Archive for December 2011
Well it’s that time of the year for holiday parties; getting together with old and new friends and family to celebrate the season. All are great opportunities for networking. Hopefully any job seekers out there have heard or know that over 70% of all jobs are found through networking—face to face networking! You can learn so much from talking with friends and colleagues about the “Hidden Job Market” positions that are open within an organization, but not posted yet. These jobs prospects could be due to promotions, retirements, firings or employees that have decided to move on for new opportunities.
Now is the time to be sure you have an effective Elevator Speech / Branding Statement. If you can’t explain to your friends and relatives what type of job you are looking for, how can they assist you in your job search? Your personal branding statement is your first impression to everyone that you meet so it better be a good one.You have just a few seconds to introduce yourself and spark their interest in learning more about you. That is why it is so important.
Remember your personal brand statement is not your past or current job title! As Walter Feigenson states in his brand yourself blog, “Your brand statement is the essence of who you are, distilled to just a few words.” For instance, mine is: “As a career coach I teach people how to fish for a job; I do not fish for them.” That is simple, concise and it’s enough of a teaser to get a response like: “Wow, so tell me how you do that.” Now you have grabbed their attention where they will want to know more about you and you can elaborate with your 30-second elevator pitch.
Be sure you elevator pitch is understood by all. If it’s boring they won’t listen, too long and they won’t have the faintest idea what you’re really saying. Your personal brand statement should be used in your email signature, in your blog postings, on your business cards and as your LinkedIn headline, essentially everywhere you can to promote yourself.
So be sure to talk to as many as possible at your next holiday gathering. Wishing you a happy holiday season and a successful job search!
You may have heard a football coach say in an interview “90% of the reason that we won on Sunday was what we did before Sunday”. The same can often be said for interviewing; what you do in the hours and days leading up to your interview are critical to success in the interview.
First and foremost, do thorough research of the company, the position, and your network.
1. The Company – Research beyond the basic company products, locations and competition; gain an understanding of their values and mission, their corporate culture, initiatives that they are implementing and their short and long term business strategies. These should all be readily obtainable in the world of the internet.
2. The Position – Find out what the key responsibilities of the position are, who the manager is, the reason that they are hiring for this position, and be ready to discuss how your experience matches with the position.
3. Your Network – Use your network to talk to people at the company, try to obtain “inside information” that is not readily available to those outside the company.
After doing thorough research in each of these areas, the next step is to ask for an agenda so that you can mentally prepare for your day. In addition, by getting the names and job titles of those that you will interview with, you can then do research on these individuals.
Other key steps in interview preparation include:
1. Having appropriate interview attire (which for most professional jobs is still an interview suit).
2. Preparing several questions to ask your interviewer (as companies are turned-off by candidates who don’t have any questions).
3. Make sure you know how to get to the interview so that you don’t arrive late (the quickest way to “blow” an interview).
Make sure that you invest the time in interview preparation; it will become apparent in the interview which candidates have and which have not!