The Suck Less JOB SEARCH BLOG
I used Yahoo!, Safari and then I moved to Firefox. I wanted a search engine that could offer a better user experience. I looked at Google and bing! I tried both for a while but the more I drilled down to Google's core offerings the more I realized why so many people use it. I didn't see Google as a search engine; I saw it as a business solution. I used Google Docs, Cal, Drive, Hangouts... Before long I realized that I became hooked. The value that Google offers is too much for me to ignore. I'm all in.
Here's how this applies to your search...
When companies post jobs you can read it like this...We are interested in potentially hiring someone. Very few companies have a true need to hire for many of their roles. They post way more jobs than are mission critical to keep their business afloat. Companies are slower to pull the trigger on filling open jobs these days.
I want you to think about your search as turning want into NEED. If you understand what a company is trying to do and you can show them how to get there in a powerful way then you take that want to critical mass, job offer. The odds are that you can offer Google-like value, a value that redefines a role.
How do you do this? Do a little company research on Crunchbase.com or Hoovers.com. Ask 3 questions.
Who are your top 5 competitors?
Most companies can name two or three strong competitors but not the true field. If they don't know the answer you got 'em. You immediately offer value they need.
What do you offer in your product line that they don't?
I can't tell you how many times I have asked CEO's this question and they gave an answer that was a non answer. I ask every CEO I meet this question. A little opposition research and you can gain intelligence that make you look like you have the answer to drive their business.
What are your top 5 target clients?
If they know the market and they know their competitive advantage but can't penetrate the whales then they either have a product problem, a message problem or a sales process problem. You can fix these then you got a job offer.
These three questions are designed to create the case for why you are the only person for the job. You take the "it would be nice to have" mentality from the employer to "you really know our business and we need to get you on board."
The key to creating job offers for you and you alone is understanding the company, the market and asking the right questions. Smart questions create a swell of value. You can turn any interview into a strategy session...that means you are in control and showing value that will make the competition disappear.
It comes in waves. I work with all kinds of people. For some reason, I tend to attract people that have some similarity in their background. I have never conducted a careful study of this kind of client clustering but it happens almost every month.
Military guys and gals seem to like working with me. Maybe it's because they like to be pushed or maybe it's because I remind them of some hard-ass commander that got the most out of them. This month's cluster is full of Special Ops. guys. Currently, 5 of my clients are former Special Operations vets. I offer strategy..."Sir, yes, sir". I push them to execute..."Sir, yes, sir". I challenge them with counter-intuitive techniques..."Sir, yes, sir". There is little debate, just action. It's pretty nice.
One of the guys I recently worked with is totally nuts, really crazy (he references himself this way). He always asks me for "the good stuff". Translation, my really edgy and challenging strategies. Every time we talked I gave him something crazier. It was like a game. I wanted to know when it would get too crazy. Fortunately, I will never know. He just left my program as the last crazy play yielded the job this special operator really wanted.
Here's what he did...
Momentum had been building, informational interviews turned into a couple of offers but not the right one. We were winning some battles but not the war.
He targeted 4 companies, big ones. After seeing a job he wanted on Linkedin I called to see if it was actually open. This IT Leadership job was at a target company. We believed that this role reported into the COO. I threw out yet another edgy play. I told my client to call the COO. We knew the name of the CEO. My client got the virtual PBX and then got the assistant of the COO on the phone. Bingo.
"I believe I got a call from this number...it may have been related to the VP of IT role. I was just calling to follow up", he said. The assistant said, "please hold". The COO, wondering why he hadn't seen candidates for the job (later we found this out), got on the phone with my client. The COO was impressed with my client's knowledge of the company and their shift into a new channel. My client detailed his unique expertise penetrating new channels with sales and marketing through the IT department. Kaboom!
That 20 minute conversation turned into a flight, a headquarters tour, a couple of rubber stamp meet and greets and an offer within a week.
He wanted the job. He wanted it bad. It was open. He targeted the decision maker, engaged the assistant and was ready to show that he was THE tactical asset the company needed.
Executives sometimes have a challenging relationship with their staffing org. Some leaders believe they don't get the talent they need from their staffing pros. In my career, this was true most often. This COO relished in the fact that he ended up finding the guy, his guy. The war was over? Sir, yes, sir.
