The list of archives on this page only goes back 10 months. For a complete list of archives go to this link.
The list of archives on this page only goes back 10 months. For a complete list of archives go to this link.
Minimum job search requirements
THE HEART OF A LION & THE SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR
If you do not possess these or learn them SOON your search will continue to drag on. This is not just my opinion. It has been proven Dozens of times by my clients and the clients and feedback of many professional coaches. If you have hired a coach, consultant or are working with an outplacement service do exactly what they tell you. I don’t care how hard or foreign it seems you paid them to tell you how to run a successful search.
I know that for the majority of the people reading this conducting a search in the present market when the chips all seem to be stacked against you is the hardest thing you have ever done. If you look at the recommendations on my profile I would bet that at some point ½ of them almost quit or at some point told me they just couldn’t do what I ask them to do. They all turned things around and are now working.
For most people the hardest thing to do is networking and I’m not referring to calling your buddies or former peers. Everybody does them first and soon enough they run out. Then what are you going to do? You can only call them so often before they stop returning your calls. The networking that causes most people trouble is “cold call” networking; calling people you do not know. This is new to the job search. A couple of years ago nobody had to do it. You would call all your friends former associates. Contact a few recruiters, spend a few hours a week on the job boards and you had a new job in no time. Today everybody I talk to or read about who has been looking for 6+ has been searching this way and the results….
*send 500 resumes and if you’re lucky get back 5 form letters.
* Get no returned phone calls or at best get a call from HR asking for your resume
* Third party recruiters tell you your background sounds great and that is the last you hear from them.
* I could keep going but you get the idea
Changing this requires the heart of a lion and a warrior’s spirit. I mean you dive into your search with NO FEAR. Learn to prospect into target companies by calling decision makers and having a quality business conversation. Talk to 10-15 (I said talk to not call) per week who you have never talked to. Use the Linkedin “advanced” search function to find people in your targets. It won’t kill you or cause any physical pain. Build your network to 4-500 connections and send each one a note through Linkedin. My clients average a 30% return. You do this through your Linkedin inbox not “inmails”
Attack, Attack, Attack the way a hungry mother lion would. Do it every day. Looking for a job is a forty hour job.
A WORD ABOUT LIES
I see lots of questions and discussions about hiding the truth, exaggerating and just plain telling lies in interviews and resumes. There are dozens of reasons people give about why in certain cases this behavior is justified or smart. I do not need to go into those reasons because every one of them is wrong. I challenge any member to comment on a lie that is justified.
Think how you will feel after 6 months on the job when your boss and security come to your desk, tell you to gather your personal items and follow them to the door. This is what will happen when your dishonesty is discovered. Odds are it will be discovered but even if it is not you will live every day with the fear that it will be. Be 100% honest about everything no matter how insignificant you think it is. There is no such thing as a little white lie.
During the years I was in a hiring capacity if I was interviewing or going through a resume and discovered any level of dishonesty I ended the process with no explanation. Today many employers are taking this stand. So stop asking the questions or giving examples. The answer to all questions about dishonesty is NO!
I talked to three clients this week who were suffering from severe anxiety and fear because of an upcoming interview and the need to spend a couple of days making cold calls. I realized that they were not unique. Anxiety probably causes more people to fail interviews than any emotion.
You have a big interview tomorrow and you are scared to death.
Why? What are you afraid of? What could possibly go wrong in the interview? What is the worst outcome you can expect? Answer: You don’t get the job. You will not lose your life, go deaf, blind, lose a limb or a loved one. You simply won’t get the job. That is a big disappointment but not the end
What does anxiety do to you? Anxiety feeds on itself. The more you worry the more your anxiety grows. The more your anxiety grows the more it affects your performance and attitude. Your mind gets fuzzy, your confidence suffers, you begin to lose your ability to be spontaneous weakens, you can’t think on your feet and react quickly. I know from personal experience that many patients who are being treated for severe pain are many times given an anti anxiety medication along with pain meds. because anxiety makes the pain worse; so for God’s sake relax and stop worrying about things you can’t change This would be the perfect time to memorize the “Serenity” prayer : God grant me the serenity to accept the
The things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference
What can you do about it? Anxiety and fear come from a lack of confidence. Build up your confidence and anxiety goes away after-all if you believe in your interview skills and are convinced that you are the best candidate for the job what in the world is there to be anxious about? How do I fix this you ask?
