Category Archives: Followup

6 places to check on a company’s reputation

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.  (George Washington)

When a man or woman brags about his virtue, avoid the former and cultivate the latter. (Unkn)

 6 places to check on a company’s reputation

Mt Rushmore with "Reputation? How do you find out what it is?"

What is the company’s real reputation?

I was told, “I want to work in a Fortune 100 company.  That’s where the action is at.  Then I will really be going places.”  It could be true.  Just remember, Enron was in the Fortune 100 club too, before their leadership was indicted.

Size isn’t everything.  It seems that in every Fortune 100 company there will be whole divisions laid off or sold every year.  The CEO may call it pruning. The people in the division have more explicit names for it.

For you, the job seeker, company reputation is important.  It will make a difference in how other people view your career.  The reputation of the local division is even more important.  Your success will be tied directly to the local division’s performance.  The reputation of your new manager is critical.  He’s the one that will make your job paradise or purgatory.

Places to look and people to ask

  1. If you go to their website you can find the official company news releases. That’s what they want their reputation to be. For the people outside of their industry, it will really be their reputation.
  1. Try calling some independent recruiters. If a recruiter submitted you there then they ought to already know the company reputation.  If they didn’t submit you, ask them about the company as you talk to them about your job search.  Independent recruiters talk to everyone going into a company and everyone leaving that company.  They know where all the skeletons are buried and which managers or departments are the best to work with.
  1. Quiz anyone who has close contact with the company. Look up their competitors. It can be particularly interesting to talk to people who worked at competitors. How do you find these people? Go to LinkedIn.com and search for company names in the “Person” search.
  1. Suppliers and accountants are great sources. Expand your online search if it is a company you are very interested in.
  1. Also call people doing the job you want in nearby unrelated companies. You want people from the same level you will be at because reputation can vary at different levels. If you want to be a salesman, programmer or COO, the reputation of the company will have spread outside of their industry.
  1. In many cases there are associations for your job. Talk to the people running the association and those at the meetings. Ask them about reputation.

Your search for their reputation can help you find other job openings too.  As you expand your circle of inquiry, more people find out that you are available.  Don’t forget to ask everyone who else you ought to talk to.  You may be surprised how important the comment of the friend of a friend can be.

Make it a habit to do your “due diligence” as you start interviewing for a job.  Find out their reputation.  Contact people about the company.  It will help you select the right company with the right boss.  Your inquiries may also lead you to a different, better job.

Something To Do Today

Find out if there are any associations for your job or the job you are working towards.  Online search engines work well. Reference librarians are especially good at finding them. Go to your local library and ask for help.

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Tomorrow:     The work successful people throw out.

Later:              Lose 10 pounds in one week is not job hunting

What to do if they haven’t called after a week – the job search

teen waiting with phone

Are you waiting to see if you got the job?

Why don’t companies say “Yes” or “No”?  What can I do about it?

Most of your frustration in a job search comes down to 3 situations at the company you are applying for.

First the receptionist is told:

“Jill, there are 250 resumes in my in-box.  Please go through them and give me the 10 best resumes.  Throw the rest away.”

Maybe the hiring manager was told:

“We’ve got to redo our budgets.  Put everything on hold.”

Or, the recruiter is told:

“We have a candidate we like better, but we want you to keep Jim warm, okay?  We might end up hiring Jim if this other guy doesn’t work out.  Don’t tell Jim anything.”

Those are the three scenarios that account for most of the frustration in a job search.  In either case you will get no useful reply to your job inquiries.  In the first case, you will never get a reply.  In the last two cases they may be forbidden to give you a reply.

You still should call and ask for information about your application.  Many times your call will cause them to pick up your resume one more time and take another look.  One unusual

company I know of rarely hires someone unless they have called 3 or more times.  I only know of one company that does that as policy.  I know a lot of companies that need their memory to be jogged.

If a company is hoping to hire you, that’s good.  It may be frustrating to wait for a month while they make up their minds, but so what?  If another job comes along, take it.  Anytime you go two weeks without an interview or an offer, assume the job is on hold while they look at other candidates. Call regularly, look for another job, but leave yourself available in case something good happens.  What can it hurt to be patient?

