Tag Archives: job hunting

How to Get a Company to Give You the Job

2-½ minutes to read

It’s aggravating when you’re not asked to come talk about a job. It’s worse going to a bunch of meetings and still not landing one. Nothing fuels self-doubt more than having a great meeting with the hiring manager, walking away feeling it’s in the bag, only to have the phone remain silent. If you keep coming up short you’re committing job search sin #8: Not asking for the job if you want it or not following up properly or at all.

How to Get a Company to Give You the Job 

When You Want the Job, Ask

To a large extent, job hunting is a numbers game. If you have been diligent about identifying your skills, understanding your passion, and determining market demand you will get a job. When you work from the inside, as I suggested in last week’s post, you’ll reduce the time it takes. But you’re not going to be offered every job you apply for. You may not get offered any of them if another candidate has the gumption to ask at the end of a meeting, “given everything we’ve discussed, can you offer me the job?”

The company may choose to speak with all candidates before making a decision. But the hiring manager may not want to risk losing an excellent employee. So if a previous candidate makes his wishes clear, you’ll be out of luck.

It seems so basic. But a lot of veterans don't do it. If you want the job, ask for it.

The purpose of the meeting is for you and the hiring manager to assess the mutual benefit of your working there. When you ask for the job it should be clear you believe this is good for you AND the company.

You won’t be ruled out for making your assessment clear. Nor will it impact your position when negotiating compensation. In most cases, such decisiveness will work to your advantage.

If the hiring manager doesn’t see the fit, aren’t you better off knowing immediately. And if he disagrees with your assessment or doesn’t like your assertiveness what does that bode about a future work situation?

Alleviating the Fear of Asking

Asking for the job can have three results:

  1. No, you’re not the person we’re looking for. Great, you know where you stand. Perhaps you thought the meeting went well. Was your perception correct? Ask questions. The hiring manager may be reluctant to discuss the matter. If the reasons sound harsh he may have legal concerns. Ask for suggestions on how you can improve for your next meeting.
  2. No, not right now. Great, you know you’re still in the running.
  3. Yes. Great! You got the job!

There is no downside to asking for a job you want. You may feel uncomfortable. Practice what you’ll say. Stand or sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself. Better, rehearse with a friend and video yourself. Before long you won’t feel awkward.

If the company needs time, make a plan to follow up. What happens next in the process? Will they be assessing the people they spoke with? Or will there be a second or third meeting? What is the timeline? Be polite but don’t leave matters vague.

Establish the latest that you can expect to hear back. Confirm you can follow up after that time. Do so, even if you’ve found another job in the meantime. Show you follow through. Don’t burn any bridges.

Within a day of the meeting send a handwritten thank you. A quick email right after is fine. A card or note the person will keep on his desk keeps you front of mind.

If you got a flat out no, before you leave the meeting ask for referrals to other companies looking for someone with your qualifications. Most people don’t like rejecting a candidate so they’ll be happy to help if they can. You can’t lose anything by asking.

To get the job you want you’ll have to ask for it. Most likely, you’ll have to ask more than once. A proper follow plan and execution will make the process easier and more comfortable.

Do you think it’s better to know right away if you didn’t get a job?

Please comment on this question or ask another question below.

If You’ll Take Any Job… You’ll Be Rejected for Every Job

2 minutes to read

You submitted dozens or hundreds of resumes. You got called for few if any interviews. Your savings have dwindled to the point where an AT&T Mobile settlement check looks like a lot of money. (I got one today for 7¢.) You broaden your search. Still, don’t have any luck. You just want a job! I’ll give it to you straight. The fewer jobs you exclude from your hunt, the more likely you’ll be rejected for every job you apply for. You’re committing job search sin #2: Not having clear objectives for your search.

If You’ll Take Any Job… You’ll Be Rejected for Every Job

What You’re Saying When You’ll Take Any Job

I understand your frustration. You want to work.

You want to support your family and maintain your dignity. By broadening or even lowering your sights, you intend to send a message of flexibility. You want to prove you’re committed to doing what it takes. Can you make it any plainer? “Just give me a chance to show you what a great worker I can be.”

I commend your dedication to getting a job. But you’re shooting yourself in the foot. The message you intend to send is not the one employers receive. They hear:

  • Desperation. Taking any job makes you sound like a loser. So although you may be a great, even the best candidate, employers wonder why you sound so needy.
  • Lack of Skills. If you really have the skills the job demands you’d be confident. Since you’re not, you must lack the skills despite what you and your resume say.
  • No In-Depth Knowledge. If you will take any job, how can you have a comprehensive view of their specific industry? Realistically you can’t and don’t.
  • Not Focused. Lack of clear-cut job search goals may signal an inability to focus. Civilians think service members have discipline. Your shotgun approach is incongruent with this belief. Their warning signals go off.
  • Can’t Commit. Turnover costs businesses a lot of money. If you can’t commit to yourself why would you be loyal to their organization? Instability may be tolerated for low salary jobs. Can you live on minimum wage?

It seems that by broadening your search you create more opportunity. In reality, all you’re doing is lowering your value in the job market.

You Don’t Want Any Job

You left the military for one of three reasons:

  • You retired.
  • You didn’t like military life or your work anymore.
  • You involuntarily separated.

As a retiree, you may have loved your military job. Now, do you want to do work you hate? Likewise, whether you chose to leave or not, unless you get a job you enjoy you’re likely to suffer the same fate. Rather than chasing hundreds of marginally appropriate jobs, start by setting goals for what you want. The process has three steps:

  1. Perform an in-depth skills assessment.
  2. Define what you love doing and why.
  3. Identify jobs that are in demand.

