Executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin shares her advice for job seekers, including what to do first, what employers are looking for in job candidates, common mistakes, and (yes!) the significance of your personal brand when it comes to job searching.

 

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CONTENTS

  • Summary
  • Resources
  • Transcript

SUMMARY

Communication Skills for Job Seekers

Start Here – Kicking off your Job-search 

  1. Develop your unique personal brand. Articulate your superpower. What’s the unique thing that will differentiate you from other job applicants?
  2. Identify exactly what you want. Is it a change of culture? More or less responsibility? A change of industry or discipline? What are you looking for?
  3. Update and optimize your LinkedIn profile. Prospective employers will go to LinkedIn first.
    • Let your personality show through on LinkedIn. It’s less formal than a resume.
    • Ensure the appropriate keywords are on your profile.  Be discoverable.
    • The “Open for Work” headshot frame is effective for more junior people, perhaps not for senior leaders.
    • If you’re seeking a change, you might mention it in your Headline and/or in the About section.
  • See Talk About Talk episodes #101 and #62 

Talk About Talk #107 - Communication Skills for JOB-SEEKERS - Quote by Sharon Mah-Gin

 

When Networking & Interviewing, be RESPECTFUL!

  • Be generous.  Be a giver, not a taker.
  • Be prepared, even for informational interviews.  “You can Google anything.”
  • Always say thank you and follow up with a thank you email.  The thank you note is your second chance to emphasize something important
  • Make it easy for people to help you. 
    • Be specific about the type of job you are looking for or about what people can do for you.
    • Reduce clicks. Avoid attachments in email.  

Keep it concise. Chronological resumes are much easier to read and understand than a functional resume! Generally, shorter is better.

 

Talk About Talk #107 - Communication Skills for JOB-SEEKERS - Quote 2 by Sharon Mah-Gin

 

Employers hire people who can help then make $$, save $$ or solve a problem.

  • Ensure your resume highlights how you made an impact. Ask yourself: “so what?” after every line in your c.v.
  • Tell employers directly how you can help them do these three things.

 


RESOURCES

Sharon Mah-Gin

Sharon Mah-Gin

 

Relevant Talk About Talk Episodes for Job Seekers

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki & Talk About Talk 


TRANSCRIPT

Okay, question number three, introvert or extrovert? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

a big extrovert with a big E and I get my energy and joy out of people and meeting new people and old friends, etc.

Who was that? I’m excited to introduce you to a wonderful friend and colleague of mine – executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin. Not only is Sharon high energy and a lot of fun to hang out with, but she’s also a highly respected and successful executive recruiter. So I figured she is the perfect person to share with us her expertise on dos and donts for job seekers.

Welcome to Talk About Talk episode #107, where we’re focusing on Communication Skills for Job-Seekers, with executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!). I’m the founder of Talk About Talk, and I’m your executive communication coach.

 

If youre an ambitious executive with a growth mindset who’s looking to advance your career? Well, you’re in the right place. At Talk About Talk, we focus on communication skills topics like confidence, networking, and demonstrating leadership. If you check out the TalkAboutTalk.com website, you’ll find many many resources to help you, including the new online course on Personal Branding, as well as 1-on-1 coaching, the archive of this bi-weekly podcast, and the free weekly email newsletter. Please go sign up for that newsletter if you haven’t already.  You can think of it as free communication-skills coaching. You can find all this at talkabouttalk.com. 

 

In this episode, you’ll hear my conversation with executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin, where we discuss and various do’s and donts to help you on your job searching journey. Keep listening for valuable insights from Sharon on things like how to kick off your job search, the most common mistakes people make, how and when to leverage recruiters in your job search, and importantly, what exactly companies are looking for in candidates.

 

As always, you don’t need to take notes, because I do that for you. So just keep doing whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re doing housework, going for a walk, or whether you’re in the car. You don’t need to stop to take notes ’cause I do that for you. At the end of this episode, I provide a summary of some of the most important points from our conversation. 

 

OK, let me introduce Sharon Mah-Gin.  This is Sharon’s THIRD time on the TalkAboutTalk episode. You can hear her in episodes 45 and 67, where she shares her advice on networking  This is relevant for all of us, whether we are actively seeking a new job or not. If you go to the shownotes for this episode, you’ll find links to those episodes there. 

 

Sharon-Mah-Gin earned her Commerce degree from Queens and she is a CPA and CA. She worked in auditing as and as controller before switching to executive search in 1996, when she started at Korn/Ferry International. Sharon is now an independent executive recruiter having successfully completed engagements in all functional areas including sales, marketing, operations, HR, general management, and financial. Sharon has also served on several boards, and she’s now working with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. To keep her out of trouble in her spare time, Sharon is an active skier, a hiker, and she‘s completed several half marathons. Yes, as you heard a minute ago, Sharon has a lot of energy, and it’s infectious!

 

INTERVIEW (unedited)

 

Thank you, Sharon, for joining us here today to talk about communication skills for job seekers.

 

Thank you so much. I’m delighted to be here today, Andrea,

 

although we’ve narrowed it down to the job seeking process, it’s actually pretty broad, right? There’s a lot of things that job seekers need to be thinking about. And so I thought, why don’t we just attack this chronologically? What is the first thing that job seekers should do when they start their job search?

 

right way to approach it, Andrea? The number one thing that I always ask jobseekers is, what is it that you’re looking for? And then from there, what’s your brand? What makes you different and unique to get to that end result? So you always start with? What do you want to be doing? What sort of jobs are you looking for? Do you? Do you want to take a step back? Do you want to grow your career? Do you want to change your career? So start with that end goal, or that dream or that vision? And then let’s work backwards on how we brand and communicate that in order to achieve that dream goal or vision?

 

Oh, you said the magic word brand. But before we get into that, you said begin by thinking about what your goal or what your vision is. And so how can jobseekers really think about what what the goal or the vision is?

 

So I’m going to really tailor my comments more to more senior level people versus it’s very different conversation, if we’re talking with people who are just starting off their career fresh out of university, so I’m going to really tailor it more towards that VP, C level, etc. And when I say that end goal, for example, let’s talk about a CFO search. I’m currently working on the CFO search. So if that CFO is the sort of end of his career, because you’re looking for that next step up role, does he want to work part time, global, etc. So one of the ways to do this is that if you’re sort of at that director VP, you want to sort of say, what’s the next job I’m, I want to take me to that next level of growth, it might be getting global experience, it might be dealing with analysts, if you’re an IT may be capital raising. So let’s talk about that first. And then from there, you know, what sorts of roles are we going to be looking for to help me get those skills?

 

Okay, okay, that that makes sense. So you begin with the end in mind, I often coach people, and I try to do that myself actually begin with the end in mind. And then you draw your path. Is there a general sequence of tasks that job seekers should cover off? So you, you define what your end goal is, you think a little bit about your about your brand, which we’ll talk about in a minute, but is there a sequence of an order of operations here in order to attain that dream job?

 

Absolutely high level, it’s that end goal, Vision dream. And then from there, it would be a matter of Okay, let’s look at my current skill set. So you can do that this goes back to that whole branding, you can get feedback from your friends from from colleagues, etc. What do you see as my strong skill sets? What do you see as my areas of growth, etc, to get some feedback to create that brand, which is so critical? Because when you’re going after that job, they’re going to be many people baby looking for that role? And you’ve got to really think about what makes you unique? What makes you different in terms of why should you be the one for that

 

role? Yeah. Music to my, to my ears. Sharon, as we say, unique is better than better. Right?

 

Correct. Absolutely. And I’m constantly saying that to potential candidates, like you’re giving me motherhood, what make like you’re just giving me my every CFO will tell me that there are people leader, or that I do external finance reporting, what makes you unique and what’s relevant in this role? Yes. Music to my ears to Andrea.

 

Yeah. We’re beating to the same drum here. Okay, so So then you start to formulate what your personal brand is. And then what do you do? Like, I feel like, I’d be like, Okay, I know what I want. And I know who I am. Right now.

 

Okay, should they be contacting you? Should they be updating their LinkedIn? Yeah, absolutely.

