Category: Tactics

How to Get Found by Recruiters on

By posting intelligent reviews on about books in your field, you may be found by smart recruiters. This is a great short cut for being FOUND when you just Put America Back To Work don’t have time to blog.  Try it… it takes very little time and your review may become a ‘featured review’ on Amazon which will make finding you a snap.

The One TRUE Measurement of Your Job Search Progress


Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman

In a job search, one often measures his or her progress by tallying up the total number of résumés submitted, usually online at the job boards, to prospective employers. To put it mildly, this measurement is largely meaningless.

The only true measurement that is an accurate gauge of progress is this one: the total number of First-Time, Face-to-Face (1FTF) interviews you have completed or have scheduled. No other measurement is more meaningful in your job search. None. If you are NOT getting 1FTF interviews, you are NOT going to be getting job offers! It’s really that simple.

Every single day I hear (or read) comments such as these from job seekers: “I have sent out over 200 resumes and haven’t heard from anyone!” Or, “I had six interviews with one company and still didn’t get hired!” Or, “I have been to dozens of networking meetings and met a lot of people but I can’t seem to get anything going!”

While such frustrations and laments are certainly understandable, the fact of the matter is, these job seekers are measuring—and working on—the wrong things!

Let me use an analogy to underscore my point.

When engineers and construction managers build something (home, skyscraper, road, bridge, etc.), they use a flow diagram or flow chart called a PERT chart (Program Evaluation and Review Technique).The power of this flow diagram is that it lays out the critical path for completing the project in the minimal amount of time. And within the chart, there is always a critical activity around which everything else depends. Everything done before this one critical activity must only be those things necessary to make that one thing happen, and nothing after the critical activity can be accomplished until the critical activity itself is accomplished.

When building a home, for example, completing the roof is the critical activity. The home can’t be finished until the roof is on (the electrical work, the sheet rock, the finishing, the painting, the appliances, etc.). Every one of these subsequent activities is dependent upon the roof being on. Thus, since putting the roof is on is THE critical activity, all activities prior to the roof must be those that are focused on getting the roof on as fast as possible. So clearing the land, digging and pouring the foundation, putting up the frame, etc., are activities geared toward getting the roof on as fast as possible so everything else can follow.

The same principle holds true in your job search. Your most critical activity, i.e., the one activity around which everything else depends, is your “first-time, face-to-face” (1FTF) interviews. This one number, more than anything else, allows you to accurately assess the effectiveness and progress of your job search. And the power that it provides you is that it gives you the opportunity to modify your job search activities immediately to ensure that you will stay on track.

It is not until you have the 1FTF scheduled that you can prepare for the interview. It is only during the 1FTF that you can build rapport and “sell” yourself, and it is only after the 1FTF that you can develop and implement your follow-up plan, discuss offers, negotiate and ultimately start work.

So, everything else prior to the 1FTF needs to be focused on securing that 1FTF. It doesn’t matter how many resumes you send out. It doesn’t matter how many networking meetings you attend. What matters is whether or not you are converting them into 1FTF interviews.

The single most important question, then, that you MUST ask yourself every single day that will keep you on track is, “Where is my next 1FTF coming from?” Any activity that helps you secure the 1FTF is good. Any activity that isn’t getting you a 1FTF must be brutally assessed and changed.

As a “headhunter” I ask myself every single day, “Where is my next 1FTF coming from?” It is the ONE measurement that “headhunters” use to manage our business. I know, with absolute certainty that, if I’m not getting candidates in front of hiring managers for 1FTF conversations, I am not going to make placements! It makes absolutely no difference how many job openings I am aware of. It doesn’t matter how many candidates I may have submitted to a hiring manager or company. The only thing that matters is getting the first time face-to-face interview scheduled and completed! Without that, I am out of business. It is THE critical activity in the job placement world and should also be yours.

Why 1FTFs and not some other measurement? First, seldom is a person hired without someone in a company meeting him or her for the first time. Since that is practically a “given,” it is a constant. Subsequent interviews don’t provide a meaningful measurement because you never know how many additional interviews a company may have. Thus, additional interviews are a variable whereas the 1FTF is a constant.

So, how many 1FTF interviews does it take to get an actual job offer? Currently, in our firm, The HTW (“Hire to Win”) Group, it is taking, on average, 4.1 1FTF interviews to make a placement, i.e., for a candidate to be offered a position. In 2007-2008, it took 2.7 1FTF interviews to make a placement. In 2009, the number was 6 1FTF interviews to make a placement. Today, at 4.1 1FTF interviews, the good news is that the number of “first time face-to-face” interviews required to get hired is trending downward.

