Table of Contents
9 steps to getting organized for an effective job campaign
Identifying What is Important to Us
What New Graduates need to know about approaching the job market
Your Accomplishment Stories
Difficult Interview Questions
Keeping going: Morale
Managing Job Ads
Other Campaign Topics
9 steps to getting organized for an effective job campaign
1- How can I get confidence to sell myself in the marketplace when I feel unfocused and unproductive? (TPOY054)
A job campaign has so many moving parts that it is easy to get lost in the process and end up feeling like we are engaged in random activity.
In this microcast we take a step back to put our efforts in perspective so we can reach a successful result more quickly and efficiently. We do this on three levels:
(a) the approach we take,
(b) the actions we pursue and
(c) the way we organize ourselves.
On all three levels this means taking an active, not a passive approach to the job market. We are in charge. We need to present ourselves to the marketplace, impressing our listeners, rather than hoping someone will take mercy on us in our helplessness.
2- I need to know more before I can put myself out there in the job market. How can I do this without feeling foolish? (TPOY056)
It is tempting to think that a job campaign is like a lot of other things we deal with in the 21st Century: Do the necessary work up front, push a button and your result appears. A 19th Century analogy involving investment up front and then much learning by trial and error is a closer analogy. This microcast looks at the job market as a place we explore, as opposed to a place we look for something and then, act. Seeing it this way can make our career efforts less tedious and much more productive.
We hear a lot about selling ourselves when it comes to the job market. This can be a daunting prospect, but with some up front work, can be very manageable. This microcast shows us how to get a much better grasp of the product that we are before we go out and try to sell it.
4- How do I find the information I need to successfully interview and at the same time appear ready to do the job? (TPOY042)
In our role as candidates we are focused on providing answers to the interviewer’s questions. Without experience we need to do learn those answers. After a certain point that leads to having to ask someone. And yet, in asking we are showing our ignorance. This microcast clarifies how we wear two hats in our job campaign and manage the roles of being the person answering the questions in one case and asking the questions in the other.
5- I sometimes feel I am getting in my own way with my negative thoughts – what can I do to overcome this? (TPOY060)
Whenever we are in a new or unfamiliar situation, like being out of a job, we tend to doubt ourselves and pay more attention to our fears than when we feel secure and in familiar territory. The bad news is that, in this state we naturally have more negative thoughts. The good news is that a shift in attitude can move us out of negativity relatively painlessly. [Acting in the face of fear]
6- My job campaign takes me in a million directions; what suggestions do you have for keeping myself organized? (TPOY017)
With building our network, thanking people we have spoken to, responding to ads, keeping track of our mail campaigns, researching organizations we are interviewing with, keeping track of versions of our resume, developing pitches or intros for different situations, exploring new career ideas and new companies to look into, revisiting our priorities, looking into long and short term options, informing our fans of progress, following industry news and trends and somehow finding time for the rest of our life, we need all the help we can get to be efficient in our job campaign time. This week’s microcast gives a suggestion of how to do that. [A/B/C]
7- Can you give me some ideas how I can keep up my morale while I am working towards my next job? (TPOY047)
A job campaign commits us to change and often exposes us to all kinds of negative feedback, not least from ourselves! These things can undermine our efforts.
This microcast suggests some ways we can support ourselves so we can achieve our desired result more quickly and with less pain. [Mental, Emotional, Physical/Spiritual/Routine]
8- I am frustrated by my progress even though I am pursuing a variety of job options. What can I do to improve my results? (TPOY062)
Being open to a variety of job options opens up possibilities in the job market. At the same time, it turns out that being persuasive about our ability to do a job requires more than a cursory understanding of a job to be competitive. To engage in the marketplace, it pays to delve deep into one of our targets. Going into depth fairly early gives us practice in deepening our brand and selling ourselves.
9- Can you make any recommendations how I can organize my time to make my career campaign more productive? (TPOY064)
In a job there tends to be a focus on what we do. This is rarely true in a job campaign where unfamiliar and last-minute tasks arise regularly.
Other than our overall goal of landing a job, our priorities in our job campaign are often in flux. This Power of You microcast explores some ways to organize a campaign so that we can manage unanticipated opportunities while ensuring ongoing efforts get the attention they need.
