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Quick Tips for Finding a Job

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Quick Tips for Finding a Job

By Michelle Yozzo Drake

I recently returned from Boston where I coach an executive in a large financial institution. She was hired because she is a star at what she does, but her new superiors felt her rough edges needed a little smoothing out. Enter Michelle Yozzo Drake: Communication Strategist (and apparently, career therapist!).

The first few sessions were mainly conversations to analyze her communication style, her role in the organization and the organization itself - unlike most coaches, I don't rely solely on standardized tests and I don't just jump to what I think the problem is either. As she started to warm up to me, she became more honest with her true feelings about her job:

She's totally fed up with it!

Once the floodgates opened, my client told me exactly what she couldn't stand about her job and after we evaluated it, we decided it would be best for her to take control of her career and JUST GET OUT!

But like most of us, she couldn't stand the stress of a long, drawn-out stretch between this job and her new one, so I offered her a few quick tips to find a job fast.

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THE RESUME:

This is obviously CRUCIAL to job hunt success. An amazing resume will catch the eye of a potential employer and he or she won't waste any time calling you in for an interview for fear of losing you to the competition. I read my client's resume and...it nearly put me to sleep! It was full of the same tired jargon as every resume I've seen come across my desk over the past few years, all opening with phrases like, "I'm a proven professional with a track record for success looking for a job in XYZ industry where I can contribute in a major way..." BORING! And duh! For the type of positions she would be looking for, who isn't a professional? Who doesn't want success, right?

But besides the cliched intro, the biggest problem with her resume was: I didn't know what was in it for me to hire her. She didn't make my benefits clear, and frankly, that's top priority for me as an employer looking to hire the right person for the job. How are you going to help ME and MY ORGANIZATION? What are your skills and experience going to do for ME and MY ORGANIZATION? Spell it out! Make me want to reach for the phone immediately to call you for an interview.

So I advised my client to create a stellar sales pitch (a.k.a. your resume) that focused on what she's accomplished and what results she's achieved for her current job in respect to how she can do those things for me and my organization. A resume like that immediately engages a potential employer into wanting to know more.

Statistics, statistics, statistics. They go a loooong way to not only substantiating your claims but also helping the potential employer envision those same kind of results for his or her company. "I've increased sales by X dollars," or "I reduced turnover by Y percent," or "I landed a multi-million dollar client that the company had been trying to land for three or four years." These kinds of statements will have prospective employers snatching at the phone before you can say "signing bonus."

And always be clear and concise in your pitch, and make it as compelling as possible to set yourself apart from everyone else.

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MAKING CONTACT:

 

The next thing we talked about was how she was going to go about job hunting. "Online," she replied automatically. Now, that's great to find job leads, but I suggested taking a more "old-fashioned" approach to making contact. Stop hiding behind technology! We've all become very dependent upon technology, and while it makes our jobs and our lives easier, it also makes it easier to get lost in the abyss. How many e-mails do you get that you just delete and don't even read? What if, in addition to submitting your resume online, you took the extra step and made personal contact, too?

Research the company and find out who does the hiring. Play the Six Degrees of Separation Game and you might even find a friend-of-a-friend who can get you the inside scoop at the company. Then, pick up the phone! No e-mails; no IMs; no text messages - Pick. Up. The. Phone. And make that personal contact, preferably before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. when the assistants (and your biggest obstacle) are usually not at their desks. Introduce yourself with a clear, concise, 10-second summary of who you are and what you want. At the very least, ask if you can send a hard copy of your resume with a cover letter addressed directly to the person you're speaking to. Keep it simple, friendly, and professional, and you may even end up having a little pre-interview interview right there on the phone!

THE NEXT STEP?

Do it all again. And again. And again. Don't submit your resume to one company and sit by the phone like a schoolgirl waiting for her crush to call. Once that resume is perfected, get it out there and make those follow up calls. Before you know it, you'll be walking into the office for an interview and then walking into YOUR new office for the day!


For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!




“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller