Friday, June 6, 2014

Ye almighty job hunter lay down your resume

Ye almighty job hunter, Lay down your resume and take up your seed... 2014 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth  told his disciples that the preponderance of the seed they sow would fall on rocky or thorny ground. Therefore, the precious seeds of change would either wither instantaneously or take early root only to later dissipate and be swept away by the wind... The Lesson He taught His disciples, applies to the modern day job seeker now more so than ever.

When you begin your job search/network activities, it is imperative that you begin sowing your VPS (Value Proposition Seedlings) in good rich soil RIGHT NOW. The rich soils I speak of are those people who know and love you. Those who have been blessed throughout their temporal journey here on earth to call you friend, relative, co-worker, or acquaintance. In other words, if they recognize your name, they are the rich soil Jesus speaks of. Sounds logical right?  Yet many of you say to me, hey Seraichyk, I’ll leave the sowing to the unemployed sect who have nothing but time to mingle with the network socialites of the jobless.  I eat what I kill john, and today I will take up my sword, march valiantly in to the jungle (the internet) and slay me a job...  

Well, guys and gals, unfortunately I am unable to find a single thesaurus that will confirm a synonym for  “internet” to be, “vacant desert”, “dry bones”,  or “mirage...” Unfortunately beloved, the internet, headhunters, and the like, are just that. It doesn't matter how piercing your sword, how formidable your rifle, how good your aim. When you are firing at a mirage, you will soon deplete your ammunition and find yourself so far out in the internet jungle, there is no way home. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you’ve sown no seed and consequently there are no crops to bear. Your children remain hungry, you remain frustrated, bewildered and now a failure as you cannot even provide food for your family. Yes, you say, I must sow seed, I must get to work to network to get work! Now I see it!!! But 6 months have passed since you began your hunting expedition, winter has set in, the soil is hard, you are distraught and the idea of sowing is even more daunting now than it was when you began.   Now What???

This email sent from John Seraichyk, President Browning Associates -


Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Are Job Seekers Viewed as Second Class Citizens?

Have you ever felt like a second class citizen? Job Seekers are often characteristically perceived as such. After all, we can be quite bothersome. We swarm the HR department bogging down company job boards and email in-boxes with relentless electronic resume submissions aimlessly chasing the ever illusive JOB opening....

2014 will prove that there is little demand for flat liners (Job Hunters chasing a 200k+ paycheck with benefits)...

Being hired in 2014 may be much like being signed by a professional sports team. Companies want to see if you are able to hit the ball before they sign you. The average job seeker thinks he can only swing the bat if he is in fact offered a job and a chance to jump in and do his stuff. Not so!

Remove these words from your subconscious vocabulary: Résumé, positions, opportunities, human resources; these words and related idioms are a one-way ticket to the HR "We'll let ya know" file.

When you approach companies of interest never ask about jobs or career opportunities and for goodness sake DO NOT post your résumé on their tactless irrational website/job board! Rather, identify a visionary within the organization and promote your value proposition (this of course is another 500 page "how-to" book that I need to write).

Every CEO knows that his/her human subordinate chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Therefore, this indisputably corroborates that there is always a need and a spot (JOB) for a superstar.

Do not characterize yourself as a job-seeker. As an alternative, endorse and promote your personal brand (you) as the factual visionary, business partner, solution provider and industry thought leader that you believe you are!

Your New Mantra

I am an accomplished visionary change agent, business partner; top-level solution provider and industry thought leader that constantly delivers hard driving, steadfast solutions! Or something like that...Just say anything but "Got jobs"?

PS: The Sooner You Stop Looking for a Job, the Sooner You Will Find One!


God Bless,


John Seraichyk,
January 2014

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday Job Hunting is a Good Thing!

    

While many rationalize that November/December may be  a good time to halt the executive job hunt, my many years of experience tell a very different story. Below are seven solid reasons to red-line  your search throughout the holiday season:


1.      Many companies must spend the money in their budgets before the end of the year. Hiring heats up in December because hiring managers are trying to make deadlines to use allocated funds. 

 
2.      Many companies know what their needs for the New Year will be, and they are talking with prospects in November and December in an effort to be sufficiently staffed up and ready for the New Year.


3.     Because many professionals stop job searching in  November/December, the market is much less competitive. Companies hire predicated on need, not time of year.


4.     If you are thinking about a job change for the New Year, November/December is a great time to lay the necessary foundation and/or kick off your search. If you wait until January, the market will be much more hectic.


5.     Three most popular New Year's resolutions: 1. Quit smoking.  2. Join gym. 3. Rewrite résumé; look for better job. Thus, the job market is chaos during the month of January. However, by February 1st, cigarette sales are up, gyms are eerily empty and the job market is back to normal. Unfortunately, you've lost another month in the process...

6.      Decision makers that are working during the holiday season may be more accessible during the month of December. Things may have slowed down around the company and management may be in a better position to speak with you or at least, have a look at the résumé. Once January rolls around, forget it!
 
 7.      Search firms are motivated to place candidates before the end of the year. Contingency recruiters are paid on commission. This commission is based on fees their company earns for placing professionals. What ably serves the December job seeker is that this commission rises based on the overall yearly billing. One might start the year at 30% and graduate to 60% by December. The catch is that it goes down to 30% again Jan.1.

Happy Holiday Hunting!

Browning Associates
The mantra of a winner is the common voice of all executives who succeed beyond expectation in their career search endeavors.

 If you are not excited about your career campaign, then neither will anybody else be. For most, job hunting is a droll drudgery and self defeating process. However, you should feel rejuvenated and passionate about this exciting time of life as you strive for yet another summit of success and well being!  

