Come to our “Ask the Recruiter” Expert Panel Event on 7/25!

12 07 2017

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever had a question that you were just dying to ask an employer or recruiter about the hiring process, how to land the right job, or how to get a promotion? 


Now, you’ll have a chance to hear directly from the hiring experts their smartest tips, the mistakes to avoid, and the inside scoop from the employer/recruiter standpoint!

The KIT List is hosting this free event, and I will moderate a panel of five experts from some of the Silicon Valley’s top recruitment firms for permanent, temp-to-perm and contract placements. We’ll have a combination of prepared questions and Q&A from the audience. 

Our panel will share their expert advice from working with companies including Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Nike, HP, Cisco, Microsoft, VMWare, Intuit, NetApp, Adobe, Stanford Health Care, Bank of the West, Wells Fargo, Kaiser, Blue Shield, Safeway, Varian Medical Systems, Brocade, and Gigamon, to name a few.

Join us at the beautiful Northside Branch of the Santa Clara Library in their large events room.

There is a space limit of 100 so please register for this free event, and be sure to arrive early to get a seat since this will be standing room only (if you can’t get in, then join us for the free mixer afterward). 

Tuesday, 7/25
7:00 – 8:30 PM  

Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way
Santa Clara CA 

There is no charge, but please register and arrive early: https://nskitlistpanel.eventbrite.com


Post-Event Mixer:
8:30 – 9:30 PM at 
Yan Can Asian Bistro (Across the street from the Library) 
The mixer is free; just pay for your own food and drinks. Some of the panelists will join us as well. 

This is a special opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask — and to get beyond the basics!

You are welcome to share this invitation with friends and colleagues, too. 

We hope to see you there!

Sue and Kelly Connelly 
(Yep, we’re sisters!) 
Your KIT List Team


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Job Seekers’ Seminar on “Creating Your Great Elevator Pitch” on 12/3

13 11 2015

Hello Everyone,

There is a great Job Seekers’ seminar coming up on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

This seminar is sponsored by CSIX Connect, which is a terrrific job search and networking group for which I have a lot of admiration. CSIX’s founder, Hamid Saadat, was kind enough to share his job search expertise with the KIT List community on one of the TV programs I hosted, called “Get That Job!” If you’d like to see the YouTube video of the show, and hear Hamid’s sage advice along with another HR hiring expert, Tom Brouchoud, Head of Talent Acquisition at EMC and former Director of Global Talent at Sandisk. You can watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHSlVMUbNuE

Please pass this information on to other friends who want to create an effective Elevator Pitch that will attract the right job to them!

Warmly,

Sue

CSIX logo
Job Seekers’ Seminar

Your Elevator Pitch: Making Your ’30-second Commercial’ Really Work for You!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Saratoga Federated Church
Richards Hall, located at 20390 Park Place
Saratoga, CA 95070

The cost to attend this meeting is $10 — cash only, no checks or credit cards. The fee covers program, lunch, tax, and tip.

RSVP at the CSIX Meetup site:
http://www.meetup.com/CSIX-Connect/events/226029593/

Dee Marik

Delores Marik Ph.D.

The Job Seekers’ seminar will be part of CSIX Connect’s regular weekly meeting. It will be presented by another great friend of mine, Delores (Dee) Marik Ph.D., with whom I had the pleasure of working when I was consulting at Hewlett-Packard. Dee now has her own coaching practice — and I can tell you from personal experience how great she is in career coaching and resume advice since she gave me excellent feedback on my own resume! You can find out more about Dee and her coaching work at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marik

This seminar will focus on your Elevator Pitch, also known as “Your 30-second commercial.” Dee will discuss what an elevator pitch is, why you need one, and when you should use it, and how to make it work best. Plus, there will be an opportunity for you to create and practice your elevator pitch during the meeting.

The CSIX weekly meeting agenda is as follows:

10:00 – 10:30   Arrival of attendees, check-in, open networking
10:30 – 10:40
   Meeting starts, new member introductions
10:40 – 10:55
   Job leads, contact requests, announcements, etc.
10:55 – 11:10
   Open networking
11:10 – 12:00
   Speaker presentation
12:00 – 1:00
     Lunch and table networking

CSIX Connect is a Silicon Valley job searchers’ networking and support group that meets every Thursday at 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  If you are actively looking for a job, it’s a smart idea to join them on a regular basis!

