Archive: Paul Anderson
I love this time of year. I don't mean the stress of the holiday season; I'm talking about the best time to job search. In the past two years, more of my clients have found jobs between Thanksgiving and...
I recently interviewed Rod Brooks, chief marketing officer of PEMCO Insurance, about career development. He shared with me a conversation he once had with his boss. The lesson was so profound that he's given dozens, if not hundreds, of speeches...
Discovering what you want to do is a process; there's no quick answer. If you're serious about finding your dream job and willing to put in some hard work, however, the ROI is priceless. Here's where to start.
How many times have you counted on contacts at a prospective employer only to find out they're useless when you really need them? Have you ever tried to get information on a company's hiring process or interview questions, for example, or asked someone to pass along your resume to the hiring manager, but gotten nowhere?
I recently gave a presentation called Career Search Optimization to professionals in transition, emphasizing the need to become more strategic if they want to find their ideal job. Many, if not all, job seekers are so focused on advertised openings that they often miss out on what's most important to them. Here are five reasons why you shouldn't apply online first.
In my last column, I gave you two tips for developing relationships with key contacts who could help with your job search. These influential connections have the potential to give you everything from guidance and contact information to internal referrals...
In my last post, I discussed the importance of leveraging your connections to help you meet people at the companies you're targeting in your job search. For some job seekers, this raises the question: "What if I don't have the right contacts?"
Too many times, job seekers new to the game think it's all about the numbers and try to meet as many people as possible. While I advocate expanding your reach and number of connections, I'd like to stress the importance of quality versus quantity when it comes to professional relationships.
In my monthly career seminars, I ask who among the participants is unemployed. When most folks raise their hands, I congratulate them. Why? Because few people love what they do. If you're unemployed, this is your opportunity to find your dream job or create your ideal environment.
Congratulations! You've received an offer from a Microsoft vendor. Before you accept, consider two important decisions. First, be careful before signing a non-compete agreement, and second, don't take the first compensation offer.
If you're a newbie to contracting at companies such as Microsoft, the world of contract positions can be a foreign one. At Microsoft in particular, it helps to know the language before you immerse yourself.
In my last column, "Best-selling author shares tips for career success," I wrote about my recent interview with celebrity ghostwriter Andrea Cagan. Here are some lessons we discussed on how to become a successful writer.
I recently interviewed Andrea Cagan, ghostwriter of Wendy Walker's recent book "Producer: Lessons Shared from 30 Years in Television" (the topic of last week's column, "Career lessons from Larry King's senior executive producer"). Andrea's career history was not only fascinating, but also packed with lessons we all could benefit from.
Wendy Walker began her career late in the television industry -- at an old age, as she puts it. She was 25. The only way she knew how to enter the business at the time was to get a job as a secretary.
When I host my monthly career mixers in partnership with NWjobs.com, I ask attendees during the registration to list employers they would like to see at the event. One of the names I've been hearing recently is DataSphere Technologies, which partners with media companies throughout the country to help distribute their content on a neighborhood level.
I was asked to speak recently at Bellevue College's health-care information technology certification program on the topic of networking. I asked the audience: "How many of you decide to go to networking events eagerly waiting to hear other people's elevator pitches?" No one raised their hand. So why do we do it?
It's extremely difficult for a hiring manager to remember a series of facts about a particular candidate, especially when he or she is interviewing dozens of applicants. It's much easier to remember stories.
In today's competitive job market, you can't just be a nurse, project manager or accountant; you also need to be an outstanding marketer. You must know how to get an employer's attention and make the company choose you over the hundreds of other applicants.
Gathering this information takes a little time and effort, but it can be invaluable when the time comes to send in your résumé -- from the right source.
Let's talk about where you come from. I don't mean your hometown, your country of origin or your last job; I'm talking about the source of your résumé in a company's applicant tracking system (ATS). It could mean the difference between a phone call from human resources and a "thanks, but no thanks" letter.
