“But it’s the end of the year… not great for job hunting?!”

The client said:

 “But it’s the end of the year … not a great time for job hunting.”

Did you know there are things you could be doing to land a job even during the holidays? Or are you planning to just goof off and pick it up next year? Can you afford that approach?

The client is in the supply chain field. He’s very well qualified and has good experience. He’s just completed his Honours and wants a job after working for himself for 2 years (while studying).

Here’s my reply (sent yesterday):

Consider this: somewhere out there there’s someone (let’s call him Jack) heading up a big supply chain intensive operation. And it’s not going well. His holiday period is going to be more about his ulcer than his kids. Sleep will be fleeting. He will not rest.

You may well be the solution he needs.

He hasn’t advertised for anyone, he’s too busy and he’s been burned by agencies who don’t deliver. And he’s struggling to define exactly what he needs anyway. He’s not sure himself.

All he can think is this: “I need someone with fresh ideas, someone youngish, strong, hungry.”

Now, if you knew that during the holidays, a close friend of yours was going to spend an evening with our Jack here, and a good chunk of it is spent discussing how difficult he’s expecting 2012 to be and how he needs someone with ‘fresh legs’ – wouldn’t you want your friend to introduce you?

So, the question becomes: what are you doing within your circle of influence to make sure they know what you’re up to (in terms of job hunting and what a brilliant solution you are). Do they have your mini-CV – a hard hitting one or half pager or your ‘guerrilla CV’?

Have you told them exactly what you’re looking for … with energy, focus, enthusiasm. Do they know you for your excellent career so far?

That one random contact could provide you with the opportunity you’re looking for. Your 2012 could start with a big bang – instead of a deathly silence.

Be careful of the “nothing happens in Dec/Jan” approach!

Just by the way: in my Career & Success INNER CIRCLE, I detail a process (with examples, samples, scripts and exact instructions) of how to do all of the above – including how to write your own very, very smart “mini-CV”.

Want to become a member? E-mail me and I’ll send you the application form – gerard@careerandsuccess.info.

On a Personal Note: 1) Sent out the first “Gerard’s Marketing Monthly” yesterday – if you’re in business, own a business, want to start a business, in the newsletter I outline some low cost, critical, highly effective marketing ideas. Want it? Get it at no cost. Just send an e-mail to mkting@getresponse.com

2) My daughter Zoe, is having her prize giving tonight. Grade 3. She’s a candidate for the “top student” award. But I’m torn. Does an award like this matter? If she doesn’t get it, what then? Are awards like this actually good? What message does it send to everyone else? Is competition like this at this age a good thing? What should be rewarded – hard work, effort; or natural ability? I don’t actually care what happens, I think she’s great. Hopefully she knows that no matter what happens.

Also, remember I have a special deal on my “Guerrilla CV / Resume Writing” for December. Either visit the Facebook page for more: www.fb.com/guerrillaresumeandcv or just drop me an e-mail request to gerard@jobsearching.co.za

Free from the World’s Leading Job Search Book – “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters”

Heard of the book “The Art of War”? In it Sun Tzu says:

 “The more you read and learn, the less your adversary will know.”

So here’s something free’ for you. It’s kindly made available by the co-author David Perry. His passion for the topic of job hunting is overwhelming. He’s a high end head-hunter in Canada and the USA – he knows all the tricks.

And last year he asked me to contribute a piece for the new edition of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0”, and I did. The book has the tagline: “How to Stand Out form the Crowd and Tap into the Hidden Job Market Using Social Media and 999 Other Tactics Today”.

It’s awesome. And if you follow this link you’ll get 43 pages of it right now.

 http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26879522/GM4JH_Preview.pdf

If you’re a recruiter / personnel agent DO NOT read this book!! Here’s what David says to you in the foreword:

“Please don‘t buy this book! I haven‘t responded to any of the hate mail from the recruiters who have accused me of trying to put them out of business, and I won‘t respond to yours. “BTW: Smart recruiters have adopted the tactics in this book to help them close more deals.”

