Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Phone Interviews - Why do they do this?

Phone interviews can be scary for the candidate, but can translate so much information to the recruiter. Yes, it can catch a person off guard, but that's not why we do it. I liked your resume, but know that it's almost impossible to put everything on a page or two. Maybe I want more information on something or just want to talk about what you are expecting from possible employment. Don't panic. If you're qualified and a good fit, you'll do fine.

First thing I ask is if the person has time to talk. What I really mean is; are you working now and maybe don't want to talk where your present employer can hear? It's okay to call me back. I understand.

Depending on your resume and cover letter, I might ask;

What are your responsibilities where you work now?

How do you handle challenges at work?

What do you know about our company?

Where do you want to be in five years?

Why do you want to leave your present job?

Or if you are presently unemployed; How did you leave your last job?

Do you have any questions for me?

There are no magic answers. Be honest. Think about it, you want this new job to be the perfect fit for you, too.

Depending on the answers, my schedule, and how many other "great" resumes I'm calling that day, I might ask you to come in. Sometimes I just put you in the "good possibility" pile to get back to after I make all my calls.  Or after my training schedule next week, or maybe I'm going to be out for a few days. Recruiting is an ongoing adventure. Sometimes I put you on the bench. It's a file that I might not need right at this moment but I really liked the resume so I'm saving you for that perfect job that sooner or later will open up.

When you get a phone interview remember;

  1. Go to a quiet place where you can talk without interruption
  2. Stay calm 
  3. Think about your answers  
  4. Be honest
  5. Be polite
  6. Make sure you know where you sent your resume
  7. Don't be afraid to ask if you can call back later
Good luck with your job search! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Resume Review

A hundred resumes in my inbox. 

I look at them all. It takes hours so I have a system.  

First; Divide into job categories by job type.  We hire for multiple positions. I pick one job category and get going. 

Second; Now, with one job in hand, I scan resume before looking at cover letter. I have to see the facts. If the experience and skills aren't there, the cover letter probably won't help. 

Third; Print the possibilities.  I know not every one will be an exact match, so I probably print more than I'll need. But aside from the exact match, I'm looking for that diamond in the rough. The one that might have experience in other kinds of jobs that could transfer into what I'm looking for in the employee for this job. 

Fourth; Now from the 100 resumes, I'm probably down to 40 or 50. These I read, highlight, put question marks on, and circle facts to narrow down to the best. Here I'll read the cover letters. Yes, the right cover letter could sway me. Cut the fluff, just tell me why you're the best match.

Fifth: Now I might have 25 good ones. I put them in order from great to good and start making phone calls to do a short phone interview. 

That the first hurdle in hiring. Next up will be that Oh So Important; Phone interview. 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Pro-ACTIVE Job Hunting

Face it. Job hunting can be a killer of time and ego. Staying positive after interviews that go nowhere or resumes sent and never responded to, can be hard.
That feeling of hopelessness is your ego speaking. It's telling you you're not great or capable or likable, but don't believe it. Our ego is full of is doubt, insecurity, and self hate and gets you nowhere. So, what do you do when you're sinking down that sucking ego drain?

Flip it into the back seat!

There's no room in the forefront of your life for negative people and there's no room for negative ego speak. Bash it, trash it and boot it to the curb.

When sending out that awesome email with the resume that you polished and shined give it the blessings of the universe and a wave and move on. If something comes of it - Great! Otherwise, don't give it a second thought. Move on and send out the next resume. Know the right one will come back to you.

Had an interview and thought you aced it but no one called. Their loss. You are awesome and the company you are destine to work at will call. Look to the next interview. Practice answering questions in the mirror. Look up more questions that could be asked on the Internet and practice those. Review what you say and decide if you're giving too much info or not enough. Practice makes perfect. Go on all the interviews you can get even if the job isn't quite what you're looking for, it's still good practice.

Plan your day.
Resumes can be sent out any time but if you're sending them out at 3 a.m., the HR person might catch that time when it comes into her email and wonder what you're doing up in the middle of the night. Try not to send them after midnight or before 5 a.m. Play the odds.

Maybe your resume needs a second look?
 A professional resume service might be out of your budget but ask your friends and family (those who have a good job) and get their opinion. Edits may be necessary. Spell and grammar check!
Read that resume out loud. You'll be amazed at the typos you can catch when you read out loud.

Got a cover letter? Make it short and sweet, hitting on your best selling points. (Yes, your resume and cover letter sells you. It's your marketing tool.) Read it out loud. Get someone else's opinion. Edit it a bit to fit the job you're applying for.

Now! Go forth and conquer! Be bold! Be unstoppable! Get the job!



Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Jobs are Out There...

I've taken jobs that were beneath my skill set, but I did it with a plan. I chose businesses with potential. I looked at the size of the company and found out they promoted from within. So, I took the leap. People who knew me, knew what I could do, thought I was crazy to devalue myself like that, but I had a feeling this company was a place where I could use my skills and eventually advance.
I wasn't wrong.