  

 THE MANTRA OF A WINNER!
 
   "Redefining my network as Browning Associates has instructed is a real eye-opener...I never realized how many people I've known. Initially, I was resistant, but now I am blown away! Everything they instructed me on regarding "the" network is coming to fruition!!! 

I am excited to begin a strategic and coordinated outreach as a means of resurrecting, fortifying, and creating new and existing relationships...

I am Even more excited about utilizing the new skills I've acquired to leverage "the" network in such a way whereas I  will be so busy, I will soon need another admin to help with the influx...   
  Any  referral is a great referral. I am not making the critical mistake of removing names from my potential contact lists!!! Employed or unemployed, it doesn't matter! People know people who know people and my best leads have come from places I never would have expected! It typically takes less than a minute to make a call to  a potential contact and maybe another 3-5 minutes to determine whether or not we might be helpful to each other - I never strip names from any contact list!!!  One unpredicted benefit, is that some of these guys and gals  are actually job seeking themselves...Therefore, they seem all the more motivated to help me...Once these ladies and gentlemen decide on their next executive appointment, I will make sure they remember me for my passion, vigor and want to help them any way I can!

Also, just being able to get on the phone by way of a personal introduction from Browning with many $200k++ executives is leaps and bounds ahead of what I was doing prior...

I'm talking with people, promoting my brand, sharpening my message and  filling up my calendar with highly  productive dialog exactly as instructed by Browning Associates. Old habits are hard to break, and most of this was foreign to me at first, but I now know I am in control of my own destiny. This keeps me highly motivated; it certainly beats chasing Internet jobs or sending letters cold to various companies...I am interfacing with people not websites!!! 

Just as I've done in all of my executive successes in corporate America, I am now using a team to get it done right!!!!!    

Browning  is always there for me!"

If you are an active client of Browning Associates and this does not describe what's transpiring in your career search, I challenge you to contact me direct today! 

____________________________________________

MORE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL NETWORK
Your personal network is not only a source of enhanced career market value, long-term job security and wealth creation, but it is the absolute heartbeat of your executive job search..... 
     
Negating to notify your personal and professional network of your latest career search endeavor, just might perpetuate your best job hunting efforts to a drain-circling spiral of career delusion and abyss! AKA - chasing internet postings and headhunters. This forlorn and most forsaken place must be avoided at all costs...

 Sadly, most folks know of no other way to conduct a job search, and therefore, it becomes the norm to not inform their friends and colleagues of their career situation. But this exploit and true to life consequence is not the job seekers fault; it's what the job market and inaugurated hiring protocols  are designed to do! Follow the rules, don't call us, we'll call you! It's a buyers market ladies and gentleman! The more traditional job hunting becomes the median, the longer you will struggle in this mixed up mania of job search futility ...
  
"Man can live 4 weeks without food, 4 days without water, 4 minutes without air, but only 4 seconds without hope!" 

If you refuse to communicate with your ENTIRE network (everybody on the face of the planet who knows your name)  and/or have wholeheartedly convinced yourself you don't have a network, it may just be better to hound the published job market... Thus, when you finally do stumble upon the perfect job, or the one you profess you are able to do with one hand tied behind your back,  you might at least buy an intermittent delusion of an additional 4 seconds of counterfeit hope...

Unfortunately, when the employer doesn't call or even acknowledge receipt of your resume submission, you just might embark on an unintentional plummet in to what I call "terminus isolation." In other words, working in the garden, managing the dreaded Honey-do list, or worse; burying yourself deeper in to the job you hate...  

Lets face it, every time you chaotically submit a resume or reach out to a headhunter and don't hear back, a small piece of your self-assurance, certainty and confidence is hacked away! Not a good state of mind to be in when one of your friends or colleagues calls with a real occasion to meet real people in real companies with real forthcoming opportunities!       
    
Lego your Ego  

People you know will welcome you...This will invoke confidence and a sense of positive well being...Your network is the emotional life source of your job search endeavor...It will feed your every being, which in turn will enable you to trudge onward even in the face of rejection which is always an illusive, invisible and victorious enemy for every executive job seeker who reasons his network is a spare tire and not the steering wheel.... Smile and dial! 


Blessings
john s  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where Networking Chit Chat Always go Wrong!


Where Networking Chit Chat Always go Wrong!

Most networking conversations are pleasant, friendly and usually exceedingly awkward. Therefore, more often than not, the call ends with both parties agreeing they will stay in touch and let each other know if something comes up. Sound familiar?  What happens next is nothing! Sound even more familiar?   Here are a few things to keep in mind to be sure your networking strategy is moving forward and not stuffed in the already overfull "lets keep in touch" folder.  
  

What to do Before your First Conversation:

Invite your network contact to join you on LinkedIn. Once you are connected,  take a look at their profile and see who they know in companies you are interested in. Also, be sure to note where they are working now and where they worked last.


Your First Conversation - Telling Aint Selling: Asking is!

After some polite conversation and promise of a future quid pro quo, you will simply ask your referral contact if they think your credentials and experience would be a good fit for their company present or past. If the answer is yes, then ask who in the company they can get your resume to. If the answer is no, have them send it to their HR manager anyway.  Be sure to remind him that his company will probably pay a bonus when they hire you! Next, YOU MUST schedule a follow up meeting right there and then. Get on his calendar for the following week to be sure your directives have been carried out...

Immediately following this conversation, go to LinkedIn and write a neat recommendation for your referral... Follow with a thanks and confirmation for your next meeting...


PS  Your personal network is not only a source of enhanced career market value, long-term job security and wealth creation, but it is the absolute heartbeat of your executive job search... 

Blessings
john s  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just How Important is Your Personal Network?

Your personal network is not only a source of enhanced career market value, long term job security and wealth creation, but it is the absolute heartbeat of your executive job search..... 
     
Negating to notify your personal and professional network of your latest career endeavor just might perpetuate your search endeavor in to a drain circling spiral of career delusion and abyss (internet postings and headhunters).

This forlorn and most forsaken stagnation must be avoided at all costs... Sadly, Most folks know of no other way to conduct a job search and therefore it becomes the norm to not inform their friends and colleagues of their career situation. But this exploit and true to life consequence is not the job seekers fault, it's what the job market and inaugurated hiring protocols within corporate America are designed to do! Follow the rules, don't call us, we'll call you! It's a buyers market ladies and gentleman! The more you allow traditional job hunting to become your median, the longer you will struggle in this mixed up mania of job search futility ...
  
"Man can live 4 weeks without food, 4 days without water, 4 minutes without air, but only 4 seconds without hope!" 

If you refuse to communicate with your own network and/or have wholeheartedly convinced yourself you don't have a network, in some ways, its almost better that you continue to hound the published job market...When you finally do spot the perfect job, or the one you profess you are able to do with one hand tied behind your back, you just might buy yourself an intermittent delusion of an additional 4 seconds of counterfeit hope...Unfortunately, when the employer doesn't call or even acknowledge receipt of your resume submission, you just might embark on an unintentional plummet in to what I call "terminus isolation." (Working in the garden, the dreaded Honey-do list, or worse; bury yourself deeper in to the job you hate) Lets face it, every time you chaotically submit a resume or reach out to a headhunter and don't hear back, a small piece of your self-assurance, certainty and confidence is hacked away! Not a good state of mind to be in when one of your friends or colleagues calls with a real job interview...      
    
Lego your Ego - Call your buddies a.s.a.p.. 

People you know will welcome you...This will invoke confidence and a sense of positive well being...Your network is the emotional life source of your job search endeavor...It will feed your every being, which in turn will enable you to trudge onward in the face of rejection which is always an illusive, invisible and victorious enemy for every executive job seeker who reasons his network is a spare tire and not the steering wheel.... Smile and dial! 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Job Hunting? Don't Take Maybe for an Answer

  

Job Hunting?

Don’t Take Maybe for an Answer

I am incessantly astounded by the number of execs I speak with that will take the time to painstakingly develop a stellar résumé, submit it to the company of their dreams and rather than initiating an aggressive follow up call; they are typically insulted when nobody calls them back!

Your job search cannot endure without a daily measure of NO’s

If you are presently unemployed and your earning potential is $200k annually; it is costing you $769.00 in lost wages per work-day to conduct your search….Therefore, if you scrutinize your job search strictly from a business perspective, each day of unemployment is sinking your biz to the tune of $4,000.00 per week or $16,000.00 per month!

GOT NO’s?

The length of your job search is not determined by market conditions, salary requirements, geography preferences or restrictions and/or by your specific skill set! No; the time it takes to generate the perfect job offer is only determined by the number of “NO’s” you receive per day.

Before you proceed to understand what qualifies as a NO, let’s look at what a “NO” is not.

These MAYBES don’t count!

You apply to a company, receive a polite form letter or email saying “thanks we’ll let ya know!” They are saying “know”, not No!

You honor your follow up commitment as stated in your introductory letter by means of actually mustering the audacity to place a follow up call (a damn follow up email doesn’t count)…The admin says your contact is too busy right now; you plan on calling back and you usually don’t! This is another one for the maybe file! Remedy: Place 3-5 more follow up calls, ask for a YES or a NO and call me in the morning!

You submit the perfect resume for the perfect job which you are perfectly qualified for and to your absolute amazement; they don’t call you back... You scratch your head, let go of another precious hunk of your all so necessary self-confidence and return to the black hole (Web) in search of another place that will tell you MAYBE! And so on and so forth…

You amass the bravery to call an old friend presently employed at XYZ Company. He doesn’t call you back, or worse, he sees you at your kid’s soccer game and ducks into a nearby alleyway... If your dim voicemail said you were looking for a job and he doesn’t have one, he’ll hide because he has no job for you today…..Asking for industry advice or to converse with another thought leader on your level as a means of simple networking is the key; asking for a job is a one way ticket to the HR MAYBE machine…

You attend an amazing 5 hour interview with the company of your dreams. HR calls the next day and says “we will be in touch before next Friday.” Next Friday comes and goes and they don’t call… You assume the worst, wait two weeks and place a halfhearted call to HR leaving a halfhearted jail mail (voicemail)….Or worse, because you think you have this one in the bag, you do nothing and nothing happens and it was all for nothing and you are now another 4 weeks ( $16,000.00) deeper in lost wages!

The recruiter is frothing at the mouth on Monday and by Tuesday the FBI couldn’t find him;
you go away peacefully!

You sent your resume, you have left 5 VM’s and your call has not been returned… you go away peacefully!

Now, go back and make a list of all the companies that have shunned you with a big fat Maybe. smile, dial, and move those MAYBES to your NO file. The sooner you do, the sooner you will find the ever illusive YES!

Here is what you job search needs to look like:

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO YES
(notice you don’t see the word MAYBE anywhere?)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Career Change - Myth or Reality?



By John Seraichyk - Browning Associates

The term “Career Change” is mostly mythological and not at all practical for many domesticated financially responsible executives. What advice do you give a 45 year old CFO with two kids in college who explains that she will consider any career option as long it has nothing to do with accounting or overseeing a corporations financial management? The likes of these fairytale transitions make for good sales dialogue for career counselors and marketing firms, but are typically far from reality.

