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The Job Hunt – Strategy Room Live

Monday, February 1st, 2021 | Posted in Articles & Newsletters, Uncategorized

Career coach Ford R. Myers interviewed on Strategy Room Live regarding The Job Hunt.

Diane:

When you send people out for interviews, if they are in a position where they have a lot more responsibilities than someone might think that they do, is that something they should bring-up in a job interview or not?

Ford R. Myers:

No, not really. Because the employer really doesn’t care. All the employer cares about is, “What can you do for me today?” So it would be smart for the recent graduate to talk not so much about their own problems or their own issues and why they need a job, but they should talk more about what they can do for the employer. This means the candidate needs to do some research into what the company’s needs and problems are, and then try to craft a message that can directly match their assets, strengths, and expertise to the company’s needs, problems and challenges. If you do that and make that “marriage,” then you’ve got a job offer.

Diane:

How do you go about getting that interview? Before you can even go in there and impress the employer with all your knowledge of the company, you need them to call you in. Sometimes, that’s the hardest part.

Ford R. Myers:

Absolutely right. One thing that folks should not be doing is sitting behind the computer all day applying to jobs online. If this was two or three or four years ago, I would have told people that they should be spending about 75% of their time on networking. In today’s world, I tell people it’s 95% of their time should be spent on networking. It’s really the only game in town. In other words, Diane, if you’re in transition job searching, then you know what? Networking is your job. It’s not part of your job, it is your job.

Diane:

Meaning casting a net out there, letting everybody who you can think of know that you’re looking for a job and have referred back to you some people who might be able to help you out.

Ford R. Myers:

Well, yes. And more specifically, there’s a system for networking too. It’s not just sitting around and chit-chatting with your friends. Networking, in my world or in the job-seeking world, is something that has a real methodology, a proven approach. It’s a step-by-step system that’s very easy to learn. It’s just that they don’t teach this in school.

Diane:

Nobody ever tells us this. Everybody tells you that you should network, but no one ever says what that means.

Ford R. Myers:

I know.

Diane:

Does that mean I should go to the pizza place and talk to the guy who serves me my pepperoni and ask him if he knows anybody who can help me?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, that might be good. But no, not exactly. Again, there is a proven methodology. It’s a system that can be easily learned. It’s not complicated. What I wish is that they would teach this in schools. I wish that before the graduates leave college, they would have a course or a semester in career management and job search techniques. But there’s virtually no school in the entire country that offers this. It’s pretty strange, isn’t it?

Diane:

It’s very strange. I remember hitting this problem when I got out of school, and it was so frustrating. I found it very interesting that a lot of jobs ask for experience. Well, how in the world am I supposed to get experience if every single job that I’ve looked at or applied for requires experience?

Ford R. Myers:

This is what they call the classic catch 22, right? And you raise a good point. What students should do when they’re in college is get experience any way they can. It can be one of those work-study programs. It could be internships, apprenticeships. It could be volunteer work. It could be getting involved in the associations or organizations that are relevant to your interests.
See, I believe that young people – even freshmen, juniors – can get experience if they just try. But unfortunately, they’re sort of hypnotized into this belief that if they just graduate college, they’ll get a job and everything will be fine.

Diane:

You get a degree, you get a job. It’s just sort of what happens, and then you get out into the workforce?

Ford R. Myers:

That’s the way it was 20 years ago, but it’s not like that anymore.

Diane:

What happens if you’re the kid who’s busy bartending or being a nanny or doing whatever other things you can to make ends meet, to put yourself through school?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, that’s experience too. The things that you just mentioned actually have some very strong and transferable skills. So whether you’ve been a nanny, a cab driver, or a retail clerk, there are ways to package those skills that can be extremely valuable to employers. For example, the types of roles you’ve just mentioned require great interpersonal skills, right?

Diane:

Yes, right.