In my last post, "How to maximize professional associations," I gave you two ideas for a more targeted approach to your job search. Here are three additional strategies for maximizing your involvement with professional associations that can help you get noticed and hired quickly.
Professional associations can enhance your job-search activities and dramatically shorten your transition if you know how to leverage them. Most professionals use associations as a way to network with others in their industry. Here are two ways to use them to gain exposure and build credibility with local companies looking to hire.
I'm going to advocate against networking -- at least in the way that most people think of it. Why? Because most people do it wrong, and they make networking ineffective and unpleasant.
Can social media help you find a job faster? Can tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Google profiles help your personal brand? Will tools like LinkedIn replace our resumes in the future?
An aspect of managing your career is making sure others within and outside your organization are aware of your expertise and contributions you're making. I'm writing this to inspire you to self-promote your expertise and availability in other ways than simply sending in your resume -- in this example, through public speaking.
A recent attendee of one of my monthly networking mixers asked me what's the point of meeting so many people in fields far removed from my interests? What's the point?
If there is one person in the world who can teach you about relationships, it's Keith Ferrazzi, referred to by Inc. magazine as one of the worlds' most "connected" individuals. I had an opportunity to interview Keith about how to do a successful informational interview, which seems to be the biggest hurdle for my clients and readers.
I had a chance to speak with Mike O'Neil, a Minneapolis/St. Paul-based LinkedIn expert on tips he could share with Hire Ground readers that could help them with a better job-search process.
I regularly meet people skeptical of social media tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn. But it's important to remember that the tools themselves don't provide the solutions, it's all about the access they can give you to other people. In the following two stories, social media created visibility for two jobseekers that made all the difference in getting hired.
If you get on the wrong side of recruiters, you'll be in a dangerous position. First of all, they can document your behavior in their current company's applicant tracking system. Second, they can mentally carry that blacklist with them to their future employers -- to which you might be interested in applying.
Candidates need to be careful before sending blind resumes to job postings online. If the company's boundaries are crossed, the candidate can become blacklisted and lose the chance of ever being considered for employment with that company.
I was talking to a third-year pharmacy student attending the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition this weekend on strategies to maximize conferences and networking events. She asked me about informational interviews: Are they still a good practice today and if so, what would I recommend?
It's amazing how many professionals in transition today don't understand the basic etiquette of introductions and building relationships. Their philosophy is, "I need access to one of your contacts and since we just met, you should introduce that person to me." I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.
You don't have to worry about keywords in your resume if you're just trying to set up informational interviews.
Executives often use information about a company's competitors to put together a mini business plan or marketing document to share with their prospective employers. They are able to create a "wow" effect, and position themselves as a valuable resource versus a desperate job-seeker.
It's scary, but true that when I meet people at networking events they often say, "Hey, here is a copy of my resume. If you see any leads or are hiring yourself, please consider me." We just met. I don't trust you with my contacts or leads. I don't even know you yet.
For the last three years, the biggest complaint I hear is, "I'm frustrated. I'm still putting out resumes daily with no response." Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Are job seekers insane? Of course not. So why do they keep sending in their resumes, expecting different results?
When you lose your motivation during your job search, you radiate negative energy. Others don't want to be around you and hiring managers, in particular, don't want to hire you. So what can you do about it?
Last week, three of my clients found full-time employment. The key for them was reaching out to people (via LinkedIn) with whom they had something in common -- they had either gone to the same school or worked for the same company previously.
I recently spoke with Carmine Gallo, author of "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience," who attributes career advancement to the way you communicate (including body language), your brand presence and people's perception of you inside and outside your company.
I recently spoke with Carmine Gallo, the international best-selling author of "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience" about some common job-search issues to get his perspectives and guidance.
A good job hunting plan includes identifying a set of employers you want to target so that you can tap into unadvertised opportunities -- also known as the hidden, or secret, job market -- and so that you can focus your efforts like a laser beam, as opposed to a shotgun approach. Once you have a list of 10 companies you want to target, the question becomes, "Now, what?"
