Q&A for Pros: Looking for Work? Do a Networking Blitz!

Q: I have a friend just graduated with his masters in clinical psychology and is looking for a job (does not have his license yet). Do you know of any places that may be hiring? A: Sorry, I'm not in the loop as far as any available jobs at this point. However, I would recommend doing a networking blitz:

1. Send a cover letter introducing himself with his resume to any/all of the treatment providers, mental health centers, rehabs, and agencies that interest him (and even the ones who don't, as you never know who will know someone who knows someone) and follow up the following week with a phone call. This may be an obvious suggestion, however, I'm always surprised by how many people don't.

When I was graduating in Illinois we knew we were moving back to Utah so Kara could resume her schooling. I only knew a few people in Utah professionally with whom to network. We had no money in reserve. I needed a job as soon as I got to Utah. So this was early Internet days so I looked up what I could online, but mostly scoured a Utah County phonebook I found at the library, for every single provider (solo, group, agency, etc) I could find and mailed them all the following networking letter with my resume.

May 1, 1997

Name Address Provo, UT 84604

Dear ________________,

I am currently exploring job opportunities in the Utah County and Salt Lake County areas. I am relocating myself and my family to Utah County where I am seeking employment as a mental health professional. I am looking forward to returning to the community where I had such rewarding experiences in the field. I am writing to you in the hope that you may be able to assist me in exploring employment opportunities with your organization or other organizations you are aware of that may have positions available.

I graduated from Brigham Young University in Family Sciences in 1993. Since then my training has been in the field of substance abuse with the Utah Alcoholism Foundation and in the field of marriage and family therapy at Northern Illinois University’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program.

I have enclosed my resume detailing my qualifications as well as my references. I will be available for an interview in your area after May 19th. Please feel free to call me if you have any further questions at (815) 756-xxxx prior to May 15th or at (801) 763-xxxx after May 18th. Any assistance you can grant will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

Jonathan D. Sherman

Enclosures: resume reference

I sent 70 of these. I then called most of them up. Nothing. However, that was the market then. But I did get one solid lead from the next method:

2. Contact the state division of his professional organization and see who there knows who's hiring. For my field it's the Utah Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I'm sure he has one for clinical psychologists. This is how I got my first job out of grad school, which opened the door for every other opportunity I've had since.  I sent a modified version of my networking letter as follows:

May 2, 1997

Lynne Maynes, Ph.D. Counseling Center P.O. Box 681499 Park City, UT 84068-1499

Dear Dr. Maynes,

Beth Hughes with the UAMFT suggested I contact you. Last month I was able to talk with Becky at your organization and she suggested I send you my vita. I am currently exploring job opportunities in the Utah County and Salt Lake County areas. I am relocating myself and my family to Utah County where I am seeking employment as a mental health professional. I am looking forward to returning to the community where I had such rewarding experiences in the field. I am writing to you in the hope that you may be able to assist me in exploring employment opportunities with your organization or other organizations you are Daware of that may have positions available.

I graduated from Brigham Young University in Family Sciences in 1993. Since then my training has been in the field of substance abuse with the Utah Alcoholism Foundation and in the field of marriage and family therapy at Northern Illinois University’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program.

I have enclosed my resume detailing my qualifications as well as my references. I will be available for an interview in your area after May 19th. Please feel free to call me if you have any further questions at (815) 756-xxxx prior to May 15th or at (801) 763-xxxx after May 18th. Any assistance you can grant will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

Jonathan D. Sherman

Enclosures: resume references

3. And he's already doing #3--ask everyone you know who they know... And while I don't know of any leads specifically right now I'm happy to post the need on my Facebook and Twitter and see if anyone knows anything. It  may or may not yield anything, but you never know—and as of this writing POW! that's 4,700 people instantly added to his network! If there are any leads I'll forward them on to you, or your friend can friend me on Facebook and Twitter and keep an eye on these posts himself.

4. Consider the rural option. Question: Is he local, does he want to stay local or willing to relocate? There are often great jobs in rural settings/boonies and they are willing to pay more b/c a lot of people aren't willing to relocate and they desperately need providers. Further, many states have Rural Loan Repayment programs where by committing to work a min of 2 years in a rural setting he can get a lot and sometimes all of his grad school loans paid off.

Hope this helps.

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