Tag Archives: Recruiter

How to Say ‘Look at Me!’ to an Online Recruiter

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IF you are thinking of looking for a job this year, or are already searching for one, be warned: for some job seekers, the rules have changed. Technology and social media have altered the way some employers consider candidates. Simply sifting through job postings and sending out applications en masse was never a good route to success, and is even less so now.

One of the most important questions that many job seekers can ask these days is this: How searchable am I? Some employers aren’t even bothering to post jobs, but are instead searching online for the right candidate, said Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, a career management firm in New York.

Not having an Internet presence can be damaging, Ms. Safani said. She is among those who recommend that job seekers spend serious time detailing their skills and experience on commercial sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, with an eye toward making their names a magnet for search engines.

“Having a blog can be a good way to show that you are a thought leader” while improving your professional visibility, she said. And consider YouTube as a way to enhance your searchability, she advised. If an employer comes across a video of you giving a speech or a training presentation, she said, you may gain an advantage.

More companies are turning to Twitter as a way to broadcast job openings, so you should use it to follow recruiters, industry leaders and individual companies, said Alison Doyle, a job search specialist for About.com. She said that by linking to articles and sharing your expertise on Twitter, you can enhance your professional reputation — though you should beware of the site’s potential as a time drain.

On Facebook, “liking” a company can mean receiving early notice of job openings and other news. But privacy concerns make Facebook tricky, Ms. Doyle said: Make sure you understand who is receiving which of your posts, or resolve to be thoroughly professional on Facebook at all times, she said. Be aware that hiring managers may see what you post on any of the major social media outlets, she added.

OLD-FASHIONED, personal networking can still be an effective way to land a job, but online networking now supplements it in many fields. Both Ms. Safani and Ms. Doyle say LinkedIn is a very important Web tool for making those connections.

The site offers premium services for a fee, but almost all of the main features for job seekers are free, Ms. Doyle said. Spend a few minutes on the site each day making new connections, she advised, and keep your profile up to date.

To improve the chances that a connection request will be accepted, especially from someone you don’t know, send a personal message along with it, noting, say, your similar backgrounds, said Nicole Williams, a consultant who works as a career expert for LinkedIn.

Baldly asking someone at a company for help in landing a job is never a good idea, on LinkedIn or anywhere else. Share links and advice with people in your LinkedIn network before asking for a favor like an introduction to a hiring manager or a written recommendation that would appear on the site. If you are seeking a particular position, Ms. Doyle said, you might say something like: “I’m interested in this job. Do you have any information that you can share with me?”

Joining industry groups on LinkedIn can build your visibility. You can also join college alumni organizations or other focused groups, like one for working mothers.

Make full use of the skills section of LinkedIn, Ms. Williams advised, and the more specific you are, the better. Instead of saying that you have marketing skills, note the exact areas — direct mail campaigns, for example. LinkedIn can direct you to companies that are seeking these skills so you can follow them. Listing your skills could also bring you to the notice of a recruiter.

Be aware, too, that an employer may be viewing your application via a mobile phone. Mobile traffic involving job search more than doubled in 2012 over 2011 at the employment site Indeed.com, said Rony Kahan, a co-founder and C.E.O. So make sure you know how your résumé and cover letter look on a small screen. Résumés should be in a PDF format so they can be viewed on a variety of phones.

In the age of online applications, one school of thought holds that cover letters are a waste of time, but Ms. Doyle disagrees. Cover letters are still a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition, she said — and the rise of applications via cellphone just means they should be more concise, and specific to the job at hand.

Cross posted from the NY Times

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100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters

100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters along with Stories from the Recruiting Trenches.  Check out this free pdf e-book from emc.com

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11 Things NOT to Include in Your Resume

Get rid of the objective - If you applied, it’s already obvious you want the job

Cut out all the irrelevant work experiences – If you’re still listing that prized shift leader position from your high school days, it’s time to move on.
Yes, you might’ve been the “king of making milkshakes,” but unless you’re planning on redeeming that title, it’s time to get rid of all that clutter.

Take a pass on the personal stuff: marital status, religious preference and social security numbers – This might’ve been the standard in the past, but all of this information is now illegal for your employer to ask you so there’s no need to include it. It will likely only hurt your chances of getting the position more than it would help you, says Catherine Jewell, author of the book “New Résumé, New Career.”  Another piece of personal information you should never include on your resume is your social security number, Sara Player, client support specialist for CareerBuilder.com, told us. Player isn’t actually sure why people decide to include their social security numbers, but she knows she sees it all too often and it’s unnecessary, not to mention, a little risky.

Don’t let your resume exceed one page – Yes, this might be difficult if you’ve had a lot of experience and you’re proud of all of it. But just because you’re proud doesn’t mean they’re necessarily relevant. Cut it down; employers don’t have the time to read two whole pages.  CareerBuilder.com’s Sara Player says: “Keep your work history short and to the point. When you describe what you have achieved while in the position, try putting it in bullet form and put what is most important first.”

Don’t list your hobbies – “Nobody cares — it’s not your facebook profile,” Player says. In other words, don’t put anything on your resume that’s irrelevant to your job. If it’s not relevant, then it’s a waste of space and a waste of the company’s time.

Don’t give them the chance to guess your age – Yes, your age is included in personal data, but if you don’t want to be discriminated from a position because of your age, it’s time to remove your graduation date, says Catherine Jewell. Doug Hadley of Mansfield, Texas, told MSN that he’s begun to leave out the fact that he’s a published author: “I don’t want to have to omit such things, but I feel as though I don’t even get considered if they are on my resume.” Sara Player advises to take out higher education if it’s irrelevant to the position you’re applying for or if you keep receiving rejection letters stating that you’re overqualified.

