Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Your LinkedIn profile picture really IS worth a thousand words!


It is the first thing people look at when they open your LinkedIn profile. They don’t even look at your name first. Even your closest friends look at your picture first.

It has been said repeatedly that if it is missing, a recruiter won’t bother reading your profile. If that happens, you lose.

The optimum picture is a headshot of a smiling face of only you. Not an object, a group, your dog, cat, child, spouse, motorcycle, boat, or the biggest fish you caught,  just you.

People like people that are fun to be around. Your smiling or laughing face is inviting; it sets the readers mood immediately. People tend to like you before they read a single word.

Pick a good background that doesn’t detract from you.

Use an editor like Google Picassa (free) or some other software to crop, brighten, color warmth, etc.


Whatever you do with your profile, make sure you include a picture that is inviting; don’t be a ‘nobody’. 


Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Monday, March 23, 2015

Discrimination and the job interview: How to handle it and win the job.



We all know that how you conduct yourself in interviews is critical to winning the job.

Liz Ryan has written an article that appeared in Forbes magazine over a year ago that points out how to win the job. The article was written about age discrimination. But there are many other forms of discrimination that come into play in interviews too. Besides age, discrimination often involves race, ethnicity, accent, looks, weight, disability and more. If you feel you are being discriminated against by interviewers you should read the article by Liz Ryan which is listed it the end.

Let’s face it, discrimination of all kinds is alive and well. But when interviewing, more important than concern about discrimination is how you rise above it and win the job. And the solution is simpler than you might think!

In an interview, a key to winning the job is in how well you draw out the issues and problems the hiring manager needs resolved and how well you provide concrete examples of how you have resolved the issues in the past.  It is important to rise above possible discrimination, if you feel it exists, and refocus your feelings about it into showing how you solve the real specific problems that exist.

In the article Liz concludes “Job-seekers who use their interview air time to ask questions about the processes, the obstacles in a hiring manager’s way and the thorny problems they’ve seen before in similar situations vault themselves to a higher level of conversation than the ones who don’t.”

In other words don’t just sit there answering the interviewer questions like everyone else, focus your valuable interview time on uncovering the hiring managers’ hot problems and showing how one has handled similar issues. Engage the hiring manager in two-way conversation by asking probing questions, digging deeper, showing real interest and responding with examples of how you have handled similar problems in the past. Showing the hiring manager that you can help solve his/her problems will catapult you above other candidates.

Read the article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2014/01/31/the-ugly-truth-about-age-discrimination/

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What can go wrong with your search? Could you be doing things that lead to a long period of unemployment?

If you pound the job boards and apply, apply, apply, do you feel you are doing all you can do?
If you avoid networking do you think anyone will be able to help you?
If your resume and/or LinkedIn profile is a detailed biography of your work, do you think anyone will want to read it?
If you blast your resume far and wide or hire a company to do this for you, do you think spewing volume forth will help?
If you connect with a recruiter do you think they are going to work hard for you?
If you fail to use LinkedIn as the excellent inbound marketing tool it is, do you think anyone will find you?
Most job hunters are anxious to land their next opportunities. But in case you happen to be one of those who fit any of the above situations you are probably looking straight into the face of an extended search.


I have been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. And I have been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like my help, email me at kl@hoochresumes.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cover letters, to write one or not write one, that is NOT the question for job seekers.


It’s the astute thing to do.

No doubt there are hiring managers and recruiters who don’t read cover letters. Likewise there are many, including some resume writers, who say “don’t bother, they don’t get read”.

However, many hiring managers do read them. Many will disregard a candidate who doesn’t write one. How does one know who will read one and who will not, who wants one and who doesn’t. Well, it simply doesn’t matter.

Unless one is told by the hiring manager, “don’t bother”, the safe thing to do is to write one. A recruiter may not know the hiring managers’ position on cover letters. Furthermore it does not matter what the recruiter thinks. He/she is not the hiring decision maker one needs to impress.

