Category: General

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,

Turbo-Charge Your LinkedIn Network Using Google’s ‘X-Ray Search’!


Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman

This powerful Google function, used in conjunction with LinkedIn, allows you to search all public profiles within the entire LinkedIn database!

There are really only two limitations to using the Google X-Ray function: (1) If a person has marked his or her LinkedIn profile as “private,” Google won’t find them; and (2) The person has to have put the key words you are looking for in their profile. So, for example, if you are looking for a “Georgia Tech” grad, the person has to have used “Georgia Tech” in building his or her profile. If they used “Georgia Institute of Technology,” for example, then you won’t find them unless you do a second search using those key words. (Other Boolean operators such as OR and NOT don’t work as well in the X-ray command, either, so you’re wise to stick with the AND operator as you will see below.)


• Go to
• Copy and Paste the following search string into Google: intitle:linkedin (“Chemical engineer” AND “Georgia Tech” AND “Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers

What is in bold is REQUIRED, as it forces Google to look only at profiles. If you don’t put this in the Google search string exactly as shown, you will have returned to you all kinds of things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with PEOPLE (such as questions, answers to questions, information from news groups, polls, etc.)

The items in quotation marks and regular typeface, i.e., not in BOLD, within the search string above are your variables.

Examples (as of this writing):

• If I use the above search string, I find one person who is a “chemical engineer” at “Georgia Pacific” from “Georgia Tech” who has a public profile on LinkedIn who used those particular words in their profile.

• If I change “Georgia Tech” to “Georgia Institute of Technology”, I now have two people.

• If I want to find all Georgia Tech grads at Georgia Pacific, I would take out “chemical engineer” and use the following: intitle:linkedin (“Georgia Tech” AND “Georgia Pacific”) –intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers

  • With this search string I NOW get 116 people.
  • If I change “Georgia Tech” to “Georgia Institute of Technology”, I get 221 people. Certainly some of these people might be the same people if they used both sets of key words in their profile. (NOTE – Some of these people may have been at Georgia Pacific in the past, so I can’t differentiate between current employees and former employees.)
  • If I want to find ALL names at Georgia Pacific, I can try to find hiring managers, people to network with, et al., I would use: intitle:linkedin (“Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers

  • When I do that, I get 9,320 people. WOW! That is a lot and I should be able to find good people with whom to network.

However, that also may be too many to manage, so if I go back and put in a qualifying key word such as “sales” I get 2,940 people. Here is that particular string: intitle:linkedin (sales AND “Georgia Pacific”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers

Use qualifiers within the parentheses to narrow or widen your search.



Skip Freeman, President and CEO, The HTW Group (Hire to Win) Executive Search, 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 for over forty companies. 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.

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.

When it Comes to Job Hunting . . .‘There’s Many a Slip Twixt the Cup and Lip’

This old English proverb is an implicit warning not to take anything for granted until the end goal is actually accomplished. This advice seems especially relevant to hunting for a job in today’s challenging marketplace. Everything can seem to be going along swimmingly and then, because of some seemingly minor slip up or other faux pas, suddenly you can be totally out of the running! Sometimes, though rarely, the job candidate can quickly recover and land on his or her feet. Most candidates, though, usually land on another part of their anatomy.

Skip Freeman

Veteran “headhunter” and author Skip Freeman shares some real-life examples of this phenomenon below using excerpts from his ‘Headhunter’ Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!  

How NOT to answer the ‘How do you feel about relocating to . . . ?’ question.

 An extremely well-qualified candidate with a strong marketing background living in Dallas was phone interviewing with a company for a marketing role in San Francisco. She not only was well qualified, but the new opportunity would have clearly been a significant step up in her career progression.

The hiring company was willing to pay relocation expenses but they wanted to make sure that they not only chose the right candidate but that the candidate would be happy living in a new location and not quit in a few months because they were unhappy with their new location. So, toward the end of the telephone interview—which had gone quite well for the candidate up to this point—the candidate was asked, “Why would you be interested in living in San Francisco?”

