Prepare for interview like a US Open tennis match

If watching professional tennis is your thing, it’s US Open just concluded and thought it fitting to apply a mental strategy used by a world-class athlete and use it in your job interviews.

Played a USTA doubles tennis match this Summer in the picturesque, cool, breezy mountains of North Carolina.

Although the weather was a reprieve from the scorchingly hot Summer conditions in Miami my home-base, the competition was fierce especially since I haven’t been playing much in the heat.

Needed to prepare mentally for the battle ahead!

My go to source for a quick “mental tune -up” is one of the best tennis strategy books ever written called “Winning Ugly” by the now famous tennis tv commentator Brad Gilbert…he’s all over coverage at this year’s Open.

If you’re not familiar with Brad’s pro tennis career, he was a journeyman on the ATP Tour (Association of Tennis Professionals). Of average ability and talent, Brad made a dangerous foe by figuring out and exposing his rival’s weaknesses. At the same time Brad used his strengths to slay some of the biggest names on the tour in the 90’s including Johnny Mac (McEnroe), Michael Chang, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.

Not too shabby.

So how can average guy with an average body type and skill-set, abused by the likes of McEnroe screaming during a match “Gilbert you are the worst. The — worst! …you don’t belong on the same court as me!” take down multiple titans of tennis?

Brad asked himself 2 questions before every match:

A – what do I want to make happen?

B – what do I want to prevent from happening?

This advice is golden for interview preparation.

Before approaching any interview, uncover what problems a potential employer may have and explain how you (your strengths) can help solve their problem/problems.

The goal is to not let personal or professional weaknesses sway an employer the wrong way. I’m not suggesting you ignore or lie about your shortcomings like a lack of experience. Instead, be honest and explain that a lack of tenure pales in comparison to the level of energy and determination you have to succeed (check out blog entry called “Make the Skeleton Dance” detailing a cool story about a guy who turns big resume negatives into positives during his interview).

Make the interview focus on the employer’s needs and your strengths.

Prevent weaknesses from putting the kabosh on a job offer by spinning negatives into positives.

Get your game on and attack your next interview like a pro.

Speaking of positioning, looking for a job in golf?

Get an upper hand on the competition by sending your resume to thousands of golf employers exclusively through our White Glove service.

It’s easy to use and effective placing you and your uniqueness in the spotlight.

Dawn Schlesinger

ChiefGolfJobologist

  1. Pic above. That’s me in white and my partner playing as deep underdogs. Won 1st round  lost in quarter finals.

Resume writing guarantees – fact or fiction

Doing some poking around on the internet before writing a guide/ebook to help candidates find a job in golf.

After plugging in few key words and phrases, I kept landing on resume writing services. Didn’t I realize how many of these companies exist along with the unbelievable guarantees they make.

For example let’s look at a service called “Resumes Guaranteed”.

Their guarantee includes:

“If you are not HIRED within 60 days of receiving your new resume, we’ll refund your money, PAY you $50*, AND continue to help re-work your resume!*”

Wow not only will they refund your money but you can actually earn dough by not getting a job. Is this true?

Let’s dig deeper.

Continued to scroll around reading the fine print and wallah there in black and white was a major refund requirement stating:

“*Guarantee requires clients to submit at least 40 copies (hard copies) of their resume to prospective employers following our advice.”

It gets better.

“You must provide reasonable proof that you submitted your resume to at least 40 prospective employers in the form of certified mail, receipts or verifiable fax transmissions receipts (if you utilize an untargeted mass submission service, their bulk submission shall count as “one” mailing/faxing for the purpose of this requirement.”

I’m exhausted just reading these requirements let alone the thought of having to fulfill them.

In my humble opinion, if a guarantee sounds too good to be true it’s too good to be true.

It’s also my opinion that if anyone in the employment biz i.e. consultants, writing services, job boards, headhunters etc… – no matter the industry – charges a fee then guarantees employment is full of horse poop!

Now for the good news.

While further perusing the long list of refund requirements I came upon a link called “Our expert resume distribution guide” which is actually a little nugget of great advice for job seekers.

In fact, there’s so much good advice I could write about them for days.

Check out their guide by clicking the following link:

https://resumesguaranteed.com/resume_distribution_guide.pdf

This is the stuff they should be selling vs, resume writing.

Odds are if you have no contacts decision makers are never going to see your brand spankin new, perfectly key worded resume.

There’s no point spending $$$ on a resume if the right girl/guy doesn’t read it.

I’ll skip the “days of writing” and summarize some key “guide” points like:

  • candidates seeking employment in golf should not rely solely on job ads to find opportunities (our White Glove Service reaches decision makers directly)
  • research the contact and club/company of interest before making contact
  • send a copy of your resume along with a targeted cover letter describing why you’re unique and how an employer will benefit by hiring you

Hope I’ve given you some job seeking food for thought…now go Weedhopper, seek and conquer and land your dream golf job!

Dawn Schlesinger

Dawn@GolfSurfin.com

Old school hiring practice “at work”

Was looking to replace a technical manager for my website.

