How Not To Use Job Search Websites And Get The Job You Want In 4 Steps
by Nick Corcodilos
(Ask The Headhunter)
America’s Employment System is broken. Everything you know about job hunting and hiring is wrong. Throw away your resume or job description and Ask The Headhunter.
Find The Right Job
The best way to find a good job opportunity is to go hang out with people who do the work you want to do – people who are very good at it. Insiders are the first to know about good opportunities, but they only tell other insiders.
To get into an inside circle of people, you must earn your way. It takes time. You can't fake it, and that's good, because who wants to promote (or hire) the unknown?
Get The Interview
The best way to get a job interview is to be referred by someone the manager trusts. Between 40-70% of jobs are filled that way. Yet people and employers fail to capitalize on this simple employment channel. They pretend there's some better system – like job boards. That's bunk.
If companies took more of the money they waste on Monster.com and CareerBuilder and spent it to cultivate personal contacts, they'd fill more jobs faster with better hires. There is nothing more powerful than a respected peer putting her good name on the line to recommend you.
Deals close faster when the quality of information is high and the source of information is trusted. That's why it takes forever to get a response when you apply "blind" to a job posting.
Stand And Deliver
The best way to do well in an interview is to walk in and demonstrate to the manager how you will do the job profitably for him and for you. Everything else is stuff, nonsense, and a bureaucratic waste of time. Don't believe me? Ask any good manager, Would you rather talk to 10 job applicants, or meet just one person who explains how she will boost your company's profitability? I have no doubt what the answer is.
Profit From Headhunters
The best way to get a headhunter's help is to manage your interaction for mutual profit from the start. Hang up on the unsavory charlatans and work only with headhunters who treat you with respect from the start.
Instead of "pitching" yourself, shush and listen patiently to understand the headhunter's objective. Proceed only if you really believe you're a match. Then show why you're the headhunter's #1 candidate by outlining how you will do the job profitably for his client.
Headhunters adopt candidates who make the headhunter's job easier, and who help the headhunter fill the assignment quickly. (Coda: If you follow suggestions 1-3 carefully, you won't need to rely on a headhunter. But if you're lucky enough to be recruited, you need to know How to Work with Headhunters.)
That's Ask The Headhunter in a nutshell. If you wonder whether it really works, take a look at comments from people who've tried it: Thank You, Masked Man.
What's the main difference between Ask the Headhunter (ATH) and the traditional approach? It's pretty simple.
The traditional approach is "shotgun." You blast away at companies with your resume and wait to hear from someone you don't know who doesn't know you. Lotsa luck. (ATH regulars know that I never actually wish anyone luck, because I don't believe in it. I believe in doing the work required to succeed.)
ATH is a "rifle" approach. You must carefully select and target the companies and jobs you want. It takes a lot of preparation to accomplish the simple task in item (3). There are no shortcuts. No one can do it for you. If you aren't prepared to do it right, then you have no business applying for the job, and the manager would be a fool to hire you.
Nick Corcodilos is the host of Ask The Headhunter® and author of How to Work with Headhunters (2009) and How Can I Change Careers? (2009).
Nick is also the author of Ask The Headhunter: Reinventing The Interview to Win The Job (1997), the #1-selling interview guide on Amazon for 26 consecutive months, published in the U.S., the U.K., Taiwan, China, and Brazil.
Nick started headhunting in 1979 in one of America's most competitive job markets: California's Silicon Valley. Using the methods described in his books, in the ATH Newsletter and on the ATH blog, he has helped people win management and staff jobs in companies including IBM, GE, Hewlett-Packard and Merrill Lynch.