So how many 1FTF interviews have you had?

Now that you know it takes 4.1 1FTF interviews, on average, to get hired today, you won’t get discouraged if one company tells you “no.” Remember, getting hired is a sales process and sales is both a “numbers” game and a “skills” game. Sure, sometimes one may get lucky and “close” the “sale” on the first call, but it is generally unlikely.

So, if you haven’t had 4.1 (let’s round to 4) 1FTF interviews, then the questions you need to ask yourself are on the front end of the process. What must you do differently to get the “first time face-to-face” interviews arranged? If you have had more than 4 1FTF interviews and still don’t have any offers, then the questions are on the back end of the process and probably relate to your interviewing skills, your follow up process, etc.

To restate and summarize, to accurately assess your job search progress at any point, focus exclusively and quite heavily upon the only true measurement in the process: The number of “First-Time, Face-to-Face interviews you’ve had! Everything pivots around the 1FTF.


Skip Freeman, author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, has successfully completed more than 300 executive search assignments in just seven years. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals in industry, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he is a lifelong student of leadership, people and the principles of success. While serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Long Island University.

Visit or contact Skip at his book website,

Climber’s Catalyst: Social Media Convergence for the Job Seeker

** To View Climber Catalyst offerings and capabilities first-hand register for free HERE

In a challenging economic environment, we often assume that the number of unemployed provides target rich active candidates that are easily assessable. The unexpected complication however reveals a more complex introduction exchange between recruiter and job seeker. The disenfranchised effected by layoffs likewise become disconnected from their corporate brand, corporate emails bounce, corporate numbers become disconnected – often relegating name generation research to a short shelf life. The under employed is likewise an under appreciated statistic within the latest employment discussions and their job title and employer on a social media profile doesn’t provide the complete picture of the availability. Basically, whatever tool of choice you choose to boost your online identity can only be as useful as the up-to-date status of your individual profile and the energies you invest – otherwise it’s about recruiters having to read, ‘between the lines’.

If there is one thing I have tried to convey on my personal blog, is the importance of building an online personal brand. It creates a way for recruiters to find you when they search throughout the major search engines and you are much further ahead still if you investigate and adopt search engine optimization technologies as the vehicle to enhance your searchability online. Even if you are not actively looking, creating a personal brand helps establish you as a leader in your industry. Plus, employees who are recruited for a new job earn 15% more on average compared to those who applied for the job.

Unemployed? Check out the Unemployment Calculator

Climber’s Catalyst approaches the challenges described handedly. It was designed specifically to enhance the recruiter to job seeker, relationship experience through a seamless capability for introductions. It can create instant networks then transition to Linkedin or other social media applications – introducing them to existing targets among college educated professionals within a salary range of $50k to $160k. Though each are subscription based, the similarities with the Ladders, ends there. Climber’s Catalyst provides both employers and candidates with an actual marketing and distribution platform, in addition to SalesForce Automation Software to support its backend aspects.

Climber’s Catalyst utilizes a sales-oriented approach to track source destinations, and to market prospects to potential recruiters to gain momentum in their career journey. It provides a workable technology solution similar to the metric aspects commonly associated as strengths of a CRM. Staffing organizations can access the ratio of how best to qualify process aspects; i.e., how many actual leads to connection to the pivot point of an actual resume sent, to the number of interviews established to accomplish an actual hire.

Catalyst is built upon a modular platform which allows organizations to instantly connect, in a very targeted, precise manner and it can do so, ‘socially’ all from one place. Recruiters can access Catalyst’s Resume Center –whereas Job Seekers can modify their existing resume to fit a particular job opening. With an enterprise account, if 5 or more recruiters from a corporate brand are interested, Catalyst can build them a free micro-site, with video etc to brand the employer experience.

A Unique, Corporate Branded, Social Integration Like No Other

Through Catalyst’s distribution network, jobs are viewed by 27 million unique visitors a month. The Network directs traffic to over 330 distributed, search optimized job sites. Recruiters can SEO their own individual profiles across the major search engines with a consistent, corporate branded experience. Furthermore, Catalyst offers the unique extras that are unmatched in this arena, with search optimized, branded video housed on-site that can likewise be distributed to across social media networks or shared anonymously. Multiple twitter feeds can be fed, as well as LinkedIn profiles with auto-update/auto-tweet. Moreover, catalyst offers candidate feeds/job tweets with dynamic content easily accessible for a user friendly , eye catching experience.

Climber’s Catalyst offers 3 types of distribution networks:

(1) narrow – Company XY wants java programmers for example, a corporate recruiter can click and immediately distribute within their network to attract referrals;
(2) industry oriented – say for example, nurses in Denver, or all healthcare at once within an associated in geographic area;
(3) geographic radius specific – within a 50 mile radius, or broader.

A recruiter or a candidate can import their Linkedin network or specific individuals to heighten the effectiveness of their efforts and create targeted emails which can reach up to 5,000 people at a time.

A One Click, One Stop Jobs connector on Linkedin and Throughout

The tactics to the networking strategy are maximized with Catalyst’s click frequency of auto posting to multiple LinkedIn and twitter accounts; to include auto hash tags and even a tiny url. It creates a focused way to harness social media with click through metrics provided that pin point effectively to your featured jobs. The platform allows auto access to your network email enhancing the number of successful candidate opt-in’s. A recruiter can even advertise within your LinkedIn profile – advertising jobs, and an open invite to ‘connect with Climber’s Catalyst profiles to redirect interested applicants.

The job feeds are likewise easily reconfigured by importance in real-time; a recruiter can rotate jobs up or down according to their individual priority. The widget capability can even be made available to niche blogs, and just as easily updated hourly to highlight your jobs.

Export your LinkedIn Network and Import it into Catalyst

I will continue to keep you informed as Climber Catalyst and their broader suite of products evolve. Their intriguing use of social media tells as much about how technologies are providing job seekers another look. To put it simply, matching you with companies whose company DNA aligns well with your Career Fingerprint™ is the road best traveled in finding the perfect job waiting for you!

View Climber Gallery for Screen Shots

Resume Carousel: Resume Generator, Resume Templates & Resumes

*** For more articles, visit

** Make sure to take advantage of the free registration at Climber Catalyst, for job seeker and recruiters alike to experience its capabilities first-hand: HERE

Learn to ‘Lead the Witness’ During Job Interviews


Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman

While it’s a big “no-no” for attorneys to “lead the witness” during a trial, i.e., try to “put words in a witness’s mouth” to shape testimony, learning how to effectively use this little-known, though very valuable skill can pay BIG dividends for a job seeker during a job interview.

You might suppose that most hiring managers would be really good at conducting job interviews. You would be wrong, though. Because the typical manager hires relatively few new people over an entire career, he or she usually doesn’t have the skills necessary to be great interviewers. Most, though certainly not all, really don’t even know where to begin an interview, what to ask of the person being interviewed, or even the direction in which to take the interview. So, as a job candidate, you’ve got to learn how to “lead the witness” and direct them where you know they want to go—even if they don’t know themselves!

Let me caution you here, however, “leading the witness” is NOT the same thing as taking over (or hogging) the interview!

What is it that a hiring manager instinctively wants to learn from you during an interview, again, even if they themselves are not consciously aware of it? Virtually all hiring managers want you, the job candidate, to answer essentially FOUR questions for them:

• Can you do the job?
• Do you want to do the job?
Will you do the job?
• Are you a good cultural fit?

So, knowing this, carefully craft your answers to questions not only to address the specific question(s) being asked, but also to directly or indirectly address any (or all) of these four implied questions. In other words, feel free to “lead the witness,” i.e., the hiring manager.

Let’s suppose, for example, that you are applying for a technical sales position and the hiring manager asks you (in an attempt to determine if you can actually do the job),

“I notice from your résumé that you had increased sales of over $2 million during the last three years. Tell me how you were able to accomplish that.”

A good answer, and equally importantly, one that incorporates the principle of “leading the witness,” might be this:

“I firmly believe in the necessity to continually prospect. For example, I have identified all of the potential buyers of my company’s products within my geographical territory and I call on them on a regular basis. With some prospects you have to make many calls over time to win their business, while with others, you just happen to call on them at the right time to win their business. The key is that you are calling, so that when they have a ‘pain point,’ you are there.”

“Consistently taking this approach has allowed me to steadily increase sales.”

Even though the hiring manager’s question was relatively straightforward and ostensibly designed as somewhat of a “warm up” question, your answer not only addresses the implicit question of can you do the job, it also amply demonstrates that you want to do the job and that you will do the job as well.

A perennial favorite question asked by hiring managers is this one:

“If you are the successful candidate for this position, where do you see yourself in, say, five years?”

This apparently “innocent” question is anything but, so be particularly alert when answering it. Again, even though the hiring manager may not consciously be aware of it, the question actually is designed to determine if you want to do the specific job for which you are being interviewed.

