Tuesday, October 25, 2016

5 Reasons ATS will reject your resume

Do you ever ask yourself why your job application got rejected? Are you frustrated by not even receiving a response? You may have thought you were the "perfect" candidate.

There is a lot of information about the causes of ATS rejection and non-response. Some of it is correct and some of it is conjecture passed on to you with good intentions but without a real understanding how ATS extracts information from your resume. The following are the key reasons for either rejection or non-response to your application.

Qualification. Many times applicants are simply not qualified. And sometimes qualified candidates get rejected for the wrong reasons. The written content may be right-on, but the document may contain attributes that ATS cannot handle.

Key words. Sometimes people ignore using key words "exactly as written" in job descriptions. Or they fail to use them in context in other parts of their resume. ATS checks to see if you have have the right keywords and that you demonstrate you understand them by using them in context.

ATS parsers. ATS parsers extract information from your resume. If you pass scrutiny it presents the information to HR for review in one common format for all candidates.  But ATS cannot extract text located inside graphics. This is important because we all use shortcut tools provided by word processing software to make document creation easier to do.

However, shortcut tools typically introduce graphic boxes into the document for us to type information into. And we don't even realize what's happening. All we know is it looks good and is easy to do.  Borders, headers, footers, tables, charts and text boxes are typical examples. 

For instance, if you put your name and contact information in a header, ATS cannot read it and will not know who you are or how to contact you. If skills or other information is listed in a table, ATS will not know it is there. If you put an outside border around your resume, nothing will be read. These are common things that cause rejection or non-response.

Columns. Some people use text columns or tables to format a resume. ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time. This jumbles columnar information into sentences that make no sense.

For instance if I were to write this:
Some people use text columns or tables to format a resume.
ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time.

ATS would read this:
Some people use text ATS parsing software reads columns or tables to format a data across the full page, resume. one line at a time.

PDF files. Although some providers claim they can read ATS files, most cannot. What they fail to say is "converted PDF file" variants. There are two basic types of PDF files, Native and Scanned. And there are many variants. How are you to know if your file is a converted PDF file? And how are you to know if your resume will be scrutinized by an ATS that is capable of reading "converted" PDF files? The only safe thing to do is not to submit your resume as a PDF file. Submit only Word *.doc or plain text *.txt files.

The takeaway is this. Maximize your job application success by making sure you are qualified before you apply. Use keywords exactly as written in job descriptions. Do not use word processing creation tools. And use txt or doc files to apply online.

If you like this post, please share it in your feed. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help.  And follow me on LinkedIn or visit bit.ly/1TEqj93 to get a free review of your resume. Thanks! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

6 things you can do to avoid being rejected when you apply for a job

Do you fit the job like a cat in a box? Are a lot of your job applications being rejected? Maybe there are some things you can do to fix the problem.

People tell me it happens a lot even though they rewrite their resume many times. Very often they don't even get a response. Many times they have paid a professional resume writer and still get rejected. There are many reasons applicants get rejected or don't get any feedback.

Sometimes the job has been filled or cancelled and the posting has not been updated.

Some companies simply are rude. While it is a fact that companies are overwhelmed by the volume of applicants, that should not be a reason for failing to respond to you. Some companies seem not to care. Some recruiters are overworked or apathetic regarding responding to you. It makes you wonder if you'd want to work there.

Or your resume may not be compatible with the Applicant Tracking System software the company uses. You may not even realize you are introducing problems for the ATS extraction process as you create your resume.

And you may not be qualified despite feeling you are great fit. Most people don't fit every one of the "requirements" stated in a job description. It could be that the one thing you don't fit is key. It's also possible there is a requirement that has not been documented in the job posting or the requirements have changed but the job description has not.

Here are some suggestions of things you can do to improve your chances of getting an interview.

