It’s been a while and I dropped off from keeping up with my blog like I originally set out to do. I could go on and with different excuses, but that’s not why you are here! Tomorrow, March 1, 2013 I plan on picking back up and writing something every other Friday. I would ideally like to send something every week, but for now I am going to stick with the every other week format until I have enough content that is halfway interesting for you to read. I don’t have tomorrow’s post ready yet so instead of going on and on with this one, I am going to work on writing a post you will enjoy. Come back tomorrow! Thanks!
I’ll be one of the first to admit it, searching for a new job is not an enjoyable process. Not only do I know this from speaking with people on a daily basis about it, but I have also had my fair share of visits to indeed.com the past year and a half as well (3 jobs in Nashville since March 2010). The good news about my expertise in hiring and firing is that hopefully I can help shine some new light on your search through some simple ABC’s – Attitude, Blogging, and Checking in.
Let’s face it, searching for a job, when done properly is a full time job in and of itself. Constant emails, applications, meetings, coffees, phone calls, and networking events. It seems like a never ending circle which often times produces little to no results. True, the results aren’t always immediate and can be somewhat disheartening. We find an ad that looks like a great match and come to find out the position is already filled. Back to the drawing board! These feel like little failures, but being without a job already puts us down and then it just feels like you are being kicked while you are down.
Norman Vincent Peale once said “life for most of us contains many tough and difficult problems; we need all the confidence and reassurance we can get. Nothing builds confidence and reassurance like a word of praise. Nothing restores our self-esteem and recharges our batteries like a little admiration.” When we are in our work environment, we have others who are in the trenches with us. We can reach out to them, they can encourage us. When we are out on our own in job search town, who do we have? Few cheerleaders helping us along the way.
Attitude plays an extremely vital role in ones job search. For people in sales, rejection is common, but it can still sting when going on that second month without a job. The secret is the daily habits that we form. The more you treat your job search like you did when punching the clock, the more you will be able to stay focused and maintain a positive mental attitude. Believe me, it comes across in all that you do and people notice it.
One way to help stay on track is to write a blog. You may or may not already do this and you may or may not have any clue on how to get started. The great thing is that it doesn’t even matter because you can change it up as you go. I put off writing this blog for months until a few weeks ago I decided to just jump right in. I hope the content is improving week by week, but who knows! The point is, I am here showing my expertise and sharing my knowledge about job searching, career tips, recruiting, hiring, etc. Writing a blog will help in showing you are an expert in your given field, build your online presence and show that you aren’t just sitting on your hands all day. If you are still trying to get over the hurdle of writing or not, just remember that action cures fear. Set it up and go for it! Even if it is just strings of ideas, that is better than nothing and at least you are getting started.
Speaking of online presence, I won’t go into many details in this post, but if you haven’t started to build your online presence yet and you are looking for a new opportunity then you should skip the blog and go straight to LinkedIn.com and create a profile. Right now. Seriously, stop reading this and go create it!
OK, now that you have your shiny LinkedIn profile, your blog, and your great attitude, you actually get a job interview. What do you do? You’ve been in a slump and then out of nowhere you feel saved! First of all, it’s not out of nowhere. You have been putting in countless hours and things are starting to pay off! So you get an interview, you prepare and do everything you are supposed to. You feel like it goes well and you get home and are certain you are going to be the one they hire. Write a thank you note to every person you met and let them know you appreciate their time and enjoyed learning about their great company. Then what? The waiting game begins, that’s what.
I am often asked, “Adam, how long should I wait to follow up or check in? I really am interested in the job, but I don’t want to be pushy. If I wait too long, maybe they won’t think I am interested.” This can be a difficult situation, but it doesn’t really need to be. As long as you remember to send an email after interviewing, that shows you are appreciative and do have at least some interest. If you are working with a recruiter, they will let you know as soon as they know, trust me. Try to remember the more people involved in the interview, chances are the longer it will take. If you just met with a hiring manger and maybe the team lead, they can discuss you and other candidates if in the mix and probably make a decision fairly quickly. If it is a whole team and they will all have input and then they need to let the corporate recruiter know and then she needs to let your recruiter know, it’s going to take a little longer. All that being said, checking in is still a great idea as long as you aren’t doing it morning, noon, and night. After the initial email, give it 3-4 days so everyone has a chance to give feedback. If by the 5th business day you still don’t have any feedback, checking with the recruiter is ok. If this interview is independent of a recruiter, maybe a short email to the person you had the most contact with saying you just wanted to check in and let them know you are very interested in learning what the next steps will be. It doesn’t need to be long and elaborate, just enough to give a subtle push to show you truly are interested and not just testing the waters or sending emails because that is what you are supposed to do. Sometimes the hiring manager really is that busy and is just having a difficult time getting around to doing all of the necessary steps in order to extend an offer. Just have a good attitude about it, write in your blog how great the company is and check back in again after another week or so and continue to do so until you are hired there or somewhere else!
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any questions? Please let me know in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!
After the job report this morning, I think it is safe to say that if you are able to secure an interview with a company you better take full advantage of the situation. In my world as a recruiter, I have come to expect the unexpected. I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore by what I hear from interviews, but I do deal with people and well, people are unpredictable!
With that, I thought I would share with you a recent situation we encountered. This candidate is interviewing for a higher level job, paying in the upper $100K range and would be working in a management capacity. One would think to get to that level in your career you would have to have your head on straight and know what you are doing, as well as be able to read situations correctly and act accordingly. One would think…
Describe your management style…
To which the candidate responded – “My employees love me. I make sure they have cookies, and cake and happy hour and stuff like that all the time.” (Granted, I am sure most of us would love that as well, it probably isn’t the best way to conduct yourself in an interview.)