 

So then, the number one thing we’re gonna say is executive search firms were like, it’d be good for outplacement firms. They’ll tell you we are 1% of your search strategy. The true way of finding that next role is another magical word for you. And I address is networking. Right? Like I mean, a lot of us in executive search, we’re making 20 or 30 searches a year. So think about that. Probably 20 or 30 people. So because we work at the senior level do go through a board, you know, there they take a while. So number one, you absolutely should let search firms know because you know, you could be that lucky one person, but the real way A from a job search is working your network. And that means getting out there. That means attending events, we did a great podcast on networking that people can listen to. And again, it’s just as a quick reminder, is getting out there to events events are happening. And that’s where communicating your brand is going to be really important at these cocktail parties. Don’t waste the opportunities, sending out emails to your warm Network. And don’t remember we talked about this the subject line, don’t waste like looking for a job, it should be, you know, CFO, global, you’re looking for, you know, use that as your branding statement, right. And then with your pitch your I mean, your elevator pitch, for lack of a better word, again, in the format of an email, not as an attachment because everybody reads those emails, you know, on their phone, and it’s a pain in the butt to open up to the cover letter and also the resume, right. That’s

 

a great point, put it right into the email. Yes,

 

make it easy for people to help you,

 

whether it’s the recruiter or you know, your network friend,

 

or the network or the acquaintance. And that, well, we’re gonna talk about pet peeves later, but that is one of my biggest pet.

 

Yeah, we love people that make things easy for us, right? I totally get,

 

I’m gonna say it again. Make it people generally are kind and generous and do want to help. True, but you have to make it easy for them to state. I’m just looking for a job. Well, what does that mean? Yeah, you know, and if you have target companies that use it, and you know, some companies, I’m targeting our, you know, IBM, or point click care, or, you know, like, that’s even more helpful, because then it helps people go, Oh, I know somebody who works at those companies versus this thing. Health care, that sort of? Yes. And again, I can’t emphasize that. It’s to say that I’m a CFO looking for my next role. What what industry?

 

Yeah, yeah. Right. you’ve defined your function. It’s finance. But what about industry,

 

right? So if you can say I’m a global CFO, with external capital, raising m&a experience, you know, currently looking for my next role, because I was just reorganized? Well, what I’m targeting are technology companies, like think research or point click care, or whatever. Yeah, much more impactful,

 

I think you’ve just actually articulated a really nice template. So thank you, I will tell you, I’ll summarize that in the in the end. And also in the show notes, I really, I really think people are going to find that helpful. And it it again, links back to your personal brand. So we’ve got to find what your end goal or vision is, we’ve got articulating what your unique proposition is in terms of your personal brand. And we’ve got get out, get out and network. And, of course, talk to recruiters, but more so talk to friends, family, colleagues, everybody, and then using this beautiful template that you just articulated to

 

make it easy for people to help you. So saying, Yeah,

 

what about LinkedIn? How does LinkedIn fit in? They’re

 

really critical, I would tell you that every single recruiter, I know whether it’s in house, or external recruiters, they all go to LinkedIn at the very beginning to do a search to sort of say, okay, if I’m looking for a board person, or C level, whatever, almost guarantee you, everybody is using LinkedIn. So it’s really important that you have it, update it, that it’s professional, that it’s clear on your branding statement, and more importantly, that you have the right key words, so that you’re found in the searches. Yes, right. I had one incident where I had a candidate who was looking for a digital marketing. And I said, this will fit your LinkedIn. Nowhere in your LinkedIn is the word digital marketing. Yeah. She didn’t realize it was like an aha moment.

 

Yeah. Yeah. So I just gonna be a little bit prescriptive here. I’m thinking, if we were coaching this young woman, we would say, so you’re not going to put it in your headline because you haven’t done it yet. But you could put it in your about section like I am seeking this, right? Absolutely not. If it is something you’re aspiring to then say that and use the words

 

exactly I am for my next role, or I am or I am seeking that leader. Absolutely. Because as you and I discussed underneath their name, they’re gonna have the key words of who they are, right? Like whether it’s the people that we’ve spoken with, we’ve done a really good job of that. You’ve helped them a lot with that.