  • Above all else, don’t camp on job boards and don't apply to everything that looks remotely warm. Yes, it is the easiest way to job search. It is also the least effective way. It leads to frustration and extends your search. There are far more productive ways of spending your valuable time.
  • Target companies and jobs you know you are qualified for. If it's a stretch you are probably wasting your time. There are probably others for which it is not a stretch.  
  • Tune your resume to each job you apply for. One resume does not fit all. Don't broadcast yours to everyone hoping it will "stick to the wall".
  • When you identify an opportunity, make voice contact directly with the hiring manager in an informal manner. Establish rapport and learn what problems need to be solved. The real needs may not be described in the job posting. Once you understand the key problems and have had a chance to talk about how you can fix them, then it's time to edit your resume and cover letter to be responsive to those needs. Do this before you apply.
  • Spend some time learning how to identify who the hiring managers are. There are many ways of doing this. One good one is to get introduced by current employees of your target company. Learn how to find them. Alternatively, cold call if necessary. And there are more ways. Get help if you need it. Learn how to use the many resources available to you.
  • Learn how to write scripts for your calls if you don't already know how. You need one for getting past the gatekeepers and one for engaging the hiring manager. Get help with what to say and not to say. Spend plenty of role playing time practicing your scripts. Make your mistakes during role playing when it doesn't count and learn from your mistakes before you start calling.
  • Make sure your resume is compatible with ATS. If you need to, get competent professional resume writing help from people who understand what causes ATS parsing software to abort some resumes. A simple test to see if a resume writer can help you is to ask for examples of what specific things they will do to make your resume ATS-compatible. Having the right keywords is critical, but only part of the solution. Ask for specific examples that go beyond just  keywords. The real test is to ask if they will guarantee your resume will not be rejected by ATS because of documentation incompatibility issues. If they hesitate on any answers or don't understand what you are asking, pass. 

Do you have any comments or questions?  

If you like this post, please share it in your feed and follow me on LinkedIn or visit bit.ly/1TEqj93. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help. Thanks! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why I Love Cold-Calling Hiring Managers

Successful job hunters find out what problems a hiring manager need to fix and sell their experience and skills at solving those problems. Cold-calling hiring managers is a good way of making voice contact to find out what his or her specific problems are. Cold-calling is not the only way, but it is a proven, effective way.

It's a given some people have greater ability to engage in cold-calling than others. But many people who were never trained in the skills, such as myself, have learned through good coaching and lots of practice. Cold-calling requires preparation, skills development, the right mental attitude, and the commitment to try. Many job candidates have gained employment simply by learning cold-calling skills.

What I like about cold-calling is this:

It Works – It establishes rapport with the hiring manager. It enables identification of the hiring manager's specific needs and an opportunity to showcase how you can help. It generates interest in you.

It Enables You to Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter – Armed with the reasons why the job is open enables editing your resume to be responsive to the hiring managers' hot buttons. It also makes writing your cover letter a walk in the park.

It Differentiates You – Cold-calling demonstrates you are willing to do what others won’t. You are different from the others. Differentiation is what creates competitive advantage.

It Trains You for Interviewing – Skills learned in cold-calling have huge benefits for interviewing. You learn to be quick on your feet and maintain composure under stress. Nothing sharpens communication skills like cold calling!

It Builds Confidence – Rejection to cold-calling is not uncommon and should not be taken personally. What you learn from rejection is how to become better at cold-calling and interviewing.

It Builds Your Network – Networking is critically important. We’ve all heard the cliché “It’s who you know”. I prefer "It's who needs to know you". You won't find out without networking.

It Identifies Hidden Jobs – Cold-calling is useful for identifying unadvertised opportunities. Some people identify a company they would like to work for without even knowing if a good job exists. They use cold-calling to identify needs and generate a hiring manager’s interest. Sometimes that exposes hidden jobs.

It Enables Follow-Up Opportunities – Cold calling creates follow-up opportunities. Sometimes now is not the right time, but sometime in the future may be.

It Trains You for Warm Calling. - The same skills are also valuable when calling a hiring manager you were referred to.

If your job search is not getting you anywhere and you are looking for alternatives ways of searching, seriously consider cold-calling. Be willing to learn and practice alternatives to camping on job boards. Don't think of cold-calling as a hard sell technique. Hard selling is likely to create a negative reaction. Making calls in an informal, informative manner breeds success. Handled correctly even the most adamantly opposed managers can be won over. Learning and practicing develops confidence and success.

If you like this post, please share it in your feed and follow me on LinkedIn. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help. Thanks!

Visit bit.ly/1TEqj93 and send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE analysis Today!

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to get past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Most people tell me applying for a job online is beyond frustrating.

First you get asked to fill out a long list of questions. Many of the answers are already on your resume so why are you being asked?

Then there may be confusing directions about how to submit your resume. They may ask you to cut and paste your resume into a particular place. They may say they want an ASCII resume. What's that? (ASCII is a character coding standard all computers use to translate text and other characters into binary data that computers can read.)

They may simply ask you to upload your resume or attach it to an email. What about your cover letter? What do you do with that? And after you've run through this gauntlet you may not get a response.