Used a tech job board where you can view the candidate’s resume along with the types of jobs they completed with ratings given by past customers.

These tech girls/guys are independent contractors and work by the job and/or hourly fee. The job board earns a % of what the employer (me) pays the contractor.

Received a bunch of candidates within a couple of days after posting my ad – all had high ratings and job completion rates.

Sounds good right…if everything written is true.

So I practiced what I preach requesting references from each glowing candidate including a contact name and email address.

The majority of candidates responded that everything I needed to know was right at my finger tips listed on their profile page including former project completion, rates and customer reviews*. No need to bother former customers with inquiries from potential employers like me. I’d say maybe 10% of the applicants (3) who applied to my job gave me references. Of those three, one former customer was surprised he was being used as a reference (from this particular candidate) and eager to speak to me by phone.

His surprise peaked my interest.

We talked the very next day. After exchanging introductions and niceties and the conversation kinda went like: I’m surprised Ben (the tech candidate) gave me as a reference because frankly he didn’t do a great job. Ben’s ok for basic work but anything more advanced like app design or writing code forget it – he’s not very good.

Toward the end of our conversation I thanked the Jerry (the reference) for his time and feedback and then asked “…have you used any techs from this site who are good? Yes! Let’s look up his name together on the job board to make sure you get the right guy.”

It was my lucky day and I fortunately asked the right question.

Since then I’ve used Ben multiple times. He’s done a “bang-up” job at a fraction of the cost I was paying my former tech guy.

Point is employing “old school” recruiting methods like picking up the phone and chatting with references is just as valuable today as it was back in the day **.

Not only did I avoid a headache by hiring a sub par candidate l actually found a winner.

Another point.

In today’s world we have technology that often does the busy work for us like ratings and rankings (i.e. Amazon product reviews) sometimes called social proof. I don’t always trust reviews provided by the very same job boards and companies who will profit from my sale. If another source avails itself to help me make a smarter decision, business or personal, I’m going to use it …regardless of whether its “trendy” or not.

If judging a candidate by measures like a solid handshake, eye contact, good phone skills, manners, ability to ask questions and show interest in my company during an interview, thinking before speaking etc. is considered “old school” then I’ll gladly wear the label.

If you’re a little old school too and looking to fill a club position, consider using our Target Search service.

Where vintage recruiting meets technology!

Say your club needs a Chef or Membership Director. We’ll contact just about every qualified candidate actively employed, starting locally and moving our way through out the state, and apprise them of your opportunity via email. It’s tedious work, yet creates results.

It’s budget friendly too!

Check out Target Search details below.

*Beware of customer ratings – I dug a little deeper and found out that tech candidate ratings can be skewed by customers since the customers themselves are rated by the techs and if given low enough ratings, no-one decent will work with the company seeking help. 

**Some club policies do not allow the release of a previous employee’s information. At a minimum, most will provide start and end dates and position titles. If you are not able to get the information you are seeking, you can ask the candidate to provide another reference. 

Learn interview technique from the King of all Media

Finally finished reading Matthew Berry’s book Fantasy Life”. Yes I’m a very slow reader (like a turtle) but  consider it “quality vs. quantity” reading.

And you’re probably wondering why a middle aged lady living in Miami would be interested in fantasy football (ff).

Because its challenging and fun!

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, followed sports when I was a kid and got the fantasy sports bug about 4 years ago. I’m now approaching season #4 as Commissioner of the “Real Housewives of Miami” ff all women league. It’s been a blast and I’m really proud of the ladies who step-up by trying something new, foreign something they know nothing about and end up throwing trash talk like T.O. or Richard Sherman by season’s end. Pretty cool to observe.

Anyway back to the book and lesson for today which I’ve discussed in the past (take a look at blog post Stick Out in a Good Way).

At the end of the book Mathew added a “bonus section” to update his story and probably to sell more books. One of the major events he talks about is getting an interview with his idol Howard Stern on SiriusXM radio show.

Matthew Berry was a pretty seasoned host and guest on sports radio shows yet he was so psyched and nervous about his interview with the one and only, King of all Media, most successful and outrageous radio personality ever to hit the airwaves, that he could barely sleep the night before.

Of course he made it through the interview with flying colors even took a picture with Howard at the shows conclusion.

A couple of days after his appearance Berry received a handwritten note from Howard.

In his words: “I got a note at home. From Howard. Thanking me for being on his show….in all the years I’ve been interviewed by every type of show, it’s the first time I have ever gotten a personal note like that. The whole thing, start to finish, was a complete and total class act. I didn’t think it was possible but I became a bigger Howard fan in those few moments off-air than I had in 20 years.”

If The King of All Media can send a ff analyst show guest a handwritten note thanking him for his time and making a huge, positive impression doing so then wouldn’t make sense that candidate who wants to stand out from other applicants do the same after an interview with a potential employer?

The point I’m making is that candidates want to take any/every advantage to separate themselves from other applicants and make an impact.

One effective way to do this is writing a handwritten note to the person/people conducting the interview.

Another way to stand out is through our White Glove service.

Take a peek at White Glove details.

PS. here’s a pic of some of my ff league mates during awards night.