Some time ago, a client – let's call her "Joan" – wrote in with a problem that so many candidates face. (Maybe you're experiencing this too...)
She was a former executive assistant who, after seven years of service, was abruptly laid off due to downsizing. However, she was certain that getting another position would be fairly easy with her track record.
But now, after nearly a year of searching for her dream job without success, she felt her confidence plummeting and her frustration skyrocketing.
Desperately, she tried just about everything to ace her interviews.
She wore a suit. She wore a dress.
She wore her glasses. She wore contacts.
Here's something a lot of folks don't know:
If you browse through all the managers you know on LinkedIn -- and if you've used some of the tips I've been sharing these last few weeks, you should be connected with dozens of managers in your area -- it looks like most of them aren’t hiring.
But you'd be surprised.
As promised, over the next few days, I'm going to share some of the most powerful methods I know for leveraging your LinkedIn profile and network to attract more job opportunities and land interviews.
Today, we'll start with one I bet nobody ever told you about before.
It's about reviews.
Did I ever tell you about strong ties vs. weak ties?
It has nothing to do with neckties -- these kind of "ties" are about relationships with people who could, potentially, put you on the radar of hiring managers and help you land stellar job opportunities.
Strong ties are the people you know really, really well.
(Friends, members of your family, co-workers, bosses, neighbors, etc.)
Weak ties are the people you only just know.
(That person you met at a industry conference and exchanged two LinkedIn messages with, or your son's friend's mom who you occasionally run into.)
Here are three of my favorite job "directories". These are places where you can find jobs -- if you know how.
They are unknown to most people -- or, if folks do know about them, they're overlooked (either way, to the savvy, opportunities are ripe for the picking).
There's no tease today, no big build-up.
BUT -- there is one crucial caveat, which I'll tell you about at the end. (Make sure you read it, otherwise you might not know how to use these resources.)
Here they are:
This might sound "obvious", but it's one of those things I think it's good to get clear on and remind ourselves about every now and then.
You are NOT your resume.
If you're applying for jobs left, right and center -- and keep getting "rejected" by all of them (or, even worse, ignored completely) -- then it's easy to fall into the trap of taking that rejection personally.
What I mean by that is this:
Your brain plays a trick on you, and, without noticing, "my resume" becomes "me". It feels like employers are slamming the door in your face and shutting you out in the cold -- rather than just rejecting your resume.
Writing your resume can be tough.
Especially if it’s been a while since you last updated your resume.
It's difficult to communicate -- explicitly and clearly -- how you added value in your previous roles, and how you're going to add value in the future.
But it is VITAL.
In fact, if your resume isn't getting you interviews right now, if recruiters and HR reps aren't calling you back, then this could be the reason why.
Here's an easy way to get clear on how you add value:
I want to share a bit of my personal story.
Once upon a time, I got an interview with a great company through a family member. The first interview went okay, and I thought the job was a shoe in.
However, the last interview – the BIG one – wasn’t so pleasant.
When I showed up, I was impressed with how modern the office looked. The interviewer was in a sharp suit, and everything seemed like it was expressly designed for “big shots”.
I thought I was prepared, but then the interviewer asked me a question that threw me for a loop. After I answered, the interviewer took off his glasses, looked me in the eye and said:
Yesterday, we talked about how interviewers’ mindsets have changed.
They’ve shifted from looking for suitable candidates to looking for ways to cut candidates from the running as fast as possible.
Because they believe it’s far more expensive to bring the wrong person on board than it is to wait for the right candidate. In other words, they’d rather hire nobody than make a costly mistake.
That means it’s more important than ever before for you to go into an interview fully prepared.
Eric Schmidt helped build Google.
In the book he wrote with Jonathon Rosenberg, called How Google Works, they talk about their "LAX rule" for choosing the best new hires.
It's a company house rule that every manager was encouraged to follow.
And the reason I'm telling you about it now is that a lot of hiring managers, especially younger ones look up to Eric Schmidt. They've read How Google Works, and they use this "LAX rule" for their own hiring decisions.
It goes like this:
If the hiring manager was trapped in LAX because their flight was delayed, could they endure 4-5 hours talking with this candidate?