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What job seekers can learn from the Colorado Avalanche’s historic season

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While other hockey fans are preparing for the playoffs, Avalanche fans are just relieved to see their season end. With a final standing of 22-56-4 for the 2016-17 season, their record was one of the worst in NHL history since the salary cap was put in place. Yet even within this poor performance, there are a lot of lessons for job seekers.

  1. Celebrate every victory

For me, this was the first year that I bought a partial season ticket plan. Over the course of the season, every time the Avalanche won, the fans lost their minds – especially because it was all too rare.

For job seekers, it can often feel like a losing season because HR provides very little feedback after you turn in an application.  It is helpful to celebrate phone interviews, in-person interviews, new networking contacts, and even finding posted jobs in your ideal field as a victory. Rather than letting a defeatist attitude permeate every attempt, highlight the little victories to give yourself a positive boost.

  1. Know your winning percentage

The Avalanche ended their season with a .268 winning percentage – well below what the fans hoped to see.

As a job seeker, you need to know your percentage as well. Do you know how many jobs you applied to in a given week or month? Are you tracking how many interviews (including phone interviews) that you receive? Are you taking note of how long it takes for an employer to get back to you? If you don’t know these numbers, you really can’t gauge your success.

Here are some metrics that reflect a successful job search:

  • Receiving a phone interview for every 10-15 job applications
  • Gaining an in-person interview out of 5-10 phone interviews
  • Hearing back from HR within 3-4 weeks

 

  1. Understand the weaker statistics

The Avalanche looks at more than just the final score to determine their success. This includes shots on goal (SOG), time of possession, number of hits, and so on. After all, if your goalie is dealing with 40 SOG per game without a strong defense to back him up, some of those shots are going to get through.

As a job seeker, tracking both the positive and opposing outcomes can be beneficial in developing a better strategy. Here are some snags you might recognize, along with its underlying definition:

  • If you consistently get automatic rejections within 1-24 hours after submitting your resume, this means the computer screened you out before a human even read your materials. You need to refine the key words listed in your resume.
  • If you get phone interviews with HR but never invited to interview in person, you are not convincing the potential employer that you meet the requirements. This could also be because the hiring manager is not understanding the relevance of your background on your resume.
  • If you get the in-person interview but never get a second one, you need to improve your interviewing skills.
  • If you get multiple interviews with the same company but are constantly being told that there was someone who “was a better fit,” you are misunderstanding the company culture.

 

  1. Capitalize on what is working

One of the biggest complaints that Avalanche fans had this past season was Coach Bednar’s performance, especially in switching up the players’ lines before they had a chance to settle into a rhythm with each other. Even professional athletes need time to meld and improve.

Job seekers often ditch a strategy before they have a chance to really see how it is working. Similarly, they sometimes invest a lot of time into a losing strategy, simply because they don’t have any other tools in their resume and interviewing toolbox.

A classic example of this is scanning the job boards every single day, all day. While some opportunities are found on Indeed, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn, these are only a few sources. Take some time to figure out which sites have the type of jobs that you want and concentrate your efforts on those. If a certain site never has viable jobs, don’t waste your time on it.

  1. Make the shot

As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

I know some job seekers that screen themselves out of a job before they ever apply. Just because you don’t have 100% of the qualifications for a job doesn’t mean you should not apply. Let HR do the screening.

Every single job description has some requirements that are less important than others. However, you can’t tell what those requirements are just by reading the job description. For this reason, make HR do their work.

Of course, don’t put all of your fate in HR’s hands. Be proactive in taking the next step to get in touch with hiring managers directly. Ways to do this include researching them personally on such sites as LinkedIn and ZoomInfoGrow.com. After all, some of the sweetest goals are made not by the first shot, but by leveraging the rebound.

Want to improve your own job search strategy? Click here for a free consultation to discuss your tactics: http://personaltouchcareerservices.com/contact

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About the Author:

Since 2004, Donna has been teaching job seekers of all levels effective job search strategies. In 2009, she published her book “Get a Job Without Going Crazy: a Practical Guide to Your Employment Search.” Donna is based in Denver, and has presented workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. She continues to work with job seekers across the country.

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