Stop applying for jobs and start competing

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Staggerlee, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Staggerlee

    Staggerlee Member

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    For any of you job hunters, I learned this simple truth the hard way. In this job market it's no longer enough to be qualified for a job, you must show that you are above the rest of your competition.

    Use anything that will give you an advantage:
    Know someone in your target company? Good, contact them and tell them to submit your resume to the hiring manager.

    You have a good relationship with the CEO of your previous employer? Good, ask them to write you a letter of reference.

    You got $1,000 to spend on a new suit? Good, do it because you are gonna come across as successful and companies want to hire successful people who look polished.

    You have a canned response for any hard or off the wall question they may throw at you? Good, because if you wing it you will most certainly slip and say the wrong thing.

    You think putting together a 90 day plan for your job is a swell idea? Good, do it because your competition is too lazy to even do enough research on the company.

    Your biggest competition will be other folks who are currently employed, who have as much if not more experience and qualifications than you not the folks who are currently out of work.

    :boxer
     
  2. KnowTalent

    KnowTalent Just SAY NO to "Creamy" Distortion

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    ...and still, Home Depot never calls
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Last interview, I showed up in my navy Dickies and Burger King shirt. It was the only clean outfit I had left in the closet.

    Besides, proved my previous employment. :munch
     
  4. SupremeDalek

    SupremeDalek Member

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    As a hiring manager, this is good, solid advice. You can't simply MEET the requirements in the modern time. It is getting harder and harder on managers to meet budgets, maximize profits, satisfy customers, and get repeat business. Therefore, you must be able to exceed expectations, both as the business to the public, and as the applicant to the boss. If you can't handle being "above and beyond" on an application or interview, how could you be expected to do so when it is the customer's needs are stacking up in front of you.

    Sell yourself first. Show pride, confidence, a will to learn/improve/adjust/etc, and be humble. Cockiness is good to point, but too much is never a good thing.

    One philosophical point... you need that job more than they need you, remember that. If you really want it, go and earn that job.
     
  5. Dr. Sleepy

    Dr. Sleepy Member

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    Work harder! Work faster!
    You lousy roe-but!
     
  6. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll play the devil's advocate in this one... "cuz around these here parts, Mr New York Fancy Pants, these recommendations jus ain't gonna fly". ;)

    Fair, but HR hates everyone and suspects all employees of illegal and unethical doings. Your friend has been on watch for sexual harassment for months...

    Around here, the only chance you have of knowing a CEO is that you fish on the same river...he's out in the current, backbouncing masses of eggs from his 75k$ Duckworth and you're the bank-maggot pitching heavy lead at him form cruising through your drift. Your relationship is less than warm and fuzzy.

    New suit? Yeah, right. Unless you're applying in a public relations department, a suit is the kiss of death. You'll be seen as not fitting in.

    You won't get to regurg'ing the canned responses because the only questions that matter are the ones that you can't can. (wow, that sounded weird!!).
    The groups I used to work for were known for asking things that tested the internal workings of the applicant...just begged for quick, visceral or even off-color answers (without treading close to those areas themselves). They wanted to see if the person would be dismissive/abrupt/rude in their everyday work. They were extremely good at bringing it out, if it existed. And they rarely heard a canned response.

    Well, at TGP a 90 job plan would be "how many times do you plan to tell the co-worker to restart their computer"? Or, "Drive the interstate". Or "Listen to clients complain about their lousy renters".
    Seriously, it's the employer who should have the 90 plan.
    It's up to the new employee to execute it, well, and add in things that they see will contribute to their value in the company... but you only really see that once you're inside. I wouldn't offer an un-solicited 90 day for fear you'd run up against a 'who are you to tell us how you'll get oriented' attitude from the new bosses.

    Actually, you're ideas are pretty good.... for an NYC guy in an NYC job market.
    You must be helping out with the interview process at work lately.
    It gets to all of us, after a while.
     
  7. Staggerlee

    Staggerlee Member

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    ^^^Actually I am the one actively searching for a job and have some really good prospects, nothing in the bag yet.
     
  8. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    In that case I'd add one more 'competition talking point':

    Don't give out your best job-applying hints until you've got the job you're looking for.



    Now, if you want to have fun: next time you get called in for an interview to a job you know you DON'T want, do something minor but annoying throughout the process. A nervous tic, repeatedly look with minor mock horror into the corner of the room, rub two coins together.

    Good fun.

    And good luck with the serious job hunting!
    Bag it.
    Tag it.
    Eat it like a boss.
     
  9. Smgbad

    Smgbad Supporting Member

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    Sound info all around in this thread.
     
  10. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    I've interviewed hundreds of people, if not thousands. Here are some simple truths for you from my point of view. Keep in mind, this is in an IT environment.

