Monthly Archives: June 2014

MUCHO MONDAYS – “Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro…”: 6 Things To Bring To Your Interview

interview, preparation, list, resume, SAR, strengths, weaknesses, situation, action, result, interviewer, elevator speech, exit statement, references, applications, LinkedIn
Photo by jimmijoe50/djamel

At least 2 copies of your resume’ – One for you for reference and one in case the interviewer asks for it. Frequently the version of your resume’ the interviewer may have been handed from HR is a format-stripped one, difficult to follow. NOTE: If you’re using a Functional Resume’, bring one Chronological for yourself as a quick reference
Interview Prep Sheets1) a standard one listing your strengths, typical questions you should always ask, your goals, and the answer to the question “Tell me about yourself” and 2) a Company Information Sheet (containing: the title of the job for which you’re interviewing; the name of the interviewer, his or her contact phone number, and the address or directions to the interview site; facts about the company; your questions about the job; and the questions you would ask if you were the interviewer–especially in regards to relating your background to the position on the table).
Your SARS/Weaknesses Sheet – A list of 8 or so top Situation/Action/Result scenarios (here’s a list of ideas from which to choose) and the answer to the question “What are your weaknesses?”
Your Elevator Speech and Exit Statement
Information about your past jobs (start/end dates, salary, addresses, supervisors’ names, etc.) – in case you need to fill out an Application. I like to keep a document of this information on Google Drive in order to reduce the amount of papers I need to carry. Just make sure to update it as you update the one on your computer. Also paste your References at the top of this document so you’ll have those readily available if an Application requires it.
• A professional looking folio to keep all this in

Have the resume’s (your copy and theirs) handy so you don’t have to fumble for them. Having the other sheets in the folio is fine, just tuck them out of the way before you are called back for the interview.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to check LinkedIn for the photo of the person who will be interviewing you. This way you can appear more prepared as well as learn more about their background.

What else do you bring? Can you share any curveballs the interviewer stumped you with?

MUCHO MONDAYS – The Chaser: Why You Should “Backdoor” After Applying For A Job

second method, thoroughness, job application, applying, online, follow-through, LinkedIn, help, kindness of strangers, resume, cover letter, decision maker, hiring manager, HR
Anytime you’ve just applied for a job you really want that’s a solid fit for you, you’ll want to “backdoor” your way in too. Aside from calling, that involves using LinkedIn to find someone at the company who is probably the hiring manager for this position and emailing a brief note with your resume’ and cover letter attached. Sometimes this a great bypass of the HR screening process. And sometimes it’s a good double-hit, showing initiative, interest, and thoroughness if, for instance, it’s a small company with no in-house HR department.

As you peruse LinkedIn, if you see you have a close colleague who works at the company, you could backdoor through that person. If you don’t know anyone, look to see if the person you choose has worked anywhere you have before. That makes a great introduction in the beginning of your email. If you can’t find anyone who might be at a hiring manager level, send it to someone in the same department as the job opening.

People want to help. But make it easy for them to do so…think about when you have a job and someone who’s in transition asks for your help. Be polite but specific with your request. For example, I asked a former coworker, Matt, to 1) put in a good word for me at his current company (with the hiring manager if he knew who that was) and 2) forward my resume’ and cover letter after I applied online. This is the standard backdoor message I work from:

Dear ____,
After having seen the posting for the ____ position you are seeking to fill, I just applied via ____ ((method)). In addition, I wanted to make sure my resume’ and cover letter are seen by someone in the ____ department. If you are not the hiring manager for this position, I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to him or her. Thank you very much for your time and help.

((your name here))

Then, make the email subject line “Could you help?” Most people like to help–especially when it doesn’t take too much time or is not that difficult.

When you completely can’t find anyone to email, there’s no general email address listed at the web site, and you don’t want to call, here’s another idea. If the company has a Contact Us page with fields to fill in to email them, do this: With most browsers, right-click, and choose “View Page Source” to reveal the html code. Then, press Ctrl-F to search for “@”. This may show you the general email address. is a good example where this technique works is (no pun intended) . Then you can email your backdoor message with attachments.

Sometimes, like with Craigslist, you won’t know the company at all. In this case, don’t fret about not being able to backdoor. Just use your spreadsheet to keep up with the TO email address you used when you applied, and email your follow up.

What tips can you add about backdooring? What successes have you had with this approach?

If you have family, friends, or colleagues that are on the job hunt, please share this blog with them. Don’t miss the next topic in this series! Sign up for this blog at the lower right corner of this page to be alerted via email!

MUCHO MONDAYS – You Don’t Need No Stinking Badges: Targeted Networking

targeting, targeted networking, networking, target company list, guts, linkedin, tracking, meeting, preparation
You always hear that most people get their job through networking– upwards of 75% in fact. Years ago, my networking consisted of starting with those I knew, and I just kept following leads from one contact to the next. However, it didn’t feel like the most productive use of my time since most of my close contacts referred me to people who were not in my field. That’s when I started doing Targeted Networking.

Yes, this is a more gutsy approach since you’ll probably not know the person you’re reaching to, or you will not have been referred by a mutual colleague. But, if you are professional and prepared, you have nothing to lose! Here’s an overview of the process. In my forthcoming book I’ll go over this in much more detail than I can in a blog format.

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET – Use LinkedIn alongside your Target Company List, and identify the person with whom you’d like to have a networking meeting and his or her job title. Log in your spreadsheet the names of 1 or 2 other people with whom you could possibly meet, but start with the best contact (usually NOT the CEO, President, Owner, but someone working in your target department.)
  2. ADD AT LINKEDIN –Note if you both have some common colleagues. Personalize the request. Add (connect with) him or her at LinkedIn.
  3. LOG CONTACT INFO – Research his or her email address and phone number, adding them into your spreadsheet. Use or Google to figure out the email address without having to call the company. (That frequently will not work anyway since receptionists usually shield employees from unsolicited callers.)
  4. REQUEST THE MEETING – 4 days after your LinkedIn add, email to request a networking meeting, thanking the person for connecting at LinkedIn if that has been the case.
  5. CALL, IF NEEDED – If there’s no response to that email in 3-4 days, call.
  6. VOICEMAIL – Give the person 2 calls at different times during the day if needed. Don’t leave a voicemail if you end up not reaching them.
  7. FURTHER FOLLOW UP – If you still haven’t spoken in the calls mentioned above, call once more the next day. Do leave a voicemail this time if you are still unable to reach him or her.
  8. THE FUTURE POSITION DROP OFF – If 3 days have passed since the aforementioned voicemail and you have no response, you can either try the process again with someone else at that office or draft what I call a “Future Position” Letter (introducing yourself, pitching your strengths, and noting the type position you’re seeking) addressed to the person you suspect would be hiring you or the CEO, President/VP, Owner, etc. and drop it off in person.
  9. YEP, FOLLOW UP CALL IF NEEDED – If you were unable to meet the potential hiring manager during the drop off, call in 4 days.

It’s very important to track the whole process in your networking spreadsheet. And, of course if you are successful anywhere during steps 1 through 7, book the networking meeting, prepare, meet, follow up with a thank you card, and then call or email to follow up in 7 to 8 weeks to see if the contact has heard of any open positions or thought of anyone else with whom you should connect.

Have you done targeted networking before? If so, share your thoughts on its productivity, any spins on how you do it, or questions.

Just a reminder, if you have family, friends, or colleagues that are on the job hunt, please share this blog with them. Don’t miss the next topic in this series! Sign up for this blog at the lower right corner of this page to be alerted via email!