HIRED LEARNING: Preparation was Key for David Willoughby

By Rick Verbanas

David Willoughby credits his few months with PSGCNJ with sharpening his technical knowledge, selling himself better, and keeping positive. What started as exploratory phone calls gained through networking, turned into an offer within several weeks.

“Through a friend, the company’s hiring manager contacted me on the phone,” David explained. “He was expecting a lot of new business in the next year, was considering changes to his organization, and was always on the lookout for good talent. He wanted to see if there could be a fit for me with them.”

Willoughby says that focusing on CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) stories helped him talk about himself and his accomplishments better in the interview. He also says the week-long training was essential in preparing him to be focused.

“Completing the training material helped me articulate specific things I liked and didn’t like about my previous jobs, companies and managers (and helped) me formulate what I was looking for, what work environment I wanted to be in and what type of work I wanted to do,” David shared.

“This was important because I had two situations where the hiring managers did not have written job descriptions. I was asked to tell them what I wanted to do, what I was good at, how I could help them and what role I wanted to have. I was prepared for these questions and could shape the job description to suit my interests.”

David’s hiring process went fairly quickly, considering there was no official position available when they first spoke. “We emailed around Thanksgiving, then (I learned) a lot more about the company… and how I could fit in at a meeting in the first week of December. Two weeks later the hiring manager made an offer and I accepted the position at the end of the following week!”
David said that the general meeting and his committee meeting helped him structure his time and “…I met a lot of great people to share ideas and concerns with. Being unemployed creates a lot of challenges. Associating with people in the same situation was really helpful. (Also) I learned valuable things from all the presenters and the following Q&A. That helped me feel more knowledgeable and confident about my job search.”

The five things Willoughby said worked best in his job search were:

1. Practicing his Elevator Speech
2. Developing his CAR Stories
3. Cleaning up his resume
4. Getting active on LinkedIn
5. And, of course, Networking

“Networking, being able to talk with and exchange information with strangers is a skill that we all need to develop. Marty Latman’s presentation (Working the Room, 12/27/2011) should be ‘stickied’ to the training committee web page,” he added.

Congratulations to David Willoughby for working such a successful job search!

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