Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Job Search Tactics and Job Search Success

Recently I responded to a post on LinkedIn that caused me to write this thought-starter. We all know how important it is to have a great resume but how many of us think about what tactics we should be using in our search?

It is very important to get it right in order to avoid a long search. If you don’t your search may languish. You might feel it would be more productive to watch grass grow.

My bottom line is this: It's true, "everything works, nothing works", but let me suggest that the following are the best search tactics, prioritized by success rate (my opinion):

#1 - Being referred to a hiring manager by a current employee and/or warm- or cold-calling the hiring manager BEFORE applying are the most successful approaches. Emailing before making live contact will work as well but be aware we all have “delete” buttons. And remember, leaving voice mail is not a good idea because many, if not most, people will delete any voice mail from someone they do not know. Repetitive voice mail is considered obnoxious by most people.

#2 - Networking is critically important for generating the leads to “#1” and for the future. It is very important to maintain contact with your network for many reasons not the least of which is future uncertainty.

#3 – Utilizing external (3rd party) recruiters can be helpful IF one gets connected with a good, truly professional recruiter.

#4 – Broadcasting your resume is valid for some individuals, but can have negative results when one is also using external recruiters.

#5 – Pounding the job boards and company websites and immediately applying blindly is the fastest way to the “bottomless pit”. It is probably the worst approach followed closely only by responding to newspaper ads in today’s world. Use the job boards for doing research and follow up with the first two approaches above instead of immediately applying.

Having offered my opinion on this, it’s still true, “everything works, nothing works”. Use all the search tactics available to you but plan, prioritize and vary the time you spend on each.

Get more help on the details of search tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Take control of your search: Do you do these things?

Do you:

Spend most of your time working the job boards and applying online? You just lost control of your search.

Try to update your resume and cover letter on your own? You just lost control of your search.

Talk too much and not listen enough in interviews and networking?  You just lost control of your search.

Use meaningless words when you communicate orally or written? You just lost control of your search.

Don’t be one of the many people that just don’t get it.

Beating up the job boards and applying to anything that interests you, qualified or not, may cause you to feel you are being productive, but are you? Who is the company? Who is the hiring manager? How strong is the company? Have you tried to communicate with the hiring manager BEFORE deciding to apply? If you haven't done any basic research before applying you just lost control of your search!

Is your resume properly prepared? Does it address the needs of the hiring manager? Will it sail through an ATS parsing hurdle? Is it written like everyone else’s resume or does it differentiate you from your competition? These same questions apply to your cover letter. If you cannot confidently answer these questions with a "Yes", you just lost control of your search!

Do you like to talk a lot? Do you tend to monopolize conversations? Do you answer questions crisply and succinctly or do you build background before getting to the point? The interviewer is busy and needs to get a series of questions answered in a limited amount of time. If you can't tell a person what time it is without describing how to build a watch you just lost control of your search!

Do you use the cliché words everyone else uses or do you demonstrate your accomplishments by example? If you do what everyone else does you will look like everyone else and not differentiate yourself from your competition and you will lose control of your search!

Do you say “results-oriented, action-oriented, talented, superior, self-motivated, resourceful, accomplished, proven ability, successful, people person, team-player, problem solver, highly qualified”, etc.? Don't use these self-assessing words. Instead, demonstrate them by stating your accomplishments and the results of your work or you will lose control of your search!

Some of these things are personality related and difficult to overcome. Some are things you might not even recognize about yourself. In either case, you may need outside help from someone who can be frank with you and who is trained to help your overcome these problems.

For honest, unbiased and professional help on job search strategy and tactics, email me at kl@hoochresumes.com or visit http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.