Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Father Knows Best
By Roscoe Chambers

I'm the proud father of (you guessed it) Peppur Chambers. Our family has been in the Human Resources and owners of an Executive Search firm for several years. And because “FATHER KNOWS BEST” I’ve been asked to contribute to the award winning “Brown Betties Gazette”. I will attempt to provide pertinent information pertaining to employment search strategy for job seekers, various employment articles, and postings of open job opportunities nationwide.


Out of work? No worry. In this segment of “Father knows best” I want to give you the 411 on a topic that is never ending when you find yourself unemployed: the personal makeover from the “OLD you to the NEW you”.

1. Give Yourself a Makeover
After a relationship breakup the majority of people lose weight, get in better shape, buy some new clothes and start looking their best in order to attract a new mate. You need to do the same to attract a new job. You need a positive attitude now more than ever. Your day-to-day life is about to change. Start off with this change on the right foot by feeling terrific about yourself. Most people who have been in a relationship or on a job for awhile let themselves fall into personal habits that can degrade their appearance. Get out and have a manicure and haircut – maybe even a new style. Make sure you can dress sharp for meeting people. Spending money is not the first thing to do when you are out of work; yet, if you can afford just a few new shirts or outfits for meetings and interviews, they are an investment and will pick up your attitude. In addition, any old colleagues or associates you might bump into will see the new energized you. Make a new impression and they will keep you in mind when they hear of an opening. Everyone wants to make a good hire recommendation.

2. Get Your Picture Taken
After your makeover get a great head shot or two of yourself and make sure you are smiling. Get copies and place one where you will see it every day -- such as on your refrigerator.

3. Become Searchable
If you don’t already have a MySpace or Facebook page, or a website, get them. Gear your pages to be professional rather than personal. Spell out your skills and accomplishments. Use that new picture of yourself. Make sure people can leave you messages.

4. Create a Hard Copy Portfolio
This is a one-or two-pager about you similar to a resume though with your picture and a bit more pizzazz. Make 25 copies and place them inside a nice simple folder. Again include a picture of yourself and make sure they contain all of your contact information. Also start working on your resume.

5. Write Some Testimonials about Yourself
Write something about yourself that is a testament to your skills and abilities. These can be one or two sentences each. Make a different testimonial for each of your friends and associates. Customize these so that each of them will be aware of what they are attesting to and have them sign a hard copy.

6. Throw a Party
That’s right. Call all your friends and associates and let them know you are having an “unemployment” party. This does not have to be elaborate.
Be the host of the party with a great attitude. Let everyone know you are job hunting and be clear about what types of work you will accept.
Have your guests sign your personal testimonials. Showing everyone that you are not sitting around sulking; this will impress them and they will want to help you.

7. Start Taking People to Lunch
Look for possible employers. Search the companies within travel distance of your home. Contact a relevant manager or CEO and call them with an offer for lunch. Let them know you would like to do a brief interview for a web article you are writing. Get their contact information and have ten questions prepared about their business. Question could pertain to the current climate in their industry, their growth and hiring status, their long term plans, and how long they have been with the company and their background. Make sure you have included copies of each of your testimonials in your portfolio and hand a portfolio to the person at the end of lunch.
Take notes and write a brief few paragraphs about the interview and post them on your website, MySpace, or Facebook page. Send each person a hand written thank you note with an invitation to visit the page and read the article.

Follow up with an email letting them know that you are seeking employment and ask them to keep their ears open. Say in touch with these people every few weeks with a purposeful email for example to let them know what comments you have received on their interview article.
Getting away from staring at the Internet job sites and out of the house into the business world on a regular basis will keep you from becoming a daytime television junkie. Do as many of these lunches as you can afford. If you cannot afford the lunches, ask for on-site interviews and go to them.

This is a great way to connect and network. You will be learning about your industry and specific companies and you will be making contacts that could last you a lifetime and land you a job.

Roscoe Chambers II is also the President of The Kennedy Group, LLC, an executive search firm that takes a broad approach in the staffing of various industries and disciplines covering levels from middle- to upper- management. Please contact him at

1 comment:

Sidney Gaskins said...

Mr. Chambers this is absolutely timely. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and I'm going to share these with others! Maybe have a party for my friends.