Ford R. Myers:

Well, that’s one of the biggest things that employers are looking for. They put that right up at the top with leadership skills, with a strong work ethic. So you already have a lot of the assets, even if you’ve only done those kinds of jobs you just mentioned.

Diane:

Well, how do I make the employer realize that? When I’m asking them for an interview, they’re going to look at my resume and say, “Nope, she’s a bartender. She never worked in the news industry.” So how do you break out of that mold?

Ford R. Myers:

It has a lot to do with how you position it and how you package it. If you work with a professional resume writer or a career coach, they can help you to package this in such a way that it really comes across to the employer. I use the word packaging. It’s really important that people understand that this is a sales process. It’s Sales 101.

Diane:

Oh, sure. It’s all about how you market yourself, right?

Ford R. Myers:

Exactly. And a lot of folks just don’t get that. So I want to encourage people to think of this as packaging yourself in a compelling way, to really grab the attention of the employer.

Diane:

You also say that you should use about 90% of your time on networking, and not so much on online applications. But how can people use technology to their advantage right now? Is there a way, or should they stop focusing so much on that?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, technology should definitely be leveraged. But as I said, that doesn’t mean sitting in front of the computer applying for jobs all day. So for example, you know about social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, all the various social media sites. Even some of the ones that are not as well known. The important thing is to create a very dynamic, interactive profile for yourself, and it certainly distinguishes you as a savvy marketer even if technology is not necessarily your field. In today’s world, you have to be technology savvy. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind. So a smart candidate will really leverage these technologies and try to build a reputation for themselves and build a presence online. A positive presence, by the way, not a negative presence. We have to really watch our online identity.

Diane:

Keep the bad pictures off your FaceBook, right?

Ford R. Myers:

Yes, no beer drinking at parties on your profiles. So technology is absolutely important to leverage. And frankly, I think most young people are pretty comfortable with this. People who have been around for a while might not really feel so comfortable, but folks who are in their 20s and even 30s, they’re digital natives. They just “get it,” and they can leverage these technologies much better than perhaps someone like me. I had to learn it, but for younger folks, it’s in their blood. It’s in their DNA.

Diane:

I think this whole era that we’re in right now with technology and social media has sort of evolved with my generation. But I remember my first boss when I came out of school; he still had an old Rolodex. And it was like a bunch of index cards. It’s hard to adjust to technology when you’re not used to it. But as you said, you can certainly use technology to your advantage. I really hope that people grow more comfortable with it because, as you said, there are a lot of opportunities out there that they may be missing right now because they’re so committed to their old Rolodex.

Ford R. Myers:

I know. But I just have to emphasize, networking is so important. And some people say, “Well, I don’t know how to network.” Well, learn! You can’t afford the luxury anymore of saying, “I don’t network. I don’t know how to network.” And I love it when people say, “I don’t know anybody.” You don’t know anybody? You’ve been around for 20, 30 years. You’ve been at camp, synagogue, or church, you went to school, you went to college, you’ve had jobs, you have neighbors, and you don’t know anybody?

Diane:

If you don’t know anybody by the time you’re in your 20s, you have way worse problems than the fact that you don’t have a job.

Ford R. Myers:

Exactly. I know. But see, these people have a misconception. They think that by saying, “I don’t know anybody,” what they’re saying is, “I don’t know anybody who can hire me. I don’t know anybody who’s in a position to make a hiring decision.” Well, I understand that. But you can’t just jump right to those people. You have to go through several layers.

Diane:

You just have to know someone that can get you through the door.

Ford R. Myers:

Right, you go through the layers starting with who you know. So when you look at it that way, it’s not complicated. We’re not talking about cold calling. We’re always talking about warm referrals from people you already know, and then they know people and they know people. So eventually you land with the decision-makers.

Diane:

Well, thank you so much for being on, Ford. Again, the book is “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” I love the name.

Ford R. Myers:

Thanks, Diane!

Follow Ford on LinkedIn or Follow Career Potential on LinkedIn.

About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

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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