For further information about CSIX Connect, including information about parking restrictions and future programs, please visit http://www.csix.org.





It’s Worth it to Reply to Job Postings!

15 10 2015

The phrase Go For It in red text on a yellow sticky note posted on a green notice boardHi Everyone,

You don’t see the emails we get from people who’ve landed jobs from the KIT List, so I want to encourage you to keep up your efforts. It really is WORTH it!

In fact, with the new KIT List web site that’s in final development, I’ll have a Testimonials section where you can read quotes from our KIT List recruiters and employers who’ve hired great people — and from job seekers who’ve landed jobs that will help keep you inspired!

I know it can be discouraging when you’re in the job-search mode. I also hear many job seekers worry that their resumes go into a black hole when they reply to jobs on the web. On the big sites, that can be true.

With the KIT List, there’s a big difference:

  • Your email goes directly to the recruiter or hiring person who posted the job.
  • Since we purposely don’t market the KIT List, the people on the KIT List have been referred by another friend or colleague. This has kept the quality of the people on the list high as top people refer other talented people.
  • Since we’re smaller than the huge job boards, you’re not one of hundreds replying to a job and getting sorted via a software screening program, so your response will be seen by a real person.

For that reason, it’s also important to take the time to write even a brief cover note when you reply to a KIT List job.

Don’t Overlook the Power of a Good Cover Letter

Over the years, I’ve seen people blow their chance to make a good impression either by not including a cover note at all, or by writing the following:

  • “Is this job still open?” Of course it is, they just posted it!
  • “What’s the rate (or salary)?” Please don’t do that! Instead, show your interest and value to them first. Save the salary query until the interview, and better yet, let them bring it up!
  • “Here’s my resume”

Tips for Your Cover Letter

I’ve talked to many recruiters over the years, and even had them as panelists at KIT List events and on the KIT List TV Show. Some recruiters don’t really look at cover letters, but you’d be surprised that so many actually do! Don’t run the risk of getting weeded out by not having a cover letter when it’s a recruiter or hiring manager who DOES care about a cover letter.

Your cover letter can be brief, but these are a few things that you should include:

  • Something stating your interest in the role
  •  The actual job title since they are likely hiring for multiple roles
  • A few bullets from your experience that pertain to the key requirements listed in the job description
  • Make sure you do not have any typos or grammatical errors
  • Include a nice closing statement
  • Your name and a good number to reach you

Avoid These Other Common Mistakes

It’s also a mistake is to reply to a job for which you are not remotely a fit. You don’t have to be a perfect match with all the requirements, but some people get a bad reputation for replying to just any job. Stay on focus and you’ll be a stronger candidate.

Another mistake is that you get put off by a long list of requirements and you don’t feel like you’re an exact fit. Job descriptions can be unintentionally misleading if it’s been cut and pasted from many other job posts, or if the person writing it didn’t research it well with the hiring manager. I’ve asked recruiters and they said that if you’re a 75% to 80% match with the job requirements to GO FOR IT! Don’t disqualify yourself prematurely.

Don’t get disheartened during the job search process. You never know what effort will be the one that will connect you with the right job. Keep at it, make a great impression with a good cover letter, and we hope you find a job you love soon!





Salary Negotiations: An Art and a Science

24 02 2015

By Lisa Stotlar

Negotiating salaries and other benefits can be hard. It’s hard because it involves risk. It’s hard because you don’t do it very often.

I love making this process easier for people. There are some tricks of the trade I’ve picked up that I hope can help demystify the whole thing for you. Let’s start with why you might not do it. Fear. It is a powerful emotion and can be very useful in this situation. Distinguishing whether the fear you’re feeling is a warning to prepare well for the negotiation or a sign to avoid the whole thing altogether is a good first step.

Group of Business People with Green Business

I’ve had lots of clients who negotiate successfully and some who don’t. The difference is in the preparation, understanding/managing fear, and reading the employer’s signals during the negotiation. I call all this the “Art and Science” of negotiating. The “Science” is the formal prep you do beforehand and the “Art” is the tap-dancing you will need to do in the moment because you never know what they’ll throw at you in a conversation.

