Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Five Trends Job Hunters Should Brush Up On

Five Trends Job Hunters
Should Brush Up On
By Andrew Seale

As the digital environment shapes and reshapes the job search sphere, prospective candidates will have to keep pace – whether it be digging around for a little behind the scenes info on a company or brushing up on your face-to-face interview skills.  In an effort to hash out the new norm, we took a look at five trends affecting the job market in 2016 and beyond.

Job seekers will do more research

A recent poll by Glassdoor, a platform for employees to anonymously review companies and post salaries, found that more than 77 per cent of job hunters are reading reviews and ratings about a company or job they’re applying for.

“Companies that are not digital-friendly are losing out because there are candidates that no longer have a traditional computer or laptop, they do everything now by mobile device whether that’s a tablet or phone,” says Gena Griffin, with a global recruitment firm.

On the job hunter side, that digital dynamic also means there are more ways for someone looking for a job at a particular company to engage that business through social media and keep on the hiring manager’s radar.

“Companies have created capture tools – messages or alerts – that can let potential candidate know when a new role becomes available,” says Griffin.

Reputations matter more

“When it comes to social media, don’t kid yourself, the firms are checking and why wouldn’t they,” says Sharon Irwin-Foulon, executive director of career management and corporate recruiting at Ivey Business School at Western University.

She likens it to a judgment check. Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly looking to elements like social media to get an idea of candidates.

“They ask ‘what has this person put out to the world,’ ” she says pointing out that it’s especially important in client-facing industries. “They just want to feel that the candidate understands they have a reputation to manage.”

But what if you don’t have a social media profile? That could raise a red flag says Griffin.

“You may be overlooked purely on the basis that one of their automatic processes may bypass you completely for not having something like a LinkedIn profile,” she says.

While 68 per cent of those polled by Glassdoor consider salary and compensation among their top considerations, perks and benefits weren’t far behind with 57 per cent putting them near the top of their list.

The past few years have seen businesses get creative with their workplace culture in an attempt to woo top talent. Netflix for instance, added unlimited employee maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child’s birth or adoption and Airbnb now gives employees an annual $2,000 travel bonus.

But not all perks are well thought out.

“We haven’t seen a cookie-cutter approach,” says Griffin. “The companies that actually ask and listen to their employees about what the things are that matter most to them, those are the ones that get it right.”

For job hunters it’s worth poking around on company websites and platforms like Glassdoor to get an idea of what that internal culture is like. But if it sounds too good to be true, it might be.

“Companies are investing a lot more money owning their messages, there’s a real interest in employment branding with more time and money being put into it,” says Irwin-Foulon. “But they’re (also) doing a better job about saying ‘this is what’s fun about our company but this is what’s really tough about it.’ ”

Brush up on your on-screen looks but forget faking it ‘til you make it.

Perhaps the biggest change Griffin has seen to the interview process over the last year is the use of video.

“It’s a quickly emerging trend,” says the recruiter. “Many companies are now embracing and conducting preliminary interviews via video conferencing.”

Part of that has to do with the convenience factor but it also lets employers and candidates alike get more of an understanding of the type of person they’re working with.

But it’s not replacing the in-person part. In fact, Irwin-Foulon has noticed businesses are investing more money and time on face-to-face.

“In recruiting, we give exposure points, so the more exposure you get to someone the more they let their guard down,” she says. “It’s not likability, in the 90s that was a big thing, being likeable, now it’s that, in time, people’s authentic self show – (it’s especially important) for long-term hires.”

Out with the old.

“Cover letters may have seen their day,” says Griffin.  Not outright, she explains, but in their current form of being affixed to the front page or sent as an attachment in an email.

“The only (real) place for a cover letter if you’re approaching a company cold,” she says. “It explains why you’re interested in that company but anything beyond that becomes superfluous.”

Irwin agrees in a sense, saying the emphasis is no longer just on having a stellar resume and well-written cover letter that shows you can communicate without using emojis and LOLs.

“Your resume and cover letter needs to speak to your credo, your truths, whatever your message is about your reputation but all your behaviors are being held up against that or with that,” she says.

And finally, says Griffin, businesses have changed their attitudes about how long you stick with a company to match the ebb and flow nature of the current workforce.

