Posts Tagged recruiting

Job Search Reboot

If you have been in the market for a while or just thinking of starting a job search here is quick plan for you.  I call it the 100-10-1 plan.  I should probably trademark it or include it in an ad slogan like Herman Kane. But hey, I’m just looking to spread the knowledge and help someone out.  Here you go… the 100-10-1 plan, let’s get started.

In this plan your targets are going to fall into three different buckets..Networking, Recruiters, & finally Job Postings.  You should have three separate resumes for these target groups.  When you network, you should be talking to the contact before sending the resume so you can send a more detailed copy (and you should ask..Do you want the one pager or detailed copy?).  If the Recruiter you are dealing with is an industry specialist you should send one with more detail than the one pager but not quite as much detail as the Network copy and again you can ask.  For Job Postings, you should have a one pager.  Here is the logic…when Networking you are usually one of one, through a Recruiter you are one of a few, and for a Job Posting you are one of many.

The 100-10-1 plan.  The basis of the plan is to send out a 100 resumes..you are tracking send outs..there doesn’t have to be an opening…examples, a Network contact might be checking in their company for a potential role for you or you are getting on the radar of an industry Recruiter.

1. First put together a spreadsheet to track your progress…company, contact, date sent, follow up sent..etc.

2. Take your time and be honest with yourself…”Am I really qualified for this job or company?.

3. Don’t just sit down and send out a 100 through postings…they should be spread out evenly through the three buckets…Networking, Recruiters, & Postings

4. Every 10 resumes, circle back and follow up on the job or resume sendout..via email or phone.

5.  And lastly, interview for one job that you wouldn’t normally consider.  Interviewing is valuable experience and a lot of candidates will turn down an interview…If you are in the market think.. “turn down offers not interviews”.  Two reasons…  One, you may find out a lot more about the job and go for it!  And secondly, interviewing is a valuable skill and the only way to get good at it is..you guessed it…Interview!

If you have questions feel free to contact me and check back for more tips!

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Nail Your Next Phone Interview

Phone interviews are extremely common in today’s hiring processes.  It is a way for an HR manager or Hiring manager to get a quick gauge of skill set and presence to ensure that bringing you in for the face to face will not be a waste of time.   The first thing to remember is the goal of the phone interview is to move to the next step, the personal interview, and you need to be a closer and ask for the order.   But first you have to build value in yourself and also show interest in the company.   If you get the call for a phone interview here are a few tips to get you to the point you can close for the next step.

  1. Schedule a time.  You answer the phone and it is a representative from the company you applied for a job opening with weeks ago.  You are in traffic, dropping your kids off at school, or at work.  Hopefully they are just scheduling a time to talk but it they want to talk now be careful…this is an interview.   Danger zone…don’t try to wing it on a first round interview…schedule time in which you know you will have a good hour of uninterrupted talk time.   If the hiring manager asks “Can we talk now?” respond “Now is not a good time is there a time tomorrow?”  Work through it, you will never know unless you ask.  Set up your rules of engagement.  Will you call them or vice versa?  If they are calling you be sure to get the number in case you miss each other (it should come up on your caller id…you may not have to ask be sure to make note of it!)
  2. Study, study, study.  Luck favors the prepared.  Now that you have scheduled a time, do your homework.  Study the company…news releases, company website, other job openings on job boards, and Linkedin company page.  Study the job…print out your resume and the job description set them side by side and look for the match.   Get ready to sell yourself for the job.  Now study the managers…Linkedin again is a great resource but you also have the hiring managers name (from the phone call).  Again look for press releases, awards, or trade show attendance.  Have quick questions prepared about responsibilities beyond the job description, the career path, or the company.
  3. Now is the time.  If they don’t call on time don’t panic.  Wait 10-20 minutes (depending on your window of availability) and reach out to them if they were supposed to call you.  If you were supposed to call them (you better not be late!) and you don’t connect leave a message.  In both situations stay upbeat, brief, and leave how long you will be available.  If by some circumstance you are late, call as soon as possible, apologize, give your reason, and move into the phone interview.
  4. Stay positive!  Every bump in the road was a learning experience; every downsizing was a chance to move on to new things.  Don’t talk in a negative tone about your current or past companies.  If they ask why you are looking…respond “I have heard great things about your company & the role looks very interesting” (you studied right?).  Smile, stand up, and pause after every answer to give them a chance to talk.   Flow is very important in a phone interview; let them talk…if there is a pause go ahead and ask your questions about the company, role, or responsibilities.  Wrap up your answers; don’t just talk to fill space.  If they ask about something you have not experienced, try not to pass, fall back on a hypothetical.  “I have not experienced that but worked closely with someone who did, here is how I would handle it. “
  5. Ask for the order!  Show gratitude, compliment, and close for the next step. “It has been great talking.  Thank you for taking the time. You work for a great organization. I look forward to meeting you face to face to discuss the role and my qualifications in more detail.  Is there a time we can schedule now?” If you get delayed with the “we will call you when we are ready”.  Don’t worry, get the hiring managers email address (you may have this if you Googled them) and send a follow up thanking them for their time and confirming your interest.  Always send a follow up unless the recruiter you are working through has stated otherwise.  Keep it brief but show gratitude and confirm interest.

