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Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? – No BS Job Search Advice

Listen to this episode of No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses how to answer this tricky interview question.

Summary

I want to talk with you today about one of those tough interview questions that are designed to help you hang yourself. The question is, “why did you leave your last job?” And as they asked the question they try to make it seem like you should tell them intimate details of your life that are completely inappropriate to talk about an interview. They act like they want you to confess.

Playing on that, there are two scenarios. The first is, if you got laid off, you you are not obviously going to say, “I was the least productive person in my organization so that was easy for them to choose me.” Obviously that’s not the right answer from your vantage point; from there’s they respond by saying, “okay. Thank you very much.”

In that situation, you talk about an organization was struggling financially and across-the-board cuts and, unfortunately, based upon seniority you are either (A) the least experienced person amongst your peers or (B) one of the more expensive people in the department and they decided, quality of work be damned, they could take out one person and save the money out of that department or three people and they opted for the one. That’s one approach.

Again, if you got laid off to you the most junior, that’s easy. They took a seniority approach. “I was the most junior person in the organization. You is not an issue or my work because all my reviews were terrific. Ultimately they chose me.”

If you are in a situation where you were not laid off, where you had a choice, this is a subtle one.

As you listen to this, remember, I believe in acting over the course of an interview. Thus, you want to act like you are agonizing and going back in time to think about it. You then say something along the lines of, “this was not an easy decision for me. I have gotten frustrated because they saw me as someone who could run this department, be very good as a programmer… Whatever it is… I didn’t want to sit in the same job for the next 20 years of my life. It became real clear to me that that was going to be the case where was. So, after speaking with my manager and he being very clear that this was the plan for me, I decided that, although I like my job, although I like the work I was doing and like the people, I had to think longer term. I start to go out on interviews and organizations saw me very differently. They saw me as someone who had a huge upside. It wasn’t that I was going to come in and do the same thing repetitively, organizations spoke about how they would do career development for me to help with my growth.” That becomes a different approach.

The second scenario is when you were let go, when you had a rough situation he decided to look at other opportunities.

Using myself as an example, I left a firm at one point where I was a top performer. I came to realize I wasn’t getting the support that I wanted or needed to do what I do. Management kept reducing tools and I kept reaching into my own pocket to pay for things. Eventually, I paused and asked myself, “if I’m going to keep doing that, why, if I’m going to be paying for this stuff myself, why am I giving management such a large percentage? If I’m going to do that, why give management such a large percentage of each sale that I do?” So I decide to hang my own shingle up.”

Did you notice what I was doing? I was painting a situation with the story so that it is understandable from the audience’s standpoint.I’m not acting bitter in any way. I’m not speaking harshly; I just decide to explain it in a very forthright way.

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

The Change It Had To Come – Job Search Radio

I learned something a long time ago– you can swim with the flow of the river or swim against it. If you decide to swim against it, the likelihood is that you will drown.

Summary

I want to talk to you older workers for a second about something that I know you know on one level is happening but on other levels you deny how it’s going to affect you and it winds up costing you your career. That is the notion of change. Let me use my career as an example.

When I started recruiting in the 1970s, the hot technology was COBOL. Ultimately, what happens is that things changed “in different technologies became the “hot technology.” Those technologies changed and new things replace them. This is an about the hot technology and what is hot in the market; it is about the need to adapt.

I remember when COBOL was becoming passé and people were starting to use minicomputers, programming languages are completely irrelevant now. They were recruiters who were saying, “there are no COBOL jobs and I have these great COBOL people,” and they didn’t adapt.

If you look at your field, the one that you’re working in now, and the changes that you’ve seen over your proof career or long career, you’ll see that things have changed.

You can argue with them and say to yourself, “I don’t want to have to learn this stuff,” and concede the fact that your career will come to an end because there are people who will want to learn that stuff, who do want to become involved with those things that are new, and desirable. It’s not like you’re going to be the best and that new thing, but you need to get some experience with whatever that thing is that is the new thing in your field.

You need to keep attending conferences. You need to keep paying attention. Reading trade publications, understanding what the change is how to adapt with it, and making the change, as well.

For you, unless you do this, let’s skip ahead a few years. There will be some version of recession. When firms start evaluating who to cut, unless you have adapted, you are an expensive item to. That’s true especially knowing the old stuff.

