Got a question you'd like a recruiter to answer?  Submit it here!

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Recruiters are an integral part of the 2015 job search.  And that's a good thing.  My recruiter friends are happy to dish on how to work with them and how you can put your best foot forward.  Each week I ask them a question that will help you enrich your recruiter relationships.

This week I asked:
A great candidate made it to the “final two”, but didn’t get the offer. What could that candidate do that would encourage you to keep her/him in mind for future openings?

Here’s what recruiters suggest you do to remain in their own AND in employers' "candidate pipelines":

Thank interviewers and the recruiter
  • Send a thank-you note to everyone who participated in the interviews.
           -  Include a link to an article of mutual interest.
           -  Note that you will be following the company on social media.
           -  Offer best wishes to the team/company and their future endeavors.
           -  To the hiring manager/lead interviewer: ask for consideration if circumstances change
              in the future regarding the position. (Happens more often than you would think!)

  • Send a thank-you note to the recruiter – whether internal or external
           -  Thank the recruiter for working with you.
           -  Accept the #2 spot graciously.
           -  Briefly explain why it was a positive experience for you.
           -  Ask the recruiter for feedback from the company on how you could have
              improved your performance.
           -  Cite additional roles you could fill for the employer (and similar companies,
              if writing to an external recruiter).


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ideally [if you follow these guidelines], you'll be positioned to fill an open or vacated role before they even have time to update the job postings!!  D. Parillo     _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Invite interviewers and the recruiter to connect on LinkedIn
           -  Send a LinkedIn invite to everyone who participated in the interviews.
           -  DO NOT use the default invitation verbiage. Make it personal.
           -  DO mention that you would like to keep in touch.
           -  Then, send a LinkedIn invitation to connect with the recruiter.

Remain engaged with the employer and, if applicable, the external recruiter’s firm
           -  Follow the employer (and the external recruiter’s firm) on social media.
           -  Congratulate the company on new product launches, awards, and achievements.
           -  Visit the employer’s or external recruiter’s firm booth at industry conferences,
              career fairs, or networking events.
           -  Attend future social media presentations or events in which the employer or external
              recruiting firm participates.
           -  If you've not already done so, set up a search agent to receive alerts for future job
              openings from the employer.



Extra special thanks to:
Barbara Marks, internal recruiter with eVestment
Daniel Parillo, internal recruiter manager with Razer and co-founder of RecruiterJob.net
Hermann Kepfer, internal recruiter with RAND corporation


Recruiters:  Any additional thoughts?
Job searchers:  How will you change your post-interview actions giving this advice from recruiters?



Please share with someone who is looking to find a great job.  Thanks!
 
 

    Got a question you'd like a recruiter to answer?  Submit it here!

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Recruiters are an integral part of the 2015 job search.  And that's a good thing.  My recruiter friends are happy to dish on how to work with them and how you can put your best foot forward.  Each week I ask them a question that will help you enrich your recruiter relationships.

This week I asked:
What should job searchers keep in mind when devising their strategy for working with recruiters?

Here are the responses I received:

External Recruiters
  • External recruiters work for employers, not for job searchers.  It doesn't mean they don't care.  And, because their fee may be dependent on your getting the job, they have a stake in your success.  But, in the end, they are seeking the best match for the employer.

  • Although you may have your initial formal interview with a recruiter, any time you are talking with a recruiter, you should be in "interview" mode.  This is true for both internal and external recruiters.

  • If they identify you as a good candidate, they will keep you in mind, especially if they specialize in a very narrow area with limited candidates at each level.

  • They are very focused on the job openings they are trying to fill at any given time.  Keep communications brief and specific to an opening. 

  • They use social media a lot.  Make sure you have an online presence (especially LinkedIn but others as well) and that your profiles are comprehensive and up to date. 

  • The old "add me to your database" strategy doesn't work as well today because people change jobs more frequently now.  Recruiters are more likely to run a search on any given day to locate candidates than to refer back to a prior list.

  • Some recruiters will connect with you on LinkedIn especially if you are searching in their niche and if you provide info on your key skills and experience rather than the default invite. 

  • When you are working with an external recruiter, you can learn a lot about the prospective employer and what the employer is seeking. 