Her answer?

“My husband is running around on me,” she said. “I plan on divorcing him and will live anywhere that is not Dallas.”

Needless to say, not only was that the end of the telephone interview, it was also the end of the woman’s candidacy for the position she sought!

ONE OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: Keep your personal business to yourself or you will raise all kinds of “red flags” in a hiring manager’s mind and be IMMEDIATELY eliminated from further consideration for virtually any job you are pursuing in today’s tough job market!

 Wear your ‘school colors’ on game day, not on job interviews!

A top-notch candidate I was presenting to a Fortune 500 company for a sales position had literally sailed through both the telephone interview and the first-time, face-to-face interview at the company’s headquarters. He was now going into his final interview and all indications were that he would be a virtual “shoo-in” for the position.

To put it mildly, I was flabbergasted when the hiring manager called me immediately following the final interview with the candidate and advised me that he wanted me to send him more candidates! Why? In anticipation and support of an important upcoming BIG game for his alma mater, the candidate had chosen to wear a bright orange shirt and a purple tie—his school “colors”—to the final interview!

Game over! (At least for the candidate. Don’t know how his school fared in “The Big Game.”)

ANOTHER OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: Always dress for a job interview like the person who can promote you! (Keep your “school colors” for game days.)

Snatching ‘victory’ from the ‘jaws of defeat’!

All faux pas made during a job interview don’t necessarily end in disaster for the candidate. Consider the plight of another candidate of ours who also was in for his final interview.

The hiring manager and one of her colleagues had taken the candidate out to lunch. He had ordered French fries with his entre. While engaged in lively conversation, the candidate reached for the ketchup and his tie, unbeknownst to him, had flown up and fallen across his plate. He proceeded to put a healthy dose of ketchup on his plate and very artistically decorated his tie along with the fries! He suddenly noted that the hiring manager and colleague were staring at him with their mouths wide open. He looked down and very calmly stated, “I like ketchup with my fries and ties.” They all laughed uproariously and he ended up getting the job.

The comment from the hiring manager was, “He remains calm and maintains a sense of humor under pressure.”

YET ANOTHER OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: Many times, having a good, healthy (and appropriate) sense of humor can literally “save the day,” particularly in stressful situations such as job interviews.

 Hey, you said it, we didn’t!

Some job candidates just seem dead set on “shooting themselves in the foot.” Take an innocent thing like an email address. I mean, how much potential damage could an email address cause a job candidate? More than you might suppose, actually.

Here are just three examples of some of the more outrageous email addresses candidates have actually used over the years when applying for positions offered by my recruiting firm:

(Sure makes you wonder how committed this person would be to the job, doesn’t it?)

(And exactly why is it that “dad” couldn’t prepare his own résumé?)

(Hmm. ‘Nuf said.)

ONE MORE OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: Everything, and I do mean everything, that you use to project your professional image when searching for a new job is crucial and important—including your email address. Select a professional one!

My name is NOT ‘Larry’!

Another of our job candidates had just finished a very productive telephone interview. In closing, the hiring manager excitedly told the candidate that he was ready to move forward and would be setting up a second telephone interview very soon. Great news!

The candidate quickly crafted and sent a very professional “Thank You” email to the hiring manager. The email started off this way:

Dear Larry,

Thank you for your time today. The more I learn about your company, the more interested I become. Based upon our conversation, the three areas where I can add value are….


The candidate

Great “Thank You” email, right? It even included a “value proposition”! Well, as it turned out, not exactly. Here is the terse email response the candidate received from the person who interviewed him:

First, my name is Ron, not Larry. Your information has been forwarded to HR and they will be getting back with you. (Of course, they never did.)

AND ANOTHER OF LITTLE LIFE’S LESSON: You would be more likely to get away with kicking a hiring manager in the shins than you would by calling him or her by the wrong name! No word in the English language is more important (or more pleasant sounding) to most people than their name, so make sure you get it right! The first time!

