Friday, November 30, 2012

6 Reasons Your Job Search is Failing Big Time

By Amit De

Quit blaming your failed job search on a down economy; it’s time to evaluate your efforts instead. While no job seeker likes to hear that his strategies are failing, it’s important to know when your practices need revising—or should be dropped altogether.

So rather than letting job search frustrations take a toll on your attitude and confidence, consider these six reasons your job search might be failing:

1. You have a negative attitude or lack of confidence

The job search is frustrating, tiring, degrading and a whole other slew of negative adjectives. It’s important to not let the search eat away at you and ruin your outlook. So much of the job search can be related to your composure and attitude, so it’s essential to stay positive.

In fact, your attitude is the only part of the job search that you can control. A positive attitude usually generates a level of confidence that can be gauged in applications, emails, online and, most importantly, in an interview. Do whatever it takes to stay positive and confident.

2. Your online presence is non-existent (or vulgar)

Social recruiting is on the rise this year, with more than 80 percent of job openings being recruited for online. Dozens of companies are now launching tools to help recruiters search for job candidates through social media.

For job seekers, it’s absolutely imperative that you not only have the necessary social media profiles, but that your online brand be sparkly clean. If you don’t have them already, it’s time to generate a LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and any other social media profiles recruiters could use to find you.

Don’t ruin your chances of a potential interview or job offer by allowing your social media profiles to be anything less than professional. Google your name for insight into what employers will see when they search for you. If the results are less than professional, it might be time to check your privacy settings or have your friends untag those college drinking pictures on Facebook.

3. You’re looking in all the wrong places

Don’t let the lure of major job boards ruin your job search. Too many job seekers waste time and energy only applying to openings that have been posted on the major job boards. Not only does this categorize you as a less-than-dedicated job seeker; it’s the equivalent of tossing your resume into a tower-sized stack of applications.

Stick to niche job boards within your industry to get the benefits of smaller candidate pools and more accurate job search results. There’s also an increased level of interaction that comes with applying directly to niche job boards, because the contact information of hiring managers is usually more readily available.

Reasons 4-6 and complete Brazen Careerist Article

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So You Hate Your Job: 5 Things You Can Do About It

Victoria Barret

Many of us feel stuck. We’re creative, ambitious, and paying our dues, but the final payoff is far from guaranteed. At many firms, there is a constant threat of layoffs looming. And that might be the best case scenario. Companies don’t have the staying power of decades anymore. Big names can blow up: think BearSterns, Dewey & LeBoeuf.

So how can you protect your future from being tethered to a larger sinking or stagnant ship? ”You need to control your career destiny,” says Maynard Webb, one of Silicon Valley’s technology legends.
Webb has big wisdom to share on this topic. For the first half of his career, he was what he describes a classic company man at IBM and then eBay, where (and this is more extraordinary than classic) as a top executive he played a key role in the online auction site’s growth from $140 million in revenue to over $4.5 billion by 2005. Now he’s a startup guy. He ran the cloud-based call center service LiveOps and currently has his hand (and funds) in some 45 startups. He also sits on the boards of and Yahoo, both interesting companies in very different ways.

Webb believes  “the paternalistic era” in American corporations is over. This is where loyalty is rewarded and climbing the ranks is predictable with hard work. It is being undone by the “the entrepreneurial era” in which loyalty is replaced by strategic career moves and hard work is just one ingredient for success. This doesn’t mean we should all launch startups tomorrow, but rather we all do think of our careers very differently — or risk being disenchanted, disgruntled employees with little job security in return.

I agree hole-hardheartedly with Webb’s theory about work. I’ve called it being an entrepreneur for life. Webb describes it this way: “The company you work for doesn’t necessarily want you to be a superstar. They’re happy to have you keep doing what you have always been good at. But you probably have changed, and you need to do something about it or you’re going to get stuck.”

In his upcoming book, “Rebooting Work”, co-authored with Carlye Adler, Webb takes all of his insight about careers (he has a passion for mentoring) and distills it into a sort of self-actualization guide. The book debuts in late January. He’s trying to fight a nasty trend: only 45% of Americans are satisfied in their jobs, down from 61% in 1987 when the Conference Board began tracking worker satisfaction. “We’re spending most of our waking hours doing something un-fulfilling. What a tragedy, and it doesn’t have to be this way”, says Webb. His advice is meant to be empowering, but realistic too. “You can’t say you want to be a CEO and have work life balance,” he explains. Here are a few of Webb’s golden rules for success in this new era of work:

1. Get over your fear that the safety net is gone. It’s gone.
The notion of life-time employment is antiquated and not coming back, says Webb. He doesn’t disparage companies for this one. “They aren’t dead-beat Dads. They’re simply competing against companies everywhere and that’s tough,” he says. So for an employee, that means loyalty has less value than it used to, and individual should be thinking about their careers on an ongoing basis.

