Here is the easiest, and least stressful approach to finding work opportunities, applying, and then getting through the process of getting interviews and then job offers. Tell your story.
Being selective about what you apply for, combined with a targeted “What I Can Do For You” resume, will get you better results.
If you are picky, you have more time for (1) researching the position/company, (2) customizing your resume which should only take 5 minutes, and (3) doing a personal telephone follow up to see if your resume was received, and to ask when they expect to make a decision.
The easiest way to make it through the nerve-wracking days before a big interview is to have a plan to Be Yourself. In practical terms, here is a checklist that will help.
- Is your resume 100% accurate and truthful?
If it is all true, then you don’t have to worry. Talking about your achievements and experience will come more naturally (practice helps too). Creating success stories is the easiest way to practice talking about yourself in the context of work.
- Are you a fit to the job? Do you feel you could do whatever is asked of you?
If you somehow got a job interview and you aren’t totally qualified, but you want the opportunity. Disclose your weakness at the start of the interview in a positive way before you are asked about any weaknesses or concerns. Say something like “I can do 90% of this job and the other 10% I may need some guidance” You may be surprised that this honesty gets you the job!
- Are your references on board and aware you are on a job search?
References like an ex-boss usually want to help you succeed. Talking to them on a regular basis will make you feel more confident about yourself and that they will say good things about you. As a bonus, your reference may have some job opportunities to tell you about.
There are lots of other suggestions such as meditation or relaxation techniques. My opinion is that if you aren’t regularly doing these things, just before an interview is not the best time to start until everything else is already prepared; from your 3 second resume (bring 2 clean copies) to interview tips and success stories.
Sleeping and eating well. Dressing up. All good.
Here are some more tips on how to reduce the fear and anxiety of a job interview from Undercover Recruiter @undercoverRec and Casey Fleischmann @caseyjfleisch
Have you thought about coming to the job interview with your success stories
Can you “re-invent” yourself? How would you do that?
You only have 3 Seconds to let someone know “What You Can Do for Them! On a resume, don’t waste the space above the fold with your career objectives, your volunteer work, or even your education. Get to the point! Show your experience, show your results, show your fit with what they are looking for
The point of view of the Job Seeker will determine which mobile app makes sense. If you are looking in Toronto GTA then by all means try out zenPeak Job Alerts. If you want opinions on companies and interview experiences posted by job Seekers, then try out glassdoor (although there is not much data for Canada or Toronto).
A hidden job is exactly that. It is hidden away, and doesn’t appear all over the Internet on hundreds of job boards attracting thousands of applicants.
Part of our mission is to help job seekers find full-time, salaried work in Toronto GTA. You don’t have to take our word for it.
How have we taken action? We have updated our mobile app (with more updates to come) It’s the first of its kind anywhere where tags and mapped results make it easy to find hundreds of local & hidden jobs. More? Check out the zenPeak website for help with resumes, interviews, success stories and more.
With a Success Story, you demonstrate communication skills, in addition to talking about your achievement.
A few thoughts about job interviews; before during and after
So why aren’t you getting the interviews? The answer is so simple its crazy.
I usually have at least 5 – 10 books laying beside my bed. All non-fiction and all requiring a different state of mind to open up and read. Is this something you also encounter? What’s on your reading list?
It started off as a good idea. Post a job on a website and job seekers can apply directly, without calling or mailing a resume in. Simple, fast and easy. Good for the environment and high-tech too.
Unfortunately, too easy!
A Job Seeker needs support and encouragement but a job group is the wrong place to get it – anyone at a job club who gets a job will disappear so fast they won’t even leave a vapour trail. Why? because they are happy to brush off the stink and misery of not having a job. That’s the truth.
Don’t forget, the objective of sending in a resume is to capture the attention and interest of the Hiring Manager and to get a telephone or face to face interview. Follow up is critical!
Everyone discourages phone calls but that isn’t going to frighten you is it? I’m sure the company wants to hire go-getters; people excited about the job opportunity!
There are different Candidate “mindsets” around getting a Hiring Manager to offer you an interview. One mindset is “I could be really good in the job, and if they just gave me a chance, they would see” This mindset is usually accompanied by a resume that is generic, and not customized to the opportunity…Another mindset is built around improving your statistical chances of getting the interview. It involves more working and less hoping.
Assume you are face to face, and given an opportunity to capture the attention of the Interviewer. Do you think creating and practicing a success story is a good investment of your time? YES!