The number one action to beat the anxiety and fear is BE PREPARED. I think every employer ever interviewed when asked what impresses him the most about a candidate and the candidate he ultimately hires is “he was prepared”. He knew my company and my business. He talked with me as if he was an employee. He knew our problems and he came prepared to talk about solutions. If you ever wondered how a candidate less qualified than you got the job this is your answer. Do your homework. The internet provides everything you need to walk into an interview like the knight in shining armor. If you do not do it it is your own fault. This is the secret to high confidence and low anxiety. It is that simple. It takes time and work but if you do not do it you only have yourself to blame. Interviews can really be fun if you prepare yourself.
The economy sucks, there aren’t any jobs, I’m overqualified, I’m overpaid or underpaid, I have grown too old, too many jobs have moved off shore. Companies in my business are being acquired at an alarming rate resulting in large scale RIFs. The job boards are mostly garbage and nobody responds. Companies post a lot of jobs that are not legitimate jobs.
The reasons for the myths and the 39 week timeframe; Most searches are being conducted in the same manner as they were 3-5 years ago. If you have been out for 39+ weeks you are depending on the following methods and tactics. You are spending many days studying the major job boards searching and plastering your resume on all of them. You have contacted a dozen recruiters and call each of the once a week. You are calling your friends and past associates asking for help and they have stopped returning your calls. You are spending much of your time sending unsolicited/blind resumes to Human resources and filling out applications on company websites. Three years ago if you did all this you would have found a great job in about a month. Today you do not even get interviews. Unless you get lucky none of these methods work today
What you are up against; There is no doubt that there are fewer jobs available and the jobs that were lost will not be back. When companies were forced to do more with less they figured out how to do it. Now there expenses are lower and there revenues are up. When the government says the economy is improving don’t think jobs are. Why would they.
Despite all of this there is a GOOD job out there for everybody who is looking. I should rephrase that; there is a good job out there for everybody who KNOWS how to look. If you have been out for 39+ weeks you do not know how to do it.
Go out and find someone who will teach you 1)Advanced Networking and account penetration especially networking with people you don’t know 2)Mastery of linkedin and I don’t mean just writing a profile and joining groups 3) proper company research, way beyond reading Hoovers 4) Become a master interviewer. Be better than the employers. 5) Time management and planning, This is a 40hr job.6) Negotiating, don’t give away money at the offer.7) Selling and communicating, talk to at least 20 people each week for the first time. This is just a partial list but it will put you ahead of 95% of the jobseekers you are competing against. Now! Go out and find the job that’s right for you and your family.
To participate in the job circle first join the Linkedin group "Job Search Solutions". http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=3666423&trk=anet_ug_grppro
Then join in the discussion, "JOB LEAD CIRCLE"
Every member of this group has interviewed for jobs they did not get or received offers for jobs they did not want. This means that every member is in possession of leads for real jobs. Each member has all the information another member needs to apply for the job.
Since I do not allow any form of spam, advertising or links to blogs that contain advertising the only reason to join this group is to seek help with your job search and to help others with theirs. Here is a way to make this group the most helpful group on Linkedin for those in transition. If you give just 5 minutes everybody will benefit. Here is how it will work.
Let’s say that yesterday you received an offer and for some reason turned it down. This means that there is a desperate and disappointed employer with a job he must fill quickly. You can help him which will make you look good in his eyes for future needs and leads and you can help other members apply for the job you turned down.
Leave a comment with all the details or start a new "Job Circle" discussion that will be seen by more people Give the employers name, location. Job title, duties, interview tips, phone number, email and anything else that you would want to know if you were going to apply..I will help by starting discussions about jobs my coaching client’s interview for but don't get.
Helping each other like this is why I created the group. I hope you will join me in helping each other.
On Linkedin the more help you give, the more help you get.
IF WE EACH DO NOT JOIN IN THIS EFFORT AND HELP EACH OTHER WHY DID WE BOTHER TO JOIN ANY OF THE LINKEDIN JOBS GROUPS? PLEASE JOIN IN! There is a new lob out there for everybody who knows how to look. Here is a great way to look.
NOTE: Recruiters and employers are not to use this as a job board. Their post will be deleted. No "confidential" jobs.
