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It’s common to think the holidays are not an ideal time for doing a job search or to land interviews. I hear it all the time… Your head tells you, “No one is hiring.” I am here to tell you that it is not true. This is actually the time we get to have fun with this process!
The holidays present new, fun opportunities to expand your network and leads to pursue. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, here are ways you can make job searching and holiday networking easier for you to land interviews during this season:
(1)Networking is not only about going to events—you can also use the phone!
Every day, commit to calling one friend and one former co-worker, whom you have not spoken to in a while, just to see how they are doing. Then let the conversation gravitate to what you are up to… naturally.
(2) Do your homework before choosing events to attend.
Does it make sense for you to attend the event? If two events present themselves, pick one and do it well. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Research who will be attending to evaluate how it can fulfill your personal or professional goals. Make sure attending serves a purpose for you—even if it is just to have fun.
(3) Show up with an attitude of giving.
When attending events, enter the event thinking, “Who can I help?” versus having the “Ugh, I don’t know anyone!” or “What are they going to think of me?” mindset. You will appear more genuine and less stressed if you want to offer assistance than if you are feeling you have to fit in with the crowd.
(4) Spend time with positive people… not the ‘bah-humbug’ crowd.
It is so important to stay positive during the holidays. I am all for helping people with a pick-me-up. But if you feel someone is just a Debbie Downer who is going to bring you down with him/her, then find someone else to chat with, learn about and help. This is networking not therapy. Help someone who wants your help.
(5) Not feeling confident about talking to people?
If you’re not sure what to say or ask, read “The Fine Art of Small Talk” by Debra Fine. Choose 4-5 questions out of this book to help you get conversations started. Or use it to create some of your own standbys. This will help reduce the awkward silences that can arise. Some of my favs that get things rolling: a. How are you connected to this group? What brings you to the event? b. What kind of day did you have today? c. What do you enjoy most about what you do? What do you find most challenging? d. Plans for the weekend?
(6) Don’t go alone!
Find a friend or colleague to attend the event with you. But make sure you don’t spend the whole event chatting with each other. You can do that anytime. Plan to facilitate introductions for each other as you meet people throughout the event.
(7) Make sure you do not show up late.
It’s easier to start conversations with the early crowd, so get there early whenever possible. It can be a challenge to enter conversations already started if you are late.
(8) Have an eloquent, concise way to describe where you are in life and what you are looking to do in the next phase of your career.
Be prepared to explain that you are looking for a new position and the kind of job you seek, when it is appropriate to share.
(9) Ask questions. Be curious.
Make sure you engage people, and learn about problems/opportunities within your contact’s industry to make mental notes of items to research and explore after the event. This could lead to your next job.
(10) IMPORTANT! Do not ask about job openings at their company.
Instead, ask questions to gain information about the person you are talking to and learn about their company, interests, and passions.
(11) While food is great and all… It’s not the main focus
Networking events are about the people—not the food. (I can’t believe I said that!) Seriously, though, do not spend time with the canapés, no matter how fabulous they may be. You are there to expand your network and increase your opportunities—focus people!
(12) Give 100% of your attention to the person you are speaking with—don’t let your eyes wander.
People can sense if you are looking for someone more interesting to talk to—so even if that is happening to you, you must be polite to your immediate audience. Excuse yourself gracefully, if need be. Always treat everyone with respect and attention.
(13) Effective follow is just as important as attending the event itself!
If you enjoyed meeting someone, make sure you email them afterwards, saying so. Or, you could even call them asking to meet for coffee over the next few weeks. This is how relationships start.
(14) Don’t stress yourself out—Keep your purpose in perspective.
You are there to meet people and make connections. You will not find a job at the event, so relax. You would not ask someone to marry you on the first date nor would you want to be asked.
Well, networking opportunities are not even the first date! So set realistic, attainable goals in performing networking activities and you will feel less pressure throughout the season.
These tips should help make this holiday season the one to help you land interviews and bring you the opportunities you are looking for. Make sure to have fun. Do it right. And above all else, present the BEST YOU so potential employers can see exactly why you are perfect for them.
And, because you’ll be making great connections utilizing the above tips, you’re going to want to make sure your resume is up-to-date and optimized using modern tactics that’ll turn the heads of recruiters and hiring managers. You’re invited to join us for our upcoming No-Cost “How to Design a Powerful Resume to Land Six-Figure Interviews and Get the Offer!“ masterclass training on Tues. Dec. 11th or Thurs. Dec. 13th at 1:30 p.m. ET. Gain an upper hand against the competition for the jobs you’re targeting and make sure you’re ready for the busy January hiring season by crafting an impressive piece of marketing collateral that will get you noticed & land interviews!
