Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Best Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2014

Alison Doyle of About.com recently put out a call through their LinkedIn Group for resume writing tips for the new year, to help you get noticed and land your next great gig.

Among the top tips from 15 careers experts, Sara Sutton Fell, Founder & CEO of FlexJobs.com, contributed one on matching your resume to your LinkedIn profile, for social proof:

“Make sure your resume is online! Once you have your perfect document in place, update your LinkedIn profile so it matches, include your job information on Facebook and Twitter, start an About.me page, or create a professional blog for yourself where your resume information can be posted. When employers search for you online (and they will!), it will be a tremendous help to make it easy for them to find the same information confirming what they’re reading on your resume.”

And here’s the complete tip I contributed, which was abridged for space constraints on About.com:

To outdistance your job-seeking competitors, follow this best practice to begin your 2014 job hunt . . . before writing your resume.

Make a list of 10-15 (or more) mutual good-fit employers to target. Do research on them to determine what makes you uniquely qualified to help them meet their current challenges, for market intelligence, and to uncover relevant keywords and phrases.

Use this information to create content for your personal brand messaging and career marketing materials (resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, etc.) that will resonate with those target employers.

Your targeted materials will help them see what makes you a good hiring choice. Using the relevant keywords will help recruiters and hiring decision makers find you on LinkedIn. And your research will help you understand how to communicate your value when networking and interviewing.

via Best Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2014 | Executive Career Brand.

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Best Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2014

How To Maximize Video Interviews [Useful Tips]

A job interview can be a nerve wracking experience. At interviews you are not only being appraised for what you say or for what you can do, but also you are being examined on the way you present yourself, on whether you will fit within the company’s corporate philosophy, and on your general demeanor.

In recent years the format of job interviews has begun to reflect the increasingly technological world we live in. Video conferencing is now a popular choice when it comes to personnel selection. There are dedicated software programs, specialist interview techniques, and a wealth of advice on how to do well in a video interview.

Key advantages of video interviews for employers

The advantages of using video conferencing to interview job candidates can be classified into employer benefits and candidate benefits. Among employer benefits, the following can be highlighted:

Video interviews allow for greater consistency. By using a pre-determined script and format, all candidates are asked the same set of questions

Video conferencing captures the moment, and it does so permanently. Therefore, employers have the opportunity to replay, review, and rate the interviews online. Interviewers can also make use of videotaped material to compare candidates’ answers and performance during the interview

Having visual material associated to the interview can help employers better remember outstanding candidates. This is especially true when video interviews are compared to audio interviews (for example, Skype-based interviews). By using video, employers can associate a candidate’s name to a face, so in fact, video interviews can help provide a more personal touch

Time is at a premium for most human resources departments. Video conferencing allows employers to carry out a large number of interviews in a short space of time. This interview format is particularly useful when it comes to interviewing candidates who live in a different city or country. Video interviewing can cut recruitment costs by 50%

What are some of the benefits that job seekers can draw from video interviews?

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list:

Video interviews are also advantageous to candidates in terms of time and money. There is no need to stress about being late to the interview because of traffic, and similarly, there is no need to travel to another city (with the associated expenses that come with it). The only investment you need to make is a computer with Internet access and a webcam, and almost everyone has that kind of equipment these days

There are psychological benefits associated to video interviews. A job interview can be a lot less stressful if you can go through it from your own home

You can practise for a video interview by recording yourself answering typical interview questions. You can then assess your performance and make the necessary changes, so that you feel confident and prepared on the day of the interview

Video interviews are ideal if you already have a job but are looking to move elsewhere. Online interviews do not require you to take days off, something that could arouse your boss’ suspicions.

Can a video interview improve my chances of getting the Job?

The good news is that if you approach it correctly, a video interview can help you be successful in your job search. If you can perform well using video conferencing software, you’ll show that you’re at ease with modern technology. You’ll also have the opportunity to practise with the software until you’re comfortable with it. If you have picture-in-picture during the interview, you’ll be able to observe the appearance you’re projecting to your interviewers and adjust if necessary, which is something you don’t get the chance to do in a traditional interview format.

By preparing thoroughly for your video interview and taking care to give the best impression possible you may be able to secure the job without even entering the office!

Essential Video Interview Tips

Prepare yourself ahead of time: As you are not meeting your employer face to face, you should think about emailing the interviewer your CV and any other applicable documents before the day of the interview. Two days before is the best time to send all the relevant papers.

Practice: If you are not comfortable being in front of a camera then a good way to feel at ease with it is to practice the video interview with a friend over Skype. Get your friend to ask you the questions you expect to be asked and then ask for feedback. This way, you will also hopefully gain more confidence which can be used to your advantage when you’ve got the real video interview.

Background and light: If you have the video interview in your own home then make sure you test the software and also check your background and lighting. If the sun is shining, the light often blocks out the screen so make sure that that doesn’t happen by checking everything first.

Look in the camera: You may be tempted to look at yourself when you have the video interview but it is extremely important that you look throughout the interview at the webcam and not the screen. This will ensure you are keeping good eye contact with your interviewer and also gives the impression that you are very confident.

via How To Maximize Video Interviews [Useful Tips].

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How To Maximize Video Interviews [Useful Tips]

Hiring Wisdom: The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

In order to minimize employee turnover, you’ve got to:

1.  Hire tough. Set high standards and never lower the bar;

2.  Let new employees know why their jobs are important;

3.  Never think: ”It’s just an entry-level job.” Those jobs most directly impact your customers experiences;

4.  Pay the highest wages you can afford. When you pay more, you can expect and get more;

5.  Give the first pay raise as soon as the new employee deserves a raise, not on pre-set time schedule, but on a productivity or learning schedule;

6.  Give recognition when recognition is deserved;

7.  Train for process, not for speed;

8.  Help the new employee make friends at work;

9.  Make work FUN;

10. Learn to fail fast. When you make a hiring mistake, cut your losses immediately.

via Hiring Wisdom: The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover.

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Hiring Wisdom: The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

5 Secrets for a Great Phone Interview

Telephone interviews are popular for a first screening interview. Many companies choose this method for first interviews for prospective interns. Arranging for candidates to fly or drive in is expensive and can be time-consuming for everyone. This first meeting might be with a company recruiter. It can last between 20 minutes to an hour. Your success at this critical juncture will often earn you either a phone or live meeting with the hiring manager.

5 Secrets for a Great Phone Interview

Make the Right Choice

If the company asks if you wish to meet in person or have a phone interview, always choose the live meeting. Typically you don’t have a choice, but sometimes you will. Being face to face always puts you in the best position to impress and connect with the interviewer. It is usually always worth taking the extra time and effort to meet in person, especially if the employer is within driving or commuting distance.

Advance Preparation

Do the same preparation for a phone interview that you would for a normal one. Study the company; know their products and capabilities. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find out what they are communicating socially. Look up your interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn to find out things about them that you may have in common. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile before your meeting too. It makes sense to practice answering some basic interview questions. Practice the answer to “walk me through your resume” so you are succinct and hit on the key points. Be ready to explain why you want the job and why you would succeed.

Right Environment

Make sure you set the appointment for a time when you can talk without interruption or background noise. Preferably you are in a quiet room on a landline, and not walking back from lecture surrounded by classmates. Always be ready to be flexible too. Your interviewer might request a Skype or video interview or a change in time at the last minute so be ready for anything.

Stand and Smile

Stand up during the interview because your voice will project much stronger than if you are sitting down. Another recommendation is to smile while on the phone. Hiring managers want enthusiastic and optimistic employees and interns. Standing and smiling is a great little trick to make you sound even more strong and positive.


You don’t want to simply answer each question without some active engagement. If you need to think of an answer to the recruiter’s question, ask the interviewer to rephrase or repeat. Engagement also means active listening so take notes about important things you learn. Don’t interrupt, but also try to mention something you have learned about the company that you find interesting or learned on social media. Ask questions naturally during the interview if it feels appropriate. You also want to save some great questions for the end. Most interviewers will ask “Do you have any other questions” at the close of the meeting so you need to be prepared. One of your final questions will be “What are the next steps?”

via 5 Secrets for a Great Phone Interview HR, Recruiting, Social Media Policies, Human Resources, HR Technology Blogging4Jobs.

