-Joyce Lain Kennedy, nationally syndicated career columnist
The Job Search Solution: The Ultimate System for Finding a Great Job Now!by Tony Beshara
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Job hunting is a stressful, anxiety-producing experience. When Dr. Phil's viewers need help with this challenge, he calls in Tony Beshara. Now, in The Job Search Solution, Beshara shows readers how they can take control of their job search experience by using the simple yet incredibly powerful step-by-step system that has helped over 100,000 people find and get jobs they love.
Featuring illuminating real-life job search stories, the book contains interactive exercises and practical Dos and Don'ts, empowering readers by revealing:
* what 97 percent of American businesses are really looking for when hiring
* what the real purpose of an interview is
* how family and friends can be enlisted to help in the job search process
* how factors such as age and employment history can affect the job search -- and how to manage these issues
The competition for jobs is tougher than ever. The Job Search Solution presents a system that will give any job seeker a big advantage.
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The Job Search Solution
By Tony Beshara
AMACOM BooksCopyright © 2006 Tony Beshara
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Key to the Whole Process: Getting Face-to-Face Interviews
Those who say some people are just lucky because they are in the right place at the right time don't realize that the lucky ones show up at a lot of places a lot of times. -Tony Beshara
The most important thing you can do to get a job is to interview. Nothing else matters unless you can get a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager-a hiring manager with authority and pain (an urgent need to hire someone).
No matter how well you might interview, in spite of what you might think, you can't really control getting a job offer. You can influence a hiring manager to offer a job by interviewing well and proving to the employer that, based on the interviews, you are the best person for the job. However, when it comes down to the event of offering someone a job, the real control is in the hands of the employer.
Key point: While you cannot control job offers, you can control interviews, the number of them, and how they are conducted.
Getting interviews is hard work. It requires tenacity, persistence, determination, and the courage to thrust yourself upon people even though it doesn't come naturally for you to do so. Most people are not comfortable with selling other people oninterviewing them with the possibility of being hired. It can be daunting, burdensome, and an excruciating task.
No one likes being rejected. The risk of being rejected goes with the interview. The sooner you face that reality and prepare for possible rejection, the sooner you're going to be able to find a job. Pristine résumés, brilliant research, great contacts, even superior previous job performance, do not help you to find a job to anywhere near the extent that getting numerous interviews and performing well in each interview does.
Exploring All Sources for Interviews
The initial interviews, if they're successful, will lead to subsequent second, third, or fourth interviews that will eventually land you a job. The most effective vehicle is going to be you picking up the phone and calling anyone and everyone you can, whether you know them or not, to find people who might be able to grant you time for an interview.
Studies have shown that most job seekers consider several different ways of getting interviews, especially in the beginning of their job search. And after a month, or so, they abandon many of the ways that they might approach getting interviews and stick with one or two methods. This is a mistake. The key is to use every one of the methods until you find a job. You need to be relentless about this.
It has been estimated that 60 percent of the people who find jobs find them through networking. I guess that depends on how you define the word networking. If you define networking as calling people whom you know, this estimate of 60 percent is probably an exaggeration. If you consider networking calling anybody and talking to them regarding a job with which you're somewhat familiar, then this statistic may not be too far off. I personally think that you should get an interview with anybody who will listen! Call and try to meet with as many people as you possibly can.
Previous Employers, Peers, and Subordinates
People you have worked with who have gone to other companies are great sources of opportunity leads. This group of people should be the very first to approach when you need to find a new job. Sit down and brainstorm the names of all the people you have worked with, or for, or have worked for you, in every company that has ever employed you.
Don't hesitate to call previous employers, even if the individual people you worked for or with are gone. Just because you did not like working at a place five or ten years ago, doesn't mean the same group of people, ownership, or culture is still there. Over a period of fifteen years or so, I placed the same packaging engineer with the same company three times. The company had changed hands four times during that time.
Caution: I do not recommend going back to work for an organization you have left unless the culture has completely changed. All the reasons you left an organization the first time are usually still present. Even if you were laid off or downsized, the truth is that the organization thought more highly of its own self-survival than it did of you. They really don't change that much. The principle should be to never go back to work for an organization that either you left or one that left you, unless there is a complete change in management, ownership, or culture.
The bigger your extended family, the better off you are. During the first few days that you begin looking for a job, you should call every member of your family-brothers, sisters, parents, uncles, aunts, first cousins, second cousins, third cousins, any cousin, in-laws, and their cousins-to let them know you're actively looking for a job and you would like to talk to anybody whom they might suggest.
Some people are embarrassed about calling people in their family and letting them know that they are either out of work and looking for a new job or looking for a job change. Get over it! Would you rather be embarrassed by not being able to pay the mortgage or by letting your family know that you need a job? Call them, tell them that you're actively looking for a job, and ask them if they know of anybody who might be interested in your type of background. Offer to send one of your résumés. Keep a record of everyone you call and their responses. Tell them that you would like their help, and that you would like to call them back in a week or so.
