We ran across this awesome article by Lou Adler on Linked In & had to share!
Job Seekers: Possibly the Best Hiring Advice You'll Receive this Week
A few people recently asked me to provide some advice for their job-seeking children, siblings, parents, and semi-assorted semi-friends. I thought you’d find this bunch of mostly free links to articles, videos and resources I sent them helpful.
With the economy about to rebound, more people who already have jobs will start to quit. This creates a double-whammy opportunity for job-seekers who know how to play the hiring game to win. It will take you a few hours to master all the rules and techniques below, but it’s far better than complaining about how hard it is to get a job. Which rarely ever works.
A Checklist of Wild ‘n Crazy Job-seeker Advice
- Avoid these five classic blunders. One of them is the idea that it’s not worth applying unless you’re a perfect fit. Instead, you need to implement a 20/20/60 job-hunting plan. Here’s a YouTube video webcast covering the idea that most of your efforts need to be spent on networking.
- Don’t follow the traditional rules. If you’re okay with strange ideas, here’s some even more radical rules for job-seekers. The big point: if you do what everyone else does, expect the same results.
- Be fully prepared before you even think about applying for a job or going for an interview. Here’s a post and link to a video introduction to a job-seeker series I put together for a training company.
- Define the job before you answer too many questions. In Chapter 6 in my book,The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, I suggest that candidates quickly ask the interviewer to define the job in terms of broad performance objectives. Then they need to give examples of their most comparable accomplishments. This way the candidate is evaluated on the stuff that matters, not what doesn’t. Here are more ideas on how to ensure you're interviewed properly.
- Ask forced-choice performance-based questions that highlight your strengths. Ask questions like, “Is leading a team of techies and non-techies an important part of this job,” to highlight your strengths. This is how you get the interviewer to focus on real job needs as they relate directly to your past performance, rather than box-checking skills. This post will help those who are wrongly classified as unqualified or overqualified become reclassified.
- Use the back door to apply and more counter-intuitive advice you should follow. In this post I also suggest to boil your whole resume onto a few 3x5 cards. One commenter thought this was idiotic. He’s still looking. Here’s the master key to the back door.
- Don’t ask self-serving questions. Next to a track record of comparable past performance and the ability to conduct real-time problem solving, candidates will be judged heavily by the quality of their questions.(See Chapter 10 for more on this one.)
- Anticipate and manage the negatives. Don’t try to hide your faults. You need to put them on the table to neutralize them. It’s also best if you voluntarily bring them up rather than hoping someone doesn’t ask. You’ll need to fast-forward this YouTube video for more ideas on this point.
- Use the phone to minimize nervousness and weaker first impressions. To counter the impact of a less-the-stellar first impression or a case of the nerves, I suggest job-seekers ask to be evaluated on the phone before going onsite for an interview. This way you’ll be assessed on your accomplishments, not first impressions. Here’s an article for interviewers you can reverse engineer for more on this important point.
- Bring samples of your work, maybe even a PowerPoint summary. If you can get the interviewer to talk about your actual work, you’ve increased the odds you’ll be judged on your past performance, not your presentation skills. Consider that athletes are judged on their actual ability to do the job, not how well they talk about it. The same principle applies for most individual contributor jobs.
- Shift the risk. There’s a big risk in hiring someone who doesn’t work out. To shift the burden, volunteer to take a part-time job or handle a short project. One candidate told me he conducted a mini-marketing analysis comparing the company’s products to the competition to land an interview, and then completed it before being offered a job.
- Ask about next steps. At the end of the interview with the hiring manager ask about next steps. If they’re anything other than definitely bringing you back as a finalist, ask if there are gaps in your background the manager is concerned about. With the gap defined, ask how this skill or lack of experience will be applied on the job. Then describe something you’ve accomplished that’s comparable. This full technique isdescribed in this video training series.
As you weave your way through all of the links here, you’ll discover that getting a worthy job is comparable to landing a big sale. Also worthy of note is that the best salespeople don’t complain about all of the people who didn’t buy their products, they proudly point to those that did. They’re also fully prepared to make sure they do.