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10 Questions You Must Ask Before You Start Your Job Search


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Ten definative questions for people in career transition to ask tehemselves and answer BEFORE they start the job search process

By answering these questions honestly will lead to being able to construct

Your next Job Title and what you want to do next
The types of companies, managers, people you perform best with
Your LinkedIn Profile
Cover Letters
Your Resume
Your Elevator Speech
Career Goals
Creating stories to answer interview questions
Selecting Target Companies
Defining your key skills and overall skill set
Where geographically you want to work
Salary expectations

Published in: Career
  • Wish I would have read this sooner, so helpful. Resume keywords are way more important than resume formats. Because recruiters conduct keyword searches during the initial sourcing process in Applicant Tracking Systems. You're not found if your resume doesn't contain the exact keywords. But it's a pain to find those keywords from the job descriptions. I found the site Jobscan that identify keywords for your. All you do is paste in your resume plus the job description, then Jobscan analyzes your job description for you automatically and identify the most important keywords for you. It literally takes seconds and it so worth the copy and paste. Saved me so much time AND I got more interviews using Jobscan! I recommend it as well.
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10 Questions You Must Ask Before You Start Your Job Search

  1. 1. Presented by Mark Troncone, MBA, PMP®
  2. 2. <ul><li>Mark’s Seven Point Employment Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Why is asking Pre-Work questions necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Changes “the Real Facts of Life” </li></ul><ul><li>Answering Pre-Work questions, what can the results be used for? </li></ul><ul><li>The Ten questions that you MUST ask yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap up </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>PMP® Certified – Project Management Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Certified IT Business Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Active career transition mentor </li></ul><ul><li>MBA – Management </li></ul><ul><li>BS – Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>AS – Accounting </li></ul><ul><li>Previous Employment: </li></ul><ul><li>* Starwood Hotels </li></ul><ul><li>* Affinion Group </li></ul><ul><li>* Hewitt Associates </li></ul><ul><li>* Wachovia Bank </li></ul><ul><li>* Bayer Pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>* Reader’s Digest </li></ul><ul><li>* James River Corporation </li></ul>
  4. 4. Seven Keys to Gaining Employment Strategy EMPLOYMENT <ul><li>Self </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>10 Questions </li></ul><ul><li>you must ask </li></ul><ul><li>yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Spreadsheet </li></ul>Employment Search Strategy - Research Target Co’s - Web-Sites - Recruiters - Networking <ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Resumes - Elevator Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Cover Letter - Marketing Brochure </li></ul><ul><li>Business Cards - Value Proposition </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing Plan - Thank You Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Groups </li></ul><ul><li>One on One </li></ul><ul><li>Develop “God Fathers” </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>- Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiters </li></ul><ul><li>Face to Face </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-Up </li></ul><ul><li>Offer </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>- Receive an Offer </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate Salary </li></ul><ul><li>On-Boarding Plan </li></ul>1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
  5. 5. If 80% of jobs are found through networking. Asking these 10 Questions will make the effort easier as a starting point. Focus your efforts where there is the greatest potential for success – Networking! There has been a Shift in the last decade Knowing this - Where should you focus your efforts?
  6. 6. <ul><li>It is difficult to start any career search effort before doing some sort of self-analyzing </li></ul><ul><li>Think pre-planning before you build a house: </li></ul><ul><li>You need to select the right location </li></ul><ul><li>An idea of the type of house you want to build </li></ul><ul><li>Design the correct floor plan </li></ul><ul><li>Know what special features you like to add </li></ul><ul><li>To select the best materials </li></ul><ul><li>To line up the best contractors </li></ul><ul><li>All this Must Be completed before you even start </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The answers to these questions can be used to: </li></ul><ul><li>Creating your 15/30/45/60 second Elevator Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Creating your LinkedIn Profile – Summary Section </li></ul><ul><li>Aiding in your selection of “ Target Companies” </li></ul><ul><li>Creating your Marketing Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Networking with people </li></ul><ul><li>Effectively “Branding” yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting with a recruiter/interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancing your resume and cover letter </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>All numbers 1 through 10 are rhymed </li></ul>The Ten Questions you Must ask
  9. 9. <ul><li>Why am I looking for a job? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I presently working? Yes/No </li></ul><ul><li>If Yes – Why am I looking? </li></ul><ul><li>* I do not Like my boss, company, co-workers </li></ul><ul><li>* I do not like my role, responsibilities, reached a ceiling </li></ul><ul><li>* The company has merged, Industry uncertain/flat </li></ul><ul><li>* I want a change, job not rewarding, I’m in a rut etc. </li></ul><ul><li>If No – Why am I not working? </li></ul><ul><li>* Answer it honestly, you will be asked it in an interview, or </li></ul><ul><li>by a recruiter </li></ul><ul><li>* Do not be apprehensive it is nothing you did wrong </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>What do you want your next job to be ? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself this question and be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>honest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and visionary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do Not make the mistake of settling for your current role – raise the bar a notch </li></ul><ul><li>If it is a total career change – do your research and homework first – look before you leap </li></ul><ul><li>Ask what position do I need now to get me where I want to be in 3-5 years – which is my dream position </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>What are the Most Critical Job factors that: </li></ul><ul><li>Make me have pride/feel good and Motivate me </li></ul><ul><li>* Company reputation, products, services, leadership </li></ul><ul><li>* Nature of work I do – interesting – making a difference </li></ul><ul><li>* Advancement / Recognition / Self-Worth </li></ul><ul><li>Enable me to accomplish my job </li></ul><ul><li>* What environment/manger/co-workers do I work best with </li></ul><ul><li>* What tools, technologies, office structure do I like </li></ul><ul><li>Attract me to a company </li></ul><ul><li>* Company culture/structure/opportunity to learn </li></ul><ul><li>* Job responsibilities/Job Title/Perks/Location </li></ul><ul><li>* Compensation/Work Hours/Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>* Work/life balance – community services </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Do a Personal Self-Assessment “Who I Am”: </li></ul><ul><li>You have to know yourself first –this will allow you to define the </li></ul><ul><li>next type of company that you will best “fit” in with. </li></ul><ul><li>What is my Personality Type - Myers-Briggs evaluation? </li></ul><ul><li>What are my strengths and weaknesses? </li></ul><ul><li>What is my communication style? </li></ul><ul><li>What are my recent accomplishments? </li></ul><ul><li>What Awards and Recognitions have I received? </li></ul><ul><li>What is my Inventory of attained “KEY” skills? </li></ul><ul><li>What Technical Skills have acquired? </li></ul><ul><li>What Certifications do I have? </li></ul><ul><li>What value can I bring to any organization? </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>What are the factors that will make me feel </li></ul><ul><li>passionate in my next position: </li></ul><ul><li>What industries/companies ignite my fire? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of work do I like to do? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes me happy as an employee? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes me eager to come to work every day and feel good about it? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the intangibles that will help me succeed in my new role? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>State 3-4 words/key skills that really define you </li></ul><ul><li>What differentiates you from everyone else that has your job title or is in the same line of work? </li></ul><ul><li>What sets me apart from the homogeneous pack? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytical, Organized, Multi-Tasking, Negotiator, Consistent Results, Technical, Creative, Improve Processes, Industry Certifications…. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These words must be backed up with concrete examples to validate them – PARS – Problem / Action / Result – and be told in a story </li></ul><ul><li>These key words can be used in interviews, cover letters, resumes’, elevator speeches, Marketing Plans etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Think in terms of “What is the value that my key skills bring to a company that differs me from everyone else” – what defines me? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Do I Want To Relocate – Yes/No? </li></ul><ul><li>If No – Say so, but know your job area “Bermuda Triangle” 25, 50, 100 miles – that you are willing to travel </li></ul><ul><li>If Yes – Say so, but know where you want to move specifically and more important - why </li></ul><ul><li>Do your research on the relocation area beforehand </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific – Do Not Say “Anywhere” unless you absolutely mean it! – do you really want to relocate to Death Valley????? </li></ul><ul><li>Remember everything is negotiable, so get the offer first – you may not have to travel as much or move at all </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>What is the biggest success story that you can relate </li></ul><ul><li>that is aligned with your next dream position? </li></ul><ul><li>Can have more than 1 but no more than 3 maximum. </li></ul><ul><li>One of these 2-3 must be the first and most important – you may be asked for one only. </li></ul><ul><li>This story must directly relate to the next position that you are trying to obtain. </li></ul><ul><li>Here is the chance for you to brag about yourself in a positive light and “Brand” yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>It does not have to be recent , but must be relative . </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>What else you do with your free time to balance out your life? </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer work – where? </li></ul><ul><li>Tutoring/Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Active in the Church or Charities </li></ul><ul><li>Hobbies – gardening, oil painting, yoga </li></ul><ul><li>Member of clubs or associations </li></ul><ul><li>Active within the community </li></ul><ul><li>Member on various community boards </li></ul><ul><li>Most companies look for a person that is well rounded and has a life outside of work – a work/life balance </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>What is your salary expectation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is a very touchy question – give it due research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer it realistically, truthfully, and honestly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give yourself a range – from X to X </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be flexible, but do not undercut yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know your value in the marketplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>,, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the budget you need to survive on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take into account other factors that might be offered (sign on bonus, extra vacation time etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember – everything is negotiable </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>If you can answer the questions below you </li></ul><ul><li>are ready to start your career search process: </li></ul><ul><li>Why am I looking for a job? </li></ul><ul><li>What is it I do well – my key skills? </li></ul><ul><li>What gives me passion and excites me? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the next career want? </li></ul><ul><li>What company culture do I fit in best with? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of people do I work best with? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I want to earn? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do I want to work – location? </li></ul><ul><li>When will this happen? – Man’s eternal question? </li></ul><ul><li>The Answer is…….. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>A lot faster now that you have answered 1 through 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Because now you know yourself! </li></ul>