If you’ve ever found yourself in the throes of a salary negotiation, you’ve probably heard this dreaded question…
“Will you take a pay cut?”
Depending on the scenario, there are a few tactics you can try:
1. Avoid tying your (potential) acceptance of a pay cut to your expenses (you can’t predict what your expenses will be like in the future, and it would be foolish to make a decision from that perspective).
Instead, tie it to the market rate for the job, and explain that you’re looking to be paid fairly as to what the role is paying. Take the time do your research, and root your demands in what you find.
2. Shift the conversation to the expertise your potential employer will be receiving for your requested salary (again, base your salary on research you’ve done for similar positions).
Try to avoid “it will be less stressful for me” conversations since it can subliminally convey to an employer you won’t take their job as seriously as they want you to (after all, they may be really stressed out and will resent your lack of stress).
3. Like it or not, NOT disclosing what you used to make isn’t 100% effective. HR people tend to know what your prior position(s) paid, and can deduce whether or not you’re taking a pay cut.
Instead, focus on explaining that the job appeals to you, as well as let your skills, accomplishments, and appropriate salary demands be rooted in how you will benefit your prospective employer. It’s not about you… it’s about THEM.
4. Do not assume your boss knows what you have accomplished. Keep a log of all of your successes and wins, no matter how big or small. This will allow you to make a significant case demonstrating your value to the company, justifying the firm’s investment in you in the form of a pay raise.
5. Look at other options besides money. If money is tight, regardless of your performance, consider other forms of compensation to be flexible with your employer, while still allowing them to reward your contributions.
6. Invest in yourself and your professional development. When was the last time you furthered your professional education? Attended an industry event? Companies want to invest in people who invest in themselves—again, demonstrating an ROI on monies the firm gives you in the form of a salary increase.
7. Be realistic and be grateful. No one wants to give a raise to someone who is asking for a 65% raise or feels entitled to getting a raise. Those types of employees will never be happy, so companies do not invest their precious dollars with these people—don’t be one of these people. Stick to a 5-10% range and have your documentation ready. Whether you get what you want or now, be gracious, thank them for their time and consideration and be grateful for what you have. Set your plans to make the following year the best ever.
An important thing to remember, no matter the scenario you’re faced with, is to always, always, always focus the conversation on what will benefit your employer/would-be employer, rather than speaking to what benefits you.
How to answer the dreaded “will you take a pay cut?” question is only ONE of the powerful salary negotiation tactics I teach inside my FAT STACKS eBook, where I show you how to negotiate a top dollar salary and compensation package.
For a minimal investment of $27, you can maximize your increase by hundreds or even thousands… this mighty little eBook is your best friend at the negotiation table.
Do any of the following questions resonate with you?
Have you been drifting between jobs for one, two, three or more months?
Are you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged by how much time and effort your job search is taking?
Do you wake up unclear on how you spend your time most efficiently?
Been there, done that.
Are you burned out from doing all the things you know you’re supposed to be doing… such as attending networking events, writing emails, applying to jobs, and building your online brand, but getting a big fat goose egg in return?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, here are 7 steps that—if you follow them—all but guarantee interview closing success.
Here’s the rundown:
STEP ONE – Review and Optimize
A thorough review of your recent job search activities, your resume, LinkedIn profile, and target job descriptions are required in order for your current (or next) job search to be successful. Without knowing where you are today, how do you expect to get where you want to go?
STEP TWO – Strengths and Gaps Analysis
There’s nothing worse than being caught off-guard with questions you aren’t prepared to answer. And if there’s one thing you can be sure of in an interview, it’s that you’re going to be quizzed on your strengths and weaknesses. Come prepared, or prepare to be passed over.
STEP THREE – Develop Your Story
The story of your career is the “proof” to back up your professionally written documents. Without a dynamic, engaging story to tell…you’ve got no proof!
STEP FOUR – Interview Question Prep
With topics ranging from conflict resolution to management style to interpersonal style to leadership, project management, delegation, diplomacy, cross functional expertise, and the list goes on… Do you REALLY believe you’re prepared to answer all of the potential common and not-so-common interview questions?
STEP FIVE – Compensation Negotiation
Your compensation negotiation is where things go wonderfully right, or terribly, horribly wrong if you’re not prepared.
