10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search Everything You Need to Get the Job You Want in 24 Hours — Or Less by Todd Bermont Career Press © 2004 215 pages
Focus Leadership & Mgt. Strategy
Take-Aways • Believe in yourself or no one else will. • Take an inventory of your abilities, skills and dispositions.
Sales & Marketing
• Identify the job you want — deﬁne it and understand it clearly. Corporate Finance Human Resources Technology & Production Small Business Economics & Politics
• Before you try to convince anyone else that you can do that job, convince yourself. • Carefully prepare your resume and a cover letter tailored to the opportunity you are pursuing. Do not use a generic cover letter. • Prepare for your interviews by learning all you can about the company and about the people you’ll be meeting there.
Industries & Regions Career Development
• Use whatever resources you have at hand.
• It is impossible to overstate the importance of networking.
Concepts & Trends
• If an offer is beneath you, reject it courteously and with good grace. • Treat everyone with respect because you never know when you might want to use someone you secretly despise.
(10 is best)
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Relevance What You Will Learn In this Abstract, you will learn some basic, time-tested wisdom about searching for a job. Recommendation This guide to job hunting may provide a practical boost if you’re looking for a job. It recaps some of the most widely known and broadly discussed tips about job seeking, and presents them clearly and concisely. Though it has little that is brand new, it does put some things in a different, positive light. Author Todd Bermont backs up his book with a website and provides details about his 10 recommendations. While they may not really be secrets, they amount to an organized 10-step path to ﬁnding a new and better job. Bermont is chatty, and uses conversational (as opposed to textbook) grammar, as he boosts your self-conﬁdence and assures you that the perfect job is out there, if you search for it the right way. His ﬁrst three steps urge you to deal with your own assets and wishes before you begin to contact prospective employers. However, once you are ready for that step, he makes sure you know how to proceed with the right resume, contact strategy and interview technique. getAbstract.com recommends this book to those who are searching for entry level or mid-level jobs. It may not be quite sophisticated enough to open doors into the executive suite, but when you’re out of work your job becomes ﬁnding a job — and this book will help.
“The most basic, yet perhaps the most essential secret to any successful job search is to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed!”
“The best way to jumpstart your job search is to ﬁrst identify your core strengths and competencies — what you are good at.”
Secret One: Have Faith in Yourself If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. If you believe in yourself, you can convince anyone else. Take these 10 basic steps to build your self-conﬁdence: 1. Believe you are wonderful — Make a list of all the great things you’ve done. Don’t be modest. Everyone has accomplished something worthwhile. 2. Find the good in your situation — Recognize that there’s a reason for everything that happens and that there’s some good in everything. 3. Relax — Stress and negativity can destroy you. Be honest and not defensive. 4. Make “I can!” your mantra — Keep repeating it. 5. Interview by the numbers — Truly, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to ﬁnd a prince. Don’t be bummed when people don’t jump to hire you. Be just as selective as they are. 6. Optimists win — Be positive and be sure that everyone around you is positive too. Attitude is very important. 7. Don’t let rejection get you down — You can’t change the basic facts. Maybe the interviewer wants to hire an Ivy League grad and you have a community college degree. That’s not your fault. Find an employer who appreciates your education. 8. Interviewing is part of the job — Dress for it. Organize for it. Print business cards, use a virtual ofﬁce, set up a new email address, do all you can. 9. Control what you can control — Get in shape, eat properly, have a good attitude, be organized. 10. Use visualization — Imagine yourself winning and getting what you want. When you can visualize success, success is yours. 10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search
© Copyright 2004 getAbstract
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“Companies don’t hire people just to be nice!”
Secret Two: Know Yourself Make a list of the things you do well, your strengths, your abilities, your skills and your competencies. Keep these points in mind: • • • •
“To create a powerful message — one that will secure you an interview — you need to tailor your resumes and cover letters to each opportunity.”