If you’re at all like most candidates, you likely will perceive this question to be designed to determine how “ambitious” you are, how motivated you are to “grow” beyond the position and within the company. Nine times out of ten, that’s really not the case at all. For example, let’s assume you are interviewing for a position as a chemist and you answer the question this way:

“I really think, with my qualifications, education and skill set, that I could easily be supervising the entire department in five years.”

It’s highly unlikely that you will endear yourself (or be the successful candidate!) to the hiring manager, who probably will feel you’ve way over-stepped your boundaries, not to mention be perceived as arrogant and presumptuous. He or she may even feel personally threatened by thinking that the job you really want is his or hers!

A much better answer, and again, one that allows you to “lead the witness,” would be one like this:

“Over the next five years, I want to become known as the person who can develop new, novel surfactant technology that makes the company money. I see myself hitting the ground learning the processes and procedures that you follow, understanding the mission of the group and how it aligns with the company goals, then immersing myself in new product development, where I can apply my creativity and help the company make products that customers want so we all make money. I would love to be able to help write some technical papers, help patent some products and do anything possible to make this lab team world-renowned in what we do.”

Wouldn’t an answer like this allay most fears or concerns in the hiring manager’s mind that you want to do this specific job?

Assuming that you have satisfactorily answered (and implemented the tactic of “leading the witness,” where appropriate) the questions of Can you do the job? Do you want to do the job? Will you do the job? you can then expect to be asked questions to determine the final criterion for acceptance in the hiring manager’s mind: Are you a good cultural fit (for the hiring unit, the company and the hiring manager himself/herself).

That question usually is phrased along these lines:

“What do you do if you have a conflict with a co-worker?”

While there are a number of ways to correctly answer such questions, here is one good way:

“Unfortunately, in life there is conflict, and that includes in the workplace. What you must not do is become offended. Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion. You respect the opinions of your co-workers, ask questions and work to iron out any differences.

“If it is affecting the project or the goals of the company and we can’t work it out, then I will take it to a trusted colleague to see if she can offer some helpful advice. If that fails, then it may be time to have a confidential conversation with my boss. I only will do that if indeed it is having a negative impact on the company’s performance.”

How can you become adept at providing such well-thought-out answers and, at the same time, directly or indirectly answer the important FOUR questions in the back of every hiring manager’s mind? Anticipate the questions you’re likely to be asked during an interview, then create—and memorize!—stories and “word pictures” so that the hiring manager not only “hears” what you’re saying, but also “see” what you’re saying. Then, finally, practice, practice, practice! Believe me, that’s what successful candidates do and I guarantee it will be well worth the effort!


Skip Freeman, author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, has successfully completed more than 300 executive search assignments in just seven years. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals in industry, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he is a lifelong student of leadership, people and the principles of success. While serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Long Island University.

 Visit or contact Skip at his book website,

How You Can Make ‘Voice Mail’ Work FOR You!

Skip Freeman


Skip Freeman

One of the most frustrating, most pervasive systems virtually every business employs today is the ubiquitous “voice mail” system. It has literally become the contemporary equivalent of the traditional real-life “gate-keeper.” Its primary purpose is not to implement better communications; it’s primary purpose is to keep “outsiders” at bay! (Unless, of course, the business you are calling is trying to sell you something!)

Nonetheless, with all its warts and multitudes of detractors, I believe it is safe to say that voice mail is here to stay, so we will just have to learn to deal with it. As a matter of fact (and I am confident that this won’t come as a shock to many of you reading this!), eight out of ten calls to a business today will automatically go to “voice mail.”

So, what does this mean for you when you are telephone prospecting? Certainly, it makes prospecting more difficult and more challenging. It should not, however, dissuade you from continuing to do the all-important telephone prospecting during your job search.

I’m not a big fan of leaving voice mail messages when telephone prospecting because you actually want to talk to the person. If you don’t leave a voice mail message, you can still keep calling back. You are in control. Once you leave a message, you have put the recipient in control. Still, I am a realist and recognize that, sometimes at least, you may feel that you simply have to leave a voice mail message, if you are ever to have a chance to connect with the “real” person you’re trying to reach.

Assuming, then, that you do decide to leave a voice mail message, one of the approaches I have found that results in a call back about half the time is called the “advice” or “project” message. Here is the suggested script for such a message:

“Bob, this is Skip Freeman. My phone number is 678-123-4567. I am working on a project that I would really like to get your opinion and advice on. I will be in my office all day today, April 27th. Again, Skip Freeman. 678-123-4567.”

