Thursday, January 19, 2012

A 2012 Job Seekers Best Friend for Under $11.00

Photo Credit - Flickr Common

Career Realities from NYT Best Seller “Knock ‘em Dead 2012, The Ultimate Job Search Guide” Author Martin Yate

Are you one of the estimated 30 million Americans unemployed or underemployed? Are you worried about dwindling financial resources and watching every penny? Do you need job seeking advice but cannot afford the high priced job search coaching services?

You have a best friend in Martin Yate. For under $11.00, you can purchase his latest edition of the book that has been on and off the NY Times bestseller list for years updated for 2012 – Knock ‘em Dead 2012, The Ultimate Job Search Guide. It has remained a perennial bestseller for a reason.

The Knock ‘em Dead book, 1 of 14 career management books written by Yate, has been a phenomena having been translated into 26 foreign language editions and consistently receiving excellent reviews from readers and leading business publications alike.

"One of the most admired authors in the career space." – WSJ.com

"The best book on job hunting." – Financial Times

"Comprehensive, fast-paced, upbeat style." – Business Week

"The first, middle, and last word for job seekers." – Science Daily

Author Martin Yate has been in career management for over 30 years including being a headhunter, Human Resources Director, and Director of Training and Development mainly in the technology industry. He is the only honorary Certified Professional Consultant (CPC) in history.

What makes the Knock ‘em Dead 2012, The Ultimate Job Search Guide book so special? It is practical and comprehensive. It is organized well. It is readable, and most importantly, effectively useable.

Knock ‘em Dead 2012 has no unnecessary fluff. It is concise, direct, and honest. It provides an up-to-date realistic plan to work with, not against, the changes and trends in today’s job search environment.

Yate notes, “It is my mission to show you how to survive and prosper through the twists and turns of a 50-year career.”

He continues, “Whether it is in a book, on the radio, during a webinar or a video - my goal is to provide advice, actionable takeaways, and integrated strategies, because you have no time to waste and just one chance to get it right!”

Martin Yate shares his insights on today’s career realities in his notable plain-speak style.

BKH: How has the U.S. job market changed the most in the last few years?

MY: Our wholesale adoption of the Internet as the modern communication medium of choice has revolutionized how companies recruit and hire employees. Technology has dramatically improved the sourcing process, making employees more readily available; this increases choice for employers and competition for job hunters.

At the same time, the productivity tools that technology and the Internet have delivered have created a rolling revolution and in the tactics and strategies a job hunter needs to employ to find that next job.

Now while the recession makes finding a job harder, something we seem to have entirely ignored in all the media coverage is that Americans have never been told, at any point in their lives that the skills of job search and career management are in any way important.

There is no career advice in middle school, high school, or college. State colleges usually have one poorly paid career services person for every 3000 students on average. Career advice for last 35 years has been to find a job and to start at the bottom and be loyal. Over the years your hard work and loyalty will be rewarded with raises and promotions.

These combined factors spell major financial dislocation for professionals doing their first online job search:

* They do not know the skills they need.

* They do not know there is anything special to learn.

* They think a job is just going to come along at some point.

* They have been told that not having a job is some political party’s fault and has nothing to do with their awareness or efforts.

* They believe that then everything will be fine again forever.

BKH: What are the top things 2012 job seekers need to know to be successful?

MY: Nothing and no one has prepared you for navigating the twists and turns of a 50-year work life. The educational system has and is taking your money and SCREWING YOU!

There is no job security; your destiny is in your own hands. You must take responsibility for your professional and economic destiny by studying the skills of job search and lifetime career management; because more than any other, these are the skills that will determine your economic survival.

There is greater or lesser job security depending on how you pursue your career in the jobs you hold. Job security, such as it is, the plum assignments, raises and promotions always go to the people in the inner circle of the department, the company and ultimately the profession.

You have the choice as to whether you will belong to the inner circle or the outer circle. This choice, coupled with the career management skills that can bring it to pass, will help determine the degree of your long-term success.

Awaken your entrepreneurial spirit America! The pursuit of dreams and entrepreneurial endeavor are facets of our national identity that have been squashed in favor of developing a nation of highly paid wage slaves eagerly responsive to the demands of instant gratification and constant consumerism.

