Tuesday, December 3, 2019

8 Secrets Recruiters Won’t Tell You (But Really Want To)



Recruiters may seem intimidating, but they genuinely want the best for both candidates and the company. Good recruiters want you to have the best experience possible during the application and interview process — but even though they want the best for you, there are some things that they just can’t share. 

Salary bands, candidate competition, internal HR tactics — let’s just call them trade secrets. They are the confidential information that, unfortunately, recruiters cannot divulge. 

To get to the truth, we reached out to Omer Molad, CEO/Founder of Vervoe, a recruiting company that replaces face-to-face interviews with online simulations for small and medium-sized businesses. Molad built his business on the premise that hiring is painful, and he has unique insight into the frustrations and insights of recruiters. 

Here are a few of the secrets that Molad says recruiters won’t tell you, but really want to. 

1. “We could have gone higher if you had negotiated.”

Salary negotiations are like a game of poker — both job seekers and recruiters are trying to maintain control and win the hand. “Very few (if any) recruiters will be so bold as to say ‘we took advantage of you and we don’t value you highly,’” says Molad. In fact, there is often a salary band or range that recruiters have for each role. Their initial salary offer is very rarely at the top of their salary band, so base pay — as well as benefits like vacation days, work hours, etc. — can usually be negotiated. 

6. “We already gave the job to an in-house employee.”

Unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal to advertise a job that is almost certain to be filled by an insider. In fact, some research has shown that internal hires generally perform better than external ones. However, “phantom jobs” can be downright annoying when you’re looking for a new position. Even though federal labor rules don’t require employers to post openings, many HR departments require roles to be listed on a job board for some period of time to ensure a fair hiring process. Therefore, Molad says, don’t expect recruiters to come right out and say, “It was a beauty parade to show management we ran a process, but it was a sham and you were never really considered.” 

Instead, shake it off and get back on the horse — there are plenty of opportunities out there, and the job that fits your life is just a few clicks away. 

See all 8 secrets and the complete Glassdoor article




Thursday, November 21, 2019

Job Hunting After 50: The Power Of Creativity And Persistence



Brave New Workshop is an improv theater in downtown Minneapolis. Several years ago, I participated in its 55+ improv class taught by theater veteran Jim Robinson. A dozen students and I went through classic improv exercises, including spinning a tale one sentence at a time by saying “yes, and” before adding to the story.

The big lesson I took away about creativity from those classes is how vitally important the “yes, and” mindset is. Lately, I’ve come to realize that’s especially true when you’re looking for a job after 50.

Most of us, at work and at home, often respond to others with “yes, but,” pointing out what’s wrong with what we hear. The “yes, and” response instead encourages openness to new ideas and opportunities.

Tom Zitzmann

Then: Laid Off Travel Group Trainer; Now: Gold Mine Truck Driver

I thought of the importance of improv and the “yes, and” approach to the job search in the second half of life after recently meeting Tom Zitzmann in a coffee shop in Plymouth, Minn. Zitzmann, who’s 66, drives a truck in an underground gold mine near Elko, Nevada. The job isn’t something he ever imagined doing. But he loves the work, and the income has stabilized his household finances.

“I was able to talk my way in,” he says. “I really like the job.”

For 23 years, Zitzmann worked with the Carlson Travel Franchise Group, mostly training owners, managers and agents. Then, he was unexpectedly laid off in 2009 at 56. Money was tight. Zitzmann kept applying for full-time positions while making ends meet with a variety of part-time jobs — for the 2010 Census, Best Buy and a small marketing company where he poured liquor on weekends. He was putting in 60 hour work weeks and not getting ahead. In 2011, his wife — now 68 — got laid off from her job at a computer company.

By January 2012, “I knew it was time for a big change,” Zitzmann says.

And that’s where his story takes a twist. Zitzmann, who was adopted right after birth, had later in life contacted members of his birth family (his birth mother and father had died). One birth brother lived in Elko, Nev. and owned a small trucking business. He encouraged Zitzmann to come and be a truck driver at one of the area’s underground gold mines; Zitzmann had some experience driving trucks and construction equipment, mostly in high school and college.

