Dorie Clark is a communication coach, marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and author of several books on leadership and entrepreneurial strategy. After being laid off in 2001, Clark had to learn to reinvent herself and take control of her own career. Clark says it's key to take daily, deliberate actions to set yourself up for long-term success, and recommends that people start consulting in their area of expertise and use a platform, such as YouTube or a podcast, to share their ideas. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
In 2001, I was laid off from my job as a political journalist — with no warning and four days' severance pay. For many professionals, we're forced — rapidly and unexpectedly — to reinvent ourselves. It took me six painful months to find another full-time position.
Through that experience, I learned that we have far more options, and far more control, if we take strategic action to protect our careers now, rather than waiting until something bad happens. In my book "Entrepreneurial You," I discuss how one of the most important ways to do that is developing multiple income streams — because if one of them (i.e., your day job) suddenly evaporates, you'll have other options. You can't build a portfolio career overnight, but if you start taking small, deliberate actions now, you can create more security in your professional life and better insulate yourself against future disruption, whether related to health epidemics, company politics, or industry changes. As I advise my executive coaching clients, here are three techniques you should consider applying now. 1. Start coaching or consulting for free The best initial side hustle is one that doesn't risk your capital, and enables you to experiment in small ways. That's why coaching or consulting is a great choice. You may focus on an area similar to your day job (if so, make sure this is kosher with your employer) or something entirely different — wedding photography if you've cultivated that expertise on the side, or advising on tech purchases and installation if you're a knowledgeable hobbyist. Almost no one wants to be your guinea pig — i.e., your very first paid client — so a great move is to approach friends and acquaintances and offer to coach or consult for them for free, in exchange for a testimonial quote and referrals to others if they're pleased with the experience. This enables you to experiment and hone your craft in a low-risk fashion — and when you are ready to launch officially, you'll have the benefit of social proof from your customer endorsements, making it easier to land paying clients. 2. Develop a channel to share your ideas Building an asset like a blog, e-newsletter, or podcast has obvious benefits: it's a way to build your professional reputation and communicate with potential clients, employers, or business partners at scale. Of course, it can take years of painstaking work to build your following — so start now. You won't necessarily have your "breakthrough idea" identified — which is fine. You can use the process of content creation to develop it over time. For now, even a general focus like "leadership" or "marketing" will suffice. Even if almost no one is reading or listening to your work, there are immediate benefits you can harness to keep you motivated. For instance, you can use that channel as a way to sharpen your own perspective, test ideas and see which ones resonate, network with high-profile colleagues by interviewing them, and demonstrate expertise that makes it easier to close deals in the short-term. And by keeping up the habit of sharing your ideas publicly, you'll eventually be able to build a sizable following over time. (You can identify the best place to start with your content creation efforts by taking this free self-assessment.) 3. Test what the market will pay for Once you've practiced your skills with some free clients and have developed a vehicle to share your ideas (which enables those who don't know you personally to vet you), you can begin to turn your efforts into an actual new revenue stream. Over time, you'll want to strive for premium pricing. But initially, don't worry about getting top dollar. The immediate concern is validating that someone actually wants to pay for what you're offering — and you can do this by reaching out to the friends and colleagues of the initial clients you served for free and from whom you received referrals. Focus on testing your angle and positioning with your intended market. Certainly, there are plenty of people who earn a living as career coaches, for instance — but through your initial sales conversations, you may discover (contrary to your initial assumptions) that your audience wants you to help them with their LinkedIn outreach, rather than refining their resumes. Once you identify what resonates with your intended clients, you can double down on your efforts. By following the steps above, even if the economy returns to normal quickly, you'll have developed new skills. And if the uncertainty and market fluctuations persist, you've taken important steps to bolster your long-term career security. Dorie Clark is a communication coach, marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and author of several books on leadership and entrepreneurial strategy. Learn more on her website and connect with her on Twitter.SEE ALSO: https://www.businessinsider.com/five-year-career-plans-dont-work-try-one-year-plan-2020-4 READ MORE: MAKING BIG MONEY: The ultimate guides to breaking into careers with 6-figure salaries Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