Another message that often works is the “referral” message:

“Bob, this is Skip Freeman. My phone number is 678-123-4567. Jim Rogers suggested that you and I should visit soon. I will be in the office all day today, April 27th. Again, Skip Freeman, 678-123-4567.”

Do these approaches work all of the time, on virtually every hiring manager? Of course not. Nothing works every time, all the time. But they do work often enough to at least consider using them.

Some key considerations to keep in mind if you do decide to leave voice mail messages during your telephone prospecting:

• Keep your message short and simple.
• Leave your name and telephone number at the beginning and end of the message.
• Clearly state the purpose of your call without “giving everything away”!
• Never leave more that THREE voice mails for any hiring manager. (Leaving more doesn’t make you look “aggressive” and assertive,” it makes you look like a pest!)

Obviously, there is nothing “magic” in these approaches to leaving voice mail messages when you must. But if you choose to leave a rambling, nonsensical voice mail message, you may as well not even waste your time. To be sure, you shouldn’t reasonably expect any response from a hiring manager if you do leave such voice mail messages.


Skip Freeman, professional “headhunter” and author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, has successfully completed more than 300 executive search assignments in just seven years. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals in industry, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he is a lifelong student of leadership, people and the principles of success. While serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Long Island University.

Visit or contact Skip at his book website,

The ‘TOP 10’ Mistakes EMPLOYED People Are Making Today


Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman

Chances are, if you are currently employed, you probably think there is little, if any, reason you should even be thinking about finding another job. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. With companies shedding jobs virtually every day, no one is “safe” in today’s BRUTAL job market, and that certainly includes those who are currently employed.

Based upon years of experience, as well as what I see in the job market each and every day, here are the “Top Ten” mistakes employed people are making today:

MISTAKE #1 — Not realizing that the best time to find your next job is while you still have a job. In today’s economic environment, many employed people are overworked, haven’t had a decent pay raise recently, have not been able to take vacation, are “furloughed,” (or soon to be), etc. Understandably, there is a huge pent up level of dissatisfaction in the work place and it’s growing worse by the day. A recent survey by Robert Half, for example, indicates that 58% of the work force plans on making a career change as soon as the economy gets better. (That number goes to 79% in the 18- to 35-year old category).

What does all of this mean? It means that as soon as the economy does in fact get better—and it will, eventually—the number of people competing for openings will double and, whether it is fair or not and whether one likes it or not, currently employed people will have an edge over unemployed people.

So, if you are dissatisfied at work, NOW is the time to begin to ramp up your job search activities before everyone else does.

MISTAKE #2 — Believing that a company will be loyal to you. Loyalty is gone, if it ever did honestly exist. If a company has a choice to keep you or cut you, they will do what is in the company’s best interest, not yours. If you can bring a return to them that is worth more than your cost, they may keep you. If they believe you cost them more than you are worth, they likely will let you go. They don’t care if you are on the unemployment line. They don’t care if you and your family will have health insurance. They don’t care if you can feed, clothe and house your family. So, your keeping an eye open for better opportunity is no different from the company keeping an eye on its bottom line and determining every month whether you are worth it to them to keep you on the payroll.

MISTAKE #3 — Not keeping an updated resume handy. When I was in graduate school, one of my professors said that there are at least four things you always need to have readily available: (1) A certified copy of your birth certificate; (2) a certified copy of your grade transcripts; (3) a copy of your marriage license (if applicable); AND (4) a copy of your updated resume. When you get that call from a recruiter or the perfect opportunity avails itself, you don’t want to be delayed by having to craft your resume from scratch. Here, 20 years later, I know from experience that he was right.

MISTAKE #4 — Not creating (and updating) your LinkedIn profile. This is a must for any professional. (And, by the way, make sure your LinkedIn profile and a resume profile are the same.)

MISTAKE #5 — Failing to align yourself with an excellent recruiter within your niche. Good recruiters become career coaches and finding one is a lot like finding a good doctor, lawyer or accountant. You may have to work with several before you find one that gels with your needs and personality. Once you do, stay in touch. You don’t use recruiters everyday, just as you don’t go to a lawyer everyday (at least I hope not!), but develop a relationship with one so that when you do need them, they are there to help you.

MISTAKE #6 — Failing to stay involved within your industry or professional specialty. The more contacts you have within your industry or profession, the better. These contacts can literally spell the difference between quickly “landing on your feet” following a job loss or not.

