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Interviews Are Precious…Are You Preparing Enough To Get The Job?

A couple of weeks ago I received a tweet from an excited jobseeker who wrote that she finally got her first 2 interviews after a 6 month drought.  We had been corresponding about her struggles to appeal to the hiring managers in her field within her city.

After a few tweets and e-mails and some simple advice on how to enhance her presence, she began working on this tirelessly. As a result, she got the interviews.

Two days later she followed up to let me know that she did not get either job.

I asked her where she felt things went awry?  She said she felt like the interviews went well but wasn’t sure where she fell short.

The next day I attended a networking program where the speaker was Sam Richter, internet search guru and author of “Take The Cold Out Of Cold Calling“.  I took a number of his suggestions geared toward client and company sales calls and tailored them to hiring managers and interviews.

After all, in every interview you are tasked with selling yourself to the hiring manager as a way of landing the job.  The best way to do so is to prepare, prepare, prepare.

I walked her through the following interview prep exercise and asked how many of these things she did prior to the interview, her answer…ONE !!!  Walk yourself through this list and see how many you do before interviewing with a company.

1) Did you go to the website of the company and familiarize yourself with their business, products, mission, values, locations, etc.

2) Did you Google the company for recent news, press releases, and any other applicable news about them.

3) Did you get the name of the person/people you were going to interview with?

4) Did you find them on LinkedIn and see if you have any connections in common?  If so, did you contact them to learn more about the interviewer and possibly have them call to give you a recommendation?

5) Did you Google the interviewer(s) to see if there has been anything significant written by them or about them?

6) Did you study the job requirement to make sure you were prepared to explain your experience and how it related to the each required and desired skill?

7) Did you go to their company LinkedIn page and study their stats, demographics, etc.

8) Did you study your resume (I know this one sounds crazy, but when nervous you should leave nothing to chance).

9) Did you prepare questions to ask them?  Many interviewers use your questions as a way of understanding your fact finding skills first hand.

10) Did you ask if their would be time for Q & A at the end of the interview or would they prefer that you ask questions as you think of them?

12) Did you bring a note pad to write down the questions or thoughts during the interview?

11) Most of all, did you try to close them for a decision.  Did you ask for the job?

These are just some of the ways to better prepare for your next interview.  The point is, those who do not prepare for interviews are likely to lose out to those who do.

The Jobs Guy Becomes The Jobs Guys!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

First off I want to thank all the people who have been following, retweeting and mentioning  TheJobsGuy on #FF.  I was especially grateful for the outpouring of support I received when posted “TheJobsGuy Gets a Pink Slip” back in June.  A lot has changed since then.

For starters, I am working again, Whaa Hooo!!  I am working in search engine marketing for Mosquito Interactive.  We help clients get their products and services ranked and found on Google and other search engines and build effective landing pages that capture leads, sell products/services or both.  I love my new gig and one cool feature is I work from my home which works perfect for my lifestyle.  I can only wish the same good fortune to all of you who are currently looking for your next gig.

Secondly, TheJobsGuy’s audience has continued to grow and flourish and more and more people are reaching out to me for help.  Now that I have a full time gig I’ve been working nights and weekends to try and keep up with demands of  TheJobsGuy and my growing network of job seekers, HR professionals and recruiters.  To that point I have been fortunate enough to come into contact with a number of fantastic, like minded people, two of whom will be joining me at TheJobsGuy, hence we will be calling ourselves “TheJobsGuys”.  Imagine that!

So with that said, I would like to introduce Mike Finley and Steve Feinberg.  Mike is a social media expert focusing on using blogging and Facebook to find jobs or recruit employees.  Steve has a 10 year track record as a professional recruiter and is a true expert at using LinkedIn to find the right candidate in a short period of time, something I’m sure all recruiters will want to know more about if you are not seriously leveraging LinkedIn now.

Between the three of us we hope to be timely in our responses to your questions, comments or concerns and provide a steady stream of relevant content, and valuable training & consulting on how to use social media in your job search or recruiting efforts.

Thanks again for all your support and we “TheJobsGuys” look forward to helping you through your job search or recruiting challenges  and getting America working again!

Brand – Employment Brand: What’s the Difference?

I made a post a few weeks back regarding my opinion of the idea of employment branding.  I want to take a moment and expand on this topic as I’m still not sure how clear it is to most people and I think I can clear it up.

First let’s clearly define “brand”.  Brand can be defined as a bank account the balance of which consists of the net of deposits and withdrawals. Every time someone in your target market has a positive experience with your product, service or company, that is a deposit.  Every time someone in your target market has a negative experience with your product, service or company, that is a withdrawal.  Your brand is dynamic /fluid and occurs at both a micro and macro level meaning it is in the minds of both each individual you are trying to reach (or not which is a net 0) and also in the collective mind of the masses.  The larger the balance in your brand bank account, the greater the strength of your brand.  When things go wrong with regards to your product, service or company and executives respond poorly, that can equate to a major withdrawal that can seriously weaken your brand.  When customer service is slow to respond to a common and growing customer complaint, this trend of tiny withdrawals can turn into serious brand erosion.