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5 databases companies like Apple and Facebook are using to recruit tech workers during the coronavirus pandemic
Summary List Placement Layoffs in tech are not letting up, and many tech workers are worrying...Summary List Placement Layoffs in tech are not letting up, and many tech workers are worrying about where to find their next role. But some companies are trying to reduce the burden on job seekers by creating databases where they can input their information and get a call from a relevant recruiter. Parachute, Silver Lining, Torch Capital, Layoffs.fyi, and Drafted are all offering layoff databases for workers to find their next role, and some even offer extra resources, like layoff newsletters and one-on-one career coaching. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Layoffs in tech have left many qualified tech workers looking for new roles. The coronavirus recession has prompted layoffs on a massive scale. Major companies like Boeing and IBM have laid off thousands of workers. Uber, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Lyft have all laid off workers since March, and in July, LinkedIn laid off nearly 1,000 workers. Over half of Bay Area tech workers are now concerned that they'll be laid off as the industry continues to suffer during the pandemic. In response to this issue, an increasing number of companies have created job databases that allow employees to enter their information and let recruiters match them with opportunities. Many of these began as simple spreadsheets passed around to friends and coworkers who were recently laid off, and have since become comprehensive databases attracting the attention of tech giants like Facebook and Amazon. And they're available as a resource for anyone in tech, from account executives to software engineers. Many even have listings from professionals in different industries, even if the focus is in tech. Here are five databases that tech employers can use to find recently laid off talent.SEE ALSO: Programmer interviews at tech companies could unfairly advantage white men. Here's how to fix that. Parachute Founded by the creator of AI recruiting platform Rocket, Parachute provides a database for workers laid off by companies as large as Lyft down to smaller startups. The database is primarily centered around the tech industry and is free both for recruiters and job seekers. Recruiters from companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have used Parachute to seek out talent from its layoff database. The startup was launched in mid-April in response to the waves of layoffs that began in the tech industry in March. Parachute also offers free one-on-one coaching sessions to recently laid off professionals. "There's the mindset of how you expect recruiting to work, and how you expect getting hired to work, that is no longer true," Parachute CEO Abhinav Agrawal said about the pandemic-era job market. "So we're helping more people to think about that and improve their job search and hiring process." Silver Lining Silver Lining offers a job board for recently laid off workers to enter their information to attract the attention of recruiters. It also gives members access to a community where they can share their experiences and seek guidance from others. More than 800 tech companies hire from Silver Lining's talent exchange, and members also get access to online learning modules and exercises. It's free to sign up for a membership, but job seekers can also sign up for Silver and Gold memberships, which provide access to features like a résumé and LinkedIn makeover and one-on-one coaching. Torch Capital Talent Connect Venture capital firm Torch Capital founder Jon Keidan worked with his investment partner, Katie Reiner, to create a layoff database in response to the initial COVID-19 layoffs that were affecting portfolio clients. The database started off as a Google spreadsheet, but has since grown into a full website with laid-off workers from Amazon to PayPal. There are also open listings from recruiting companies, many of which come from startups. The website has listings of people from different industries, too, like healthcare and education. Layoffs.fyi San Francisco entrepreneur Roger Lee has been tracking the coronavirus layoffs since they began to surge in March. Since then, he built Layoffs.fyi as a source for people who were laid off from their tech jobs. The database has more than 12,800 laid off workers listed as of Thursday, and is formatted so that recruiters can easily track down qualified candidates and get in touch through LinkedIn or email. The website's blog also updates readers on recent layoffs so that they can stay informed as they apply for new roles. Drafted Layoff Network Drafted is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup connecting laid off people with recruiters through its database. The website's live layoff tracker places an emphasis on referrals, with a feature that allows people to include endorsements and recommendations written by colleagues. Once a laid off employee has an endorsement, they're added to the website's talent feed, where recruiters can search for prospective employees. As of Thursday, the site features nearly 1,500 employers, over 11,000 job seekers, and over 1,200 colleague endorsements. It's free to use for laid off employees, but offers paid services for recruiting companies.