A company's decision to use ATS software on the front end of the hiring process is the reason for most of these problems. That long list of questions is the tell-tale sign the company is using ATS software to pre-screen applicants. Companies that use ATS give you the 'privilege' of performing that task for them. It's called replacing the cost of people with automation. And if you don't answer all the questions your application might not be considered.

No amount of trickery will get you past this cumbersome process. But there are things you can do to be one of the lucky ones who gets a call from HR. Just follow these guidelines:

1. Don't submit a fancy resume. Keep it simple, no graphics, no fancy fonts, no fancy formatting. ATS systems do not have eyes. They cannot see what humans see. You can create a fancy version of your resume to hand out to humans at interviews or when networking but don't apply for a job with it.

2. Focus on your accomplishments and the results of your work, particularly those things that are relevant to what the hiring manager needs. Quantify your results as often as possible. Numbers attract attention.

3. Save your resume as a Word (doc) file. Also save it as a plain text file (txt). An ASCII file is the same as a txt file. Yes, txt files are butt-ugly, but computers are blind. Submit your resume as either a doc or txt file. All ATS systems can read these two. Computers and ATS actually prefer a text file. Saving your resume as a txt file removes all formatting which ATS likes.

Some people will tell you to submit PDF files, arguing that they can protect the file from editing, by a recruiter for instance. The fact is every PDF file can be edited, protected or not. One just needs to know how. They will tell you ATS can also read PDF files, but don't count on it. Most ATS software cannot read PDF's.

4. Watch out for spelling and grammar errors. Usually ATS will check spelling at the very least. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to resumes. You could get rejected for spelling errors.

5. And there's more to consider, specifically document attributes. A document attribute can be a feature, like a bullet, a header or footer, a table, a text box, a line, color, shading, etc. It could also be a formatting or organizing feature. Many attributes will cause major problems with ATS. Generally speaking, if your word processor provides you with a tool that makes document creation easy, don't use it because it will invariably introduce an attribute that cannot be read by ATS, or will be read correctly. Find a work-around for simplification tools, for example use tabs instead of tables. Using tabs and getting everything lined up like a nice table can be difficult, which is why word processors provide you with tools to make it easy.

6. Organize your resume the way ATS wants to see it. As mentioned above, simplicity is best. ATS will be looking for sections from which it can extract information, for instance Summary, Skills, Experience, and Education. It's advisable not to use variations of these. If you held more than one position with a company, restate the company name and dates above each position held.

If you choose to apply online, these suggestions will help you get through the ATS screen. By the way, often ATS will place the information it extracts from your resume in its own formatted document. This document is what will be submitted to HR for human review, not your actual resume. The reason is so that all candidates can be compared in a common format. Of course HR can pull up your resume as you submitted it if they choose to.   

There is an alternative approach to applying online to consider. That is making voice contact with the hiring manager before applying on line. That approach is more effective than simply applying online. I discuss the rationale and coach the 'how to' skills required for this approach in other posts I have written.

Every company has its own hiring process and company protocols. What frustrating things have you run into?

If you like this post, please share it in your feed and follow me on LinkedIn. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help. Thanks!

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

3 key questions the hiring manager is thinking

How can a job seeker best prepare a job search? The best answer is to focus on what the hiring manager needs are. Prepare by focusing everything you do on answering the key question on every hiring manager's mind.

Can you solve my problem?

"What can you do for me? How can you help resolve my problem?"

"What have you accomplished that is relevant to the problem I need solved"? 

"What are your key skills and competencies"? 

In reviewing a resumes these are the fundamental questions in the hiring managers mind. In many situations there are other important qualifications as well, like "What are your relevant certifications?" Often having the right current certification is more important than education. And "What is your education background?" 

The question every job applicant should be asking is

Does my resume respond to the hiring managers' specific need?

Things to remember: People do not read resumes, they skim them, they search for things they need. And they spend only a few seconds searching. To avoid rejection, the answers to the hiring managers' key questions should be in the first half of the first page of the resume.

Human nature being what it is we tend to focus on ourselves and lose sight of the purpose of a resume. Often we focus our resume only on our titles, scope of work, responsibilities, etc. And why not? 

While those things are important, they will be ignored if the hiring manger can't find answers to their fundamental questions. Too often we introduce extraneous information, space wasting fluff that has little bearing on the task described in a job description. It's important that we not get distracted from answering the hiring managers' needs by introducing fluff.

