And, while things are slow at work, consider two things:
- Network Like You Mean It – I know, I know. Hiring slows down over the holidays. But, this is the thing. People hire people. And, during the holidays, people network. Take this time to reconnect with colleagues at holiday parties, lunches, or just over coffee on a slow day. You will be ahead of the game when hiring does get back into full swing.
- Update Your Resume & LinkedIn – During this quiet time at work, and in the hiring process, don’t just forget about your job search. Prepare! Use your down time to update your resume and LinkedIn, so you will be ready when someone asks you to send over a copy!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! THANK YOU for being such wonderful clients and friends to me over the last four years.
Job searching today can often feel like talking to a brick wall. You apply online, alongside hundreds of other job seekers. Despite how qualified you may be, you rarely hear back from the company. The rejection is tough. It may feel like it’s just you, but it’s not. You know how hard it is to get in to an Ivy League college? Well, it’s even harder to land a job by applying online.
Given the number of times we’re all switching jobs today, this repeat experience is frustrating. Online company LinkedIn is using data to tackle the frustration of both the job seeker, and the hiring manager. Their latest products were announced at LinkedIn Talent Connect in Nashville, Tennessee in October. Talent Connect attracted over 4K human resources managers and recruiters from over 2K companies around the world.
Kate Hastings, Head of Global Insights at LinkedIn, started her product announcement with, “I’m Kate Hastings, and I’m obsessed with data!” And, it seems that the rest of the LinkedIn team is too. Dan Shapero, VP of Talent Solutions and Careers said, “Data is the corporate superpower.”
How will companies use your data in the future?
Job seekers are able to share whether or not they’re open to new opportunities on the LinkedIn platform. They’re able to provide this information in a confidential way that is not revealed to their current employer. In other words, they won’t show up if their company’s recruiter is looking for new candidates. They’re also able to communicate other preferences, including whether or not they’re willing to relocate to another city.
Companies will filter more
One of the headaches employers face is the sheer number of applications they receive for any one job posting. To help cut down on the clutter, the human resources manager is able to sort by employment type (full-time, part-time, contract, or internship) and specific job skills. They’re also able to specify the preferred number of years of experience of a candidate. And, they can find out whether or not a particular applicant is authorized to work in the country where they’re applying.
Fast tracking the best candidates
In addition to the filtering options that are available to the recruiter, the candidate experience will also be improved. LinkedIn wants to help human resources managers to identify the best talent quickly, and to give highly desirable candidates a VIP experience. Rather than make a great candidate go through the entire application process, they may fast track them to a lunch with the hiring manager. Or, they may allow the best candidates to send messages directly to the hiring manager via LinkedIn.
The unconventional candidate
Although the experience should greatly improve for the best candidates, these changes bring up questions for unconventional candidates. What about someone who’s switching careers midstream, or learned their trade outside of a fancy college? Ultimately, those candidates may be even less likely to show up on the hiring manager’s radar if they don’t meet the basic requirements.
But, in reality, this isn’t a new problem. When someone is trying to switch careers, the best route is often to search the old fashioned way – by networking. And, the good news is, LinkedIn can be a useful tool for that.
The job market is continuing to change at a rapid pace – almost just as fast as we’re all changing careers. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that much of the job search game is now being played online. The best way to win is to jump in and give it a shot.
Happy Halloween! In celebration of this fun holiday, I want to share with you one of my own frightening job interview stories. I shared it this time last year with Monster.com.
A number of years ago, I was interviewing for a job in Pittsburgh. The company flew me to Pittsburgh to interview in person.
Happy National Boss’ Day!
In celebration of this *special* day, I have an important question. Who’s the boss of you?
I hope your answer is YOU. You’re the person who decides which risks to take. You’re the one who decides how far up the corporate ladder you want to climb.
In today’s era of ever changing careers, your own impact cannot be overstated. So, on this National Boss’ Day, I hope you’ll take a little time to think about what you want to do to better manage your own career.
Do you hope to take a continuing education class?
Do you want to volunteer to work on a new project?
Do you want to be more disciplined at work?
Do you want to take more time to network?
Do you want to update your resume and your LinkedIn profile?
Whatever your goals, don’t sit back and wait for someone else to tap you on the shoulder.
I recently interviewed Dr. Shirley Raines, the former President of the University of Memphis. Dr. Raines shared with me her own personal transformation. She went from waiting for someone to tell her she should try a new job — to asking for jobs she wanted. Although this change feels difficult, it can also be very straight-forward. To hear my entire interview with Dr. Raines, check out my interview with her on iTunes or on my website.
Shifting your mindset just a little on this issue is a game changer.
Now, this doesn’t discount the importance of your supervisor at work. They are the person who hires and fires. They will provide your future recommendation for your next job.
So, when you are searching for a new job, don’t just search for work. Look for leadership. A lack of leadership can change your career in a direction you may have never imagined.
But again, nothing substitutes for taking ownership over your own experience — your own future — your destiny.
I hope on this National Boss’ Day, you will decide that you’re the boss of you — whether you are self-employed, or whether a corporation cuts your paycheck.
What’s the most unusual question you’ve been asked in an interview? In theory, the answer to this question should be a challenging question about your work. But, theory and reality don’t always line up.
What would you say if I told you I was once asked, “Are you married?” What if I told you I was also asked, “Do you have children?” And, what would you say if I told you I was also asked, “Do you plan to have children anytime soon?”
The first thing you may be thinking is…. “Angela, is this a joke? Surely nobody asked you these questions. They’re obviously ILLEGAL and INAPPROPRIATE! Nobody would ask these questions.
Well, if you guessed that, you would be wrong. Not only was I asked all three of these questions, but I was asked all three of these questions in ONE job interview.
You might assume that the person who asked me the questions was junior in their career. I mean, these are the kinds of things HR is supposed to brief hiring managers on, right? Wrong. The hiring manager who asked me these questions was a C-level executive at a very well known company. If I were to name the company, you’d know it. You’ve probably spent money with them before.
So, what can you about this sort of thing? Well, the first is, don’t be part of the problem. It’s obvious, but when you’re hiring, be sure to brush up on which questions you can and can’t ask candidates. To be honest, some are less obvious than you might think.
If you’re interviewing for a job and you’re asked these questions, it’s really up to you. You can answer the questions in a straight forward way, you can be direct and tell the hiring manager that the questions are illegal, or you can sidestep the questions completely.
Nobody would blame you for any reaction. You wouldn’t have blamed me if I had gotten up and left the interview, would you?
What I did may surprise you…
I answered the questions directly. Then, I made a mental note that I would not want to work for someone who was so disrespectful — and who so openly was willing to break the law by asking these questions.
If you’re asked illegal questions, just be prepared for how you might want to answer them. Remember that there’s no right way. It’s whatever you feel most comfortable with.
If you’re looking for more information on sticky legal situations that can arise during your job search, check out my podcast with employment law attorney Chip Cavagnaro.