A Facebook VP of recruiting says using this tactic can help you land a coveted job at the company, where the average salary is just over $122,000 a year
Summary List Placement Facebook is not only a collection of apps (including WhatsApp and Instagram) that...Summary List Placement Facebook is not only a collection of apps (including WhatsApp and Instagram) that reach billions of people around the world, it's also a highly desirable place to work. It ranked as Glassdoor's "Best Place to Work" three times in the past decade, most recently in 2018. In 2020, it slipped to 23rd place, but that's most likely because of controversy over the company's market dominance and role in politics rather than any change in compensation, perks, or working conditions. PayScale reports that the average salary at Facebook is just over $122,000 a year. If you want to work there, you'd better be at the top of your game, current and former employees report. "It doesn't matter how good you are at your job, chances are you're going to be surrounded by a ton of other people who are just as good if not better," an anonymous employee wrote in a Glassdoor review. "Imposter syndrome is real, but if you got an offer, you probably belong here too." There are many good ways to land a job at Facebook, including looking through the company's job listing and applying online, says Liz Wamai, vice president of recruiting at Facebook. But she especially recommends a somewhat unusual tactic: Attend in-person or virtual events for your profession or industry where Facebook executives will be present. Then find an opportunity to introduce yourself to Facebook recruiters or hiring managers. "That's one way of reaching people within Facebook and representatives from different areas of the company who can talk to you about their platform, their role, or their team," she said. You likely won't get a job then and there. "What we find is a lot of the people we meet at events, if it's the first time we talk to them, we'll have other touch points," Wamai said. "So we might see them again at another event or they might apply through our application tool." Still, she says, it's a smart way to meet recruiters and hiring managers and learn about the company. At job fairs and other recruiting events, the conversation inevitably centers around what job the candidate is looking for and what positions Facebook has open. "Industry events are a great way to talk about just who we are and what problems we're trying to solve in the world," she said. Jose Pinero, a career coach who works as an internal coach at Facebook says meeting company execs at industry events can put you at a definite advantage. "That tip is important because Facebook has a hiring committee that evaluates candidates in the last part of the process, and they care a lot about internal referrals. Feedback from other Facebook employees matters, and it gets counted," he said. At the same time, he advises, if you're applying to Facebook, you should pay even closer attention to your résumé than you normally would. "The résumé is critical for a Facebook applicant because it's evaluated at every single point in the process," he says. "You apply, there's a coaching call they offer — which you should take — there's a phone screening call, and a technical screening call if it's a technical job, there's a full day of interviews. There are companies where, once you pass that first entry point, they never look at your résumé again. At Facebook, it's a living document that keeps moving around with you." What is Facebook looking for in job candidates? As with other tech giants that can have their pick of many candidates, being very good at what you do amounts to table stakes for even being considered. The company wants candidates who will fit with its culture and philosophy. Here's some of what they hope to see. 1. You understand and support Facebook's mission "We want people who have a belief in our mission, which is to bring the world closer together through our platform," Wamai said. "That definitely resonates throughout the interview process. That's standard for any candidate — that they totally understand what we're about." This is one advantage of meeting Facebook executives at industry events — you can hear from them how the company defines its mission and what its ambitions are. 2. You're a builder What does that mean? "On the technical side, you're writing code that will help build a product," Wamai said. "If you are a financial analyst or a designer, we're thinking about people who are looking to build things and solve problems. They have entrepreneurial spirits. Because our teams are constantly innovating and iterating, we look for people who can identify areas of potential and then move fast to create solutions." With that in mind, you should emphasize any past roles where you created something new, either on your own or as part of a team, she says. 3. You're good at collaboration "We want somebody who can work well with others, look at cross-functional partners and pull others into the mix, whether it is somebody on your team or another team," Wamai said. "If you're trying to solve for something, we want someone who has no problem reaching out to other people who can help." 4. You're not afraid to dream big "I have coached a lot of people at Facebook, and something that really jumps out is that a lot of Facebook employees exhibit an I-can-change-the-world kind of optimism and attitude," Pinero said. "And it doesn't matter if they're a senior executive or a more junior employee." He says he was surprised the first time he coached a Facebook employee with these expansive ambitions, but he's seen it again and again. "I think Facebook looks for that kind of drive and attitude." 