Written by: Connie Huber PHR SHRM-CP
Today’s job seekers are all too familiar with “the black hole”! It poses a frustrating threat and one that job seekers have encountered at one time or another. The job hunter quickly enters the “black hole zone” when they submit a resume online to a recruiter or employer. What happens is a waiting game. Most of us wait and wait to hear back on their expressed interest. Often the waiting game turns into weeks and months; and yet a reply never comes.
US News, “How to Avoid the Job-Search Black Hole” by Robin Madell recently shared the results of a test conducted by a recruiting consulting firm that revealed “only two recruiters out of 100 companies read beyond the first three paragraphs in a fake resume they sent out. The firm also found that when submitting a fake resume through the corporate websites of companies in Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies in Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to work for list, close to two-thirds of employers did not send a notification that they were no longer a candidate for the position they applied for.”
“It’s Not All About You: Take the Focus Off Yourself to Achieve Career Success”
In the past, the best job strategy to secure a new position was to get as many resumes and applications out to prospective employers as possible. It was a numbers game! Quantity was the battle cry of many and today you will still find many job seekers pursuing the same approach.
Lori helped the group reevaluate their strategy and take the focus off themselves.
In today’s competitive job market, the job seeker needs to set themselves apart from the crowd. Efforts need to be directed and reframed to a marketing perspective. You, the job seeker, are the product, and the employer is your customer.
THE FOCUS OF THE TYPICAL JOB SEEKER
Include your ….
- Needs: Benefits, Salary, etc.
Think of yourself as a marketer! You are selling “YOU” to the potential employer.
“You Are Not the Employer’s #1 Priority”!
- Unfortunately, employers most often find a reason not to hire the candidate rather than why the candidate should be hired.
- Therefore, it is the candidate’s objective to make it less about him/herself and all about the employer/customer.
THE FOCUS OF THE TYPICAL EMPLOYER
The two reasons companies hire are ….
- ROI/Return on Investment
- Cost Effective Employees
When an employer posts a position, they are expressing a need or problem that needs to be solved. Companies need to offset the money and time invested in hiring a new employee. Their goal is to find a candidate who brings the best value. Bosses want to find a new employee that will make them look good and at the same time are reliable, dependable, maintain a positive attitude; and saves/makes money for the company.
Candidates need to share how they will help the organization! They need to focus on sharing the features and benefits of hiring them.
HOW DO WE DEFINE AN EMPLOYER’S NEEDS AND PROBLEMS?
STEP 1: Conduct a S.W.O.T analysis
S=Strengths: What the employer is really good at doing?
W=Weaknesses: Where is the organization struggling?
O=Opportunities: Is there possibility for professional growth?
T=Threats: Who are the employer’s competitors? What are currently some of their competitor’s efforts?
STEP 2: Gather your research
In advance, be sure to research your target and interviewing companies. Even better do it before submitting a resume/application.
What should you look for?
Those things you should uncover are the organization’s culture, product/services, history, organization’s structure & affiliates, statistics such as number of employees & sales, competitors, and career paths.
Position specifics so that you can identify the company’s needs and problems to create a tailored resume and cover letter.
Where should you look?
Company website, Google, hoovers.com, corporateinformation.com, glassdoor.com.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE YOUR VALUE?
Features vs. Benefits
Think of how you can help the employer with your strengths. Attitude is premier. Next what about you can the organization benefit from.
It’s like buying a car! Not every car is for every buyer. It’s true for an employer. Focus on you and your skills, attitude and experience would attract an employer to hire you!
TIME TO FLIP YOUR SCRIPT
Think of the benefits you can share with an employer. Paint a picture and statement of value. Lastly, determine those stories or what you did in the past that support your value.
INSTEAD OF: I have great customer service skills.
TRY THIS: My flexible communication skills and resourceful problem-solving style build long-term customer relationships that led to a 75% repeat and referral rate at my last employer.
INSTEAD OF: I have a project management experience.
TRY THIS: My ability to lead cross-functional project teams of up to 12 technicians and manage project budgets of up to $2M will enable me to make an immediate impact on the successful, on-time completion of your projects.
Remember who has the most to lose. It is not the job seeker but the employer.
- 50 SKILLS
Establish a list of personal traits such as good communicator and attitude. Then determine those skills that are transferable. Next what are your job specific skills. Be sure to highlight your skills in your resume/interview.
