Tag Archives: Finding jobs

How to find a job at a convention – company trip

Between two products equal in price, function and quality, the better looking will out sell the other.  (Loewy) 

Two booths of software were side by side.  One was superior technically.  The other had a salesman who was a whiz.  People were crowding around the great salesman.  The technically 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. I talked to that salesman later.  It was a great moment in his career.

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 a card 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. 

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 the 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.

How to find a job at a convention – you pay

The trouble with corporate America is that too many people with too much power live in a box (their home), then travel the same road every day to another box (their office). –(Popcorn)

I know of one consultant who flies to meet his clients for lunch anywhere in North America.  He lives in the small Colorado town of Telluride. He has chosen to live in paradise and pay the price of frequent travel.

In your job search, instead of flying across the country to meet one person, you can meet with 100 potential employers. You will only pay for one plane ticket and 2 nights in a hotel.  So bite the bullet.  Pay up. Go to a convention related to your field of work.

But how do you effectively work, or network, at a convention?  Five steps:

  1. Get a list of all the exhibitors and speakers. Don’t be picky at this stage. Research and call every company that is close to the field you want to work in.  Don’t ask for the HR department, ask for a manager, marketing or sales.  Talk to them about who will be coming to the convention.  Call the best contacts who will be coming. Tell them you’ll see them at the convention.
  2. Go to the convention and make your first pass in the morning of the first day.  Quickly go to every booth on your list and collect materials and business cards.  Just explain that you will be back, but need to work quickly this morning.
  3. Go back to every booth on your list and talk in depth with the people you want to contact.  Work a priority system.  Who is most likely to hire you? Ask them questions you have about their company and their field.  Make sure you have the business card of everyone you talk to.   Give them your card.  You are building a network.  You might discuss employment, but this is not the time to apply for a job.
  4. Everyone who made it to the convention has influence where they work.  They have been talking to new people, finding things out about the industry.  Enlist them in your job search. When you get home, contact everyone you met OR WANTED TO MEET.  Call them.  Chat briefly.  Then ask if they heard of any openings for someone like you.  Ask who else you should contact.  What if they are a techie and you are a salesman?  Call them anyway.  They’re a CEO and you are an engineer?  Call them.  A conversation about the convention leads naturally to what is happening in your field and job openings. 
  5. Send an email to everyone you talk to.  Thank them for their time and ask them to forward the email to anyone who might get you closer to the job you are looking for.

If you work a convention aggressively you will find dozens of openings that are NOT advertised.  You’ll even find out about jobs at companies not at the show.  Why?  Because the people manning the booths are the best and the brightest.  They are heavily recruited by other companies.  They know which companies are looking for talent. Aren’t those the people you want in your job search network?

Something To Do Today

You need a list of conventions.  Most people forget to include the association conventions they can attend that are less than 200 miles away.  Go back over your list of conventions and add a list of local and regional association conventions you can attend.

How to find a job at a convention – part I

I look at ordinary people in their suits, them with no scars, and I’m different.  I don’t fit with them.  I’m where everybody’s got scar tissue on their eyes and got noses like saddles.  I go to conventions of old fighters like me and I see the scar tissue and all them flat noses and it’s beautiful.  Galento, may he rest in peace.  Giardello, LaMotta, Carmen Basilio.  What a sweetheart Basilio is.  They talk like me, like they got rocks in their throats.  Beautiful!  (Pastrano)

 There are three different ways to work a convention to find a new job.  I

  1. Pay for yourself to go and work it for all it is worth.
  2. Go there as an exhibitor (and also find a job)
  3. Go there on your company’s dime to do research (and also find a job)

All three can be done ethically, and that’s a key.  No one is going to want to hire a louse who uses his company’s resources dishonorably to search for a job.

The freewheeling job search you can engage in when you pay for yourself contains elements beyond what is acceptable under the other two.  Tomorrow I will start discussing the details of how to find a job at a convention…ethically.

