Be the Boss of Your Job Search Campaign, with Rupert French

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Find Your Dream Job, Episode 329:

Be the Boss of Your Job Search Campaign, with Rupert French

Airdate: January 5, 2022

Mac Prichard: 

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. 

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.

Find Your Dream Job is brought to you by TopResume. TopResume has helped more than 400,000 professionals land more interviews and get hired faster. 

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Many people wait for job postings to appear before deciding where to apply.

A better approach, says today’s guest, is to take charge and run your job search like a campaign. 

Rupert French is here to talk about how to be the boss of your job search campaign. 

He’s the founder and owner of The Job Winners. His company has helped thousands of people plan and find new careers.  

Rupert is also the author of How to Get a Good Job After 50: A step-by-step guide to job search success.

He joins us from Hobart, Tasmania, in Australia. 

Well, Rupert, let’s get started. How do most people approach a job search? 

Rupert French:

Unfortunately, most people approach a job search thinking that they’ve got to look through the ads and then apply for as many as possible. And that is a loser’s way of going for a job. 

Mac Prichard: 

Well, why do you say that, Rupert?  Why is that not a good approach? 

Rupert French:

I don’t mean to say that they shouldn’t look at job boards because they certainly should. They’d be silly not to. But I do mean to say that they should take control of their job search so that they’re being proactive and not just hanging in there, hoping that something’s going to crop up. They connect, they take control, and go and find the job they want. 

Mac Prichard: 

And, so when you take control, what does that look like? What are you doing differently besides responding to postings you see online? 

Rupert French:

Well, the first thing is to, if you’re thinking of yourself as the CEO of “Yourself Proprietary Limited,” You and Co., you’ve got to plan, and the first part of planning is to work out what job it is that you want. The real job you want, and then, to start researching the organizations that employ that sort of person, and that’s your market research if you like. 

Going and networking with people who might be able to help you. Doing a bit more market research, and also marketing. What Daniel Thornton called, it’s more about finding the places and the organization that you want to work for and then digging into it than getting that job. I think Daniel was a guest of yours a short while ago.

Mac Prichard: 

He was, and when you think about that approach that you and Daniel talked about, what kind of benefits do you see when you take that approach? 

Rupert French:

Well, the first and most important benefit is that you gain confidence. Because if you’re in a situation where you’ve got no control, you can’t have confidence in it. If you’re taking control, you can have confidence in it. And without confidence, you can’t get a job. If you’re not confident in yourself, how can you persuade an employer to have confidence in you? So, that confidence is probably the key. 

But also, if you’re proactive in taking control of it, you can enjoy the job search because you can see the progress you’re making. You can see the number of people that you’re talking to and the feedback that you’re getting. And that’s terrific for your self-esteem and your confidence all the way through.    

Mac Prichard: 

What other benefits do you see, besides an increase in confidence and self-esteem, when you take that proactive approach and take charge of your job search? 

Rupert French:

Well, one sort of great benefit that comes out of it is that you normally get a job a lot more quickly. People that I’ve coached using this seem to get jobs in about the six weeks mark. I have had them get jobs far quicker than that, but I must admit that I’ve also had people doing it really, really, properly and taking a period of months to get a job.

But it’s much quicker because you’re more active, and you’re more focused, and you’re targeting what you want and going for it. You also get the job you choose.

Mac Prichard: 

Well, what stops people from taking this approach and being in charge of their job search? I mean, the benefits seem great, and if you’re getting a position faster, why don’t more people do this?  

Rupert French:

I think the big thing is they feel uncomfortable. It puts them outside their comfort zone, and they don’t want to interrupt people in their work. They feel they’re imposing, and I feel it’s that lack of comfort that makes them not want to do it, pull back from doing it. 

Mac Prichard: 

Well, you’ve got a process that you share with your clients. I’d like you to take us through it. It involves six steps, Rupert, that allow someone to be the boss of their own job search campaign. Let’s go through them one by one. And your first step, and you already touched on this, but I’m glad you raised it early. But let’s dig into it. Your first step is planning. What kind of planning does the job seeker need to do in order to be in charge of their own job search?

Rupert French:

Well, the first step – the planning – you’re building your business plan. Your marketing plan for your company while you’re looking for possible prospective clients, employer clients. And the first thing is to decide what it is exactly you want to do. The job that exactly you want to get. Your first choice. 

Then, you choose two prospective clients, two prospective employer organizations. I say two because if you go for more than two, you can’t spend enough time in your preparation. You can’t spend enough time on your marketing. But on the other hand, if you go for one, and you don’t get it, you’re suddenly left high and dry with nowhere to go. So, I suggest or recommend two. 

In a pinch, you could have three, but if you’re working a forty-hour week on your job search, and it was your podcast that came through today that talked about job search is a job, and I like that. If you’re working on two, you can have twenty hours a week on each one. If you’re working on three, you can only have thirteen hours a week. If you’re working on more than that, you know, you get less and less, and that’s not enough time.