Deal with reality.  At the job you apply for, and get no response whatsoever, they are trying to work quickly.  If it takes one minute apiece to answer each of 250 job inquiries, that is over 4 hours of drudge work.  That’s why most companies don’t reply anymore.  The time it takes is too great. Many times you won’t get an answer.  That’s reality.  If you follow up with a call, you have a little better chance of something happening.  That’s also reality.

Don’t get mad, deal with reality. No one wants to insult you.  It is best not to be offended.  Just accept the fact that unless you are hired, your job application will end up in limbo, not in a straightforward “Yes!” or “No.”  Deal with it. Follow up, but also keep your job search active.

Something To Do Today

Call the companies that have not given you a final response every week or two.  Jog their memories.  Don’t get mad, just let them know you are still interested.

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Tomorrow:      The company’s reputation

Later:               Lose 10 pounds in 3 days–is not job hunting

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? (James Thurber)

Don’t be powerless at an interview 

weak helpless powerless insecure man

Do you feel powerless at some point in your job search?

The job interview was at 2:00 pm.  The candidate, Bill, called at 1:45 pm.  He was in their parking lot.  Showtime.  That great candidate was going to shine. He told the receptionist he was there and sat down to wait.

At 3:15 pm the VP of HR called to apologize.  Bill finally came in for the interview.  This well qualified candidate sat in the lobby for 1 ½ hours.

Don’t just sit there

The receptionist didn’t do her job right. It wasn’t Bill’s fault, but he could have done something about it.  He could have asked the receptionist to double check that the right person knew he was there.  He could have asked to speak to the administrative assistant of the person he was there to see.  It wasn’t Bill’s fault, but he wasn’t powerless.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (Shaw)

Don’t be abused by accident

People don’t want to be rude to you.  People you work for don’t want to waste your time.  The receptionist doesn’t want to stand in the way of your goals and ambitions.  It is not human nature to wish the worst on strangers.  Most often they are in your way through ignorance, incompetence or fear.

Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway

The best solution is to swallow your own fear of making waves.  Sure, you are afraid.  They probably are too.  It is time to step up to the person in your way and work with them to clear the roadblocks.  Your boss or coworker, the receptionist or police officer all want to help.  Give them a chance.  Patiently work with them to get what you need.

I am always asked by candidates, “Why didn’t I get the job?”  I answer with what I’ve been told, and that is helpful.

A great question to follow up with is, “Can the person who rejected me, help me in my next job application?”  You may get a great boost from calling the person who rejected you and asking for specific help.  You can ask them if they see a way to improve your resume or interview.  Enlist them to help you with your NEXT interview.

It’s scary to ask for more help from a receptionist who just told you to wait.  It’s hard to call back someone who told you they do not want to hire you and ask for help.  If you feel the fear, work your way through it, and do it anyway then you’ll get what you want and need a lot more quickly.

Something To Do Today

Read the book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It can help you take control of your situation.  It gives you tools to stop letting the world get in your way and step on your dreams. The cheapest place to get it is still your library.

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Coming up:     Signs that you will be laid off or fired

Creating reality – what to do with those dreams

One hour interview prep

References

You can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd

Down by 20 at halftime in your job search

Overwhelming football tackle

You can recover from a bad interview, or 20 of them, if you go at it right.

Every job seeker has a bad interview occasionally.  Often you will have a great interview and NOT get the job.  Your resume may be perfect for a lot of jobs, but you get no call backs.

Here is how a football coach handles a problem like that.

At halftime the team is down by 20 points.  In the locker room the coach says: “Yes, we got beat in that game we just played. Now we are going to play a new game.  It’s time for payback.  A new game starts when you step out on that field. You’ve got to adjust the score in your mind.  It is 0 to 0 now.  It’s a new game. Let’s go out and give that other team the beating of their lifetime.  We owe it to them.”

Remember, every time you apply for a job, it is a new game.  The person seeing your resume doesn’t know or care that the last 74 people who saw it didn’t even acknowledge getting it.  The person calling you on the phone can’t tell that you’ve only had 3 callbacks and not one in-person interview.

Get coaching to improve your resume, phone interview and in-person interview skills.  Find out what works.  If you need a certification so that your resume stands out, get it.  If you get phone interviews, but no in-person interviews, find out why.  Give some of those interviewers a call back and ask for their help.  Half of them will give it to you.