The “Science”

Books, web articles, and/or a good career counselor/coach can teach you the science of negotiating – the concrete how-to’s, the math of it, the “if this happens, then do this” scenarios, i.e., all the “homework” you need to do to prepare for the negotiation as well as how to handle your fears. But if you don’t work on your Art too, things can go badly, quickly.

The “Art”

Be sure and pay attention to the subtle clues you can collect during the whole interview process. By the time the offer arrives, you ideally will have a sense of whether the hiring manager/company is flexible, has some wiggle room in the budget, has rigid HR restrictions, really wants/needs you for the role, etc.

All these things give you an idea of how much you can ask for and how carefully you need to tread during the meeting. Remember to be fully present, listen carefully, and assess where the delicate balance/threshold is in the conversation. For example, if the person says his/her “hands are tied” and can’t give you X, then you need to hear that and thank them for letting you know rather than push the issue. Trying to stay on some script (the Science) would be a bad move at this moment.

Here are some real examples of how these things can play out well when you mix Art and Science:

Real Stories as Examples

One of my clients was offered $20K more than the fair market value for her type of job. She didn’t ask for more money, but she did negotiate other things. She had done her homework and was fully ready to negotiate, but the Art of this was to recognize that they were already going above and beyond for her and so it would have seemed odd/out of touch not to recognize that. She happily accepted the offer after a little back & forth about the start date. She wanted a real vacation before starting and was able to get that.

Another was offered a position at a major university. It was a very good offer, but he was coming from the corporate world and had been used to negotiating fairly hard. I recommended that he soften his tune for this if he really wanted the job. Universities often have clear guidelines about what they will and won’t offer. So gently asking if there was any flexibility in the salary was going to be a much better approach than assuming there was more money and simply throwing out a higher number. It turned out well. The hiring manager went back to HR to negotiate on my client’s behalf. The manager and my client were in a sense already a team – bonding over this issue. He ended up with just $2K more, but the positive relationship with this manager was worth its weight in gold. And he did get some other perks including the ability to work from home fairly regularly and to attend at least 2 national conferences every year.

Another client was afraid to negotiate, but was determined to do it and really worked hard on preparing. But … in the end, I actually recommended that he not negotiate salary or a signing bonus. I could sense the offer was a bit precarious and he was desperate for the job. He wasn’t able to fully recognize important nuances in conversation partly because English was his second language. Every time we role-played, he was very forceful in his language and tone. He ended up negotiating a later start date, plus 2 weeks off for a pre-planned vacation, and some tools he needed for the position like a laptop and cell phone. He’s been in the job for about 6 months now and loves it. He feels he negotiated well and I agree.

Win-Win

If you decide you want to negotiate the salary, remember the whole exchange needs to be a Win-Win. You want to get something (Win), but they need something too (Win). So if for example, you’re offered a salary of $100K and their range is $95-115K, then you need to ask for more than you ultimately want to end up with in order to bring their final offer amount up.

For example, let’s say you want to bring the offer up by at least $5K – then nicely ask if there’s some flexibility with the salary because you were “hoping to get something in the $110s, if possible.” This will hopefully get you a final offer of $105-110K. That would be more money for you (Win), but still less money than the high end of their range (Win). You both get something out of the deal.

Note: If you had just said directly – I’d like $105K, the middle ground (Win-Win) would have yielded you about $103K. So know going into the discussion where you want that final number to be and then plan your strategy accordingly.

Lots of things to potentially ask for …

When thinking about negotiating, think about all the things you might want to negotiate for. By expanding your options, you will have the overall Win-Win results you want. Consider …