So, on April 15, 2012, he took a chance, drove to Elko and started some creative job hunting.

“I’d call people on the phone establishing contacts. I’d apply online with all the major mining companies working in Northern Nevada. I kept notes on everyone I talked to and used their name when I contacted someone else from that company. Jobs were there, but still tight for a rookie like me,” Zitzmann recalls.

To make himself a stronger job candidate, he read all the mining journals and newspapers he could find. That way, he’d know some of the jargon and be able to use it in job interviews. And, Zitzmann says, “I’d tell my story to everyone and try to make connections.”

It worked. He landed a job and started on June 7, 2012. Since then, he’s been driving a truck in the mines for seven days straight followed by seven days off, typically working 84 hours a week. Household finances have definitely improved and he’s contributing to the company’s 401(k). He returns to Minnesota whenever practical on his off weeks.

In 2018, he won a Safety Champion award from the Nevada State Mining Association.

I’m consistently amazed at the creativity some people over 50 exhibit when looking for work that offers them purpose and a paycheck. Park ranger. Housesitter for wealthy families. Work-camper, or modern-day nomads in RVs holding jobs at seasonal businesses.

But this kind of creativity and persistence by older job seekers is pretty unusual.

“Ninety-five percent of the time, people are conventional in their job search,” says Steve Jewell, a Twin Cities-based human resources consultant and corporate recruiter. “But five to ten percent say: ‘I’m going to get what I want in a different setting.”

Read more examples and the complete Forbes article


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to Pick the Best Resume Format?

Roy Maclaughlin 

Each resumes is written to tell a story about what you’ve done, what you will bring to the company, and eventually who you are. The more conveying a story is, the more chances you have to land an interview. At the same time, a resume is an extremely flexible document that allows job seekers to adjust their experiences and skills depending on their target jobs and career goals.

In other words, candidates can alter the format of the document as well as tweak their content based on their needs and wants. However, the challenge is to know which resume format will help you tweak the story in a way that will land more interviews.

Unfortunately, not many job seekers are concerned about choosing the right resume format to showcase their accomplishments and skills. One format doesn’t fit all (and unlikely ever will).

1) Reverse Chronological Format

This is the number one choice for most job seekers.  Although it may seem that a reverse chronological resume is somewhat ordinary, employers and recruiters prefer this format over the others. The reason is simple – a reverse chronological format allows hiring managers to quickly skim through the document and locate necessary information (remember that decision-makers on average spend 6-10 seconds on reviewing a resume).

This format implies you will list your work experiences starting from the most recent ones. This helps to hire managers to see one’s recent experiences first, which is exactly what they want.  Besides, this layout helps see career progression, including which positions you have held and for how long.

Therefore, candidates with consistent work history that have an upward career trajectory should choose a reverse-chronological format. It helps narrate a story with the most recent plot and flows in the reverse order of occurrence.

Because this particular resume format places a huge emphasis on work experience it is sometimes criticized for being experience-based rather than accomplishments-based. However, one can easily substitute generic bulleted statements with the list of accomplishments. This way you will be able to show the results of your work under each employment.

If you are an entry-level candidate or you have significant career gaps and inconsistent employment history, you may want to consider one of the resume formats below.

Use this format if

  • You have no employment gaps
  • Your recent work experience relates to the target job
  • Most of your work experience is in the career field you want to land your next job in

See resume formats 2,3, as well as non-traditional resume and the complete article

 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How To Answer The Salary Question On Online Job Applications And Other Common Job Search Negotiation Questions Answered

Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Here are five job search negotiation questions:

1 - How do you address online applications that require a dollar figure and avoid being screened out?

Getting the salary question so early in the hiring process is one of the reasons to avoid online applications if you can help it. It’s hard to give a desired salary when you don’t know much about the job. The desired salary should always be about the job at hand, not what you were making before, what you hope to make, even what you think you deserve.