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5 Secrets for a Great Phone Interview

4 Steps To Gamify Your Hiring Process – and attract more talent

With Gartner reporting last year that 80% of gamification projects will fail to meet objectives, primarily because of poor game design, its fair to say that gamification is still struggling to find its way, particularly in the HR and recruiting arena. Just mentioning gamification of hiring to many recruiters could result in some funny and bemused looks. I mean what is gamification, after all?

Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Gamification has been called one of the most important trends in technology by several industry experts. Gamification can potentially be applied to any industry and almost anything to create fun and engaging experiences, converting users into players.

Well, in a hiring sense, its the idea of using game mechanics, usually in the form of competitions to help screen candidates for jobs. And in many senses, there is nothing for recruiters to be afraid of, because the hiring process has been using game mechanics for many years to select staff, but it has simply been using it a different point in the process. For example, many companies use aptitude tests, attainment tests (where candidates are ranked like in a competition) as well as various other competition like assessments to assess candidates. The main difference with this ‘early’ gamification versus the ‘new’ gamification is that companies are now also using them at the start of the hiring process to actually attract candidates and not just to rank their skills. Gamification has become a talent attraction tool in itself.

Gamifying your hiring process is easier than you think. You just need to be bold enough to try it. So, how do you get started? I think there are four main steps to go through.

Gamification Recruitment

4 Easy Steps to Gamify Your Hiring Process

1.Business Case; you might need some time and money to implement your new hiring initiative, so build your business case showing how it can improve key hiring metrics such as: number of applicants, time to hire, cost per hire, quality of hire and ultimately output and productivity.

2. Low hanging fruit

Also, focus on ‘low hanging fruit’ or areas that have been shown to benefit already from gamification in hiring such as technology staff and sales people, the latter of which are known to have a competitive streak. You are likely to get a better engagement levels in these spheres.


There are a range of gamification platforms on the market, which make it very easy for you to deploy an on-line, company branded game like competition for your hiring campaign, such as:

Your own company website: Simple; have your team develop your own competition which could be an online quiz or game focused on a particular skill. Have your developers build a simple delivery system which allows your talent community to do the test on-line, receive a score and a position in your league table.

Qmerce; This software makes it easy for technical staff or non technical staff to create a branded game or tournament for their communities. The level of technology offered here suggests that this system is about making on-line games to attract relevant talent and interest and less focused on ‘hard testing’.

Kaggle; This is a gamification platform for data prediction competitions which comes with its own talent community of 94,000 Data Scientists. You can create data analytic type challenges and invite the data scientist community to compete in your competition to supply your business with an answer to a problem. The prize can be money or it can be a job, as in the Yelp Recruiting Competition for a Data Scientist.

Crowdspring; This is a a gamification and talent community for Graphic Design where you can host and market design competitions to their graphic design communities. Rather than generate proposals, they generate designs and you choose the best one. The prize is money, but you could perhaps combine this with an interview to help attract qualified talent.

RippleHire: This is a fully gamified employee referral software tool that turns employee referrals into an exciting game, encouraging your employees to compete and win the game to be the best talent scout.

4.Market your tournament and attract participants

Many of the options such as Kaggle and Crowdspring come with their own ready made talent communities so your game is self marketing. If you are using something like Qmerce or your own website, you will of course need to market the tournament effectively through social media, google, advertisements etc…

via 4 Steps To Gamify Your Hiring Process – and attract more talent – RecruitingTools.com.

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4 Steps To Gamify Your Hiring Process – and attract more talent

Talent Acquisition Misconceptions

Companies today are forced to face a big talent challenge…acquiring, developing and retaining employees while always reflecting the key business goals of the organization. Employers want to make the most of their talent but are getting more and more concerned about their ability to leverage human capital. Successful companies are managed by people who understand that talent management is a complex discipline and that a talent management strategy must be included into the overall strategic planning process to ensure that both employees and the company are driving towards the same goals.

Therefore, as discussed in one of our previous blogs, it should be every company’s mission to cultivate their employee performance and commitment at every stage.

But, there are few points that every employer should be aware of before making any important hiring decisions:

Top 3 talent acquisition misconceptions :

1. A good salary attracts top performers

Compensation is one of the things candidates will look for when applying to jobs but, if you want top performers to be interested and apply for your vacancies, money alone is not sufficient. Some people work for personal fulfillment or to accomplish goals and feel as if they are contributing to something important. Others truly love what they do or some people like change and challenge. Therefore, offering a good/competitive salary is important but other factors like the company’s reputation, opportunities for training and career progression or rewards and recognition are also extremely crucial in attracting great talent and need to be pointed out as well.

2. Experienced candidates should always get the job

Hiring the right people in the first place it’s a sure way to decrease turnover so it is important to choose those people who share the company’s values, in addition to having the right skill-sets. Looking for individuals that fit within the corporate culture is just as important as finding someone who has all the skill sets desired. Unfortunately, most companies tend to settle for individuals who lack the necessary dedication but are a perfect fit for the job requirements and not for the ones who are passionate and driven, thus more likely to thrive.

3. Recruiting talent stops at hiring

Effective organizations extend the acquisition process into the onboarding process as recruiting and retaining the best people in an increasingly competitive market is a strategic priority. The average skilled employee knows within 3-6 months whether they will remain long-term in an organization. An effective onboarding program can have a great impact on turnover and should never be reduced to a simple administrative process. Retaining talent is as important as acquiring it and it’s much cheaper than constantly recruiting new employees.

There are lots of brilliant candidates out there and finding the perfect fit for a company lays in the hands of every employer looking for talent. So, be wise, follow these guidelines and make a good investment in your company’s future!

via Talent Acquisition Misconceptions – RecruitingBlogs.

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Talent Acquisition Misconceptions

Monday, December 23, 2013

Finding Your Career Passion — It Takes Listening to Your Heart

“When you follow your passion, success will follow you.”

When I heard that statement, I looked up at the TV. Not really being a TV person, I normally leave it on for background noise.

As I gazed at the TV, I could not let that slogan go. The name of the company did not register but the phrase that they are using as their tag line did.

There has been a lot of chatter about finding your passion in life. As I talk to young people, it seems that everyone is on the hunt for something — whether it is a job or a career. Yes, people are looking and searching for that hidden treasure called passion.

I believe in this statement because as the saying goes, choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. I do not know who that quote is attributable to, but I do know that it is true.

Problem is, people are in search of it. They spend so much of their time thinking and trying to figure out what passion is.

You won’t find it by brainstorming

It makes me recall people sitting around in a brainstorming meeting. Ask anyone where they get their ideas or thoughts to coalesce and you will get a variety of answers — but none of them will be answered by sitting in a brainstorming session. You will hear that people get their ideas while in the shower, working out in the gym, jogging, etc. But, you will never hear them say they get them when brainstorming.

In fact, if you think back to all the golden nuggets of ideas that have come your way, they probably flew through your brain at a time when you were in the midst of something else.

However, one thing that I have noticed is that the passion is never in your head. You will never think it, because the passion you seek has a home address in your heart.

The constant quest for finding it by thought will never happen. That little voice can sometimes be a determinant in our minds and will often talk us out of what our heart is yearning for.

What you have dreamed may not be your passion

Recently during a presentation, I was pulled aside by an economist. One of the thoughts about passion during my presentation had caused a light to go off in his head.

He was going through this quest, and as he talked about his economic duties, he was emotionless — high-end job, mundane duties, and he was not enjoying it. This was from someone he knew in high school who wanted to be an economist.

However, at this stage of his career he was dismayed. Yes, he loved being an economist, but this area of focus was not it. He was doing what he had always envisioned, but he knew this was not his passion.

