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.

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?

Company Party’s Do’s and Don’ts (5 Tips)

Many company’s have gatherings, summer picnics and/or holiday parties.     This is a great chance for you to make a name for yourself and get to know others, in your company, by doing it the right way.   Do not be “that” employee who regrets what they said, did or acted like in front of everyone.

Below are some tips of things to do and to stay away from:

  1. Sit with others you normally do not work with, on a daily basis.  
  2. Spread out and network with others in the company.  Introduce yourself to others – who you do not know.
  3. Do Not Drink!   Have a coke or juice.   There is no rule that says you have to drink at these functions.    If you do drink – I recommend stopping after one.
  4. This is still a work function – Be Professional.   Don’t be that person everyone is talking about the next day at the office.
  5. No flirting.   This is not a dating event.

 

This is your chance to maybe meet some other managers, directors or even C-Level Executives.    Be professional, network and use this moment to build your career.   Don’t ruin it with a stupid mistake.

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. 

 

 

The 4 Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

Are you networking?    Some people are, but EVERYONE should be.    While networking this past month or so, I have run across some Do’s and Don’ts that I think everyone should follow.   

DO

  1. Keep in touch with industry leaders  (Nationally and Locally)
  2. Have coffee or lunch with industry leaders, co-workers and even competitors at least once a quarter.
  3. Pay it Forward
  4. Use social media to stay up to date on your industry and their trends.  Make sure your online profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and About.me) are filled out 100% with details describing who you are and what you do.

DON’T

  1. Ask someone to lunch or a coffee, to pick their brain, to ask for advice and then make them pay.   If you ask for the meeting, you should pay.
  2. Take, take, take and never give.
  3. Send a generic invite to connect on social media – Personalize each one.
  4. Be concerned with only your agenda.  Always ask how you can help them.

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.

8 Phrases that Describe a Successful Recruiter…

A Good Recruiter is:

  1. Having relationships with a side of good timing.
  2. A partner/advisor.  
  3. A candidate and client ally.
  4. A person you need most when you least expect it.
  5. An interview coach/job coach.
  6. A salesman and negotiator.
  7. A cyber sleuth.
  8. A networking expert.

What would you add or delete from this list?

 

See also my post on top traits of a successful recruiter.

Networking: Enough to go Around…

People always ask me, why I network and share my ideas?  Why would I help a competitor or another recruiter gain expertise and knowledge?  Simple, there is enough to go around, try to build good karma.

As you know, Recruiters don’t always have the best name/reputation in the business.  There are “used car salesman” recruiters that give honest recruiters a bad name and a bad rap.  But if I do the little things, with my fellow recruiters and my candidates, I am changing that view, one conversation at a time.

I try to keep in contact with old candidates.   I network with them.    I communicate and partner with them.    I may not have the right job for them today but you never know what will be open tomorrow.  Staying in contact with candidates also helps me get candidate referrals.   Good candidates always seem to know other good candidates.  

If I am unable to help a candidate today and they need a job – ASAP, I refer them to other recruiters.  You never know who may be able to help them.  Networking and sharing candidates, ideas, procedures with other recruiters,  will make me a better recruiter and a better person.   And it helps the candidate who needs that job. 

Networking and sharing helps me identify the candidates and recruiters, who I want to partner with.  Are there Recruiters who help me and give me new ideas?  Of course there is.  Are there Recruiters who do not share?  Yep, there are those also. The ones that share and network, I feel will also be successful.

In short – there are a lot of good people out there and enough knowledge and networking to go around.  Try it and pay it forward.

Recruiters: What is your First Impression, to Clients?

Do you know what your first impression is on others?   When speaking with your clients what impression do you leave?   These are important to think about.

I believe first impressions are one of the keys to recruiting success.   Everyone we talk to has a problem that they want us to help them solve.    Clients have a job opening that needs filled and Job Seekers are looking for a new career path.    It is the first impression that they will remember.   This post is going to focus on the client aspect and relationship.   (Candidate post coming soon.)

If you are talking to a first time client, what is the impression you want to leave with them?    Are you listening to their problem?   All clients are not the same – do not treat them that way.   You have to listen to what they are actually saying.  Listen to the big overall problem as well as the smaller ones.  When I am talking to a new client, I want them to know that I am their partner and ally, their Trusted Advisor.   That I am the “Go-to-Guy” for their Recruiting issues.  They will know that I provided them with the best service, listened to and understand their issues and was up-front and honest with them regarding the process.

Hopefully, now they have decided to give you a try but they probably want to ”test you” with a harder to fill order before they start giving you most or all of their business.     This order is probably one that has been open for months, given to many other recruiters and is that “Purple Squirrel” type of position.  What do you do?

This is your chance to woo them.   The most important task to do here is to roll out the red carpet and treat them like they are your only client.    Contrary to conventional thinking, the MOST important issue is not whether you fill this order BUT how you treat them during this hiring process.    Let them know up front, what to expect from you and as a new client, what you expect from them.    Keep them in the loop the entire process.   Tell them what is difficult about this search and what potential matches you have found.  Don’t be afraid to give them the bad news as well as the good.  Make them feel at ease while working with you and make sure they feel that they are an intimate part of this process.   The new client should be involved throughout so they can start feeling comfortable with how you recruit.   As stated above, be their true Consultant and Trusted Advisor.  This is your one chance to put yourself in that category with them, versus just another staffing firm.

How you treat the first order is the factor they will use to give you more business, all of the little things do matter.

Think back, on your last new client.   What was your first impression, on them?  Now look at that person in the mirror and commit to being even better next time!!!

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.

10 Traits of a Successful Recruiter

There are certain traits I think every Recruiter needs to have, to be successful.    Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Be structured.   Recruiting is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.
  2. Be able to adapt.   You must me able to drop what you are doing to start something else.   You never know where that next phone call is going to take you.   This is the people business, we deal with people all day long.   Even though each situation or scenario is the same – it is also different.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.   You don’t know everything.   Ask the candidate and company – they are the experts.   Keep learning and become the expert in the industry.
  4. Partner with the Candidate.   You are in this together.   Be the expert, be the advisor and counselor.   Make sure they have a good candidate experience.   They are going to get a job and if it is not yours then make sure they remember you and refer others to you.
  5. Pick-up the phone.   Too many newer recruiters are relying on technology and email.    Just pick up the phone and talk to people.
  6. Use new technology with old techniques.   You should be using social media to recruit and source.   You should be using and know boolean strings.   But you should also be networking, asking for referrals and again pick up the phone and make some cold calls.
  7. Prioritize.    What is the most important task for you to do today?    Is it sourcing new candidates?   Interview prep?  Each day is going to be different regarding which tasks are most important.
  8. Have a good home support system.   Recruiting is NOT an 8-5 job.   If that is what you want then choose another profession.  
  9. Embrace patience.   Everything doesn’t happen overnight.   My sense of urgency is not the same as others.
  10. Handle rejection.    You will hear “NO” more often than “YES”.   Get used to it.  

Did I miss any?    Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

8 Phrases that Describe a Successful Recruiter…

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.