THR Partners, Executive Search Firm specializing in the HVAC, Appliance, and Commercial Restaurant Equipment Industries
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When you provide references or accept recommendations, you could actually be hurting your ability to obtain a job offer. Almost daily I receive a notice from someone I don’t know, recommending me for something I don’t do.
Recommendations on LinkedIn list the most recent recommendation first. Hiring authorities read your recommendations first or second when they review your profile. Only accept recommendations that highlight your most marketable skills and experience.
The individuals providing reference checks can often hurt your chances of getting a job offer, while they are attempting to help you. This happens when someone giving you a reference stresses expertise and talents you have that won’t be used in the job you are targeting.
It is for that reason, that you never want to provide references unless they are requested. Once they are requested, take time to contact your references and share the specifications of your targeted job. This will help them know what to emphasize from your experience during their recommendations and which skills they should highlight. This will help your chances of landing your next job.
It is difficult to stay current on companies you have targeted as prospects in your job search. You can read the press and media, but if you are interviewing at multiple companies, this process can be very time consuming.
One way to stay current with company news is to set up Google Alerts. This is a tool that mails you anytime a new story is written for a specific term. This allows you to learn about current events in your targets without having to constantly searching for them.
- Go to www.google.com/alerts
- Type in the “company name”
- Type in your email address (if you’re not already logged in to gmail)
You will almost immediately begin to receive updated information on your job targets. You could set up email rules so this information is automatically put in folders you have established for your job search.
Throughout your job search process never forget to extend common courtesies. This starts with saying please and thank you as often as possible.
You will always compete with other job seekers, who often don’t even send an email saying thank you. Imagine how much you would stand out and differentiate yourself from your competition, by sending a handwritten thank you note.
You should thank people for referrals, informational interviews, every interview throughout the hiring process, reference checks and during your follow up process. Send thank you notes within 24 hours, handwrite the person’s name, title and write the words Personal and Confidential in the lower left-hand corner to make sure this person opens the envelope vs. their assistant.
Don’t forget to obtain business cards from everyone you meet and also send a thank you note to the Receptionist and anyone else that assisted you in the interview process.
Throughout your job search, ignore anyone or anything that is negative. This may even include reading, watching or listening to the news. Good news does not sell advertising – negative news does.
Often the people closest to you can provide the most noise in your life. They care about you and want you to succeed, but constant questions about your job search can begin to wear on your self-confidence.
Politely allow these individuals to talk, but try not to listen to what they are saying. Consciously declare what they are saying as noise and put your efforts and attention toward positive actions and thoughts.
There are people who see a glass half full. There are people who see a glass half empty. There are also people who don’t even see the glass and those are the people you need to avoid.
When someone offers their opinions of what you can or can’t do, it’s important that you develop the attitude, watch me!
Think of all the times someone has told you what you would or would not achieve. Think of the amazing impact great teachers have had on students when they tell their students of the great things they can accomplish – and they do.
Throughout your job search you will experience rejections, objections and opinions of many different people. It is important for you to stay confident in your abilities and continue your job search efforts. Each no is that much closer to someone saying yes.
Scenarios that lead to the overqualified objection including the following:
- You mass mailing resumes and cover letters with no customization. If you don’t explain why you are interested in their specific job and your past employment was at a higher level, you are screened out.
- You have extensive experience and list several accomplishments that are so incredibly amazing, the employer is scared off.
- You feel the company will raise the salary range to match their salary demands. All employers have a budget and salary ranges, so this person is screened out.
- You have worked at the level of this opportunity many years ago and there is no conceivable reason why they should take this big of a step back. If there is no explanation – this person is screened out.
This objection will not go away – so it is important that you learn how to overcome this objection so you will be seriously considered for opportunities. Develop a two part strategy:
Part One – Your job Search Correspondence
Develop an explanation on your cover letter explaining why you are extremely interested in their opportunity (considering your background).
Part Two – During Your Interview
Explain why your experience, skills, accomplishments, confidence and interest make you a perfect fit for their job.
This will help you effectively overcome the “You’re Overqualified” objection.