"J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs" is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at jtanddale.com.Dear J.T. & Dale: My job forbids current and former employees from being references — it only permits HR to verify dates of employment. If I get laid off, I will have only family and friends to use as references. I had two previous jobs, but both companies went out of business ages ago, and the people I use as references have died. Will employers be understanding? — Eric Dale: No, no, no … Eric, please listen to yourself. The application process is the first test of how an employee fits the culture. And here you take a routine request for references and make a soap opera out of it. Employers want to hire somebody who “finds a way,” not someone skilled at recounting all the reasons why it’s too hard. The minute you say all your former references have died, so have your prospects. J.T.: Which is why we’re glad you contacted us. The answer is yes, you can expect most employers to be understanding about the trend toward strict policies on references. However, your solution — personal references — is not going to be enough. Two thoughts: First, see if you can drum up any old contacts using social media tools like Facebook or LinkedIn. If you can track down co-workers from former jobs, at least they can vouch for your employment history. Second, if you do any community volunteering or are active in any associations, you can use those individuals as references. Dale: Good advice. When most people compile job references, they think of former supervisors, and, sure, those are ideal. However, most employers are willing to talk to other colleagues who’ve seen your work. So, broaden your pool of potential references and re-establish contact until you find at least two or three who fondly recall working with you and are happy to talk about it. Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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If you feel like many of the job postings you come across in your job search are scams, you're not alone. You are not the first job seeker to tell me they feel this way. But we have to think about where this comes from.
The Job Application Process Is A Broken System
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nana_5075 Why job listings feel like a scam... #jobs#careers#careertok#jobtok♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
Back in the day, a company would post a job in the want ad section of a newspaper, so you'd have to open up a newspaper, read through it, write up a resume and cover letter, and snail mail your application off to them. When the idea came to post jobs online, it meant more people who were the right fit could apply. But over time, that's broken down.
Now thousands of people will apply for one job when it gets posted. And many of those job applicants are not a fit. So employers now have to hire recruiters, who are also called sourcers, to go through thousands of applicants so they can whittle it down to about 50 qualified applicants. What's the rhyme or reason they're using to select some applicants and screen others out?
This is why you don't get called—because it's just so random.
After employers get down to 50 applicants, they look through those, find a few they like, and call them. That's why only 3% of people who apply online ever hear back from companies.
It's a completely broken system, so I can see why it feels like a scam. The whole thing is flawed.
So, how do we improve this system? It starts with making better matches, getting back to a place where only the right people are applying to the employer. We actually want fewer applicants, but more of the right applicants. That's the solution. And there are hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry trying to figure it out. But the one thing we have seen is that storytelling is one of the ways to do that.
You're going to see a rise in companies telling their stories. And there's a fancy term for this in our industry. It's called employer branding. Companies will tell their stories on social media platforms like TikTok so that those stories fatefully, naturally, and organically show up in your feed. But it's not fate, right? It's the algorithm at work—and before you know it, you'll start to see companies that feel like a fit. Then you'll go over and check them out. You'll see that there's a job posted that you're fit for. And this is how this matching process will start to fine-tune itself.
Right now, yes, you're right. Those online job postings don't work. They don't work for either side. We need a better system. And storytelling is the key. So go learn how to conduct a proactive job search today so you can finally land a job and work for an employer you actually like!
Need more help with your job search?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
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