Take This Book to Work: How to Ask for (and Get) Money, Fulfillment, and Advancement

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9780312358860: Take This Book to Work: How to Ask for (and Get) Money, Fulfillment, and Advancement
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A handbook for every woman in business describes how to get what one wants and deserves in the workplace, explaining how to ask essential questions about compensation and benefits, promotions, credit and recognition, work schedule flexibility, and more. Reprint.

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About the Author:

Tory Johnson and Robyn Spizman are the coauthors of Women For Hire's Get-Ahead Guide to Career Success. Johnson is the founder and CEO of Women For Hire, the nation's only producer of high-caliber career expos connecting professional women with leading employers. Johnson is also the Workplace Contributor for ABC News's Good Morning America. She lives in New York City. Spizman is the author of Giftionary and Make It Memorable. She is a consumer advocate and well-known television and radio personality who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One 
Getting Hired
 
How to Ask If a Company Is Hiring
 
It’s helpful to have information about a particular company’s current hiring needs, whether it’s from online postings, newspaper advertisements, or even an employee of the company who knows what her department is looking for. However, not every company has a career section on its Web site, advertises its openings, and keeps you updated on its needs. In fact, many small and medium-sized companies don’t do any of this. So how do you ask if they’re hiring or have openings?
 
Whom should you pursue? If there’s a company you’ve been eyeing, do some research on its struggles and its potential for growth. Online searches, media coverage, and industry-specific networking may reveal a lot about the needs and strengths of a particular company. That information could indicate opportunities for employment.
 
Additionally, in your daily newspaper, you may read about a company that is expanding in your city, and this information could spark your interest in exploring possible positions. You might walk the mall and discover a new store that’s about to open and will need to make hires.
 
Let’s say that you are thinking of looking for a new position and find yourself at a party or industry event. The conversation is so fascinating that you start dreaming about joining their organization. In such a case, you can say, “While I’m not yet actively searching for a new position, I’m so intrigued by what your company is doing. Might you suggest the right person for me to connect with to determine what possibilities exist for employment? I’d welcome the chance to see if there’s mutual interest.”
 
Announcements about new appointments to senior positions are a good way to spot potential openings. While you might not have seen any openings for a particular publication, you recently read that a new editor-in-chief was named at a great magazine. Send a note congratulating her and inquire about work. “I was delighted to read about your appointment since I’ve been a subscriber for several years. I know that every new manager likes to make her mark by bringing in fresh talent. I’m hoping you’ll be willing to consider me for some writing assignments once you’re ready to plan your first batch of articles.”
 
The bottom line is to be alert and aware of the information and people you encounter. This can lead to a range of opportunities even if a specific position isn’t obvious from the onset. When you spot something you’d like to pursue, don’t make the mistake of sending a generic letter addressed to no one. You must determine to whom your inquiry should be specifically addressed. Call the receptionist or head of human resources at the company that has piqued your interest, and ask her who is handling hiring decisions. If you’re told that there are no current needs, try reaching out to the person who heads up the division you want to work for. “I recently read about your expansion in Latin American markets. I have extensive international experience that could prove to be a great asset to your plans. I’m hoping you’ll be willing to set up a time to meet when we can talk about potential openings or even consulting assignments. If you’re not the right person to handle this, perhaps you’d be so kind as to tell me whom I can reach out to by phone or e-mail?”
 
Overlooked opportunities. Part-time, freelance, and consulting jobs are some of the main types of positions that are usually not posted or advertised. If the company is one you really want to join, find out how to contact the person in charge, human resources, or the department you want to be a part of. When you make your contact, share the highlights of your abilities and experience and ask if there are freelance opportunities suitable to your skills. This option works best for more-senior positions that aren’t necessarily advertised because there is no head count or budget for a full-time staffer. However, a department head is often able and willing to make provisions to bring on consultants. These positions can be lucrative in themselves and can turn into full-time roles. Again, since these options aren’t advertised, you’ll need to inquire about them by taking the initiative.
 
Have a pleasant, strong, and concise pitch ready to offer as to why you’re calling. If you get an assistant, you can say, “I know from reading the article in Crain’s that Mr. Lerner is leading the expansion to the West Coast. While his hiring plans might not yet be firm, I wanted the opportunity to connect with him about possible freelance work since I have extensive experience and success in this area. When would be a convenient time for me to speak with him? Or do you think it would be best for me to send him an e-mail detailing my experience and interests? I am confident he will thank you for this lead.”
 
How to Ask If Your Résumé Has Been Received
 
Your résumé is the marketing tool that helps you get your foot in the door. You’ve worked tirelessly on making it perfect, so don’t spoil your efforts and abandon your chances for landing an interview by not following up. Not only will a prompt follow-up increase your chances for an interview, it will also prove to your prospective employer that you are interested in a specific position. This step separates you from the people who simply submit dozens and dozens of résumés without having any particular passion for or interest in a role, in hope that one of them will elicit a response.
 
Every job seeker knows that you often submit résumés without hearing anything in return. You wind up sitting by the phone or computer desperate to know if the human resources people have received your résumé, especially since you can’t just call up and say, “Hey, did you get it or not?”
 
Résumés are often lost or overlooked, so while you’re assuming that your résumé has been received and reviewed and that they have declined you, they may not even know you exist. This is another reason why follow-up is so important. You may wind up needing to resubmit your résumé.
 
Fortunately, there are effective, professional ways of finding out if the company you’re interested in has received your résumé. Finding out presents an opportunity for you to restate your desire to pursue the position and remind them of your qualifications and why you are the ideal person for the job.
 
Whom should I call? Figuring out whom you should call is just as important as making the follow-up connection. You will have to identify the hiring manager responsible for screening and selecting prospective candidates for the position. If it’s a small company, you can usually call the main number and ask anyone who answers to provide you with the name of and contact information for the appropriate person. The larger the employer, the more complicated it often becomes to pinpoint the appropriate person. Among the options:
 
1.         Call the main number and ask to be connected to human resources. Sometimes an assistant will answer, and you’ll be able to ask for the name of the person you’re trying to reach. Always ask for the name of the assistant and create a connection with him or her by expressing your gratitude. You can also ask for advice on the best time to try to reach the person you want to contact.
 
2.         Visit the careers or jobs section of the company Web site to look for contact names and/or e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Some employers list this information by department or region.
 
3.         Look at corporate press releases or a listing of top executives on the company Web site to determine who is the head of the division that interests you. (For public companies this information can be found on hoovers.com.) When you call the main switchboard, ask to be connected to that person’s office. When an assistant answers, politely ask if she or he would kindly tell you who is responsible for recruiting for positions in the line of business you’re pursuing. For example, if the position you’re seeking is account manager in the consumer-products division, ask who handles that recruitment responsibility. You do not have to identify yourself as a job seeker unless asked.
 
4.         Ask a current employee to find out for you the name of the human-resources person you should connect with.
 
Persistence pays. Once you have a name, make this follow-up phone call a week after submitting your résumé. If the ad or posting stipulates “No phone calls, please,” follow up using another communication method, such as e-mail. However, keep in mind that such rules are typically designed to ward off people who would ordinarily call up just to ask, “Have you received my résumé”—a question no human-resources professional has the time or desire to address.
 
When you’re ready to pick up the phone, keep in mind that you have a dual purpose: to confirm that your résumé has been received and to further your candidacy by making a strong connection and impression. For example, “Hi, Ms. Goldman. My name is Haley Revez. Last week I submitted my résumé for the position of technical analyst. I’m following up with you now because I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications.” Before sharing additional information, pause briefly to allow her to acknowledge receipt of your résumé. If you ha...

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