Transition happens over time; we the people each and everybody on the face of the planet, who presently trades hours of his life for a paycheck, must adapt an entrepreneurial mind-set. That’s right! You must always be in “selling/reinventing yourself” mode! Just as a large corporation is always diversifying its product and market demographic, you too must always be projecting at least five years ahead of your contending peers. The “job stability” mind-set is lethal to your long-term career success.

The instant you land your next position, update your resume, and begin transformation.

If you want to remain successful and happy in your work, you must adapt my mantra; “If you are not in transition you are in denial”. One of the most successful product remodeling/transformations I have ever witnessed was accomplished by the Toyota Corporation. Beginning with a standard Camary, they added gold trim, leather, changed the name to Lexus and doubled the price! You must realize you too are a commodity and must continuously be cognizant of who may be in need of your product and how you reinvent and constantly position and promote yourself for the future. This wont happen overnight! Career Change/redirection is an instilled mindset that must be ever present if you expect to continue to successfully climb the “cliff face” of success.

W2-employees and 1099ers alike must realize that there is no corporate safe haven; job security is a legend of the past mostly publicized by the * 40/40 Club.

*40/40 Club…An employee who works for the same company for 40 hours a week for 40 years and retires with a $40 gold watch.

My best advice: If you are absolutely in love with your job, begin your transition action plan yesterday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 Reasons Why Your Network Contact is Not Calling You Back!

3 Reasons Why Your Network Contact is Not Calling You Back!

You're speaking with another executive in your network or recruiter whom has promised to circulate your resume throughout his network. He even goes as far as to say he knows of a vacant position that you would be perfect for...He promises to touch base with his contacts and be back with you in short order! Two weeks have since passed, and your ol friend has vanished! You've left a few messages, but at this point you might be wondering if he's still breathing. Just a week ago he was fervently excited to help, and now; MIA! How could this be?????

Here's What Went Wrong
   
Mistake Number 1. No Quid Pro Qou!
 
You did not take the time to understand what his needs are...Did you ask him how things are going in his career? Has he thought about something bigger and better for himself? Did you suggest a few people that you might refer him to? If you are part of The Browning Associates network, you could have said, "I know of a huge network in your industry and I'm glad to connect you with some excellent high level contacts...Either way, if you spoke for 10 minutes, 8 of those minutes should have been about your network contacts and what you can do to help him...Every 200k executive on the planet is always looking for something bigger; make it about them; no excuses, no exceptions! You will use your remaining 2 minutes to ask that they do the same for you...Consequently, the (Quid pro qou) has been birthed in to action!
 
Mistake Number 2. No Accountability No Call to Action!
 
Before you finish your conversation, there are two things that must happen. 1. Make it very clear what you are going to do for your networking contact and 2. Schedule a time for follow up. As far as they can see, you are scheduling a follow up call so as to be sure you are able to come back to them with the promised referrals etc... Remember; never give them all you've got until they come forth with their promise as well...Always keep them wanting more!

Mistake Number 3. You appear Needy or as if you're selling something!
 
Remember who you are! You are a solution provider! If people do not see value in connecting with you or clearly are not respecting your time, move on! Of course we always remain professionally aggressive, but we never come across as if we are needy or selling... When I speak with somebody in our network on your behalf, I say it like this: "My guy/gal is a busy senior executive...Upon my review of your resume and background, it would be in your best interest to get to know this lady/gent asap...H/she will land a new role soon, at which point the window of opportunity to get to Him/er will slam shut! Your call...Let me know... Just like that; no more no less...You should promote yourself exactly the same way...People want what they cant have...
"We look forward to assisting you with reaching all of your career goals! "

Friday, May 25, 2012





Career Change - Myth or Reality?

By John Seraichyk - Browning Associates - June 2012
The term “Career Change” is mostly mythological and not at all practical for many domesticated financially responsible executives. What advice do you give a 45 year old CFO with two kids in college who explains that she will consider any career option as long it has nothing to do with accounting or overseeing a corporations financial management? The likes of these fairytale transitions make for good sales dialogue for career counselors and marketing firms, but are typically far from reality.

Transition happens over time; we the people each and everybody on the face of the planet, who presently trade hours of our lives for a paycheck, must adapt an entrepreneurial mind-set. That’s right! You must always be in “selling/reinventing yourself” mode! Just as a large corporation is always diversifying its product and market demographic, you too must always be projecting at least five years ahead of your contending peers. The “job stability” mind-set is lethal to your long-term career success.

The instant you land your next position, update your resume, and begin transformation.

If you want to remain successful and happy in your work, you must adapt my mantra; “If you are not in transition you are in denial”. One of the most successful product remodeling/transformations I have ever witnessed was accomplished by the Toyota Corporation. Beginning with a standard Camary, they added gold trim, leather, changed the name to Lexus and doubled the price! You must realize you too are a commodity and must continuously be cognizant of who may be in need of your product and how you reinvent and constantly position and promote yourself for the future. This wont happen overnight! Career Change/redirection is an instilled mindset that must be ever present if you expect to continue to successfully climb the “cliff face” of success.

W2-employees and 1099ers alike must realize that there is no corporate safe haven; job security is a legend of the past mostly publicized by the * 40/40 Club.

*40/40 Club…An employee who works for the same company for 40 hours a week for 40 years and retires with a $40 gold watch.

My best advice: If you are absolutely in love with your job, begin your transition action plan yesterday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Don't Avoid the Unemployed!

Don't Avoid the Unemployed!  

