|  February 15, 2013

Why I like giving job search advice

I’ve been working on The Prepary for about 6 months now and I absolutely love it.  It has been the perfect way to take what I’ve learned in my career, get it on “paper”, and share it with all of you who are embarking upon a job or internship search.  I found myself in an interesting conversation today (and many days) about why I’m doing what I’m doing… and why I get excited about it.

With that, I figured I’d share what motivates me to write about this very specific (sometimes not very “sexy”) topic and how I think it can (and will) help you if you follow along.

why give job search advice

I’ve noticed a pretty big gap between what recruiters think is “common knowledge” and what candidates consider to be “obvious”

When I went through my own job search, I had many of the same questions and confusions that you probably have.  I knew doing research on a company was really important before an interview, but I didn’t know how to do “good research”.  I walked into interviews not really knowing what I was going to be asked (I now know there’s a pretty predicable set of questions) and so on.

When I landed in my first recruiting role, my mind was blown.  Getting through the door at a company (when it is truly the right fit) is not really that much of a mystery. I also realized that recruiters aren’t trying to make it hard. They want you to succeed in your interview (more on this below).

All of this made me realize that things I thought was “obvious” as a recruiter, would not have been “obvious” to me as a job seeker… and that motivates me to share the “what are companies looking for” piece of the job search – because it’s not meant to be a secret at all, and it’s important that you know what it is.

In terms of “life events” looking for a job can be one of the most stressful types, and the more people can feel supported, the better

So the job search is one of those things that happens a few times over the course of a decade – Maybe more, maybe less, but I consider it a “life event” versus something that is happening all the time.  In the scheme of “life events”, this is a really positive one once you land in a new role that you love… but getting there is not that fun.

I see totally happy, confident, amazing people get into an anxious, negative, place while they’re in the job search process.  All of the sudden their self esteem is shot, they don’t think they’re good enough, etc.

Sadly, the job search (especially a really tough one) can make you feel that way.  In my mind, the more support you have, the better.  I feel that working with clients and even answering questions from readers (through posts, emails, and more) somehow helps bring people clarity and answers when they’re in the tough part of a job search. That’s definitely something I would have wanted when I was going through mine!

Recruiters want candidates to succeed in the interview – but if they don’t make the mark, it shouldn’t be because of the “basics”

So this was the biggest eye-opener for me once I started recruiting candidates.  Recruiters actually want every single person who comes in for an interview to be “the one” for the job and to get that job.  They do not want to interview 20 other candidates.  They don’t want to turn you down.

If they are bringing you in for the interview, they’ve read your resume and based on that, think you are likely to be a good prospect for the job.  They want to be right!  However, it’s a complicated equation and finding “the right fit” is something that needs to be evaluated off of a piece of paper.

If it’s not the right fit for the job/company/team, that’s totally ok. It’s tough to find that.  However, if it doesn’t work out because of the “basics” that’s definitely a bummer for the recruiter (and of course the candidate too).  When I say “basics” it means you should know what the company does, know why you want to work there, know what you bring to the table etc.  One of my goals is to prepare people to know what those basics are and how to nail them.  It’s a more predictable piece of the puzzle than people think!

I personally feel when you are reading “advice” it’s nice to know the person behind the advice (and then decide if you want to take it or not)

There are a lot of good resources out there.  There’s also a lot of job search advice I don’t necessarily agree with.  I think with a topic as sensitive as this one, it’s really important to know who the advice is actually coming from, be able to read their bio, and then decide if you want to rely on it or not.

That’s why I put my picture and bio right on the front page of the site where everyone can see it (even though I felt funny doing that at first).  Advice on this process can be very subjective – and sometimes there aren’t going to be “one size fits all” answers to a question.  That’s why I feel it’s important to know who is giving you advice and that you have access to them to ask questions (have any? email me at [email protected]).

So that’s pretty much it.  My 4 main reasons why I started The Prepary and really enjoy giving advice on the job search.  If I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out and thank you very much for reading!

Did you enjoy this post? Get tools, templates, and advice delivered straight to your inbox