Book Review: Use your head to get your foot in the door

By Harvey Mackay

Cool Bluez Rating (8.5/10)

One of the most useful books I've ever come across. The book starts with the very basic topics, how to improve your job search skills, things to do and not to do in interview, how to prevent loss of job, how to excel at job and more. The book is written in simple language which is easy to understand and remember. The additional images also keep the reader glued to the book.

Selected Points From The Book:

1. Network and relevant experience, stay determined and have great confidence, be prepared.

2. Chances that you may lose your job: Duties done by you are being done by others, no one asks your opinion, no new task or training given to you, deliberately being made odd man out, sent to far flung areas, report now to some junior rather than your boss.

3. World is constantly changing, technology and education, what you don't know can hurt you.

4. 12 Herculean Labors:

i. Make yourself indispensable: Improve your skills and knowledge that no one can replace you.
ii. Work extra hours and out in great efforts.
iii. Volunteer yourself and then do put in your best to complete.
iv. Make yourself known and prominent.
v. Don't hang with the criticizers and pessimists who have more chances of being fired.
vi. Make plans to recover up for losses.
vii. Position yourself important to your boss. Report repeatedly to your boss.
viii. Take chances and bold steps which other office people fear.
ix. Keep yourself educated; try to observe what people senior than you have done by reading their C.V. and keep yourself updated.
x. Dress neatly.
xi. Think broadly: see if other main priorities need to be completed first.
xii. Keep practicing all of it.

5. Watch out for unusual behavior of your boss and organization.

6. Get used to rejection as it is part of business too. Many people just give up. To get the yeses, you must hear the no's.

7. Two authors submitted their work to 33 publishers, all said no, the 34th said yes and the book sold over 30 Million copies, because they had willingness to fail over and over till they succeeded.

8. If you are fired, don't leave with bad words, next company may need references from previous employers.

9. Do not get discouraged and try to stay away from discouraging people. You are not finished when you are defeated, you are finished when you quit.
10. No failure or rejection is permanent.

11. The cover letter on C.V. should reflect that you have some understanding of the culture of the organization.

12. No matter how desperately you need a job, do not show it.

13. Getting a job is a job: Explore new areas, fields, take job hunting and searching as a regular job. Get back in shape: Improve your appearance. Read newspaper for job ads. Make contacts, stay updated regarding your field. Have info about company you are going to join either by employees, friends or internet. Send thank you note on day of interview to the company, keep records of what you said in interview, what was asked of your daily activities . Do volunteer work for it helps in personal grooming, job hunting, contact making and brings personal satisfaction. Get ready for interview day. Good preparation, good clothes etc.

14. To make money, you've to price yourself properly.

15. After not being selected: Have more motivation and determination.

16. If during interview, any part of your C.V is re-read or asked for explanation, questioned constantly, you need to improve it as it indicates lack of clarity.

17. If you do not get selected for a post, ask recruiter to give you copy of C.V. of person who has been selected.

18. Make a rehearsal/demo video of your interview and then see the expressions, faults and correct it.

19. Do not put things on Facebook which could be catastrophic for your job prospects. You are to look for a job, not be a celebrity.

20. If you are employed, don't apply for another company which operates same business as yours and if 1 branch of a huge company turns you down, it doesn't mean the entire company would turn you down. Keep applying.

21. Make a list of jobs that you can get if you change careers or do some courses.

22.At interview time: Switch off phone at time of interview, do not be seen talking on phone before and after interviews. Companies want people who know how to balance technology use. In professional environment, keep your ring tone decent and your outbox clear.

23. There is big temptation to show things on Facebook but just because your friends are doing it , you do not need to do it as it can harm and ruin your professional career.

24. No link between intelligence and creativity. Creativity helps in finding jobs, don't be boring and predictable. Be different.

25. Really smart people know creativity beats knowledge.

26. Interview tips: Sleep well, exercise on day of interview. Wear good shoes, watch, shirt, tie, comb hair properly, read company site/latest annual, google people to have info about them, check email before leaving in case of rescheduled interview, turn off phone before interview, 2 copies of C.V., pens, breath mint, eat something, check map and weather and take relevant precautions. Have warm smile and firm handshake.

27. If someone else is chosen for a job, congratulate, ask for lunch and try to ask how they answered interview questions, how they dressed and what points were emphasized and learn how you can improve.

28. Do extensive research on company's objective, type and person interviewing you and let the interviewer know this as well. Praise the positive and impressive achievements and contributions made by the interviewer or organization.

29. If company is facing a down time you can hint on how your relevant experience can help.

30. Read and know about the current problems and issues being faced by the company and then relate past experiences on how you've dealt with similar scenarios.

31. If given a choice, try not to have early appointment for interview i.e. 1st or 2nd but preferably in last. If you are given the initial/early interview time, say something extraordinary that leaves an impact and make the other person (interviewer) remember you.

32. When waiting, be patient.

33. Genuine, pleasant, sincere and easy to get along, friendly and effective communication skills are vital to get a job.

34. Look for clues in reception area, some companies display recent achievements or videos in reception area, note them to get better know-how about the company.

35. When dealing with a senior person, only shake hand when offered. Similarly don't call the senior person by name until he/she asks you to.

36. After handshake and eye contact, shoes are noticed. Make sure they are polished. Men should wear navy blue shirt or white shirt with blue and red tie. Women should pull back their hair and not let hair become distraction.

37. Don't put anything on table e.g. sunglasses, purse, attaché case, keep them aside or on floor.

38. Sit straight with feet on floor, don't keep hands close to your face.

39. Keep 2-3 clean copies of C.V. 85% of interviewers have not read your C.V. so you may present it at a right mo

ment. Know your strengths really well and when confronted about weaknesses, tell what measures you have taken to improve them.
40. If you are given chance to ask question from the interviewer, don't talk about salary or benefits but any interesting topic e.g. the best project or achievement.

41. Keep calling and following up until someone tells you to stop.

42. Choosing job for settling your accounts may make you lose it, choose job which fascinates you.

43. When selecting job, see which one is the one which can professionally develop you.

44. For raise: Don't put your family crisis or any emergency as excuse/reason or basis, find out what other people are getting, bring evidence that you deserve raise e.g. your success, show them future plan you developed or have in your mind for the company, choose a time when company and boss are not in crisis and if turned down, plan how you can get the raise next time. In asking for a raise, wrong attitude can make you lose job as well.

45. When asked that where will you be in next three to five years, not only mention your goals but also mention how you intend to move to your goal, define exact steps instead of saying by hardworking and upgrading education.

46. When asked about failure, don't mention too big blunders and avoid blaming others for failures.


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