News flash: It’s a new era of job search and those least prepared to compete are those with the most experience and skills. You! Yes, executive job seekers. While your job searches in the past were a success, the world has changed around you. What does today’s new era look like?
- Fewer Jobs, More Applicants: There ARE jobs out there so I won’t let you off with the excuse that “there are no jobs”. There are just fewer than pre-2000. The dot com bust and the global economic woes have slowed the hiring pace. Simultaneously, there are more applicants per position so it’s more competitive to “win” a job. You simply must stand out.
- Hiring Managers and Companies are Using Hiring Technology: Many of you may be unaware of the new applicant screening technology on the company and side. Small, medium and large companies, including recruiters, are investing in software that enables them to do key word search to screen, reject, or call back the right candidate for the right position. In addition, companies are using social media engines such as LinkedIn to find the right candidates or to view your profile online once you apply. If you cannot be found, you don’t exist.
- Hiring Managers and Recruiters are Younger: Understanding generational differences can make or break your success during the job search competition. Don’t judge, be condescending, or get frustrated with someone half your age. They can determine if you proceed any further in the recruitment process and if you ultimately will get the job.
- The Hiring Manager’s Requirements Trump Your Desire to Sell Your Experience: It’s no longer about you. In the old days we used to come in with our resume, talk about everything we did, and hope the hiring manager would be so wow’d that they hired us. I call that the magician card trick approach. “Interviewer, I’m going to deal a bunch of cards and just tell me when to stop when you see a card you like.” Watch how often you say “I” vs. “you”. If you don’t position yourself as the best fit for their job description, you will lose.
- Schmoozing Alone will Not Work: Do you remember saying any of these? “Hey, Bill, if you hear of a job over there, give me a call.” “Hey, Patricia, I’m on the hunt for a new sales gig…got anything over there?” Better, when I coach executives, I hear “I’ve never had to look for a job; they’ve just came to me.” While I still believe face-to-face networking must be part of your job search process, the formal approach and follow-up is entirely different. Much more rigor and professionalism is needed.
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