Tag Archives: attract recruiters

A holiday job hunting secret to get you hired

Here is a job hunting secret for the holidays.   You can use holidays and vacations to give yourself a serious job boost.  All you have to do is follow the advice in this video I made on cyber monday.


Guerilla gardening, jobs and job searches

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” (I found it!) but “That’s funny.” (Asimov)

I was down to 5 blueberry plants.  I had more in the past.  I love blueberries.  Because of the varieties I have, I get to pick them for 2 months each year.

I decided to plant.  I didn’t have the $200 in my budget for the plants I wanted.  So I looked up how to grow my own blueberry plants.  The instructions included mist boxes, planting medium, hormones, infections, mold and other horrible things. I wasn’t about to grow them that way.

Guerilla gardening was the only real possibility.  I spent a couple of months thinking about the problem.  I looked up some things about houseplants and roses.  That spring I gave some fresh ideas a try.

I cut 22 budding branches from blueberry plants of 6 different varieties. I dug holes in the deep leaf compost of the blueberry garden and planted them.  Then I covered the cuttings with jars. The jars keep the moisture level high around the cutting.  It gives the twig a chance to develop roots.

I took off the bottles a month after planting the twigs.  18 of the 22 blueberry cuttings looked like they would survive.  Alas, they didn’t.  I took the jars off too early.  But guess what?  I’m going to try again.  This time I will leave the jars on another month or two.

Guerilla gardening triumphs again. Not only will we save $200, the new plants will grow just as well as mail order plants.  Mine won’t be yanked out of the ground and sent by mail to us.  They will just keep on growing where they are.

Can’t get a reply on your resume? Why not come up with a guerilla campaign – a series of things you can do to get a job.  Do something more than just sending a resume.  Pick a company or 3 that you really want to get into.  Now figure out how to get to know the people who would be your coworkers and hiring managers.  Emails, phone calls, mailing them a bag of M&M’s or inviting them to lunch can all be a part of the campaign.

Unable to get the resources you need at work? It could be an opportunity to shine.  Think of ways to get the job done at low cost.  What resources can be diverted for your project? Study alternate ways of getting the job done. In Spanish “guerilla” means little war.  Figure out how to win each project as a little war of its own.

If your project succeeds, tell your boss in your weekly report.  If it fails, tell him all the alternate approaches you considered.  Let him know you are trying to get essential tasks done with less resources.  He will appreciate it.

If you are job hunting, the guerilla projects that succeed go on your resume.  The companies you apply to will want to know how you can make projects succeed without a budget.  They are eye catching advertisements for your intiative.

Something To Do Today

Take a project you want to do, but don’t have resources for.  List 10 possible ways to make it a guerilla project. Do some research and list 5 more ways.  Is the result worth the effort if it works?  Then make the effort.  Succeed or fail, you will learn something.

Hiding real problems

If you’re afraid to let someone else see your weakness, take heart: Nobody’s perfect.  Besides, your attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do. (Morgenstern)

Does this make my butt look big?  No. Your butt looks big anyway.  Let me find something that makes people look at your smile.  It is ravishing.  They will never care about what you are sitting on.

More than one starlet has played an irresistible vixen on TV while 8 months pregnant.  How?  They focused on the everything above and below the swollen pregnant belly, and the actress stayed out of the tabloids until fully recovered. No one ever saw the belly.

If you have problems, even severe problems, you have to make sure the camera focuses somewhere else.

Common problems people want to hide are frequent job changes, being fired, bad references, a several year sabbatical from your field, not accomplishing much, working for a disreputable employer, an ogre boss, etc.

One way to hide problems is to point out what you did well.  If you switched jobs too much, create a resume format that draws the reader’s eyes away from your employment dates and to your accomplishments.   If you have bad references, you may want to emphasize how long you worked for a company so that those bad references will sound like sour grapes. If you left your desired field for a few years and want to get back, make those few years a one line entry, not a detailed account.  You may want to put your jobs in order at the top of your resume, but put the dates at the bottom of the resume in another section on the third page.

If your problem might get your hiring manager in trouble later, make sure he knows about it before you receive an offer.  If you are using a recruiter, tell him up front before he submits you anywhere.  If you hurt someone who is trying to help you, your bad reputation will be spread very quickly.

Accentuate the positive.  Make people’s eyes slide past the negative to get to the ravishing.  It’s a game you see every day on TV.

Am I showing up?

If they can’t see you, you aren’t there.  If they can’t take their eyes off you, there’s no competition.

 What is the difference between these scenarios? 

  1. You send out 100 resumes in an hour and get no response. 
  2. You spend two days deciding who to send resumes to, send out 3 resumes, and get no response. 
  3. You go fishing.

