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Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring

Q & A with Author Ford R. Myers

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

This article was originally published in CareerSmart Advisor, a publication of ExecuNet. In this exclusive interview, ExecuNet Editor Will Flammé asked the author to discuss some of his views on job search in a challenging market.


Book: Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Hiring

The employment market is flooded with candidates, many of whom are applying for the very same jobs as you are. Discouraging? Sure. Hopeless? No! Many smart companies are using the deluge of talent saturating the job market to improve their talent base. There are many excellent candidates out there right now looking for their next opportunity, and in his book “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” career expert Ford R. Myers details how to differentiate yourself from the competition and find a great job, even in these difficult times.

Myers takes the reader through every phase of the job search process, beginning with the psychology of job hunting in a down market all the way to how to keep your job once you find a new one. Myers believes that accomplishment stories are an executive’s most powerful selling tool, and he shares how to use them effectively. He explains the power of networking in today’s job market and provides a guide to effective networking, complete with downloadable forms to guide the readers’ development of networking skills.

What are the most important job search tools?
A. It is important to prepare a full collection of top-notch tools. I call this the “Job Seeker’s Tool Kit,” and it can be thought of as a portfolio of self-marketing documents. The idea is to use the right tool at the right time with the right person for the right purpose. Candidates need to stop relying exclusively on their résumé, which is actually one of the least important job search tools in my opinion. Other vital tools include the professional biography, target company list, testimonials sheet, LinkedIn profile, professional references list, networking agenda, accomplishment stories, positioning statement, and so forth. Using all these tools “synergistically” takes some education and practice – but once the approach is mastered, it generates exceptional results.

What role does networking play in one’s search for the right job?
A. Before the downturn of the job market, I used to tell clients that they should spend about 75 percent of their time networking. In the current economic climate, I’m telling my clients that they should be spending 90 percent of their time networking! For people in career transition, networking is no longer part of their job search – networking is their job search! Until someone comes-up with a better idea, networking is still the single most effective means of researching, identifying and securing the best position. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to network – so I’m obviously talking about a structured, proven, effective approach that consistently leads to interviews and eventually, job offers.

How can one reasonably expect to land a dream job in today’s challenging job market?
A. I have a great deal of empathy for executives who are struggling in the search. But the situation is not as hopeless as the media would have us believe. Most professionals are still fully-employed. Even as companies are laying-off employees “through the front door,” many are quietly hiring candidates “through the back door.” But these positive facts don’t make it onto the evening news. To produce better results and land a great job in this economy, it is critically important to first “take a look in the mirror” and assess one’s attitudes and assumptions. Then, it’s a matter of developing a solid search strategy and following-through with discipline and patience.

More than ever, candidates need to match their strengths and assets directly to the employer’s needs and challenges. Rather than marketing their credentials and experience, job seekers must sell their proven results and tangible contributions. It’s a complex process to be sure, but it can be much easier with career help and support. I strongly suggest that candidates seek assistance from such resources as job-search groups, professional career coaches, college-based or municipal employment services, career webinars and workshops, and so on. There is no shortage of information or guidance that job seekers can take advantage of! If candidates follow these suggestions, they will increase their odds of finding excellent positions – even if it takes a bit longer due to this difficult economy.

How does an online presence help in a job search, and how does one go about creating such a presence?
A. In today’s world, executives MUST have an online presence. It has to be optimized, and it needs to project the positive, compelling image you desire. Job seekers can enhance their online presence by posting on social media, creating blogs, building personal websites, running e-mail campaigns, publishing articles, giving presentations, taking leadership roles in professional associations, and much more.

It’s also a good idea to buy the domain of your own name (www.yourname.com). Having a strong web presence is a great way to differentiate yourself. You’ll stand-out as a technology-savvy, smart self-marketer. Surveys show that recruiters like candidates whose online identity reflects a professional image, well-rounded skills and a personality that fits their clients’ corporate cultures.

According to ExecuNet research, more than 85 percent of executive recruiters conduct online searches as part of their background checking of candidates (and about half of these recruiters have eliminated candidates from contention as a result of their findings). The question is – when recruiters search to find good candidates with your experience and expertise, how likely is it that they will find (and like) YOU? Once you decide on your level of interest, effort and investment, you can establish an online strategy that will significantly enhance your presence – ultimately yielding more interviews and offers.

What are some traits of highly-effective job seekers?
A. By changing some job search behaviors and refining career management strategies, executives can produce much better results. In my work as an executive career coach, I have observed the following traits in my most successful clients: (1) They network continually and effectively; (2) They seek help and professional support in the search; (3) They read career books and attend career seminars; (4) They leverage technology, to connect with their industry and build greater visibility; (5) They position themselves as experts by writing articles, giving presentations and leading professional organizations; (6) They act with speed and urgency, to get an edge over other candidates; (7) They take care of themselves physically, emotionally and intellectually; (8) They remain flexible and adaptable, to open-up more career possibilities; (9) They improve / enhance all the documents in their self-marketing portfolio; (10) They identify industries that will emerge stronger when the market improves, and position themselves to take advantage of these trends; (11) They consistently practice interviewing and negotiation skills; (12) They pay extra attention to their personal image, to present themselves in the best light; (13) They monitor and adjust their attitude, recognizing that job search is ultimately “an inside game.”

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at https://careerpotential.com.

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