Note: This material has been extracted from Getting THE Call: Executive Coach Reveals Job Searching SECRETS Employer’s Don’t Want You to Know.
In my last article, I addressed how best to use Social Media during your job search. This article will focus on the most important warnings to be aware of when conducting a job search. Sounds pretty simple, right? But it’s not. Here’s what I’ve learned from being an executive Career Coach for more than 20 years.
Now that you know the best ways to use Social Media in your job search, it’s time to address the following warnings associated with your job search:
- Warning 1: Don’t quit your job unless you have a guaranteed better job to move too. If you quit, you lose two valuable things: unemployment insurance and severance.
- Warning 2: Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until your unemployment insurance and/or severance runs out before starting your search. It could take you at least one month for each $10,000 in the pay you’re seeking before you find a new position or longer. Always be looking for a better opportunity even after you become reemployed!
- Warning 3: Don’t take your foot off the job search accelerator! Just because one opportunity looks good, don’t slow down your search. At the last minute, this good opportunity could disappear, and you’ll be left with nothing, feeling demoralized. Don’t stop your search actions until the day after your first day at your new job.
- Warning 4: What if your employer finds out you are looking? First, you should always be looking for a better opportunity for you and your family. Second, if employed, conduct your search as covertly as possible. Your employer is probably doing the same thing-if he’s smart.
- Warning 5: Don’t burn any bridges! Relationships last forever- both good and bad. When you leave a company, for whatever reason, do so without creating contention. Years from now you could be in the situation of wanting/needing to return to a former employer.
- Warning 6: Be careful with your resume. First, don’t forget to do a final spell check of your resume. Your computer will tell you that you have sentence fragments – that’s okay! Just make sure everything is spelled correctly. Remember to delete all articles (a, an & the). Second, have someone proofread your resume to ensure it makes sense and all jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations are defined the first time they appear. Third, check your resume for any exaggerations, opinions, and superlatives, that can’t be supported. This could cause you not to get a phone call. So, be careful! Just state the facts (not your opinion), and let the reader decide how good you are.
- Warning 7: When building your resume and PAR stories, don’t tell me what you were responsible for – no one cares! Instead, tell me what you, or your team, accomplished, resolved, finished, or made happen. What got better because you were there?
- Warning 8: Don’t prejudge anyone! Excluding someone, just because you think they wouldn’t know anyone important, is a mistake. Don’t leave anyone out. Pull-Out-All-the-Stops. Get your fear and pride out of your way. Who do you know? Who does your spouse know? Who do your kids know?
- Warning 9: Raise your aim when applying for advertised positions. You’ll find these positions in industry related magazines, newspapers and on the Internet. Only apply if you meet 90% of their requirements. Don’t lower your point of aim by applying for positions for which you’re overqualified. This is what most people do. Ads are designed to fill less than 15% of the low-medium paying jobs. This is only one way of getting the call for job interviews and offers. For example: If you have a college degree and you apply for a position that does not require a college degree, you’re wasting your time – because you’re overqualified.
- Warning 10: Do not negotiate until you have their written Offer Letter in hand and you’ve taken 24-48 hours to consider the entire package. The first person who states a salary number, loses!
- Warning 11: When negotiating, play it cool. If you appear desperate, your ability to negotiate will be greatly diminished. If they ask, are you looking at other companies? Or are you considering other offers, say, I’d rather not say. Finally, if things don’t go your way, you can always ask for another 24-48 hours to think about it.
- Warning 12: An interview is not a friendly conversation; it’s a competition. Don’t let your guard down. Stick to their job description and your PAR Stories. Avoid extraneous and meaningless comments.
- Warning 13: During your interview, make sure whatever you’re presenting does not violate any company secrets, proprietary methods, or intellectual property.
- Warning 14: When selecting your references, carefully choose 3-5 people to act as a reference for you. Select those who you’ve worked within the last 3-5 years who can comment positively on your work ethic and integrity. Include some supervisors, peers, and subordinates for best results. Ensure you ask their permission before putting them on your reference list (so they are expecting the call) and provide them with a copy of your resume. You’ll be glad you did because they’ll have it available when talking to potential employers.
- Warning 15: 65% of job positions come from word of mouth and contacting companies. These positions won’t be advertised. This is important because it shapes your actions during your search! You can ONLY access them by using the techniques presented in this guide.
- Warning 16: Social networking will consume a lot of time and should only be done before 9 AM and after 4 PM? From 9 AM to 4 PM, you are either on the phone or face-to-face with people who can help you. Continue to use the other 18+ Proven ways to get your resume in front of the right people to make your phone ring for job interviews and offers.
- Warning 17: Social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) could be a liability. 50% of employers admit checking social networking sites before making a hiring decision. Because of this, don’t post information concerning religion, race, politics, sex, or bad humor (includes content and photos). If they’re already there, remove them!
- Warning 18: Anyone trying to help you needs three things; what you want to do (titles of positions), what companies you’d love to work for (your Target List), and your resume.
- Warning 19: If you just lost your job, relax! This is actually a blessing in disguise. This is your chance to assess your career and to strike out on a new adventure. You will change jobs, companies, and employers at least seven times during your working life. This is good news – not bad! You are building and strengthening your transferable skills, which make you more marketable.
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away – one of life’s great paradoxes.
Violate These WARNINGS At Your Peril!
In my next post, I’ll focus on how to interview strong enough to receive a job offer. Prepare to be surprised.
Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, learn more here.