Wednesday, July 31, 2013

8 Mistakes That Make Hiring Managers Cringe


They meet more people in an afternoon than most of us do in a year. But what faux pas do human resources pros see again and again during the interview process?

We picked the brains of two high-profile executives to find out what you definitely shouldn’t say—and what they secretly think of your resume. (One was so brutally honest about her just-don’t-do-this advice that she preferred to remain anonymous.)

1. Not Knowing When to Stop Talking

“Talking over your interviewer is the biggest mistake that interview candidates don’t realize they’re making,” says Stacey Hawley, a career and leadership development coach and compensation specialist. “This is usually from nervousness, but as a result, the candidates outtalk the interviewer and don’t engage in active listening.”

Amy Michaels (name has been changed), a human resources director at a high-tech firm in New York City, agrees: “The inability to listen is huge. That person who’s always trying to have the exact right answer, but can’t stop talking? He or she ultimately won’t be a success.”

Instead, listen up and watch more subtle clues—like your interviewer’s body language. If she’s shifting back and forth or clearing her throat, it’s time to let her get to the next question.

2. Bad-Mouthing Your Ex (Job)

While it may seem like a no-brainer, putting down your current employer happens all too often, says Michaels, perhaps because the bad feelings are still fresh. If you’re tempted to trash your present company, stop right there.

“When I ask why you’re leaving a place, I don’t want to hear you gripe about your current manager or badmouth your situation,” she says. “Be creative enough to come up with a tactful reason as to why you’re leaving. Otherwise, to me, that’s a huge red flag that you’re not mature enough to know not to do it. Not to mention that it makes me nervous about how tactful you’re going to be externally if I hire you.”

3. Not Acknowledging Your Mistakes

A couple of interview rules of thumb: “Be well-groomed and be on time,” says Michaels. “Or email if your train is running late. That happens in New York.”

While one minor transgression may not deep-six your prospects of landing the job, you should still acknowledge it and move on, says Michaels. Hawley will also pardon small errors: “Mistakes are OK and acceptable. No one is perfect—or needs to be.”

The bigger red flag, both say, is someone who can’t admit their missteps. “The people who make me nuts just act like being late never happened,” says Michaels. “If you make a mistake, own up to it.”

4. Neglecting Your Cover Letter

Our experts were adamant about this. “To be honest, I don’t read objectives, and I don’t care if you fence,” says Michaels. “But I do read cover letters.” Hawley agrees: “Absolutely write a cover letter. It’s an opportunity to highlight your understanding of the business, and what you can do for the bottom line.”

And, even in the digital age, there’s no excuse for a quickly dashed-off email—take the time to compose it with care. “Demonstrate your knowledge of the company,” says Hawley. “And link your past achievements to the position, showing how you can contribute to their future success.” That, she says, will always make a candidate stand out.

Mistakes 5-8 and the complete article

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Five Steps To Move Forward From Job Search Rejection

 Author, 'Finding Work When There Are No Jobs'

Maybe it's not you.

Were you rejected? Take a closer look at what happened.

Did you have a face to face conversation with someone? Was it someone who needs what you have to offer? Someone who has the power to get you the job?

Did you talk about why you'd be the perfect fit? Not just what you have done, but what the hiring person needs. Did you leave that discussion feeling like both of you were seeing that your talent spoke to exactly what was needed? Did all that happen and then someone told you "No?"

Or did you send a resume and cover letter, have an interview with a gatekeeper, and then check "networking" off your to-do list by sending a Linked In invite to a stranger?
Was it you that was rejected? Or was it your resume?

Glossing over any kind of rejection never helps. Any rejection is bad. And positive thinking can get old.

But a factual answer to the question, "Did someone reject me OR did someone reject my resume?" can be useful to the job seeker going forward.

The brutality of constant rejection can easily drive the applicant into a tailspin of self doubt. A self doubt that is kind of a first cousin to the idea of "blaming the victim." The job seeker endlessly combing over what she could have done to make a better resume or check more boxes on the networking to-do list. Or try some expert's tip on getting past gate keepers. Or somehow work harder.

But as all of us know, the best resume doesn't get the job. In these troubling times, "getting a job" and "doing a job" have become two very different activities. Getting a job is like a trip down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole. Only the rabbit hole is stuffed with all the old resumes that no one really reads.

Standardized, mass production hiring is tremendously efficient, easy to measure and cheap. It's the kudzu of the corporate cubicle farms.