The research that you need to do, the people that you need to talk to, take time, and it’s the people who spend the time and make themselves known that get the jobs. This is particularly true if you think you might face any form of discrimination. Because if you can make yourself known to an organization before your resume hits the hiring manager’s desk, then there’s far less likelihood of any discrimination because they know you already.  

Mac Prichard: 

What do you say, Rupert, to a listener who might say to you, “Well, I don’t know what job I want. I want to keep all my options open, and I’m not sure where I want to work next. I’d like to think about that or explore that. So I can’t give you a specific job or two organizations.”  

Rupert French:

I would say to them, go and look at your options. Look at the options you’ve got and decide which option suits you best for the moment. Make a choice. Choose one of those options, and don’t try keeping all options open. You’re much more likely to get a job if you focus on that one option for the moment. If it doesn’t work, you can always go to the other options. That’s fine. But only focus on one at a time. 

Mac Prichard: 

Well, Rupert, we’re gonna take a quick break, and when we come back, I want to do a lightning round and go through the remaining five steps in the second segment. 

So, stay with us. When we come back, Rupert French will continue to share his advice on how to be the boss of your own job search campaign. 

A great resume is vital to any job search campaign. 

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Now, let’s get back to the show.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Rupert French. 

He’s the founder and owner of The Job Winners. His company has helped thousands of people plan and find new careers.  

Rupert is also the author of How to Get a Good Job After 50: A step-by-step guide to job search success.

He joins us from Hobart, Tasmania, in Australia. 

Now, Rupert, before the break, we were talking about how to be the boss of your own job search campaign and why you need to have a campaign and not just respond to ads, and you were taking me through a six-step process that you use with your clients to be the CEO of your own job search.

Now, step number two is to identify your competitive advantage in your job search campaign. How do you do this, Rupert?  

Rupert French:

First, you look at the position description for the job you’re going for, and a job board is a great place to go to find that out. Then you’ve identified the times that you have used the skills they’re asking for, and you write them down as achievement statements. If I were applying to you for a job that required someone physically fit, and I said I am a very fast runner, you’d look at my tummy and say, haha, pull the other one. But if I said I ran the mile in four minutes, sixteen at the Caribbean games, Barbados, 2008, you’d think, a mile in four minutes, sixteen? That’s not bad. (It’s not true.) 

But the thing is, that’s an achievement statement. I think it’s also known as an accomplishment statement, particularly in North America. And those accomplishment statements present in a very convincing and interesting way why you are right for the job. So that’s identifying your competitive advantage.

And I suggest that you write a lot of them, and you have a directory of achievements that you can then use to populate your resumes and to also support the answers to interview questions. It’s a great way to go. The more you have of those, the better, and they need to be exactly relevant to the job you’re going for. They’re proof that you meet the skills they want. 

Mac Prichard: 

And a quick follow-up; besides relevance, what are the other elements of an achievement statement? Do you have to be specific about details? What makes for a successful achievement statement, Rupert? 

Rupert French:

Yes, there are several different sorts of achievement statements. But let’s take the classic, which is the one, I ran the mile in four minutes, sixteen. You’ve got an action verb, ran. You’ve got the what, the mile in four minutes, sixteen. The where, Caribbean games, Barbados. And the when, 2008. A longer version of that is what in Australia is called a STAR, and I don’t know it may be a STAR in the North America, too.

Situation, task, action, result. Where you put down, I was involved in international – I’m making this up now – I won’t, but because a STAR becomes quite long. It can be half a page. But it tells the story, and those two forms, and all the other forms of achievement statements, or accomplishment statements, provide very interesting and convincing evidence of your ability to do that job and to do it well, and your motivation to do it well. 

Mac Prichard: 

The third of your six steps for taking charge of a job search campaign is to write a mission statement with a timeline. Why is it important to have a mission statement, specifically one with a timeline? 

Rupert French:

One, because if you’ve got a timeline, you can start planning to achieve it. You can work back from the light at the end of the tunnel if you will. You work back and see what you’ve got to do each day and each week. This means that you are much more determined to carry out tasks that you might feel are a bit daunting and put you off. You’re much more likely to approach and organize a netwok meeting, and also, because you’ve got a light at the end of the tunnel, then you’ve got much more confidence. So, the mission statement gives you that determination to get on with a job, and it also gives you the confidence to do so. 

Mac Prichard: 

What’s your recommendation for a timeline? Do you suggest to your clients, for example, that they aim to find a job in three months, six months? What’s a good schedule? 

Rupert French:

I would say six weeks. Now, I realize that you can’t guarantee that you’re gonna have a good job in six weeks, but if you plan for six weeks and you schedule your tasks for that six weeks, then you’ve got a better chance of achieving it than if you leave it open-ended. 