Yep, I get hate mail too here in SA for daring to suggest that personnel agents and job ads may not be your only route to your next job! So this book – and membership of my INNER CIRCLE – is only for those who follow the spirit of Lance Armstrong:

 “Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody‘s going down.”

Go get it.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26879522/GM4JH_Preview.pdf

Personal Note – got back from squash on Wed evening and the family was trying to put up the trampoline. They got half the mat hooked up with the springs. And couldn’t go further. I figured there must be some trick. So I went to YouTube, looked for “set up a trampoline” and immediately got a 3 minute video in which the tricks were revealed. Next morning the trampoline was sorted in a few minutes.

Sometimes it’s time to get expert help – with your CV, with your job hunt too.

www.wowcv.netwww.careerandsuccess.info

Job Search – Power it Up, Make it Fast

Job searching is tough. How can you make it all happen faster? What can you do to improve – to get more interviews and more job offers?

Here’s an article written by Impti du Toit for the Cape Argus after an interview with me.

What Makes a Good Job Hunt?

Job-hunting coach and CV writer Gerard le Roux, founder of the Job Search Clinic, says job-seekers have to be smart across all areas of the job searching “landscape” to get more job interviews and more job offers, enabling them to find a great position or career that really engages their strengths and perhaps even their passions.

Is There a Job Search ‘Quick Fix’?

Many job-hunters still hope for a “quick fix” job search solution, with agencies and employment websites often seen as an “easy” path to employment, allowing a candidate simply send their CV through, get a call, go for the interview and get the job.

“But the reality is different,” says Le Roux. “The job market is a strange place where even the best job applicant isn’t guaranteed instant success. And focusing your job search only on common job search channels, like agencies and employment websites, may yield disappointing results.”

Job Search Improvements

A job search isn’t just about skills, qualifications and experience, or even your CV and ability to interview well. “It has much more to do with the whole of you: your attitude, your focus, your mental attitude and how you approach the job search process,” he says.

“For example, your CV could be great, but if you have the attitude that the world owes you a favour, it’s likely to turn off a potential employer. Or you might have all the answers to tough interview questions, but if you crumble and fall apart after one rejection, you will lessen your chances of finding a job.”

He points out that even if you have great work experience, being out of shape, unhealthy and low on self-esteem can send the wrong message to a prospective employer, perhaps signalling that you are battling to hold your life together.

“So you’ve got to start with ‘you’. You’ve got to be strong, resilient and smart in your job search. You have to understand, for example, that finding a job is a business process. Employers aren’t in business for philanthropy: they hire people to get some benefit. In every element of your job search – including your CV, covering letter, the interview, and the follow up – you should look for ways to communicate how you can be of value, how you can make a difference, and how you can help their business.”

These are some of the foundation principles of an effective job hunt, and if you don’t start by applying them you won’t be as successful, he says.

His second piece of advice is that job-seekers should know what they really want. “Having a clear direction, a sense of purpose and a vision for ourselves, our lives, and our career has a powerful, effect on what we achieve in life,” he says.

“Along our course in life – most often very early on – we somehow lose our way. We may end up being herded into a career direction by default. So we end up making a living, but it’s a slog. We have a job, but it’s a job we have to endure. We’re happy to be employed, but our work doesn’t engage our real passions, interests and talents.”

The consequences of accepting this situation and not paying quality attention to our career direction are dire: stress, depression, desperation, poor work performance and burnout. Instead we need to find what job really excites us, and what industry or sector brings a sparkle to our eye.

“I’m not suggesting that you should just resign your job to go off and save the whales, for example, but at least be aware that it is possible to search for and find work that you can be more passionate about. Define what will make you happy and then work out a plan to get there. It may take some time, but it’s a worthwhile exercise.”

Your Job Search is a Sale

He also advocates that job seekers should determine what value they are offering to potential employers. “Your job search is really just the process of selling yourself,” he says. “You’re offering what you have in the way of skills, knowledge, expertise and qualifications to someone willing to pay for it. It’s a sale or trade.