I have probably interviewed well over 2000 candidates over my 30 years in the recruiting/employment business. They have ranged from entry level to C level and from sales people to PhD level scientist. Basically there is no background or field I have not interviewed. Through all of this I have learned that everyone starts their search having gone through basically the same thought process to decide what they want.
Obviously everybody gives some level of thought to what they want to do but for the most part their analysis focuses on duties, responsibilities, tasks, title and money not in any particular order. I’m sure that most people reading this are thinking, OK, so what? What else is there? What are missing are the most important criteria. What will make the new employee happy, content, fulfilled and committed for the long haul? After reviewing what a candidate thinks he is looking for I ask the following question. Other then duties, title and compensation (base salary) list the criteria that must be present for you to enthusiastically accept an offer on the spot. List what will make you happy in order of importance.
Since I had taken away duties, title and money I am first answered with silence and a blank stare. With continued encouragement I start to get answers like “challenge”, “culture”, “work life balance” etc... He is starting to get the idea and is on the right track but everybody uses these words. What specifically do these words mean to this candidate? Exactly what will satisfactorily challenge him? How will he be challenged and most important how will he identify and evaluate the presence of the required challenge during the interview process.
I take the candidate through this analysis for each criterion he comes up with until he gives a resounding YES to the following question. If all of these criteria (I list them) are present and you are offered reasonable compensation you will without hesitation accept the offer on the spot, correct?
You should put yourself through this same exercise. Figure out what is truly important for you and your families happiness and well being. Come up with 5-6 critical factors that must be present, understand exactly what they mean to you and how you will evaluate/identify each during the interview. If you do, the interview will go smoother and your decision to say yes or no to an offer will be painless. You will also see that the importance of money diminishes. Try it. Happy hunting.
I am amazed at the number of so called experts that post something every day in all the Linkedin job groups and many blogs about how to answer strange and difficult interview questions. The truth is maybe 1% of all hiring managers ever ask most of these questions and they are usually poorly trained interviewers who do not know what to ask and get these crazy questions out of an obscure book on interviewing. Some of the questions might be ask by a shrink or an occasional HR staffer but hardly ever by a hiring manager. When was the last time anybody reading this was ask something like “If you could be any animal in the jungle what would you be”? or “What color are you?” Even questions that seem reasonable like “Tell me about the last time you turned around a failing employee” are very rare.
If you want to have a great interview every time simply remember that hiring managers only really want to talk about one thing; their needs and how you satisfy those needs. Everything else is just fluff and filler. You have two primary objectives in any interview. Uncover/identify needs and prove you have the experience and skills to satisfy them. That’s it. If you uncover all his needs and deal with each one to his satisfaction you will have a great interview, so spend your time preparing to do that don’t waste a lot of time preparing for all the strange questions that he may never ask. All that is left is do you like each other( the cultural fit) and all you can do about that is relax and be yourself. You can’t fake a personality fit. You are who and what you are. Even if you can “fake it till you make it” in the interview the real you will come out on the job and you will be shown the door, so why try?
Memorize some basic questions that will identify needs. Here are a few to get you started.
Now every time he answers with a specific need follow this simple formula.
1) Mirror it back to make sure you have it
2) Tell him that you have experience doing whatever the need is
3) Tell him exactly how you did it
4) Tell him specifically what the results were, by the numbers if possible
5) Ask a closing question such as.. Is that the way you want it done? Or, Will that work here?
Obviously when I prepare somebody for an interview I cover many other topics and situations but this is the core of a successful interview and where you should put most of your effort.
NOTE: Remember this is for the interview with the hiring manager who is the ultimate decision maker, not the HR interview.
Have you ever noticed that when your life starts to get out of control, your morals and or ethics start to be sacrificed in the name of “a better life”, when you feel you need more and more worldly possessions & riches, “Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll”, when you are on the edge and don’t know it, something or someone, some event, in my place I believe God hits you like a Mac truck and says STOP! In my life it has happened three times. I guess I am a bit denser than most. You may already have read about my broken neck. That didn’t work.
God had to try again.
