Well, summer time is almost over and the kids are back in school. The big shot executives (that’s you) are back from their luxurious world tours and vacations. They are well rested and ready to hire lots of new employees from their favorite recruiter (that’s me), I hope.
It’s also quite possible that while away on vacation, they realized that they haven’t yet cut deep enough. Now it’s time for more layoffs. Let’s hope not.
Record layoffs this year have been unrelenting and not just at the dotcoms. In the just the first five months of this year, U.S. companies cut 652,410 jobs — 38,650 more than in all of 2000. Click here to read Fast Company article on lay offs:
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Read Silicon Valley Article on layoffs:
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In July, more people were laid off in the United States than in any other single month since 1993.
It’s been tough to keep up. I’ve received an endless stream of calls and emails from laid off exec’s, some of whom I haven’t talked with since I first started in the recruiting business back in 1986. I wish I could call them all back personally, but the truth is, right now I cannot. In fact, 6 of me could not. But through the wonders of email, I’ll now provide the advice I would give on that phone call, to each and every one of those people that I would like to personally call and spend time with. Here then is the Joseph Michaels, Inc., Street Fight Survival Guide, “How to Get a Job in this Crazy Economy.” Hopefully, you don’t need the advice in this article and you are happily employed. If so, knock on wood, and think about someone you know who could use this advice.
How to Get a Job in this Crazy Economy, by Joe Pelayo
OK, so you got laid off and you need a job. You can’t believe you got caught flat-footed but it happens to the best of us. Take a break if you want, then get ready to work. Getting a job is a job. It’s a 40-hour a week job, according to Jeffery Allen, author of “How to Turn an Interview into a Job.” In his book Allen says you should get up every day and get your suit on. Make it a goal to get at least one face-to-face interview per day. I recommend reading Allen’s book and others while job searching.
Here is my recommended reading list during your job search:
- Hire Me! : Secrets of Job Interviewing by Patricia Noel Drain
- Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million+ : Your Insider’s Lifetime Guide to Executive Job-Changing and Faster Career Progress in the 21st Century by John Lucht
- How to Turn an Interview into a Job, by Jeffery D. Allen
- Knock ’em Dead, 2001 by Martin Yate. All of Yate’s books are good.
These books are not specifically “how to interview” books but are great books in general and make good reading during the job search:
- Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Dress for Success by John T. Malloy
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Influence by Robert Caldini
- The Official Guide to Success by Tom Hopkins
Consider enrolling in a speed-reading class. Readers are leaders. Those who read will lead. Those who don’t will follow those who do.
Someone once said the definition of a consultant is a person too proud to go to the unemployment office and pick up a check. Get yourself signed up for unemployment. Then go to the bookstore and buy several books. If you cannot afford the books, go to the library. Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body and you’ll need to be in good shape during your job search. Get a good interviewing suit. Even if you think the old suit is just fine, it probably isn’t. I won’t go in depth about what to buy because it’s covered in one of the books you MUST buy or check out from the library, John T. Malloy’s Dress for Success or Dress for Success for Women. This book is NOT a fashion guide out of Hollywood, but a scientific study of how thousands of random individuals responded to people based on what the people were wearing. The results included very interesting and useful information about what clothes command the most respect, what clothes are most attractive to women/men and what outfit is most likely to get the job!
Post Your Resume
These last two are merging. If you’re an information technology specialist your first post is of course at http://www.Dice.com. Search for other sites. I like www.Gorillajobsearch.com which has links to the top 100 or so employment related websites. I also like http://www.Recruitersonline.com, which allows you to search for recruiters in your specialty or location & http://www.Flipdog.com allows you to access 100’s of job search sites and want ads in one site.
