Sunday, November 18, 2012

Talk to the hiring manager before you apply for the job!

I regularly advise my clients to determine the name of the hiring manager and call that person BEFORE making any applications! This tactic has the highest probability of landing the job.

There are several reasons for trying to work through the hiring manager:

1- The hiring manager can give you insight into what is most important to him or her. Sometimes the most important need is not focused on in the job description. That enables you to tune your resume to be responsive to the critical need before you submit it. This gives you the competitive advantage over everyone else.

2- It offers you the opportunity to get your resume into the hiring manager's hand without going through the company hiring process and protocols, giving you the opportunity to have the most important person in the process to be your ombudsman.

3- It demonstrates that you are motivated, you take matters into your own hands demonstrating that you are independent, action-oriented and creative and that you exercise control over your destiny.

4- Sometimes it opens up other opportunities you did not know about. Sure, you may have found these out later in your search, or never found out about them at all.

5- Sometimes the hiring manager may not have a position that fits you but but after speaking to you, likes what you say and decides to make adjustments in the organization and create a new position just for you. It happens!

And the big bonus is this: You differentiate yourself from all your competition! That's  what job searching is all about, isn't it?

The tactic often requires considerable training. It involves various ways of determining the name. The hardest part is learning how to prepare to make the calls. The tactic is not always easy and not always successful, but people who learn how to do it find it to be extremely effective. It should be a high priority tactic of any job search.

Applying online using the ‘shoot-aim-ready’ approach is the least effective search tactic, but is the most common tactic used by job-seekers. Learn how to find and reach the hiring manager and get ahead of your competition.  

If you have any questions or need any help, please email me at

Please give me some feedback on this post by commenting on it. And don't forget to visit Hooch Resumes at

Take a look at some of my other posts while you are here. 

Thanks! Hope you enjoyed your time here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What can you do to maximize your chances of getting an interview?

How many of these things do you do?

Target your audience.

Make sure you pick the correct type of resume.

Make sure your resume is in good contemporary form.

Create a crisp, concise, complete branding statement.

Make sure you haven’t incorporated ‘fluff’ anywhere in your resume.

Make it possible to read in 30 seconds or less.

Tune it to the target. This means be responsive to the hiring managers’ needs – your resume is all about you as it should be, but it better show how you are responsive to the job descriptions’ stated needs (the ones you know you fit) in order to have a competitive advantage.

Develop action-packed, value-added results statements that will attract attention.

Use your spelling and grammar checker. And then do a thorough check yourself to find words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly. For instance, have you ever typed the word ‘manager’ and left out the second ‘a’? It spells manger. That’s a crib isn’t it? Your spell checker had no idea what you wanted to say.

And finally, make sure ATS parsing software will be able to ‘read’ it. Have you unwittingly written your resume in a manner that compromises its ‘readability’ by ATS parsing software? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fact: Every job searcher is a salesperson of their services whether they view themselves that way or not.

Another Fact: Follow up is an essential part of successful sales. 

One essential aspect of sales is closing

Closing does not JUST mean closing the deal. At the end of every conversation, good salespeople 'close'. Closing sets the expectations for follow up among other things.

So if a job seekers closes every interview with the question "What are the next steps", that starts the close. It is finished by establishing a definitive answer to the question. For instance, without closing, the job seeker is left in never-never land wondering when he/she will hear from an interviewer. Without closing a networking or interview conversation a job searcher is left wondering whether to follow up or not.

It is essential to establish the fact that the job candidate WILL follow up at a certain point, whether that is 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks or whatever. Having closed the conversation, a follow up call is expected by the recipient, thus it becomes easy to make (Is he expecting your call? Yes!) and you have another opportunity to close.

By the way, if in closing one hears the words "I'm sorry, we are going to pass on you", that may not be what you want to hear, but at least it is a decision. It is also an opportunity: One can follow up with questions about "why", or "what do you see in my background or my responsiveness to your questions that I could improve upon". It also provides an opportunity to ask "Can you give me any suggestions".

Following up is not being a pest. It is a critical sales function!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

If you no longer have a job, and even if you have a job, here is some fundamental advice: Get Help!

Recently I read this on LinkedIn: “Often we are in such a rush to get a job, and are so anxious, that we practice the “fire, aim, ready” method of finding employment, ending in a prolonged search. Finding jobs, and then submitting (more and more) applications may make one feel like they are making progress [doing everything they can]. But that is just an illusion.”

An illusion indeed! There are two answers to remedying this problem:

1-If you just lost your job, get professional help immediately before your resources run out. Do not delay, thinking all you have to do is dust off your old resume and blast it to employers. You are searching in a new environment today and the competition is fierce. New technology has been introduced into the hiring process of many companies, and it is not friendly to you. Your competition will get help to deal with the new environment. Will you lag behind?

2-If your search is already a prolonged one and your resources are now deep in mustard, you are between a rock and a hard place. You need more help than ever and you will have to find the finances to get the right professional help; you cannot afford not to.

For those of you who are not presently looking, you could be some day, either passively or actively. Learn from those not as fortunate as you, those who were not ready for the day their exit interview would occur. If you value being employed, get your collateral documents in order now, even though you are not considering making a change. You probably have auto insurance, home or renters insurance, or life insurance. Get some job loss insurance. It costs a lot less than the other four and you will be much more prepared for disaster.