Mac Prichard: 

Number four on your list of six steps to take charge of your job search campaign is to use your mission statement to plan your campaign. What do you mean by this? How does the mission statement inform your campaign? And how do you turn it into something that you apply to your day-to-day work? 

Rupert French:

Okay, well, you’ve got – your mission statement is started with that plan that we had in the first section where you’ve chosen the job you want to do, and you’ve selected two possible employer organizations. The next step now is you’ve got to plan how to research those organizations.

What are you going to do today to search organization A? What are you going to do today to research organization B? Who do you know in those organizations? Who do you know who might know someone in those organizations? And it’s the early planning that comes on like that. 

Later on, of course, you can plan your campaign as far as you can. You can’t go right away through. You can have blocked in there, I will prepare a resume in week five or something like that. But you can certainly say what research you’re going to do in the first week or two and what steps you’re going to take to contact people who work there. 

Mac Prichard: 

Okay, number five on your list is to establish an advisory board. What does this group do, Rupert? And how does it help with your job search campaign? 

Rupert French:

Enormously. It’s the A-team. Your support group. Job search can be a very lonely and dispiriting period, and if you’ve got a good support team of people who are ready and prepared to help you, and support you, and encourage you during that, it makes it so much easier—so having that A-team, that board, I use the word board because I’ve said it’s ou and Co., so this is the advisory board for You and Co. They’re not directors, but they’re the board. 

You see them individually normally and say, look do you know anyone so and so? And look, I’ve got to go and meet so and so today. These are the questions that I want to ask. Can I run through them with you? And can you support me? And asking for advice if necessary. They’re tremendous help, and they keep your confidence up. They keep all the things you need up; your confidence, your self-esteem, keep you going, keep you energized. 

Mac Prichard: 

And I like your suggestion that it be an informal group that you meet with, perhaps one-on-one. You might want to get them together occasionally, but it’s really just tapping into your existing professional relationships and friendships, isn’t it?  

Rupert French:

Yes, it is. It doesn’t need to be huge. It might be just three people, and it might be half a dozen. I doubt if you’d go for more than that. But that doesn’t mean to say that you’re not going to contact and get help and advice from people who are outside that. But that’s slightly different. You ask for that separately.

Mac Prichard: 

The final step of your six steps to take charge of your job search campaign is to give yourself a title and certificate. I was surprised by this. Now, what are you suggesting here, Rupert? And why does it make a difference?   

Rupert French:

It doesn’t make a difference to everybody, but some people find it very useful. So if people are in doubt, then I’d like to point it out. If you make a certificate and put it up on the wall, that sort of nice few scrolls, and things like that, use a nice font on the computer, saying that your name is up there, is a CEO of You and Co. or the name of the company, and put it up there so that you can see it all the time that you are the boss. You are in control, and it just helps reinforce some people who need it to stay in control and to keep pushing and doing the proactive job search.   

Mac Prichard: 

Well, it’s been a terrific conversation. Now, tell us, what’s next for you, Rupert?  

Rupert French:

Well, what I’d love to do is to work with others to help produce a multi-media job search coaching program online for young people. Because young people, if they don’t get a job reasonably quickly after finishing their education, they become scarred and they’re less likely to ever achieve their potential. They’re more likely to face ongoing unemployment during their lives, and what a waste of potential if we don’t give maximum help to our young people to achieve their potential.  

Mac Prichard: 

Terrific, that sounds like wonderful work. I know listeners can learn more about you and your new book, which is available on Amazon, and that title again is How to Get a Good Job After 50: A step-by-step guide to job search success.

Now, Rupert, given all the great advice you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about how to be the boss of your own job search campaign? 

Rupert French:

That it is your life, you run it. And don’t let other people run it. Don’t let other things run it. Don’t let the situation take control. You’re in control. You be the boss of your own career. 

Mac Prichard: 

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Next week, our guest will be Claire Davis. 

She’s a career consultant and the founder of Traction Resume. Her company shows high-achieving medical sales leaders how to land six-figure jobs in less than 60 days. 

A resume is often treated as a professional bio with a long shelf life. You update it at the start of your job search, and you don’t bother with it again. 

Claire coaches her clients to take a very different approach. 

Join us next Wednesday when Claire Davis and I talk about how to write your resume like a salesperson.

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

This show is produced by Mac’s List. 

Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.

Our sound engineer is Will Watts. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.

This is Mac Prichard. See you next week. 

 

Are you approaching your job search like a loser? Those are harsh words, but if you’re spending hours searching job boards and applying to any job you think you can get, you can’t expect to find a job you will love. Find Your Dream Job guest Rupert French says you have to take control of your job search campaign. Rupert shares how to create an advisory board, craft a mission statement, and build an achievable timeline for finding the position you want. 

About Our Guest: 

Rupert French is the founder and owner of The Job Winners. His company has helped thousands of people plan and find new careers. Rupert is also the author of How to Get a Good Job After 50: A step-by-step guide to job search success.

Resources in This Episode: