Everything is an Interview…

Are you looking for a job?    Did you send your resume in to a potential employer?   Keep one thing in mind – Everything you do and every conversation you have – IS AN INTERVIEW.  Whether you are talking to the Manager, to Human Resources or to the Front Desk Receptionist, Everything is an interview.     

  1. Do not have a weird font or graphics on your resume
  2. Do not have an unprofessional voicemail
  3. Do not have an unprofessional email id
  4. When meeting someone for coffee to network, dress professional and pay for the coffee
  5. Be prepared – expect that person calling you to be an Hiring Manager
  6. Respect and professionalism
  7. Social Media – keep it professional.    Companies will search your social media, be prepared and delete the party pictures from college.

When being interviewed or considered for a job, you are under a microscope.   A lot of times the companies will look for a reason not to hire you instead of reasons to hire you.    Do not give them a reason.   The little things you do, do matter:   Hold the door open when walking into a room or building, have good eye contact when speaking, have a firm hand shake, sit-up in your chair and speak slowly and clearly and thank them for their time and consideration.

Your resume will get you in the door but how you portray yourself will get you the job.

The 3 Things Candidates Want…

On Monday, I went to Ohio Recruiters Association, 2014 Fall workshop, in Columbus, Ohio attended by about 120 employment specialists.   They had many interesting topics and sessions planned for the day, which included “Earning your MBA (Major Bank Account) in Recruiting”, “Recruiting Passive A-Players Your Clients Want to Hire”, and “Revolutionary Sourcing”  .    One of the main speakers, was Jordan Rayboy.   Jordan has been recruiting since 2000 and is one of the top producing Recruiters, in the Country.  I really enjoyed Jordan’s presentations and recruiting knowledge because it just made sense.   How he conducts his business and how he recruits is very similar to my approach, he is a partner with the Client and the Candidate.

One of the topics and points Jordan mentioned were the 3 things candidates want.   This was an excellent reminder, to all recruiters.   Find out what the candidates are wanting and present this to the company, along with their resume/profile.  In my opinion, if you understand these basic three things then you understand the candidate and what they are truly looking for.  The three things are:

  1. Compensation$$
  2. What is their motivation for change
  3. What do they want, to be their next steps, in their careers. (What are their Hot Buttons)

Everyone is different and every company/position is different, as recruiter’s we need to understand who is the right fit – the best fit for each position.

 

Jobseekers: Research everything and be prepared…

You applied for a job and have received a call back to set-up an interview. Great!! Now what? It’s time for you to do even more research. As they say in Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared.” You need to learn and discover as much as you can about the Company, Job and even the Hiring Manager. Here are the 10 Things everyone should do prior to a job interview.

  1. Go back and print out the job description. Study it. What does it really say the requirements are? What are the qualifications? Start writing down examples of what you have done and match that up to what the Company is looking for.
  2. Google the Company. Have they been in the news lately? Are they a public company – can you find their last quarter report?
  3. Google the Hiring Manager. Have you visited their LinkedIn Page? How long have they been with the company?
  4. Read and Re-read the Company’s Website.
  5. Visit your on-line profile. (you should have done this before you applied) but do it again. When you Google your name – what comes up? Do you have a professional image on-line?
  6. Network – do you know anyone who works at the Company? Try to gain knowledge of the environment and atmosphere from current and past employees.
  7. Be ready for the tough interview questions. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Tell me a time when…?
  8. Review your resume – be prepared to explain any gaps. Do not talk negative about a current or former Company or Manager.
  9. Practice Interviewing with a spouse, family member or friend. People do not Interview daily. Even though you think you are ready, practicing will help you overcome some of the nervousness.
  10. Research and practice your closing statement. Why are YOU the best fit for the job?

What other suggestions would you give to someone looking for a job?

Has the Hiring Process Gotten Out of Hand?

I certainly think so. 

Having hired over 13,000 people in the past 10 years, I will tell you that the current requirements to hire a new employee have become daunting.  I am beginning to think that a large portion of the unemployment rate is self inflicted.  Each year, we are finding more ways to screen out candidates instead of finding ways to include or grow good talent.  Here is listing of just a few of the hiring requirements that our members have had to comply with in order to be considered for employment.

