EP 1948 I was interviewed by Tony Talbot of Career Move Secrets Podcast on a wide range of subjects including, most important of all, leveraging your network.

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welcome to episode 26 of career move
secrets today's guest is jeff altman
jeff is known as the big game hunter
he's a career and leadership coach who's
worked as a recruiter for more than 40
he's also the host of no bs job search
advice radio the number one podcast in
itunes for job search
with more than 1900 episodes i hear
hi jeff how are you fabulous thank you
good to have you on um whereabouts are
you in the world jeff you're obviously
in the state somewhere but
in the us in north carolina in a small
town in the western part of the state
it's called asheville
wow and what's what's life like there at
the moment are you on lockdown in
any restrictions or is life relatively
normal it's always complicated
during a time like this for us we don't
have anywhere near the cases that the
cities have but we still have a few
thousand people been affected
we have fewer than 100 fatalities
in the area so low risk but
you know both my wife and i are
high-risk individuals
so we've had to make choices about
in lockdown and being very cautious
rather than put my wife for example at
who had heart surgery during this time
yeah yeah definitely you know my radar
would be
right towards the uh reduce the risk uh
scenario there so i'm
glad you're doing the same jeff
obviously i've researched you and i came
across you a number of years ago
you know particularly for your your
podcast which is
he's well known and as i say lots and
lots going on there but
of course my listeners might not know so
much about you so could you give me the
sort of career history if you want i
started recruiting back in the stone
ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth
it was in the early 1970s where i
stumbled into the career and search
by answering an ad in a newspaper with a
headline of management trainee
inexperienced preferred and started my
career at that point
started my first business a year and a
half later
sold it to someone or sold my interest
in it
to someone started another firm it's
like a boutique operation for a while
but all told i've worked in search for
more than 40 years filled more than 1200
full-time positions
plus consulting assignments
along the way i became interested in
doing it differently than a lot of
and with that developed a practice that
really geared toward delivering things
to job hunters that they normally
weren't getting
which in the states in new york during a
lot of that period of time
it was a difficult business and i
fully transitioned into coaching
a few years ago where i no longer do
uh but i take all the knowledge that i
have from working in search
uh for my master's uh in social work
from my post-graduate training at the
institute of modern psychoanalysis
and construct strategies and tactics for
that advantage them throughout the
process so
i'm a little bit complicated for the
typical recruiter
it's not the usual background and i also
the podcast almost 10 years ago in
november of 2020
will be the 10th anniversary of the show
it's a seven day a week podcast
i also started doing video which you can
find at jobsearchtv.com
with thousands of videos about different
elements of job search
designed to help people and as i said
now i coach i have a number of books out
uh but i've pulled back most of the job
search books
uh recently because i found that they
were dated i have the first one in a
number of years that's going to be out
later this year about interviewing
uh and they're going to be others that
i'm already in process
with uh that will be following so
that's very interesting actually and it
raises an interesting point because
you've been in recruitment twice as long
as i have
um and you know you raise that that that
of of keeping things current you must
have seen an awful lot of changes
in in the recruitment piece and in job
searching how people go about
the whole thing you know there must have
been an awful lot of change during
during your time well yes and
the one thing that hasn't changed that
is interestingly enough
is that networking remains the primary
way that people find work
yeah you know i joke about it you know
when dinosaurs roamed the earth
but back then it was called the old boys
and the old boys club had men in
positions using their relationships from
university and other places
uh from from social class and and other
to advantage themselves in search now
it's been extended beyond men to women
as well
we call it networking and in networking
that still remains the primary vehicle
that people find work so that's the
part of this so much of what's changed
relates to how we communicate
how we deal with our clients again i'm
out of the search business right now so
i'm working from the perspective of what
i'm hearing from others
the amount of data that's available and
how we process data
because back in the day data existed of
a paper resume in a file cabinet
that you would attempt to remember
someone's name
or rummage through a file drawer to find
and i remember buying my first pc
you know in the 80s and discovering how
easy it was to locate talent now you