By focusing our resume on the accomplishments and results of our work that are relevant to the hiring managers' problem, preferably quantified, we will have prioritized the most important information about ourselves. These are the items that should receive the highest position under each job held. 

The takeaway is this: Focus your resume and your entire search preparation on the hiring manager's needs, not just your own. Find out what the hiring manager's needs are and feed them.

If you like this post, please share it in your feed and follow me on LinkedIn. It helps the article to be seen by more people in need of this kind of career help.

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Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Skip the job ad, what does the hiring manager REALLY need done?

Recently I was asked how to increase the odds that a resume will result in a formal interview with the hiring manager. The answer is easy. Making it happen takes some initiative.

A resume certainly is about the candidate. It is also about telling the hiring manager how one can help resolve his or her key problems. Resumes that win interviews are focused on the hiring manager's needs, not the candidate's. Good resumes demonstrate how the candidate can help resolve specific things the hiring manager needs done by clearly stating the candidates relevant achievements.

So the key is the hiring manager, not the company recruiter. The best a recruiter can do is find a candidate, interview and recommend that the hiring manager interview a candidate. Why not turn the process around? Find and speak to the hiring manager, and then apply through the company protocols.

One can increase the probability of getting a formal interview by first having an informal conversation with the hiring manager to find out what the real issues are that need to be fixed. Then a resume can be edited to be sure it addresses why the candidate is best suited to help fix the hiring managers key needs.

My most successful clients call the hiring manager before editing their resume and applying for the job. Does it always work? No. But it beats applying first and hoping. There are several reasons why it works.
·         It establishes a rapport with the hiring manager and demonstrates admirable qualities like taking initiative and action rather than passively waiting and wondering.
·         It eliminates doubt. When reading an advertised job description one has to wonder "Is this a real job? Is it a description for an old job that is being reused for this one? Does it reflect what  the hiring manager REALLY needs done?"
·         It enables one to edit the resume and prioritize keywords and accomplishments that are relevant to the need.
·         And it makes writing a cover letter a much easier task by allowing one to reiterate key points the hiring manager liked from the conversation.

And there is not a better way to achieve competitive advantage then to speak to the hiring manager before applying!

What about editing the resume? Here are some thoughts.

·         Don't think only about your own needs. Think about accomplishments you have achieved that will help the manager of this job.

·         Focus on your achievements and the results of your work. How did the things you have done keep business going smoothly or improve something?

·         Keep in mind a resume is an advertisement, not a biography. Avoid excessive description of your responsibilities and history. Responsibilities, positions and even job titles may not be as important as you think if you have not described the results of your work.

·         Format for skimming, not reading. People skim through resumes, quickly glancing for key words, numbers, and phrases that interest them. Make it easy for them to find them without bolding, italicizing, or adding color. Position them where they will almost jump out at the reader.

·         Keep your resume relevant to the described job. Avoid writing paragraphs. Paragraphs are not as easily skimmed by eye as crisp bullet statements. Remove words and sentences that are not relevant to the position you are applying for.

·         Spelling and grammar are important. So is neat, orderly formatting. Avoid appearing ignorant or careless.

The takeaway is this: The best odds for getting an interview is talking to the hiring manager informally before applying for the job. Then the resume and cover letter can be edited to make them most attractive to the hiring manager. A significant bonus is the competitive advantage this approach achieves.

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Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why you should not apply for jobs online

Many people tell me they can't seem to get traction in their job search. They just can't seem to win interviews. When I ask them to describe how they search, most tell me they spend a lot of time searching job boards. When they ask me for help, I always start by reviewing their resume so I can get an understanding of their background and see if the resume itself may be causing problems. Then we talk about search tactics, mostly about the "who you know" principle and a lot about how to meet the right "who you don't know" people.

The most successful job seekers today realize that getting a new job today is far different than years ago. There are many people seeking fewer openings. The web makes it simple to apply online so everyone is doing it, sometimes without considering the requirements for the positions they are applying for. That floods the job market causing the supply of applicants to be far more than the demand for them. If you fit this behavior model perhaps it's time to try a new approach.

* Applying Online is Rarely Effective – For most professionals, I find that applying for jobs online is only slightly more effective than applying for jobs advertised in newspapers! Far less than 2% of jobs are found on job boards. The most successful job seekers I know practice a more productive search method.

They speak to hiring managers for jobs they are interested in, before they apply, to determine what problem needs to be resolved and to find out what critical skills the successful candidate must have.

