Use your head to open doors
In the State of the Union address, President Obama declared our national economic agenda "begins with jobs." So does mine. I'm dedicating myself to a 30-day, nationwide tour to launch my newest book Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You.
Use Your Head is loaded with silver bullets. I even enlisted the help of readers of this column. They delivered great tips ranging from networking-your-way-to-work to tapping multi-skills for a totally new career.
People have asked me, "Harvey, what is the most bankable advice Use Your Head has to offer?" A tough call, but here are the 10 tips with the greatest traction after road-testing the advice in this book with hundreds of job seekers:
- Getting a job is a job. You have to get a routine and stick to it. And it's a 16 hour-a-day proposition. Get back in shape. Read. Network. Volunteer.
- Rehearse job interviews in the privacy of your own home using your video recorder. Invite members of your personal 'kitchen cabinet' to pose tough questions and to critique your performance.
- Never lie on your résumé, but always remember a résumé's purpose is to get you an interview. Use industry accepted terms to describe what you do. If you try to make yourself seem too special, firms won't know what to make of you.
- After every interview, use the Mackay 22 to debrief yourself (We forget 50 percent of what we hear in four hours!) on what you learned and make notes including how your résumé played and how you could fine-tune it. Use the Mackay 44 to prepare for your interview. Both forms are available by clicking and signing up for free job secrets tools through www.harveymackay.com/free.
- On résumés and in interviews, point to specifics in your achievements... the more measurable, the better. If you're a manager, showcase the people you've developed in your career and where they are today.
- Learn how to use the Invisible Web to know more than you ever thought you could (or should) about your interviewer and the company you are interviewing with.
- The Internet is forever... and it's everywhere. Countless people have torpedoed their chances by uploading career-suicide videos and party antics onto social networking sites like Facebook. Used properly, social networking vehicles like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, can help you enhance your network. And networking is how two-thirds of all jobs are found.
- Respect your references. Recruiters check out these resources more thoroughly than ever before. Make sure your praise singers know in advance that you're listing them and how appreciative you are of their help. Firms will also contact people who aren't your fans.
- The early bird may get the worm, but late birds get the job. You never want to be a warm-up act. Like the Academy Awards, the strongest contenders are those appearing at year-end.
- Never negotiate your starting salary based on what you need. Base your argument on the marketplace and what you have to offer. Always have hard research handy to prove you know your numbers. But, if all else fails, offer to work for free for a trial period until you prove yourself.
Use Your Head also features thumbnail capsules of the 13 hottest job search books ever written. These are serious times, and job hunters need all the best advice they can get. After all, 17 percent of the workforce is on the street, counting those who have stopped looking.
People are learning that today's outing on the job market is no one-time stand. It's just another step in a lifetime job search. Committed? I'm so sold on the advice in Use Your Head, it comes with a money-back guarantee to refund the purchase price if you don't land a job in six months.
But don't just take my word for it. Last month, I was humbled by the prestigious Library Journal's endorsement of the book: "... Highly recommended for job seekers and career changers at all experience levels."
Mackay's Moral: Use your head to open doors.