How to Take Control of Your Job Search, with Katrina Collier

Listen On:

Transcript

Mac Prichard:

Hi, this is Mac from Mac’s List. Before we start the show, I wanted to let you know about my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. I’ve been helping job seekers find meaningful, well-paying work since 2001, and now I’ve put all my best advice into one easy-to-use guide.

My book shows you how to make your resume stand out in a stack of applications, where you can find the hidden jobs that never get posted, and what you need to do to ace your next job interview. Get the first chapter now for free. Visit MacsList.org/anywhere.

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 Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, Becky Thomas, and Jessica Black.

This week we’re talking about how to take control of your job search.

I run a job board. I’m proud of it, and how it helps job seekers and employers. But I meet too many people who rely on job postings alone to find their next gig. Our guest expert this week is Katrina Collier. She says, “You need to stop waiting for employers to post the job you want.” Katrina and I talk in the second half of the show about how to take charge of your job search.

We’re recording this show just before Memorial Day, when we remember those who died in active military service. In honor of this holiday, Ben has found a website that functions as a  LinkedIn network for veterans. He tells us more in a moment.

What matters most to employers when hiring recent graduates? That’s our question of the week. It comes from Jason Nieh. Becky shares her advice shortly.

Let’s check in with the Mac’s List team as always. We’re talking this week about how to take control of your job search. When did you all realize you needed to do more in a job search than just respond to online postings? When did that moment of revelation come? Becky?

Becky Thomas:

I feel like it was really right after I graduated from college. I moved to a brand new city right after graduating and I was introduced to a couple of people moving into that city, but I knew nobody. I knew nothing about the market. My first connection was with a person writing  freelance articles for a business magazine, and he connected me with my first full time employer. And so I was like, “Okay, wow. Relationships, okay. Got it. We need to be building relationships within our professional communities.” And that’s like such a powerful way to get jobs. So I’ve used that lesson ever since.

Mac Prichard:

You’re smart, it took me awhile to figure that out.

Jessica Black:

It took me a long time, too. I was gonna say, good for you for learning that so early. Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

When did the lightbulb go off for you? Probably sooner than it did for me, but go ahead.

Jessica Black:

Well, I don’t know. I haven’t hear your story yet, I guess. But it took me awhile, actually. Because I don’t like to ask for help. I like to do it all on my own, so it took me a long time to stop being so bullheaded in that approach. But it was really kind of when it wasn’t really working anymore. Where I was sending out resumes and I felt good about what I was sending out but I wasn’t getting anything in return.

So that was when I started reaching out to my own personal network, and just asking for feedback. That’s how around that same time I started getting involved in a lot of the volunteer things that I still do now. But you know, developing even more of a network, and a  strong network and being able to have people that know the way that I work, and be able to vouch for me in that way. And that really was a very pivotal point in time.

But yeah, for a long time I was just doing the job board search, and I think that that’s…I have a lot of introverted qualities and so for me, I like to do the processing, and sort of think it through, and look at things in writing, and then send things out via writing rather than talk about them. So that was sort of my go to for a long time, before I realized I had to reach out and talk to people.

Mac Prichard:

And Ben? How about you?

Ben Forstag:

I’m angry at Becky that she just learned this lesson right out of college.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I’m nursing some bile over here too.

Becky Thomas:

Well I mean, I think it was almost like the thing about desperation, because I didn’t know anybody. I was just like, “Oh my gosh. What do I do?”

Mac Prichard:

You were in a brand new market.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I’m just thinking about all the tears cried, all the hair pulled out, that I went through.

Early in my career I would have said, “Well, I’ve never really gone through a job search. I’ve just gotten jobs through my friends that I knew.”, or I had a connection with a organization. In my mind that was not a job search. That was just like, avoiding a job search, and it took me a long time to realize, “Oh no, that’s actually how you get jobs.” I just didn’t realize that was like a thing.

