Yesterday just after noon, a client I have been working with for two weeks came in and announced that she had secured a job. She couldn’t have been more excited and I was equally thrilled for her. The position is a Sales Administrator with a software marketing company. After she was hired – note “after” – she was told she would have to set up a profile on LinkedIn.
She told me this not only because she wanted to share her employment news with me, but because during our two weeks together, I had more than once mentioned that LinkedIn is becoming increasingly well-known and she should create a profile for herself. You see, she was giving me validation for its relevance and importance and I appreciate getting this kind of information from employers as relayed by clients.
By the way, this was the 6th job offer made to a group of 10 job seekers I worked with over that two weeks. I’ll take a 60% success rate in this tough economy. And lest you think that these people would have been offered jobs anyway, I must tell you that one of them had never had a paid job ever, and some hadn’t worked in over a couple of years. These are people who are frustrated, anxious, depressed and not previously committed to a focused job search on a full-time basis.
Now if you think this is nothing more than a blog to congratulate myself publicly, you have missed the point by a country mile. I’m trying to use the success rate in order to validate the significance of sitting down with an Employment Counsellor and putting yourself in their hands and getting help with your job search. I can’t do that of course unless I can demonstrate that I deliver. And if I was on the prowl myself for someone to help me out, one of the first things I’d want to know is their success rate.
Last night, I also got a call in the evening from someone else I’d been asked to help with a cover letter and resume overhaul confirming with me that she too has been officially hired. In her case, I had sat down with her on a Sunday two weekends ago, and looked over the job posting requirements, got a clear understanding of what she was currently doing, and then we had talked for an hour. Then left alone, I crafted that cover letter and resume and sent them to her via email for her review with the full knowledge that she could add, delete and re-word things as she liked; it being her resume after all. Turns out she changed a single word in the cover letter, and added a few things to the resume.
However the nicest feedback she gave me was that I had managed to capture words she herself had used, and it showed I had really listened to her so that as she read it, it was something she could really own as representative of her. I can’t hope for more than that.
Does an Employment Counsellor guarantee success? No. Does having the help of an Employment Counsellor increase the chances of success? Absolutely a resounding yes. I will tell you this in truth; were I myself to find myself looking for another job in earnest, I’d be talking with my many colleagues and getting feedback from these other experts; and I’m an Employment Counsellor myself! That doesn’t mean I know I’m not very good and need the help of people who are better; it means I’m humble enough to know that the trained eye of an objective third-party who is a professional in this field should not go untapped. Why wouldn’t I want to give myself every advantage in an economy that’s tight?
Now one of the beautiful things about this social media called LinkedIn is this: you have at your fingertips a virtual room full of people to help you. Imagine walking into a large room, and in that room there are a group of Employment Counsellors standing around inviting you to chat with them. In another corner, there’s a group of employees currently working for the company you’d like to work with. And walking up to you is a friendly host who offers to introduce you to anyone in the room you want.
When you sign in to LinkedIn (just using it as one example of social media), you should join some discussion groups who have a focus on your field of interest. In my case, I chat with other Employment Counsellors, Career Advisors, Mentors etc. and I do it daily. It isn’t about always asking them to help me, in fact more often than not, it’s an ebb and flow of both giving and receiving help. Help comes in asking others to review my profile, or maybe give some helpful advice to someone else whose going through a rough patch. Sometimes people even get lost in their career path and request some suggestions from the group.
My advice today is consistent with previous posts; consider tapping into the services of those who can and will willingly share their life experience and expertise as Employment Advisors and Counsellors. It’s a big room you are standing in…ask that host or hostess to introduce you to a few people.