  • They may help you gather feedback from your interviewers on your performance and the reason you weren't selected.

  • Connect them with GOOD candidates for their openings whenever possible.

  • The best way to establish relationships with external recruiters is to contact them regarding a particular job opening of theirs, impress the heck out of a potential employer, and, even if you don't get the offer, stay in touch. 

Internal Recruiters

  • These recruiters, of course, work for a specific company or group of companies.  They are active in searching for candidates, coordinating hiring efforts with external recruiters, and in accepting applications from candidates

  • Regardless of how you make your initial contact with an internal recruiter, be sure that you request guidance and "follow the rules" on getting your application into their Human Resources system.

  • They may help you get feedback from your interviewers on your performance and the reason you weren't selected.

  • More often than you would think, they will keep you in mind if you impress them with your credentials, but don't make the final cut for an offer.  This is especially valuable when the company decides to add another posting for a position they recently filled or the initial candidate doesn't work out. 

  • Some recruiters will connect with you on LinkedIn if you are a credible candidate in their industry or role and if you give them a reason rather than using the default invite.
 
  • Follow their positions and refer GOOD candidates to them whenever possible. 

  • The best way to establish relationships with internal recruiters is to be referred by a company employee, impress the heck out of the company employees who interview you, and, even if you don't get the offer, stay in touch.


Recruiters:  What should candidates keep in mind about working with recruiters?
Job searchers:  What have you learned working with recruiters during your job search?

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!
 
 
Just because you’re following the same How to Get a Job in 90 Days Plan as others doesn’t mean that your job search should look and feel like theirs.  No way!  Review the profiles below; select the one that is most like you. Then check out my thoughts on how you may want to adapt your job search so it reflects who you are.

So how would you describe yourself? 


The Hipster
Moving fast and taking advantage of every tech and trick in the book to keep up the pace?  You've got big plans.  Maybe you're a Hipster.

The Social Butterfly
Constantly connected to others?  Into sharing and helping others? Have you ever in your life met a stranger?  You thrive on interacting with others.  Maybe you're a Social Butterfly

The Traditionalist
Confident?  Are you just looking for someone to point you in the right direction and you're good to go?  You have some things to learn, but you have some things to teach as well.  Maybe you're a Traditionalist.

The Newbie
Uncertain, but not unprepared?  You know you can do the job, but need some help landing in the right place?  Is this your first rodeo?  You need guidance, not constraints.  Maybe you're a Newbie.

The whole point here is to follow the plan, because every step is critical, BUT do it your way.  Inject your personality.  Go with your strengths. 


Some ideas to get you moving...

Please share this post with someone you know who is looking to find their ideal job!
 
 
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I was brand-new to job search consulting when Richard became my client. Richard had been a client of the previous consultant for over three months, a long time, given the excellent job market at the time.

Richard was very overweight, which would have been fine IF he carried himself well and projected a high level of energy. Richard did neither of these. His posture was poor and he seemed to shuffle rather than walk through the office. I was concerned about how prospective employers would perceive him.

And he wouldn't leave the office. Richard would come in at 7:30am and spend the entire day on the computer. He would rarely leave the technology center. A real problem in 1996. Sure, there were some job postings on “listserves” and “bulletin boards” (I think they were called).

But an online job search twenty years ago was not the introvert’s dream it is today.

Successful clients got out of the office, did lunch, met supporters and new contacts for coffee, and attended professional organization meetings and career fairs. 

He wore a suit every day in anticipation of the interview we were sure would never come.

Although Richard was shy, he was well liked in the office.  Because he was a technology whiz and always available, he often helped fellow clients use the computers. But he would sit silently in lead exchange meetings and was uncomfortable and inarticulate in practice interviews. 

From our conversations, I realized that Richard was highly skilled in accounting software that was becoming popular in the manufacturing industry. He wanted a job implementing that software.

So we formulated a research and communication plan. Richard, because of his technical skills, used our online job search tools to develop a solid list of software users and distributors. And we developed introductory emails highlighting his skill and experience in software implementations and maintenance.

Richard sent one email to companies he had identified as current software users.  He sent a variation of that email to distributors asking for recommendations to new clients and prospective buyers.

