Recent College Grads and An Award Winning Resume…

How ready is your candidate’s resume that recently completed college?  How can you spice up a resume that doesn’t have much history? 

It’s possible, I promise!

There are a few points to pay close attention to: Length, Format and Font.

Although the “one page rule” can be overridden in some cases, for college students and recent graduates, a single-page resume should be substantial to list their achievements and experiences.  Employers want to see a snapshot of their work, coach them to be thorough but =concise.

I always suggest using a font size between 11 and 12 point.   Avoid filling the page with non-necessities and large font, it appears juvenile. They will also want to make the page look like there is history and is a complete picture of where they have been and are now.

If they are struggling to fill the page, consider coaching them to add an executive summary at the top of the page. In a short paragraph, ask them to explain experience with meaningful activities (tutoring, keeping the books for your fraternity), schoolwork (relevant coursework, GPA), and personal qualities.

Even if a company has a laid back culture, the experts caution against using wacky fonts, symbols, or anything that suggests lack of professionalism. They will not want employers to think they are still in college-mode and unprepared for the business world.

I will caution candidates from including a hyperlink in the resume for a web site or a LinkedIn profile as most employers don’t have the time to reference this, the resume should hold the majority of the candidate’s background on that one page and should avoid external links.

Also, this is often difficult for recent grads but only include experiences that are relevant to the job they are applying for.

Depending on the position the candidates are interested in, they may be able to highlight past experiences to show their skill development, even if they are volunteer activities or hobbies.  I actually recommend including a skills and/or volunteer section for recent grads as that shows that the candidate takes the time to go above and beyond to participate in the community versus party in their free time.

Beyond the Resume

They can also include letters of recommendation from teachers or former employers/internship opportunities or take it to the next level by asking their references to make a phone call on their behalf to a potential employer. Submit all references on a separate page; the candidate can have one academic reference, but keep them mostly work-related.

Finally, the biggest mistake that a new college graduate can make on their resume is attempting to fill the white space with elaborate information that doesn’t exist.  Employers that are willing to hire new graduates are already aware of their graduation date (it’s on their resume) and will quickly see the B.S.  This is great news and will save everyone some time on getting to the facts.
Finally, providing employers with supplemental pages  can further substantiate qualities and experience as long as they are relevant. Supplemental pages can show that the candidate is responsible and is serious about the position in question, this may mean a custom cover letter for each job the candidate applies for or even a list of awards received during the candidate’s academic successes.

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. 

 

 

6 Steps on How to Train a NEW Recruiter…

To be a successful recruiter, you need to possess certain traits.   These are not learned they are part of who you are.    However when you do hire a new recruiter (Newbie), you cannot throw everything at them at once.   Here is a the step-by-step approach that I like to use.

  • Step 1:  Start with a job description and how to dissect it.  Next, teach the Newbie how to navigate the job boards.   You want them to be able to demonstrate they can find and deliver matching resumes to job descriptions.   They need to master this first.  It is important to know how to dissect both a resume and job description to find a match.
  • Step 2:  Searching LinkedIn and social media.   Now that your Newbie knows job boards, it is time to master the next step.   Can they find and source candidates using social media?   Get them set up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media sites that may be useful to their sourcing.
  • Step 3:  Create a culture of learning.   There are many free webinars out there, about recruiting.   Go to YouTube and watch “how to” videos.     It is time to start learning more advanced sourcing (Boolean Strings and so on).   These first three steps are about sourcing and how to find the candidates that are active on the boards and the ones that may be passive.
  • Step 4:  Time to start talking to the candidates.   Now that your Newbies are delivering matching candidates (at least on paper), it is time to pre-screen.    Initiate conversations with candidates, verify they are interested and go over the basics.    If they are a fit, let the candidate know a Sr. Recruiter will contact them to go over the job requirements and their background in more detail.    (Let the Newbie sit and listen to your conversation with them).
  • Step 5:  Your Newbie should now also be sitting and listening to you while you talk to the client and candidate.   They need to be learning and listening to the interview prep, briefing and all 30 steps of the placement process.   All of these steps will probably take at least up to 6 months if not longer to learn…training is an investment and a marathon – not a sprint.    
  • Step 6:  Finally, when pre-screenings are accurate, Newbies are ready to be fully engaged.   Start them with a job or two as a full-cycle recruiter and see how they do.   You will need to sit and listen and be available for questions.

The goal of this six step method is to get the Newbie to be an expert, one step at a time before they move on, to the next.   

What are your thoughts?

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.

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!  

 

 

30 Steps in the Placement Process

I received this list over 10 years ago and just refound it.   I love the fact that it says “Placement Process” and not recruiting process.    We are in this business to make placements!  

30 steps in the Placement Process

  1. Take a COMPLETE job order
  2. Make a Recruiting Plan
  3. File Search
  4. Name Gathering
  5. Candidate Contact
  6. Candidate Profile
  7. Presentation of Candidate to Employer
  8. Set-up First Interview
  9. Confirm Appointment with Candidate and Employer (Prep Employer)
  10. Debrief Candidate
  11. Debrief Employer
  12. Set Second Interview
  13. Reference Check
  14. Second Interview, Prep Candidate (Trial Closing)
  15. Second Interview, Prep Employer (Trial Closing)
  16. Confirm Second Interview with Employer and Candidate
  17. Debrief Candidate (Closing)
  18. Debrief Employer (Closing)
  19. Closing/Negotiating
  20. Offer/Acceptance/Start Date
  21. Resignation Debrief
  22. CELEBRATE!!
  23. Billing Prep
  24. Fill out Billing Information
  25. Stay in Touch with Candidate
  26. Confirm that the Candidate has Started
  27. Stay in Touch with Candidate and Employer
  28. Get the Check

What would you add or delete from the list?

 

 

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…

Question: What do you look for in a Recruiter?

Attention Job Seekers:

  1. What do you look for in a Recruiter?   
  2. What questions do you ask?  
  3. What are your expectations?

Leave a comment – tell our Recruiter community what you look for!

A Recruiter Myth- followed by some advice!

There is a myth about Recruiters that a large number of the population is walking around with! So many people think that the mere act of sending a recruiter your resume means they are now out there searching for a job for you. I wish this was true, I wish I could give people that kind of hope! The fact is, that Recruiters get jobs and we have to find people who fit. I want it to be you, I truly do, but sometimes it isn’t. I know you can learn it, I know you are trainable, I know you CAN DO anything! But unfortunately my hiring manager really wants someone who already knows it and has already done it.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is:

  •  I can be on the lookout for you.
  • I can tell you what to change in your resume.
  • I can advise you to make looking for a job a full-time job.
  • Get on LinkedIn, get on Twitter, use you Network.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn and start discussions, comment on other’s discussions basically get your name out there!
  • Change your screen name to “John Doe jdoe@hotmail.com  .NET Developer look for next opportunity”. I now know who you are, what you do, that you are interested in talking about opportunities, and how to get in touch with you.
  • Check your junk e-mail everyday. You would be surprised how many job leads and recruiter e-mails are being sent to you and going directly to junk.
  • Remember to edit your resume out on the boards once a month (if you don’t do this you will not come up in my searches) I sure wish I had known this when I was looking for work years ago!
  • Put your phone number and e-mail address on your resume
  • Check in with me once every couple of weeks by sending me an e-mail with your resume attached. Yes I know we are like “best friends” and I should remember exactly who you are and what you do and what you are looking to do next, but sometimes I don’t, I am sorry I know I am flawed, and I really, really want you to get your IDEAL role, so help me to do that!