Monetizing Your Skills After Retirement

I frequently engage in conversations with seasoned professionals who have either embraced early retirement or are contemplating it, yet still possess a fervent desire to remain active in the workforce. The topic that consistently emerges is the apprehension surrounding age discrimination. It’s intriguing how certain job seekers over the age of 55 encounter stumbling blocks in their quest for employment, while others seem to effortlessly attract promising job prospects. However, I often emphasize that this challenge isn’t primarily rooted in one’s age or outward appearance (aging); rather, it pivots on the distinct skillset and career trajectory one has developed.

My advice to them is simple: hiring managers aren’t averse to mature candidates who possess a wealth of experience, provided their professional history aligns with the roles in question and they exude genuine enthusiasm and vigor.

Should the pursuit of conventional full-time opportunities prove to be an uphill climb, there are alternative paths worth exploring, such as venturing into consulting or even taking the plunge into franchise ownership. The pivotal question is this: How can you harness and capitalize on your accumulated experience despite the hurdles that may seem insurmountable? To show the way, I’ve put together a practical step-by-step roadmap to help you in starting on this transformative journey:

Introspection and Skill Evaluation: Kickstart your journey by delving into a comprehensive self-assessment. Unearth your core competencies, strengths, and triumphs from your extensive career. This deep dive will unveil the distinct value you have.

Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Cultivate a mindset infused with entrepreneurial zeal. Visualize your amassed experience as a valuable asset that can be adeptly channeled into a diverse array of opportunities that extend beyond traditional employment norms.

Pinpoint Your Niche: Carve out your niche or target market where your expertise is known and sought after. This could encompass consultancy, coaching, advisory services, venturing into related businesses, or even getting you thinking of professional franchising.

Offer Consulting and Advisory Services: Capitalize on your industry insights by extending consulting or advisory services to firms within your industry. Your abilities can help tackle specific predicaments, offer strategic insights, or steer businesses through challenging times.

Cultivate Coaching and Mentorship: Contemplate the role of a coach or mentor, be it through independent endeavors or established coaching platforms. The wealth of wisdom you possess can be a beacon for aspiring professionals seeking guidance.

Step onto the Speaker’s Stage and Host Workshops: Unleash your expertise by partaking in speaking engagements and workshops at industry events, seminars, and workshops. This platform can amplify your reputation as a thought leader and generate tangible revenue streams.

Unveil Online Courses and Webinars: start on a journey of crafting and marketing online courses or webinars based on your wealth of knowledge. Platforms like Udemy, Teachable, and Thinkific provide avenues to share your insights.

Elevate Your Networking and Personal Brand: Elevate your digital presence through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing invaluable insights and actively engaging with your industry peers can magnetize a number of promising opportunities.

Embrace the Gig Economy and Freelancing: For those suited, the gig economy is growing. Some estimates say it’s 30% of the workforce. Platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr provide platforms to exhibit your expertise on a project basis.

Initiate a Blog or Podcast: Launch your narrative by starting a blog or podcast. Through this medium, you can give your insights, experiences, and wisdom to a wider audience. With time, this effort could even lead to lucrative prospects like sponsorships and advertisements.

Forge Alliances and Nonprofit Engagement: Explore the realm of industry associations and nonprofit organizations that align with your expertise. Opportunities abound, from volunteering to advisory roles, enabling you to foster connections and contribute substantively to your field.

Pioneer Adaptability and Lifelong Learning: Stay attuned to industry dynamics and steer your skills toward ever-evolving trends. A commitment to lifelong learning underscores your dedication to personal growth while opening avenues to fresh horizons.

Harvest Collaborations and Partnerships: The mix of collaborations and partnerships can yield innovative ventures and diverse revenue streams. Engage with like-minded professionals or businesses to co-create new projects.

In essence, age should never be a constraining factor. Your wealth of experiences and insights inherently gives you an invaluable asset within various industries. By leveraging your expertise, embracing an entrepreneurial mindset, and fearlessly exploring unconventional avenues, you are set to effectively monetize your seasoned know-how while making a meaningful impact.

7 Steps to an Effective Executive Search Process

​Are you in need of an Executive Search Firm? Here are the 7 steps you need to take for an effective executive search process:

1. Define the role – What are the specific responsibilities and expectations for the role you’re looking to fill?

2. Define the team and company culture – What type of team and company culture is the ideal candidate coming into?

3. Determine your timeline – How soon do you need this position filled?

4. Create a candidate profile – What are the ideal qualifications, experience, and skills for the role you’re looking to fill?

5. Conduct a search – Utilize an Executive Search Firm that specializes in finding candidates that fit your specific needs and requirements.

6. Interview candidates – Once you’ve found a few qualified candidates, it’s time to start interviewing!

7. Make a decision and extend an offer – After conducting interviews, it’s time to make a decision and extend an offer to your ideal candidate.

Preparing for the Search

​Searching for a new executive can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider when embarking on a search- from the ideal candidate profile to the budget, to the timeline.

Depending on the organization, the process of selecting and appointing a new executive can be lengthy and complex. It is important to ensure that all stakeholders are on board with the process and that the right resources are allocated to the search.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when preparing for an executive search:

1. Define the ideal candidate profile.

Before starting the search, it is important to have a clear idea of who the ideal candidate is. What skills and experience are essential? What kind of person will fit well into the organization’s culture? Answering these questions will help to focus the search and make it more efficient.

