August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have been reading and following Marc’s blog and newsletters for the past few months now; Today’s post has resonated with me. “Everything’s going to be all right” brought a sense of calm even though I have heard it all the time from friends and family. I do believe that it is just temporary but it is easy to fall prey to momentary lapses of insanity. Last few days for me, I thought it is never going to end. Today, I woke up to this email, reminding that I have to once again manage my expectation and pace myself.
Big Thumbs Up!
Good Monday morning,
Today marks seven years that I’ve been writing this newsletter to you all. If I had to summarize my advice from all those years, it would be this:
Everything’s going to be all right.
Look, I know. I’ve read the anxiety in your e-mails; I’ve seen the worry in your faces; I’ve been through countless job searches with you, Readers.
There’s no doubt about it, the job hunt is stressful, straining, and tedious. The lack of certainty over what’s going to happen to you, your family, and your career creates so much worry that it’s easy to fall prey to periods of despair.
But I can also tell you that everything is going to be all right.
We’ll make it through, together.
We’ve helped literally millions of people through their job searches over these past seven years. It’s rarely easy, but those millions have landed successfully on the other side in a new role. And you, too, will find your way through.
It will take longer than you want; it will be more of an emotional rollercoaster than you were hoping for; and there will be days when you think it is never going to end.
But end it does. The call will come, the offer will be made, you will find your next great gig. Barring major medical problems, professionals like you do land in a new role. I’ve seen it happen, literally, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times.
And to get through the job hunt challenge, let me elaborate a bit further on what I’ve learned over these past seven years. My best tactical advice is this:
The job search can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months, sometimes longer. It may happen sooner, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up lest you wind up disappointed. Be sure that you’re mentally ready for that long of a search. Set your expectations and think through how you’ll handle a half-year or longer of looking.
You’ll need to work at it, steadily and consistently. And you’ll also need to take breaks. Just like “real” work, job search work is exhausting, and you’ll perform better if you keep yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically fit and well-rested.
Get your resume professionally written.
A great product needs great advertising. You are a great product, with a price point that’s measured in six figures per year. Please have a professional write your “ad copy.” The competition (i.e., other job-seekers) has done it, and it enables them to stand out in a stack of resumes. And while it typically costs less than 1% of your annual earnings to get your product well advertised, it will be the most productive money you spend in a job search.
Apply to one job per day.
If you’re applying to dozens of jobs per week, you’re not doing yourself any favors. The “spray and pray” method doesn’t work. Because recruiters and HR departments receive so many resumes these days, if your application is not on target, it goes in the bucket.
All that wasted effort not only does you no good, it does you actual harm. Because you’re sending out so many applications, you don’t have the time to follow up on the right ones. And when your response rate turns out to be very low, you too may get very low as you inaccurately perceive there to be no demand for your talents.
Do this instead: apply to one job each day. And then use the extra time you have from not applying to so many jobs to follow up. Call your college buddy who works there. Seek out the company’s executives at the trade show. Get yourself noticed by the hiring manager by blogging about your work.
Slow and steady wins the race, not the flash in the pan.
Well, folks, those are my best bits of advice, gleaned from 365 weeks of writing, 365 weeks of reading your replies, comments, and questions, and 365 weeks of research into making your job hunt more successful.
I enjoy being your guide, and I hope to continue doing so for 7, or 70!, years more.
Thanks and have a great week in your search.
Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO, TheLadders.co
|Follow me on Twitter here.
I’ve been writing these newsletters weekly for almost a decade in order to provide you with the advice, encouragement, and assistance you need in your professional job hunt. I’ll take what we’ve learned at TheLadders during the week, or experiences I’ve had with job-seekers all over the country, and try to find a usable lesson, a valuable insight, or a helpful tip to share with you on Monday morning (my writing deadline is 3 p.m. every Sunday afternoon).