Be Prepared: You Never Know Who Might be Calling You!

Since the initial contact from a hiring manager or company is very likely to come over the telephone, I always advise candidates to set up a dedicated “job search” number, to answer the phone professionally (not using the traditional “hello”) and to “screen” all incoming calls, i.e., to allow calls to go directly into voice mail or to be recorded by an answering machine. Why? Because by not directly answering the telephone, if it is a hiring manager or company calling, the candidate can be fully prepared to discuss a position when he or she returns the call and not be caught “flat-footed.”

Despite my best efforts, though, some candidates still don’t seem to understand the importance of my suggested approach. One exceptional candidate comes immediately to mind.

She was attending her son’s soccer game when a hiring manager called. The hiring manager repeatedly tried to make the woman understand who he was and why he was calling, but as he related to me later, the crowd noise in the background prevented him from succeeding. When the candidate finally shouted over the phone, “I can’t hear you! I am at my son’s soccer game. Call me back tomorrow!” the hiring manager hung up in frustration. (He never tried to reach the candidate again.)

YET ANOTHER OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: The Boy Scouts of America have a great motto: Be Prepared. This is good advice and certainly relevant throughout the job search!

 Don’t Answer That Phone!

Oftentimes, the first contact a candidate has with a hiring manager or company comes over the telephone, I therefore advise candidates to set up a dedicated “job search” number, to answer the phone professionally (not using the traditional “hello”) and, equally importantly, to “screen” all incoming calls by allowing them to go directly into voice mail or to be recorded by an answering machine. Why? Because, if it is a hiring manager or company calling, the candidate can then be more fully prepared to intelligently discuss a position when he or she returns the call.

Despite my best efforts, though, some candidates still don’t seem to understand the importance of my advice. One recent candidate I was presenting for an important middle management position with a top company comes immediately to mind.

She was attending her son’s soccer game when a hiring manager called. The hiring manager repeatedly tried to make the woman understand who he was and why he was calling, but as he related to me later, the crowd noise in the background prevented him from succeeding. When the candidate finally shouted over the phone, “I can’t hear you! I am at my son’s soccer game. Call me back tomorrow!” the hiring manager hung up in frustration. (He never tried to reach the candidate again.)

YET ANOTHER OF LIFE’S LITTLE LESSONS: Some hiring managers or other “screeners” make it a point to contact candidates at “unusual” times just to see how a candidate will react to the unexpected. By “screening” calls you can prevent being caught “flat-footed”!

Using the Wrong References Can Come Back and ‘Bite’ You!

Unfortunately, some job candidates give short shrift to the references they list on their résumés. Bad move! While it’s true that references usually aren’t checked until a company gets really serious about a candidate, if those references haven’t been carefully chosen and “prepped” by the candidate, things can unravel pretty quickly and disastrously! Let me give you an example.

I was going over the résumé of a candidate for a position I was trying to fill for an international engineering company. On paper, the candidate looked excellent! My telephone interview with him also went very well. He was articulate, intelligent and obviously fully qualified for the position I was trying to fill. I was pretty convinced that I would indeed present the candidate to my client company, but first I wanted to call his references to see what others who knew him thought of him.

When I called the first person listed as a reference, told him who I was and why I was calling, he hesitated for a long moment and then said, “He told you I was one of his references? Why on earth would he do that?” After another long pause of uncomfortable silence, I asked the reference, “So this is something you would like to pass on?”

“I can’t believe he would ask me to be a reference for him!” the reference said. “Yes, I will pass.”

(So did I!)

AND A FINAL LIFE’S LITTLE LESSON: Never, never, never assume anything when it comes to a job search today, and that particularly includes whom to use as professional references!

2011 Job Market to Become Even More Competitive!

Skip Freeman

If you thought last year’s job market was tough—and it certainly was!—then brace yourself for the 2011 job market because it could shape up to be a whole lot tougher! To effectively and successfully compete in the 2011 job market you’re really going to have to “up your game”!

