Feature: It’s Deja Nu All Over Again

Feature: It’s Deja Nu All Over Again

Feature: It’s Deja Nu All Over Again

We’ve all experienced “déjà vu,” that eerie feeling that we’re seeing or experiencing something in the present that we’ve seen or experienced at some indeterminate point in the past. It’s like doing reality all over again. Now, these past episodes probably won’t do us much good in a job search, but our past contacts will. The trick, of course, is to find them, and that’s best done in a process I call them “deja nu.” The goal is to connect in the present with the people whom we knew in the past.

Most of us are aware that the best opportunities in the job market are usually filled by networking. And, most of us, as a consequence, normally make a reasonable effort to reach out to whatever contacts we have, when we’re looking for a new or better position. The problem is that we limit the scope of our effort.

Basically, we all have three kinds of contacts:

  • People we know and are in touch with
  • People we don’t know but are put in touch with by someone we do know, and
  • People we know and are not in touch with
  • Experience suggests that we tend to focus on the first and second category of contact, probably because we feel as if they are near at hand and, therefore, potentially more useful. That third category, however-the people we knew in the past but have lost touch with in the present-can be a wonderful source of information and job leads.

    Who are these candidates for “deja nu?” They include former:

  • Teachers
  • Bosses
  • Colleagues at work
  • College roommates
  • Teammates
  • Sorority sisters
  • Fraternity brothers
  • Club friends
  • Significant others, and
  • Others less significant.
  • How can we connect with them? The Internet offers a number of tools that can be very helpful. I’d recommend that you start with the following three:

      The Ultimates. (www.theultimates.com) This resource offers a White Pages, a Yellow Pages and an E-mail Directory. If you know where a former contact lives, use the White Pages to find the telephone number and address of anyone living in the United States. If you know where the person works, use the Yellow Pages to find the contact information for any business in the U.S.. If you don’t know where your former contact lives or works, try the E-mail Directory.

      Google Residential Phonebook. This resource lists the residential telephone number for just about anyone living in the U.S. Although, The Ultimates claims to provide unlisted as well as listed numbers, I’ve found that this directory is better, at least for unlisted numbers. To use the feature, visit the Google Home Page (www.google.com) and enter the following command into the Search criteria box:

      rphonebook: the person’s last name, the city where they live

      For example, if your first boss, ten years ago, was Jane Thomas and you thought she was probably still living in Austin, Texas, you would enter the following:

      rphonebook: Thomas, Austin

      A Google Name Search. If you have no idea where your former contacts are living or working, try searching for them by name using the Google search engine. If they’ve written a paper for their professional society, been promoted at work, given a talk to the local Garden Club, had a baby, hit a hole in one at the local golf course … done practically anything other than breathe and eat, it’s probably been recorded on some document somewhere among the 500 billion documents floating around the Internet. And if that’s the case, you can find them simply by entering their name in the Search criteria box on the Google Home Page.

    Finally, a word of caution about the “deja nu” process. Be aware that your former friend or colleague may not remember you as well as you remember them. Therefore, begin your message with a brief but detailed reference to your prior relationship, and then explain why you are contacting them. As with face-to-face networking, however, don’t put them on the spot by asking them for a job. Instead, ask for their counsel and suggestions on how best to advance your job search. Show them that simple courtesy and your contacts in the past might just become some of your most important contacts all over again in the present.

    Section Two: Site News

    The California Mortgage Brokers Association has partnered with MortgageBoard.com to launch a site that offers job postings and a resume database to those seeking opportunities in the mortgage industry in California.

    CareerBoard.com, a network of sites specializing in local employment opportunities, has partnered with Northeast Ohio Nurse Practitioners to create an online career center for nursing professionals in … yep, you got it, northeast Ohio. The site is located at www.neonp.org. The service is free to job seekers, but you must be a member of the association.

    ExecuNet, a career management and recruiting resource for executives and recruiters, released the latest results of its Recruiter Confidence Poll. Of the 230 respondents, 55% reported that opportunities placed with executive search firms increased during the month of June. Even better, a total of 66% said they were confident that this increase in recruiting will continue into the next quarter, and 88% expected it to continue for at least six months.

    The Promotion Marketing Association has launched the PMA Job Bank for marketing professionals. PMA is a trade association representing companies or organizations engaged in promotional activities, including consumer goods and service companies, manufacturers and retailers.

    TrueCareers.com, a site specializing in degreed professionals, reports that workers are not going to let the slow economy or the lousy job market stand in the way of their summer vacation. In a recent poll, 77% of respondents said they expect to take a vacation of three or more consecutive days this summer. Experts urge job seekers to take at least a little time off so that they get some relief from the stress of looking for a job and reconnect with their families.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    Which of the following are newspaper-operated sites that post classified ads online?

    • AccessAtlanta.com
    • Kansas.com
    • SunSpot.net
    • HarktheHerald.com

    Which of the following sites does NOT post biotechnology openings?

    • Medzilla.com
    • BrainBuzz.com
    • BioView.com
    • ScienceJobs.com

    Which of the following sites does NOT specialize in the hospitality industry?

    • Bench and Bar
    • Hcareers.com
    • FoodandDrinkJobs.com
    • JobMonkey.com

    (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2003 Guides and Directories




      Post full time jobs: Yes

      Post part time/consulting jobs: Yes

      Distribution of jobs: International

      Number of jobs: 200

      Salary levels of jobs: $76-100K, over $100K

      Offer a job agent: Yes

      Resume database: No (planned)

      How long are resumes stored: N/A

      Restrictions on who can post: N/A

      Other services for job seekers: Career/job search information, links to off-site resources, confidentiality feature

      Answers to Site Insite:

      1. They all are (AccessAtlanta.com = Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Kansas.com = Wichita Eagle, SunSpot.com = Baltimore Sun, and HarktheHerald.com = The Daily Herald/Utah)

      2. BrainBuzz.com, a site for IT candidates

      3. Bench and Bar, a site for legal services candidates