Category Archives: job search strategies

…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 

…till your butt’s in the chair

two weeks ago, one of our candidates got a verbal job offer…$150,000 plus commissions, etc…start date, end of november..maybe december…maybe the first of the year (..almost 3 months away)

i said, “that’s really strange….doesn’t make sense…” …i told him not to trust it…he should keep looking and not stop..he marginally agreed…but he was convinced he had found a job

friday, they call him and tell him the position has been put on hold..we feel so badly for him but there is nothing anyone can do.

lesson: don’t count on anything in this job market…until your butt’s in the chair (…and even then) …don’t stop looking for a good opportunity… keep interviewing…even if you get a written offer…once you start a job…and have been there a while, then shut the process down..

…the long distance job search

we get a number of calls every day from folks trying to find a job here in dallas from some distant city…it is so hard to explain that unless you are in a very narrow, well defined profession where there a many job opportunities, trying to find a job when you aren’t here is virtually impossible..

what folks don’t realize is that there are lots and lots of people already living here that are competing for those jobs…and if an employer can hire someone already here, they simply eliminate the risk of the candidate not being able, for any reason, to move here after they are hired…

now, if you are an accountant, engineer, or IT professional, you may be able to come to town and stay for a while and find a job before you move..

but if you are gainfully employed and are not in the rare class of candidates that can get hired almost immediately, the idea that you might come to town for one or two interviews, then come back for subsequent interviews..and then do it again if the first opportunity doesn’t work out…simply isn’t practical

even coming to town for a week or two, expecting to land a new job is unrealistic…short of a miracle, finding a job that quickly isn’t likely

…an offer in hand

got a letter from one of our readers…seems he is getting a job offer in the next day or two from a company and is expecting another one from another company on the 15th…he wanted to know how to stall a decision with the first company so he can compare it with the offer of the second…he asked our advice…so, here it is..

don’t even try this…30% of the time a company says they are “going to make a offer”…they don’t…they think they are gonna, but they don’t…

if you have an offer in hand..call the second company and ask them if they can move faster…if they can’t, make a decision on the first offer regardless of how the second one might appear…a bird in the hand is always best..

if you postpone the first offer any longer than a day or two, they will inevitably think you are “shopping” their offer and will often rescind the offer and go to the next candidate…

in this economy, you can only count on the offer you have in your hand… don’t believe anyone that tells you they are going to make you an offer until they do..

…informational interviews

so much has been written and spoken about these over the years…save your breath, time and trouble..

no employer in today’s market…who is worth talking to, has time to give you an “informational” interview…now if it is your uncle, or your dad’s best friend…maybe…

but don’t call someone and ask for an informational interview..you are either looking for a job or not…and if you are..talk to people that might have one…ask for a job…not information…how wimpy!

…”well, my severance is about to run out”

…hello! …wake up! what employer is going to want to hire a candidate that says that the reason he started looking for a job is that his severance is about to run out…

..on top of that, the candidate put off looking for a job for four months, and in the next two months his severance will end, and so he has decided to look for a job…

THINK THIS: “How does what I say appear to a perspective employer? Do I come across as a hard working, determined employee who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done?”

don’t play not to lose..play to win

our candidate made it to the finals…after four interviews, he made it to the last two interviews…

he is a dynamic guy…aggressive, assertive, bright, witty and really knew how to sell himself…he had a great track record..frankly, he was perfect for the job..

but as he got closer to the final interviews, he started thinking about how well he was doing in the process and then started thinking…”i’m doing so well…better not screw up!”

so, instead of interviewing the same way he did to get to the finals, he toned down, didn’t want to take any chances, quit being aggressive, assertive, bright, witty and, unfortunately quit selling himself….he was afraid to loose..

well, he didn’t get hired…

lesson…dance with what ‘brung ya…keep doing what you did to get where you are…don’t alter your interviewing style when you get to the finals…

goatees and beards

i know that many will say that i ain’t “with it” or an old fuddy-duddy…BUT…men (..women too, i guess) who grow or keep goatees and beards while job searching, should rethink the decision..

employers are prone to ..even subconsciously..question a candidate’s viability if the candidate is wearing a goatee or beard more than those that are clean shaven..

don’t ask me why…and you can claim all you want that it isn’t fair …but there is a tendency to think that people are covering up “something” when they grow at goatee or beard

and the truth is, they are…they are covering up…. their face..

studies have shown that there is a slightly subconscious, distrustful, negative feeling toward candidates with goatees or beards…it is very subtle, but nonetheless, there…and, as a candidate, you simply don’t need even a subtle negative feeling toward you

it doesn’t matter if your wife, girl friend, mother, etc. think you look great with a beard…unless they want to hire you, get rid of any facial hair during your interviewing process..

you can always grow it back after you find a job…

thoughts on references

lately..and these things come in streaks..we have had a “rash” of lessons as a result of references for our candidates that have caused problems or cost the candidate the job..

over the next few blogs, we are going to discuss them..

last week, one of our candidates gave a previous peer as a reference…when the hiring authority checked this reference, the reference giver said that he had not worked with the candidate in over a year…!!!

the candidate had told the hiring authority that he had left his last job last month…so the hiring authority jumped to the conclusion that the candidate was lying about when he left his last job…

we eventually cleared the misunderstanding up…it was true that the reference hadn’t worked with the candidate in more than a year…because the reference was moved to a different department of the company…the employer didn’t hear that, because the reference didn’t make it clear..

remember, hiring authorities are afraid of making a mistake…they will be fearful of the smallest issue or misunderstanding..

make sure your references are “reading from the same page”.,.it took a whole day of calls to other people that worked with our candidate to clear this up…

call your references before they are called by the hiring authority…share with them what the hiring authority is going to want to know…