still have to qualify it
and that part of the recruiter's job
remains interesting because there are
different ways that you evaluate and
assess talent
before you refer to someone and of
course on the client side there are
as well i'm not sure how your business
is but when i talk to others in the us
i find many of them deal with issues and
again it depends on the nature of the
search firm
that the executive search firms from the
personal relationship remains
uh pivotal and of course there's the
contingency firms
where so many of them have been
because and this is true of many of the
executive firms as well
the database for everyone has changed
we've progressed from the file drawer to
personalized corporate applicant
tracking system
to linkedin yeah and for me linkedin i
was member 7653 on linkedin
i checked that out yeah i saw that on
your profile and i thought that was
really interesting because i was
i was a bit later to it um than you but
it's changed the game hasn't it entirely
i i and it is
it's provided great opportunity for us
as recruiters but also for
for individuals who who want to showcase
their capability and be found for
interesting things
and that's really the big difference
with linkedin is
the capacity to be found more easily and
to create a reputation slash
brand for yourself that allows people to
recognize you as being
the leader in your segment of an
so that search firms of all sorts can
reach out to someone
and you can create your own myth
around based upon your profile well
we're all experts now aren't we and
everyone can present themselves and
and and you know to some extent it's
true if you do something repeatedly
you know more about it than the next guy
you are an expert
but you you've got that ability on
linkedin to present your expertise
and to project it um as you say and i
still find it very
very you know i find it strange that
that people don't use it
to its full extent you know that they
they went down the route of
having a profile but they don't invest
in the profile um
and maybe they they feel that you know
some people will say oh you know
if i if i do invest in my profile my
employer will know i'm looking for a job
people aren't that switched on to it you
everybody is is um is updating their
profile because you should do
you know it's part of it's a live
database isn't it you know it's the most
i would find that was the most
interesting thing from for me you know
in search going from a situation
where the database was always out of out
of date
the moment you produced it to a
situation where
it's self-edited and self-um publicized
by the people in the database i just
found that that was crazy
you bet and one of the things i love for
that individual is a little bit
off your privacy settings so that your
connections don't
are not notified that you've made a
change yes
there's software that many companies use
in the united states that uses one of
the signals
of activity as an indicator that a
person's looking for a job so
once they have that signal they know
that you're looking in the simplest way
that they know that you make a change to
your profile
so just turn off the privacy setting for
notification to people that you're
connected with
and after you've made the change after
you've written the article
you can change it back it's that simple
yeah yeah i i
i make quite a few changes to mine so
i've always had that off because
you would be constantly updating people
if you were making just just little
changes to
uh to the piece so yeah it's it's it's
important not to have
those bits turned on one thing that
really frustrates me while
i'm on my soapbox um if you notice this
thing of you know open to work and that
type of thing you know
previously it was open to opportunities
and yet if you
if you actually search by by that
terminology i did it just to see
uh for my own peace of mind it was
half of the people who say they're open
are not open because they're not open to
any connections
they have the they have the um on their
on their profile
um you know the the area where you can
actually uh connect
to anyone they have that turned off and
have it on private which
always makes me think you know if you if
you want recruiters to actually connect
with you
not many of them are going to use an
inmail which is a paid
credit in order to reach somebody that
they don't know
that much about yet uh it people need to
realize it's
it's an open networking environment you
can always reject somebody's approach
and feel free to do that you know in a
nice way um but but
you'll you're missing out on so much if
you if you're not genuinely open
uh to connections so true because
years ago i heard a wonderful statement
that i've said ever since i heard it
the person who gets ahead isn't the
smartest or work the hardest
those are great qualities to have people
get ahead by being alert to opportunity
sometimes they're internal for their
organization but most of the time
they're external
and if you are not responding to
recruiters both corporate and third
if you're not checking the platform with
any irregularity
i'm missing so much yeah i i couldn't
agree more
in in my head hunting business i've
always found
you know generally we we head on around
the six figure mark and above but