 

So a couple people have asked me this. I’m wondering if you have an opinion. Underneath your headshot on LinkedIn, there’s an opportunity that you can you can have a little ring that says currently open to for work. Yeah, open for work. Yes. Do you recommend that people use that or how do you what do you think

 

about that? That is a really interesting question. And like you I’ve had mixed His reactions to at the higher level more senior roles, I wouldn’t advise it because I don’t I just doesn’t feel like again, it goes back to that branding statement, right. Like, people may think it looks like it makes them desperate. Right. But then you can also argue saying, well, knowing when I see that as recruit, I go, Yes, I know, they’re gonna be very warm and open to a conversation. Yeah. So the way I would answer that is it really depends on your own comfort level, it goes back to what you said about your brand. It’s really important, as you and I have discussed before, Andrea, that your brand is unique to you. It has to be relevant for the role, but more importantly, you have to own it,

 

right? Yeah, I love your point about more senior executives, it might make you look a little bit desperate, because I that’s what I heard from somebody who’s you know, a professional LinkedIn trainer. And yet, I think about a week after I heard or read that I saw on, there was a college student, that was like a friend of one of my sons. And I saw that he had open for work looking for currently seeking a summer internship. He actually had that in his headline. And my immediate response was good for him.

 

Yes, right. Yes, I would love it at that level. Love it. Yeah, there. And I’m, that’s exactly how I would respond. He’s taking the initiative, right, like you want to need, he’s really worked on it. It’s clear. And I know he’s available. And I know he’s gonna be open to a conversation.

 

So later, later on in your career, though, as you become more senior, you I think you’re right, it might make you appear a little bit desperate, unless maybe you’re coming back after a leave of absence for some reason. Right. So there’s like, to your point, it depends on the context. Yes, it does. I’d love to go through some do’s and don’ts for different stages of our job search. So first of all, just to finish off LinkedIn, I know once you told me that less than half of the people that you’re placing or that you’re checking out on LinkedIn, actually have an impressive profile. So completing it is like a big do and not completing it is a big don’t. Is there and then using the keywords, as you said, Is there anything else any other advice for do’s and don’ts?

 

Well, I mean, that’s where you can let your personality come out a little bit more, right, because I’m like a resume, which is more of a formal document, that a bolt section is so critical, because that’s where you can let you know, your love a little bit more of your personality come out. So I always say, if you can do that, and again, it goes back to the branding that we talked about, definitely, you should list all your jobs chronologically, and ideally, for your most recent jobs have at least a few key accomplishments. I know a lot of senior executives, this lists their jobs, and there’s nothing under it. So I get you may not want to do it for all the jobs but at least say for the last five years. Yeah, have at least a few key accomplishments there.

 

And I know Sharon, because we’ve worked on on this enough with executives, what is it that they should be sharing?

 

My three golden rules is what you’re referring to companies hire you for three things, whether you’re my 20 year old, or my CEO, who is making a million dollars, companies hired because you can help them make money, save money, or help them solve an issue. Like really think about that, like I mean, when you think about any job that you’ve applied to, when you’ve gotten hired, that person either is going yes, he or she or they can help me with this. And this, and it’s usually in the context of making money, saving money or helping them solve an issue.

 

I think that is such an important insight for people that are job searching every line on their resume, which is the next thing I wanted to ask you about. Right. It’s more formal than the LinkedIn. And then, as you said, for at least the most recent few positions on their LinkedIn should be describing what they did, ideally, in terms of those three things that you just said.

 

Absolutely. I can’t tell you how many times I look at a resume and I look and so for example, it might say managed 100 people. Yeah, then I go. So a lot. Yeah. Okay. So you manage people versus managed 100 people, which I coached and mentored, and two of them are now in leadership roles.

 

Yeah. Right. Demonstrating impact. Exactly. Are the one

 

in terms of you know, did a turn around, or an m&a deal? Yeah. Five of them. Yes. So what? Be tough on yourself and say so what? To every bullet point you have in your resume when it comes to key accomplishments, and finish the other half of that sentence? Again, it’s about making money saving money helping solve an issue.

 

Anything else in terms of the resume do’s and don’ts, maybe especially the biggest mistakes that you see people making with their resume?

