by Kate Wendleton
If you only care enough for a result you will almost certainly obtain it.
If you wish to be rich, you will be rich; if you wish to be learned, you will be learned;
if you wish to be good, you will be good.
Sometimes it’s best if a man just spends a moment or two thinking.
It is one of the toughest things he will ever do, and that’s probably why so few bother to do it.
–Alonzo Herndon born a slave; died a millionaire;
Founder, Atlanta Life Insurance Company
An Overview of the Job-Search Process (1:06)
The Five O’Clock Club approach is like a graduate-level course in getting a great job. It’s based on over 25 years of research into who gets the best jobs fastest. You can read the basics here, read the entire Five O’Clock Club approach in our books, and get weekly coaching from our counselors. And be sure to read our articles–such as the one on “How to Handle the Telephone.” You will not find a better write-up anywhere. Now, let’s get started on your search.
The following chart outlines each part of the process. It’s best to do every part, however quickly you may do it. Experienced job hunters pay attention to the details and do not skip a step.
The first part of the process is assessment (or evaluation). You evaluate yourself by doing the exercises in Targeting the Job You Want, and you evaluate your prospects by doing some preliminary research on the Internet, in the library or by talking to people.
Assessment consists of the following exercises:
- The Seven Stories Exercise
- Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers
- Your Fifteen- or Forty-Year Vision
If you are working privately with a career coach, he or she may ask you to do a few additional exercises, such as a personality test.
Assessment results in:
- a listing of all the targets you think are worth exploring; and
- a resume that makes you look appropriate to your first target (and may work with other targets as well).
Even if you don’t do the entire assessment, the Seven Stories Exercise is especially important because it will help you develop an interesting resume.
Research will help you figure out which of your targets:
- are a good fit for you; and
- offer some hope in terms of being a good market.
You can’t have too many targets–as long as you rank them. Then, for each one, conduct a campaign to get interviews in that target area.
Phase I: Campaign Preparation
- Conduct research to develop a list of all the organizations in your first target. Find out the names of people you should contact in the appropriate departments in each of those organizations.
- Develop your cover letter (Paragraph 1 is the opening; Paragraph 2 is a summary about yourself appropriate for this target; Paragraph 3 contains your bulleted accomplishments (“You may be interested in some of the things I’ve done”); Paragraph 4 is the close. (Lots of sample letters are in this book.)
- Develop your plan for getting lots of interviews in this target. You have four basic choices:
- Direct Contact,
- Search Firms,
You will read lots about each of these methods for getting interviews in our books.
Phase II: Interviewing
Most people think interviews result in job offers. But there are usually a few intervening steps before a final offer is made. Interviews should result in getting and giving information.
Did you learn the issues important to each person with whom you met? What did they think were your strongest positives? Where are they in the hiring process? How many other people are they considering? How do you compare with those people? Why might they be reluctant to bring you on board, compared with the other candidates? How can you overcome the decision-makers’ objections?
This is one of the most important and yet most overlooked parts of the job-search process. It is covered in extensive detail in our books.
Phase III: Follow-Up
Now that you have analyzed the interview, you can figure out how to follow up with each person with whom you interviewed. Aim to be following up with six to ten organizations. Five job possibilities will fall away through no fault of your own.
What’s more, with six to ten things going, you increase your chances of having three good offers to choose from. You would be surprised: even in a tight market, job hunters are able to develop multiple offers.
When you are in the Interview Phase of Target 1, it’s time to start Phase I of Target 2. This will give you more momentum and insure that you do not let things dry up. Keep both targets going, and then start Target 3.
Develop Your Unique Resume
Read all of the case studies in our Resume book. You will learn a powerful new way of thinking about how to position yourself for the kinds of jobs you want. Each of the Resumes in that book is for a unique person aiming at a specific target. Seeing how other people position themselves will help you think about what you want a prospective employer to know about you.
Now, it is best to go back to the first part of the process, assessment. In our Targeting book, you will read actual case studies that will show you how real people benefited from doing the assessment, including the Forty-Year Vision.
However, if your targets are already defined, just keep reading.
Everyone should learn to do one thing supremely well because he likes it, and one thing supremely well because he detests it.
B. W. M. Young, Headmaster, Charterhouse School
The preceding is an excerpt from The Five O’Clock Club Book Series by Kate Wendleton. The Five O’Clock Club, Forty-Year Vision and Seven Stories Exercise are registered trademarks of The Five O’Clock Club, Inc. All rights reserved.