And I would say that even in my most recent stint with unemployment, even though I knew I needed to go out and network, and I knew I should be doing some of these things, I just wasn’t mentally there yet. In terms of kind of like grieving over my job or where I was, and so it took me like a month or two of sitting and just trying to do it, “the easy way.” before I realized this isn’t working, I need to try something else.

Mac Prichard:

I think I’ve talked about this in previous shows. My first three jobs came to me, it seemed in an easy way. I think I was doing what you mentioned Ben. Which is, I was networking, but not realizing that I was doing that. And so the first job that I got through a newspaper ad, with the US Senate campaign. The second came from an internship, and the third came because I started inviting people to a farewell party and I was working my way through my…what was called Rolodex, in those days, inviting people both to the party and asking about opportunities. And I found my third job that way, just through word of mouth. But then it all came to a crashing halt when I was about twenty-seven. I had about six or seven years of professional experience, and I got stuck. And it wasn’t just a month or two, it was eight or nine months before I finally found the next gig through networking and doing it in a strategic and thoughtful way.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, and I think this highlights something that a lot of people forget, which is, being really good at work or having a successful career is a completely different skill set from actually looking for work. You can be a very accomplished professional with lots of accolades and awards to your name, and just not have the basic nuts and bolts of how to look for work. And if you were very successful, you know, sliding from one job to the next, earlier in your career, then finding yourself at forty-five or fifty, not having the next thing lined up, it’s time to take a quick step back and learn some of the basics that we talk about in this show, and you’ll get the right skills to find that next gig.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well, thank you all for sharing your stories, and kudos to you, Becky, for figuring out sooner than I did.

Well let’s turn to you Ben, because you’re out there every week poking around the internet, looking for books, websites, and tools our listeners can use in a job search or in managing a career. What have you found for us this week?

Ben Forstag:

So this week I found an interesting little program that LinkedIn runs, and it’s exclusively for veterans, and I also believe families of veterans: immediate family, wives and spouses. So you know, we talk a lot about networking and the importance of doing that, and one group that can’t necessarily benefit from that, right off the bat, are recent veterans. Folks who might have been overseas, or they’re on a base. They’re busy doing a lot of other things, and so they’re not necessarily able to do the networking necessary for their transition to civilian life. And so LinkedIn has created this program for vets; it’s called LinkedIn For Veterans, go figure, and it’s part of their LinkedIn For Good program. But it’s just a really awesome, free service. It includes a free one year premium subscription on LinkedIn, which helps you with a lot of that digital networking (emailing folks, reaching out to people), a bunch of video courses to help you develop your LinkedIn profile, some tools that help you translate the skills you developed in the military into civilian opportunities, and access into their veteran mentor network, which has over a hundred and ten thousand people participating in it.

So if you are a recent or a veteran period, I don’t think there’s like a time limit on when your service had to begin or end, check this out. It’s on LinkedInforgood.com, and we will share the direct url in the shownotes.

Mac Prichard:

Great, well thank you Ben, and if you’ve got a suggestion for Ben, please write him. He would love to hear from you, and we would love to share your idea on the show. Ben’s email address is ben@macslist.org.

Now let’s turn to you our listeners, and Becky is here to answer one of your questions. What’s in the mailbag this week, Becky?

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, so this question came in via email, from Jason Nieh, of Portland, Oregon. It’s really relevant for folks just getting started in their careers so Jason says…

Jason Nieh:

“As a college student, what do employers look for the most? I’m specifically in finance, but this could be a general question.”

Becky Thomas:

So I thought about this a little bit, and I think it’s good for Jason to be thinking about this while he’s still in college, sort of like, “How do I create a resume when I’m still so new in my career and haven’t really started yet?”

So I think employers are looking, in general, kind of, what did this person do during their college time to prepare for their career? Really think about how you’re preparing for your career outside of just your classes.

One big one is actual work experience, whether you have a summer job, or a job while you’re in school, or probably the best thing would be internships. I think internships are so important because they’re in your field of study, building your network, building your resume. But even just summer jobs and things like that, you can show that you have the work experience, you are responsible, you can hold down a job, and you’ve got some skills that people can use.