2. Understand where you are aiming to be.
Here Webb has a visualization technique for his readers. First rule: stop thinking about your boss. Then, picture a room filled with only the people you most admire. You are on stage telling them the story of your life over the next five years, after the fact. Webb is very clear that this story should include both your career trajectory and accomplishments as well as your family life. “You can’t have it all, and you need to recognize what your priorities are,” he says.

Think about this elite group’s reactions. Did you do what you should have given your intellect and your platform? Or are they unimpressed?

3. Now that you know where you want to go, figure out how to get there.
Webb cites his own career transition from company executive to angel investor. He asked Silicon Valley’s omnipresent angel investor, Ron Conway, how he shaped his own career. Wasn’t that awkward, asking a potential future competitor for tips? “Not at all. Ron told me he sees more companies than he can fund. I also offered up my technology connections, so it wasn’t just a one-way ask,” says Webb.

Webb advises using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to keep tabs on the people doing what you want to do.

Tips 4,5 and Complete Forbes Article

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Tips For Shopping For A Job Over The Holidays

by Brittany Schlacter

The season for shopping has officially kicked into full gear. As the holiday draws closer with each passing day, shoppers are taking advantage of every spare moment to be sure no one goes without a gift. 

But when it comes to shopping for a job, it seems many job seekers retreat during the holiday season. This is because many individuals believe companies won’t be doing any hiring over the holidays, which just isn’t the case. Companies don’t shut down from November to January, therefore your chances of getting hired are just as likely, if not more likely, than any other time of year.

Job seekers should prepare to shop until they drop this season — for jobs, that is! Here are some great shopping tips to benefit your hunt for your next position:

1. Know Where You’re Headed
Expert shoppers never enter a mall without knowing which stores they’re headed to, so why would you enter your job search without any preparation? A successful job search involves a keen sense of direction that only the job seeker can provide themselves with. It’s important to know your skills and qualifications, ideal positions, and companies you’re interested in working for.
2. Create Lists

Every savvy holiday shopper makes a list and checks it twice. Well, the most successful job seekers don’t just create one list — they create several. Lists are a great way to track and manage your job search. Turn your job search around by creating detailed lists of the positions you’re applying for, companies you’d like work for, people you’d like to connect with, or even a list of your professional skills. All of these will come in handy during your hunt for the perfect job.

3. Shop Online
Many holiday shoppers are starting to take advantage of the convenience of purchasing gifts online. While you’re probably actively searching for a job online, it might be time to reevaluate your online search strategy to be sure you’re using your time wisely. Job seekers should craft strong online professional profiles to showcase their skills, utilize niche job boards, and consider blogging.

Tips 4,5 and Complete Article

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 job interview mistakes to avoid

By Andrea Coombes

A failure to communicate may be one of the biggest mistakes job seekers are making these days, and mature workers may be struggling more than most.

A recent survey found that only 18% of hiring managers said senior-level job seekers have the skills needed for the job—but that’s largely because job seekers aren’t communicating their skills effectively, said Alexandra Levit, a Chicago-based career-trend consultant and author.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in the interview process:

Mistake No. 1: Talking about your ‘experience’
There’s a disconnect between what hiring managers are seeking and what job seekers offer in interviews, said Levit, who is a member of the Career Advisory Board, a career-advice center established by DeVry University. The online survey of about 500 hiring managers and about 500 job seekers was conducted by Harris Interactive for the Career Advisory Board.

Rather than generalizing about your work experience, tailor your responses to the job at hand.
Job seekers should “take a very, very good look at that job description,” Levit said.

“Make sure you’re including specific terms and skills that they’re mentioning, and be prepared to talk about how you’ve utilized those skills so they can immediately see how you can hit the ground running in that position,” she said.    