  
Is it worthwhile to network with people who are also looking for new employment?

Most people think they should only talk with other people who are presently employed in a specific capacity within a specific industry within a specific company who might have a specific job for them.  This is job search futility and fatality.

When an exec is between jobs, it's the perfect time to get to know him/her. That person will land soon and will remember you when s/he does.

In fact, it's more effective to network with people who are also looking for new employment.  When these people are between jobs, they are accessible; once they land a new gig, you might never get to speak with them.  It's too late. S/he's off and running on a new career venture and much too busy to be bothered. 

 Alternatively, if you connect with him beforehand, you better believe he'll speak with you. His Rolodex® will be wide open. Moreover, if you can point him to one good contact in your network, he will never forget you. When he's running his next company, he will pay your favor forward.

Additionally, once an executive has left, he is more likely to give you contacts from his last company as he does not have the same confidentiality concern.  Also, don't forget to look at other companies he has worked for and ask for contacts there as well.  Furthermore, because he has been searching and talking to other execs and recruiters, he is more likely to be aware of recent opportunities that might be better for you than for him. 


The Recruiter/Your Contact Has Gone Ice Cold!

 The Recruiter/Your Contact Has Gone Ice Cold! 
   
 Your speaking with another executive in your network or recruiter whom has promised to circulate your resume throughout his network. He even goes as far as to say he knows of a vacant position that you would be perfect for...He promises to touch base with his contacts and be back with you in short order! Two weeks have since passed, and your ol friend has vanished!  You've left a few messages, but at this point you might be wondering if he's still breathing.  Just a week ago he was fervently excited to help, and now; MIA! How could this be?????
 
 
Here's What Went Wrong

  
Mistake Number 1. No Quid Pro Qou!   
 
You did not take the time to understand what his needs are...Did you ask him how things are going in his career? Has he thought about something bigger and better for himself? Did you suggest a few people that you might refer to him? If you are part of The Browning Associates network, you could have said, "I know of a huge network in your industry and I'm glad to connect you with some excellent high level contacts...Either way, if you spoke for 10 minutes, 8 of those minutes should have been about your network contacts and what you can do to help him...Every 200k executive on the planet is always looking for something bigger; make it about them; no excuses, no exceptions!  You will use your remaining 2 minutes to ask that they do the same for you...Consequently, the (Quid pro qou) has been birthed in to action! 
 
Mistake Number 2. No Accountability No Call to Action

Before you finish your conversation, there are two things that must happen.  1. Make it very clear what you are going to do for them and 2. Schedule a time for follow up. As far as they can see, you are scheduling a follow up call so as to be sure you are able to come back to them with the promised referrals etc... Remember; never give them all you've got until they come forth with their promise as well...Always keep them wanting more!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't be Anti-Social

By Melanie Schwartz and John Seraichyk

So then, what's the deal with all this social media hype? Do we 40 ++ guys and gals need to be onboard?

In my estimation, professional networking is and will forever remain the most important and integral ingredient for ensuring job security and career growth potential!

However, as the job market continues to become even more competitive, conventional networking and job searching tactics may not be enough. Job seekers must now incorporate social media!

Professionals seeking to better their career situation just might need to Tweet their way up the corporate cliff face of success (remember when it was a ladder?). The Job Jungle (used to call it a market!) has changed forever and so must you modernize the way you seek professional career employment and advancement.

These days one must incorporate social media with the marketing genius of corporate giants such as Toyota. If you're changing careers, you have to love Toyota - take an existing middle market product (the Camry), change the name, add some fake wood, double the price, and suddenly you dominate a foreign market that the American automaker still cannot figure out. Now this is what I call very cool brand building! Are you a Toyota or a Lexus?

"The use of social media has fast become essential in aiding professional job seekers to connect with others." Melanie J. Schwartz, Vice President Client Consulting Services - Browning Associates - circa 2011


Become a Social Butterfly

By way of social media, the career seeker can now access contacts 24/7 in the convenience of their home, office, or local coffee shop. No more attending a seven am breakfast event where only 20 people show up. Instead, we now have the opportunity to interact with thousands of people all over the globe at the touch of a keystroke.

There are over 120 million members in 20 countries and territories that can be found on LinkedIn.com alone. Furthermore, both LinkedIn and Twitter also now include job postings for senior level executives. In fact, not being a member of these sites can be detrimental in a job search. Our clients have been told by company representatives that candidates not on LinkedIn will not be considered for an interview. That's a fairly strong reason to have a LinkedIn presence.

Furthermore, JobVite.com recently polled over 800 employers asking if they used social media to recruit and over 89% indicated that they did! In addition, 90% of the human resource executives and executive recruiters that we work with also indicate that they routinely scour profiles of LinkedIn members looking for potential candidates.

How to Build your Social Media Brand

The reason most job-seekers are inept social networkers and personal brand-builders and consequently futile job hunters, is they are typically blindsided by the daunting sense of urgency brought on by the paradigm of contemporary job hunting.

Historically, job hunting, by definition and incident, has been a frustrating process of sifting fool's gold from the internet while contacting people who you think might have a job for you today, right now, instantaneously! Looking for a job this way is like trying to find your soul mate/husband/wife on www.girlofmydreams.noway.com. Sure you'll go on a few dates, but they are usually superficial at best. The hungry job seeker becomes so focused on pursuits of the pay check that s/he sometimes misses the much bigger picture. A successful social media brand building campaign must be developed and executed completely apart from conventional job networking. To be an effective social networker, you must separate personal promotion (brand building) from job hunting altogether.

He Who Has the Most Friends Wins - NOT!