“Five or six years ago, if somebody didn’t have a company on their resume where they had been for four or five years that maybe was a bit of a yellow flag,” she says. “Now we’re seeing a tolerance for a two year window – that’s the new definition of being committed to something and I think that’s where we’re at.”

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is It the Recruiter, or Is It You?

Is It the Recruiter, or Is It You?
Larry Buhl, Monster Contributing Writer

Some job seekers love to hate recruiters. They’re the middlemen (and women) who never call, never explain anything, don’t present you in the best light and may even keep you from getting the job you want.

As in any profession, there are some bad apples. But most recruiters are good at what they do, and they tell us that if job hunters fully understood what they can, can’t and shouldn’t do, the relationship would be much smoother.

When a recruiter seems unprofessional or annoying, how can you be sure the problem is with the recruiter -- and not with you? Here are five behaviors to consider.

They charge a fee.
It’s them.

Charging fees for interviews is a bad business practice. Unfortunately it’s more common than you might think.

“You should never pay a recruiter, for any reason, to be in their candidate pool,” Lindsay Olson, a partner at Paradigm Staffing tells Monster.com. If a recruiter tries to justify the fee by updating your resume or offering other “services,” run away, Olson adds. “That’s what career consulting agencies do, not recruiters,” she says.

They don’t call back.
It’s probably neither you nor them.

Recruiters are busy. But that doesn’t mean you should leave the ball in their court either, according to Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Massachusetts-based Matuson Consulting and author of
Suddenly in Charge.

“Be in control, but don’t be a pest,” Matuson says. “It’s OK to tell them if you haven’t heard back from them by a certain day, you’ll call. But don’t be calling twice a day. It won’t get you anywhere.”

They don’t submit you for the jobs you want.
It’s probably you.

“The job of a recruiter is not to find jobs for people but to find people for jobs,” says Greg Bennett, a North Carolina-based executive recruiter for The Mergis Group (a division of Randstad).

“I’m not an employment agency,” Bennett adds. “If I didn’t submit you for the job you think you’re qualified for, it means that I submitted several people who were more qualified in some way, but I’m not going to send everyone who might be a decent fit. I’m going to submit those who would be the best fit.”

It’s not in the recruiter’s best interest to make a bad match. Recruiters know a lot more about what the client wants -- including the temperament and “fit” of the ideal employee -- than you possibly could.

They submit you for jobs you’re not qualified for.
It’s probably them.

This spaghetti-against-the-wall tactic is desperate and amateurish, says Olson. “It means the recruiter doesn’t understand your unique
skills and qualifications, or they don’t care.” Even worse, Olson says, is when the recruiter submits a job seeker for a job without informing him. “It makes us and the candidate look bad when we learn the candidate’s already been submitted for a job and didn’t know it,” she says.

They demand too much personal information.
It might be them.

There are scams out there. You can sometimes identify them by super-short job postings, in all caps, with no email addresses. The big
red flag is an immediate response asking for more personal information. Chances are it’s just your information they’re after.

“One common thing that freaks people out is when [an] agency [asks] for their [Social Security number] or the last four digits of it,” says Megan Pittsley, a San Francisco-area recruiter. However, to prevent duplicate referrals, many large corporations now require agencies to provide this information when they submit a candidate, she says. “It's becoming a more common practice,” she says. “My best advice there is just to know who you're working with.”

How to Work Effectively with a Recruiter

Third-party recruiters suggest several ways to make your working relationship with a recruiter more positive and productive:

·         Play the Numbers Game: The more agencies you register with, the more opportunities you’ll have and the less time you'll spend worrying about why one recruiter didn't call you back. You can usually get a good list of agencies from a local college or your local One-Stop Career Center.

·         Be Flexible: If you're overly specific and extremely picky regarding commute range, pay, schedule and job title, it’s less likely that a recruiter will call you back, especially if you've been out of work for an extended period.

·         Be Friendly: “Positive, easygoing people get to work faster, even if it is just a stepping-stone or a temporary role,” Pittsley says. “Show them you're someone they would want to work with and they'll be 10 times more likely to present you to their clients.”

·         Don’t Let Them Do All the Work: “A third-party recruiter is just one of many resources, and you shouldn’t off-load your job-hunting duties onto them,” Matuson says.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Words To Use -- And Words To Lose -- On Your Resume

by: Mary Eileen Williams

If you are conducting a job search, ask yourself the following questions: Is your resume providing you with the results you want? Is it a compelling document that highlights your skill sets and accomplishments to your best advantage? Are you distinguishing yourself from the competition by prominently displaying your added value?

