First 60 Seconds

First 60 Seconds

by Daniel Burns

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IN TODAY'S CROWDED JOB MARKET, The First 60 Seconds will give you the tools to best impress in that crucial first minute. You'll also find out strategies to constantly differentiate yourself from the competition. From preparing a credentials package to connecting with the interviewer, you'll learn how to successfully set yourself apart every time.

Author Dan Burns has provided consulting and employee placement services to Fortune 500 companies for the past fourteen years. He'll show you how to tackle:

• The 60 Days Before the Interview

• The Next 60 Minutes (after the First 60 Seconds)

• The Close and the Follow-Up

• The 60-Month Career Plan

Whether you're a new job-seeker or out on the market after years of steady employment, The First 60 Seconds gives you the best tools to win your next great career opportunity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402223396
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

For the past 15 years, Dan Burns has served as owner and Executive Vice President of Innovative Systems Group, a technical and management consulting company, providing employee placement services for Fortune 500 clients.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from the Introduction

It All Happens in 60 Seconds

A hiring manager makes a decisive qualification of a job candidate within the first 60 seconds of the time they meet.

That's it. You have 60 seconds to make the sale of your product and service (you) and close the deal on your next career opportunity. Are you ready?

Over the last fifteen years, I have used and developed my skills as a hiring manager in a variety of business disciplines. Additionally, as an owner and manager of a successful IT management and consulting firm, I had the opportunity to work closely with hiring managers to help them make their employment and hiring methods more successful. Our firm had been successful in helping clients hire more than one thousand employees and consultants. I wish I could say that those one thousand hires were the result of an identical number of candidate job interviews, but unfortunately that was not the case. A successful hire was sometimes the result of two or more individual and different candidate interviews. As a result, our company was involved in coordinating and overseeing more than fifteen-hundred interviews over a fifteen-year period.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to hire employees in an effective and efficient manner. It is simply more difficult to find the best-qualified job candidate from a growing universe of available candidates. Job seekers share a similar concern in that they feel it is increasingly difficult to compete for opportunities.

The Job Seeker Has Taken the Job Interview Process for Granted

For any hiring employer, the process of identifying, selecting, and hiring a new employee is as challenging as ever. More time, resources, and budget dollars are allocated to the task, and the tools and options available for identifying and hiring new resources continue to proliferate. Employers always look for the best possible prospective employee among a field of candidates that in many cases is so extensive and diverse that managing the process effectively has become quite difficult. Hiring managers are charged with filling open positions in the most timely and cost-effective way possible, while at the same time following the rules and guidelines of the HR department and company management.

For most job seekers, there are three primary activities in the job search process. The first activity focuses on the identification of new job opportunities. Second is the submission of a résumé or credentials. The third activity focuses on the job interview itself. We typically spend a great deal of time and effort on the first two activities right away, identifying and narrowing the field of opportunities and then submitting résumés. What usually follows is a substantial and frustrating waiting period.

When an individual receives a response from an interested potential employer, the focus shifts to the interview. Typically the interview lasts an hour, and the candidate expects that hour to be sufficient for the hiring manager to find out or obtain everything necessary to select a candidate for the position.

Our fast-paced lifestyle supports this assumption. While trying to manage a career and pursue new and exciting opportunities, the employee is still required to work a full day. Add to that the challenges of our personal lives—whether we're striving to be a responsible and involved parent, visit the gym, or play as a weekend musician—and there's not enough time in the day to focus on our career future. If an individual is out of work, between jobs, or looking for that first career opportunity, the added stress makes the situation even worse. The result is troubling. When you pursue new career opportunities, you try to get your name out there, submit résumés to a few job openings, then wait for the call. When you don't get the job, you're disappointed, and you wait, frustrated, until the next call comes.

This is not the way it should be. We think that if we submit a résumé and get the interview, there's a good chance we'll get the job. Most of us don't think about it, but much more should be done—and it doesn't require an excessive amount of additional time or effort.

If you want to be successful in reaching that next stage of your career, you need to respect the hiring process and do everything within your power to navigate through that process in an effective and efficient manner. You need to focus not only on the job interview, but also on everything before and after the interview to ensure your success in the process. You cannot take the interview process for granted.

It's Extremely Difficult to Differentiate
When you submit credentials for a position, you're not the only one interested in the job. Likely you are one of dozens or maybe even hundreds of candidates interested in the position. If you're fortunate enough to get an interview, you're only one in a field of candidates being interviewed.

Sure, you try to prepare a complete, concise, and professional résumé. Maybe you'll even prepare a cover letter or introductory email to go along with the résumé. The credentials go out in the mail or are submitted via an employer's online submission tool, and you're done. That you ever hear back on a submission is an amazing occurrence, given the unknown path that the credentials take. You show up for the interview and hope you have the opportunity and ability to set yourself apart from the other candidates being considered.

Following this typical approach, you are most likely doing the same thing as everyone else, and for the hiring manager, it can be impossible to differentiate one résumé from the next. Getting selected for a job in this manner is, at best, a chance happening.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Table of Contents

Introduction: It All Happens in 60 Seconds vii

Section 1 The 60-Day Plan

Chapter 1 Overview of the 60-Day Plan 3

Chapter 2 Assessing and Understanding Your Job and Career Market 8

Chapter 3 The Company Profile 18

Chapter 4 The Job Profile 23

Chapter 5 Your Personal Profile 28

Chapter 6 Your Professional Experience Inventory 36

Chapter 7 Preparing Your Credentials 43

Chapter 8 Presenting Your Credentials 60

Chapter 9 Arranging the Job Interview 71

Chapter 10 Honing Your Communication Skills 81

Chapter 11 Preparing for the Interview 89

Chapter 12 Dressing Up Your Image 98

Section 2 The First 60 Seconds

Chapter 13 What You Can Accomplish in 60 Seconds 109

Chapter 14 The Final Countdown 111

Chapter 15 The First Look 119

Chapter 16 The Greeting 125

Chapter 17 The Relationship 129

Chapter 18 The First 60 Seconds: Final Thoughts and Considerations 136

Section 3 Managing the Next 60 Minutes

Chapter 19 Setting the Stage for the Interview 145

Chapter 20 Summarize Your Qualifications 155

Chapter 21 Continue Developing a Relationship with the Interviewer 166

Chapter 22 Understand What's in It for You 172

Chapter 23 I'm Available! What's Next? 179

Section 4 The Close

Chapter 24 Post-Interview Communications 187

Chapter 25 The Offer Letter and Employment Agreement 201

Chapter 26 Your First Day 219

Section 5 Your 60-Month Career Plan

Chapter 27 The Future Begins Now 227

Chapter 28 Goals and Plans 234

Chapter 29 Prospecting for Career Growth and Opportunity 246

Chapter 30 Preparing Yourself for Your Next Career Opportunity 258

Chapter 31 The First 60 Seconds for Life 262

Epilogue: The First 60 Seconds for Life267

List of Exhibits 270

Index 272

About the Author 276

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