It's time...get uncomfy. You only have a few weeks left in the 2016 hiring season to get the job you really want. Some of you are going to get mad as you read this. You're right, I don't know what it's like to be you. But, I know what it's like to land great jobs. Use the discomfort, anger, frustration to fuel your search. Take out the stops and take massive action, today. The biggest strides we make in life are when the only option we have is to take a leap...no safety net, no blocks, just go time!
Professionally speaking, my massive growth has come from excruciating pain from divorce, being laid off, illness... I saw these moments as opportunities. I could have checked out, gotten lethargic and disengaged. At these miserable times I had less fear. I was more open and ready to try anything. So, let me give you something huge to do today so you can get offers in the next few weeks.
The more people that know you, feel a need for you, the better the job and the faster it comes. Let's ignite your network with new decision makers and influencers.
How? Expand your network, today! Get social.
First, Google "business events in your area". Find events in your area but not related to your job title. You want to be the 900 lb. guerrilla in the room. You want to own your space, be the expert in your field. It's hard to be THE sales guru in a room full of sales people. Target industry events, instead. Go to at least 3 events this week and every week. Don't see events or groups of interest? No problem, start your own. Start a Meetup.com Group based on your unique value. When I moved to a new city I started a Meetup Group based on Job Search Success, Getting a Great Gig is Easy. The second person I met in the group told me I needed to meet her friend, a connector. That connection led to the basis of my professional network in town (now 200+ strong). Plus, I used my leadership status with my group to interview people I wanted to know in the community. I interviewed industry leaders for my group and developed relationships that led to job offers...and I wasn't evening looking (the first job offer came in week 2 of the group).
Do this...take that panic and use it grow, pull out the stops and drive employers to you.
Check out more strategies to get a job you really want right now on http://sucklessjobsearch.com
A little help and a lot of love got the word out to 50,000+ job seekers that just wanted their job search to suck a little less
When I left corporate staffing to teach people how to break into companies instead of keeping them out I felt a sense of relief. I wanted to put out some good on the planet. Teaching job seekers how to penetrate the companies they targeted and amplify into larger roles excited me. I tested techniques, developed a custom framework and started rocketing job seekers into orbits they hadn’t dared to dream. The catharsis that came from my new career was decadent. I loved coming to work and I couldn’t wait to come back the next day and do it all over again.
Some people were not in great shape. They wanted to get any job, that’s all. Illness, homelessness, catastrophic life events benched about 15% of the job seekers I spoke with. When they heard how much I charged for my services they told me there was no way they could afford to work with me. No problem, I offered my services pro bono, no strings attached, free of charge.
After 12 years of helping thousands of people land the job they really wanted only 3 people have taken me up on my offer of free help, 3!!! People assumed that if I was going to help for free there was an angle. After all, nobody gives away good stuff for free. In turn, I believe that nobody respects what they get for free but that didn’t deter me from offering free help. One day I had enough. I was speaking with a seasoned marketing executive in Manhattan that had been looking for 20 months! I offered free help but she didn’t trust it. I asked her how I could help her where she felt that the offer was genuine and clean. She asked me if I had a guide, an outline or a book she could just take and work through. Lightbulb, a new general job search book with lots of my best stuff. I bounced the idea off of her and she told me that if the book contained anything at all that could make her job search “suck less” she would be indebted to me.
The Suck Less Job Search book was born. My intention, give this resource to all of those who need help but have a healthy amount of skepticism or are light on resources.
The Suck Less Job Search Book Project aka Job Search Karma was in motion.
1) Pack the book with stuff that anyone can use to drive job offers right now.
2) Get the book out to schools and universities and fund the distribution through Kickstarter.
3) Give the book away to all those that need help leveraging social media and giveaways.
First, I gave 500 copies to schools. Then, I gave 13,000+ copies to my newsletter subscribers and then I blew out 49,000 copies and counting thanks to millions of supporters through Thunderclap. Boom! Now, that feels Karmically Delicious.
Grab a copy on http://sucklessjobsearch.com and give it to a friend...that's good karma.
I am just a guy standing in front of a job seeker asking them to let me help them get hired.