You Need Experience To Get a Job But You Need a Job To Get Experience

28 03 2011

So, you’ve completed your degree and you’re ready to get to work. The only problem is that no one will hire you because you don’t have experience. So now, you want a job to gain experience and you can’t get a job because you don’t have the experience because you can’t get the job.

First, I would not apply through a recruiter for any direct hire opportunities. Since you are not the “Perfect” candidate because you lack the industry experience most hiring managers will feel like they are taking a chance by hiring you. When you apply through a recruiter the company will have to pay that recruiter a fee if you are hired. While this is not always a determining factor it’s usually in the hiring manger’s mind when determining the cost of bringing you on as a new employee.

Secondly, explore contract assignments. While they may not pay as well as your current occupation, a pay cut may be required to get your foot in the door. Most companies will lower the qualifications for contract positions even though they don’t lower the compensation, compared to the direct hire candidate so the pay cut may not always be required. Some companies actually hire contract employees directly, but more have these positions outsourced contract staffing firms so if you are going this route you may be speaking with the recruiters who I told you not to speak with in my first suggestion.

Lastly, whenever possible take part in activities that help increase your resume. For example, you could volunteer once a week for a non-profit group that has some type of significance to the jobs you are looking for. By taking part in real world activities you can include them on your resume and show that you are still active even though you may be working a full time job which is not related to pay the bills.





You got the interview, Now what? “Read your Cheat Sheet”

27 03 2011

Most of my previous post discuss how to find jobs or make yourself easy to be found by the people working to fill openings. So, what do you do if you have an interview? Do you run out and make sure your interview suit is dry cleaned, read up on the company you’ll be interviewing with, and get a good night sleep before your interview? Those are all great things to do. But will that be the determining factor of your placement? Perhaps the suit may impress, the preparation will certainly help if they ask you questions, and the good night sleep could make you more energetic, but will the person(s) interviewing you notice?

The thing to remember about and interview is that it’s as much about you meeting with the company as it is about you meeting with the company. As a recruiter I’m always expected to provide pertinent information that the candidate should have prepared for their big day. The fact is that there is typically very little I can provide in detail. Interviewers judge candidates on an unlimited amount of factors when determining who they would hire. We all talk to people who were members of the teams who interviewed us when taking a job. I’m sure that you’ve all heard stories regarding the discussions that took place when your candidacy was considered. Most of the ones that I’ve heard about myself are hardly relevant to the job.

My point is that 80 percent of the interview process is out of your control and half the decision has already been made. The people who are interviewing you have already decided if they like you or not. They are meeting you for one of only two reasons. They are speaking with you because they feel that you are really worth speaking to and they WANT to give you the job or someone in HR told them that they should really interview at least three people before making any hire because it’s the right thing to do. In either event, it’s either a good thing or a bad thing right from the start and you can’t control it.

The only thing that you can do is to be prepared to discuss the items that are on your resume. Your resume is what got you to this point. What more could they want to know? Just think back on every interview you’ve ever been on. They will ask you about things on your resume every single time. I give this advice to every candidate that I send in for an interview. “KNOW WHAT’S ON YOUR RESUME, IT WILL COME UP. Your resume is your INTERVIEW CHEAT SHEET!

So next time you have an interview scheduled sit down and read your CHEAT SHEET!





Are you speed dating or job hunting?

13 01 2011

Speed dating rarely results in long term relationships. How many of us have heard a married couple answer, “Oh, we met at a speed dating night down at the bar”, when asked how they met? Not many of us, I would imagine. With internet sites becoming extremely successful for matching ideal couples and the old tried and true method of old school dating the success rates are much greater. The reason is that the later methods take time establishing the needs of both parties involved and allow each party to get the sense of overall compatibility.

I like to think of the job search as the dating process. While some things are purely chance success if generally a result or an initial compatibility along with communication, effort, and compromise from both parties. If you think of your career search like you do dating, or did for those of us that are already married, you’ll find it much easier to stay focused in your search, gain more from interviews you attend, and ultimately have better results.

