An interview with the author
Some straight talk with one of America’s leading authors on job hunting. Over the last 30 years, Bob Gerberg has authored dozens of publications on job hunting. Recently he pioneered a new concept... authoring over 50 executive briefings on the new job market for Job Hunting SuperSearch. In this frank discussion, Paul Marshall, a former top HR executive with a Fortune 1000 firm, questions Bob about the job market today... new style resumes and more.
(Paul) Has the job market changed?
(Bob) Since the great recession 10 years ago, the way employers recruit has undergone an immense change. So today, when people look for new jobs, they must make adjustments and job hunt in a different manner. Many fail to realize it and search the same way as in the past. That’s why many don’t succeed.
(Paul) What specifically has changed?
(Bob) Paul, the Internet is essentially the market of advertised or published openings. Newspaper and trade magazines now carry very few ads. Recruiter and employer websites and resume scanning has led to database driven recruiting and it’s huge. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn can be vital to job hunters. Hiring processes have undergone major changes... and many other things have also changed.
(Paul) Aren’t unemployment figure low?
(Bob) Paul, unemployment statistics from the government are not an accurate gauge to what is really going on with many experienced professionals. Technology is creating new industries and eliminating old ones at an amazing pace. And, employers are constantly finding new ways to use technology to eliminate jobs at all incomes.
(Paul) What professional jobs are being affected?
(Bob) Industry sources claim over a million jobs in IT are going unfilled, but the market for mid-level and senior staff in many occupations has been slow. For many reasons, with the expansion of the Internet, it has actually gotten much harder for job hunters to find jobs than 10 years ago. So, many give up.
(Paul) What does Job Hunting SuperSearch do?
(Bob) We focus on putting out executive briefings that educate people about making job hunting easier and faster. And we hope that our briefings can also go a long way toward helping people avoid the stress, confusion and worry that traditional job hunting can involve.
(Paul) Are you different from other career firms?
(Bob) We offer a new class of job hunting assistance. It is low in cost, up-to-date and available on the Internet worldwide. People say we really help with the hard work of job hunting.
(Paul) What do you mean by “the hard work” of job hunting?
(Bob) Paul, it’s hard to create great resume and letters. We provide outstanding samples to copy, and briefings on connecting to openings, leads and contacts, competitive interviewing, negotiating and more. This saves people a lot of time.
(Paul) How long have you been in business?
(Bob) Job Hunting SuperSearch has existed for more than a decade, but it used to be a licensing firm... selling under brands used by other career firms. Only recently have we developed our new approach.
(Paul) Tell us about your background and role with the firm?
(Bob) I first was an Air Force Officer and got an MBA. I enjoyed a career in marketing with GE, Honeywell, a major supermarket chain and PepsiCo. Then several board members set me up with venture capital. I am not involved in operations, but I am an investor.
(Paul) Why do people use old job hunting methods?
(Bob) As I said, people only job hunt occasionally and unfortunately 98% use historical resumes. And then they just answer some ads, contact some recruiters and network friends. That brings poor results.
(Paul) Can’t people still get new jobs?
(Bob) Paul, the answer is yes for many. But what kind of job do they get? How long does it take them? And, is it right financially with the right future? But some can look for 1 or 2 years and never connect.
(Paul) Can you explain how the market works?
(Bob) The market consists of jobs that are advertised or appear online and those that are not. The first is called the “published job market.” The ones that fill their jobs privately represents the larger market, and is often called the “unpublished market.”
(Paul) How are these jobs filled privately?
(Bob) They hire people who send them resumes... they recruit from competitors... and they hire through referrals they receive. Many scan top resumes they receive and then hire later on from their recruiting database. Database driven hiring is huge.
(Paul) How do you help people go after the “private” jobs?
(Bob) We show how to go direct to employers, how to uncover leads, how to do new types of easier networking... and more. When you can access private jobs there is also a lot less competition.
(Paul) Just, what do you mean by “leads?”