2. Set a budget.

An executive search can be costly, so it is important to set a budget upfront. Consider the costs of advertising, headhunters, background checks, and interviews. It is also worth considering whether there is any flexibility in the budget- if the perfect candidate is found but they are slightly outside of the budget, would the organization be willing to adjust the budget?

3. Create a timeline.

It is important to create a timeline for the executive search process from the outset. This will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that all deadlines are met. Depending on the role, the timeline for an executive search can range from a few weeks to several months.

4. Appoint a search committee.

A search committee is responsible for overseeing the executive search process. The committee should be composed of individuals from different parts of the organization, including representatives from the Board of Directors. The search committee should have a clear understanding of the role and the ideal candidate profile.

5. Develop a marketing strategy.

An effective marketing strategy is essential for attracting top candidates to the organization. The marketing strategy should be designed to promote the role and the organization in a positive light. It should also highlight any unique selling points that will make the role attractive to candidates.

6. Utilize a professional executive search firm.

Working with a professional executive search firm can be extremely helpful in conducting an effective and efficient executive search. A good executive search firm will have a network of contacts and extensive experience in conducting searches. They will also be able to provide guidance and advice throughout the process.

7. Be prepared for challenges.

The executive search process can be challenging, particularly if there is a shortage of qualified candidates or if the budget is constrained. It is important to be prepared for these challenges and to have contingency plans in place.

8. Keep the stakeholders informed.

Throughout the executive search process, it is important to keep all stakeholders informed of progress and any developments. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no surprises.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for your executive search.

Defining the Role and Responsibilities

​As the leader of a company, it is your responsibility to ensure that everyone on your team is aware of their roles and responsibilities. It is important to have a clear and concise definition of each role so that everyone knows what is expected of them and can work together towards common goals. An effective way to do this is to create a job description for each role.

A job description is a document that outlines the main tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a specific job. It also includes information on the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role. Creating job descriptions can help to ensure that everyone on your team is aware of the expectations and can help you to find the right person for the job when you need to hire someone.

When you are creating a job description, it is important to be clear and concise. You should include a bullet point list of the main tasks that the role entails. For each task, you should include information on who is responsible for it, what the task entails, and why it is important. You should also include information on the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role.

Once you have created a job description, you should share it with the team so that everyone is aware of the expectations. You should also keep the job description updated as the company grows and changes so that it accurately reflects the current needs of the business.

Developing a Target Profile

​Executive Search: Developing a Target Profile

When it comes to executive search, one of the most important steps is developing a target profile. This process involves taking a close look at the skills, experience, and qualifications that are most important for the position you are trying to fill.

The first step in developing a target profile is to identify the key qualifications that are required for the position. This can be done by reviewing the job description, looking at similar positions within the company, and talking to stakeholders. Once you have a good understanding of the key qualifications, you can start to develop a more detailed profile.

When developing the target profile, it is important to keep in mind the culture of the organization. The ideal candidate should be a good fit for the company, so it is important to consider things like values, work style, and personality. In addition, the target profile should also reflect the company’s strategy and goals.

Once the target profile has been developed, the next step is to start identifying potential candidates. This can be done by conducting a search of internal and external databases, talking to industry contacts, and using social media. Once you have a list of potential candidates, you can start to narrow it down by comparing each candidate to the target profile.

The process of developing a target profile is an important part of executive search. By taking the time to develop a well-thought-out profile, you will be able to find the best possible candidate for the position.

Creating a Search Strategy

​There are a few key steps to creating an effective search strategy, whether you’re looking for a new executive-level hire or any other type of employee. By taking the time to create a thoughtful and targeted search strategy, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run.

The first step is to clearly define the role you’re looking to fill. What are the essential qualifications and skills for the position? What kind of personality would be a good fit for your company culture? Once you have a good understanding of the type of person you’re looking for, you can start to develop your search strategy.

One of the most important aspects of your search strategy is identifying where to look for candidates. There are a number of different sources you can use, including job boards, social media, and professional networks. It’s important to cast a wide net to reach as many qualified candidates as possible.

Another key element of your search strategy is how you’re going to screen candidates. This is important to ensure you only spend time interviewing the most qualified candidates. There are a number of different ways to screen candidates, including resume screening, phone screening, and online assessments.

Once you have a strong search strategy in place, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best candidates for your open positions. By taking the time to develop a targeted and effective search strategy, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Proactively Identifying and Engaging Potential Candidates

​When it comes to proactively identifying and engaging potential candidates, executive search firms play a critical role. By taking the time to understand the specific needs and requirements of each client, they are able to identify individuals who possess the skills and experience that companies are looking for.

While there are a number of ways to identify potential candidates, executive search firms typically use a combination of research, networking, and referrals. This allows them to cast a wide net and identify a large pool of qualified individuals.

Once a pool of potential candidates has been identified, executive search firms will begin the process of engagement. This typically involves reaching out to individuals and inviting them to participate in initial conversations. These conversations provide an opportunity for both parties to learn more about each other and see if there is a fit.

