Written by Susan Lamphiear
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
For anyone who has ever faced a challenging job search, Roosevelt’s words probably take on new meaning. Something about a sudden or unwanted job search forces most people to call on emotional strength they never knew they had.
It sure helps along the way to know we’re not alone, though, and that others have overcome challenging career roadblocks. I’ve heard so many people through Career Connectors willing to share their career journeys, and it’s beyond encouraging to know there is a light at the end of that proverbial job-search tunnel. Our keynote speaker today gave valuable practical tactics for the job search, but just as important, she included inspirational examples.
“Why can’t they just be nice and get back to me?” Many people faced with a job hunt these days have probably at least whispered these words. Jessica Pierce, Founder and Executive Director of Career Connectors, was talking recently with many people who said they needed help in landing interviews.
Jessica used the example of Anthony, who’d confessed to her he’d been putting in many hours on job boards, sending out hundreds of resumes, but he just wasn’t hearing anything back. Jessica suggested he reframe his brain. You can’t just send out resumes all day long. You have to get out of your house, have coffee, she told him. Network with people. Jessica had asked him, “Is what you’re doing working?” It was not, but that was about to change. Anthony told Jessica “I’ll trust you.”
Armed with Jessica’s advice that you can’t stop with the job boards, sending out hundreds of resumes, you must network and use LinkedIn, Anthony started getting out and meeting people. Fast forward a short time later and Anthony received multiple interviews, followed soon by three job offers– beyond what he ever though he could wish for. He found his job through someone who knew someone through LinkedIn.
Jessica asked how many attendees had hired employees and many in the group raised their hands. She said, “You know, then, about the recruiting cycle.” Most employers don’t have the resources or the time and patience to go through the lengthy process. One exception is the State of Arizona that literally looks at each resume. However, that’s also why, even if you make the resume cut, it may be months rather than weeks before you hear back from someone. It takes time, money, and human resources to tackle hundreds of resumes. One woman Jessica knew had already taken another job by the time she heard back.
To think like a hiring manager, keep in mind competence is only part of the picture. Competence plus Character plus Chemistry equals a Cultural Match. Hiring managers are in a hurry to hire good people who are a match for the company.
- Document your traits by completing the DISC assessment
- Use action words and research the company, highlighting your similar traits–including your values and behaviors.
Begin with a proper handshake. Then before the interview, research the employer, know your resume, and prepare and review interview notes. During the interview, dress to impress. Arrive 5-10 minutes early. Engage with everyone. After the interview, send a thank you note. Email is OK, but a personal note in the mail is better. Then connect on LinkedIn or other social media if you haven’t already. Always remember that people want to work with people they like.
NOTE: A whopping 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile. And 61% of those re-considerations were negative. It’s not surprising, then, if hiring managers and recruiters look for easier and safer options. And, they don’t begin their process with the job boards.
When Jessica was looking to hire her Director of Programs recently, she started asking people she knew, telling them she absolutely had to have someone dependable, but if she posted it, she’d get hundreds of resumes. As she asked around, Sheila Coulam‘s name kept coming up, and that’s who she ultimately hired.
How Hiring Managers Find Employees
- Internal Resource (known)
- Prior work Relationship (known)
- Referred Resource (known-one off)
- Through Employee (known—one off)
- Want Ads
Where recruiters find the best candidates
- Social Networks – 73%
- Referrals – 63%
- Corporate career site – 60%
- Direct sourcing – 57%
- Career site – 51%
Social networks recruiters use
- LinkedIn 94%
- Facebook 66%
- Twitter 52%
- Google 21%
- RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) Feed 20%
- You Tube 15%
Employers are starting to put more money into social networks, primarily LinkedIn. “You’ve got to be on LinkedIn,” Jessica says. Google search your name. Whatever you can see, the public probably sees (She’s in the process of looking at her teenage son’s social media profile because he’ll soon be applying for scholarships, and she knows the importance of an appropriate online presence.).
Job boards are still important, but you can’t let that alone be your source for finding a job. You must connect with people through relationships and social media as well. As far as the job boards, the number one is Indeed.com. It’s a crawler, meaning that Indeed.com scours other websites for jobs. Jobing.com is our local job board and a partner with Career Connectors. Career Builder and Simply Hired are two more possibilities.
In the beginning at Intel, Jessica tells us she was making $18 an hour, so she loved those referral bonuses and practically made a second career out of those $1000 referral bonuses. There are solid reasons for those referral bonuses. Statistics show that a person who is referred usually stays longer on the job. People like to work with people they like. “So be likable!” Jessica says.
So it’s ultimately what you do AFTER you apply that really counts.
Once you apply, find someone at that company and connect on LinkedIn or find someone who can introduce you to someone who works at the company you’re targeting. Recruiters are engaging with potential candidates through social media. It’s all about how you stand out compared with the other 200 people who are applying.
Vision without action is just a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. ~Loren Eisley
When Jessica read the above quote, she admitted she’s by nature a non-planner but stressed its importance. At one point she gave everyone a few minutes to share with each other — an intended job action from their list — to do by the end of this week. Then she reminded everyone that there’s an 80 percent chance you’ll follow through with an action if you tell someone about it. It’s a commitment thing.
History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. ~B.C. Forbes.
Jessica knows what it’s like to suffer job loss. The quote above, taken from a book by her friend Jerry Jerome*, comforted her during tough times.
