Job Hunting - Send Me In Coach

Economy. Recession. Layoffs. Yuck already, let’s get on with reving up this economy again and creating lots of new jobs. Think positive. Lets find you a job. If you’re actively in the job market, I have an important idea for you: find a job search coach. Getting that next job might be hard or it might be easy, but you’re much better off getting the best coach in your corner to help you do the things that help you land that next job. Getting up a 7 am every morning to submit your resume to companies probably isn’t going to get you a job very fast. Maybe what you are doing isn’t panning out with the kind of results you expect. You need someone who’s going to ask you the right questions, ask if you are reaching out to all the people in your network including those you aren’t think about, and getting you ready to answer those interview questions.

Who should you ask for help from? There are lots of possibilities but when I want help, I go to the people I know who are most knowledgable about how people get hired: Recruiters. Hopefully you’ve maintained a good relationship with recruiters who have contacted you over the years asking about jobs, possible contandidates, and recommendations. Even if you haven’t, it’s not too late to make good friends with a few recruiters. Build a relationship with someone you like or have a connection with. Right now they’re probably not be too busy filling jobs so they could give you a little extra TLC, and maybe you will lead to an opportunity for them.

How can a recruiter help in this role? By asking you who in your network you know that can put you in contact at a company or job you are targeting. Getting you to think out of the box about potential positions, how to best present yourself, developing resumes specific to job opportunities, figuring out the best kinds of jobs for you, and doing a dry run on questions for an upcoming interview. These things and more are what recruiters do all the time when they are presenting candidates.

So why would a recruiter do this for you? It may lead to an opportunity for them. And they may do it as an investment in you for future opportunities. Maybe they’re just nice and have a good heart. There’s lots of reasons. I’m serious. I had a situation once where a recruiter introduced me to a company where they weren’t under contract for a position the company was contemplating. It was very unclear whether this was going to be a real position or not. The recruiting introduce me to the hiring manager, which led to a face-to-face meeting (not an official interview since the position wasn’t open yet), then an offer when they open the position (I’d already bascially won the job), and the recruiter was in line to get the fee without competing for it with other recruiters. That’s called creating an opportunity where one didn’t exist.

Recruiters are just one idea (and a good one) for coaches. Former bosses, business contacts you may have, a co-worker who’ll be honest with you, are all good options. Most importantly, you want someone to help you prep and do the things you aren’t doing that can help you land that next job.

Time to think out of the box. Find a coach who will help you do that. And next time, go out of your way to help that recruiter who’s calling looking for a Windows Server admin or a .NET C# developer.

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