Saturday, June 5, 2010


Patty DeDominic is a coach to high achievers and a former owner of PDQCAREERS which
 sold in 2006.  Her career placement and staffing firms  helped over250,000 people get jobs.

 De Dominic says:
Here is some advice I have for Job Hunters and Resume Writers about how to put themselves
 "in the front of the line.".

    PERSONALIZE,  Please Personalize your communication and your approach!
One of my  clients just got hired this week using RESEARCH and Personalization on her follow up to an employer. My client did several key things.   This young woman  went to the website of her desired employer and did a small (but not so critical analysis of what was missing) snapshot of the employers website and then made a couple of gentle but valuable suggestions to the employer. The job hunter also used a professional organization's social to network with the business owner/employer creating a closer connection.  Additionally,  the candidate let the employer know that she was really excited and interested to work for the company.

When placement professionals present qualified candidates to potential employers they usually try to make
 a skills match. They also try to give the employer a couple of choices to refine the chemistry fit. In today's job climate, it is likely that there are plenty of supply of skill-qualified candidates.... so those candidates who do advance homework usually can put themselves at the front of the line of candidates.

I have include more advice below. I hope it is helpful for you.

Patty DeDominic
California business coach to high achieving professionals.

Here is some general advice I give to job candidates:


Getting a job is like accomplishing most other goals, but it is often harder to be objective about it because it is so personal. Many important aspects of our lives are included in our job and it can seem so much bigger than "just a goal like any other".  It's our paycheck, our livelihood, our reason for leaving the house five or more days a week and for many people, a job or career is much of their life's identity. When your whole identity and self confidence are wrapped up in what you do for a living, finding yourself unemployed can seem like a most traumatic event.   And it is almost impossible to be objective.


Here's how to become more objective and how to engage goal setting techniques to apply to your job hunt. If you  ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly, you will be better prepared to take the steps necessary to do your outreach, networking, prospecting, preparing and follow up.

  •  WHO IS MY TARGET MARKET? ( dream job or industry)

Employers love it when the job candidate really wants to work for them.    When the fit is great everyone celebrates.   One of your goals is to look like a great fit!    
How do you do that?    How do you make your case about what a great fit you are?

In order to look like a great fit, you will need to do research on the employer.   Who have they hired in the past?  Is there a particular university that they typically recruit from?    Do the people have a "uniform" e.g., is every one always formally dressed, or super casually?   Don't make the mistake one job candidate made and go to an important interview in a sweatshirt.   Just because his last employer loved people to dress down, doesn't mean his next one will.

Look around for clues about the company culture and try to artidulate ways it will be a big WIN for this employer to hire you.  Ask people you know and read special interest group comments and blogs to learn more about a particular employer.   Are you  crazy about their field or are you just desperate for a job?    Are you willing to work long hours?   And do you understand that simply working hard does not make a person successful?  It also requires  "working effectively" and producing results, not just hours logged.
The costs of hiring the wrong person usually keeps employers eager to reduce the risks of a bad hire.  they will lose time and money when they make hiring mistakes.  Not to mention, lost opportunity costs.   Don't expect an employer to make accomodations for you, you will have to do this for them. Employers  rarely go out on a limb for job candidates. 

That second question above,  "how to make your case about what a great fit you are."  This may take some practice on your part, but learning how to do this will be a good investment of your time.   Please make a list of a few industries and then some specific companies who fit on your "I would love to work for"  list..

Take time now to list at least 5 industries and 5-10 employers in each of these industries. Once you do this you now have a target prospectlist of at least 25-50 companies you can do research on, ask for referrals to and target as a great potential employer.   You can work this list, narrow it down to a few that you feel really great about and you can learn more about them every day.

Once you have your DREAM EMPLOYER HOT LIST you are ready to begin doing some personal inventory of your own skills and potential contributions.

We found at PDQ and CT Engingeering, while recruiting for USC, Children's Hospital and local government that job candidates who knew their skill sets and could articulate their potential contributions to the employer got hired two to three times faster than other "qualified" candidates!

Questions to ask yourself about this potential employer:


Each employer is unique but many have similar goals in mind. They almost always want a person who will
 be a good fit for the current culture of the organization. My answers here  for you include employers that
are private and public corporations, not for profit organizations, local and state and federal government, universities and other independent contractor opportunities and many business opportunities. The JOB HUNTER who knows these answers for the particular employer they are meeting with has a ten fold advantage over other candidates.