And then the final thing, just really, employers want to know if you’re well rounded. List any groups you were in, any teams or any outside interests that you dedicated time to during college, showing that you’re a person with interests and commitment. I know I still list the college track team that I was a part of on my resume today, and it’s an interest point, you know. People connect with that sort of passion…things that you do outside of class.

So those are a few things to think about, as Jason is kind of getting close to that end of college time. Because I know you’re really thinking about, “What am I doing? What’s my career move as I graduate?” So… do you guys have any other thoughts on that?

Jessica Black:

Yeah, one other thing. I think those are great points, but one other thing that I would say, and I’m not an employer. My own perspective would be, I think, someone who takes initiative, and shows that you’re interested in whatever it is that you’re interested, whatever industry. Finance for Jason, would be that one. But taking the initiative of showing how you’ve gone above and beyond just completing your courses and completing what’s expected of you. Going kind of above and beyond and taking the initiative to find opportunities or find ways to make that work. It doesn’t have to be related to finance, it can be anything like that, of whatever kind of extracurricular club, or organization that you were volunteering with. How you took the initiative to make something better within that. I think that those types of skills translate very easily no matter what industry you’re in, and that’s always, I would say, really valuable.

Ben Forstag:

So I’d just add that when you’re coming out of school, no employer is going to expect you to have huge amounts of experience. It’s just not possible given your age, and other things you’re doing in your life. I personally think a lot of what schooling is about is not actually learning the technical skills, but it’s kind of learning how to learn. Figuring out the process of learning, and so I think highlighting that can be a skill that will really serve you well on the job search. Because pretty much any job you’re going to apply for, if they’re hiring someone out of college, they’re anticipating that there’s going to be quite a bit of training involved, I’d guess. So just showing that you’re open to that, that you’ve got a mind that’s curious, that’s inquisitive, that enjoys learning. I think that’s a strong skill for any recent graduate.

Mac Prichard:

And I would second your point, Jessica, and you as well, Becky, about the importance of highlighting the experiences you’ve had in college, or in the workplace outside of your classes. I think about a client once, for my public relations agency. I asked her, as I was reviewing resumes, what I should look for, and she said, “Look for people who have worked in a restaurant job. Somebody who’s been a server knows how to deal with pressure, how to work with people. They’re going to be great at customer service and how to set priorities.” So if you’ve had a position like that, feature it on your resume. Don’t think that that kind of work is not going to be honored or valued by a white collar employer.

Two other quick ideas that come to mind. Go back and listen to our interview with Don Raskin, who wrote a book called, The Dirty Little Secrets To Getting Your Dream Job. Long time listeners might recall that he runs a marketing firm in New York City and he kept detailed notes about meetings he had with new graduates, and what he looked for when he was hiring people who were straight out of school, and he shared those with other employers and got input from them. So if you want to understand what an employer is looking for when talking to new graduates, that’s a great source of information. The book is one of the best that I’ve read about opportunities for new graduates.

And finally, there’s a fellow, David Mariano, who’s also been on the show, and he hosts a podcast called, Finance Career Launch. While it’s focused on people in the finance world, given your interest, Jason, in that sector, I think you would find that very helpful.

Jessica Black:

Yeah or anybody else too, that may find some benefits from the career side of that too.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. He does talk about finance but you’re right Jessica, he talks about principles that’ll be valuable I think, to anybody starting out.

Becky Thomas:

Thanks guys. Appreciate it.

Mac Prichard:

Thank you Becky. And thank you Jason, for that question. If you’ve got a question for Becky, please send her an email, her address is becky@macslist.org.

Or call our listener line. That number is area code,  716-JOB-TALK (that’s 716-562-8255).

If we answer your question on the show, like Jason, who’s going to get his copy soon in the mail, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

We’ll be back in a moment, and when we return, I’ll talk with this week’s guest expert, Katrina Collier, about how to take control of your job search.