One of LinkedIn's best friends for job seekers is the Job Seeker Premium Account. Introduced in April last year, it was specifically created for candidates looking to get the edge over others in this competitive market.
When I do one-on-one coaching with my clients, I have them write me an e-mail that they want me to send as part of an introduction. This gives them a chance to articulate their positioning, while giving me a chance to see if their method is aligned with our teaching. A recent client made some mistakes, and we were both grateful that they were caught on our end before going out to someone in my network.
I was shopping at a toy store with my son and noticed an "up to 75% moving sale" discount. I asked an employee which items had the discounts, and he replied, "There really isn't anything on sale at 75 percent. Some items are on sale for 15 percent, some at 10 percent; it's really confusing. Even we don't understand it. Actually, I don't belong here. I have a master's degree and the only reason I'm here is because I can't find the job I want."
A Hire Ground reader sent me an e-mail about a human resources person not responding after she had a great phone screen. Maybe you can relate? Here's another example of why keeping in touch with companies is always a good practice.
In a recent post, I talked about leveraging LinkedIn as a resource to help you identify both decision makers and competitors. To do that successfully, you have to get used to doing advanced search queries in LinkedIn's vast database.
Two of my clients recently landed jobs after they had gotten the "Thanks, but no thanks" reply. Both had done a great job in their interviews, but in each case there were other qualified candidates who better matched the hiring managers' requirements. So how did they get the jobs after their initial rejections, you might be wondering? They used two different creative approaches.
Are you ready to take advantage of New Year's energy to find rewarding employment?Read the tips below to get a jump-start on the competition and find meaningful work.
In my last post, "Philosophies to building long-lasting relationships," I interviewed Carol Olsby, a global human resources expert who emphasizes that genuine long-term relationships are essential to professional career success. Here, we'll get deeper into the heart of what everyone talks about: networking.
Here's a New Year's quiz for you: What's the most essential ingredient for success as a professional in transition and for career-minded individuals? Answer: Long-term genuine relationships.
I recently interviewed Nancy Juetten, author of "Bye-Bye Boring Bio," on what it takes to write a great bio. Professionals in transition can benefit from a well-written bio in their social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), the summary section of their resume, and on their cover letters.
I recently interviewed executive recruiter Erin Holland-Collins on why some candidates remain unemployed for extended periods. Here are some of Erin's additional thoughts about what turns recruiters off, as well as tips candidates can use to get an edge.
While there are various reasons a candidate isn't selected, executive recruiter Erin Holland-Collins has had her share of experience with many candidates in the financial sector, and has some ideas. She's seen many mistakes candidates make that cost them great opportunities.
I recently interviewed Chris St. Hilaire, a message strategist and author of "27 Powers of Persuasion: Simple Strategies to Seduce Audiences and Win Allies," on how a candidate can seduce an interviewer into making a job offer.
In sales training, they teach that if you want to make the sale, you have to listen more and talk less. They also tell you that when you're presenting information to a customer, remember the KISS principle: "Keep It Short and Simple."
If you're an experienced professional, getting media exposure can help your credibility, visibility and opportunities to connect with employers. Recruiters often Google prospective candidates to learn more about them, and being featured in the media offers invaluable credibility in addition to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.
Not all job seekers have the money to invest in a professionally written, high-quality resume. A competitive analysis will help you find out who your competition is; it also helps you borrow ideas from the way these people describe their offerings. There is an old saying that a competitive analysis allows you to "R&D" the competition -- "rip off and duplicate."
Successful presenters, public speakers, salespeople and politicians have mastered the art of storytelling, and as a jobseeker, you should, too. In sales, there is a saying: "Facts tell, stories sell." From a psychological perspective, this is true because we tend to remember stories longer and better than facts.
If you're not a heavy LinkedIn user, you might not be aware of the great details the site provides about companies that can help you in your job search. Say you're looking to target a list of employers or you're researching companies within an industry or you have an interview coming up. You can use LinkedIn's company feature to get valuable information you need.