When you know it is a perfect fit

My question to him was if you love being an economist, what do you not like about this role? If this was your lifelong dream, you should be at career utopia.

As the conversation continued, he started talking about an area of study within his field. That is when I noticed the emotion of his face change.

He leaned closer and started talking about development finance and how his skill set was a perfect fit. He also talked about how he had given thought to going back to school to get an advanced degree in this area.

Developmental finance is an alternative financial institution which includes micro-finance institutions, community development institutions, and revolving loan funds. These institutions provide a crucial role in providing credit in the form of higher risk loans, equity positions, and risk guarantee instruments to private sector investments in developing countries.

Passion? You can see it if they’re animated

As he gave me the particulars about this area his delivery changed. He became animated, and the words flowed out like a rushing waterfall as he explained the narrative around this area of finance. His heart was speaking as he talked about it.

My advice to him was to embrace this new role, because  it would change his life.

It became so apparent that he had ignited his creative insights far beyond just being an economist. By using the same skill set, he saw a clear path that was paved in passion. It was there in his heart, and no amount of brainstorming would have brought it into the clarity that I witnessed.

Much of the time we find ourselves “thinking” about this passion thing, and in most cases, our true passion is right in front of us.

I got into HR almost as fluke. I had been teaching MS Office at IBM, and eventually, I became a training manager. All the previous jobs I had been just that — jobs. It was only after I left them that I started on my passionate journey.

In this new company, I worked very closely with the VP of HR on some initiatives, and she eventually asked if I would want to join her team. That was the beginning of a love affair with human resources. The honeymoon is still on, and I figured out along the way that I am pretty good at this HR thing.

Yes, it’s TGIM

One you find your own passion, you are no longer just working. Instead, you are enjoying each and every day.

You cannot wait until the weekend to get back in the driver’s seat. My catch phase is TGIM [Thank God Its Monday]. It is the most satisfying feeling ever.

So as you go about your quest to bring clarity to what you do or what you want to do, listen to your heart because it will enable you to reach your real goal.

Start paying attention to what you enjoy, what you read, what you dream of, and what you are excited to talk about. Listening to yourself in the peace and quiet will take you a lot further than any assessment or brainstorming session will ever do.

via Finding Your Career Passion — It Takes Listening to Your Heart.

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Finding Your Career Passion — It Takes Listening to Your Heart

Cover Letter No-No"s (What Kills the Chances of Yours Getting Read)

An estimated 50 percent of recruiters never read cover letters. It’s no wonder why. After speaking to several recruiters I know who place hundreds of people in jobs each year, here’s what they shared:

When they open a cover letter, if they skim it and see it’s just a repetition of what is already in the resume, they skip reading it.

In fact, studies show you have less than six seconds to get their attention. According to my recruiting colleagues, most job seekers fail miserably in that short window of time!

A Cover Letter Isn’t a Resume

The resume is a fact-based summary of your skills and accomplishments. A cover letter is your chance to share with the employer how you feel aligned with their company, mission, product, service, etc. According to my recruiter friends, here are just a few examples of things job seekers commonly put in cover letters that they don’t like:

1) As you’ll see, I’m a motivated, high achiever with 15 years of experience in…

You are telling the recruiter flat out you are repeating what they’ll see in the resume, ultimately, wasting their time.

2) I know I would be a huge asset to your team.

You are making a big assumption about your value, which recruiters don’t appreciate. They’ll be the ones to decide if you could be a “huge asset.”

3) At XYZ Corp, I was instrumental in a cost-saving measure that…

Again, telling them something they can find on the resume, and therefore, wasting their time.

4) I am applying to your ____ position as seen in the _____.

They already know you are applying if you are submitting the application online. Don’t use up the body of the cover letter explaining the obvious. If they asked you to make note of the job you are applying to in the application, simply put a “RE: Applying for ___ Position” below their address and before your “Dear Hiring Manager,” in your cover letter as a way to let them know.

I could give you a lot more examples, but you get the drift. If you want your cover letter to get read, give the recruiter something worth reading!

Good Test For Your Cover Letter – Would You Say It In Person?

A great way to tell if your cover letter is sending the right message is to ask yourself, “If the hiring manager was standing in front of me, could I read this cover letter to them and sound normal?” The answer is usually “no,” because we tend to mistakenly write cover letters in a formal, self-promotional tone.

4 Tips for Creating a “Disruptive” Cover Letter

If you want to improve the chances of your cover letter getting read, then you need to give it a F.A.C.E. Lift. You should focus the content of the letter to include the right:

Format – Clean-lined font, 11 point in size, left-text justified with one-inch margins. Stay clear of fancy, scripted fonts and tiny type – both make it impossible to read. And, keep margins in place so there is plenty of whitespace on the page for easier reading.

Attitude – Use conversational speech (no fancy words) and don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm. This is your chance to let your personality show.

Connection – Discuss how you feel connected to the company’s product, service, mission, business model, etc. You have to share how you feel part of their corporate tribe.

Experience – Tell a story about a personal or professional experience that taught you how important the work is they are doing. Find a way to back-up the connection you share with them by validating it with an experience that taught you what they do is valuable.

PS – Always Start With An Exciting Statement

The best cover letters get hiring managers at “hello.” Don’t be afraid to open the cover letter with a bolded, powerful statement like,

I remember the first time I used your product.

My life was changed the day I learned how to ____.

I’ve been tied to your company for 10+ years now. Here’s how…

These are wonderful openers that engage the reader to pay attention to the story you are sharing with them. And, if you do a great job, they’ll be inspired to go over and check out your resume, too – they might even give it the proper attention it deserves. (Here’s a free video tutorial where I explain step-by-step how to create a disruptive cover letter with a bold opening statement.)

Better still, when done right, the disruptive cover letter makes for a great conversation piece when the recruiter contacts you. Many of my clients have told me the first thing a recruiter has said to them during a phone interview is, “Wow, your cover letter really was outstanding. It was so refreshing to read one like that.” And that’s exactly what you want, right?

via Cover Letter No-No’s (What Kills the Chances of Yours Getting Read) – Careers Articles.

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Cover Letter No-No"s (What Kills the Chances of Yours Getting Read)

The Art of Screening a Resume

The most important thing about screening a resume is to remember it is not just paper, it is not just an online profile and it’s not just an application! You are viewing the qualifications of a person. Remember that nervous feeling when looking for a new job? People tend to put the best of their best on the resume, so put yourself in their shoes. How would you want your resume treated? You must humanize.

Art of screening a resume

Reviewing a resume properly doesn’t start with the resume, it starts with the screeners understanding of the job, company and industry that is hiring. Any market is a competitive market and everyone wants top talent. With that said, every company has a different job description for the similar jobs.

People who in some cases don’t work in talent acquisition and have never written a job description now find themselves writing down buzzwords and the verbiage that best describes what they have done. Keep in mind there are many terms on a resume that may only be specific to someone’s previous employers. Research the requirements of the role you are screening for! See if there are other products, acronyms or systems that are the same or similar. You don’t want to pass by the right person for the job because of a term you may have been unfamiliar with their terminology. Understand what you are looking for and what you are looking at to comprehend the talent in front of you.

If a resume is missing something it could be that specific skill wasn’t jotted it down. There are people who believe in the one page resume, who often have several versions of their resume, and there are those that apply to jobs by using an online profile. In some cases you are only able to see a snapshot of someone’s qualifications. Read between the lines.

Emails and online prescreens can be great tools, but in the business of hiring a phone call cannot always be replaced. If you don’t see it all, ask questions! You may find exactly what you were looking for; get a new lead or a referral. There are times during a conversation I realize individuals may fit another role I am sourcing for, a role a team member has or even another job with a different division. Today’s “No” may turn into tomorrow’s “Yes,” so finding out more about what someone is looking for in their job search and what they qualified to do can’t hurt. Finding the right person for tomorrow’s opening could be the conversation you had with someone two months prior. Pick up the phone and ask questions.

via The Art of Screening a Resume | SmartRecruiting.