In contrast, the talent drain of the laid off lawyer, director of marketing, and bank vice president standing in the job search line and all being told "no" is a very difficult picture to paint on the canvas of a balance sheet.

Hard to measure what it costs when the perfect fit for a job isn't hired because she did not include the right key words on a resume never seen by human eyes.

So handling and learning from rejection in today's irrational system of job search is no longer about expert advice -- its about posing the questions that will lead each individual to come up with their own plan to handle and learn from rejection.

In Finding Work When there Are No Jobs, there are dozens and dozens of questions clustered around each of THE FIVE, our five guiding principles for finding work. THE FIVE also prompt questions for each job seeker to use as they take a breath and pause from the barrage of rejections and come up with their own answer to the question, "What's Next?"

Remember -- there are NO right or wrong answers here.

These are questions you ask yourself. Some will be useful and prompt your own personal way forward. Some will make you scratch your head and go "Huh?"

Use the ones that work for you!

Using THE FIVE To Move Forward From Rejection

I. Tell Your Story
Did my resume and cover letter tell my story? Or was it just data?
Have I shared ways that I've made a difference?
Did I express how others see me?
Where do I want honesty to figure in my story?
Was my story balanced?

Two - Five and the complete Huffington Post article

Monday, July 29, 2013

10 Ways That You Are Screwing Up Your Job Search

Susan Adams

1. Giving out references that don't sing your praises

You don’t want a reference to damn you with faint praise. Ask if the person is willing to say you walked on water. If not, find another reference.

2. Laying out your résumé in a microscopic font

Too many candidates think they need to fit all of their qualifications onto a single, illegible page. Either cut down the word count or let the copy flow onto a second page.

3. Failing to say glowing things about your former employer

Even if you were laid off from your last job, find a way to say positive things about your last employer. Hiring managers identify with your former boss, not with you.

5. Talking too much at the start of an interview

It’s fine to give a 30-second summary of your accomplishments, but then you should go into questioning and listening mode, and respond to the interviewer’s cues.

See all 10 ways plus the complete Forbes article

Friday, July 26, 2013

Is Your Resume 6-Second Worthy?

In a time when recruiters and hiring managers are getting inundated with applicants for job postings, one technique they quickly learn to master is the art of "skimming" resumes. They just don't have time to read each resume word-for-word. Instead, they glance at it quickly and look for key info. If they don't see what they need, you're tossed.

You've Got Six Seconds
I was recently told the average recruiter spends about six seconds on a resume and then decides whether to keep reading, or toss it in the 'no' pile. Additionally, their eye works in a Z pattern, meaning left-to-right across the top of the resume, and then back down the left-hand side.

Top-Fold = Prime Real Estate
This means the top part of your resume is where all the action is. If you don't, "Get them at Hello," you won't be moving on. So, here are a few tips:

1) Don't waste the top-fold with a long-winded, self-serving promotional paragraph. It won't get read. Objective statements and overly salesy intros don't work either.

2) Create an "Experience Summary" that lists quantifiable skills and the key information required to even get a shot at the job.

3) Don't use a font smaller than 11 point or in a fancy style. Too hard on the eyes.

For a total breakdown of how to create a resume that will pass the six-second test, you can watch a video I did as part of our CAREEREALISM TV weekly Q&A show. It's the very first episode on this page, just scroll to the bottom and you can watch it here:

Remember, Resumes Don't Get You Hired!
Even if you create an effective resume, please don't assume it will greatly improve your chances of getting a call from an online application. These days, 8 out 10 resumes aren't even seen by human eyes. Most online applicants never get a shot at the job they apply to. Why? 80%+ of all jobs filled today can be attributed to referrals. Someone inside the organization refers the candidate that gets hired. Hiring a referral is a lot easier than going blurry-eyed reviewing hundreds of online applicants. Plus, the referral makes them more credible, as compared to an online applicant nobody has worked with.

More tips and the complete post

Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 Innovative Ways for Job Seekers to Stand Out

As soon as people learn that we help Fortune 500 companies and leading brands recruit their teams, I’m usually asked one of two questions.

Those looking for shortcuts ask whether systems can be manipulated to get them selected. The answer is: Don’t be a fool.
The more honest and resourceful job seekers (or their parents) ask if there are things they can be doing to stand out. The answer is yes.

Here are the five things I recommend:

1. Find Ways to Let Your Creativity Shine

As every HR manager will tell you: resumes say very little. How much information can people really fit in onto a single piece of paper? Once you achieve satisfactory grades, undertake relevant internships and participate in impressive extra-curricular activities, your resume blends into others just like it. Resumes in their traditional form made sense before technology allowed people to express themselves in other ways. Today you can do better.

This means: utilize technology. Do something that makes you stand out. Do something that lets your qualities shine. Videos are a great way to do this. In a video you can show enthusiasm and passion for a position or product in a way no resume can. It also lets you highlight other qualities employers prize. U.K. jobseeker Graeme Anthony put together a compelling video that successfully attracted many viewers -– in order to get the attention of PR companies. “It shows off my personality in a way a paper CV can’t,” he said. And it worked.

Don’t send an hour-long monologue, though. Remember that recruiters only have a limited time. Ideally, employers will already have a video or audio option built into their hiring process. If they don’t, keep it short and compelling.

Find a way to highlight your talents. Otherwise your application will sit alongside hundreds like it. The bottom line is: stand out by letting those qualities that can’t be seen on your resume, but that you want the employer to know, shine.

And, of course, as David Roth, CEO of the Store WPP, points out, companies will question: If you can’t market yourself, then how are you going to market your products?

2. Think Outside the Box

Go against the grain. Alec Brownstein created an online ad that would appear every time employers he was targeting (New York creative directors) searched their own names. It cost him $6. He got hired.
Ads won’t necessarily get you a job, but doing something people aren’t expecting, or that hasn’t been done before, will get you noticed.

Demonstrate that you are willing to learn new things, undertake challenges, and have different experiences. In the weeks leading up to an application, do something you’ve never done before and mention that.

3. Social Media Espionage

Facebook is for friends, Twitter is for catching news, and LinkedIn is for job seeking — right?
Wrong. Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools allow you to study, connect and interact with prospective future employers and colleagues.

Learn their likes, dislikes and priorities. Interact. Seize the opportunity to get noticed and even build a relationship, before you’re officially interviewed. Remember, likeability has always been a key factor in people getting hired. Positive social interactions can only help.

Of course, your social media interactions can work against you, too. Most college guidance counselors remind you to delete those embarrassing Facebook photos before applying, but also remember that foolish post-college tweets are just as damaging. A good HR department will know. 

Ways 4,5, and the complete Mashable article

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 6 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Working

 By Matthew O'Donnell for

Mistake #1: Failure to network

When it comes to job searching, it often comes down to who you know. Professional networking is a great way to get your foot in the door with a potential employer. Making these connections is the key to getting your resume directly into the hands of the person making hiring decisions. Don't be shy! Visit career fairs and sign up with professional organizations to get to know other people in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Mistake #2: Skipping the cover letter for online applications

The more information you provide during the application process, the better chance you have of landing an interview. Today, many applications and resumes are sent via online web forms that ask for specific information from job candidates. Even if it's not strictly required, send a cover letter with every online application you submit. Doing so will not only make an impression, but it will give the hiring manager more insight into your background and put you one step ahead of other applicants. Two instances where sending a cover letter is not advised is when the job description specifically states not to send one, or there is no section in the online application to submit a cover letter. You might think this is a test of the hiring manager and brownie points will go to the applicant that goes above and beyond the requirements, but it isn’t. In fact, sending a cover letter when the job description explicitly says not to could be used to help weed out the candidates that don’t take the time to read the entire job description or lack attention to detail.

Mistake #3: Sending a generic cover letter

First impressions count. Viewed from the perspective of a hiring manager, sending a generic cover letter is lazy. With this shotgun approach, you may as well send your cover letter out to every company in the biopharmaceutical industry. Instead of sending a canned and generic letter, tailor the letter to your reader by focusing on the needs of the specific company and the details of the specific position for which you are applying. Do your homework and use your cover letter to demonstrate how your skills and experience could benefit the company. In today's competitive biopharma job industry, your cover letter must be so compelling that the hiring manager immediately sees you as their future employee. 

Tips 4-6 and the complete article

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Engage Employers Through Social Media: 7 Great Tips

by CareerBliss

Social media is a great tool for your job search and career. After all, relationships are key to new job opportunities.