The first thing to do is to find out which conventions are the most important in your industry.  That’s easy: ask.  Ask your boss and his boss.  Call up leaders in the industry and ask which conventions have the most movers and shakers attending.  Ask experts in your field where the most dramatic new products are introduced.  If anyone asks you why the sudden interest, tell them the truth, “Learning more about our industry and competitors will help me advance my career more quickly.”

Be prepared.  Your company may offer to pay your way.  If they do, you need to be ethical about the whole process.  We’ll deal with that problem in a few days.

Something To Do Today

Make a list of the most important conventions in your field.  Find out when and where they will be held.  Check to see what an exposition hall pass costs.  Quite often it is free to visit the advertisers, but you have to pay to listen to speakers.

When is your resume thrown away?

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.  (Gardner)

Hiroshima, WWII:  “I sure wish I could find rice for my family. Hey, what is that lone airplane doing above the city? Oh well, I’ve got more important things to worry about.”

Sometimes timing is everything and you are worrying about the wrong problems.  For your resume there is a timing pattern you must understand.  You have to break through the following pattern to get hired:

  1. Your resume arrives along with 100 others.  The secretary trashes 80 after a 10 second review apiece.
  2. The secretary trashes 10 more after giving them 45 seconds apiece.
  3. Her boss gets the 10 remaining resumes and trashes 2 after a 10 second review.
  4. The boss throws away 3 more viable resumes.  He just doesn=t have the time to deal with more than 5.  For the 3 trashed, something is not quite right.
  5. He calls the 5 remaining candidates, starting with the best one.

Can you see why knowing when your resume is thrown out is critical?

Every time you send out a resume and fail to get an interview you should ask, “Who threw away my resume?”

Ask the question of yourself.  Also ask your recruiter and the HR person at the company.  Beg, if you have to.  You need to find out when and why your resume is not being considered.  Also be sensitive to the recruiter and HR.  They may lie to you.  They don’t want to argue.  They want to be powerful and all-knowing.  Play on that and ask for advice as you try to find out when your resume was trashed.

Next time we’ll talk about how to get past the screenings and into an interview.  For now, try to figure out when your resume is being thrown away.

Something To Do Today

Make some calls.  Find out where your resume is being trashed.

Ask some friends, they may be able to give you some ideas too.

Halloween and your job search

Tips for job seekers and Halloween trick or treaters are just about the same.  Think about how each of these directly applies to looking for a job.

  1. If you are scared, get your dad (a coach) to help on a few doors.
  2. Dress for success.  Look the part from your hair to your shoes, bag and greeting.
  3. The neighborhood you call on defines the size of the treats you get.
  4. Not everyone is giving out one pound candy bars, but they are all worth visiting.
  5. The more houses you call on, the more likely you will get a one pound candy bar.
  6. Go BACK to the biggest house with the best candy later.
  7. The most successful trick or treaters plan their routes and run from door to door.
  8. If you don’t knock, they won’t answer.
  9. If the porch light is out, you won’t get any candy, but you may get advice.
  10. Some of the scariest houses give the best treats.
  11. You get more treats if you start early and work late.
  12. Asking for candy in the traditional way works, ingenuity may get you more.
  13. Helping a little kid can double your take.
  14. Always say thank you.
  15. Sometimes they just ran out of treats, sorry.
  16. Going with friends (groups and social media) can make a scary neighborhood safer.
  17. It is a night of cold calling, even if you know the people.
  18. Trade candy (leads) afterwards to get what you really want.
  19. If you go to a party instead, and complain, you won’t get a big bag of candy.
  20. Don’t blow out the candle in the pumpkin.
  21. Do it again next year, only better, now that you have experience.

Wow!  I could write 21 articles based on those points.  Let me make a few quick points instead.