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in.  This is too much of a temptation to the editor.  (Lardner)

Go out and actively look for successful people to coach you.  Asking a person for help can be a form of networking.  The secret is to ask for help with one particular thing.  Ask for help making the first job listed on your resume more attractive. Pick a small part of the job application process and ask for help.  It lets the person know you are trainable, eager and looking for a job.

There are cycles people go through when they are unemployed or looking for a new job.  The important thing is to accept that you will lose more often than you win.  If you approach each resume submission, phone interview and in-person interview as a fresh start, a new game, you’ll quickly become the winner.

Something To Do Today

Your attitude can be adjusted.  Engage your mind. Lift your spirits.  Listen to books, music and shows that get your spirit soaring while you drive or exercise.  Start fresh for every job application.

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Later:  Feel the fear, and¼.

Signs you will be laid off or fired

Creating reality – what to do with those dreams

One hour interview prep

References

You can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd

One fully preventable way to lose a job offer

Men running across dollars

Are you killing your job search with impatient speed?

When the fit between a candidate and the job seems perfect, and there is a delay, I often hear:

“I’ve been waiting two weeks to hear back from them since my interview.  What is wrong?  They are so rude.  Don’t they realize I am losing any desire I had to work there? Why can’t they make a decision about me?  I wish they’d just call it off.  Look Bryan, tell them no.  Withdraw my name from consideration.  I don’t want to work with wishy-washy know nothings.  Take me out of the job pool.”

Did you notice the focus on “I”?  The whole tirade is about “my needs”.   Not a word in there about what the company needs.  Nothing about due diligence.  No concerns about the company being sure they can keep him on payroll.

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.  (Harris)

Companies postpone decisions for a lot of valid reasons that they never tell candidates. Some winning candidates can’t take it.  They can do the job.  They’d love the job. They just can’t believe that the company doesn’t love them enough to make an immediate offer.

A while back I took a guy out of the running for a $200,000/year job.  He was perfect for it.  He just couldn’t stand waiting.  The CEO was surprised because he was at the point of making the final decision.  Of course, another guy got the job.

Are you the guy who meets a girl and after an hour says, “Let’s cut to the chase.  I’m hot.  You’re hot.  Baby, if you won’t MARRY me tonight, you must not like me. Let’s just call the whole thing off.”

What does it hurt to wait?  If the company puts you on the backburner to keep you warm, why not just stay warm?  If another great job comes up, take it.  But why get mad?  Is your ego so big that you can’t let a situation gel for a month?  Are you such a hottie that you can’t be ignored?  Get real.  The company you are applying to is not being run just to offer you a job.

Prepare for success.  Be presentably persistent.  Then take all the time you need to win.  That’s how careers are built.

Something To Do Today

Have you ever withdrawn from a job or promotion pool because it took too long to get a decision?  Realistically look back.  What did you gain?

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Next:   Job security – what permanent means

$250,000 too proud

How fast

Daydream

Audible

Down by 20 at halftime

6 things about being persistent in pursuing a single job

Moving a huge log

If you want a job or promotion enough to persist, you may get it.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.  (Coolidge)

Presentable, not pestilent persistence

True story: Frank’s interview was postponed, no date set.  I wasn’t able to set up the interview.  I couldn’t get him a “yes.”  I couldn’t get him a “no.”  His resume was in limbo.  So Frank said to himself, “What have I got to lose?”  Frank called the VP of HR (Human Resources) at the company every day or two.  For weeks he called.  Usually he left no message.  Frank just called, got voice mail and hung up. Finally the VP picked up his phone.  Frank was enthusiastic about the company and the opportunity on the phone.  No whining.  No complaining.  An interview was set up.  Frank performed a miracle using the power of persistence.

The facts that made it work:

  1. He was excited about this opportunity. This particular one.
  2. Abject failure was given a cost. No new job.
  3. A price was paid. Regular calls.
  4. Presentable persistence, not pestilent persistence, was employed.
  5. Enthusiasm was generated for every call. He knew he’d get through one day.
  6. He sold himself from the VP’s point of view. No whining, just positives.

If you really want a new job or promotion, you often just have to keep trying.  You have to make a positive impact through your persistence. When your opportunity finally comes you have to be ready to pursue it like it is the first time you tried.  You have to be all positive.

One last thing to consider.  While you are being persistent, continue preparing.  Learn something new every day that applies to the job or promotion you want. Win by superior preparation AND persistence.  That’s the sweet spot where home runs are hit.