You always have to learn “new.” You always have to adapt, or else, otherwise, I’m going to start calling you “Dino,” for the dinosaur – – a legacy in your division. An old timer. The person who they tell stories about or jokes about at the office as the person who missed the opportunity to be on the cutting edge. Who missed out and made the decision that cost them their career.

There are so many instances I have seen of people who made this mistake, who hang on for dear life. The truth is if you learn the new stuff,, even if they do cut you (after all, there’s no guarantee that they won’t), you can find another position or contract work during the down times because you know the new stuff and you have experience with the new stuff.

Stay up-to-date with your field. Make sure your current and, if there are so many things that make it hard, to the best! Just don’t get stuck in the mindset that says, “Something else.Ugh,” and started to whine about it. No one likes a whiner, no matter what the subject is. Don’t become the office complainer.

Adapt. Spearhead the change. Encourage other people to adapt as well. You will wind up being a survivor.

On this show, I offer career advice, rather than pure job search advice is designed to help you have a long and prosperous career

Do you … Read more about this episode…

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Can I Apply for Another Job Now If I’m on a Contract?


The assignment will end in a few months. I don’t want to be unemployed when it is over.

Summary

Can apply to another job right now, If I’m on a contract assignment? The assignment I know will end in a few months. I was wondering how early can I apply for another job so I will not be unemployed when the contract ends?

This is the dilemma of being a contractor. You know you’re making decent money but all good things come to an end. The same is true with full-time jobs; I’m not here to debate that. I I will answer this question.

So, number one, do the terms of the contract specify what happens if you leave now? Almost all contracts for IT professionals and other professionals allow you to break the contract with two weeks notice, three weeks notice, four weeks notice, some version of notice. So read the terms of your agreement to find out clearly.

Now what I read there was that the assignment is due to end in a few months. There is a difference between two months and four months in the answer.

So if it’s four months, I suggest waiting for a little while, maybe three or four weeks, and then starting. If it’s two months, act now.

If it’s three months, probably now because job hunting takes time and the statistical probability is that you are not going to find the job instantaneously. Let me define that for you.

You send out a resume in the seas part, the earth opens up. I hand reaches up to you and says, “ Here my child. We have a job for you.” It doesn’t work that way.

Usually, you go on multiple interviews over the course of some period of time (usually two months but it can be longer) and the result winds up being that you need to start now if you need something in two months or three months. Four months, you wait a little bit because you know it takes time.

Employers usually want to interview multiple people before choosing someone and you want to get the lay of the land too so that you have a sense of what’s out there that fits your needs and will pay you the money that you want and deserve.

So, again, the answers I always are, “It depends,” because there’s always missing information two answer more explicitly. So again, 2 to 3 months. Start now. Over three months, wait just a little bit so that you benchmark it to 2 to 3 months

Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/thebiggamehunter

Who’s Managing Your Job Search?

“He (A lawyer) who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

~Abraham Lincoln

In my many years of doing recruiting, there have been a ridiculously few number of people who have ably represented themselves in their job search. Even the ones who claim victory and found positions have made mistakes that have proven costly.

 

Continued

 

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2016

 

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Dealing With the Emotional Side of Job Search- No BS JobSearch Advice Radio

Listen to this episode of No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter speaks about the emotional toll job hunting can take and what you can do about it.

Summary

I thought I would do a show about the emotional side of job hunting because most of what I deal with in the shows involves tactics… Strategies… Things along those lines. There’s an emotional side, and emotional toll that comes with job hunting.

A lot of people come home from work and develop procrastination skills.

“This is hard.”
“I’m too tired.”

Or maybe you’re not working because you’ve lost your job and you start spending a lot of time staring at the refrigerator and what’s in it.

Or suddenly you start drinking or getting high in different ways.

I just want to point out that these are common and maladaptive responses (bad responses) to your circumstances. You are far better off doing two things:

Getting coaching advice to help you with your job search or working on the emotional issue that’s causing the anxiety or depression that’s causing you to take out your fears in these kind of ways.

You’re not good to any employer if you walk in with a hangover. It’s not that they’re going to know that you have a hangover but you’re just not going to perform well on your interviews. United to get job so easily if your pantsuit doesn’t fit you properly.… If your blouse or shirt opens in inappropriate places.… It just doesn’t work.

Better to spend time on a treadmill if you are out of work or if you are working. Better to spend time on a crosstrainer. Better to spend time doing meditation, rather than acting out from your frustrations/fears/depression rather than in ways that are going to hurt you. And they will hurt you unfortunately.

