December 2014


Welcome to Driving Your Career Starts NOW/The Newsletter, showing you how you can manage your career.

Be in charge of your career. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you. Your career funds your life, so there's no parking allowed: drive it now!

And happiest 
of holidays to you all.

            - Joanne Meehl, aka The Job Search Queen - Celebrating 11+ years shortening job searches
December = Networking Nirvana
Smart job hunters -- and those who simply manage their careers well -- know that December is not the time to take off from job search or networking in general.

As a job search coach, I see people succeed when they behave in a relentless manner, turning over as many stones as possible as quickly as possible. And that includes December.


So be sure to do these three things: 

  • Go to your favorite networking groups and professional association meetings, attend holiday events, and do your referral meetings as you do every month. You don't know who will be there this month who could lead you to your next job: it could be networking nirvana!
  • Start lining up your January activity.
  • Seize the opportunity to see the less-defended hiring manager. Not only is he/she without their usual gatekeeper assistant who's out doing company holiday errands, but the manager's attitude is a bit softer right now given the season. 
Searches for new talent are less likely to start in December. But many a company is sewing up a search, which is more likely to happen: a budget line item (a job being posted) has to be filled so the manager doesn't lose the slot. Or someone gives notice, saying they're accepting a new job elsewhere.

In past years, I've had clients start new jobs on December 10th, December 22nd, and December 29th. Be one of them by keeping up your search in December, and January might bring a new start to your career.
Speaking of stones...recruiters should be your 50th  
Stones assortment

Often those in search start their search by seeing as many recruiters as they can. Those in executive positions especially do this.

But recruiters say, in the words of one I'll quote from his comments on a panel about a year ago: "In a good search, you'll turn over 100 or more stones. Come see us after you have turned over no fewer than 50 of these. Before then, you have not yet done enough in your search to tell us what our company clients need to hear." What he meant was that you message isn't yet clear enough, that you haven't yet had enough successes OR failures in your search yet, to have clarified your message. 

And recruiters also say you must network, that using recruiters will be successful only about 5%-12% of the time; and that "a contact you know will likely be more critical to your search."

How many stones have you turned over? If it's only 10 or 20 or 30, it's not enough for anything, much less meeting with recruiters. Keep at it in order to be ready.

Andrew: Success story   

When Andrew first came in, his search was going nowhere. He'd had a gap in his career history -- taking care of his sick mom -- and was trying to use a sales resume to land a Staff Accountant position. He had a wish that he'd land a new job before Thanksgiving, only 10 weeks away.

We worked on his resume to show that after taking care of his mother, he went for a new degree in accounting. We made sure to emphasize his new education -- and successful accounting projects track record during that time in school -- from the top of page 1.  

We still showed the sales positions but put more energy and definition into his new accounting knowledge. He also copied much of the content of his resume into his LinkedIn profile, but then massaged it so that it worked well for him in that context. The emphasis throughout was on keywords that are true for him AND which fit accounting today.

Andrew had numerous interviews, coming from his LinkedIn profile being discovered by employers, from his network, and from applying online, which can work at a higher percentage rate when you have a new degree or certificate. He worked his network like mad and mined LinkedIn using methods we discussed. He was relentless and driven.

In just a few weeks, he earned two offers in the week before Thanksgiving. He chose the one that would give him the most breadth and depth of new knowledge and accounting experience, and happily celebrated it at Thanksgiving dinner. 

Congratulations, Andrew! You did the hard work in a very smart way and because of that, you reached your goal. I know you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

See Joanne's videos -- all short and content-rich

I failed my way to success. 

Thomas Edison

Next Face2Face Mpls  meeting is Dec 4th!
The next meeting is
this Thursday, Dec 4th:
*HR Today: Engage or Ignore?*. What does HR think with everyone telling you to avoid them? 
Hear two HR gurus talk about how you should work with HR during your search -- so that they're on your side. All info is at the site.
Career Tip from Joanne: 
Find a way to say "thank you" to someone each day. 
Whether it's ON 
your job, IN your job search, with colleagues, with clients and customers -- don't hesitate to thank at least one person in your network who's helped you. 
Let them know you appreciate them!
It will feel great to both of you.
The Blog: People tell me they...
... learn a lot when they read my blog (and newsletter). I give a ton of info in each blog so  take a look at the latest AND the archives.

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The Job Search Queen and The Resume Queen are trademarks held by Joanne Meehl