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!





LinkedIn Groups are going through some changes

24 03 2011

If you are a member of the worlds most recognized professional social media site you have most likely noticed some changes lately. I’ve been using LinkedIn now for about two years and within the last 6 months upgraded to a premium account. Over the last two months or so I’ve been noticing a lot of changes, mostly in the group sections. I’ve noticed things like Public Groups, new fancy icons for new discussions within my groups list, and even a new tab in my groups for jobs and job discussions.

First, I’ll talk about the Public Groups. There have been countless blogs out there discussing if they should make their LinkedIn groups public or keep them private. It doesn’t really mater to me because LinkedIn has taken a lot of the power from group owners. I used to enjoy being the group owner and it provided special perks for me to build my network and touch base with targeted members of LinkedIn.

For example, If you were the owner of a private group you could actually see the email address for each person who requested membership in your group. This gave you the opportunity to contact them regardless of your connection status on LinkedIn, truly making it pay off to own a group. This feature has now been removed, what a bummer.

Also, the Jobs and Jobs discussions issue is shaking things up. As a recruiter I post targeted jobs in groups that I’m a member of. It used to be great because if someone was seeking opportunities they could easily click on the jobs tab and browse recently posted opportunities from fellow group members. Now there is an extra step. While the extra click is quite easy I fear that many infrequent users will not notice the additional job opportunities and essentially make the site less effective for professionals to use as a tool in their career search.

I can why LinkedIn is making the changes. They see opportunity to make more money from the great community that they have developed. They want to close loop holes and put more information out on the web, via public groups, to pull more professionals into the system, Well, that may work but only time will tell.

I just hope that if they are going to make these changes that they will increase the benefits for preferred members. I don’t see LinkedIn slowing down anytime in the near future but I’m interested to see if something better will be out there 5 years from now.

What are you comments? Have you noticed other changes lately? Is there something else out there already that compares? I’d love to hear from you.





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!





RSS feeds save time in your job search

14 10 2010

To search for opportunities takes a lot of effort. It’s highly unlikely that you will find a job very quickly in the current job climate. The way I see it is that there are only a few ways to learn of new opportunities.

1. Directly visiting target companies websites to see if new jobs are posted
2. Visiting Job boards
3. Social networking to learn of new opportunities
4. Directly contacted by a recruiter who wants to present a job.

In a recent poll that I conducted on LinkedIn a majority of the respondents indicated that they found their current role through a direct application to the company. So, the question comes, “How do I learn about these jobs so I can apply directly to the company?” Looking at the above list of options the only ones that you have significant control over are the first three, with number 3 depending a lot on chance and who you know or are connected to right now.

The first two choices both require diligence on the part of the job seeker. Weather you decide to check the job boards hourly, daily, or weekly is often associated with the amount of time you have and how desperate you are to find your next opportunity.

This is where I’ll be focusing today. I suggest you set up RSS feeds to alert you on daily activity in the job field. Most major employers permit you to subscribe to an RSS feed for their currently open opportunities. All of the major job boards allow you to conduct a keyword search and then subscribe to a search specific job feed. You can then have all of the jobs come directly to you rather than visiting each and every company or job board periodically.

There are numerous ways to check your feeds. If you have a smart phone just conduct a quick search in your application market and you will be given several options for RSS feeds. If you don’t have a smart phone you can always use the computer and countless methods to follow your feeds.

I haven’t gone into great detail about RSS feeds because I’m confident that a simple internet search will be more effective in locating information from more tech savvy professionals than myself. I just thought that I would present another option to help you in your career search.