  1. Title
  • Title can affect money and future titles
  1. Money
  • Base Salary
  • Salary increase at 3 or 6 months if meet specific criteria
  • Bonus (annual, at 3 months, signing bonus, etc.)
  • Commission
  • Profit sharing
  • Stock options
  • Overtime $ or Comp time
  • If not being given medical, etc., ask for additional $ (up to 30%)
  1. Time
  • Request time off for a scheduled vacation, surgery, etc.
  • Request a specific start date so you can have a real break before starting
  1. Schedule
  • Work remotely X days/week
  • Work off-site
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Later or earlier starting (or ending) time every day or on specific days
  • Longer lunches when you want them – or the ability to skip lunch and leave earlier
  • 4-day work week (10 hours/day) or some other variation you need/want
  • Work part-time or work part-time at particular times (for example, summers)
  1. Benefits
  • Medical/Dental/Vision/Disability/Life Insurance
  • Vacation days, comp time, wellness/personal days, doctor appointment & sick time, other?
  • Pension, 401K
  • Matching investment program
  • Parking costs/train pass
  • Childcare subsidy
  • Gym membership
  1. Training
  • Conferences
  • Association dues
  • Tuition Reimbursement for you, your children
  1. Equipment
  • Cell phone, laptop, car, etc.
  • Equipment for your home office if you’ll be doing work from home
  1. Relocation
  • Moving expenses
  • Mortgage assistance

By thinking about negotiations in a much larger context than just salary, and remembering to aim for the Win-Win, you can end up with a much more robust offer.

Remember, no matter how it all plays out, end the negotiations on a high note. Be grateful that they tried to get you a good salary, even if they ultimately aren’t able to offer you what you exactly want. Being gracious about the process and giving them a final “Yes, I happily accept” answer will start you on a very positive path.

I wish you all the best in your next negotiations!

About the Author:
Lisa Stotlar, MA is a career counselor/coach for CareerGenerations in Palo Alto, a career services firm she co-founded with Ellen Shulman, MA in 2010. She has successfully helped thousands of people discover and celebrate their gifts and find meaningful work – and negotiate all sorts of Win-Win packages. For questions about negotiating or other career topics, you’re welcome to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with Lisa or her colleague Ellen at www.careergenerations.com and if you’d like to know more about negotiating and gain some invaluable practice, sign up for their March 11 $mart Negotiations Workshop.





5 Ways to Ask for a Referral

31 10 2013

Asking for referrals and introductions makes most of us uncomfortable. But think about it. If you’ve had a great experience working with someone, it’s really satisfying to refer that person to a friend or colleague. It’s even more rewarding when your colleague, too, finds value and thanks you for having made the connection.
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So how do you ask for a referral without being pushy or sounding desperate?

First, it’s helpful acknowledge your appreciation for the referrer. Something like: “You know, Joe, I really enjoy our work together. In particular, I appreciate the way you rally the troops to tackle big challenges…”

Then follow with “the ask.” The key is to ask in a way that encourages them to think of a specific person and give you specific name. Here are five ways to ask.

1. The Basic:
Who do you know that should know about me?

2. The Acknowledgement:
Who do you know who, like you, [compliment, aspiration]? Example: “Who do you know who, like you, has built a successful, fast-growing company and might need someone like me to…?”

3. The Challenge:
“When we first started working together you were experiencing [problem]. Who do you know that has a similar challenge who may want to meet me and learn more about how to achieve similar results?”

4. Curiosity:
“Who do you know who may be curious about the type of customized training program we’ve designed for you?”

5. The Breakthrough:
“You really achieved a significant breakthrough recently when we worked together on [project]. Who do you know who may seek a similar breakthrough?”

The next step is to ask them if they would be willing to make an introduction via email or phone. When they say yes, make it really easy for them. Send a brief one-paragraph introduction that highlights the types of problems you solve and results you deliver.

Before the introduction, be sure to ask the referrer what you should know about that person. Any information you can glean to help “break the ice” in your first call will result in more rapid rapport, and a higher probability of success.

What have you found works best to seek referrals from your colleagues and satisfied clients?

Share your ideas or experiences in the Comments section of this blog.

About the Author:

Kate Purmal is COO of an early stage stealth cell therapy company. She also serves as a consultant, advisor and business coach to CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs. Previously Kate served as a Senior Vice President at SanDisk, the CEO of the software joint venture U3, and led the product team that designed and launched the PalmPilot.
www.katepurmal.com

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“4 Ways to Write LinkedIn Messages That Actually Get Read”

23 10 2013

Hello Everyone,

I saw this article on Mashable.com and this captures the tips I’ve been wanting to share with the KIT List.

I get those auto-invitations to connect on LinkedIn all the time, but I don’t accept them unless I already know the person. However, the exception is when someone takes the time to write a personal note.

Taking a quick minute to write a personal note instead of using the form letter is well worth it. It creates context for why someone should connect with you. As the article mentions, just using the auto form is not a good practice and dramatically lowers your chance of being read.