    People hiring you decide within the first five minutes if the answer is "no". The rest of the time is spent politely confirming that feeling.

    The VAST majority of people being interviewed are wasting my time. That's why I'm so harsh when I'm reading resumes.

    I don't care what you wear, but that's more of a modern IT thing. I once hired a guy wearing a Thomas Jefferson T-Shirt. We're actually still friends 15 years later. This was for a six-figure job BTW.

    In my experience, the following two things will get you a second interview:

    1) Know your ****.
    2) Don't be insane.

    I want someone who is actually useful, and who will enhance the team. If you're useful but you end up disrupting the team, you're of no use to me. There is the rare instance where I'll hire a nutty genius, but those are very special circumstances.

    Ignoring everything else and applying those two simple rules, I generally weed out 99% of the people I interview.
     
  11. Staggerlee

    Staggerlee Member

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    I think the key words in your post are "weed out". That is precisely what hiring managers do. They seek to exclude as many applicants ad they can. So do everything you can to not be excluded and filtered out.
     
  12. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    :where'd I put that sarcasm smiley???

    Wow. How do you keep a job? Interviewing 100 people to find one sane/capable soul is kinda inefficient, no?
    :beers

    But seriously, I understand where you're coming from and have done the same, back in my engineering days. Insane, or socially-inept-to-bombthrowing, technically competent folks are a dime a dozen.
     
  13. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Agreed. I hired and fired people for a living for over 15 years.

    There are too many applicants, and I was always looking for a reason to say, no. A poorly written resume was the easiest first filter.

    I agree with the 5 minute bit for sure. The only thing I'm looking for after the first 5, is if some sort of crazy I didn't see coming will make an appearance. Some people are good at the veneer, but it is pretty thin and won't make it past a few minutes of thoughtful questioning.

    I NEVER asked the typically hiring questions. This always threw the people with the canned responses off, which of course, was intentional. I have no interest in being told what you think I want to hear. I want to know what kind of person you are since we will be working together most of our waking hours.

    OP, it sounds like you have the fire in the belly to be a good employee. I wish you luck with your hunt and hope you land something you can feel good about for a long time.
     
  14. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    As a hiring manager this is one of my biggest issues with candidates. Many are highly qualified, but don't take the time to research the position they are applying for. It tells me they are lazy or not really committed to getting the job.
     
  15. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    When I make a hire, I want to know what you are going to do to add value to our business. Sell me on yourself. Make me feel like you are indispensable. And NEVER bad mouth your former employer, even if you are right.
     
  16. neoprimitive

    neoprimitive Member

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    I'm now actively seeking a new job. this thread has some good info it, thanks! For me as a graphic, web, UI/UX designer, it has always been a competition. So many factors at work in my field come into play, the way you look, the way you act, your skills, your experience, your talent, how creative you are, etc.. etc..

    It's a warzone job market for me, and I have to have it together in so many ways it's a little overwhelming when it comes to looking for a new job. I'm hoping the old saying "it's easier to find work, when you are working" is true and works for me.

    Here in San Diego, it's brutal, so many people competing for a handful of jobs, and some are willing to do anything and work for far less to get in the door. Every edge you can have in your favor is a good thing.
     
  17. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    Sorry, but if this is your method then you are not a good hiring manager. This is a cynical "I'm smarter than everyone and this is beneath me" approach based on little to no logic or objectivity. I've been a manager responsible for hiring and firing for much of my career and I've been of the opinion for quite awhile now that it's this crap that gives us all a bad name. I guarantee that you've missed many potentially good employees with this method.

    You say that they are wasting your time? I submit that you are wasting vast amounts of company time and money.
     
  18. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    There is one aspect of GAD's post that I agree with; KNOW YOUR ****.

    However, more often than not, it takes longer than 5 minutes to discern whether or not someone knows their ****. Are their instances where one can rule someone out immediately? Sure there are. But most of the time 5 minutes is just not sufficient for identifying talent. And who among us is an effective judge of someone else's sanity... in 5 minutes???

    A responsible hiring manager has the duty... the utmost duty... to use logic and objectivity when 'weeding out' potential candidates. A responsible hiring manager will not let personal prejudices & stereotypes dominate the hiring process. A responsible hiring manager has the utmost duty to ask multiple tough, but fair, questions. A person who really knows their **** will be able to answer them and therefore would, and should, have a legitimate shot at the job.

    Yeah, it takes time. But it's your JOB. Do it right.


    OK. Rant over.
     
  19. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    LOL - yeah, I guess that's why clients keep calling me back. I'll make sure to tell them all that you said I'm no good.
     
  20. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    I didn't say you were no good, GAD. I said that if this your hiring method, you are not a good hiring manager. Perhaps you should read my post again. And clients calling you back has absolutely nothing to do with your hiring methods. Try to stay focused on the topic, please.
     

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