 

app? Yeah, absolutely. too wordy where it? All I see is a bunch of words and I’m just inundated. We don’t like functional resumes. We prefer chronological resumes. Okay, of a functional resume. You’ve broken it down by your areas of attributes. So you’re making me work too hard? Yeah. To understand your background. Yeah. Most people like to start at the bottom where they go to school, any interest, any interesting hobbies, like you want to be, ideally, one but interesting hobbies. Otherwise, you’re just wasting words. Yeah, where did you go to school? What was your first job and those you don’t need a lot of Fox, if you’ve worked for 20, again, at the senior levels, the first week, just list them so that I can quickly go, okay, they graduated, they did this, I get it. Like, say a farmer person, they did sales to carry the bag and became an account manager. And then it should now get into the management roles, then you want to see a little bit more of the key accomplishments. And certainly in the last five years, she wants to see a little bit more piece to that. So no more than two pages. Less words, is better than too many words. Yeah, keep it tight. Keep it concise. The human brain can only usually process three key thoughts. Otherwise, after that they just, they forget they’ve won the prize or three. They got it. Yeah. And you did a wonderful podcast on that.

 

So the power of three, I think nicely aligns with what you said at the beginning about making it easy, make it easy for recruiters make it easy for the people that you’re networking with. Chris Oh, okay. So moving on now to networking. And what about informational interviews? Do you have do’s and don’ts about networking and specifically about I know a lot of people that I know that have been on job searches recently said, step one for me is to do a bunch of informational interviews.

 

So I mean, information interviews typically are done through an introduction, right? Like it’s hard to do cold call information, interviews, right? I find them helpful, if you can, really again, goes back to that networking, reciprocality. Like, for example, as soon as I get a reach out, going, hi, I don’t know you, but I’m looking for a job and just wondering if you could have some time in the next week to have a discussion on the job market. And and frankly, that makes me go nuts. Because you’re it’s a cold call. I don’t know who you are. And you think I have nothing better to do than to sit there and talk about the job market with you. Or you’re not doing any of your own research? Or you’re not going like there’s a lot of resources out there. You can you can Google anything. And you can YouTube anything. Right? So it’s almost an insult versus someone that says I was referred to you by Andrea, she’s thinks of you highly. I’m interested in going into executive search, would you have 20 minutes that you can read that I really just want to know what the key success factors and the failure factors about a career in executive search, right.

 

So your network to find people that you can do informational interviews with? I really liked that point. I agree. Again, you’re also it’s, it’s the thing about respect and making it easy for the other person I was thinking, it’s probably a friend of a friend. Or it could be fellow alumni, right? So same high school or the same college or maybe even the same company, right? Like you both worked at the same company. At some point, you could say, I’d really love to hear your experience as you transition to whatever because I’m going to be doing the same thing. And then keep it short. You don’t have to book an hour.

 

And you say that yet the power 30 minute meetings, no more than 30 minutes. Right, Andrea? I applied that you mentioned that to me before. And you’re absolutely right. It keeps the conversation tighter. And again, let’s talk go back to the power of LinkedIn an excellent point when you’re doing an information interview. So say I want to get to Andrea, and someone’s referred me when I call and I look you up on LinkedIn, you show me who my mutual connections are. And I can look at that and going, I want to get to two entry. And I noticed that five of those people are really buddies of mine. So I’ll contact them and say, I want to get to Andrea, and I noticed that you’re connected to her. How do you know her? That mutual connection section? Right? Yeah, that is invaluable in terms of warm

 

introductions. Absolutely. Absolutely. And people generally will love and and that’s an easy ask, can you please. You know if you know the person well enough, can you please introduce me? Yeah, correct. That’s a great idea. Yeah. So let’s move on to interviewing. I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of stories write about people that you’ve brought in for a client who’s hiring and then the person messes it up in the interviews? Can you share some basic do’s and don’ts for interviewing?