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The Art of Screening a Resume

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Follow Up After Sending a Resume

A reader wrote in and asked whether they should follow up after submitting a resume. They had spent weeks trying to find a job: researching, writing their resume, and applying.

It’s been said that hiring managers only spend six seconds looking at your resume before moving to the next one. According to Business Insider:

Recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

So how do you know if you’re resume caught their attention?

Should You Follow Up After Sending a Resume?

Of course you should. According to a recent survey, 70% of recruiters appreciate a follow up to your resume. It shows that you are interested and not just blindly submitting resumes to any job you find posted on the internet. With today’s competitive hiring market, it’s even more crucial to make sure the hiring manager gives you a fair shot, and hiring managers say that follow ups do put the candidate at top of mind.

The majority of job applicants are too afraid or just don’t know that the “follow-up” is an important part of the job search process. So if anything, this will give you slight advantage over your peers.

How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?

Good question. You don’t want to look like a psycho stalker from one of those horror flicks so the general rule is to wait two weeks. Hiring managers are busy, and you want to make sure that they’ve had a chance to review your resume before you make the follow up call or email.

This also depends on how you found the job:

Applying when you don’t know anyone at the company: In this case, wait the general two weeks as recommended above.

Recommended by a friend: The best thing to do is to have your friend personally deliver your resume to the hiring manager. If you have to submit it directly to HR through the internet portal, follow up with your friend within three days to let them know that you’ve submitted your resume so they can put in a recommendation for you.

When you know the hiring manager personally: If you already know the hiring manger and they’ve already talked to you about the job, I would suggest following up immediately. If you have already built of a rapport, there is no use in waiting.

Tips on Following Up

Think of the follow up as a way to get the hiring manager’s attention. You shouldn’t have to reiterate your skills again as you already did that with your cover letter and resume.

A phone call or email is fine. It depends on the job, how you’ve come across the opportunity, and what you are more comfortable with. If you know the hiring manager or have been recommended through a trusted source, pick up the phone. If you’ve applied through other channels, email is better because it will give the hiring manager time to look at your resume if they haven’t already done so.

A simple sample like this should work:

Follow Up Letter Sample

A lot of times you may not know the hiring managers name, but there are ways to find this info out such as calling the company, searching online, using Rapportive, or guessing email addresses.

How Many Times Should You Follow Up?

Typically, my advice would be to follow up only once. You don’t want to look too needy or aggravate the hiring manager before you’ve had a chance to impress them with your awesome interview skills.

On the other hand, persistence pays off sometimes. If you haven’t heard back and this is your dream job, maybe you can follow up a couple more times.

Whatever the case, you should most definitely follow up after sending a resume!

via Should I Follow Up After Sending a Resume | JobKaster BlogJobKaster Blog.

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Follow Up After Sending a Resume

Leave these Words OFF Your Resume

If you’ve applied for a job recently, you’ve probably looked over that 8½ x 11” summary of your career more times than you can count—and tweaked it just as often—in pursuit of the perfect resume.

But before you add another bullet point, consider this: It’s not always about what you add in—the best changes you can make may lie in what you take out.

The average resume is chock-full of sorely outdated, essentially meaningless phrases that take up valuable space on the page. Eliminate them, and you’ll come off as a better, more substantial candidate—and your resume won’t smack of that same generic, mind-numbing quality found on everyone else’s.

Every word—yes, every word—on that page should be working hard to highlight your talents and skills. If it’s not, it shouldn’t be on there. So grab a red pen, and banish these words from your resume for good.

Career Objective

My first few resumes had a statement like this emblazoned top and center: “Career objective: To obtain a position as a [insert job title here] that leverages my skills and experience as well as provides a challenging environment that promotes growth.”

Yawn. This is not only boring, it’s ineffective (and sounds a little juvenile, to boot). The top of your resume is prime real estate, and it needs to grab a hiring manager’s attention with a list of your top accomplishments, not a summary of what you hope to get out of your next position.


You can be “experienced” in something after you’ve done it once—or every day for the past 10 years. So drop this nebulous term and be specific. If, for example, you’re a Client Report Specialist, using a phrase such as “Experienced in developing client reports” is both vague and redundant. But sharing that you “Created five customized weekly reports to analyze repeat client sales activity”—now that gives the reader a better idea of where exactly this so-called experience lies, with some actual results attached.

Also eliminate: seasoned, well-versed

Team Player

If you’ve ever created an online dating profile, you know that you don’t just say that you’re nice and funny—you craft a fun, witty profile that shows it. Same goes for your resume: It’s much more effective to list activities or accomplishments that portray your good qualities in action than to simply claim to have them.

Instead of “team player,” say “Led project team of 10 to develop a new system for distributing reports that reduced the time for managers to receive reports by 25%.” Using a specific example, you show what you can actually accomplish. But simply labeling yourself with a quality? Not so much.

Also eliminate: people person, customer-focused


While resumes are meant to highlight your best attributes, some personality traits are better left to the hiring manager to decide upon for herself. There is a difference between appropriately and accurately describing your work skills and just tooting your own horn. Plus, even the most introverted wallflower will claim to be “dynamic” on a piece of paper because, well, why not? When it comes to resumes, keep the content quantifiable, show tangible results and successes, and wait until the interview to show off your “dynamism,” “enthusiasm,” or “energy.”

Also eliminate: energetic, enthusiastic

References Available Upon Request

All this phrase really does is take up valuable space. If a company wants to hire you, they will ask you for references—and they will assume that you have them. There’s no need to address the obvious (and doing so might even make you look a little presumptuous!). Use the space to give more details about your talents and accomplishments instead.

In a crummy job market with a record number of people applying for the same positions, it takes more than a list of desirable-sounding qualities to warrant an interview. Specific examples pack a punch, whereas anything too dependent on a list of buzzwords will sound just like everyone else’s cookie-cutter resume. So, give your resume a good once-over, and make sure every word on that page is working hard for you.

via ResumeBear: Leave these Words OFF Your Resume | Resumebear Online Resume.

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Leave these Words OFF Your Resume

Rock Your Resume, Tips How To

Whether or not you’re looking for a job right now, it’s worth making sure your resume is in good shape. You never know when that dream opportunity might come up – and if your current job isn’t looking so secure, you might to be ready to send out applications at short notice.

In a crowded job market, your resume needs to stand out. If it’s currently looking a bit thin, here’s how to improve it:

Do Some Relevant Voluntary Work

You probably don’t have a perfect work history: perhaps you’ve worked in less-than-ideal jobs, or you’re young and have very little work experience at all. Employers aren’t just interested in your paid work; they’re looking for evidence of your skills.

Volunteering can be a fantastic way to:

Gain real, practical experience in a particular field

Build up a network of contacts (who might be able to help you land that next job)

Demonstrate to employers that you’re passionate about this kind of work

You may well already have some relevant voluntary experience: but is it on your resume? Think about any groups you belong to, or any positions that you hold. Perhaps you’ve led a Scout pack or you’ve arranged day trips for your church.

Take a New Qualification

Although employers are often more interested in your experience than your education, there are many jobs where qualifications really do count. Even if you’re currently working full-time, don’t rule out the possibility of learning something new – evening classes and online courses can provide a lot of flexibility.

Qualifications can range from relatively informal courses (e.g. learning a language) to industry certification (e.g. food hygiene) to doctoral degrees. Find out what employers in your field are looking for – don’t be afraid to ask around within your network.

And if you’re self-employed, qualifications might not be strictly necessary – but they can help you stand out from the crowd. If you’re a freelance writer, programmer or designer, clients might struggle to understand why your rates are higher (even if you can tell that your work is much better than your competition’s). A relevant qualification or certificate can really boost your credibility.

Focus on Results

When you’re putting your resume together, don’t get too bogged down in giving details of your past job descriptions. Potential employers are more interested in what you actually did during your previous roles.

What projects did you oversee? Did you deliver any presentations or write reports? Were you responsible for managing any major areas of the business?