A “simple” shoulder surgery
Years ago after undergoing a year of steroid injections and therapy to treat a sore shoulder my doctors decided that it was time for more drastic action. They decided to do a relatively common place Rotator Cuff repair. It was going to just be an overnight process and I was supposed to go home the next morning for what would be a brief recovery period. It should be noted here that the two most painful joint operations that take the longest to heal are the knee and the shoulder (I have had both) because they do not have their own blood supply.
That afternoon they took me to surgery and when they opened me up they were in for a surprise. The damage and needed repairs were far more extensive than they expected.
They did a major rotator repair, removed part of my clavicle and did a major cleanup and reconstruction. After a lengthy procedure the doctors met with my parents they exclaimed “no wonder he has been in so much pain for so long. We had no idea”. Despite everything they did when I awoke that night I did not feel too bad. I went home the next afternoon feeling positive about the repair and figuring I could go back to work in a week or two.
God had not yet finished his lesson
Within twenty four hours my pain had become unbearable and I spiked a fever of 104.
I was rushed back to the emergency room. Everybody expected the worse, a life threatening infection.
In order to determine this in a hurry the doctor, without the use of any anesthetic began removing the staples from the large incision on my shoulder. Next he took a 6 inch swab and began probing deep inside the wound, over and over again searching for infection. The pain was so intense that my wife had to place her body over mine to hold me down and keep me from taking a swing at the doctor which I had every intention of doing. The test showed that I was suffering from a hospital born Staph infection. I was rushed through the admission process and prepared for emergency surgery to re-open the wound, clean out the infection and flush it with antibiotics.
Thirty six hours later I still had a fever; my shoulder was red and hot. The surgical procedure was repeated and my blood was pumped full of the strongest antibiotics they could use. My blood had to be tested constantly to test for liver failure and the potential breakdown of my immune system. I was receiving the maximum dosage of morphine to no effect. Believe it or not this process was repeated three more times. Five major surgeries in seven days and I was slipping away. I remember watching four doctors, the top specialist in infectious disease and my parents standing around my bed looking distressed and confused. They had no idea how to stop the infection and save my life.
Faith takes over
I made the decision after lots of meditation and prayer to put myself completely in god’s hands. I told the doctors to turn off the morphine and they cut off all the antibiotics and waited. Within twelve hours the fever broke. I felt like a new person. Two days later I returned home to begin a long and painful rehabilitation. My shoulder was frozen and my arm was locked in place against my chest. It took two months of therapy and another surgery to break my shoulder free before I could move my arm. I returned to work two months after my “simple surgery”.
Today my shoulder is perfectly normal. God still had some teaching to do and three years later another health crisis took two years out of my life but that is a story for another time.
I tell these stories not for sympathy or to get attention. I simply want to prove to you that no matter how severe your problems, no matter how hopeless you feel or how much physical and emotional pain you are living with you can overcome anything with faith, prayer, positive thought, determination and a belief in yourself. Once again I returned to work after a major trauma and broke all the records. Many of them were mine that had stood for 10 years.
I am no better, stronger, skilled or smarter than anybody reading this. I focused on my goals, put everything else out of my mind and gave 100% everyday for the six months following my return. I never used the word “can’t”. If I was told that something could not be done I just went out and did it. If you apply the same effort and attitude you can be in a new job in just 8 weeks.
In May of 1986 My Company moved me from New Jersey to start a new division in Ohio. Two months later they decided to pull the plug and close Ohio. I started interviewing and found agreat job. I accepted the offer on July 26th 1986. To celebrate I went to my favorite pub and had a few very strong Vodka & Grapefruits “Greyhounds”. About 4:00 I started for home only 1.5 miles away. It was a simple short drive through the “S” turns on Case rd. by Don Scott Air Field but something went horribly wrong.
The city had re-paved the road that day. They left a 4-6 inch edge on the berm. Fooling with my radio going way to fast (After all I was driving a powerful sports car) my right front wheel slipped over the edge. Because of the drinks my reactions were slow and confused. Instead of the car easing back on the road it continued to the right and out of control. First it rolled then the front end dug into the ground and the car flipped end over end, through the airport fence and into the airport. I have no Idea how many times the car rolled and flipped but since they found me 75 ft from the car and every piece of sheet metal was destroyed I assume it was a rather violent crash.
My first memory was of being arrested by a State Trooper in the ER for DUI. My next memory is being forced into a sitting position by a very ignorant X-Ray tech., Feeling my spine pop and my legs go numb. (She was fired promptly after almost killing me).