Identifying What is Important to Us
Many of us feel the urge to move on from our current job and don’t get very far because we don’t know what else we could do. This microcast identifies some ways to look at what we have done to get new ideas for ourselves. [Getting ideas from our experience: skills, abilities & expertise]
When we are used to just “doing” our job it is sometimes easy to lose track of what is important to us and what we do well. This microcast goes into some functions and skills so that we can better articulate what is important to us.
Can you share some examples of Values and Preferences to help me think about what I like about my work beyond what I do? (TPOY039)
Work is a place where we spend a significant part of our waking hours. While many things about work are given, there are aspects of the culture, the environment and other intangibles that could be as important as what we do, and, over which we have some say. This microcast allows us to review a number of job characteristics and identify their importance to us.
What New Graduates need to know about approaching the job market
1- I am just graduating from school and am overwhelmed by the job market. What should I do? (TPOY031)
The job market is overwhelming for everyone, especially when coming from the academic world and entering the wider working world with its different culture, rhythm and requirements. This microcast lays out a few key truths about the job market to make approaching that world somewhat easier.
2- I have just graduated and have no experience in any industry I want to work in – How do I compete without any relevant work experience ? (TPOY032)
Some students have the good fortune to get an internship in their industry of choice and many do not. Yet employers only seem to be looking for candidates with experience. How do we cross that gap? This microcast addresses how to show that what we offer is relevant.
3- As a recent grad I feel I have to take any job to get started. Is that right? What if I hate it? (TPOY034)
Being new to the workforce, we may feel powerless and that what we want is the last thing on an employer’s mind. It seems like employers advertise for the skills, abilities and expertise they need and that is it. It turns out, though, that when asked what is most important quality in a candidate, the head recruiter for Goldman Sachs said, “Enthusiasm”.
What this means, is that if we can show the interest or excitement we bring to a job, we can be selected over the candidate with greater experience. This microcast explores how our desire to do the job matters and how to develop it.
4- Being newly graduated and without experience, how can I convince anyone I would be a good employee? (TPOY036)
It sometimes seems like only an act of kindness can get us a job in the “real” world. Why would anyone take a chance on us unless they know us? What we have achieved in the academic world seems largely irrelevant. We tend to rely on people who know us or the reputation of our school, or the ability implied by our grades or some combination of outside interests or previous jobs or internships to get us hired.
Yet, we have another potentially very effective means at our disposal: telling people the stories of how we achieved the successes in any context. This microcast explores what makes those stories relevant and how to deliver them.
5- I’m a recent grad. If I don’t get a job through my internship, do I have any good alternatives to answering ads and networking to land a job? (TPOY038)
Everyone wants an internship not just for the experience, but because if things work out, then we are not required to look at all those ads and reach out to all those people. While we hope that our internship turns into fulltime employment, in case it doesn’t, this microcast will outline some other ways to get interviews.
6- How I am supposed to convince someone I would be good for something when I don’t know the first thing about much beyond my major? (TPOY040)
As new participants in the job market, we lack experience. Even after an internship we don’t know enough about most jobs to be convincing about why we would be good for them, or whether we would like them.
This microcast looks at what we can learn so we can make better choices, and present ourselves better as candidates.
7- How do I find the information I need to successfully interview and at the same time appear ready to do the job? (TPOY042)
8- Being a student, I have run out of people to reach out to – How am I supposed to get a job or find out what I need to know? (TPOY044)
It is common to identify a few people who we can bring ourselves to talk to, to talk to them and when that does not lead to a job, to feel stuck, feeling like we have nowhere to turn and are left looking at ads and throwing ourselves on the mercy of anyone who might have a job, any job. This microcast shows how to turn our contacts into repeat sources so we do not kill off that resource.
