When it Rains, It Pours!

I’m too superstitious to make any projections, but by this time next week, I will have had interviews for four different positions.  Granted, only one will be an in-person interview, so I’m far from hired yet, but the odds certainly look more promising than a few weeks ago.

in this job market, all of these interviewers are no doubt also talking to other highly-qualified candidates.  So I just have to present myself as best as I can, hoping that there will be a good match with (at least) one of the positions.

I’m also trying to keep filling the pipeline through networking and looking at current openings, but with all of the interview preparation, it’s difficult to find the time and motivation.  Must keep at it, though.  None of these eggs are anywhere near hatched!

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The Week Thus Far

It’s been a busy week thus far, between continued networking, some upcoming phone interviews, and a volunteer project I’ve been involved with.

Volunteering is good for several reasons: it’s a change of pace from sitting in front of the computer, something useful to put on the resume, and it may help develop marketable skills.  Oh, and it might even provide some good to the community or environment.  Let’s face it, a lot of supposedly altruistic activities have a strong component of self-interest to them, whether it be socializing, skill-building, or the satisfaction of helping others.  Personally, I like going to a “job” where I can wear hiking boots and go for a long walk through some really big trees afterwards, time permitting.

Cautiously Optimistic

Between about 10am and 2pm today, while I was out on one of my volunteer gigs, the following transpired:

  • Got a request for a phone interview with a company recruiter for a position I’ve been following and networking for a couple of weeks.
  • Confirmed the time for a second (phone) interview, with the actual hiring manager at another company
  • Had a detailed discussion with a staffing firm recruiter, regarding a contractor position for which my resume will likely be submitted today.
  • Got two form rejection e-mails (one from a black hole application, one for a position for which I’d had a phone interview).  Kudos to those companies for at least closing the loop.  It’s much better than never getting a response.
  • Set up a new networking interview for later this week.
  • Learned that one of my networking contacts lost his job.  Hoping I can provide him with some leads.

It seems that HR people are very busy on Mondays!  While there’s no guarantee any of these will result in a real live job, it is somewhat encouraging.

Sometimes I try to amuse myself by projecting the likelihood of a job, based on the current pipeline, like a sales forecast.   For example, I assume a resume to a black hole (and I only apply for positions for which I think I’m well qualified) is about a 1 in 200 chance of a job, but goes up to about 1 in 50 if I can connect with someone internally who can get my resume to a real person who will look at it, 1 in 20 if I can reach the hiring manager or get to the screening interview stage with an HR person.  Odds go to 1 in 5 if I get an in-person interview, 1 in 2 or better if I know them from a previous job.  

 None of these odds are based on any kind of scientific analysis.   (And frankly, I don’t want to be doing this long enough to have a statistically significant n.)  It does help keep me going, and encourages me to keep filling the pipeline. 

In the end, my job hunt IS a sales activity, and the product is ME, so I might as well try to have a sales forecast.

 Happy forecasting, fellow job-hunters!

Fascinating, if it’s true…reportedly you are more likely to be hired if you interview in the morning.

Indispensable Marketing

Many of you know someone who would love to increase their odds in the logistical part of finding traditional work or in getting a job.

You’ve heard all the old advice. Be prepared for the interview. Target your resume. Just show up on time and well dressed.

And of course, that’s all a good idea.

Meanwhile, I’ve got the best way to tip the scale in your favor as a job seek … immediately.

Research shows that 83% of the people who have the power to hire are more likely to hire AM job seekers. And 70% of all hiring decisions are made before 11:00 AM.

So, if you are given the opportunity to schedule the time of an interview, your best chance of improving you’re the one hired is to make it before 11:00 AM.

Avoid Mondays and Fridays. On Monday, people tend to have too much to do and on Friday…

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Kicking Myself

A couple of days ago, I had a surprising phone call.  This was for a position I was quite interested in, and I had even gotten some good information from a very helpful and kind insider, who seemed to think I was fairly well qualified for the position.

 I was surprised because I had recently gotten a form “thanks for applying but we’re not interested” email from HR, and my internal contact had told me that the hiring manager had not responded to the email she had sent with my resume and an endorsement.   So I’d given up hope on this particular opportunity.

Naturally, when the interviewer called, I was not prepared, having mentally and physically put the job description in the inactive pile.  (The form email was apparently sent by mistake.)  I wish I had followed the advice I’d been given many years ago by an outplacement coach to never take a phone call unprepared, but to say you’re headed out the door and ask to arrange another time to talk.  Instead, in my eagerness to discuss this job I said the time was fine.  I don’t think the interview was completely awful, but I think I fell short in discussing recent industry developments, something I would have been able to do with at least a few hours of advance notice.

Guess I need to chalk this one up in the lessons learned column.

 

Feeding A Demon?

Blogger Kgmitchell has had a lot of insightful posts on the job search.  I’m reposting today’s about conquering the demon of self-doubt, since I thought it was especially apt:

Remember when you first started this job search? Or perhaps it wasn’t a job search so much as it was having ambitions of moving up in the organization? Let me jog your memory. You had drive, you had high hopes, you walked with purpose and your head was level. You looked people in the eyes, kept your focus on obtaining your goal of employment or advancement, and people commended you on your attitude….

Click here to read the full post:

Feeding A Demon?.

It’s Hard to Say No

Yesterday I encountered a somewhat unexpected situation, although I’m guessing it’s not uncommon among job-seekers.    A neighbor and friend who knows I’ve been job hunting contacted me about an open position at his firm.  It’s an interesting role at a well-respected firm, and although I wasn’t exactly a shoo-in, I’m sure his recommendation would have carried a lot of weight due to his position.   Although the position was primarily administrative with correspondingly modest pay, it sounded like there was a good chance for advancement to a related, better-paying position for someone who could learn quickly.  What ultimately made me decide not to apply is that I don’t possess the educational credentials or experience in the type of service the firm provides, which means there’s a definite ceiling on where I could go with this firm, or even in this field.

Early in my career I held marketing positions at a couple of engineering firms.  It was a great learning experience and I really liked most of the people I worked with.  (Engineers are my kind of people.)  However, it became very clear that for someone who is not an engineer, and therefore can’t do billable work, there’s only so far one can go.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do a little bit of billable work in the economics practice of the second engineering firm I worked for, but this was far from their main line of business.  That particular practice was eventually eliminated in the region I was in.  At that time I vowed never to work in professional services marketing again.  In another life, maybe I’ll come back as an architect, lawyer, engineer, or doctor, but I’m not planning to go back to school to enter any of these professions in this one. 

I hope I’m not still jobless in six months and kicking myself for not pursuing this position.  I guess only time will tell whether or not this was a good call.  Right now I’m making the riskier bet that I’ll find a decent paying job in the fields I have been targeting.