Really Useful Job Search Tactics: A Handbook of Contemporary Job Hunting Techniques

1. So you're in the elevator and you meet up with the . What is the first sentence of the 30-second elevator pitch?

If at all possible?never 30 seconds. The best pitch (which must be practiced! They just don't work otherwise.) should be about 12-20 seconds long and end with a question (in the world of sales: a call to action.)

Hi Mr.__________________, I'm Rick Gillis. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to briefly talk with you. I would like you to know that in a previous position I was responsible for 49% of gross annual sales resulting in a net to the bottom line of $2 Million. Can I do that for you?

The point is: express one of your most relevant (to the position you are seeking) personal-best accomplishments to break the ice. If possible express an accomplishment that, when asking the final question (Can I do that for you?), your listener could not possibly say 'no'.

2. How do you use guerilla tactics to find a job? What is an example of one?

Oooooh! Good Question! Get Creative. One of my personal favorites as a salesguy---and by the way, job seeking is nothing more than selling (yourself!)---is to send your paper resume directly to the hiring manager's personal attention with a Lotto Scratch Off ticket enclosed*.

The package would consist of your resume, a very short cover letter or card and a Lotto Ticket.

The handwritten cover letter will say 'I am sending you this chance (underlined) hoping you will give me a chance (underlined) to present myself to you for the entry-level engineering position (reference #_ ) posted on your corporate website. I am the ideal candidate for this position.

If I don't hear from you sooner, I will call next Wednesday to see if you won anything.


Rick Gillis

Mobile Phone

Home Phone

Email Address

Admittedly, you will have to do some footwork in order to learn the name of the hiring manager. In my book I have a 'get past the gatekeeper? script to assist with this problem.

*Also, for anyone who may not know, I am based in Texas, USA and I assume (maybe incorrectly) that the rest of the world plays lotto scratch off tickets. We have all manner of lottery tickets available to the public in $1, $5 + increments. If you scratch and win you collect anywhere from face value of the card up to several thousands of dollars. (My greatest fear is that I will give away the winning $50,000 ticket!)

I also heard of this tactic being employed on a significantly higher level and value with a female company VP receiving a single shoe from a pair of Jimmy Choo?s (+/- $600 or so a pair) with the promise that the matching shoe would be presented at the time of a personal interview. No word on the result. And I have NO Idea how you would learn the proper shoe size!

The point? Be creative.

Another tactic I'm fond of is the job seeker adding a manufactured Press Release from the hiring company announcing their addition to the ranks of the company to the envelope containing their personal resume. This one will get a grin from your audience and, who knows? They just might use it! (Just in case you are not aware, there is a specific format used in press releases. Go online to learn how to do this 'professionally'.)

3. You started out with the internet in terms of employment. What are its limitations?

Simple. The internet, regardless of the,, and of the world, does not allow for real face to face, in-person networking. The reality is that 60-80% of ALL jobs are filled as a result of networking. I love the internet and all that it offers?and this medium is only in its infant stages?but real world jobs, for the most part, are still found via word of mouth. There are several reasons for this but the primary one is that a 'warm call' to a hiring manager is always better received than a cold call AND it is significantly less expensive to an employer to hire someone referred from within the company than to go to the expense of advertising or engaging a staffing company.

4. A pre-resume is what? How can you best use it?

Pre-Resume? is my term. I recently coined it because I have gone to a great deal of trouble to create my own resume format. I initially called it (and it is still called this in the book) The Superior Resume?. I soon realized that it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to prepare and continue to rework a personal resume. That said I have taken to asking my readers and audience members to continue to use their 'long-form' resume in the personal interview. BUT for the purpose of getting the interview/the first phone call, I strongly recommend the use of my Pre-Resume? format. It is a powerful one-page document. Professional recruiters and staffing concerns will tell you that they prefer a one-page resume/summary of your career. THEN if it meets fundamental requirements they will call you for more information. I have a sample of my one-page Superior Resume? in the book.

5. What is the biggest limitation that job seekers bring to the process?

Hmmmm?.? Implicit in this question is the idea that one is truly qualified for the position. Beyond that some limitations I see are:

  • the ability to not know how to 'play' the keywords/key phrases aspect of the online job search [Note: You MUST load up your resume/online application with words/lingo that indicates you can 'talk the talk'! (see my book for much more about this) and
  • the lack of preparation researching the interviewing company. With the availability of information on the internet, even for private companies, there is no reason whatever to appear at an interview w/o good, solid knowledge on the products, services, mission, goals and focus of a company. This also goes for non-profit employers as well.

6. Your belief is that the prospective employee has to bring something of value to the table. What is one of the best ways of doing this?

Honestly, there is only one way to bring value to the table: you must be able to express to an employer, hiring manager, recruiter how you are going to 'make the company money or save the company money'. I quote this because this is key central thought/mantra/rule I base my entire book and live presentations on.

How do you do this? By creating an accomplishment and achievements worksheet. Formally type it out and keep it with you. In my mind the worst thing that can happen to you following an interview (on the phone or in person) is when you have left the interview and you have that moment when mentally reviewing what just occurred and you say to yourself (after soundly trouncing the steering wheel!), 'I should have said?.!!!' Or worse, 'Damn! I should have told them about the time I?.!!!' You can't call them back so just don't let it happen.

Prepare a formal list of your personal best accomplishments. Best (particularly if you are an experienced person) if they are based in your on-the-job accomplishments but your personal best achievements can relate to academic, athletic, charity, volunteer, or any other aspect of your life that you are proud of. Ask your family, kids, spouse, friends and coworkers about things you have done they remember. You will be astonished at how many wonderful things you have done that you have forgotten.

Always try to use $ and % symbols in your accomplishments. They JUMP off a resume. Also 'spell' out your $ achievements. Notice how, even in this sentence were you to just glance down at this page how much more important $1,300,000.00 looks compared to $1.3 million. They mean the same but all those zeroes grab attention?particularly to an employer!

7. What part does attitude play on the part of the job seeker?

Quite simply attitude is everything. During the job search throw out your personal humility. Society teaches us not to brag on ourselves but in order to compete in the game called Job Search?and more importantly, to win?you have to absolutely, positively believe you are the best at what you do. Internalize it! And then you have to express it. You do so by 'bragging' on yourself (see #6 above) but don't go over the top. Next a great, firm handshake and a bright, natural smile will win the day. Be Proud of You!

One last point here: when the interview is over and you determine that Yes, you want this job, tell your interviewer as much. Stand up. Shake their hand. Look them squarely in the eye and say 'I want this job.' Hold the handshake for just a brief moment longer to make the point. This 'moment beyond' will make all the difference. I want you to come away from an interview having been compelling and memorable! This is one of the small details that will make a difference.

8. What one thing that job seekers do drives you up the wall?

I have not personally hired/interviewed anyone in the past 5-7 years that I have been working on my own out of my home (which I love!) but having had an employment based radio show I have interviewed professional recruiters in both the human resources and staffing arenas. One of the biggies was the cell phone going off during the interview. Bad. Not good. Not too favorable an impression is created here?.as a matter of fact you should probably thank your interviewer and leave?

Another I regularly hear about is the individual who shows up late without having called ahead OR the candidate who never shows up at all! That kind of nonsense and lack of professionalism gets talked about. I can return to bite you in the backside.

9. What do you really like to see in a well crafted