With all of the advice about making these connections, however, you may wonder, ‘How exactly do I approach potential employers on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn and get their attention?’
Read on for what  several experts have to say about forging professional relationships online:

Pick The Right Target On Social Media

For any organization, there may be several active voices on social media. Focus your energy on building a single relationship with a single person. Look for a voice who is active and engaged with their audience. These are blog authors or tweeters who reply to comments. With this person, share regular feedback and relevant resources (without stalking them). Be patient. Real relationships take time. — Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula

Be a Good Follower

Before approaching a potential employer on social media, follow them for a while to understand their approach and what they like to write about. Retweet their posts or mention them over a sustained period of time, weeks or months. Then, when you want to reach out, they’ll be more receptive to hearing from someone who has already expended capital promoting them.  — Dorie Clark, Author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future

Find Commonalities

It’s all about the connections, finding the one thing you have in common with someone. Using LinkedIn as an example, find someone that works at the company you’re interested in that you have a connection with, could be someone you worked with, fellow alumni, or member of professional association.
Use this connection to reach out and ask for help reaching the right person to talk with about opportunities.  – Paul Kostek, Air Direct Solutions

Don’t Be Shy

Engaging potential employers using social media is very popular. The easiest way is to message them asking what the best way to submit a resume with the company is. It always helps to state a few brief reasons on why you would like to be employed with said company. It will show that you have done the homework that hiring managers like to see. — Ben Yeargin, Corporate Recruiter for Craig Technologies

Tips 5-7 and the complete article

Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Get a Top Job Through Blogging

To get a really juicy job offer on merit today you need to have a unique strategy that puts you in front of the decision makers and makes them desire to bring you on board. For some types of positions such as corporation communications, PR and marketing, customer relations management, Human resources, operations and strategy etc blogging when done right can be part of a winning strategy to land a well paid mid to top level job.

While it is well documented all over the web that there are various uses and aims of blogging (of which the chief ones are money making, self expression etc) it is often overlooked as a veritable tool for securing a job. Depending on how ambitious your job search is becoming an avid blogger in the specialisation or job niche of your interest can lead to getting really good job offers.
However landing a job with the help of blogging is never an easy task and definitely not for the faint hearted. It is a strategy for anyone who’s ambitious enough and wants to get the kind of job offers that are not seen or advertised everyday.

Before we look at how to use blogging as a stepping stone to securing a juicy job we will look at how blogging makes you a better and more prepared career individual.

Blogging Requires Discipline
Anyone who has tried blogging on a regular basis knows that blogging is not something you do whe you feel like. To grow a blog audience you need to regulalry put up quality, useful information. Most blogs take 6 months to 1 year to gain some sort of traction and often requires that the blogger keep at it. This is a trait most employers will be looking for and which you can project to your advantage.

You Acquire Research Skills
Depending on the niche you blog on you may always be required to dig around for relevant information to compose your posts. As a blogger you learn the value of research and acquire the skill of scoruing the web for information you need as well gaining the ability to seperate useful information and useless garbage. The research skills come in handy in the job you may be offered.

Blogging Teaches You to Outline Your Thoughts Clearly
Your ability to communicate effectivley will be greatly enhanced if you are a committed blogger. The drafting of posts and constant attempts to write in a way your audience will understand will equip you with increased communication skills that are required for most positions.

How Blogging Can Become a Powerful Job Search Tool

To use a blog effectively in your job search here are some steps to follow;

1. Have an Idea of the Sort of Job You Want
Your blogging should be shaped by the kind of career you are in or want to pursue. When you determine the kind of job you are seeking the tone and niche of your blog will then be focused on presenting you as a smart and intuitive individual in that field. You can then narrow your conversations to the particular niche and put up well researched and thought out insights targeting the players in that niche. For instance if your aim is to seek a good career position in human resources in a reputable company your blog should then focus on projecting you as someone knowledgeable and informed on Human Resources.

2. Set Up Your Blog and a Blogging Schedule
There are many tutorials and articles out there on how to set up a simple wordpress blog and even get a domain name for yourself to project professionalism so this article obviously cannot dwell on them. You can approach someone who knows how to setup a nice, neat blog for you (it should be nothing too fancy). When you have your blog niche figured and the blog set up you will need a blogging schedule to keep yourself on track and make sure you are able to put up useful content regularly.

Depending on how much free time you have (you could be on a job already but looking for something higher) you can determine how much time you can or will give to blogging on a daily or weekly basis.

Your blogging time will be divided into developing blog topics, researching on topics and doing the actual writing and publishing. If you set a daily or weekly number of posts you should try and maintain it though you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for quantity. If you use wordpress you can actually save drafts of half written posts to work on them later and schedule your finished posts so they can go live even when your are not able to publish by yourself.

More tips and the complete article

Thursday, July 18, 2013

41 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get the Job

by Hannah Morgan

You want to understand where or why you are being eliminated, so take a gander below.

 Application Turn Offs

These are the top 5 reasons recruiters rejected candidates according to a Bullhorn Reach survey

  1. applying for jobs for which they are obviously not qualified
  2. exaggerating qualifications

Social Media Turn Offs

Here were the top reasons listed for dismissing candidates based on what they posted on social media according to CareerBuilder’s survey:
  1. Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info
  2. There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs
  3. Candidate bad mouthed previous employer

Interview Turn Offs

Here are  many of the top turn offs during interviews from various sources:
  1. Lack of knowledge about the company
  2. Tardiness, not showing up for interview on-time
  3. Arrogant, “know-it-all” attitude
  4. Personality problems, irrational behavior

Unspoken Truths

The reality is, you may never hear what the true reason for your rejection.

Top 10 Things a Recruiter Won’t Tell You (CAREEREALISM)

  1. Your interview attire is outdated/messy/too tight/too revealing/too flashy.
  2. Your physical appearance is disheveled/outdated/sloppy/smelly/overpowering (i.e. too much perfume).
  3. Your eye contact is weak/shifty/intense.
  4. Your handshake is limp/too forceful/clammy.
  5. You say ah/um/like too much.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top Solutions to 8 Common Resume Problems


When you’re writing your resume, you may find yourself facing a number of tricky situations that you’re unsure how best to handle. Maybe some of these sound familiar to you?
  1. There are a number of gaps in my employment history.
  2. I’ve had a large number of jobs in a relatively short amount of time.
  3. I’m looking to change my career.
  4. Am I too old for this job?
  5. Am I overqualified for this job?
  6. I don’t have the right qualifications for this job.
  7. My entire career has been spent working for one organization.
  8. I was fired from my last job.
If you share any of these concerns, don’t worry! These are all quite common and are also pretty easy to overcome if you follow these helpful tips:

1. There Are a Number of Gaps in My Employment History.

Recruiters may well be suspicious of any noticeable gaps in your employment history and can even automatically reject your application as a result. If the gap is just a temporary one, this could be made less obvious by just listing years, not months, for each job role. If, however, the gaps are longer and not so easily concealed, you need to consider the reasons for the gap and if they can be handled in a constructive way.

If a gap in your employment history is due to further training or education, this will invariably be considered a positive thing by recruiters, so you should cover this period in the employment section and the education section of your resume.

Raising a child or caring for another family member is a reason that is actually pretty personal, so you don’t need to go into any great detail about this in your employment history. Just a few brief words will be fine.

Many people have gaps in their employment due to travelling, and recruiters may view this positively or negatively. If you did any temporary or part-time work during your travels, this should be mentioned in your resume to show recruiters that it wasn’t just one long holiday! Just keep any explanations of time spent travelling brief as it shouldn’t be the main focus of your resume.

Gaps resulting from simple lack of employment or ill health are, unfortunately, not generally well-received by recruiters, so you should avoid drawing attention to them if you can. Hopefully, recruiters won’t even notice in their initial glance at your resume and it won’t become an issue.

2. I’ve Had a Large Number of Jobs in a Relatively Short Amount of Time.

There can be many reasons why someone takes on a large number of jobs in a short space of time. Even though this may cause concern for recruiters, your resume is not really the place to explain your reasons for this. In this case, it’s about turning a potential negative into a positive by emphasizing the skills and knowledge you acquired as a result of each job, and using this to highlight the true extent of your experience.

You may find that a functional resume is more appropriate here—one that includes a “key skills” section with just a brief summary of your employment rather than full details for each role. This can be an effective way of highlighting what is relevant to the position you’re applying for and discreetly leaving out what isn’t.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The 10 Blogs That Could Revolutionize Your Job Search

By Lucia Radder

This list gives you insight into others just like you: job seekers. If we, as job seekers, have learned anything, it’s that job searching is a learning process. It’s a self-help process, a networking process, a rejection process, and an acceptance process – all rolled into one. Throughout that search, however, the knowledge you gain is invaluable. While a job search is a personal endeavor, it is far from solitary.  

