Blasting your resume will hurt your job search

1 04 2011

You can ask any recruiter, internal or external, if they have a list of candidates who they know by name and will “NEVER CONSIDER FOR ANY OPPORTUNITY” and I’m sure they will tell you they have a list. Our firm has a list of candidates we by heart who apply for every opportunity we post. I’m not sure how they do it but it seems as though they have a program written to apply every time there is an update on our career page. These candidates will never be submitted for any position that I am working on.

Just think about it for a minute. Today’s recruiters are able to store every resume that is ever presented to them. They can then go and conduct a key word search for each job that they are working on, thus producing a list of candidates who may be qualified for the position. If they have your resume then they will call you if you are a match. If not, they will not waste your time.

I suggest limiting your submissions to every 6 months with any company. This is enough time most companies will assume that you have found a new opportunity and would only reapply if you were still looking.

Aside from annoying your potential employer, you are also sending a message that you are not willing to fully read the job descriptions that they have posted, so why should they read your resume. There is no one person who is ideal for every opportunity within any company. While I’m confident there are some CEO’s who could do any job within their company well, there is no way that they would work for the pay offered at each position.

Your resume submission is your first opportunity to meet a company. Make sure that it’s a meaningful conversation and you are only asking for a meeting to discuss a position that you are truly ideal for. Blasting our resume will only help the recruiter recognize your name and associate it with the “Not Interested” stack of resumes in their trashcan.

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You got the interview, Now what? “Read your Cheat Sheet”

27 03 2011

Most of my previous post discuss how to find jobs or make yourself easy to be found by the people working to fill openings. So, what do you do if you have an interview? Do you run out and make sure your interview suit is dry cleaned, read up on the company you’ll be interviewing with, and get a good night sleep before your interview? Those are all great things to do. But will that be the determining factor of your placement? Perhaps the suit may impress, the preparation will certainly help if they ask you questions, and the good night sleep could make you more energetic, but will the person(s) interviewing you notice?

The thing to remember about and interview is that it’s as much about you meeting with the company as it is about you meeting with the company. As a recruiter I’m always expected to provide pertinent information that the candidate should have prepared for their big day. The fact is that there is typically very little I can provide in detail. Interviewers judge candidates on an unlimited amount of factors when determining who they would hire. We all talk to people who were members of the teams who interviewed us when taking a job. I’m sure that you’ve all heard stories regarding the discussions that took place when your candidacy was considered. Most of the ones that I’ve heard about myself are hardly relevant to the job.

My point is that 80 percent of the interview process is out of your control and half the decision has already been made. The people who are interviewing you have already decided if they like you or not. They are meeting you for one of only two reasons. They are speaking with you because they feel that you are really worth speaking to and they WANT to give you the job or someone in HR told them that they should really interview at least three people before making any hire because it’s the right thing to do. In either event, it’s either a good thing or a bad thing right from the start and you can’t control it.

The only thing that you can do is to be prepared to discuss the items that are on your resume. Your resume is what got you to this point. What more could they want to know? Just think back on every interview you’ve ever been on. They will ask you about things on your resume every single time. I give this advice to every candidate that I send in for an interview. “KNOW WHAT’S ON YOUR RESUME, IT WILL COME UP. Your resume is your INTERVIEW CHEAT SHEET!

So next time you have an interview scheduled sit down and read your CHEAT SHEET!





Are you speed dating or job hunting?

13 01 2011

Speed dating rarely results in long term relationships. How many of us have heard a married couple answer, “Oh, we met at a speed dating night down at the bar”, when asked how they met? Not many of us, I would imagine. With internet sites becoming extremely successful for matching ideal couples and the old tried and true method of old school dating the success rates are much greater. The reason is that the later methods take time establishing the needs of both parties involved and allow each party to get the sense of overall compatibility.

I like to think of the job search as the dating process. While some things are purely chance success if generally a result or an initial compatibility along with communication, effort, and compromise from both parties. If you think of your career search like you do dating, or did for those of us that are already married, you’ll find it much easier to stay focused in your search, gain more from interviews you attend, and ultimately have better results.

RESUME: Asking someone out on the first date

You approach needs to be suitable to match what the other person is looking for… you have to be dressed properly and be able to project yourself as a person worth spending time with. All this must be projected in a quick and to the point way, usually on the first attempt.

PHONE SCREEN:The first Date
This is a meeting that doesn’t take too much work on the part of either party. Both parties have said yes, I”m open to the possibility of investing time in this person. This is where both people typically try to only talk about the positives but sometimes, previous dating experiences, why past relationships didn’t work and so on. Both parties typically end with something like, That was fun we should talk again, regardless of actual intent to follow through.

IN PERSON INTERVIEW: Dating for the long term
This is the moment that we’ve all waited for. A meaning full sacrifice by both parties to go out of their way to spend meaningful time together. You really find out if it’s worth going on or should you break up and and look for a more suitable partner that better matches your needs and who’s current situation and future plans are similar to yours.

OFFER STAGE: Engagement
This is the stage where you decide that you are in it for the long run. You are dedicated to moving forward because you have seen everyone else who’s out there and you are confident enough you’ve found the right person. You then go to the jewelery store to pick out a ring. This decision is based on a lot of factors. Tradition is often taken into consideration (industry standard pay) along with Budget, Payment Options (benefits), and a few other things. You also have to take into consideration how desperately you want this person to say yes. If this person says no, will it crush you or do you think you can find another person who’s a better fit given enough time. If you don’t think you can replace the person you always buy a little bit nicer ring than you can really afford to help seal the deal.

There is always a budget for salary (the ring). This budget can sway sometimes in either direction for many reasons. The Dating (Interviewing Process) is you chance to ask important questions. Make sure you, as a hiring manger or potential employee, get the answers you are looking for throughout the process as well as share with your potential partner. If the answers aren’t going in the right direction take a step back and if they are “deal breakers” walk away in a professional manor.


FIRST DAY OF WORK: Wedding Day.

While you may think that the marriage is the acceptance of the offer, like engagements, we all know runaway brides. The first day of work if the first time you are officially married and you can update your LinkedIn or Facebook status with the great news of your new job. Like marriage each and every day after is based on communication, effort, reward, compromise, loyalty, along with all of the typical requirements to make a solid long lasting relationship.





LinkedIn Groups, Are you using them to your advantage?

27 10 2010

Some people may ask me if my blog is about recruiting of LinkedIn because of my numerous mentions of the great professional social networking giant. This is because LinkedIn is an essential tool for giving you the edge in the job search. Today I’d like to discuss LinkedIn groups and what you may or may not know about them.

LinkedIn Groups are all joined by networkers voluntarily. This means that everyone in any given group is there because they choose to be and are interested in the subject mater of that group. This means that each and every member is in some way connected to the subject mater in some way, thus having a vested interest in preserving the group and its’ goals.

As we all know the value of LinkedIn is based on being connected to people, and more importantly, the right people. The groups feature on LinkedIn is the most effective way to connect with the people that matter to you. The importance of groups is that when you join a group you are given the option to accept messages from other group members even if they are not connected to you in any other way. LinkedIn sets the default option to accept messages. This is great because most people will not deselect this option. Meaning you can search members of the group and send them messages directly without them approving an invite, introduction, or using a valuable InMail.

There are two ways to join a group. You can be invited because someone in the group thinks that your expertise would be an asset to the group. You can also submit a request to join. Some groups allow you open membership where a group owner is not required to accept invitations. Many groups will require the group owner to review your profile and manually approve your membership.

Now that we know how you get in groups and some of the value in being in a group there are some other things you should know about LinkedIn groups. The single most important thing is that you NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF 50 GROUPS at all times. By having membership in 50 groups you get the most out of your LinkedIn account. You always have to remember that the more people that you are connected to, the more potential you have to be noticed by others as well as notice opportunities posted by members of your network, which includes group members.

I would like to mention one last point. Use care in choosing your groups. LinkedIn lets you view the membership numbers of each group prior to joining. You always want to be in the largest group, granting you connections with the most people. Also, use different search terms when searching for a group. For example if you are a scientist working on an Oncology projects within the Biotech or Pharmaceutical industry and you are seeking new opportunities try, Biotechnology Jobs, Biotechnology Careers, Biotech Jobs, Biotech Careers, Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical Device, Careers, Jobs, and so on. For a majority of these examples you may even see one of my groups “Oncology Jobs In Biotech and Pharmaceuticals”.

Best of luck and enjoy your groups!





Is your incomplete application going straight into the recyle bin?

23 09 2010

I was just reading a great question presented by a LinkedIn connection of mine in a group that we share.  The question was, “Incomplete online applications, Do you give them consideration equal to completed applications?” The overall response from internal recruiters was overwhelmingly consistent.  Across the board, they were stating that they give less consideration to candidate who does not take the time to fully complete the online application.

This does come to a surprise to me.  When you are looking for a new job there is the tendency to start out and apply to as many opportunities as possible.  Most applications are done on line and it seems like they ask you everything.  They all start out by asking you to upload your resume.  The computer does its magic and “poof”, it fills in the entire job application, leaving you to just confirm and submit. I wish!

These systems always result in making you go through everything three times moving information into the proper boxes after the system placed it out of order.  It can be frustrating and make you say, “They are really only going to look at my resume anyway and it’s all on there.”

The reality is that most HR professionals are taking the lack of complete applications personally and perhaps sending your resume to the trash when your resume is good enough to be sitting in the short pile of resumes on the hiring manager’s desk.

You must understand where the frustration comes from.  The HR personnel are looking at you as a lazy employee.  You are creating work for them.  They will now have to call you and ask you information to fill in the blanks and then actually fill your application out before their system will let them move forward.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t receiving hundreds of other resumes from candidates that are nowhere near as qualified as you, but it’s typically the case.

One thing I try to tell candidates that I speak with is the HR personnel are the “Gate Keepers”. They are human and have emotions, get tired at the end of their work day, have daydreams while at their desks, and are not interested in creating additional work for themselves.  Take care of the HR staff and they will take care of you.  Always complete your application or you may just run into one who is tired of doing your job.

You’re not only applying to a position with a company, you are trying to make a first impression!  Show you can follow through and do it on the first job you have with a company, your job application!