You’re probably familiar with the applicant-to-job-opening ratio most often cited in the media today, about 4.5 workers vying for the same finite number of job openings. While that number is ostensibly true, it nonetheless is also somewhat misleading. Actually, the number of job seekers versus the number of job openings, at least potentially, is closer to 40 to one! Yes, you read that correctly . . . 40 to one. Let me explain.

At the end of each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a report called the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This report shows how many positions were filled during the previous month, i.e., “hires,” and how many positions went unfilled. For example, in December 2010, 4.1 million positions were filled in the U.S., while over 3 million positions remained unfilled at the end of the month. (Most people are either not even aware of this “unfilled” number or, if they are, don’t realize that each month the number is as high as it is.)

At the end of January 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 139 million employed people in the U.S. and nearly 14 million unemployed people. And it is the interplay between these two key numbers that results in the oft-cited 4.5 applicants for every available job opening figure, i.e., 14 million (number of unemployed) divided by 3 million (number of unfilled positions).

What this figure overlooks, however, are the number of currently employed people who are also competing for these same job openings!

Manpower, Inc., one of the largest staffing firms in the world, does a routine survey of “worker dissatisfaction.” In the latest survey (December 2010), they reported that 84% of currently employed workers say they are ready (and willing) to “jump ship” for another position at the first  opportunity. LinkedIn did a similar survey and reported a finding of 78% who said that.

So, just for the sake of simplicity, let’s round off the percentage of currently employed who say they seek a new position to 80%. That means there are 111 million currently employed people who would like a new opportunity, i.e., 80% x 139 million = 111 million. So now, there aren’t just nearly 4 million unemployed people competing for a finite number of current job openings, there are 115 million competing for these same jobs, or nearly 40 applicants for each open position!

Sobering, alarming statistics, huh?

Why are so many of the currently employed so thoroughly dissatisfied? They say they are sick and tired of having to work virtually “24/7” doing multiple jobs for the price of one. Many, if not most, have received either miniscule raises or none at all during the last several years. They are weary of seeing their friends and colleagues laid off. They have become numb with fear themselves for their own chances of survival.

Now granted, not all will jump ship at the same time and some never will have the courage or will to make a job change—regardless of what they say.  But, as the economy strengthens (and it is) and people gain more and more confidence (and they are), more and more will begin to brave the waters and explore new career opportunities. (In the recruiting business we call this “the churn!”)

The end result, of course, is that this phenomenon doesn’t create any net new jobs. It does, however, create a much more dynamic and much more brutally competitive job market. That means that NOW is the time to carefully examine and update/refine to perfection and an unprecedented level of excellence virtually every aspect of the “product” you will be marketing in the 2011 job market—yourself. Otherwise, I can guarantee you that you will not land that new opportunity when it (or you!) knocks at the door!

Job Search Advice: Protect Your Dreams

You want it? Then go and get it.  It sounds so trite, but I heard that expression a lot from my parents as I was growing up, so the movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, cut straight into my soul when I first saw it.  EArly o in the movie, Chris Gardner [played by will smith] tells his son

don't ever let someone tell you you can't do something…. you want something go get it… period. 

In th emovie and real life, Gardner faced seemingly insurmountable odds but stuck with it and eventually got what he was after.  Throughout the movie people and circumstances were conspiring against him left, right and centre.

Now, the big question is –  is this real life or just the ONE example where this happened to work out?

Well all I know for certain is that it certainly mirrored a lot of what I went through when I first went into the recruiting business.  I could relate to a lot of the same lessons that Chris learned.  Let me explain. 

When I first got into the recruiting business, I did so because I wanted to help people.  I was such an idealist and very naive at the time 🙂 I had spent the previous year [1985] helping my friends get jobs by cold-calling employers and telling them about, "this great guy who's working in my warehouse but has an MBA and really wants to…"  I was surprisingly good at it. So after reading What Color is Your Parachute by Dick Boles and designing my own workbook and get a job system – I decided I wanted to do this for a living.  I had no clue how ruthless and cold-blooded some people really are.  Nor how much sales has to do with this profession.