MISTAKE #7 — Failing to develop (and keep updated) your personal marketing portfolio. This portfolio should contain the “highlights” of your professional accomplishments, e.g., promotions, contributions to current or past employers, awards received, professional organizations that you’re associated with or have made contributions to and so forth.

MISTAKE #8 — Failing to ensure that you can be easily found, i.e., making sure that your personal and professional contact information (home and business telephone numbers, cell phone numbers, email addresses) are current and constantly monitored.

MISTAKE #9 — Failing to learn how to network properly and then participating in appropriate networks on a continual basis. Remember, the time to begin networking is not right after losing a job. It should be an ongoing process—whether or not you are satisfied with your current position.

MISTAKE #10 — If offered a new position with another company, you even think about entertaining any “counter offer” your current employer may offer you. To do so usually is tantamount to “career suicide.” Why? From the moment you submit your resignation you will forever be considered to be “disloyal” to your current employer, a “traitor.” While the company may appear to be “buying” your continued services with their counter offer, in fact, all they really are doing is buying “time” until they ultimately can replace you with someone who is more “loyal” to the company.

If you are currently employed, how many of these “mistakes” are you making? Remember, the Boy Scouts have a great motto: Be Prepared! Certainly, if you want to survive in today’s “challenging” (to put it mildly!) job market, that’s what you should be.


Skip Freeman, “headhunter” and author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, has successfully completed more than 300 executive search assignments in just seven years. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals in industry, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he is a lifelong student of leadership, people and the principles of success. While serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chemical Corps, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Long Island University.

Visit or contact Skip at his book website,

STOP Applying for a Job and START Competing for One!


Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman

Are you still applying for a job instead of competing for one? In today’s brutal job market, where there are many more job seekers than there are jobs, you better be doing the latter or you’re going to end up missing the boat entirely! Still, many job seekers apparently either don’t want to believe this, or simply choose not to believe it!

Reading comments across the Internet (such as comments on blogs or news articles), quotes in the media, callers on talk radio, etc., the laments I regularly read/hear from many, though certainly not all, of today’s job seekers go something like this:

  • Hiring companies are no longer “playing fair.”
  • It’s almost impossible to contact a hiring manager or company directly about a job these days.
  •  Hiring companies don’t really seem to care if you have a job or not. The only thing they want to know from you is, “What can you do for them!”
  •  The whole job market seems to have been “turned upside down”! What worked just a few years ago when it came to getting a new job doesn’t seem to work at all anymore! What has happened? What can I do?! Does anybody care anymore?!
  •  I am so desperate these days . . . why doesn’t somebody give me a job?!
  •  And the one that was most interesting was a comment to one of my recent blogs: “Congress should make it illegal for companies to lay people off. All companies want to do is make money. They don’t care about people.”

And, you know what? Such fears, anxieties and laments are hardly without foundation. If you are feeling this way, you are not being paranoid! This is precisely what is happening in the job market today. This precisely describes today’s job market. And, to add insult to injury, there is little chance that things are going to change for the better in the job market anytime soon, if ever.

So, it seems to me—and I hope it will also seem to you!—that today’s job seeker has essentially two choices: Revert to the “fetal position” and continue to obsess about the dismal state of affairs, blaming “them” for not “giving” you a job, or, learn how to adapt to changing circumstances, learn the NEW rules of the “hiring game”—and, yes, that’s what it is, a “game”—and then learn how to “play” by the NEW rules and effectively compete for the jobs that are available today. (Yes, you read that correctly, people are still being hired every single day, even in this extremely challenging job market!)

You Must Compete for a Job in Today’s Market!

At best, only 50% of all jobs are ever posted and those, of course, are the ones that 80% of all job seekers focus on. How to go after companies and not just jobs is covered in depth in my book, “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets, and in the other book I always recommend to job seekers, David Perry’s Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0. (David is also a sponsor of this site, Put America Back to Work.)

Thus, the competition is 2-3 times heavier (and more intense) for the “posted” jobs. To effectively compete in today’s market, you must “reinvent” yourself, as well as ensure that you maintain and project a good, positive attitude. Chances are, if you’ve been unemployed for any length of time your attitude quite probably has taken a “dive.” Whatever it takes to “mask” such an attitude—if in fact you have it!—you absolutely, positively must do! Nothing will turn off a recruiter or hiring manager more than a job candidate who obviously feels sorry for himself/herself, is desperate, etc.