Master the First Impression
A UCLA study found that when 2 people meet for the first time they make 20 distinctions about each other in the first 20 seconds, then spend the next 20 minutes finding out whether or not they were right! The same study found that a handshake is worth an hour’s conversation between two people. To make the right first impression, try this. Face the hallway or door that your interviewer will come from. Greet every person that comes out with a smile and that, “Hi, you must be my interviewer” look. The people who come out first who are not your interviewer will think you are either selling something or on something! 😉 Doesn’t matter what they think; you can explain it to them later, after you get the job. What matters is that when the interviewer emerges, you’ll make your look. The interviewer will make the “You must be my interviewee” look, which will get you off to the right start. VERY IMPORTANT! Some experts say this first impression is as much as 80% of the interview.
My favorite salary related poem comes from my favorite book, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It goes like this:
I bargained with life for a penny,
And life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening,
When I counted my scanty store.
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.
In salary negotiation, often he who speaks first loses. Try to get the employer to give you the first number. ALWAYS act as if salary is the last thing you are interested in even if it’s first. If pressed, give a salary range not a number.
Bring several copies of your references and resumes with you on every interview. When they ask for references you hand them a sheet. It’s a nice touch and shows you are organized. On the sheet are 12-15 references. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but better too many than not enough. If you are getting your references checked and not getting an offer, you may have a bad reference. Test your references by having a friend call them and find out what’s really being said about you.
Toastmasters is a non-profit public speaking training organization founded in 1924. There are more than three million persons who have benefited from the toastmasters organization. At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet once a week for about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice public speaking. Whether you become a brilliant orator or not is secondary. The point is that a one-on-one interview will never make you nervous after you can speak to a group. Relaxed and with a new level of confidence you will interview much better. Remember they will always hire the best interviewer. Lee Iacocca said his career didn’t really take off until he enrolled in a public speaking training class like Toastmasters.
Study The Company
Have 20 custom business questions ready. You may not need them all, but having 20 ready will give you more confidence. These are my favorite sites for research. Yahoo.com, FreeEdgar.com, Hoovers.com, AmCity.com, and of course, The website for the company you are interviewing with.
Your Mental State
Psychologists say it’s OK to talk to yourself, even OK to answer yourself, as long as the answer isn’t…Huuuuuuuuuuuunh!! 😉 Talk to yourself before your interview and see yourself having a good interview or getting the job. To capture the proper mental state, you MUST arrive early. Sit in the car and review your best interview ever. Review this many times in your mind.
Questions & Answers
Any of the interviewing books on the market have the most commonly asked interviewing questions like:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your Strengths/Weaknesses?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are your accomplishments?
- Etc., etc., etc.
My Vice President, Dennis Billingsley says, “If you are answering these types of questions for the first time in an interview, you’re in trouble.” You know the questions you will get. Have your answers ready. Practice answering the questions with your spouse or a friend till you like your answers.
M.O.P.F.I. – Taught by Dale Carnegie stands for Make Other People Feel Important. Here’s a great interview question using MOPFI. See how many more you can think of and write them down! “You seem like the kind of person who could work anywhere you want. Why did you choose to work for ____ company?”
Always send a thank you letter after every interview. When you get a job, be a class act, and send an announcement to everyone you talked to during your entire job search. Thank them for their assistance during your search and inform them of where you are going to work.
Network Like Crazy
While in the library, research the directory of associations. See what organizations you can find to network in. Visit a local meeting as a guest. For example, if you are a CFO or Financial Executive, you might want to network with the Financial Executives Institute. Accountants can network at an Institute of Management Accountants meeting, or at an Association of Women Accountants meeting or try the California Society of CPA’s. A Human Resources Manager might network at a meeting of the Society for Human Resource Management. We’ve done searches for all kind of occupations and the one thing all of them have in common is a networking organization. You never know where your next job is going to come from, so don’t be bashful. Get out there and network like crazy.
Here’s a link to seven career development guides available free at our website including an excellent how to interview article by Bill Radin.
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Warm Summer Regards,
One of the top 75 Recruiters in the United States ~ Recruiter Life Magazine