The Fundamental of an Effective Job Search

On August 19, I made a presentation at the New York Public Library covering various aspects of an effective job search.

The first video covers the following topics:

  1. Your job search is your problem.  No one can get you a job!  It’s all on you.
  2. All advice is art, not science.
  3. Stay focused on the employer.
  4. Brand yourself.
  5. Differentiate yourself in everything you do.

The second video focuses on :

  1. If it takes more than 10 seconds to read a cover letter, it is too long.
  2. A professional can skim a resume and disqualify a candidate in 5 seconds.

The final video deals with:

  1. An employer’s focus is on the interview; so should yours.
  2. Networking is the key to finding a job.
  3. Follow-up is the key to successful networking.
  4. Start your resume with “Selected Accomplishments.”
  5. Research, research, research for an interview.
  6. Set the stage for Skype.
  7. It’s not what you say that matters; it’s what the interviewer hears.
  8. LISTEN!
  9. Succinct answers showing research skills.
  10. No questions equals no interest.
    1. Who succeeds here?  b.  How can I make your life easier?
  11. Follow-up thank-you email.
  12. Rejection thank-you letter.
  13. Counter-offer based on needs.

My full-service career counseling package usually costs $300.00.  If you “Like” the videos and post them on LinkedIn and one other social media site, e-mail me (bh@hsstaffing.com) showing me the sites, and you will receive a $100 discount.  The only change is that instead of a face-to-face interview, we’ll do it over Skype.  This offer is good until the end of August, 2016.

 

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Business Development Opportunity – New York City

Sponsorship Coordinator/Director

New York, NY

Our client is a for-profit educational programming provider. In operation since 2006, they arrange lectures in over 50 markets across the United States, by professors from top colleges and universities. The students who attend are not looking to network, get ahead in their jobs or obtain an advanced degree – they’ve already done that. They are there because they love to learn, and believe spending a day with fascinating professors and a room full of intellectually curious, cultured people is time and money well-spent.

The client is looking to hire a Sponsorship Coordinator/Director to secure corporate and other funding.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 2-3 (Junior candidate)/5-8 (Senior candidate) years’ experience with corporate/sponsorship sales ideally within the higher education, entertainment, arts or culture sectors.
  • Existing contact list/“Rolodex.”
  • Verifiable track record of sponsorship sales.
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Commitment to continuing education for seniors/retirees and transparency.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal relationship building skills.
  • Highly motivated/independent attitude, willing to take the initiative, with an entrepreneurial mindset and work ethic.
  • Capable of taking direction and open to feedback.
  • Limited telecommuting will be acceptable.
  • Some travel may be required.
  • Local candidates only.

Compensation

  • Senior candidate:  Minimum base salary of $70,000, depending on experience, plus commission package to be negotiated.
  • Junior candidate:  Minimum base salary of $40,000, depending on experience, plus commission package to be negotiated.
  • Health insurance, medical and dental.
  • Pension 401(k).

To apply please submit a cover letter and resume, as Word Documents, to:

 

Bruce A. Hurwitz, Ph.D., President, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd.

bh@hsstaffing.com

Announcing 20-Second Answers to Your Job Search Questions

Do you have a question about your job search?  Either send it to me as a message on LinkedIn or an e-mail (bh@hsstaffing.com) and I will answer it as part of my new 20-Second Video Answers Series.

And if you are in New York City at Noon on Friday, August 19, join me at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Avenue, for a presentation on “The Fundamentals of an Effective Job Search.”

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.

How to Get a Job in the US AND KEEP IT!

First, let me make this clear.  I am not an attorney and nothing in this post should be interpreted as offering legal advice. 

Second, this post is meant for foreign nationals wanting to move to the US.  Be aware, there is no shortage of charlatans who will try and con you out of your money.  Remember: No one can guarantee you a job.  If someone promises to get you a job if you pay them, even if it is only an “administrative fee,” they are lying. 

The purpose of this post is to help foreign nationals outside the United States to understand what it takes to get and keep a job in this country and to announce the launch of a new service which I am offering to these individuals.

