Survey Reveals Greatest Job Search Challenge

Baseball has something in common with job search at a fundamental level.

businessmen-mazeBaseball is a game of failure. Time and again coaches and parents tell baseball players to “keep your head up.” If you succeed one-third of the time, you are an elite hitter. There aren’t too many places in life where failing two out of three times is considered a success. Baseball is one such place.

Job search is another.

If one-third of your applications results in an interview, you’re doing great.

If one-third of your interviews results in an offer, you’re doing great.

It’s vital to remember that it just takes one hit to turn your day at the plate around. Your next at-bat could be a bases-clearing double, and not every out is unproductive. Grounding out to second is a productive out if it advances a runner from first to second. Your interviews that don’t result in offers can still be productive “outs” for your search because you are making connections, practicing your interviewing skills, and learning what’s important to hiring companies. Then like a batter, you work between games (interviews) to refine your swing (answers to questions) so that when the next game (interview) comes, you get the results you want.

It just takes one. One hit to turn a game around or one job offer to turn a search around.

One is the key number. You just need one connection, one application, to be a hit and you’re happy with your search and your opportunity.

What to do if you’re among the 82% of executives in a job search who revealed in a recent survey that their greatest challenge in job search is simply getting interviews? Or if you’re part of the 49% who are finding it difficult to close the deal with an offer they like when they do have an interview?

First thing you do is remember that it just takes one. You only need to land one job that is right for you, not all the jobs that could be right for you. You just need that one hit, that one offer, and you must always believe you’ll get it next time. Batters and job seekers both must always remain positive in the face of failure if they are to succeed next time.

Once you have given yourself an attitude adjustment, work on your value proposition.

The survey showed that 48% think they need help understanding and articulating their value. Our career coacheswho work with executives every day, say that number is much closer to 90%. All too often those in job search think they know their value proposition, but when questioned by a career coach, they discover they need some help. Helping executive job seekers understand their true value and share it in a meaningful way is the number one need of the people of our coaches work with. Too often they think explaining duties and telling their title lets someone know their value. A value proposition is much more. It tells what you deliver, the promise you make to those who employ you. Flushing that out, coupled with understanding that it just takes one hit, will make a huge difference in any search.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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