Archive for July, 2009

The Eye of the Job Search Needle

July 30, 2009

The Eye of The Job Search Needle is that small space where your experience and overall background make you THE perfect candidate for a position.  Based on my job search experiences during this economic meltdown, there are some basic realities that have become very clear:

1.  Transitioning to a field outside of your “Eye of the Needle” during this job climate is a non-starter.  The only exception to this reality is if you have a VERY close friend that knows you well and is willing to hire you over all the objections of his/her management. 

2. The number of applicants for open positions is still growing.  This creates a sellers market for companies with open positions to fill.  This also creates a situation where employers can wait for the perfect candidate.  If you are trying to transition outside of your Eye of The Needle, you are wasting valuable job search time and effort.

3.  You have to focus your job search efforts on your unique Eye of The Needle.  If you have been an IT Security Sales Account Manager for the past 15 years, now is NOT the time to search for jobs selling Telecomm and Networking equipment.

Take some time and define the job and companies that match your Eye of The Needle.  Be the perfect candidate and win the job.

Good searching!

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The Dog Days of Job Search

July 28, 2009

Hiring takes on a different quality during the summer months of July and August.  Sure, positions need to be filled, regardless of summer vacations – but, the summer hiring pace of activity naturally slows down.  Put this blog post under the category of  “don’t beat yourself up when things are slow”.

I was speaking with a recently laid off friend and neighbor last Sunday.  He’s been out for quite some time.  He made a great comment that we should all take to heart.  This may be the only time in our career life that we get to take the time to smell the flowers.  It’s so true.  Sure there are pressures and mounting anxiety over getting a job.  But – we all need to balance this natural anxiety with a little recognition that we need to make the most of this unscheduled time that we now have.  Time with the kids, sports, hobbies, travel – this is the time to give yourself a good dose of what you really enjoy doing.  The summer months are slow times for hiring.  Take advantage of the time and thank yourself every day for making the most of this time away from the daily grind.

Good searching!

No Interviews? ….. No Problem!

July 13, 2009

Measuring your Job Search by counting number of interviews you have had, or have scheduled, is a real recipe for the blues.

Fewer open positions means fewer interviews.  Not much you can do about it.  Spending time trying to drive interview activity in this economic climate is not the best use of your time.  Instead, focus on gaining “informational” or “networking coffees”.  My experience is that C-Level executives will agree to a 20 minute informational meeting if you follow the one cardinal rule.  You have to make the request through a trusted connection.  I don’t mean trusted by you, although that certainly helps.  I’m talking about a connection that you have that is trusted and respected by the C-Level executive that you want to have a coffee with.  I won’t go through the mundane details of how to make these connections via Linkedin.  I think most folks know how to do this by now.  There are some basics you need to pay attention to:  Keep your request for a networking coffee bounded by twenty minutes, and stick to it.  Bring a “marketing plan”, one page document that summarizes what types of companies you are interested in.  Bring a specific request for the C-Level executive(IE. an introduction to a C-Level executive at one of your target companies.  Don’t ask for a job.  This really taints the reason for your coffee meeting, which is to network.  Ask your executive what other companies could be a fit, based on your background.  And lastly, have a crisp and concise 60 second personal pitch ready to deliver.

By following this approach, you are maximizing the effectiveness of your job search time and efforts, and, it feels good to be accomplishing worthwhile activities.

 

Good searching!

What’s your summer job search plan?

July 1, 2009

We’ve all heard the experts advice that we need to “treat our job search as a full-time job”.  That’s typical of expert advice that comes from folks that are not in the job market and do not understand the realities of today’s job search.

Spending day after day in front of your computer all day is a recipe for discouragement.  Let’s face it.  There are just not enough open positions to justify an all-day search regimen.  I recommend a different approach.

As we roll into summer, the hiring activity is sure to slow down.  I know, it’s hard to believe it could be slower than it is now.  With this in  mind, we should all have a plan in mind for job search strategy over the summer months.  Rather than staring at the laptop all day, let’s take a fresh look at what will give us the highest return on our job search time, while at the same time, stopping to “smell the roses”.

Shift your summer activities from pure job search, to a networking effort.  Rather than focusing on getting job interviews, let’s use this time to focus on building our business network.  This is a great time to network your way to those informational coffees with CEO’s.  This is a great time to be attending those organized networking events.  This is a great time to go back to your Linkedin connections and schedule a “catch up” coffee.

How you work this strategy into your daily plan really depends on your individual situation.  My day now has the morning dedicated to networking and network building.  My afternoons are “my time” to do something enjoyable, and get the mind off the job search for a while.

Hope this helps.  Let me know your thoughts.