5. You're tenacious This quality will help you get hired at Facebook, Wamai says, because you may not get an offer the first time you apply. She recommends multiple approaches: applying for jobs online, talking to recruiters, talking to hiring managers, attending job fairs and/or industry events where Facebook representatives will be, doing outreach to Facebook employees, and using your personal network to find people who work at Facebook. "These are all multiple ways that we identify talent," she said. "We try to meet people as many different ways as possible." So if your first attempt to land a Facebook job doesn't work out, make sure to keep trying.SEE ALSO: You need to prove your 'Googleyness' if you want to get a job at Google. Here's how to show off this most desired personality trait during your interview. READ ALSO: I'm a Google recruiter who's interviewed thousands of candidates at top tech companies. I wish more job seekers knew these 4 things about the interview and hiring process. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
How to write a cover letter for McKinsey that gets your foot in the door, according to 3 recruiters and a former McKinsey manager — plus examples to get you started
Although tough to earn, a job at McKinsey could lead you to a six-figure salary. A...Although tough to earn, a job at McKinsey could lead you to a six-figure salary. A clear, direct cover letter could get you in the door, recruiters and a former McKinsey manager said. The best cover letters demonstrate top problem-solving and leadership abilities, and a passion for working with clients. Recruiters also recommended keeping your message short and to the point. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. McKinsey and Company is super tough to break into but well worth the effort when it comes to salary. Partner salaries average more than $800,000 in total pay, according to job-review site Glassdoor. One of your first chances to prove your value to this uber-competitive management consulting firm is through a cover letter. As stated on McKinsey's website: "Your application (i.e., cover letter, CV/resume) is our first and primary evidence of your written communication skills, so present it in a thoughtful and compelling manner." While the company's website notes that a cover letter isn't required in an online application, "unless you wish to alert [McKinsey] to an unusual circumstance or to provide information on a reapplication," recruiters emphasized that it's still an important part of the hiring process. "McKinsey recruiters expect to see applicants with elite problem-solving and leadership abilities who can articulate their achievements, accomplishments, and diverse experiences concisely," said Caroline Stokes, the CEO of executive search and coaching firm FORWARD, who has experience recruiting and coaching job seekers for many top firms, including McKinsey. "A person's leadership style and executive presence can be determined from this letter alone, so it needs to fully represent how the person would operate in this management consultancy environment with other high-performing talent and clients." Portia Kibble Smith, an executive recruiter at Karat who has four decades of corporate experience and has placed many candidates at McKinsey, added: "The single biggest reason for a cover letter is that when I talk to hiring managers, they're probably reviewing each resume for 10 to 30 seconds. They're shuffling through them so quickly that you need some way to make the strongest part of your resume pop. That's what a cover letter is for." These experts and others shared their best tips for writing a letter that gets a hiring manager's attention. Emphasize leadership, an entrepreneurial drive, and a passion for client-facing work Smith said you should first make it clear that you're interested in working with clients — not just interested in working for McKinsey. "Demonstrate your passion for client-facing roles, and that you have the tools to hit the ground running on day one," Smith said. Second, Smith pointed out that the cover letter is your opportunity to pull out the single-most impressive part of your resume and bring it to life. "Draw them in with a compelling story so they know your resume is worth more than half a minute of their time," she said. "One example of this is from a candidate that I helped place, who went into detail about their experience leading teams in the telecommunications industry and the value they helped create in a client-facing role." Lastly, she advised not shying away from your background, but instead leaning into it. "If your MBA is from KU [University of Kansas] and not Harvard, the hiring manager already knows this, so there's no need to hide it," Smith said. "What opportunities did you have in Lawrence that may not have been available in Cambridge? Is there a unique perspective you're going to offer to the clients that they can't find anywhere else? That will get you noticed." Will Bachman spent four years at McKinsey after business school as an engagement manager, plus another year at the firm during his pre-MBA tenure. Within his management role, he was involved in recruiting for the firm — specifically vetting prospective MBA students and conducting interviews — before he left to cofound Umbrex, a global community connecting top-tier independent management consultants. Bachman emphasized that McKinsey evaluates applicants on four dimensions: personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, problem-solving skills, and leadership abilities. As a result of this focus, he said that all successful candidates must meet the high bar on all four dimensions, and need to be absolutely distinctive on at least one of those four — which should come out in your cover letter. "McKinsey consultants are taught to 'lead with the answer' when creating a presentation, and applicants ought to do the same in a cover letter, opening