  1. Planning and preparation. If you want the best chance of quick success, take 15 minutes each day and an additional 4 hours each week to review results, make lists, THINK, and plan for the coming week.  And make sure you have resumes that are attractive so people to call you back.
  2. Work hard and fast. Actually do what you plan.  Make calls and contacts daily.  It is amazing how often luck follows hard work.
  3. Go back again. You should be talking to your best prospects at least monthly.  If you spend 15 minutes thinking and looking for a reason to call, you can usually come up with a helpful reason to call almost anyone.
  4. Work together. Share leads.  Offer to critique other’s resumes.  Suggest websites, books, and other job search ideas.  A lot of people find the perfect job in the castoffs and contacts from someone else’s search. Go to someone else’s house and both of you make calls at the same time.
  5. Be polite. Just because they say “No” doesn’t mean they hate you.  Say thank you and contact them again if it is a company you really want to join.  Never burn bridges or “blow out the candle” with anyone.

Have a great Halloween, and an even better job search.  Good luck finding that one pound candy bar!

Great And Glorious Campaigns – the job search

My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today, I knew it then as purpose.  (Davis)

“We all thought Richmond, protected as it was by our splendid fortifications and defended by our army of veteran, could not be taken.  Yet Grant turned his face to our Capital, and never turned it away until we had surrendered,” reminisced Robert E. Lee.

Abraham Lincoln was strongly urged to remove Ulysses S. Grant from command by Grant’s two senior leaders.  Lincoln replied,  “I cannot spare this man, he fights.”

Grant’s first army unit as a General had driven away two other Generals in the previous month.  The unit was insubordinate, untrained and outright rebellious.  Yet they followed Grant.

The year before the US Civil War, Grant was an alcohol abusing store clerk who only kept his job because he worked for his father-in-law.

What changed in Grant? Passion, focus, and high purpose.

Do you have a career plan? A job search plan? One that really suits your talents and skills?  If one plan of attack fails are you willing to immediately switch to another?  As the job market changes are you ready to take advantage of previously unseen opportunities?  Are you constantly preparing?

Your passion may be your family, church, job or club. It is probably a combination of them.  If you take the time you spend on your job, concentrate, plan and execute, you can do wonders.  If you slackly follow orders, give the minimal possible and expect to get a raise before you work harder, you will stagnate.

Where can you go to succeed?  What can you do?  Do you have to relocate your family? Do you need a new job?  A new career path? What can be your great purpose at work?

Acres of Diamonds can give you some directions along that path.

Click on this link and I will send you a free copy of Acres of Diamonds.  I need your full ground mail address.  Tell your friends to ask for a copy.  They’ll enjoy it too.

The Phantom Girl Scout Networking Mistake

Last night my wife Laura got a call.  A woman called Laura’s cell phone, and Laura’s number is rarely given out.  The caller said, “I’m a Girl Scout raising money for a trip.” Laura heard something about cookies and knew that Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies in September.  The Caller-ID was blocked. The woman never identified herself. Hmm.  It sounded like a crank call or a con job.  So Laura firmly told the caller,  “Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies this time of year, I’m not interested.” Laura hung up.

A minute later Laura’s cell phone rang again with the same blocked ID.  Laura let it ring.  No reason to encourage crank calls.  When she got a voice message she listened.  An upset mother, who never identified herself, told Laura that she had no excuse to be so rude to her daughter.

So now we are trying to figure out who we offended. At this point we are not even sure cookies were mentioned.  Maybe Laura just assumed she said “cookies”.

The Job Search Application

You are a potential crank caller or con job when you call a hiring manager you don’t know.

That Girl Scout made a few critical mistakes:

  1. She didn’t identify herself
  2. She didn’t identify the person who sent her
  3. Her starting point was ambiguous
  4. She was calling at the wrong time of year
  5. She was “not human”

Number 5 is the real problem.  By having a problem with the first 4, she guaranteed that Laura did not see her as a human, but as a threat, crank call, or con artist.

When you are calling to network, be very clear who you are and who sent you.  Let the person know exactly why you are making this particular call.  Realize that they probably do not have a job for you – it is the wrong time of year.

To turn yourself into a human.  First say in 10 seconds or less you are job hunting.  Less is better. They will tell you if they have a job opening. Then give them something they can easily help you with.  Ask them to recommend a business association, certification, trade publication, online community, or to link to you in LinkedIn. Get their email so you can send them contact information in case they think of something else.

Thank them for their time and hang up.

