As part of the International MBA career training, we had the pleasure of counting with Daniel Porot’s wise words. The man with the likable French accent delivered an entertaining one-day performance featuring witty drawings, stories from an enormous repertoire of over 30 years of experience – and his irresistible contagious laughter.
Daniel Porot is one of the world’s leading pioneers in Career Design and Job Hunting. So, clearly, what students expected was nothing less but a universal 5-step recipe to get the dream job. He knows that. This is why he was quick to point out two things to set the stage: he will always have at least two answers to each questions and ‘don’t look for your dream job, look for a fulfilling job’. The structure along which he shared his insights was a simple what (self assessment) – where (targets) – how (job hunting).
As many career advisors, he emphasizes the importance of the very first step, i.e. to find out what you really want to do, what you are capable of and which are the most important criteria to choose the company and set up you want to operate in. Career seekers consistently underestimate the importance of this step. Failing to do it, not only complicates searching for targets, it also lowers the probability to successfully pass job interviews. Daniel Porot suggests several trigger questions and offers a self-assessment section on his online platform to accelerate the process of getting to know who you are, or, probably more precisely, who you want to be.
Yet another tool on his platform helps you to write down explicitly the functions in specific industries that you want to target. Long lists to select from turn out to be useful to translate your preferences into something that might exist in the job market. For your actual short list of companies and opportunities, in addition to extensive research, Daniel Porot strongly advocates leveraging your network, starting with the students right next to you and multiplying contacts.
But after all, our career design expert received most attention for his unconventional views on the final step, job hunting. At the core, he advises you to ‘stay away from the Bermuda triangle of CV, HR and job ads’. The reason is simple: they are all tools invented to filter you out, not to select you. He provides evidence that only 15% of jobs matches are made based on open ads. The large majority, about 60%, stem from what he calls ‘the hidden market’, where initiative is taken by the applicant. Lastly, social networks, above all LinkedIn, account for the rest.
Some best practices he shared:
- No CV, really! Whenever possible do not do a CV at all. Talk to people, get to know them, let them get to know you. Once you have done so, what is the use of a CV then?
- Don’t rush! When approaching companies or their employees proactively, do not talk about jobs. Show them your interest, add value, make them want you. It is like dating, where the goal of your first date should be what? Right! To get a second date.
- Take small steps! Instead of a job, try to get an interview. And instead of an interview try to get involved in some work of the company as a student, for example by offering your help with some research.
- Play their game! Search engines are used on LinkedIn and for CV screenings to filter you out based on keywords. Therefore, you need to make sure you have the relevant ones. An elegant approach is to consolidate a reasonable amount of related job ads in a document and look for the most common keywords with a tool like wordle.net
- Do it like the lawyers! Throughout your interviews, only ask questions for which you already know the answers and never answer a question that you have not been asked.
- And finally, when it comes to salary negotiations follow one simple rule: shut up! An interactive training to avoid common mistakes can be found on Daniel Porot’s platform.
As indicated throughout this post, various resources including booklets, tests and templates can be found on Daniel Porot’s website: http://www.porot.com/