“Your résumé starts the entire job search process; it is the one and only emissary that will go into the company you’d like to work for. lt stands between you and any job you’d love to have. It is arguably the most important piece of paper you will generate in your lifetime” – What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get A Job Around Here? by Cynthia Shapiro
This is a must watch talk from Larry Smith at TED about why most of us fail to reach our career aspirations and why you will fail to have a great career .
A long time ago in a workplace very far far away, our careers were something that happened to us on the road to retirement. Very few of us actually managed our careers, rather we waited for our bosses and managers to notice our work and then hopefully we would get promoted onto better and greater things.
Those days are long gone now. YOU are in charge of your career, not your boss. People no longer typically advance in a straight line up through management in one company. The truth is – you will more likely take a lateral move into a new project team or into a new area of your company, without being promoted. Some of us will instead move up by joining a new company.
Given this, the questions that you need to focus on becomes:
In his seminal book What colour is your parachute ? Richard Bolles lists ten things that will greatly improve your chances of finding a new job.
The Ten Commandments for how to find a job:
- Go after small organisations with twenty or fewer employees, since they create two-thirds of all new jobs. – For some great tips on how to get a job at a small company check this post by marketing superstar Seth Godin.
- Hunt for interviews using the aid of, say eighty friends and acquaintances, because a job-hunt requires eighty pairs of eyes and ears – Today social networks like LinkedIn allows you to exponentially increase the amount of “friends” who can help you hunt for a interview.
- Do thorough homework on an organization before going there. - Fact of life , employees ALWAYS you what you know about their company. I cant even begin to relate the amount of times that super candidates have killed their chances of being hired, because they could not answer this question when we asked. Do the homework, search Google learn about the company you are hiring at. You will be asked.
- At any organisation, identify who has the power to hire you there, for the position you want, and use your mutual friends and acquaintances’ contacts to get an introduction to that person. - Again LinkedIn and other social networks make it easier to find out how you are connected to whoever has the power to make the hiring decision. If you know the position and department that you are interviewing for , you can then call the company and ask who the person is.
- Ask for just twenty minutes of their time, when asking for the appointment; and keep to your word rigidly.
- Go to the interview with your own agenda, your own questions and curiosities about whether or not this job fits you. This always impresses employers. - When you ask “intelligent” questions about the company and the position, you immediately differentiate yourself from the other candidates. Also , by asking and engaging you are able to build rapport with the interviewers.
- Talk about yourself only if what you say offers some benefit to that organisation, and their “problems” - When the interviewer asks “tell me about yourself. Don’t go on a tangent talking about your whole life. Ask them to elaborate. Respond by saying “What part of my career do you want me to tell you about?”. The interviewer is interested in how you and your experience can help them solve their company’s problems.
- When answering a question of theirs, talk only between twenty seconds and two minutes, at any one time. - Talking too long is not a sign that the interview is going well. It is a sign of nervousness- and the longer you take to answer the question, the greater your chance of saying something that could cost the job.
- Approach the company as if you were a resource person, able to produce better work for that organisation than any predecessor. Don’t go in with a beggar mentality. – Companies hire for two reasons only. They hire someone to make money for them, and to help them save money. Think about how you can offer those things. Then demonstrate that in the interview.
- Always write a thank you note the same evening of the interview, and mail it at the latest by the next morning. -It might seem like common sense, but very few candidates actually do this. Yet doing this can help elevate you above the other candidates or even save you , in a case where your interview did not go too well. It also helps to remind the interviewer who you were.
Looking to fill a position at work this week, I received more than 200 resumes on my desk – this was apart from the hundreds more that will be processes through our career database software. Everyone of those applicants are waiting for that call, for that email in the hope that they are the ones who will get the nod, that they will be the one that gets the job.
The thing is: waiting to be picked for the right team is a cultural instinct. When we were kids on the playground, we dutifully waited on the sidelines hoping that the anointed team chooser/gatekeeper would notice us and pick us first for the team. Unfortunately, the job market today is not the school playground and if you want to get picked in today’s job market then you need to start by realizing that no one is going to select you – you need to work to be the chosen one.
In your career, your colleagues can impede you as you strive to do good work and get promoted, or they can help you succeed ! Rather than looking at these colleagues as enemies who you have to confront at every turn or as colleagues who you are fiercely loyal to, you can look at them as whole people with whom you have likes and differences. Your goal then is to understand both and use both to one another’s mutual advantage. Here are 6 strategies to help you handle how co-workers approach their work differently