In this interview series, we caught up with Mac Prichard from Mac’s List who shares his expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc.in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Mac’s List is a Pacific Northwest job board driven by a simple idea: the hiring process should be more human. When we break down the barriers between employers and job seekers, everybody wins.
As the top career resource for passionate professionals in Oregon, and Washington, we focus on sharing high quality job listings and actionable resources that help people find and land the jobs they deserve.
Our job board features hundreds of real, local, professional-level jobs in the Pacific Northwest.
Our job search advice and resources help job seekers learn how to build professional networks and improve their job search strategies.
Our hiring services help employers improve their processes and connect with the best candidates in the region.
As a certified B Corp, we’re part of a global movement to use business as a force for social good. Our mission: to make the hiring process more human, for both job seekers and employers. Whether you’re looking for the right job, direction in your career, or your next new hire, the Mac’s List team is here to help.
How did you get started?
The Mac’s List website today attracts more than 50,000 unique visitors every month.
But we began in 2001, when I started forwarding job postings to a few dozen colleagues because I wanted to stay in touch and serve the community.
How did you get started in this path? Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I didn’t plan to work in this world. My career has been in communications, politics, and government. And I continue to run a public relations company today in addition to Mac’s List.
But as I shared job postings over the years, people came to me for advice about job hunting. And employers asked me to send them great people.
My team and I have built Mac’s List to serve those needs and the community.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Hands down it’s the gratification I feel when a reader or employer tells me the career advice or a job listing on the Mac’s List site helped them find a dream job or great employee.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
Every week on my podcast, “Find Your Dream Job,” I get to talk to a different career or HR expert about the nuts-and-bolts of job hunting and hiring.
To get ready for those conversations, I read the websites, LinkedIn articles, and social media posts of my guests.
That preparation — along with the more than 200 conversations I’ve had so far — give me a good understanding of what’s happening in the career development industry.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
I think the biggest challenge job seekers face is learning job hunting skills.
To have a great career — and work you can love — you need to know your goals and how to network, and get really good at writing applications, interviewing, and negotiating salary benefits.
Here’s the good news: With practice and effort, everybody can master these skills. There’s never been more good (and free) information out there about job search.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
The top three mistakes I see job seekers make:
- No clear job search goal or short list of goals;
- Looking only at job boards;
- Not preparing for job interviews or salary negotiations.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Job seekers need to start by looking at how they spend their time. Too many people do nothing but look at job boards like Mac’s List.
But some estimates say between 40 and 80 percent of all jobs never get posted.
You can find them through networking and word of mouth, but you need to step away from the computer and get out and talk to others.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
I think the economic growth we have enjoyed the last decade has created great demand for new services and more workers.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
As more automation makes it easier and easier to apply for jobs, there will be more competition for positions posted online.
To get the attention of hiring managers, job seekers will need to get even better at networking, informational interviews, and other old fashioned job search methods.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Recognize that your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job.
Yes, you need to know what the position is, but then figure out the two or three positions that it will take to get it and go down that path first.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Talk to people who have made that career switch.
Ask them what obstacles they faced and how they overcame them. And also ask what concerns and employer might have about your candidacy and their best advice about how to address those concerns.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
First, recognize that LinkedIn is not an online resume.
Yes, as with a resume, you need to describe your accomplishments, not your responsibilities. But on LinkedIn readers expect a different approach.
You should write in the first person and keep your language simple and friendly. Doing so shows you put care and thought into creating your LinkedIn page.
Second, create a complete profile.
That means you need to include a photo, a good summary, and list all your past jobs, volunteer roles, and education. You also should ask for one or two recommendations for each position and take the time to connect via a personal invitation with all your former coworkers, bosses, and classmates.
An incomplete LInkedIn profile (no photo, only one job listed, and a few connections), is almost as bad as having no account at all.
Finally, use LinkedIn as a publishing platform to show your industry expertise and engage with others.
Share blog posts, presentations, or other material you created for your job. Or post relevant news articles weekly and occasionally comment on the posts of others. When you do this you will increase visibility and people will think of you when jobs open up.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Hiring managers need to modernize their methods.
If they want to attract the best applicants, especially as unemployment rates remain low, companies need to write better job postings, include salary ranges, and communicate with applicants.
Employers should also pay attention to what applicants told us in an recent Mac’s List survey matters even more than money: An organization’s mission and culture.
Mac, what are you currently working on?
We recently expanded the Mac’s List job board to Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound area, so we now serve employers and job seekers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
We offer many free resources at Mac’s List.
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
Connect with or Follow Mac Prichard on Social Media:
Mac Prichard and Mac’s List have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.