You are saying, ‘I’ll give you my expertise and experience, and you give me this salary and benefits’.”

Le Roux says this concept seems to elude many job-hunters. “When I ask them what benefits they provide, they give answers such as: ‘I manage production’ or ‘I am the Financial Manager’. They focus on their job title, their duties and responsibilities. But this gives an employer no idea of their value to their business.”

If you are not telling an employer how your focus is to build efficiency, generate revenue, save money, give better service, create systems to ensure delivery of products, raise customer satisfaction levels or motivate people to new heights of productivity, or are not giving specific figures or examples to add credibility, then you are not coming across as strongly as you could, he says.

Job Hunting Methods – Some Work Better Than Others

Le Roux says you also need to identify what job-hunting methods will yield the best results for your efforts. “If you were looking for gold, you may want to first establish the kind of rock formations and geological strata that gold is likely to appear in. Looking on the beach may be a comfortable environment, but will it be productive? The job market is no different: you need to decide where you are going to spend most of your time and energy looking.”

While job advertisements, agencies and websites play a valuable role in the marketplace and should form part of a job search plan, job seekers should also use alternative methods to improve their chances of finding employment, he says.

For example, he suggested to someone who had been fruitlessly searching for a job for 10 months that she might start visiting every business in her area once a week; get to know the names of local business men and women, and meet them any way she could; and that she could offer to help them using her skills, or offer to work for a business part-time or casually.

He points out that every method will not work for every job-hunter, but by taking a more ‘guerrilla’ style approach you will be giving yourself a competitive edge. On his website, Le Roux provides many ideas on alternative job search measures, as well as support to assist in this respect.

His free guidance on running a successful job search campaign covers five other critical job hunting areas apart from the tips provided here, including your CV, covering letters, job interviews and remaining mentally strong during the process.

Other features of the site are a free job-hunting e-course sent via e-mail to subscribers, and the facility to ask a “Burning Question” relating to your personal job hunt, which Le Roux will answer on his blog, on which he shares his weekly insights into what works and what doesn’t in the real world of job hunting.

Resources:

  • Free Registration to Weekly Job Search Advice eColumn – send an e-mail to jobsearchclinic [at] getresponse.com
  • Free Job Search eCourse – send an e-mail to 12jss [at] getresponse.com
  • Info on how to write your CV – www.wowcv.net
  • “Get a Job Fast” Programme – only available at www.careerandsuccess.info

 

Jailbird Job Search Secret

I took this from a site specializing in advising jailbirds how to find jobs.

I figured that if they can find a job … anyone can. And there’s something to be gained from how they do it.

From the JailtoJob.com website, the advice is simple, and universally true.

Here is the Secret

1. Show up – If you just show up, you will be in the top 25% of all job seekers

2. Show up with a plan – If you show up with a plan, you will be in the top 15% of all job seekers

3. Show up with a plan and work it – By showing up with a plan and working the plan, you will be in the top 10% of all job seekers!

So, do YOU show up? (In what shape?) Do YOU have a plan? (Is it working for you?) And, do YOU work that plan? (Or does it involve sitting, waiting, hoping?)

It reminds me of this quote:

“With practice and attention, we can learn to put ourselves right side up regardless of external circumstance.”

Yes, even a jailbird can go get a job. It takes showing up, a firm plan, and the willingness to work that plan. But if he does eventually he’ll find himself “right side up.” Why? Because he’s learned to own his job hunt. He’s responsible for the results.

You’re probably not a jailbird. You have more going for you. Don’t get discouraged. Things will will work out well if you follow the 3 steps above. Learn to own your job hunt. Master it. Make it your bold magnificent mission. Do it as if the whole world was judging you on it.

See how the results will flow in.

If you need a plan see www.jobsearching.co.za/jobsearchfasttrack

What You Need to do in This Job Market

Here are some interesting observations from someone who deals with job hunters on a daily basis. She is a full time resume/CV writer and correctly comments on how the job market is much less ‘scientific’ – ie predictable, organized, rule oriented than you may imagine. Anything can happen. Her name is Eve Nicholas and here’s the extract from her article:

I don’t need to tell you that the recession has caused a significant change in the job market. I’m sure that you read the monthly statistics on unemployment, and many of you have first-hand experience with layoffs and hiring freezes. But, as I mentioned, my work gives me a unique vantage point into employment trends (and into the lives of job hunters).