I approached literally every search, recruiting and placement firm in the city. i was  summarily rejected because I didn't have any direct sales experience.   Which confused me because first I thought it was all about HR not sales and I had two degrees, my commission in the armed forces, had won 28 out of 36 district sales contest, and 3 national sales contest at the the retailer where I had P&L for 5 stores and 16.5M. 

Most of the owners I approached were down right rude to me – only a couple actually laughed. 

But I did eventually get in and my training consisted of a set of Tony Bruno tapes and two big books: The Yellow Pages and The White Pages [remember them] 🙂  It was a ruff, albeit typical, baptism into the business.  I worked in the back room.  Way back, behind the nice reception area and fancy interview offices, behind closed doors. It was what 'sales' guys refer to as a 'bull-pen' with banks and banks of telephones lined up along great long desks.  The environment was built for smiling and dialing and watching for slackers.. 

The company I first worked at burned through "counsellors" on a weekly basis.  We were all a 100% commission based.  To keep us motivated and 'dialing' I heard a daily dose of:

  • only the tough survive
  • no guts – no glory
  • the cream rises to the top, and 
  • put up or shut up

First lesson: pay attention to the 'words' and advice you let into your head. 

Guard against counsel that is presented as being in your best interest, because a lot of times it isn't.  Chris does a great job in this clip explaining that concept to his son.  You should listen to it and  internalize Chris's wisdom.  He got it right. And while not all 'bad advice' is malicious, often it's just plain wrong – no matter how pure the intentions of the person who's giving it to you.

Right now for example, if you're unemployed and looking for opportunities you may have been told that you'll have to settle for a less interesting or lower paying position because the market's just horrible. 

That type of feedback maybe coming from a well meaning spouse OR a friend who has a job, and has run out of helpful ideas and/or grown tired of your situation. 

Don't listen. Here's why.

First, the market is tough BUT the Bureau of Labor Statistic's  monthly “hires rate” has been a consistent 4 million plus since June of last year:  That means that for the last 6 months – four million people were hired in the Untied States.  I will bet you didn’t see 4 million adds did you! No — because that’s not how hiring is done anymore.

The way employers find and hire people today has changed dramatically. They hunt for talent themselves and they do it stealthily.  Moreover, employer's will continue to hire in stealth mode right through 2011.  So if you didn't know that then chances are your friends don't know that either.

But, the truth is, the way people get hired has changed dramatically.   Sort of like when job boards first came along and killed off the newspaper career advertising [circa 1989].  Today, newer techniques such as "Boolean search strings" that recruiters run through Google have changed how employers locate and attract talent/  Employers no longer need newspapers OR job boards by-in-large.

So contrary to popular opinion, there are plenty of jobs in America in the “hidden job market” – lot’s of them.  But hidden they will stay because employers fear been swamped and overwhelmed by desperate unqualified job hunters. 

So, the rules have changed.  In today’s tough job market and slow economy, job hunters need to get their head in the game.  You better be the sharpest razor in the box when it comes to finding a job because jobs today only go to the best ‘searchers – not the most qualified.  To get at these opportunities, you need to re-learn how to search and articulate their value to employers in concrete terms they can understand.

And above all else – you need to focus on the activities that keep you moving forward and that includes a healthy mind that looks objectively at the data and tries to find new ways to reach-out to employers and create a positive future.


Hardly.  I speak from experience.  Remember that recruiting firm I started talking about at the beginning?  It got way more interesting as I got in to it… 

I got married.

My honeymoon was an adventure and lot of fun.  When I returned to the recruiting agency after my honeymoon I was horrified to discover that 3 of my deals had closed while I was on my honeymoon and I wasn't going to get paid for any of it. 

