by Mark Cummuta

Week 6: Job Search Project Plan Works to Generate Interviews

Sep 12, 20076 mins

The past week and a half I have been following my job search project plan. resulting in a whirlwind of interviews, proposals and presentations. Some have had good results while others have had some not so good results.

My tasks for last week were:

  • Draft my systems and business process re-engineering (BPR) management consulting proposal for the defense contractor, then meeting with them to review and finalize that.

STATUS – Done (see details below).

  • Schedule my next interview with the marketing software and services firm.

STATUS – Done, face-to-face scheduled for this Thursday.

  • Schedule my next meeting with the defense consulting firm.

STATUS – Done (see details below).

  • Follow up with the military transitions executive recruiting firm (Lucas Group).

STATUS – Done. And contacted a second firm (Paul Tittle) that specializes in placing executives into the defense and intelligence industries.

  • Follow up with the major satellite and systems integration defense contracting firm.

STATUS – Done, with follow up call tentatively scheduled for this Thursday.

  • Follow up on the leads readers of this blog have sent to me.

STATUS – Done. I emailed and/or called each of these leads last week and will reach out again to them later this week.

  • Create and/or update my resume accounts on key job search websites.

STATUS – Partially done. After losing track of which websites I had accounts with, the web sites where I still want to create accounts, and the sites I no longer want to use (did you know there are over 40,000 job search related websites? And an international association just for job sites), I created a spreadsheet. I’m now tracking these sites and have updated and/or created accounts on 15 employer-specific and key sites this past week.

  • E-mail my updated resume to all my executive recruiting contacts.

STATUS – not done.

  • Apply to five new positions.

STATUS – Done. I applied to nine new positions after reviewing and rejecting well over one hundred positions specs in detail.

  • Order or check out the KSA books and websites several readers have recommended to me.

STATUS – Partially done. I found a new website, that helps you prepare and then submit federal job applications.

  • Continue to follow up with my, and LinkedIn contacts.

STATUS – still in process.

In addition:

  • I followed up on a networked lead from Chris McCann of Gregory Laka & Co. with one of the top contractors for the Dept. of Homeland Security, which also has a number of contracts with the US Marines and most of the federal agencies. My initial interview with them went very well, and I have a follow up interview scheduled for this Friday.
  • I continue to network inside a global logistics firm where my sister works.
  • I pulled the industry list for the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Defense Contractors” from the recently released Inc. 500 2007 report. My intent is to research these companies and then contact/apply appropriately. So far, I have researched the top 25 and contacted one.
  • I have researched general (1, 2), IT/Tech/Engineering, managerial and defense (1, 2, 3, 4) job fairs and identified a few that I may attend. However, I have two difficulties. One, job fairs are really not designed for senior executives, and in fact, I fear there is a certain stigma for executives who attend these job fairs. And second, almost all defense job fairs are either on military bases, at colleges, or require proof of a security clearance to even enter. Be that as it may, I registered for the CareerBuilder Job Fair for today (Sept. 12) in Chicago because it has a dozen defense firms and a number of investment and banking firms attending. I also registered for a Technology and Defense job fair in Virginia on Sept. 13. I e-mailed my resume and cover letter as part of my registration for the job fair and explained that I can not attend the job fair but am willing to relocate for positions in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area.
  • I met with two friends with whom I am considering forming a company.

All the above are examples of my multi-channeled efforts to research, identify and target appropriate job opportunities –both public and “hidden”– and in some cases, created.

Here’s an example of what I mean by a “created” job: The first defense IT consulting firm I contacted didn’t have a position open for someone with my skills and background. However, after I learned that this firm wanted to do more project-based work, a little bell went off in my mind. My consulting background is almost entirely project-based, including business development work I’ve done. So over the course of several meetings with this defense IT consulting firm, I proposed starting a new division for them. Ultimately, while they liked my proposal we could not agree on terms, but the experience reminded me that there are a reasonable number of opportunities out there where a prospective employee and an employer see an opportunity to partner and create a brand new position for the prospective employee.

Recall I have also been pursuing a general management position with a Midwest defense contractor. Last week I developed a short term consulting engagement (yes, Remi, it would be paid), to evaluate their inventory control processes and provide actionable recommendations, project plan and estimates to improve that function. I presented that proposal this week and have scheduled a follow up for Friday.

Finally, I continue to research ways to improve my job search methods and tactics. Here are some interesting things I’ve found this week.

  • Employers WANT to find you, but they report that Management/Executive positions are one of the top 10 hardest to fill.
  • DIY (Do It Yourself) How-To Guide to Networking (Riley).
  • How to Use LinkedIn In Your Job Search.
  • Over the years, studies have shown the growing influence and success in all forms of networking to find jobs. Recently, networking bypassed newspaper ads and internet leads as the most frequent way most people find their next job.
  • Even more interesting was a study that compared the methods most employers try to fill positions with the methods most job-seekers use to find new positions. In summary, the study shows WHY employers use networking-based methods. If that’s HOW they want to find you, and WHY its important to them to do so, then we can increase our job search success by following the instructions.

Thanks again for all of your comments and ideas!


Mark Cummuta

CIO Job Search: A Real Life Chronicle