Get Out of Your Own Way. You have to make it easy for a Hiring Manager to figure you out in the context of what they need done in the job. Make a decision. Are you in love with your resume? or in love with the idea of getting the interview and a job offer?
If you can find a balance between demonstrating competency & experience, while at the same time, creating genuine interest in “your story” then you’ll get noticed, and get someone excited. A few success stories can make the difference! …………. Then the reader is nodding their head as they read your resume, learning about you, getting excited about you, and thinking… this is exactly the kind of person we need
zenPeak limits the data we collect about you, while at the same time being totally committed to giving you information and offers that are relevant to you. How is that possible? – See more at: http://zenpeak.com/zenpeakblog/#sthash.PuGkxPKW.dpuf
“Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire this year, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year. More crucially for those trying to get into college, 30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.”
I am connected to the writer, Stephanie St. Claire through facebook, and when I saw the title of her post, I checked it out right away.
One of the options for a mid-career job seeker is to go into business for themselves; taking their passion or skill, from cooking to construction and creating their own opportunity if no one else is offering them one. Stephanie gives very solid advice based on her own personal experiences. I think she has identified a lot of traps new entrepreneurs fall into — my hand is up 🙂 btw and waving around — Have a look and judge for yourself if doing your own thing sounds scary and exciting at the same time, or just very very scary!
If you are a graduate at the university or college level, in your final year, or have graduated in the past 12 months, you may qualify for free services worth over $1,000. If you are interested check out this page
What do you get? We help Candidates in 4 areas; Resume, LinkedIn, Interview and EQ. You get it all – worth over $1,000. for free if you qualify.
If you have a compelling story to tell, we want to hear it & share it, right here on our blog!
You’ve heard the phrase “Pay It Forward”, where you go out and help 3 people after someone has helped you. Here is a chance for you to Pay It Forward! Tell us your story, or… connect us with someone who is a Pink Slip Hero, and has an amazing story to tell. Your Pink Slip Hero story may inspire someone else who has just been fired and needs to discover how to get working again.
- what special challenges did you face?
- what did you discover about yourself that helped you?
- what is the best advice you have to share?
and as a thank you for sharing… every Pink Slip Hero gets a free 3 month subscription to our Job Alerts!
Typically people apply for jobs in one of two ways. They send in an online application based on a posted job opportunity, or they take advantage of their network of connections and send in their resume. In either case, a job seeker should keep track of every time they apply for a job. Why?
… When the other resident was being packed up to leave the residence, Bing took Munchkin in for a few days so she would be out of the way. Wow there was new excitement for Oshie and Bing! It was apparent for awhile that Munchkin needed an “owner” who could look after her, but as things went, the offer to take care of Munchkin was declined, and everyone said their goodbyes. Bye Bye Munchkin!
So for us, The One Minute Rule on the phone is being polite, not brushing someone off, listening and suggesting a next step. When we spend that time, we may be talking to a star Candidate for the 1st time; someone who a Client can hire to help grow their business. Its in our best interest too!
the most important thing you can do, within our system. In our face to face meeting we ask you to think about the 2 or 3 major success stories we’ve talked about, and write up short paragraphs (3-4 sentences max) on each. These success stories capture the interest of the reader; in this case a hiring manager. Once you have their attention, they will look deeper into “What You Can Do For Them” in the organization.
If you are on LinkedIn, and committed to expanding your connections, spending time in groups can be a good start to meet industry ‘players” and to reach out to new business contacts.
Your job interview is over, and it went on for a long time, and you think its a match! Sometimes this is true, but more often than not, a long interview doesn’t mean you have the job. Many Candidates have told us the interview went on for a long time and was great, and when we talk to the Client, there isn’t any serious interest in them.
Getting a face to face interview is hard, and if you manage to get one, whether its short or long, consider being prepared for the moment when you are asked… Any Questions?
The first five minutes of an interview are critical; of course there are the first impressions about you, and usually the interviewer will share the key requirements of the job and their goals for the person they hire. Listen carefully! and make notes if you can. This will help you later when you are invited to ask questions.
Probably towards the end of the interview you may be asked… Any Questions? The best way to ask the questions is to first start off with a thank you for the interviewer’s time, then get outside your “internal script” and the thinking of everything I have done and switch over to what they want… “What I Can Do For You!” Your questions should capture the key requirements they have already told you, and drill into:
- “Are there any concerns about me from my experience or today’s interview that would prevent you from hiring me?” – Its direct, but you get an opportunity to clarify or fix issues that you won’t get a second chance to do.