You see, my boss told me behind closed doors – right after he toasted my upcoming nuptials with the entire staff – that if any of my deals closed while I was away on my honeymoon I wouldn't get credit for them. 

So I went down the hall afterwards and asked my coworkers not to tell him if that happened. They laughed.   They said the odds of any deal closing by itself – let alone mine closing- where astronomical.  I was a rookie.  And I was cold-call shy so I didn't pound the phones like everyone else everyday looking for deals.  I had my own way.

Any way, the deals closed.  They told the boss and I was fired that same day I got back – following a rather heated debate where my boss told me,  "I'd just gotten lucky, that I sucked at being a recruiter.  Never did anything the way I was supposed to and was a bad influence on the rest of the staff." 

I was stiffed for my half of the $84,000.00.   I was on 100% commission – and in 1985, $43,000 was a lot of money.  It still is!  I didn't have enough money for a lawyer and legal aid wasn't an option because I wasn't poor enough – yet!

My friends told me to throw in the towel on this and go back to retail OR worse – banking. 

Me, I thought NO WAY!  I'm a sucker for punishment.  Ask anyone that knows me, I'm always rolling a rock up a hill.  That's Just who I am – fortunately!  I wasn't going to listen to my former boss, my friends or anyone else.  I was good at this and I was going to continue doing it.  I figured if my boss was right and I'd just gotten lucky – imagine what would happen when I finally figured out what I was doing.

The only way I could fight back was to go get another job and prove them wrong.  Which I did.  And in my first year as a recruiter I took home $9,000 on $98,000 in billings.  Rookie-of-the-year I was.  Very depressing.  Almost enough to make a grown man cry. I worked 80 hour weeks to make that 9 grand. 

My wife and I lived out in the country – in a house that was 28 x 20 with no basement.  That is small.  Very small.  So small that  I had to go outside.  That's 560 square feet – smaller than most bachelor apartments.  We had one car which my wife needed because she worked nights.  I hitchhiked to work for nearly 5 months.  It was easier in the winter because I looked desperate for a drive but not dangerous in my 3-piece suit and briefcase. 

My parents told me I was crazy and my dad kept telling me I was going to be living out of a box in no time if I kept it up.  He's a Navy man who was schooled in "tuff love".  Actually, he knew exactly how to motivate me.  My new bride was nervous but supportive.

We got through it.   The 2nd year I took home $58,000.00 on $758,000.00 in billings. Not bad for a 26 year old kid.  The following year I opened Perry-Martel International Inc.

Why am I telling you this?  Because it reminds me of Chris Gardner's journey through tough times.  It reminds me of what a lot of job hunters have been going through for the last four years, and I just wanted to remind you that it can work out if you continue to press forward.

I am not suggesting you have to live in your car or a subway bathroom like Chris.  But you may have to take on a part-time job while you're looking for that full-time career.  You may have to make a few detours.  But if you keep your goal in front of you – you can make it. 

Second lesson: if you get tired with doing what you've been doing and not getting any results, try something creative like Chris. 

[Watch the movie and you'll see more than a few creative job search tactics] I won't tell you which ones I used to land that first recruiting gig… but it's in the movie!

Now I would like to tell you one of my favorite quotes. It's about Christopher Columbus – the guy who discovered America – and it goes like this:

If Christopher Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him, either.

Columbus knew what he was doing. He had a clear vision of what awaited him and he stuck with it.

Third lesson: quiting is habit forming – fortunately so is sticking with a plan. 

Stick with your plan.  Stand your ground.  Focus and push Never give up.  Oh sure, you may have to go sideways occasionally but never give the goal of finding a job you absolutely love because when you do, you will never "work" another day in your life.  You will feel better about yourself too.  

And lastly – if you're feeling out of luck this week please DO remember one of my other favorite quotes – also attributed to Portuguese sailors,  

If there is no wind — Row!