While Richard responded to inquiries during the week, I developed a plan to make Richard interview-ready. With him in mind, I negotiated a deal with the fitness center next door to offer our clients a free one-month program.  I found myself rehearsing the following Monday morning on my way to the office, how I would talk frankly with Richard.  My plan was to to advise him to start an exercise program and adapt his demeanor to project more energy and engagement. He was a sweet guy and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I was not looking forward to the conversation.

It was my job, however, to ensure that he present his best self in what I hoped would be a coming round of interviews.     


I was surprised that Richard was not at his usual computer when I arrived and ducked my head in the technology center. But i was thrilled when, an hour later, the receptionist buzzed me to say that Richard had a job. A job? She must mean an interview, right?

“No,” she said, “He got a job. Starts next week.” Richard had gotten a job between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.

I had only a few minutes to debrief with Richard. Turns out, that’s all it took for his new employer to make a decision. He received the offer after a 30-minute interview. They had a problem – how to successfully implement new software. Richard had the expertise to solve their problem.    

Would my efforts to help Richard present a sharper presence to prospective employers have been wasted? Absolutely not.

Fortunately, it turned out that Richard’s new employer was wise enough to overlook superficial attributes and focus on Richard’s strengths.

Were our joint efforts to position Richard as a solution to an employer’s problem critical to his success? Absolutely. 

Companies have problems.  Successful job search candidates have solutions.

What I hope you learned
When you have clearly identified what you offer, you can identify who is likely to need what you offer. In doing so, you may be able to overcome typical job search challenges and reduce the time to receive an offer.

What to do
1.  Develop your Job Search Datasheet to identify what you are selling.
2.  Clearly articulate what you offer a prospective employer in your resume, cover
     letter, and oral and written communications
.
3.  Identify the problem you are a solution to.
4.  Build your Target Company List to create a list of companies who might have that problem. 

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!


 
 
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You'll be writing lots of emails throughout your job search. And the right one could seal the deal. Here's how to make your emails do what you want them to do.



  • Complete the "To:" field only after you have completed the email to your satisfaction to avoid accidental sending.
  • Write from a professional email address.
  • Identify the result you want from the email.
  • Address the recipient by name.
  • Write as a "real [professional] person" talks.
  • Refer to previous correspondence.
  • Use bullet points to create white space.
  • Use numbers to create order.
  • Minimize multi-syllabic, "hoity-toity" words. [See why?]
  • Clearly communicate the action you want the reader to take.
  • Review the email:
            1.  Did you follow a logical order?
            2.  Does the recipient know what to do next?               
  • End with a signature that includes contact information.

Bonus tip: Add an English teacher friend to your Board of Advisors to serve as your job search editor.

What I hoped you got from this post:
Emails are important communication channels.  Make your emails stand out from the rest and do what you want them to do.


Take action:
Act as if every email you send will be the one that will get you the job.


Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!  Kat

 
 
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Maybe you won't shave two weeks off your job search by composing and re-using a basic job search email, but you will save some time and a ton of "psychic energy".

Note that I'm not suggesting that every email you send is the same. I am recommending, however, that you create and adapt a sample email to reflect your personality (maybe you're an exclamation-point-type person, maybe you're not), and save it for re-use and further customization to fit the occasion.

There are only so many ways to say something and you might as well figure out how you want to say it once and be done with it.

By the way, the fact that a sample situation is included in the list does not mean that I feel this type of conversation should always occur by email. Phone or face-to-face contacts, when practical, are usually preferable to email. The exception? When it's important to have a record of the conversation and texting is too informal.

Selecting the appropriate communication channel is all about the situation, the people involved, and, just as often, gut instinct.

Final note before you review the basic email: Clearly identify the purpose of the email so that your email can include a clear call to action. Use a brief version of that call to action as your subject line.

What is it that you want recipients to do? If you don't know, they won't know.

Let's assume that email is your ideal venue and that you have identified what you want to achieve. Here's a template that should meet your needs for any situation.

BEGINNING

Likely recipients:
Friends and family
New contact with whom you are building a relationship
Former colleagues who have moved to a new company
LinkedIn connections or group members


Subject:  Ex. Request for introduction to [Name and title] at [Company]

Hi [contact name],

I hope you are [enjoying your new job / keeping busy / relaxing this summer / anything that indicates you know them and care].

