…don’t assume anything until you interview

candidate last monday says, “oh, i know them..i wouldn’t work there…they are blah, blah, blah”

i convinced him to go on the interview..he got the offer today and starts at the company on monday..

when i was much younger and much less experienced in this profession, i believed candidates when they said something like this…i figured they ought to know..especially when it is a competitor…

well, they don’t …my candidate had no idea what he was talking about…he “checked” the company out with friends of friends of friends of friends..who didn’t know what they were talking about…

companies change more rapidly than ever…going by what someone else says or thinks isn’t smart…

make your own judgement about a job and a company…interview anywhere you can, with anyone reasonable…you have nothing until you have an offer..

if you don’t like the opprtunity or the company after you interview…for whatever reason,  you can drop out of contention..

and as long as we are at it…interview as well as you can, even if you don’t think you will want the job or the company…sell yourself as hard as possible…you need a job or need to change jobs…don’t let your preconceptions get in your way…you really don’t know as much as you think you do ..get in the habit of getting offers…

….shock and awe

i spoke to a candidate of mine today who i have placed twice over the last 15 years…he lost his job, his company went broke seven months ago…he has never been out of work this long…he has always had an easy time finding a job…in fact, in the mid 90’s i got him three offers within one week..

things have changed…he was actually mad and frustrated at me because, “after all the money i have made you, you have only gotten me three interviews…”

i had to remind him that this isn’t whataburger, you can’t always “have it your way”…this market is very, very tight and just because it was easier to find a job a few years ago..it isn’t now…and frankly we were fortunate to have had the three interviews ..(which he didn’t do well on)

and it had nothing to do with his dazzling brilliance…there aren’t as many opportunities for his skills as there was and he can’t do much about that…

i didn’t rub it in, because his life is rough enough…but he didn’t listen well in the begining of his search when i tried to explain that the market was very difficult…

he dismissed the instructions i gave him about interviewing…tried to get him to review www.thejobsearchsolution.com …especially about interviewing…he tought that since he had made $250,000 to $300,000 selling software, he didn’t have to worry about how to interview…

he was condecending during two of those interviews because he thought he was better than the jobs….now he wishes he had the oppotunities back…he blew the other by going in explaining what “he wanted”…instead of what he could do for the potential employer..

the  lessons: this market is very tight…you will be shocked by it sooner or later…take nothing for granted…get lots of interviews…sell yourself really hard…be prepared for a long job search…

…seven years later

might have metioned it before, but i presented a candidate to an employer…they really liked each other…the deal didn’t work out at the time…

the candidate was smart and kept in the touch with the employer…the employer liked the guy…they did have a more than normal appreciation for each other, but nothing spectacular…

every once in a while, the candidate would call the employer…they would go to lunch..

the employer eventually hired the candidate…seven years after they first met…the employer had changed companies twice and the candidate three times..

lesson: never burn a bridge…be nice to everyone..what goes around comes around

…mentors

it has been a rage for a number of years to give people advice to find mentors..i.e. people that are authorities… wise, trusted teachers… and seek their opinions about all kinds of things..

many candidates, over the years, have decided about an offer or even an interview by seeking the advise of their mentor…i have even known some candidates to think they have two or three mentors…maybe they do..

the problem with most mentors is that they don’t really know enough about most jobs, careers, etc. to an authority or even have an educated opinion about many issues like this..

they are usually friends, parents of friends or associates that may know their own expertise very well, but they are hardly mentors…they maybe trusted…and wise about what they know…but beyond that, their opinions aren’t much better than anyone else’s

here is the lesson…before you take action based on the information of a presumed “mentor”…make sure they are knowledgable about the subject you are asking about..

i can’t tell you the number of times candidates have sought information from mentors who really aren’t…maybe trusted, but far from wise..they were knowledgable in their own expertise, but really ignorant about other things… 

most people love to give opinions…especially about things they know nothing about…

so, if you are going to seek advice from a mentor, make sure they are really wise..

one clue…they aren’t uncomfortable with saying, “i don’t know”…especially when they don’t…in fact, they say that more often than not

….career coaches…personal marketing experts

there are few things really tick me off..i can deal with most stuff…people tell me what they think they want me to hear (..i.e. lie)…or simply don’t even call when they say they will… say they need a job, then drop out of site…or the need to hire someone, claim it is a high priority…then i never hear from them again….

it ain’t right…but it’s OK..people are gonna be people

however…career coaches…not all of them…but most of them really tick me off…yesterday, in a sydicated column that went to millions of people, one of these folks wrote the biggest bunch of junk i have seen since hearing about swamp land in arizona…

this author writes:..”now is a perfect time to search your soul, …become a fearless (career changing) fish out of water… finding your dream job, entering a new industry…

“go fish for the real you…use your difference as a lure…find fish like you…swim in their ocean, but swim your way…put yourself on the line..evolve by casting a wide net…reel in your unique power…”

CRAP…all of it…titled the thing “To land the job, develop your desirability”….that’s it…just be desireable…

this is sooooooo misleading…even deceitful..

unless a career coach has actually found people jobs…i.e. you can talk to previous clients of their’s that, as a result of the advice they received, got a job…run from them..