Write your cover letter in a way that is responsive to the hiring managers needs. Be careful not to write a letter full of mundane things like many job searchers write. That kind of letter will work against you if it gets read.

Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Check out this website http://ow.ly/dgg2J


Monday, March 9, 2015

Show me a consistently successful leader that was a pessimist.


Pessimism paralyzes. It kills interviews. It infects the workplace. It stymies finding solutions to problems. It moves business backwards. Nobody wants to be near a chronic pessimist.
Optimism is the elixir that keeps things moving forward. Optimists are resourceful. They have positive attitudes. People like to be near them. They are more likable, more fun to be with. They generate optimism in others. They motivate.
Optimistic job seekers are much more likely to compete successfully and win the new job. Interviewers are sensitive to a candidate’s optimism; they will be looking for it. Given two equally qualified candidates, the pessimist will be the loser! Given two equal employees, the pessimist will be the first to get laid off.
Personality may be difficult to change but pessimists are well-advised to work very hard at it.
Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Resume writing vis-a-vis ATS parsing software.



There are over 40 attributes that you can unwittingly build into a document that can cause ATS parsing problems. When creating a resume it is sheer folly to ignore this fact; parsing issues may cause rejection, non-response, or dropping a candidate into the ‘black hole’. Making sure a resume is ATS-ready is as important as making sure the written text is responsive to the hiring managers’ needs. 

There are over 200 ATS software packages on the market and probably that many variants of parsing software the ATS uses to filter out candidates. The software is very useful for streamlining hiring processes and keeping hiring costs in check, but they are the bane of existence to job seekers because the parsing part of the software is unable to ‘read’ anything but pure text. If attributes get in the way, the text may not get ‘read’ and all the hard work the job seeker did may be lost.

It takes in-depth knowledge of ATS parsing to assure a resume will not be rejected by ATS because of document attributes. Most people do not understand which attributes to avoid. If you are not sure how to create an ATS-ready resume, get help from a someone who does. It will assure you your resume will get read by the parser. If you are rejected it will be for other reasons. Unfortunately many professional resume writers don’t understand the attribute issue.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Interviewers don’t measure you on what your responsibilities were. They measure you on the results of your work!

Interviewers don’t measure you just on what your responsibilities were. They measure you on the results of your work!

If you want to be competitive and win interviews it is up to you to give hiring managers good reason to set up an interview with you. The most important reasons are the accomplishments and results of your work.

Assuming you satisfy the critical requirements, your job is to create a resume that focuses on your accomplishments and results, particularly those that are relevant to the described position.

Your past duties, companies worked for, positions held are important pieces of information, certainly things the hiring manager needs to know in making a decision to call you for an interview. But unless you show how well you performed your duties the hiring manager has no idea whether you are a good possible candidate or not and it is unlikely you will get the interview.

Feed the hiring managers needs! 

Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What I dislike the most about the search tactic of applying for jobs on job boards.



It Isn’t Effective – It lulls you into a false sense that you are making progress and using your time wisely.

It Doesn’t Differentiate You from the Stampeding Herd– You demonstrate you only do what others do. Differentiation is what creates competitive advantage.

It Doesn’t Help You Hone Other Search Skills like Other Tactics Do – For instance, skills learned in making direct voice contact with hiring managers have huge benefits for interviewing. You will learn to be quick on your feet, maintain composure, and always be professional. Nothing sharpens communication skills like making the tough calls! It also makes writing your cover letter a walk in the park.

It Doesn’t Enable You to Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter for the Real Needs of the Hiring Manager – When you learn what the hiring manager’s critical needs you are able to edit your resume to be responsive to the real hot buttons. When you tell the hiring manager how you can resolve his/her needs you generate interest.

It Doesn’t Help to Identify Hidden Jobs – There are jobs out there that people don’t know about. Generating a hiring manager’s interest in you can expose them. You will never learn about them if you don’t talk to the right people.

It Doesn’t Build Your Network – Calling hiring managers generates valuable additions to your network. And it creates follow-up opportunities. Sometimes now is not the time, but sometime in the future will be.


