Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Why doesn't the "Founder/Director of Some Title" approach on LinkedIn work?

Don't become the guy in this picture.

You know the drill. You've got a huge gap in your most recent employment and you need to fill it, so you post your most recent job as Founder/ Director of Whatever Title. Your dates of employment say you've been out of work many years.

These are the things you say you are doing in this job:
*Attending networking events
*Researching Industry Leaders
*Tracking Industry Trends
*Participating in Industry Discussions

Ok, that gives you a placeholder, but what else does it say to readers?

It screams "Avoid me. No one wants me. I've been overlooked for years. Something is wrong with me and everyone knows it."

Founder/Director of Some Title is not a job and it fails to take the place of real employment. Everyone knows that. It's a lot of words that futilely intend to mask reality.

In addition it tells the reader I've not been performing my primary skill for a long time. I may not be current with my trade.

So it's not a creative way of describing what has been going on in my life. I'm doing what many other unemployed people are doing, the same way they do it, using the same words they use, copying from a LinkedIn format because I have no idea what else to do.

When one becomes unemployed it's critical to figure out how to market oneself in a way that generates interest. If marketing services is not ones forte, it's critical to get professional help immediately. The "Founder/Director" approach is a red flag to readers. It's simply not good marketing. And the longer that image is portrayed, the less likely something good will come out of it.

Once a lot of time has passed it may actually be too late to turn things around. So if marketing services is not your forte it would be wise to get help from a professional as early as possible. Many people seek help while they are happily employed; It's smart to be prepared for things that are out of your control, even unexpected. There's simply too much competition to do otherwise.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

How's your job search progressing?

Are you getting many interviews? If not, do you understand why not?

If you're getting interviews but frequently seem to come in second or suddenly communication stops, why?

If you are doing it all yourself, more power to you. Hopefully you are a good writer, you understand hiring practices, and you know how to sail past ATS. Hopefully also, you have expertise in how to advertise and market yourself, how to interview, and how to close and negotiate compensation.

If, after realistic self-assessment, you are uncertain or uncomfortable performing any of these things, you might seriously consider getting professional help. Cost is always a consideration, but so also is procrastination. Time is against you. The longer one is unemployed, the more difficult it is to become employed again.

Just my thoughts.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Candidates who monopolize interviews are not likely to have an additional one.

Listening is critical in interviews. It's more important than talking. The best way to listen is with your mouth shut.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who talked so much you couldn't get a word in? Of course you have. People who monopolize tend to want to build lots of background minutia before they get to the point. They talk fast, take quick gasps for air so they can keep talking, repeat themselves, often stray into side points, and take what seems like forever to get to the point. They seem to fear you will not understand their message without all the background details. And they're afraid they will forget to tell you something if they get interrupted. A simple answer or a "yes" or "no" doesn't seem to be in their vocabulary.

Conversation goes two-ways. Dissertations are one-way. Job interviews are the last place to make the mistake of monopolizing conversation. Interviewers often try to get rid of people who monopolize.

Monopolizing is the process of taking control, dominating, shutting out, and not sharing. Not only is it boring, it is rude and disrespectful. Monopolizing is deadly in an interview situation. It connotes desperation. It conveys an inability to summarize things in a crisp, concise manner. It describes disorganization of thought. Monopolizing defeats the exchange of thoughts and ideas.

It's also a deadly mistake for an interviewer to make. If interviewers monopolize, particularly hiring managers, they will learn nothing about the candidate and have no ability to decide if the candidate can do the job. They will come across as desperate to find someone for the job. And the candidate will not be left with positive feelings. Plain and simply it's poor interviewing technique.

Sometimes the candidate who monopolizes is a good friend or family member, one you don't want to offend by telling them what they're doing wrong. Well perhaps it's a mistake not to be brutally honest, particularly if they are preparing for a job interview.

When candidates monopolize conversations, there's not likely to be an additional interview.

Share this thought with job seekers you know who tend to monopolize conversations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Salary Negotiation

If you do not know what you are worth, or
What you will say when the salary question is asked,
You are not ready to apply for the job!
One of the things that make us feel weak as negotiators is the sense that the other side has more information than we do. When you have done your homework this is rarely the case. If the other side has a need they believe you can satisfy they will not want to lose you. They would not be talking about salary if they did not believe they might want to make you an offer. For certain they don’t know what your needs are. Use that to your advantage.
The salary question is often asked much too early to negotiate a fair conclusion. The question often comes during the online application process, and if not then, it may be asked in the initial screening call. Otherwise it will certainly happen somewhere in the interview process.
What am I worth?
There is more information available today to help you assess your worth than ever before. Find your comfort zone by researching what similar jobs pay in the location of the job. Do this before you apply because later you will be at a distinct disadvantage.
Your comfort zone is the take home pay required to sustain your living style. Don't ignore the value of benefits, your out-of-pocket costs of benefits and of course, taxes.
When asked, should you give a high, low, middle, or range number? Most salary negotiators recommend fending off giving a number at all until such time as you have enough information to make a decision. That time is not when you fill out the online application or when the company makes its first call to you. You do not yet have enough information from the company to make an intelligent decision.
There are some who recommend starting with a high but reasonable number to plant an “anchor” in the ground. The Anchor argument is based on human behavior. When you plant a high stake in the ground, even an unreasonable one, people tend to become fixated on it. It affects their judgment which can result in a higher offer than they were thinking of making. But, be aware that sometimes you will be dismissed as being unreasonable.
There are numerous theories and no one correct answer for everyone. The answer comes down to what you are comfortable with. You won't be comfortable unless you have done research on what you are worth in the location of the job and you understand all other compensation factors.

My Personal Opinion on Negotiating:
1.    Know what you are worth and what you can live with. Start from a realistic place.
2.    Decide ahead of time how you will answer when the salary question is first asked and practice your answer.
3.    Keep your answer brief and succinct. Talking too much usually works against you. Listen carefully for objections.
4.    Probe objections with questions. Keep the adversary talking. Understanding objections will prepare you to respond, again briefly and succinctly.
5.    Understand what benefits they offer and what your costs will be to provide them yourself. Understand what they don't offer.
6.    Use silence and body language to your advantage if the negotiator takes an unreasonable position. Silence implies you don’t like what you just heard. It worries your adversary.
7.    Learn closing techniques used in sales – how to use them, how to recognize when they are being used on you and how to respond.
8.    Keep your cool. Don't lose control of your temper if things go badly.
9.    Get everything in writing!
10. I'm a fan of the anchoring approach, but it's not for everyone.

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