In the conversation they are able to generate the hiring manager's interest by describing how they have resolved similar problems. Once they understand the hiring manager's pain they are able to edit their resume and cover letter to focus on needs that may not be adequately described in the job description.

The most successful people reach out and expand their network by seeking every opportunity to schmooze with anyone who may know hiring managers. For instance, they find that connecting with employees in their target companies is a very effective way of getting an interview. Companies often have an employee referral program that can earn the employee a cash award if the candidate is hired.

There are other reasons why applying online is not effective:

* Applying online doesn’t Differentiate a person from their competition. Differentiation is essential for successful marketing and is impossible if job seekers cast their resumes in concrete by posting it online job boards.

To differentiate, use Job Boards and Company Websites for identifying opportunities and vetting companies, not for applying online.

Differentiation is achieved by doing things others are not doing. Those who feel like they are making forward progress by camping on job boards are not marketing themselves well. They are simply becoming just another "one of the herd".

* Posting a resume online doesn’t allow you edit it for the requirements of specific jobs.
People who may be looking for you have specific needs and requirements. Resumes that attempt to be "one size fits all" don't work in today's job market.

Editing a resume for the needs of each opportunity is essential for success.

There are many more useful ways to spend your time than posting a resume on job boards. People become good at job seeking by practicing their interviewing skills, learning effective salary negotiation skills, and getting their base resume and cover letter into shape so that it is easy to edit them once they learn about a specific manager's 'pain'.

The takeaway is this: Use job boards judiciously. Avoid 'camping out'. Don't immediately apply to jobs you see. Learn about alternatives. Plan and budget your time on all activities you decide to employ in your search. 

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Reasons why ATS is rejecting you.

There is a lot of information about the causes of ATS rejection of job applicants. Some of it is correct and some of it is conjecture passed on with good intentions, but without an understanding of the facts. The following are the key reasons for rejection or non-response by ATS.

Qualification. Many times applicants are simply not qualified. 

Key words. Sometimes people ignore using key words exactly as written in job descriptions or fail to use them in context. 

ATS parsers. ATS parsers cannot extract text located inside graphics. Frequently resumes are created using word processing shortcuts comprised of graphics embedded into the document. Borders, headers, footers, tables, charts or text boxes that contain text are typical  examples. For instance, if a name and/or contact information is located inside a header, ATS will not know who the person is or how to contact them. If skills or other information is listed in a table, ATS will not know it is there. If a border is used, nothing will be read.

Columns. Some people use text columns to format a resume. ATS parsing software reads data across the full page, one line at a time. This jumbles columnar information into sentences that make no sense.

PDF files. Most ATS software cannot read PDF files. Although some providers claim they can, what they fail to say is "converted PDF files". There are two types of PDF files, Native and Scanned, plus many variants. How are you to know which variant your file is? And how are you to know if your resume will be scrutinized by an ATS that is capable of reading PDF files?

The bottom line. For the best online application success, use keywords exactly as written in job descriptions, do not use word processing creation tools, and don't apply online with a PDF file. When applying online, use txt or doc files. And make sure you are qualified before you apply.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Is ATS gagging on your resume?

Are you like many people who do not seem to be able to get responses when applying for jobs? Have you even had their resume created by a professional resume writer and see no change in the number of responses you get?

There are only two causes for this to happen:

1. The resume may not be written in a manner that achieves interest or ATS is gagging on it. Writing a resume that results in interviews take knowledge and creative talent. Getting through ATS successfully requires an understanding of what it cannot do and knowing how to avoid doing things that will make it gag.

2. ATS may be the culprit. ATS uses data extraction software to retrieve information it is searching for. If ATS is rejecting a resume or giving it a low score, it is very likely the applicant will not receive any response. Often the problem is in the information extraction process itself. Here are some of the most common causes.

Your name and contact information is in a header.

Word processors create headers by giving you a box to write things into. A box is a graphic. Parsers are used to extract data. Parsers can parse text, but not graphics. When a parser reads a file, if it encounters a graphic it will stop or skip over it. It will not read anything located inside a graphic. Thus if your name or address is located in a header, ATS will not know who you are or how to reach you!

You used a table in your resume.

Many people use tables set up by word processors to record information in their resumes. Tables are graphics containing text. Just as in headers, information located in a table cannot be read, therefore is lost.

You are using text boxes to create your resume.

Text boxes are also graphics containing text. The result of using them is the same as above.

You have put a border around your resume.

As you might expect, nothing will be extracted from the resume.