Find the nexus where these meet. The image above illustrates what you need to do. Now you have your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). From it, establish your job-hunting objectives and focus your time and energy where they will be most productive. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the more jobs you exclude, the more likely you are to get the job you want.

Which of the steps are you struggling to figure out? Please comment below.

How You’ll Earn More Using Scarcity & Urgency

3 minutes to read

You probably have a friend who’s highly skilled but can’t find a job. Or maybe you’re in this situation. It makes no sense. When we were kids we learned expertise commands a big salary. That’s why my mother (and grandmother) wanted me to be a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. But today ability alone may not buy you anything. As an example, for six years in a row the unemployment rate for law school graduates has increased, standing at 15.5% in 2015. What used to be a sure track to a six-figure income isn’t any longer.

How You'll Earn More Using Scarcity and Urgency (1)

Plenty vs. Scarcity

Doctors are in much better shape. The unemployment rate for physicians and surgeons is under 1%. While I couldn’t find statistics for medical school graduates, you can bet with such a low rate for the profession graduates aren’t struggling too much.

Doctors are scarce. Medical schools enroll 20,055 doctors a year. The number of spots is supposed to increase by 30% over the next few years but that’s only an extra 6,000 MDs. With our aging population, demand is increasing faster.

By contrast, the demand for lawyers has been decreasing since 2007. Law schools enrolled a record 52,000 students in 2010, though the number have declined since then to 40,000. Still there are plenty of attorneys.

Further, when you’re sick you want help. Generally legal needs are not urgent.

Making Scarcity and Urgency Work for You

Among elite professionals, scarcity and urgency lead to a higher income. On average a surgeon makes 62% more than a family doctor. Both require four years of undergraduate school and four years of medical school. Surgeons train for another three to seven years. Family doctors go through a three-year residency. So education is not the factor leading to such a large income disparity.

Surgeons assume greater risk, right? As an indicator, malpractice insurance rates for a surgeon are four times higher than for a family doctor. Still they’re only around $20,000 a year. The extra $15,000 is about 10% of the $122,000 difference in their incomes. Surgeons are scarcer. And when you need surgery you can’t wait, even if you would put off your annual checkup.

You can make scarcity and urgency work in your favor. You don’t need to get more schooling.

Gain in depth knowledge of your industry to make yourself a rare commodity. Learn everything there is to know about the problems, challenges, changes, and players in your field. In this respect more certifications won’t help. They deal with such recognized issues there’s routine training to deal with them. You’ll have to be more forward thinking. When you command greater expertise than 90% of the people in your business, you’ll get a top salary.

Focus on the emergent issues. There are new challenges and urgent problems in your field. Be the one with solutions to the critical ones.

You don’t need to spend seven years in medical training to join the sparse ranks of doctors. You can create scarcity and urgency in any field you choose. By putting them to work, you’ll put yourself in demand and secure a high-paying job.

What prevents you from being the top person in your field? Please comment below.

You’ll Win at Roulette Before You Get a Job

2-½ minutes to read

Gambling built Las Vegas. Blackjack and craps have their adherents but roulette epitomizes chance. Turn the wheel, send the little white ball spinning, and guess what number will come up. With 36 numbers plus 0 and 00 on an American roulette wheel, the odds the ball will land on your chosen number are 2.63%.   That’s the worse case. If you bet red or black your odds of winning increase to 47.37%. For most job hunters, that’s better odds than their finding the job they want.

You’ll Win at Roulette Before You Get a Job

The Post and Pray Method

The Internet has fundamentally changed how we get a job. In former years people scanned newspaper want ads, then spoke with someone at a potential employer’s office, sent their resume to an actual person, and interviewed face to face with him or someone else. They had a lot of human interaction throughout the process.

Today there is little if any person-to-person contact until an interview. Resumes are submitted through websites. Since 2008 between 118 and 250 people have applied for each position. An automated Applicant Tracking System screens resumes to eliminate up to 50% before a human will look at them. About 20% of applicants will get an interview. One will be chosen. At 1 in 118, your odds of landing the job are less than 1%.

Your odds shrink dramatically when you take into account only 20% of openings are advertised.

For most people, job-hunting means going online and posting their resume. Only 4% to 10% of people who use this method exclusively get a job that way. One expert says it’s closer to 0.4%.

Roulette odds look pretty good now don’t they?

How to Improve the Odds You'll Get a Job

When you’re unemployed looking for work is your full-time job. Consider the average job seeker looks for a job an hour a day and watches television three hours a day. This is not a formula for success.

Passive methods like posting your resume on job boards virtually guarantee failure.

You must create an action plan to get a job you want. These steps will guide you:

  1. Create your value proposition. What benefits do you bring to the table for a potential employer? What problems can you solve?
  2. Have a multi-pronged strategy. How will you know if you’ve found the job you want? What proactive steps can you take to get in front of someone who needs your expertise?
  3. Make a plan to find the 80% of jobs that aren’t advertised. Search out companies you want to work for. Who can give you the inside track? How can you get them to help you?

If you’re not actively marketing yourself you’re not really job hunting.

Life affords no sure things. But it needn’t be lived on Las Vegas odds. Using the above steps will push your odds of getting a job well beyond even the best that roulette can offer.

What proactive steps are you or have you taken to get the job you want? Please comment below.

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