My next memory is feeling the doctor put screws into both sides of my head and hang weights from the screws.
My parents and I were told that I had a badly broken neck. It was so bad that my spinal cord was actually outside the spinal column and was surrounded by broken bones from crushed and dislocated vertebrate.
I should not have made it to the hospital, I might not make it through the night and if I did I would probably never walk.
I spent several days in that position waiting to “stabilize” in preparation for some very major spinal reconstructive surgery.The plan was to remove the shattered 5th cervical vertebrate, take bone from my hip and fuse #4 to #6. The next step would be to wire #3 back together and reposition #4 which was dislocated
I should point out that at this stage of my life I was not a very spiritual or religious person. I had left my Catholic heritage behind me and did not replace it with anything. I never Gave God thanks. If I prayed it was only to ask for stuff. I never cracked the cover of the Bible I was 35 years old with very little faith. I was certainly not deserving of any special favors or miracles from God.
After three days the morning of the big event finally arrived. I had been informed of all the possible outcomes and they were not positive. I knew that when I closed my eyes in the O.R. I might never open them again; if I did I knew that I might find myself paralyzed.
I was scared to death, very depressed and had very little hope. While my parents tried not to let me see it they were suffering the same feelings. It was the darkest moment of our lives.
At that moment, just before they took me away a Priest walked into my room. I had not requested him. He just showed up. I was so down I really was not in the mood for him but what could it hurt. My family left us alone and he began to pray with me. I confessed my sins(A pretty long list).I received final absolution / Last rights, Holy Communion, a final blessing; he held my hand and left me in Gods care.
When he left my family returned and they were shocked and amazed. They told me that I was a completely different person.I looked different, I was smiling, and my mood was up and positive. I had no fear of death, the outcome of the surgery, pain or what the rest of my life would be like.
All of the sudden I had faith. I knew without doubt that I could do nothing about what was about to happen. I could not in any way control my circumstances so why worry about it. I was in God’s hands and accepted His will no matter what that might be. I learned that day that the only things we need to worry about are those we control.
It took a team of the best Neuro and orthopedic surgeons to put me back together during a very long and complicated surgery. There is no doubt that there was another presence in that room guiding their hands because absolutely nobody thought I would come out of the procedure unscathed.
Obviously I remember nothing about the surgery. The first thing I remember is waking up in intensive care. My parents and surgeons were there and the doctors immediately checked for feeling in my feet and legs. I could feel what they were doing. I moved my toes, then my feet and finally my legs. Everyone was surprised. Nobody expected this. Almost everybody with injuries like mine and many with far less severe neck injuries dies or ends up a Para or quadriplegic. Nobody walks away to a normal life. My family. My doctors and I knew this was miraculous.
I was not done yet. I still had to go through the application of a Halo brace which meant having four screws placed in my head while wide awake. The brace was attached to an upper body cast which I would be stuck in for three months (summertime heat !?). There would be a lot more pain and work but two weeks after surgery I walked out of the hospital under my own power.
I finally started my new job four months late. In the first year I broke every record in the company’s 25 year history. I didn’t just break them; I destroyed them in stunning fashion. If I could come back from so much trauma and achieve what I did anybody reading this can do the same. Stop complaining to yourself about how hard things are. If you do not believe in yourself and your abilities who else will? Make up your mind to get the job you want or overachieve at the one you have and “just do it”. The word “can’t” needs to be erased from your mind. If you put in the work and take the time to learn you can do anything you want and do it well. If you are unemployed I promise that if you learn to do it correctly you will be in the job you want two months from today. Hire a coach or research everything on your own. All you need to know to conduct the perfect job search exist someplace on the web. Go find it and get it done.
If your resume says you are management/executive, as soon as you post your resume on the internet you will start receiving aggressive contact attempts from a unique group of companies who market themselves as Career Managers, Executive employment consultants and full service career consultants. They all have exactly the same pitch. They will tell you that they are contacting you because they are very selective when they accept new clients and you are the type of high level achiever they work with. They offer access to an exclusive database of pre-screened employers and exclusive openings. You will be told that they are retained by their employers. This is interesting because there is not one reputable retained search firm that also charges candidates a fee. These firms go on to promise a new resume and “customized” career coaching. They will do all this for you and will only charge $6,000 to $10,000.