on occasion i i get asked to you know
there'd be something strategically
important or you know
particularly hard to find profile often
you know with some sort of technical
capability in there that they must have
and i'll get asked to do a search around
that and i always find it
incredibly different between the senior
the ones who have made it who are
incredibly open to opportunities listen
to them all day long
and evaluate them and very kindly
dismiss them if they're not right but
they are open no no question about it
your boss is open
and then the mid-ranking or sort of you
know uh people that are that are not
quite at that level yet
are more often closed um or a lot of
them are
and you know that it doesn't take a
genius to work out why you know you're
not you're not at the top of the package
you're literally turned off to to
opportunity and
um most decision makers are not
uh they're very open to opportunities
you know that's what being in business
is you know being
being opportunistic in many cases my
show is called no bs job search
and i'll simply say for the mid-level
people they've
they've been buying the bs their
management has been giving them yeah
for years don't talk to those recruiters
they're just
evil they're awful individuals don't
talk to them
and every time there's an inappropriate
contact because there are a lot of
recruiters who are
not particularly capable and they're not
invested in a career
every time there's an inappropriate
contact it reinforces
that myth that recruiters are not
versus the leaders who've already
developed relationships
who are always in the position of being
open to options like
there's a wonderful guy who's working
with uh who's an american
working in singapore if i'm not mistaken
he was con referred to me because he was
going to start exploring a position
and the first thing he did was contact
the search firms with whom he'd have a
from the standpoint of hiring open the
doors there
see what was available to them we
started to broach his network
and he started to have some fabulous
and all because one day he decided to
reach out to me and i encouraged him
go out on a few dates see what happens
i say the same thing jeff i often say
recruiters like dating
you know it it is that sort of you you
have to let the other party know that
you like them
for them to like you back and and
initially it is all about liking you
know it's this
it's not particularly more complicated
than that even in
you know we're getting into interviews
now but even in the most senior of
interviews that i've ever put
put forward where you know we're talking
about two big hitters you know both
you know on several hundred thousand
pounds each it it's not
it's not any more complicated at the end
when you take the feedback that
it always starts with whether they liked
them or not and and that
yes a part of it is i like that person
for the job but it's also actually that
i like them as a person
in fact it's more that um it's that
likeability factor
um yeah it's it's not it's not as
complicated as it needs to be
they need to know who you are they need
to know that you're interested
so you know nobody gets a date if
they're not out there do they they don't
get an opportunity if they don't think
if somebody doesn't think you're open uh
to an offer they won't make you one
are you suggesting that people should
no no not at all no not at all no no no
no my wife doesn't listen to this but
you know we've been married a long time
now there's no there's no problem there
but no dating if i knew
i'm out of my debts when i talk about
dating having been married for 17 years
but i i try to make the the analogy in
fact i did one for um
a group of uh a group of students
uh recently at the university of
westminster and i was trying to explain
to them that they're all into their apps
but none of them are into linkedin by
the way we did a poll at the university
and they
they're not really engaged with linkedin
at all and you can understand that
because if you're a student you know
you've not reached that level yet the
world of work and it's not
an interesting platform for you but i
try to explain to them again i was on
loose ground here because i don't i've
not ever used the dating apps
but i'm aware of them through friends
you know tinder and things like that so
i said
imagine you know really linkedin is your
tinder but instead of getting dates
you're getting
you're getting uh interviews and offers
and uh
that seemed to that seemed to the
analogy seemed to work so
i i left it at that but uh you you've no
doubt seen there
seen more changes in technology and what
what have you then than i have
um because i i mean i remember the days
where you know you did get
um you know you you put a post uh you
posted another
in a in a national press and you got 200
applications and you literally
uh looked through that pile and uh
evaluated one each
on their own and of course the one on
pink paper did stand out
but but now as as we as we both know
it's all digital
you have to stand out in a different way
and that's probably through your
partly through your linkedin profile
because almost every recruiter
whether they're internal external or
even a hiring manager they will
your application whatever way that might
or even you're reaching out to them via
linkedin profile and they place a value
on what they see they make a value
on what they see on your linkedin
profile um
i believe you have a recent guest on who
pointed out the foolishness of people
who have a linkedin profile on a resume
that are not congruent
yes and it happens all the time it's the
most astonishing thing
and every you know when i was doing
the first thing i would do is go to the
linkedin profile
and well actually the second thing the
first one was i checked my own database
because i i had a substantial one
and i was always fascinated by the jobs
that have disappeared
yes me too and uh you know it's so
easy to expose uh
shall we say uh mistakes
that people commit they should be
i hear other people saying oh they're
they're completely different documents
you know they're completely different
um your cv to linkedin profile and and
there is some
you know for people who aren't looking
for a job they they are
perhaps trying to sell a service through
their linkedin profile or whatever
yes there's an argument to say that what
you're projecting is
um and it is a network that's not just
about recruitment now you can project
something else but
but in terms of the the career history
that it asks you to provide
that should be the same um and in terms
of the level of seniority that you had
that should be the same and the the
great advantage
for job seekers on on linkedin is you've
got so much more
uh space you've got 2 000 characters for
job that you you've undertaken and if
you fill those out thoroughly
then your your profile becomes richer
more searchable
and more expert at the things that you
actually are an expert in
yes and you can also create links to
content that you create so if you write
or treat it as a blog it will be linked
to your profile if
if you share video or podcasts it
becomes linked to the profile
which gives people a perspective of you
much more rich than the flat resume
might and so people
make these mistakes all the time of not
really thinking
strategically about a career
and it's that absence of forethought
causes them to lurch with their network
job search to job search without any
cohesive strategy
without maintaining relationships
without building an
image brand reputation for themselves
that's public which to me is the missing
ingredient for a lot of people
they're not public enough with what it
is that they do and what their successes
have been
so they're invisible they become the
well-kept secret as i believe
one of my recent podcasts was and no one
should be a well-kept secret
you should be known because we live in a
celebrity culture right
yeah yeah the age of narcissism it is
certainly the case yeah
yeah if you want opportunities to come
your way you you definitely need to be
available to to be found for those
opportunities and i think linkedin is
is you know very much the the
marketplace now to be found as an
individual for whatever it is
uh whether you're selling something or
you're selling yourself in terms of a
job search it's
it is it is the platform um you know the
platform of choice
what would you do today how do you think
see things as different
you've obviously just lived through
probably a number of recessions
um i'm guessing you guys your numbers on
unemployment look pretty bad i think
they're bouncing a bit but probably
similar to here
there's going to be a situation where in
that sort of classic advertised job
space there's going to be
you know less advertisements uh and more
people chasing them
um i i talk about the hidden job market
a lot which just means jobs that are
unadvertised and i haven't advertised a
job in 10 years and most
people in search don't advertise their
jobs because it just doesn't work we
like to go direct
um what would you what would you say to
people who are
you know searching in today's
environment what would they do
differently or what would that would be
the sort of key things that you think
were going to going to
help their job search so i'm going to
speak about
today and today
in the united states we've gone from 14
unemployment to 8.4 i believe the number
which is a pretty dramatic drop and it
will be even more so when some of the
large states like new york and
finally allow their states to open up
but i wish i wish i didn't believe this
but i think it's part of that's
that those are democratic governors who
don't want trump
to appear as though he's done better
than he has
so they keep the numbers of people
uh unemployed restaurants and other
uh high and new york city itself i
believe new york state itself has
that they can open up to a limited
september 30th which translates into
the numbers won't be publicly available
until after the presidential election
now i i wish my mind didn't work that
way but it
you know when you link certain data
together it
does create an impression so for the
immediate period
what i'm finding is the many advertised
positions and
many unadvertised positions i'd helped a
number of coaching clients find
work including people who were
preceding covet and of course kobe
collapsed everything
so the idea is to be available to put
yourself out use your network
of relationships to start talking to
people without coming across as being