Personal branding done "social media style" is not just about who has the most (so called) friends on Face Book or connections on LinkedIn. Rather, it's crucial that you connect on a personal level and always come away with two or three solid referrals from your new friend. When personal branding is done properly, an outreach to just twenty of your best network contacts may necessitate a full time assistant just to sustain the referral activity. I recently had a client who needed two assistants just to keep up! Does this describe what's transpiring in your job search?

Before you know it, your buzz will be second nature for everybody who knows the YOU brand. Branding is powerful. Don't think so? When is the last time you referred to Scotch Tape® as cellophane adhesive tape? Can't remember the last time I said, "Honey, have you seen the cellophane adhesive tape?" Are you cellophane adhesive tape? It's no surprise the brand-recognition for toilet paper is still up for grabs! Although Kleenex® does have unconventional uses I suppose...

How to Launch Your Social Media Branding Campaign

Anybody and everybody, including your butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, who knows your brand (your name) must know what you are up to and how to find/follow you. I suggest you start with an effectual heartfelt correspondence penned from the tablet of your heart. Be sure to let your friends and associates know you are seeking a possible career move and how to reach you on all media levels. Next, you must promptly put forward to your LinkedIn network, post on your Facebook wall and all the while continuing to Tweet your moment by moment activity to your faithful Twitter followers. If you say the right things and ask the right questions, your friends will sing like canaries.

Who Shall I invite to my Social Gathering?

Everyone on the planet who recognizes your name; this is your warm market. Look at your checkbook. These people surely know who you are. Be sure they know of your personal promotion campaign/job search endeavor. These people work for you. They owe you one! Let them know what you are up to.**Nobody does this, yet 90% of all new jobs at 100k+ will eventually come from somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who comes to know you!

But They Won't Have a Job for Me!

When I ask one of my clients for the names of the people at his gym or members of his clergy, he looks at me as if I have two heads! He thinks to himself: "This Seraichyk character is a kook!" This is because he is unable to separate personal brand building from job-hunting. When you think about calling Uncle Bill (who has been selling Amway/Avon for forty years,) to inquire with reference to employment opportunities, it seems preposterous, illogical, and absurd! However, Uncle Bill in the branding scenario is simply another human being who knows other human beings and is ALSO familiar with your brand. In other words, he is part and parcel of your warm market and must be informed of your product launch.

If you would like more ideas on how to seek out and categorize your network, please send a request for our free "How to Build Your Personal Network" document.

Where to Go - How to Get Started...

Professionals Seeking 75k Plus in annual compensation must get connected on LinkedIn... Go to http://www.linkedin.com/

Be sure to import your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, etc, so that you can start to build your network or cultivate your existing network. You may want to pay for a premium account, so you can contact other recruiters that may help you. Finally, you should conduct searches on LinkedIn for jobs that you may be interested in and reach out to those persons that may provide you with an interview or referral.

Twitter.com has fast developed into the ultimate utility to connect directly with recruiters and employees at companies you're targeting. By conducting Twitter searches, following recruiters on your account and using the "@" sign to communicate with them on occasion, you will begin to find out a lot about them and their companies.

Before you follow anyone on Twitter, you will need to have a finished profile. This means you must have a short bio, the location where you're from, and a link to a site that recruiters can go to for more information. I.e.: Your LinkedIn page, personal website or blog. It's fairly simple. Go to Twitter.com and jump right in! Its fast, free and fun.

If you're in the over 45 age demographic, I strongly suggest that you begin to explore Facebook.com as another resource or media to expose your professional candidacy. 700 million faithful followers can't all be wrong. You can't afford not to have a presence here... Go to Facebook.com to get started. Be sure that your Facebook profile is used exclusively for the purposes of your career endeavors.

A Little Birdie told me...

To get employed and to remain employed you must invite, invite, invite, connect, connect, connect. And always remember, when it comes to aggressive employment search, telling ain't selling, - asking is! Ask for referrals, introductions, contacts and connections; twice if you have to!

John H. Seraichyk(sir-ray-check)

Browning Associates

401-825-7717 Providence www.Professionaljobchange.com

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PS Having a hard time getting a door open? Feel free to email for a network contact, referral, reference or recommendation any time!

Friday, September 2, 2011

When Job Networking Isnt Working

Forget About Networking - It's Time to Build your Personal Brand Muscle!



How to Bulk Up Your Brand

In my estimation, executive job networking is becoming not much more than an overused career platitude. As the job market continues to be more and more competitive, traditional job networking may not be enough. We must now incorporate the marketing genius of the likes of corporate giants such as Toyota Motor Inc.... Take an existing middle market product, change the name, add some fake wood, double the price and suddenly you dominate a foreign market that Americans still cannot figure out... Now this is what I call very cool brand building! Are you a Camary or a Lexus?

The reason most executive job-seekers are horrible brand-builders is that they are blindsided by the daunting sense of urgency brought on by the paradigm of modern day job hunting. You must separate personal promotion (brand building) from job hunting altogether. Job hunting, by definition and incident, is a frustrating process of sifting fool's gold from the internet while contacting people who you think might have a job for you today, right now, instantaneously! Looking for a job this way is like trying to find your soul mate/husband/wife on www.Girlofmydreams.com. Sure you'll go on a few dates, but they are usually superficial at best. The hungry executive becomes so focused on pursuits of the job that he sometimes misses the much bigger picture. A successful personal brand building campaign must be completely separate from job hunting.


Personal promotion is wholly a process of aggressively exercising your ready-made brand muscle amongst the people who know you; a progression of relentlessly leveraging your brand (YOU) while coming to learn that helping others is more important than helping yourself.