I do read every one of your replies to this newsletter. Because of the volume of replies — typically over 1,000 per week — I’m unable to answer you personally, but one of our very qualified staff from our Job Search Support team will get back to you — most of the time within three hours or less.
As I am interested in every reply I get, I’ll also occasionally reach out directly by phone or by email to say thanks, or ask a question, or to see how we can solve your problem better. Thanks for reading!
July 16, 2010 § Leave a comment
* Question 1 Tell me about yourself.
* Question 2 What are your greatest strengths?
* Question 3 What are your greatest weaknesses?
* Question 4 Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a little ashamed of.
* Question 5 Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?
* Question 6 The “Silent Treatment”
* Question 7 Why should I hire you?
* Question 8 Aren’t you overqualified for this position?
* Question 9 Where do you see yourself five years from now?
* Question 10 Describe your ideal company, location and job.
* Question 11 Why do you want to work at our company?
* Question 12 What are your career options right now?
* Question 13 Why have you been out of work so long?
* Question 14 Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss (company, management team, etc.)…
* Question 15 What good books have you read lately?
* Question 16 Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized.
* Question 17 What are your outside interests?
* Question 18 The “Fatal Flaw” question
* Question 19 How do you feel about reporting to a younger person (minority, woman, etc)?
* Question 20 On confidential matters…
* Question 21 Would you lie for the company?
* Question 22 Looking back, what would you do differently in your life?
* Question 23 Could you have done better in your last job?
* Question 24 Can you work under pressure?
* Question 25 What makes you angry?
* Question 26 Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career?
* Question 27 Who has inspired you in your life and why?
* Question 28 What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?
* Question 29 Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had.
* Question 30 Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous position?
* Question 31 What changes would you make if you came on board?
* Question 32 I’m concerned that you don’t have as much experience as we’d like in…
* Question 33 How do you feel about working nights and weekends?
* Question 34 Are you willing to relocate or travel?
* Question 35 Do you have the stomach to fire people? Have you had experience firing many people?
* Question 36 Why have you had so many jobs?
* Question 37 What do you see as the proper role/mission of…
* Question 38 What would you say to your boss if he’s crazy about an idea, but you think it stinks?
* Question 39 How could you have improved your career progress?
* Question 40 What would you do if a fellow executive on your own corporate level wasn’t pulling his/her weight…and this was hurting your department?
* Question 41 You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it be hard switching to a new company?
* Question 42 May I contact your present employer for a reference?
* Question 43 Give me an example of your creativity (analytical skill…managing ability, etc.)
* Question 44 Where could you use some improvement?
* Question 45 What do you worry about?
* Question 46 How many hours a week do you normally work?
* Question 47 What’s the most difficult part of being a (job title)?
* Question 48 The “Hypothetical Problem”
* Question 49 What was the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced?
* Question 50 Have you consider starting your own business?
* Question 51 What are your goals?
* Question 52 What do you for when you hire people?
* Question 53 Sell me this stapler…(this pencil…this clock…or some other object on interviewer’s desk).
* Question 54 “The Salary Question” – How much money do you want?
* Question 55 The Illegal Question
* Question 56 The “Secret” Illegal Question
* Question 57 What was the toughest part of your last job?
* Question 58 How do you define success…and how do you measure up to your own definition?
* Question 59 “The Opinion Question” – What do you think about …Abortion…The President…The Death Penalty…(or any other controversial subject)?
* Question 60 If you won $10 million lottery, would you still work?
* Question 61 Looking back on your last position, have you done your best work?
* Question 62 Why should I hire you from the outside when I could promote someone from within?
* Question 63 Tell me something negative you’ve heard about our company…
* Question 64 On a scale of one to ten, rate me as an interviewer.
May 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
For the past week, I have made great strides in turns of job hunt front. Even though I do not have final good news to share yet, I have got a great feelings about this potential new opportunity. A recruiter sought me out and after speaking to her, it led to HR recruiter interview then a face to face with the hiring manager. I have my fingers, toes and even my eyes crossed for this. It moved rather quickly and I LOVE that because all job seekers can all agree that waiting is the toughest part.
