Wow.  Something has really goosed the job market these past two weeks!  I’ve seen an across-the-board increase in the number of clients landing interviews since mid-February, capped by no fewer than nine folks recently securing new jobs here in the Puget Sound area — many of whom had been out looking for a considerable length of time.

Frankly, I’m not sure what bizarre market dynamic (e.g. Riots in Egypt?  Union standoff in Wisconsin?  Charlie Sheen going off the deep end?) is to thank for this sudden pick-up in activity, but whatever it is, I’ll take more of it.  And I hope this wave of activity raises all of your collective job hunting boats out there in the weeks to come, as well.

And, as per my usual procedure, whenever an acquaintance lands a new job I always encourage them to pass along any tips, insights, and wisdom they’d be willing to share with the rest of you out there who may still be on the hunt.  The first person to chime in sent me some thoughts a few days ago, reporting that her new role came about largely due to two main factors, as reported below:

“Matt:  Another twist and turn to report in my strange career path!  I have accepted a job in Organization Development with XYZ Company and start this week.  Two key points about my transition I’d emphasize:

Factor #1. Networking.  I owe the job to two friends.   I was not actively in the job market.  One friend told me about the job, and I took notice because the industry is one of the few I am interested in working in.  I looked at the job description online and noticed that it had been posted about 6 weeks earlier and so it wasn’t clear if they were even still accepting applications.  I have another friend at the organization and in the department I would be working in.  I called her and said I was possibly interested in the job but had two questions.  First, the description was pretty bare bones, so I wanted to know more about what the job actually was.  Second, was the job still open?  She did some checking and told me I should submit my resume right away in order to be considered.  I submitted it that day (without anything fancy like a cover letter) and the rest is history.  Take-away:  Knowing these two people helped.  One knew my interests and told me about the job. The other had worked with me and knew me well enough to give me a little help (maybe a lot, I really don’t know).

Factor #2. Salary negotiations (per your recent blog posts).  Here’s what happened for me.  In the phone screen interview with the recruiter, she asked my salary expectations.   I declined to answer that question since at that point I knew very little about the job.  Instead I proposed something like this:  “I know it makes sense to determine whether we are in the same ballpark so we can both decide whether it makes sense to go to the next step.  You’re the expert, and I know you’ve done some thinking about the salary range for this job.  How about if you tell me tell me the salary range you’re looking at, and I can tell you whether it makes sense for me?”  She did. It did.  We went to the next step!  BTW, the salary the offered was higher than the range originally quoted.  What that says to me is that in the course of interviewing, they adjusted their sense of what the job was and adjusted the range.

Keep up the excellent blog and newsletter.  I hope our paths continue to cross!”

Thanks very much (you know who you are!) for allowing me to share these observations with my readers — and again, let’s hope this sudden surge of hiring continues and that I get to feature some more of these “success” postings in the very near future!