Personal branding done right is not just notifying people and having a pleasant conversation about the weather. Rather, it's about connecting on a personal level and coming away with two or three solid referrals. When personal branding is done properly, an outreach to just twenty of your best network contacts may necessitate a full time assistant just to sustain the referral activity. I recently had a client who needed three assistants just to keep up! Does this describe what's transpiring in your career search?

Before you know it, your buzz will be second nature for everybody who knows the YOU brand. Branding is powerful. Don't think so? I still spell RELIEF: R-O-L-A-I-D-S! That slogan has stuck in my head since 1977. When is the last time you referred to Scotch Tape® as cellophane adhesive tape? Can't remember the last time I said, "Honey, have you seen the cellophane adhesive tape?" She wouldn't know what I was talking about. Are you cellophane adhesive tape? It's no surprise the brand-recognition for toilet paper is still up for grabs! Although Kleenex® does have unconventional uses I suppose...


How to Launch your Personal Branding Campaign

Anybody and everybody, including your butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, who know your brand (your name) must know what you are up to and how to find you. No, not a blurb on LinkedIn or Face book. What I'm suggesting is an effectual heartfelt correspondence, penned from the tablet of your heart and submitted via snail mail (email is also acceptable, but US mail is cooler) to everyone on the planet who recognizes your brand; this is your warm market. Look at your check book. These people surely know who you are. Be sure they know of your personal promo campaign. These people work for you. They owe you one! Let them know what you are up to.**Nobody does this, yet 90% of all new jobs at 200k+ will eventually come from somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.

If you would like more ideas on how to seek out and categorize your network, please send a request for our free NMJ document.



But I Don't Know Anybody!


I will often ask executives how well networked they are within their circles of influence. Invariably, the answer comes back, "Oh man, I know everybody; sure, lots and lots of people!" It's amazing; they almost seem insulted that I would ask. A week later, we start their job search. I ask for their network and they say, "Hmmm, well I don't really know anybody."


When I ask one of my clients for the names of the people at his gym or members of his clergy, he looks at me as if I have two heads! He thinks to himself: "This Seraichyk character is a kook!" This is because he is unable to separate personal brand building from job-hunting. When you think about calling Aunty Jean, who has been selling Amway/Avon for forty years, to inquire with reference to employment opportunities, it seems preposterous, illogical, and absurd! However, Aunt Jean in (the branding scenario) is simply another human being who knows other human beings and is ALSO familiar with your brand. In other words, she is part and parcel of your warm market and she must be informed of your product launch.


Don't Avoid the Unemployed! 

Is it worthwhile to network with people who are also looking for new employment? Most people think they should only talk to other people who are presently employed in a specific capacity within a specific industry within a specific company who might have a specific job for them. This is job search futility and fatality.

When an exec is between jobs, it's the perfect time to get to know him/her. That person will land soon and will remember you when s/he does.

In fact, it's more effective to network with people who are also looking for new employment. When these people are between jobs, they are accessible; once they land a new gig, you might never get to speak with them. It's too late. S/he's off and running on a new career venture and much too busy to be bothered. Alternatively, if you connect with him beforehand, you better believe he'll speak with you. His Rolodex® will be wide open. Moreover, if you can point him to one good contact in your network, he will never forget you. When he's running his next company, he will pay your favor forward. Additionally, once an executive has left, he is more likely to give you contacts from his last company as he does not have the same confidentiality concern. Also, don't forget to look at other companies he has worked for and ask for contacts there as well. Furthermore, because he has been searching and talking to other execs and recruiters, he is more likely to be aware of recent opportunities that might be better for you than for him.


The Meek Will Inherit the Kingdom of Employment

Everybody wants to connect with the CEO, the chief, the king pin, the corner office dwellers of America...Not an easy thing to do and most often without solution. You will find it much easier to speak with lower level professionals. These common folk, like you and I, are always more willing to speak with you because they aspire to be where you are one day. Maybe you can tell them how you did it in trade for a referral. Don't forget to remind them that larger companies will pay referral bonuses to existing employees who refer new hires. I've seen some big bonuses paid out to existing employees who are paying attention and referring key talent to their companies!


If you are Not in Transition, you are in Denial

Employed executives are never content. For a successful executive, scaling the cliff face of success is as routine is the coffee break for the guy who wants your job but is too busy drinking coffee. If this were fallacy, you wouldn't be where you are today or even were you were yesterday.

When you reach out to people in your network, whether they are employed or unemployed, never make it about you and, by no means, come across as needy or in a bad position due to job loss. Be sure to give the impression that you have lots going on...You are contacting your friend, comrade, or x-boss to simply say hello and to let them know what you are up to. The best way to start this conversation is to ask them how their career is going. No matter what they tell you, I assure you, they are open for something better. Talk about how somebody in your network might help them. Once you've accomplished this, you simply say, "Oh yes, by the way. I'm contemplating a move myself."And then dig for three names from his/her Rolodex® (for those under 40, a Rolodex® is not a watch; that's Rolex®).This pre-Bill Gates technology is an astoundingly steadfast and reliable system for storing contact names and information, requires no electricity, never crashes, costs about $10.00, and you don't have to upgrade every 90 days! You may not get a sneak peek at the Rolodex®; you may not even get a name on the first call. But if things go well, schedule a follow up and try again.





PS Having a hard time getting a door open? Feel free to email for a network contact, referral, reference or recommendation any time!







Friday, July 8, 2011

Resume Advice is Useless!

Do not Heed Resume Advice!