with a powerful anecdote that illustrates one of those four qualities where the candidate is most exceptional," Bachman said. He also advised not diluting your message by trying to demonstrate competence on all four; instead, you should wow the reader with a story that shows how you are amazing on one of these dimensions. (Finally, he shared that at McKinsey, the consultants like to capitalize the word "firm" when referring to "the Firm," so for extra credit, you can adopt that practice in your cover letter.) Don't just rehash your resume and keep it short, sweet, and prompt Atta Tarki is founder and CEO of ECA, an executive search firm in which 10 out of their 11 managing directors are former consultants themselves with experience at McKinsey and other top consulting firms, and formerly spent six years as a management consultant at LEK Consulting. As such, Tarki works with hundreds of McKinsey consultants aiming to transition out of the firm a year, and has placed consultants with eight out of the top 10 strategy consulting firms. Tarki advised focusing on something unique in your cover letter that's not in your resume to make your note stand out. "Most cover letters are just checking the box and rehashing the resume," he said. "In the extremely rare event that someone looks at it, that [approach] won't help you, and instead it should try to highlight some of your hobbies or things that make you interesting as a person/for the role." Tarki added that in the age of Twitter, less is more, whether you're talking about your cover letter, resume, or other communications related to your McKinsey application. He also hammered the point that it's important to get the basics right when applying, such as keeping your emails to HR brief and professional, not having any typos in your cover letter or other parts of your application, and being very responsive when communicating with the firm. "Within hours is great and within the hour is excellent," Tarki said. "Within 24 hours is acceptable. Anything slower than that raises yellow flags." He also emphasized making sure every single sentence in your application adds value. "Don't replace quality with quantity," he said. Not sure what this looks like in practice? We asked these experts to offer some samples of great cover letter lines. Bachman suggested that your cover letter to McKinsey could begin with something like this opener, which he wrote himself: [Partner's first name], I'm interested in joining the [name of practice] as an experienced hire. Recognizing the value the Firm places on entrepreneurial drive, I thought I'd share the story of how I conceived of a new revenue stream for my current employer, developed the business case on my own time, managed to gain alignment among senior managers to approve funding, and then, as the head of this new service line, built a $50 million annual revenue business with a 22% EBITDA margin ... Here's another example of an opening paragraph of the kinds of notes that stood out to him when vetting candidates: [Partner's first name], I'm interested in joining the [name of practice] as an experienced hire. Recognizing the value the Firm places on personal impact, I thought I'd share the story of how I built a nonprofit that has distributed a free interview suit and interview coaching to 3,000 low-income residents in my city ... If you know a partner at the firm, then your cover letter should be addressed to that person. Bachman suggested that in this case, your cover letter could begin like this: [Partner's first name], I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you and your colleagues over the past several months, and as we discussed at [venue] on [date], I'd like to be considered as a candidate to join the [name of practice] in the [desired city] office … Smith also shared the following cover letter template that she uses to help her candidates craft their introductions to McKinsey: [Partner's first name], Delivering exceptional results for clients isn't rocket science — it's a lot harder. It takes a genuine desire to understand a client's business and goals, from both a granular and big-picture perspective. It takes insight into the client's business trajectory, products, market trends, untapped opportunities, and competitors. It takes critical thinking, robust analytical skills, leadership, and a passion for strategic problem-solving. It takes someone who can partner with clients and colleagues to find innovative approaches to problems and work as a key member of the team to develop impactful recommendations. These are the things I truly enjoy doing. I use a systematic approach to problem solving that includes analyzing the issue, defining desired outcomes, asking the right questions, looking at the challenge from both creative and strategic viewpoints, and brainstorming in a team environment to form possible solutions. A brief example of my success in problem solving is [example, including results for company or clients]. As a recent graduate of [school] with a [degree] in [major], I am eager to work with an organization like McKinsey, where my education and experience in [area of experience] will add value to both clients and the firm. It would be a privilege to speak with you about a consulting role with McKinsey, my qualifications, and a potential match. My resume is attached for your review, and I look forward to the next steps in the selection process. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, [Your name]SEE ALSO: How to get onto the partner track at McKinsey and make millions, according to 3 management-consulting headhunters and a former McKinsey HR manager READ MORE: The ultimate guide to getting a job at McKinsey, BCG, Bain, or Accenture, according to 3 headhunters for these top management consulting firms Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America