May 2010 » CHICAGO JOB MARKET
INTERVIEW PREPARATION BLOG

Archive for May, 2010

NETWORKING: THE KEY TO SUCCESS DURING THESE TOUGH TIMES!

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Is higher learning currently worth your time and expense? An Ivy League education now costs around $200,000. Yet, 2 million college graduates are now out-of-work! Traditionally, many continued on after college to graduate programs because of the high payoffs. For example, law school had historically been a ticket to financial security. This spring 40,000 law school students braved three additional tough years of classes and the huge expense in hopes of a brighter future. Unfortunately, their situation is so bleak that many students and industry experts are rethinking the value of a law degree.

Landing a job continues to be a Herculean task especially with the official unemployment rate at 9.9%. The actual figure may be a lot higher due to many workers giving up looking for work, which leads to them not being counted by the official statistics. This problem affects young and old, skilled and unskilled. What is a worker to do?

Tough times require tough measures. One proven historical technique is networking. Instead, many candidates spend a lot of time and money developing and sending out their resumes. Regrettably, most human resource people only spend 5 to 10 seconds, when they do review your resume at all, only to screen you out! Instead, I recommend networking to generate interviews.

Though networking is not easy, it has a huge payoff. There are two types of networking: 1) traditional and 2) new, e-networking. Traditional networking has two types. First, is telling everyone you know that you are looking for a job. This includes friends and family. The second type is business networking. This includes joining associations in your field and meeting key decision makers.

The second form of networking is e-networking. This encompasses leveraging social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to meet people in your field, engage them in discussions and uncover key information about companies and bosses you wish to work for. E-networking is like networking on steroids because you can exponentially ramp up your Rolodex of contacts in a very short time! Also, you do not need to directly approach contacts for job opportunities. Instead, you can contribute to online discussions and create blog posts to become a recognized leader in your niche. This will get you noticed by hiring managers.

Whichever form of networking you choose, a valuable tool I recommend is the 30-second elevator pitch. Your goal during this pitch is to quickly convey three key items: 1) who you are? 2) What you are looking for? And 3) your 2-3 greatest strengths that you can offer an employer. You need to repeatedly practice this pitch in the mirror, in a tape recorder or on videotape until you perfect it. Then share it with everyone you know and meet.

Unfortunately, the job market remains tough. Fortunately, there are some proven techniques you can employ to increase your chances of success. One such technique is networking. By doing so you will meet key decision makers who can help you land a job.

The Power Of Push For Landing A Job

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Finding a job, like losing weight is a difficult task especially during these tough economic times. I have been fighting a propensity towards obesity my whole life. Fortunately, over the last few years I have lost over thirty pounds and kept it off for over one year! In order to achieve this success I have had to develop a stringent routine including keeping a daily food log of everything I eat, exercising hard at least five times per week and regularly employing positive self-talk to keep me on track.

Unfortunately, I do relapse including this weekend when several nights I stayed out very late (e.g. 5 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning) and binge ate! In order to end the rut, I had to push myself very hard today including an hour-long workout before lunch and very closely monitoring my food intakes. It was not easy, but the alternatives are disastrous. The caveat is there is no quick fix to weight loss. Instead it takes employing a lot of positive self-talk to encourage you to push yourself especially during those times when you really don’t feel like it!

The same it true for your job search. It is very easy to get discouraged during these rough times. However, as I have shared previously, you need to keep a daily journal of all your activities (similar to my food log). Furthermore, you need to push yourself when you don’t want to do certain things (e.g. networking). Keeping a daily journal keeps you on task similar to how it has assisted me during my major weight loss.

Thoroughly Research Your Next Employer!

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Please go to http://www.strategicsearch.com/interview-preparation-tips/index.php and click on 11th (below) to view this month’s interviewing tip, which is thoroughly research your next employer.

This is an often-neglected step in landing your next job. Relying upon a friend or recruiter’s pitch is not enough. It is important to dig up a lot of employment information on the industry, the company and your next boss. Use the Internet, a local library and D&B Reports. This can take a lot of time, but failure to do so can be disastrous.

It is better to uncover a weak company before you join than six months after starting work. So remember to thoroughly research your next employer.

Phone Screen 1st To Gain More Interview Information

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Please go to http://www.strategicsearch.com/technical-recruiting-tips/ and click on 11th (below) to view his month’s technical recruiting tip, which is phone screen first.

The key is you can gain a lot of information from a properly structured phone interview. This can save you a lot of time and money in the interview process. For example, it can prevent you from spending thousands to fly the wrong person in. Furthermore, it can save the precious hours of your executive’s time to interview this erroneous job candidate. So remember to phone screen first!