A separate survey of 500 hiring managers by Adecco Staffing Services pointed to a similar problem: 35% of the managers said mature job seekers—age 50 and older—were unable to sell themselves. Still, that survey also pointed to a difficulty mature job workers face: 48% of hiring managers said another mistake older applicants make is that they are “overconfident in abilities and experience.”

How to sell yourself without falling into the “overconfident” trap? Communicate how your skills can help that particular company.

“They think that just because they’ve gotten to a certain level of their career that all they have to do is talk about themselves and their experience will speak for itself,” Levit said.

Not so. “Before you go into the interview, know your stories, know your strengths,” said Diana Fitting, Philadelphia-based senior vice president for Adecco Staffing U.S. Be prepared to tell a story about how your skills, for example, helped bring in more customers or prevented customers from leaving.

Mistake No. 2: Talking about the wrong skills
Job seekers often are eager to talk about their integrity, strong communication skills and problem-solving abilities. But hiring managers are seeking senior-level applicants who will go beyond those basic traits to bring a “strategic perspective,” “global outlook,” and “business acumen,” according to the Career Advisory Board survey.

“Cross-functionality is really important,” Levit said. “You can assimilate information and apply that knowledge somewhere else. And you’re accustomed to working with people in different departments.”                                                                               

    Another key trait: global competence. “That’s the ability to understand how business is done in different cultures,” Levit said. “You have to understand the nuances associated with working with people on virtual teams, across time zones, in other countries.”

In talking about your skills, be creative. Did you study abroad in college? “You gained quite a lot of global competency by working in a foreign country for three months,” Levit said. Similarly, volunteer work often yields useful skills. “Just because you’re not getting paid for them doesn’t mean they’re not skills. People make that mistake all the time.”

Mistake No. 3: Fumbling your salary expectations
It’s no surprise that older workers generally command higher pay than younger ones. But how do you deal with that in an interview? Fully 51% of hiring managers surveyed by Adecco said mature workers’ biggest mistake was “high salary/compensation demands.”

To overcome this problem, research the going rate for that position, Fitting said. Check out sites such as,,, and

Then, “Be honest,” she said. For example, you could say: “This is what I was making. I know I’m not necessarily going to make it as I come into your organization, but I understand X is a fair rate,” she said.

Or, if applying for a position at a lower pay scale, she suggested: “I understand the going rate is Y for this position, and I know I was making X previously, which is a little more. I understand that. I have savings. This is not a problem for me. I’m really here about the opportunity. This is a great career opportunity for me. I see a future for me here. I feel confident I can be an asset here.” 

Tips 4,5 and Complete MarketWatch Article                                         

Monday, November 26, 2012

3 Common Job Search Strategies That Don’t Work

As a certified career coach, I can recommend many job search strategies that will complement your resume and increase your chances for finding that perfect job. But the following strategies won’t work:

1. Re-sending the same resume over and over to the same company, expecting different results.
What to Do Instead: You can reapply to the same company. But it would pay to have a professional review your resume and cover letter to make sure you are clearly stating why you are a great fit for that company.

2. Using resume creation software.
What to Do Instead: Send out a professionally written resume that reflects you, your achievements, skills, and attitudes and that is targeted for the job you want.

Tip #3 and Complete Careerealism Article

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

5 More Reasons You Never Hear Back After Applying For A Job


It happens all too often: after carefully filling out the online application or emailing a resume, job seekers hear nothing but silence from hiring managers. With little to no feedback to work from, job seekers are often left wondering if they’re doing something wrong, or if this happens to every job candidate.

Glassdoor recently ran this post covering the top five reasons you never hear back after applying for a job, but these aren’t the only ways you may be missing the mark in your job search. Increased competition in the job market means you can’t afford to ignore any aspect of your search, so it’s best to cover all your bases before hitting send on that email. Here are five more reasons you never hear back after applying for a job:

1. You didn’t reach out first. Sending tons of unsolicited resumes and cover letters isn’t going to make you look like an attractive candidate, but rather a nuisance. Before you send over your application materials, reach out first. Try engaging with the hiring manager – or even an existing employee – on their public social media networks first. Starting a conversation can help you to find common ground, and it will show your interest lies in the company – not just any open position.

2. Your online brand stinks. With two in five companies using social profiles to research candidates, you can’t afford to leave your online presence unattended. Run a Google search of your name to ensure all results are favorable, and tailor your public profiles to reflect your career goals. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and engage with professionals in your desired industry on Twitter by sharing relevant industry news and insights. Hiring managers use online profiles to see whether you present yourself professionally, and it can help them to determine if you’d be a good fit with their company culture. Don’t skip this step!