Talk to your friends just as you would talk to your relatives. Call them and let them know that you're looking for a job and ask them if they would know of anybody who might need someone with your kind of background. Offer to send a copy of your résumé. Make a note about when you called them and ask if you can follow up with them in a week or so to see if they might have thought of anybody with whom you can interview. Even ask your friends for their friends who might be of help in your job search and ask them if you can use your friend's name in calling them.
Acquaintances are different from friends. They are people you know, but not that well. They're people whom you occasionally, or even rarely, run into or contact from time to time. A study back in the 1970s found that people looking for jobs were more likely to find opportunities through acquaintances than through friends. The study concluded that often people make friends with people they work with or who occupy the same world. So when a large organization has a layoff, it's likely that a person's friends will be laid off too. But acquaintances may operate within a completely different work world.
People in your church, athletic club, neighborhood, social club, golf or tennis club, volunteer organizations, and parents of children who are friends with your children are all people you should make aware that you're looking for a new job. Even acquaintances of your spouse are people who might be able to help you.
I have known many people over the years who, when looking for a job, had cards printed so that when they were folded they were the size of a business card. They had their name and address, e-mail address, and telephone number on one side and a very short version of their résumé as a person opened up the card. Every time they ran into somebody during their job search, they would give the person a "business card." As they handed someone a card, they would mention that they were actively looking for a job and that if the person knew anybody who needed an excellent employee, they would love the opportunity to interview. Excellent idea!
Most of us know who our business competitors are. After talking to previous employers, it is a logical idea to call and solicit all of your company's competitors for a job. Capitalize on your familiarity with them. Candidates often tell me that they know a lot about their competitors but they just would not want to go work for one of them. This usually stems from an organization painting their competitors as people with horns and tails. The truth is that most of us don't really know much about our competitors except in relation to competitive situations with them. We don't intrinsically understand them. No matter what the party line has been about your competitors, you need a job and it is in your best interest to call them and see if they have an opportunity for you.
Caution: If you are in most forms of sales, and/or some tactical development types of positions, you may have signed a non-compete agreement with your current employer that, at least theoretically, prohibits you from working for your competitor. If you signed a non-compete agreement when you went to work at your current organization, pull it out, read it, and be aware of what you can and cannot do and the risk you might run.
Suppliers and Distributors
Write down all the people to whom you currently supply goods and services, as well as all the people who might distribute your goods or services to end users. The knowledge you have is probably applicable to the people who supply you goods and services or to the people to whom you distribute your goods and services. A software developer, for instance, develops software that may be sold through distributors. If you worked for the software vendor and you know how the software works, you were of value to the distributor. If your company manufactures parts that are sold to and by another manufacturer, you may have a great deal of knowledge that is of value to that other company.
In some situations, customers might be great people to approach for a new job. If you have sold to them or had reason to have contact with them and built a good relationship with them, customers may have a great opportunity for you.
Caution: If you are presently employed, do not, I repeat, do not call and solicit your competitors, suppliers, distributors, or customers about a new job. No matter how trustworthy you think they are, you cannot afford to lose your job. No matter what you think, the probability of it getting back to your current employer that you're looking for a job from one of these sources is almost 100 percent. I cannot tell you the number of times that I've encountered candidates who have lost their jobs because they told a competitor, supplier, distributor, or customer that they were thinking about changing jobs and got fired when it got back to their employer. The value of talking about a new job to a competitor, supplier, distributor, or customer is limited only to people who are unemployed and looking for a job full-time.
Trade and Professional Associations
Some professions and trades have more active associations than others. Some businesses are heavily involved in professional and trade organizations and some are not. The Encyclopedia of Associations lists twenty-three thousand national and international groups for just about every occupation you can imagine. So if you haven't been active in an association, you can at least find the ones you ought to become involved with or at least become a member of. The most important aspect of being an active member in an association is that you receive a membership directory, which can be used for contacting potential employers. Some associations publish job opportunities for their members.
Trade shows for trade and professional associations not only give you great personal exposure, but you can often find out which companies are expanding and which are contracting. Often trade shows have placement committees that organize publications of job opportunities. If you are out of work, these trade shows are a great place to interview many organizations in a short period of time. If you are presently employed, it may not be advisable to be that obvious; but as you introduce yourself, collecting business cards and information about other people, this information can be helpful for contacting them later on a more confidential basis.
Alumni Associations, Fraternity and Sorority Members
Don't hesitate to take advantage of any contacts in these kinds of organizations that you might have. This is an excellent source of many potential employers outside your normal sphere of influence. Alumni directories will give you the list of names and addresses and business affiliations of all members. Call fellow alumni and speak to them about their careers, companies, and industries. They may have job openings in their organization or know of openings somewhere else.
