Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Resume Edits You Need To Make

Your resume is one of the more important documents for your job search so it stands to reason that it can be one of the deciding factors in whether or not you get an interview. Big mistakes like careless typos will obviously be damaging to your chances, but the little mistakes — the ones that might not be very obvious — can also cost you.

If you are getting only radio silence from employers when you submit your job applications, it might be time to make some serious edits to your resume. The first thing you will want to look at is your e-mail address. Is it professional-sounding or are you using that “funny” one you had since high school? If it’s the latter, you are going to want to create a new address that doesn’t make you seem childish. Something like will work just fine.

Here are seven other resume edits you need to make to give you the best chance at success:

  • Remove your hobbies. Unless you have a hobby that is relevant to the job, including what you do in your spare time will only make it likely that you could be removed from consideration if it is determine what you do in your free time could distract from your work. Although it’s illegal for organizations to make decisions based on personal information, some do it anyway.

  • Be accurate with your dates. An innocent guesstimate of the time period in which you worked at a job can be construed as lying if a background check reveals different dates than what you listed on your resume.

  • List accomplishments rather than duties. Employers are less interested in what you did than how your work affected the organization. List some of your biggest accomplishments at your previous jobs to wow your readers.

  • Don’t forget your contact information. Sometimes you can lose track of the basics when you spend so much time worrying about other issues with your resume. Remember to include your e-mail address, phone number(s), and other ways for employers to get in touch with you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

5 Ways To Spot A Bad Boss In An Interview

Stephanie Taylor Christensen

A boss can literally, make or break your career. Here are five ways to spot the bad ones before they become yours.

A great boss can make you feel engaged and empowered at work, will keep you out of unnecessary office politics, and can identify and grow your strengths. But a bad boss can make the most impressive job on paper (and salary) quickly unbearable. Not only will a bad boss make you dislike at least 80% of your week, your relationships might suffer, too. A recent study conducted at Baylor University found that stress and tension caused by an abusive boss “affects the marital relationship and subsequently, the employee’s entire family.” Supervisor abuse isn’t always as blatant as a screaming temper tantrum; it can include taking personal anger out on you for no reason, dismissing your ideas in a meeting, or simply, being rude and critical of your work, while offering no constructive ways to improve it.  

Whatever the exhibition of bad boss behavior, your work and personal life will suffer. Merideth Ferguson, PH.D., co-author of the study and assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor explains that “it may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members.”

There are many ways to try and combat the effects of a bad boss, including confronting him or her directly to work towards a productive solution, suggesting that you report to another supervisor, or soliciting the help of human resources.  But none of those tactics gurantee improvement, and quite often, they’ll lead to more stress. The best solution is to spot a bad boss—before they become yours! Here are five ways to tell whether your interviewer is a future bad boss.

1. Pronoun usage. Performance consultant John Brubaker says that the top verbal tell a boss gives is in pronoun choice and the context it is used. If your interviewer uses the term “you” in communicating negative information ( such as, “you will deal with a lot of ambiguity”), don’t expect the boss to be a mentor.  If the boss chooses the word “I” to describe the department’s success—that’s a red flag.  If the interviewer says “we” in regards to a particular challenge the team or company faced, it may indicate that he or she deflects responsibility and places blame.

2. Concern with your hobbies. There is a fine line between genuine relationship building, and fishing for information, so use your discretion on this one. If you have an overall good impression of the potential boss it may be that he or she is truly interested in the fact that you are heavily involved in charity work, and is simply getting to know you. On the other hand, the interviewer may be trying to determine whether you have too many commitments outside of work. The interviewer can’t legally ask if you are married, or have kids, so digging into your personal life can be a clever way to understand just how available you are.

3. They’re distracted. The era of email, BlackBerrys and smartphones have made it “okay” for people to develop disrespectful communication habits in the name of work. Particularly in a frenzied workplace, reading email while a person is speaking, multi-tasking on conference calls and checking the message behind that blinking BlackBerry mid-conversation has become the norm of business communications. But, regardless of his or her role in the company, the interviewer should be striving to make a good impression—which includes shutting down tech tools to give you undivided attention. If your interviewer is glancing at emails while you’re speaking, taking phone calls, or late to the interview, don’t expect a boss who will make time for you.

Signs 4,5, and the complete Forbes article

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

8 Tips to Help You Find a Job on Twitter

by Jenny Ann Beswick

When many people think of Twitter, they think of people “tweeting” about their lunch, pictures of cats, or meaningless minutiae from their day.

In reality, however, many industry professionals use Twitter not only as an informational resource, but as a recruiting resource. As one of the most prominent and widely-used social media platforms on the Internet, Twitter has the potential to be a powerful tool in your next job search.

So how can you find a job on Twitter? Does job hunting on Twitter really work? Here are a few tips that could put you on the path to finding your dream job through the power of social media.

Be Professional

When putting together your Twitter profile, put your best foot forward and conduct yourself like a professional as this will help you find a job through Twitter. Don’t put rude or controversial statements in your profile bio, and be mindful of what you share, say, and retweet.
Many employers are out there looking for the right talent and culture for their company so keep this in mind when summing up your words on Twitter.

Be Yourself

While you should conduct yourself in a professional manner, it’s also important to come across as genuine. Use your own photo in your Twitter profile, not a picture of a celebrity or a cartoon. Tweet what interests you, and don’t try to present yourself as someone (or something) you’re not. Let potential employers see who you really are.

Become an Expert

Twitter is a great opportunity to share your expertise with others. If you have a blog, post links to your most recent entries (without excessively “spamming”). Answer questions and use what you know to help others. It might just get you some attention from people who are looking to work with someone just like you.

If you have a variety of skills, promote these through hash tags; spread the word of your great abilities and this may lead you to your next career path or internship.

Be an Original

When trying to establish a presence on Twitter to gain a job, don’t be afraid to re-share the work of others — but be sure to create and share content of your own. Putting together an insightful blog post, a useful infographic, or even an informative or useful photo or illustration can go a long way toward establishing you as someone interesting who others want to follow and hire. Every piece of original content is another brick in the road toward landing a job through Twitter.

Tips 5-8 and the complete article

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Job Hunters: Here's How You Can Stand Out From The Pack - 7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

Nancy Collamer

Though the economy is beginning to improve, many employers are overloaded with job applicants and extremely choosy about who they’ll hire. So if you want to land a position, you’ve got to find a way to stand out from the pack.

That’s especially true for anyone over 50, who often faces the added burden of being viewed by hiring managers as overpriced, overqualified or out of touch.

How can you set yourself apart from the masses?
To answer that question, I turned to my colleagues in the career advice world — authors, coaches and job-search strategists — and asked for their recommendations. As you’ll soon learn, just making a few small changes in your approach can increase your odds of getting hired.

7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

1. Tweak your resumé’s keywords every time you apply for a job. The vast majority of employers use computer-based applicant tracking systems to screen and filter job applications. That’s why it’s essential to include specific keywords and phrases from their job postings on your resumé.

“Smart job seekers stand out by customizing their resumés to reflect the appropriate terms used in the job descriptions — after carefully reading them,” says Susan Joyce of Marlborough, Mass., editor and publisher of and, two popular job-advice sites.

By customizing your resumé to fit the job profile, your application is more likely to get through the initial screening process and into the hands of the hiring manager.
For example, if you’re a computer programmer, you might cite your expertise with the particular software programs or programming languages named in the employer’s posting.
Yes, continually tailoring your resumé to the jobs you want takes work and a little time. But that’s the point. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

6. Attend a conference in your industry or the field you want to enter. Conferences provide an easy way to meet valuable contacts who might be able to help you get a job. You can buttonhole them during meals, coffee breaks and on the long lines at the women’s rest room (sorry, guys).

Even if you get to engage with these people for only a few minutes, there will be plenty of time to follow up after the conference is over. (As an added bonus, the information you learn at the conference will help you impress at job interviews.)

One of my career-coaching clients, a stay-at-home mom, used this strategy brilliantly when she wanted to re-enter the IT industry. She went to a tech conference near her home and actively networked during the breaks. The day after the meeting ended, she sent follow-up emails for informational interviews. Six weeks later, she landed a full-time job in her former field.

I realize that traveling to conferences can be expensive. To keep costs down, look for one-day events near your home. You can hunt for them by consulting the website for your industry association or going to, an online trade show and conference directory.

Tips 2,3,4,5, and 7 and the complete Forbes article

Thursday, May 23, 2013

6 Tips For Experienced Job Seekers Who Have Been Unemployed Long-Term

By Gerrit Hall

The tight job market has affected all demographics -- but older workers have really felt the squeeze, particularly if they found themselves out of work for one reason or another. Statistics show that older workers are unemployed for an average of 44 weeks (more than 10 months), according to an AARP report.

After a recent post by my co-founder Sean, on the things employers want to see on your resume, we recognized how easy it is to get frustrated and want to give up during the job search. But staying active and positive is the key to job search success. Follow the tips below to maximize your job search and get one step closer to your ideal position.

1. Sell, sell, sell. Consistently, the biggest mistake we see is that people write a ‘me’ focused resume. A primary example of this is the outdated objective statement – if you have the word ‘seeking’ on your resume, you’re writing a ‘me’ resume. Employers don’t hire you for your satisfaction; they hire you to fill their own critical need. Think of it this way. If you were in sales, would you ever say to a customer “Buy this item because I need the commission”? And if you were the customer, would you buy? A ‘me’ centered resume says essentially the same thing.

Your job is to think of the potential employer as a customer. You’ve know they’re a hot lead because they’ve taken the time to post the job – so someone is going to close the deal with them. How do you make sure they go with you? By selling to them like you would sell to anyone else. Figure out their pain points. Why are they hiring? Who have they hired in the past? What’s their most critical need? And then go in there with your sales guns blazing; be the solution to their problem.

2. Really tap your network. As you’ve heard before, “it’s who you know” that often helps you land a job. This is especially true with small businesses who cannot afford to post jobs on pricey job boards (or don’t have the time to sift through the hundreds of applications they may receive), but some larger companies also rely on referrals to fill open positions.

Actively keep in touch with former colleagues, friends, and family, and let them know you’re on the job search. If you know someone who works at an organization you’d like to work for, ask them to grab coffee or lunch to strengthen your relationship and inquire about possible opportunities there.

3. Perfect your resume. If you’re on the job search, your first priority should be your resume. It must show your value to potential employers to ensure you make it to the interview round. Make sure resume uses active writing to show hiring managers and recruiters what you accomplished and what you’re capable of.

Make sure that your resume is clean and clutter free. Anything that does not effectively sell your skills needs to go. Clean up your resume by using the ever faithful bullet points. Always keep in mind that less is sometimes more. You don’t need to get too fancy with fonts, language or formatting.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Myths About Working With Recruiters


Despite continued high unemployment numbers, companies are hiring. Surprisingly, they are finding it difficult to find just the right people for positions that they need to fill. Recruiters, often called "headhunters," who took a huge hit when the economy tanked in 2008, are reporting that they are now busier than they have been in several years.