Most people struggle with job hunting. The reason is simple; most of us learns the nuts and bolts of looking for work by trial and error. That’s why I produce this podcast, to help you master the skills you need to find a great job. It’s also why I wrote my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. For fifteen years at Mac’s List, I’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon find meaningful, well-paying, and rewarding jobs that they love. Now I’ve put all of my job hunting secrets in one book that can help you no matter where you live.

You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, and ace your next job interview. For more information, and to download the first chapter for free, visit MacsList.org/anywhere.

Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Katrina Collier.

Katrina Collier is a global expert on social recruiting. She teaches people at corporations around the world how to use social media to recruit staff.

Katrina is also a keynote speaker and the host of The Social Recruiting Show.

She joins us today from London.

Katrina, thanks for coming on the show.

Katrina Collier:

Oh thank you so much for having me.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you. Our topic this week is how people can take control of their job search. We see this a lot, I expect you do as well, that many people look at job boards and they wait for their dream job, or the position that interests them the most, just to pop up. Katrina, why is it a bad idea, why shouldn’t people rely on job boards, or recruiters like you alone to find work? Why is that a problem?

Katrina Collier:

Well, because a lot of jobs aren’t actually advertised. That’s one reason. And it’s quite interesting because if you ask around your friends, you’ll probably find that most of them got their job by a referral. They didn’t actually get the job from a job board. So it’ll be somebody they knew in their network. So it’s kind of crazy that we then think, “Oh, we’re looking for a job, we’ll just wait for the job board, for it to appear.” You don’t have to. You can take complete control of it and go looking for jobs yourself. Nothing is stopping you from doing that.

Mac Prichard:

And it’s interesting to hear that from you, because you are a recruiter, and you train recruiters. Why shouldn’t people, if they’re not relying on job boards alone, why shouldn’t they wait for a call from somebody like you?

Katrina Collier:

Because they’d have to be found, and so often, people don’t know how to write their resume, or they don’t know how to write their LinkedIn profile in such a way that they will be found anyway. And again, you know, it goes back to the luck of being found, whereas what you can do, is make quite a targeted search. So you could say, “Okay, I am a nurse, and I want to work in this area.” So you can run a search of the hospitals in your area, and find the person who looks after the recruitment, or find the head of the department, and make a direct approach. No matter what your skill set is, that is always possible. All of that information is now out there.

Companies are constantly building their employer brand. They’re pushing information online, so it’s very easy to find, you know on sites like LinkedIn especially, but even on their own website, contact names of people. You can just approach cold and say, “Look, I have these skills. I see in your advertising, but these skills would be a benefit to your firm. Can we have a conversation?” And most companies love being approached directly.

One, they don’t have to pay any fees for recruitment agencies, so that makes them happy. Also it shows that you’re really proactive, and that you really want to work for them, you have an interest in the company, and that’s half the battle half the time. It’s worth a try.

Mac Prichard:

It’s great advice, and I think we’ve gotten into strategies and tactics here, for about how to take control of your job search. So why don’t we back up to that, and if somebody wants to do that, to take control of their job search, what’s the first step Katrina?

Katrina Collier:

Well you definitely  need to create a profile that can be found, first and foremost. So that when you do approach somebody, they can look at you. So you know, all the recruiters are hanging out on LinkedIn. Most of us are hanging out somewhere else like Facebook, but the recruiters are there. They’ve been told a story that that’s where they need to go to recruit so that’s where they are.

So make sure that you go there and create a very good profile, make sure it’s full of your benefits. The easiest way to get your achievements is just to think, so what? You know, I ran this project with so what, which meant that, and there was the benefit. So always make sure you’ve got your benefits on there. Get some recommendations from your peers, and then what you want to do is, you can do a search in your area. You can do a radius search and it shows you how far you want to commute, and what sort of companies are right for you, and just go in and look for those recruiters again.

And it’s exactly the same on sites like Indeed. You can go in there, and upload your resume, and again, go and look proactively for roles. If they don’t have something that’s right for you then you go, “Okay, I can see this recruiter’s looking after this area of expertise. That must be the right area. I can just approach and say, ‘Hi, this is my background, do you have anything? Or would you have anything coming up?’” Because you just don’t know what they’re not advertising.

