John Hadley's Career Accelerator Blog
Seek Answers to Your Career / Career Search Challenges

May 2009
« Apr   Jun »
Headhunter Needed
Filed under: Networking, Recruiters
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:11 pm

I’ve many times seen postings requesting leads to recruiters…and sometimes respond to them. Here’s a sample:

“Dear Mr. Hadley,

I am jobless and I was wondering how I can find a good headhunter?”

Rather than simply relying on a headhunter, why not do some serious networking to also uncover great opportunities yourself? Here are 2 articles on how to do that:

In any event, to get the attention of that headhunter, or anyone else who could help you with your search, think about the marketing message you are presenting.  You need to focus on answering the WIFFM question (What’s In It For Me?) for the reader/listener, and equip them to know why you would be an outstanding candidate.

Candidates often focus on their strengths and experience, but this leaves it to the reader has to simply take your word for it that you are actually good at these things. Experience doing something doesn’t automatically imply results - how many people have you met who have been doing a particular job for a long time, but never especially well?

What examples can you give of the sorts of results you have produced for your past companies or clients?  How have you moved their own missions forward?

For more on compelling marketing messages, see these 2 short articles:

To search for recruiters, you can check out the Encyclopedia of Recruiters published by Kennedy – there may be versions in the public library, or you can order it on-line. You can reach out to people you know to ask who they have worked with and would recommend – but you want it to be ones who have expertise recruiting at your level, for your industry and type of job.  You can reach out to the HR departments of companies who would be the sort of target companies you would be interested in, and ask what recruiters they deal with and consider particularly good.One key is to make sure you are working with good recruiters, and working with them the right way – here’s an article on the subject:

comments (0)
How To Reach Out To Contact
Filed under: General, Networking
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:31 pm

“I’m listening to your networking sessions. I have a specific question re: “approach.” I have a contact that I’m linked to via LinkedIn. I also worked with her on a major initiative. She currently is at the Director level and there is a manager level position being advertised.

I have her work phone number and email address, but obtained them from someone else. Also, I can contact her via LinkedIn or her personal address. How should I contact her? Should I indicate I found a particular job for which I am qualified and interested or ask for an informational interview or a few minutes over coffee?”

Think about what you are trying to achieve via your networking. While your ultimate goal is to get hired, your goal for each individual networking contact is to:

  1. Equip them with your target, and why you would be an outstanding candidate for that target.
  2. Get them to introduce you to someone else.

Think of it as building a spider web that catches possibilities for you. How well you do #1 is the strength of that node in your network. #2 is sending some more web out to build the next node.

Now think of how to reach out to someone to accomplish this. As soon as it’s about a direct approach to helping you find a job, you have less chance of getting the meeting, and restrict the possibilities for both #1 and #2, particularly #2.

I’d suggest reaching out to get a chance to meet over coffee and catch up. In the meeting, depending on how the conversation goes, you can mention that there’s a position you are interested in finding out more about.

As to how to contact her, it depends on the relationship you have with her. If you have a personal relationship, there’s nothing wrong with using her personal email to reach out.

comments (0)
Negotiating A Higher Starting Salary
Filed under: Interview, Salary, Negotiation
Posted by: John Hadley @ 10:28 pm
“The last company I worked for was small and didn’t pay very well. I gained a lot of experience but my pay doesn’t match my last position. I am attempting to get interviewed/hired into a position that is a step up from my last position and a large jump in pay but I am having trouble overcoming the “what was your last pay rate” question. One person who called me actually laughed at me. How can I handle this situation?”

You need to focus on what you bring to the table:

  • Research what the market pays for the job you want.
  • Match up your experience and skills to the position description for that job.
  • Put together your compelling accomplishment stories that back up the results you will bring to that position and demonstrate that you are worth the market pay.

    Now present yourself relative to the market, not relative to what you happened to be making before.When the question comes up, don’t play their game:

  • Start with an answer about the market value of the position, and why you are worth that level.
  • Focus on the value you bring to the table for that role, rather than attempting to explain why you are making less than market value.
  • If/when what you were making before becomes an issue, make your answer very simple, along the lines of the following:
  • “As a small company, XXX didn’t have the budget to pay market value, but I saw this as a chance to gain valuable job experience. I am confident I will be able to do x, y, z for the right company, and from my market research understand that this is worth “$XXX,XXX”
  • comments (0)
    “Old Hand” Needs New Tricks
    Filed under: Networking, Interview, Career
    Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:00 pm

    “John, I took your “5 Secrets” seminar in 2005, when the software company I worked for essentially collapsed. I then went with another small software start-up, which was acquired last year “at below market rates” and was immediately laid off by the acquiring company.

    Since then I have pursued two directions:

    1. My passion, returning to my “roots” — a history in and marketing to the energy industry, and
    2. Small software companies where my senior marketing could help a company grow.
    Both industries are hurting, in spite of all the hoopla about energy, so the going has been tough. I’ve been networking extensively in energy and high tech arenas, but am not seeing opportunities. The market is such that companies are picking only “perfect” matches to their requirements, while I have a quite diverse set of leadership capabilities.

    I’d really like to get back into energy, but there seems to be a presumption on many people’s part that an “old energy hand” can’t learn new tricks, even though I was creating the new tricks up to 2002, and have stayed in touch with developments all along.

    Do you have any suggestions?”

  • What can you do to actively present your diverse set of experiences as an advantage, instead of allowing others to assume it’s a negative (lack of focused, current experience)?
  • Are you clearly expressing powerful results, rather than ‘experience’?
  • What are you doing to show you aren’t an “old” energy hand - to counter the typical concerns someone might have about that - not being up to speed on current developments, not being that good at current technology, being stuck in your ways, not having the level of energy & passion someone younger might, talking about ‘how we used to do things’, etc.?
  • Are you making sure you have an up-to-date appearance and style of dress?
  • It is my belief that there are jobs out there, if you develop a strong, focused marketing message and present it well. Just a few weeks ago, USA Today had a front page article about the boom in jobs in 3 sectors - Health Care, Government and Energy. In fact, I have an older client who is carving out a consulting business in the energy field, and expects to be in 6 figures by year end. He came into it from an IT infrastructure perspective, with no particular background in energy, and has quickly become a sought after expert in his particular niche.

    Good luck!