Here are a few of my observations:

  • People land jobs in all economic conditions. Even this one. Every week clients talk to me about pending interviews, job offers and new positions. The hiring pace may be slower than it was in the past, but the market is alive and kicking.
  • Job seekers have a lot of questions. Most of the time, they want to know the ‘rules’ of job searching, and the ‘right’ way to proceed on their career path. Here is my typical response: With only one exception, there are no hard-and-fast rules and no right answers in job hunting. Figure out what works best for your situation, and go with it. Here’s the one exception: Never lie.
  • Most employers look for motivated, likeable people to join their teams. They also appreciate a good deal. Show them that you will bring a positive attitude to the workplace while improving the bottom line, and you’ll have a great shot at landing a new position.
  • The more effort you put into your search, the faster you’ll land a new job. If you shuffle out your resume to every employer with an e-mail address, you can expect the process to last a very long time. On the other hand, if you research companies, network and improve your presentation, you’ll make an impact with hiring managers. Put in the effort. You’ll stand out from the crowd.

I think she’s on the money. And yet from what I’m seeing – CVs being sent to me for eg – is how people – maybe you? – aren’t really trying to do anything different. Quite likely they don’t know what to do differently. That ends now: go to my new ‘guerrilla’ job search coaching program where you get personal help with your job search.

“Burning Question”

From “C” comes this:

Some background – “C” and her husband are South Africans working and living in West Africa.

Is there a mind set about where you are currently located geographically in the market with recruitment agencies?

Yes. That’s the quick answer. And although we’re living in a ‘global village’ and recruiting practices have moved with the times to some degree with recruiting done by ‘remote control’ – the logistical factors of someone in the UK recruiting for a company in India and getting a job applicant from, say, Ghana – well you can imagine. And that happens a lot.

There are all sorts of factors:

  • Ease or challenge of communication
  • Prejudice against a certain country (may be see as a ‘backwater’ – despite the fact that this may be an indicator that you’re actually exceptional at what you do – succeeding in the harshest environments
  • Wanting to interview you one-to-one
  • Time frames – they may want someone to start immediately or within a week or two

People hire people, so recruiters will naturally go for things they’re familiar with first. If things are too foreign or too far away they may delay in responding or not respond at all.

So here are two strategies to tilt the playing field in your favor:

  1. Persist – it’s the universal success law.
  2. Narrow down your search to a particular industry – use the ‘net to research companies who likely need what you’ve got – identify the decision makers and approach them directly, via phone or e-mail.
  3. Make your marketing message really powerful – aimed at delivering what employers really need; and really concise and to the point – “here’s what I do, and I’m fantastic at it – here’s why” – that should be your CV.

Hope this helps!

Are You Sabotaging Your Self? [August 15 e-Column]

So a few weeks ago a truck rolled up and dumped 1000 pieces of firewood in one of our barns. Nice. Fires on cold nights here in Grabouw? Not quite: the wood was wet. Not damp. Wet, from the core, out. And even with firelighters, paraffin, etc it’s tough job to get a fire going. Olive comments rudely on how my rear sticks up in the air while I try to keep some flames going on.

So what’s the job hunting lesson? This: make sure you’re not sabotaging your job hunting flame with ‘wet wood’ – like a poor CV or covering letter or poor answers in an interview.

Now I’m going to give your a formula from Frank Kern and John Carlton – one of the worlds most respected advertising copywriters – to use when you write your CV and cover letter or even in interviews. This formula is really going to ‘spark’ the way you think about how you market/sell your skills in the job market.

Tell people:

1 Here’s what I got.

What are the 3 things you have (you do have more, I’m sure, but keep it simple) that should make an employer sit up and take notice? It could be a qualification, experience, some knowledge, a special ability, even an attitude … (It may not be “earth shattering” – don’t worry about that.)