If both parties are interested in moving forward, the executive search firm will work with the company to develop a customized approach that will increase the chances of a successful hire. This may include additional rounds of interviews, reference checks, and more.

While the process of proactively identifying and engaging potential candidates can be time-consuming, it is often the best way to find top talent. By working with an experienced executive search firm, companies can save time and increase their chances of making a great hire.

Evaluating and Screening Prospects

​As your business grows, you will likely find yourself in the position of evaluating and screening prospects for executive-level positions. This can be a daunting task, but there are some key things to keep in mind that will help you identify the best candidates for your organization.

First, it is important to define the core competencies that are essential for the role you are trying to fill. Once you have a good understanding of what you are looking for, you can begin to screen prospects against those criteria.

There are a number of ways to screen prospects, but one of the most effective is to conduct an initial phone screen. This allows you to ask specific questions about a candidate’s experience and skillset and get a better sense of whether they are a good fit for the position.

Once you have narrowed down your list of candidates, the next step is to conduct in-person interviews. This is where you will really get to know a candidate and get a sense of their fit for your organization.

After the interviews are complete, it is time to make a decision. This can be a difficult task, but it is important to weigh all of the information you have gathered throughout the process and choose the candidate that you feel is the best fit for the position.

Interviewing and Selecting Candidates

​The Interview and Selection Process

The selection process for an executive search can be long and grueling, but it is important to ensure that the right candidate is selected for the job. The following tips will help you to interview and select candidates more effectively:

1. Define the Position

Before you even start the interview process, you need to take the time to clearly define the position that you are looking to fill. This will help you to identify the key qualities and skills that the ideal candidate should possess.

2. Write Effective Interview Questions

Once you know what you are looking for in a candidate, you can start to write effective interview questions that will help you to assess whether or not a candidate possesses the qualities that you are seeking.

3. Conduct Phone Screenings

In order to save time, you may want to conduct phone screenings with candidates before inviting them in for an in-person interview. This will help you quickly weed out any candidates who are not a good fit for the position.

4. Invite Candidates In For In-Person Interviews

Once you have narrowed down your candidates, invite them in for an in-person interview. This will give you a chance to get to know the candidates better and assess their qualifications for the job.

5. Ask Behavioral Interview Questions

When conducting in-person interviews, be sure to ask behavioral interview questions. These types of questions will help you to get a better sense of how the candidate would behave in various situations.

6. Administer Skills Tests

Depending on the position that you are filling, you may also want to administer skills tests. This will help you to assess whether or not the candidate has the necessary skills to perform the job.

7. Make a Decision

After you have interviewed all of the candidates and assessed their qualifications, it is time to make a decision. Be sure to take your time and choose the candidate who you believe is best suited for the job.

Negotiating an Offer

​You’ve finally landed that job you’ve been working so hard for. The interview process was grueling, but you aced it and the company has extended an offer. So, what’s next? It’s time to negotiate the offer!

This can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are some tips on how to negotiate an offer like a pro:

1. Do your research

Before you even start negotiation, it’s important to do your research. Know what the market rate is for the position you’re being offered. This will give you a good starting point for negotiation. You can find this information by talking to people in your network, searching online, or talking to a professional recruiter.

2. Know your worth

It’s also important to know your own worth. What are your skills and experience worth to the company? What are you worth to the market? Knowing this will help you during negotiation.

3. Start high

When you start the negotiation process, it’s important to start high. This doesn’t mean you should ask for an outrageous salary, but you should start at the top of your range. This gives you room to negotiate down, but still get the salary you want.

4. Be prepared to compromise

Remember that negotiation is a process of give and take. Be prepared to compromise on certain aspects of the offer, like salary, in order to get what you really want, like more vacation days.

5. Be polite and professional

Throughout the negotiation process, it’s important to be polite and professional. This will help you build a good relationship with the person you’re negotiating with and increase the chances of getting what you want.

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away

If the negotiation isn’t going the way you want, don’t be afraid to walk away. This shows that you’re serious about getting what you want and that you’re not afraid to stand up for yourself.

We hope these tips help you as you negotiate your next job offer. Good luck!

Onboarding and Beyond

​As your new hire starts their first day, you want to make sure they have the best possible experience. This is where onboarding comes in. Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into the company and helping them feel comfortable in their new role.

The onboarding process begins on the first day and continues for the first few weeks or even months. During this time, the new hire will go throughorientation, where they will learn about the company’s culture, values, and expectations. They will also receive training on their specific job duties.

Beyond orientation and training, the onboarding process also includes things like getting the new hire’s ID badge, setting up their email account, and helping them fill out any necessary paperwork. It’s important to make sure the new hire feels welcome and supported during this time, as they are adjusting to a new workplace.

Once the onboarding process is complete, the new hire is officially a part of the team! But your work isn’t done yet. It’s important to continue to support your new employees as they settle into their roles. Check in with them regularly to see how they’re doing and if they have any questions. Offer them guidance and feedback as they learn and grow in their new position.

By providing a positive onboarding experience and continuing to support your new hires, you can set them up for success in their new role. Welcome to the team!

Managing the Executive Search Process for Success

​The executive search process is a critical one for any organization. The success of this process can mean the difference between a thriving company and one that struggles to compete. There are a few key steps to managing the executive search process for success.