Be as clear as you can about what you achieved, and give percentages or figures where possible (e.g. if you increased your company’s revenue or exceeded sales targets).

Customize Your Resume for Each Job

There’s no rule that says your resume needs to stay the same for every position you apply for

Tailor your resume to each job. That might mean:

Adding in extra experience that’s relevant to the role

Emphasizing different aspects of your past experience

Changing the language that you use to match the job description

Yes, it’s extra work; you might spend 15-30 minutes on this each time you apply to a job. But if these tweaks help get your resume from the huge “no” pile into the much smaller “yes” pile, then those extra minutes were well worth it.

Get Your Resume Edited and Proof-Read

If you’re at all not confident about your writing, it’s worth getting your resume professionally edited and proof-read. This isn’t just about picking up sloppy mistakes – it’s about presenting the best possible view of you to your potential new employer.

There are hundreds of companies and individuals who offer specialized resume writing and editing services; try asking around your network to find out who’s reliable, or look for reviews online.

If you can’t afford to pay someone to edit your resume, at least ask a friend to proof-read it – and the same goes for your cover letter. Typos and spelling mistakes create a very poor first impression.

via ResumeBear Says Rock Your Resume, Tips How To | Resumebear Online Resume.

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Rock Your Resume, Tips How To

How to Ensure Your Resume Gets Read By a Human [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic by CyberCoders gives you the top tips to make sure your resume doesn’t get rejected by an ATS and actually read by a human.

It’s very important in these modern times!


72% of the time an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) will see your resume before a human.

Make sure you don’t use any fancy fonts!

Tactfully sprinkle key words within the resume to make sure it makes it through the system.


via How to Ensure Your Resume Gets Read By a Human [INFOGRAPHIC].

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How to Ensure Your Resume Gets Read By a Human [INFOGRAPHIC]

Creative Resumes – How Much Is Too Much?

Those of us who make our living in the field of recruiting have seen our share of resumes. During my tenure as a Sourcer, I would venture to say I viewed over a thousand resumes a month. Nearly all of these were standard print resumes posted on internet job boards and career sites.

Recently, I saw an article entitled 13 Insanely Cool Resumes That Landed Interviews at Google and Other Top Jobs. These included incredible works of innovation and graphic design, some of which were worthy of wall space in the Guggenheim. Resumes resembling movie posters, subway maps and Facebook pages, resumes that included tables of contents, info graphics and videos, even a resume embroidered on a piece of fabric were all featured in the article.

However, despite the originality and artistic splendor that these resumes displayed, another descriptor came to mind…overkill. I couldn’t help but wonder how these types of resumes were viewed by employers – as a display of true creative genius, or as a cry for attention from unemployed candidates with too much time on their hands.

There Are Always Exceptions

The fact that a candidate was able to secure an interview at Google with an over-the-top resume does not surprise me. Google is known for being unique in every respect, and it works for them. Any company whose employees descend slides and fire poles in the office instead of staircases has got to appreciate the outside-the-box thinking that such a resume demonstrates. But what about the rest of the world’s employers that don’t hold board meetings on beanbag chairs?

Here’s a creative resume example (you decide whether it’s too much or not!): How To Make a ‘Creative’ Resume on Prezi.

Sometimes Less Is More

An article printed in Brigham Young University’s school magazine tells of an MBA student who sent his resume to Johnson & Johnson, only to have it returned with the instructions that it “needed to be printed on white paper, mailed unstapled in an 8 ½ x 11 envelope, and could not have fancy printing or graphics, bold, underlines, italics, or small print.” This particularly concerned three BYU professors of Management Communication whose teachings included embellishing resumes with these items.

The professors decided to conduct a study of the prevalence among Fortune 500 companies of electronic resume management (ERM) systems – systems that manage resume data in a database that allows the data to be searchable. The issue at hand was whether these companies who received large volumes of resumes utilized scanners to input resumes into the ERMs, and if so, would their scanners be able to accurately read text from embellished resumes.

The results showed that 60 percent of the companies surveyed did not scan their resumes, instead choosing to input the data manually. Of the companies that did scan the resumes they received, 77 percent said their scanners would generally accept embellished typography. In the end, the three professors felt they could safely continue to counsel students to embellish their resumes.

Know Your Audience

Despite a company’s ability to input a resume’s contents into their database, the question remains whether or not employers look favorably upon lengthy, flashy or overly-creative resumes. In some industries such as graphic design or advertising, the resume may act as a living, breathing example of the candidate’s ability to do the type of work that the job entails.

What better way to prove you’re worthy of a job than with a resume that demonstrates your skill to the hiring manager before they even read a word? But for jobs that do not directly involve the skills used to create the resume, many employers will view the candidate as someone with misplaced priorities – someone who spends too much time amusing himself with creating a document instead of focusing on putting that document to work in order to achieve its intended result.

Always Have a Back-up Plan

The fact is that every job is different, as is every employer. If a candidate has the skill and originality to create a resume that will set him or her apart from the competition, and the creation of such a document is what the candidate truly enjoys doing, then why not put the skill to use in order to obtain employment? But the candidate should always remember to keep a plain, unembellished copy of his or her resume on hand as well for those employers who want nothing to do with creative, artistic resumes.

In the end, the eye-catching flash and flare on a candidate’s resume that gets him or her the job at one company is the exact same distraction that will route the resume straight into the hiring manager’s trash can at another company.

via Creative Resumes – How Much Is Too Much?.

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Creative Resumes – How Much Is Too Much?

Resume Tracking Systems are Flawed; You Can Take Advantage of ATS

Resume tracking is the norm these days. Most mid-sized to large organizations receive hundreds and even thousands of resumes through the internet. Company representatives must respond to these huge volumes and somehow find and select the ideal candidate. As a result, employers and recruiters rely on automating the resume selection process.

With a large and constantly growing pool of applicants, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to print and file a hardcopy of every resume that comes in. Driven by advancements in technology and the increasing volume of applicants, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) was born. Companies use the system for resume tracking. Through the ATS, they sort, store, and manage the considerable number of resumes they receive on a daily basis. Ideally, only a few good resumes will be sorted out for recruiters and employers to read and they will never need to bother with the rest.

There are many different ATS systems on the market, and each is somewhat different from the rest. Some have multi-layered functionality and others are quite basic in features. As with most early technology, no ATS is perfect. Most regularly disqualify resumes from qualified people. They parse out poor candidates, but they filter out good ones too.

Most submitted resumes are misread by ATS. This is because the system requires very specific formatting and structure. Veering from this even a bit can hamper correct scanning, interpretation, and filtering.

Your client may be the ideal candidate, but if without the right resume, nobody may ever know it. But, if you understand the way the system works – and its weaknesses – you can improve your client’s chances of being selected for an interview.

Ensure that your client’s resume passes the resume tracking system. Analyze the resume against the following areas that might be missed, misaligned, misunderstood, muddled, or mistaken by ATS readers:

  • ATS systems are gluttons for information – they can take in seemingly unlimited amounts of data, but can’t decipher the meaning or significance of subjective and intangible value the job seeker brings. To improve the resume’s relevance and ranking, ensure that it matches the job posting or job description closely.

  • ATS systems read plain text best. More text is good, but you can help the ranking by cutting articles, pronouns, and other unnecessary words out of the resume.

  • Your client’s resume can be as lengthy as it needs to be. Page breaks are unrecognizable in ATS, so instead of breaking the document up, make one long resume.

  • Keywords and key phrases are crucial to the functionality of ATS, but the ATS cannot translate or exchange synonyms. Consider including many variations of  key words and phrases in the resume.

  • Some ATS systems don’t pick up a keyword block, such as an “Areas of Expertise” competency section. For the best chance, scatter the words and phrases throughout your client’s resume.

  • ATS algorithms are designed to select keywords and phrases that are specific to a particular job, but unique and different from other postings in its information bank. Your client’s resume will be ranked not only against the post, but also against other resumes that are submitted. Take your keywords to the next level by adding keywords that other candidates might not think of using.

