Be Strategic in Your Job SearchWant a new job or a career this year?  Follow my three simple tips to help you make a career change faster…

As a lead recruiter and Interview Coach, I’m seeing that many professionals make the mistake of posting their resume/CV online, or sending their resume to recruiters – and then sitting back and waiting for something to happen.  In today’s tough job market, you need to be smarter, more strategic and much more assertive.

My clients are having remarkable success by applying these three simple strategies…

1. Create a Strategic Job Search Plan.

It’s easier to get hired when you know which companies are hiring. Find out where your potential employers are by reading job boards as well as industry news, business journals and company websites.

*On-line job boards – some job search sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs, or low paying jobs.  Why waste your time?  Instead, research job boards by job title and location to find those with the most updated job listings.  Bookmark those sites a review them weekly.

*Company websites – create a list of targeted companies where you WANT to work, and then check their job sites weekly. Also, talk to your network and search LinkedIn to find people who are currently working, or worked in the past, at each of your targeted companies.

2. Build Relationships.

The #1 way professionals are getting hired in today’s job market is by getting a referral within the hiring organization.  That means, you need to make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected to those who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.

Get re-connected with past employers, colleagues and customers.  Meet new contacts by attending conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings that target the industry or job role that you want.

Also, you never want to give the impression that you’re hungry for a job.  Send out personal emails with information that you think would interest them such as links to videos, press releases, case studies or websites.  Invite them to networking events.  Introduce them to others in your network.  The goal is to create a relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (and not running away from you!:-)

3. Think Up, Down and Sideways.

One of the biggest mistakes job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same job title as the one they had in their last job.  Instead, consider looking at smaller companies and going one level up, as well as larger companies and going one level down.

Additionally, some companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function.  This means that you can double your opportunities by applying for jobs in a variety of industries.

When you’re searching for a new job remember to stay focused on what you want, stay positive and believe in yourself.   It takes persistence and patience, but you WILL find those companies who jump at the chance to hire you!:-)

If you need help with your job search strategy/personal branding or interviewing skill, let’s have a quick chat over the phone or Skype if you are abroad, and see if we can transform your job search experience.

The call costs nothing click on the link below and let the technology fix a time for us to speak:

http://my.vcita.com/daba43a1/scheduler 

If none of the times suggested work for you, please respond to this email with your availability.

Warm regards

Margaret Buj

Interview and Career Coach

 

 

spend moneuI had recently worked with an accountant who’d been to 17 (yes, seventeen!) interviews in the last several weeks, yet she still hadn’t secured a job offer. Her interview technique was very poor though, and I was very pleased that after our session, she secured a job offer after her next interview.

I’ve also worked with a senior manager who got through to the final interview stage 4 times in recent weeks – he was obviously pretty strong already, so we only had to tweak his interview technique and delivery style a little bit for him to succeed within a short time frame.

I’d also spoken to someone else, let’s call her Kate. Kate has been looking for a new job for 7 months now. We had a conversation, and she’s told me about all the negative interview feedback she’d been receiving. I knew I could help her having dealt with hundreds of similar clients before. Yet Kate didn’t want to spend any money as she wasn’t working right now.

That got me thinking about a lot of other people I come across who are just like Kate. They view investing in their career as a cost, not an investment.

They don’t realize that looking for a job is like running a business. 

I know you’ve probably heard this before. But let’s get real with it. When a business hires a consultant, it is viewed as an investment not a cost. ROI is determined. Need is greater than cost. And a decision is made. (plus consultants are tax deductable)

I find it strange that job seekers don’t see their career coaches as a similar investment.

Instead most people make the mistake of only looking at the price tag. And that is bad business.

After all, your career or interview coach may be able to shave months off of your job search (if they are any good, that is). There are plenty of average ones out there.

So how do you determine your investment?

First, think about how much you used to earn. Let’s say that is £3,000 per month.

Therefore, the opportunity cost of not having a job is £3,000 per month minus unemployment benefits (if you have any).

You lose £3,000 every month. 

Kate I’ve mentioned before used to be on £56k per year in her previous job. Even if her new job was only going to be £50k per year, she’s already lost out on close to £30k by not working and not getting any support that would get her the result she is looking for.

A good interview/career coach or some kind of job search program will cost you between £200 (if you only need one session) and £1500 in total. An interview coaching session will cost you £150-£300.

I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve seen who have been out of work for months (in one case 2 years!) and who got a job within several weeks (sometimes within a week!) of working with me. The same clients who thought spending £200 on getting some support was ‘too expensive’ ended up losing out on £10k, £20, £50k by not getting the support they needed and wasting months on unsuccessful interviewing.