There were other questions asking the candidate about situations and relating to the potential position, but there was also another where the potential employer asked the candidate to describe their dream job and to speak about their passion to which the candidate replied “I’d like to be a tour manager for a rock band.” Again, I am sure the person was just being honest and that sounds like it could be a pretty fun job, but I doubt it was what the person giving the interview had in mind, especially coming from a person of such “high caliber.”
There were a couple other odd answers as well, but that is enough to help prove my point. Even though the job market is slow in certain parts of the country and having the chance to interview doesn’t come nearly as often as you would like, it is one thing to be yourself, just keep it within reason. You may feel this is your one and only shot to leave a lasting impression. And it is. You just want to make sure the impression you are leaving is a good one where you don’t come across as immature or crazy or any other negative feeling.
Do you know anyone with some “different” interview answers? Leave them in the comments section below and share with the rest of us!
This is to all the managers, directors, C-level executives and anyone else with an interest in the company they own/work for. If there is only 1 blog of mine which you read, make it this one. I am here to help you avoid me.
Recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, headhunter, call me what you will, but at the end of the day, what I do is all the same in the eyes of most people. I target the top talent in your company and I try to discover any source of dissatisfaction in their current working environment. This usually doesn’t happen on the initial conversation, and it may take months before any true tidbits pop out, but they will. It may just so happen that I call them on a Friday afternoon after they have an argument with you or you have dropped a bomb on them that the deadline for that project which once finished will give them the bonus they have been waiting for is now Monday morning and they may have to do some extra work over the weekend. Jackpot! Now that the plans for the weekend with the family have to be altered, other little instances which in the past were tolerable and minor at most now become larger than life. This is where your top talent is now interested in learning more about coming on board to help build a new team in this company with cutting edge technology.
Meanwhile, you have already checked out for the weekend and made your way to the beach. Sure you had some clients to meet on the way, but in all reality you were heading that way in the first place long before the appointment was set.
2-3 weeks ago, your top dog wouldn’t have even picked up the phone, now you may be doing some searching of your own on top of the fact that your special project probably won’t be receiving all the attention you had initially hoped. Now with the abundant amount of information floating around and the ease at which someone can call or click and get an interview within no time it is more important than ever to make sure you are treating people in your organization from the bottom up with the respect they truly deserve.
Remember that huge lay off you had last year? Dan (who was already overworked) had to pick up the slack for his three friends that you let go. It was a tough decision I know, but you just had to do it. Dan felt lucky you kept him and kept trudging along telling himself that since he is doing the work of 4+ people, he will be rewarded for it once things turn around.
Well it has now been a full year since you let Dan’s friends go and they have since found new, better jobs making better money than they were before on top of a better work life balance. That’s what everyone wants these days right? Well it’s what Dan wants at least and seeing his friends have it while he does his work plus what they used to really is getting to him. It may sound like Dan is out the door already, but if you get there before he does you may have a chance of stopping him.
It’s no secret money talks, but it might be a secret that money isn’t always loudest. Lifestyle (flexible hours, work-at-home etc.), training and development, career tracks and promotion are other major factors people consider when checking out what their counterparts are up to these days.
How is that budget coming along now that things are picking up? Dan has done a great job carrying the extra weight and your department now is swimming with their head above the water again. How about a little bonus, or even better, a salary bump for ‘ol Dan’s efforts? Maybe even a free flex day? Are you back on track to hire someone else? Did Dan want to be in management someday? This would be a great time to bring in someone for him to mentor.
Being able to do this would of course mean you need to know your employee’s and what makes them tick. Let’s say you don’t. I can still possibly save you. Do you have a LinkedIn account? How about Twitter? Facebook? Are you connected to Dan on any/all of the above? For simplicity sake we are going to say you are connected via LinkedIn.
I watch LinkedIn like a hawk. You know those updates that come across your screen every time you log on? “Mike updated his experience.” “Sharron updated her education.” “Becky updated her expertise.” Yes, it is possible and actually probable that Mike has more experience today than he did yesterday, but it’s highly unlikely that is what he is updating. Couple avenues here for Sharron as she possibly added her education to expand her network to people with whom she went to school. (To network!) And maybe Becky DID just complete her 10,000th hour of work and truly IS an expert. Again, lets just say that none of these people did just gain anything, in fact they had it all along.
A great way to be found for a particular job is to have the same title as your target position. If I wanted to move on as a recruiter, that would be my title. Headhunter, same thing. As I mentioned, it is all the same most of the time and can just change from company to company.
So let’s say you notice Dan has updated his LinkedIn profile. You look at his production and the past couple weeks it has dropped a little. You know he is working night and day and you know he is underpaid for the work he does. Chances are if he is updating his profile he is already contemplating checking out. If you truly value him and want to keep him, RIGHT NOW would be the best time to look into one of the above mentioned perks. Big or small may not even make a difference. What WILL make a difference is you noticing his efforts.
Right now more than ever is time to recognize what REALLY makes your company successful and that is the people. More often than not, people don’t leave companies, they leave people. If someone had to take on more responsibility or their job title has changed up a little bit, now would be a great time to make sure they are happy with their present situation.
To me it makes no difference, but I did say I was here to help. If you don’t call Dan that’s fine because I sure will!
Did this hit close to home? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!
Matthew Norwood (@MatthewNorwood) brought this to my attention today during a conversation via Twitter. If you are a recruiter, you should find some humor in this (and probably switch things up a bit) and if you have ever had a recruiter “reach out to you,” you know the gig all too well.
Anyway, thought it was pretty funny and definitely worth sharing!
Shout out to Ethan Banks (twitter.com/ecbanks) for taking the time to put them all together.