Here’s the link to the article:
(www.http://mashable.com/2013/10/14/linkedin-message-tips/) and I’ve also included the full text below.

These are important points!

Warmly,

Sue

****************

4 Ways to Write LinkedIn Messages That Actually Get Read

By Sarah McCord for the Daily Muse

Imagine you were at a networking event, and you spot someone you don’t know but would love to. Maybe she has your dream job, or maybe he runs a great business that you’d like to model yours after.

Would you ever walk up to this person and blurt out a question or request for his or her time, sans context, gratitude or even introductions?

Probably not — but it happens all the time on LinkedIn.

The amazing thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to connect one-on-one with nearly anyone in the world. But I can’t tell you how many people I see squandering this opportunity by sending brief or automated messages that don’t give people any meaningful reason to connect — à la “Can you help me?” or “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” It’s lazy, it’s unprofessional, and it’s highly unlikely to get a response.

Spend a few more minutes crafting a personalized note, and you’re much more likely to make the connections you’re looking for. Try these four steps to writing a LinkedIn message that will get opened:

Step 1: Start with a Specific Title

Before you write the message, ask yourself: How do I know this person, and why am I reaching out to him or her? Is this someone you know and need advice from? Someone you share a contact with and want to know more about? A stranger with whom you’re hoping to connect for the first time?

Use that information, then, to craft as specific a subject line as possible: “Following Up from Last Night’s Event” is more likely to be read than “Following Up.” “Fellow Teacher Interested in Urban Education Reform” is better than “Loved Your Speech.” “Mutual Contact?” Don’t even think about it.

Earlier this year, I used LinkedIn InMail to ask a total stranger for professional advice. I knew that titling my message “Hello” would be a waste of a first impression, so I went with “Fellow Daily Muse Contributor Seeking Advice.”

Step 2: Introduce Yourself

When you see someone you don’t know well but are hoping to speak with, you usually give him or her a one sentence background: “I’m Sara — we met at the 10th anniversary event” or “I’m Sara, and I loved your latest blog on climate change.”

Don’t skip this step on LinkedIn. You should never assume your contact will just click on over to your profile to learn about you or see how you’re connected — be proactive (and respectful of the other person’s time) and write a quick intro.

The first paragraph of my InMail, for example, read, “My name is Sara McCord and I am a fellow contributing writer for The Daily Muse. I very much enjoyed [the latest piece she had written].”

Whether you use this sentence to include your mutual contact, where you’ve met or your shared background, tailoring your intro for the specific contact shows that you’re serious about connecting with him or her.

Step 3: Get to Why You’re Writing — and Fast

When it comes to emails, the shorter, the better. People are time-crunched, and you can lose their interest just as quickly as you got it if you segue from a pithy intro into a drawn-out monologue of why you should be connected or a lengthy recitation of your resume.

Keep this in mind as you craft your second paragraph, the meat of your message. Quickly dive into why you’re writing — and “just to be connected” doesn’t count. Why do you want to be connected? Do you love this person’s updates or products? Do you want to book him to speak at an event or invite her to guest post on your site? Do you want to ask this person questions about her company or background?

Let that topic sentence guide a paragraph (only one!) where you get into a few details: e.g., “I’m reaching out because I need advice. I’m in the midst of _______ and have some questions about ______.”

An important note, though: Make sure your ask is commensurate with your relationship. There’s a big difference between asking someone you don’t know if she’d be willing to spend 10 minutes on the phone with you talking about the interview process at her company and asking her to put in a good word for you with the CEO.

Step 4: Wrap it Up and Say Thank You

The last two lines of the message are your closing moment — think the “I look forward to hearing from you” at the end of the interview. You want to be gracious, but also make sure it’s clear what you’re asking for.

Try this: “All this to say, might you have time to [provide feedback, write a recommendation, make an introduction, whatever]? I greatly appreciate your time and expertise.” Remember, you’re asking a favor of someone you presumably don’t know well enough to call or email, so this thank-you is crucial.

These same strategies work if you’re requesting to add someone on LinkedIn — just shorten up the wording in each step. It takes just a couple minutes more than sending that automatic message, and it’s much more likely to get results.

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