What Questions Should I Ask?

When deciding on a career/interview coach or job seeking program, you only really need to know if they can help you get a result. So ask them:
• What is the average number of months your clients take to get a job?
• How many job interviews do you think you can help me get per week?
• What is your success rate?
• What is your recruitment/interviewing experience? (There are a lot of consultants out there who’ve never worked in recruitment, they probably can’t find jobs themselves and so they pretend to help others find employment)

Where to Start

If you don’t know what you want to do or want a complete career change, you really need to see a career change expert. Someone who can help you with self-assessments and personality matching. I don’t specialize in career change myself but I could recommend someone if you were interested.

If you happen to like my advice and think that I can shave some months off of your job search, please answer a few questions at www.talkwithmargaret.com and I’ll contact you to find out more about your situation.

Remember, never think of a consultant, coach or training program as a cost. Think of it as an investment. Calculate the benefits of that investment intelligently. And you could be back to work or in a new, great job sooner that you think. 

___________________________________________________________

Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach who’s helped hundreds of professionals across Europe and the US to get the jobs and promotions they really wanted. Margaret also has 9 years of experience recruiting for a variety of positions at all levels across Europe and in the US, primarily in technology and e-commerce sectors. If you want to find out how recruiters read resumes, why you are not getting hired, how to sell yourself successfully in a job interview, and how to negotiate your best salary yet, you can download her FREE “You’re HIRED!” video course.

 

hire me

Someone’s asked me this question on my Facebook page last week.

While I won’t give you a straight yes or no answer – I’d like share some observations from my recruitment work and also my interview coaching practice.

Firstly, don’t let a list of requirements on a job description to intimidate you, especially if it is a very long list. The list of requirements is often more of a wish list for the ideal candidate and that ideal candidate doesn’t always exist.

Employers aren’t always looking for an exact match, but more for a skill set. Let’s suppose they are looking for an event planner who’s done some hospital foundation benefits, and you have experience running non profits fundraisers in the arts world – you’ll probably fit the bill quite well.

You need to prove that your experience qualifies you to do the job you’re applying for. You do this by using specific examples throughout your resume and cover letter. Or, if you have the experience an employer is looking for, but just not quite enough, you can draw their attention to your positive track record that shows that you’re ready to take on more responsibilities.

Also, if they are looking for specific skills: whether it is CRM software or Javascript or knowledge of languages, list them on your resume.

Having said all that – if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, please don’t apply – you are wasting your time and you are wasting recruiters’ time.

If you apply for something you are completely not qualified for, you won’t be remembered in a positive light. I’ve seen the same person apply for over 20 jobs within our company. Even if a job came up that this person would be suitable for, they just wouldn’t be considered a credible candidate.

You should read the entire job description, do some research on the company and use your sound judgment to decide if you want to apply or not.

I get so many unsuitable applications that I sometimes wonder if the candidate has fully read the job description.

Just to give you an example, I am currently looking for a Sr. Marketing Manager for Germany and Austria who speaks fluent German and this is one of the first requirements listed on a job description.

Guess what?

More than half of the people who’ve applied, don’t speak German.

Or if I am looking for an experienced media sales person, even if you’ve been a sales super star in another industry, you most likely won’t be considered.

You’re really going to have the best chances applying for jobs that you’re qualified for – you don’t have to be a perfect match, but you should be fairly close. When employers get a lot of applications from highly qualified candidates, there’s just no incentive for them to consider someone less qualified.

Of course, there are degrees of qualified. If they want 10 years of experience and you have 2 years, this isn’t the job for you. But if they want 3-5 years of experience and you have 2 years, and you can write a really good cover letter and point to excellent achievements in those two years, I’d say go ahead and apply.

Because there are so many candidates applying for most open positions these days, many times, companies find themselves ruling out perfectly qualified candidates simply because they have too many from which to choose.  With this in mind, please do yourself the favor and don’t apply for jobs if you’re just not qualified.

Employers write their job descriptions in order to attract candidates who are a good match.  If the ad says they’re looking for X, Y, and Z qualifications, I can guarantee you one thing: Yes, they really mean it!

The idea is to put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.

What should make them excited about hiring you or inviting you to an interview?

That’s what needs to be reflected in your cover letter and your resume. If you can’t figure out why they should be excited about hiring you, then there’s no way you can expect them to figure it out — and that means you need to move on to a different opening, one where you can make a compelling case for yourself.

I hope that you’ve found this useful – I’d love to hear your comments on what I’ve said below whether you agree or disagree.

If you’d like my help with:

  • Creating an innovative self-marketing strategy that enhances your reputation with a consistent online and offline brand presence.
  • Building a great resume that gets you to interviews and makes you stand out for skills, talents and knowledge.
  • Articulating the story of your career in a way that will make companies want to hire you on the spot
  • Mastering interviews, learning how to demonstrate your expertise effectively and becoming aware of ways even qualified candidates unknowingly disqualify themselves during the hiring process.
  • Learning empathy techniques that connect you to interviewers making them want to give YOU the role.

Check out my Career Acceleration Plan and if you’d like a no-obligation conversation to see if this might be a fit for you, please email me on margaret@interview-coach.co.uk.

___________________________________________________________

Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach who’s helped hundreds of professionals across Europe and the US to get the jobs and promotions they really wanted. Margaret also has 9 years of experience recruiting for a variety of positions at all levels across Europe and in the US, primarily in technology and e-commerce sectors. If you want to find out how recruiters read resumes, why you are not getting hired, how to sell yourself successfully in a job interview, and how to negotiate your best salary yet, you can download her FREE “You’re HIRED!” video course.

 

 

Are you stuck in the notion that the job interview is just about the job duties – it’s NOT! Here is what the interviewer is really looking for.

CAN HE/SHE DO THE JOB?
The first item of business for an interviewer to determine is if you have the qualification to perform the duties of the job. That is the basic part of interviewing – to determine if the qualifications and experiences fit the requirements of the position. I talked about how to make yourself and yourself stand out from other candidates in my previous blog post

DO WE LIKE HIM/HER? WILL HE/SHE FIT IN?
The next item of business is to find out if this person is a good ‘fit’ for the job. In other words, will he fit into the team and the company culture? Although this is more subjective part of the interview, it can make or break your chances of getting the job.
The way you answer a question could be sending the wrong message. Are you describing yourself in the best light?

QUESTION: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
On the surface this appears to be a straightforward question, but if you answer too hastily you may end up sounding like every other candidate. What makes you unique? How can you make yourself stand out and be remembered?

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons: to hear where you place the emphasis in your description, and to see how quickly and creatively you can think on the spot. SPICE UP YOUR ANSWERS.

Don’t leave the interviewer with the same old answers everybody else gives. Think about new ways to get your message across and sell yourself.

“I am a high energy person”. This answer needs more detail and energy.

“I am a person who is energized by challenges and problems”. Better – but you might want to back your answer with some brief explanation of what challenge/problem you’ve recently overcome at work.

“I am a hard worker”. The most common phrase used. No imagination.

“I do whatever it takes to get the job done’ sometimes working 10h days.”

“I am a quick learner.” An overused phrase which has lost its effectiveness. Along with “I work well in a team as well as on my own.” (This is probably the biggest cliché I see in job applications)

“I can hit the ground running and come up to speed faster than anyone I know” (again, back it up with some example of when you’ve done that)

“I am analytical”. A lack luster answer, which does not reveal much information.

“I am a whiz at analyzing data and transforming it into useful information”

“I am very organized”. This is a very understated answer.

“I am a person who can bring order to chaos.” (again, backed up with some example proving your point)

“I am reliable”. This answer needs more information to get point across. “I pride myself on my record of never missing deadlines”

“I am good with customers”. The answer needs clarification – good in what way?

“I build great relationships with customers – they always ask for me.”

SCRIPTING EXERCISE

Describing your personality is like writing ads for a product. What makes you unique? Are you the type of person who’d fit into this organisation? Your job is to convince your interviewer that you are that person. Make a list of personality traits that describe you. The qualities you’d like the interviewer to remember after the interview. Use some of the same words in the job posting.

Requirement: “Must have 5 of more years experience, managing a diverse population of employees”.

Your Answer: “I work well with all types of people”.
This is a rather flat statement and not specific. Try a new slant using more powerful words.

“I am a person who values others’ qualities and contributions. My employees would tell you that I am a very fair manager who listens when they have something to say.”

The more specific you are with your answer, the better your chances of leaving a lasting impression. Interviewers talk to several candidates in a single day. What will make you a memorable candidate?

In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about how you can describe your personality in a way that makes you stand out. The buyer needs to be sold on your uniqueness and abilities. When you sound like everybody else, you look like everybody else. Distinguishing yourself from the pack will give you the edge. A little work before the interview will put some zip in your pitch.

