Category Archives: job search strategies

…reading and believing your own press clippings

Dan hasn’t looked for a job for 15 years. He’s been with the same firm for that period of time and has risen rather rapidly through the ranks. Along the way, his company gave him all kinds of kudos and recognition and continually told him how great a contribution he made, how wonderful he was and how they couldn’t do without him, blah, blah, blah.

It is true that his performance was excellent and that he had been promoted a number of times. He always had all kinds of people in the company and outside the company telling him how wonderful he was. He reached the level of Regional VP and all of these accolades started going to his head. The first blow to his ego was that he didn’t get as big a raise as he thought he should. The second, and biggest blow, came from the fact that he lost a promotion to one of his peers that he was certain he was going to get. The selection committee wasn’t courteous enough to tell him why he didn’t get promoted, but he felt like his meteoric rise was now slowed, if not stymied. “After all,” he thought (and what he told us) “… I’ve given sweat and blood to this company. I got an MBA. I’ve had fantastic reviews. Everybody tells me I’m wonderful and the company could not get along without me and that other companies would feel very lucky to have me.” (My sense is he imagined this last part more than someone telling him that.)

His family didn’t help either. His father, upon hearing the story of Dan’s plight, agreed that Dan deserved the promotion and that the company wasn’t appreciating him. Dan’s wife totally agreed and kept telling him that he should quit because there were boatloads of organizations that would love to find talent like his.

So, Dan quit. That was six months ago and Dan is still looking for a job. He had absolutely no idea how difficult it would be to find a job. Dan was believing his own press clippings. He thought that since his company thought he was so wonderful and his family just knew he could not only replace his job but find a better one, all he had to do was quit and go look for one.

Dan was saying a lot of what we hear from people all the time, “Every company needs really good people…( especially like me).” They each quit their job thinking that companies are simply going to fall down in front of them to get them on board. They do no research on how many jobs like they’ve been doing exist and what their probability might be of getting a job like that even if they could find the opening. Dan even made the comment that his professors in his graduate program were certain, that with an MBA from their school, he should have no problem finding a new job. Of course, they have absolutely no idea what the job market might be like for what Dan does either. (That’s why they are in academia. Besides, that’s what they’re supposed to tell students who just paid $100,000 to get an MBA from their school.)

Dan had a few interviews, but they were more courtesy interviews from friends, colleagues, etc. He is shocked, depressed and demoralized that he hasn’t easily found a job. The problem Dan has run into is very common. He had absolutely no idea what the market might bear for his experience or background. Just because he had all of these people, his company, his family, his professors etc. telling him how wonderful he was didn’t mean that he was going to find a job. The majority of jobs like Dan is looking for are promoted into from within. It’s rare for companies to hire someone like Dan off the street. It has nothing to do with his ability or his performance. It has to do with the availability or should we say, lack of availability of the kind of job he has done.

The lesson is, don’t believe your own press clippings. Just because all of the people you work with tell you how wonderful you are doesn’t mean that people are going to immediately hire you. Do some “market testing” and find out how easy it’s going to be to find a job. Don’t think that just because you’re so damn good and everybody just knows it, that somebody’s going to instantly hire you.

Dan is now considering going back to work for his old company. He’s going to have to take a position that is one or two levels below where he was before. He’s not sure what he will do. Our recommendation is that he swallow his pride and go back to his old company.  Now, if he wants to look for a job while he’s got one, that’s probably the better idea. Right now, he needs to get back to work.

Don’t believe your own press clippings.

 

 

…but i called ‘em once

so how often should you call a perspective employer after you have interviewed?

until you get ‘em… well, for the most part..

i recommend calling often and not giving up until you get a call back…for at least 10, maybe 12 calls…

most people think, “well, i called ‘em..they need to call me back..”…well, they aren’t gonna call you back most of the time…the are busy and hiring wasn’t as high on their priority list as they said it was..

so you think, “well, i don’t want to make ‘em mad…bug ‘em”..etc. ..well, i ask, “what do you have now?”…nada, zip, nothing…

if you leave a message that you are calling to express your interest in their opportunity and the message is friendly and to the point, you might be suprised at getting called back..

now, after 10 or 12 calls and no email or call back, i’d probably figure the employer moved on somone else..

no big deal..just an “event”…time to move on…

be bold, courageous…keep calling..