As you know, I'm actively searching for a new job as a [desired role / abbreviated version of your Ideal Work Situation Statement].

BODY

If your purpose is to ask someone to introduce you to an employee with a prospective employer's company:
I've discovered an ideal match for my skills and experience: [position name with link to job posting] at [company name]. If the person knows you well enough, you could add here: I hope you'll agree.

My goal is to locate an employee in the company to [transmit my resume and cover letter directly to [the recruiter / Human Resources / the hiring manager / learn more about the company culture / fill me in on how their IT department works / tell me more about the hiring manager]. You’re connected to [target name title, and company] on LinkedIn OR You've mentioned [target name] as a [friend / colleague / fellow basketball team member] previously.

If you feel comfortable doing so, would you introduce us and request contact information, noting that I'll be in touch shortly?
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If your purpose is to gain information regarding a prospective employer on your Target Company List:
I'm putting together a list of prospective employers in my area and would like to include any companies you think might be a good fit for my role and credentials. Do you have any suggestions?
OR
I see where you are an employee with [company]. I'm in a job search and have added (company) to my Target Company List. Would you have a few minutes to talk with me about your experience as an employee? If so, please provide a time that would be convenient for us to meet by phone.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If your purpose is to add a person to your Board of Advisors:
I'm organizing a virtual Board of Advisors to provide specific job search advice or suggestions on my approach. I would anticipate this help would take no more than 10-15 minutes weekly, if that. Your [overall business acumen / familiarity with my role / industry/ expertise in career strategies] would be helpful to me and I would value your contribution. May I add you to my group?

ENDING
I’ve attached my [resume / bio / addendum] to update you on my credentials.

Thanks in advance for your support of my job search. As always, I truly appreciate your help!

If applicable, add a personalized thank you:
By the way, if Tuesday evenings are still good for you, let's meet at Harry's around 5:30 for a "thank you" drink.
OR
I'd like to [write a recommendation for you / endorse you] on LinkedIn. Is there a particular skill or experience you would like for me to emphasize?
OR
I've attached an article I spotted recently on [the best fishing holes in your area / your industry or role] and thought of you. Let me know if you have any luck!

[Your name]
LinkedIn email address

Attachments: resume

(Adapted from an article by Alex Cavoulacos: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ask-for-a-referral-an-email-template)

There are, of course, other types of emails you'll be sending as your job search progresses. We'll cover these in future blog posts.

What I hoped you got from this post:
Avoid dithering over an email with a basic template that you can adapt for each communication situation.


Take action:
1. Write your basic email with all of the possible iterations and save it to drafts in your email account.
2.  Adapt as needed.

3.  As you adapt, save a copy of each version in your drafts to save even more time
.

Please share this post with someone who is looking to find their ideal job!


 
 
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People want to help.  And, when you are in a job search, you are in no position to turn away a well-intentioned offer of support. 

There are a surprising number of ways anyone of almost any age or situation can help you find a job faster than you can alone. 

Here's how to get the most benefit from your supporters' efforts.


Use your Ideal Work Situation Statements
First, re-visit your Ideal Work Situation Statements.
These statements briefly describe the job you are seeking as simply as you can.  If you've been using the statements to create your marketing materials and in building relationships and interviewing, you should have them down pat. 

The value of your Ideal Work Situation Statements lies in their simplicity and ease of re-use by anyone, regardless of their degree of knowledge of your role or industry.

Your Ideal Work Situation Statements should look similar to this:

My ideal work situation is to work in Burlington, Vermont as a full-time Recreational Director for adult or family camps.  My main tasks will be to determine the camps' purpose, activities and schedule and to manage the camps' operations staff.

Use your list of skills, knowledge, and experience
Your next step is to review your Job Search Datasheet which lists your skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to your desired role. These should be the same skills, knowledge, and experience that you highlighted in your resume and cover letter. 

Your Job Search Datasheet may be in a Word or Excel document or written by hand on a piece of paper.  But, if you completed your Job Search Datasheet on a PowerPoint slide, it might look like the example below. Simply extract and list the skills, experience and traits for ready reference on your phone or tablet. Or print out the Job Search Datasheet and store it in your purse or wallet. The key is to have it handy for quick reference.