STEP SIX – Exit Strategy
If you have an exit strategy planned out, you know exactly when and how to follow up. No more guesswork or time wasted twiddling your thumbs.
STEP SEVEN – The Follow-Up
Your interview doesn’t end when you leave the room. Until the job is filled (ideally by you), you’re still interviewing. To keep your interview relevant and top of mind, having sound follow up techniques to implement are a job search requirement.
I know this might sound like a lot to absorb and learn, but knowing (and applying) these seven steps will make the difference between stumbling through your next interview… and accepting an offer.
And, I’ve got a way to make the learning and implementing of these seven steps much easier, and dangerously effective.
Our Interview Mastery System—along with our team of coaches—will grab you by the hand and take you through each of the seven steps above.
No guesswork, no wasted time, no fooling… just interview closing success.
Yes, there IS an investment… but it’s a small price to pay for gaining the tools and knowledge to shut down your job search in a matter of weeks… rather than months.
If you’re ready to level up your job search skills, here’s your next step:
I recently stumbled upon a Wall Street Journal article tackling the question of what new (and old) hires should do if they realize that their current position isn’t a good fit for them.
As it turns out, a new job–even with a posh title and lavish pay–can fall short of your expectations.
This has grown into a persistent problem for job-hopping executives, exacerbated by today’s hot job market. Many companies will knowingly woo “stars” with pledges of powerful positions and fat salaries that don’t match reality.
You might have already experienced this yourself.
In the article, Dan Smith (Chief Operating Officer of Raines Inc,. an executive-recruitment firm) was quoted as saying:
“I see employers trying to win people over by exaggerating a job’s importance or not disclosing its challenges.”
Executives disappointed by a previous gig have often failed to dig deep into their new employer. Then their expectations for intangibles such as their scope of authority, staffing levels, and the business’s financial health are dashed and trashed.
You have two choices if you find yourself in such a situation:
You can adapt to the reality of your role, and throw away your old expectations.
You can flee, and continue your search for a job that doesn’t withhold important details until you’re hired, puff up their promises, or pull the rug of authority out from under your feet.
Chances are, option number one is going to land you right in a big ‘ol pile of misery.
Option number two, while not an easy decision to make–especially if you’ve just been hired–is your only option if you want a job that meets your terms and expectations.
So, adapt or flee? What’ll it be?
If you’re “happy” to adapt, I suggest you reserve your seat for our upcoming FREE Webinar training, “How To Create A LinkedIn Profile to Lands Six-Figure Job Interviews Faster” on Tues. 10/23 or Thurs. 10/25 at 1:30 p.m. ET, so that when enough is enough… you’ve got the knowledge, resume, and LinkedIn profile you need to spend as little time in the job search market as possible.
You may think the reason you aren’t being interviewed or hired is because you’re not the right fit, wrong time, wrong place, or any other number of excuses.
But have you considered the idea that it may be YOU who isn’t letting yourself be hired?
It’s shocking how many people are the ones sabotaging their own job hunt… often without realizing it.
At the crux of the problem, it comes down to your mindset.
If your mindset is broken, so are your hopes of landing your ideal job.
You can send out all the resumes you want, but if you don’t believe your prospecting efforts will work they won’t.
If you let fear rule you, chances are you won’t step out of your comfort zone to do the networking and prospecting you need to do to gain employment.
And if you’re unwilling to take even a small risk you absolutely won’t get to experience the reward.
I know this may sound like some Law of Attraction fantasy or woo-woo beliefs… but over my 13 years of recruiting experience, a decade of running Chameleon Resumes, and helping over 50,000 people find their ideal six-figure jobs… I’ve seen these insidious mindset issues rear their head time and time again.
I’ve learned that oftentimes this fear is rooted in NOT knowing how to navigate the job search market.
To be fair, there are a lot of moving pieces with much to consider. I know how overwhelming it can be—which is why I’ve put together a proven, easy-to-follow resource to help you land your ideal job.
If you want to put an end to your job search AND land the position or career you’ve been dreaming of, pick up your copy of my proven job landing eManual, 7 Job Landing Steps To Find Your Ideal Job from the link below:
P.S. Good news if you’re looking for a new position, feel “stuck,” and cash is tight… I’ve dropped the price of the 7 Job Landing Steps To Find Your Ideal Job eManual from $147 to $77. For a comprehensive job landing blueprint, get your copy here: