Tuesday, October 20, 2020

5 Simple Ways To Maximize Your Job Search

Caroline Castrillon

A job search can be stressful and overwhelming, especially in the middle of a pandemic. You may even question whether it makes sense to continue to apply for positions. Yet, the rapidly changing work environment may also bring about new opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a new job or considering a full-blown career change, these tips will help you maximize your efforts during these trying times.

1) Adopt a creator mindset

Even amid a pandemic, it's possible to find professional fulfillment. Successful people understand that there is only one person responsible for their career. That person is you. It's easy to blame external factors for our failures and disappointments, but ultimately you can create the life that you want. Instead of thinking the world is out to get you, expect the universe to support you and bring you opportunities during your job search. Consider this quote by Rumi, “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor." Once you embrace a creator mindset, you’ll realize that everything you are experiencing is meant to make you a stronger, better human being.

3) Harness the power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a crucial component of any job search. About 95% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a primary sourcing tool to find top-tier talent. If you’ve been in the same career for a while—particularly with the same company—chances are you have been neglecting your LinkedIn profile. Now is the time to brand yourself effectively using these techniques:

  • Your headline is one of the most important fields for LinkedIn’s search algorithm. Don’t just list your job title—that’s what 99% of people are doing. You’ll never stand out to recruiters and hiring managers that way. Instead, use all 120 characters to highlight strategic keywords, the value you bring and metrics where applicable. For example, instead of “Finance Manager," change it to "Finance Manager at Dell | Financial Planning and Analysis | Auditing | Managing $30M in Revenue.”
  • If you don’t have a photo, add one! Preferably a high-quality professional headshot (not one that looks like a mugshot or where you cut your spouse out of the picture from your cousin’s wedding). Why is this so important? According to LinkedIn, merely having a photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. It also goes a long way in making you look trustworthy and approachable.
  • Get active! Posting and commenting on LinkedIn will generate attention to your profile faster. Also, join groups. One user increased the number of people looking at her LinkedIn profile by 425% just by starting and participating in a few group discussions.

See all 5 ways and the complete Forbes article

 

 

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

6 Recruiter Tips To Getting Your Resume Seen And Landing An Interview

 Heidi Lynne Kurter

According to the career website, Ladders, recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume. Meaning, you as a job seeker have less than 8 seconds to make an impression on them. Most job seekers want to share everything about themselves in their resume, therefore, their resume becomes cluttered and overwhelming for the recruiter. Moreover, the resume lacks a clear purpose making the recruiter confused about how a candidate’s skills will translate to the role in which they’re applying.

The career site discovered the resumes where recruiters spent the most time and focus had

  • an overview or mission statement at the top of the first page
  • a clear flow with title headers and marked sections supported by bulleted lists of accomplishments
  • relevant keywords presented in context throughout the resume

Here are six recruiter tips you can implement right away to get your resume seen and land a job.

1) Keep It Stupid Simple (K.I.S.S.)

Most of the time, the people hiring for the role have never worked in that position. For this reason, keep your resume simple and make sure it’s easily understood since they’ll be the ones reading it. To get noticed at a glance, Ben Lamarche, general manager of Lock Search Group, emphasized, “be sure to bullet point your most marketable skills and relevant management experiences. Don't go into so much detail that a reader can't form a quick mental picture of you as a candidate.”

Deepak Shukla, founder of Pearl Lemon, an SEO agency, said “cut out any fluff or experiences that are not relevant to the position. This puts greater emphasis on the information that actually matters to the recruiter.” Also, try to keep your resume to one page, but no more than two pages. David Reitman, Esq., owner of DLR Associates Recruiting, recommended to “focus on the past 5-10 years.” He said, “anything further in the past should simply be mentioned with no more than one line describing job duties.” Avoid repeating information. If your last job was similar to your current job, don't restate everything you did; instead say, “duties substantially similar to..”

2) Utilize The Words In The Job Description

Job seekers often complain about not getting their resume past the applicant tracking system (ATS). The reason being is because the ATS looks for specific keywords that are already in the job description. As a job seeker, it’s important to tailor your resume to include those keywords that are relevant to your experience.

Yaffa Grace, founder of The Essential Resume, advises her clients to take a yellow highlighter and highlight words that come up multiple times in the job description. She said, make sure you only use those keywords if you have the experience reflected in that keyword. You can do this by supporting those keywords with professional experiences that demonstrate you’re knowledgable. The worst thing you could do is lie about or exaggerate your experience. The interview will uncover those lies. If the interview doesn’t, your performance on the job surely will.

Lastly, if you’re going to claim you are detail oriented, make sure to review your resume for mistakes and have someone else look it over too. The quickest way to land in the rejected pile is by contradicting what you claim.

3) Tailor Your Resume To The Position

Most job seekers have multiple resumes. Each resume is tailored specifically for the role in which they’re applying by using the keywords in that job description. If you have a broad background and are applying for various types of positions, it’s important you tailor your resume to speak to the skills of those positions. For example, if you’re applying to a developer position, you would want to move non-relevant positions to “Additional Experience”, personalize your summary and skills section as well as the bullet points from your current and previous positions.

Chris Waltenbaugh, payment processing expert at Payment Depot, explained “for me, the resumes that stand out are the ones that show the person has taken time to think about the position in which they’re applying and carefully crafted a document that demonstrates their understanding and what’s unique about them that will bring value to the job.”

See all 6 tips and the complete Forbes article

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

6 Tips To Make Your Resume ATS Friendly

From resume screening tools to Robot Vera, an AI-based software technology that helps recruit and hire humans, it’s safe to say that the robots have become a necessary evil that job seekers need to contend with. Automation and machine learning have become a recruiter’s best friends, helping to sift through hundreds or thousands of applications. However, for an applicant the influx of tech can be overwhelming, conjuring up images of a robot apocalypse.

But before you panic or head for a nuclear bunker, there are a few things you can do to optimize your resume to get beyond the wall of bots and into the hands of a human recruiter. We spoke to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, a resume writing service that helps you craft a winning CV.

Here are her top tips for crafting a bot-beating resume:

1. Know Your Opponent

While it’s not likely that you’ll know who else is vying for an open position, recognizing what you’re up against is key. In the job application process, you are up against the ATS. “ATS stands for applicant tracking system. In short, an ATS is a piece of software used by employers to scan and rank the online job applications they receive for their open positions,” says Augustine. “These bots were initially created with large organizations in mind, which needed help sifting through the thousands of incoming applications they received on a weekly basis. An estimated 95% of Fortune 500 companies currently use an ATS to manage their applicant tracking process. Today, this software has become popular with employers and recruiting firms of all shapes and sizes.”

Think of ATSs as the gatekeepers to your dream job. You’ve got to get past them first in order to succeed.

2. Word Choice & Keywords Matter

Using action verbs like “outperformed,” “solved,” “led,” and “delivered,” are essential when crafting a resume. These compelling action verbs powerfully show off what you did in each of your roles. However, when it comes to the bots, you’ve got to kick things up a notch.

The most important element — beyond formatting your resume so it can be accurately ‘read’ and parsed by the ATS — is keyword optimization,” says Augustine. “This is how the applicant tracking system determines if you possess the necessary qualifications to be considered for the position. In addition to listing out a specific term, be sure to also include any common abbreviations to cover your bases.”

However, Augustine warns against keyword stuffing or packing your resume and cover letter with buzzwords. “If the ATS can’t sift through the B.S., I guarantee the recruiter or hiring manager will — and then promptly dismiss your application.” Instead use keywords sparingly and intelligently.

To make sure your resume is compatible with [any ATS] system, incorporate the best keywords throughout your resume 2-3 times, with at least one of those references falling within your Work Experience or Education section. It’s one thing to state that “SEO (search engine optimization)” is among your core competencies, but it’s another thing entirely to show where in your employment history you leveraged that knowledge to add value to an organization.”

3. Keep It Simple

While beautiful resume templates, custom cover letters, and charts may wow a human recruiter, chances are that the ATS bots won’t appreciate the extra effort. Here are Augustine’s fast few tips for keeping it simple:

  • Use a simple, clean design. Embedded charts and other images, custom font styles, and intricate bullet styles will get scrambled or simply skipped over when the ATS scans your application.
  • Avoid submitting your resume as a PDF unless the system specifically lists PDF files among the acceptable options. Some ATS software scans a PDF as though it were one big image, essentially missing all the information contained in your resume. Stick to a Word document that is compatible with all ATS systems.
  • Don’t include important details like your contact information in the header or footer. Again, not every ATS is able to read the information placed in these sections of a Word document.
  • Most importantly, customize your resume with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout the resume, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections.

Read tips 4-6 and the complete article

 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Never put these 3 ‘outdated’ sections at the top of your resume, says career expert

 J.T. O’Donnell

Landing your dream job is all about making a good first impression, and much of that has to do with what you put at the very top of your resume. Unfortunately, too many job seekers don’t utilize this space to their best advantage.

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is starting their resumes with long-winded, boring and self-important paragraphs about how great they are. But guess what? Everyone applying for that position thinks they’re great and worthy of a recruiter’s time.

Here are three outdated resume techniques that no longer work with hiring managers:

  1. Summary statements: The responsibilities and accomplishments listed in the job history section of your resume should already paint a picture of what you bring to the table, so there’s no need to amplify it with a long preface.
  2. Objective statements: This doesn’t offer any new or useful information. What’s the point of spelling out the obvious fact that you’re interested in the position?

See all 3 things PLUS what to do instead

 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

10 Ways to Ask for the Job at the Interview

 By Robin Madell

Wondering how to ask for a job? If you really want a particular job, then simply asking for it at the end of your interview may help seal the deal. Hiring managers like hearing an interviewee say they want the job – it shows an enthusiasm for the role and confirms that you’re invested in earning it. It would be a rare manager who wouldn’t be flattered by someone expressing that they sincerely want to be awarded the position that the company is offering.

While it may feel uncomfortable to come out and directly ask for what you want, it’s important to remember that you’re bringing something valuable to the table: your skills and experience. If you keep this in mind, it can help level the playing field and boost your confidence as you prepare to ask for a job in person.

While you shouldn’t fear hearing “no” or feel that it’s presumptuous or too forward to indicate you would genuinely like the job, you should be sure that you indeed truly want the position. If you have any hesitation or uncertainty or think you may be applying for the wrong reasons, then don’t lead the employer astray by suggesting otherwise.

Assuming you really want the opportunity, keep in mind that the way that you go about phrasing your ask can make or break whether or not your request is effective. Consider this list of potential phrases to say when asking for a job at the end of an interview – without sounding like you’re begging.

10 Ways to Ask for a Job at the Interview

  • “After hearing you discuss the position, I remain confident that I’d be a great fit for it. I’d love to join your team to help you reach your goals.”
  • “The position sounds amazing, and I’m very excited about what the company is doing. I’d love to be seriously considered for this position.”
  • “After talking with you, I feel like we’d work really well together. Is there anything else I can tell you about my background to help convince you to hire me?”
  • “I’m very excited about what you’ve explained you’re looking for in this position, because I feel I’m a perfect fit for it. Do you have a sense yet of when you’ll be making a final decision? I’d love to work with you and your team.”

See all 10 ways and the complete US News article

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

11 Interview Tips You Wish You Knew Before Your Last Job Interview

So, what can you do to stand out in the crowd? Understanding the difference between an average interview and a great interview can help you narrow the gap.

When delving back into the job market, preparation is key to getting a step up. What will you offer that other candidates can’t? How will you answer certain questions? What soft skills do you bring with you? Let’s take a look at 11 tips that can help you not only have a great interview but give you a good chance at landing the job.

Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job: 11 Tips to Get an Edge Up on the Competition

1.       Ask relevant questions. When you’re in the process of being interviewed, there usually comes a point where they’ll ask if you have any questions about the position you’re applying for. Saying no isn’t a great way to close the interview. Instead, ask the right questions which show you take the process seriously and want the job. This back-and-forth engagement is not only important, but also allows you a chance to show your value to their company in the answers you give. Of course, always come prepared having researched the company, position, and what the competition may be like.

Here’s a list of nine questions to ask during your interview. You don’t have to ask a lot of questions but having a couple in mind is a smart move.

  • What type of work culture and values does the company hold?
  • Is there opportunity for growth?
  • What will my day to day responsibilities be?
  • What challenges do you feel come with this position?
  • Do you think I’m right for this role?
  • How does this position fit into the company’s overall plan?
  • What do you like best about working for this company?
  • What benefits come with working here?
  • How does the company measure success with their employees?