Something To Do Today

Today is  Opportunity Assessment Day.

What job or promotion are you aiming for?  Do you really want it?  Really?  Do you want to do the work or do you just want the prestige?

If you really want the JOB, the WORK and the opportunity, make a list of things to do every day to prepare. Now do it.

Is there an opportunity you know of?  Now figure out how to be presentably persistent in chasing that opportunity.  Do it.

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Coming up:                                                            Premature withdrawal

Job security – what permanent means

$250,000 too proud

How fast

Daydream

Audible

Down by 20 at halftime

How to find a job at a convention – company trip, ethically

People talking at a convention

Convention job hunting can be as easy as hunting at the zoo

Some people get job offers at conventions, like this guy I know.

Two booths of software were side by side.  One was superior visually.  The other was better to use, and it had a salesman who was a whiz.  People were crowding around the great salesman.  The visually superior product kept losing crowds to that other salesman.  Finally the president of the losing company decided to try and eliminate the problem.  He offered a substantial raise, relocation package and perks to the salesman who was beating him. He turned down the job. I talked to that salesman later. It was a great moment in his career.

How can you do it?

As a programmer, brick layer or CEO the best way to look for a job at a convention is to be the best salesman for your company. That means helping everyone you can.  Get their cards.  Get 2 cards from everyone.  One for you and one for your company. During your free time go to as many booths as you can and get cards from other people.

Someone, anyone working for another company, is an insider. If you are serious about getting a new job, you will find an “inside contact” at every company whose booth you visit.  You don’t have to talk “jobs” with them at the convention.  What makes this even sweeter is that many of those people will come to your booth and initiate the contact.

After the convention volunteer to help your company’s sales force out.  Contact all the people you met while at your booth.  Give them the company line your salespeople want them to hear.  Keep notes about every contact you make.

Still serious about your job search?  Sort the cards out into three piles: 1. I’d love to work there.  2.  I’d consider working there.  3.  I’d never work there.

Don’t throw any of them out.  Tomorrow when I talk about what to do with each pile, you’ll see why you even want to contact people at places you would never work.

Something To Do Today

If you are serious about finding a new job, conventions are great.  They are also a LOT of work.  Decide how much time you are really interested in spending on that job search.

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Next:   How to find a job at a convention – piles of cards

Later:               What to leave out

Persistence

Job security – what permanent means

$250,000 too proud

5 Weeks – How to find a job in 5 weeks

Do you need a job now?  Then use the best job search plan ever created.

Come on!  How could it possibly be the best EVER created? Because it was created for only one person.  You.

I have seen it happen over and over.

One guy is out of work for less than a month, and he gets a job offer with a raise.

free from a bad job

Find a job in 5 weeks – that is freedom

It takes 6 months to get a job for the guy who sat next to him.  This poor guy was doing exactly the same job, got better performance ratings, and would get rehired first if the job was re-opened. To make things worse, the guy who took six months accepts a huge pay cut.

          It isn’t fair, but it happens every day.

It isn’t luck.  The guy who finds a job quickly did things differently.  He may have instinctively done the few most critical steps within the first days of losing his job.  He may also have mapped out a strategy and executed it.  Either way, he got the critical steps executed.  He got the job.

The critical steps most often screwed up by the guys who take 6 months to find a job.

For 22 years I’ve been watching people get jobs in days, or wait a year to find a job.  The steps most often screwed up are:

  • The resume stunk, and he never found out.
  • He burned his best leads before he was prepared.
  • Monster became his momma.
  • HR (Human Resources Department) was his master.
  • He never expanded his network, but he talked to a zillion people.
  • Interviews never seemed to go right.
  • He waited for a phone call back.
  • He thought recruiters were his friends

Give me a call or research these topics on my blog.

If you want to have the shortest job search possible.  Fill out the survey at this link and then contact me.  bryan@dilts.us or call Bryan Dilts at 717-975-9001.

No, I don’t guarantee that you will get a job offer in 5 weeks.  But I will put 22 years of experience behind your job search.

How to overcome an employer’s resistance to hiring you

Why won’t they hire you? Do desperate employers resist hiring anyone?  Do they resist change? Or is it something else they resist?

Would you like to win a million dollars tax free?  But isn’t that a change?