So it’s that sort of working out where your skills would best fit. And the other thing to do is not just go for the recruiters. So if you’re in technology, for example, you’re a developer, look for the heads of development, and other areas like that. If you’re a tester in that testing area, so you don’t have to make just one hit into that company and go, “Well I approached that recruiter and I never heard back.” Why not get in touch with someone else?

I think the biggest mistake I see, and it’s exactly the same as what I teach recruiters so I’m forever making this approach as well. Is that it’s not about you, it’s what you’re bringing to the company. So recruiters have this habit of saying, “I want this and I want that.” And they make their approach and I’m forever saying to them, “No, talk about the candidate and what the candidate is going to gain.” But in your circumstance, you’re coming to a company and going, “I have these skills, they will be a benefit to you because of XYZ.”

Mac Prichard:

I like that a lot because you’re thinking about the needs of the employer as a candidate, and what you’ll offer. I find that job seekers that I talk with who have the most success in getting the position that they want have that mindset. That’s where they start from.

Katrina Collier:

Yes, everybody’s thinking, “What’s in it for me?” You know you open your email, you pick up a call, whatever it is you’re doing, you’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?” I mean not consciously, but we are doing it. So you might as well go in with the…the company’s thinking, “Why am I giving you these few minutes of attention? You know, I’m opening your email, I’m answering that call from you, why am I giving you attention?” So just hit them straight up with the benefit, so that they want to talk to you more, so they’ll give you more time.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, so understand what the other party’s self interest is, and how you can address that, and meet that need.

Katrina Collier:

It’s a Google world, I’m forever telling companies, “We’re recruiting in this age of transparency, where people will look at you and want to see information.” So it’s the same with job seekers; they can go and look and do their research, and very easily find the information. And you know, just use that in conversation. Find a news piece; you can certainly search a company’s name on google and click the news tab. Is there something there that could potentially be a door opening? Is there a name there? Or just something I can use in conversation when I’m getting in touch with these people?

For example, one of my contacts works for Lidl, a huge supermarket chain; it’s come from Germany, it’s now in the UK, and it’s heading for Texas for example. So seeing that that company is about to open its doors, and that’s in the news, well then you could proactively get in touch and say, “Well I’m not available right now, but I’m going to be available in this time, and when are you looking to recruit, and could we keep in touch?” Just thinking outside the box, not just sitting, waiting for a job to appear on a job board, which is quite depressing.

Mac Prichard:

Yes, it can be. I meet people who get frustrated because I think in part, because that’s all they’re doing. What I like about your advice Katrina, is you’re also encouraging people to have a focus, whether it’s geography, do I want to work, five, ten, fifteen miles from this address? Or do I want to work for this company? Or do I want to work in this industry? What would you say to people who struggle with that though, and often say things like, “Well I want to keep all my options open.”

Katrina Collier:

Well I’m not saying to not look on the job boards. I’m just saying you’re opening a huge door over to the right here, rather than just looking to the left, when you approach directly. So I mean, most people know where their skills will fit, they know their background. Of course, there’s generalists out there but most of us are specialized in some sort of area. So we know where it could be great for us, so but what if you just stumble upon something that’s the best job that you’ve ever had because you opened the door further?

So it’s not, not look at the job boards, you can set up all the job alerts in the world and let them just deposit themselves in your email account. But by getting proactive you will just uncover something else. My understanding is that something like eighty percent of jobs aren’t advertised. It’s a staggering number. And a lot of that just comes down to, “Well if we advertise this role, we’ll get inundated with unsuitable applications which means that we just can’t go through them all and we’re giving people a bad experience, and they’ll badmouth us online and on it goes.”

Companies have gotten quite strategic in how they do recruitment as well. So they will go looking for you and hire someone like myself to train the in house recruiters to go looking for people. So it’s mixing it all up. But never have any fear about approaching a company. Every time I’ve been approached when I’ve been in house, and people were really quite excited. They’ve been like, “Yay someone’s approached me, someone wants to work for my company.” It’s exciting to receive. And as long as you just think about, “I’m bringing these skills to you, I’m bringing value to you.” Then it will go down well.