My tone hints at my feelings about this business but I won’t open myself to litigation by telling you exactly what I think and know about these firms. I recommend that before you even meet with a representative of these firms simply Google the company name and read all the comments posted by their actual clients. Some of these firms are Haldane, R.L. Stevens, ITS/JMAC and Allen and Assoc.
If you have had experience with these firms your comments are welcome.
I have noticed recently in many Linkedin groups that lots of people claiming to be experts on the job interview are giving out poor advice on how to handle this interview situation.
Most interviewers are not well trained or skilled at interviewing. They are just as uncomfortable as the candidate. They will start with the most common and dreaded interview question that is easy for them but very awkward for you. It goes like this. “Tell me a little about yourself”. Or “Tell me about your experience as an …….” If you launch into an answer as most people do, you will ramble, give way too much information that lacks focus and you will not provide what the interviewer is looking for. This happens because the interviewer gave you no direction, focus or guidance as to what he is looking for and you didn’t take the time to ask.
Lee Hecht Harrison a leading outplacement firm simply says to give your elevator speech in response. Another “expert” on Linkedin posted this impotent advice last week. “Start by giving the highlights of your education, review your work history focusing on your accomplishments and end with a statement describing what you are looking for”. On the surface this might seem like moderately sensible advice but actually it is bad advice.
Everybody struggles with the “Tell me about yourself” opening to an interview when in your mind you should be shouting THANK YOU. In the best case the interviewer has just given you a gift. He has handed you an opportunity to set your interview strategy, take control of the interview, learn what is uniquely important to the interviewer and learn how to direct the rest of the interview towards a successful conclusion. If you handle this correctly that is. If you handle it wrong you lose the opportunity and waste everybody’s time. Launching into a presentation is handling it wrong for the reasons given earlier.
An interview is a sales call with the interviewer being your prospect and you being both the sales person and product you’re selling. Any skilled salesperson will tell you that on a sales call you never ask a question unless you already know the answer and you never answer a question unless you already know that your answer is what your prospect wants/needs to hear from you. So if I’m telling you not to launch into a presentation providing what could be useless information what do you do?
You have to find out what the interviewer really wants to hear, what is important to him and what will set you above your competition. Try this response with a smile and a little humor.” I have so much good information to share about myself and my career that I could start talking and not stop for a couple of hours. Since you have more important things to do today than listen to my life’s story, specifically what would you like me to address?” and/or “What skills and abilities are you most interested in hearing about?”and/or “What experiences are most important?”
The answers to these questions will tell you exactly what features you need to sell. You tell the interviewer what he wants to hear about and nothing else. Not only has he told you how to respond to “tell me about yourself” but you now know what skills, abilities and experiences will get you the job if sold effectively during the rest of the interview.
Most “experts” only teach tactics. In today’s market you must also master strategy to get an offer. You just learned some great strategy.
If you are a Right Management, Lee Hecht Harrison or other outplacement firm client, your program is ending and you are not working what are you going to do next?
If your outplacement program is ending and you haven’t landed yet what is your plan or strategy for continuing your search. These firms provide a good service and teach much of what you need to manage an effective search but if you have applied yourself and used everything they taught and have not found a job clearly the program did not work for you and you need a new approach; new ideas and techniques that they don’t or can’t teach.
I have researched everything they teach and there are a number of things taught by LHH that simply don’t work and some very effective techniques and strategies that they do not even try to teach. The reason is that what they teach is governed by the structure of their delivery. By that I mean that outplacement firms can’t teach advanced search methods that require extensive one on one support. The amount of personal support you receive is not determined by your individual need but rather by the contract they negotiated with your former employer. If your employer paid for three meetings with a consultant that is all you get regardless of what you really need. The consultants are trained on how to keep you from taking up to much of their time.
One good example of this is cold call networking. Not only does LHH not teach this very important skill but they actually tell you not to do it. I have taught many clients how to do this and they have found positions they would never have found just calling people they already knew. I can do this because I give as much one on one support as the client needs. You just don’t get this from outplacement.
If you are not working it is not because you are not trying or you are failing but rather you did not get the tools and support you need from outplacement. You should partner with a job search or career consultant who can reinforce everything you have been taught as well as provide education and experience working with job search methods and strategies you have not been taught.