9- I am doing everything I can to study and enjoy my last year in college – How do I manage a job campaign while I am doing all that? (TPOY046)
To make the best use of our scarce career time it is worth taking a closer look at the process of getting a job. Breaking what we need to do into its basic components allows us to have a better perspective on what we are doing so we can be most productive in the time allocated. This microcast focuses on knowing the components of our job campaign so we can do a better job executing it. [Message/Audience/Strategy]
10- Being new in the job market, I don’t know enough to land a job on my own. Who can help me? (TPOY048)
Classes may have us to working in teams or we may have friends we study with, yet in the end, the grade we receive is ours. In the same way, just because the job we get is ours alone, getting to it is best done with the support of others and not on our own. This microcast reviews the components of a job campaign and how to get the support we need to take the rough edges off the process. [Campaign components & our network]
Although many job seekers wish it were not so, statistics reinforce that networking is the most common way to land a job. What is not as well understood is what networking is. There are many types of networking which are ineffective or counterproductive and these give networking a bad name. There are basically three types of networking that have been proved effective and which you want to have in your job seeking toolkit. They are outlined in this episode.
I am letting my network know that I am available for any & all types of work. What else can I do? (TPOY007)
When we have many capabilities and are not sure where they might be in demand, it seems prudent to advertise our versatility and our flexibility. It turns out that this strategy can cause unintended consequences. This microcast covers ways to adapt the strategy using approaches that have been effective for others.
I have very little idea who I should be meeting with or what to ask them. Can you help me get started? (TPOY051)
Meeting with people is key to most job campaigns. This microcast covers how to make the most of our contacts and how to manage our network.
We tend to think of our network as the people we know professionally and assume that building our network involves cold calls to people we do not know or becoming some kind of super salesperson. In fact, networking does not need to involve total strangers at all, as this microcast lays out.
There are many questions we can ask our contacts. While we will ask no two contacts the same questions, it is useful to have some basic questions to stimulate our curiosity. The questions in this microcast are designed to remind us of questions we may have forgotten we had.
As an expert in my industry, what questions can I have for my network besides ‘Do you know anybody with a job’? (TPOY070)
Those familiar with The Power of You will know that learning more and more about the positions, industries and organizations we are interested in is the most effective way to engage our network. For those of us sticking with a well honed expertise, the questions we want to ask are slightly different. This microcast looks at questions the expert will ask, in more detail.
It is easy to think that networking events are about becoming a guy who strides up to people, thrusts a business card into their hand while introducing themselves and delivering a hearty “Pleased to meecha!” before turning to their next victim. This is not what we have to do. The key to effective networking is our relationships and that just isn’t the way to develop productive relationships. There is no need to have a personality transplant to make these events a success.
While we may choose never to attend a networking event, this microcast reviews which ones to choose, how to prepare for them and have them serve our interests.
How can I appropriately leverage non-work social media and social settings for help with my career? (TPOY063)
We may choose to keep our personal life personal and not mix business with pleasure. It does not have to be that way. Many of the people we know socially would be glad to assist us professionally, if they could and, if they are approached in the right way. This Power of You microcast covers some ideas for appropriately leveraging social contacts professionally.
Meeting with people is key to most career campaigns. This microcast covers the basic components of the meeting so that we can get the most out of the conversation.
‘What is a resume?’ seems like an odd question to ask. Everyone knows what a resume is. ‘It’s that annoying document without which we cannot talk to anyone about a job.’ I hope to this microcast gives you a more nuanced understanding by distinguishing the two main purposes of a resume.
Surveys tell us that resumes get a first look of only ten seconds. What if we can re-think the top of the resume so a reader will give it more time? This microcast shows how introducing a Title and Key Accomplishments section can do that.
A hiring manager, when considering our resume is looking for how we can add value. The best way to convey our value is to use the bullets of our resume to give examples of our accomplishments. The best examples illustrate WHAT we did and HOW we did it.
Because of its centrality to our job campaigns and as our only means of communication with some audiences we need to reach, a resume can be overwhelming to approach. This microcast lays out a step by step approach to developing a powerful resume.
Age prejudice can be a problem. Many clients somewhere over 40 ask how they can obscure their age when in the job market. It is sometimes helpful to downplay our age and sometimes not. This microcast covers age considerations and some simple things to do to deflect attention from age if it could be a problem.
Your Accomplishment Stories
It can feel very uncomfortable to talk about how we have contributed at work. It feels conceited and seems to force us to be a person we do want to be. The fact is, there is not just one way to communicate our experience. This microcast explores three basic forms our communication can take: (1) Make a claim, (2) Share results, and (3) Tell a story.
