The Briefcase “Briefs” Job Search Newsletter – Issue #25

In this issue: unveiling the organizational chart, interview strategies, CEO and c-suite trends, Jimmy Fallon on the importance of “WHY”, workforce reduction, and much more…

Good morning readers! 

Job search candidates, hiring managers, and recruiters alike are seeing unprecedented openings and interviews in Q1 2022. As employees continue to shuffle among the “Great Resignation,” our industry is feeling the pressure. Q1 has historically been busy in this industry as many of our clients wait for bonus payouts before making moves, but Q1 feels different. Clients are sharing over and over again how much job searching has changed over the past decade.

While there is still a focus on networking, job searchers need to be more strategic and targeted – in every aspect of their search. When preparing to search for a new position, I believe the best practice is to develop a comprehensive strategy backed by a clear vision of where one wants to land next.

As HR as a practice becomes more digital and strategic, organizations are working to decrease the “time to fill.”

One organization, in particular, Nestlé Purina North America, implemented a talent pipeline recruiting strategy and in 2017 “filled 43% of their positions before they came open”.

This pipeline approach is called a “pre-need strategy” because candidate sourcing starts before the manager has an immediate opening.

Candidates need to be more strategic in the job search process and create target networking lists. As more companies take this approach, job boards will become less fruitful. Before starting a job search, you HAVE to identify your focus and target company list.

Don’t be afraid of proactively reaching out to decision-makers at your target list of companies for a networking meeting.

I comb through hundreds of articles each week to find those that I believe will benefit the job seeker the most. I look for articles that highlight best practices in the hiring process, workplace trends, personal development advice from experts, and hot topics from across industries. I hope this curated selection of articles provides actionable benefits to all job seekers and employers alike.

Rooting for you!

Sarah


Job Search Strategy

The Organizational Chart: No Longer a Hidden Secret - Briefcase Coach
The Organizational Chart: No Longer a Hidden Secret – Briefcase Coachbriefcasecoach.com

Organizational charts are perhaps one of the most important research tools when job searching. This article shows the value of your target company’s organizational chart and how to leverage it in your job search.

5 Ways to Customize a Cover Letter
5 Ways to Customize a Cover Letterwww.kornferry.com

Korn Ferry career coach, Val Olson looks at the art of perfecting a cover letter in today’s hot job market.

8 Major Reasons Why You’re Not Landing a Job and What to Do about It
8 Major Reasons Why You’re Not Landing a Job and What to Do about Itwww.linkedin.com

You’re unemployed and wondering why you’re not landing a job as fast as you’d like. You’re hearing there are plenty of jobs out there and wondering why you haven’t been contacted by employers. Bob McIntosh explains why you might be in this situation.

Interview Preparation

Executive Interview Questions
Executive Interview Questionswww.lever.co

Need to hire an executive, senior manager, or leader? The team at Lever has published an extensive list of the top executive interview questions to find the best executive, senior manager, and leadership hires. This is one of the most comprehensive lists of executive questions we’ve found!

Preparing for a high-stakes executive interview - LinkedIn Learning course on leadership-level interviewing
Preparing for a high-stakes executive interview – LinkedIn Learning course on leadership-level interviewingwww.linkedin.com

LinkedIn Learning hired me to create a course on how to prepare for leadership-level interviews. It includes my framework for answering questions and tips for researching your targets. I hope that you find it helpful as you prepare for future opportunities.

Workplace Trends

CEO Confidence Index: Proportion Of CEOs Planning To Increase Hiring Highest We've Seen

Chief Executive’s February CEO Confidence Index poll shows a record number of CEOs plan to increase their hiring over the coming year, but, their confidence in future conditions dropped on worries over interest rates, inflation and instability.

PwC Pulse Survey: Executive views on business in 2022
PwC Pulse Survey: Executive views on business in 2022www.pwc.com

Businesses are stymied by inflation, the pandemic, and a talent shortage. PwC survey results point to the C-suite uniting to prioritize investments that accelerate growth.

Peer to Boss: The Important Transition No One Told You About
Peer to Boss: The Important Transition No One Told You Aboutwww.forbes.com

Transitioning from peer to boss can be lonely. Forbes contributor, Miriam Grobman unpacks some of the social dynamics that may play out and share some tips that can help you better manage this.

Hybrid-Remote Workforce

Workers Care More About Flexible Hours Than Remote Work - WSJ
Workers Care More About Flexible Hours Than Remote Work – WSJwww.wsj.com

Flush with power as employers raise wages and scramble to fill open jobs. The Wall Street Journal reports that workers care even more about flexible schedules than whether or not they go into an office.

More Americans Are Leaving Cities, But Don’t Call It an Urban Exodus
More Americans Are Leaving Cities, But Don’t Call It an Urban Exoduswww.bloomberg.com

A year of migration data shows movement outward in some of the densest and most expensive metro areas during the pandemic. But Bloomberg found most people stayed close by.

Workforce Reduction

“I didn’t realize that I was essentially taking hush money by signing the separation agreement to accept the severance payment.”

“When I left, I was unable to tell my story.”

“…I would land interviews, and without fail, e͟v͟e͟r͟y͟ recruiter asked me why I left my last job (which to outsiders looked like a dream job). I couldn’t give them an honest answer. I was bound by this NDA that prohibited me from sharing any information. It made it virtually impossible to look people in the face and give them a realistic-sounding answer. There are only so many ways that you can spin “I just needed a change.”

These pearls of wisdom were recently shared with me by an executive job seeker who was unfairly squeezed out of his previous company.

💼 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲?

I am not an employment lawyer and am not qualified to give legal advice.

But here’s some inside scoop. Many employers condition severance pay on the employee signing a release: an agreement not to sue the employer for claims arising out of the employment relationship. 

They cannot require you to sign a release if you are already legally entitled to severance pay. 

Severance agreements are incredibly one-sided because your employer’s legal counsel has drafted them. 

If you’re being asked to sign a non-compete or confidential information agreement, your signature WILL restrict your future employment prospects and entrepreneurial activities.

You don’t have to sign the agreement on the spot. Many states offer a 21-day period to review the letter and negotiate your best options.

Remember: you have leverage. Or at least more leverage than you think you do. The employer really, really wants you to sign the agreement so that you don’t sue.

Personal Development

Jimmy Fallon Spent Years Chasing A Dream That Wasn't Really His. Finding His 'Why' Changed Everything.
Jimmy Fallon Spent Years Chasing A Dream That Wasn't Really His. Finding His 'Why' Changed Everything.www.entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief, Jason Feifer, explains how The Tonight Show host built his career and an entertainment empire — by first identifying his most important mission.

Significant other just resigned? Here's how to keep the peace at home
Significant other just resigned? Here's how to keep the peace at homewww.fastcompany.com

So your significant other just quit their job. How do you maintain a balance when both you and your partner “work” from home?Elizabeth Grace Sauders looks at ways to stay out of each others’ hair.

A final thought…

As the world continues to reopen in the wake of an unprecedented pandemic, Americans are finding there is still not enough time in the day. Organizational psychologist and best-selling author, Adam Grant looks at a new, common way to gain hours in your day – working from home and saving time on the commute.

[tweet https://twitter.com/AdamMGrant/status/1488531587100725250]

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward this newsletter to your job searching friends or post about it on social media. This small act really helps!
  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn
  • Share the link to my marketplace, Job Search Journey, with your friends who are unemployed or underemployed. We have hundreds of low-cost templates and scripts designed to help people land jobs faster.
  • Recommend my resume and interview coaching services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach

Sarah Johnston

Sarah Johnston is a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. She has relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and has had to execute job searches in completely cold markets. She has been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

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