Tag: Job Search Strategies (page 2 of 2)
I lost count of how many clients have told me they hung their hat on one or two recruiter relationships but nothing ever panned out in terms of landing a great job. If you don’t know how to work with recruiters you can easily be tempted to feel that you have been let down in your relationship with them.
Here are a few facts about recruiters to help you get a baseline of perspective:
A recruiter works for (and are paid by) their client companies. They don’t work for you, have no real allegiance to you and will only be interested in you if your career history is a match for their searches.
Knowing that will help you go into establishing relationships with recruiters with more objectivity.
Recruiters come in all shapes and sizes. I have met many of them and I was one of them for seven years. Some are good, some are nice, and some are not.
When you send your resume to a big handful of recruiters that specialize in your industry or position you will get a mixed bag of responses. Some will respond with interest, some will send you an automatic message to fill out their generic candidate forms on their websites, some will not respond at all and some may even respond negatively. Be prepared for all of it – and take none of it personally.
And by all means don’t skip this step! It’s a necessary step you must play out in order to garner the interest of the smaller percentage of recruiters who may be able to help you!
Recruiters generally like straightforward, chronological resumes. They tend to prefer your academic background be listed somewhere on the first page. They look at a lot of resumes each week and they don’t like to have to scan through a resume to try and guess what you do.
If you have a functional resume (one that highlights skills, rather than industry background and job history) don’t be surprised if you catch a couple terse comments from recruiting firms. But don’t worry, chances are your resume isn’t bad, nor have your done anything wrong. It’s just a typical preference for recruiters.
Recruiters look for career backgrounds that match their search criteria. If you are looking to make a slight shift into a parallel industry or a slight shift in terms of your position, then a recruiter may be able to help you. If you are looking to make a career transition into another industry, then you can skip connecting with recruiters all together. They are paid to find exactly what their clients have asked them to find…and nothing less. Other job search methods will work much better for you.
What is the definition of a recruiter’s “star” candidate? If you are looking to remain in your industry and have a solid and successful background in it, then you will be especially attractive to recruiters…a “star” candidate. “Star” candidates are also defined as those who have held no more than three jobs in the past ten years and those with a complimentary and impressive academic background. The more attractive you are to recruiters, the more negotiating power you have.
What else does a recruiter look for? A good personality, tact, diplomacy, and promptness returning phone calls and emails are often major components to a successful match. Remember when a recruiter sends you to one of their clients; their reputation is on the line. They are acutely aware of this, and you should be too.
One last valuable tip: a recruiter is somewhat limited in his or her ability to bring you “your dream job”. They can and will only offer you positions they are working on for their clients, and only if you are a potential match for the position.
Additionally, you will probably not be the only candidate they send to interview for the position. Generally recruiters send in two to four qualified candidates for each position they are paid to fill.
If you want to build good relationships both short and long term with recruiters you should:
• Find either paid or free lists of recruiters who specialize in your position or industry. Generally the recruiter’s geographical location is of little importance, they often have many clients outside of their physical location.
• The paid lists I endorse are through Executive Agent (listed on my website). Their system is quick and easy to use and very affordable. Their reputation in the industry is excellent….as are the results they provide.
• Follow up with courtesy phone calls to the best recruiters on your list based on your needs and how they measure up. You will look more professional and get on their radar screen.
• Always be pleasant, positive and diplomatic.
• Treat the recruiter just the same as you would a potential employer in an interview.
• If you are really attached to your industry, then building long-term relationships with recruiters isn’t a bad idea. Recruiters are heavily networked, appreciate referrals and the good ones will remember your generosity, kindness and professionalism. They will go out of their way to contact you with five-star positions they may have down the road.
Recruiters can be extremely helpful to you and your career and knowing their hot buttons and the best ways to find them and build positive relationships with them will not only save you time but serve to flush out additional job opportunities!
This is a very common question I receive from new clients. There is no one right answer, but there are some quick and easy steps you can take to make sure you are assessing your situation correctly.