one of those people who's just
give me can you give me i need
i need and be someone who
re-cultivates relationships with people
that you haven't been in contact with
for a while from there i'm going to also
longer term and say you have to start
thinking about whether your job is going
to exist in the next five to 10 years
with the impact of ai and start planning
for some of the changes that will occur
folks start reading material from the
world economic forum
the us looks pretty complicated in the
next few years
you know the degree to which people are
machine learning or ai capable
in the u.s it's pretty small in many
that will disappear based upon the
impact that they are in machine learning
so folks need to start being proactive
as to whether or not their career will
be impacted by this
and start laying a plan for yourself now
you can see me you can tell i'm not 24
i'm going to be able to ride this out
but for a lot of people who are younger
i would say probably your age and
it's going to be pretty tough to write
out the next
period of time until retirement given
some of the changes that are being
forecast so be proactive with this get
the training develop the
experiences necessary to rebrand
even if you have to pay for it which is
always a very painful thing for people
to hear but your institutions are going
to do it
yeah i think you've got to invest in
yourself it it's amazing isn't it that's
there's a big difference
again you you see the people that invest
in themselves invest in their
professional and personal development um
you know you they tend to do well um
people that don't and
and aren't willing to tend to sort of
stand still so there is
yeah it is a mentality change but i find
that people
you know will lap up anything that's
sort of free but when it comes to uh
something they need to pay for sometimes
they're less likely to to go for it but
yeah there's there's
there's definitely uh there's definitely
a sort of correlation between the two in
my view
you know invest in yourself and you will
read the rewards that's that's how it
yes and for now for job hunters you have
to put yourself
out there this is the time because as
we're recording this we're
close to the fourth quarter of 2020 and
my experiences is that you're unemployed
as it enters into 2021
you may lose your career because firms
start to wonder whether or not
you were capable and why didn't you get
back to work
when things started to open up so for
many uh white-collar professionals as we
call in the united states
uh that hundred thousand dollar-a-year
person above
if you're out of work come 2021 it's
gonna be hard for you to re-enter
so the push really needs to happen now
and as we're recording this it's almost
a time where
calendar year corporations start to
finalize budgets in the united states
there's still a possibility where you
can get written into a budget from a
friend of yours who might be in a
leadership role
this is a time to make that connection
and see if you can get yourself written
and if not just stay in touch because
the next
wonderful period of time for networking
is fast approaching
which is the end of the year with the
christmas holidays
yeah so we can yeah that's how we could
all mingle at that point but
um yeah i think take your view there's
certainly a lot of people out there who
you know come out of a big role and i
know having a period of transition is
recorded but
they have to stay active you know that
there is a full-time job there for them
in finding their next job but there may
all be what may also be other
opportunities where they can keep the
skills relevant and
and and stay relevant and stay visible
by doing
doing pieces on linkedin of course but
also getting involved in other people's
maybe in a limited way maybe doing some
non-exec type stuff
all of the things that that keep the
keep the
the skill set going maybe develop it
further and keep you visible
um i think that those guys who are you
know out and have been out
of an organization for a while you know
really need to do that
as much for their own peace of mind as
anything else
yes and i'll also mention the physical
part of this
many individuals when they've been out
of work for a while
put on some weight the clothes don't fit
as well
they don't appear as well on interviews
whether on camera
or in person so watch your weight folks
and make sure your wardrobe is
because no one cares for that look
of the clothes that just don't their
yeah it's all part of your appearance
isn't it in these in these uh
these situations where you you do get an
interview how are you fine
are you finding that a lot of the
interviews i've gone to this zoom method
have you any thoughts on that
particularly in
in light of people not always getting
the opportunity to meet up directly
yes and i'm finding more firms once
they've qualified someone once the
hiring manager has spoken with the
over zoom many of them are saying we'd
like to meet with you we'll create a
distancing protocol to ensure
everyone's safety fine wear the mask no
problem with that if you feel
comfortable at some point taking it off
we'll have you quite a few feet away
from us and
the later stage interviews are occurring
in person
early in the in the coded lockdowns when
