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May 2009
Just Don’t Get Arrested!
by Susan Reynolds

In job search, whereís the borderline between being persistent and being a pest? Itís vague and elusive. It probably moves, based on just how badly you need and want your outcome. If you REALLY want a new career, with a strong and growing organization, youíre going to have to fight for it.

Itís parallel to selling anything, but now you have the discomfort of having to sell yourself. Of course, you have to have identified the strengths and benefits of your product (you). Then you have to have targeted the organizations that would be logical homes for your talents (your prospective employers). Research and identify ANY possible means of developing a relationship with key decision-makers. You will almost certainly not be able to rely on simply answering a posting on the Internet. You are unlikely to be able to sit back and wait to win an interview or offer.

Make sure you look for and ask for contact information for specific decision-makers, even if all youíre able to do is to get the names, numbers, and email addresses for support personnel. Be persistent. Be engaging. Be humorous. Be professional. But be in touch. You simply cannot afford to just wait to see what happens. If one door closes, if someone is non-responsive, then start researching a new pathway. Yes, you risk being offensive, but thatís why you have to do your best to be good-natured and pleasant, while pushing as hard as you can to keep the conversation going in your direction.

Make sure that your company is viewed as a top notch organization with respect for its people and the community.  Then when you ARE ready to expand, you'll attract top talent who will stay with you for the long haul.  You'll build a brand name that is recognized for good ethics.  You'll do a good job providing good jobs.

Excellent sales managers know that the best sales team is comprised of tenacious, clever, aggressive, persistent people who will not willingly accept the word “no”.  Learn from them, and stay after your employment targets.  Just don’t get arrested.

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

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