Re-engineered Job Search

Podcast with nationally-recognized job search expert, Debra Feldman

Debra Feldman, The Job Whiz Debra Feldman

Career Bailout Plan: Faster Results in Today's Job Market. "There are jobs. Employers are hiring."

"By re-engineering the search process and putting the candidate at the controls, prospective employees are able to get together with pre-qualified potential employers, establish meaningful dialogues that benefit both parties, progress to reach a decision and ultimately launch themselves into a new challenge. Networking is not about transactions, it's about building relationships."--Debra Feldman.

Welcome to a special Career Transition channel podcast on Total Picture Radio with Peter Clayton reporting. We're delighted to have back with us today a frequent contributor and nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic, and customized senior level executive job search campaigns Debra Feldman. Debra is the JobWhiz.

Talking points

  1. We spoke about six months ago. What's changed in the last six months for job seekers?
  2. You work with senior level executives - give us a profile of whom you work with and what unique challenges they are confronting in this job market.
  3. The title of this podcast is Re-engineering the Job Search for Success in Today's Economy -- I'm sure you get calls from desperate job seekers saying things like "I've been out of work for nine months - with not even one response to hundreds of job submissions... what are most of these people doing wrong?
  4. So let's start at the beginning. After recovering from the shock of being laid off, what's next?
  5. What resources are available a no or little cost to help with this process?
  6. Debra, as you know so may jobs being advertised are not even real jobs. How do you go about getting the attention of companies you've targeted?
  7. You've trademarked the term, Network Purposefully - what do you mean by that?
  8. What should people do who still have jobs to prepare for an unexpected termination?
  9. I've heard lots of HR managers and recruiters talking about project-based short term assignments. Do you think this is a good strategy to pursue?
  10. What would you like to share that we've not discussed?

Tips from Debra Feldman

Here's a formula to accelerate any job search campaign laid out in simple implementation steps. It's the answer to "How do I start my job search off, how do I avoid making mistakes, how do I make the best use of my searching time and efforts, what can I do to improve my campaign results, how can I make this search benefit my career in the long term and act like "career insurance?" By re-engineering the search process and putting the candidate at the controls, prospective employees are able to get together with pre-qualified potential employers, establish meaningful dialogues that benefit both parties, progress to reach a decision and ultimately launch themselves into a new challenge. It's been dubbed the "career bailout plan" by an HBS alumni leader

Jumpstart your job search campaign. Include the following key tactics

  • correct focus
  • clear messaging
  • targeted plan and
  • persistent implementation

Wrest control from employers and get away from the mindset of applying to open job postings

  • attract employers' attention
  • cultivate inside leads to potential new opportunities
  • match your interests, skills, knowledge, strengths, experience to employer's needs, requirements, expectations= correct positioning
  • seek out new challenges vs. fit into employers' selection criteria

Network Purposefullyâ„¢ to initiate and build mutually beneficial, meaningful relationships

  • avoid one sided stand alone transactions with contacts
  • connections mean long term "career insurance"
  • seek out industry insiders likely to have access to desirable job leads
  • follow up on regular basis with "polite, persistent pings" to promote being at the right place at the right time

Hidden Job Market Secrets Top Ten Tips for Finding a New Job in Today's Economy

By Debra Feldman, the JobWhiz

Today's economy has knocked many otherwise savvy executives for a loop as they struggle to grab employers' attention. Sooner or later they recognize that their traditional job searching methods are ineffective and they need game-changing techniques to break through barriers to land a new career challenge. Follow the tips below while summoning up courage, focusing with determination and persisting with the right strategies and tactics to deliver results. Giving up is not an option and neither is expecting a positive outcome unless all the chips are moved into their proper places.

  1. Leverage your network; distant business contacts often will help by making introductions or passing along contact information. More jobs result from distant connections than from direct contacts owing to the exponential impact of referrals.
  2. Don't put the other person on the spot (making them feel responsible for your future, finances, health, happiness, etc.) by asking for a job per se. Encourage more referrals and recommendations to additional resources: don't restrict the conversation to only official positions or job openings. Lead the dialogue towards thoughts, ideas, guidance, and industry buzz- and let them volunteer assistance. Remember that networking is a two-way relationship, not a one-off transaction. Keep in touch. Give back more than you get.
  3. Network Purposefully! It's okay to ask your networking contact if they are able to connect you with a specific person. In fact, it may be an easier request to fill than if they have to research the correct contact.
  4. Don't count on recruiters to find your new job for you. Unless you happen to fit their very narrow job specs, you are not what they need to complete their assignment or what their client (an employer) is paying them to deliver. Today, 85% of openings are never advertised which means that only company employees on the project team are aware of needs. HR might be the last to know and outside recruiters are left out of the equation completely.
  5. Target companies and then contact senior executives directly or via introductions. Direct contact and cold calling are very effective methods for getting initial attention that can then be developed into a relationship by building common experience, increasing shared interests and developing mutual trust.
  6. Make doubly sure that your resume communicates a message focused to attract the attention of the employer market you want to reach. Don't take yourself out of the running by offering a less than perfect document. Zero resume and cover letter errors are tolerated AND your positioning as the first choice candidate, go-to expert for solutions has to be undeniably clear. Stand out as the solution for the employer's needs.
  7. If you insist on applying online to postings, keep these efforts to the barest minimum while stressing personal connections since the latter has a far greater yield for generating new opportunities. Networking is more challenging but it also yields better results.
  8. If there is an Internet posting that is a fit, identify the hiring manager and contact them directly rather than depending on HR or a recruiter to triage you onto the short list. Even better, get to know the hiring manager before the job gets posted and you get an insider's advantage.
  9. Always remember your manners. Say "thank you," and be courteous, polite, patient and cooperative. Remember that organizations usually move pretty slowly so give them breathing room and continue to keep in touch on a regular basis until the opportunity is definitely no longer available.
  10. Once you land, give back to others, grow your newer connections and resolve to strengthen your online identity to promote yourself as a passive candidate. Aim to be "Googled" and discovered in an online search by future employers instead of proactively seeking your next challenge. In addition to doing your best to shine at your new job, do your best to build credibility in the virtual world and promote recognition for your achievements and knowledge outside of your employer.

Debra Feldman, 2009

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