3. You didn’t read the job description carefully. Too many job seekers apply for positions without really knowing anything about the company or what the position entails. If you can’t demonstrate a working knowledge of the company and position from the get-go, hiring managers will write you off. Determine exactly what skills are needed for the job, and carefully review your past experience to make relevant connections. Search for keywords in the description that also apply to your experience and include them in your application materials. Remember, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter, you have to tailor each document to each individual employer.

Tips 4,5, and Complete glassdoor article

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Branding For A Job Vs Branding For An Opportunity

by Phil Rosenberg

I’m proud to have been named a weekly columnist of Personal Branding Blog. I will be republishing my articles from that site here on reCareered. This was my article published Monday, 11/5/12 …

Most job seekers brand themselves for a job because that’s how we’ve been taught to write resumes.

We’ve not only been taught to write resumes branding ourselves for a job, but it was reinforced while there were candidate shortages – because you could make lots of mistakes in a forgiving job market.

But in a job market of job shortages, the market isn’t forgiving at all … it’s brutal.

We’ve been taught that hiring managers look for the same thing, despite the obvious fact that each employer has its own unique set of circumstances and problems that are different from other employers.

We’ve been taught that hiring managers seek an average candidate with average skills and average experience.

So you brand yourself as a Senior Accountant, Marketing Director or IT Manager. It was good enough to help you land your last job … it should be good enough for this job search.

Except that it’s not …

Because in a job market with job shortages, where you compete against an average 1,000 applicants and most employers use ATS plus an additional 1 to 4 pre-screen steps, being good enough doesn’t get you interviews anymore.

If branding yourself for a job doesn’t get you interviews, what will?

Branding yourself for a specific opportunity helps you show the hiring manger that you’re a superior candidate for that specific job, rather than superior for any job.

Here’s 5 ways to brand yourself for a specific opportunity:

  1. Resume Title: Your resume title or personal branding statement should include the actual title of the specific opportunity you’re applying for. This will be much more specific than Marketing Professional, Programmer or Sales Executive because it’s unlikely that the specific opportunity you’re applying for will have this broad of a title.
  2. Research: In order to brand yourself for a specific opportunity, you’ll need to do more research on the opportunity before you send in your resume. Since most candidates don’t do much research until they are selected for an interview, this will mean starting your research earlier in your job search process.
  3. Go Beyond The Job Description: Job descriptions list skills, not underlying problems. Job descriptions don’t list problems because they are public – Employers don’t want competitors, customers and shareholders to see their problems. If you want to brand yourself for the specific opportunity, you need to understand why the employer is hiring the position, even if the position is a replacement … before you send in your resume. By first understanding the employer’s (and hiring manager’s) underlying problems, you can show on your resume that you’ve already solved similar problems, branding yourself as a superior candidate for that specific opportunity.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Get a Job with Your Dream Employer

Lindsey Pollak

Editor’s Note: Last week, we announced LinkedIn’s 100 Most InDemand Employers, a set of rankings based on our massive professional dataset. We are now following up with tips on how you can get a job at one of these employers. We started with Expedia earlier this week, and now we’re excited to have Lindsey Pollak.
If you could work for any company in the world, which employer would you choose? You can see the most popular answers to this question on LinkedIn’s recently released list ofMost InDemand Employers, which ranks the most sought-after companies on LinkedIn, ranked geographically and by job function.
If your dream employer appears on this list, you’re certainly in good company. But it also means you’re up for some intense competition. What does it take to land a job at one of the world’s most sought-after employers? Here are some tips:
It takes confidence. Yes, it can be challenging to apply to a top organization, but don’t take yourself out of the running before you take the first step. The very first step in landing a job with your dream employer is believing it’s possible. You’ll never get a job you don’t apply for.
It takes a good fit. That said, you have to be realistic about what opportunities you pursue. Just because a company is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right career or cultural fit for you. Take time to thoroughly research a potential employer by exploring that organization’s website and reading through its LinkedIn Company Page. The “Careers” tab of any Company Page will provide information about that organization’s culture, and the company’s status updates — which you can follow by clicking the “Follow” button in the upper right hand corner of any Company Page — will alert you to the organization’s current news and priorities.
I also recommend following a potential employer’s competitors (which you can generally find under the Insights tab of the Company Page under “People Also Viewed”). Research how a potential employer compares to its rivals in terms of culture, services, career opportunities and more. If you prefer another organization’s activities and positioning, then perhaps that company is your dream employer instead.

