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ETP Professional Member (2008) and contributing writer for Lamplighter Newsletter
Previously, I conducted career seminars on behalf of Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP), for the United States (U.S.) Army at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey.  Now closed, Fort Monmouth employed thousands of civilians who were suddenly facing the reality that they would be in transition. The power of the 7 Step Job Search Methodology, coupled with the ETP 5 Member Goals, has never been more fully realized in my mind than with these groups of individuals.

The Army base had a department that provides the basics (resume writing, etc), but I was astounded, after having worked with the first group, that they had no idea of the importance of networking or how to properly utilize it.  For starters, under Rod Colon‘s tutelage, we introduced them to the concept by having them pair off and learn about each other. Once they found out who their partner was, what each other had done and what they were looking to do, we asked them to make a 3-4 minute presentation about the other person. 
The amount of information that came out of these introductions not only surprised the group but many times resulted in networking opportunities within the room! Some of these people had known each other for years but had never discussed these basics and, as such, didn‘t realize they could help each other.

Once the introductions were completed and the concept of networking became a little clearer we would then introduce them to LinkedIn. Almost all of the attendees I met over the 6-month period had never even heard of it, let alone understood what its potential importance would be in their career search. To grasp the concept quickly, I always described LinkedIn as a “Virtual Trade Show” for their respective industry. Thinking along those lines I could easily describe how they could enter the room, hook up with people they already knew (Level 1‘s), ask for introductions to people they wanted to meet (Level 2‘s), and reach out through the new connections for people that were not directly available to them at that time (Level 3‘s).

Once the idea was in place we began an explanation of the Profile page, stressing it as the first impression many recruiters and/or hiring managers would have of them. Putting the most complete and concise information about themselves there, along with a copy of their resume, would provide them an advertising tool many companies are utilizing to vet candidates even before they‘re contacted.

Next, the groups were introduced to Indeed.com as an inclusive job search tool, combining job listings from several top search sites. Group members were asked to describe themselves and/or the job position they were looking for, working within a 25 miles radius from their home, in order to find applicable positions. Once a position was found they were astonished to see the direct tie-in to anyone they knew or were connected to (2nd and 3rd levels) on LinkedIn. The light bulbs went off in their heads, as it were, and they saw, for the first time, an easier, more productive way to conduct a job search.

Once we provided them with the proper tools, the concept of being the CEO of ME, Inc was explained, and it‘s importance was brought home in the subsequent explanation of the 7 Steps Job Search Methodology. By the end of the sessions, which usually lasted 2 to 2 ½ hours, most attendees were thoroughly surprised how much they had learned and how basic the concepts were that they‘d never even considered! In fact, a number of them have continued to keep in touch with me via email and have joined Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP) to further enhance their understanding of its concepts.

Overall, the seminars were a great learning tool for the participants but, more importantly, for me. My understanding of the 7 Step Job Search, and all the tools that are necessary to continually work the steps, grew deeper with each session. In addition, the ability to help others discover a better way to conduct their search made me feel terrific about myself and being a leader with ETP made that possible!

About the Author
Alan Ferraro became an ETP member in 2008, then a Faculty Leader in 2009.  With over 25 years as a retail operations executive in the home entertainment industry, Alan is currently a very successful self employed Management Consultant.  He resides in Brick, NJ with his wife, 2 sons, 1 daughter and 2 grandsons.
Email:
Alan.Ferraro[AT]yahoo[DOT]com


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