Posts tagged: job seeking

I Don’t Know You, Why Should I Help You?

Why do these people look happy? They look like they’re doing the dreaded “networking.”  I’ve learned to appreciate the power of networking, but I still don’t like it.

The interviewer or connection you need something from, won’t appreciate that cold call. So, unless you are super charismatic, you will need practice at ferreting out a way to make yourself valuable to others, because at least 50% (probably much higher) get their job from a referral.

Try using these tools to help build your value to others:

1) LinkedIn – If you have a few hundred connections, be sure to search the contact’s name there. You might be pleasantly surprised the connections you share. If you don’t have a few hundred connections… you are missing a big opportunity to help others and get help when you need it. There are eBooks, online classes and many other ways to learn how to use the single best tool for business connections. I work to a) always be building my connections, b) contribute to the overall beneficial information there. Then when you need it; it will be there for you.

2) Say thank you. Often. Be grateful. Everyday.

People like to be around happy, confident, interesting people. If you’re in a difficult place. Fake it ’til you make it.

3) The Go-Giver is a wonderful little book that helps inspire us to give to get. Not sure what to give, how to give, when to give? Try this book or find a podcast or YouTube video that helps you learn how to give (what comes easily to you) to those who can use it.

Why should I help you? Make that answer a no-brainer.

Photo credit: TelecomHub Shashi

Job Interview Question: Why Are Tennis Balls Fuzzy?

I recently gave a talk in front of a group of senior executives (older folk) who are ‘in the hallway’ (looking for work). I was talking about the collaborative economy and I made a reference to Porter’s 5 forces model. Now, you may never have heard of this, no big deal. But for a group of people over 50 who made over $100,000 in their last corporate job; it surprised the heck out me that only one them had heard of it but couldn’t accurately describe it.

Let’s be clear, on any given day… there are 1,000’s of things I don’t know and this has nothing to do with Porter’s paradigm specifically. My comment to them was, “good thing this isn’t a job interview.”

I work as a consultant so I go on a ‘job interview’ several times a month. As I’m networking, I never know who is going to be a connection to a gig.

Fuzzy Tennis Balls? This article, “13 Weirdest Interview Questions – 2014” offers us some of the oddest questions people were asked (submitted via Glassdoor). If you got this question in an interview, how would you answer? Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, thank goodness I’m not looking for a job or I’m going to pray that I don’t get a question like that. That’s one approach.

How about this? What if you use these odd questions as a chance to stretch your mind? Just for exercise. Talk to someone about it over lunch. Ask your kids what they think. Have fun for crying out loud.

For those of you who are looking for work, old or young, remember the goal of these questions is for the interviewer to see how you think, how quick you are on your feet, what happens to you when faced with a (small) challenge. Do you stumble and stutter or do you let your creative juices flow? Creativity requires practice so I suggest you play games, answer silly questions, get out those crayons; maybe you’ll get that job after all.

Photo credit: Tennis Kevinzim

Tweet That Job: Recruiters Love Twitter, Do You?

If you are a job hunter and you are not using twitter, perhaps you want to think again. Why? Check out this article, Top 5 Twitter Apps for Recruiters.  If you’re one of those people who still thinks twitter is stupid, then skip this post. If your mind is open, keep reading.

If recruiters need automated tools to help them post their jobs to twitter… then it must be worth checking out.

Let’s run through a few of the reasons WHY recruiters use twitter:

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It has broad reach
  4. It separates out the ‘dinosaurs’ from the people who get it

I hear this from some job seekers.. ‘but I have all this experience… they should want to hire me for that, not for whether it tweet or not.”

This is true… you do have excellent experience… but so do lots of other people. And those people have updated their skills, are engaged with the world and want to be connected and learn new things. Argue with me all you want. It doesn’t change the facts.

My friend Charlene Kingston has an fantastic eBook to help you get started. Twitter for Beginners. She also has awesome tools, eBooks and online sessions for small business people. Check it out. She rocks.

What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?

widbyisland_sign_stupid_618211_l

There’s that line from the movie Forest Gump… “stupid is as stupid does” … well, there’s stupid and then there’s bravely awesome. Clay Shirky, one of my favorite authors, says…

“My motto for 2013, adapted from Agile Programming precepts = What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?”