Use your Target Company List and Desired Contacts
Print out your Target Company List and Desired Contacts or list the entries in your phone or tablet  for ready reference. 

You're good to go!

The rest is easy. Once you've gathered this information, you'll have at least 30 ways people can help you in a job search. Undoubtedly, now that you are well-prepared, you'll think of more.

Those who offer to help can:
1.  Suggest an addition to your Target Company List.

2.  Suggest a desired contact from the companies in your Target Company List.

3.  Introduce you to a desired contact over lunch or coffee.

4.  Introduce you to a desired contact through LinkedIn connections.

5.  Create and provide a 140 character "ad" beginning with "Available now..."
     touting your desired role and credentials for a supporter to "tweet" daily to Twitter followers
     on your behalf. 

6.  Recommend you on LinkedIn, focusing on one of your skills, traits, or experience.

7.  Endorse you on LinkedIn, focusing on one of your skills, traits, or experience.

8.  Post your Ideal Work Situation Statements for your supporter's Facebook friends to see. 

9.  Invite you to professional, civic, community, or educational events that offer opportunities
     to build new relationships.

10. Train or educate you in a skill or experience gap.


11. Suggest or offer volunteer opportunities to help you fill a skill or experience gap.

12. Share stories of successful job searches.

1
3. Help you organize your job search tasks and records.

14. Recommend informative articles, reports, or websites to enhance your understanding
       of your role or industry.

15. Provide an update on trends in your industry or role.

16. Offer you a temporary project, internship, apprenticeship, consulting gig, or other
       interim employment related to your desired role.


17. Recommend LinkedIn groups related to your desired industry or role.

18. Guest post on your blog.

19.
Comment on or "follow" or "like" your job search-related social media efforts.

20. Follow you on Twitter and re-tweet your Twitter entries.

21. Coach you on how to use social media or interviewing technology during your job search.

22. Practice interview with you and provide feedback on your performance.

23. Brainstorm a job search challenge with you.

24. Review/edit your resume, cover letter, or other marketing materials or communications.

25.
Provide the inside scoop on a target company.

26. Alert you to job openings with the supporter's employer.

27. Take your resume to the supporter's employer.

28. Serve as a reference.

29. Write a letter or email regarding a shared work experience you are emphasizing in your search.

30.
Listen.


You could, of course, respond "Just tell everyone you know that I need a job." NOT.

What I hoped you got from this post:
The vast majority of successful job seekers get their job with the help of someone they know.  The more prepared you are to respond to offers of help, the more you'll benefit from them.


Take action:
1.  Carry info with you to ensure that you can tell supporters what you need. (Maybe a clever way
     to use a business card?)
2.  Focus supporters' efforts where you need them most.

Please share this post with someone who is searching for their ideal job!


 
 
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Draw a line down the center of a blank piece of paper
Stay with me here. This may be the only art project you’ll ever do that will earn you thousands of dollars.  And it should take you less than an hour to complete.



 1. Draw a vertical line down the center of the front of a piece of paper. 

2.  Draw horizontal line across the center of the front of the same paper. 

3.  Draw the same two lines on the back of the paper.

4.  You should have four equal quadrants on the front and on the back of the paper.

5.  Number the quadrants 1-8 beginning with the left top front quadrant.

You: Can I do this in a Word table of four rows and four columns? 
Me:  Yes, of course, but you won’t remember what you’ve written as easily and remembering is important.

Want to make your entries even easier to remember? Use different colors, draw icons, pictures, etc.

This is the fun part
You are going to fill each of these quadrants with info - an exercise that will ensure you ace the interview. 

Quadrant 1
·  List three general facts you know about your prospective employer.

Quadrant 2
·  List three facts about the company’s culture you learned from your contacts within the company and from the company's online presence (website, Google Alerts, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).

Quadrant 3
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three key skills needed by the ideal candidate for this role. include how you will demonstrate or articulate each or handle skill gaps in the interview.

Quadrant 4
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three experiences that demonstrate your match for this role.  Add details on how you will address any experience gaps in the interview.

Quadrant 5
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three stories you can tell that demonstrate you have the traits to fit this role.

Quadrant 6
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list the three points you absolutely, positively have to make in the interview.