Let me briefly digress here to illustrate how different attitudes are among job seekers today by sharing with you two, very representative reader comments posted to an article that recently appeared on America Online about “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed Forever! (Article can be found at this link):

Here is the first comment, apparently from a job seeker:

“I miss the good old days. Today you have to jump through hoops for companies. Maybe it’s the red tape, maybe it’s just THEM, who knows. I’m sick of stupid tests (I get the highest scores possible and STILL don’t get the job!), drug tests, credit checks and providing my driving record for a lousy 8.00/hr job with no benefits. It is truly an employer’s market these days.”

And here is the second comment, apparently from a hiring manager:

“Getting a job is really not rocket science . . . As a former Hotel manager and now CEO, I can assure you that a hiring manager’s goal is simply to place the best candidate into any position. This means that even when a company is not officially hiring they are always looking. This is especially true in industries of high turn over. This means that individuals need not focus on getting a job, but really on constantly improving and perfecting their skill and knowledge. If you approach an employer as a charity case they will direct you to the Red Cross . . . they’re in it (business) to make money and usually age, education and experience are associated with spending it. This does not mean that you should try to appear young, stupid and less experienced, it simply means that you must illustrate how these factors will translate into saving the additional money which they may have to spend on you.”

I think you will agree that the attitudes implicit in these two comments are about as diametrically opposite of each other as it’s possible to be. Still, they are very typical of comments posted across the Internet by job seekers today in response to the many articles now appearing on the job market. Which person do you believe has the greater, better chance of being successful in finding a new job—even in today’s awful job market?

Contrary to popular opinion—and as so well and succinctly expressed by the second person’s comment—companies are not in the business of hiring people! They are in the business of making money! That means they are looking for potential employees who can either make them money or save them money, and ideally, be able to accomplish both of these things! One more thing: No company “owes” you (or anybody else) a job. A job is something that has always had to be earned in America, regardless of the state of the job market.

‘Magic’ Words? No.

Effective Tactics and Strategies? Yes! 

 Am I suggesting that, merely by having a good, positive attitude, you will be able to succeed in today’s job market? Of course not, but certainly having a good, positive attitude is essential to succeeding in any endeavor. Are there any “magic words” or “magic tactics and strategies” contained in my book, “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets, or, for that matter, in David Perry’s book,  “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0”? No “magic words,” and, while there are no “magic” tactics and strategies featured in our books, there are, however, effective tactics and strategies!

Both David and I are professional “headhunters,” and we’re in the job market every single business day. We see, very, very clearly, what’s happening in the job market today—what works, what doesn’t work. (Think about it: If we were wrong in our assessments . . . we would soon be out of business!)

Let me give you a couple of quick simple examples.

Recently I posted a job on the Internet for a position I was contracted to fill for a Fortune 500 company. I received 34 voice mails in one day. This is critical to understand…I use my voice mail as a screening tool. I never answer my phone. A candidate has to earn the right for me to call them back. My job is to find the best candidate for my client and the message the candidate leaves is actually the first step in that process—the first step in competing for the job, not applying for the job.

This is the “exemplary” way most people leave a message (that will not get returned):

“I saw your posting online and I have some questions. Please call me at 123-456-7890.”

First, which posting did you see? (I generally have over 20 positions posted at any given time.) And though you have some questions, I don’t have time to return 34 phone calls and just answer questions. Are you qualified? Do you have anything to offer my client? You are competing for my time, so you have to give me a reason to call you back.

Here is another very typical voice mail I receive:

“I saw your posting online. I have researched your company and I would like to go to work for you. Please call me at 123-456-7890.”

Well, if you “researched” my company, then you would know we are a recruiting firm and not the hiring company.

 And, unfortunately, the list goes on and on. There wasn’t a single message among the 34 that I returned. And, yes, I filled the position within a month, so a lot of people wasted a lot of their time (as well as my time) for absolutely no return.

 So, if you are among the millions of unemployed seeking to “get back in the game” today, I have some advice for you. Forget all about how the job market “used to be” because it isn’t like that anymore and it’s unlikely to ever be again, at least in the foreseeable future. Quit blaming “them” (whoever “them” is) for your not having a job. Prepare yourself to get back in the job market by competing for a job and stop applying for one.

Learn as much as you can about the NEW rules of the “hiring game,” and more importantly, how you can successfully reposition yourself to effectively compete in the game. Get your hands on either my book or David’s (ideally, both) because contained in our two books are tactics and strategies that, when properly learned and then effectively employed, give you the very best chance you can have of succeeding in today’s challenging job market! Plus, visit this site often and substantially benefit from the wisdom and experience being shared by other experts on the job market.  By doing this, you have everything to gain and virtually nothing to lose! Guaranteed.