Today’s market is different than what our parents saw; it’s even different from what our older siblings saw.  Lessons aggregated from the personal experiences of others for navigating this new world are more important than ever with the incorporation of social media, mobile apps, online applications, and other virtual tools.

Cue the proliferation of job seeker Blogs. Today, blogs offer insight into the trials and tribulations of other job seekers and professionals. They also allow individuals from across the globe to gain a better understanding of the task ahead.

The rapid development of blogs has created an abundance of job seeker platforms, yet some stand out from the rest.  The best approach is to pick a handful of sites that speak out to you, personally, and subscribe to their posts. So how do you know which are the “right” blogs to follow?
  1. A blog should have a purpose.  Whether it covers a broad spectrum of topics, or focuses solely on the job search, the blog should have a clear intention.  Depending on the blogger, the ideal focus for a job seeker may be roughly described as a “development” blog. This might encompass career development, personal development, among other topics, but this type of blog should help you, as a job seeker, grow and learn.
  2. A blog should be well organized. This speaks to the professionalism of the blogger, but also helps the job seeker navigate the site in order to determine what is most personally relevant or helpful.
  3. The blog should be professional. If you, as a job seeker, are seeking advice and insight into the job search process or career development, guidance should come from a source that maintains its own professional brand.  Blog posts should be appropriate, ethical, and professional.
  4. It is important to find blogs that are relevant to you, specifically. Whether it is due to your own needs, your personal circumstances, or your individual tastes, an ideal blog should work for you (no pun intended).
LinkUp recommends these 10 job seeker blogs (in no particular order):

This blog is an extensive job search tool and is great for job seekers and companies, alike, looking to become more modern and up-to-date.  The blog includes a section for companies that are hiring, as well as a range of sections for job seekers, organized by type of post or tip.

This blog is best for: All job seekers, especially those looking for inspiration beyond resume and interview tips.

The Undercover Recruiter is a comprehensive blog focused solely on the job search and career development processes. Posts include career tips, insightful infographics, job search and interview tips, social media use and technology.

This blog is best for: All job seekers, especially those who enjoy a bit of humor sprinkled in with their career advice.

Penelope Trunk’s blog is bolstered by her experience founding start-ups, as well as other professional endeavors.  The blog is organized by concrete career-related topics, as well as relevant life-topics, like your job and romance.

This blog is best for: job seekers looking to take career risks, found a start up, or just need a little realistic career advice.

This is the blog of SparkHire, a company focused on online interviews and video resumes.  The blog features a range of contributors, near daily posts and a highly organized layout with posts on the mobile job search trend, different career paths, job search tips, resume styles, non-profit work, and more.

This blog is best for: job seekers seeking guidance solely in the job search field and looking for advice or services from professionals.

Monday, July 15, 2013

5 Things That Will (Finally) Get Your Resume Read

by Kirk Baumann

During my 10 years in the career world, I’ve seen a lot of résumés. And I’ve heard many complaints and critiques about resumes from recruiters, hiring managers and career services.

However, I’ll never rip apart someone’s résumé, offering my two cents as an industry professional.  Why? That person probably worked hard to create or update their résumé. Fact is, most of those resumes are good.

In today’s market, however, “good” isn’t good enough anymore. We must take your résumé from good to great.

Here are five things that will (finally) get your résumé read by a recruiter or hiring manager:


There are thousands of free templates out there. Research sample résumés for the industry you’re interested in (there are major differences) and tweak your format as needed. My boss said something to me recently that resonated well. She said, “Don’t put yourself into a box if you don’t have to.”

Feel free to edit sections and headers to fit your purpose. If you don’t have “work experience” think about other types of experience, such as leadership experience, volunteer experience, etc. Of course, keep your résumé in a format consistent with your industry’s norms.

In a world where everyone has to be different, you might be thinking this is bad advice. Trust me, it isn’t. If your résumé is easy to follow and has the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators,) it can take you a long way.

Fun fact: A simple Google search for “great résumés” returns over 590 million results!


One issue that is consistently lacking on most résumés is… quantification.

I don’t want to see your job description, duties, or applied skills. I want to see accomplishments, leadership, and results. All too often, candidates focus on their current job duties versus what they’re actually doing (or did) in that position.

An example: “Responsible for supervising shift employees.”

As a reader, I don’t get much information from that statement. Rather than the generic line from the job description, focus on facts like HOW MANY people you supervised/trained. HOW did your work affect the bottom line? HOW did the company benefit from your teams accomplishments?


Your results can’t speak for themselves if you don’t give them a voice. You can’t expect the reader (aka recruiter) to know what you’ve accomplished if all you provide is one of those generic statements.

Focus on the WHAT.

What was the IMPACT? Did you increase sales or participation? If so, by how much? WHAT was the OUTCOME of your customer service? WHAT problems did you solve? Numbers and percentages speak volumes here. Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little!

Things 4,5, and the complete original article

Friday, July 12, 2013

175 Helpful Questions To Ask At A Job Interview

Pick and choose from this list for your next interview.

In this followup to 444 Most Popular Job Interviewer Questions To Prepare Yourself With, here are questions you should consider asking the interviewer instead of the other way around.

TIP: Know someone who has an upcoming job interview? Share this list with them right now.

Although the article keeps saying ‘company, company, company’, the questions are relevant if you’re applying for a position at any other kind of organization.

 The Best Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Questions 1-71 are about the job itself
Questions 72-111 are about the company
Questions 112-131 are about the boss
Questions 132-162 are about the team
Questions 163-175 are about feedback and next steps
  1. Why has this job opened up?
  2. Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
  3. How long has this position existed?
  4. How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
  5. What tools are available to perform the role’s responsibilities?
  6. What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
  7. Can you tell me about the competencies necessary to perform this job?
  8. What types of skills do you NOT already have on board that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  9. What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?
  10. What do you think are the most enjoyable or gratifying aspects for someone in this role?
  11. What would you say are the top personality traits someone needs to do this job well?
  12. What happened to the last person who held this job?
  13. Would you want me to do anything different from the previous person(s) in the position?
  14. What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?
  15. May I talk with the last person who held this position?
  16. How many people have held this position in the last two years?
  17. How many people will you be interviewing for this position?
  18. How would you describe the ideal candidate?
  19. Thinking back to the person who you’ve seen do this job best, what made their performance so outstanding?
  20. How would you define “success” for this position?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7 Ways Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Should Differ


At the core of your LinkedIn experience is your profile. As you complete it, you are prompted to include information for all of your educational background as well as companies and positions that you've held over the course of your career. Sounds pretty much like a résumé, right? Not so much.
LinkedIn is evolving and if you are a savvy job hunter, you will seize the opportunity to utilize its new features to your advantage.

When looking for a new job, you might be tempted to choose the "easy" way of simply cutting one section of a résumé after another and pasting them in turn into the corresponding spot on your profile. However, doing this demonstrates a failure to understand what social media is all about, and limits the information about yourself that you can convey. Both your résumé and LinkedIn profile speak about you, but they do so in at least seven different ways:

1. Résumés are limited in length to a page or two. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn you can use a personal branding statement that’s up to 2000 characters in your profile summary. Plus there is no overall constraint for the total length of your profile.

2. The etiquette of how you present yourself in these two media sharply differs. Résumés are formal documents – for instance, you would never see the pronoun "I" in a well-written résumé. While you should view LinkedIn as a business site, it is social. Rather than you conveying information to your reader, social media is about two-way communication. It is beneficial to be personable, if not personal, and that includes commonly speaking about yourself in the first person.

3. A well-crafted résumé will be tightly worded, conveying a story in just a very few lines. STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points, or something close to them, is the expected norm. Although you might include a link to something online, your résumé remains simply a text document.
On LinkedIn, your language should be much less formal, and you can ditch the STAR format.

Demonstrate your accomplishments by including multiple forms of media both in your profile summary and tied to any relevant position you list. Depending on your profession, you might include a PowerPoint financial presentation, a portfolio of your art, pictures of your work product, a PDF eBook, videos or links with an explanation to whatever you wish.

4. Typically you send your résumé out on a targeted basis to recruiters or companies at which you want to be considered. On LinkedIn, your profile is searchable and thereby becomes bait, making you "findable" by anyone seeking to develop a targeted candidate pool of people like you. Positions which you had no idea existed can thereby be brought to your attention. Rather than trying to create a document appropriate for a job, online you can provide a more rounded view of your interests, knowledge and activities.

Ways 5-7 and the complete USNews article

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Job Via Job Boards

By Val Matta

Most people utilize job boards in their job search. In fact, a recent source of hire report indicated that job boards are one of the top three methods used by employers to find the right candidates. However, although job boards are a popular method of conducting a job search, do job seekers know how to use them correctly?