One of the reasons we keep doing the same thing over and over and don’t innovate… is that we surround ourselves with people just like ourselves. It’s human nature. And if someone sounds different or has goofy ideas or looks different; we forget to value the difference. We discount them based on whatever. The goal of diversity is to OPEN up the pool of ideas and thoughts. Recent research shows that large corporations that have women board members are more profitable than those that don’t. This only tells part of the story.

Real innovation must come from change and change takes courage. We’d all still be hitting each other with clubs if there weren’t some of us willing to create tools to go get food.

The more we think about things and try to ‘figure it all out,” the less likely we are to take the risk. The most successful parts of my life.. traveling, new jobs, speaking in front of large groups, etc. all came to me because I didn’t think about what might happen. I just did it.

We don’t have to engage in foolish risks without considering how to mitigate them, but letting “risks stop us from doing new things” is the safe road and on the ‘safe road’ only the guy with the biggest club will survive and I’m not having that.

Photo credit: Projectile Placement skycaptaintwo

9 Deadly Sins of Job Hunting

Ok, these may not be deadly but they can slow down your search. Take care of these and your search will go smoothly because you’ll be building relationships and learning during your entire search.

You may not want to address these issues… but you’ll be glad you did.

I borrowed some of these from 7 Deadly Sales Sins.

1. You don’t know who you are so you can’t concisely tell others. Seems simple enough but trust me, if it’s been a while since you’ve looked for a job… you probably don’t know yourself as well as you need to. Look into those dark corners, root out your foibles and shortcomings and learn to say great things about yourself and your capabilities.

2. You don’t know what you want. If you don’t know where you’re going; any road will take you there. How can others help you if you don’t know what you need or want. I know it’s easier to define what you don’t want. Start there.

3. You don’t know how to easily help others (or worse you don’t understand why it’s important.) Being of service, listening, making referrals, introducing like-minded folks, etc. it’s not hard but you do have to stop thinking about yourself long enough to consider what to do.

4. You don’t understand what recruiters, hiring managers or human resource people need. If you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you’ll be much more effective at getting their attention.

5. You’re afraid. We all are, you are not alone. Some of us just “fake it ’til we make it.” Take a page from that book.

6. You stay in your house and tell people you can’t network because you’re: shy, introverted, technical, a geek, blah, blah, blah. Get over it. Most of us don’t want to meet a bunch of strangers, but we do it.

7. You don’t follow up. You know, thank you notes you talk yourself out of.

8. You don’t have a process for your search. Do you have a spreadsheet of your contacts, companies and connections? Do you have a plan to meet 7-10 new people a week? Do you have a job search ‘buddy’ who can help you? Are you learning new skills?

9. You don’t ask for the job or you ask for every job. Be clear about what you want, who you are and when the time is right, be sure to be clear that you believe this is the job for you and why.

Bonus: You don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile with at least 200 contacts. sigh… what are you waiting for?

I believe in you. Go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: MelB Handovermouth

 

Stuck in the Middle with Me

Do you know when you’re stuck?

Sometimes it takes me a while. But when I’m crankier (than usual), finding fault in the people I love over small things, am afraid to try new things and so on… I realize that I’m stuck. Here are a few things to think about…   You’re not the only person who is stuck, you just need to be brave and reach out to someone else.

Remember, ” When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Symptoms of being stuck include, thinking you’re…

  • always right
  • always wrong
  • the only person who has money troubles (really you lived below your means? … hmmm)
  • married to/in partnership with the wrong person (without fully examining your part in it)
  • in a job that you’re too good for (but you haven’t kept up your skills or networking)
  • in a job you hate (but you don’t haven’t even looked for a new job in years)
  • unemployed for several months (and still scoff at… social media, networking, building skills) unable to  remember the last time you learned something new that took real effort not helping other people
  • a drip… you don’t even want to be around yourself

I understand. The reason this post was so easy to write… this is me. But I’ll tell you this…I stopped doing it as soon as I could.

Please tell me, what are you afraid of… go on, explain it to me or someone else.  Get unstuck. It feels so good. Take one little step.  You can do it!

Photo credit: CHUD.com

6 seconds = How Long Your Resume Gets Looked At…

Have you ever been on the hiring side of a resume? It’s not fun.

You often feel like this guy. Overwhelmed by ‘paper’ and buzzwords that don’t tell you anything.

Before you spend more time and get more opinions about your resume, check out this article, “How Recruiters See Your Resume…” Take a look at the heat map associated with this article.

It tells us that the more structured your resume, the easier it is for those 6 seconds to be productive and get you into the consideration pile vs. the no way pile.

The goal of the resume is to… wait for it… get you an interview! Be sure to think of it that way. It’s not to document your entire work history.

By the way, how’s your Linked In profile? Do you have 300 connections? Do you belong to several groups? Have you uploaded your PowerPoint presentations? Do you answer questions? Make sure you include a live link to your Linked In profile from your resume.

Now go forth and streamline that resume!

Image credit: Career Insider

Stop Using Facebook

I’m a capitalist and an entrepreneur and respect people who start businesses.

What I don’t like are businesses that take advantage of customers. In the world of Free (think Facebook (FB), Google, Twitter, etc.) are services really free?

I have been teaching social media for about 3 years and have heard 100’s of FB stories. Some heart warming (“I keep in touch with my grandchildren”), others disturbing:  lost job opportunities, stalking, loss of privacy and being fired. If only people had thought a little about what they were sharing, many of these terrible circumstances could have been prevented.

In reading the post, “The Facebook Hiatus”, the author deactivated his account because he spent more time reading “status updates than books.” Beyond the issue of time, are you aware of how, how often and with whom FB shares your data?

“Unlike other big corporations, (FB) doesn’t have an inventory of gadgets or cars; its product is personal data — yours and mine, ” says Lori Andrews in, Facebook is Using You.

As FB goes public, we’ll see even more exploitation due to sagging ad revenue. Ads will now be inserted into your news feed and on log out pages.

I know you love FB. All your friends are there. I don’t really expect you to stop using Facebook, I just want you to think before you post.

Photo credit: Inkstainedknuckles.com

Pay Me To Interview, Pay Me to Work.

Oh my but the world of job search is changing in so many ways, I feel like my head is going to explode.  This article, “How Real Time Web Changes Job Search,”is jammed full of ideas, websites and concepts relating to job search.

If you are in HR or looking for work; you need to read this article. Here are just few of the highlights:

On Twitter alone “more than a million tweets about job openings go out every month from 6,000+ employers and 7,700+ job channels via TweetMyJOBS.com

- The traditional job board is disappearing and being replaced by ‘direct sourcing’ which is when hiring decision-makers “identify, reach out to, engage, and convert” only the highly desirable candidates. Passive candidates become the new gold. The better your digital footprint, the easier you’ll be to find.

- Job sites are adding “Who do I know”? buttons to their sites so you can see who you know at a company without going to Linked In.

And one of my favorites… Paid Interviews.com. It actually pays candidates when they successfully interview (read: get hired) and has a virtual water cooler feature which is “a place for candidates to talk about their past employment experiences, it’s like Amazon product ratings, but for companies. It’s a place where you can get unbiased answers about employers around the world.”

If you’re a company with a lousy culture… the good old days might be evaporating before your very eyes. Between sites like paidinterviews.com and glassdoor.com and social networking; hiding is going to get tougher. Ahhh, transparency. Welcome.

Photo credit: http://itaysworld.com/blog/2009/03/03/funny-money-but-of-the-real-kind/

No Fishy Handshakes Please

Last week I was speaking at a big event and had the pleasure of meeting many people. I was, however,  unhappily struck by the number of people who don’t realize the negative impression of their fishy handshake.

What do I mean by a ‘fishy’ handshake? Well, when you offer just the fingers of your hand or when you fail to grasp the other person’s hand and shake it with confidence; you run the risk of having people think you are weak. This especially goes for men shaking hands with women. It is disrespectful to barely shake hands with a woman. It makes them think that you don’t think of them as equals.

You’ve probably heard the story about why we shake hands, i.e.,  to show that we have no weapons in our hands. Aside from the way we dress and eye contact, our handshake is another very important signal of our confidence.

When you shake hands, please, oh please I’m begging you, look the person in the eye and give them a gentle but firm handshake. This isn’t a strength contest but it is a chance to make the other person sit up and take notice of your positive manner.  So ladies,  put your hand out there and shake firmly. Guys, do the same. it’s so important!

Photo Credit: Ads of the World