From a job search perspective, there isn’t much difference.  If you are getting absolutely no response from your job search efforts, change something.  Experiment.  What can it really hurt if you completely change what you are doing 10% of the time?  Can the response get any worse? 

Get creative.  Here are some things others have tried:

Make a trial resume each week.  Do severe changes or just rearrange the bullets.  Send your normal resume out to most jobs.  Send your trial resume to 5 or 10 companies.  Do you get a response? 

Call up 10 friends and ask them to critique your resume.  Send them a copy and find out what they think.  You don’t have to make the changes they suggest.  In addition to getting some good and bad help, you’ll be networking.  They’ll know exactly what you can do and be looking for an opportunity to help you.

Call half the companies you want to send a resume to, before you send it.  Ask for the person who would be your supervisor.  If you get HR (Human Resources) that’s okay.  Whoever you get, ask them what skills they are having the hardest time finding.  If you have the skills, make them the first line in your resume, in bold print.

Once a week walk down the street in a business park and ask for the owner of each business.  Whether you talk to the owner or the receptionist, tell them you are looking for a job.  Take a resume and a sincere desire to help.  It can’t hurt.  Ask everyone you meet who they know that can use you.

Add a recommendation letter to your resume.  Get your last boss or a coworker to write a letter telling how hard you work and how much you help.  Make it the first page of your resume.  It’s bragging when you say it, it’s proof when someone else says it.

Think. Earl Nightingale suggests spending an hour each day with a pencil and a pad of paper just thinking and listing ideas of how to reach your goal. Exercise your brain. You’ll throw most of the ideas away, but you’ll also come up with some gems.  Think.  What can you change that will make you stand out?  What can you do that will draw positive attention to yourself?  Is there any REAL risk?  Probably not.  So try it a few times.  See what the response is. 

Learn.  Do better each week.


Something To Do Today

Decide what you will do different.  What will you change?  Try your experiment out 5 or 10 times and see what happens.

Resumes and elephant guns

Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the world.  (Archimedes)

 In the old Tarzan movies a “great white hunter” is walking through the African plains followed by a couple of trusty gun bearers.  Suddenly, out of the trees, an elephant charges.  He reaches back and his huge elephant gun is placed in his hands.  He takes aim and waits.  When the elephant is a mere 30 yards away he fires.  The elephant falls to the ground at his feet.

What would happen if the hunter reached back and a bow and arrow were placed in his hands?   Well, there wouldn’t be enough left of the hunter to have a funeral.

For every job there are a few key experiences that will get you an interview.  They are the elephant guns or levers in your job hunt.  If you have those experiences, you will get an interview.

Before you submit your resume for any job you have to ask yourself, “What is the elephant gun for this job?  Is there one?”  You may have to read the job description two or three times before you know.  If you are still confused, call up the company and find out.  Ask for the person in charge of that job.  Whether you get HR (Human Resources) or the hiring manager, ask what the most difficult to find skills for that job are.

We submitted one resume for a job using an elephant gun.  The candidate did not have the college degree necessary.  He was not a CPA and had never been an auditor.   Still, the company phoned back immediately.  They were excited that we had found a candidate with the one skill they absolutely had to have.  He had several years of experience collecting the data to fill out a particular set of government forms.

We knew what the elephant gun for the job was.  The candidate got the interview.

Are you using a bow and arrow resume when you could be using an elephant gun?  You need a lever and a place to stand to move the world.


Something To Do Today

Find an ad that is picky, an ad that asks for 10 different skills and a lot of experience.  Find out what the elephant gun is for that ad.  Call the company and ask what the most important skill sets are and which are not essential. Find out where the lever can be placed.

Can I make my job skills more attractive?

Perception is everything when you have 30 seconds to make a sale.   Most resumes are deleted in 12 seconds.  You don’t even have 30 seconds to sell yourself.

If you were going to hire an audit manager which of these two skill sets sounds better:

  1. Managed large audit department for 3 years.
  2. Managed 18 person audit department.  As many as 7 audits occurred simultaneously in 9 locations in 3 countries. $18M recovered over a period of 3 years.

Not a hard choice is it? 

Grab your 30 second commercial you wrote last week and your resume.  Look at the first skill set you describe.  How deep is the description?  Can the hiring manager tell the depth of your experience.  Do you give any numbers, sizes, concrete examples or project sizes?  Do you mention the number of people involved in a project.

Can you go any deeper?  For example both of the following are better than average skill accomplishment descriptions, but one is superior:

  1. Top two salesperson for the last 3 years.
  2. Top two salesperson out of 30 for the last 3 years for both highest total sales volume and largest average profit margin.

If you are keeping a job journal, you are tracking detailed information about your accomplishments.  For now, look back at what you’ve done and make some best guesses at numbers.  The more detailed you are, the more you stand out.

Read those examples above again.  Who would you bring in for an interview if you were short of time?  Do you need to change your resume and 30 second commercial?