Many times, your resume will serve as your all-important first impression. It will form the primary and initial indication of your viability as a candidate. Yet, as any savvy job-seeker knows, the ideal is to be introduced to a potential employer through a networking contact. Then your resume will act chiefly as a substantiating document, showcasing your skills, experience and fit for the position. In either case, however, you need to choose your words carefully. This critical document has to be succinct, compelling and powerful.

Applicant-Tracking Systems
Technology has altered the hiring process significantly, especially when it comes to resumes. Due to the overwhelming volume of responses to posted positions, most mid- to large-sized companies are now using applicant-tracking systems to perform a first-level screening of incoming resumes.

Although the software has been around for a while, many job-seekers are unaware of how it works. This mistake can be costly because applicant-tracking systems process today's massive numbers of resumes, whittle them down to a manageable size and select only those that are suitable to pass along to reviewers and recruiters. You should, therefore presume that the resume you submit to an online posting will be screened in or out by this software.

Words to Use:

Keywords currently in demand
Study the job postings for your line of work and identify the skills that are currently in the greatest demand. If you have these skills, be certain to cite them liberally throughout your resume. Make sure to also incorporate these keywords in basically the same sequence you find them in the ads. Employers generally list job requirements in order of importance. Therefore, you will want to note your skills accordingly. By doing this, you will be showing employers that you are both highly qualified and possess expertise that is cutting-edge and in demand.

Specifics each employer wants
When submitting your resume in response to a particular position, you will need to further match your skill sets as closely as possible to the posted requirements. Whatever you put on your resume has to be 100 percent truthful; however, it is your decision as to which skills you choose to emphasize. So ignore your creative urges and mimic the words you find in the posting. Remember, your document will likely go through an initial screening by an applicant-tracking system. Software cannot make assumptions -- your resume needs to duplicate the advertised skills as closely as possible.

Words that highlight your accomplishments
Every employer is looking for the same thing: a problem-solver who will meet and resolve challenges as they arise. Past performance is considered to be the key indicator of future performance. So emphasize your past accomplishments with words that highlight the positive results you have achieved and remember to quantify your results whenever possible.

Begin your resume statements with words such as: Exceeded, Expanded, Effected, Increased, Decreased, Maximized, Minimized, Doubled, Tripled, Reduced and Saved. Then follow these accomplishment words with percentages or other numerical markers of your success.

Words that show initiative
You also want to underscore how you have used initiative to come up with innovative solutions to problems, handle unforeseen issues that arise and/or motivate difficult team members. Words that describe initiative include: Developed, Drove, Effected, Eliminated, Implemented, Launched, Turned Around, Managed, Produced and Spearheaded.

Words that display your added value
Whenever possible, be sure to demonstrate how your experience and skills give you the edge over the competition. By starting a couple of resume examples with words such as, "unique combination of X and Y" or "winning combination of..." you will make the point that you bring abilities that others do not.

Words to lose:

Vague claims about your strengths
Although personal strengths such as attitude, work ethic and personality will help you land the job in an interview, you do not want to load your resume up with vague terms. Words such as: "contributing team player," "reliable and responsible" or "motivated self-starter" are, in actuality, claims you are making about yourself. It is far better to show hard skills (the ones that are specific to your line of work), your actions and the results you have achieved. You want your resume to document your demonstrated skills and the valuable accomplishments you have produced.

Greatly reduce or eliminate terms such as: Self-motivated, Responsible, Hard Worker, Team Player, Go-to Person, etc.

Words that represent a job description
Remember that the main goal of your resume is to highlight your achievements so that potential employers are made aware of what you are capable of producing. Although responsibilities are important, do not rely heavily on the previously popular resume terms such as, "responsible for" and "duties included." These terms represent position descriptions -- they do not describe what you actually accomplished.

References available upon request
This phrase is passé, totally unnecessary and a waste of valuable space. Employers assume that you will provide references if requested.

Given your resume's effect on your chances for success, therefore, review it carefully to ensure that it is a powerful representation of your talents, skills and what you are capable of achieving. Do not forget that this all-important document will often be the first impression a recruiter or hiring manager will have of you. Think of your resume as your sales brochure and turn it into a marketing powerhouse. Load it up with words that describe your strengths and eliminate the ones that serve to diminish your impact. Above all, be very sure that you are presenting yourself as the valuable and accomplished candidate you are. That should make any resume reviewer sit up and take notice!