Mac Prichard:

What are your best tips Katrina, about how to both, approach a recruiter or a company where you might want to work?

Katrina Collier:

Well I mean, I’m bold, I’d say use the telephone. I mean it’s extraordinary, everyone hides behind technology, and again, I’m forever teaching recruiters this, use the phone. Most people email, and it’s very easy for that to get lost, because recruiters are busy, but you know if you call in to a company, and somebody answers the phone, they are choosing to answer that phone call. So they’re choosing to give you those first few minutes of time, and as long as you’re going with that empathy and understanding, that they could well  be busy and might not be able  to talk right then, you might be able to set up a time to talk to them.

Say, “You know, I’ve had a look at your jobs online, I can see I haven’t got anything that matches, but I’ve got these skills, they’d be of value to you here, is now a good time to talk? Who should I talk to? Can you help?” I don’t know anybody who works in a company that wouldn’t fall for, “Can I help? Or can you help? Where should I go? Who should I best talk to?” Particularly those in HR recruitment, it’s just natural. They’re people people, they want to help. So that’s my recommendation.

Actually start with the phone, but at the worst, use an email. You can get emails from companies, just from ringing reception and asking for it.

Mac Prichard:

And when you have that conversation and it leads to a meeting, what does success look like at the end of that conversation? It probably isn’t going to result in a job offer, but what do you think people should expect to happen after that conversation?

Katrina Collier:

I guess find out realistically sort of what their options are, and what the next steps are. So okay, you could see that they haven’t got the job now, and that might get confirmed. Or what should I do? Do you have somewhere that…actually this is a really strange thing to say, but some companies have meet-ups, and that happens a lot in the technology space for example, because there’s such a shortage of people. So the companies actually create, you know it might be PHP developers of Austin, or something, and you can go along to those and actually meet people in person. So actually asking, do you have any events that I can go to? And conferences that you’d suggest, or what other ways can I keep in touch? Recruiters do have talent pools, but the trouble is, that again, they’re time…it’s all about time, and whether they’ve got enough time to go to that talent pool first and foremost when they’re recruiting. So you’ve kind of got to be a bit proactive and ask for another way. But I would be asking for what realistically do you think I should be doing next? Just a really open question and see what they say. Let them tell you.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, and are there typical responses that you see people get when they ask that question?

Katrina Collier:

Well I’ve never seen anybody get a horrible one. I mean the worst is, we don’t have anything and we’re not going to have anything. That’s the worst that you’re going to hear. So then you go to your next company.

But I just kind of imagine if your approach is “I’m bringing something to the table”, not, “I want this and I want that.” I just don’t see why anybody would give a horrible response.

Mac Prichard:

Well so much of your work, Katrina, is about, with recruiters, teaching them how to use social media to find great candidates. What advice would you give candidates or job seekers on how to stand out on social media when they’re doing a search?

Katrina Collier:

For sure. Okay, so when you’re looking at LinkedIn, LinkedIn is like the dumping ground of your CV, your resume. It really is not very social at all. But what you can do, of course, is find these recruiters on other social media. So they might well be on Twitter, plenty of them are on Twitter. Most are barely starting to use Facebook, you can find plenty on Instagram strangely. And that allows you to interact with people more.

You know with LinkedIn, you and I can connect on there and then what do I do? It’s a bit like, I don’t know, nonsocial is the way I’d describe it. I can’t just keep sending you messages. Whereas, if I follow you on Twitter, and as long as, again, I’ve got a professional photo, and I’ve filled out my bio, and I’m sharing interesting conversation on there, and content, can keep in touch with you, and I can answer questions you might put out. Or retweet a post and sort of become known, liked, and trusted. So as long as you follow the social media etiquette of always paying it forward, then that would be a great way to rise to the top of the pile periodically and be remembered more and more. So that when they do have an opening they think of you. So that’s another tactic to try.

