“But There Are No Jobs @ That Employer!”

Wrong! Yes you saw the headline that “XYZ” employer is laying off staff or cutting their workforce or have heard that they are on a hiring or headcount freeze. It is all true and very real.

What you my fine job seeker/career improver must to remember is that if “XYZ” has 300 employees, SOMEONE there just quit last Friday!

Sue’s husband got a job in Texas so they are moving. Jamal’s parents are in ill-health in Colorado so he has to move there to help. Maria just got divorced and has to move back in with her parents in Peoria because she can’t make rent for her and her two kids without that jerk of an ex-husband’s help. The real world happens. Even in “hiring freeze” companies

Yes, with headcounts being watched very closely an employer may roll “Bob” into that slot that was vacated last week. But “Bob’s” job then needs to be filled. Yes, the employer then may parse out Bob’s work to an already overworked staff, but remember timing is key here!

What does that mean for you? It means you really need to be a hound dog on LinkedIn and find out who is doing what when and where. You can “reverse engineer” a vacancy by seeing who left what company sometimes. You don’t even need to be connected to that person on LinkedIn to follow their career changes!

When you see Maria above has left her job perhaps you know someone who knows someone who knows someone at that firm, through connections on LinkedIn. Start the search by using the “advanced” button on LinkedIn.

Perhaps your connection or even someone new you reach out to will swing you an introduction! After all…when Bob takes Maria’s job someone needs to backfill for him–and with your warm introduction, your unique skills and Twittervator Speech, YOU can be the one!

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Do You Suck at Interviewing?

You wear the right clothing. You are very proficient in your field. You know people in your industry. Your resume was good enough to get the interview. And then you blow it!

Too many people do most things right and then just plain, to be brutal, suck at interviewing.

Top 10 Reminders (that you probably already know):

1. This meeting is THEIR meeting. What can YOU do for THEM?

2. See number one above…focus on what your CONTRIBUTIONS can be to the company…not what they can give to YOU. Don’t lead off asking about the vacation policy!

3. Be on time. Duh!! Scope the trip, the parking, etc. out ahead of time? But don’t show up 30 minutes ahead of time because you look too eager and like you have nothing to do.

4. Make them look away first during that eye contact phase of shaking hands. Look at the bridge of their nose if this idea makes you nervous. Your eye contact shows your confidence.

5. Bring copies of your resume along! You don’t know who will show up at you interview without one. Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared!

6. Bring some questions written in your notebook. I’ve interviewed many who show up with empty hands and it looks like they just wandered in off the street.

7. Regarding number 6, isn’t it worth a few hours on this internet thing to research competitors, industry trends, technology, press releases and investor relations sections so you HAVE good questions? They WILL ask if you have any questions. Sample: “I noticed your competitor, ABC company just released XYZ service/product. How will that affect your similar product/service?”

8.Regarding number 7 and having something to say: Don’t say TOO MUCH!! America’s Job Coach would be living in a most favorable city where he interviewed many years ago if he followed this edict. He was right for the job but TOO EAGER. He talked the interviewers to DEATH. He had the job and pissed it away! Better to ask: “Does that answer your question or would you like more detail?” Tap the brakes now and then.

9. If you are interviewing for a SALES related job, DON’T say, “I can get by on “X dollars.” The sales manager wants to know you will knock the cover off their quotas…not “settle.” Try “My goals are to sell enough of your product / service to enjoy a six figure income in six to twelve months. If I make enough sales, will your commission plan get me there?”

10. If you are interviewing for a technology-related position, it’s a buyer’s market for talent. If your tech skills are outdated admit it and don’t play the overused “I’m a fast learner” bit. How about “I am only familiar with your ABC platform BUT, my INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS WITH USERS LIKE YOURS can help move your IT department forward. Would you like more detail?”

Bottom line: Be strategic. Be prepared. Stare them down. Use success stories (next blog post). Smile! 🙂

Good stories on the above strategies abound in “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010” …a timeless classic.