The first step is to clearly define the role that you are looking to fill. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to be as specific as possible. executive search firms will be able to help you create a detailed job description. Once you have a clear understanding of the role, you can begin to identify potential candidates.

The next step is to screen candidates. This is where an executive search firm can be extremely helpful. They will have access to a large pool of potential candidates and can help you narrow down the field. It is important to remember that you are looking for more than just qualifications when screening candidates. You want to find someone who will be a good fit for your company culture and who has the potential to be a leader.

Once you have identified a pool of qualified candidates, it is time to begin the interview process. This is where you will really get to know the candidates and their leadership style. It is important to ask tough questions and really probe into their experience. Remember, you are looking for someone who can lead your company to success.

The final step in the executive search process is to make an offer to the candidate you have selected. This is where negotiation skills come into play. You want to make sure that you are offering a competitive salary and benefit package. It is also important to remember that the candidate you are selecting is making a major life decision. They will need to be sure that they are making the right choice for themselves and their family.

Managing the executive search process takes time and effort, but it is worth it when you find the right candidate. With the help of an executive search firm, you can take the guesswork out of the process and give yourself the best chance for success.

Phone Interview Preparation

In today’s world, the interview process is a multi-staged event. In the first stage, you put together a great resume that highlights your skills and experience. You apply to job postings and eagerly await a call. Your resume gets noticed and you get a call or email from the recruiter. Having convinced the recruiter that you are worthy of additional consideration, you are recommended for a phone interview. It used to be that most employment offers came down to a face-to-face interview. However, some times, especially when working with contracting situations or on a national basis, success is determined by the phone interview. Since your ability to manage this interview can be the make-or-break of getting you “in” or moving you “out”, you need to maximize this short conversation opportunity so that it takes you to the next level.

Here are the “Five A’s” that will highlight yourself from the rest of the pack:

1. Always be prepared.

Do this interview like it’s the one chance you have to “shine”. It is. Dress comfortably. Set up in as “office-like” of a setting as you can. Avoid noisy areas and places full of distractions. Don’t interview on your cell phone in the car if you can avoid it (it’s amazing what all you can see and be distracted by when you are in a room surrounded by windows). Use the restroom beforehand and have a drink close by to keep your voice fresh. Have your TV and music turned off. Be someplace quiet. Have the kids someplace else, this is a business phone call. Make sure to have a notepad and writing surface available, you’ll want to take notes. Imagine this is a sales call where you are selling a very important service to a stranger…you are! If your recruiter sent you review material to look over before the interview, then be sure to read and study that. The recruiter isn’t here to waste your time; they are an experienced professional that knows what works in interview situations. Have a plan for the interview. Write it down and have it in front of you while the interview is going on. Check things off as you carry out your plan. Consider the plan to be a “cheat sheet” that nobody but you can see. You can even anticipate certain questions and have prepared and rehearsed answers (but make sure you don’t sound like you are reading). Being prepared will make you come across confident and will set you apart from the crowd.

2. Always be patient.

Wait your turn. Don’t interrupt. Don’t let your excitement about the job cause you to try talking over the hiring manager when they are talking. Consider this… the more the hiring manager is talking, the more comfortable they are with you. I know this because they are on a schedule and the more they talk, the less time they leave to learn more about you. So if they are doing the talking, that is a good sign indicating that they are feeling comfortable with what they already know about you. Trust me; they will leave plenty of time for you to speak as well. And never, ever, ever engage the hiring manager in an argument – now is not the time. Remember though, conversations involve two people talking …and listening. “S-I-L-E-N-T” and “L-I-S-T-E-N” use the same letters. Before you can do anything to help your new employer, you will need to listen to instructions telling you what it is that they want you to do. Use the time that your interviewer is speaking to demonstrate that you are a good listener. When you get a chance to answer, be responsive to the question. Answer completely and also look for opportunity to use your answer to make another “selling” point as why you are the best candidate. At the same time, don’t bore them with rambling – stay concise and to the point.

3. Always be enthusiastic.

Smile! I don’t know how many times I’ve said this to candidates…”Smile”. Your smile sets your attitude – and your attitude permeates through the phone. You want your interview to come across as a conversational infomercial about yourself. Be outgoing and friendly. Pretend that you are speaking with someone who you’ve been waiting a lifetime to talk to. Invest your energy into the phone call, letting the hiring manager know that you are excited about the opportunity and their company. Let them know you see value in using and developing the skills that you bring to the job.

4. Always be proactive.

Anticipate their questions, but don’t answer them before they are asked. Do your research on the company. Impress them by knowing their product line, recent success, and corporate goals. Once you know these things, you can relate your abilities in terms of how you can help them achieve their goals. Have answers ready on your cheat sheet for questions such as: “Why do you want to move to our area?” and “What do you like about us?”. Have two or three examples ready for “Tell me about a time when you did ‘such and such’.” Know how to answer the follow-up questions such as, “What challenges did you face?”, “What was your role?”, “What did you accomplish?”, and “Why was this example important to you?” Think about the questions and write out the answers. Read them through prior to the interview. Read the answers out loud and try to make them sound conversational when practicing. Being conversational allows you to appear likeable and personable …the kind of person that others like to work with.