Your success in an interview depends directly on your understanding of the employer's true needs and desires and your ability to communicate how you're the exact match for what the company is seeking in its new hire.
A client of mine recently asked for proper ways of getting successful introductions from her connections. Introductions will only go well if, first, you are carefully introduced and, second, if you follow up properly.
According to Where the Jobs Are, federal agencies will be hiring more than 270,000 workers for mission-critical jobs by the end of September, 2012. I recently interviewed Heather Krasna, director of career services at Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, about how to go about getting one of these federal jobs.
When teaching my resume writing workshop, I ask participants to review each bullet on their resumes and put a "T" or "R" next to each one. "T," short for Tasks, is for a statement where you merely describe an experience, event or task you performed at your company. An example would be, "Created a marketing plan for the company." The best statements on your resume should use the following format: PAR (Problem, Action, Result): What was the problem, what action did you take and what result was attained?
In my resume search optimization seminar, I discuss four common algorithms that applicant tracking systems (ATS) use to sort through resumes. Knowing what the ATS is looking for and optimizing your resume with this in mind is crucial if you want to get noticed by the employer.
In my career search seminars, I am frequently asked: "Paul, I've heard that employers aren't interested in hiring the unemployed. Is that true?" To a point, this is valid, but of course it's not entirely true. If this were the case, after all, no job seeker would get a job today.
If you're a job seeker, volunteering is a great avenue to donate your time to a worthy cause while being able to fill in gaps on your resume and network with people who may help you eventually find paid employment.
A client of mine recently landed a great in-person interview with a top Seattle construction company by acing the phone screen. Passing the phone screen is essential to getting an in-person interview, as more companies today are conducting them to save time and bring in only the best candidates. Succeeding at a phone screen is something you can learn. Here's one powerful method you can use in your next interview.
A common question I'm hearing in the job-hunting community these days is how stay-at-home moms who want to reenter the workforce can deal with the overwhelming competition in the market and find a job.
Introverts are usually comfortable with one or two people at a time, and are most comfortable with people they already know and trust. The greatest challenge for introverts when searching for a new job is meeting new people, especially at networking events. Most shy away from great networking opportunities because they're overwhelmed, too shy or don't think they can connect with strangers successfully.
Recently, I gave an assignment to my career boot camp students: They will have one week to identify the top three "super connectors" -- the most influential contacts -- in their industry. Once these contacts are identified, they will have an additional week to make contact with these people and set up a meeting.
The toughest part of a career transition is managing the negative little voice inside our heads that we call self-talk. It's amazing how we're faced with our greatest fears and self doubts during this time, especially if we have people who depend on us. This fear and negative self-talk can hinder our performance and success. Recognizing it and knowing how to change it is crucial.
If you've been searching for a job for more than six months, it's probably time to evaluate your job-seeking strategy and see what has been working and what hasn't. Here are some external recruiting practices human resource managers use to source candidates. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list; it's intended to give you some new avenues to explore.
Many candidates in my career search optimization seminar ask me, "Can I call a recruiter about an opening even when the job listing specifically says 'no phone calls please'?" The answer is "Yes," and several of my clients have gotten interviews and landed opportunities by ignoring these messages. It's all about using the correct strategy and phone techniques that anyone can learn and master.
A client of mine e-mailed me last night to tell me that his negotiation strategy that we worked on last week resulted in an extra $15 per hour, equaling over $31,000 a year. How did he do it, you ask? How do you get more than what an employer initially offers?
In my recent post about how to get a job in today's market, I promised I would teach you how to create a one-page marketing plan to help you stay focused, goal oriented and organized in your job search.
LeMaster Daniels is a 100-year-old CPA firm with offices across Washington and Idaho employing more than 300 professionals in the fields of taxes, audits, business valuation, litigation, cost reimbursement, corporate accounting and more. I recently interviewed Wanda Todd, head of recruiting at the firm, about its specific hiring practices.