I mean interestingly in my bio, on my Twitter I’ve actually got an ebook that’s lined up for recruiters, but there’s nothing to stop a job seeker from taking that and flipping it on it’s head. And it would show them exactly how to find recruiters and start contact with them, so. They are more than welcome to go there and download it.

Mac Prichard:

Alright, well we’ll be sure to include that in the shownotes too. What I’m hearing is really just a restatement of the point you made earlier which is to be focused and know where you want to go, and what you want. And so find those recruiters that you want to reconnect with, and look for ways to build a relationship with them. Even if it’s happening online, it’s just old fashioned networking, isn’t it?

Katrina Collier:

It really is. I am forever saying to recruiters, “How many times did you email that person?”

“Oh just the once.”

“Well did you go back and email again?”

“No.”

“Did you go and chase them up?” You know, when I have a sales email come in, it will come in three or four times. Sometimes it’s just a case of remembering we need to get back  in touch. So it might involve a big spreadsheet of remembering who you’ve gotten in contact with and going back to them. But if you do that on some of the social media sites, you don’t have to be like, “Do you have a job yet? Do you have a job yet?” You can just be, “Ah, I love that photo you just shared” or, “I’ve got a dog too.” Have a conversation like you would in a pub. Just a general get to know conversation.

Mac Prichard:

It’s excellent advice and I have to share that I appreciated the fact that when we did our pre-interview, we did it by video, which is normally something I don’t do. I don’t know why, but you suggested it, and I got to see your dogs in the background, and it was a fun conversation.

Katrina Collier:

My dogs have a fan club; it’s hilarious.

Mac Prichard:

Do they?

Katrina Collier:

I think sometimes I get business because of the dogs. So there’s one way to get to HR recruiters, they like dogs.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, canine sells for us.

Katrina Collier:

It is standing out. Just be willing to do something a little bit different; maybe it is creating your own Twitter account and sharing little videos of things like that. Why not? Use every tool available to you. Be creative.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, personal connections make all the difference. Well Katrina, it’s been a great conversation. Tell us what’s coming up next for you.

Katrina Collier:

Lots and lots of speaking. I mean, I’m training obviously, because that’s mainly what I do. So I train HR and in house recruiters to find job seekers or even those not looking on social media. But I’ve got lots of conference speaking coming up. When this goes live, I will be speaking in London several times, but I am back and forth to the US, I think three times in the space of two months. So Minnesota, Florida, and Dallas, which will all be fun and slightly mental.

I’ll be talking about things like candidate engagement, so that’s how recruiters get in touch with job seekers and making sure they actually look like a company worth talking to as well. So making sure they’re sharing great stuff that will appeal to job seekers. Because I think job seekers…it can be their market if they get on Google and start looking around. So it’ll be fun.

Mac Prichard:

Well great. Enjoy those trips, and I know people can learn more about you by visiting your website, The Searchologist.com, as well as following you on Twitter, and your Twitter handle is @KatrinaMCollier. We’ll include those links in the shownotes, and Katrina thanks for being on the show this week.

Katrina Collier:

Thank you. I appreciate it.

Mac Prichard:

You’re welcome.

Alright, we’re back in the studio with the Mac’s List team. What are your thoughts about my conversation with Katrina?

Becky Thomas:

Okay, I’ll start. I thought it was great, I thought she gave some really interesting advice. The thing that really stuck with me most is how many tools there are to take advantage of, that there is so much that you can do online, that sort of creative searching, and thinking about geography and different skills and what companies are out there and really targeting your search. You can really build a robust strategy as a job seeker and it’s really just about making the choice to do it and being committed to it, and being creative. I thought that was great.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I liked the strategies that she laid out. I have found that when I talk to a job seeker, even if they say initially, “I’m not sure where I want to work” or “I need to sort that out”, if I press them, usually there’s a short list of companies or organizations that interest them, and I think Katrina provided a roadmap of how you could chase that interest once you know where you want to go.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, and finding the right people and doing a Google news search of that company, I thought that was really good. Like you can find out who’s doing what and things like that, and there’s ways to reach out to everybody. The fact that you can just pick up the phone and call someone and see what happens, it’s like, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s really just about being tenacious.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it is amazing who answers their phones these days even now.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, totally.