If you’d like some help in identifying your unique selling points to use during the interview and creating examples to use to impress the employer, you might be interested in my e-Guide “Land That Job!” at http://www.landthatjob.co.uk

In this guide, I will also give you specific examples of CVs and covering letters from different industries, tell you what to say to handle employer’s typical concerns and how to negotiate a better salary. There is a whole excellent chapter on how to negotiate a salary/pay-rise.

If you want fool-proof strategies, that you can learn and apply quickly and easily so that you’re way ahead of the pack, you can get “Land That Job” for only £15 instead of £27 when you enter VIP15 when you check out. I might take the discount away at any time, so if this is something of interest, you need to act fast:-)

To your job interview success!

Are you stuck in the notion that the job interview is just about the job duties – it’s NOT! Here is what the interviewer is really looking for.

CAN HE/SHE DO THE JOB?
The first item of business for an interviewer to determine is if you have the qualification to perform the duties of the job. That is the basic part of interviewing – to determine if the qualifications and experiences fit the requirements of the position. I talked about how to make yourself and yourself stand out from other candidates in my previous blog post: http://bit.ly/wE2QhP

DO WE LIKE HIM/HER? WILL HE/SHE FIT IN?
The next item of business is to find out if this person is a good ‘fit’ for the job. In other words, will he fit into the team and the company culture? Although this is more subjective part of the interview, it can make or break your chances of getting the job.
The way you answer a question could be sending the wrong message. Are you describing yourself in the best light?

QUESTION: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
On the surface this appears to be a straightforward question, but if you answer too hastily you may end up sounding like every other candidate. What makes you unique? How can you make yourself stand out and be remembered?

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons: to hear where you place the emphasis in your description, and to see how quickly and creatively you can think on the spot. SPICE UP YOUR ANSWERS.

Don’t leave the interviewer with the same old answers everybody else gives. Think about new ways to get your message across and sell yourself.

“I am a high energy person”. This answer needs more detail and energy.

“I am a person who is energized by challenges and problems”. Better – but you might want to back your answer with some brief explanation of what challenge/problem you’ve recently overcome at work.

“I am a hard worker”. The most common phrase used. No imagination.

“I do whatever it takes to get the job done’ sometimes working 10h days.”

“I am a quick learner.” An overused phrase which has lost its effectiveness. Along with “I work well in a team as well as on my own.” (This is probably the biggest cliché I see in job applications)

“I can hit the ground running and come up to speed faster than anyone I know” (again, back it up with some example of when you’ve done that)

“I am analytical”. A lack luster answer, which does not reveal much information.

“I am a whiz at analyzing data and transforming it into useful information”

“I am very organized”. This is a very understated answer.

“I am a person who can bring order to chaos.” (again, backed up with some example proving your point)

“I am reliable”. This answer needs more information to get point across. “I pride myself on my record of never missing deadlines”

“I am good with customers”. The answer needs clarification – good in what way?

“I build great relationships with customers – they always ask for me.”

SCRIPTING EXERCISE

Describing your personality is like writing ads for a product. What makes you unique? Are you the type of person who’d fit into this organisation? Your job is to convince your interviewer that you are that person. Make a list of personality traits that describe you. The qualities you’d like the interviewer to remember after the interview. Use some of the same words in the job posting.

Requirement: “Must have 5 of more years experience, managing a diverse population of employees”.

Your Answer: “I work well with all types of people”.
This is a rather flat statement and not specific. Try a new slant using more powerful words.

“I am a person who values others’ qualities and contributions. My employees would tell you that I am a very fair manager who listens when they have something to say.”

The more specific you are with your answer, the better your chances of leaving a lasting impression. Interviewers talk to several candidates in a single day. What will make you a memorable candidate?

In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about how you can describe your personality in a way that makes you stand out. The buyer needs to be sold on your uniqueness and abilities. When you sound like everybody else, you look like everybody else. Distinguishing yourself from the pack will give you the edge. A little work before the interview will put some zip in your pitch.

If you’d like some help in identifying your unique selling points to use during the interview and creating examples to use to impress the employer, you might be interested in my e-Guide “Land That Job!” at http://www.landthatjob.co.uk

In this guide, I will also give you specific examples of CVs and covering letters from different industries, tell you what to say to handle employer’s typical concerns and how to negotiate a better salary. There is a whole excellent chapter on how to negotiate a salary/pay-rise.

If you want fool-proof strategies, that you can learn and apply quickly and easily so that you’re way ahead of the pack, you can get “Land That Job” for only £15 instead of £27 when you enter VIP15 when you check out. I might take the discount away at any time, so if this is something of interest, you need to act fast:-)

To your job interview success!