No one really talks about this stuff but I see it all the time in my work as a headhunter and as a coach. I talk to people who are panicked (and understandably so). They are down to their last dollars. They are becoming frightened. They are talking to be because they are hoping that I can find something for them quickly and I can’t.

Companies have their own timeline and it’s not like you can pressure them into acting differently because they don’t care about your circumstances; they are trying to hire the best person for themselves.

Work on the emotional side of you looking for work. If you are working and you’re procrastinating about looking for work, if you’re not doing the kind of things to develop your skills or network properly, to post your resume on job boards, to respond to ads, to contact recruiters, what’s that really about? What are you frightened about that’s keeping you from doing that? What’s at risk for you to take the appropriate steps to act in the right way?

Lord knows, you don’t want to be in your current job and there is a fear of going to the next one. You need to solve that in order to break free. Unfortunately, it takes some time and take some effort.

I happen to do coaching but if you want to contact someone else, that’s certainly fine. I have a lot of videos that deal with tactics and strategies… That can help you break through some things but fundamentally this is an emotional issue. I trained as a therapist for a lot of years, practiced for a lot of years, I can help you.

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Should I Respond to an InMail About a Job I Am Not Interested In? – Job Search Radio

If you are a LinkedIn member (you are a LinkedIn member), you probably get regular inMails from recruiters asking whether you might be interested in a job that they are trying to fill. Should you take the time to respond?

That’s the question for today; I hope this solves the dilemma for you.

Summary

Should I respond to an InMail from a recruiter? The short answer is yes but let me explain why.

The recruiter reached out to propose a situation to you. You are not interested. That’s okay. But your goal is to create a relationship with people who might be able to help you. A polite response that says, “Thanks, but no thanks,” or, “Thanks but I’m not looking right now,” or, “Thanks but I don’t know anyone will be qualified right now. Stay in touch,” or, “thanks. I’m not interested”… Whatever it is, a quick note of response starts the opportunity for building a relationship.

Why do you want to build a relationship? So that this person feels like they want to reach out to you again. Before you start groaning, “Why would I want to talk to a recruiter,” because they have job opportunities that may help you in a certain time of your life and career. If you are arriving “cold,” they may not really know you well enough to recommend you to one of the better clients. That’s reason number one.

Reason number two is kindness. LinkedIn charges them if you do not respond to an inMail in 90 days. They deduct inMail’s from the recruiter’s account if you respond to it within 90 days of it being sent to you.

You should be on daily and, if not daily, every second day at a minimum. Check your inbox for messages, as well as doing a number of things on LinkedIn to market and promote yourself.

After all, if you just lurch from job search to job search when you are in desperate need of finding a new position, you are not doing the work of career planning or career management. You will just be getting out there and looking for a job each time you need one and it takes a long time to build things up in order to get results.

So, I am encouraging you, respond, answer, quick things. It doesn’t have to be a big long production. You will benefit by the relationship building and they have the second benefit of having the inMail credited back to them.

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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A Creative Way to Use Facebook for Job Hunting

Listen to this episode of No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses a creative way to use Facebook for job hunting.

Summary

This is a creative tip and I say it’s a creative tip because it is an underutilized one. I know with Google, you are used to seeing advertising around the page and I’m sure you’ve noticed that Facebook does the same thing.

Facebook is remarkably inexpensive and terrific way to promote yourself. For you people in a creative field, why not do a campaign on Facebook. It’s very inexpensive; you can choose the demographics of who the ad is displayed to. You can run campaigns for a few dollars per day and put your impressions in front of people, perhaps link it back to a website or page on Facebook where you can promote yourself and your capabilities.

Creative ideas like this for creative professionals go a long way toward helping you stand out from your competition. Don’t just go for the conventional route. Look for ways that you can reach out to individuals who might be a position to go, “how. That’s a great idea!” Click through to you and then be interested in meeting with you.

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Breaking Out


There is a price we pay to have the life and career we want.

Summary

I want to speak with you today about this notion I have of playing big in the world. There is a price that you pay where you try to break out of the box that organizations try placing you in. For example, if you think back to when you were young, you are brought to school, told to sit at the desk, do what you were told, regurgitate a bunch of facts or else… Or else you might not get into a good college.

You did your best and then went to that good college, told to do the same thing or else you wouldn’t get a good job. These threats go on and on and on and never stop.