#1. This is not dating…it is a job search..

#2. You are going to get hired based on your ability to make a company better by performing a job better than anyone else

#3 You have to prove you can perform the work..just cause you dream you’d like to play ball on the same team as LaBron, doesn’t mean you will

the problem i have with this stuff is that most career coaches give people the idea that they can be anything they want to if they “dream…work hard…blah, blah” regardless of their talent or ablity or the market demand..

we get candidates weekly that tell us the “want” a job that is so far beyond their skills and ablity but think they can get it because some “coach” convinced them they could find it

cut it out…this market is tight…why would an employer take a chance on an unproven candidate when there are hoards of candidates with strong, specific track records available???

sooooo “desirability”…doesn’t have as much to do with your getting a job as your “ability”…don’t pay people to kid you

the further away you venture from what you can prove you can do in a job search, the greater the risk a hiring manager is going to take…they don’t need to take many risks in this market…

take the money you are going to give a career coach and give it to charity…you’ll get a much greater return

this advise stinks like very old fish…

…why don’t people follow the instructions

it is sooooooooo simple…

my candidate asked, when interviewing with two of the sales people

that were part of the interviewing process: “are you going to recommend to the president that he hire me?”

they said: “..well, it is really not my decision..”

he said (and this is great): “i’m not buying that…you are part of the decision making process or you wouldn’t be interviewing me….they obviously think highly of your opinion…

what attracts me to this company is that you all are a close knit group… you rely on one another…you seem to watch each other’s back…i really like that and want to be a part of it…

..now, are you going to tell the president to hre me?”

he had to ask one of sales people this question twice…but he got the answer he wanted…”yes…i will recommend you..”

when he was interviewing with the v.p…he asked the v.p. five times if he would recommend him…the v.p. finally said, “you really want this job, don’t you?”…”you have my vote!”

what is funny/sad…whatever, i try to teach every candidate i get past first base to do this and they don’t..

the highest compliment a teacher can get is a student who executes the plays the way they are drawn up…go figure …

..why don’t people follow the instructions?????

 

…social networks

will social networks help get you a job???…too early to tell

it is the rage..plaxo, linkedin, facebook…and now twitter??? ..folks publishing books on how these things will find you a job…oh, brother..

i’m old enough to remember when the fax machine was gonna revolutionize the world..(i placed a sale guy with burroughs one time who was  hire to sell fax machines…for $100,000 a machine…)

and the world was gonna go “paperless” with the advent of the internet…and we use more paper than we ever have..

hey, look..i’m in  the trenches every day helpng people find jobs..one person at a time..i really don’t have time to care if you twitter me that you have to go to the bathroom…and neither do our clients or your future employer..in fact, it may get quite annoying

but, if any of these things help you get face-to-face interviews…have at it..but don’t hold your breath and think that they are going to revolutionize your job search..or above all, make you a better candiadate..

one of these books about getting hired via the internet never even mentioned being interviewed or how to do it…

don’t be suprised if all these things go the way of the job boards…simply so much information it is overwhelming…

again, use this stuff if it helps you feel good or helps you get an interview…but don’t expect it to be the “answer”

….”internet your way to a job!”

OK…the latest craze…twitter, linkedin, facebook, plaxo your way into your new job…wellllllll, maybe…

they are simply tools to get interviews…don’t be lead to believe that they are going to revolutionize your job search..

the three new books i just read on internetting your way to a new job don’t even address how to interview  or how to sell yourself…they sell the idea that by using the net you can miraculously have a job fall in your lap..

oh, yea…here we go…a video resume…i don’t think it will help you at all…it is worse than a video conference interview… it will give an employer too many reasons to eliminate you… too one dimensional…like your picture on your resume ..

don’t buy it…look at the revolutionary internet stuff on other folks…see what you think…

twitter…i could be wrong, but what kind of busy, hard working candidate or employer has time to “follow” other folks around all day…

some of this stuff is just too social…might be great to find a date…but not a job..

hey, if they get you  an interview..OK…but don’t think it is going to make looking for a job any easier…

…your picture on your resume

this has been a bit of a “thing” lately…DON’T DO THIS…DO NOT PUT YOUR MUG ON YOUR RESUME.. you are not trying to get a date…you don’t look anywhere near as good in a picture as you think you do…i don’t care what you or your spouce or friends think…

in fact, it is just another reason for someone not to like you 

the resume should communicate, “here is why you should interview me”….your picture doesn’t help that..

…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