2 Here’s what it’ll do for you.

You convert your skills, knowledge, qualifications into what for your employer? How are they better off with you around?

Ok, so at your next coffee break, take out a pad and brainstorm a little around those questions. See what you come up with. keep it short and punchy. Then enter them in a comment below or mail them to me – I’m going to follow up on this next week.

Personal note: Got a nice call at around 8:30 last night from a client – we rushed his CV through a few weeks ago – he was calling to say he didn’t get the job we were targeting. He got the next job up the ladder – higher than expected. He has no qualifications. Just great experience. Who says there isn’t hope for you!?
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Have you enjoyed this article? If so please do 2 things: 1) Share it – click the ‘green thingy’ button below and you’ll easily be able to send it to friends via email or even Facebook; 2) And join the exclusive Career&Success community – the place for info, ideas, support and a network of friends to give you the spark you may be lacking right now. www.CareerAndSuccess.info

Recruiting Agencies & HR: Hoy! Listen Up Here.

We is here wif “Joe” He be one job hunting brover. An’ he be tellin recruiting agencies to “lissen up.”

Ok, so maybe you didn’t get the whole “Ali G” intro. So here’s the boring version: I asked for some feedback regarding my services from my mailing list. One reader wrote back with the following about HR and recruitment/employment agents – do you agree, disagree?

1)I enjoyed the interview and CV tips.
2) The problem in your industry (job market/recruiting/HR) is that we are dependant on 3rd grade “headhunting” cowboys. If they don’t place you within 5 tries, or within two weeks, you are on the rack. (CV in the database) They only want to make a quick buck, doesn’t matter how they screw up your career path. They re-write the CV’s in their own crippled “standard” format. (I suppose that is the quickest way that they can then scan through it afterwards). They have first hand contact with potential employers, and they place the adverts. My impression is that companies prefer that agents do the screening of CV’s.
3) The companies itself get so many applications, that they never open all of the mails (CV’s).
4) The quality of the HR people are also questionable. We are in the hands of idiots.

Send your feedback to gerard@jobsearching.co.za

[Just a thought here from me – I actually totally understand why agencies do some of the things mentioned above. So I think the more interesting question is … “This is the way it is (for whatever reason), how am I going to deal with it? – so that my career path doesn’t get screwed up.”

What do you think? “Respek”
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Have you enjoyed this article? If so please do 2 things: 1) Share it – click the ‘green thingy’ button below and you’ll easily be able to send it to friends via email or even Facebook; 2) And join the exclusive Career&Success community – the place for info, ideas, support and a network of friends to give you the spark you may be lacking right now. www.CareerAndSuccess.info

Can You Magically Attract Money, New Job, Whatever …?

There’s some discussion going on about this topic. Can you just “think and get rich”, “think and get new job”??

Exactly how does “thinking” affect our success? Does it? Isn’t all about connections? qualifications? experience – in the case of job hunting? Or are there advantages we’re missing by sidelining this whole “law of attraction” “The Secret” thing?

And is watching the depressing daily news (Zim, political infighting, inflation, oil price, crime, interest rates, etc) also having a negative effect on our own personal performance – after all if we can “attract” good stuff we then also have the power to “attract” bad stuff.

Here’s an extract from a discussion going on on the Career&Success members only forum/community website:

1) I don’t believe things magically appear – I think that angle is just great for marketers to sell their books/dvd’s. I don’t know, I just don’t buy the whole – it’s all just energy all around us and our thoughts can spark some godlike force to start working intelligently for us with little or no action on our part.

However …

2) I DO think we grossly underestimate our own God given brain. It has enormous power. But we don’t understand it’s power. And we don’t know how to use it. And in fact our lives are filled with things that deaden it – as opposed to stimulating it. So when we start stimulating it a little things happen that seem surprising. But actually it’s no big deal – our mind has sparked ideas, we’ve taken action, our approach has perhaps been different – perhaps very subtly different – in fact we may have done nothing (on paper) that’s different, but we’ve done it with a different spirit/attitude/mental disposition.

