Monday, November 14, 2011

Thank You Notes


I was talking to one of my candidates this morning about a thank you note she was going to write. I was relieved to learn that she was hand writing a short note instead of emailing it. Email is great, but not for thank you notes. I've found most emailed thank you notes candidates write to their interviewer to be too long, too much about themselves (instead of the company), and are often hastily and poorly written.

I prefer a short, legible hand written note on good stationary. Keep it simple and to the point. Mail it immediately after an interview - it has a much bigger impact than any email.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Call us yourself!


If your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, sister/brother, cousin or any other SO (significant other) needs a job don’t, call a search firm for them. At Ankenbrandt we are happy to give advice, coach you a bit and lead you in the right direction but call us yourself.

If you’re looking for a management job you should be able to pick up the phone and call me, shoot me an articulate email and do a Google search on job hunting - yourself.

Attention all you well-meaning spouses, siblings, and cousins don’t “help” by phoning us. These people are not children. You calling us for them diminishes them in our eyes. If they can’t handle a phone call or make time to chat with us, how are they able to get a job done? How are they going to find time to interview? It sets up a bad first impression. Stop “helping” and let them do it themselves!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pre-Facebook


Last Thursday I was distracted from work because I was waiting for feedback on an interview. (For those of you who get anxious waiting for interview feedback, I feel your pain!) I usually have the discipline to continue to work, but I couldn’t focus and I was checking Facebook - a lot. I took a long lunch while reading the Wall Street Journal, but still had time to kill. So what did I do when I got back to my desk - checked Facebook!

In the past, did we hang out at the coffee pot waiting for a co-worker to stop by, visit the receptionist, pace the halls, clean the ever messy desk or call a few random friends? I can’t remember. Facebook has become my social hub and go-to spot when I need a distraction. Will Google+ start being of interest to me now, too?

I do know that with all our instant communication ability, it’s tough to wait for people to get back to you but interviews do take time and my patience was being tested. The interview worked out, everyone was pleased and he’s moving forward in the process. 

(But seriously, what did we do before Facebook?)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NETS Meeting

Last Thursday I went off to Corpus Christi Church in Aliso Viejo to a NETS meeting to speak about networking. I had a great time at the meeting explaining how recruiters network – which is how we work - and meeting a group of very nice people.

NETS is a good group because it’s not too big, the people get to know each other, and they help each other out. This group is truly committed to one another and helping people transition through their careers. I think if we all participate in a good group similar to NETS, it would open up our networks tremendously.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Networking with Hooter’s Girls?? What??!???


I received an invitation to attend an in person networking meeting with a large group I joined through LinkedIn. One of my work friends, E, also received an invite so we decided to meet there and network as a team. Working a room with two people is easier than one. As I parked in the lot waiting for her to arrive and talking to her via cell, a car parks and out hop the Hooter’s Girls. They grab food out of their trunk and head right into the networking group. I’m narrating the scene as it happens all E had to say was, “Are you serious?” Yes, I was serious. Right away my gut feel was is going to be bad and it was. The event was loud, unorganized, the food was all in one cramped location, and you had to yell to hear anyone.
E also had a few thoughts about the networking event I thought I’d share.

“It was very disorganized. You would think there would be some kind of welcome speech by the organizer with an explanation of the purpose of the gathering and some tips for networking, so that people did not just wander aimlessly. The set up was not conducive to meet and greets – just a mass of people huddled together looking befuddled. Also, there was no rhyme or reason to the broad cross section of industries represented. Perhaps if they set up areas for people with similar industries/interests to meet that would be much better. I just did not get a good vibe there. Zero interest in talking with anyone.
Then of course, you said it all when you commented that based on that experience you will never attend another event by them. Unfortunately, it leaves one with a negative impression of the whole group. Also, one last note – they made us go through the trouble of registering for the event, but then they never checked to see if we were actually registered – i.e. they did not check us in via a list of registrants. Now I get that they just wanted to fill the place up, but not checking names discourages people from taking them seriously when the appearance is that they letting anyone in off the street, and are just collecting business cards to bombard us with some sales pitch for some other nefarious reason.
Of course! Too bad you didn’t take a picture of the mess – it would have been a good visual of what not to do if you want a successful event. A photo of me looking very annoyed would have been good ;-). ”

I do agree with E’s appraisal of the event. This was the second one I’ve attended and I don’t plan on attending third. Lesson learned – sometimes large networking events are a waste of time and you’re better off cultivating the network you already have.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Working with Recruiters


Last week a CFO candidate called me about a job opportunity, great guy, good skill set but he came out of the wrong industry for my client. When I told him he may not work for my current client he got angry, frustrated and said my client didn’t know what he is doing.

I don’t like to waste time. As a recruiter, I work on commission and I am talking to you because you've been referred and I respect all my referrals or I found you and I think you maybe a fit. I prefer to talk to people who I think I can place either now or in the future. If at the end of our conversation if it's not a match for our current client we may have another one down the road. Plus you don’t know all the requirements for the job. We typically give you some of them but hold back on releasing all the information because it’s confidential. So please don’t get angry, frustrated or resentful. You can use me as a great networking contact and a resource for information.

Bottom line, the client, the company paying us, is who I work for and I may have to tell you no. Remember when you are job hunting you will hear a lot of no’s before you hear a yes. The yes will come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lee Hecht Harrison's Recruiter Roundtable


Today I had a great experience at Lee Hecht Harrison’s Recruiter Roundtable. There were four recruiters, including me, on the panel answering industry questions. I recruit, interview, cold call, schedule, coach, market and coordinate all day long. When it’s your job to find jobs, you forget how difficult it is for those of you searching for a job.

Lee Hecht does a good job teaching people how to find a job and how to work with recruiters. The candidates there had some great questions and got some good answers. One of the questions that got the most attention was - What are the most important questions for a candidate to ask?

The general gist of the conversation lead toward the wrap up of an interview. It’s good to ask questions but not too many. The max you should ask is five. You need to close the interview. What do I mean by that? Ask what the next step is, ask the interviewer if there is anything you need to clarify, ask for the job. Never, never leave without asking a question. The kiss of death is not asking a good question. So do your homework on the company and the people you’re meeting with then ask a great question!