Q. What’s so new about today’s job market?
A. It is global and almost immediately influenced by technology. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of highly educated low paid workers. To maintain an adequate standard of living, individuals must now compete on their ability to add value. That’s the new job market and its rules are different from what has gone before.
Q. Why do you only sell your 1-1 job search services in 2 hour blocks of time.
A. This approach saves you money. You can get most of what you need from my latest book, Cracking the New Job Market. My job search consulting services compliment the book and bring your search to life. Most clients are able to get all they need with two blocks of my time.
Q. Why are old methods of resume writing obsolete?
A. People were initially thought to start in the wrong place—with what they have accomplished. Smart job seekers start with what the employer wants. That provides context for your accomplishments—not vice-versa.
Q. Do I really have to stick to a one page resume (recent graduates) and two pages for more experienced professionals?
A. Not at all. That standard was invented by the out placement industry as a way of protecting clients from their own bad habits. Think of it this way: If you are comfortable that what you have to say is compelling to a potential hiring manager, use as many pages as you think necessary. That is a dangerous strategy because most of us are poor judges about what is of interest to the employer; don’t have a convenient way for finding out; and don’t have enough experience writing resumes to know the difference. When possible, seek expert advice.
Q. What do you mean, “Your resume is not about you?”
A. Back when companies were willing to hire people with a college degree and teach them the rest of what they needed to know, a resume could be about your credentials—where you went to school and the jobs you held. Resumes today need to be about what an employer is trying to accomplish by filling the job in question. In that sense, your resume is not about you, but about what others want from you.
Q. What is the best way to prepare for interviews?
A. If you have read Cracking the New Job Market, the best way is to use the same approach to interviews that you used to prepare your resume. Interviews are not about you. They are about what employers want from you. Figure out what that is and how your background links to their needs. Then practice presenting your credentials as responses to what an employer stated in the position description. Whenever possible use the same words the employer uses to describe what they are looking for in a new hire.
Q. What is the secret to negotiating job offers?
A. Two of the most important include: Knowing when to negotiate. Negotiate when you are in your strongest position—after a job offer has been made but before you have accepted it. Second, understand the parameters of reasonable negotiations. All of this and more is spelled out in my book.
Q. What do you mean that “the best way to reenter the job market is to never leave it?”
A. If you are forced to exit the job market stay tethered by upgrading your skills, taking on volunteer assignments that allow you to practice your profession, and generally continue to show interest in any way you can. Reentry is easier if your skills are viewed as current and you have maintained connectivity.
Q. Is helicopter parenting really a good thing as you suggest?
A. There is an active and positive role parents can play with their college-aged kids to help with develop during college–critically important years. Parental involvement with their adult children has gotten an undeserved reputation.