Executive Search with Melissa Anzman, Author of Stop Hating Your Job

Posted on March 18, 2013


Our new feature the “Executive Search” will give you an inside look into the world of executive recruitments. The world of executive searches is often misunderstood and carries a veil of secrecy. We hope you will takeaway from these features a tips for improving your profile and a better understanding of how high level recruitments are handled.

In our first profile, Colin Baenziger provided us advice for building our profile and communicating our abilities to corporate recruiters. Today we hear from author and blogger Melissa Anzman. Her blog, Loosen Your White Collar, is one-stop shopping for navigating the corporate ladder. Melissa is ahead of the curve in acknowledging the importance of incorporating social media in our professional careers. Tip of the hat to Mac Prichard and Jessica Williams of Mac’s List for bringing Melissa’s work to our attention.

Melissa Anzman

Author of How to Land a Job and Stop Hating Your Job

Blogger of Loosen Your White Collar

Stay Connected with Melissa: Facebook: Loosen Your White Collar and Twitter: Melissa Anzman

Background Check on Melissa Anzman

My short “bio”: Melissa Anzman is the chief career officer: career coach, blogger and author of How to Land a Job and Stop Hating Your Job. A Gen Y entrepreneur and former human resources leader, Melissa founded Loosen Your White Collar, where she helps people fall in love with their jobs and understand how Human Resources works. Prior to launching her own business, Melissa has spent more than 13 years launching Human Resources and Employee Communications departments at several companies including Abbott and American Express and across various industries such as Publishing and Medical Devices.

Give us three unique insights that you provide in How to Land a Job: Secrets from an HR Insider:

  • Everything is negotiable during the offer process. Things that you think are off the table, can usually be negotiated – I tell you not only what those things are, but also some examples of how to negotiate them into your offer.
  • How hiring managers truly see your profile/experience – from your resume to your social media profiles.
  • Templates on how to stand out from the crowd when interacting with a recruiter or hiring manager throughout the process, but especially at the front-end of the process.

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…..

Live as fully as possible. In other words, accomplish most of the things on my goal tracking list – visit all 50 states, see some exciting destinations around the world, have my own “Secret Millionaire” experience, fly in a hot air balloon, and many, many more things!

If you created a soundtrack for the book, what songs would we find?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WxPyUzWSPA&w=560&h=315]

  • Don’t Stop Believing
  • Never Give Up
  • Try, Try Again
  • Be Yourself

Three frustrating career experiences.

  1. When I had a boss that truly had no idea what was going on within our department or the company. It’s like the person completely checked out when they got into the role. It was a constant battle of explaining why something needed to be done, who it would impact, how to do it, and so on. Things you would expect to defend with a large-scale strategic initiative, but not with tactical “business as usual” experiences.

  2. Working harder than my peers… and doing their “dirty laundry.” There was a time when I flying around the U.S. to deliver bad news for my colleagues… I felt like the people from the movie Up in the Air, simply because I wouldn’t say no. I was working 70+ hours each week, traveling around 75% of the time, and my colleagues were still able to punch-in and out during normal business hours. It was beyond frustrating, although it was my own fault.

  3. Not being able to make the necessary changes to make a place better. I think we have all felt this as some point in our careers, particularly at larger companies (although it has happened to me at smaller companies too). But knowing that something can be fixed, knowing how it can be fixed, but not being able to fix it – is the most frustrating feeling of all!

One of your titles is career coach. Which football coach would you compare yourself to?

One name isn’t jumping out at me… whoever fits this description: passionate, to the point (no fluff), goal-oriented, and results-driven.

Talk about feedback that you received on your blog and book. Positive comments? Negative comments?

I (luckily) haven’t received any negative comments. The feedback has been quite positive, here are a few snippets:

“If you are discouraged or frustrated because you haven’t gotten any bites from all of your online applications, you need to check this book out. I was stunned by how many unconscious errors I was making to rule myself out as a candidate. This is a must-read.”

 “Thank you – I finally got a job offer after months of searching, all thanks to the advice from your book. I can’t wait to recommend it to all of my friends.”

 “… this has become my ultimate desk companion during my job search. I can’t believe how easy it was to turn my job hunt into a new opportunity.”