If all the résumé writers in the US (all 8 billion of them) convened at the summit of mount boilerplate, entered into a massive resume writing laboratory and created what they believed to be the next super power most highly efficient and effectual "wins an interview every time" résumé and then asked 50 CEO’s for their candid critique; here would be the results of the meeting faction: 16 CEO’s would like it, 16 would find more things wrong with it, 16 would absolutely hate it and 2 would say resumes are a waste of time.… I know, because I’ve been running résumé focus groups for nearly 20 years. I’ve learned that asking for a résumé opinion is like asking somebody what color they like better red or blue.

Your Resume is a Tool and Needs to be Used Properly to Get the Right Result!

No one résumé will ever please the masses. And the minute you think your close, somebody will come along and tell you your résumé sucks. Therefore, when it comes to résumés, the only thing that is ALWAYS is that it must ALWAYS be used properly to get the right result. I.e. do everything you can to get it to the decision maker and follow up aggressively. Email it and US mail it with a handwritten envelope (guys, have your wife do the hand-writing). And at all costs, ALWAYS leverage a contact and drop that person’s name a hundred times if you have to. Unfortunately, job-seekers are second class citizens in this market. Only you need to love your resume and only you need to love you; the rest will take care of itself!

Want to know more about how to use your resume as a battering ram? Please visit us

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is your greatest weakness? Never again be stumped by the weakness question!

What Is Your Greatest Weakness”?

By John Seraichyk - Executive Jobs Guy - Industry Thought Leader

This query has been an enduring weapon in the hiring manager's arsenal, but most people still have trouble with the dilemma it poses: answer too frankly, and you'll torpedo your prospects. Bestow a canned answer and you'll seem phony, or worse, evasive.

We have all at one time or another been faced with the dreaded “weakness” question. Why shouldn't we dread this inquiry? The employer is virtually asking why he/she shouldn't hire you!

The Weakness Question Distilled

A savvy interviewer may even disguise the “weakness” question? He/she might pose the (weakness) question as:

  • Tell me about a project that did not work out so well?
  • Name three self limiting thoughts
  • Tell me about a time in your career that you really goofed up?
  • What kind of people do you find it difficult to work with?
  • What makes you angry?
  • How have your weaknesses affected your job performance? 
  • Yes, she/he may even ask: What is your greatest weakness?


As demonstrated above, the weakness question may come in many different forms. There is no steadfast answer(s) to the “weakness” question. Sure, you can describe a weakness that has nothing to do with job you are applying for; you could retort..um uh….chocolate. Please don’t say you are a perfectionist or that you work too hard! ): These answers will certainly put your integrity at risk.


How to Formulate an Answer for any weakness question

All interview answers are like all good stories, they must have a happy ending! It’s always a good idea to put your weaknesses in the past and talk about what you have done to correct them and then end with a positive outcome. When done properly, you will demonstrate integrity by not doing the circumlocution bit and you will end your answer with a powerful and factual outcome based on your ability to successfully convert the weakness to a strength!

There is no possible way to prepare and rehearse an individual answer for every potential weakness question. However, with a little practice, you can learn to formulate an answer for any question and never be stumped again!

Here’s how: Whenever you are asked a question and it is immediately obvious (you will feel it in the pit of your stomach) that the interviewer wants you to say something NEGATIVE about yourself; you must practice doing three things:

1. Repeat the question; this buys you time and allows you to quickly formulate a masterful response. 2. Start your answer with any event or incident that happened in the past (always put your weakness in the past). 3. Explain the weakness… do not get long winded or become circumlocutory; rather, explain a situation that started out bad, what you did to correct it and then end your answer with a positive factual outcome.

IE: When I was hired in to the Regional Sales Director job back in 2001, my predecessor had left the position 6 months prior. When I took over the department, sales were down, turnover was at an all time high; I realized for the first time in my career that one of my greatest weaknesses was my ability to turn-around a failing sales division….

My mentoring and management skills were not what I thought they were; however, upon working many 80-100 hour weeks retraining supervisory and sales staff, reorganizing and developing departmental protocol and sales training procedures; I was able to increase sales volume by 43% in the first fiscal year. (The same answer you might use if the interviewer asked you what your greatest accomplishment was.) Never forget the ABC’s of interviewing (Always Be Closing)!

The above answer formulation technique works well for 90% of all “weakness” questions. However, be on the lookout for what I call the NEG 2.5 question. This question is the interviewer’s ploy to discover a character or personality flaw that might affect your ability to work well with others or perform well in the job. Here is an example of a NEG 2.5 question: “If someone does not know you well or like you. What are five adjectives he or she might use to describe you?”

You could answer this question by talking about a person from your past who you did not get along with, but now you’re best friends or describe weaknesses that will not affect your ability to perform well in the job.

For example I might answer the question like this:

Well, my x-girlfriend would say:

1. Lazy --when it came to yard work; she would say --- lazy ---80 hour work
weeks and yard work don’t mix…
2. Bad --- golfer…I think she liked beating me though…so did my clients…I
closed some good deals on the course…
3. Sloppy – she was a neat freak….
4. Poor --- I think she wants to Mary a billionaire
5. Not Funny --- some of my xmas party jokes may have been at her expense

Today we are actually very good friends!

(if you are a man interviewing with a woman, please use common sense here.

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Our Founder

John's entire professional career has been dedicated to assisting professionals and executives with career transition, employment search and career consulting. Offering over 20 years of career search and consulting experience, John has earned a reputation for engaging with 200k + professionals and executives in a successful effort to advance their professional career status. Mr. Seraichyk has built multiple management teams for his organizations and teamed with them to provide unprecedented growth. John’s professional mission has been clearly established, with the mandate of providing the highest quality career management services to his clients while always striving to optimize their success.


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