Usually when a professional isn’t getting responses or quality interviews from their resume, the reason falls within one of these categories:
• The resume is poorly written
• The resume hasn’t been distributed widely enough to generate interest
• The methods with which the resume is being distributed are generally poor methods
Let’s take a look at each category:
The resume is poorly written
The problems I see with resumes are too extensive to go into too much depth here, however basic reoccurring problems include resumes that are too wordy, resumes that are not laser focused on the preferred industry and resumes that aren’t loaded with quantifiable achievements.
Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for me to see resumes that were “written professionally” by a resume writer or outplacement agency that just don’t cut it.
In short, if you can’t afford a resume writer, look for up-to-date resume samples via print or online media and do your best to use them as a template. Read several how-to articles on resume writing basics so you know what to emphasize.
Finally, if you hire someone to write your resume for you, make certain they are certified through a reputable association (CMI or CDI for example) and that they have ample experience. Prices can range from as little as $300 to $3,000. Hire the best you can afford. You are worth it.
The resume hasn’t been distributed widely enough to generate interest
It’s a common error to feel that a submission of 10 to 20 resumes via a job board is a good call to action. Unfortunately most people will find that this produces little, if any results. Yielding slight higher results (optimistically 5 %+) include niche job boards, paid job boards, association job boards and direct-to-company websites.
The methods with which the resume is being distributed are generally poor methods
Do you want to see better than a 5% response rate? Then you are going to want to learn basic techniques to tap into the unadvertised job market.
Many people mistakenly believe this means “networking”. It does not, though learning basic networking techniques (that don’t involve calling everyone you know to ask them if they know who is hiring) will both boost your confidence, lower any contact-anxiety you may have and increase your overall results.
A final word about professional help
A certified resume writer and/or job search coach isn’t just for the 6-or-7 figure professional with money to burn.
In fact, a good resume writer and job search coach can save you a substantial amount of money, and that’s not hype. A few of the results a professional can help you achieve include:
• More interviews
• Bigger offers
• Shorter job search
If you are in between jobs, then the sooner you land your next position, the sooner you can regain your monthly income. Just saving one month of wasted effort in a job search can easily translate to savings of thousands of dollars.
A good job search coach knows how to help you identify and reach your goals. They have a goody bag of resources you probably would be hard pressed to find on your own and don’t forget that this help is often tax deductible (check with your CPA for details).
You can take what you learn and apply to your long term career strategy and future career transitions. Bottom line, an effective and meaningful investment in yourself and your career.
Before you decide what your next best step is in your career search, take a few minutes to apply the points in this article to your current situation. This will help you determine the solutions right for you so you can move forward with confidence.
Hot-off-the-press from Jobbait.com:
If you’re considering moving to a recession-proof area, this may help you. 6 cities (metro areas) are recession-proof according to our analysis of the latest BLS data available on November 23, 2008:
1. Merced, CA
2. Grand Junction, CO
3. Billings, MT
4. Laredo, TX
5. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA
6. Morgantown, WV
Another 29 are almost recession-proof.
To sign up (for free) to see all 35 recession-proof cities, including the total number of new jobs by specific industry in the last 12 months, go to www.jobbait.com.
One of the wisest things you will do in your job search is learn the best non-traditional job search methods that fit your particular goals.
One method (and it happens to be my favorite – read on to find out why) is finding and following up on what I like to call corporate growth opportunities.
Growth opportunities are windows when a company is experiencing some form of growth. These can include moves, expansions, launching new products or services, mergers or acquisitions, awards and new rounds of venture capital funding, just to name a few.
Because of the fact that in so many cases when a company is experiencing a major change and/or growth there is a hiring need, it is truly a perfect time for YOU to make an introduction!
A few of the benefits you will enjoy when you capitalize on growth opportunities are:
- You set the pace for leadership and control vs. answering an ad, which positions you as the less desirable, passive/receiver.
- You maximize your leverage, options and opportunities in your industry of choice. In other words, you are in control.
- You are introducing yourself at a time when that company may be investing considerable sums of money to find great talent (like YOU!).
- You have little or no competition.
- You are putting the focus on THEM and their particular situation – highly flattering to the decision maker who you are connecting with – which makes you look fantastic.
Sounds great right? Believe me, it is! And it’s easy to find and follow up on growth opportunities in your specific target market using internet resources including: US Business Journals, Google news alerts, article finders and even associations related to your industry of focus.