Of course, the simplest way to get a job here is to enter as a student.  Get as many internships as possible.  Do a great job.  Have an employer who hired you for an internship sponsor you.

Alternatively, work for a company in your home country with offices in the US.  Like everything else, you will have a lot of competition.  The key to getting a transfer to the US, once you have proven yourself, is differentiation.  Your employer will want to know that you will be able to “handle” the US.  That’s the service that I now offer:  I will make you different from your competition in the ways that matter: communication and culture.

In addition to being a student or a transferee, foreigners can get work visas either as Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers or Permanent Workers, for which there are only 140,000 visas.  To say that this is a complicated labyrinth is to engage in understatement.  That is why it is so important to utilize your local US Consulate and, possibly, to have an immigration attorney.

Regardless of which visa you have, when you arrive you will have to have an employer.  It’s the only way to get the proper visa. Countless people contact employers constantly asking for sponsorships.  They are denied because they don’t know how to ask.  They are not prepared.  My clients will be prepared.

Let me reiterate, my concern is not with the legalities of immigration.  For that there are immigration attorneys and, obviously, the US Consulate.  What I am concerned about is that the immigration be successful.  What could be worse than moving all the way to the US only to be fired because “it is not a good fit?”

Just because you get the visa does not mean you are guaranteed employment for life.  Things don’t always work out.  You may have all the professional skills and credentials, but because of a strange culture and language, things may not work out.  In other words, what is missing are the personal skills.  I want to make certain that does not happen to you.

These are the problems that I want to eliminate for my International Career Counseling clients:

  • Knowledge of conversational English. Professionally, your English may be perfect, but your everyday English may be wanting.  You can describe your latest professional project perfectly, but you can’t order breakfast at a local diner.  You will learn to converse in English.
  • But it is not enough to know the words, pronunciation and articulation are just as important. If no one can understand you, you might as well be speaking your native language.  If necessary, I will introduce you to a speech therapist who will teach you to speak clearly.  (It can be done using a Skype-like system.)
  • You may know the history of the United States better than most Americans, but you may not understand the culture. What is acceptable in your country may not be acceptable here.  This is especially true of workplace behavior.  One mistake, even an innocent mistake, could result in your employer being sued and you losing your job.  You will learn what not to do in the workplace and, for that matter, on the street.
  • Looking for a job in the US, from building your brand to networking to cover letters to resumes to interviewing, will be different for you. You need to understand the process before you start the search for a sponsor (assuming you are not coming to the US as a student or a transferee from a local company).  You will learn the process.
  • Once you get the job, and start work, there is plenty that can still go wrong. You may be uncomfortable speaking with your boss or colleagues about certain topics.  You’ll have me to consult with for the first year that you are in the US.

So remember, just because you have that prized piece of paper – the visa – in your hands, guarantees you nothing more than the opportunity to be successful in the United States.  Your success will be dependent on your ability to communicate in English and to understand American culture.  That’s where I come in.

Ironically, after proofreading this post, I stepped away from my desk.  Someone called and left me a message.  I could barely understand him.  It sounded like he said he was from Kenya and that I had gotten a job for one of his friends.  He asked me to call him back.  First problem, I did not understand his name.  Second problem, he did not leave a number.  Third problem, when I phoned the number that appeared on my telephone I.D., I received a message that voice mail had yet to be set up.  This is exactly what I mean by “personal skills.”  This man may be very accomplished in his field, but because he does not understand how things are done in the US, and probably no one has told him about his communication problems, he may not find employment.  Learn from his mistakes; don’t repeat them!

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.

The Six Keys to Being a Successful Interviewer

In 2003, while working for a non-profit in the Bronx, I was appointed host and producer of a live half-hour interview program on Bronxnet Television.   It was an award-winning show for the network.

To prepare, I studied those who I considered to be the best interviewers.  Bill O’Reilly would always give his guest the last word.  Tim Russert was always prepared; he knew the subject and he knew his guests.  Johnny Carson would let the guest shine and, on occasion, actually let the guest interview him.  Similarly, Mike Wallace, when not confronting the dregs of society, was interested in his interviews entertaining as well as informing.  And Larry King had one rule:  He never spoke to a guest prior to an interview because he did not want to know how they were going to answer his questions.  Their conversation had to be genuine.

(If you want a free Master Class in interviewing watch these videos.  Watch them twice.  First for the fun of it, and then to learn: Johnny Carson and Bob Uecker on Johnny Carson; Jerry Lewis with Raymond Arroyo – arguably the best interview I have ever seen for reasons that Mr. Lewis himself explains,  and Mike Wallace – pay special attention to the Mel Brooks interview.)

After I left the non-profit, I started my own interview show on BlogTalkRadio, Bruce Hurwitz Presents. (Let me know if you want to be a guest!)  Subsequently, after I joined the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, I became host and producer of The Voice of Manhattan Business, the Chamber’s weekly podcast. If you add together the 28 television interviews I conducted, and those on the two podcasts, I have interviewed over 400 people.  This is what I have learned:

Job Description

Excluding “shock jocks” whose job it is to entertain by embarrassing and humiliating the guest, and for whom I have neither respect nor patience, the job of an interviewer is to make the guest look good.  (Those were actually the instructions I was given when I accepted responsibility for The Voice of Manhattan Business.)

In order to make the guest look good, you have to prepare.  In that way, as I will cover presently, you will be able to either keep the conversation focused or expand it, as the case may be.  You never want to make the guest tense.  You want them to be calm.  There have been a number of times I could have humiliated guests who simply did not know what they were talking about, but to what end?  I would have been making myself look bad, not them.  They would have garnered sympathy while I would have garnered contempt.  It’s easy to humiliate; it’s hard to make someone who is not all that good, look good.

Listen

The key is to listen.  Because it is a podcast, I can’t see the guest.  I only have their tone of voice to go by.  That is how I determine if they are nervous.  But it is also how I am able to turn the interview into a true conversation.  I listen to their answers, I do not anticipate them and I never think about the next question I’ll be asking, even if it is on the paper in front of me.  If I am not genuinely interested in the answers, not to mention the subject, then IBM’s Watson could do the interview.

Prepare

I never know, from week to week, what type of guest I will be interviewing.  They could be well-versed in the topic (which, by the way, they choose) and very well-read.  Those are the best interviews because the discussion can go anywhere.   Once I was interviewing an expert on funding options for small businesses and ended up discussing Theodore Roosevelt.  It was a good show.

Sometimes a guest knows their topic and is scared to death.  I have to find a way to put them at ease.  I’ll do that by asking simple follow-up questions.  From the sound of their voice I know when they are relaxed and only then do I ask a follow-up questions.  If they don’t relax, I just stick to the main questions, the ones they received in advance.

Then there are the guests that think they are experts but really don’t know what they are talking about.  That becomes painfully apparent when they give the wrong answer to a simple follow-up question.  In that case, because of my job description, I simply say, “Well that’s interesting.  I always thought…  Let’s move on” and then I ask the next question.  I provide the correct answer because I do not want my listeners to be misinformed; I do not debate the guest because I do not want them to look foolish.

Bottom line, I always have to be prepared even if the guest isn’t.  That means learning what I can about the guest and their topic, but also expanding my intellectual horizons so, if possible, I can expand the conversation to other areas, like I did with TR, so as to make the interview more interesting and hopefully to expand the audience.  You have to be well-read.

Questions

While the Chamber’s podcast is live, rarely do any listeners ask questions.  I consider that a compliment.  It means (at least I hope it means) that I am asking the questions they want to ask.  I always begin with definitions so there is no doubt about the subject.  Then I proceed in a logical manner to ask questions building to the end result which both the guest and I want.  My follow-up questions build on the guest’s answers.  They are meant to clarify and expand the conversation.