If Oprah gave you a new car and money to pay the taxes on it, how hard would you resist? That is also a change.

Did you notice that I added that line about taxes in each question?  I had to add that because you might resist otherwise.  It isn’t the taxes, it is what the taxes represent in your mind that may cause you to resist.

Employers have the same resistance to hiring you that you might have to accepting a new car or even a million dollars.  They are afraid there is a hidden tax, a hook, a hidden problem.  They are afraid they will be forced to do things they don’t have time or energy for.  It can all be boiled down to their fear of losing control. People are afraid of losing control of their million dollars or their new car due to taxes. They are afraid of losing control if they hire you.

They lose control when they make you a job offer

As long as the employer is looking at resumes, interviewing, testing, talking about candidates, doing reference checks, and thinking about making offers, they are in control.  The second they make you an offer, they lose control.

Suddenly it is all up to you.  They get edgy.  To regain some control they will put a time limit on their offer. Usually they will give you overnight.  Sometimes they will give you up to a week.  But they want to have control over the process.

They have even less control when you start working for them

I am sure your new boss has worked with someone who was hired and was an absolute disaster. That person looked like the solution to their problem and was a horrible mistake.

You look like the perfect solution to their problem.  But, if they hire you, they lose control. When you come on board, there will be training, detailed supervision, review of your work, correction, adjustments to team duties, interpersonal conflicts, and a lot of other things that change. They will lose control of all those things the second you start with the team.

You have to help them regain control before you are hired

In order to soothe your potential boss, you have to give them as much control as possible.  If you can prove a few basic things, they will hire you immediately.  You need to prove:

  1. You will take the job and keep it
  2. You can do that job
  3. You won’t take too much training
  4. You will take the initiative to do things within their system
  5. You learn quickly
  6. You get along with all kinds of coworkers – good and bad
  7. You will quickly take other burdens off the boss’s back and give them back control.

How do you prove it?

We’ll talk about that over the next few days.

You’ll get the job if you focus on the right stuff

Understand the emotions and actions, ignore the words.

Down Syndrome vs down syndrome part 2

Merrilee has Down Syndrome, a medical condition.  At 9 years old she could read 150 words. At 18 she can now read maybe 300 words. She understands only very simple sentences.  Yet, she’s brilliant.  She understands very clearly what people are doing and feeling.  She is not distracted by their words, clothing or cars. Merrilee is not distracted by her own expectations.

Job seekers with down syndrome, a perception condition, communicate verbally and in writing much better than Merrilee.  Their down syndrome, however, makes it very difficult for them to understand, interpret and act on the emotions and actions of others.  They interpret everything through their biased perception filter.

Attitude really is everything in job hunting.  A hiring authority told me, “I hire almost entirely on attitude.  It’s easy to train someone if they have a good attitude.”  If a job hunter has down syndrome it doesn’t matter what they know, they will be a problem employee.

Job seekers with down syndrome assume the people around them are mean spirited, harsh, cruel, difficult and/or unfeeling.  When an HR department fails to respond to their resume, they assume rudeness.  When no one gets back to them after an interview they figure the interviewer is a rude jerk.  When they are probed about why they left their last job they think it’s an unnecessary mean streak. Having down syndrome causes you to find the worst no matter what happens.

When Merrilee, with Down Syndrome, is told, “No,” she understands the word.  She doesn’t understand explanations so she figures out what the other person’s real emotions are.  She understands that mostly “no” means not now.  She can feel when “no” means not for a long time.  She gets it when “no” means she could get seriously injured.

Your job hunting will be much more successful if you focus on what people are feeling and watch what they are actually doing.  Make it a habit to never take offense.  That company may literally have 500 worthless applications for one job and cannot reply to each applicant.  Your interviewer may be impressed, but unable to hire you.  He probably told HR that you have been turned down and HR is swamped with other work so they didn’t call to let you know.

Keep trying to get into the jobs and companies you are most interested in.  I called a manager about a job he filled the previous month.  He said, “That job is open again.  Can you help me fill it?”  One month later someone new will be hired.  Those who already gave up are out of the running.  His previous “no” meant “not now.”

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Something To Do Today

If it has been over 3 months since you talked to someone at a target company, time to get back in touch.  Things change.  Find out what is happening there today.

Next  Down Syndrome vs down syndrome part 3