(Bob) Leads are ‘hot tips’ about openings. One of our briefings shows how to uncover expansions, firms raising capital, companies getting new contracts or doing relocations. These events indicate hiring in many areas.
(Paul) Do you help people contact the right people?
(Bob) We show them new ways to access more openings, leads and valuable contacts. Our briefings also include most of the top recruiters, venture capitalists, private equity firms and more.
(Paul) Are venture capitalists playing a bigger role in recruiting?
(Bob) Yes. There are over 2,000 VCs. They are always looking for creative and leadership talent.
(Paul) What’s make an average versus a great resume?
(Bob) Every day, more than 30 million people have resumes out there. Great resumes and letters are like great commercials. The average ones go unnoticed. The great ones get attention. It’s that simple.
(Paul) What do mean by new style resumes?
(Bob) Paul, new style resumes get your attention... even among a stack off resumes. In short they do the first thing a resume should do... meaning they ‘get noticed.’ Besides being dramatically superior in appearance, they communicate what you can do for an employer much more effectively.
(Paul) You believe that people should use several resumes. Why?
(Bob) A single ad doesn’t work for Lexus, Apple, Coca-Cola and it’s the same here. You have to have a powerful 1-page new style universal resume. But to get maximum results, other resumes can work better for special situations. We supply excellent examples of all of them.
(Paul) What does an “biography“ look like?
(Bob) A biography is like an article introducing a key speaker. At 3 to 5 pages, they are done in a third-person narrative style... and are commanding and distinctive. No resume is more impressive. They can play a big role for executives in networking and negotiations.
(Paul) Why are excellent letters so important?
(Bob) Paul, in many situations impressive letters can make an huge difference. It can convey a message that you’re not like everyone else. So, we supply letter samples that worked for others.
(Paul) Can people build appeal... beyond their actual credentials?
(Bob) A CEO might think... “I need a turnaround specialist... someone who can cut costs.” So we show how to use phrases describing their skills in their resumes, letters, emails and interviews. It’s what politicians do.
(Paul) How many interviews should most people aim at?
(Bob) Paul, people only need one, if it’s right. We show them how to do a simple game plan. We’d like to see their phone ring 20 to 25 times. Ideally, you’d love to create a bidding war.
(Paul) Why would anyone need 20 to 25 interviews?
(Bob) Most interviews today are on the phone. And chances are you’re not going to turn one interview into the ideal job offer. If you auctioned something off would you rather have 20 bidders... or just one?
(Paul) Can you really help people do better in interviews?
(Bob) Interviewing is a skill. How good would you be if you played golf once a year. We help build maximum chemistry, supply answers to tough questions and more. Our goal is to help them be in the top 5%.
(Paul) You have a good briefing on negotiations? Why is it important?
(Bob) Negotiation is like poker.. the employers sit with their cards all in their hands. But, they like to have you put your earnings on the table face up. Think about this. Between signing bonuses and higher offers you can actually earn more than your raises will be worth for your first three years.
(Paul) Can you help people with special challenges?
(Bob) Yes. We have special briefings for... people who are unemployed... those without a degree... those who have age concerns... and many more.
(Paul) Which of your 50+ executive briefings are most valuable?
(Bob) For some it’s showing them how to get more leads, openings and contacts. For others it’s the great resume and letter samples to copy. People also say our short briefings are like having a coach from start to finish.
(Paul) What’s your success rate? Is there a guarantee?
(Bob) Paul, a lot of people tell us about their success. I wish I could say 100% get new jobs ... but I’m sure it’s not. Everyone who uses our briefings is able to generate interviews and a very high percentage get new jobs. For anyone whose interested, our briefings are available with a 10 day money back guarantee.
(Paul) What would you advise someone entering the job market?
(Bob) Paul, the main thing people have to do is open their minds to a new view of job hunting and how the market works. I have seen so many people, some outstanding... and many very average... all get truly amazing results beyond what they expected. It is very gratifying.