While the health care industry is definitely hiring, competition is fierce and out of hundreds of applicants, only a handful are getting interviews. Understanding how companies function and communicating your value in accordance with their needs can greatly increase your odds of getting noticed.
A question I've been getting a lot lately at my resume seminars is: "Are people reading cover letters anymore? I haven't had much response from them. Should I include one with my resume or not?"
In my last post, I suggested that you use flattery to get the attention of someone who might be useful in your job search. Once you've gotten this person to meet with you, you need to know how to turn your meeting into an opportunity.
An attorney came up to me recently and asked how he should approach hiring managers when he finds an opening on a company's website. Approaching a cold lead without an introduction is extremely challenging and can be intimidating. More importantly, approaching a cold lead incorrectly can cost you an opportunity and, in extreme cases, put you on a company's "do not hire" list.
In my last two posts, I've discussed some of the reasons why it's so hard to find a job today and the top mistakes job seekers make that are keeping them from finding employment. Here are some tips you can use today to shorten your job search.
I recently spoke with Dan Schawbel, an expert on personal branding and the best-selling author of "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success." Dan and I discussed many mistakes novice job seekers make that keep them unemployed.
I constantly interview companies in the Puget Sound region and document their hiring process. If you've been job-seeking for months and haven't had good success, I'll show you why it's so hard to find a job today.
People, in general, are motivated toward pleasure or away from pain. When you're interviewing for your next opportunity, try to figure out if the hiring manager is driven toward pleasure or avoiding pain. You can increase your effectiveness in connecting with the manager if you speak his or her style.
Many hiring managers hire people who are just like themselves. They choose people with similar mannerisms, appearance, intelligence and culture. Some go as far as hiring people from the same educational background, experiences, gender, race or religion.
The best way to build relationships is to be a resource to each other. One way to do so is to make proper introductions between two people who could benefit from knowing each other.
In my most recent post, Mark Tranter, partner with CFO Selections in Bellevue, differentiated between well-networked executives and executives who didn't pay attention to building relationships. Here are some more in-depth of strategies you can use today to make your transition more successful.
"There are two types of CFOs, those that have a network and those that don't," says Mark Tranter, partner with CFO Selections in Bellevue. While both executives are competent, the non-networked CFO averages one year of unemployment while the networked CFO gets multiple job offers within weeks of announcing a move.
I see candidate frustration daily. The biggest complaint I hear is, "I just paid a professional resume writer to craft the perfect resume and have sent it to countless employers. Why am I still not hearing back?"
There are job seekers who research company e-mail addresses and spam them with their resumes with the hopes of getting a job. These techniques won't help you land an interview with LUMEDX, a medical software company in Bellevue, says Josh Jozwik, a technical recruiter for the company.
Are you trying to make networking easier? Drop the "elevator pitch" and focus on building real relationships instead.
Job seekers that have a clear idea of which employers they want to work for tend to find jobs quicker than job seekers still figuring things out. One of the questions I constantly get asked is, "How do I choose an employer to target without knowing what their culture is like, how much they pay, etc.?"
While I have yet to run into an employer in Puget Sound that uses polygraphs in employment screening (have you?), I have seen many HR professionals use various techniques to find lies on resumes.
One of the frequent questions I've been getting in my seminars lately comes from active jobseekers or contract workers who wonder, "why am I getting e-mails from contracting firms asking for exclusive rights to represent me or wanting the last four digits of my social security number?"
A workshop student of mine, I'll call him "John," recently had two interviews come up with Honeywell International and Crane Aerospace. They were both panel interviews. After finishing the interviews, he and I sat down to debrief. I asked him...
Like many companies in the Seattle area, WhitePages.com receives hundreds of applications for each job description. How do they select the best candidates? According to Ringo Nishioka, the company's head of HR, 33 percent of their hiring this year has been through employee referrals.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist, based in Bellevue, is a recognized expert in career coaching, job hunting and professional networking.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer who covers workplace issues, work/life balance and self-employment.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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