Days are getting longer. Memorial day is behind us. School is out. Time to check out those online reviews, buy some new clothes, and plan the best route to get there. That's right, it's...Job Search time! What, you thought I meant vacation season? Searching for a job is just like getting ready for a vacation. Don't believe me? No, really, I'm serious. Here, I'll break it down for you.
Time to find the best place to go. Hit the internet and read those online reviews. Who loves where, who hates what.
Old & stuffy
The locals are handsy. Keep an eye out.
The carpets had stains and the room had a funky smell to it. Like a wet onion.
If you are looking for a new firm, do your due diligence. Check out the online reviews and see what the current employees are saying. See what the ex-employees are griping about. Try to find common themes, both positive and negative. Weigh the ratios of good vs. bad reviews. I'm not saying make that the ultimate determinant. But don't ignore them either. You don't want to smell wet onions for the next 5 yrs.
Any experienced traveler will tell you...you want to make a to-do list. Items to pack, what to see, where to go, who to visit. Be thorough. You don't want to forget anything or miss anything and you want to be prepared for any circumstance. Rock climbing? Need more than flip flops for that. For the job search, make a list. What you are looking for. What you aren't looking for. What you need in a new job. What you want to accomplish. What criteria are you looking for? Just "wanting" a new job isn't enough. You have to fully understand why, and what will satisfy those reason.
Great! You booked the room. Booked the flight. Wow, those 2 weeks flew by and you're leaving tomorrow. How hard is it. You have clothes. You need to wear clothes on the trip (I assume. I don't know what you have planned.). Throw some clothes in the suitcase and get on the plane. When you get there, you realize your wardrobe consists of dry-rotted bathing suits, a stained polo, and some ill-fitting t-shirts. Good times! If you have an interview booked, take some time and prepare your outfit with plenty of time to spare. Don't just dust off your suit the night before. You know what's not a good look? Not being able to button your suit pants. And you know who is fooled by leaving your button undone and just wearing a belt? No one. Am I speaking from experience? Maybe. If you have time, make sure you try your interview clothes on, and make sure everything is good to go.
Plan your commute accordingly. Be sure to fully explore all options to find the best route. Don't wait until the last minute to figure out how to get there. Book your transportation in advance. You do NOT want to be stuck in Mexico with a car with only 1st gear and no air. I beg you. Let something good come from my experiences. For your interview, take a practice run or two and make sure you know how to handle anything that may pop up. The last thing anyone needs is you thinking "I got this," then doing your best Jason Bourne impression when your GPS says your arrival time is 10 minutes later than the interview time. I know it seems involved, but why leave anything to chance. Jason Bourne at least had training (and was a movie). You, at best, won the Mushroom Cup in Mario Kart. Slow and steady wins the race.
Things are going well. You got a free upgrade when checking in. You head upstairs to the terminal thinking, "This isn't too bad." You have your passport out, your boarding pass out, you've taken your shoes off...you'll be enjoying that garden bar at the terminal Ruby Tuesdays in no time. "Sir, can you step out of line please?" Who is that, TSA? Nope. HR. HR is going to get you. They see you sitting there, sweating, being sort of evasive or just not making much sense. HR will get to the bottom of it. Maybe you embellished a little on your experience. Maybe you played around with the dates on your resume. You can't get that past HR. They live for this. Trust me, they'll run your background and find out. Make a few calls. They know people. You are better off coming clean, or better yet, just being honest from the start. It's what they do, and they do it well. If you've left your belt on, they'll know...
Don't forget to bring small bills on the trip. You have to take care of the bellhops and the valets. You like having your bags brought up promptly, maybe even before you make it to the room? You like having your car parked out front, ready at a moment's notice? You have to take care of the hotel staff. And they'll take care of you. Not a big tipper? That's ok. You can spend your free time wondering where the rest of your bags are, and why there's a footprint on the one bag that made it. Or why, even though you called ahead 15 minutes ago for your car, you are still waiting, ticket in hand. The staff are the ones that make things happen for you during your stay. Suggestions, contacts, local info...everything that can make a good trip great. Recruiters are the bellhops and valets of the hiring world. They know everyone. They can put a good word in. Maybe they can get you those few extra vacation days or a promise of a quicker review. I'm not saying you have to palm them a $5. Just be friendly. Have a smile. Say thanks. Be memorable...but for the right reasons. I'm not saying they'll ignore you or throw out your resume, but you may get one of the first calls for a new role. You may be the first resume submitted. And you may be the one that the recruiter pushes for. Or not. That's partially up to you.
Your hotel package comes with breakfast included? Awesome. Always nice to wake up and not have to figure out what to eat while on vacation, or pay $45 for a bagel and pot of coffee after taxes, service charges, and included tip (I'm looking at you Waldorf.). Let's sleep in a little. No alarm. It's vacation right? Wake up, take in the sites of the property, and make it over to breakfast. "10 minutes to spare," you think to yourself. You walk in. Bagels? Gone. Eggs? Gone. Pancakes? Gone. Omelet station? Empty. EMPTY. You're left with a bowl of hard boiled eggs, the bottom of the oatmeal pot, and a sausage you're pretty sure was put back at some point. There's no way a sausage made it this long when everything else was eaten. If you are truly committed to finding a new job, set up daily resume alerts from the online job boards. You want to apply fast. You don't want to be applicant #114. You may be the best qualified. But no one wants to go thru that many resumes. Odds are your resume won't be reviewed and they will find someone by then. Get the alerts. Enjoy your omelet. #114 has to roll the dice on that sausage.
You did it. You've arrived. You're in the groove now. You set your alarm for breakfast. You know where to go, what to do. The valet gave you a tip on the best meal in town. You're drinking a ridiculous looking pineapple. Then it happens. A friendly smile. A handshake. Next thing you know, you're in a timeshare presentation. Don't do it. Don't go to the presentation. You don't need the vouchers or the coupons, or the cash, or the meal. Don't buy the timeshare. Sure, the salesman paints a pretty picture. Pick your week, enjoy your home away from home. Can't make it? Sell your week. Or even better, bank it. What does banking mean? Who cares. You bank it. It's better that way. In your job search, don't rush into things. Do your research. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Go with your gut. Don't be pressured. Think it over. Sleep on it. Ask a friend. Ask your family. Ask an overly-opinionated recruiter. If you know one.
If you have any questions about anything I discussed in the above article, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me!
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