- “What are the company’s long-term goals?’ (if not discussed) – here is your chance to get onside with “What I Can Do For You!”… beyond salary, job, hours
- “How will you measure my success if you hire me?” – You get a chance to close the distance between you, the company, the hiring manager and the opportunity. Its great for understanding expectations, and prepares you for a follow up and the rest of the interview process.
Remember, finish strong and don’t worry about risking chances with a few questions
and, here are a few questions you shouldn’t ask (also from source: Forbes)
Breakout growth companies are usually started by industry outsiders. They change the rules and thrive on destroying the old ways of doing things. As they grow, and hire, founders don’t surround themselves with industry veterans – that would not be a recipe for disruption and innovation. As the saying goes about amazing innovative companies… “too dumb to know it couldn’t work”
Does this apply to hiring practices in other companies that are not the ones shaking an industry to its foundation? In this Forbes article, , the case is made that thinking (and hiring) like the founder of Amazon, may bring benefits in tackling innovation, and competing with game-changing competitors.
This video is directed to new college graduates, but Charlie has good advice for everyone struggling to find work.
Its a good strategy for mid-career people who are not getting interviews after dozens or hundreds of job applications. Offer a lower risk way to a decision-maker to showcase… What I Can Do For You!
The difference between our company, and most other Recruiters is that we try and keep our Candidates and our Clients “in balance”. Work, and having a job, is very important for a person’s self-worth. It is not easy being out of a job, or to be looking for a job. We respect those challenges for a Candidate, and treat their needs as importantly as the Client who needs to hire an employee.
We call the process of getting to know our Candidates… “internalizing”. When we speak with a Client, having “internalized” a Candidate, we are often excited about the match between the job, Client and Candidate. This is a holistic and meaningful way to connect a person with work. The added benefit of this up-front work is that we can identify peak performers and recruit them for our Clients; that is our motto… We Recruit Peak Performers for our Clients. (and that’s how the company got its name).
For many of us in western society, the idea of meeting your spouse on your wedding day is ridiculous (and very frightening). Maybe the fear is strongest when your Mother or Father is the one setting up the love connection. Many traditional societies recognized the downside of having Mom and Dad setup the marriage so they use “professional” matchmakers who are experienced at making an unbiased assessment of two people, to raise the potential for a happy couple.
Can you imagine this working if the matchmaker never met, knew and interviewed both parties!? After the man and woman meet and begin a courtship, or see each other for the first time on their wedding day, the matchmaker’s job is done.
Doing the upfront work and research at modern day matchmakers like eHarmony and match.com is the central part of their business. So… when it comes to hiring people, if you are not hiring yourself, and you are relying on the experience of a Recruiter, why choose one who doesn’t do the work up front when it counts?!
A Recruiter that doesn’t do the work up front (research, interviews, testing, reference interviews), and just fires off a resume to a Client wouldn’t last very long in the matchmaking business!
As an employer your goal is to increase productivity of your employees so that you can make more money – but will blocking Facebook really make that big of a difference? Social media isn’t the biggest time waster – says Recruiter.com – it’s computer glitches that rein number one! So, before you decide to eliminate access to Facebook you may want to check that your actual computer programs are running at top speed! For full article http://www.recruiter.com/i/facebook-isnt-the-worst-time-waster/
“We need to celebrate the candidate in the recruitment process”
After I circulated this article to the people working with me at zenPeak, it only took a few minutes for the excited comments to come back to me.
The zenPeak approach is to “Internalize Candidates” It’s a fundamental part of our process and when you do it… everything gets easier.
Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?
OK here it is…
??? Tell Me About Yourself ???
The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most, you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.
??? Tell Me About Yourself ???
>>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share basic info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. You do want to fit in right? But the strategy is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t engage the Interviewer in follow-up personal answers. Move on to…
>>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great. No… hmmm maybe consider a new career. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there. Now just as quick move on to…
>>>> “and, I am very excited about the opportunity to _ _ _ here”
This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!
You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised; much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.
Haven’t got the interview yet? resume style and content does make a difference!
One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.
If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.
Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.
So now you have a great resume and you got the interview AND you are ready for the #1 Job Interview Question!