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26 March, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career counseling, Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement, Interviewing Skills
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CLARION CALL FOR YOUR CAREER: Six Ways to Overcome Job Search Barriers

Posted March 26th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

NEWS ALERT: Yahoo News, New unemployment claims surged to a record high last week, topping 3 million. But that staggering leap in joblessness likely understates the full damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on the U.S. labor market, according to multiple economists.

For the week ended March 21, new unemployment claims totaled 3.283 million, seasonally adjusted, or more than twice the 1.7 million consensus economists polled by Bloomberg had expected. The figure was more than four times greater than the previous record high of 695,000 from 1982.

As the unemployment forecasts become more dismal, at least for the near term, and as the job market tightens across all sectors, including healthcare, the time has come for tough love, straight talk for executives who do not comprehend that the job market has forever changed in a very substantial way.

We all make excuses.  From politics and politicians, to our waistline, even for our performance in a search for a new job. When it comes to finding a job, people rationalize why they shouldn’t change their approach even when they have been out of work for a prolonged period of time.

We all make excuses.  From politics and politicians, to our waistline, even for our performance in a search for a new job. When it comes to finding a job, people rationalize why they shouldn’t change their approach even when they have been out of work for a prolonged period of time. They come up with an explanation – an excuse – for why they didn’t do all they could have done — should have done — to achieve success.  Many remain stubbornly convinced that they have done all they could. They sit, they complain about the process and hope that the job market will somehow return to the “good old days.”

It won’t.

Here are five things an executive can do to change his or her job search outlook:

  1. Develop a customizable resume with a professional summary that covers all of your experiences and skills that the prospective employer is seeking. Everything. Many candidates know they should but don’t. 
  2. Be professional in all your interviews, especially the video screening session.  Video is now one of the “make or break” tests.  You must be professionally framed on the screen, well lit and appropriately dressed.  Do not discount the importance of this part of the process.  An unprofessional video or a halting, uneven performance, could, probably will, sink your chances for the job.  
  3. Know what your four or five references (superiors, peers and subordinates) will say about you and use that information to prepare answers to related questions. All too often references, taken for granted, sink an applicant’s chances.
  4. Research the client and rehearse your answers – the likely Core and Categorical questions you will get based on the job summary and the client’s expressed requirements. If you are not exceptionally prepared on both counts, you will most assuredly lose out.
  5. Close the deal. Most applicants do not do this.  This is an easy way to differentiate yourself from the other applicants.  Every good interview begins with a great opening and ends with a sincere close, why you want the job and why the company should hire you.    

Bonus Tip: Rehearse, rehearse rehearse. Many of the questions you will be asked, you have heard before. Do not wait for that moment to develop your answers. 

Bonus Tip: Rehearse, rehearse rehearse. Many of the questions you will be asked, you have heard before. Do not wait for that moment to develop your answers. 

 I was scheduled to speak at the Congress for the American College of Healthcare Executives in Chicago yesterday (March 25), but the novel Coronavirus stepped in to change all of that.  Along with my friend and colleague Chrishonda Smith a senior Human Resource executive for OhioHealth, we were to teach a 90-minute course on interviewing skills for senior executives.  It is always a popular course.  Typically, we attract between 150 and 200 registrants. Now that this event has been cancelled, we are finding new ways to distribute this content in collaboration with ACHE as well as Webinars. Watch for an upcoming announcement on this course.  As advance warning, this content, too, will have an element of tough love for those of you who think you can ignore this seismic shift in the job market.  

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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