 “I wish I had this guide earlier in my job hunt! Thank you – this is awesome.” 

 “I’ve done a LOT of research on resumes/applying/interviewing/negotiating and there’s A LOT of NEW and JUICY info in your book! Thanks so much! I’ve already recommended it!”

 “I love it.  This is a great how to do kind of book and it’s very easy to follow. I totally think that it’s worth more than the price.”

Describe your ideal Sunday morning.

Sleep in late, which for me means close to 9am if possible – and wake-up just in time to watch my favorite showing, CBS – Sunday Morning. Get some coffee, although I’m searching for my next Starbucks still, while reading curled up on the couch.

One of your tips is “putting your social media house in order.” 
First off, what should be in my social media house – Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I think that social media is a very personal decision – and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution of what you need to include in your social media house. If you are using social media to search for jobs, I would highly recommend using LinkedIn and potentially Twitter. LinkedIn to create and leverage networks and contacts – including finding job opportunities and crafting your outward-facing story to potential hiring managers. Twitter to either be a passive reader for job leads – most big corporations have Twitter handles for their job boards; or to show your influence and expertise within a market.

What are your suggestions for effectively using sites such as LinkedIn?

I write about this nearly every week, so it’s hard to pinpoint it succulently. What’s most important with LinkedIn, is that you present yourself in the best and truest light. It’s your opportunity to share what you think is relevant to potential hiring managers, recruiters and networks. So use that to your advantage – add more value than what’s available within the limitations of a resume, and always tell the truth. Also, to be effective, you had to take advantage of the different tools LinkedIn has to offer – the group function is largely overlooked, but can have a huge impact on leads, establishing connections, and expanding/showing your subject matter expertise. So find groups that make sense for what you want to be known for, and participate!

Walk us through how you celebrated the 1st birthday of your blog. Piñata? Clown? Jugglers? Seriously, what are the three most rewarding experiences from year one.

I didn’t actually remember to celebrate my first birthday until a week later! But my celebration included a blog post about it where I reflected back on all that happened within only one year – and then I went out to drinks with friends. No clowns, but I borrowed my crazy-awesome rainbow colored cake a friend made for me for my (age) birthday.

The most rewarding experiences from my first year are probably not the tangible ones.

  1. Finding my voice – and being comfortable sharing my words, knowledge and expertise with the world. I used to think about blogging and would always censor myself – what would Sally think about this? My parents? My employer? And so on – so I never took the plunge. After my third post, I completely forgot about these inhibitions and my voice was freed.

  2. The partnerships that my blog created/allowed. I could name a few, but essentially my blog has led me to be comfortable enough in my own skin, to partner with others – both from a business and personal perspective. I have friends who found me through my blog (or social media from my blog), and have business relationships with awesome entities now through the reach/words of the blog.

  3. Becoming a resource or “expert” and being able to help others through it. That’s more woo-woo than I normally get, but it has been extremely rewarding to be able to help others navigate their careers with advice, guidance, shared experiences, and insider secrets. It feels like my HR experience has finally come full circle.

ELGL has issued its 2nd annual Call for Resumes which we compile and distribute to corporate recruiters. Give us three specific tips for enhancing our resume.

Re-read every single sentence on your resume and ask yourself, “Does it answer the question… so what?” There should be no fluff on your resume – choose every word and description, carefully.

What are the three most common mistakes?

  1. Objectives – Usually the error is that they have an objective that is not related to the job they applied for (this is an automatic no pile for me). And objectives are outdated as it is – so just remove them to avoid mistakes.

  2. Grammar and spelling errors – I’m not sure why these still occur, but they do. Spell check does not catch all of these errors, so make sure you review your resume carefully, or better yet, have someone else take a quick look to avoid errors.

  3. Oversharing irrelevant information. I cannot tell you how often people do this! Keep the information specific and targeted to the type of role you are seeking – for instance, if the information does not show the recruiter why you are uniquely qualified for the position, remove it. Some common examples – number of children you have, what you like to do on the weekends, your religion, and so on.

Finally, what question(s) should I have asked you?

I think you covered a lot!

In the News

A Corporate Recruiter’s Guide to Landing a Job

How to Land a Job: New Book Shares Secrets from an HR Insider to Job Seekers

How To Land A Job – Frugal Beautiful

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