If outplacement failed I will get your search on track by perfecting everything outplacement tried to teach you and helping you master everything they failed to teach.
Starting a little over a month ago I started seeing a disturbing trend. Many people’s Job search activities have been slowing down; fewer meetings, calls, applications & resumes sent, fewer hours put into the work etc... You need to ask yourself if this sounds like you and if so what is causing it.
I think this is happening for a couple of reasons. Summer is vacation time; time for slowing down, family activities, the summer “to do” list and travel. Even people who are unemployed treat the summer this way. The other thing that I think is slowing down intensity is the talk about a pending recovery or a recovery people imagine has already started. Many people assume that if there is a jobs recovery going on there are more jobs available so they do not need to work as hard to find and land them. When people think like this the difficult activities like networking and target penetration slow or stop and they go back to just searching for jobs posted on line and talking to recruiters.
Regardless of the reason a summer slowdown is a big mistake and will add many weeks or months to the length of a job search. When you think about taking some time off or simply slowing down ask yourself what your competition is doing. A job hunter’s number one objective during his search is to be constantly ding things that set him above the competition. Everything he does should babe focused on making himself look better than other available candidates.
What this means is that while others are slowing down you need to speed up. Work harder, faster and smarter than everybody else. Make more calls, talk to more decision makers, set more appointments, dig deep into your targets etc… When your competition slows down it creates new opportunities for you. Take advantage of them. Slowing down because everybody else does is not very smart.
For the sake of this discussion a cold call is a call to a person who you don’t know and who you have not been referred to by someone who will let you use his/her name to break the ice or give you an introduction. It is a call to a stranger who has something you need which in the case of a job search is simply information or a foot in the door.
All experts agree that over the next couple of years 80% of all jobs will be part of the “hidden” job market. Contrary to what recruiters and some large expensive coaching firms will tell you they are not connected to the hidden job market. Recruiters will fill only about 5% of all jobs. The hidden market simply meens that the jobs are not advertised, published on any job boards or company sites and as mentioned not given to recruiting firms. These jobs are filled with candidates known to hiring managers.
How do you access this hidden market? There is only one way; networking. There are two types of networking. One is cold call networking as defined earlier and warm call networking which is calling people you know or people referred to you by people you know seeking advice, leads, direction etc…
Many experts will tell you that cold call networking is just about the least productive method of job hunting available to you, just below spending all your time searching job boards and just above walking up and down the street knocking on employer’s doors. These same people tell you that the most productive job search task is warm call networking, calling people you know. To people who believe this I ask what happens when you run out of buddies or when you want to penetrate a target company but don’t know anybody associated with that company or people who know somebody who is? You have two choices; give up networking or just forget about the target company. Start cold calling.
Every client I have worked with after being on the market for several months had run out of people to call and were just bugging the same people. They were back to job boards and recruiters. After I got them on a well focused and targeted cold call networking plan their activity increased so dramatically they had trouble managing it all. 80% of those clients were working within two months and most of them are working in jobs that started with a cold call. It takes guts, nerve and hard work but if done right cold call networking/marketing can be extremely productive and you never run out of people to call. Read about it, study it, practice it or hire a good networking coach and get back to work. You will make new, valuable connections, find the job you want and learn a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life. On the other hand you could just keep calling friends until they are no longer friends.
Stay tuned for tips on who to call, what to say & ask and how to get good at it without much pain.
The proper close can be the most important part of an interview yet it is the part that most people fail. If it is impressive the last thing you do will be remembered more than any other part of the interview and can make up for lots of mistakes. If you do it correctly you will…
Leave a positive impression, Know what the next step will be for you in the process, know exactly how you did in the interview and know clearly what the interviewer thinks of you, your fit and abilities. Wouldn’t you feel great walking out of the interview with that knowledge?
Here is how most people end an interview; the wrong way.
When the interviewer gives a sign that time is about up and the interview is ending the candidate usually says something like... “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the xxxx position. I appreciate you giving me the time and enjoyed getting to know you and learn more about the company. I am interested in moving to the next step and look forward to hearing from you”. Does that sound familiar? If you end this way you have accomplished nothing other than to say thank you. You do not know how you did what the interviewer’s opinion of you is or what the next step will be. If there will be one. You also have no idea how long you will need to wait for the result.