Preview of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0

G3 cover II Every year, 50-million jobs are filled in the United States — almost all without a job   posting.  Employers are relying on a brand new digital suite of tools and tactics to find the handful of “most qualified” recruits that they want to interview.”

Because of this, we put a booster rocket on our earlier book, going beyond ‘where to look’, to include "how to be found".  The secret to finding a suitable job today lies in mastering the digital search environment used by employers which includes, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter Branchout, HubSpot, ZoomInfo and more.  It's confusing mess so we've simplified it for you and focused on those tools that bring you results fast.

If you're interested, you may fill in your name and email address below to preview chapters of the book.  

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today  



How Job Hunters Should Use ZoomInfo to Crush the Competition

Bob called me in a panic a few months ago.  One of his well meaning friends had suggested his name to a recruiter for a job.  Trouble was – – –  it was Bob’s dream job. 

Poor Bob.   

The recruiter even liked what he heard during the telephone screening interview.  He asked him to come to  Nevada to meet the CEO and the board of directors.  That’s where the wheels came off the truck.

Bob was ecstatic, until he discovered he was just one of a dozen going for first interviews What about bob and he knew he was definitely “the most mature” [read old]. 

Bob’s a great guy. He’s in super shape and you’d never know he has nine children, a half dozen grandchildren and is just a few years away from a full pension.  He wanted this job in the worst way and needed a strategy to beat out the field of 40 year olds he was up against.

He needed a job search and interview plan and he needed it quickly.  We’ve talked about plans before.  You don’t do anything as a job hunter without a plan.

It was Saturday morning when he called [it was my birthday] and he’d need to leave for Reno in 5 days.  I offered to show him how headhunters source information when they’re starting an assignment.  I explained how to cold-call complete strangers [straight out of Chapter 9, Extreme Networking in my book, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today

First I showed him how to use to find a list of the members of the board and then I showed him how to use Google to get their home addresses and look up their home phone numbers.  He needed to find a board member to call who would be willing to answer a few questions about the organization's vision and mission.  he needed an informed insider.  

It took him two hours on Sunday morning to find a board member who was willing to answer his questions.  As Bob was wrapping up this phone call the board member told him that he was impressed with his chutzpah as well as the due diligence he was doing. 

What this fellow did next literally floored Bob.  he revealed that he was on the selection committee and was looking forward to meeting him next week and offered to send him a copy of the organization’s strategic plan.  Bob accepted.

After reviewing the strategic plan Bob called the lobbyist who had put his name forward and received confirmation on what he believed where going to be the organization’s biggest challenges. He expected he board would have heard about his phone call and would be extra prepared to drill him so he prepared a 45 minute power point to take the board through a discussion on how he would handle the issues he uncovered. 

Bob’s 1 hour interview went 3 hours and then he was asked to join the CEO and board members for dinner that evening.  He returned home with an offer that was 40% higher than his current salary, with full benefits, club memberships, car allowance and a signing bonus.

Why did this work?Zoominfo and the secret life of recruiters

Bob used the 5 days before his official interview to dig deep into the organization’s issues and map them against his skills and determine how he could best add value.  In an interview nobody cares about you the candidate.  Interviewers care about themselves and solving their problems.  You must show them what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.  The interview is your time to tell them what you can do for them first AND then drill down on the opportunity to see if it’s right for you.  Here’s yet another guerrilla success story.

Want more ideas like these?

You can listen in on an hour’s worth of unconventional, Guerrilla secrets and judge for yourself by grabbing a copy of our Free Audio CD.


NEW: Absolute Job Search Guide

Are you looking for a job? Frustrated with HR managers who don’t call you back? Confused about what to do next?

Help is here!

Now you can get more calls to interview for good jobs with North America’s best employers, with the tactics and strategies in The ABSOLUTE JOB SEARCH GUIDE. Absolute-Job-Search-Guide-791x1024

Following this simple, step-by-step system, you will discover:

  • how to get noticed by employers, with targeted résumés and cover letters
  • how and where to network (so you can avoid the “pity parties” at most job clubs) • job search etiquette … and pitfalls to avoid
  • how to follow up after sending your résumé — without being a pest
  • what to do before, during and after you interview to maximize your results
  • how to really crack the hidden job market
  • help with the most difficult interview questions — including salary

Stop spinning your wheels. Start getting more interviews and job offers. The ABSOLUTE JOB SEARCH GUIDE shows you how!

Only $29.  Click the Buy Now button below.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.