In my opinion, the job search/hiring process today is badly broken. The problem starts with the job seeker themselves and how they approach their search. We live in such a fast food nation that it has become acceptable for job seekers to resume stuff and apply to every job they can just waiting to see if a company responds. If they do respond, they will interview with them as long as it doesn't interfere with their busy lifestyle and cause them too much effort. If the interview goes well that's great, if not, oh well they have a good job already. If you are a job seeker, stop being lazy, make a decision, and commit to your job search. Start your job search by taking the time to read the rest of my post and evaluate if you are a job seeker or a waste of everyone's time.
Here are just 5 things to work on when getting ready for your job search.
- Be willing to spend the time and effort it takes to go through the interview process. Be ready, willing, and committed to your job search. This will include a lot of research, rewriting of your resume, developing the perfect elevator pitch, and taking the time off of your current job to interview. Don't start the process unless you can finish the process. For the record, I'm talking hours of effort, not just a few minutes here and there when you have the time.
- Don't interview just to see if something better exists. This attitude simply wastes everyone's time. If you are unhappy with your current job, take a hard look at why. Is it them or you? If it is them, then get serious about your job search and take control of the process. If it's you, don't bring that bad attitude and performance to another company. Fix it and decide what you want to do when you grow up. Love your job or leave your job.
- Once you have decided to find a new job, start your search with your network. Do you have friends or connections that love their job? Most companies are always looking for top talent regardless of a current job posting. Your network can be references for you and a leg up on exactly who to speak to at the company to get in the door. If that doesn't work and you do a cold job search, research the company and find the key executives. Reach out to them directly (once you have completed step 4 below) with an introduction showing you have done your research and that you bring a solid ROI to the company. Obviously, people like me are out there to help you every step of your search that have inside knowledge and experience with the entire process.
- Do your due diligence on the company and key decision makers: There is obviously no better place to find information on a company than their own website. Read everything and every page. Know about their values and company culture. Read recent press releases. Websites like www.crunchbase.com and www.hoovers.com provide a great deal of external information about companies, such as investors, financial reports, board members, and competition. Google the company and see what comes up besides their own website. Know who you are interviewing with: Everyone knows that websites like www.charlieapp.com, www.twitter.com and www.LinkedIn.com offer a wealth of knowledge on people. Search key executives and specifically the person you are interviewing with out and find out everything you can. Do you have any friends in common? Do you have the same mentors? Are you in the same groups? Find something that you have in common. Save this info in your bag of tricks and use it when it comes up in the interview. Be prepared!
- Know the job description and how you will succeed: Study the job description and match it up against your background and desires. How do you stack up? How will you do the job? Be able to speak of similar accomplishments and how they relate to this new position. At the end of the day, you must convince the interviewer that you can hit the ground running and succeed at the required tasks. What do YOU bring to the table and what is your ROI to the company? Know in detail the company's product or service: Many companies today are adding a demo or capabilities challenge to their interview process so knowing their product or service has never been more important. I have seen capabilities test for developers, marketing scenario tests and of course sales demos used in the first stages of interviews to weed out the unsuitable candidates before too much time is wasted on them. Again, this comes from a frustration of companies getting thousands of useless applicants that have no commitment or desire to actually join their company.
As a bonus tip: Never assume that a phone interview is any less important than a face to face interview at the company. You will never get to a face to face interview if you can't pass the phone interview. Do your research and get prepared. Sell yourself and close the deal.
Get focused. Commit to your search. Prepare to work harder than you have for anything you've ever done before. THIS IS YOUR FUTURE!
Bob may be found on LinkedIn here.