Coach’s Cornor

Courtship of “X” Company

What is courtship?  A simple definition, the act of wooing a woman. In your job search, it becomes the act of wooing a company to make you a job offer. In your job search, the job offer is the ultimate reward. Back in the day when men courted women, courtship was considered more a career move than a romantic interlude for young men. Why? Because the woman’s property became his when they got married. Therefore courting was taken very seriously – by both sides.

Here are Four Ingredients to Courting Your Next Organization:

1. Action – How much time do you invest in knowing the organization you are targeting for employment? Do your homework. Network your way into the organization, submit a resume to a specific position. Make yourself available for the interviews. Write thank you notes.

2. Time Frame – Set time specific goals to ensure that don’t procrastinate and miss an opportunity.

3. The Pursuit  – This is where the interview comes in. This is where you have the opportunity to make an impression. If you want a positive outcome, the pursuit is the most important ingredient in your courting efforts.

Keys to Successful Pursuit

By definition pursuit means to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish. In this case, that translates into a job offer. Everything you do in the hiring process will either move you closer to your ultimate goal or it will move you out of the process and you will have to begin the pursuit with another organization.

Keys to Consider:

* Preparation! “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This ingredient can not be overemphasized. Prepare answers to potential questions. Practice until you can comfortably discuss who you are and what you bring to the table.

* Rapport is critical. Can you build rapport with the interviewer(s)? You have one opportunity to create a first impression. How you speak, act and look will determine their first impression.

* Can you communicate/articulate your skills and abilities? Knowledge is good, expertise is better. You must be able to articulate your areas of expertise. Examples should be prepared ahead of time.

* Confidence

* Positive Attitude

* Candor  – By definition you should appear unreserved, honest and sincere as you answer questions and discuss your qualifications.

4. Response of the Organization Either they will call you back for additional interviews, make an offer or you will get a “thanks, but no thanks”. Here’s my question: What response are you looking for from your efforts in the job search? Do you really want an offer? If so, what are you willing to do about it? When you answer that question, the pursuit is on!

Recruiters – Friend or Foe?

I have used two recruiters in my career and was hired both times. In both cases, I was contacted by the recruiter. I was not looking for a job the first time I spoke to a recruiter. I was working for Macy’s Department store as a salesperson and I just happened to answer the telephone and within a few weeks I was running a retail store as a manager.

The second time I was found by a recruiter, I was actively looking for a job and a recruiter found my resume online,, and they contacted me. I had actually already accepted another position and about to relocate my family when the recruiter called. The opportunity turned out to be excellent and I accepted the job opportunity. The recruiter did an excellent job communicating with me and the company. I had a very tight window of time that I needed to make a decision. The recruiter help to accelerate the hiring process, and I was prepared for the interview and ultimately received a great offer.

Your preparation is equally important when you are working with a recruiter, as it is when you are working on your own looking for potential job opportunities. Do not minimize your need for preparation at any point during the interview process.

What I like most about recruiters is their ability to help negotiate your new salary. In instances I used a recruiter, the salary exceeded my initial expectations. Should you use a recruiter in your job search? I believe it is an option you should consider. It does not have to be the only option you use in your job search, but I believe that great recruiters can help you find your next job opportunity.

Tips to Remember

1. Do not align yourself with one recruiter. If a recruiter wants you to sign an exclusive contract – say no, and walk away.

2. Do not pay one penny to a recruiter. Their fee should be paid by the organization looking to fill the position.

3. The best way to find a recruiter is through word of mouth. This is where networking is useful. Someone you know, probably knows someone, who knows a great recruiter.

4. Keep in mind the recruiter should have your best interest in mind. You are never at the mercy of the recruiter.

Life Happens Everyday!

Life happens every single day of your life. What does that mean? And what does it have to do with your job search? I have been sick over the past couple of days, which for me is very unusual. I work hard to keep myself physically and mentally healthy. I let my guard down, and wham I have a bad case of strep throat that hit me like a ton of bricks.

It got me thinking about what I would do if I had an interview scheduled? Would you call and reschedule the interview or would I go? What would you do?

Here’s my two cents: If you are scheduled for an interview, you must do everything in your power to keep the interview. Especially if it is a first interview, or a second interview with the hiring manager. If you snooze, you may lose in this case. There will be others in the hiring process/interview process with you. You missed your interview or they reschedule your interview and you may have just given someone the upper hand in this process.

First impressions are lasting. Your inability to make the interview may inconvenience them and therefore create a negative perception about you. No matter how real the situation is for you, the organization has the upper hand here. It is difficult to overcome a negative perception, even if the situation is real for you.

If you wake up sick or find that you are under the weather in the middle of your day, gut it out. Take two aspirin and get to the interview. If you have done your homework prior to the interview, talk to yourself, positive thoughts about your skills and abilities, your ability to build rapport. And then go for it! You may surprise yourself, the adrenaline will kick in and you will have a great interview. I am a firm believer in “if you think you can’t your right!” In other words, it’s all in your head.

This does not minimize the fact that you might really be sick. It comes down to, do you really want the job? If the answer is “YES”, then you do not have the luxury to reschedule the interview.