Your resume contains multiple columns. Parsing software used to extract data reads completely across the page, line by line. This causes information in one column to be intermixed with information in the next column located on the same line, resulting in nonsense.

There are many other word processing tools that can cause parsing issues.

Footers, WordArt, Shapes, Charts, and other things created by word processing tools are some examples.

The rule of thumb is avoid trying to be fancy when creating the resume file that will be used for applying to positions on job boards or company websites.

The takeaway is this:

For applying for positions online (electronically), don't use word processing tools that create the headers, tables, text boxes, or borders. These are almost guaranteed to cause problems for ATS. And avoid being fancy.

If you want to be fancy, create a separate resume that you reserve for situations where you can physically get it into the hands of a human. I call this the For Handout Only file. Don't use it to apply for jobs electronically.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! And visit my website at bit.ly/1TEqj93.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A little creativity can go a long way in a job hunt.

 “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” 

OK, I agree, job hunting sucks! So why not get creative and begin having fun with it.

Occasionally I have found that one of my clients did something truly original, exciting, and demonstratively unique to land a new job and they didn't start out by just pounding the job boards and applying to everything that piqued their interest. On the contrary, I found that these clients listened intently to my skills development advice and then took their learning to the next level. These are the stories of three such people.

One client, I'll call him Phil, asked many questions about job searching skills and he learned the techniques I teach very well. Equipped with a resume we had worked on together, Phil interviewed and landed a job very quickly. But after starting the job some troubling things became apparent. It wasn't really the way things had been described to him in interviews. The answers to some questions Phil asked in interviews turned out to be less than truthful. Sometimes that happens during the interviewing "courtship" process. Despite trying to work his way through the work issues, Phil reached the point where he simply had to resign and start over.

In his renewed search, Phil spoke to the hiring manager before applying for the position, just as I had coached him, and took it one creative step further. Once Phil understood what the hiring manager's critical problem was, he edited his resume and cover letter to focus on past accomplishments that could address the issues, just as we had discussed and he was invited to interview. At his first interview, instead of asking what his priorities should be in the first 90 days, Phil already knew what the hiring manager's key problem was, so he presented a detailed proposal, a "first 90 day plan",  about how he would address the problem. The CEO was very impressed and told Phil he likes people to text or email additional questions or thoughts after interviewing. So at each of next three interviews, Phil offered something of value to them, rather than just asking for info that would benefit him.  And after each interview he submitted additional thoughts and information instead of just asking the usual "how is the search going" questions. Using this unique approach Phil was able to assess reactions enabling him to feel more confident the job would go well if he accepted an offer. Phil won the new job.

In another example of creative job hunting, Suzanne, another client, was seeking a new marketing job in her industry. Knowing who all of her company's competitors were, Suzanne signed up for an upcoming industry conference. The conference website listed the names of all the prominent attendees, some 125 CEO's that would be attending. Suzanne emailed each of them, asking to meet with each over coffee while at the conference.  Ten CEO's accepted and met with her. Within the 3 days of the conference Suzanne learn a great deal about their needs. She casually mentioned some accomplishments that addressed similar needs whenever she could and before the conference ended, Suzanne was offered jobs at two of the companies. She went well beyond my job search coaching to find new opportunities she had known nothing about, and did so in record time.

A third client, we'll call him Gus, was a great salesman.  Gus landed a job with a company he was targeting in a totally unique manner. Gus researched the company's products and potential customers thoroughly, learning minute details about the company's premier product. He developed a sales 'pitch' about its benefits and how it could resolve customer problems. He then picked one of the company's potential customers and presented the product to them without indicating he was really not an employee of his target company.

The end result was the customer agreed to buy the product and called the hiring manager at the target company, telling the sales manager that despite not buying the product in the past, he was going to buy it now. He told Gus's prospective employer the reason he was buying was because of Gus, and he wanted Gus to be the sales rep for all future products he might buy. 

The hiring manager called Gus and offered him the job, explaining the call he had received from the customer. Despite the fact that Gus was not an employee, a fact he could not admit to the customer, he was so impressed with Gus's unique approach, he wanted to hire him because his staff had not been able to sell to this important customer for years. He was elated to have the order and Gus was hired immediately.

The takeaway is this. Like baby birds taking their first leap, these clients used their creativity and guts to accomplish the end goal. They made things happen rather than waiting for something to happen. Many people are very creative on the job. There is no reason not to extend that creativity into a job search. 

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