Send them a thank you email.  Now put them on your list.  Make a few notes so that they are human to you too.  Figure out what would interest them that you can do for them every 2 to 3 weeks.  Every time they see an email or hear from you, you become more human.  Every time you help them, they want to help back.

Don’t be a Phantom Girl Scout.  Be a human.  Get them to like you and want to help you.

Referrals vs Monster

Even a fox can get a job guarding a henhouse if he has good enough references.

 Internet job boards fill 13% of jobs, recruiters fill 4%, and referrals fill 26% of jobs according to one survey.     So where do you want to concentrate your job hunting time?

But there are so many jobs on Monster, Dice and Career Builder, shouldn’t I try to get those jobs? 

Absolutely!  But that doesn’t mean you should automatically send a resume through those services. 

22% of jobs are found on a company’s own website.  Gotta like that.  Still, don’t even apply at the company’s own website until after you have tried to take advantage of this country”s main job finding system: Networking into referrals.

Print out the jobs you want that you find on the internet.  Make a list of the companies.  Next to each company, make a list of people you know who work there.  Include people who know someone who works there.  Add a list of recruiters who can get your resume past HR (Human Resources) and directly to the hiring manager.  Get into www.linkedin.com and see if you can find someone working at that company.  (Link to bryan@dilts.us to expand your network.) Add the people at companies your are targeting to a list.

Your objective is to find someone who can drop your information on the hiring manager’s desk.  Look at your whole list before you make a move.  Who has the best chance of helping you?  Who is the best connected?  Is it a professional networker–a recruiter?  Is it your friend’s wife?  Get your resume in there and follow up.  If you don’t get a call within a week, try again through another person.

26% of jobs are being filled by networking.  13% are being filled by recruiters.  Shouldn’t networking and recruiters be your main job search tools?  


Something To Do Today

Get into www.linkedin.com   Link to bryan@dilts.us

List where everyone you know works, their spouses too.  Keep adding to the list whenever you find out where someone works.  Keep track of coworkers who leave.  Start making a list of where everyone who knows you works. It may be worth more than gold to you now or in the future.

Where recruiters find executive candidates

A large survey done by Execunet shows that in 2010 executive recruiting companies like AGI are finding their candidates:

  • 44% Networking
  • 21% in their database
  • 14% using online research (LinkedIn, forums, company websites, etc.)
  • 9% from online job postings (Company website, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.)
  • 9% searching resume databases (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.)
  • 3% advertising

So if you want to find an executive job, you had better focus on more than just the ads you see.

IBD and what’s HOT!

The contest does not always go to the strong, nor the race to the swift, but that’s the way to place your bet.

Q.  Bryan, what industry will pay me the most over the next 10 years? 

A.  I know how you can find out what industries are hot today.  I am not that good at predicting the distant future.

What is hot today? Follow the money.  To which industries is money flowing the most heavily?  What are people investing in?  Where is the greatest potential for growth?  Where will it be the easiest to get hired and promoted?

If you really want to know, you need to go to your local newsstand.  Ask for a copy of Investor’s Business Daily.  Hidden on page B-4 is a chart that will tell you what you need to know.  It is called, “IBD’s 197 Industry Group Rankings”. You can also subscribe to www.investors.com , but the paper is cheaper.

The chart lists all the major industry sectors in the USA.  Then it ranks them according to how well stocks have performed in the last 6 months.  The industries at the top of the chart are the ones everyone is investing in.  The ones at the end are the ones being abandoned.

Just because money is flowing out of an industry does not mean it is doomed.  It does mean that it will be hard to find a new job in that industry.  It means that you have to show a strong ability to save big money or make big profits to get hired.

I always try to fish where the fish are abundant.  I hunt where the animals I seek are the thickest.  I job search where the jobs and promotions are plentiful.  Time to do a little research to make sure you are looking where the jobs are plentiful.


Something To Do Today

Buy a copy of Investor’s Business Daily.  Cut out the Industry Group Rankings chart and pin it to your wall.  Study it so that you understand each column.  Compare what is hot today to what was hot a year ago.  Are you hunting where the jobs are thickest?