It doesn’t work … usually!

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Monday, March 2, 2015

Applying on job boards doesn’t work … usually!

Sure applying to jobs on job boards works occasionally. The important knowledge one must have to make it work are:
What the hiring managers’ critical needs are,
A realistic attitude towards about how well one meets the requirements stated in the job description,
And a resume that is responsive to the hiring managers’ real needs.
Assuring that the resume is responsive to the real needs of the hiring manager is what will generate interviews.

Strategy and Tactics:

The best job search strategy is to use job boards only for research to identify target companies where jobs exist, to identify industry trends, to identify key people. but not to apply for jobs. There are far better search tactics to use than to follow the stampeding herd that applies on job boards.

The best search tactic is to speak directly to the hiring manager BEFORE submitting a resume. This is the only way to determine precisely what the highest priority problem to be solved is. And it enables one to communicate to the hiring manager how one has solved that kind of problem in the past. It is this candidate-manager dialogue that generates the greatest interest in inviting one in for an interview.

Speaking directly to the hiring manager accomplishes two important goals. It establishes rapport and it results in obtaining information necessary for optimizing the resume to the job before sending it directly to the hiring manager. What better way is there to differentiate one’s self from the herd? It simply cannot happen on a job board!

You might ask how to find out who the hiring manager is and make contact. The answer is simple.
Network!
Data mine!
Identify the hiring manager through family, friends, acquaintances, current company employees, LinkedIn, etc. And use information readily available on the web, like LinkedIn, SEC reports, Google searches, etc., to identify names. Then prepare and practice scripts that will get you past the gate keepers to make Voice Contact with the hiring manager (by the way, never leave messages).

Using recruiting firms is another effective tactic given two conditions:
First, the individual recruiter one is working with should have direct access to the hiring manager, not just HR.
Second, the candidate needs to be a strong candidate, not just a ‘possible meal ticket’ in the eyes of the recruiter. Otherwise the recruiter may put greater effort into better candidates who are more likely to result in a placement.
One problem with using recruiters is, like applying on line, the resume supplied to the recruiter is usually not optimized for the specific opening the recruiter may be representing.

Applying on job boards is a last resort tactic after other tactics cannot be used or have failed. 

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By the Numbers - Take 2


Susan P. Joyce has written a very informative article on Employee Referral Programs (ERP) that has motivated me to revisit my advice on making direct live contact with hiring managers BEFORE applying for a job. The link to her article is at the end. 

As I have often said I believe speaking to the hiring manager and learning about what the hiring managers’ needs are BEFORE submitting a resume is the most effective way of achieving competitive advantage and getting hired. I have also said getting referred by a current employee is highly effective. 

Susan points out the value of being referred by a company employee and the need to carefully follow ERP procedures. This may mean submitting a resume to the hiring manager via the referring employee before actually making voice contact. If that is the case, one loses the advantage of speaking to the hiring manager and editing the resume and cover letter to address the hiring managers’ hot buttons first. 

Therefore determining whether a company uses ERP becomes very important. As Susan states, timing is also very important. One should find out if an ERP program is in place and how it works at the company BEFORE applying. So here are my revised recommendations for finding out who the hiring manager is and making direct voice contact: 

1.  Your personal network should always be the first priority. Network with people you know, family, friends and any others who may know the hiring manager so you can make direct voice contact.

2.  If a company you are interested in does not use ERP, get the hiring manager’s name from a current employee and make direct voice contact to discover what the critical needs of the position are discuss how you can resolve those needs.

3.  If a company you are interested in does use ERP, find out the details of their program and follow the ERP protocols as Susan recommends. Follow up with a call to make direct voice contact with the hiring manager once you know the referring employee will get credit for introducing you to the company. You still need the opportunity to discuss key problems and how you can resolve them with the hiring manager to achieve competitive advantage.

4.  If you are unable to get a current employee referral, find the name of the hiring manager by any means (I have suggested many ways in the past) and make direct contact.