 

I’m gonna first start off with the power of even a simple thank you. Yeah, I am amazed at how many candidates who have done an interview don’t write a thank you note. And it comes up ones for example, when I’m doing a debrief with a candidate and they said well, Sharon, I wish I talked about this or I didn’t I could have clarified this and I said well you have a second shot at it. And they go What do you mean I said that’s the power of the thank you though, in that thank you know that you’re gonna write you thank them for their time but then you also say, I just wanted to clarify or I hadn’t thought of that. Sure. Yeah. So number one, the power of destroying your thank you all right. And then number two obviously, me these are basics but preparing yourself for the interview right? Get on their LinkedIn check out who they are see who the mutual connect shins are, you know, obviously review the company information, the position profile, when prepared have a few questions that you don’t have questions but the expectations maybe two or three, anything more than that you’re taking up too much time right? Watch the time usually they’ll tell you if it’s an hour be respectful

 

of time somebody told me once they were searching for a new job. And this was the second round of interviews, somebody had booked a 30 minute interview. And she thought to herself, this is that meeting where if it’s only 30 minutes, I know I didn’t get the job. So when she herself is booking off time to be interviewed, even if they only say it’s 30 minutes, she would give an hour because she said in her experience, when the interview is going well, yes, the person will extend it. Do you think that might be true?

 

Yes, absolutely. Because I try not to book that tightly, like 30 minutes, 30 minutes on the top, I try to allow myself a few minutes. And if I’m continuing, it’s because I’m enjoying the conversation. Right. So I think there is some truth to that people do the 30 minutes so that that way you manage expectations, you won’t feel if I booked an hour, I knew you weren’t gonna be my candidate. And I want to give you 30 minutes I personally that may come across as rude, right? So you’re better just say 30 minutes, and then extend, you know, and a lot of times, I will say, Do you have another 10 minutes or 15 minutes. So never booked yourself that tight.

 

That’s a nice insight. So so keep yourself open on the on the back end. Okay, any other general do’s and don’ts that you have Sharon for job seekers?

 

There’s this soulmate. I was gonna say I was gonna try to be respectful of your time. And certainly I’ve shared stories with you. Your pet peeve? Okay. Pet peeves for me, are people who are job seeking who come to me and are very generic and have not prepped, they expect me to do everything for them. They don’t they can’t tell me a branding statement. They can’t communicate to me what they’re looking for. Like you tell me you’re a salesperson and knowing your resume is the word sales, right? And I’m serious when I say that, they look at me going, Oh, or you know, like, what’s your brand statement? And I keep I’ll say, motherhood, you just give me me motherhood? I’m a salesperson. Okay, one more? What’s your differentiator? Why are you different? Why should I hire you? How you can help me make money? If you don’t have those answers? When I’m meeting you for a job? Shame on you? Yeah, then you’re just wasting my time and your own time.

 

So share it, it sounds like you’re saying that if the person hasn’t developed and articulated their personal brand, they’re, they’re making it really hard for themselves.

 

They are and you know what else, you only get one shot at it. And people are gonna remember that. So you’re at a cocktail. And as I often coach people, you’re not clear on your brand, you hear some things for you to think about. And I would ask, don’t go to the market. Don’t go attend any events, because people are going to ask, Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Yeah. What are you looking for? If you can’t articulate that, that’s a wasted opportunity. Right? You know, our world is getting crazier and crazier with social media. We all know that between LinkedIn and Facebook and stuff, and you find that people, it’s moving quickly, and people want to help. But they want you to make it easy for them. They want to remember your brand. And if you cannot articulate that clearly, then you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

 

Yeah. And I would say the advice that I would give to someone who was walking into one of those cocktail parties would be as you said, What is the one thing you want them to remember about you? You don’t want it to be Andrea’s looking for a job you want it to be? Andrea would be awesome, in a job where whatever, like whatever that unique thing is, right? So maybe communications

 

coach, you know, as Andrea, that’s extremely, you totally get that’s exactly what I’m saying. I can’t tell you. Unfortunately, it’s probably more often than the exception.

 

So before we get to the five rapid fire questions, I just want you to clarify for everyone because I know as I’ve gotten to know you very well over the last couple of years, it’s become pretty crystal clear to me what the role is of executive recruiters in this process. But then I hear people talking about I’m job seeking. So the first thing I’m going to do is reach out to a bunch of recruiters and I’m like, so can you just share with the listeners, how they should be thinking about the role of executive recruiters and maybe some do’s and don’ts and maybe there are different types of recruiters. Just give us a quick summary.

