A re-occurring comment that I hear from those seeking employment is “I need a job”. The most frequently asked question is, “Does the VA have any openings for ……….”?
That leads me to a question…..WWYS? You may be familiar with a bracelet many people wear that reads WWJD- What Would Jesus Do? Along those same lines, I would like to know; WWYS- What Would You Say? Occasionally we meet people that can assist us. It would make my day if I was retweeted by @WhiteHouse or a @nfl team, but if I actually had their ear for a rare moment, WWYS? If I meet someone of great knowledge, power or legendary status, what would I ask him or her? To get even closer, if you had the ear of a recruiter for the company you desire to work for, WWYS to that person? What information would you like to have from that individual? How can I make the best of this opportunity? WWYS?
We have all heard of people going to extreme lengths to get the attention of prospective employers. Some are unique and may work for you, some are just poor ideas. What is important is to know what you are going to say when you get the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention.
It is my belief that most recruiters and hiring managers want to help people. Actually, the easier you make it on the recruiter the more likely you will be hired. While many candidates are waiting to be told what the next step is, an innovative job seeker will be demonstrating why they are a perfect fit. Never ask a question you can find out for yourself. If wwwVacareers.va.gov has 3000 jobs listed, then it is fairly easy to identify what is open and at which location. If I have used the resources available at http://www.vaforvet.va.gov/ , then I know all about the Veteran hiring preferences and procedures.
So, what kind of questions should we be asking or what should we say….to those that can assist us in getting into our next career? Here are a few to consider:
- I am an expert in_______; can you refer me to the team leader in your company that could discuss their hiring needs?
- After you have had a chance to review my resume, may I schedule a few minutes to get your expertise on improvements?
- Can you refer me to a member in _________ department to get an idea of the organization’s culture?
These questions can be adapted to suit your situation, but they are creative and set you apart from the crowd. They demonstrate your willingness to learn more about the company, your intelligence and you give the other person credit for expertise in their field. Form a connection and remember to use the manners that our Mothers taught us. Lastly, be prepared and know- WWYS?