Here is the correct way to end the interview.
When the interviewer gives a sign that time is about up and the interview is ending the candidate usually says something like... “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the xxxx position. I appreciate you giving me the time and enjoyed getting to know you and learn more about the company. Based on our conversation I believe it is an outstanding opportunity for me and that my skills, abilities and experience make me uniquely qualified to do an excellent job for you. You told me that the most important criteria for selecting the ideal candidate were the ability to get the best performance from the staff in high stress situations , ( pick a couple more criteria ) “While at ABC company my staff over achieved all goals despite new competitors in the market who were very aggressive and less expensive.” (give similar examples for other criteria) “Based on these results I believe my experience makes me an ideal candidate. What are your thoughts?” If he agrees with you, ask what will be the next step for you and when will it take place.
If the interviewer does not immediately agree, stalls, hesitates or puts you off with “I need to review my notes, talk to my boss etc…It means he has doubts and does not share your enthusiasm. You need to deal with his concerns now. You probably will not get another chance. You say “it sounds like you may have a doubt or concern. What are you unsure about? Is there any reason why you do not think I would be an ideal candidate? Other possible questions…”Can you think of any elements of the job that I would struggle with?”Based on our interview today will you be recommending that I move to the next step? Assuming everything goes well when do you think you will want me to start?
This is a very difficult way to end the interview. You may feel that it is too pushy, but you really have no choice and you really have nothing to lose. In today’s market there are multiple “perfect” candidates for every job. Employers do not hire a candidate if they have the slightest doubt or concern so if the interviewer does not respond to you very positively and is not willing to tell you that he will moving you to or recommending that you move to the next step, you have already lost so you have no option but to uncover his concerns and try to overcome them. Remember employers hire the confident and committed not the timid.
This applies to larger companies with an HR department or anytime the response goes to recruiting. When you apply for a position on line you have two choices as to how you do it.
Choice one is to follow the instructions and this choice does not work unless you are a clear, 100% perfect match on paper. Even then it is the slowest way to apply. When you follow the instructions you are to fill in all the information including compensation requirements then click submit or email to a specific person or department. There is usually a note that says ”no calls please”. Your application will go to the lowest person on the decision making pole who is most likely a recruiter/screener who knows very little about the job. This recruiter is instructed to match very specific requirements to your resume/application. The recruiter is not qualified or permitted to make exceptions. If you do not match all of the requirements or they are not clearly spelled out on your application you are rejected. The question, do you have the skills and abilities to do the job is not considered. Add to this that your application goes on the same pile as the other 500 candidates and you can see why this is not a candidate friendly process.
Choice two is to first follow the rules so that nobody brands you as someone who can’t follow directions. Then apply a second time but this time you apply directly to the hiring manager or to the most senior decision maker in your functional area that you can find. There are many places where you can find this person including LinkedIn and Zoominfo.com. Send your resume and a well written cover letter that addresses with specific examples and proof sources why even though you may be missing a requirement, you are qualified to do the job. Wait 24 hours and follow up with a phone call. Leave a message that says you applied through normal channels but you wanted to introduce yourself. Briefly include in your message what you said in your letter. Even if you do not get a returned call your action will put you a notch above your competition.
1) NEVER send your resume until you talk by phone with the recruiter you will work with. If a posting ask you to send a resume and only gives an email with no other contact info find another recruiter (see #2)
2) Only work with the recruiter who is working directly with the employer. Many recruiters buy list of jobs and split the fee with the firm who works with the employer. They have limited knowledge of the company, job and hiring manager. When you call ask to talk to the recruiter who dealt with the employer. If they are working a split and not working with the employer Google the title and location or a couple of sentences of the posting. You should find the recruiter who originally took the assignment. You may even find the employer.
3) Never allow a recruiter to send your resume to a client without telling you who it is being sent to, getting your permission and getting a detailed job description.. Ask for this in writing or send your resume as a PDF with “NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION” printed on it. You can send one for distribution when they tell you who will receive it.
4) Insist on talking to and working with a veteran recruiter who has extensive experience in your career area. Five years experience with three years at his/her current firm is a good guideline. A recruiter who is a job hopper is a failure.
5) If a recruiter only spends 10-15 minutes with you and wants to refer you to his client find another recruiter. This is a clear indication of poor quality work