Mary Eileen Williams is a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development and twenty plus years of experience assisting midlife jobseekers to achieve satisfying careers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50, is a step-by-step guide that shows you how you can turn your age into an advantage and brand yourself for success. Updated in 2014, it's packed with critical information aimed at providing mature applicants with the tools they need to gain the edge over the competition and successfully navigate the modern job market. Visit her website at Feisty Side of Fifty.com and celebrate your sassy side!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Interview Process: How Well Do You Know the Basics?

The Interview Process: How Well Do You Know the Basics?

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

We're going to focus on the interview process. After all, writing a great resume and cover letter only gets you partly through the hiring process. Understanding how companies are currently interviewing can help you succeed at that stage of the game as well.

1.Different Types of Interviews Ten years ago, hiring wasn't that complicated. You submitted an application to the hiring manager (more often than not, the person who would eventually be your supervisor), and that person would then schedule a face-to-face interview with you. And after the interview, you would either get the job or not.

Today, a tremendous business has grown up around recruiting, screening, and hiring qualified candidates. With so many more people involved in the hiring process, there are now many different types of interviews that a candidate may go through prior to receiving a job offer. Here are some examples:

Basic background screening Some companies outsource their background screening to other companies that do nothing but background checks. An employee for one of these companies may call you to confirm information such as your education history, legal name, and most recent place of employment. These screening calls are typically very short-five minutes at most.

Preliminary phone or online interview After you've applied for a job, you may receive a phone call from a recruiter or human resources staff person at the company where you applied. During these types of calls, you will be asked questions about why you applied for a particular position and what you believe your strengths to be. The caller will sometimes mention salary in this type of call to be sure the position pays in the range you were expecting. You may be contacted by e-mail rather than telephone, either asking you to respond to specific questions, or to take a personality or skills screening test somewhere online.

Full-blown phone interview Full telephone interviews usually take at least 30 minutes-and can sometimes take an hour or more-depending on the complexity of the position. Full phone interviews are typically conducted by the person who would be supervising you in your new position. These interviews are fairly in-depth and are often used by employers conducting national or regional searches to fill their positions. Although telephone interviews can be extensive, almost all employers use an in-person interview prior to actually making a job offer.

In-person interviews Personal interviews are generally the most anxiety provoking for job seekers, as they require you to worry about getting to the office on time and looking professional. Personal interviews typically take between 30 and 60 minutes. Depending on the complexity of the position and the structure of the company, you may have already cleared some of the hurdles listed above before ever having secured a personal interview. In contrast, some companies conduct a series of personal interviews utilizing different levels of management until the right candidate has been winnowed out. Some companies use both techniques: preliminarily creening candidates and subjecting them to multiple rounds of personal interviews.

No matter how a potential employer structures its interview process, everyone involved-right from the start-should be willing to explain the process, as well as how often you should expect to hear from them. Telephone interviews are a huge part of the hiring process today, so treat each one as seriously as you would an in-person interview!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

4 Things Recruiters are Tired of Seeing on Resumes

4 Things Recruiters are Tired of Seeing on Resumes
Cut the gimmicks and focus on what you have to offer a prospective employer.

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer

Recruiters look at resumes all day long and they’ve seen it all, including quite a lot they’d rather not see again. If you want to impress recruiters and increase your chances of getting hired, start by eliminating these four things recruiters are tired of seeing on resumes from yours.

Too many meaningless details

If you think you’ll impress people by spinning your barista work into a big deal job by using more words to describe it, you’re mistaken, says Tracy Vistine, a lead recruiter with the Messina Group. Being a barista warrants no more than three bullet points, but “it is not uncommon to see resumes for these positions with 15 bullet points.”

If you’re in the early stages of your career, you may feel like you need to pad your resume to make it look more impressive, says Vistine, but recruiters can see right through this. “We often see entry-level candidates detailing bridge positions with more enthusiasm than necessary.”

Instead, focus on what you’ve accomplished in your jobs, not just the duties you had to fulfill each day, says Don Tebbe, who spent 20 years recruiting executives for nonprofits and who now focuses on exit planning. “Show me, don't tell me, the difference you made in that job, the impact you had on the organization or the world.”