How do I find this OUT?  Research.... Today research is a critical skill of all people.
 It is important that you practice and perfect your RESEARCH SKILLS as they are an essential tool in working today, just as critical as the ability to read and to communicate with others. There are plenty of things that are not essential in today's new world of work, but anything above minimum wage requires your resourcefulness and your ability to do research.

Research includes your finding information sources and resources on the internet. It also includes your working your own network of colleagues, former classmates and your friends and family.  Research includes talking to people, getting expert advice or getting second and third opinions when needed.

For example, if you were getting ready to apply for a management training job at Jiffy Lube, it would be very helpful for you to know that this company is part of a national franchise program. It will also be helpful for you to know if you are interviewing with the local franchise owner, a regional manager or the head of sales of Franchises for the Corporation. Does the person you are meeting with expect you to be his or her prospect to buy a franchise or simply to enter a local job? Good questions to ask and answer for yourself and when you do, you separate yourself from the other ten, twenty or one hundred people in line for an appointment with that hiring (or sales) manager.

How could you find out this information? First, today we have the wonderful advantage of being able to go the company website. Most employers have a website and many of them post news and information about their firm and their business goals  there. You must visit that site before you approach any potential employers. That simple step alone will separate you from many of the others "in the unemployment line".

Asking your friends and even customers of a potential employer is a good way for your to gather intelligence about the employer. In this case, local car owners may be Jiffy Lube clients and it would be helpful for you to know how that organization is perceived in the local market place. As you gather info on the potential employer you are also reinforcing whether you feel YOU can add value to this employer, whether you feel it will be a good fit for your interests and skills.  You may find that your neighbor is a favorite customer of that franchise and can recommend that the manager interview you.  

Are you great at turning around messes or at making messes?
In the first case you might be excited about a chance to join a firm that needs a little "tune up" in the PR or
 the morale department. In the latter case, I do not know of anyone who will be willing to hire you at this time.... unless it is a market research firm that wants to test cleaning services. Good luck on that job hunt!


Any why should you care about it?    Like attracts like and all employers wnat to know if you will fit in!

Many employers will not tell you about their culture because they are not even consciously aware of it. But every employer,  large or small,  has a culture and how you might fit into it - even more so than your educational background and your skill set - can have a huge impact on your success at that stage of your career development. Does this company prefer to hire new college grads? Do you notice that they brag or share that all their new hires come from a particular school or sector? This is a telling characteristicof who they are likely to hire. I noticed over the years of running PDQCAREERS and even after at Select Staffing that some companies preferred to hire college drop outs and work the heck out of them. It almost seemed like they knew that non college grads might have a bit of a feeling of insecurity and be willing to work harder to make up for somepotential or perceived shortcoming. Even today I notice that some job seekers are a bit defensive about their educational connections or lack of them. This is part of an employers culture and it helps to be aware of it.

 If your dream job brags about how 80% of their management team graduated from may not have to enroll in grad school thereto get the job nod, but it can't hurt .then for you to enroll in executive education at Stanford.

Educational background is not the only thing that shows up in company culture. There are also other important factors like the general age of workers..... are they all under 35? Yes,we all know that age or
other discrimination is illegal, but my objective here is not to help you win legal battles but it is to help YOU increase your job offers and increase your pay. So find a good fit where you can compliment the culture.... you do not have to be a clone.

Culture includes aspects like:
 Overtime.... does everyone do it regularly? If they do and if you are eager to clock out at 5pm everyday keep looking for the right fit for yourself.
Volunteerism: Is everyone expected to give of their time off to one particular cause? Does the company encourage your involvement in the community and does it give you paid time to do that? Is that important to you? Learning this helps you fit the best fit for yourself.

When you are working for an employer who not only pays you with a paycheck but they also pay you with psychic rewards, personal and emotional growth opportunities, if that is your goal, you will be so much happier. People who are fully engaged at many levels and are a great fit with the company culture rarely look for jobs elsewhere.

That is another great question to try to learn the answer to before you apply.

Please post your comments and questions and we will attempt to answer any confidential info privately if you write to me at   

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