Now  let’s cover the difference between the two; your brand is what consumers say about your product, service or company and the value of your brand is expressed in how often consumers choose your brand over your competitions.

Your employment brand is driven by what your employees say about working at your company and is expressed in many ways including how they refer to their job or company in the social networks or by looking for a job in another company.  The only thing worse than a a good employee who quits and leaves your company is when a marginal employee quits but doesn’t leave.

With sites like www.glassdoor.com and social media sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter employees now have a number a places to anonymously voice their comments, concerns or compliments.  Each time an employee refers positively to their employment experience, that’s a deposit in your employment brand bank account.  Every time an employee posts a negative comment on Glass Door or one of the many social media sites, that is a withdrawal.

The first step to managing your employment brand is to make sure you have a great place to work.  Survey your employees if you’re not sure what this means. The key to managing your employment brand outside of your company is to provide your employees with many social media outlets and tools to share their positive experiences.  Whether this is a fan page on FaceBook or a group on LinkedIn or something else it is important to open up the channel.

Secondly, companies need to monitor the chatter and the good news is there are many ways to automate this monitoring like www.search.twitter.com or Google alerts for your company name.  Both of these tools provide RSS feeds so it is easy to turn on your computer everyday and see if people are making deposits or withdrawals into your bank account.

And finally, leaders need to understand transparency and be willing to respond to comments, concerns and complaints in a respectful responsible manner.  If your company is smart enough to develop and participate in social media channels, (by the way, you’re employees are doing so with or without you), but fails to respond to member feedback, especially when it is negative, this can turn into a serious withdrawal.

I totally agree with the importance of employment branding although I’m still skeptical that any amount of advertising and promotion can create one where it didn’t exists before.  I just want company leaders to clearly understand where it comes from and what they can do about it.

In my humble opinion.

Unemployment Claims Hit 26 Year High – So What?

February 5, 2009 2 comments

It never ceases to amaze me how the media always see the glass half empty.  Headline after headline lately telling us of company after company laying off workers.  But if you dig in a little, in most cases two things hold true, one, the number of people being laid off in most of these companies is minuscule compared to their total work force and two, most of these companies also have jobs they are currently recruiting for on their career sites.

The trick for job seekers is to know where to look and one place not to be looking during these lean times is the big job boards like Monster, Career Builder and others.  The reason is that most companies have seen their recruiting budgets cut so they are posting fewer jobs on the big boards and also, with the media reminding us everyday of how many people are out looking for work, companies with a strong employment brand are seeing more traffic coming to their corporate career sites through search engines like Google,  job aggregators like Careerjet and through connecting with recruiters on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s true, times are tough but don’t despair, change your job search stragtegy to include the new media/tools  I mentioned above and know that when the noise from the media gets really loud, that’s usually a sign that things are about to change for the better.

Corporate Recruiters Using Job Board Technology to Muscle in on Monster

November 19, 2008 1 comment

Until recently, the only way for most companies to have their jobs found on the internet was to post them with a job board.  While the effectiveness of this recruitment marketing strategy has underwhelmed recruiters over the years, they have been left with little choice but to pay-post-and-pray.  Not only has the quality of the job board’s applicants gone down, but were it not for the resume database access, there is no way for a company to build a database of passive candidates to tap into for future needs.  So what recruiters are left with is often “just in time” recruiting which tends to be expensive, stressful and marginally effective at best.  Wouldn’t it be great if companies could own their own job board, get all the Google exposure for their companies jobs exclusively, build a private database of both passive and active applicants, all for less than they are paying the job boards every month?  I have good news, your wait is over!

A growing trend in recruitment marketing is the use of a company exclusive micro job board.  Imagine having a job board with only your jobs and having those jobs show up on Google ahead of the job boards.  It is possible because companies like Jobs2web have cracked the code on how the job boards get their jobs to come up on the first page of Google.  Jobs2web is able to build out a mini job board that automatically updates your jobs on a daily basis, adding new jobs as they are put into your ATS and removing the jobs that are filled.  In addition to having your jobs displayed on the first page of Google, this mini job board also captures both passive and active applicants and puts them into a database that is easily accessible to the company recruiters.  Additionally, candidates in this database receive an automatic job alert email on a weekly basis, keeping your employment brand at the front of their mind.

For years, the job board’s secret has been their ability to show up on the search engines for almost every job search you could think of.  Job seekers typically start their search on Google and then click through a job that looks good, ending up on a job board.  If it wasn’t for Google, most of these job boards would be out of business as they wouldn’t have any traffic.  Today many companies are starting to build out their own mini job boards, eliminating their need for the pay-for-post job boards and saving up 50% over what they were spending on the job boards for postings.

For more information visit www.jobs2web.com