I feel blessed! I have my great friends and family cheering me on. I am reassured when I am second guessing. I am encouraged when I am agonizing over ..well life itself but I know the only way to go is up 🙂
I am inspired by this: Simple Living
really, keep it simple
update: It is with great regret to inform you that I did not get that position and I am now reading this, this and that. (basically the whole site I like!) It is funny that the only way I know how to cope with stress is to find relevant experiences, so I do not feel like I am walking this path alone.
April 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
I thought all my fellow jobseekers out there would enjoy this humorous example of a rejection letter that I stumbled across …….
A DIFFERENT KIND OF “EMPLOYMENT REJECTION” LETTER (Something To Lighten Up Your Job Search!!!)
999 Likely Lane LUCKSVILLE WA 6060
20 October 2009
Professor Reid Iculus Department of Opportunity University of Absolute Nonsense 123 Jobsearch Junction PERTH WA 6000
RE: Assistant Professor
Dear Professor Iculus
Thank you for your letter dated 12 April 2010.
After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.
This year, I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite the University Of Nonsense’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department in November.
I look forward to seeing you then.
I wish you luck in rejecting future applicants.
April 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
At around the six-month mark after losing my job, I realized that I’d started branding myself as an unemployed person. That was starting to feel depressing. So I repositioned myself in my own mind.
I started doing online certifications to strengthen my resume. At social settings, when people asked me what I do, I start answering, “I’m a Internet marketer.” Even though I still have not yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel, answering the question that way made a big difference to my mental health.
I find that the only way to get successful at a new plan is through optimistic self-labeling: telling the world that you’re already doing the thing you want to do.
It’s exuberant to change how you label yourself, especially if the new label is aspirational: something that you want to be, rather than something you already are.
Maybe that’s why ‘The Secret’ has sold 500,000 copies in 6 months.
April 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
Going through perpetual interviews is the story of my life right now. The process requires hours of preparation, putting on my best smile, clever answers, active follow ups and wait! the toughest part yet is to wait for the reply(or the lack of).
But, let’s zoom in on the interview:
Sometimes, some companies (mostly start-ups) would ask interviewees to give feedback on how to better their situation, website, products…etc.
I have been in a couple of situations where a business decision can not be made THEN, the CEO would say: ‘let’s run an job ad and get people to come and see what they say’. Most of the time, the ad would read: ‘contract work but potential to full time employment due to rapid growth of company’ (I am not saying that contract work isn’t the way to get your foot into the door; it is but some situations are a little trickier than others)
Most recently, I find myself in an interview where the CEO spilled his guts about his business conundrum. He started his interview racing through the thought process of running this type of job post:
1. He needs a warm body to answer the phone while his project manager is on a 2-weeks vacation.
2. He has decided that whoever that he hired for this short period of time will only be able to twirl fingers when the phone isn’t ringing.
3. He CAN have whoever he hires to work on 1. design 2. SEO or 3. case study but he went ahead and said but I don’t need people doing them later so I don’t see the money well spent.
4. Then, he talked about how he wanted the company to remain small and cost driven. (I could appreciate that) He could have hired an intern for 3-6 months without paying but he does not trust the quality of the intern.
Result, he met with 10 qualifying candidates for interview out of 50 resumes and asked them to go back and think about what WE can contribute and solve this for him.
I left the interview with mixed feelings; I am frustrated with the job market and needless to say that I will not be able to help. I am walking away not because this contract is beneath me (I very much enjoy the social media product this company presents) but I just do not agree with this type of business conduct. Even if it leads to a full term job, I would keep wondering: is this where I want to position myself?
Moral of the story? I have learned to stick to my professional boundaries. I know what I want. (universe, do you hear me?)
“I am firmly against people giving away something for nothing,”said Beck, who likens such requests from hiring managers as robbery. I give thumbs up to this!