Therefore, if possible, try to get referred to someone and get a chance to speak with people to learn more specifics about the job before suggesting a salary. However, sometimes you don’t don’t have an existing connection into the company, and you want to apply before too many others apply. First, see if you can just skip the question or write a text response (such as “commensurate with responsibilities of the job”). If not, put a nonsensical number like $1 so that you can move past the question. If you get asked about the $1 response in the first interview, then you can mention that you need to learn more about the job first before estimating the appropriate salary.

2 - How do you avoid mentioning a salary range during your first interview?

Related to the first question, another attendee wanted to avoid giving a salary range, not just at the application stage, but even in the first interview. While I agree that you want to have as much detail about the job as possible before quoting a desired salary, you don’t want to avoid discussing salary at all costs. Some recruiters don’t move forward with a candidate if they don’t have an idea of target salary because the candidate might be too expensive and it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Refusing to discuss salary may prevent you from moving forward.

Therefore, you don’t want to avoid mentioning a salary range at all – just avoid mentioning a salary target too soon. Too soon is when you’re not clear about the job. It’s also too soon to discuss salary if you have not researched the market and may underestimate or overestimate your value. For that reason, you should be researching salaries now, even before you get into an interview situation. You don’t want to be caught unprepared to discuss salary. Your lack of readiness is a problem for you, not the employer.

Read Questions / Answers 3-5 and the complete Forbes article

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The 25 Best Keywords for You in Your Job Search - Build Your Personal SEO

By Susan P. Joyce

A CareerBuilder study released in August 2018 revealed that employers are less likely to contact an applicant they cannot find online because they "expect candidates to have an online presence."

Clearly, being found online today is NOT optional if you want to have a successful career (and job search).

To be found, implement personal SEO ("search engine optimization"). 

Personal SEO requires that you create relevant web content, containing appropriate keywords, so that it ranks well when someone is searching for those keywords.

For most professionals, this means a complete LinkedIn Profile and consistent visibility inside LinkedIn. But, simply having a LinkedIn Profile is NOT enough unless you are paying attention to your keywords.

To be found, implementing effective personal SEO is a necessity.

Keywords Are the Key to Being Found in Search

The right keywords, most appropriate for you and your goals, are the foundation of successful personal SEO.
KEYWORDS: The terms used by searchers to find relevant content in a search engine, social network, applicant tracking system, or other database
Selection and placement of the right keywords is the core of effective SEO (search engine optimization). Use those terms in the right places in resumes, applications, and social media (especially LinkedIn) and you will be found.

Without the right keywords (for you), in the right places (LinkedIn Profile, resume, application), you are invisible online, and employers clearly do NOT like invisible job candidates.

Exact Keyword Match Is Usually Required

If a recruiter is searching for someone with experience in Microsoft Word, your name won't appear in search results unless your social profile or resume contain the exact term Microsoft Word. Microsoft Office, the product which includes Microsoft Word, is not a match

This means you will not be included in search results for the term Microsoft Word unless you also include that term in the documents.

Currently, most software is not programmed to make assumptions. If a job description requires experience with "Microsoft Word," most systems won't understand that a resume for someone who is "highly skilled with Microsoft Office products" meets that requirement because the exact term "Microsoft Word" is not included. 

Even if you have that experience or skill, you are invisible unless your social profile, application, or resume includes the term being searched.

Building Your Personal SEO with Your Best Keywords

Think like a recruiter filling the job you want next. How is that job described in job postings? What skills, tools, etc. are required?
Research how your target employers define your target job to determine your best keywords, as listed below.
Look through the list below and choose what is appropriate for you. Develop your keywords based on the following categories of information:


Keywords About You, Personally:

1. Your professional name

Most people don't think of their names as important keywords, but in these days of search engines and social media...

Your name is your most important set of keywords. Be consistent!

If your resume or business card is for "Edward J. Jones" but your LinkedIn Profile is for "Ed Jones" (or vice versa), you've made it difficult for a recruiter or employer to make the connection between the two, which most will need to do. Not having a LinkedIn Profile is a negative for most professionals, so using different names can damage opportunities for you.