Working with a recruiter can be a great benefit in your job hunt, but only if you understand their role in the hiring process. Unfortunately, too many people have misconceptions about what they do, and how to motivate them to be your advocate. It's time to clear the air and bust some of the myths.

1. MYTH: The Recruiter's Job is to Help a Job Hunter Find Employment
FACT: Recruiters work for employers, not job hunters. Their job is to find the best talent for the position the employer is seeking to fill, bearing in mind all of the employer's "must haves," "should haves," and "shouldn't haves." They aren't paid to help people to transition to new fields, but rather to find talented individuals who have done the job already in a different context, or people ready to move up to the next level in their same career path. To be sure, they help individuals whom they are able to place, but their primary responsibility is not to be a career counselor or coach for job seekers.

2. MYTH: All Recruiters Are Paid the Same Way
FACT: There are essentially two types of recruiters for full-time permanent jobs:
Contingency recruiting companies aren't paid unless their client company hires a candidate they submit. Competition among firms is intense. For individual contributor-type positions, employers will frequently offer multiple recruiters the opportunity to work on the same job posting, and only pay a fee to the recruiter who actually finds the right talent.

That said, many contingency recruiters form networks or alliances to cooperate with each other and do "splits" where they share job listings with one side, taking 50 percent of the commission for getting the listing and another side taking 50 percent for finding the successful candidate. This is much akin to realtors sharing commissions for the sale of a home. If a recruiter advertises a search for "my client," but doesn't include the name of the client, it is likely a contingency search.

Retained search firms are paid by a company to take on an exclusive role in a given search, with the understanding that they will receive a higher level of service and more complete candidate vetting than is typically the case with contingency firms. These firms are most often utilized for executive level searches. Fees earned for retained searches are generally much higher than for contingency searches, and are paid out at specific points in the search process.

3. MYTH: Recruiters Are Rude and Unresponsive
FACT: Recruiters, like anyone else with very limited time, prioritize who that time is worth speaking with, and for how long. They are likely to be very responsive to clients or potential clients who have job orders for them to fill, and people who they see as strong (potential) candidates for those job orders. They are likely to be much less responsive to individuals who approach them out of a sense of desperation, with a career change in mind, or who are not perceived as "A" class workers.

Most recruiters simply don't have the time to respond to the hundreds of unsolicited resumes or phone calls that they receive virtually every week. And it simply is not their role to coach people who aren't a close fit for the kinds of positions with which they work. It is common for a recruiter to make 50 to 100 phone calls each day, and with that kind of volume they simply don't have the time to deal with extraneous conversations.

Myths 4,5, and the complete USNEWS article

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By the Numbers

by Dr. John Sullivan

Is your “six seconds of fame” enough to land you a job?
As a professor and a corporate recruiting strategist, I can tell you that very few applicants truly understand the corporate recruiting process. Most people looking for a job approach it with little factual knowledge. That is a huge mistake. A superior approach is to instead analyze it carefully, because data can help you understand why so many applicants simply can’t land a job. If you can bear with me for a few quick minutes, I can show you using numbers where the job-search “roadblocks” are and how that data-supported insight can help you easily double your chances of landing an interview and a job.

Your Resume Will Face a Lot of Competition

Although it varies with the company and the job, on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a position opening late can’t help your chances because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. If you post your resume online on a major job site like Monster so that a recruiter can find it, you are facing stiff competition because 427,000 other resumes are posted on Monster alone each and every week (BeHiring).

Understanding the Hiring “Funnel” can Help You Gauge Your Chances

In recruiting, we have what is known as a “hiring funnel” or yield model for every job which helps recruiting leaders understand how many total applications they need to generate in order to get a single hire. As an applicant, this funnel reveals your chances of success at each step of the hiring process. For the specific case of an online job posting, on average, 1,000 individuals will see a job post, 200 will begin the application process, 100 will complete the application, 75 of those 100 resumes will be screened out by either the ATS or a recruiter, 25 resumes will be seen by the hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be invited for an interview, 1 to 3 of them will be invited back for final interview, 1 will be offered that job and 80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept it (Talent Function Group LLC).

Six Seconds of Resume Review Means Recruiters Will See Very Little

When you ask individual recruiters directly, they report that they spend up to 5 minutes reviewing each individual resume. However, a recent research study from TheLadders that included the direct observation of the actions of corporate recruiters demonstrated that the boast of this extended review time is a huge exaggeration. You may be shocked to know that the average recruiter spends a mere 6 seconds reviewing a resume.

A similar study found the review time to be 5 - 7 seconds (BeHiring). Obviously six seconds only allows a recruiter to quickly scan (but not to read) a resume. We also know from observation that nearly 4 seconds of that 6-second scan is spent looking exclusively at four job areas, which are: 1) job titles, 2) companies you worked at, 3) start/end dates and 4) education. Like it or not, that narrow focus means that unless you make these four areas extremely easy for them to find within approximately four seconds, the odds are high that you will be instantly passed over. And finally be aware that whatever else that you have on your resume, the recruiter will have only the remaining approximately 2 seconds to find and be impressed with it. And finally, if you think the information in your cover letter will provide added support for your qualifications, you might be interested to know that a mere 17 percent of recruiters bother to read cover letters (BeHiring).

A Single Resume Error Can Instantly Disqualify You

A single resume error may prevent your resume from moving on. That is because 61 percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it contains typos (Careerbuilder). In a similar light, 43 percent of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of spelling errors (Adecco). The use of an unprofessional email address will get a resume rejected 76 percent of the time (BeHiring). You should also be aware that prominently displaying dates that show that you are not currently employed may also get you prematurely rejected at many firms.

A Format That Is Not Scannable Can Cut Your Odds by 60 Percent

TheLadders’ research also showed that the format of the resume matters a great deal. Having a clear or professionally organized resume format that presents relevant information where recruiters expect it will improve the rating of a resume by recruiter by a whopping 60 percent, without any change to the content (a 6.2 versus a 3.9 usability rating for the less-professionally organized resume). And if you make that common mistake of putting your resume in a PDF format, you should realize that many ATS systems will simply not be able to scan and read any part of its content (meaning instant rejection).

Weak LinkedIn Profiles Can Also Hurt You

Because many recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn profiles either to verify or to supplement resume information, those profiles also impact your chances. Ey- tracking technology used by TheLadders revealed that recruiters spend an average of 19 percent of their time on your LinkedIn profile simply viewing your picture (so a professional picture may be worthwhile). The research also revealed that just like resumes, weak organization, and scannability within a LinkedIn profile negatively impacted the recruiter’s ability to “process the profile” (TheLadders).

50 Seconds Spent Means Many Apply for a Job They Are Not Qualified for

Recruiters report that over 50 percent of applicants for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job (Wall Street Journal). Part of the reason for that high “not-qualified” rate is because when an individual is looking at a job opening, even though they report that they spend 10 minutes reviewing in detail each job which they thought was a “fit” for them, we now know that they spend an average of just 76 seconds (and as little as 50 seconds) reading and assessing a position description that they apply for (TheLadders). Most of that roughly 60-second job selection time reviewing the position description is actually spent reviewing the narrow introductory section of the description that only covers the job title, compensation, and location.

As a result of not actually spending the necessary time reviewing and side-by-side comparing the requirements to their own qualifications, job applicants end up applying for many jobs where they have no chance of being selected.

More insights and the complete article

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Ways to use Facebook for your Job Search

Yes the words work and Facebook do sound like a contradiction in term; some offices have even banned Facebook for being the ultimate time waste application (back to Solitaire everyone). During the last few years we have learned how one can easily get fired by using Facebook, all you have to do is update your status with how much you loathe your boss or publicly post pictures from last weekend’s shenanigans portraying you slightly worse for wear. Let me now pose a much more intriguing question; is it possible to land a job using Facebook? Surely not you say, let’s investigate I say.

Stats first; we are looking at 300 million active users on Facebook (about the population of the United States). Facebook is ranked the 2nd most popular Internet site by Alexa, just behind Google. The users on Facebook spend 20 minutes per day on the site, whereas the average for any website is roughly 10 seconds. So we know there are shed loads of people on Facebook, it’s very popular and users tend to spend a lot of time on the site.

Now let’s crack on with the 5 ways to use Facebook to get hired:

1. Networking

With the stats fresh in mind, we can assume that most of your colleagues and business partners will be on Facebook. Furthermore, we can assume that recruiters and prospective new employers (hiring mangers, HR people) will be on Facebook. This gives you a unique opportunity to network yourself to whoever is hiring at the moment.

Everyone expects to get contacted via Twitter but Facebook is not a professional network, and therefore you contacting somebody professionally could actually help you stand out from the crowd. I know sales people that use Facebook exactly this way as they can get through, whereas Linkedin ships hundreds of messages every week to buyers. As long as you tread carefully, this tactic will work.
Let’s say you identify a company that is recruiting, now find out who the hiring manager is. Then check for friends or friends of friends in common, in order to get referred to people working for the company or even the hiring manager direct. Contact this person with your best spiel and take it from there.

2. Status Updates

The most obvious way to use Facebook for a job hunt is to update your status with your current situation and what you are looking for. Friends, family, old colleagues, long-time-no-speak acquaintances are all there to help you. People want to help others, it’s in human nature. You will be delighted at how much support and help you’ll get. Bear in mind that another human trait is forgetting, so you best keep updating your network and giving them the latest on your job hunt and thus staying in the forefront of their minds.

3. Facebook marketplace

Craigslist, Gumtree and other online marketplaces are simple tools that can be very useful for your job hunt. Have you tried Facebook marketplace? Have a look through your local marketplace for job listings, you will be able to see a description and also who posted the job. You can now either apply or contact the person behind the position for more information. Facebook’s marketplace may not be as comprehensive as other marketplaces but that can benefit you as there is likely to be less competition for any roles posted there.

Ways 4,5, and the complete UnderCover Recruiter article

Friday, May 17, 2013

7 Tips For A Fool-Proof Cover Letter

Here’s a question that a lot of job seekers ask: Is it really necessary to include a cover letter in a job application? The answer to that question is yes, and it can’t be a copy-paste job; the cover letter must be tailored for the job you are applying for if you are to have any chance of getting an interview.

Unless the job description specifically states that a cover letter is not required, you are going to have to include one along with your resume and other job application materials. Failing to do this will dramatically increase the chance that your application will not even get a look from the hiring manager. 

So what does it take to write a cover letter that will wow the employer? It would seem that it is entirely subjective at first glance, but there are actually a number of universal elements that need to be included.
If you are to write a fool-proof cover letter, make sure to follow these seven tips:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Include all of the basic information, including your full name and where you can be contacted.
  • Make it specific. Instead of opening by saying “To whom it may concern,” address it directly to the hiring manager. If you can’t find her name, address it to the human resources department.
  • State which job you are applying to in the opening paragraph.
  • Be passionate. There’s no better way to stand apart from the crowd than to inject a little personality into your writing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The 5 Job Interview Stories That Will Get You Hired

by Luke Roney

For your next job interview, don’t prepare to give answers about your skills and experience. Instead, prepare to tell your career stories.

Well-crafted career stories can be a powerful tool to show a prospective employer what kind of worker you are. And, when you craft your stories ahead of time, you’re less likely to stray off topic, talk too much or give information that you’d rather not.
General guidelines for career stories:
  • Be sure they are true
  • Make them succinct
  • Show professional growth
Here are 5 career stories you must be able to tell at your next job interview:

1. The Mistake/Failure

This is your chance to show that you recognize your own fallibility; that you can take responsibility and be accountable; and that you can fix your errors and learn from them. When telling your story, don’t come off as sheepish or overly embarrassed – everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we handle them that matters.

2. The Difficult Situation

Your difficult situation story should illustrate how you faced a challenge, prevailed and became a better employee for it. Note: You might want to come up with a few stories in this vein dealing with different situations, such as meeting a challenging goal, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a difficult client and so on.

Also, while a mistake or failure can certainly lead to a difficult situation, with this story we’re looking for a challenge presented to you, rather than one you created for yourself.

3. The Disagreement with Your Boss

This story should show that you are assertive and stand up for what you think is right. If you were able to sway your boss to your point of view, all the better. If not, though, the story should demonstrate that know when to set aside your idea and get with the program (unless, of course, it’s an issue of ethics). It may also be handy to have a story about disagreeing with a colleague or client ready to go.

Stories 4,5, and the complete article

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

4 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Call After You Submit Your Resume Online

Posted by

Job seekers are very familiar with the time commitment and stress of searching for a new job. When performing your job search, you can spend hours upon hours perfecting your resume and cover letter, applying for jobs, and waiting to hear feedback from recruiters. However, after you’ve applied for 10 or 15 jobs and haven’t heard from a single company, it’s easy to become discouraged about your search.

This frustrating cycle can be recognized as the recruiting black hole. This term describes the millions of applications that go seemingly unnoticed by recruiters. Many job seekers spend countless hours applying for jobs online, yet don’t see the results they anticipate.

If you’re wondering why recruiters haven’t contacted you about your resume, here are some reasons why your resume could have disappeared into the black hole of recruiting:

1. You aren’t qualified for the position. Ask yourself: Did I honestly meet the requirements of the job posting? If the position you applied for required you to have at least five years of experience and you only have two, many recruiters will ignore your resume. Job postings provide qualifications to help recruiters weed out candidates who lack experience; therefore, if your resume doesn’t fulfill the requirements, it likely won’t make it to their desk.

2. You overlooked the right fit. According to a recent study, many job seekers only spend one minute to determine if a job opening is the right fit and can only determine a good fit 38 percent of the time. This means roughly six out of 10 job openings viewed by job seekers are a bad fit! In addition, job seekers will also overlook two out of four opportunities that could be a good fit. What does this mean for your job search? Job seekers aren’t applying for the jobs they are best suited for, which contributes greatly to why they don’t hear back from recruiters.

Reasons 3,4, and the complete article

Bonus Reasons.

Misspellings.  Everyday I see resumes that have misspellings in them.  How accurate will your work be if you can't spell check your resume.  ( I've been guilty of this myself.  I have never actually had a job as a Costumer Service rep.... )

You are not eligible to work in the country that you are applying to.  Because of the world economy it is actually fairly difficult to get sponsorship / approval to work in other countries unless you have a very unique skill set.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

3 Assumptions You Should Never Make About a Job Interview


Although all of these statements below will hopefully not be true, depending on the employer and the interviewer, go into the interview expecting that they will apply.  Don’t be discouraged by that!  Expect these situations to arise and, knowing they might happen, you can be prepared.

Bad Assumptions About Job Interviews 

As important as a job interview opportunity is for you, often for the person on the other side of the table interviewing job candidates are interruptions in their day, keeping them from getting their “real” jobs done.

1. The interviewer knows how to interview.

Unfortunately, most often, the people doing the interviewing are not professional interviewers.  Interviewing usually comes under the heading of “additional duties as required” – something done only when unavoidable.

How to diagnose:  If they spend more time talking about themselves, their job, or the company rather than asking you questions relevant to the job, they don’t know how to conduct an interview.

How to respond:  If you let them jabber on uninterrupted, it will be a low stress interview for you, but it probably won’t be a successful one.  Without talking with you, they won’t have a sense of your qualifications and your ability to do the job (although they may think you are very agreeable).

You may need to try to take over the conversation or at least break into the monologue.  Ask some of the questions you had prepared in advance (right?).  When they talk about some aspect of the job, gently interrupt to point out situations where you have encountered the same thing and successfully accomplished your goal – “I know just what you mean!  We had a similar situation in my last job, and this is what we did…”

Or, launch a few short (!) monologues of your own on topics like why you want to work there and why you are qualified for the job.  Be sure to mention your major accomplishments and other achievements in your work that are directly relevant to the new job.

2.  The interviewer is focused on you and the interview they are conducting.

Since this is an “additional duty” for most interviewers, their minds may well be on their real jobs – a crisis, a deadline, whatever work activities they normally do.  So, job candidates are sometimes an unwelcome distraction as well as a difficult thing to do well, particularly if # 1 above also applies.

How to diagnose:  If they seem agitated, checking their watch frequently, distracted, not focused on what you are saying or the questions they are asking.

How to respond:  This is a tough one.  Try to be laser-focused and provide clear, succinct answers to their questions, maintaining eye contact as much as possible.

Assumption #3, more advice, and the complete article

Monday, May 13, 2013

5 Things NOT to Say in a Job Interview

Tess C. Taylor, PHR, PayScale

We’ve all been there at some point in the job search process. Sitting in the interview hot seat with sweaty palms, waiting for the interviewer to start rattling off questions that somehow we must answer skillfully. It can seem a lot like an interrogation. This experience can make even the most practiced candidate resort to saying something foolish, merely as a result of being nervous. It’s referred to as the “foot-in-the-mouth” syndrome and it can happen to the best of us!

However, you don’t have to fall prey to this infliction or look bad to the hiring manager. Fortunately, you are reading this article now to learn how to avoid the top 5 things you don’t want to blurt out at an interview.

#1 – Anything bad or negative about a former employer.
In terms of job interview etiquette, this is a cardinal sin. You never want to portray a former employer in a negative light to a potential hiring manager. To do so can make you look bitter or disgruntled, and those traits are the last thing a new company wants to deal with. Instead, smile and try to share something positive about your previous employers. A US News article also advises to keep your story short, when talking about past experiences.

#2 – I’d like to give an example from back in the day…
The surest way to “date” yourself is to recall an event or circumstance going back more than five years. While it is illegal to discriminate against older candidates, secretly some recruiters will focus on younger job seekers who are fresh out of college or have current skills and training. To avoid this little snafu, provide a scenario without the actual name of the employer and give it a modern twist by using industry lingo that relates to newer technology.

#3 – Sure, I know all about that software, or type of project (but I am actually fibbing a little).
People will often say whatever it takes to get their foot in the door, including stretching the truth a little to indicate skills and experience. If a job calls for a specific type of software or project knowledge, do your research before the interview and see if it’s similar to something else you’ve used. However, don’t tell the interviewer you know the product or task unless you have some experience with it, as this can seriously backfire once you are on the job. 

Tips 4,5 and the complete article

Friday, May 10, 2013

7 Job Search Fears To Conquer This Summer

Posted by

It’s finally summer. Summer is the time to relax and let some of your worries wash away. Use this philosophy to get rid of some of the fears that come with your job search.

Here are seven job search fears to conquer this summer:

1. Networking. Many job seekers are intimidated by the concept of networking. Introducing yourself to strangers and trying to impress them with your background can be a challenge. It’s important to take it one person at a time. Talk about the things you know best. Be confident in your background and the rest will come naturally. Don’t look at every person you meet as a future employer. Instead, look at them as someone from whom you might learn something new.

2. Preparing. Resumes, cover letters, portfolios, social media, research, and interviews. Remembering everything involved in your job search can be a lot. These things don’t have to be such a burden. Learn what you can about each aspect of the job search through advice sites like Glassdoor. Prepare each item individually and ask someone (or multiple people) to look over it all. Find a way to stay organized and the fear will go away.

3. Interviewing. Job seekers fear interviews because interviews are the determining factor in whether you land the job. It’s important to look at the interview as an opportunity to shine, rather than a reason to be afraid. Remember to show your passion for the job and the organization. Prove you’ve done your research and you’re perfect for the role. Demonstrate why you are the best person to help the employer.

4. Relocation. If you’ve lived or worked somewhere for a really long time, a location change can become frightening. But don’t fear relocation. Look at it as an opportunity. If you’re willing to commute or move somewhere new, you’ll have more options in the job search. Take the time to research factors like travel expenses and living options. Ask people in your network or your interviewer for advice about the new city. Be open to change.

Fears 5-7 and the complete glassdoor article

Thursday, May 9, 2013

NEWSFLASH: A Recruiter is Not a Job Finder! + Three EFFECTIVE ways to network with recruiters:

“You’re a recruiter… can you help me find a job?” / “You’re a recruiter… can I send you my resume?” / “You’re a recruiter… can we set up an interview?” 

I hear these questions each and every day. Whenever a friend loses a job or decides to make a change, I always get a call. My LinkedIn inbox is full of such messages. This post might come across a little bit harsh, but I feel it’s time to dispel a common misconception.

A recruiter is not a job-finder.

In fact, there’s really no such thing as a professional job-finder. The closest thing might be resume writers, career advisors, career counselors, life coaches or outplacement service professionals but they’re not really job-finders. They might do things as part of their duties that help you find your next job, but it’s not their job to find you a job. Make sense?

PEOPLE finders, not JOB finders:

A recruiter (in-house or agency) is REALLY not a job-finder. In fact, we’re kinda the exact opposite. We have a set number of very specific openings at any given time and we only hire one person per job. One. That means that the other 200-300 people that applied are not getting the job (a good recruiter will let you know that you didn’t get the job, but that’s another post for another day…) We are people finders, not job finders. We can’t help you find a job because we’re only really aware of the handful of jobs that we’re working on. We don’t know much about other openings out there because we’re laser-focused on filling the jobs on our own plate.

For close to ten years, I’ve been helping people find jobs by giving job search advice, sharing social media tips, explaining the recruiting process, blogging about the job search process, tweeting relevant articles and teaching essential networking skills for today’s jobseeker.  As such, I now receive 20+ requests every day from people asking me to help them find a job. I’ve spent countless hours responding to requests, offering to help make LinkedIn introductions, sharing blog post links and answering any specific questions, but I’m not able to do much beyond that. I want to help. I really do. But at the end of the day, I’m just not a job-finder.

The only job-finder out there is YOU.

