Q: I need some advice! After working in the United States Senate for two very prominent Senators for over six years I moved back to my home state of Massachusetts. I graduated from college in 2006, I graduated from graduate school in 2013 and have been unemployed for over eight months...with extensive health care policy experience, I can't find a job! I am told I have too much experience, I don't have enough private sector experience, or that I lack management qualifications.
A: Welcome back to Massachusetts! It's time to connect and re-connect with friends, family, colleagues, former colleagues and all the contacts those two prominent senators can muster!
Like most job seekers, you need to build a strong and robust professional network. This is the best way to develop contacts. Contacts very often are a good source of job leads.
Become active on Linkedin. Join groups related to your career interests. Join groups affiliated with both your undergraduate college and your graduate school. Use the career services offices of both schools. Attend a few meet-up groups.
Contact those senators! Those senators should have truckloads of connections for you in both the public and private sectors.
Network within healthcare, public policy and political circles. Have business cards printed with your contact info displayed in a professional way. Attend as many networking events as you can handle.
Check your email daily, even on weekends! Job seekers that don't respond to emails for a few days send a message of "my search isn't important." Job seekers who don't respond to emails and phone calls within 24 hours drive me batty!
Follow-up on any introductions, whether you think they are relevant or not. Adding to your network helps you build a strong network, for now and for future job searches. When you meet a contact, you are not just connecting with them. If you network effectively, you will now have access to that individual's network also.
Always be gracious and polite. Be respectful of that contact's time. Thank them. If they meet with you, you buy the coffee!
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.