David Perry


co-author, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0, co-founder Guerrilla Job Search International Inc. and managing partner of Perry-Martel International Inc.






Discovering Careers to Enact Social Change

The career you choose has a tremendous impact on your life. Your job is likely to affect every aspect of your day-to-day existence. This applies to not only material things, like the car you drive or home you live in, but also to your overall sense of well-being and happiness. It is for this reason that many look for career paths that allow them to make a difference in the world. When you think of careers in social change, jobs like social worker and politician may come to mind. But in reality, almost any job can be a vehicle to enact positive social change. You just have to know how to look for the opportunity to make those changes.


Consider Your Strengths

What are you good at? What makes you happy? Think about your strengths in terms of academics, as well as your personality and character assets. If math and science are your favorite subjects, perhaps a career in medicine or scientific research would be a good place to start. If you get squeamish at the sight of blood and needles make you queasy, you probably aren’t destined for a career in direct medical practice. However, that doesn’t mean you should rule out the medical field entirely. A career counselor at your local college or job center is a good resource to help you explore some careers.


Personal Convictions Matter

In order to find a job that suits you, you’ll need to examine your beliefs. What are you passionate about? What issues and philosophies are you opposed to? Working toward social change means working to change the opinions of people or the policies of a society. You need to have a good sense of yourself and your views in order to find a career that’s a good fit for you. A disconnect between actions and personal convictions leads to being unhappy in your work, which will spill over into the rest of your life.


Where Do You Stand?

Another aspect of work that’s important to consider is whether or not you see yourself as a leader. Assess your personality. Do you love to shine in the spotlight or would you rather help out in the background? This self-knowledge will better direct you toward the type of career that will ultimately lead to contentment. Be honest with yourself. If you’re an introvert, you can still make a difference, just as there’s no shame in enjoying the limelight. It is important to know your preference.


Finding Your Calling

Now that you’ve given these matters some thought, you probably want to know where to go from here. While not all jobs for social change require a college degree, many do. At the very least, some experience, along with some specific qualities, will be necessary. There are a number of resources to help you on your way to attaining a career that makes a difference. Here are just a few:


Online Resources

  • – This site provides a large listing of jobs in the social arena, as well as lists of foundations and organizations. You’ll also find resources on volunteer opportunities and internships, as well as programs broken down by category and geographic location.
  • Opportunity Knocks – Opportunity Knocks is an online job site geared toward nonprofits. They offer a job search center as well as an area for job seekers to post their resumes. You’ll also find resources on topics related to the nonprofit sector.
  • Jobs for Change – This is a section of the website that was developed to offer information and services to job seekers looking to make social change. There is a comprehensive career advice section with articles about everything from interview tips to rocking a career fair.  A listing of job categories will guide those interested in researching career possibilities.



  • Good Works: A Guide to Careers in Social Change by Donna Colvin
  • 100 Jobs in Social Change by Harley Jebens
  • Making a Living While Making a Difference  by Melissa Everett
  • Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types by Margaret Gisler

You can make a decent living while doing good for others. Keeping an open mind, combined with perseverance and thorough research, can lead you to a wide range of possibilities in working to make a difference.

Mary Davis writes about a variety of career help topics for Inside Career Info.


The Secret to Working with Recruiters that Job Hunters just don’t know about

Recruiters aka headhunters – are starting to call again.  Have you noticed?  Are you ready?  Boomerang Do you know what to do to answer the call so you get picked and considered for their opportunities?

Here's the secret

Show them proof!

Keep an up-to-date deal sheet – instead of a resume – on your PC at work which you can share with recruiters when they call. Your IT department won’t accidentally find it and automatically assume you’re looking for a new job.


Employers care 1st about who you’ve sold – 2nd how much you’ve sold – and 3rd is your rolodex useful to them. While you may not want to have a resume in circulation with contingency recruiters, a deal sheet can only help you.

Now, this advice isn't just for 'sales' types.  Think about what proof you have that you're dong a great job and have it handy when the call comes in.