Know your own personality — It may be your greatest asset or your greatest liability. Determine what kind of energy you project and be positive! Know what you have achieved — Quantify your work accomplishments. Inventory your skills — They may be critical thinking skills, people skills or task skills such as an ability to understand complex machines quickly. List your work-related credentials — These might include a college degree, certiﬁcation in a certain computer program or some extra asset you can contribute.
Secret Three: Know the Job You Want First write down the things you want in a job. Your list might include autonomy, challenge, travel (or no travel), a certain salary level, a competitive environment and a short commute. This list will vary from person to person. Make sure your values match the job. If you value a lot of time with your family, don’t go after an around-the-clock job. If you value the give and take of a competitive environment, don’t go after a solitary job. You will spend a lot of time working and the wrong job will make you unhappy. When you identify your values and what you want from the job, write a job-hunting mission statement and consult it frequently. Secret Four: Make Your Case Understand what the person hiring you is seeking. Consider this seven point hiring process:
“The most common dilemma... when being faced with the daunting task of ﬁnding a new job is where to start.”
“A trick I learned to get a fax by the gatekeeper is to have a cover sheet that does not mention the purpose of the fax. Then, on the ﬁnal page of your fax transmission include a mostly blank page that just says, ‘Thank you for your time.’”
1. The company has a problem to solve — The decision to hire someone begins with recognition that the business needs something. Maybe customers are complaining about poor service. Maybe the accounting numbers don’t add up. Maybe the sales force needs a go-getter. The hiring manager is looking to solve a particular problem. 2. Identify possible solutions — Hiring a new person may be only one of several possible solutions under consideration. 3. Resolve to hire someone — The company decides to hire someone. 4. Write the business case — Managers have to justify new hires. Their superiors want to know that hiring someone new is worthwhile. Show yourself as a good investment. 5. Budget for the new hire — The company’s budget will include far more than your salary. Beneﬁts, vacation and Social Security all add costs. Most companies want a return of at least 300% on every person they hire. 6. Deﬁne the job and the qualiﬁcations — If your network of contacts knows about a job and can inﬂuence the job description, you could be in a very strong position. 7. Look for potential candidates — Cast a wide net to ﬁnd the right person. From a company’s perspective, hiring someone new is like buying a piece of production machinery. Unless the company has a desperate need to staff up immediately, hiring someone will be just one item on the employer’s to-do list. As a job searcher, make yourself look valuable, conﬁdent, competent, desirable and in demand.
Secret Five: Write Great Self-Promotion Your cover letter and resume are promotional documents. The job market is quite competitive. Companies that post ads on Internet job sites often get thousands of resumes in response. They don’t spend more than a few seconds reviewing each one, so you have to get their attention immediately. Think of your resume and cover letter as an ad. 10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search
© Copyright 2004 getAbstract
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“I’ve learned the hard way that it almost always pays to treat everyone with respect, regardless of how you feel.”
Tailor them to the market. Use the language of the industry because jargon marks you as an experienced insider. Be sure your resume contains the following data, shown as impressively as possible: • • • • •
A quick proﬁle summarizing who you are, what you’ve done and what you can do. A recapitulation of your achievements with the best stuff at the top, in bold type. Your skills and competencies. Your education. Your work experience.
Do not put your job objective on the resume, because it will prevent the interviewer from considering you for other jobs that might be equally good for you. Do not list your references. Simply note that you’ll provide references when requested.
“Smile. There’s an old saying: ‘When you smile the whole world smiles with you.’ This popular sentiment is so true.”
Secret Six: Sell Yourself Your job search begins now. Networking is the most powerful tool in the job seeker’s kit. You should always be networking. Networking means talking to friends, relatives, people you’ve worked with, people you’ve met. It means plugging into the grapevine. Don’t ask people for jobs directly. Ask them for advice, ask them if they have heard anything about positions like the one you are seeking and ask them for help. Use the word “help” often, because people want to be helpful. Contact everyone you know. Take a tip from the telemarketers and sketch a script. Develop different scripts for different purposes. For instance, if you will be cold-calling a company where you know there are openings, create a script for that circumstance. Direct mail is also useful. You can use several tricks to make sure your mailer gets noticed. For example, send it by overnight mail. Secret Seven: Use What You Can Get The 10 most useful resources for job hunters are:
“Preparing in advance will help you in almost any situation, be it interviews, networking, or making cold calls.”
