A great reference can make a huge difference in your job search success. For instance, I once had a great candidate that my client company was not excited about. The candidate perceived that there was a roadblock and had one of his references call me to proactively tell me about this candidate. That is impressive. And that is what gets you the job.
What not to do with your references:
1. Don’t give the recruiter or your potential employer a reference who can hardly remember you, or who can't be relied on to call back.
2. Don’t use your college roommate or best friend as a reference. I want a work reference...a relevant reference...a GREAT reference.
What to do for great references that will help you get hired:
Are you trying to break into a new field or get a new job? One way to give your resume a boost (and have a better chance of getting interviews) is to complete a job shadow of someone in your new field.
Job shadowing allows you to tag along with someone for the day, to learn what a typical day is like in their job. It's also known as a field preceptorship, or a ride-along (especially accurate for going with sales reps on their routes). It gives you a chance to see what it takes to work in and be successful in this new environment and ask questions throughout the day that will give you better insight into the work.
When you put your job shadowing experience on your resume, it gives you keywords that get your resume noticed.
For instance, if you were interested in learning how to get into medical sales, you would write about which doctors you called on, what the products involved were, and what kind of medical sales accounts they are. The words you'll use are the kinds of keywords that will get your resume noticed by computerized tracking systems, and then read by recruiters and hiring managers. The process is the same for whatever area you'd like to go into.
Sales job interviews are difficult, and your competition is fierce. That means that you're going to have to work a little harder to set yourself apart from the competition and win the job. Smart hiring managers know that all sales reps can talk a good game, so they are looking for the one who can also back it up.
Here are 6 tips that absolutely will help you impress the hiring manager and boost your chances of landing the job:
1. Research the company. A job-winning sales candidate will know:
what the company does
what its current issues are
what its goals are
where its products fit in the marketplace
who the competition is
Take in this information and use it to figure out how you can help them reach their goals....and then frame your answers to interview questions accordingly.
In order to succeed,
your desire for success should be
greater than your fear of failure.
- Bill Cosby
The job search is full of opportunities for fear..."what if my resume isn't good enough?"; "what if I don't get the interview?"; "what if I make a mistake?"; "what if this goes on forever?"
I've seen job seekers let that fear of failure hold them back from doing anything. It's the same thing for those who want to tweak their resume "just one more time," (again and again) and end up missing the deadline for sending it.
I want to encourage you today to let that desire for success that's in you be greater than your fear of failure. Be bold. Take action. It's true...not everything will work. But something will.
If you don't believe me, believe the numbers: it takes 10-20 contacts to get an interview (on average), and it takes 6-10 interviews to get an offer (on average).
I used to know someone who cold-called customers from his desk. He knew that it would take 10-15 calls (saying "No") before he'd get to a "yes." So he put up sticky notes on his computer and he took one off for every "no." He knew that it was just another step to a "yes."
If you keep going, eventually something will happen. You'll get that interview, and you'll get that job. Keep moving toward it, no matter what.
If you need a better resume (you're not getting interviews) or better interview skills (you get interviews, but no offers), or even a confidence boost to get you past a difficult situation, give me a call. I'd love to coach you on to success.
Just had to share - yesterday I accepted an offer for my targeted job with my dream company! Specifically mentioned was that no other person had taken the initiative to submit a 30/60/90 plan. I was told that it was one of several points that elevated me above my competition and showed my dedication to going above and beyond what was required and instead do what was necessary.
One of the worst things that can happen to you in a job interview is to get a tough interview question that makes you freeze, like a deer in the headlights. You are surprised, you don't know which way to go, and so you just sit there waiting for disaster.
have thought about this job and how you'd be successful
Once I had an entry-level sales candidate call me right before her phone interview. She said, “Hey, do you mind if I ask you a couple questions? I want you to tell me, without worrying about hurting my feelings, what are my weaknesses and what do you perceive are my strengths?”
It is not what happens to you that determines how far you go in life; it is what you do with what happens to you.
- Zig Ziglar
If you've been laid off or even got fired; if you made a mistake in taking the job you have; if you've been struggling in the job search for months with no end in sight...let Zig Ziglar inspire you today.
What Zig is saying is that those circumstances don't define you or limit you. It's all about your response. It's what you do with it and about it. It's turning lemons into lemonade.
I've coached people with situations worse than yours, and they were still able to move forward to success. You can, too. It's all in what you do now. Take action and expect success.
If you need some extra help in figuring out how to get past the obstacle in your way, give me a call. I'd love to coach you on to success.
WOW, you did it again! Since signing up for CC job seeking advice, I have been offered THREE positions. Yes, that's right, THREE positions! I followed every word of your advice and it produced the results for me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was the best investment I've ever made in myself!
- Connie B.
I love that Connie talks about investing in herself. We all need to invest in ourselves with knowledge, tools, or effort to be more, stronger, and better than we were before. Investments in yourself pay off. It paid off for Connie in 3 job offers. Imagine having a choice of 3 job offers!
I received this great comment from a hiring manager on interviewing, and thought her insights would help you in your next interview, when you answer interview questions.
My observations as a hiring manager are in line with what you are saying in this video. I've interviewed candidates for a position in software development team and asked them a standard question: "Where do you see yourself in three years?" Many responded enthusiastically, "I want to be a manager", not realizing that this be viewed as a threat to the continuous employment of a manager :) A safer answer is "I want to be a senior programmer."
The biggest assumption people make is that if they tell you what they did, you will understand that they will and can do the job. I think this approach is far from perfect, and they will be better understood if they spell this out explicitly. For example, "I can support Oracle database and resolve performance issues because I have such and such experience to rely upon." What I heard often was "I am passionate about Oracle and done a lot of Oracle programming" - how [your passion helps] me was not spelled out for me.
The big ideas here are to remember who you're speaking with and adjust your answers accordingly, and give evidence-based answers (especially quantified ones that include numbers, dollars, and percentages) instead of only talking about your passion. Passion and enthusiasm are good, but evidence is better.
Preparing an action plan for your job interview is the best job interview prep in the world. It will help you speak more confidently about your ability to do the job, and demonstrate that you are someone who not only can do the job, but will do it and be very successful at it.
How do you do an action plan for your job interview?
The best way to come up with an action plan is just like with any other goal: break it into smaller goals and figure out the steps to reach those.
An action plan can refer to any length of time you'd like--from 30 days to a year. Most people use an action plan for the first 90 days, or a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
When you break up your plan into 30-day increments, it becomes easier to figure out what you should be doing in each section.
The first 30 days normally focuses on learning the ropes: meeting co-workers, support teams, customers, clients; learning software and systems; and getting settled into the job.
The next 30 days (60-day section) usually finds you digging deeper, past the surface stuff. You're learning more details and becoming familiar with the job and the company, and you're getting feedback on how you've done so far.