Something To Do Today

Copy your 30 second commercial and resume to new files.  Go over every skill set description and accomplishment and expand it.  Add all the details you can. Make every description too long.  Save it.

Two ways to Robo-Network

Do you want to be known as the person who can solve any problem?

Then go to where people with problems are: online.  I assume you are an expert at your profession.  Go online and find an online forum where you can contribute.  You can ask your co-workers and teachers what online forums they suggest.  I just did a Google search on “Sarbanes Oxley audit forums” and got a very specialized list of forums.  Spend a few hours getting to know your forum and its tone, then hop right in and offer some help. 

Did you know there are recruiters and researchers that specialize in finding smart people in online forums?  They do it for accountants, programmers, truckers, pilots and a lot more occupations.  More important, the people who rely on the forum often let others know where jobs are.  Generally they take the conversation offline, where others are not involved.  That’s why you don’t see it. 

So let’s say you let slip that you are from Harrisburg, PA.  Someone else says they are from York, PA.  You send an email outside the system to that person and place each other in your network.

Want to extend this?  Add people who give you their business card at a class.  For all the people you have in your network, keep two email address lists.  One for the occasional, “How are you doing,” contact.  Send an email every few months with a little personal update.  Have another email list for the folks you want in your close network.  Find a reason to email them more often.  It could be with a note about something you saw in an online forum you want to make sure they noticed.  Make sure both lists know when you are looking for a job.

Two ways to Robo-network:  Contribute to online forums and make email lists to keep people in your network.   


Something To Do Today

Find an online forum about your expertise.  Help someone there with an answer they need.

Tomorrow:      Giving your way into a job.  It’s beginning to sound like Christmas.

Three types of recruiters

If you allow others to control your career, you will only get the reward they allow.

Three types of recruiters

There are three basic recruiting types. Knowing which one will help you the most is extremely important.  Go to the wrong one and you’ll get that nagging feeling that he is not on your side.

Mass marketers work with companies that need a lot of people.  They process candidates in a systematic way and send out resumes by the dozen.  They are great if you want a job where there are 10 or 100 people doing the same thing you are, like at a help desk or clerical job.

Professional pickers find individuals for spots where 1 to 3 people are needed.  The pace is slower.  Personality and skills become a huge factor.  Programmers, accountants, managers and other jobs are often in this group.

Boutique elite recruiters are looking for top jobs.  They hunt their quarry one person at a time.  The find presidents, CFO’s, CIO’s, plant managers and very high level engineers.

Think about the type of job you want.  You need to make sure your recruiter is at the right level.  Ask your recruiter how many people they have placed in the job you want in the past year.  Ask them why you should let them represent you.

Control your job search.  Evaluate the people who offer to help you. More on that soon.


Something To Do Today

Take control of your job search.  Let any recruiter who offers to help be a helper.  You keep searching yourself and control your search by requiring feedback.

Tuesday December 8th I will be doing free seminars on

1. Make strategic change Stick
2. Get salespeople to kick their own…
3. MasterStream – Sell boatloads more in half the time

These are the full keynote classes that clients fly me in to teach. You can click on the class name above for more details.

Recruiters And The Hair On The Back Of Your Neck

Have you ever talked to a recruiter and had the hair on the back of your neck stand up?  …the feeling that you are being lied to?  …the nagging doubt about his sincerity?  …the dread that you are making a big mistake?

You were right!  Listen to your feelings.

Why recruiters lie

Not because their lips are moving.

Recruiters want to be liked.  They wish they could help everyone.  They can’t.  They lie.

What you should do

Whenever you talk to a recruiter you should ask tough questions about what he will do for you.  If he won’t commit to submitting you for a specific job, he won’t.  He may get lucky and a job will come in the next day, but you should not bet on it.  Find another recruiter, and another.

If a recruiter asks you to allow her to market your resume without your looking for a job, ask for weekly progress reports. Don’t let a recruiter stop your job search unless she is getting you interviews.  If she is not making progress, tell her you are going to take back the job search and do it yourself, but she is welcome to continue co-marketing you.. 

You are in charge of your job search. You have to know your resume is being submitted or do it yourself.  A recruiter asking for time to exclusively market you should report back and get results.  Take charge.


Something To Do Today

List all the recruiters you are working with.  Rate them.  Who do you trust?  Who is getting you interviews.


Tuesday December 8th I will be doing free seminars on

1. Make strategic change Stick

2. Get salespeople to kick their own…

3. MasterStream – Sell boatloads more in half the time

These are the full keynote classes that clients fly me in to teach. 

You can click on the class name above for more details.

80% of jobs are hidden – How To Find Them

The webinar on how to find the 80% of jobs that are NOT advertised can be seen here.

The cheatsheet can be downloaded free here.