We have been taught to live up to our income and not up to our dreams; it is time to re-awaken the entrepreneur within that is the very essence of Amer- I -can.

BKH: Please explain your thoughts on "personal branding" and its importance in 2012.

MY: While the intent of personal branding is good and something every working professional should be concerned about, it is not something that can be achieved overnight as the so-called branding experts encourage us to believe.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. The essence of branding is to make one more visible and desirable to a market of employers and/or consumers of your products and services, which pre-supposes that the seller knows what is desirable to the buyer.

Evidenced by the woefully inadequate state of the vast majority of resumes I see, about 90% of American professionals have no idea whatsoever what their customers want to buy. If they do not know what the customer wants, then how on God’s green earth can they create a brand that will appeal?

Personal branding is an attempt to use suddenly available Internet tools to short-circuit a process called building a reputation - something that takes awareness, commitment, hard work and the passage of years to achieve.

For example, I have been in my profession for 35 years, and I have been published around the world for the last 25 years; and over this time, I worked hard to be the best at what I do, to add to the professional conversation, to be involved with my profession, and to help my colleagues, to volunteer, to reach out, and help people who desperately need help.

I have done pro-bono work year in and year out. I have published 14 books, and in some 55 new editions of them consistently added unique new approaches to scope of job search and career management knowledge, and these books are published in some 62 foreign language editions.

Now here is the kicker: It has only been in the last 2 or 3 years that anyone knows who I am. Only very recently has Martin Yate and Knock em Dead been recognized as something truly special for people making sense of their professional lives.

I have given my life to this for 35 years, and you better believe I worked at PR and branding over those years. A worthwhile brand evolves over time. It does not spring up full-grown overnight like a mushroom.

BKH: Do you agree with the conventional wisdom most people find employment through their people networking more so than through online listings?

MY: If there is a search for the Holy Grail in modern times, it is for the one perfect easy way to find a job, and talking to the people you know is pretty close. The only vaguely validated study ever done on this showed networking to account for 27% of job offers in the sample group. It came in third.

Not because it is not effective, but because people typically haven’t taken the time to build the deep end relevant networks it takes to survive over the long haul.

There are 5 major approaches that generate most job offers, and in my work I talk about how to build those deep and relevant networks fast and how to integrate them into each of these five already dominant job search approaches. Take these two actions and supercharge the impact of your job search, realistically quadrupling your odds of turning an approach into an interview.

BKH: What have you found to be the hardest interview question for most people?

MY: “Your job exists to help your employer achieve and maintain profitability. How do your efforts support these goals?”

It is a question that can only be answered when you really understand the guts of the job you are pursuing. The question starts with an assertion - Your job exists to help your employer achieve and maintain profitability.

Because this is a statement of fact: all jobs exist to support profitability, you need to determine whether your job is chiefly concerned with generating revenue, protecting assets, improving productivity in some way, or is perhaps a combination of these imperatives. Once you have determined this, you have outlined the framework for your answer.

The second part - How do your efforts support these goals? - is much tougher to deal with. To answer effectively, you need to grasp that the true guts of every job is essentially the same: to identify, prevent and solve problems that occur within your area of expertise, and in the process help your employer achieve and maintain profitability.

You answer by identifying for the interviewer, the strategies you employ to your make small but important contributions towards achieving and maintaining profitability:

You anticipate the ways problems can arise in your area of responsibility and explain how you execute your work in ways that prevent many of the problems typical to your job from arising in the first place. You have an example or two ready.

You tackle and solve problems that do occur, because they cannot be prevented, in a timely, effective and professional manner. You will have an illustration ready for this too.

You do so in a way that is courteous to customers, vendors, and considerate to those co-workers who, in their jobs, must deal with the results of your work. Again, you’ll have examples.

If you catch a break next time out and you are not asked such a tough question, you can make major points with any interviewer by using this understanding to color the way you answer other questions.

I take readers through over 200 perceptive answers to tough interview questions in Knock ‘em Dead 2012, The Ultimate Job Search Guide, in ways, like this one, that not only help you answer the question, but also help you grow professionally in the process.