If you are serious about finding your next position, you need to take matters into your own hands. Networking is great, but don’t blindly contact recruiters and ask them to help you find a job. It’s too broad and too nebulous. You need to be specific. If you want to reach out to recruiters as part of your job search, be targeted.

Three EFFECTIVE ways to network with recruiters:

  1. Apply online for a SPECIFIC position and THEN reach out to the appropriate recruiter to reiterate your interest. Reference the specific position and explain why you’re a perfect fit (but only if you ARE a perfect fit). What recruiter wouldn’t love to get the perfect candidate hand-delivered into their inbox? (This method works. I see it every single day.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5 Common Resume Errors You’re Probably Making

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And when it comes to your resume, the act of being careless with grammar and spelling screams: I’M NOT REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS JOB.

You have plenty of time to ensure that your resume truly represents your best professional self. Use that time!

For starters, quadruple – nay — quintuple check that resume for grammar and spelling mistakes, or a prospective employer may be a bit confused when you boast that you are  “experienced in all faucets of Adobe CS6.”

Hiring managers see grammar goofs like that all the time!

Laura Cruz, operations support specialist at Dogtopia, says she once encountered a resume with five grammar and spelling mistakes – from someone claiming to be a “strong proofreader.”

A resume like that earns a one-way ticket to the “no” pile (aka the wastebasket).

To catalog the grammar problems most commonly seen on resumes, automated proofreading service Grammarly analyzed 50 randomly selected resumes. The results: The average job seeker makes 1.5 grammar mistakes on a resume.

Here are the mistakes that occurred most often:

1. Hyphen Use
Here’s a classic hyphen test. Take the words you are thinking about hyphenating and omit one in your sentence. Would the sentence still make sense?  For instance, in the sentence “Looking for an entry-level role,” neither the term “entry role” nor “level role” would make sense without each other. Therefore, entry-level is hyphenated.

2. Verb Tense
Lots of folks get confused on whether or not their verbs should be past or present tense. It’s pretty simple: your work history should all be in past tense ( led vs. leads) and if you are employed, your current work description should be in the present tense. Check for consistency!

3. Formatting
Attention to detail is huge on this. Your resume should be clean, consistent and easy to read. “Make sure your fonts and bullets are the same throughout the resume,” says Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly. If it’s visually way too busy or inconsistent, employers will immediately feel put off.

Errors 4,5 and the complete WetFeet article

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

8 Ways to Work Successfully with Recruiters

Although you will have been contacted by recruiters from time to time, you may or may not have been interested in what they had on offer. Most people should have realized by now that recruiters are not only useful when you are changing jobs but also when you are perfectly happy within your position.

Over time, your relationships with good recruiters will prove mutually beneficial as long as you nurture them. Keep track of the good recruiters out there, just like they keep track of you on their CRM system. And although you may be very safe in your job today, all it takes is new management or an outsourcing deal and you will need that recruiter as soon as possible.

First off, you need to understand how recruiters operate and what their agendas are. Just like they like to provide value when calling you, from your side you can think of what will be of value to them apart from the obvious value of you being interested in one of their positions.

Contingency vs. retained recruiters

There are two types of recruiters out there; contingency and retained. They are both keen on placing you into a position but the way they are remunerated are different. The contingency recruiter works on a fee for success only, so their job is to find brilliant candidates that their clients will hopefully be interested in. The retained recruiter has been formally instructed by the client to fill a particular role and they take a fee to start their assignment as well as a fee on completion.

How does this matter to you? Well, the retained recruiters tend to have the better jobs and obviously work closer with the clients. The contingency recruiters tend to work with a plethora of clients and are typically more pro-active. So if you think that you will move at some point in the foreseeable future, stay in touch with contingency recruiters. If you are very happy with your position and would only move for the dream job, chances are the retained recruiters will be handling the vacancy. In any event, the fees are charged to the client and you will never have to fork anything out, apart from your time.

1. Stay in touch

You will want to stay in touch with recruiters that are local or have a local client base, if possible you should even meet them to further cement your relationship. Please be aware that if you are not going to be interested in any positions, communicate this clearly so that you don’t get the recruiter’s hopes up too much.

2. Same field, same geography

You also want to make sure the recruiters you stay in touch with are specialized on your sector/industry and cover the same area that you are interested in. There is little sense in having regular contact with generalist recruiters as they won’t be able to fill you in on industry gossip and they are not likely to have the relevant opportunities for you.

3. Give and get the inside news

Exchange information with recruiters. A decent recruiter will tell you what they have on at the moment and will expect you to tell them what is happening at your company/department/team. Remember that some of the recruiters you deal with will have a direct access to very senior people in your field. You would be surprised how liberal with information senior hiring managers can be, only because they are speaking with a recruiter and not a peer. This means you can access top level industry gossip very conveniently.

4. Giving referrals

Whether or not to give out referrals of colleagues and people you know in other companies is up to you. All I can say is that it is very much appreciated by the recruiter and they will return the favor when the time comes. Make sure to agree that this give and take of information stays strictly confidential.

Tips 5-7 and the complete UnderCover Recruiter article

Monday, May 6, 2013

10 Guidelines for Awesome Job Search References

by Jackalope Jobs

Your resume caught the recruiter’s eye. You impressed in the interview. Now comes a last, and often overlooked – but critical – hurdle.

Personal references (insert ominous music here).

