Archive for February, 2012

Often in the course of my networking, I run into job seekers that are unwittingly hampering their job search. An effective job search consists of much more than submitting resumes to jobs found on the job board. The objective is to find and be found. The problem is, so many people are so concerned about their privacy that they are hampering their job search.

For example, Joe Jobseeker is really working the job boards, sending out dozens of resumes a week. However he is tired of getting bombarded with un-solicited e-mail, so he signs up with an e-mail verification service. Now unknown people cannot send Joe e-mail, unless they register with the service. The problem is, when Laura Recruiter happens to see Joe’s resume among the hundreds of prospects, and she tries to send an e-mail to contact him, she suddenly needs to take additional steps to contact him. Will she jump through hoops to contact Joe, or pass on him and go to the next? How many opportunities have you missed that you do not know about?

While I advise job seekers not to have their physical address on any resume posted online, make yourself easily accessible by both e-mail and phone. E-mail addresses are free through services such as Google Mail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. Choose a professional e-mail address using your name, and avoid adding numbers that will indicate your age. You want to make it easy for people to not only find you, but contact you.

What do you do? How do you answer this question? Most people I talk to respond by giving their title. When giving an elevator pitch, most people name tasks that they perform on the job, often giving a laundry list. When I ask an IT manager what they do, they might talk about implementing and or maintaining systems for a company. They may talk about particular architectures or programs that they have expertise in, but all this does is brand people as a commodity. It does nothing to demonstrate their value. What is the value of implementing a new system? What does that system do for the company? How are employees able to improve performance with the new system? Does the system actually achieve the goals that were envisioned? Was the system implemented on time and under budget? What were the skills (hard and soft) that you used to achieve your results? What were the actions that you took leading to the results? These are the types of questions that need to be answered so that you can articulate your value. Any work an employee does needs to do one of three things for the company. It needs to help the company generate revenue, help the company save costs, or help the company mitigate risks. If your work is not doing any of these, there is no reason for a company to pay your salary. By understanding the value your work or projects bring to a company, you have an ability to start articulating what value you can bring to a prospective employer. You are no longer a commodity, but you are a value added solution.