When people ask me what I have done, I draw a blank. What can I do to remember more of my accomplishments? (TPOY006)
Often when we try to remember our successes we cannot recall anything. In this microcast we explore how to recall those long forgotten accomplishments.
Bragging is seldom effective. It is better to relate the facts, that is, to tell a story. Stories are our most effective way of conveying our value to our listeners, be they our contacts or interviewers. This microcast reviews the 5 basic steps a story must contain so it can effectively convey how we work.
This microcast shows three ways to convey value: claims, results and stories. Listening to all three helps us to understand what we get from each and why stories are the most valuable.
As much as stories are part of our daily life, we can lack the understanding or confidence of how to tell a good story in a work context. This microcast illustrates techniques and flourishes to bring our stories alive and further draw in our listeners.
This microcast is the first in a series of samples that provide some ideas for the components of a good story. This story is a little over two minutes and 300 words.
Everyone knows they need an elevator pitch or a two-minute pitch in the job market. The problem is that this is taken to mean a hardboiled sales pitch. In fact most people do not want to hear that any more than most people want to deliver it. This Power of You microcast shows another way.
When we try to sit down and come up with the way we introduce ourselves (often called a “pitch” or “intro”) we find ourselves going around in circles. The reason we get overwhelmed is because in practice there is not one way to introduce ourselves. Depending on the person and the circumstances, we need to highlight different things in what we say. This microcast shows how to streamline the process and come up with the intro you need.
I have a really important interview coming up. What can I do to prepare beyond looking at their website? (TPOY011)
Everyone knows that research is important before an interview. We need a good sense of what the organization and the area we are interviewing for do. This microcast covers a simple 3-step preparation strategy that provides a strong foundation for a solid interview performance.
There are a number of things we can do to improve our performance in interviews. This microcast spotlights our attitude. The key is extending our focus beyond on our ability to do the job, to our enthusiasm for the job.
To the busy and single-minded, small talk may seem like an unaffordable luxury. In fact it is a necessity that you cannot do without. Here are the basics of what you need to know.
When we prepare for an interview it can feel a lot like cramming for finals. In a final exam we have to have the right answers to pass. As important as preparing answers is for an interview, it is not the only thing we need to focus on.
We also need to find out about the job we are interviewing for and determine if it is one we want. This microcast focuses on questions we can ask in an interview.
Interviews are the gateway to any job and so it is a good idea to know how we are being seen by our interviewers and what’s going on with the process generally. This Power of You microcast looks at how to get an idea of how we are doing.
I can imagine some objections to my candidacy; how do I tell which, if any of these I need to worry about? (TPOY067)
At various times in the interview process, we may suspect, that we are being viewed as a flawed candidate. This Power of You microcast addresses how to approach this sensitive topic.
Difficult Interview Questions
We sometimes imagine interviews as a meeting where we are trying to be oh-so-perfect and the interviewer is trying to outwit us by asking difficult questions they learned in classes in advanced cruelty. While I cannot vouch for all interviewers, this microcast presents some ways to make difficult questions easier to address.
The ‘greatest weakness’ question is one that job candidates fear the most and yet it is the favorite of many interviewers. There are a number of approaches we can take to this question which are covered in this microcast.
Many people fear Behavioral Interviews (these are where the interviewer asks you what you would do in specific situations). This microcast will show you why you should hope for these behavioral questions.
It is a good idea to remain positive about bosses, colleagues, clients, and most any aspect of work. Yet many of the examples of our abilities and character that we would want to share involve dealing with bosses and others who were not so positive. We rightly want to show these off, as the strengths that they are. This microcast illustrates how to present the negative in an interview.
Interviewers are always asking me what is the best or worst or most important this or that – What is my best strategy to answer these kinds of questions? (TPOY055)
Many interview questions can take the form of what is the Best? What is the Worst? Or the Most, or the Least. Don’t fall for it. This microcast describes how to answer the question, and change the game a little to lower the stress and show you can handle difficult situations.
In a continuing series on Difficult Interview Questions, this Power of You microcast addresses how to answer future oriented questions like what we will be doing in five years.
As with many difficult questions, the main point of asking a nonsense question is to see how we handle the unexpected. While nonsense questions may seem impossible to anticipate and have no set answer, this Power of You microcast reviews some ideas for ways to prepare nonetheless.
