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The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster Paperback – March 6, 2012
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"Well argued . . . the procedures [Dalton] proposes to take advantage of the technological tools available to job seekers are logical and easy to follow." ---Kirkus --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Steve Dalton is a senior career consultant and associate director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He holds his own MBA from the same institution. Prior to entering the career services industry, Steve was an associate marketing manager at General Mills and a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney.
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The one star reviews mention you having to pay for something like a database subscription? You don't, unless there's another version of the book they're reading. If they're talking about alumni associations, it should be free. But if it's not, then just get a Facebook or LinkedIn account and look up your school to get in touch with alumni.
I do have to agree that the first section on "finding jobs" might be a bit much. It describes how to prioritize jobs that you find, which might not be important if you plan on applying to EVERY plausible job you find (which I've done from time to time). But the one-star reviews complained about the process of prioritizing jobs using Excel. I actually found that part very helpful, although I came up with my own scheme for prioritization instead of using Mr. Dalton's.
Anyways, so I don't agree with the one-star reviews on these things.
However, I don't agree that the book holds up its promise of a 2-hour job search. The author claims that the success rate for a five point email is around 40%.
Here are the actual numbers. I've been using this book for exactly one month. I've sent out about eighty emails/LinkedIn messages to people I didn't know over the last month. (Now I only send out LinkedIn messages since finding people's emails makes you feel like a stalker (I'm surprised how easy it is to find people's emails :-x), and although I've gotten a few nibbles by sending those emails, I've been able to connect better by LinkedIn).
Forty of them were EXACTLY like the one in the book, asking for an informational interview. Forty of them just asked a quick question without asking for an informational interview by phone.
Of the first forty, only one replied. He later was busy (which is understandable) and replied to the questions I asked in about two paragraphs. I'm thankful since he was the first one who replied, but he would be classified as an Obligate in the book, someone who feels like they SHOULD help but won't really help you get a job.
But then I modified the Five Point Email to just ignore the part about an informational interview.
The next twenty, I removed the part about the informational interview, and I got about four responses back. These are nice and short, but they really don't help much, and you can't tap into them again. Again, obligates.
Afterwards, I made a modified form of the five point email:
"Dear Dr. X,
My name is Y. I'm a Z at ABC university who stumbled onto your (LinkedIn) profile while browsing for Q.
<< I don't have much time to chat-- I have machine learning projects to work on-- but can I ask you about ...>>"
You add in the part about not having much time to chat because you're busy working on something. The idea is that this makes the reader feel more comfortable about not having time to chat and so they might tend to be more responsive in turn.
Using this form of the five point email, I've actually been able to exchange LinkedIn messages with about ten people. Some of these people again are obligates. But some of the messages I get back will be a page long. Last week, I asked someone how he goes from having a PhD in chemistry to being a machine learning consultant. Within the hour, he replies in a page long response about how he began and what research he did and what his friends and colleagues did. He's definitely a booster, although I can't ask him for help until I become decently skilled at machine learning, the topic he's interested in.
Anyways, so in terms of a phone interview, I'd say you have 0% chance of getting if that person is not a friend of a friend. Last week, I was able to contact a friend of a friend/TA and schedule an informational interview, but if you don't know the person, then the five point email doesn't seem to work.
However, the modified form does have a pretty high hit rate if you include that you don't have time to chat and that you have work to get back to. But it won't get you informational interviews. It will just allow the person to be more responsive to an email/LinkedIn exchange.
BUT. One thing I definitely disagree with the book is that the book says you shouldn't apply to jobs the usual way through online apps. I definitely disagree. You HAVE to hedge your bets. Distribute the risk. Even if you have a slim chance of getting jobs through online postings, it's still important to do. I stopped applying to jobs online for three weeks after beginning the book. But last week, this week, I began applying for jobs again.
And I finally got responses back. Two in the last week.
Here's why: Inside of my cover letter, I incorporated the principles of the five point email. I shrunk my cover letters to basically become five point emails with a little bit more in the middle about my experience. Then at the end, I conclude by saying "I recognize that <not having XYZ experience or some other reason> may be a disqualifier for a at some companies, so let me know if that's the case and I'll apply again when I have more experience in industry. Thank you for your time.
I don't know if it's because the economy is picking up, but I think that the conciseness and the principles behind the five point email helped get these job responses. My cover letter has shrunk down to a 1 sentence intro, 2 sentence experience, 4 sentences about what my goals are and why I would benefit the company, 1 sentence for "I recognize that.." disqualifier, then a thank you for your time and closing.
Anyways, I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone!
This is the best book on networking and proactive job search that I've ever read.
Dalton makes a science out of networking and doing informational interviews. You may *think* you know how to do that effectively, but Dalton lays out step-by-step instructions for doing it *better* - more effectively and efficiently.
Of course it's not a "2-hour" job search, but within two hours you can have a totally smart plan that will almost certainly get better results in less time.
Thea Kelley Career Services
It's well organized, well written, and most importantly it's actionable. Any job seeker can follow Dalton's plan without additional costs are resources.
This book was well worth the price. I'm going to follow his plan immediately.