  • ATS resumes are parsed into components to compare applicants “apples to apples.” It expects to locate the following sections in your resume: Contact Information, Summary, Work Experience, and Education. Most ATS today do not pick up other areas such as: Certifications, Professional Memberships, Speaking Engagements, Publications, and Lists of Patents. If you have anything important to share, make sure to do it in one of the sections that the ATS reads.

  • The system only recognizes a very straightforward reverse chronological structure. Even if your client has earned promotions within a company, list every job separately. In every section, include the company name, job title, the start and end dates, job responsibilities, and achievements, in that order.

  • The system calculates the number of years’ experience for each competency to calculate the number of “credits” that the job seeker receives. Therefore, it is best to list activities in every position held, repeating them multiple times if necessary.

  • Most ATS need work history to credit applicants for experience. Even if your client is a student, include a “work history” section; add projects so that the ATS will give credit for skills and competencies.

  • ATS read text files the best. However, systems can scan Word documents as well as PDF files. If you must use these formats, then here are some more suggestions to ensure Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

ATS may be smart, but people are smarter. The most diligent recruiters know that they may miss important candidates if the ATS does not spit their resume out, so they many continue to briefly scan every resume, just in case someone special is waiting in the wings. Many savvy recruiters also jump to meet candidates who take the time to call and explain why they are a perfect fit for the opportunity. So, if your client is not chosen for an interview, recommend that he or she follows up with the employer directly.

via Resume Tracking Systems are Flawed; You Can Take Advantage of ATS.

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Resume Tracking Systems are Flawed; You Can Take Advantage of ATS

Really Want Your Resume Read? Show, Don’t Tell

Resume that gets readHere’s a plea from all employers out there to all job seekers: If you’re going to send your resume to apply for a job opening, please take the time to tailor your resume to the specific requirements of the job posting. Please!

I’ve posted two jobs recently and have been so dismayed by what I’ve received. I skim through the 2-3 pages searching for a reason why this person would be a good match for the job.

In most cases, I can’t figure it out.

Why would a physical fitness coach for a high school be a good admin? Why would an electrical engineer make a good trainer?

I don’t know, because they never told me.

Their resumes seldom contained specific examples of demonstrated skills. One job posting requested Excel skills. I seldom saw any concrete evidence that these applicants had ever used Excel. Sure, some listed Excel under Computer Skills, but that was all.

In every case, I didn’t see the proof.

The other pet-peeve is that both postings asked for a cover letter. I wanted to see one. About 3/4 followed that instruction. And of those 3/4, only a couple were memorable enough to put on the top of the stack. None of them mentioned why they would be interested in working for the company or project stated in the posting. So sad.

I am not looking for a “perfect” format. I am looking for the right demonstrated experience

I don’t want to figure out why someone is interested in the job, I want them to tell me. (connect the dots for the reader)

I don’t have time to pick up the phone and ask them questions about their experience, there are too many resumes and not enough time

Each reviewer of resumes has a different set of preferences, but in the long run, they all want to know the same thing, why is this person interested and qualified for the job?

Your job, as a job seeker, is to get me to want to read your resume. And the only way to do that: show, don’t tell!

via Really Want Your Resume Read? Show, Don’t Tell | The Savvy Intern by YouTern.

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Really Want Your Resume Read? Show, Don’t Tell

12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems

You filled out the job application, updated your resume and clicked “Submit.” But as the days or weeks pass, you never receive a phone call or email from the employer. What happened?

Unbeknownst to many job seekers, a whopping 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Why? Well, employers large and small now use applicant tracking software to parse the information from your resume and map it into a database called an ATS (applicant tracking system). From this information, the system will assign you a score based on how well you match the job the employer is trying to fill, and then rank and sort all candidates. Naturally, the potential employees with the highest scores move on, while others are left in the dust.

Wondering how you can optimize your resume and rank highly in the employer’s ATS? Here are several tricks to improving your resume’s score.

1. Use Language from the Job Description: Look through the job listing to determine the skills required. Identify industry terms, buzzwords and jargon the hiring manager uses most frequently in the description and incorporate these words into your resume when possible and applicable — the ATS is looking for these keywords.

2. Get Rid of Images and Graphics: Remember, the ATS is breaking down the information you’re providing and sorting it into different “buckets.” It will not be able to read or understand an image.

3. Choose Fonts Carefully: Stick with standard web-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, Impact, Courier, Lucinda, Tahoma or Trebuchet.

4. Don’t Hide Keywords: Think adding in a bunch of keywords in white text is the best way to rank highly? Think again.

5. Get Rid of Irrelevant Information: Only include past positions and skills that are relevant to the job at hand. Irrelevant positions just end up as filler — a waste of valuable real estate on your resume.

6. Don’t Use Any Special Characters: Standard bullets are fine, but other characters (such as arrows) can cause issues that could prevent the ATS from correctly parsing your information.

7. Avoid Fancy Borders and Shading: Stick to simple templates that are easy to read.

8. Pump Up Your Skills Section: Most employers use their ATS to search by specialized or technical skills. Make sure your resume includes any special skills you’ve attained, such as computer programs, strengths, competencies and other abilities. Spell out your skills and include industry-specific abbreviations or acronyms that the employer may also search for when finding candidates with the right experience.

9. Create a Customized Professional Summary: Include a list of bulleted achievements and qualifications that relate to the job description and desired skills.

10. Ditch Spelling Errors: The ATS will miss important keywords when they are misspelled. Avoid mistakes: Spell check, read your document backwards and have a friend (or two) look it over. You can never be too safe.

11. Place Contact Information at the Top: Don’t forget to include vital information, such as your phone number and email address. The ATS may even send an email after you’ve applied to the position with additional instructions — so check your spam folder religiously to ensure you don’t miss further communications.

12. Tailor Each and Every Resume: Different ads will contain different keywords and phrases. If you want your resume to be one of the top rated for each position, you must tailor your skills and experience to each opportunity.

Unless you know your highly stylized resume won’t be taking a trip through an ATS, it’s best to save your infographic resume for the in-person interview and upload a .doc or PDF instead

via 12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems.

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12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems

Friday, December 20, 2013

13 Holiday Networking Tips You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again, when job seekers think they may as well stop looking for a job throughout the holiday season. No one will be hiring anyway, so you may as well take the rest of the year off, right?

Not true, according to HR and job search experts. Although some companies may have no budget left for hiring, others still have openings they need to fill by the end of the fiscal year. That means it’s unwise to assume a company won’t be bringing on new candidates unless they announce a hiring freeze.

The savvy career searcher maintains job hunt momentum throughout the holiday season and finds fresh ways to leverage networking to open doors with hiring employers. After all, there are increased opportunities to network offline throughout this period, and each event you attend offers the gift of connecting with people you haven’t met or haven’t met in awhile.

As you launch your own holiday networking campaign, make sure you avoid these “naughty” tactics and follow the ‘Nice’ holiday networking tips instead.

Holiday Networking ‘Naughty’ Tactics To Avoid

1. Focusing only on your search needs. Leverage a give-to-get strategy, instead, by cultivating your relationship with the people you encounter in your holiday merrymaking. Ask them astute questions about their workplace needs, and look for ways you can help.

2. Asking for jobs, information, or leads without first offering to give one or more of the same first. Above all else, the holiday season is a time to connect in meaningful ways with people you already know and those you don’t – you can’t do this if your sole focus is on you.

3. Pushing your job search agenda on influential contacts. If you focus on proving your usefulness first, you won’t have to push your agenda at all.

4. Sending out networking requests disguised as holiday greetings. Remember – you don’t have to ask for something each time you connect with your network. Focus on giving something every time you connect with your network.

5. Expecting quick responses from anyone about anything. The closer we get to Christmas and New Year’s, the more delay you can expect in any job search-related communication. Accept this and move on.

