Harvey Mackay

How to Land a Job

A recruiter asked a job candidate, “Why did you leave your last job?”

The job applicant replied, “It was something my boss said.”

“What did he say?”

“You’re fired.”

This person definitely needs a copy of my new book, “Getting a Job Is a Job,” which comes out Jan. 5. In it, I focus on bouncing back after being fired, dealing with rejection and the emotions people feel after losing a job. And I explain why you can’t take it personally.

The book is chockful of helpful hints on not only getting a job but landing the job you want. Job hunting is a contact sport. You might have to work eight days a week. Networking is very important, and it’s even harder during a pandemic. But there are still effective ways to get out there. Be visible. Keeping a low profile is for people ducking bullets. With LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms, networking has never been easier. The key is to use social media properly.

I would highly recommend you check out Sam Richter, president of SBR Worldwide, at samrichter.com. He has taught me how to take the cold out of cold calling by using the internet to find important information on the people you might be interviewing with or the decision-makers at companies.

The Mackay 66 Customer Profile, which I wrote about in my first book, “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” has never been more important. You need to learn about what your prospective employers are interested in and what turns them on. If you can do this well, your odds of landing a job will go up dramatically. The Mackay 66 is available free on my website, www.harveymackay.com.

And don’t overlook the importance of gatekeepers, the assistants who control access to the people you need to connect with. They are invaluable. Getting through the fence to the top dog is easy if you know the gatekeeper.

I share helpful information on resumes that help you resume employment, such as what terminology to use to describe your experiences that makes sense to both applicant-screening software and human readers.

Because many people have a section in their resume that is constantly questioned, there’s also a chapter on addressing chinks in your armor -- because flaws scar you the worst when you can’t or won’t explain them.

Do you have an elevator pitch? If not, you need to develop one that sizzles, and is dead accurate and crystal clear.

I also devote a lot of space to prepping for job interviews -- what questions to ask and what to listen for. Be perceptive, not contentious. Read the walls and desks. Even though you are not interviewing for a sales job, you are always selling yourself.

Second interviews are even more important. You should prepare rigorously. Recall topic threads from your earlier conversation to identify themes you can build on. Remember, the closer you get, the harder they’ll look.

If you get a job offer, know what you can and cannot negotiate. Do your homework to get superior information. Stay calm. Anticipate questions. Learn to be a spin doctor and finesse certain queries. The smartest thing you can do in any negotiation is to keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears wide open.

I conclude the book with a toolkit that includes the Mackay Sweet 16 for acing first impressions, the Mackay 44 Interview Checklist and the Mackay 22 Post-Interview Wrap Up.

Many people have lost their jobs due to the current pandemic, but this situation may present new opportunities. The famous British author W. Somerset Maugham told this story about a janitor at St. Peter’s Church in London, who was fired when it was discovered he was illiterate.

Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he immediately prospered. He then opened another shop and another and soon owned a large chain of tobacco stores all over Britain.

One day he was dining in a fancy club with his banker who observed, “You’ve done quite well for an illiterate man. I wonder where you would be today if you could read and write.”

“That’s easy,” replied the man, “I’d still be the janitor in St. Peter’s Church.”

Mackay’s Moral: It bears repeating: Getting a Job Is a Job.