“Easier said than done, Ray!” one of my students muttered. “You just don’t know what it’s like out there. Nobody is hiring!!!”
I slid my glasses further up the bridge of my nose, rolled up my sleeves, and let a subtle grin escape.
This was by no means the first time a new student in my job search coaching program thought I was full of BS. Heck, in his mind, he knew I was full of it!
“Maybe they’re not hiring. ‘They,’ meaning Human Resources.” I stepped towards my students. “How many other people are applying for the same jobs you are? 100 people? 500 people? Maybe even 1,000 or more?”
I could see blood draining from faces, symbolizing the hope that drained with it.
“That’s how hiring in the twenty-first century works,” I said. “9 times out of 10, HR has already picked who they are going to hire long before they put a job posting out on Monster, Indeed, or even the company website. And typically, that lucky person is someone who didn’t even have to apply at all.”
My antagonist looked unconvinced. And so did everyone else.
I knew that if I could inspire this one student to a mindset change—and then to a change in his job search habits—he, along with all the other students, would realize that it is as easy to get done as it is said.
I ended the pause and finished my thought, “Job seekers who land their dream jobs are rarely the smartest, most educated, or even most skilled. But they are one thing that most of us are not.”
“Aware. Aware of who the real hiring managers are at their dream company. Aware of the smartest ways to connect with those hiring managers, especially if they have no idea who you are at first. And aware of the hidden job market that exists all around you right now.”
Mr. Skeptic in the back row raised his hand. “How can I get in on this action? What’s the first thing I gotta do to crack into this hidden job market?”
I smiled. I now had a class of synchronized edge-of-their-seats sitters.
“That right there is the first step—having a desire to learn. Let’s dive right in.”
In my last post, you received the free video Breach HR’s Brick Wall: 7 Steps to FINALLY Land an Interview. If you devoted the time to watch it, then the wheels are turning in your head.
You know exactly how to:
- Meet the real hiring managers at your dream company
- Show them your true value in a non-pushy, non-salesy way
- Land your resume at the very top of HR’s stack (because the hiring manager puts it there and says, “Call this person!”)
- Sidestep hurdles that make your fellow job-seekers give up
I told you that story of my skeptical student because, let’s face it…
The idea that you can leapfrog job seekers more experienced and educated than you, land 2nd and 3rd interviews, and be your dream company’s top candidate, well…
It sounds a little too good to be true. Actually, WAAAY too good to be true.
Unfortunately, the belief that you, a job seeker, have to “pay your dues” wasting weeks blasting out resumes that end up in the Human Resources black hole of doom is normal.
To many, it’s common sense. Sitting behind those online job boards you scour so long that your eyeballs bleed are Dr. Evil, Captain Hook, and Darth Vader.
Ok, maybe not. But isn’t that what it feels like after you end up with ZERO responses—much less interviews—after sending out your 37th resume?
These cry-me-a-river tales of woe aren’t exclusive to the unemployed.
Nope, just take a look at what’s been going on over at Reddit.com, a forum where many disgruntled job-seekers are taking up arms against “The System.”
Can you relate?
It’s one thing to try to manage your job search alone. And it’s another thing to get feedback from fellow job-seekers, like these folks on Reddit.
But it’s a whole different ballgame to tackle your job search with an insider right next to you, someone who has personally walked hundreds of job seekers along the straight-and-narrow path to their Dream Jobs.
A guide. A helping hand. One who has gone before you.
And that’s the story of Martina Felderman, a student of mine who felt like she didn’t even have a shot in the dark to switch to the industry she wanted, much less find an ideal position from the get-go!
Meet Martina, who switched careers to a job she loved with the skills she already had—and no further education required.
Let’s watch Martina closely—in her own words—and see how her job search went totally off-course from the norm.
“Making a major career transition can be challenging, especially if one doesn’t have industry experience. Even though I was doing well as a scientist in academia, I wanted to transition to the biotech industry to see how my work was directly effecting patient health.”
