Problems with 1st Interview Feedback?

So, no one called you back after your first interview. You were told they would get back to you in two days, and it has been two weeks! Plus, you’ve called three times for a status. Imagine getting no credit for your restraint!

By the end of week two, it is slowly beginning to dawn on you that you have crossed into the high-maintenance job seeker category. So even if you performed well at the interview, you might have blown it with your overanxious, aggressive interview follow-up.

Are you a high-maintenance jobseeker? The high maintenance jobseeker views interviewing and job search as a proactive, highly competitive exercise. The HMJ candidate believes that they should take control of the interview and the interview feedback process and may make some mistakes to get an edge over other jobseekers.

Have you committed one or many of these mistakes while job searching? Here are the most often abused missteps.

1)     Once contacted for an interview, the HMJ candidate bombards the recruiter or manager with a series of “before I set up the interview, I would like to share” emails.

2)     When asked for additional or supporting documents, the candidate sends each item in a separate email. As a result, the recruiters or managers are so overwhelmed that they never open any documents.

3)     During the interview, HMJ struggles to allow the manager to ask complete questions or constantly interrupts to present supporting documents, forgetting that there is no prize given for being a “quick-draw” with the responses. It is important to remember that some people ramble before coming to the point, so answering the question too soon can hurt you.

4)     Post-interviewed HMJ often calls to find out the state of their candidacy or will email show-and-tell items to highlight their projects, reference letters, reviews, etc.

5)     HMJ forgets to write down the Key Manager’s name and addresses their Thank You note “To whom it may concern” – the answer to which is “Nobody.”

Many job seekers inadvertently commit one or more of these interview mistakes to stand out from other candidates.

If you were not invited to a second interview or did not hear back after your first interview, check the items above. Did you commit any of these blunders – are you an HMJ- a high maintenance jobseeker?

Handling Gaps in your Work History

How prepared are you to respond to questions regarding a Gap in your work history? Being laid off or fired is infuriating, especially if you are dumped by an organization that you were thinking of leaving anyway.

Maybe the timing is terrible, but consider yourself rescued and liberated, PLUS you get to keep your “I am not a quitter badge”!

Is there is a plus side? Yes indeed!

You are being forced to reconsider your career options and proactively restructure the next phase of your career. If you got a decent severance package – HURRAH! You are being paid while you make this career upgrade.

Here are some recommendations for processing and handling the work gap in the initial phone call with a recruiter or hiring manager:

1)   Develop a concise non-emotional explanation for the gap. Was there a company-wide layoff, did your department fold, was there a personal health issue, or did you move to a new city?

2)   Do not fudge the truth. Do not change a full-time tenure at the company to a contract or temp role. Lying about your employment can be damaging. The wise among us realize that being dumped can be a good thing. So, evaluate what you have gained from working at the company that set you free.  

3)   One of the funnier moments in my coaching history is a candidate explaining that she was fired, but not really.

In response to my quizzical: Say What? She said that she was the only one laid off in her division, so she felt she was fired. Too much info…. Was the severance reasonable? I asked, she said yes. I suggested that we will call it a “dissociation.” It is incredible what language can do to improve one’s view of things!

4)   Explain what you were doing during gaps between jobs. Think hard. Did you volunteer, take classes to upgrade your skills, travel, or use the time to take care of a relative. Did you attend webinars take online courses etc.? In short, were you productive?

5)   Unless you are good at disassociation, try to subdue your maverick go-it-alone approach. Consider engaging a professional to help you sophisticate your resume and prepare for this and other tricky interview questions.

6)   Invest in yourself and your career, and above all, do not wait until you are at the interview itself to craft a response to what you have been doing the last three or six months. Above all, do not slime the people at your previous employer; they can be excellent sources for referrals.

Being laid off or fired can be a shock.

For some people, being laid off or fired leaves them feeling angry, ashamed, or resentful. For others, the response could be, “Well, that was interesting. Time to move on. NEXT!”

But remember how quickly you bounce back and begin to represent yourself and your expertise as valuable to another company is always going to be your choice. 

A fast recovery depends on how quickly you accept that while you have had done interesting work, it is time to move on to better things. So, give yourself space to work through your feelings. Don’t let this setback diminish your pride in your otherwise successful career.

Put your redundancy package in perspective. Does it allow you to survive in the near future, or are you stranded? When your career game is interrupted, middle inning, it helps to remember that the sun is shining elsewhere, it is not raining everywhere, and you should remember to let that sink in.