Most employers will ask you to provide personal and/or professional references. Your resume and your answers during the interview showed you have the necessary skills to get the job done. Now they want to know what your former co-workers think about you… a picture of you, from outside perspectives:
  • Do you have a strong work ethic?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  • What do others see as your strengths and weaknesses?
To make sure you pass this last test, well before you apply for a job line up four to six professional references ready to talk about you. For those with some workforce experience, these should be former colleagues, managers and mentors. For college students who may not have that many professional references, your professors, advisors and mentors from within your chosen industry will do  quite well.
Since they’re critical to your job search, be prepared to help your references help you by following these 10 guidelines:

1.  Get permission before listing someone as a reference; no one likes surprises

2. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information (listing a phone number or email no longer in use shows the recruiter you haven’t been in contact for perhaps quite some time)

3.  List your references on a separate page from your resume (never list your references on your resume!)

4.  Be thorough: for each reference, provide their professional titles, where they work, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and how they know you

5.  If you are considering two career directions, choose the best references for each path; a reference who is an accountant when you are seeking a position in marketing may not considered an effective reference by the employer

Tips 6-10 and the complete article

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interview - The Weakness Question

During a pre-election interview on CBS News, Katie Couric asked President Barack Obama to name a personal flaw that might hinder his performance as president. His response: “I don’t think there's a flaw that would hinder my ability to function as president. I think that all of us have things we need to improve.”

Obama’s answer is not one you should mimic in a job interview, and proves that even unflappable, articulate public speakers can struggle with this common interview question. But it’s the universal difficulty of answering the question that makes it such a good one —and why your response matters in a job interview.

When recruiters, human resources managers, or interviewers pose any variation of the weakness question, they’re waiting to see how savvy you are at answering. “They care how you handle the question and what it indicates about you,” says Michael Neece, CEO of “Interviewers are hoping someone is self-reflective.”

Beware of these seven overused, lousy answers, and take the expert advice that follows to form a unique answer that will impress your interviewers.

The Cliches

•    “I’m a perfectionist” and “I’m a workaholic”
The oldest trick in the book is to take a weakness and turn it into a strength—and one any seasoned interviewer knows and hates. “It comes off to gimmicky, clever, insincere, and not putting in effort to think about the answer,” says Lewis Lin, founder of Seattle Interview Coach and former hiring manager for Microsoft and Google.

•    “I procrastinate” and “I’m disorganized”
Honesty is the best policy, but these answers tend to be a little too honest. Although you may brag to friends about making your deadlines in the final seconds, it will not impress interviewers.

•    “I have high expectations for myself.”
This answer translates into “I put a lot of pressure on myself,” and this is bad for two reasons: first, you may be unpleasant to work with; second, you may become easily stressed out, which is a concern for employers.

More Cliches and "The Million Dollar" Answer

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How To Ace A Panel Interview

Rolland Brown

Panel interviews are becoming standard for corporations that need to interview a large number of applicants with maximum fairness and objectivity. While efficient, the process can be extremely intimidating for applicants faced with a whole group of interviewers. 

Don’t dread the panel interview – it’s an incredible opportunity to stand out from the crowd.  While your peers are sweating and stammering, you can prove your competence and interpersonal skills and end up snagging your dream job.

6 Tips For Acing Panel Interviews:

1.    Give Individual Attention To Each Member Of The Panel 
Introduce yourself to each member of the panel and make sure you memorize their names and positions. This will allow you to respond to questions in a personalized manner. If you know ahead of time who might be there, look them up on LinkedIn or the company website.  The more you know about their duties, the more you can provide examples of how you’ll be an asset to them. During the interview, use techniques from public speaking like making eye contact with each member of the panel and including everyone in your answers.

2.    Bring Resumes And Business Plans For Everyone
Even when you’ve already sent a copy of your resume/business plan to the company, always bring additional copies to the interview.  Whenever possible, have your resume/business plan professionally printed and bound.  This is a small investment that makes a huge difference.  One of the best jobs I ever got was the direct result of a professionally bound business plan, complete with color maps and graphs that I created myself. 

3.    Show Confidence and Friendliness 
Confidence and the ability to present to a group are highly valuable skills in the corporate world.  To practice ahead of time, run a mock interview with a group of friends or acquaintances.  Consider joining a group like ToastMasters to hone your public speaking skills.  And whatever you do, don’t succumb to defensive body language like crossing your arms or tapping your feet.  Remain calm and still, always smile, and don’t babble to fill the silence.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Phone Interview - or How to Get a Second Interview Every Time

More and more employers are opting for phone interviews as a first step in the hiring process. This gives them a chance to fit candidates more easily in to their busy schedule, which can be good for you. Although they’re more personable than a sheet of paper, you still have to work harder to come across as human when you aren’t meeting face-to-face. Here are some kick ass tips on getting that second interview every time:

Prep accordingly
Even though it’s just a phone interview, you should still be doing as much research on your prospective employer as you would if you were going in to the office. Don’t think you’ll have enough time to talk about the company in the span of 15 minutes? Think again. Even one off-handed comment strategically thrown in by you could take you straight from Maybe-sville to the town of Hell Yes.

Iron out the details
Don’t assume that the employer will be calling you. Usually this is the case, but not always. Ask the person setting up the interview who will be initiating the call. Give them the best number to reach you, even if it is already on your resume. If the hiring manager will be initiating the call, ask for the number that the call will be coming from. This saves you from the potentially annoying situation of answering another call from a chatty someone at the wrong unknown number seconds before the scheduled phone interview time.

Stake out a quiet place
Get rid of any of the distractions around your environment. If you’re going to be in the office during the interview and don’t have a way to seal yourself off from the rest of the world, make a fake appointment excuse and take the call from the parking lot of a quiet nearby area. If you work from home, silence any landlines and let the dogs outside for a few minutes.

Tips 4,5, and the complete article