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What Is A Professional Job Seeker?

Let’s start with defining a professional. Yesterday I had my annual physical and we would all agree physicians are a good example of professionals. So what happened?

  • Measurement – for most of the visit, there was measurement, i.e., height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc. Each measurement was compared to well-established norms like body temperature.
  • Diagnosis – for any measurement outside of the range of normal, the doctor attempts to diagnose possible causes which are often speculative.
  • Treatment Plan – because diagnosis is not precise, treatment will begin with the least intrusive, least expensive remedies; then re-evaluate for improvement and if none, further action. For example, treatment for a swollen ankle may begin with rest and Motrin, progress to an X-Ray and steroids, and then an MRI.

Let’s now apply the above to job-seeking:

Measurement – the professional job-seeker is tracking their results and measuring for four outcomes:

  1. Engagement – that their efforts are resulting in employers, or their recruiter representatives, desiring to speak to them, typically by phone, to gather more information.
  2. Scheduled Interviews – that some percentage of the above phone calls convert to scheduled face-to-face interviews.
  3. Second/Third Round Interviews – that some percentage of the above interviews convert to being called back as many times as necessary to meet all those with a vote in the selection decision.
  4. Offers – that some percentage of the above interviews convert to offers of employment.

I will deal with in another blog what the conversion percentages should be, but most job seekers I meet are struggling to have any meaningful numbers in these three areas:

Diagnosis – as with a doctor, it requires a professional to assess and diagnose what could be the causes of these numbers being so low. Most common:

  1. Engagement – if the job-seeker knocks on the right employer doors, there should be a favorable response; but most job-seekers knock on the wrong doors — where there is not a match of industry experience, academic credentials and certifications, span of control, and knowledge of the systems, regulatory compliance and best practices.
  2. Scheduled Interviews – an answer to salary inquiries that puts the candidate outside the salary range of the employer, will end the process there; even though the right answer would result in meetings and a willingness meet the salary requirements of a candidate whose value has been established as a result of interviews.
  3. Second/Third Round Interviews – I’ve never met a candidate who did not find some interviews questions uncomfortable, e.g., stating their weaknesses, handing a reason for termination from a previous employer, etc. Politicians who go on Meet The Press are always well-prepared to answer the most troublesome questions; job seekers must be well-prepared to answer all common interview questions.
  4. Offers – most common is being unable to communicate why they are the superior candidate with unique qualities that will lead to success in the role. We all know the unique qualities that have us remain loyal to our doctor, but most of us do not know, and therefore cannot communicate, the qualities that make us unique.

Treatment Plan –  as with a doctor, professional advice is needed to remedy any or all of these areas. Objectivity and professional expertise is essential to measure, diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan that will assure conversion ratios leading to attractive offers. If your numbers are low, seek the advice of a professional!

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