MIDDLETOWN—Jay Lang has seen hundreds of job seekers come through his doors, distraught and disheartened.
He says the way most people look for a job won’t get them back to work, and using traditional methods gives them a one to three percent success rate in getting an interview.
When people lose their jobs, they may feel worthless, Lang says. A key factor in successfully finding a job is to retain a sense of professionalism.
“One moment you are director of a multi-million-dollar company and the next day you are at home sweating it out figuring out if the font on your resume is good enough to get through human resources,” he said.
Lang challenges job seekers to reclaim their professionalism. “From this moment you will conduct yourself in everything you do as the professional you are: from the way you think, speak, people you interact with, materials you present, confidence you behold, clothes you wear—the exact same persona you possessed prior to your unemployment,” Lang’s book, “Breakthrough! How to Get Hired in Today’s Tough Job Market” advises.
He asks job seekers to think of themselves as the company they now work for, which he calls Me, Inc.
His approach is to proactively get to the decision maker. “It’s a marketing endeavor to get to decision makers and understand their needs, to sit down with them and have a dialogue with them so that you understand what their needs are and then demonstrate, in real time, how you can meet those needs.”
“To be successful in your job search, your focus must be away from your needs and on providing a solution to an employer’s problem,” Lang writes.
The job seeker cannot let emotions rule during the job search. In the interview, he tells job seekers to “shift your focus away from your emotional concerns to their needs, maintaining at all times it’s a business transaction and should be treated as such.”
Strategy That Works
“Most of those people, when they lose their jobs, go through the traditional methodology which is: get a resume and cover letter together,” he said.
Lang described one client who was out of a job for three months, had sent out about 45 résumés, and got no interviews.
In his book, Lang uses three tools to get people at the top of employers’ list: a Professional Profile, a Skills Alignment Matrix, and the Compensation Grid
The Professional Profile shows all the job seekers attributes without any of the negatives like gaps in employment or questionable factors that might give the reader a negative impression. He calls this a “cheat sheet” that job seekers can use on the phone with prospective employers.
The Skills Align Matrix is just that, a list of skills a job seeker possesses next to those the employer is looking for. He suggests sending it to a prospective employer and even bringing it to an interview to show off.
The Compensation Grid is a grid that compares compensation packages from different employers. Some higher-salary jobs may seem better, but after factoring in things like benefits, taxes, insurance, and parking, the numbers may look a little different.
Sharon Woll, who wrote the forward to Lang’s book, landed her job at insurance company Crum & Foster in 2014 and about a year later was promoted to State Filings Manager.
She says the Professional Profile and Skills Alignment Matrix makes a job candidate stand out from the crowd. “Bottom line, with this book, the job search endeavor takes on a whole new meaning and direction with the non-conventional tools presented.”
Valerie LoSardo said the methods in the book brought back her professionalism and taught her how to go to decision makers when she applied for positions.
“Once I started to utilize this methodology and send a Professional Profile and letter to a decision maker, I was now getting an interview for each decision maker I contacted,” she said in an email.
She advised job seekers to understand the methodology. “To have confidence in yourself, go out and sell yourself to the decision makers and make it happen,” she wrote, “and it will happen.”
Lang described one client who was out of a job for three months, had sent out about 45 résumés, and got no interviews. After she used the methodology in the book, she got a 100 percent response rate for interviews with decision makers.
On the day she went for an interview with the CEO of one company, she found an email from the HR department that said, “Thank you for your interest. We are looking elsewhere.”
She had contacted the company’s HR department before she used Lang’s methods but got the job after an interview with the CEO.
This successful job seeker later wrote a note to Lang, saying his approach to bypass HR and go directly to the decision maker “remarkably translates into success.”
“I get those all the time because people are so discouraged, then they end up with a fantastic job,” Lang said.
One of his clients named a salary amount during an interview. His prospective employer came back with, “‘I think you’re going to need a little bit more than that,'” Lang said with a laugh. “You never hear that.”
Lang has consulted for Orange County Employment and Training and SUNY Orange. He has 15 years of experience as a head hunter and recruitment specialist in New York City and throughout the Hudson Valley. He also has an office in Middletown.
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