..quit rewriting your resume so much

some of my candidates keep rewriting their resume as though they think the think really gets read.

look…the average resume gets read in 10 seconds…the reader wants to know who you worked for..do they know who you worked for…how long you were there and how you performed..

your resume is suppose to get you an interview…not get you hired..sooooo, write a chronological resume …NEVER ANY OTHER KIND BUT CHRONOLOGICAL…make it clear who you worked for, what you did and how successful you were…

quit thinking the resume is going to get you hired…get on the phone and get an interview for yourself…that will get you a job..

..working for friends

..heard from a candidate of mine over the weekend…”well, you told me so..” he began

frankly, i had forgtotten what i did tell him…it was six months ago and i have slept since then…he remnded me that, when he told me he as going to go to work for a good friend of his, in that friend’s small company, i shared with him that it rarely works out…that you loose a friend and usually the job in a relatively short period of time…

and that is exactly what happened..it was even more difficult because my candidate thought that his friend was sidestepping the law on certain issues…i.e. payroll taxes…

apparently it got ugly and my candidate is looking for a job again and did loose, what he thought, was a good friend….

i guess anything is possible, but really think twice about going to work for friends..even “distant” ones…if you have to feed your family and that is the only job you can find, you may not have much choice…but ask yourself before you do, “how easy will it be to quit?”.. “what happens if they fire me?” …”am i willing to loose ‘friendship’ over this?”

…should you be the first, second, third or last interview

we are often asked: “if there are multiple candidates, should i be the first, second or last interview?”..tough question

here is our experience…if there are only three or four candidates and they are all being interviewed on the same day, it really doesn’t matter much if you are first, last or in the middle…

now if there are more than that, like six or seven on the same day..or the inteveiws are spread out over a few days, it is best to be dead last…if you can’t be last…be first…

if you are first, you “set the bar”…and you had better be good!…over the next day or two after the interview, email or call and remind the hiring authority who you are and how good you are by reinforcing what he or she said they wanted….

if the interviewing process is carried out over a long period of time…like days or weeks…try to be last…it takes advantage of the “law of recency”…people remeber best what they saw last…

so often, hiring authorities leave the decision to hire someone to the very last moment…lets face it, hiring is an emtionally difficult thing to do and since it is uncomfortable, it gets left to the last moment…soooo, if you are the last candidate interviewed, you have a better chance…

now it only ammounts to a 15% or 20% better chance of being hired, so don’t let it go to your head…however, you need all the advantages you can get

…don’t answer a question you don’t understand

…my candidate didn’t understand one of the questions he got asked …and he knew he didn’t understand it when it was asked…

instead of simply saying, “i really don’t understand, could you state it again,”…he started to answer it…he actually started to answer everything he thought the question might be…he went on and on…

the only way he could have said less was to talk longer…and he did..

end of interview…

lesson: if you don’t understand the question, get clarification then answer…

….what to expect from your recruiter

most people don’t know what to expect from a recruiter…they will act like they do because the don’t want to appear ignorant…

there are at least 9 or 10 different types of recruiters and they  often function very differently…retained search folks, contingency recruiters, “placers,” internal corporate recruiters…all work quite differently..

often when potential candidates contact or are contacted by a recruiter their expectations are not met because the recruiter failed to set them and the candidate didn’t ask…

read the article on the Babich web site that discusses the different types of rercruiters…those of us with lots of experience always try to expain what we expect from our candidates and what our candidates should expect from us

the imporant lesson is to be sure you aks, “what can i expect from you?”…that way, you won’t be disappointed

…stories

one of the most powerful strategies you can develope in the interviewing process is to be able to tell stories about yourself that prove you are a good employee  and that you will be an assett to any organization..

stories tell…they are more than enertainment, they train us in the art of being human…stories remove the listener’s immediate prejudices to you as a person and get them to focus on what you are talking about…

so, as you develope the presentation portion of your interview, make sure you tell stories that demonstrate your advaqntages and benefits..

