Posts Tagged ‘executive search’

Vital Job Hunting Tip #5: Explaining Job Changes

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Many job seekers make the mistake of talking negatively about a previous employer, and it is very important to be positive on this topic. When I interview people, I ask them in several different ways to tell why they’d be interested in making a change: What is the ideal job for you? What’s missing at your current job? What needs to be different?

Most of the answers I get revolve around new challenges, a company that is positioned better for growth, the usual. BUT, almost every week, I get one or two people who absolutely tear down their current employer, telling me all the things wrong with the environment, why their boss isn’t a good leader; on and on. Interestingly, I also get overly negative explanations about previous job changes.

Since many of these people are actually really good candidates, I end up coaching them on how to better describe why you want to make a change. Here are some rules:

Every negative can be turned into a positive. Think yin /yang. What is the flip side, the reframe of the negative aspect of your employment? If you think your company is moving too slowly, you say you want a faster paced environment. If you think your boss is poor at giving direction, you say you want a leader who makes it clear what your objectives are, so you have a define path to achieving the goal.

Two sentences is enough. One to describe the circumstances (“I’ve decided to move on; there was a 50-person RIF,” etc.), and one sentence that is forward-looking (“I would like ————- in my next position).

Show Class. If the interviewer hears you saying negative things, he or she can assume that someday you’ll be saying similar things about him or her. Show some class, and model the behavior you want them to expect from you in the future.

Talk about the future. It is human nature to dig in dirt, gossip, look for the sensational aspects that are fun to discuss. Don’t give in to the temptation. Don’t let a skilled interviewer trap you into “dishing” about all the reasons you are unhappy, only to surprise you with a rejection. Move the conversation to how your capabilities are going to add value to the new employer.

An “A” Player just doesn’t have anything bad to say about a current or past employer! Why would they?

Vital Job Hunting Tip #4: Value Creation and Getting Jobs

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Grant Cardone’s latest blog is titled: 12 Tips to Getting a Job in Any Market. I agree with him, especially about showing how you can create value. It is critically important, especially for the executive job seeker, to NOT interview for a job, but to illustrate how he or she can create value by making money or saving money for the new employer. This applies particularly well to the “hidden job market”: situations where an employer is thinking about a change, but hasn’t listed or posted the job. Guess what? EVERY employer is thinking about making a change; getting rid of a poor performer that holds the company back.

Job hunting is a numbers game – you must contact lots of people to find the true opportunities. By networking with everyone you know to find out who might need your skills, you will connect with those hidden opportunities. Research the company before you call . Be ready to make a case for how and why you can have an impact, and you just might get in the door. Then you don’t have an interview; you have a sales call. You are the product; the employer is the buyer. If you can successfully show the “benefit to the buyer” of the “product’s features” – how you add value – you can create a position for yourself. See my previous blog on being a Pain Killer vs. a Vitamin, and apply these same ideas to yourself.

 

Vital Job Hunting Tips #2 – The “Informational Interview”

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Many job hunting coaches advocate trying to get “Informational Interviews”, where you aren’t specifically aiming at a job, but just gathering information, getting advice, networking, etc. What can you try to accomplish in this meeting to improve the quality of the discussion? Here are some tips:

  1. Treat it as a customer visit – what is the “benefit to the buyer” of having this conversation with you? Maybe they just feel better, at having given back. Maybe you give them specific value too, in the conversation.
  2. Find the pain – what is this person’s biggest business issue right now? What keeps him/her up at night? How could you offer a solution?
  3. Be a resource – offer to help them network to find the things and people they need, now and in the future. Then really do it – send them info on things that are relevant to their needs; ask how you can help periodically.
  4. Ask questions, don’t “tell” or “sell”: Ask questions, use the two ears, one mouth ratio (2:1), let them talk. Gain insight. Don’t sell yourself. The more you hear from them, the more you can find the way your background might fit, the way you could help, then you can close rather than sell: “If I could help you solve that issue, would that be of interest?”
  5. Find the referral. Be prepared to state your benefit to your next employer (not a recitation of your resume), and ask “WHO do you know that could use that skill?”

 

Job Hunting Tips #2 – The “Informational Interview”

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Many job hunting coaches advocate trying to get “Informational Interviews”, where you aren’t specifically aiming at a job, but just gathering information, getting advice, networking, etc. What can you try to accomplish in this meeting to improve the quality of the discussion? Here are some tips:

  1. Treat it as a customer visit – what is the “benefit to the buyer” of having this conversation with you? Maybe they just feel better, at having given back. Maybe you give them specific value too, in the conversation.
  2. Find the pain – what is this person’s biggest business issue right now? What keeps him/her up at night? How could you offer a solution?
  3. Be a resource – offer to help them network to find the things and people they need, now and in the future. Then really do it – send them info on things that are relevant to their needs; ask how you can help periodically.
  4. Ask questions, don’t “tell” or “sell”: Ask questions, use the two ears, one mouth ratio (2:1), let them talk. Gain insight. Don’t sell yourself. The more you hear from them, the more you can find the way your background might fit, the way you could help, then you can close rather than sell: “If I could help you solve that issue, would that be of interest?”
  5. Find the referral. Be prepared to state your benefit to your next employer (not a recitation of your resume), and ask “WHO do you know that could use that skill?”