I recently had the opportunity to interview Ken Diamond of Digital Action and WinTheView. Ken does a lot to help candidates make successful career moves through thorough preparation and comprehensive marketing of themselves as the ideal candidate. I really wanted to uncover some of the things candidates should be focusing on to secure a new position in today's jobs market.
The interview is really enlightening for anyone wanting to change jobs in the coming months - and you can catch it in full (~10 mins) below.
Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath
Ken is the Founder and CEO of Digital Action Executive Search - and he's going to be sharing today ideas to help candidates figure out how to get noticed and how to secure a new position in today's market.
Why don't we start with that, the advice you'd give to candidates in a challenging market like we're seeing today? How might that differ from what you would recommend in a booming market? Or indeed, would it differ at all?
I'm a big believer in differentiation. And I think today, more than ever, candidates need to be really good at marketing themselves.
So, the hiring process is not an exact science. What you want to get to, as a job candidate, are the key performance requirements. After a year what will I have done to be really successful?
So I think it's about having candidates understand how to go through the process, how to be a good salesperson and uncover the client's needs, and then from there, really be able to articulate, with some marketing tools which I'll talk about, how to really show motivation and excitement, and of course fit for the role.
Absolutely. So in terms of top tips for candidates and what you would recommend that people focus on to stand out in this market. What would be some of the things you would recommend people do?
There's a couple things I would recommend in terms of marketing tools. There's actually three, which I'll talk about in a minute, but the approach to trying to get an interview opportunity.
I think you need to think in a non-traditional way; the traditional way and the easy way to feel like you're doing a lot, is to submit your resume, apply online and hope to hear back and that's rare that you get interviews.
Sometimes some people get lucky and the person on the other side, in the black hole somewhere will recognize that you might have the skills and you might be the right fit. But they're looking at typically hundreds of which maybe a handful are really a good fit. And then you have to rely on the person on that side of things. The talent acquisition side in the corporation to really get that you're a fit.
So in terms of trying to hire the best people, that process is a bit flawed.
So what I would suggest is taking a certain non-traditional approach and trying to figure out here who's likely the hiring manager that's responsible for this position that I'm finding online? How do I get to them and maybe start the relationship without being too intrusive? And you can do that by keyword searching on LinkedIn and finding that person and maybe writing a soft introduction. You can also find them by researching the company's website.
If you're in supply chain, it might be the Director or the VP of the Supply Chain overall, and you can make an introduction to a couple folks... that you're surmising might be the ultimate hiring manager.
You could also do that with a Vice President of Human Resources or Director of Human Resources, you're trying to get to the person you know directly where you can write a soft introduction and maybe include some relevant successes that you've had in your career; and relate that back to some of the key hiring criteria that are listed on that role.
So the marketing materials that I would suggest that everyone do, that's in the job market. Maybe even if you're not in the job market, number one is to create your success stories, and that could be done in what's called the STAR format or SOAR. There's a couple different industry acronyms for this approach.
But generally, it means, what was the situation, describe the situation. Describe the challenge that you had or the obstacle and then talk about what you did creatively, not necessarily with your team.
But how did you architect a strategy? And then what were the results? The measurable results, and what were the skills achieved?
So I would suggest putting those in writing. Sounding them out. Listen to it, it should be maybe a minute to two minutes, no more than three minutes, if it's less than a minute it sounds maybe too weak.
So sound that out, practice with someone, and as you sound it out, you're going to hear where you want to make changes.
So once you have that ready in writing, you can create an easy document, a PDF or a word document that you can actually upload when you apply for a position or that's the piece that you could send in an attachment to a potential person that you're saying hello to on LinkedIn.
You could also create a video with your webcam, which is easy, or with your phone and record that. And maybe, if it's on YouTube, or if it's on Vimeo. Then choose to send that along with your documents.
So create a library of those successes around your core competencies. So chances are when you're in the interview situation, you're going be much more well prepared, and much more comfortable. So script it out, sound it out, record it until your confidence is up nice and high about what you've put together.
So the second thing I suggest is to put together the elevator pitch.
If you're travelling in an elevator, 30 floors up and you're in with someone who's a potential high-value contact.
You want to make sure that you get the point across about who you are, what you do, how you help people and then you have a call to action, so there's a whole, pretty simplified structure to create in your elevator pitch.
The key is, script it out, again like your success stories, sound it out, listen to it, tweak it and then record it, re-record until you're comfortable with it. That's the second piece.
That elevator pitch also can correlate to answering the most common behavioural questions. It's about being prepared and ready and motivated.
The third thing, which is what our wintheview.com tools are all about, and this is all about differentiation, is when you're approaching the interview process, you've been called in, so once you know enough about the position, then you create a interview value presentation or value proposition, whatever you wanna call it; it's typically a ten totwelve-page deck. That you get printed, spiral bound with a clear cover. And you take that in and have a copy for each of the folks on the hiring team, along with yourself and you ask to share that.
So when you say something like, "Hey, I put together this summary of why I feel like I'm an excellent fit. Can I share it with you?"
And most 99 out of 100 folks are going to say yes, let's take a look at it. So basically what it does, it has you uncovering the key hiring requirements. And ultimately, ideally, you find out what the performance objectives are. What do they want to see happen after a year, not check the box, like they want. Like you have all the skills.
It's more about, what will you do over the course of a year to be deemed like a fantastic hire?
So the challenge is to understand those things and then put them in your deck and then subsequently come up with your best points for each of the requirements. So what that does, it makes you think through, you do the critical thinking before you're in the interview.
You're doing it ahead of time. Fantastic preparation tool. And then you correlate your skills and your accomplishments directly to their performance objectives, and their hiring criteria.
So there's some initial pages that you can put together additional areas of expertise, your personal success-factors, a 30-60-90 action plan, and these are all things, by the way, that are included in the wintheview.com tools.
And we're in the process of re-doing that to make it more video integration and better graphics, just making a major upgrade. The concept is to take the presentation in and either use it in the discussion, in the interview. To get your key points across because not everyone is trained in interviewing.
You might have come across someone you're interviewing with, and they might do it once or twice a year, and they might not be really good at it. So you're balancing the playing field and getting your points across with this approach.
By the way, you'll be seen as extremely highly motivated. You are very prepared, excited, and your content is going to be highly relevant. And that's what recruiters, hiring managers want to see. They want you to make it easy for them to see your fit and your accomplishments as it relates to the position of a job seeker.
Wonderful. Ken, thanks ever so much for your time. And thanks everyone, for watching - good luck in your job searches. Bye for now.
Thank you very much. Have a great day.
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