keep the stories short and to the point…they will make a difference in how you are received

…hiring and the holidays

holidays coming up..don’t be fooled, lots of hiring goes on then…

candidates often tell us that there is little hiring done around the holidays…simply not true..December is traditionaly one of our best months for placements…companies are geting ready for a new year and need to hire..

if you really need to find job…i mean, r-e-a-l-l-y need to go to work don’t go out of town for any of the holidays…the quickest way to turn off an employer or a recruiter is to get somone an inteview the week of thanksgivng or christmas and to hear the candidate say, “well, i’m going out of town for the holiday’s and can’t interview!”

we think, “well, this candidates isn’t that motivated…not that serious about finding a job”…we have to work with candidates that are motivated…so tell your family that you will come visit after you find a job..

we have even experienced candidates getting higher starting salaries because the employers are in better “Christmas” moods during the holidays… 

…dealing with “bruised credit”

we hear it weekly…candidate gets into the finals of the interviewing  process…is told they are a finalist…will have their references and credit checked…

then, oh my, the candidate reveals that they have “bruised” credit…this can be everything from very, very bad credit to poor credit…

in these difficult economic times, it is not suprising that many people’s credit is “bruised”…slightly to very badly..

these days, employers are more prone to check credit on most candidates, even if the position is not a financial oriented job….it use to be that a candidate’s credit was checked only when the job had to do with financial positions…i.e. where money was involved..

these days, though, hiring authorities have a hard time checking references with previous employers, who, more often than not, adopt a “we don’t give references of any type” policy…so, they resort to other objective reports like criminal records and credit reports…

the assumption is that, if your credit is poor, you are a poor employee…

it does no good to argue this issue…if you have bruised credit, best assume you will be eliminated from most any financially oriented job…we even had a candidate lately who was eliminated from an insurance adjusters position because of his poor credit…

we recomend not sharing a poor credit issue unitl you find out that your credit will be checked…(by the way, you can’t refuse this being done without immediately being eliminated from contention)..

once you are informed, tell the hiring authority that your credit has been bruised and ask him or her if that will be an issue…you might share with them the reasons for the situation…we had a candidat a few years ago whose identity was stolen and she was still “recovering” from a poor credit issue through no fault of her own…

some hiring authorities may be able to work with you if they really like you…sometimes they may not have any choice depending on company policies..

you want to be sure that, if you find that a credit report will be reviewed and you have had challenges, the employer does not find out from the credit report itself…especially if you are told that the report will be part of the screening process…

if an employers thinks you are withholding information from him or her, you won’t get hired…

…a little thing you never thought of

your voice mail on your cell phone….make sure is says somethng like, “this is (your name) leave a message and i will return your call.”

why?…well, when people calling you hear a simple number like “214-823-9999…leave a message at the tone” they don’t know for sure if it is your cell phone…and many people ..especially potential employers…are reluctant to leave a message on a voice mail this way…

three years from now, one of those hiring authorities may pull your resume out of the file and try to call you..they won’t know if you still have that number or not…if they get simply “214-xxx-yyyy ..leave a message” they won’t do it

sooooo, record your name on your voice mail…you are missing some great calls 

…till your butt’s in the chair

two weeks ago, one of our candidates got a verbal job offer…$150,000 plus commissions, etc…start date, end of november..maybe december…maybe the first of the year (..almost 3 months away)

i said, “that’s really strange….doesn’t make sense…” …i told him not to trust it…he should keep looking and not stop..he marginally agreed…but he was convinced he had found a job

friday, they call him and tell him the position has been put on hold..we feel so badly for him but there is nothing anyone can do.

lesson: don’t count on anything in this job market…until your butt’s in the chair (…and even then) …don’t stop looking for a good opportunity… keep interviewing…even if you get a written offer…once you start a job…and have been there a while, then shut the process down..