Friday, November 9, 2012

How to Find Hidden Job Leads on the Go


We know you’ve got a busy life – between bringing the kids to soccer practice, cooking dinners, and socializing with friends, who has time to focus on their job search?
Good news, job seekers! Now you can chip away at your job search on the go with your smartphone. Who knew?
Instead of playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends while you wait for the bus, take a step forward with your job search.
Here are some resources you can use to find hidden job leads when you’re strapped for time.

Get Advice

Headed to an interview and need a few last-minute pointers? Try the Career Solvers app! It’s chock-full of useful tools and career advice for job seekers.

Organize Your Efforts

You have too much on your mind already – so don’t put more pressure on your brain to remember your job search goals. Organize all of your job search efforts in the palm of your hand with apps like Evernote or Astrid.

Update Your Resume

Is it time to give your resume a boost? Now you can work on your resume while you’re sitting in the subway. Apps like Pocket Resume and ResumeMaker On-the-Go help you create, maintain, and send your resume right from your phone.

Brand Yourself - More tips and complete Careerealism article

Thursday, November 8, 2012

5 Awesome Ways Job Seekers Use Google+ Plus

by Ritika Trikha

Many have labeled Google+ a ghost town – late to the party and incomparable to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

But Google+ actually has a lot of potential, especially for job seekers like you because more and more companies are using it to showcase their brands and engage with the public. They’ve hit a total of 100 million active users in April — not too shabby!

Before you walk right by a wide open door of opportunity, at least give Google+ a chance. Take a look-see at what Google+ has to offer by considering these four awesome ways others have used Google+ as part of the job search:

1. Take Advantage of Google+ ‘Hang Outs’

Hang Outs are a video chatting session with up to 10 people total. Don’t let the name fool you! Hang Outs aren’t just to catch up with old friends and discuss the latest Mad Men episode. The utility of this feature is limitless!, for instance, is a culinary class hosted entirely on Google+ Hangouts video. And here’s the kicker: they’ve hired all of their chefs through Google+! You can check out their Google+ recruitment process here.

Hang Outs are also a great team-oriented platform for you as a self-starter. Be bold and creative. Reach out to folks who are interested in talking about your area of expertise and initiate a Hang Out yourself! So while your competition is busy sending out generic LinkedIn messages, your efforts initiating face-time will be way more personable, engaging and memorable.  To start exploring what’s out there, click the “Hang Outs” icon on the left module and then “view more” next to “Hangouts to join.”

2. Tune Into ‘Hang Outs on Air’ (HOA) to Stay Up-to-date

The difference between Hang Outs and HOAs is that an HOA is broadcasted to more than 10 people. It’s usually an informative video or live conversation that you can watch rather than participate in.
As a job seeker, these are important for you because experts often host informative HOA that will help you stay in the loop. Also, Google has hosted HOAs about their recruiting process—and, though this concept is new, some companies are likely to follow suit.

Another example of an informative HOA is Founder of Talk Marketing Now Network George Sepich’s “Super Success Tuesday Live Hangout,” in which professionals talk about gaining inspiration and various paths to success. He also hosts industry-specific HOAs like “Talk Marketing Now Network.” To start browsing HOAs, type the term “#hangoutsonair” in your Google+ search engine.

3. Get Interactive Insight from Career Experts

Google+ is a super interactive way to absorb expert career advice, so look out for workshops hosted by career experts and job sites.

InternMatch hosted a 24-hour marathon internship development workshop on HOA. In their workshop, they invited various company recruiters who shared tips on how to create a resume, what to avoid during the interview process, and more.  You can check out the videos here.

Tips 4,5, and complete article

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Job Search: 6 Steps To Make It More Manageable

by Vibeke Schurch

It’s that time again. You’re tired of being in that same old job, but the thought of starting to look for something new is just so daunting that you suck it up a bit longer. You come home every night complaining, only to go back and to the same the next day.

Job search doesn’t have to be that hard. The key to a successful job search is to have a well thought out plan and follow it. Follow the steps below to make your job search more manageable so you can get on with your life and get a job that serves you.