“Every time I was trying to deceive the market on a trade or I was making money, I was going against my core values.”
1. Publications — Use newspapers, business magazines and phone books. 2. Websites — Check company websites where you can identify a potential boss and get his or her phone number. Be sure to write a script before you call. 3. Professional or trade associations — Most of these groups have meetings where you can broaden your networks. They have lists of members and many offer programs for members seeking jobs. If you don’t have the money to join, see if you can attend a few meetings by saying you’re thinking of joining and want to observe the meetings. 4. Trade exhibitions — You can meet people from lots of companies at a trade show. Be sure to bring your own promotional material, your cover letter and resume, and visit during slow hours when people will have time to talk. To save money, go to the show while people are still setting up booths so you can avoid the admission fee. 5. Headhunters and body snatchers — Also known as job placement ﬁrms, these companies can be useful, but be sure you understand their business model. The employer pays some headhunters, you pay some and some charge both parties. 6. College placement ofﬁces — If you’re an alumnus or alumna, you can use them. 7. Chambers of Commerce — These are great networking venues and good places to ﬁnd out about companies in a region. 8. Happenings — Attend job fairs, pink slip parties and speed networking events. 9. Public vocational centers — These church or government-funded centers usually offer counseling, resume assistance and networking. 10. Your employers — Look for contacts within your current or previous ofﬁce. 10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search
© Copyright 2004 getAbstract
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“An interviewer makes a decision in the ﬁrst 90 seconds of an interview.”
Secret Eight: Be Prepared Opportunities pop up all the time. Be prepared for surprises. Sometimes you can strike up a conversation in a coffee shop or on a train that leads to a job offer. Learn how to tout your accomplishments without seeming to brag. Prepare an elevator pitch — a 30-second pitch that sums you up. You have about a minute and a half to create a ﬁrst impression, and those ﬁrst seconds are critically important. The most successful candidates in a job search are: • • • • • • • •
“In interviews … listen twice as much as you talk.”
Conﬁdent — They believe in themselves and inspire conﬁdence. Fake it if you must. Organized — They arrive on time. They bring talking points; they take notes. Friendly — They smile and have a pleasant demeanor. Assiduous — Don’t look or act like a nine-to-ﬁver. Effective — Make it clear that you get things done effectively and efﬁciently. Innovative — Show that you can ﬁnd new solutions or ways of working. Focused on the goal — Make it clear that you’re not drifting with the tide. Able to solve problems — Every company values solutions.
Secret Nine: Interview to Get What You Want Don’t get stage fright before your interview. To interview well, follow ﬁve simple rules: 1. Visualize — Stand before the mirror, see yourself going in and doing very well, handling questions with aplomb and putting your case impressively. You will do what you visualize. 2. Be positive and upbeat — Have a spring in your step and a smile on your face. 3. Dress like a winner — People do judge by appearances. 4. Sell yourself — See the interview as a three-step sale with an introduction, a pitch and a close. 5. Enjoy it — If you think of it as fun, it will be fun, and your attitude will be positive.
Secret Ten: Close that Sale Interviewing is a job — a sales job. After every interview, write a sales call report. Summarize what happened. Write a thank you note. When the offers begin to come in, consider each one carefully. If an offer doesn’t meet your requirements, reject it tactfully and respectfully. You never know when the company might want to contact you again, or when you might want to contact the company. Negotiate conﬁdently. If an offer is really good, accept it enthusiastically!
About The Author Todd Bermont is president and founder of 10 Step Corporation, a ﬁrm specializing in sales training, sales consulting, keynote speaking and career coaching. He has been awarded the “Certiﬁcate of Merit” by Writers Digest magazine and “Businessman of the Year” by the Business Advisory Council.
10 Insider Secrets to a Winning Job Search
© Copyright 2004 getAbstract
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