  • – Resume submittal into an applicant tracking system
  • – Telephone interview
  • – Hiring Assessment (Six assessments is the highest number that I have heard of thus far.)
  • – IQ test (Yes, you read correctly.)
  • – Personal interviews (11 are the highest so far)
  • – Group interview (the largest panel has been 12 members)
  • – Requirement to submit a 5 minute, self-developed video of why you are qualified for the position.
  • – 15 minute stand-up presentation including a PowerPoint presentation.
  • – Submittal of a marketing or territory sales plan
  • – Submittal of your latest W-2
  • – Confidentially agreement and non-compete agreement
  • – Filling out an Application for Employment
  • – Drug and background check
  • – I-9 identification including 2 pieces of government issued ID or passport.

At any point in the hiring process, someone involved in the evaluation can say “no”.  “No” is a safe answer.  There is little risk in saying “no”.  Saying “yes” commits you to the decision and to the success of the candidate.  I’ll take the risk.  Making a new hire successful is a responsibility that I accept.

Let’s trim down the list and say “yes” more often. 

What do you think?

Ken Lazar

Powerful Words in Job Search

Many times, I’ll have my clients ask me what are the “magic words” or “key terms” they need when they start on their job search. While I do go over their career history with them and determine what themes and terms that they have had over their years, there are no more powerful words to offer than a simple “Thank you.”

When someone reads your cover letter, looks over your résumé, and determines that they want to pursue you further as a candidate in their company, they are taking time out of their day to consider you. Furthermore, should you go in for an interview, you’ll be taking even more of their time in everything from the preparation they need to assess your skill set and fit, to making room in their schedule to see you. Think of the last time you had to stop what you were doing in order to prepare for a meeting or task. How much of your time did it take?

By sending a simple note to say “thank you,” you are distinguishing yourself to that employer. You’re thanking them for putting whatever they were doing on hold, in order to speak to you about working with them. You are thanking them for the preparation, the time they may ultimately take checking your references, and their consideration of you.

This may sound like a simple step to you, which might be easy to overlook. I cannot stress to you how important this is. By taking this gesture, you are now going beyond the minimum, and displaying your ability and drive as a future employee to that candidate. Taking the 15 minutes it takes to write “thank you” on a card and throw it in the mail may very well make the difference between you being the competition, and you being another interview for the position.

Jeremy Worthington | Buckeye Resumes

Don’t be the Annoying Orange (5 tips to help)…

Are you a Job Seeker?   Are you in Sales?   Are you trying to get someone’s attention?   Don’t be the Annoying Orange.   If you are calling a Hiring Manager or Recruiter:   Have a good reason to contact them, not “just to check in.”

 

 

 

5 Tips to help you not become the Annoying Orange:

  1. Be Professional
  2. Don’t be overwhelming
  3. Ask when is a good day and time to follow-up with them (get permission to call them back)
  4. Establish a partnership with them
  5. Help them with their pain.   Don’t be the pain.

Your goal should be to establish a partnership with them, not to anger, annoy, harass or make them upset.    It is a process, they will not be your best friend overnight. 

 

 

Help Your Client’s Ace the Interview (tips you have permission to steal!)

Potential candidates are going to be nervous so set them up for success!

Look Sharp 

Before the interview, select your outfit. Depending on the industry and position, get out your best duds and check them over for spots and wrinkles. Even if the company has a casual environment, you don’t want to look like you slept in your clothes. Above all, dress for confidence. If you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly. 

Be on Time 

Never arrive late to an interview. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity, allowing for factors like getting lost. Enter the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.  I worked at P.F. Chang’s in college, their motto is “Chang’s time”, 15 minutes early will never hurt you.

Do Your Research 

Researching the company before the interview and learn as much as possible about its services, products, customers and competition will give you an edge in understanding and addressing the company’s needs. The more you know about the company and what it stands for, the better chance you have of selling yourself. You also should find out about the company’s culture to gain insight into your potential happiness on the job. 

Be Prepared 

Bring along a folder containing extra copies of your resume, a copy of your references and paper to take notes. You should also have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview.   Review your resume if you haven’t lately, some interviewer’s ask questions regarding what’s on there, you should be ready to answer these.

Show Enthusiasm 

A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky. 

