June 7, 2010


Your Next Telephone Interview

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:16 am

With the numbers of candidates who are typically applying for open positions today, I am noticing that employers are making increasing use of phone interviews as an initial screening tool in determining who will actually be invited in for the all important full round of face-to-face interviews. There are challenges to properly navigating a phone interview, so I thought I would provide you with some proven advice to consider.

A skilled interviewer knows that a phone interview is an important screening tool in which a limited number of key questions are asked to determine who should be invited in for a full round of interviews. Phone interviews generally last about 30 minutes. Given its limitations, good interviewers know that a phone interview can not accomplish what a full face-to-face evaluation interview can, where more sophisticated distinctions and assessments can be made. Unfortunately, you should know that some interviewers try to use phone interviews in just this way. Given these realities, how should you best prepare?

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August 1, 2009


Focus on What You Can Control

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:36 am

In a job search, focus on the things you can control – not on the things you cannot control. What does this mean? In a slow market, you cannot always judge the quality of your efforts by the number of interviews or offers you are generating. You cannot control when an employer will decide to hire someone with your skills. You cannot make an employer interview you or extend an offer. You CAN control the out-going activity you are generating. Consistency in levels of weekly activity will lead to success. Become consistent in finding and raising your visibility with people who can either hire you to do the work you want to do or with people who can introduce you to such hiring authorities. If you are job hunting full time, I would strive to target 10 such people each day to create the velocity needed to be successful in your search efforts.

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July 29, 2009


Who is reading your resume?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 7:44 pm

These days if you don’t get your resume into the hands of the “right person,” you might as well not send it out at all. 

One of the greatest mistakes job hunters make is to send their resumes only to individuals who receive hundreds of resumes a week.  These are the individuals listed in advertisements, on job boards or as the “contact person” for company career sites.  Insight:  Most resumes that are sent this way are not reviewed by this individual – or any individual for that matter.  The sheer volume of responses makes an initial review by an actual human being unrealistic in many instances.  The company or job site may be using a parsing program to first load resumes into a database.  An autoresponder is sending you that seemingly personalized, but formulaic acknowledgement letter.  If your resume does not contain the all important keywords and narrowly defined years of experience, your resume may never be retrieved later for review – even if you are qualified.  When resumes are initially screened by an individual, let’s be fair, the sheer number of responses this person may have to plow through may make a thorough reading of each resume - including your resume - impossible.  Further, the person in the ad is rarely the hiring manager and he or she may not have the deep expertise to properly assess your credentials.  (The hiring manager is too busy for this amount of initial screening.)  Also, if you applied to a specific ad, your resume now sits in a large pool of other respondents who are your competitors wanting this same position.   This all adds up to a low percentage deal for you. 

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July 23, 2009


Counteroffers – The Cliff Notes

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 7:30 pm

Does this sound familiar? You have thought carefully about a career move and weighed the benefits for you, your family and your career. You have decided to accept the new position and are now ready to give notice. When you speak to your boss, he or she says some version of: “Wait a minute. You won’t believe this, but we have big plans for you and I was just about to tell you about them! Let’s discuss what can be done to make you stay.” Surprising and enticing promises are made. You find this is flattering. Others involved in this drama, however, begin to view you as unfocused, indecisive or even opportunistic. You start getting emotionally confused and pulled off your center. What’s happening here?

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July 17, 2009


Who’s in your network?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 2:28 pm

It is well documented that over 50% of individuals obtain their next position as a result of networking. At essence, networking is ultimately about raising your visibility with the people who can hire you to do what you are interested in doing. It is true that the end goal of networking is to obtain job leads, but networking is more of a journey than this simple definition suggests. What happens is this: You start by speaking with people you already know. Where appropriate, they link you to people they know (and so forth) which hopefully results in an increased flow of useful information about you, your career interests, the market and ultimately job opportunities. It is important to realize that not everyone is in a position to offer you the same kind of help. Yes, you are seeking job leads, but not everyone may be in a position to do so. It would be more useful and satisfying for you to think of networking in the following way. You are seeking to connect with people who can fulfill the following helpful roles in your job search:

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July 1, 2009


Your Cover Letter

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:19 am

A good friend of mine asked me to critique the cover letter she wanted to use in her job search.  Without going into the details of her situation, let me share what I counseled her – and also believe will be helpful to you: 

It is my opinion that effective cover letters need to be short and written with the employers perspective foremost.  Imagine the first sentence of such a letter reading something like this:  “Can your firm use the help of a skilled employment attorney?”  Note how the employer can immediately understand what you are offering and whether it makes sense to read any further.   Believe me that most people do not have the time or patience to read long cover letters to figure out who you are and how they might be able to use your background.  It’s up to you to say how you can be of service to them. 

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June 24, 2009


What is your core message?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 7:51 pm

For those of you looking for your next position, I would like to ask you the following:  “What is your core message about yourself?”  Let me qualify this further:  If you had just one minute to present yourself to the employer of your dreams, what would you say?  If I gave you an additional minute to talk, what benefits about yourself would you add?  This 1-2 minute “commercial” about yourself is truly the FOUNDATION of your job search effort.  To develop a more compelling sales message about yourself, consider the following:

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June 22, 2009


Learn and Change

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:05 am

I do appreciate the supportive e-mails we have received about our website and this blog.    I view this blog as an opportunity to share with you proven insights that we have about job hunting, so please contact us with any questions you would like me to address.

A question that I have been frequently asked lately goes something like this:  “What would I recommend to someone who has been job hunting with little success over the past six months?”  At essence, the answer is this:  If you have not been getting the results you want, you need to change the way you are handling your job search.  If you continue to do the same thing and communicate the same message in the same way, your job search will provide the same results.

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June 19, 2009


Relocation?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:02 am

An attorney called me to discuss what seemed like a very good opportunity that involved a relocation.  His real concern was about how best to handle the process of exploring both the career opportunity and its location.   Let’s be honest, relocation adds an additional layer of complexity to any career move.  It may needlessly become a significant impediment and stressful deal breaker later in the process if not realistically considered upfront.

There is much that can be said on this subject, but here are just a few of the basic points that I discuss with candidates: 

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