Each week you can connect with key decision makers associated with the various growth opportunities that interest you. Send a short value proposition letter and don’t forget to attach a copy of the article and follow up in order to maximize your favorable responses.
This particular method can increase your response rate to 20, 40 and even 60%! Compared to the 1 to 3% response rates you will get through submitting your resume to jobs posted on major job boards there is simply no contest. Learning how to follow up on corporate growth opportunities can easily become your most powerful and effective job search strategy.
Okay, things in our economy aren’t going so well. Though I can’t look into the future to see what will happen, what I can do for you today is share three tips that will increase your odds of getting the job you want.
Job Search Strategy #1: Go where the jobs are It’s a wise move to read the executive job trend reports put out by my colleague, Mark Hovind, President of JobBait. I am a big fan of these monthly statistics that show you clearly what markets are growing and hiring and in what states. In an uncertain economy, go where jobs are being created.
Job Search Strategy #2: Turn off the television Seriously. Turn it off. It’s completely negative and “all consuming.” It’s my personal opinion that mainstream media is anything but “fair and balanced.” Don’t worry, you won’t lose touch. In fact, you will gain precious time in your day and you will be more at peace. You can focus on those things important in your immediate world. Every day, through my sources, I am literally flooded with HUNDREDS of great job openings just from recruiters trying to find great talent (like you!) for their client companies. You won’t hear THAT on the evening news!
Job Search Strategy #3: Commit to at least 2 non traditional job search methods Please allow me to just be blunt. Are you between 40 and 60 years old? Then you probably are most familiar and conmfortable with traditional job search methods. You simply must take a little time to invest in learning about how you can find jobs that aren’t advertised. I believe I have the best guidebook in the market for this but I would rather have you buy someone else’s than nothing at all. It’s important because the techniques people use to find jobs that are not advertised also decrease their competition by a MILE, improve their response rate TREMENDOUSLY (which does wonders for their confidence), and often results in more job interviews, bigger offers and a shorter job search. You have much to gain and nothing to lose by learning these techniques. I promise you.
Optimism in times like these is absolutely necessary to finding a job or making a career transition. Focus the same energy that drives your career success to find a new position and you will indubitably find the silver lining in the clouds of turbulent economic times.
A job search can quickly become a time consuming and frustrating experience, without the right tools, planning and resources. Making one mistake such as using “surfing the internet” as your main medium for job hunting, can lead to countless hours of wasted time each week. Here are five simple steps you can take to save yourself time, frustration and wasted energy:
Step 1: Create your system
Use a simple system to map out (yes, actually write it out – so it’s “out of your head” and on paper!) your job search goals. Where you are going, what is motivating you, your thoughts on how you are going to get there and what your ultimate goal is. Mapping out your plan and your strategy will keep you on track and focused – thus, saving you potential wasted time and energy.
Step 2: Use a job aggregator
In other words, a beta search engine for jobs. This way you can use one site, for one search to find almost all posted jobs. This one step will save you from hopping from one job board to another – and endless hours of frustration. Understand that responses on any job board vary from 2% to 6%. With those odds, this is one critical area you really want to look to streamline your search and save yourself time.
Step 3: Set up an e mail alert
Set up an e mail alert on the job aggregator of your choice. This saves you even more time as your matching jobs will automatically be sent you!
Step 4: Invest wisely
It’s easy to figure out where best to invest your time. Simply identify the top three areas where you are most certain to penetrate your market. It could be “like companies” in a technology business park, or a trade association, through social networking sites or through a portal such as the top 10 executive recruiting firms. Once you have identified where to invest your time for the biggest payback, you can minimize the time you spend on other job search activities while you maximize your time in your key areas.
Step Five: Create a schedule
Create a modest “job search schedule” for yourself. Specifically, dates and times each week you are going to devote to your career move. Why a “modest” schedule? Because you want to create a schedule you can actually keep and feel a real sense of achievement as you reach your weekly goals. You can always increase your commitment later! This technique works wonders during a career search. You will be amazed how feeling yourself accomplish your job search goals in real time will motivate you as you move forward!