Listen 

One of the most neglected interviewing skills is listening. Make sure you are not only listening, but also reading between the lines. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said. 

Answer the Question Asked 

Candidates often don’t think about whether or not they actually are answering the questions asked by their interviewers. Make sure you understand what is being asked, and get further clarification if you are unsure.

Give Specific Examples

One specific example of your background is worth 50 vague stories. Prepare your stories before the interview. Give examples that highlight your successes and uniqueness. Your past behavior can indicate your future performance.

Ask Questions

Many interviewees don’t ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information. Your questions indicate your interest in the company or job.  Make sure though these are not about benefits, pay or anything related to HR.

Follow Up 

Whether it’s through email or regular mail, the follow-up is one more chance to remind the interviewer of all the valuable traits you bring to the job and company. You don’t want to miss this last chance to market yourself. 

 

JobSeekers: Be prepared. That next phone call could be me…

Job Seekers – Did you know that the first conversation I have with you is probably the most important?     This is where I do my initial screening in and decide whether we are going to continue our conversations.   If you are looking for a new career or job, then be ready for that phone to ring.   You never know when the person on the other line is a Recruiter trying to contact you about a job.  You should:

  • Be Professional
  • Not use slang or profanity
  • Not talk bad about a past employer, manager or co-worker
  • Answer the phone in a professional manner
  • Be honest
  • Show enthusiasm and excitement
  • Drop what you are doing and make this call a priority.   If you can’t, then apologize and ask when is a good time for you to call the recruiter back. (within 24 hours)
  • Print off the jobs you have applied for and be ready for a call.  
  • Have a professional voicemail message and email id.  (NOT:  Yo, you reached Smitty leave a message and I’ll call ya back.)

Reminder:  As recruiters we talk to candidates all day long and we are on the phone all day.    We have goals and SLAs we need to meet.   Our time is also precious.    Let’s make the first conversation count.   Impress me!  

 

 

Recruiters offer HOPE…

Recruiters need to remember the one thing they offer candidates, is HOPE.  I recently participated and presented at the Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group, Tuesday Tune-up.  I was there to help Job Seekers search for work using social networking, using internet tools and to give tips and suggestions.   One of the main points and discussions was on, how to work with a Recruiter.  I had many conversations, with different individuals – all looking for one thing – HOPE.

The next candidate you talk to – even if they are not a fit for your opening or company – Remember you are still able to give them the HOPE they need to help find work, in this economy.  Maybe it is a hint on how to improve their resume, an interview tip, an internet site that may help their search, a networking group – or any bit of information that may help them.  Take a minute with each candidate this week, this month or longer and give them HOPE.

The Power of Networking

Why don’t more people NetworkIt boggles my mind, especially in this type of economy – it is not who applies to the job first, BUT who you know and who knows you.    Everyone should get to know their local Recruiters.   You never know when you may need one.

Networking is simple.  It is staying in touch.  It is asking questions to the experts and answering questions.  Most people I have found and was able to hire for my openings, were not from my first conversation but from staying in contact with them and talking to them over time.  Networking is a time commitment – IT IS A RECRUITING COMMITMENT!

An easy way to get started is to first, go to LinkedIn and find groups, in your geographic area or specialty and join them.  Become involved with the local and industry leaders.  If a group does not exist – create one.  Not only have I created the Recruiter Files LinkedIn Group, but I have joined many industry groups (#Hire Friday and ere.net). Plus I have joined some local groups (Linkedworking Columbus and Network Pittsburgh).   LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups at a time.

Network in your community and your industry – see who you can meet.   Also, review the Social Networking’s Guide for Finding Employment.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket…

Dear Job Seeker,

I am glad that we have started to work together, in your job search.    As a Recruiter, who partnered with you, I will do my best to help you land that NEW opportunity you are looking for.    We will talk and get to know each other, to find the best job and best fit for you and the Company.   My goal is your goal = Getting you the new job and for you to start your new career.