Quadrant 7
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list three questions you will ask during the interview.

Quadrant 8
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list:
           a)  How you should dress (professional, trendy, conservative, etc.)?
           b)  What you will carry into interview (cool pen, iPad, book, etc.)?
           c)  What would you include in your portfolio?         
          
Done? You should be good to go!


What I hope you got from this exercise
The interview is a conversation.  It’s easy to converse confidently if you focus on what’s important. This exercise will force you to do so. 

Take action
Take 60 minutes to think through every aspect of your interview strategy.

Update Oct 23, 2015:
I wrote this post a while back, but it came to mind recently the night before I was talking with a firm about doing some coaching for them.  I was ready to go to bed, felt I was well-prepared (after all, I had done coaching for years!), and, to be honest, I really didn't feel like bothering. 

But a couple questions were nagging at me:
  • Don't my clients always think they are prepared enough when confronted with this advice? 
  • Who really wants to do it?
So I decided to complete the exercise.  And I did it all the way just like I prescribed it here. I even captured what I would wear because the interview was on Skype. 

The short version?  I had a ton of insights I hadn't considered.  And I completely re-framed my interviewing approach.  (Mostly, I changed the stories I wanted to tell.) It went so well that halfway into the interview, they were making fee arrangements for my services.  I shouldn't have been surprised.  After all, I've seen this work over and over again with my clients.  But I have to admit, I was. 

Just do it.  And let me know how you fare!  See below.

Please share this post with someone who is looking for their ideal job!


 
 
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Just one question
Whenever I think about this story, I’m reminded of one of my favorite jokes:
Four Texas Aggies decided to forgo studying for their English Lit exam to spend the weekend partying  at the beach. They were having so much fun, they decided to stay an extra day and skip the exam altogether. When they returned, they petitioned their English Lit professor to allow them to take the test later. They claimed that a flat tire delayed their return. The professor immediately agreed, much to their surprise. They were even more surprised and elated when they received their exam paper and saw there was only one question. Their elation turned to horror, however, when they read the question, “Which tire?”

The search
My job search client, we’ll call him Joe, was a college junior heading toward graduate school who was seeking an internship in accounting. Joe realized that, without an internship in his field, he would have a difficult time getting hired in a Big Four accounting firm, his ultimate goal. Because his GPA was only 3.2, he had already lost out on opportunities with the larger, more prestigious firms offered by his small, private university’s career center. So he needed to act quickly and set his sights a little lower.

The plan
I helped Joe design an introductory email touting his skills and requesting an internship. He sent the email to the appropriate person in each of 100 local or “one-man” accounting firms in his hometown. While he received positive responses for the future from his email campaign, he was offered only one interview.

The interview

The interviewer was a sole practitioner with a successful practice of several associates, with a focus on auditing state agencies and non-profit firms. Knowing his future career could rest on this one conversation, Joe was nervous. Embarrassed that he was unable answer a basic accounting question during the interview, he lost confidence in himself midway and the interview went downhill from that point on. He couldn’t wait to get out of there!

Bummer
There are setbacks in every job search. In the end, they are often for the better, because we learn from them. But it doesn’t feel good at the time. I’ve found that when a client has a disappointing interview or receives a rejection notice, that it’s best for him or her to take immediate positive action to move forward. Sometimes it’s a round of information interviews, following up on previous actions, or focusing on building relationships on LinkedIn. In this case, the next step was obvious. 

Moving on
Joe learned from his experience that, even though he was prepared to perform auditing tasks that would be expected of him in larger corporations, he lacked basic bookkeeping and tax skills valued by a firm serving smaller companies. Since it appeared that he would be unemployed for the summer with time on his hands, Joe took my advice and set up a training plan to learn basic accounting tools and procedures.

Just one question, again
A month later, seemingly out of the blue, Joe received a call from the CPA with whom he had interviewed. She informed Joe that she was impressed with his professionalism and enthusiasm. Although she realized that he had a lot to learn, she thought Joe had a good attitude and would be open to doing so.

She wanted to offer Joe an internship, but her final decision rested on Joe's response to a single question. Joe braced himself. He was more than ready, however, when his prospective employer asked, ”Joe, how have you spent the four weeks between our interview and today?” His answer: “I bought QuickBooks, learned how to use it, and even set up a friend’s business for him. I also learned how to complete payroll tax returns and sales tax reports. And I just started an online course on collaborating in small teams.”

