A person I trust, with many years experience in my field (and with a much better view of the “big picture”) urged me to get Mark Andersen’s book. It is not an exaggeration to say that I Got the Job! deserves a significant amount of credit for my receiving an offer last week.
The major things this book taught me are:
– My personal “zone”: Although I didn’t gel with the Don Draper mindset specifically, reading carefully through that chapter made me think of something that did work for me: I’m interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing me. I came up with a list of questions that I genuinely want to know about the company, that will really affect my day-to-day life, and had them at the ready. (Like: What standards do you follow? What tools are people in my position required to use?)
The interview is not an interrogation. They’re not talking to you because they want to determine all of your flaws–they WANT to hire you. They want to find a good candidate just as much as you want to find a good job! So interview them!
Coming up with my personal zone was the most important thing that helped me feel confident during the interview.
– Chapter 16, regarding the cover letter and resume, was the most impactful for me. The hardest part starting my job search was figuring out how to tell my unique story in a truthful, yet conducive-to-getting-a-job kind of way. I worked for five years after college, was laid off along with many of my peers, couldn’t find work for a few years after that, and ended up being a stay-at-home dad. Over the past three years I’ve re-trained myself in the latest and greatest, and now my youngest is entering kindergarten.
I decided to use the summary statement at the top of my resume as the primary way of telling my story. The problem was that, in its original form, it was spending more time expressing my enthusiasm for returning to the field, instead of “owning my expertise” and listing off all the things that I’ve been doing during my past three years of self-training. What started off as almost apologetic, turned out to be an impressive statement of what I am able to handle, all while taking care of two little boys.
Although I obviously cannot point to recent professional experience, my blog and some downloadable resources that I’ve prepared, now made it easy to point to many specific accomplishments.
– How to research an appropriate salary, by using resources such as
salary.com, and job boards like
dice.com. What is especially important for someone like me, who’s been out of the market for so long, is I need to be careful to not give too low of a salary requirement, to avoid awkwardness when I do indeed get myself back up to speed.
I simply never would’ve thought of these things had I not read I Got the Job!, and I’m reasonably certain that I would not have gotten the job.
A great book, and a steal at five dollars for the Kindle version. Highly recommended.