The LEXICON — to help you talk about your search

Lexicon Used at The Five O’Clock Club

The Five O’Clock Club lexicon is a shorthand — a way to quickly analyze your search and to clearly speak about your search to other Five O’Clock Clubbers. We all speak the same language so we can help each other. Our coaches across the country also speak the same language. Remember that many of the same techniques are used whether you want to find new employment that’s right for you, start your own business, or keep yourself busy and have a purpose during retirement.

Whether you are in a group or working privately with a Five O’Clock Club career coach, you can learn our language and analyze your search. After you read the summary below, study our books “as if your were in graduate school.” You will learn to better express where you are in your job search, and be better able to figure out what to do next.

Historically, the average person who attends The Five O’Clock Club regularly has a new job within just ten weekly sessions–even those who have been unemployed up to two years. Follow our method and you will increase your chances of getting a better job faster.

The following questions will help you to pinpoint what is wrong with your search.

I. Overview and Assessment

How many hours a week are you spending on your search?

Only two or three hours a week, you say? The good news is that you have not yet begun to search. That’s why you’re making so little progress. To develop momentum in your search, spend 35 hours a week on a full-time search; if you are employed, spend 15 hours a week for a solid, part-time search.

What are your job targets?

If your job targets are wrong, everything is wrong. A target includes:

  • industry or organization size,
  • the position you want in that industry, and
  • your targeted geographic area.

For example, let’s say you want to target the health care industry. That’s not a good target. It needs to be better defined. For example, perhaps you would consider hospitals. In the metropolitan New York area, for example, there are 80 hospitals. Let’s say you’re a marketing person, and you would consider doing marketing in a hospital in the NY area. That’s one target: Hospitals is the industry, marketing is the position, and NY area is the geographic area. You could also target HMO’s. Let’s say there are 15 HMO’s that you consider appropriate in the NY area. You could do marketing for them. That’s a second target. You could also work for a consulting firm in the NY area that does health-care consulting. That’s your third target.

But let’s say you and your spouse have always loved Phoenix. You think you may like to investigate all three of those industries in the Phoenix area. That’s three more targets. The reason you divide your search into targets is so you can have control over it, and tell what’s working and what isn’t. You make a list of all of the organizations in each of your targets–we call that your “Personal Marketing Plan.” Then you find out the names of the people you need to contact in each of those targets–the hiring managers of the departments or divisions you are interested in.

That’s the start of an organized search. At the very beginning of your search, you can assess how good your targets are and whether you stand a chance getting a job within a reasonable time frame. Take a look at “Measuring Your Job Targets” in our books.

How does your resume position you?

The average resume is looked at for only ten seconds–regardless of length. When someone looks at your resume, will they pick up the most important information that you want them to know about you? The summary and body should make you look appropriate to your target. We recommend that the first line of your summary tell the reader exactly how they should see you, e.g., as an “Accounting Manager” or whatever. They will want to stereotype you anyway, so why not help them see you the way you want to be seen?

The second line should differentiate you from your competition: How are you different from all of those other Accounting Managers out there? Your second line could say, for example, “Expert in Cost Accounting.”

That is followed by three or four bulleted accomplishments–the most important things you want them to know about you. That way, if they spend only 10 seconds on your resume, they will see what you want them to see. For the complete Five O’Clock Club approach, see our Resume book. It contains summaries related to over 100 industries and professions.

What are your back-up targets?

Decide at the beginning of the search before you start your first campaign. Then you won’t get stuck later when things seem hopeless.

Have you done the Assessment?

If you have no specific targets, you cannot have a targeted search. Do the Assessment exercises in our books. You could see a counselor privately for two or three sessions to determine possible job targets. When a person joins the Club, we want them to do the exercises even if they are perfectly clear about what they want to do next. Doing the assessment helps a person to do better in interviews and helps them to have a better resume. Do not skip the assessment, especially the Seven Stories Exercise and the Forty-Year Vision.

II. Getting Interviews

How large is your target area (e.g., 30 companies)? How many of them have you contacted?

When you know your targets, you can research them and come up with a list of all of the companies in your target areas. Figure out how large your target market is. If you have contacted only a few companies in your target area, contact the rest. If you haven’t contacted any, contact them all. That’s a thorough–and fast–search.

How can you get (more) leads?

You will not get a job through search firms, ads, networking or direct contact. Those are techniques for getting interviews–job leads. Use the right terminology, especially when speaking to someone who has already landed a job. Do not say: how did you get the job, if you really want to know where did you get the lead for that job. In our books, you will find cover letters and approaches for each of these techniques. A good search does not rely on just one technique. We want our members to consider all four techniques for getting interviews in your target markets.

Do you have 6 to 10 things in the works?

When a job hunter is going after only one position–and hoping they will get an offer–that is a weak search. Our research shows that a good job hunter has 6 to 10 things in the works at all times. This is because five will fall away through no fault of your own: Maybe the company decides to hire a finance person instead of a marketing person, or maybe they decide to hire their cousin!

Do not put all of your eggs in one basket. When one offer falls through, you will have lost months in your search because you have to gear up all over again. To avoid losing momentum, make sure you have 6 to 10 things in the works at all times–through search firms, ads, networking or direct contact. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just follow our approach.

If you have 6 to 10 things going at once, you are more likely to turn the job you want into an offer because you will seem more valuable. Don’t go after only one job.

How’s your Two-Minute Pitch? (Who shall we pretend we are?)

A Two-Minute Pitch is the answer to the question, “So, tell me about yourself.” Practice a tailored Two-Minute Pitch. Tell the group–or a friend–the job title and industry of the pretend hiring manager. You will be surprised how good the group is at critiquing pitches. Do it a few weeks in a row until you have a smooth presentation.

Practice it again after you have been in search a while, or after you change targets. Make sure your pitch separates you from your competition.

You seem to be in Stage One (or Stage Two or Stage Three) of your search.

Know where you are in the process. If you are in Stage One–making initial contacts you will recontact later–make lots of contacts so at least 6 to 10 will move to Stage Two: the right people at the right levels in the right companies. You will get the best job offers in Stage Three–talking to 6 to 10 people on an ongoing basis about real jobs or the possibility of creating a job.

Are you seen as insider or outsider?

Are people saying: “I wish I had an opening for someone like you.” You are doing well in meetings. If your target is good, it’s only a matter of time.

III. Turning Interviews into Offers

Want to go through the Brick Wall ?

The brainiest part of the process is turning your job interview into an offer. First, make sure you want the job. If you do not want the job, perhaps you want an offer, if only for practice. If you are not willing to go for it, the group’s suggestions will not work.

Who are your likely competitors and how can you outshine and outlast them?

We’re not talking about dirty tricks, but we are here to remind you that you have competitors. You will not get a job simply because “they liked you”. The issues are deeper. Ask: Where are you in the hiring process? What kind of person would be your ideal candidate?

What are your next steps?

The “next step” means: what are you planning to do if the hiring manager doesn’t call by a certain date, or what are you planning to do to assure the hiring manager does call you.

Can you prove you can do the job?

Most job hunters take the “Trust Me” approach. Instead, prove to them that you can do the job, often by doing additional research or by writing a “proposal” of how you would handle the job.

Which job positions you best for the long run? Which job is the best fit?

Don’t decide only on salary. Since the average person has been in his or her job only four years, you will have another job after this. See which job looks best on your resume, and makes you a stronger candidate next time. Take the job that positions you best for the long run.

In addition, find a fit for your personality. If you don’t “fit”, it is unlikely you will do well there. The group can give feedback on which job is best for you.

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