Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Social networking and job search 20 – taking a negotiations approach to your search from the early stages on

Posted in book recommendations, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on November 15, 2009

I would expect that most everyone who conducts a job search knows that any interviews with a hiring manager, regarding a specific position are negotiations. The problem is that none of us are born knowing how to do an effective negotiation. On top of that, even if we basically know how to negotiate, that is a skill that we should all be using starting much earlier in the job search process than the end stages to help bring us to a position where we are getting those hiring manager interviews. This posting is about negotiating more effectively and about applying those skills throughout your search process.

There are a number of good books and other resources for learning how to negotiate. I have used William Ury’s Getting Past No as a textbook and I recommend that and his other two books highly.

• Ury, William. (1991) Getting to Yes: negotiating agreement without giving in. Penguin Books.
• Ury, William. (1993) Getting Past No: negotiating in difficult situations. Bantam Books.
• Ury, William. (1997) The Power of Positive No: how to say no and still get to yes. Random House.

I would recommend reading these as a core resource for learning how to negotiate better, and this is an area where there is always room to further develop our skills, and for all of us. Here, I am simply going to point out a few aspects of negotiations technique that I have found to be essential.

• Don’t get caught up in the emotions of your argument, or the emotions that you face from the other side of the table when negotiating. Always be ready to step back and more calmly assess the situation so you can find a better way to proceed.
• Assume the people you negotiate have what from their perspective are valid points too, and look for ways to meet their needs while meeting your needs too.
• Listen for the underlying assumptions that are being taken for granted, and this means your own assumptions too.

This is good for when you are negotiating a position, but how does it enter in earlier in the job search? What are you negotiating per se then?

I remind you of a couple of basic principles for conducting an effective job search.

• The purpose of an interview is to get another interview, until you have reached and positively connected with the right hiring managers for the right positions and as their top candidate, at which point you finally negotiate the position itself and compensation issues. But this is an end point in an ongoing process of meeting with people with a goal of setting up that next meeting.
• As a corollary, the principle function of earlier interviews, informational and otherwise always includes getting those necessary next networking leads as that is how you proceed through this process to end up meeting with the key hiring managers.

And you get those next leads throughout this ongoing interview to interview process by negotiating with the people you are meeting with now, to prompt them to help you identify and connect with new networking leads. Good negotiating skills are crucial for consistently securing this type of help where many people who will meet with you will not as automatically share further networking names with you. And networking dead ends are just that – dead ends.

Read and think about Getting Past No if you only pick up on one of these book recommendations but they are all short, fast reading and they are written to entertain as well as inform. Any effort you put into learning how to systematically, strategically negotiate more effectively will pay you back with ongoing returns, both in your job search and beyond.

The next part in this series is going to be on job search for personality types. Introverts do not necessarily start out at a disadvantage when job searching with its networking and interpersonal outreaching. Extroverts do not necessarily start with an advantage either. And either approach can really work for you.

6 Responses

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  1. Bobby said, on November 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Great tips. Putting your ego aside (the emotional aspect) is one of the hardest things to remember.

  2. […] is also a place where effective negotiating skills come into play as very important to you. And that definitely includes timing issues for when you […]

  3. […] repeat these points and book recommendations from an earlier posting on negotiations in job search, simply adding that good negotiating skills are crucially important for every aspect of your […]

  4. […] I add that I posted a note a few months ago in my job search and career development series on negotiating that includes several references for books on this subject (), as well as offering pointers itself. I have found these same […]

  5. […] • 14 – Effectively Negotiating Up the Job Level. • 15 – Negotiating the Compensation Package and When to Do This. • 20 – Taking a Negotiations Approach to Your Search from the Early Stages On. […]

  6. […] • 14 – Effectively Negotiating Up the Job Level. • 15 – Negotiating the Compensation Package and When to Do This. • 20 – Taking a Negotiations Approach to Your Search from the Early Stages On. […]


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