Here are some other survival tips:

1.  Although a quick bounce-back might be a struggle, you will need to project a positive image to persuade your friends and potential employers that you are still in one piece. Focus on the highlights and achievements in your career. That helps to minimize the emotional fallout.

2. A layoff might free you up to explore a new career path or reassess your strengths, values, or where your career interests truly lie. Layoffs affect everyone in the department. Those who remain with the company quite often feel like they have just won the booby prize.

3.  Focus on your achievements in your former role. Use short and factual explanations. Too much detail can sound defensive rather than accepting of the situation.

4.  Laid off due to a merger, restructure, or downsizing? Use a broad brushstroke: Use all-encompassing language. “Unfortunately, I was laid off along with other colleagues.”

6.  Management change or a shift in direction: My skills and expertise are no longer aligned with the projects or the new manager’s priorities.

7.  Fired for performance reasons? Briefly explain the circumstances and what the experience has taught you. Then move on to what makes you a good match for the current position.

8.  Try to stay steady? Avoid responding to a deluge of jobs in a desperate attempt to get any new job. Instead, update your resume and shift your focus towards what you can offer.

Finally, accelerate your networking. The more active you are in your professional communities, the easier it will be to ask for and get help.

Thanks

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High Maintenance Job Seeker

The high maintenance jobseeker views the job search process and interviewing as a highly competitive structured process that should run at a clip. Many try to force things and cross over into Jobseeker Uptighterati territory, in an attempt to get an edge over other job seekers.

Franklin Paterson Company Inc. your One-Stop Career Boutique for Resume Writing, Interview Preparation and career Strategy Consulting.

Recognizing the High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker in yourself:

1.      In addition to applying to the job online, the high maintenance jobseeker sends their resume or project samples to Human Resources and the Hiring Manager by the next day post.

2.      Many job seekers use colorful paper or ink or graphics in their online resume in an attempt to stand out.  This may render a fair portion of the resume unreadable and look ever so slightly like a craft project gone wrong.

3.      Once contacted for an interview, they need to think about it, research, or look at their schedule. Then bombard the recruiter or manager with a series of “I would like to know emails” or calls before setting up or attending the interview.

4.      Resist your tendency to be a Uptighterati by showing up half an hour early for the interview to see if the manager is available and can meet with you a bit earlier. Adhering to your punctuality principle, then trying to make reality conform to it, can be very annoying to others.

5.      The high maintenance jobseeker brings a series of show-and-tell items, awards, projects, reference letters, etc., to the interview and constantly interrupts the interview to show the items.

6.      Is accompanied to the interview by a friend, who sits glumly in the lobby, or worse, wanders around, peering into the interview room or other offices.

In an attempt to stand out from other candidates, many jobseekers inadvertently commit one or more of these interview mistakes. Qualified for a position, had the first interview you are not asked back for a second interview? Check the items above. Did you commit any of these blunders?  Have you turned into a High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker?

Job Searching during the Holidays

Why you should continue your job search during the Holiday Season.

Job searching during the holidays can add an additional stress level and an already stressful time of year. But there is an upside to interviewing during the holiday season.

Here’s why Job hunting during the holidays is such a brilliant idea!!

With over 20% of job seekers opting out of job searching due to the holidays, a fifth of your competition just left the market,  and an even larger percentage fail to update their resumes and profiles on the job search engines.  So now is the time to capitalize on that advantage.

How to beat the Holiday Job Search blues:

  • Create complete job applications. Resist the urge to send a blind resume. Employers seeking to hire are more likely to view resumes in an online format that they are accustomed to. The rest is for the delete button.
  • Please follow the job application instructions.  To ignore directions tells the manager that you do not/will not follow directions – and you wonder why they have not called on your resume!
  • If you created a job application more than three months ago, please go back in and update it; better yet, create a new resume or profile. You may have fallen to Resume 1005 – nobody reads that many.
  • Most job boards allow you to add up to three resumes/profiles. Every now and again, update to rise to the top.
  • Change or remove your objective or summary, so your info looks new.
  • Take a good attitude and lots of business cards to holiday functions. Hint: do not hand out your resume at holiday functions. Offer to email it the next day.
  • Still no hits or interviews after three weeks – thrash the whole thing. Create a new resume or profile.  Do it yourself or invest in your career, have a professional resume writer design it for you.
  • Some of the best salary offers are made during this upbeat time of year – so hang in there!!

Visit us often at  FranklinPaterson Company for resume writing, cover letters, and interview coaching that will enhance your job search, and get you noticed for the right reasons.

http://franklinpaterson.com

Thanks and Happy Holidays!!  

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