But what else are you doing?   Are you still looking on your own?   Are you still networking?   Are you still doing the things you need to do to find that job?   Did you update your LinkedIn profile and are you using social media?  Are you talking with other recruiters?   Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

I would love to be the one who can help you but the fact is – I can not help everyone, in their time of need.    I may not have a job opening you are a match for, at that time.  Not everyone is a fit for every job and not every job is a fit for everyone.   You need to do what is best for you – keep networking, keep participating on social media, keep applying, keep working with Recruiters and keep doing the tasks you need to do.    If I can help you in your job search or give you helpful tips, I will.     If you get that new job you have been looking for, through another venue, CONGRATS!   As a recruiter, I am not here to hurt your job search but to help and compliment it.   

In short, there are many tasks you need to do, when looking for a new job.  Do Not Put Your Eggs in One Basket, do all of the tasks you need to do, to reach your goal:  A New Job.

The Job Search: A Covert Operation

So you’ve landed the interview – great job! You go into the interview prepared, get great feedback from the people you interview with, and are feeling like you’ve got this deal signed and delivered. So, naturally, the first thing you want to do is tell the world whose checks you will soon be cashing.

Let’s take two steps back here and consider a couple things. First off, you don’t have the job until you get a formal offer; a title and job description, salary, and start date. So as long as those things have not been delivered, you don’t have a job. Translation: You’re probably not the only candidate they will have discussions with.

Which brings me to my second point: If the company you just interviewed with is still talking to other people, why do you want to advertise that to the entire world? People in your immediate circle – whether they be friends, golf buddies, or people you are connected on Facebook with – may also be looking for a job like the one you want. And if they know the company you just talked to will hire, your odds of getting the job just got wider.

When going through the job search and interview process, think of it as a secret mission. The information you are guarding is who you’re talking to, what you’re talking to them about, and the timeline they’ve got you on. By keeping this information close, you have more control over the hiring process, and are able to better secure your odds as being the chosen candidate when its time to make a decision to hire.

Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all Google.com searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.

On a Contract? Everyday is an Interview…

Are you on a contract or interested in one?    I have one phrase of advice for you…. Everyday is an Interview.

There is no secret that a contract job is a great way to get hired on direct and to land that full-time job.   There are many reasons you may be a contractor:

  • cover a medical or maternity leave
  • cover for someone who is working on other projects
  • to work on special projects
  • they are behind and need some extra support
  • for a Temp-to-Hire.

Whatever the reason you are in there and contracting – this is your chance.   Show them they don’t want to let you go.   You need to out work and out perform the others there.    Live by the motto – Everyday is an Interview.   You never know what is going to happen.    What if the person doesn’t come back from the leave, now they have an opening?   What if after you start a full-time employee gives their notice?   You just never know when a scenario will open up and you are now being considered for the job.

Also remember, hiring managers usually know other managers.    Maybe the contract is over but they recommend you to another manager and department.     It is important for you to keep your A-Game and again – Everyday is an Interview!

I have had many, many, many contractors hired from a contract job.    It happens all the time and has already happened twice this month.  I also have had many passed over and other contractors were hired and given the opportunity.  Mainly because they failed to live by the motto.

 

The Job Search Marathon

One of the biggest misconceptions by candidates that I’ve seen in my years as a job search coach is that they do not view the job search process as a competition. Many of the candidates that come to me for the first time are content to send out their resumes, and wait for a response.

What they don’t realize is that they are not the only one putting out their resumes for those same positions. According to CareerBuilder.com, for every one position a company opens, an employer will receive, on average, 75 resumes. With all that paper, not to mention the contacts and keywords to swim through, it is very easy for a potential hire’s information to get lost in that shuffle.

Job search is absolutely a competition! One of the quickest ways a candidate can jump from being a resume to being a hire is by being proactive in a job search. Think of it as a marathon: everyone starts at the starting line; the point where you consider applying for the job. One the shot fires, everyone starts. And, ultimately, there can be only one winner.

What makes the difference between the candidate who finishes first and the one who finishes in the middle of the pack? How they train for the marathon is a big step: you can’t go straight from the couch to the marathon. Why would one try the same for a job search? Further, think of what a marathon runner goes through when training: their diet changes, and their exercise routine gets more focused. So should a job seeker make similar changes to how their resume plays to the needs of the employer, and focus on how to get connected to the companies they want to be at.

By looking at the job search like a competition, a candidate can easily go from being glazed over to being a star candidate. And that perspective adjustment can mean the difference between accepting the job one wants, and merely accepting a job.