5. Always be ready.

Take notes during the interview. Be ready for the “close”. Take particular notes of items that the hiring manager brings up as goals that they (or their team) are trying to accomplish. Ask for more detail about these goals if necessary, but what you are trying to find is three good, solid points of “where you can help”. Once you have these 3 points, show that you can ‘think on your feet’. By the end of the interview, you are ready to do what most candidates will never do …a concise summary of why they need “you”. It goes something like this… “So, if I heard right during our conversation, what you are really looking for is someone who can (a) _______; (b) _______; and (c) _______. Is this correct?” Now, wait and let them respond. If they redirect one of your points, that’s fine. You will simply adjust one of your responses. Once they have made sure that you are both on the same page, then continue… “Well, based upon my understanding of your needs, this would be my specific plan of action: In order to take care of (a) ______, I would do ________. In order to take care of (b) _______, I would do _______. And finally, to really make life better, this is what I would do to take care of (c) ______. Is this kind of what you are looking to accomplish?” Again, give them time to respond.

Finish it up with “I look forward to moving this process forward so that I can join the team and make these goals become reality!” Usually this is the point where they will explain the next step of the process (if they haven’t already). If they don’t, be sure to ask what you might expect their next step to be, and ask when to expect it. Always, be professional and remember to thank them for their time.

It’s really that simple. You have all the chips stacked in your favor. You have a job description. You have your resume and knowledge of what you can do. You prepared for their questions and answered with charisma. You demonstrated that you can listen. You have shown that you can plan. They’ve experienced that you can think on your feet. …and you are now the one candidate who they can’t live without.

In For Candidates

If you want to be hired, you must ‘close’ the sale.

As a job seeker, you may view an interview as an interrogation or exchange of information. It’s neither. Interviews are sales calls. And, as any sales pro knows, you only get the sale by asking for it. You aren’t begging for a handout when you ask for a job. You’re offering prospective employers your experience and ability to contribute to their goals. If employers need your skills – or if you can create the need – you’ll get the job.

It may surprise you to learn employers like to hear candidates say “I’d like to work here.” Dick Stone, a recruiter for Gemplus, a SmartCard manufacturer in Montgomeryville, PA, says, “I like it when [candidates] give me the feeling they like us. A little flattery goes a long way. Often the missing part in the interview is the commitment from the candidate to the firm.” Sounds easy, but for most job hunters, it isn’t. Asking for the job in lieu of silently waiting for an offer is the hardest part. This step is what sales people call “closing” the sale.

Anyone can learn to apply the tricks of the sales trade to a job interview and close a sale. Following these nine steps will help you ask for the job – and get it.

1. Prepare for the interview.
Learn what your prospect needs. Research the employer, formally and informally. If you’re answering an advertisement, go beyond its sparse facts to learn as much as you can about the organization. Determine which of your skills, traits or experiences the employer needs. Then you can tailor your credentials to your research findings.

Plan your interview and rehearse your message. This means converting your skills and experience into terms employers will immediately recognize as useful. If you’re confused about your benefit to the organization, the interviewer also will be confused and there won’t be a job for you. Make your presentation persuasive and believable.

2. Learn about the interviewer.
When you enter the interview, start by learning everything you can about the interviewer. Forget labels and generalizations that categorize personality types. Concentrate on that particular individual. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Fear and greed are usually at work.

A recruiter is taking a risk in recommending a candidate. The hiring manager is taking a bigger chance in choosing a candidate. If they make the wrong choice, at minimum, time and money are wasted. At worst, a bad choice could jeopardize the recruiter’s or manager’s job or even the success of the organization. So it’s up to you, the candidate, to show the decision to hire you will be a good one. If you turn out to be as terrific as you say, you bring success not only to yourself but to the people who hired you. Be positive and present good news. Help the interviewer relax and see you as someone who’s going to solve his problems.

3. Use “consultative selling.”
The type of selling that works best is called “consultative selling.” This isn’t high-pressure selling. There’s an old saying in sales: “Telling ain’t selling, asking is.” By asking the right questions, you help the employer come to the inevitable conclusion you’re the right choice. You identify the problems and show you’re the person to solve them. You learn the organization’s weaknesses and demonstrate how you can provide the solution. This technique can create demand. Many times, it leads to the employer exclaiming, “That’s just what we need here!”

4. Motivate yourself.
The desire to close – to ask for and get the offer – is essential. It can be scary to be so bold. Most job hunters aren’t used to it, but it can be done with practice. You just have to psyche yourself up. Sell yourself first. Expect success and think lucky, and you’ll create desire from within. Get rid of negative thoughts and problems before you enter the interview. Be confident and courageous. It takes audacity to ask for the job.

When Judith Gexlb of Lambertville, N.J., was seeking a job in international sales, she sold herself on the idea she was a hot candidate. Next, she lined up interviews. “‘The fact that I was in demand made me more appealing to employers and precipitated offers,” she says. “They can smell when you’re being sought after.” When she had two offers pending, she was up front about it. “I made it clear I had two other offers. The employers got worried about the risk of losing a high-potential candidate,” says Ms. Gelb. “They quickly made offers. I controlled my destiny.”