And that has affected the way people view us, and so have responded more positively. Maybe we used different words, maybe there was a sparkle in our eyes, maybe our body language was better, whatever – it was all so subtle and under the radar we don’t even know we’re doing it – but it changes the way people respond.

Like job interviews. Sometimes I get an e-mail from a client about an job hunting situation. I can sense frustration even anger. Does that come across in an interview? It’s almost impossible to stop it. What’s the solution? Mental attitude. It needs work.

What do you think? Join the discussion. Learn. If you join with others also striving to improve their situation – everyone has a better chance of achieving their goals. There’s more power in community. It’s R30 pm. Join now. Go to www.careerandsuccess.info, get the application form, complete it, fax it back. Simple.
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Have you enjoyed this article? If so please do 2 things: 1) Share it – click the ‘green thingy’ button below and you’ll easily be able to send it to friends via email or even Facebook; 2) And join the exclusive Career&Success community – the place for info, ideas, support and a network of friends to give you the spark you may be lacking right now. www.CareerAndSuccess.info

Radical CV and Career Strategies

Here’s a radical new idea (well it’s not a new idea really – even I have mentioned it before and it’s been the topic of at least 1 other job hunting book). It’s by Seth Godin – a marketing “Guru” who makes a living telling it like it is and looking ahead to see what’s next. In the article below he reveals 2 things.

  1. The radical idea – you’ll see what I mean.
  2. How it really works when you send out your ‘average’ CV (or resume as he calls it)

See what you think (I’ve included in brackets some clarifying comments):

[Warning!! This is NOT for you if you feel uncomfortable with anything new or unconventional. It’s not for everybody. To make it work WILL require a whole new way of thinking from most job hunters out there.

Why bother having a resume?

In the last few days, I’ve heard from top students at Cornell and other universities about my internship. (Mr Godin offers an internship – so people apply to him for the post.)

It must have been posted in some office or on a site, because each of the applications is just a resume (CV). No real cover letter, no attempt at self marketing. Sort of, “here are the facts about me, please put me in the pile.”

This is controversial, but here goes: I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume (CV) at all.

Not just for my little internship, but in general. Great people shouldn’t have a resume (CV).

Here’s why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, “oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and boom, you’re out.

Having a resume begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?

If you don’t have a resume, what do you have?

  • How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
  • Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
  • Or a reputation that precedes you?
  • Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, “well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.”

Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have those, why do you think you are remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have those, you’ve been brainwashed into acting like you’re sort of ordinary.

Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.

Some of what you’ve just read will have surprised you. You may doubt it. Dismiss it. And that’s fine. If you’re happy being ‘fodder’ for the ‘corporate behemoth’. Some people love it. They love the processes, policies, procedures. They love convention and order. Predictability. Organisation.

But the truth is … the world doesn’t care. The corporation doesn’t care. Maybe years ago it used to (debatable). But now … your company may have Employee Wellness programmes, in-house Gyms, psychologists, hair dressers, creches, etc – but actually you’re on your own.

So … never give up control of YOU. Keep a record of your good work. Measure yourself. Learn how to sell your value, skills, knowledge (even though for now it appears you’re ‘safe’). Develop skills that solve difficult, real problems. Be a provider of solutions.

Get or keep interested in many things. Keep alive in yourself the idea that one day you will work for yourself, on your own terms and make a good living doing so. Keep looking for opportunities. Keep learning. Get used to danger. Take risks. Get used to the feeling. Know that staying in the ‘safety’ of a large corporation is frequently AS risky as going it alone.

Sorry – I got a little off the point here on my favorite topic – but the essence is: be aware that you’re a business. And you’re in a competitive world. Don’t take a back seat in your own business. Build something that’ll last. Be smart about it. Everyone’s got a CV. At least make sure yours sends out a strong, confident, focussed message (that’ll instantly put you ahead, believe me) – not just some boring list of your past ‘duties’ and ‘responsibilities’.