RESUME: Asking someone out on the first date

You approach needs to be suitable to match what the other person is looking for… you have to be dressed properly and be able to project yourself as a person worth spending time with. All this must be projected in a quick and to the point way, usually on the first attempt.

PHONE SCREEN:The first Date
This is a meeting that doesn’t take too much work on the part of either party. Both parties have said yes, I”m open to the possibility of investing time in this person. This is where both people typically try to only talk about the positives but sometimes, previous dating experiences, why past relationships didn’t work and so on. Both parties typically end with something like, That was fun we should talk again, regardless of actual intent to follow through.

IN PERSON INTERVIEW: Dating for the long term
This is the moment that we’ve all waited for. A meaning full sacrifice by both parties to go out of their way to spend meaningful time together. You really find out if it’s worth going on or should you break up and and look for a more suitable partner that better matches your needs and who’s current situation and future plans are similar to yours.

OFFER STAGE: Engagement
This is the stage where you decide that you are in it for the long run. You are dedicated to moving forward because you have seen everyone else who’s out there and you are confident enough you’ve found the right person. You then go to the jewelery store to pick out a ring. This decision is based on a lot of factors. Tradition is often taken into consideration (industry standard pay) along with Budget, Payment Options (benefits), and a few other things. You also have to take into consideration how desperately you want this person to say yes. If this person says no, will it crush you or do you think you can find another person who’s a better fit given enough time. If you don’t think you can replace the person you always buy a little bit nicer ring than you can really afford to help seal the deal.

There is always a budget for salary (the ring). This budget can sway sometimes in either direction for many reasons. The Dating (Interviewing Process) is you chance to ask important questions. Make sure you, as a hiring manger or potential employee, get the answers you are looking for throughout the process as well as share with your potential partner. If the answers aren’t going in the right direction take a step back and if they are “deal breakers” walk away in a professional manor.


FIRST DAY OF WORK: Wedding Day.

While you may think that the marriage is the acceptance of the offer, like engagements, we all know runaway brides. The first day of work if the first time you are officially married and you can update your LinkedIn or Facebook status with the great news of your new job. Like marriage each and every day after is based on communication, effort, reward, compromise, loyalty, along with all of the typical requirements to make a solid long lasting relationship.





RSS feeds save time in your job search

14 10 2010

To search for opportunities takes a lot of effort. It’s highly unlikely that you will find a job very quickly in the current job climate. The way I see it is that there are only a few ways to learn of new opportunities.

1. Directly visiting target companies websites to see if new jobs are posted
2. Visiting Job boards
3. Social networking to learn of new opportunities
4. Directly contacted by a recruiter who wants to present a job.

In a recent poll that I conducted on LinkedIn a majority of the respondents indicated that they found their current role through a direct application to the company. So, the question comes, “How do I learn about these jobs so I can apply directly to the company?” Looking at the above list of options the only ones that you have significant control over are the first three, with number 3 depending a lot on chance and who you know or are connected to right now.

The first two choices both require diligence on the part of the job seeker. Weather you decide to check the job boards hourly, daily, or weekly is often associated with the amount of time you have and how desperate you are to find your next opportunity.

This is where I’ll be focusing today. I suggest you set up RSS feeds to alert you on daily activity in the job field. Most major employers permit you to subscribe to an RSS feed for their currently open opportunities. All of the major job boards allow you to conduct a keyword search and then subscribe to a search specific job feed. You can then have all of the jobs come directly to you rather than visiting each and every company or job board periodically.

There are numerous ways to check your feeds. If you have a smart phone just conduct a quick search in your application market and you will be given several options for RSS feeds. If you don’t have a smart phone you can always use the computer and countless methods to follow your feeds.

I haven’t gone into great detail about RSS feeds because I’m confident that a simple internet search will be more effective in locating information from more tech savvy professionals than myself. I just thought that I would present another option to help you in your career search.