2.      Know your value and demonstrate that value. It’s not enough to simply go into the interview with confidence. Remember, there’s a lot of competition. This is about communicating your value and letting the hiring manager know that you’re the right candidate for the position they’re trying to fill.  If you’re a great fit, you’re going to benefit their team in reaching their business goals. It’s important to stand out amongst a sea of candidates. You do that by communicating your value, plain and simple.  Leave no question in their mind that you’re the right person for the job.

4.      Demonstrate problem solving skills. Problem solving skills is an important asset you can bring to the company you’re applying to. Being able to show that you have this soft skill adds value and shows you are able to work through issues as they arise. How do you do this? You can use one of two methods to easily show this skill. Let’s look at two acronyms that can help you recognize the best way to demonstrate you’re a strong problem solver.

  • STAR: Specific, Task, Action, Result. In this instance, you’ll discuss a specific situation (not generalized), what task needed to be accomplished, what action you took, and the final result which shows the outcome and success of how you handled things at the time.
  • PAR: Problem, Action, Results. This is another easy to remember acronym which shows you how to position your answers. You speak about a problem that occurred, the action in which you took, and the final results from taking that action.
  • Note: they both do a similar thing. You’re pinpointing a circumstance, you demonstrate you were able to handle the situation as it came about, and that with your problem- solving skills, you delivered a solution that had a positive outcome. This positions you as the hero of the story, but also shows them you are capable of tackling problems with a solid thought process.

5.      Show them you want the job by asking for it. This is not a plea of desperation. Rather, it’s showing you’re genuinely interested in the position and working for their company. Tell them that you’d love the opportunity to work with them, and don’t leave a question in their mind that you actually want the position if it’s offered to you.

Nothing says lack of interest more than a lukewarm response. In essence, it’s the same as asking somebody how you look, and they say “fine,” when what you really wanted to know was that you look okay for whatever situation you’re about to attend. Think about a bride on her wedding day, walking down the aisle, and asking her partner how she looks. Fine. Show genuine interest—don’t fake it.

See all 11 Tips and the complete article

Thursday, September 24, 2020

12 weird interview questions and what they reveal

Sharon Brandwein

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking as it is. Not only do you need to have some standout answers to set you apart from the other folks waiting in the lobby, but what happens when your interviewer tosses you a question out of the left field like “Who would win in a fight between Thor and Superman” — what?

The good news is, no one would ask that question because the answer is obviously Thor. But that doesn’t mean that other weird interview questions don’t make their way into interviews time and again.

More often than not, weird interview questions help the interviewer discern some things about you and your personality. Bear in mind that when your interviewer asks you these types of questions, they are not looking for accuracy. 

Bizarre interview questions can help the interviewer gauge critical thinking, deductive-reasoning, how you react to curveballs, and even your fit for the company culture. Moreover, there’s no way to anticipate or prepare for these types of questions. That’s precisely what makes them such an excellent tool for evaluating whether a prospective employee can think on their feet. And if your interviewer is a DC Comics fan and you chose Thor — well, good luck. Just kidding. 

Weird interview questions can reveal so much more than a resume could ever show. Your best bet to nail the answers is to familiarize yourself with a few of the stranger ones and decipher what your interviewer is trying to suss out. If you need an assist, here are a few exceptionally weird questions that interviewers often ask and what they reveal.


1) Are you more of a hunter or gatherer?

Believe it or not, this answer reveals what kind of employee you would be and the approach you would take towards your work. Hunters are perceived as more assertive and have a tendency to focus on one task at a time. They don’t necessarily back away from a challenge and are willing to tackle almost anything. Gatherers, on the other hand, tend to be more detail-oriented and good at multitasking.  

2) Why do hot dogs come in packages of 10 and hot dog buns come in packages of 8?

Glen Wilde, CEO and Founder of Diet to Success, noted that this is a great question for evaluating how a candidate responds to pressure. “What I’m looking for includes the applicant’s composure, the reasoning behind the answer, and whether there are visible signs of frustration.”

12) What media do you regularly consume, and where do you consume it?

When Jakub Rudnik, Vice President of Content for Shortlister, uses this question, he’s looking for “tech-savviness, media literacy, and even an interest in self-improvement.” Rudnik goes on to say that when it comes to content marketing, “understanding how to find information, and how to evaluate sources of information, are key traits for a potential employee.” 

See all 12 questions and the complete TheLadders article