Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Working With Recruiters

Have you considered working with a recruiter? Here are some things you should know to help you understand the philosophy of this job search option.

Two types of recruiters are retained and contingency. Retained recruiters tend to recruit executives and get paid 33 1/3 commission based upon your salary. Contingency recruiters tend to place people who make $150k and less. Their commission is usually based upon the base salary of the candidate.

Recruiters are sales people and get paid a lot of money by their clients to find the right candidates. Don't be frustrated if you don't receive a phone call back from the recruiter. They tend to spend their time finding the candidate with the exact credentials that their client is looking for. They also tend to only take calls from people referred by a reliable source.

If you can show the recruiter how you can add value you might be able to develop a relationship with them. It's most beneficial to develop a relationship with a recruiter when you have a job.

If you speak with a recruiter and they either don't conduct searches for your particular job or industry they might be interested in learning more about your contacts. They also might be interested in Linking In with you. This is a personal decision that you need to make. Make sure that it is a win-win situation for both you and the recruiter.

Another thing to remember is that recruiters are just people like you and me. They might come from an executive background in the industry that they are recruiting for usually in their 30s and 40s or they might come from a sales background with a large network but little hands on experience in the industry in which they are recruiting.

There is usually no specific training for recruiters and the key to a successful relationship with them is to be genuine, confident and to have your 45 second pitch memorized. Some might be able to speak in detail about what you do and others might be more general because they are less familiar with your industry.

If you get to the point of sending a recruiter your resume and later speaking with them, the conversation with likely be brief and they will take approximately 30 seconds to review your resume to see if they have an open position.

Lastly, make sure that there is the right personality fit between you and the recruiter. You are not just a number and deserve to be treated with respect.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

I come across many people while networking but the people who stand out and apart from the rest seem to share similar qualities. These qualities include staying focused on your goals, being determined despite setbacks and challenges and keeping a positive attitude. Another big quality that I find important is the idea of helping other people. This creates a win-win situation for all parties involved.

I met a lady recently who has aspirations to become partner of the financial services firm she works for. She expressed the challenges she faces every day in overcoming rejection, being patient and not taking things personally. She remains calm in every situation and is confident in her ability to achieve her goal. She knows who she is and what she has to offer her network and clients.

I read an article recently about a man who many would consider a "regular guy" who achieved corporate success through hard work, making wise decisions and seeking the help of mentors.

His rules to live by include: (1) don't be small minded and petty; (2) don't compare yourself to others; (3) don't pay attention to what other people make or what they're doing or not doing; (4) stick your neck on the highest profile projects; (5) tell your bosses and customers that you're going to the ends of the earth to make them successful; (6) then work your tail off and come hell or high water, make it happen.

People like this are what makes a company successful, helps them achieve their goals and serve as great leaders and mentors. I aspire every day to be an inspiration to others and to help them achieve their goals.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have You Considered Consulting?

I meet many people today who are using their expertise in a certain area to help others and at the same time creating a business opportunity. Usually these consultants are focused on a particular area that they have exprerience in. I think it's a great time to consider consulting as the job market is not quite back to where everyone hopes it will be.

If you enjoy helping people and your knowledge base is up to snuff then consulting might be for you. Everyone seems to have strengths and experience in many areas but in particular very specialized areas. Classes are always available to fine tune or get up to date information on some lucrative areas that might be considered.

The most important thing is to run your consulting business as a professional organization. For example, have you considered what area you will focus on? Who will be your target market? How much will you charge? Do you need to rent or share office space? Do you need administrative help with billing and answering phones? What type of billing system will you use? What are the needs of your customers and how will you satisfy these needs better and more efficiently than your competition?

If you haven't been on your own before and don't have sales experience, you'll need to learn these skills quickly. Networking and building new business is vital to success as a consultant. Referrals are a great way to bring in new business but differentiating yourself and providing quality and professional work is also key.

What types of networking groups will you join? Will that group provide you as a referral to prospective clients? Social media is a popular way to market your services and it's easy to learn once you get started.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Benefits of Linked In

Linked In is a great way to stay connected professionally, network, generate new business and find a job. It's becoming very popular as more than 55 million people in 200 countries are using it today. A new member signs up every second.

