The job search process can be daunting. Just like preparing for a big storm to hit, there are some things you can do help prepare for a successful job search. Absolutely Abby spoke to the New Horizons Network organized by Pete Chatfield last week about the Six Ways to take your Job Search by Storm. Here’s the recap if you missed the session.
There are four key areas where preparation will make a difference.
- Research the company before you get into the interview. If you have not done your homework, when the recruiter or hiring manager starts to talk about the company, do not act surprised. If you act surprised, they will think you did not do your due diligence.
- Prepare for the “whys”. The recruiter or hiring manager want to know – why do you want to work for them. This question may sound simple, but it really is an important question. Companies want people who are excited about their product and services and if there is special meaning or connection with the mission they will be more interested in you.
- Prepare your SAR’s. SAR stands for situation, action and results. Develop and practice at least 8-10 situations where you can explain your talents, abilities and results and be ready to use them during the interview process. SAR’s are great for answering behavioral interview questions and the weakness and strength questions.
- Prepare questions to ask the recruiter or hiring manager during and at the end of the interview. Here are some of the questions you might think about asking:
- Is there anything I said that would cause you not to pass me along? While a negative question, it does force out the objections about hiring you.
- If there was one thing you could change about the culture, what would it be?
- How well does my profile match up with the candidate you are looking for?
- Why do you like working for the company?
- Six months from now and you said I exceeded results – what would I have done?
- What are the challenges that keep you up at night and how can I solve them?
Bottom line: The better prepared you are going into the interview, the better impression you will make.
Abby was very clear about this – you cannot complain about anything or anyone while you are in an interview. Not the weather, president or that your favorite team lost a game, the economy, your last job or boss or the fact that the recruiter doesn’t follow up with you. You never know who is listening to you and what impression you are leaving with them.
Bottom line: People like to help others who are positive.
One of the secrets to a successful job search is being persistent with your targeted companies. There are a number ways you can get their attention and stand out of the stack of resumes sitting on their desk. Here are some of the ideas that were shared:
- Send a shoe with a note – Just getting my foot in the door.
- Send an ice cream scooper – Get the scoop on me!
- Personalized fortune cookie with your unique saying.
- Send a cookie clock – it’s time to hire (you).
- Fax your resume – no one uses the fax so when it goes off everyone wants to see who is sending a message.
Bottom line: Take a risk and be unique!
Companies want to have employees who are pliable and flexible. Here are some of the areas where you may need to review how pliable you are:
- Relocation to a new area
- Commuting time or distance
- Hours of the job – many businesses run 24/7 or with extended hours
- Starting a business on your own
- Using temporary jobs, consulting or contracting as a springboard
Bottom line: The more pliable you are, the more opportunities there will be to explore.
Finally, even if you don’t have job think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Even though you may be struggling financially, you probably still have:
In a storm, people do without many of these things we take for granted and then realize what they really do have.
If you find yourself getting down, make your top 10 list and put it in a place where you can review it every day. Another option is to volunteer in your community, it will invigorate your sense of giving to other in greater need than yourself – the added bonus – it is a great way to network and build skills.
Bottom line: Don’t take for granted what you do have in your life.
General Job Search Questions
Toward the end of the presentation, Abby fielded more questions from the group. Here are some of them:
- How do you ask a manager if they are a micro-manager without asking them outright? Here are two suggestions:
- Simply ask, “What is your management style?”
- Find someone who has worked for them in the past and ask them – but be sure you do it after you get the offer.
- How many SARs stories do you need to develop? At least 10 of them and you must memorize them.
- How often can you follow-up after sending in your resume? Once a week – after the deadline for resume submissions has passed.
- References – do I need them? Yes, you need three of them and they need to be from different companies and bosses that you have worked for.
- Salary requirements – what do I say when I am asked? On your cover letter show that salary is negotiable. If you don’t state that, you will not get a call. You can also state a salary range or minimum salary. Remember not to add any bonuses into the salary unless you are in sales.
Bottom Line: Weathering the Job Hunting Storm can be done.
You can review the other two Absolutely Abby sessions here: