225AM encourages developing mentors. 225AM believes that cultivating a strong social and professional network is an important, if not critical, dimension in how you build and strengthen (or lengthen) your career path. I have referenced opinions and called out advice that supported the same. So this leaves room for Steve Tobak’s recent post on Entrepreneur. He summarizes what generally appeals to us, as a society and community, in the relationships and associations that we make — our coterie of friends and business colleagues. Then he offers his observations.
He laments that what he sees trending now are people who behave or appear one way to the public but are completely different personalities on the inside. He doesn’t take a deep dive into the theory of ‘why’ and I get that because THAT is a much bigger question and Entrepreneur is not the proper forum for such a discussion. But I like that he has made a call for ‘authenticity’ in our collective engagement with each other. I believe introducing that practice into ones own life, for the most part, is good. I am not advocating, nor is he, any extremes here. In other words, being genuine or authentic shouldn’t narrow or reduce your social graces to the point where you tend to offend. But such self-awareness may be an invaluable quality that in time and practice will make you stand out from the crowd in your private and professional life.
Tobak gives his opinion of the 10 Behaviors of Genuine People. How many of these describe you? Do you think he has overlooked one? Let me know.
Do we, in America (and worldwide), have a people or a talent shortage? This is not a simple question to toss off now that baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the work force and the fresh faces coming on board seem to only aspire to join the over-served and very crowded service economy. These same job seekers seem to ignore or may even deride the skilled trades sector — which, according to ManpowerGroup, has taken the No. 1 spot for U.S. jobs most in demand, for the fourth straight year. This year’s incoming college freshmen may want to take note of this.What the heck? Why is this even important to bring up? Just consider this. Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2 million factory jobs will go unfilled because of a shortage of manufacturing engineers and experienced skilled trades and production workers. MI did some math to support their assertion that effort should be made to address why there is a manufacturing skills shortage. They claim that every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs creates another 250 jobs in OTHER SECTORS. That, on its face, is an obvious benefit to our economy and our future.
Of course there are a host of related political issues and structural causes for this apparent mismatch of people and skills and this is not the forum for such analysis. But are you at all interested in going a little further in thinking on this subject? Then check out this Ticker Tape to read some more, not as market investment research but, perhaps, for the investment in your own career.
I don’t believe, nor do real-life experiences support, that tossing your cover letter and resume hundreds of times into the online application ring will improve your chances of getting an interview, much less a job. Note that the ‘successful’ applicant in the article seemed to be a perfect match with the job description.
There are hundreds of professional career coaches and pundits who write up lots and lots of ways to ‘effectively’ use social media as a way to provoke some kind of career opportunity. I’ve even promoted some of the ideas here.
But, finally, Lou Adler, CEO of the Adler Group, published an article that re-frames the whole approach for the job-seeker with the intriguing title of ‘10 Ideas for Getting an Interview without Applying‘. Note further that Adler’s last paragraph begins ‘Unless you’re a perfect fit…’. Are you a ‘perfect fit’ for every job you apply to online?
It may be helpful to think about which of the 10 ideas could be blended into your job hunt strategy — or may stimulate some new ones for yourself.
I put quite a bit of time into looking at what the folks on the other side of the job-search desk, aka hiring managers and recruiters, have to say about their outlook. It’s hard, they say, to find people who are viable, never-mind qualified, as job candidates. One would think that with the abundance of apps, analytics, tools, platforms, job-boards and social media at their disposal that a torrent of topnotch talent would be cascading over the transoms of every HR office door but a recent post by Lou Adler has fitfully quieted that notion.
It seems that people on both sides of the job-search desk are frustrated and struggling to keep faith in the job hunting and hiring process. Adler asserts his 9 reasons for why its so hard to find success. Since there was no particular order to his list, I will take the liberty to lead here with his #2, which is what 225AM believes is the trigger event toward getting an interview — the first step of getting a job is a referral. He writes:
A different process is used to hire acquaintances than strangers. People who are personally known or referred get a few free passes: 1) they always get to the top of the resume pile so they get the first shot at all new jobs, 2) they are judged on their past performance rather than being filtered first on the depth of their skills, 3) jobs are often modified to fit their strengths and offset their weaknesses. This leads to a major job-seeker strategy: Become an acquaintance rather than applying directly.
Adler supports his ‘better to be an acquaintance’ thesis pretty well and you may want to revisit the value and the strength of weak ties again to restore your enthusiasm and outlook. He covers a lot of ground in his other 8 reasons and observes that both sides often contribute to their own lack of success.
I started out with his #2 reason for this post but start with his #1 in Why Acquaintances Get Better Jobs than Strangers. It may also put you in a better position to learn about that ‘hidden’ job that never makes the light of a job post and enjoy the reward of getting that job. More about that later.
Ok, ok, OK! I’ve been trying to encourage you to get up and get yourself out there to begin, build and bloom new relationships with people that will, at least, become good friends and even better, a great connection for your next career move. I brought up the notion that your most useful connection may be one that you think is your worst and introduced to you The Strength of Weak Ties as a reference point. I have since discovered that this concept has not only proven itself effective but has gained momentum in principle and practice. I have come across a lot of different opinions and ideas about how to improve the quality of ones network thereby cultivating a more valuable cohort of contacts.
So, it seems perfectly reasonable that I continue to share. This is a good one, too, because it’s a short video with the provocative title, Forget Friends: You’re 58% More Likely to Get a Job Through Weaker Ties that discusses how a dormant tie is simply another flavor of a weak tie and equally potent. The speaker is Adam Grant, well-respected Wharton professor and author of the bestseller Give and Take, a book that looks at how human interactions affect outcomes, successful and unsuccessful. Check out what he said and let me know if I’m convincing you yet.
Spend at least 80% of your time finding a key to the back door. Unless you’re a perfect fit you will not get an interview by applying directly to a job posting. So don’t waste your time. Limit this effort to one hour per day.
This call out is from a recent article written by Lou Adler. It’s here because we think it’s important to hear from a recruiter and influencer especially when he is telling you to stop applying directly to job postings and clicking anonymously on the ‘submit’ button. It’s what 225AM has been saying since our ‘Day 1’ and why we give our users a way to search across your social networks that sorts your connections by company, job title, location or industry. If you are looking to transition from your current job or searching for your first one then you really ought to refresh your perspective in the job hunt by considering what he says here.
By the way, ‘a perfect fit’ for a job is only in the mind of an eager candidate, never in the ‘eyes’ of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the reasons illustrated in the infographic linked below.