Job Search Tips for Homebuilder Employees

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Need to find a new job? H.R. Expert Rodney Hall offers tips and links to landing your next big gig.

September 01, 2007

If you're reading this month's issue, odds are good you are gainfully employed and borrowed the magazine from your office.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for many of your peers in the industry. My partners and I are fielding more calls than ever from the newly unemployed, with little indication it will let up. So, in hopes of helping more people in less time, here are some job search strategies from a search professional's perspective.

Target Companies, Not Jobs

Develop a list of highly desirable companies — the ones you've heard great things about and, truth be told, you would take a step or two backward in your career to join them.

Play 'Guess Who's Coming to Town'

If you are in a market where everyone is cutting back, odds are slim you will have much success landing a position with an established, local company. The good news is there are plenty of builders who see the current conditions as an opportunity to expand into new markets — maybe even yours. Go to the Giant 400 to identify the top 50 builders not currently in your market. Add them to your list.

Do Your Homework

Now that you've developed your list, it's time to find out who the players are in each organization — specifically those executives one to two levels above the position you are seeking. The following search engines and networking sites will get you there much quicker:

  • ZoomInfo.com: This Web-based service collates information from multiple online documents and renders a simple profile of the person, including name, company, most recent title, e-mail, phone, etc. ZoomExec costs $99/month. However, Zoom offers a free, 30-day trial.
  • Jigsaw.com: Jigsaw's mission is to map every business organization on the planet through an online directory of more than 6 million business cards. Using a point system for credit, members trade business cards they have for business cards they need. Each Jigsaw member brings a few pieces of the puzzle, resulting in a change to the way corporate information is gathered and maintained.
  • LinkedIn.com. LinkedIn is an online network of more than 12 million professionals. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients and partners. Your network consists of your connections, your connections' connections and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.

Go Direct(ory)

Lastly, don't forget online association directories. The NAHB Web site includes a list of directories geared toward various interests. For example, candidates for sales and marketing positions will find the Institute of Residential Marketing Directory useful as a networking tool.

Once you've compiled your list of target companies and identified the key executives, send each a short introductory e-mail with a short overview of your most recent positions. Your goal is to encapsulate your message in a way it can be understood in a matter of seconds. 

Here's a sample email:

Jim, I don’t believe we’ve met, but I would like to ask your help in a job search I’m conducting. The highlights of my experience appear below. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, and let me know if I can ever return the favor. 

John Doe

John Doe
john@domain.com
972/555-1212

Sunset Homes, Naples, FL
Division President, 2005-2007
Vice President- Operations, 2001-2005

Acme Homes, Tampa, FL
VP Construction, 1995-2001
Project Manager, 1992-1995

B.S. Business Administration, 1989
University of Florida

Open to relocation in the Southeast

Helpful Links:


Author Information
Rodney Hall is a senior partner with The Talon Group, a leading executive search firm specializing in the real-estate development and home building industries.

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