Vague dates 

Life happens, and you may have gaps in your employment history. But unexplained absences can be problematic, says Abhi Trehan, recruiting consultant at McNeill Nakamoto. “About two years ago, I started realizing a growing trend in applicants taking out the months from their employment history, making it very vague and up to the reader's judgment. To me, this raises an immediate red flag and makes me think they are hiding gaps in their employment.”

Generic objective statements

Deanna Arnold, founder of The People’s HR, says the objective statement must go, because the information it shares is already obvious. “Here is what everybody puts as their objective: To find a position in a dynamic and growing company to fully utilize my years of skills and experience.”

An objective statement doesn’t talk about your skills and experience, nor does it set you apart, Arnold says. And finally, “It is obvious that you are looking for a job, otherwise you wouldn't have applied.”

Mark Slack, career adviser and hiring manager at Resume Genius, says it’s not the objective statement that’s the problem it’s that people don’t do a good job of writing theirs. “No one wants to read a brief sentence from an applicant about how he or she would like a job in your company.” But a well-constructed career objective can make you stand out.

“A good career objective allows a candidate to briefly describe the main skills, qualifications, and experiences that make them an excellent candidate to forward the company's goals,” Slack says.

“References available on request”

This line just isn’t necessary, says Julie Desmond, an IT and software recruiting manager at George Konik Associates. “I have yet to see a resume that says, ‘No references available, no matter how much you beg.’”

You can always include references with your application from the beginning, but if you don’t and the recruiter or company you’re applying to wants them, they’ll ask.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Wishing you a Safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend from Salem Solutions, LLC / Salem Medical & Dental Placement!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Negotiating Pay

Catherine Conlan, Monster Contributing Writer | May 20, 2013

Many people find that one of the most difficult parts of any job search is talking about money. When the conversation turns to compensation, many job applicants get nervous or uncomfortable and are reluctant to talk about the kind of salary and benefits they expect for a position. These mistakes can cost you millions over the course of your career. Here are the three most common ones -- and tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake No. 1: Take Everything Personally

While it's important to understand the value of the skills you bring to a position, keep in mind that your salary is just a number. "People get hung up on cliffs or plateaus or magical numbers," says Mark Jaffe, president of Wyatt & Jaffe in Minneapolis. "They tend to take negotiation personally because they're reacting to it from an emotional place."

Instead, Jaffe recommends that an applicant stop thinking of a specific salary as a status symbol, and simply recognize that it's an amount of money that pays the bills. If the salary is borderline on what you're willing to take, ask about adding benefits, equity or a sign-on bonus to get closer to the number you had in mind.

Mistake No. 2: Rely on Oral Discussions Only

Asking a company to put something in writing can feel like you're making big demands, or you may think it makes you look like you don't trust them. In fact, it's an important part of the negotiation process because it makes both parties get serious. "Getting it in writing takes it out of the realm of buying potatoes off the back of someone's wagon and crystalizes it into a formal offer to get you to join a team," Jaffe says.

When the company makes a compensation offer, ask for it in writing and say you'd like a day or so to think about the offer and talk it over with other decision-makers in your life, such as your spouse. Don't accept or reject an offer as a reaction -- give yourself some time to consider it. The employer will understand.

Mistake No. 3: Jump at the First Offer -- or Refuse to Negotiate at All

Many people get so nervous about talking about compensation that they do one of two things: They refuse to negotiate at all, or they accept the first offer the company makes without countering. "You need to be a little bit of a poker player," Jaffe says. "Do your research in advance to make sure what they're offering is in range. Understand that there are three or four components to every offer -- base salary, bonus if there is one, short-term and long-term equity -- and all of these things need to be factored into the total package."

During the negotiations, if you're asked, be honest about your current compensation. Don't round up or make it sound like more than it is.

And while negotiating your compensation is important, "make sure going back to the well is a one-time thing," Jaffe says. "Come back and say, 'if you're able to add this, I'll happily accept.' You want to communicate that this will not be a protracted thing. They offer X, you come back and offer Y, they say 'we couldn't do Y, but we can do Z.' At that point, it's yes or no."

Most employers expect some back-and-forth in discussions about compensation. Job applicants who know how to avoid big mistakes can feel more confident about getting the best compensation package possible.