Amusing examples of great questions are when Johnny Carson, interviewing David Letterman just after Jay Leno had been announced as Carson’s replacement, asked, “How pissed off are you?”  It was funny and exactly what everyone wanted to know.  Then there was Leno interviewing the actor Hugh Grant who had been caught with a prostitute.  Leno’s question: “What the hell were you thinking?”  Same thing: funny and what everyone wanted to know.  And then there is the brilliant question that no one would think to ask.  Carson asked Frank Sinatra, “When you want to be romantic with a woman, whose records do you put on?”  The beauty of these questions is, if the guest can handle them, and they all did, the guest looks better than the interviewer.  (Basically the answers were: If you keep using that language you’ll lose your job.  I wasn’t.  And a singer from the 1930s whose name I do not remember.)

Focus on the Guest not Control

Just because I am the host does not mean I am, nor should be, the star.  The best shows are the ones where my presence is not felt.  It should always be all about the guest.  Leave your ego at the door, so to speak.  I once interviewed a woman whose answers were so intriguing, she was so knowledgeable, I let her speak without interruption for a good 15 minutes before asking my next question.  If the audience is learning and enjoying, what does it matter how much I speak?  I’m always the one in control because I can end the interview any time I want.  The guest can’t do that.  It’s their interview, but it’s my show!

What it Takes to be a Good Host

To summarize, the characteristics of a good host are the ability to listen; intellectual curiosity (being genuine; actually caring about the guest and the subject); being well-read; generosity (making the guest look good; no cheap shots); being a good researcher (preparation); and keeping your ego in check.

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.

Why You Should Never Offer or Accept a Counter Proposal

Joe went looking for a job.  He got it.  He comes to your office and resigns.  You beg him to stay.  He accepts.  You made a mistake.  Why?

What are you going to say when an employee comes to you and asks for a raise and, when you turn him down he says, “I’ve been loyal.  Joe quit and you gave him a raise.  What’s different?  Doesn’t loyalty count?”

Award loyalty.  Don’t cause ill-will.  Keep morale high.

The boss begs you to stay.  You accept.  You made a mistake.  Why?

First, your reputation with the new employer is now in the toilet.  She thinks you were playing games.  She’s angry.  She told people, some of whom probably know you, that you were joining her company.  Now what is she going to tell them about you?

Second, forget about a raise or promotion.  Whatever you were paid to stay is all you are going to get.

Third, if layoffs are necessary, you will be the first out the door.

Fourth, your colleagues will resent you.

Fifth, you will be seen by everyone as disloyal.

There is no good reason to offer or accept a counter offer.  Any short-term gain will be eliminated by long-term loss.  Don’t do it!

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.

The Rejection Thank-You Letter

Recently I was speaking to a group of job seekers at the New York Public Library.  When I mentioned the “Rejection Thank-You Letter,” most people scoffed.  With one exception.  A young woman raised her arm and announced that she had actually done it and she got a job at the company that had rejected her.

You applied for a job.  You got an interview.  They told you to call them in two weeks.  Two weeks later you called, got voice mail and they did not call you back.

You applied for a job. You got an interview.  They said they would call you in two weeks.  Two weeks later, no call.

In either scenario you wait another week.  Things happen.

Three weeks pass and you send the following letter, in the mail, paper and envelope, old school.

Dear Jane,

I want to thank you again for interviewing me for the auditor position. 

I assume that you have decided to choose another candidate.  While I am disappointed, I want you to know that I appreciate the opportunity, wish you and your hire the very best, and look forward to seeing you in the future.

Sincerely,

Joe

So what have you done?  You have reminded them about your candidacy.  You have shown class.  You have demonstrated excellent customer service skills.  And you have differentiated yourself from your competition because no one else is going to do this.

Now let’s say that you are wrong.  They have not eliminated you.  You are still in the running.  Since they never contacted you, they can’t blame you for an incorrect assumption.  Other candidates probably called and nagged.  You did not.

Or you were correct.  They decided not to go with you.  It was because they did not like your style.  You just showed them your style and now they like it.  You are back in the running.

Or you were correct.  You did not get the job.  But now they see you in a different light.  Since the Rejection Thank-You Letter is unique, they remember you and, as happened with the young lady at my talk, when something else opens, they remember you, and you get the call.

This actually can work.  And what will it cost if it doesn’t?  An envelope, sheet of paper, a bit of printer toner, and a stamp.  Big deal!

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.