Mac Prichard:

Jessica? What are your thoughts?

Jessica Black:

Yeah, going off of what Becky said, those were all great points. The one thing that isn’t new but I think is really important to reiterate that she brought up, the demonstrating what you have to offer the employer. It’s not the, “Give me a job because I want this job, and this is a company that I’ve wanted to work for forever.” It’s a, “This is the value that I can provide this company.” And then that’s going to be really beneficial and really valuable when you’re sending out resumes and applications. And just when you’re having conversations with people to be able to know that that’s why you’re applying for the job. Or be able to tell that story, I think that’s really great.

Ben Forstag:

I want to go back to the telephone issue. I would categorize it as high risk-high reward, because I think you’re right, a lot of people won’t use the phone anymore because they’re uncomfortable with it. Or a lot of people don’t answer their phones anymore because they’re uncomfortable with it. And I could see calling someone being a great way to get their attention, and to pull your name out of a pile of resumes.

At the same time, I could see it as a way to get on the wrongs person’s nerves if you just call too much. It’s a strategic gamble but I think it’s one that could pay off. And it reminds me of…you and I went to a conference of job boards recently and there were some recruiters there who said, “The number one way to get my attention is to give me a call on the phone. I get thousands of emails everyday, a lot of them I can’t get to, or I ignore, either willfully or by accident. But if you give me a call, I pick up my phone and talk.”

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, and I think it is a high risk strategy, because when that call goes through and someone takes your call, you have to have an ask. I thought Katrina did a good job of outlining what that might look like. “Could we get together? Could we have a conversation? I want to talk more about your company and what’s coming up.” And what success might look like in that conversation. I’ve been on the receiving end of those calls from job seekers and it’s clear, and I say this with kindness, that they hadn’t thought that through. So they were kind of surprised that I picked up the phone and they weren’t quite sure what to ask for. So whatever your request is, work it out before you dial or punch in those numbers.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah I think for a lot of people the scariest part is just dialing in the numbers and they haven’t gotten their mind around the next step, and you need to have that piece scripted out as well.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Well thank you all, and thank you, Katrina, for joining us this week.

Thank you our listeners for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

If you like what you hear, please sign-up for our free weekly newsletter.

In every issue, we give you the key points of that week’s show, and we include links to all the resources mentioned, as well as a transcript of the full episode.

If you subscribe to the newsletter now, we’ll send you our Job Seeker Checklist. In one easy-to-use file, you’ll get  all the steps you need to take to find a great job.

Get your free newsletter and check list today. Go to macslist.org/podcast.

Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Kate Gremillion. She’ll explain How to Use Your Network to Get Informational Interviews.

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

Do you feel in control of your job search? Do you search online and wait for your dream job to appear? It can be a tedious and unfulfilling task, since up to 80% of available jobs go unadvertised. Most positions today are filled by way of referral. So, get proactive and take control of your job search.

Guest expert, Katrina Collier, encourages people to perform targeted searches and take a direct approach, by making the most of LinkedIn and corporate websites. She says most companies love being approached directly by people who tell them why their skills are a good fit for the organization.

Here are Katrina’s five steps for taking control of your job search:

  1. Create a LinkedIn profile that gets found. Include your skills and recommendations from your peers.
  2. Proactively search for companies in your area that may have a role that fits your specialty.
  3. Look beyond recruiters and include department heads or hiring managers.
  4. Thoroughly research the company before you reach out to them.
  5. Call instead of email, follow up, and make the conversation about the company, not about you.

This Week’s Guest

Katrina Collier is a global expert on social recruiting. She teaches people at corporations around the world how to use social media to recruit staff.Katrina is also a keynote speaker and the host of The Social Recruiting Show. You can find out more about Katrina at The Searchologist and follow her on Twitter at @KatrinaMCollier.

Resources from this Episode