18 October 2017

Archives for October 2017

Articulating Past Achievements

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Be a STAR,
But think “RATS.”

Our topic this week, “Articulating Past Achievements: How to Create an Explosive Résumé” will help you to turn it up a notch in your next interview; it will also help you strengthen your résumé. You’ll learn why RATS are so important to a job seeker — in fact, you’ll learn to love RATS and will want them running around you all the time.

Bring your resume so you can immediately apply what you learn.

When I taught this topic in October 2003, one participant cited this as the turning point in his job search. Greg reworked résumé as a result of this topic. When I spoke to him on 2/4/2004, he was on his third day on his new job. “The phone started ringing when I took your advice and focused on results. The less you say in a résumé, the more interesting you sound. Use the bare essentials, no more than what you need.”

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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How to Make Your Job Search 20x Easier

Want to make your job search 20x easier? Then stop saying, “My accomplishment this week was applying for 20 jobs.” Here’s another one: “Dave, I don’t know what’s wrong, I’ve sent out 50 résumés and haven’t heard a thing back.” Friends, if you “want to hear something back,” you’ll need to send out about 1,950 more résumés before you do!

Ad response and direct mail produce only 4-8% of job search results!

About 20 years ago I documented the story of a client who tried the direct mail approach to no avail. This happened when I worked for a large career management firm on the north side of Atlanta. The client happened to live in Peachtree City, so we were both 50 miles from home.

Jeff had read Rites of Passage at $100,000 Plus. The author, John Lucht, basically says to wallpaper the country with résumés. Jeff believed this lie and demanded that we send his résumé and cover letter to over 2,000 companies. He said he didn’t need any of our other services because he’d read Lucht’s book. The cost to us was high – we calculated $1.25 per letter with the stamp, envelope, paper, toner and administrative time – but we agreed to do it if he wouldn’t burden our other resources.

We sent 2,000 letters and he got six responses. Six. S-i-x.

Only one resulted in a face-to-face interview; it was in Houston. He didn’t make it to the second round. When you think about it, we paid $2,500 for one interview.

You might have better luck than Jeff did, but even if you did four times better, that would still be 500 résumés. If you’ve only sent out 50 so far, you’ve got 10 times more work to do!

Make it easy on yourself. Pick up the phone and start networking.

Networking is 20 times more effective than ad response or direct mail. If you are spending more than four or five hours per week on this almost useless activity, Satan has won a victory over you.

The cosmic battle for our hearts begins in our minds. It begins with temptation, negative thoughts or harmful words. Satan’s strategy is to get us so distracted, so insecure and so hurt that our job search takes months or years longer than it should. This impacts our self-esteem, our finances and our relationships – especially our marriages. Ultimately it affects our relationship with God.

Watch out for these three ways the devil gets a foothold:

1. Temptations.

Temptation can be so subtle that we don’t even realize that we are giving in to our human nature or our sinful self. One definition of temptation is anything that keeps us from doing the good we know we ought to be doing. James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” It happens to me sometimes. I go on the Internet to get a company description off of a website, for instance. How long do you think that would take? I’d say two minutes or less. Guess how long I meander on the website? I’d say 20 minutes or more. As an entrepreneur, I’m a permanent job seeker. The price I paid for the meandering was one sales call; one call could be worth thousands of dollars to me, just as it could be to you.

Distractions are one of Satan’s favorite weapons. You could make your own list; here are a few things you’ve reported to me: the Internet in general, Facebook specifically, TV, errands, chores and projects. And your smart phones! When you are wasting time, you are flirting with the devil himself.

2. Negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts invade our minds. Fear. Worry. Self doubt. We are afraid of rejection, we’re worried we won’t find a job before our money runs out; we’re filled with thoughts that we are too old, or overqualified, or in the wrong industry. Negative thoughts enter our minds and they roll off our tongues. Negative thoughts lead to negative words, tone and body language in interviews. We don’t get the job. Satan wins this battle.

One time I was speaking to a client who’d had a disappointing interview. At the end of the interview, the interviewer said he noticed my client had a negative attitude toward his last two employers. I told him that’s great news because now he knows exactly what he has to work on in order to succeed in the next interview. He sent a very appreciative thank you note to the interviewer the next day.

3. Harmful words.

Harmful words can send us even farther down the spiral. “We chose another candidate,” are some of the most difficult words for us to hear. However, if you look at it in a positive light, you won’t have to waste your time on that lead; you can focus on other opportunities. You can look at rejection as one step closer to your goal, or you can look at it as another reason to feel defeated and depressed. The choice is yours.

Harmful words can come from those who love us most. They don’t intend to hurt us, but they do; and the consequences can be eternal. For example, when Peter told Jesus he shouldn’t go to Jerusalem for Holy Week, Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan” (Matthew 16:21-23).

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Solution: Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give the devil a foothold. Recognize the enemy. Submit yourselves to the Lord. Here are three behaviors you can use to make your job search faster and easier:

1. Recognize the enemy.

If you are a Christian, the best the devil may be able to do is make your life miserable – to steal the abundant life God has planned for you. Recognize these things for what they really are. They are Satan’s deceptions. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10 NKJV

2. Submit yourselves to God.

If you are not a Christian, God is saying to you that there is a better way. Listen! He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He wants you to live an abundant, joyful life. If you are a Christian, walk by faith and not by sight. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” – James 4:7-8

3. Fight back.

You want to change your luck? Fight back. Prayerfully resist temptation, negative thoughts and harmful words. Memorize and repeat 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Recognize the enemy. Submit yourselves to God. You want to change your luck? Quit surfing the net. Get focused on high pay-off activities. Do something different. Reach out to as many people as you can and ask for help. You will improve your results by a factor of 20.

When people start coming to JobSeekers their “luck” often changes. We have a three-part, 45-second introduction where everyone tells what they are seeking, a little bit about their background, and one accomplishment for the past week. We get an informal survey of what’s working and what’s not every week. A newcomer learns that the people with the most activity and the most interviews are the ones who are doing the most networking. A wise job seeker is not only a hearer of this advice, but a doer as well.

This week we will learn and practice skills that will make you a more effective networker and job candidate. You will be on your way to making your search 40 times easier (and maybe four times faster).

See you this week at JobSeekers, where we not only hear God’s word, but act upon it as well!

Copyright © 2004-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Everyone Needs a Sam

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“I can carry you!” – Samwise “Sam” Gamgee,
in Lord of the Rings (Click to enlarge)

Everyone needs a Sam. Frodo needed a Sam. Six-year old children need a Sam. Job seekers need a Sam. Even Jesus sent his disciples out on a dangerous mission with a Sam.

A while back I was sitting in church behind two young ladies who were about six years old. They were sandwiched in between two pairs of parents. One of them needed to go to the potty during the sermon. She enlisted the help of her friend to go on this dangerous mission. It was dangerous because there were about 300 people in the sanctuary, and, to a six-year-old, that must seem pretty dangerous.

When they arrived back safely a few minutes later, their faces erupted with huge smiles. Their eyes were sparkling and their moms acknowledged them for their bravery. After the service I was talking to a gentleman who had been sitting near me and he said, “Oh, did you notice the smiles on those two little girls’ faces when they got back from the restroom?”

John-Winters


John Winters

Here are some examples of other people who need a Sam:

Frodo in The Lord of the Rings

The idea that “everyone needs a Sam” comes from John Winters, author of a book by the same title. The concept for Winter’s book comes from the third book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Near the end of the story the hero, Frodo, receives help from his friend Sam to accomplish a dangerous mission and save the people from Sauron, the main villain in Tolkien’s trilogy. Here’s the critical scene as told by Winters in Everyone Needs a Sam:

There is a scene near the end of the last book where the hero, Frodo, and his best friend, Sam, are trying to get inside Mount Doom. Their mission is to throw a magical ring of pure evil that Frodo has carried throughout the three-book series into the fire to destroy it and save Middle Earth.

In this scene, Frodo collapses on the mountainside, he can’t go any farther. Their long, dangerous journey has failed. Evil will take over Middle Earth.

Sam is also spent, but he refuses to give up. He looks at Frodo and says, “Come, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you … Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go.” And then Sam picks up Frodo and starts to climb Mount Doom.

Frodo needed Sam to fight against the forces of evil.

One time Winters and his wife Corby watched the Lord of the Rings movie. As it ended, he said to her, “Everyone Needs a Sam.” She said, “Write the book.” And so he did.

Jesus in Luke 10

When Jesus sent disciples ahead of him to prepare the way for his journey from Caesarea Philippi in the northern kingdom down to Jerusalem, he sent them out in pairs. This mission was too dangerous to go individually. Here’s the story from Luke 10:1-4:

After this the Lord appointed 72 others and sent them two-by-two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”

In addition to the danger (like sheep among wolves), my Bible commentary says the pairing suggests competent testimony. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1). When the disciples returned from their mission (10:17-24), the were elated that even demons had been subject to them.

Jesus’ disciples needed a Sam. Great things can be accomplished in pairs.

Job Seekers

Job search is too dangerous to go it alone. Job seekers need Sams too.

For instance, one seeker recently had an interview scheduled with one of the top 20 executives at a Fortune 500 company whose biggest customer is Walmart; they also sell to The Home Depot. Susan met a friend at Walmart at 7:45 one Saturday morning and they investigated all of that company’s products – as well as their competitors. They went next door to Home Depot and did the same thing. The expedition was more fun and effective when she partnered with a friend. She aced the interview and was referred to executive in another division of the company.

A few years ago I was working with a client who was considering buying a franchise in the healthcare industry. John didn’t have a healthcare background; he came from the building materials industry where he served as president of a division of one of the world’s largest building material suppliers. We met for breakfast with a friend of mine who is an executive with a healthcare consulting firm.

During the meeting, John received the advice he needed to make a sound decision for himself and his family. Instead of a healthcare franchise, John chose to buy a few franchises in the consignment clothing industry in Newnan, Douglasville, and Marietta. This was the pivotal meeting that changed the course of his career transition.

Job seekers achieve better results with Sams. In both examples, the Sam helped the job seeker muster the courage to go on a dangerous mission – on the familiarization trip and the breakfast meeting.

You… and Me

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Take that leap of faith. Be a Sam.

I wish I’d had a Sam a  when I signed up for the Goliath Mud Challenge in Tyrone (sponsored by Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Hudson Family Foundation). I’d invited the only friend I have (haha), but Ted was dealing a bad case of plantar fasciitis and was unable to participate. When I felt a hesitation about signing up and attending alone, I realized I felt like a job seeker feels when he or she has to call a friend and ask for help, meet an acquaintance for lunch, or attend a meeting like JobSeekers for the first time. In the end, I made myself go and had a grand old time. In fact, I volunteered for three hours and helped 400+ people overcome an obstacle – literally – a nine-foot wall.

One lesson I learned that day is that if you don’t have a Sam to accompany you, go anyway!

God places Sams in our lives so we can accomplish dangerous missions. Oftentimes we have to enlist their help instead of waiting for them to come to us. Even more often, God wants us to step up and be a Sam to someone else. Take that bold step of faith! Carry someone up the mountain of job search! Help them win the battle! With God’s help, we can do it!

Have you had a Sam assist you with your job search? Have you been a Sam to someone? Write to me and let me know. Thanks.

See you at JobSeekers on Friday, the place where we meet super Sams every week.

Copyright © 2013-2017 by Dave O’Farrell. All rights reserved.

Preparing for an Interview

InterviewHave you ever been called in the morning for a face-to-face interview in the same afternoon? Our topic tomorrow is “Preparing for an Interview.” The purpose of the session is to review and discuss some very important things you can do to get ready for an interview.

We’ve had terrific success lately at my office preparing clients for interviews. Two gentlemen and one lady have final interviews this week. One lady we trained last week received a job offer this week. Another gentleman has an interview next Monday. My all-time favorite story was with a gentleman who hired us to do a full-scale, three-hour role play with him. He landed a job as president of the U.S. division of a Dutch company.

Come this week for a taste of this successful strategy.

To be better prepared for the meeting, bring your preparation notes for an upcoming job interview. If you don’t have an interview scheduled, bring notes from an interview you’ve already been to, or, bring a job lead for a position at a target company.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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