1) Have a plan
Make a plan for your job search. Set a goal of when you would like to get into a new job and what kind of job you would like. Write down all the things that need to happen for you to achieve that goal and add a timeframe to each step you have to do.

2) Get a routine
Block off time for yourself for when to do the job search and stick to it. Let other people know that during this time you’re not available. During this time, do only things that belong to your job search plan and don’t get distracted by surfing mindlessly online or getting lost on social media sites.

3) Get organized
Keeping track of all your job search records is imperative. You cannot forget that you applied for a job or who you spoke with at a company. Find a way to get organized that works for you. You can either get a binder to keep all your information about your job search organized so you can retrieve it within seconds if someone were to call you back about a job. Or, for an online solution to stay organized during your job search check out

Tips 4-6 and Complete Article

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Those Awkward Holiday Party Questions: STILL Unemployed?


Well, it’s becoming “that time of year” – Thanksgiving and the other year-end holidays are approaching.  Which means parties and family get-togethers.  And those awkward questions, specifically questions like this one:

So, are you still unemployed?

Even if you only lost your job last week, this question typically makes most people feel like absolute failures.  Assuming the question and comment are intended to be sympathetic and supportive, they can, nonetheless, be confidence killers and demotivating, making you want to curl up into a ball and disappear.
However, curled up in a ball is NOT a good way to spend the holidays nor an effective job hunting posture, so be prepared to handle this question.  Give your answer (see the options below), and move on!

Responding to Nasty People

In general, few people will purposely want to make you feel uncomfortable.  But, if you feel someone is being nasty, be brief, and change the subject:
  • “Yes, looking hard.  What’s new in your world?” 
  • “Yes, like millions of other people.  What did you think of that last game of the World Series?” 
  • “Yes, hardly working!  You still hate your job?”  
Best not to let them see they have succeeded at being nasty, but if they don’t take the hint, talk with someone else.

Responding to Everyone Else 

I think it’s best to assume that most people are not trying to make you feel uncomfortable, even if that is the result. If the person seems to be sincerely interested, perhaps they have some information that can be helpful for your job search.  So, take these next 4 steps…

1.  Ask for Contacts

Use your own judgement on when to use which of these responses.
  • “Yes, still unemployed.  It’s a tough job market right now.  I’m looking for a job with [name a couple of your target employers].  Do you know anyone who works there?”
  • “Yes, still unemployed and looking hard for a new job.  Know any companies who might be looking for or needing someone who is an excellent [your target job title]?”
  • “Yes, still unemployed, but definitely looking hard.  Know any recruiters or staffing companies who work with [your target industry, like retail or construction] or help employers find people in the [your profession or your target job title] field?”
  • “Yes, still unemployed.  They doing any hiring where you work?”
  • “Yes, still unemployed.  Know of anyone around here doing any hiring right now or needing someone like me?”
Feel free to ask the same person/people all 5 questions!
If you get good responses to any of those questions, write down the names and as much contact information as you can get plus the name of the person who gave you the name(s) as well as how your contact is connected to these people.
In addition, also ask for best (or worst) times to call or email, job titles, locations, and any other information you can get about this new potential network member.  That additional information will enable you to build some rapport with this new person, hopefully.

2.  Ask for Help Connecting

If someone has contacts, ask the for help connecting with those contacts.  The help could include:
  • Arranging a meeting with all 3 of you at a coffee shop, restaurant, or some place convenient for everyone.  Or, arranging a meeting for you and the new contact.
  • A simple emailed introduction, hopefully copying you on the introduction so both you and the new person have each other’s email addresses. 
  • A phone call to the person with a suggestion that they contact you.
  • A snail- or e-mailed version of your resume sent to the contact.
  • Other options that are comfortable for both of you.
Be ready for some people to decline all of the above requests for help connecting.  If they do, ask for permission to use their name when you contact the person and suggestions on how to connect most effectively

Tips 3,4 and complete article

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ask the Headhunter: How to Search for a Job if You're an Introvert

By: Paul Solman

Nick Corcodilos is an expert on how to get a job. We ran into him while doing a story on the relative futility of Internet job boards and asked him to post his own job search secrets. It became a palpable hit, so we asked Nick if he wouldn't mind taking some questions from our readers. It turns out that in addition to giving interviews to PBS, Nick hosts a website called, and publishes a free weekly -- the Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter.