Notice what Martina didn’t say. She did NOT say, “I wanted more money. I wanted more prestige. I wanted more authority.”
No, she knew exactly why she wanted to step up in her career—to directly see how her work impacted other people.
Of course, it’s not wrong to want things like a better salary and more recognition. But those should be results of a career change, not your reasons.
If you have a strong “Why” guiding you like Martina, the idea of giving up and just “settling” won’t even be a temptation.
That’s why I require all of my students to dig deep into their own minds and hearts to determine why they really want a different / better / higher paying career.
Back to Martina. Now notice what she doesn’t do as her first steps.
“To prepare for making this leap, I looked into different career coaching programs and online resources. I was impressed by the webinars offered by Raymond, so I decided to take one-on-one career coaching sessions with him. We started in June of 2013. My goal then was to find a position by November.”
Martina did not say, “I updated my resume, ran it by a few friends, and then hit up Monster.com.”
Martina went in not just with a goal (“I want a position in X field by Y date”), but with a strategy (“I’m going to need coaching & support to make this happen”).
She also began her job search from a position of strength and authority:
“Raymond encouraged me to do an in-depth self-assessment to look at my skills and assess what I excel in. This helped a lot in figuring out what position and company might be the best fit for me.”
A conventional-wisdom job search asks, “What companies are hiring?” But Martina developed the confidence to ask, “What companies should hire me?”
Martina was playing a different game entirely. And it paid off quickly.
“I had my eyes on two different positions. Before summer ended, I had made it through every single round of interviews. I received a job offer from my number one company and accepted immediately. I was so happy and could not believe that my first job in the new industry would be my dream position!”
Let’s do the math here. Martina gave herself 5 months to land a new position. She got that new position—which just so happened to be her Dream Job—in less than 3.
What if you could cut 2 whole months off of your job search? Like my student Matt Rebman said, “Every day you haven’t found that new position, you’re losing money.”
What is the ballpark salary you’re looking for in a new position? $40,000? $60,000? $100,000 even?
What if you could start earning that salary 2 months earlier? At a salary of $40k, that rounds out to over $6,000.
What would you do with an extra $6,000 in the bank?
Finally take your spouse on the vacation you’ve been promising? Skyrocket your kids’ college fund? Pay off that car loan?
And more importantly, how would it feel if you could do all of those much sooner than you’d previously expected?
That’s the power of career coaching.
Some of my readers already have a career coach. To that, I say—FANTASTIC! They are leap-frogging other job seekers who would rather do it the hard way and blast out resume after resume with a forlorn prayer attached to each of them.
And still others are students of mine. Like Aaron Slayback and Martina Felderman, they have landed their Dream Jobs because they have access to information that I’d bet 99.99% of job seekers have never even considered.
Rather than try to advertise my services, whip out a veiled sales pitch, or [insert other scammy tactic], I’d like to let Martina close us out and let you judge for yourself whether or not I’m just blowing smoke.
“Raymond knows exactly how to prepare a compelling resume and cover letter and, most importantly, how to get your resume ahead of all the others and in front of the hiring manager. I learned valuable interviewing skills and felt comfortable and well-prepared during my interviews.”
If this sounds like something you’d want to consider for your own career, then we have a special announcement coming in the next post.
If not, that’s totally okay, too. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing more free material like Breach HR’s Brick Wall: 7 Steps to FINALLY Land an Interview to help your career trajectory soar, just like Aaron’s and Martina’s.
P.S. In my next post, we’re going to dive into the traditional job search process from the perspective of company gatekeepers.
After you read the sad-but-true story of how job applications are actually handled, you’re going to want to open a can of, well…it won’t be pretty.
What will be even less pretty is a photo of me shamelessly modeling a piece of technology that some folks are calling “the scourge of the 21st century.”
So stay tuned. And keep antacid pills nearby for your own safety.
(By the way, if you haven’t watched Breach HR’s Brick Wall: 7 Steps to FINALLY Land an Interview, check out my last post. You won’t regret it.)