College and University Placement Offices
If you are out of undergraduate school more than a year or two, it's not likely that the undergraduate placement office at your college or university could help you that much. But you never know. Often, organizations that are expanding will list their current openings with the college or university placement office. You may be overqualified or too experienced for the positions that they might list, but as we will see and discuss in a future topic, knowing which organizations are expanding, no matter how much or little, provides great prospects for you to call.
It also doesn't hurt to list your name and experience with graduate school placement offices or at least call them and find out the listings that they may have. I have known of organizations that listed short-term project assignments in the graduate school offices of some MBA programs. It is amazing how often these short-term projects become long-term permanent positions. Take advantage of every resource that might be available to you. You're only limited by your own imagination.
Job-Search and Career Counseling Programs
The only difficulty I have with these kinds of organizations is that they can often be sophisticated pity parties. Sitting around with a group of people who are all bitching and moaning about the difficult employment market isn't going to find you a job. Make your own judgment! Go to these kinds of organizations and meetings if they indeed help you with your attitude. It's even possible that one of the other people in such a program will come across a job in your field that they are not qualified for and pass the information along to you. Just don't expect much in the way of actual job-search results.
Job fairs were more popular when the employment market was much easier than it is now. These fairs are designed to have several employers come together and interview many people in one day. In recent years, job fairs have attracted thousands of people who are exposed to very few hiring organizations. If you are presently employed, do not go to a job fair. I have known of a few employed candidates who, since they were looking for a job, attended a job fair-only to discover their own organization was there. They were promptly terminated.
Religious, Community, and Social Organizations
It is important to tell people you know in these organizations that you are looking for a job. Common values are one major criterion that most people use in hiring others. This factor may not be obvious or even conscious to most people, but as I've mentioned before, we all have a tendency to hire people we like. And we have a tendency to like people whose values and beliefs are very much like our own.
Bankers, Loan Officers, Venture-Capital Firms, Lawyers, CPAs
These groups of people will be surprising sources of many opportunities that might lead to the job you need. Bank and loan officers, especially in small communities, know a lot of the businesses that are expanding or looking for people simply because they lend money to these organizations and often know who is on the rise. Small businesses, which make up 97 percent of the employers in this country, often establish great relationships with bankers, so the bankers can help them expand when they need to. These relationships are usually personal between the banker and the owner or owners of the companies. So it certainly doesn't hurt to ask the bankers and loan officers you know if they are aware of any organizations that might be expanding.
Venture-capital firms are organizations that provide money, typically, for start-up companies. These companies have a tendency to fund many homogeneous types of organizations. It is not uncommon for these companies to impose one of their own members on a company that they have funded to see to it that their investment is protected. Whether they are just providing money or also have someone on the inside, these firms can be excellent sources of information on available jobs.
Excerpted from The Job Search Solution by Tony Beshara Copyright © 2006 by Tony Beshara. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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What People are Saying About This
nationally syndicated career columnist
Meet the Author
Tony Beshara (Dallas, TX) has been in the placement and recruitment profession since 1973 and is the president and owner of Babich and Associates, a job placement firm. He has appeared numerous times on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil Show.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Author Beshara did an excellent job of giving helpful hints for getting a job NOW. I am often tongue tied when leaving voicemails for potential job ops, this book guided me through leaving voicemails that flow with confidence. Hints for minority job seekers were also helpful. This book makes a wonderful graduation gift for high school and college grads. This book is worth every penny!
I recently lost my job and in the midst of this abysmal job seeking environment, Tony Beshara - puts a little passion in your efforts to find what you are seeking. I am only half way through the book, but I am impressed by his understanding of the impact of a job loss - anguish and his ideas for how to motivate and stimulate you into taking action. I am looking forward to the second half.
For the unemployed looking for the best book giving the best advice on how to land a job interview, I'm not sure "The Job Search Solution" is for everyone. It does give the reader practical tips about the process, but the "Solution" is extreme. The daily plan starts your weekdays at 5:30 A.M. and ends them at 10:30 P.M. with no dinner break. Saturday morning is a time for doing informal interviews. Saturday afternoons are spent volunteering. Sundays? Spend at least an hour or two researching companies and planning your job search for the upcoming week. The advice comes from a man who has successfully placed over 6,000 people in jobs and who makes around 200 phone calls each day. Talk about your hard worker... Most of us are not that obsessive/compulsive about our job search. The author has written various "scripts" for the job seeker: cold-calling prospective employers; warm-calling; referrals; voice mails; telephone interviews; face-to-face interviews, etc. Very comprehensive - and very cold. Cover letters are written as commands: "You should read my resume and interview me because:... Read my resume and interview me this week. Sincerely, ...." They are very helpful in letting you know what a hiring manager wants to know, but I would humanize them - a lot! That said, I did get a lot out of the book, but based on other books I've read, I would not rely solely on Beshara's book unless I was mid- to upper-level management where the process is probably more de-humanizing.