Many salespeople take comfort in knowing they can’t win them all. And you’ll encounter many employers who don’t need your talents at this moment. (To put it in salesman’s terms, for example: I don’t need a car right now. But I do need a computer, so it’ll be hard to convince me to buy a car now. Maybe later. Unless you have a really good deal for me now.) There’s a 98% chance of being told “no.” However, you have a 2% chance of being told “yes.” By following these steps, you’ll boost your chance for success. The best thing to do is take a chance and try to close the deal. The probability you’ll hear “yes” will be higher than if you don’t ask.

5. Know when to close.
When should you try to close? All the time. Keep trying throughout the interview in small ways. These are called “trial closings.” For example, when you learn the employer has a problem you’ve solved in your previous job, explain how you solved it. Then ask, “Would this help you here?” The answer will likely be “yes.” Do this whenever the opportunity arises. Hearing “yes” along the way makes it easier and less frightening to ask for a “yes” when the time is right for the big one.

Close whenever the interviewer is ready. Listen for signs of interest, look for body language and sense when there’s an opportunity to close. Then ask for the offer. Some candidates talk so much during interviews that they talk themselves out of a job they’ve already landed. Or worse, they keep selling after they’ve made the sale. Then they’re dead. Listen and give the interviewer a chance to hire you.

Silence is an amazingly powerful tool in closing. If you don’t say anything, the interviewer may feel compelled to fill the void and tell you something vital. Do this discretely. Too many silences can be awkward. Pace yourself with the interviewer.

6. Try these closes.
There are many so-called “closes.” Several of them work particularly well in job interviews.

The choice close – This technique is useful when you are setting up an appointment for an interview. Ask, “Is 9:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. better for you?” This presupposes the interviewer will see you. Just asking, “May I come in to see you?” may result in a “no” answer. It also works when you’re asking for the job: “When do I start, Monday or Wednesday?” This may seem aggressive, but it shows you’re ready and eager to work for that employer.

Third-party endorsements – When explaining an accomplishment that will help the prospective employer, mention the employer you did it for. “At XYZ company, I…” This gives you credibility and adds the strength of that employer’s name to the story. Then ask, “Will this help you solve your problem here, too?”

Assumptive close – This is one of the best closes. You simply talk and act as if you’re already working for the interviewer’s organization. Use “we” and “us” in your conversation. Describe the situations in which you can see yourself working and accomplishing goals. Become part of the team even before you’ve been hired. Identify with the interviewer and the organization. When you follow this strategy, the employer feels more comfortable with you than if he or she has to make a deliberate decision to extend an offer. When you assume you’ll get the job, the only question remaining is, “When do I start, Monday or Wednesday?”

A word of caution: Don’t appear too eager. You need to maintain your professionalism.

7. Overcome objections.
One stumbling block for many candidates is the inevitable objection: You’re over-/ under-qualified, too old/young, etc.” There are hundreds of reasons given why candidates aren’t right for the job. Many are just excuses or stalls to avoid the risk of hiring someone.

Turn these objections into opportunities to strengthen your candidacy. Acknowledge the objection. “You feel I’m overqualified. That’s possibly true.” Then turn the weakness into a strength: “However, that means I’ll start being productive for you that much faster. As I’ve mentioned, I solved this problem at XYZ company.” Make a list of standard objections that apply to you or that you encounter and work out the answers.

Overcoming objections is an art unto itself. The key is to remember that patience and persistence pay off. Don’t take no for an answer. Try one more time. The secret to closing is to keep trying.

8. Sum up and ask for the job.
When appropriate, summarize. Say what you have to offer based on your accomplishments. Sales people call these “features.” Show how the features will benefit the employer. Keep it simple and brief. Stick to basics. Prepare one dramatic sentence on why you’re the person for the job. Remind the interviewer how you’ve contributed at your previous employer and reiterate how you’ll contribute to the success of the prospective one.

9. Confirm the close.
Repeat the terms of the offer as you’ve discussed it. Ask for clarification of any terms not fully described or understood. Each time you close, ask the interviewer, “Do you have any questions?” When you’ve been completely clear about how you’ll help the employer – then and only then – close.

Be sure to thank the interviewer at the end. Write the words “thank you” in your follow-up letter, too, and repeat the statement of benefits you used to close. Also add the other features and benefits you wished you’d expressed during the interview. The thank-you packs a punch. As Mr. Stone says, “You don’t often get thank-you letters. They mean a lot.”

Asking for the job intimidates most of us. Fortunately, these techniques can make it easier to close the deal and get the job. Practice these tips and you’ll soon grow comfortable with these methods and use them automatically.

Written by Niels H Nielsen
Reprinted from the:

Article provided by Galaxy Management Group, Inc. to assist our candidates.

In For Candidates

Do your Managers prefer interviewing passive

We are asked all the time about whether we source passive or active candidates and what tools and tactics we use in reaching those candidates. A popular term for recruiters is Purple Squirrel when asked to describe the hardest candidate to find. And BTW, I did see one in Indiana last fall!

When you find a very strong candidate who does not have his/her resume on a job board, you look good to your client. After all, I’m told all the time, “We don’t need you to find resumes that are on the job boards”. We can do that ourselves!