Focus your holiday energies on leveraging these “nice” door-opening strategies even Santa would love…

Holiday Networking ‘Nice’ Strategies

1. Attending a wide variety of holiday events and be prepared to make connections. Whether you’re going to parties or open houses, joining a friend for a company event, or enjoying dinner with one or more friends, use every outing to gather insight and information.

2. Preparing a two-sided business card for on-the-spot networking. Present your search targets and brand statement on side one, and showcase your experience, credentials, and impacts briefly on side two. If a two-sided card is too small, try a fold-over card that allows you to print text inside and out. If this is still too small, why not try a postcard instead?

3. Building a holiday list. Like Santa, you need to know what everyone on your target list is seeking. Ask the contacts and job seekers you meet how you can help them, and keep a record of their responses for immediate follow-up. Look for ways to refer job seekers to recruiters and companies and suggest recruiters and companies to job seekers.

4. Proactively refering potential candidates to recruiters, companies, and hiring managers. Be the star in your network by preparing a brief intro about job seekers you know and feel comfortable recommending, then offer their contact information (with permission, of course) to recruiters and companies that match the job seeker’s search targets.

5. Following up promptly. If you’re not already using a relationship management strategy like Jason Alba’s JibberJobber, now is the time to get started. JibberJobber was made for holiday networking all year long, and helps you to manage follow-up activities while nudging relationships to the next level.

6. Following your follow-up with a personal marketing brief to gently introduce your own career interests. A personal marketing brief is a brilliant networking tool, perfect for those times when a resume is premature. This one-page document highlights your career brand, history of achievements, experience, and credentials, while clarifying your target positions, industries, and types of prospective employers.

7. Using the period between Christmas and New Year’s to recontact all previous interviewers. Let your past interviewers know that you’re still available. I’ve known more than one candidate who reopened an opportunity by proactively reaching out during an otherwise slow period.

8. Sending out New Year greetings to influential contacts in your network. Include a short, brand-driven message about your value proposition, assuming that you have previously sent a holiday message with zero branding included. This strategy allows you to refresh the memories of your influential contacts with your candidacy as they put the holidays behind them and return to work in the New Year.

Remember persistence and assertiveness are always in season. When paired with people-smart search strategies, your holiday networking can yield a bounty of new gifts in the New Year.

via 13 Holiday Networking Tips You Need to Know | CAREEREALISM.

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13 Holiday Networking Tips You Need to Know

Are You Recruiting Loyal Employees?

Earlier this month, New York City-based realtor firm Rapid Realty made headlines by offering their employees a 15 percent raise if they got a tattoo of the company logo. The company’s owner got the idea when a loyal employee decided to get the company logo tattoo without any incentive, and the owner felt indebted to him. Even more surprising is that since proposing the offer, 40 employees have followed through with it.

So, would you?

It’s certainly great publicity, and makes for fantastic conversation around the water cooler. Displaying company loyalty through skin art is nothing new – just ask any Harley-Davidson owner. But employer loyalty is a little different, and in this case, it seems like a hefty price to pay for both sides. Raising the salaries of 40 employees by 15 percent has got to be costly, even in spite of the 15 minutes of fame the company received from the publicity stunt. And for the employees, isn’t this a sure-fire way to jinx their tenure at the company? We all know what happens when you get a tattoo of your significant other’s name – the relationship is guaranteed to fail. As an employer, would you want to hire an employee sporting a tattoo of his or her former employer, shamelessly displaying the shards of a failed corporate relationship? Perhaps “strong decision-making skills” wouldn’t be prominently displayed on that employee’s resume.

I can’t lie – I do feel a certain amount of admiration for Rapid Realty’s inked employees. While many people will say they’re happy with their jobs, Rapid’s employees must be singing its praises from the rooftops. But there MUST be an easier way to inspire employee loyalty than convincing employees to brand themselves…literally. From LinkedIn’s ping pong tournaments, to Foursquare’s free beer and unlimited vacation days, to the corporate amusement park known as Google’s offices, there are a number of ways companies attempt to inspire loyalty among employees. Similarly, as recruiters, our clients benefit from us providing them with candidates who become loyal employees from day one. So the question is, how can we target this loyalty during the recruiting process?

Don’t Recruit Solely on Paper Credentials:

So your candidate’s resume has all the bells and whistles – a degree from a reputable college, solid work experience, etc. But does this mean he or she will excel at the job, or more importantly, truly WANT to excel at the job? There are so many important factors that go into finding the right candidate that can’t be conveyed on a paper resume. Many can be discerned in a face-to-face interview. Has the candidate taken the time to research the company? Are they able to sell themselves and articulate what they can offer the employer? Have they taken that extra step to show their eagerness to excel in the industry? A specific school name, degree or tenure may be important, but an enthusiastic candidate with a passion for learning may surpass all expectations.

Focus on Cultural Fit:

Was the corporate culture of your candidate’s previous employer similar to that of your client’s company? If not, what is causing them to seek a change? If so, did they thrive in that atmosphere? In a recent study published on Monster, it was found that college students were willing to accept an average of seven percent less starting pay to work for companies with cultures in which they felt comfortable. And regarding employee retention, an insurance company involved in the study found that departments whose environments aligned with the company’s stated cultural goals had 30 percent less turnover. Another reason to recruit based on company culture is that despite the ever-changing nature of employer needs and job requirements, corporate culture remains constant. Therefore, an employee who is hired based partially on cultural fit is more likely to remain a valuable part of the employer’s workforce, even if his or her position is eliminated.

Ask for Referrals:

According to research published in Jobvite Index 2012: Employee Referrals, employees who were recruited through an employee referral program were more loyal than those from career sites or job boards. In fact, referred employees showed a 46 percent retention rate after one year, compared to a 33 percent retention for employees from career sites, and 22 percent retention from jobs boards. When your referral pipeline is tapped out and posting on career sites and job boards is necessary, paint as clear a picture of the job as possible. Make sure the ad is concise and provides pertinent information such as job responsibilities, required qualifications and salary info (if approved by the client). Utilize bullet points so it can be easily scanned by candidates only willing to give it a few seconds before deciding if they’re interested. And finally, provide a short company description with a link to the company website so the candidate may conduct some due diligence of their own and determine if they may be a good fit for the company.

Every employee’s goal is to be happy with his or her job. The goal of every recruiter should be to not simply fill jobs, but to provide clients with employees who are happy working for them. A happy employee is a loyal employee. And whether or not that employee bears the company logo on his or her skin, few would argue that more loyalty yields better productivity.

via Are You Recruiting Loyal Employees?.

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Are You Recruiting Loyal Employees?

Getting Your Resume Into the Right Hands

The job search is an ever-changing landscape that seems to get more crowded and more complex by the day.

It often seems that when you submit your resume online, it just goes into what experts call the “recruiting black hole” and is never heard from again.

That could be because it’s been relegated to the bottom of a resume pile that is over 1,000 pages deep. More likely, it’s some kind of a digital version of that, one where resumes that are customized to trick a computer are assigned a higher priority while your resume sinks to the bottom of the list.

There are ways to even the odds in the digital job search by strategically using the right keywords and following a couple dozen other rules on how to send a resume by e-mail, but once you click “send” there’s got to be something you can do other than just pray that it gets to an actual human being.

Abby Kohut, a job search counselor and founder of www.absolutelyabby.com, says there are still some moves you could make to ensure that your resume reaches a person.

“If you go with the black hole, there’s no guarantee the recruiter will see it,” said Kohut, a former human resources recruiter of 16 years. “You just never know if someone is going to find you that way.”

Her strategy combines new-age research with old-fashioned correspondence.

“It’s important to get your resume to the hiring manager,” she said. “Find them on LinkedIn and send them your resume in the mail.”

That’s not to say a job seeker should simply bypass the company’s entire candidate tracking system. These more traditional tactics should be used in conjunction with the digital ones with one track going to the hiring manager and the other digital track going to the recruiter, if not the dreaded black hole.

To locate the hiring manager, Kohut recommends starting with an advanced search on LinkedIn seeking the name of the company, the particular department that interests you and the zip code for the position you want. There probably won’t be anyone who comes up with the title “Hiring Manager,” but anyone with a “Director” or “Vice President” title is probably your target.

