In this interview series, we caught up with Dana Manciagli from Job Search Master Class® who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc., in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Leading online 24 x 7 curriculum for end-to-end job search skills training.
Job Search Master Class® is current, continuously updated, and filled with tools, templates, scripts, and worksheets to get a better job faster. Versions are available for Veterans and Military Spouses, too.
How did you get started?
Left my executive position at Microsoft to start my “work of compassion”, dedicated to helping thousands secure employment.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
Throughout my 30 year career, I coached others on their career moves and built a system to help them and my own career moves. When I had the opportunity to start my own business, this is the path I chose.
I started with authoring a book, private coaching, then invested in building a professional online curriculum.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
Job searching is like sales.
The candidate first needs to deeply understand the needs of the hiring team and the “specs” of the role they are seeking.
From there, all positioning (via resumes, LinkedIn, cover letters and interviewing) needs to convince your audience that you are the square peg for their square hole.
Keep your message bold and simple yet focused on how you meet their needs.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
The most exciting part is seeing committed job seekers learn new techniques and landing their target roles. Celebrating!
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I study as an avid learner. I follow other experts, talk to hiring managers, recruiters and following changes with technology such as the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Lacking confidence, no clear job goal, lost on job search techniques, don’t know how to communicate their value to the hiring team in multiple formats (resume, networking, interviews, etc), and lacking networking skills.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
They don’t have a system nor an order of steps to follow. This problem triggers errors with resumes, cover letters, networking and interviewing.
As an example, most job seekers are spraying out resumes without setting a goal or preparing their story.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
They need to become learners and accept they may be out of date with techniques or need to learn virtually every step. Instead of guessing and hoping, so may resources are available to help them.
As an example, one out of a hundred job seekers use a job tracker to document every move and schedule their follow up. Process and discipline will change their game!
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The job market has picked up. There are more open positions. However, job-seekers still need to compete to win!
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Jobvite does a great job with reports and predicting the future. I believe LinkedIn will be much more critical, not only on having a great profile…so much more.
The Applicant Tracking Systems on the corporate side will also be a bigger challenge for job seekers. Networking skills will be a key to success.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Invest time in learning how to “ride the bike” and all the techniques of the job search steps. By mastering them, the steps will stay with them for the rest of their career.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Learn as much as possible about the future career before applying to positions. Work on your story and pivot on the skills the future hiring manager is looking for.
Avoid telling yourself “I can’t I don’t have the qualifications”, or anything negative. You DO need to be the best at your job search techniques, ranging from goal-setting to resume, cover letter, applications to networking and interviews.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
1) Your profile needs to speak to your target market.
The Holy Grail of LinkedIn is to wake up and see an e-mail from a recruiter who found you on LinkedIn and has a position they want you to interview for. But that’s not going to happen if your profile is not feeding the algorithm beast.
What does the LinkedIn algorithm want to eat?
Here’s a short list:
- A summary packed with key words and key phrases that your future position type calls out in their job descriptions.
- A headline packed with skills words that are relevant to the future position hiring team.
- Under each job, your bullets should be in stack rank order, starting with the most important ones to the reader.
- Repeat skill words under each job. Don’t assume since you mentioned “cross-team collaboration” once that you’re done. The algorithm values the repetition.
4) Making connections on LinkedIn is not networking; it’s populating a database.
First, assure you are writing a personalized note in every connection request. It’s hard to find this feature on the LinkedIn app so I recommend using your computer.
Trick: Open up their full profile, read about them, then hit that connect button and avoid all other connect buttons. Be formal and use proper grammar. Second, once they connect back, get out of LinkedIn and send them an e-mail, clearly stating your goal and ask for a 15 minute phone call to seek their help.
If you don’t ask, you will never know!
3) Participate in groups relevant to your future position
You can do this by providing help, advice, asking questions and sharing your goal.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Hiring the best person.
It is increasingly expensive for hiring companies to make a bad hire. They are going to take fewer risks on “I can learn this”. They will rely more on internal referrals or recommendations from their network.
What are the best resources (blogs,books,courses,etc.) you recommend to job seekers?
Next to my book (Cut the Crap, Get a Job!), blogs and online courses, there are so many wonderful online resources based on job seekers’ needs.
There is no lack of help. All of us coaches here “I need to get a good job fast.” But many are not willing to invest time or money to be a “student” of how to be the best job candidate ever! Seek help, candidates.
Dana, what are your currently working on?
I am offering more free webinars and servicing my clients via Job Search Master Class and private coaching.
I am also helping Military service members, Veterans and Military Spouses through major corporation sponsorship.
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
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Dana Manciagli and Job Search MasterClass have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.