Some hiring managers have decided that candidates found on the job boards are not good or they are damaged in some way. When I hear that I think to myself, I hope that they don’t find themselves a victim of a layoff or an outsourcing effort because their resume will be in a job board database whether they like it or not. Somehow we have to fight the perception that active candidates aren’t as strong as passive candidates. It simply is not the case.

We recruit both active and passive candidates. Why?

We strive to get the very best candidate interested in your opening. Why miss anyone? Whether the candidate is active or passive, they will talk freely with us and probably not as freely with you. Just because you have a great opportunity (a very pressing opening), the candidate has needs and wants also. Candidates need to be ready and prepared to leave their current job. Starting out fresh and evaluating a job opportunity takes the average passive candidate a lot of time to process it all. Candidates tell me all the time that they have built a reputation and a group of friends at one place and it’s very hard to cut ties and leave. A new job is not just a career move, it’s also a new commute and a new office to sit in. There are lots of things to think about; from a daily routine, to the relationships you’ve made to the summer picnics and parties. It’s scary to think about leaving and starting all over.

Active candidates want a new routine, a new group of friends and relationships, and a new challenge. They desperately want a new challenge. They are eager to hear about a company’s job opening so that they can have the opportunity to earn a good paycheck and contribute to solving new problems.

We focus on recruiting both active and passive candidates and I urge you to also. When you do reach out to passive candidates, find out what motivates them because that is what will attract them to your opportunity. It’s not the money or a shorter commute. All candidates want the same thing. They want to work with great people, to be challenged every day, and be seen as a person of value to the organization.

If you struggle with balancing recruiting both active and passive candidates, give us a call so we work with you to map a strategy to target both effectively.

In For Employers

Do You Procrastinate Putting Your Resume Together?

Putting a resume together or just updating an old one can be daunting for many candidates. What is it about writing a resume that gets some of us apprehensive and uneasy? Do you find it hard to put your resume together? Do you start from scratch or do you go to your hard drive and pull up your old one? Many candidates simply grab a file and write a paragraph about their most recent responsibilities. A few weeks ago I called someone I knew about a job that I thought would be perfect for them but a week later I was still waiting for their resume. Why the procrastination? When it finally arrived, he said it wasn’t very good and wanted to know what I thought of it. After reviewing it, I could tell quickly that he slapped a paragraph in there and hadn’t given it a lot of thought. It did not make a strong impression and I told him so.

We hear from people all the time about how difficult resumes are to write. When they finish, they are usually not satisfied with it. Some good questions to ask: Are you satisfied with what it says about you and are your accomplishments highlighted? Does it tell the reader what you are passionate about? Is it grammatically correct and have you spell-checked? In this challenging job market you must have a resume that generates interest in having you in for an interview.

There are thousands of consultants, trainers, and paid websites out there to help you write a solid professional resume. But, will it be targeted to the appropriate job? While I’m all for seeking advice, an effective resume should be targeted to the job you are applying for. I look at resumes every day. Each is different and tells a personal story. Whether it’s one page or multiple pages, a good resume details employment history and highlights your past responsibilities and accomplishments. In a sense, it sets the stage for a good conversation in an interview setting.

With on-line applications and social media, candidates ask whether their resume will make a difference. In a competitive job market like the one we’re in, an interesting, well written resume can make the difference between one candidate getting an interview over another. You want the resume chosen to be yours. Hiring managers and recruiters look at so many resumes that they make interview decisions quickly. Managers have told me that every once in a while, a resume jumps up and speaks directly to them. When it does, they’ll read it completely through to the end.

So, what is the number one reason to have a great resume? It’s to get an interview! Your resume is your calling card. It tells the hiring manager that if you hire me, you’ll get these same contributions and accomplishments. It convinces the hiring manager that your past performance is indicative of your future performance and success.

A great resume targeted to a particular position will help to set up a great interview. The hiring manager will anticipate meeting you in person and learning more about you.

It should provide current and accurate contact information (no silly email addresses please!)

It should highlight your professional profile and highlight your excellent writing skills – based on the fact that the resume is so well written

To provide professional references and background information

To help you articulate your objective, professional qualifications, and accomplishments

Next time you think about dusting off that old resume, stop! Set some time aside to put your thoughts together and write a really good resume that “sells you” and excites the person reading it.

Tags writing resumes, job search, good resume, employment

Spring is a Great Time to Update Your Skills

The dictionary says that Spring (when used as a verb) means to rise, leap, move, or act suddenly and swiftly, as by a sudden dart or thrust forward or outward, or being suddenly released from a coiled or constrained position: to spring into the air; a tiger about to spring. As an adjective it says spring is a season pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable for the season of spring: spring flowers. We also consider spring a season. It’s a season of growth and renewal. Just as bulb or root grows from a seed or germ, they eventually grow into plants, flowers, or trees.

Have you recently been laid off or do you sense a layoff coming? Are you a passive job seeker frustrated with the slow pace of your search? If you’ve been out of work for a while and finding it tough getting back into the work force or just beginning your search, spring is a great time to sharpen or update our professional skills. How long has it been since you’ve finished school, taken a course, or attended a training class? What books have you read? What seminars or online classes have you attended? Have you considered attending a class at a local Community College? College graduates earn on average more money than workers who only have a high school diploma and graduates with a Master’s degree earn many more times than high school graduates. Candidates that have additional coursework and professional certifications more desirable than those that just say they are interested in learning and advanced skills training.