…terry mcdonald got a job

…terry…the last guy i worked with on the dr.phil show…see the video on the blog pages…well, he got a job on friday…nine months almost to the day after being out of work..

terry kept trying…went after everything that moved…kept interviewing and inteviwing..setback after setback…but he kept trying …

he simply followed the instructions in the Job Search Solution Program….and kept doing what he needed to do and got a job…OK, less money than he was making a few years ago…but he go a job..

lesson: …it’s out there…the job you need..you need to keep trying and trying and trying…but it’s there

don’t quit…don’t ever quit…

…keeping a journal

really a good idea to keep a journal about your daily activities and how they went…

the writing is great catharsis for your soul …and it is great to be able to go back and see what went on last week…ten years ago…

doesn’t have to be much every day, but it helps one be clear about what is going on

…scared

i am continually suprised at how simply afraid people get when they have to find a job…

terry mcdonald…the guy in california that i am helping from the dr.phil show, lost his job in january of ’09..until we were on that show…april…he had only 3 interviews…only three

i asked him about the circumstances and he admitted that it was simply fear…just didn’t know what to do…so much anxiety…

we have him on track now…simply taking massive action..but fear is a very difficult emotion

…changing the titles on your resume

the titles of  “account manager…regional manager…vice president…director..” and we can go on…can all be misleading..

can’t tell you the number of times that one of my candidates is passed up for an interview because the hiring authority misjudges their duties and responsiblities because of the candidate’s title…

any time the word “manager” is in the title you run the risk of being overlooked as an individual contributor because, after all, you have been “managing” other people…

lesson: don’t hesitate to change the titles on your resume if they are not very clear as to what you have done…

don’t give me that, “well, tony, that was (is) my title and i can’t help it if it keeps me from getting an interview”… unless, of course, you don’t want to get many interviews…

i’m not saying to lie..i am saying to make sure the titles on your resume help you get the interviews you need…

..quit rewriting your resume so much

some of my candidates keep rewriting their resume as though they think the think really gets read.

look…the average resume gets read in 10 seconds…the reader wants to know who you worked for..do they know who you worked for…how long you were there and how you performed..

your resume is suppose to get you an interview…not get you hired..sooooo, write a chronological resume …NEVER ANY OTHER KIND BUT CHRONOLOGICAL…make it clear who you worked for, what you did and how successful you were…

quit thinking the resume is going to get you hired…get on the phone and get an interview for yourself…that will get you a job..

….what to expect from your recruiter

most people don’t know what to expect from a recruiter…they will act like they do because the don’t want to appear ignorant…

there are at least 9 or 10 different types of recruiters and they  often function very differently…retained search folks, contingency recruiters, “placers,” internal corporate recruiters…all work quite differently..

often when potential candidates contact or are contacted by a recruiter their expectations are not met because the recruiter failed to set them and the candidate didn’t ask…

read the article on the Babich web site that discusses the different types of rercruiters…those of us with lots of experience always try to expain what we expect from our candidates and what our candidates should expect from us

the imporant lesson is to be sure you aks, “what can i expect from you?”…that way, you won’t be disappointed

…stories

one of the most powerful strategies you can develope in the interviewing process is to be able to tell stories about yourself that prove you are a good employee  and that you will be an assett to any organization..

stories tell…they are more than enertainment, they train us in the art of being human…stories remove the listener’s immediate prejudices to you as a person and get them to focus on what you are talking about…

so, as you develope the presentation portion of your interview, make sure you tell stories that demonstrate your advaqntages and benefits..

keep the stories short and to the point…they will make a difference in how you are received

…a little thing you never thought of

your voice mail on your cell phone….make sure is says somethng like, “this is (your name) leave a message and i will return your call.”

why?…well, when people calling you hear a simple number like “214-823-9999…leave a message at the tone” they don’t know for sure if it is your cell phone…and many people ..especially potential employers…are reluctant to leave a message on a voice mail this way…

three years from now, one of those hiring authorities may pull your resume out of the file and try to call you..they won’t know if you still have that number or not…if they get simply “214-xxx-yyyy ..leave a message” they won’t do it

sooooo, record your name on your voice mail…you are missing some great calls