“If you get to somebody near the hiring manager, that might be good enough,” Kohut said. “People don’t like to destroy mail, they like to pass it on to the right person.”

While e-mail is easily forwarded or deleted, a hard copy is much more likely to be read, especially if the envelope is handwritten and marked “personal and confidential,” she said.

“It’s very effective,” she said. “Someone will actually see it.”

This old-school method of job searching is something of a lost art nowadays, but that’s what could make a candidate stand out.

“Making a call is good too — any of the old techniques. Even faxes are good,” she said. “Nobody does them anymore.”

via Getting Your Resume Into the Right Hands.

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Getting Your Resume Into the Right Hands

How to Power Up Your Networking Skills [10 Top Tips]

Love it or loath it, networking is a powerful way of learning, giving and relating to others. However sometimes people feel they just don’t know where to start. So here are ten top tips on ways that you can power up your networking skills:

  • Know who you know – professionals would call this a database but that sounds very formal. Just know who it is that you know. Divide them into those you know well and would recommend you and those you know less well – how can you move one or two of those a month into the first list?

  • Join a virtual network – spend a couple of hours a month playing. See who you know and see who they know. Build some virtual connections. Find a group that is a proper forum and join the debate. Not every day in every way, just see who you can help.

  • Find a reason to get in touch – doing charity events and needing sponsorship are great ways of enabling you to connect without talking about work at all!

  • Join a professional association – play an active role. Not only will you build a profile, extend the number of people you know but you will learn and develop yourself at the same time.

  • No selling – hang onto the fact that this is about relationships of trust not selling.

  • Know – know who you want to network with, know what you need to know about them and how you can help them. Be focused and targeted BUT never forget, it is who your network know that might be the critical link for you. So don’t be too focused!

  • Create or rekindle a relationship – When you go to an event – a conference or an association meeting, try to create at least one relationship/re-kindle an old one. You don’t have to have ambitions to meet everyone or leave a business card on every plate. But take your business cards and give them away. Get there early, that might sound like a nightmare, but you won’t have to walk into a room full of people and the others that are there early may also be looking for someone to talk to.

  • Know how to leave – If you are talking to someone and you feel you have had enough, turn your body about fifty degrees away from them, that opens up the pair and makes it possible for someone else to join you. Or if you want to leave make sure that they feel valued, offer to call them for a longer discussion or meet them before the next meeting.

  • Be clear about who you are – Sounds like a no-brainer, but you need to be able to sum up who you are and what you do. It may work if you have a really clear job title or a very high profile organization but if you want to stick in someone’s mind, you may need to say more than ‘I’m an Assistant Director’. How much more impactful to be ‘the guy who makes sure you can drive your car through Watford at 8.30am on a Monday morning’ (traffic engineer) or ‘I’m the woman who makes sure that the Board don’t go do setting illegal budgets.’ (accountant).

  • You may need polite persistence – After you have met someone and got their number, if you need to go and see them, need them to give you information or recommend you, you may need to expect a few delays, cancellations or postponements. Don’t take it personally. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how high would you make it as a priority. But on the other hand don’t assume they will never help you. Most people like to help others. You need to persist.

via How to Power Up Your Networking Skills [10 Top Tips].

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How to Power Up Your Networking Skills [10 Top Tips]

What Do Employees Actually Think About Performance Reviews? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Employees think performance reviews at work are irrelevant and a waste of time – what are your thoughts?

Find out more in this infographic from Globoforce.


53% of employees said performance reviews don’t motivate them to work harder.

Employees prefer to get feedback asap.

63% of employees felt their review wasn’t a true indicator of their performance.


via What Do Employees Actually Think About Performance Reviews? [INFOGRAPHIC].

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What Do Employees Actually Think About Performance Reviews? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Recruiters: 3 Reasons Why Your Prospect Is Just Not That Into You

The 2009 romantic comedy-drama film He’s Just Not That Into You portrays the lives of individuals who repeatedly misinterpret the behaviors of their romantic partners. Human behavior is complicated, unpredictable, and easy to misread.

In sales — as in recruiting — success depends on the ability to influence the behavior and decisions of others.

How sure are you that you can correctly read and understand your prospects or clients? Human behavior is not always logical or predictable.

Wonder how you can tell that a prospect may just not be that into you?

  • Have you ever been surprised to have a prospect reject your offer, after you’ve had a series of (seemingly) positive interactions?

  • Ever been caught off guard by an objection?

  • Have you been frustrated by how long it takes to move prospects or candidates forward?

  • Have you been burned by assumptions about commitment?

Here are three common mistakes I’ve seen recruiters make that can easily lead to a candidate or prospect being “…  just not that into you.” And I will share some tips on how to keep from repeating these common errors.

Mistake No. 1: You make the conversation all about you

He doesn’t need to be reminded you’re great. – Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

I am struck by how many recruiters make their calls all about their needs and spend virtually the entire time talking (I call it terminal transmit). A recruiter-centric call is like the “old-school” selling model of “pushing product” just to achieve quota. Frankly, that’s what has given sales such a bad name.

To avoid this mistake:

  1. Check your talk time. As a rule, if you are talking more than two to three minutes at a time, stop!

  2. Do your homework and edit your questions. Drop unnecessary questions and replace them with high-powered questions that help you gather great information about what’s important to your prospect.

  3. Sell your position later in the call, rather than sooner. Use the front-end of the call to learn about your prospect or candidate. Then, use the back end of the call to align your position with what’s important to your prospect.

Mistake No. 2: You don’t know how to listen

We have become a sloppy bunch of people. We say things we don’t mean. We make promises we don’t keep. – Greg Behrendt, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

The most important skill in successful selling — and successful recruiting — is listening. But my experience in training recruiters points to an almost “epidemic” lack of listening skills. Rather than listening with interest, attention, and curiosity, recruiters often make assumptions about interest based on a few words or phrases. My “old school sales ears” are terrified to hear how many recruiters “prescribe before diagnosing” on calls simply because they don’t know how to clarify, probe, or follow up.

To avoid this mistake:

  1. Stop multitasking. Listening takes your full attention. You can’t be fully present to another human being when you are checking email, responding to calendar invites, etc.

  2. Practice your listening. Get a partner and have them tell a short story. During the story, restrict your own talk time. Try simply listening and asking clarifying questions — not reacting, sharing or talking.

  3. Attend “listening skill” training. If you have not been trained on great listening skills, it’s pretty hard to assume you will somehow just be able to “pick them up.” It’s rather astonishing how we think people can intuitively “just know” how to listen without any training.

Mistake No. 3: Your recruiting process is not aligned with how your prospects make decisions

Wasting time with the wrong person is just time wasted. – Greg BehrendtHe’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

Similar to “Mistake No. 1” this one is about lack of attention to what your prospect may need in order to make a career decision. If your recruiting process is highly focused on your own milestones (e.g., application accepted, candidate screened, candidate sent to hiring manager) you are not aligned. And when you are not aligned, you run the risk of wasting time because you are making assumptions about readiness or fit.

You may regard your process as a “recruiting process,” but your prospect regards it as a “change process.” They are going to want to minimize risk and may react adversely to your process if it does not adequately address their perceptions or anxiety around change.

To avoid this mistake:

  1. Get aligned quickly. Use the early stages of your call/relationship to identify and clarify key aspirations and afflictions. Dig deep (using great questions and listening) to ensure you understand motivators for change.

  2. Slow down. It’s tempting to try and keep prospects moving forward; however, be realistic about the time it takes people to process decisions and become comfortable with change.

  3. Sell the gap. Keep your focus on helping your prospect contrast status quo with the picture of the “desired future.” Remember, “no pain, no change.”

via Recruiters: 3 Reasons Why Your Prospect Is Just Not That Into You – ERE.net.

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Recruiters: 3 Reasons Why Your Prospect Is Just Not That Into You