This is a real success story about Ismail Bugdayli. But first, Ismail wants you to know he made lots of effort and plenty of mistakes in his job search. He wants other job hunters to Not make his mistakes.
Now that he has a great new job and is taking the great next step in his career, he can laugh when he shares that he applied for about 500 jobs in 1.5 years. He didn’t do any networking, and simply kept applying again and again for job openings. He learned that his job search method did not work very well. He explains he had only around 25 interviews, so he points out that is only a 5% return on his efforts.
Now he says he loves his new career as a Sales Executive at Eurofins E&E North America. This is a fascinating company. They are a global leader in product safety testing and inspection for pharmaceuticals, food, environment, MedTech and electrical products, including electric vehicles and more. They are also a leader in lab services and testing for pharmacology, genomics, molecular clinical diagnostic testing, forensics, and material science.
How did he get from no job to this great job?
During his job search, Ismail had become discouraged. He found that job search in the Bay Area is very competitive, challenging and time consuming. He was lucky his wife somehow heard about The Job Forum! He came to us multiple times. He says he was helped by so many of our volunteers, managers from local companies, who took the time to encourage him, confirm that he had real value as an exceptional candidate, and open up his mind to searching in ways that would better communicate his value. At The Job Forum he was advised to first stop sending in job applications and instead make new contacts, ask questions, and show himself to be genuinely curious, to focus on learning more about what was valued in various roles and companies on his target list.
Ismail listened. He started to try to reach out, ask for coffee meetings, ask via Linkedin for the chance to talk.
When reaching out, he said things like this: “I’m curious about your role at XYZ company (industry). I am about to apply to an open role (specifics or an example) and I am curious to hear about your story and your experience. Would you please share it and talk with me? “
Ismail told me “Around 80% of the people I asked were willing to talk and help. There are so many nice American people!”
One thing he learned in the process is to be much more specific. He advises others:
“Be sure to say exactly what you are curious about, with specifics as to what you want to understand about the job role or the company or their experience. Ask lots of real questions about what the person you are speaking with has experienced themselves and ask them what they think it is like to do the job or be in the company or work in the field.”
Customizing and tailoring
All the volunteers at The Job Forum told Ismail that “customizing and tailoring” his approach for each company and role would be very useful and would be necessary to succeed in a modern job search. One field he was interested in was a role in sales or business development.
As part of his information gathering campaign, he went to a seminar on using AI in sales, using ChatGPT. So having heard about the need for customizing in his job search, he had used ChatGPT to fine tune his presentation of his skills. He got insights about various roles, analyzed his resume for fit with the job descriptions, and figured out what to expect as questions and potential answers for the interviews. He also collected so much material from the interviews he had with so many kind people that he began to put it all together, and this helped him tailor and customize his approach so he could more likely be the winning candidate.
Ismail says that he had 3 interviews at his new company. For those interviews his goal was to show the company that he is “other oriented” and can do “solution selling,” focusing on delivering product solutions to the prospect’s problem.
Value of The Job Forum
Ismail says: “The Job Forum changed everything for me.” He likes that we bring local company managers together to advise job hunters. He appreciates that The Job Forum mentors and managers encourage people like him with language like: “Yes you can do this!” All of this makes a tremendous difference in the ability to keep at it – to take a more effective approach based on what companies want and needs that job hunters can fill.
“The Job Forum made me realize that I had the right seeds and just needed help to figure out how to water and grow the plant – so to speak.”
Here’s his advice:
“Every job hunter must do more, and be more curious – to get clarity by understanding these 3 things:
1. Who they are – the company, service, product and people
2. Who you are – the skills and the value you offer the company that they will want
3. How to combine the two so that you are super focused on what you bring as a solution. Clear insights on how you are the one who can be trusted to fix problems and deliver value in the job.
Ismail hopes to give back to The Job Forum in order to help others who are looking for jobs. He says: “I truly can’t thank The Job Forum managers enough…” for helping and encouraging him and others looking for jobs in the SF Bay Area.
Thank you to Ismail for sharing his success story.
by Janet Beach, The Job Forum