Don’t write your resume in the third person – Charlotte Beckett, head of Digital at The Good Agency, told Linkedin.com that it’s fine to write in first person in your opening statement, but the rest of your resume should be in bullet points, such as:
Developed and delivered marketing strategies for a range of products
You should not write in the third person since the recruiter knows you’re the one writing the resume.

Don’t include references – If your employers want to speak to your references, they’ll ask you. Also, it’s better if you have a chance to tell your references ahead of time that a future employer might be calling. If you say “references upon request” at the bottom of your resume, you’re merely wasting a valuable line, says career coach Eli Amdur.

Don’t include a less than professional email account - Make a new one. It takes minutes and it’s free

There’s no need to identify your phone number – Amdur says there’s no reason to put the word “phone” in front of the actual number.
“It’s pretty silly. They know it’s your phone number.” The same rule applies to email.

Don’t include your current business contact info – “This is not only dangerous, it’s stupid. Do you really want employers calling you at work? How are you going to handle that? Oh, and by the way, your current employer can monitor your e-mails and phone calls. So if you’re not in the mood to get fired, or potentially charged with theft of services (really), then leave the business info off.”

Read more at businessinsider.com

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Inside the Recruiter’s Head: What He’s Really Asking You During the Interview

You applied for a new job, and you’ve been called in for an interview. During the interview process, there are three main questions that need to be answered to help the HR person determine if you’re the right fit for the job:

Can this person do the job?
Will he do the job?
Will he fit in with the company culture?
By asking what I call “the question behind the question,” hiring managers have a better chance to making the right hiring decision. As job seekers, your task is to answer them honestly and fully. Here are 10 top questions that the interviewer might ask, along with the hidden agenda behind each one. Tread carefully — the way you approach the answer might tell more than what you actually say.

1. As you reflect back at your last position, what was missing that you are looking for in your next role?

This question gets at the heart of why you’re leaving the current job or, in the case of a reduction in workforce, it helps the interviewer understand what was missing. If you answer with, “I didn’t have access to my boss, which made it difficult to get questions answered,” then the interviewer might follow up with, “Can you give me a specific example where you had to make a decision on your own because your boss was not available?” This follow-up question will help the interviewer determine your level of decision making and how much access to the manager you’ll need.

2. What qualities of your last boss did you admire, and what qualities did you dislike?

This is precarious territory because your answer needs to have a balance of positive and negative feedback. It will show if you are tactful in answering a tricky question and if your leadership style is congruent with the admired or disliked ones. If you name a trait the interviewer dislikes or that’s not in line with company culture, then you might not be a fit for the position.

3. How would you handle telling an employee his position is being eliminated after working for the company for 25 years, knowing they would be emotional?

This question is not unrealistic in today’s job market, since companies continue to downsize as a way of conducting business. Knowing that you might have to deal with this situation, the interviewer wants to know how you would tell the long-term employee the bad news. Would you tell the business reason why the company is downsizing, and would you thank the person in a genuine, heartfelt way for years of service?

4. How do you like to be rewarded for good performance?

As simple as this question is, it helps the interviewer get a sense of what motivates you — is it money, time off or more formal recognition? If you’re interviewing for a management role, the follow-up question could be: How do you reward the good performance of employees who work for you? Are you a “do as I say, not as I do” type of manager? The interviewer is looking for congruency in behaviors, because if you don’t practice what you preach, then it might not be a cultural fit.
5. Can you give me an example of when your relationship with your manager went off track and how you handled it?

The interviewer is listening for the reasons why the relationship went off track. Are you taking responsibility for your own actions first or placing blame on the manager? The interviewer wants to learn more about your communication style and how you approach conflict.

6. When a person says “I have integrity,” what does that mean to you?

The follow-up question is: “How have you demonstrated integrity in your work?” Integrity is broad, and most people think they have it, but can you really articulate what it looks and sounds like? The interviewer is looking for congruency of words and actions with this question.

7. Can you tell me about your experience working with the generation X or Y? What are the three qualities you admire about them?

There’s been much talk about the work habits of various generations. At a startup, you’ll likely be working with younger people, and employers want to know how you will integrate with this population. And young people will be working with baby boomers at bigger companies, like Dell and Apple. The interviewer will be looking for ways you’ve collaborated with workers of all ages and used each others’ talents to achieve a goal — do you have the energy, drive and attitude to work well with others?

8. Do you think age discrimination exists in the job market and if so, why?

Some job seekers use “age discrimination” or “I make too much money” as the reasons why they did not get the interview or the job. In reality, they have applied for a job for which they are overqualified. They have too many skills for this particular job and the employer can find someone who has the exact skill and salary that commensurate with the job. Don’t make that mistake.

9. Can you convince me you are the most qualified person for this role based on what we have discussed?

The interviewer wants to make sure you clearly understand what the problems are and what would be expected of you in the event of your hire. This is the opportunity for you to sell yourself effectively for the job.

10. As you look at your previous companies, can you describe in detail which company culture did you excel in the most and why?

The interviewer is looking for a culture fit, which is one of the essential criteria for job satisfaction. They want to hire someone who will do his best work for you, so do your research before you go in for the interview.

What other probing questions have you been asked at interview? Let us know in the comments.

Jayne Mattson

Jayne Mattson is Senior Vice President at Keystone Associates, a leading career management and transition services consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Mattson specializes in helping mid-to-senior level individuals in new career exploration, networking strategies and career decisions based on corporate culture fit.

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