Tag Archives: jobsearch

Job search 2.010 – the value of your network.

In excess of 70% of job opportunities never make it to the public domain.  It’s not what but who you know when it comes to looking for a job.

Make a list.  Who do you know that can have a part to play in influencing a successful outcome for you?  Of those on your list, who might they know who can have a similar positive influence?  Play a game.  Start mapping, listing names, linking them to the people they know.  It’s all about degrees of separation.  You’ll be amazed who in your network is connected to who.

You’ll never truly understand the value in your network until you test it out.  See for yourself.  Grab a pen and paper and get started.  One name leads to another.  They all have a part to play in realising your goals.  Even if you don’t realise right there and then, how or why, you will have written that name down for a reason.  Don’t hesitate, take the first names that crop up in your mind and start building.  Even if it seems daft, it won’t be.  Write it down anyway.

Before you start connecting, consider that success in networking is unlikely if your approach is one of “what can I get”.    Think about what you can give.  Information, articles, knowledge, connections?  Is there someone in your network that can help them, that you can connect them with, that will create mutual value?  If you believe in the value you can add, evidence it to them.  Show them the value you can provide by giving that connection, the piece of information, that article.  If you want that relationship to strengthen over time, keep giving, keep adding value, keep helping.

Approach networking on the basis of “what’s in this for us”.   Your chances of success will be greatly enhanced.  Networking is all about what you can give,  not what you can get.  Give and keep giving.  It takes time, don’t expect immediate results.  What you put in you will get back, eventually.  Sure there will always be those who are happy to take and give nothing in return.  That says more about them then it does about you.  Don’t lose heart.  Reach out to those in your network.  Give, help, add value, connect.   You’ll be amazed what comes back to you.

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Use your head to get your foot in the door

The world of work is evolving rapidly.  Long gone are the days of leaving school, getting a job and then working for that company until retirement.

Research from the US Bureau of Labour evidences the average college graduate leaving education today will have between 10 and 14 different jobs by the time they are 38!  They will also have between 3 and 5 different careers in the course of their working lives.  They are embarking on a perpetual job search.  How do you compete in this dynamic employment market?

Harvey Mackay (www.harveymackay.com) is a hugely respected business leader, speaker and author.  His books have sold 10 million copies worldwide and are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times.  In this video Harvey gives great insight in to how to stay ahead in the jobs market in 2010.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under Careers, Recruitment

For Sale, one hugely talented person

Success in your job search should be considered in much the same way as taking any product to market. It’s a sales process. To succeed takes research, careful planning and relentless execution.

You have to know your market place. Who are your customers? What are they looking for? How can you find out?

The advantage for the job seeker in 2010 lies in the amount of information readily available at the click of the mouse. Do your research. Start by subscribing to the major job boards and get daily updates in to your inbox that will tell you who is hiring. This is a great source of market intelligence, telling you which sectors are hiring, which areas of the country the opportunities are based, how much is being paid and for what. It will also tell you who the major recruiters are in your sector or skill set and will enable you to build a list of recruiters with whom you should develop a working relationship (and indeed those that you don’t).

Despite the immense network provided by social media, the 2010 CiPD Resource and Talent Planning survey highlighted the use of Recruiters along with a company’s own website as still the most successful method of candidate attraction. So Recruiters should be an integral part of your strategy.

Not only do the job boards provide a great source of who and where your market is, they are also a great source of understand what the market needs. What words and phrases are being used in the advertising? What skills, experience, achievements, contribution, qualifications are the Hiring Managers in your world looking for? Make a list of these key words and find ways of incorporating them in your CV, ensuring your CV and your online profiles are rich with the words Hiring Managers are pumping in to search engines. Crucial to your success will be not only who you know, but who knows you. Make sure the buyer can find the product.

