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Job Search HQ: Finding an Ally in Jeff Altman

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Job hunting may be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll face in your life; you’ll need an ally to help you through it—an ally that can guide you through the process, improve your skills, and build your confidence.

This is what Jeff Altman offers: an ally in your search for a satisfying career. A recruiter and successful coach for more than 40 years, Jeff is the go-to guy for people having difficulties with their job search. He’s helped people with a myriad of job problems, from fixing LinkedIn profiles to pitching for a higher salary during negotiations. He’s written eight books on job hunting and is called “The Big Game Hunter” in Ashville, North Carolina.

His new project, www.JobSearchCoachingHQ.com, features articles, videos, podcasts, books, and guides Jeff has made throughout his career.

Jeff says:

“Once you join, you have access to a ton of resources PLUS you can ask me questions about job hunting so you don’t make “amateurish mistakes.” In addition, resume and LinkedIn profile critiques are discounted as are coaching sessions with me.”

If you’ve yet to join Jeff’s new website, read some of his advice that he shared with the Federal Resume Writer blog:

Job Hunters Need Coaches

Jeff’s first piece of advice on job search: get a coach. He says:

“Job hunters make the mistake of relying on themselves without help or ask the wrong people for advice—friends, family, colleagues, former colleagues. They ask people who know little more than they do and get mediocre results. A coach helps people excel at job hunting.”

Jeff adds that coaches are important because they know the game, and have years of experience practicing the skills needed during a job hunt. He uses Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule to success to explain his point:

“Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated effort to master a skill. And job hunters have how much experience writing resumes? Or interviewing? Or constructing an effective LinkedIn profile? Or negotiating salary? Job hunters start at a competitive disadvantage and need to hire an ally to help them … and by hiring an ally, I don’t mean work with a recruiter.”

How to Deal with Recruiters

A former recruiter himself, Jeff knows what motivates a recruiter and tells job hunters not to think of recruiters as allies in their search.

“First of all, you have to understand that recruiters are being hired and paid for by companies to find people with specific talents and experiences. Their loyalty is first to the corporate client and second to you.”

As a job hunter, you can’t expect recruiters to help them. He says:

“If you send a resume that isn’t a perfect fit for the role they represent, don’t expect a response from the recruiter; don’t expect friendly phone calls from them; don’t expect them to cater to you.”

Customize Your Resume

Flipping the same resume from one company to another is another big mistake, according to Jeff. He says that job requirements for every job are unique and to get results, hunters must write resumes that match the job description.

Jeff has another tip in making stand-out resumes: State your achievements.

He explains:

“The second big mistake job hunters make with their resumes is failing to qualify the impact of what they’ve done at their current organization in terms of dollars saved or revenue generated. If you saved your agency $120 million and don’t include it in your resume, how does anyone know you did it? How does anyone know that you’re better than another person; after all, if you just recite your roles, responsibilities, accomplishments and, perhaps, the technology utilized, no one will know the impact of your work.”

Job hunting Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some of Jeff’s top tips in job hunting.

  • Do you go to interviews without practice and expect to ace the interview each and every time? No. Practice! The difference between winning and losing is having the right answer come out of your mouth naturally.
  • Don’t just “wing it” at an interview; take the time to prepare. Ask “The Single Best Question You Should Ask in an Interview,” at the beginning of the interview so you can talk about what you’ve done that matters to them and not just talk about what you’ve done.
  • Using a resume to find work is being a hunter. Using your LinkedIn profile to attract opportunities allows you to be hunted.
  • Don’t just duplicate your resume; SEO your resume to attract people who are trying to hire someone like you to reach out to you. Then, make it easy for them to contact you by putting your phone number and email address on to the subject line.

Thank you, Jeff, for sharing these tips with our blog!

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