It's easy to get started. Just post a profile and preferably a picture. You can always add more information as you go. Some people just use it to post their professional and educational information and then don't utilize all of the many benefits.

If your company needs a product or service, why not go through your connections to get an introduction to a trusted resource within your network? It's much easier and more reliable than searching on the web.

It's also a great way to stay connected with former colleagues. Since they know you, it's more likely they'll reach out to you if they hear of a position and know that you're looking based upon your Linked In updates.

There are multiple groups that you can join that can help keep you apprised on a certain topic or industry. It also gives you the opportunity to ask a question or get advice from the group that you're connected with. Why not utilize the knowledge and expertise of your network or group? It also makes it that much easier to stay connected with your Alumni group.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are You Using Social Media to find or post a job?

Social media is the new buzz word that everyone seems to be using these days. It's basically connecting online.

While a job search today seems to be an employer's market it's as important as ever to research a company to make sure that it's the right fit for you. Social media and online searches are a great way to conduct this research.

Have you reviewed the company's website? Does it give a good impression about the organization? Does it give details about what it's like to work for the company or details about what the company looks for in a candidate? Most companies have the job application right on their website.

Does the company have a Facebook page? You can sign up as a fan and get some insight into the company through Facebook. If you are interested in a company and they don't have current openings if you sign up as a fan you might gain some insight when they do have openings.

It's also a good idea to do a Google search on your own name to see what information is out on the web about you. You can sign up for Google Alerts whether it be on an individual's name, company name, industry or a specific topic. Each day these alerts will be delivered to your inbox.

Linked In is another good resource. You can gain access to people in an organization and reach out to them for feedback about a job or company. You can also gain access by joining groups with access to that company. Connections and feedback are key.

Another good resource is Twitter. Why not follow a person at an organization or the organization itself? What better way to follow a company than through their tweets.

Have you tried Craigslist for your search? It's a good resource that many recruiters as well as companies are using today. It's state specific and there are resources for any other items you might be seeking.

Instead of searching through various job boards have you checked out Indeed.com? It's an aggregator that posts job openings from various websites. It makes your job search that much easier.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Choosing A Social Media Vendor

Being in transition, I try to join relevant and interesting webinars. Social media is a particularly popular industry today.

I heard a webinar conducted by Social Media Today and they brought up some good points when considering hiring a social media vendor or agency. They mentioned that the vendor should be an established marketing and communications specialist, truly know the business strategy of the organization as well as the company culture. Being established means credibility and a proven track record. Do they have a good reputation on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In? Do they ask detailed questions about your organization and can they answer detailed questions?

The product or service that you have needs to be a good one and social media can only enhance its greatness. The agency should be cutting edge and keep apprised of what's new.

The client doesn't need a lot of knowledge in social media but should be committed to developing a social media strategy with the agency. Trust is also a big determining factor in the relationship. The client should do some research on their own so that they can educate themselves on what their marketing plans and goals are. For example, will the client take on some social media monitoring or will the agency strictly handle this? You want results and don't want an agency that makes big promises and offers a quick fix.

Agencies need to use the social media tools that they themselves are offering to clients. For example, how are the agencies marketing themselves?

Pricing will depend upon the industry, geographic location and the level of impact. Most often it is based upon a retainer and the project type.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Have You Considered Working for A Nonprofit?

While corporate organizations continue to shed positions, many nonprofits are still hiring. Making the shift from corporate life could be challenging but rewarding.

Here is what you should know about making the move:

If you're at the low to mid level, you could expect a pay cut but senior positions usually pay more competitive salaries closer to what corporate America pays. The money for your budget comes from donations so you might be required to do some fundraising. This might include networking and attending charity events. If you don't have fundraising experience there are many classes and books on this topic.

There might be more job security at a nonprofit as the people who go for these types of positions might also share a common passion or commitment to the cause of the organization.

A good way to get your foot in the door might be to volunteer at a nonprofit. You can get to know the people and culture of the organization and might also gain some valuable experience that could help you make the decision to work for a nonprofit.

There's also a good website that gives a wealth of information on nonprofits to include jobs, volunteer work, programs and events. http://www.idealist.org/