I interviewed, the interviewer.

I asked about room for advancement.
      The answer to this question is very important. When a company promotes from within it means they recognize talent. If you can get into a place where they promote from within, and have the skills they need, you will advance.

I asked when the interviewer started with the company and what they liked best about working there.
    Listen up! Do they like the environment? The challenges? Do they say anything negative at this point?

How many departments make up the business?
     This can be especially important when interviewing for a small business. Do they only have a front desk and you'll be it? (Still not a deal breaker, but important depending on your skill set) Could you start in the department that's open and maybe advance to where you want to be?

Factor in the following;
     Can you afford to put the work into a job with the possibility of moving up? Can you afford not to? Remember, taking this job does not stop you from finding another later.
     Is this a job/industry you can be happy with for a while? It may take a year or more to get where you want to be. Patience is required.

     Are you ready to go for it?



Monday, September 5, 2016

10 Things that Matter in an Interview

Walking into an interview for a job you really want can be a little scary...okay, down right terrifying.

You wear a suit, make sure you're perfectly groomed; hair combed, shoes shined. What else can you do?

It's the small things that matter and  here's a few to remember when you walk in that door;

  1. Turn off your cell phone. Or better yet, leave it in the car. The interviewer will be able to hear it vibrate and yes, it will be a distraction. 
  2. Bring a folder with all necessary information; copy of your resume, list of references, copy of any additional certifications that may apply. (Do not rely on your cell phone to look things up - remember, you left it in the car.) Using a simple folder will keep your papers neat and organized.
  3. Smile. Put your friendly face on. Most places want to hire nice people. A smile reflects an amicable personality. 
  4. Remember your manners. Shake hands, say thank you where applicable. 
  5. Be nice to everyone you meet inside and outside the building. You never know who has the bosses ear. 
  6. Think before you blurt out an answer to the interviewers questions. Taking a few seconds to form the answer in your brain is okay. Don't leave them hanging for minutes, but considering your answer will help you give a more concise answer. 
  7. Study the hard questions. The Internet is full of practice interview questions to help you. Reading them and thinking of your answers will give you an edge when something like them comes up in an interview. 
  8. Be ready for that empty space in an interview. Seasoned interviewers will let you talk. They keep quiet and listen. Know this empty space, when you're doing all the talking, is where they get a lot of information. Be ready for it. It's your time to "sell" yourself. Keep your words positive and upbeat. 
  9. Why did you/are you leaving your last job? Be careful with this question. Never say anything bad about an ex-employer. Even if the work place was horrible, keep your words positive. Saying things like, "There was no room for advancement," or "I felt there wasn't an opportunity to fully used my talents," are better answers. Just be ready to back them up with facts. 
  10. Be ready for: Do you have any questions for us? Before arriving you should have Googled the company and done some research. At this point you can bring that up if you don't have any other questions. 
Good luck out there! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

You Wore WHAT to an Interview?

One of the biggest mistakes people make in an interview is their fashion choice.

Really, people? Shorts and a t-shirt? Is that the best thing in your closet?
Flip flops? You flopped.

In an interview, your clothing choice is a sign of respect. You cared enough to make an impression. Trust me, the person who came in to interview after you wore a suit or at least professional clothing, and got the job. Why? They looked like they were worth the time and money the company will invest in training the person for the job.

HINT: Dress like you want the job.

Throw on a suit jacket if possible and make sure your clothing is clean. (Yes, once someone came in with ketchup stains on their blouse.)

Pick your best pair of shoes. Make sure they shine.

QUICK TIP: Put a dab of Vaseline on a paper towel and rub it over your shoes. This will give them a quick shine and get you through the interview.

Don't own a suit?
Men; A button down shirt, tie and khaki's will work.
Women: A skirt or dress pants and a blouse will work.

The higher the salary, the better you dress. Want that executive position? Invest in the suit. Going for a construction job? Khaki's and clean polo would be acceptable. Just please, make an effort!

Go forth and Get that Job!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

That Stand-Out Resume

What makes a resume stand out to a potential employer?
That's a great question because it could be different for everyone.

First; easy to read format. 

  • List your jobs with dates (or at least months; May 2012 - February 2015)
  • Under each job list your responsibilities for that position
  • Include any special skills (Excel, PowerPoint, Contractor/Machine skills)
  • End with education. (note to older crowd- you don't need the year a simple; Business BA, Computer BS is fine)
Cover letter? Think outside the box. 

When writing your brief cover letter think about why you're a good fit for the job. Is there a personal connection to this type of work? Did your family own a construction company so you know the business from the inside out? Have you been working construction since 1998? What will make your letter stand out among the 100's of others? 

Is a follow up okay?

Usually, giving a call to follow up after you send a resume isn't a bad idea. It shows you're interested. Just don't sound desperate and don't give ultimatums. 
Keep it simple, ask if they received your resume and if they have any further questions you can answer. End with a simple, "I'd love to come in and talk with you about the position."

Go forth and conquer! The perfect job is out there...and you will find it if you don't give up.