While many interviewers may ask difficult questions as part of the interview game, some interviewers will ask illegal or inappropriate questions which we may not wish to answer. This microcast outlines strategies and gives examples of ways to handle these questions.
Keeping going: Morale
When we are first laid off, it can be overwhelming. Our income is going or gone. And we face the prospect of going through a painful, barely understood process to get a job.
This Power of You microcast sorts through the many things that are happening when we find ourselves out on the street and offers some ways of dealing with the crisis in a productive and positive way.
How can I keep up my morale when my job campaign is so discouraging and seems never-ending? (TPOY016)
There are many reasons why seeking work feels so hopeless. Besides our increasing insecurity due to the lack of a paycheck, we have lower self-esteem since we are no longer contributing in the way that work allows. Add to that, entering into a process where rejections are the norm, and we might have good reason to be discouraged. This microcast offers approaches and changes in point of view that can moderate some of that unpleasantness and let us find some more acceptable ways to be in the job market.
Can you give me some ideas how I can keep up my morale while I am working towards my next job? (TPOY047)
I sometimes feel I am getting in my own way with my negative thoughts – what can I do to overcome this? (TPOY060)
Managing Job Ads
You may have heard that less than a quarter of people get their jobs through ads or job listings. You may wonder why the number is so small.
In this microcast we look at ads from the point of view of the person placing them. In looking at why they are placed in the first place, we can adjust our strategy for the greatest return on our time invested.
Job ads and listings are the most visible feature of the job market and yet surveys tell us that about 25% of new hires get their jobs through ads. Our goal then might be to spend 25% of our job campaign responding to ads. This microcast goes through some techniques and strategies to make sure that 25% is well spent.
Negotiation begins long before we receive our offer. This microcast reviews how we can best position ourselves to improve our negotiating position starting from the time we target an organization.
We are all concerned that we might be disqualified from a potentially great job because we mention a salary that is too high or too low. Except for external recruiters, with whom we need to share out salary, we will want to avoid the question as best we can. This microcast addresses some ways to deal with questions about our salary, whether it is a past salary or what we are seeking.
I have received a job offer and want to negotiate my salary. What is the best way to approach the negotiation? (TPOY019)
With all that we have to do to get to the point where we receive a job offer, it is easy not to be prepared when it finally comes. This microcast provides guidelines on how to handle the negotiation so that it turns out for the best for both parties.
LinkedIn can be a great help in our job campaign. This microcast reviews the information LinkedIn provides and how to use it. For information on how to set yourself up on LinkedIn, please refer to The Power of You microcast 015.
With all the pressures of a job campaign, our time is at a premium. Anything we can do to save time is worth investing in. LinkedIn should be at the top of that list as it is the go-to place for professional social media. This microcast covers how to establish your LinkedIn presence. For how to use LinkedIn once you have set it up, please listen to TPOY014.
Other Campaign Topics
Introverted Job Seeker: I am not an extrovert and wonder how I can execute a successful job campaign. (TPOY035)
Not everyone who seeks a job is an extrovert, which is just as well, as employers need introverts to make their organizations run smoothly. Many of those introverted skills and abilities, useful on the job, are also useful for advancing our job campaigns. There will be times when we have to draw on our extrovert sides as well. This microcast reviews how to maximize the strengths that come from our introversion and how to minimize extroverted activity.
Recruiters, sometimes called headhunters, offer the very attractive prospect of jobs that we do not have to find. To take best advantage of recruiters, it pays to know how they work and how to deal with them. This microcast reviews the three truths about recruiters, the types of recruiters and the best ways to cultivate a productive relationship with them.
Cover letters: What should be in my cover letter? (TPOY022)
Our cover letters need to be brief enough to match our reader’s attention span and interesting enough for them to want to know more. This microcast cuts to the essence of what a cover letter needs to be.
Follow-up notes: What do I need to put in my interview follow up note? (TPOY065)
Everyone knows that we need to send a thank you note after an interview. This Power of You microcast shows how to go beyond thank you and create a note that furthers our candidacy and gives us a competitive advantage over other interviewees.
Changing Fields: I am so done with my current profession but it is all I know; How can I get a job I want? (TPOY023)
Sometimes it seems impossible to change what we do. This microcast helps put changing fields in perspective.