Chris Winterboer
Chris Winterboer

Is Your Insurance Job Search in #LaLaLand?

Job Search Tips

February 27, 2017

la la land.jpgAs everyone knows, the #Oscars2017 ceremony provided one of the biggest gaffes in its illustrious 89 year history. One so big it just might make us forget about Steve Harvey’s mishap at the Miss Universe pageant. The explanations for what went wrong keep coming out of the woodwork, but the bottom line is that something went terribly, terribly wrong on live television in front of a national audience.

Candidates alike...mistakes can happen during your insurance job search, and you find yourself asking where you took the wrong turn.

Here are 4 helpful tips to make sure your search is not mired in a proverbial La La Land controversy:

1. Double check details on your resume.
I can’t tell you how many times I get resumes with typos that should have been easily caught. Or the wrong dates for employment history were printed. Or contact information for a reference is outdated. I have heard
candidates try to wiggle out of it by saying they simply haven’t had time to revise anything and are in more of a “passive” search. In some regards that is even more reason to make sure you have a polished resume. Image result for red oscars envelopeBecause if there is an opportunity hire to be had by a prospective employer, they are going to gloss right over a profile or resume that is not clean and pristine. I am guessing there are at least a half dozen people that desperately wished they had checked a few more details on that infamous red envelope last night…… 

2. Own your mistakes.
Whether during a job interview, an initial email exchange, or negotiating a final job offer, be sure to always own up to anything that may have gone wrong in the process. While we can say last night’s gaffe was neither Warren or Faye’s fault, they certainly played a role in letting the confusion continue. As embarrassing as it might have been in the moment, think how much differently things would have just turned out if Warren had turned to Jimmy Kimmel and asked, “Are you sure this is the right envelope, dude?”

Most commonly this mistake is made when something is glossed over in an interview:

  • A detail omitted
  • A lack of an answer becoming an answer
  • Even sometimes an outright lie to make you look smarter than you are
The idea of asking for forgiveness instead of permission is not a good idea in your job interview or job search process.

3. Ask for help……and really mean it.
Warren took the first step last night, but unfortunately not the second. I believe he immediately saw something wrong with the envelope, tried to pass it along to someone else, and it failed miserably. I have been asked for help at numerous junctures with candidates, but if they don’t really take my advice it can become frustrating.

What is the most common theme? Salary discussion.

I counsel candidates how to navigate that touchy subject, and then they turn around and do the opposite of what I tell them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told candidates the top end of a salary range and not to ask for a penny more. Yet they still add 10-15% on top of that number thinking they are negotiating to buy a used car, not make a career move. 

4. Be prepared.
While I do feel terrible for what happened, Warren only had one job last night: announce a particular category. Which would have been an actual movie title, not a person’s name. Again, I think he had some idea when he opened the envelope that it was incorrect, but he wasn’t so prepared that his instinct was to question it further. Rather he just wanted off that stage to let someone else figure out the aftermath.

A candidate who is not thoroughly prepared for a job interview is simply a candidate that isn’t really committed to making a job move.

They’re just hoping to get lucky. I argue that could be a candidate who you want to stay far, far away from. Don’t be that kind of candidate.

While not all of life’s rough moments can go by a script, you sure want to stay on point if possible in the midst of a job search. And consider many of these points before you even start so that you don’t find yourself in the middle of a search or interview process woefully unprepared for what lies ahead. 


About the Author Chris Winterboer

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