 

Okay, again, I’m talking at the senior levels, okay, like, I’m talking about retained search. We are 1% of your search strategy. Your first thing that you should be thinking about is what is my brand and figure out what your end goal is. We are executive search firms retained search firms are such a small business I mentioned to you, a lot of us maybe do 2030 searches a year. So think about that from a numbers perspective. And what

 

I’ve told people is your client as an executive recruiter is the firm, quite lots of people that are looking for a job

 

Yes. My clients pay me. So that’s where they get confused because contingency firms will shop your resume, right? Because they only get paid if you hire them. I’m paid on a retainer basis like a trusted lawyer or an accountant. So I work for the client. Not for the job seeker.

 

Right. Okay, that’s great to clarify that. Okay. All right. Are you ready for the five rapid fire questions? Sharon?

 

I am. I am. I always love this part. Okay.

 

What are your pet peeves?

 

Well, we talked about it earlier. But in terms of job search, I’m gonna do it that way. People will forget to say thank you, people who are not clear on their branding,

 

so they haven’t prepped. Okay, next question. What type of learner Are you?

 

Definitely visual. Absolutely love seeing photos and you’re such a wonderful and beautiful artists, Andrea, so I’m always admiring your artwork, and your colors and stuff? Definitely. And

 

your check is in the mail. Sharon. Okay. Okay, question number three, introvert or extrovert? There’s

 

a big extrovert with a big E and I get my energy and joy out of people and meeting new people and old friends, etc.

 

Yeah, ditto. Okay, question number four communication preference for personal conversations.

 

Depends on the relationship. But I am loving zoom these days, because I’ve really adjusted and I just move part of it is I really feel now very comfortable with it. And I can really feel the emotions etc. And if you think about it from an executive search, I’ve had the best fiscal year I’ve had and a lot eatle in my search career in the last two years, everything has been done on Zoom, which means I can have successfully closed all my searches, which means that I can obviously assess people very well on Zoom. All right video. So therefore, I really love that from a business but certainly personal on personal relationships. I love the in person.

 

Okay, last Rapid Fire question. Is there a podcast or a blog or an email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most lately? I’m constantly

 

recommending yours to Andrea, you really actually helped me a lot with job seekers. And then the other podcasts that I’ve really enjoyed recently is the Jay Shetty one, because what I found is that he really ties in both the spiritual and the business side. So I’ve really enjoyed listening to

 

that. Okay, I’ll leave a link to those in the show notes. It’s great. Thank you for referring all the people to talk about talk, Sharon.

 

Yes, my No, I believe me, I think you’re helping me. I don’t have to repeat myself. It’s almost a standard part of my courtesy interviews to be frank with you. Oh,

 

yeah. Yes. Is there anything else you want to add in terms of communication skills for job seekers, things that will help them?

 

Absolutely number one attitude? Be positive, you know, if you do the work, I can almost guarantee you, you will find a job. And obviously, how are you different and positive and unique and relevant for that role? And how do you make money save money? How do you solve the problem?

 

Brilliant, you just you just wrote the summary for this podcast episode. Thank you. Thanks, Sharon. I know you’re gonna help many, many job seekers. Thank you so much.

My absolute pleasure. Thank you so much. Take care.

 

CONCLUSION

Sharon, you’re awesome.  Thank you thank you.

 

Now, as promised, I’m going to briefly summarize our conversation to identify some of the main learnings. I went through the transcript for us and pulled out three general things to emphasize:

  1. First things first – where to start – the 3 things to do when you kick off your job search (yes, of course it’s three – the power of 3, right?)
  2. The one general piece of advice to always keep in mind when you’re networking and interviewing
  3. What employers are looking for.

Thank you again to Sharon for so generously sharing her insights.  You can connect with Sharon on LinkedIn and find links to her other two talkabouttalk podcast episodes focused on NETWORKING in the shownotes on the talkabouttalk.com website. While you’re there, I hope you’ll sign up for my communication skills newsletter. It’s like getting free communication skills coaching in your inbox, once per week. You can sign up easily on the website at talkabouttalk.com.

 

I hope you found some helpful advice in this episode.  And I hope you’ll share it with your friends. 

 

THANKS for LISTENING.  Talk soon!