- 50 BENEFITS STATEMENTS
Define what value and cost-effective changes you can bring to an employer with your specific skills. Lastly, refine those stories which will validate your skills.
FINAL NOTE: WANT TO AVOID FISHING IN THE SEA AND THE BLACK HOLE — SHIFT YOUR FOCUS TO THE EMPLOYER!
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” –Steve Jobs
Paychex was founded by B. Thomas Golisanno in 1971. Golisanno invested $3,000 to make payroll outsourcing simple and convenient for small business owners. Its mission is to be the leading provider of payroll, human resources and employee benefit services by being an essential partner with America’s businesses. Today Paychex has over 13,000 employees in 100+ locations. The company has over $2.9 million in revenues. Its mission is to be the leading provider of payroll, human resources and employee benefit services by being an essential partner with America’s businesses. Paychex is a $0 debt company and is growing rapidly. They are adding employees nationally and 300 employees in the Phoenix area. The company has received numerous accolades including Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For” and “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles”. Paychex locations and employees are consistently involved in the communities and charities they live near. Paychex has a robust benefits program and has such perks as $1,600 tuition reimbursement for each employee per year, employee stock purchase plans and retail discounts.
Current openings include customer service, payroll specialist; time and labor online service advisor; field HR generalist; 401K service representative, 401K new client set up specialist; retirement services client relationship account manager; and sales representatives. If interested, visit the Paychex website.
AFP/Accounting & Finance Professionals was founded in 1999 and strives to be the leader in high quality staffing of administrative, accounting and IT professionals. AFP has been in Arizona for 17 years; 63% of referrals come from clients or placed professionals; ranked #1 for 5 years in a row for direct hire placements; placed over 50K professionals in long term careers; and preferred vendor for the state of Arizona.
Staff Logic is a sister company of AFP/Accounting & Finance Professionals. Focus areas include IT; engineering; customer service-call center; software sales; medical; administrative; marketing; HR; and executive search. For information and to express your interest contact Staff Logic.
State Farm, a stable insurance company has been in business for 95 years. Its mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. Opportunities are not limited to selling insurance. Additional employment offerings are accounting, financial & banking; administrative support; claim & investigation; customer service; facilities management & administrative services; legal, compliance, & risk management; human resources; marketing, design, & communications; research & analytics; sales support; technology & user experience; and underwriting& actuarial. Benefits are traditional and State Farm’s culture is “create, live, work and play environment”.
The Phoenix area now hosts the brand-new Marina Heights facility in Tempe. The location is two million square feet area, 8000 employees, with retail space including Starbucks, Matt’s Big Breakfast, Mountainside Fitness, Honor Health, Grab-n Go, with more on the way. Immediate and ongoing opportunities are claim associate-express; claim associate-auto ILR; ccc sales rep; ccc service rep; State Farm Bank; claims (property, total loss, injury); and systems/IT.
Feel free to visit the Tempe site which is open to the public. For more information or to apply, visit State Farm’s website. You may also apply online to open positions, and you may apply using LinkedIn.
New Horizons has provided world-class training for over 30 years and over 30 million students. New Horizons recognizes that there are several learning styles and offers traditional, instructor led classroom training; online LIVE learning and online anytime learning. Learning tools are varied to meet the needs of students including hands-on labs, reference materials, practice exams, learning guides, coursework and exam preparation.
The Phoenix location is a new state-of-the-art training facility. Information Technology programs, Office Management and/or Healthcare Records Management programs, and Project/Production Management programs represent education offerings. Some of the items included in tuition are books & supplies, labs, on-going career services and 6-month re-sit option. New Horizons does provide Job Placement Assistance. The school offers top IT Certifications approved by the GI Bill. Additional funding sources are available up to $4K through the WIOA Program. New Horizons has free classes in Microsoft Office, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Visit New Horizons online.
Jessica Pierce, Executive Director, Career Connectors, closed the meeting by thanking North Phoenix Baptist Church and the volunteers. The next Career Connectors meeting will be in Scottsdale on Thursday, July 13, 2017 and features Carole Redden as speaker for the topic “Seven Strategies for a Seamless Career Transition”. For additional information on this event and future events, please visit the Event Schedule.