Earning more money is reason enough to sharpen your skills but there are many other benefits to continuing your education. It is well worth the investment. Approach your education as a sound business investment. Make that investment and you will soon see a return throughout your career. After all, it’s important to ensure that your knowledge and skills are up-to-date with the changes affecting your industry so employers will continue to view you as a core asset. By continuing your education, you can acquire new skills and specializations that will allow you to become a more versatile employee and increase your long-term value.

Demonstrate to your boss that you are committed to your career by asking for additional training, webinars, or seminars that you can attend. By investing time and money in continuing your education, you will send a powerful message to employers that you are serious about improving your education and applying new skills to your job. Employers are more likely to hire and retain professionals who show the desire and commitment for lifelong learning, and many even provide tuition reimbursement as added encouragement.

If you are considering switching careers, one of the best ways to learn more about a potential field is through a degree program or by taking related courses. By continuing your education, it can help you better understand what the new career would entail and how to apply your current skill set in the new position. It is best to “test the waters” before jumping into a new career to make sure you are making the right decision. You can even pursue an online program if you’re working full-time and you need flexibility.

So, take time out this spring to sharpen your skills. The benefits gained by continuing education will help you to improve your skill sets, achieve career advancements and add enrichment to your life.

In For CandidatesTags skills, spring skills education training careers

Technical Worker Numbers Continue to Grow

Lately, we have been noticing a growing trend. Contract job orders are increasing. Technical hiring managers are telling us that they are having trouble meeting project deadlines and they are reaching out to us for qualified technical professionals to meet short-term needs. Temporary employees have historically been hired to assist employers to meet business demands yet allow the employer to avoid the cost of hiring a permanent employee. Often, it is the expectation of the employer that if the temporary employee is successful, the temporary employee will be hired.

Recently, the number of IT workers grew at a pace faster than the national jobs rate, and better than many other sectors, including healthcare. Temp, however, grew faster than all but two other sectors tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT and engineering staffing industry, reports IT employment grew 3.2% from June 2013 to June 2014, adding 144,200 workers. The Alliance says there were 4,664,800 IT jobs as of last month.

Engineering jobs also increased, the Tech Alliance said, but at a slower pace. From June to June, engineering jobs increased 1.8% to 2,506,300.

Nationally, the economy added 2.495 million jobs since June 2013, a growth rate of 1.83% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Private sector jobs increased 2.13%.

On a percentage basis, temp employment was among the fastest growing sectors tracked by the BLS. Ranking third, temp workers increased 216,000 to 2.87 million in June 2014, for an 8.4% increase.

The fastest growing sector — and at 209,200 workers, one of the smallest — was the “Other information services” category. Composed mostly of news syndicates, libraries, archives, exclusive Internet publishing and/or broadcasting, and web search portals, according to the BLS, the subsector grew 8.45% on a year-over-year basis.

Residential construction, which went from 610,000 jobs in June 2013 to 660,600 in June 2014 grew at a 8.3% rate.

In For EmployersTags Temp workers, contract staffing, IT workers, technical professionals, Galaxy Management Group

Honoring Those Who Served Our Country

Today is Veterans Day and we join in celebrating each and every one of you that have served this country. We are all free to go to our jobs and businesses today because of the sacrifices made by Veterans and their families. The American military is our defender of freedom here in the US and around the world. It’s not just a collection of Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force branches, it’s made up of the people that serve.

Whether you were drafted many years ago or you volunteered, it was not an easy decision. Sacrifices were made not only by the one serving but from his or her family as well. We would not be the country we are today without those people and those sacrifices.

That is why in offices around the country today we should set aside time today to honor them.

For those who have served, thank you and enjoy your day with your families.

Ground Hog Day

Today is February 2, better known as Ground Hog Day. Tradition holds that when a groundhog emerges from its den and doesn’t see its shadow, spring is not far away. If it is sunny, the groundhog will see its shadow and return to its den, and winter weather will continue. Since he didn’t see his shadow today, we can begin to focus our attention on the upcoming warmer days.

Spring is great for road trips, bike rides, cleaning out clutter, etc., but it’s also can be a time of renewal for your career. It’s a great time to take stock of where you are in your career. Are things going the way you have planned? Are you feeling valued and are you receiving training, support, and challenging opportunities? Have those raises been rewarding? Did you receive a bonus last year? If not, spring is a great time to update your resume and your social profiles as there are many great opportunities out there for you to consider.

Even if things are okay in your present position, it’s a good practice to always have an updated copy of your resume on hand (you will be ready when opportunity knocks) If you are actively looking for a job, you really should prepare several versions of your resume ready to go for a variety of jobs that you are interested in. While there are many steps in getting a great job, it begins with a career assessment, a polished and prepared, and your first in-person interview.

We are seeing a lot of new activity in the areas of sales and marketing, information technology, architecture/engineering, and management consulting. Contact us today and let’s discuss your next career move.

In For CandidatesTags resume, career planning, ground hog day, active candidates, writing resumes, new opportunities