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Kevin Fitzgerald is an accomplished marketing executive who is Director of Marketing & Digital Strategy for Home Help Network, serves as adj. Professor of Marketing for Charter Oak State College and is the author of the Find 'em, Sell 'em, Keep 'em marketing-strategy book series.
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Note: Kevin’s Blog and opinions do not reflect those of Home Help Network, Charter Oak State College or anyone besides himself.

Einstein JobSearchingtm
Blog Archive

Turn On, Link In, Drop Out

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help you find open roles. But their InMail service is really excellent at getting yourself noticed after you have applied for a role. Once you've applied for the position on LinkedIn (or really any job board), go back to LinkedIn and search the company's People section to find who the role might report to. Sometimes you might find several possibilities or maybe the hiring manager's boss. Next, use the LinkedIn InMail process to contact them directly and let them know how interested you are in the role, as well as outlining your skills/experience. This will typically cost you an InMail credit if they are not in your network, but that is a worthy gamble to land a new job. Now your name will stand out to the hiring manager (or if you didn't reach the correct person, sometimes that employee will forward your message to the hiring manager themselves). The more you can stand out from the crowd of resumes, the more likely you'll land an interview and be able to "drop out" of the job hunt.

All the News That Fits

Once you schedule an interview with a company, you need to research that firm to make sure you know everything about them. Usually their first few questions are "What do you know about us?" and "Why do you want to work here?". You'll want to have memorable answers for each question. You can find a lot of information about a company on LinkedIn and on the company's "About Us" section on their website. But another great source is their "Press Center". You can read through their latest news and press releases. Try to find a recent publication that matches your background or experience. Look for a piece of news you can talk about, or something you might have in common with the company. This will give you something to talk about and ask questions about in the interview and it will teach you about the company at the same time.

Do you want to own a Black Hole?

In today’s economy, more and more companies are turning to recruiters to fill their vacancies. Hiring Managers have found themselves overwhelmed by the flood of job seekers, and can no longer use job boards to find candidates themselves. They are outsourcing the whole hiring project to recruiting firms, who manage every step of the hiring process. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by remembering these two rules:

  1. If you see a job you like at a company, do NOT apply directly to that company’s website. Company websites are known as BLACK HOLES because when you send a resume, you never hear anything again. The website sucked your resume away because the firm is too busy to respond. You'll need to turn to a recruiter to help you get an interview with that firm. BUT… if you did send your resume directly to the company prior, a recruiter can no longer represent you to that firm. Since you already sent your resume, a recruiter can't send your resume to that firm again. So now you are out of luck. You have cut yourself off from working with that company. You own a Black Hole. This is not a position you want to be in.
  2. Beware of becoming a commodity. Now is not the time to play a numbers game. You don’t want to be a commodity to a recruiter. Recruiters like to work with unique talent and provide companies with exceptional candidates who are not widely available. If you post your resume on many job boards, you are no longer unique – you become a commodity. Your resume and experience are available to anyone who looks for it, which means you are no longer special. Like the Prom Queen who is never asked on a date, you will be passed over in favor of more exclusive talent (even if you have an exceptional resume). So instead of posting your resume on every job boards, keep your talent and experience exclusive and work directly with just one or two recruiters.

By understanding the hiring process from a recruiter standpoint, you can position yourself to take advantage of all open roles. Working with a recruiter is one of the smartest decisions you can make – especially in this economy. The recruiter is the best way into your dream job and into the firms who are currently hiring, so do your best to help a recruiter help you. The perfect job is out there, you just need to be smart about how you approach the opportunity and how you position yourself in the market place. 

Job Search, Network and Pay Your Mortgage – All at the Same Time!
What do you do when your job hunt is taking longer than you expected? Your job search is dragging, you’ve maxed out your networking contacts and your bank account is dwindling. This means it is time for the tried-and-true plan of CONSULTING which will help your job search, while provide enough income to pay your bills. Another great unsung benefit of Consulting is it allows you to meet a whole new group of contacts, expanding your networking. And, of course, Consultant roles can occasionally turn into permanent ones – ending your job search like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Consulting also allows you to put something on your resume, to show your skill set is valuable and sought after, and it give you something to talk about during an interview – instead of just having a gap of missing chronology.

The biggest challenge to Consulting is where to find the Consulting jobs! The answer is knowing that Consulting jobs are now called something different – they are called TEMP jobs. Temp roles, temporary positions and interim assignments are all the new names of Consulting. Any recruiter can help you find temp roles in your field. You can look on job boards to see which recruiting firms are currently looking for temps, and contact them directly as well. If you already work with a recruiter, call them as ask what temp assignments they currently have (let them know you are still interested in a permanent assignment, but you want to explore the temp market as well).

In many instances, a temp role will be considered temp-to-perm, meaning they will hire you full time (thus ending your job search) if you are good. Temp jobs are very popular now, because they allow companies to increase their employees, but it keeps the budgets down because they don’t have to pay benefits (typically, the benefits are paid for by the recruiting firm) or list them as full time employees on their P&L sheets. If you impress the company, you’ll be first-in-line once their budgets open up again. You’ll also make lots of new contacts at the firm you temp for – expanding your professional network. And the best part is you’ll be compensated for it! It is like being paid to continue your job search!

Job Searching in the ‘Net
The Internet is the most powerful job searching medium ever created. You can reach countless company’s hiring and, just as important, they can reach you. If you are to conduct a successful job search, you must capitalize on the Internet and utilize its unique benefits to find the best roles. There are two ways to acquire a job on the Internet: 1) you finding a new role; 2) a hiring manager finding you

The proactive method of job searching is to go out and find a new role. This is called being an “active” job seeker. There are many ways of tracking down jobs on the internet. Job Boards are the most obvious to find job openings, but in today’s market they are also the most saturated by job seekers. Contacting a company directly is another way to uncover positions, both those listed on the company job website or contacting a specific department to see if they have any “hidden” job opportunities that have not been made public yet. Contacting recruiting firms is always a great idea; especially in today’s market when companies are finding themselves overloaded with job seekers and are outsourcing the whole hiring process. Networking is another way of finding new job opportunities that are available, but not widely publicized.

A stealthier and sometimes more successful way of job hunting is by having a hiring manager find you. This is called being a “passive” job seeker. The old method of passive seekers was to post your resume on a big job board’s resume database. But with all the job seekers on the market, in today’s economy, your resume becomes lost among the masses. And worse, it’s also open to SPAM and other negative elements which can access your email, phone and other confidential information. But membership sites such as Netshare, LinkedIn and TheLadders are becoming much more relevant for job seekers. Hiring Managers are turning to these sources to target passive candidates. Because Netshare and TheLadders are membership sites you must pay to access, you have qualified yourself a serious candidate just by joining them. That puts you into a respected level far above the big job boards. A LinkedIn account is also impressive to a Hiring Manager because it shows you have embraced Social Media, which gives you a technological edge in today’s marketplace.

So take advantage of all the internet has to offer and make sure you use all the technology available, both to find new jobs on the internet and to make sure Hiring Managers can find you!

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Everyone knows that in a job search you MUST have a business card with your contact information printed on it. In today’s economy, networking is the name of the game. When you meet friends-of-friends or attend a networking meeting, you’ll want to give them some way to contact you in the future. This gives you credibility and shows you are proactive and responsible. Writing your name on a scrap of paper is just asking for it to be lost – and using an old business card from a company you no longer work for is even more unprofessional.

You want to stand out from the crowd in every thing you do - EINSTEIN JobSearching. What better way to do it than with a business card that also stands out from the rest? Instead of just printing a business card (or networking card, as I like to call them), print a double-sized card! This card will stand out from others and give you much more room to list your experience and accomplishments. The whole inside of the card can be a mini-resume or list what your USP (unique selling proposition) is. What you have accomplished and what you can do for your next employer can be easily displayed. Your business card becomes a conversation piece as well, so you are sure to stand out in that contact’s mind.

A typical business card is 3.5” x 2” but this double-sized card is frequently called a “Folded Business Card” will be 3.5” x 4” when unfolded. To save some money, you don’t have to print in 4-color. The inside can just be black, if it’s only going to list text. This way, you'll always have a card close at hand if you find a potential contact - and you'll stand out in their mind, giving you more assistance in the future.

How to Find 'em, Sell 'em and Keep 'em in a Job Search
Successful marketing falls into three overarching categories: Acquisition (find 'em), Conversion (sell 'em) and Retention (keep 'em). The Acquisition stage is where you target job leads and possible job openings. They are not at the interview stage yet, just job leads (perhaps only a name and phone number or e-mail address) that you have to cultivate, speak with, and sell yourself to. This type of job prospecting is probably what you are most familiar with. This is the "find 'em" stage, because we are tracking down and finding new potential jobs.

The Conversion, or "sell 'em," stage covers the actual interview. This is where you go on the interview and they want to hire you. The whole process of interviewing can be improved by creative marketing techniques and Smart JobSearching during this stage.

The final stage is Retention. You want to "keep 'em" until you accept a job offer. You want to keep all your potential employers happy ensuring they will continue to work with you, until YOU are ready to make a move and accept an offer. Even if you turn them down, it's important to keep an ongoing relationship with them in case you ever need them in the future. Additional jobs or potential new business at your new firm, are some additional benefits behind the Retention stage.

By combining these three stages, you can create a powerful marketing strategy that will allow you to maximize your job search efforts. In the weeks to come, we'll be discussing specific strategies, tactics and campaigns that will help you land any job.

"Find 'em, Sell 'em, Keep 'em is also name of my marketing-strategy series.

What is Einstein JobSearchingtm?
Marketing is the driving force behind business growth and Einstein JobSearching is how you will utilize this strategy to land the perfect position. Marketing is the one element you can count on to improve your job search time and time again. Marketing is not just a department, such as accounting or human resources, but the fundamental cornerstone of business development and your job search strategy. When most people think of marketing, advertising usually comes to mind - but marketing is much more encompassing than that. Marketing is a philosophy that will allow you to influence those around you. Marketing is what you need to adapt if you are to succeed.

Smart Marketing - "Einstein Marketing" - is what you want to explore during your job search. Einstein JobSearching is how you'll use every marketing technique available to land the best possible job for your situation. You want to be in control of your job search, with multiple offers and many contacts with new job leads. Once you consider a job search just like a marketing campaign, you will be in control of your job search. It is the Einstein JobSearching that will set you apart from all the other job searchers and ensure you land the perfect job for to maximize your career.

  Copyright © 2012 • Kevin W Fitzgerald