things started to open up
i had hiring done purely over soon
no one met anyone i was helping a one of
my wife's nephews land
land the job and um he's starting to
work with the government agency he
hasn't met anyone except whatever
so firms are experimenting with whether
or not they can return to a degree of
and it depends on the organization what
their comfort level is
yeah i i i was lucky enough to do some
recruitment um
just before the lockdown here or
actually moving into it
um with an organization that involved in
were involved in renewables wind farm
development and
and they interviewed everybody through
through uh through zoom
um in fact in one stage they had um
the whole process three interviews
occurred within the course of a week
and an offer went out and they and that
person started and still hadn't met
and i think probably you know until they
they were imposed for a month they still
didn't meet anybody from the
organization but they did feel
part of it you know because there was
lots and lots of interaction
uh over zoom and you know this
particular company did a very good job
of integrating uh the candidate
regardless of uh
not having them in the office so yeah it
can work it does happen
um any final thoughts jeff on on
you know anything you would you would
suggest that people should be thinking
if they're in the difficult situation of
trying to find their next role right now
one thing i always remind people of
is that the skills they need to find a
job are different than those needed to
do a job
and particularly with regard to
interviewing most job hunters are
complete amateurs
they go to interviews and they wing it a
u.s expression that basically translates
they figure out the answer in the moment
and i don't know how it is uh in other
sports but in
every us sport all the great
all the great athletes practice and
every great entertainment rehearses
and every job hunter goes on interviews
and the first time the words ever come
out of their mouth
the first time they've ever answered
that question is at the interview and
then they wonder why they don't get the
you can't act like an amateur
do things that other people don't do
and they're able to demonstrate them at
the drop of a hat
you have to be that person who practices
rehearses and can deliver spontaneously
without appearing to be rehearsed
it makes a world of difference yeah i
couldn't agree more it's amazing how how
i think most people wing it we we use
the expression here too
you know they they think their their
sort of you know innate talent will take
them through but of course if
another person is there who has
practiced you know that the classic sort
tell me about yourself and they can they
can tell you uh tell tell somebody about
themselves in a coherent compelling way
that only lasts say three minutes and
has great
impact that's a big difference from
somebody who sort of
um you know makes it up on the on the
hoof and
it doesn't really come across as as
or as interesting as a well-practiced
story i always say
that you know there's a good example if
if you've got a really great story
that you tell your friends the first
time you tell it's you know it's funny
you know the 15th time you tell it you
know you're killing everyone aren't you
because it is
you've honed it it's now a well-used
tool and of course your you know your
personal value proposition
your tell me about yourself answer and
indeed some of the pieces around
your particular skill set leadership
whatever else you should have
some well honed stories that you're very
very good at telling
um and you know the reaction you're
going to get from your audience
each time you uh each time you bring
those ones out so that's that's another
great example jeff yes thank you very
much for that jeff i really appreciate
your time and
and your your your enthusiasm and for
coming on the show really great
i was uh really pleased that you said
yes and i'm having
concluded the the conversation i'm
really really really grateful that you
came up
my pleasure glad to serve your audience
and uh
folks i'll just simply say in conclusion
if you want to find out more
jobsearchtv.com will take you to my
youtube channel
uh on an amazon set
save a fire tv a fire stick
roki look for the job search tv app you
can watch me there
if you have a smart set download the job
search tv app as well
uh the 90 some odd tv platforms around
the world that
that's available and of course an obs
job search advice for you
perfect yes all of those all were worth
taking in so
please do that jeff thank you very much
for your time appreciate it
you're very welcome all the best


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at https://www.wisio.com/TheBigGameHunter. Want to do it live?

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Jeff NoBSJobSearchAdvice.comJoin and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Watch my videos on YouTube at JobSearchTV.com, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or BingeNetworks.tv for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show like you did.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume? Order a critique from me

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

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