You have to know your product. This is where you have a huge advantage over your competitors. Your product is unique. You have therefore to understand its unique selling points and you have to be able to articulate them relentlessly with passion and conviction. What is it that makes you special? How do you relate that usp to the needs of your prospective customers? What skills, experiences, qualifications, achievements, personality, attitude, talent do you possess that make you the person that the customer buys.

The competition is fierce, the market place huge, the choice for the customer vast. How are you going to stand out? You must be really clear on this at the outset. Sure your interview experiences and feedback will help you to hone this, to get it clearer and your pitch sharper, but you must understand this before you get started. Don’t be shy. This is not the time for it.

Know your product, know your market place. Next up what are your routes to market? You have to be really clear on what you want and how you are going to get it. Again the job boards are a great source of market intelligence. What’s the application process? How do your target customers go about hiring? Your routes to market are many. In excess of 70% of vacancies never make it to the public domain. Who in your network can open doors? Statistically the likelihood is that it will be someone you know who will unlock the door that leads to your success. Work your network tirelessly.

Have a plan. Have a strategy to execute that plan. Know your customers, listen to their needs, make sure your product is visible, easily identifiable and stands out. Then sell it relentlessly with passion, conviction, persistence, commitment and belief.

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Game changer or fad?

It must have been incredibly exciting to have been part of the industrial revolution, but did any of those involved actually appreciate or even understand the magnitude of the advances they were making?

What about today? The pace of change and advance in technology is so incredibly innovative, fast paced, disruptive, challenging.  So many assumptions and business models are being challenged. Keeping up with let alone getting ahead of the curve is incredibly demanding.  Change is constant.  Doing what you always did will no longer continue to get you what you always got.  I suspect in generations to come this era will be looked back on and studied in much the same way as the industrial revolution was in my school days.

As a recruiter social media is one such innovation that has been a real game changer.  The recruitment industry has not changed its model in 80 years.  Traditionally a bricks and mortar model, these days I can reach an enormous range of potential talent from across the globe from my front porch.  I am a huge advocate of candidate assessment based on looking someone in the eye and getting to know them and (as yet) you cannot email a handshake.  However take Skype.  I can conduct an in-depth interview across the planet, record it (with the candidate’s consent of course) and play it back to my client if they so wish, for free.

I no longer need an office in London, New York, Paris, Milan or Middlesbrough for that matter in order to reach out to candidates in those areas.  We are a service industry.  Meet our customers at a time and location convenient to them.  They have a multitude of choice, if our level of service fails to meet expectations they have countless other routes to market and not all of them reside with us.  For the recruitment industry social media is a game changer.  It will evolve undeniably, but it is here to stay.

So what about the job seeker?  How can social media help you in your job search?  Is it really the game changer we thought it may turn out to be?  The excellent ExecutivesOnline recently conducted a survey on social media and its place in the job search.  Linkedin was the clear winner as most popular site amongst 60% of the 1264 Senior UK Executives polled, twice that of Facebook, with the other suspects barely making up the numbers.  What is interesting however is the mixed views of social media amongst those executives with respect to its value in the job search.  67% of those polled had never searched for a job on a social networking site.  Only 7% of those polled had ever found a job by such means.

I suspect however a significant number of those polled are underestimating the true value of their Linkedin profile.  In excess of 70% of vacancies never make it to the public domain.  Networking is therefore critical to your career success.   Historically this network would have been incredibly difficult to maintain and certainly to grow without an enormous amount of shoe leather, coffee, lunch, dinner and telephone conversations, an enormous physical undertaking.  The job search is relentless, social media takes the pressure off.

Managed well your social media profile keeps you in mind.  It manages that fine line between polite, courteous and consistent contact and being a pain in the proverbial.  It removes the need to think of a reason to call without appearing desperate.  It legitimizes the constant reminder that is required to ensure you stay at the forefront of your target audiences mind.  This is the real value of social media, not in the immediately quantifiable results it brings but in the platform it gives you to constantly ensure you are updated, upfront and in the frame.  This is where social media is the game changer. Embrace it wholeheartedly, it’s here to stay.

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