One question and one right answer.   

Epilogue
You already know that Joe didn’t have the fancy internships some of his colleagues had. Nor did he have the highest grades. But, after working part time and summers auditing government, non-profit agencies, and small businesses with the same small firm, he learned a lot. Enough to snag his dream job at the largest of the Big Four accounting firms.

What I hope you got from this story:
It ain’t over til it’s over. You never, ever know when a job opportunity will pop back up. It can happen months after your application, interview, or rejection letter. Make sure that your actions, since your last contact, are ones you can proudly describe. (And keep an Application Summary!)

Additionally, there are many reasons to become a lifelong learner with a commitment to self-improvement. Your career success is one of them.

Take action:
Sign up for an online course, join a study group, start an apprenticeship, or volunteer. Keep moving, especially after a bad break. True, finding a job is a full time job. But what are you doing with the other 20 hours? 


Please share this post with someone who is in a job search!

 
 
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7:00 - 7:59am
Grind out 45 min. on the treadmill. 
Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast.
Big day ahead of you. Start out right.

8:00 - 8:29am
Take a good look in the mirror.
Note your skills, knowledge, and experience.
Match them to an appropriate position (or two).


8:30 - 8:59am

Write Your Ideal Work Situation Statements.
Sum up your desired location, working environment, position, industry, and major tasks in two easily articulated sentences.  Research a typical comp package. 

9:00 - 9:59am
Create a variety of marketing materials ready for distribution.
The magic word is alignment - alignment between your assets, the desired position, your resume, cover letter, and interview stories.
 
    
10:00 - 10:29am
Target desired employers.
Who do you need to know in each company on your Target Company List? 
Jump in! Apply for jobs that match your Ideal Work Situation and set up search agents.

10:30 - 11:59am
Implement a strategy for creating and deepening relationships with potential supporters.
Connect with family, friends, mentors, former colleagues, recruiters, and desired contacts through: F2F, phone, virtual and local networking events, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Alumni groups.  (Great point in your search to demonstrate your creativity and tenacity...)

12:00 - 12:59pm
Meet for lunch with Charlie, former colleague and new hire at JonesCo, a target company.
Talk about old times. Communicate your Ideal Work Situation. Talk about new times.

1:00 - 1:59pm
Practice and debrief an interview with a member of your Board of Advisors.
You did create a Board of Advisors, right?
Practice responses to questions about those sticky issues. Again. And again.

2:00 - 2:29pm
Write a new “Manage That Project” blog posting.
Project management skills are your edge on the competition. What better way to deepen your knowledge and snag some "street cred" than to research and write a blog on it?

2:30 - 2:59pm
Charlie came through! Email customized cover letter and resume to JonesCo hiring manager.
Send a thank you note to Charlie and include the exact location of your previously top-secret fishing spot.
Research JonesCo, noting questions to ask in the sure-to-follow interview.

3:00 - 4:29pm
Interview with Susy Adams of JonesCo.
Looking sharp in your best suit, and armed with your portfolio and warmest smile, you aim to make a friend. You:
  • Focus on three points to communicate, listen attentively, and converse thoughtfully and confidently.
  • Ask a few previously prepared questions and a couple that evolved from the discussion.
  • Communicate your interest in the job.  

4:30 - 5:59pm
Receive the offer graciously, negotiate an industry-aligned compensation package, and accept.
Sure, it all happened fast. But you got this!
With your Ideal Work Situation and culture and comp research done, you compare notes, make the case for some added "bennies", and call it a GO!

6:00 - 9:59pm
Thank everyone who supported you.
Update your supporters, share how their efforts ensured your success, and commit to helping them to achieve their goals.
Diplomatically decline any outstanding offers.

10:00pm
Still up? Time for bed. You’ve got a job to go to tomorrow!


What I hope you learned from this post:
It's going to take more than a day.  But it will take fewer days if you follow an organized, comprehensive plan. 

What you should do after reading this post:
Act you like you have one day to get a job.  You'll know what to do.


Please share this post with someone who is looking to find a job fast!