There are certain ways to search and later apply for jobs through a job board — and certain methods to avoid. Let’s explore some of these:

Search by occupation
In a saturated job market, many employers may be listing jobs by categories you may not have thought of. For instance, searching for jobs by occupation may serve you better than searching by job title. So instead of looking for the type of law firm job you want, try to create a broader search such as searching for all legal jobs. Not every company views job titles in the same light as you, so searching by occupation can open up your search instead of limiting it.

Use abbreviations
In the opposite light, some employers may list jobs or job functions by abbreviations. For example, a public relations job may be listed as “PR” or an audio visual specialist may be posted as “A.V.” Searching by abbreviations can help you to narrow down your search, particularly if your industry is known to shorten a title.

Keywords matter
Keywords are key! This is particularly true when searching and later applying for jobs through a job board. Not only can keywords help you to find the right job, they can also help your application to stand out through an applicant tracking system (ATS). Common keywords include job duties, education, location, position titles, etc. By searching and later sprinkling these keywords into your application materials, you’ll be able to stand out to an employer, as they’re be likely to pull candidates who have included these components.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

10 Types of Interviews (and How to Ace Them)

Interviews come in all shapes and sizes: Sometimes you’re with one interviewer, others you’re with five. Maybe you’ll be asked to lunch, expected to solve a problem, or invited to a Skype interview.
But no matter what the format, we’ll give you what you need to succeed. Over the next few weeks, we’ll show you how to nail every type of interview you might face. Check out these 10 common interviews types and what you need to know about them, then check in all Job Search Month for even more advice.

1. The Traditional Interview

This is the scenario you’ll face most often: You sit down with a solo interviewer and answer a series of questions designed to help her figure out if you’re a great candidate for the job.
What You Need to Know

2. The Phone Interview

Asked for a phone interview? A call is typically a first-round screening to see if you’re a fit to come in for a full interview, so nailing it is key. You’ll want to prepare just as you would for an in-person interview, with some key adjustments for the phone format.
What You Need to Know

3. The Skype Interview

Skype video interviews take the phone-screening interview to the next level, and they’re becoming a regular part of the job application process for many companies. From choosing the right on-screen look to making sure all of your tech systems are a go, you’ll want to be 100% ready for your TV debut.
What You Need to Know

4. The Case Interview

The case interview is a more specialized format in which you’re given a business problem (“How can BigCoal Co. double its growth?”) or a puzzle (“How many tennis balls fit in a 747?”) to solve. While case interviews were once exclusively the domain of aspiring consultants, they’re now popping up everywhere from tech companies to NGOs.
What You Need to Know

Monday, July 8, 2013

Avoid these 7 Job-Search Mistakes

By: Ritika Trikha

1. Your Social Resume is Lackluster

What is a social resume? Glad you asked. It’s a combination of all your professional social profiles, blogs and portfolio. “A professional and well-rounded social media presence gives potential employers greater insights into your personality and interests outside of the workplace,” says from Peter Arvai, CEO of Prezi.

My recent post on US News on Careers can help you break down how to build a thriving social resume in just an hour a day.

3. You’re Not Networking Enough

Sending off dozens of resumes is just the bare minimum of what job searching requires.
Use LinkedIn, Twitter, cold emails and alumni network. “Build relationships with these people so that they will think of you when jobs are available,” says Kent Lee, career expert and consultant for Yahoo and the CEO of Perfect Resume. “Plus, these connections can provide you with valuable insight regarding what companies are hiring, etc. etc.”

5. Overlook the Company’s Culture

“Whether you’re seeking an internship to gain more experience after graduation or heading straight into entry-level employment, you’ll have a more successful job search if you tailor it to the specific values and company cultures you’re interested in,” Heather Huhman, CEO and founder of Come Recommended.

It’s tempting to accept the first offer you get, but check out this post on how to spot a bad company culture to avoid a terrible professional experience. 

See all 7 mistakes and read the complete CareerBliss article

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters

1. Network, network, network.

2. Research companies inside and out before you interview.

3. Ask questions. You need to interview the company just as much as they need to interview you!

4.  Develop your interview skills—use positive language, good eye contact, open body language, and show your enthusiasm.

Top 3 common mistakes that job seekers make:

1. Being under-prepared for an interview. If someone has not researched EMC and the business they are interviewing
for, they will likely not get by the initial screen.

2. Being too comfortable, especially when the candidate knows the interviewer.

3. Showing up late.