BKH: Why do you think so many companies are now using psychological test type questions in interviews?

MY: Costs associated with staffing and staffing mistakes are amongst the most expensive items in every corporate budget, so psyche tests are just common sense cost containment approaches.

BKH: What are the top deciding factors in hiring someone for most employers?

MY: They are:

* Understanding the role that job fulfills in making money.

* Ability and suitability.

* That you seem to be a happy, competent professional who gets on with others and can function as a productive team member.

Of course I site 5 factors, only 4 of which I could work into the above top 3 points. So I would add possession of a full complement of transferable skills and professional values.

BKH: What are the top reasons job seekers fail in their job search?

MY: Job seekers fail for the following reasons:

* A crappy, dashed-off resume. This is the most financially important document you will ever own. You need to take care to do it right or have someone write a decent resume for you. At the website we have free advice, books, templates, editing services and professionally written resumes by six of the most experienced writers working today.

* The lack of knowledge of how to conduct a job search, unwillingness to discover how it is done, and to invest time and a few dollars to learn the strategies and tactics that will get you back to work.

* When they do spend money, they go on Amazon and instead of spending the frightening amount of less than $11.00 for a 2012 job search book, they spend $.99 for a used 1992 book. This was written for a world where the Internet did not exist. Job hunters should NEVER buy out-of-date career books so that they can spend it at Starbucks.

* The lack of concerted effort and inability to do anything but the easy stuff. Anyone can noodle around on job sites…

* The lack of understanding of what goes on at interviews. They want to hire you …see the 5 secrets in my book!

BKH: Do you see the employment picture changing significantly in 2012 with more jobs being created?

MY: We will slowly come out of this recession, barring the European Union tanking financially. However, the age of job security is entirely gone, and far too many people believe that once they get back to work everything will be just fine and dandy again and that this job search will have been their last.

Statistics say that this job and your next job are just steps along the way of probably a minimum of 12 job changes and 3 career changes. This means you need to arm yourself with the tools of effective career management. These are serious professional skills just like Lean Six Sigma.

No one was taught this approach to life, yet you know it makes sense. Who has been asleep at the switch? Why won’t educators and educational institutions wake up and smell the coffee?

BKH: Share one of your personal life experiences in job-hunting that helped you write Knock 'em Dead 2012.

MY: My professional life experience started as an immigrant with no idea how things worked in America. I worked as technology headhunter in Silicon Valley doing national and international search. I later became Director of HR for a Technology company, then Director of Training for a national employment services company, and along the way I was recruited a couple of times.

Through all this I tried to write novels. Then traveling on business, I wrote this book about how to find a job. I think the sum of all these experiences gave me a unique understanding of the problems and pitfalls of navigating a professional life.

In all this, the biggest lesson was in my first couple of years working; I was a young technology headhunter at the time. I got chewed out after a disastrous telephone sales call. My boss said, “ Martin, unless you tell them otherwise, people want to believe in you. So do not tell em what you do not know, because they might never ask.”

Now the guy I worked for was an out-and-out charlatan, but what knowledge of human nature and the psychology of sales he had.

There is a real application of this in career management: Just like a company, you have every right to package yourself in the most flattering and defensible light that you can. Just as your employer has no obligation to broadcast the shortcomings of their products and services, neither are you under obligation to broadcast your weaknesses.

BKH: How does it feel to be a New York Times best selling author?

MY: Being introduced as a “bestselling author” has its advantages and beats the hell out of having to write, as we say, “ It is better to have written than it is to write.”

I am fortunate in that my body of work helps people at those times in life when the future looks grim. It is a good feeling at the end of the day to know that I really helped someone today. I get letters and email all the time from people who feel my books helped them get on track. I get a big kick out of that.

I have been writing for 26 years now, so I also hear from people thanking me for guiding their climb up the ladder; or from some young person who just got their first job with the latest edition of a book that got her mother her first job 25 years ago. Damn, that feels good…wish Mom and Dad were around to hear these things.

BKH: Thank you Martin.

Finding a job can be part of the brave-new-world in 2012, and Martin Yate is one leader to watch.

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