Xira: You offer excellent advice for how winning "in demand" extroverts can remain winning in-demand extroverts, but it does not help the vast majority of us who aren't winning or in-demand or extroverts.

Nick Corcodilos: You're right. Introverts have a particularly hard time doing the things necessary to land a good job. But introversion is not a disease, it's not a condition, it's not a failing. It's a behavior, and it can be changed. But you have to work at it. I've seen the most meek people learn how to walk up to a manager and compellingly explain why she should hire them. Try a local Toastmasters meeting, where people learn from one another how to develop confidence when speaking to others. Read Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism." Try Milo Frank's "How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less." And Mark Levy's excellent "How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to Be Persuaded." Not all extroverts are in demand, and introverts can make friends and win good jobs. But it takes considerable effort and an investment in new behaviors.

gordon_wagner: Why is it that on their websites corporations will ask you to upload a PDF of your resume and then expect you to fill out both employment history and education? Kind of defeats the purpose of the PDF, doesn't it? Experience suggests that most HR people are like fat lazy cats and do very little actual work aside from explaining to Russian and Chinese hires why they're not earning much and won't be earning much in the U.S. Do I sound bitter?
Nick Corcodilos: It kind of reminds me of calling a company for customer service. The automated system asks you to enter your name, your account number, phone number and other identifying information. When you finally get a human on the phone, they want to know your name, account number and phone number. Does this smell like a disorganized bureaucracy?

HR people will tell you they read or "scan" your resume electronically, and that the purpose of the form has to do with legal compliance. The government wants to see what kinds of applicants a company is soliciting, and whether the company complies with equal opportunity recruiting laws. That's a noble thing, but when employers put the extra work on the applicant, it often costs them applicants. Like one of the job hunters in our original Making Sen$e segment, people get fed up and won't complete the form. The alternative is to skip the forms and "go direct." That is, talk to the hiring managers. We'll discuss how to do this in the next question, so that we all can avoid automated repetition.

prootwadl: The hardest thing I found when looking for work the last time (2004) was actually finding a human to talk to at a company. Outside of networking, it was very difficult to actually talk to a hiring manager unless I decided to cold call them, and I found that cold calling was not a successful approach at all. How do you suggest that a job searcher get in contact with hiring managers given the HR barriers in place in most organizations?

Nick Corcodilos: The answer is to go around HR. It amazes me that virtually every career book focuses on how to write a resume, how to use the "right" keywords for online job applications, and which online job boards to use. But few tell you how to meet the manager. Learning to do this actually requires that you unlearn the conventional ways to find a job. It's why I tell people to throw out their resumes and stop applying online. You might keep using both these tools, but if I can get you to stop using them exclusively, then you'll have time for what I'm about to suggest.

Meeting managers works the same way as meeting anyone else. Of course, most people get nervous at the thought of meeting someone they don't know, because doing it seems contrived. Who wants to be seen as a stalker? But this isn't stalking. Start a conversation with something you feel comfortable with -- the work you do. Most people love to talk about their work, and the subject relaxes them because they know it well. So find someone connected to your target company who does work similar to yours.
You may find them at an industry event, or on a professional online discussion forum. It does take work to find them -- but it's a worthwhile effort. When you reach someone, probably by e-mail to start, ask them to recommend a more effective way to do the work you both do. Or, what are they reading nowadays that influences their work? Start a conversation, and follow up later. You need not discuss anything awkward. Stick to the work! Offer a link to something useful you've read. Keep the conversation going. This is how people make friends!

When you've established meaningful contact, ask for "advice and insight" about the person's company. (Please: Do not ask for a job lead. People who don't know us don't like that sort of request.) What's it like to work there? Do they like it? Do they recommend it? Is there someone they'd recommend you talk with, to learn more about the relevant department?

As you can see, this is a step-by-step process. Some consider this sneaky or improper. Yet it's how we get close to the objects of our affections when we want to date them! Of course it's a bit awkward, but if you stick to topics you are comfortable with (whether it's a date or a peer you're talking to), it's also sincere and friendly.

If you can't find someone who does the work you want to do at the company, reach out to people connected to the business: vendors, customers, consultants, lawyers, accountants. Triangulate, and get closer to your target manager. This is far more fun and productive than sending out blind applications to companies you don't really know. I discuss these methods more extensively in my PDF book, How Can I Change Careers?, in the section titled, "A Good Network Is A Circle of Friends."

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