Of course you need to know your audience and situation well.   If you are in tech, the next step may be a test.  If you are relocating, you may have a few more phone interviews with more members of the team.  You still need to close for that next step.  If you make the time, do your homework, stay positive, thank them for their time, compliment them on their organization, and close for the next step you could move up to the short list for the next round.

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Quick Tips to be a Resume Rockstar

Everyone should have an updated copy of their resume on hand at all times.  Not only for the “just in case” Merger, Restructure, or great new job opportunity but also for the inevitable salary review, promotion opportunity, etc at your current company.  When/if asked the hard questions on what value you provide to the company you will be able to quickly note past & current responsibilities, accomplishments, and accolades because you have assembled them in a simple structured format ie your resume!  So here are some quick tips to draft or improve your resume.

  1. Do it yourself!  Do not rely on a resume service to draft your resume.   You are the best advocate of your background.  Get excited about it!  If you are having trouble there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet, library, or bookstore on resume writing.  It is a great skill to have not only for you but so that you can be a resource for your peers & family.
  2. Name the document with your name last_first or first_last.  When a hiring manager goes to access your resume they won’t have to sort through dozens of docs named Resume2011 (probably including their own resume).
  3. Include your name, address, phone, email and links to public profiles (ie Linkedin..especially if you have a lot of recommendations).  If you are worried about identity theft, purchase identity theft protection/insurance.  A hiring manager shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with you.  Also be sure you have a business email (ie no jetsfan22@email.com) and professional phone message.  Also don’t include your work phone if you work in a cube or home phone if your 3 year old answers the phone.
  4. If you haven’t put together/upgraded a resume in a while and are intimidated by a blank Word Doc make a freehand outline on a legal pad first.   A simple way to start is just company, job title, dates held, responsibilities, accomplishments, and include keywords/acronyms/accounts.   Think back to the places, projects, accounts, and people so you are sure not to miss anything important.
  5. Use a resume template in Word or PDF.  No reason to reinvent the wheel.  Bold the company, job title, and dates held.  Bullet out the responsibilities, accomplishments, and accolades.   Quantify when possible. Quick examples: 50% increase in sales, completed project 20% under budget, or landed 3 new accounts.  Also bold your education, degrees, and dates completed.
  6. Stay positive.  Every restructure was a time to embrace change, every new role had new challenges and provided a chance to grow.  If you don’t have a lot of experience look for the positive in any role.  Cashier=Customer Service, Worked the floor at a store=Sales, Laborer=Strong work ethic.   I had a candidate that worked at a mental institution between BA & MBA school= dealing with difficult people and conflict resolution.  He had story after story..hair raising, life & death stories.  After being there a corporate boardroom will be a piece of cake.
  7. Take an arm’s length view or your resume..Does it flow?  Do the companies, roles, accomplishments or results jump out at you?  A hiring manager may only take a minute or two (sometimes even less) to review your resume.   Don’t be afraid to use bold or italics but be prudent.  Try to stay away from big paragraphs and objectives especially if you are submitting through job boards.
  8. Have someone else review it and proofread.  Someone you trust, that has a grasp of the English language, and your work experience.
  9. Be flexible. Have a one page for job boards and a more detailed copy for when you know you will one of a few.  Review every job description before sending out a resume.  Be sure the key words match.   Some companies rely on ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to screen for key words, your resume may not even get to a person if the words don’t match.  Every company has their own lingo for the same tasks, don’t assume someone else (or software) will understand.
  10. Know it like an actor knows a script.  Be prepared to talk about what you did 10 years ago or why you chose your degree.   Also have your elevator speech prepared; a short speech on your background and why you will be an asset to the company.

Once completed a resume is valuable tool for your career advancement.  So the next time you have a great opportunity presented or if your CEO pops in to discuss your contribution to the company you will be prepared.  And luck favors the prepared!

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The Headhunter Calls

So as you settle in to your routine at work, the phone rings, you answer and it is a recruiter.  Should I take the time? Is there anyone around? Can the boss hear?  What’s the point, I’m happy!  Or some other quick thought of the risk, the value, your impending deadline or conference call, or completing your Zappos purchase runs through your head.  Take the time, set up a more convenient time, or let the call go to vm but take down the info.  Why?  Not only for you, because in today’s corporate environment a restructure or M&A could be around the corner, but also for your peers.  A job is a great thing to have but a career has even more value.   Manage that career by knowing your value, industry trends, other opportunities, and networking.  By networking with a recruiter for you or for your peers you can build that career.  So if some day you are feeling the pain of a restructure, merger, buyout, lack of promotion, or no raise you will have someone to call.  Or at the least have a name and number to pass on to someone else who is feeling that pain.

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