You need to consistently use the same version of your name for your LinkedIn Profile, resumes, business/networking cards, professional email, meeting name tags and badges, and other visibility so recruiters doing research on you can "connect the dots" between you and your professional visibility. 

[Practice Defensive Googling, and read Your Most Important Keywords for more information on avoiding mistaken online identity and Personal Online Reputation Management for the new necessity today.]

2. Your location (or your target location)


According to LinkedIn, "More than 30% of recruiters use advanced search based on location."

Use the best location for you, but DO have a specific location because using a country is too generic. Not having a location will handicap you in most searches. If appropriate for your location, use both city and state plus regional names -- like Oakland, CA, and East Bay Area, or Manhattan and New York City -- so your profile is in the search results for either.

Do NOT provide your street address. At most, include the city and state. Read How to Safely Publish Your Contact Information on LinkedIn for important tips.

3. Your languages

If you speak more than one language, make it clear the languages that you can speak. Also indicate your level of proficiency -- from "native" through "basic" or "elementary" and whether you can read, write, and/or speak the languages. 


To demonstrate your skills in multiple languages, create a LinkedIn Profile in each of them. LinkedIn allows and encourages this, and it's a great way to gain attention for jobs requiring people who can speak and write in more than one language.

See all 25 Keywords and the complete job-hunt.org article



Tuesday, November 5, 2019

How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You” Questions

Alice Berg

The entire interview narrows down to this single question: Why should we give you this job? And it is probably the hardest part of a job interview. Many applicants who don’t prepare for this type of question don’t make it past the interview stage. It may be the reason you didn’t get hired after a wonderful interview.

But when you have a proper answer prepared, you can actually have an advantage over other applicants. 

Remember, it is your chance to bring attention to some of the outstanding qualities that make you a great candidate for the job.

This article will help you learn:

· Why interviewers like to ask why should we employ you

· The best way to answer this question

· How not to answer when you are asked why they should hire you

“Why Should We Hire You?” — What the Interviewer Is Really Asking?

This question may be asked in different ways but what the interviewer is actually asking is why are you a good fit for this position. They have gone through your resume, cover letter and tested your suitability from the time you started the interview up to this point. What they really want to know, therefore, is if you understand what they are looking for and whether you can offer it.

Already, they think you might be qualified enough for the job; otherwise, they would not invite you for an in-person interview. But there may be one or more applicant just as or more qualified for the job. Thus, answering this question is your one chance to sell your unique skills, qualifications, achievements or abilities.

How to Answer Why Should We Hire You Properly During an Interview - See the answer and the full Medium post


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Here's an example of the perfect resume, according to Harvard career experts

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Just the thought of writing a resume can lead to a huge headache.

But it doesn't have to be so complicated. Try to think of your resume as an award-winning short memoir about your professional experience.

Certainly, they aren't exactly the same (resumes shouldn't be written in a narrative style), but both share a few similarities: They tell the truth, differentiate you from others, highlight your most unique qualities and capture readers' attention.

Don't know where to start? The career experts suggest considering the essential tips below:

1. Tailor your resume

I've seen a shockingly large number of candidates send out a dozen resumes — that all look exactly the same — to a dozen different job openings.

A great resume should be tailored to the job and type of position that you're applying for. You don't have to change every little detail, but the resume itself should reflect the skills and experience that your potential employer would value.

2. Include your contact information

This is one of the top five resume mistakes people make, according to Harvard career experts.

Always be sure to include your email address and phone number. You can go the extra mile by adding your LinkedIn (just make sure it's up to date) or website that showcases examples of your work.

What not to include:
  • A list of references: You don't even need to put "references available upon request" — hiring managers will ask for this if you advance in the hiring process
  • A picture: It doesn't matter how strong your selfie game is — including your a photo of yourself makes you look unprofessional and could introduce unconscious bias
  • Age or sex: Again, keep it professional. It's a resume, not a Tinder profile...
See tips 3,4, and the complete CNBC article