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Welcome to the New Normal 2013.  After barely surviving the catastrophic job market the last five years, we are now settling into what is now a dramatically different way of doing business, and following that, hiring and retaining employees.  When recruiting in a normal market, I generally receive 200-400 resumes in response to a job posting.  In the last three years, those numbers rose to 1500-2800 resumes received for each job I posted. I am now in the business of not just assisting my clients in their job search but packaging and branding them generationally in order for them to be successful in whatever particular niche they have been in or want to move to.  I have a completely different way of working with my 50+ boomers than my 30 year olds. Education and training has never been more important – you can’t ever get enough.  Just got your degree?  Think again and look hard to the future.  Jobs today are not permanent – we are now a fluid, mobile workforce and you need to be ready to move at any time.  This means PREPARATION and PLANNING in virtually everything you do.  Keep your resume updated monthly. Company culture is now the #1 reason people leave their current jobs. I am now developing an Exit Strategy Procedure for my clients that want out.   Work-life balance is not a trend, it is a necessity for a sane, healthy life.  The job provides money and a certain amount of self esteem and confidence, but it doesn’t hold you and chase the scary away when you wake up in the middle of the night anxious and frightened.  Your family and friends do that – they are what life is about. One of the most important steps in your job search is this - you need to develop a mindset that when you go on interviews, you are going with the intent to interview them.  Flip it.  You need to learn if this is a strong, healthy company that is growing and not in jeopardy, and will help you to grow and develop as an individual.  In order to accomplish this, you need to PREPARE GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER.  Not only does it show an intelligent interest in the company, it gives you an active role in the interview and will prevent you from asking bad questions. In order to ask good questions, you must research the company and network with individuals who know something about the organization and the employees.  You need to have specific information which would relate not only to the position you are applying for but also the department you will be working in and the division, plant, subsidiary and/or corporate office as a whole. You should have basic knowledge about the company’s history, sales, market share, products, services, management team and competitors.  Always review the company’s website thoroughly and know the company’s mission statement. What about new products or services and plans for growth? Ask how the organization is structured – is it matrixed? What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition? What is the management style and the type of employee that works well here. Why is this job open?  What happened to the person who had it? What are the most important things I will need to do in the first 90 days? You will also need to know the necessary next steps that follow your interview.  There are a number of things to be done least of which is this:  A thank you note MUST BE SENT WITHIN 24-48 HOURS after the interview.  I would recommend email vs. snail mail.  I have lost candidates when I am recruiting because the snail mail arrived too late and the company client was annoyed.  This means you MUST get everyone’s business card and email address that you have talked to before you leave so that you can do this promptly.  This includes phone interviews. We have developed a comprehensive process and lists involving the preparation and research before an interview, questions to ask and when to ask them, and what to do after the interview.  We also include a list of questions not to ask at an interview and the reasons why.  Below you will find a few bad questions people have asked that should never have been asked.
© Dory Teresko, 2013
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