of networking. There is a section discussing how to network in a given week. I also appreciate the chapter devoted to those who are shy or experience anxiety with networking.

The Informational Interviewing section really stood out to me . This is a technique I wish I would have known more about during my college days. I took a lot of time to discuss my future with advisers, professors and those in the workforce as a young college student, but my search could have better focus had I known about some of these tips. I would have also obtained some much needed information on the industries I was looking at.

What is informational interviewing? “It’s the process of engaging one of your network contacts in a highly focused conversation that provides you with key information you need to launch or boost your career” writes Dr. Hansen. She also points out that this gives the seeker an opportunity to have an informal interview with a potential employer as a type of feeler to see if this is the right job for you. She gives step by step examples on how to successfully go through the process.

I recommend this book to any job seeker. Networking can be a challenging process, but is more effective than cold calling. Finding any advantage in this economy will prove useful. You will find greater success in the job hunt as you develop some networking techniques.

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