She’d started her own staffing company in 2007 after being laid off from Intel, along with 10,000 other people. But then in 2009, she closed the doors to her staffing company due to the economic downturn at the very same time her husband was laid off from his corporate recruiting position. She launched Career Connectors despite her husband thinking she was crazy when she started volunteering to help people with their resumes even before she got another job. With an infant, and children ages two and ten, they finally sold their home and rented a house. But the week of Christmas 2009 they found a notice on the door of their rental– giving them ten days to find a new place to live.
Jessica is here to tell you that there is hope on the other side of extreme job loss. She knows because she’s been there. And back.
*Jerry Jerome donated his book, Instant Inspiration, for everyone in attendance, and books were handed out at the conclusion of Jessica’s presentation. The quotes Jessica used in her presentation she found in Jerry’s book. The quote I selected to open the blog came from his book as well.
City of Phoenix Workforce Connections
Kathy Thiessen, Senior Workforce Project Manager
The City of Phoenix Workforce Connections offers job seekers skills development, employment talent marketing and business services. Clients receive these services free, including help with online job bank registration, setting up email accounts, use of computers and equipment, referrals to community resources, public workshops, on-site events and job fairs, and youth services. Through assessment and conversations, the one-stop sites help job seekers identify transferable skills, determine your interests and work values, help with soft skills training, basic computer training and more.
Grants are available under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) with the goal of employment, transitioning back to the workforce as quickly as possible. The WIOA updated the 1998 Act and is the first legislative reform in 15 years, passed by a wide bipartisan majority in the Congress. SOAR is a program including personal and career awareness, soft skills for success in the workplace, and social media networking via LinkedIn. Its purpose is to strengthen Arizona’s economy by developing the workforce and matching employers with job seekers.
- Assess your transferable skills, strengths, and areas needing improvement
- Match skills/background to occupation/career.
- Determine if training/certification is needed to increase your marketability.
Three One-Stop Career Centers are located in the Valley.
Among resources available at the One-Stop Centers include practice interviews and analyzing video tapes of yourself in order to be better prepared to market yourself for a job.
To check on exact locations and services available, visit their website.
Shelby Hagan, Recruiting Coordinator
Taser products in Scottsdale, with locations in Seattle and recently Amsterdam, include smart weapons (Tasers, electrical weapons), body-worn cameras and evidence solutions. The company prides itself on being innovative, including continually asking employees for their ideas. Taser’s culture includes the attitude that what you do matters and the importance of continual learning. Benefits include medical insurance, 401K, unlimited PTO, 12 weeks maternity leave, six weeks paternity leave and more. A variety of jobs are available and the list changes continually. “We have something for everyone,” they say. For more information about the company, or to apply, visit their website.
Le Nguyen, Director, Recruiting Operations and Dani Sykes, Senior Recruiter
Aetna, a health care insurance provider, employs 50,000 people. In January of 2015 its CEO announced two important initiatives including increased pay for its minimum base hourly wage for its U.S. employees. The second initiative is the launch of an enhanced medical benefits program in 2016 to lower the out-of-pocket health care expenses for some of its U.S. employees. The company is considered a leader in flex scheduling, including work schedules or telecommuting from home. Other benefits of Aetna include Paid Time Off (PTO)—three and one-half weeks vacation to start– six percent 401K match, annual bonuses and more. Currently, Aetna is in the process of acquiring Humana. Opportunities for careers include accounting, finance, human resources, customers support, marketing, sales and more. For the most current list of positions or to apply, visit their website.
Darrin Ruof, HR Recruiter
Verizon Wireless is a national wireless provider, a technology leader with fast connections. Lots of phone support is available to its customers. Verizon cares about the community including one of their projects called Hopeline, a program which help victims of domestic violence. Benefits of working at Verizon include the opportunity to advance, health benefits starting on the first day of employment, and tuition assistance, up to $8000 per year. They have openings now including their call center, with jobs starting at an hourly rate, but most employees earn sales commissions starting at $1300 on up. For further information about positions, or to apply, go to their website or reach out through social media.
Education Management Corporation (EDMC)
Kelly Moncada, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Education Management Corporation is one of the largest and most diverse providers of proprietary post-secondary education in the United States. The corporation includes five schools: The Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College, South University, and Western State College of Law. Their top value and top priority involves providing education that builds careers. Opportunities for advancement abound and 96% of the admissions management team members are promoted from within. The company expanded from 100 employees to over 3000 in five years. Among other benefits, the company provides employees tuition benefits to any of their schools after only 90 days on the job, as well as paid time off, 401K and 401K Roth participation, life and health insurance, and more. For more information on open positions, or to apply, visit their website.
Sheila Coulam, Director of Programs at Career Connectors, closed the meeting, thanking Highlands Church for providing the beautiful facility for hosting the monthly events. She reminded everyone of the free DISC assessment available through the website. Also, concluding the formal part of the event, attendees were all welcome to talk to hiring managers or get help with free professional head shots, resume writing and LinkedIn assistance.
Career Connectors next meets Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 9:00 AM, in Gilbert, featuring keynote speaker Carl Forkner: Social Media: Your Job Search Secret Weapon. Next up will be Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 9:00 AM, in Phoenix. Keynote speaker Ted Robison will speak on the topic of Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out. The next Scottsdale event will be Thursday, October 15, 215, 9:00 AM in Scottsdale, featuring keynote Dave Sherman on the topic of Get the Job Fast – How to Find a Great New Job in Half the Time.
For more information including specific locations and registration, click here.