In breaking the mold at this stage in your life, and living a little differently, in ways that satisfy you and not necessarily “the machine,” you are changing the dynamics. As a result, there is a price that you pay for doing that. The price usually is criticism.

People start telling you that you are doing the wrong thing. In their own way, they’re trying to show you that they care about you and don’t want you to be hurt. But their dream is not your dream and you need to live yours.

A lifetime doesn’t last as long as we would like it to. Trust me. I remember talking to my dad before he passed, he missed things they want to have happen in his life. But there were more things they want to do and feel and experience… But time didn’t permit him to do them. The same is true of all of us.

Criticism is that tax or price we pay for breaking out on the confines of that box that institutions you try to socialize us into. If you are willing to pay that practice and face rejection and criticism, there is a potential for hope,

for change for living the life we want to have. There are no guarantees, just possibility of learning the lessons that you need to so that you can live the life that you’ve always wanted.

Your choice. Whatever is good for you is good for me. I would like to support you with it. If you are interested, reach out to me.. My web address is www.NoBSCoachingAdvice.com; schedule some time with me.

I would love to help you play big in the world.

 

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been coaching people to play their professional and personal games BIG for what seems like 100 years.

For more No BS Coaching Advice and encouragement, visit my website, www.NoBSCoachingAdvice.com

Ready to schedule your first coaching call?

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The Format of a Perfect Cover Letter

Listen to this episode of No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses how to create a perfect cover letter.

Summary

I want to talk with you about effective cover letters, getting to the point very quickly and demonstrated (if you are submitting your resume for a role) that you fit the job that you are applying for. Here’s the basic format of a cover letter:

Paragraph/Sentence one: I’m forwarding my resume to you because I understand you are trying to hire for a (fill in the blank). That can be the job title with some of the details of the position. For example, a software engineer with C++ in a pharmaceutical environment. I noticed a few major points of in the description; let me show you how a matchup.

Then you go through the requirements of the job, as well as the functionality of the position and how you match up. Next, you set up columns. Toward the left, you have a requirement; for example, C++. To the right, you have how long and how recently he worked with it. Again, let’s say it C++, you might write, “four years. Current.” The line might have the next point of the requirements. The next line would say, “three years. Current.”

Eventually, you get to the functionality that they are asked to perform. Again, you do the same thing.

Thus, in your cover letter, you’re making the case for how you fit the requirements and functionality that the company is asking for and that you will be performing. From there, you have to make sure that some of these points, if not all these points, or mentioned in your resume because if it is inconsistent, it will cause the employer to hesitate. This is where resume tailoring comes in handy.

Again, the format is very simple: I’m forwarding my resume to you because I understand you’re trying to hire for such and such. This is how my background matches up with what you’re looking for and what you be asking someone to do. Flush left. Flush right.

If you conclude by saying something to the effect of, “I look forward to hearing from you and meeting with you to discuss the opportunity with you,” or “I’ll follow up with you in the next few days if I don’t hear from you.” Something along these lines that ties the bow. Then you sign it.

Now, to be real clear, you don’t send this as a separate attachment. Put in the body of your email because no one wants to open up a second file with a know your resume is there. Laid out right in front of them so that when they open up the message and, trust me, will read it

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Do More People Get Jobs From Networking or Job Ads (VIDEO)

Summary

The question I received was, “to most people get jobs from networking or from job ads?” Let me give you the statistics.

Recruiters fill about 6% of all positions; job is filled about 15 to 20%. I combined the two numbers because recruiters sometimes use job ads to find people so it is just easier to combine them both. 26% are filled by job he has and recruiters.

How do the rest get filled? They get filled by networking. Here is an interesting addendum.

Most of you think of networking as the people you already know. However, there are folks your network knows that you don’t know. Statistics show that 70% of the positions the filled through networking , as a result of introductions to people that you did not know at the beginning of your job search.

Catch that one! Of the privately 70% of positions are filled by networking, 70% of them are filled by introductions the people that the job hunter did not know at the beginning of the search! Almost 50%!

Your goal is to network because that is really where most of the jobs are filled – – by creating relationships with people that you don’t currently know and by expanding the relationship with people that you do know.

Job ads are fine. I encourage people to work with recruiters and answer job ads. However, recruiters are not out there to help you. They are not going to be the source of the lead where they are not compensated. After all, who is a recruiter work for? There working for a company that is going to pay them.

My job is to create a venue for people to want to help you. That comes through networking.

Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/thebiggamehunter

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