5.  The last resort is to find the name of the ranking HR manager on site and make direct voice contact with that person. While HR is there to help, most likely they will act as a gate-keeper between you and the hiring manager and will not let you contact that person. They are well-known as the junk yard dogs of gate-keeping (sorry HR folks). 

Notice I have said “make direct voice contact” throughout these suggested priorities. Do not leave voice messages or emails. They are often (usually) deleted if the person doesn’t know you. 

This is the link to Susan Joyce’s article:



Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do self-assessing adjectives belong on a resume?


Self-assessing adjectives are words like results oriented, dynamic, innovative, world-class, superior, motivated, creative, passionate, unique, etc. You may be justifiably proud of your accomplishments, but give the hiring manager credit for being able to draw that conclusion.
If you put yourself in the place of the hiring manager, do you think you are making an impression with him/her by self-assessing yourself? Not likely. Unless the hiring manager personally knows how well you have done your work, he or she will be looking for statements that describe your accomplishments and the results of your work. Even then the information you provide will scrutinized in an interview. The hiring manager will then be able to judge the validity of your claims.
The fact is many hiring managers are turned off by self-assessing adjectives. They choose to judge for themselves.

Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How do YOU introduce yourself when someone asks you what you do?



Whenever you network, be prepared for “What do you do?” If you cannot answer the introductory question quickly and casually you may lose your audience. Brief answers that beg the next questions are far better than long detailed dialogues about your life history with stories about your great aunt interspersed throughout. Get the picture? Just answer the question and let the conversation develop from there.

When someone says to me ”What do you do?”

I tell them I’m a job search consultant and wait for a reaction. ”Really? What’s that?”

I help job seekers conduct a robust search. ”So, what does that mean?”

Well I help them prepare their resumes and cover letters and I coach them on tactics they can use in their search. ”Oh, now I get it.”

See? I may be a nerd engineer by training but I speak people too.

After you introduce yourself ask them what they do. Try it. You’ll get all kinds of answers, good and bad. See if they force you try to listen to a long spiel or capture your attention quickly and generate follow on questions. If they can’t stop talking, you will see why I make the point above. Don’t emulate them.


Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

Surprise, surprise! A company is calling you. Are you ready for that screening interview?


When you get that telephone call from someone you have submitted your resume to, are you ready? Do you compulsively answer every call that comes you way? You could fumble a job opportunity if you are not ready.
Do you keep a data sheet of what resume you sent to whom? If you tune your resume to be responsive to a specific job and its requirements it would be wise to know that.
Do you screen your calls so you know who it is before you answer? If you don’t recognize the number, maybe you should allow the call to go to voicemail so you can get prepared before calling back.
Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Things I Love About Cold-Calling Hiring Managers


Cold-calling is a good way of making voice contact with a hiring manager. It’s not the only way, but it is a good way.
Some people have greater ability to engage in cold-calling than others. But many people who are not trained the skills have learned and have been gained employment because of it.
The things I like about it are:
It Works – It generates interest in you. It requires skill, the right mental attitude, and the commitment to try.
It Enables You to Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter – When you learn what the hiring manager’s critical needs you are able to edit your resume to be responsive to the hot buttons. When you tell the hiring manager how you can resolve his/her needs you generate interest. It also makes writing your cover letter a walk in the park.
It Differentiates You – You demonstrate you are willing to do what others won’t. Differentiation is what creates competitive advantage.
It Trains You for Interviewing – Skills learned in cold-calling have huge benefits for interviewing. You will learn to be quick on your feet, maintain composure, and always be professional. Nothing sharpens communication skills like cold calling!
It Keeps You Humble – Rejection is not uncommon and should not be taken personally. What you learn from rejection is how to become better at cold-calling … and interviewing!
Hidden Prospects – There are jobs out there that people don’t know about. Generating a hiring manager’s interest in you exposes them.
Follow-Up Opportunities – Cold calling creates follow-up opportunities. Sometimes now is not the time, but sometime in the future will be.
It Builds Your Network – As a job seeker this is critically important. You’ve heard the cliché “It’s who you know”. That is often so true.
It is Fast – Once you line up your call list you can make many calls in a short timeframe.
It is Efficient – Cold calls are a quick filter. You can quickly learn who your best prospects are going to be.

Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By the Numbers



The title of this post is taken from an excellent article, full of important statistics, which was written in 2013 by Dr. John Sullivan. The link is at the end.

The world of job searching changes constantly but my guess is that although many of the statistics cited by Dr. Sullivan may have changed somewhat, the points made are still valid in 2015.

The author focuses on recruiting statistics and closes with a very valid point: He says, “My final bit of advice is something that only insiders know. And that is to become an employee referral (the highest volume way to get hired).”

I agree. Network your way to a current employee and get referred to the hiring manager.

Then make direct voice contact with that person BEFORE you even think about submitting your resume.

The rationale for doing this includes discovery of the hiring managers critical needs which may not be obvious in the job description, differentiation of you from others, you achieve competitive advantage, resume and cover letter writing becomes much easier, you may gain an ombudsman who will look out for you, it demonstrates your motivation and initiative, you may discover hidden jobs, you may identify future possibilities and you exercise control over your search.

Besides networking with current employees, there are also other ways to identify and speak to the hiring manager. The most effective job search tactic is to speak directly to the hiring manager before applying for the job, no matter how you manage to do it. In my experience, job seekers who do this usually fare much better than if they went to HR first.



Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When interviewing, be conscious of how you are speaking.



Many interviews start off with a phone conversation, often on a mobile device. We all know cell phone conversations lack the clarity of a land line. And what could be more important than being understood during an interview?

Many things can enhance or degrade the conversation. Some factors to consider are local accents, acronyms, speed – too fast or slow, enunciation, slang, volume, pitch, interruptions, talking too much or too little, um’s, uh’s and like’s.

In face-to-face interviews consider other factors as well: posture, body language, eye contact, environment, and again um’s, uh’s and like’s.

Politicians are usually excellent orators. Watch them and emulate their speaking style.

Practice, learn about your speaking habits and make changes when talking with your friends and family, when it doesn’t matter: If you have audio/video capability on your mobile device have someone record you while role playing an interview.

Karl has been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at kl@hoochresumes.com and visit http://ow.ly/dgg2J

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Your LinkedIn profile picture is part of your personal brand. Choose it wisely.

Your profile is a critically import part of inbound marketing. When people land on your profile what they see first establishes their mindset for reading about you. It should be important to you to make them feel like they like you before they even read the first word about you.
The following simple tips will help you set the right mood:
If you don’t have a picture you are a dull, gray, blah! Is that what you want to project?
Make sure your picture is of you, just you, not a group, not a boat, motorcycle, dog, cat, etc. People want to see you.
Smile! Even laugh! It’s contagious. People will immediately begin to like you.
Make it a front view head shot of your face! That will make people feel close to you and like you.
Take the picture with a good background that sets the focus on you.

Edit the brightness of your face so that your smiling features show up well. There are very good, free editors like Google Picassa.
I have been reviewing resumes at no cost since 1999. I have also been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like my help, email me at kl@hoochresumes.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Things your job search coach may not know.


Are you one of the many people who have paid for job coaching service that has not improved your job search results? Are you still applying to companies and not getting responses? Are you getting responses but not winning the job?

I learned a long time ago that just because a person claims to be a dog obedience trainer does not necessarily mean that person is qualified to train your dog. That can also be true for job search consultants.

Before you get too involved, ask a job search coach some important questions.

Ask them if they’ve ever been a hiring manager. Ask them what is most important for hiring managers to achieve. If they do not mention results, pass.

Ask them what motivates hiring managers to want to speak to you. If they don’t mention your accomplishments and the results of your work, pass.

Ask them about fundamental search strategies and supportive tactics that are available to you. If they cannot enumerate at least six fundamental tactics you can use and talk about at least one of the critical nuances you need to know about each tactic, pass.

Ask them to provide you with sample resumes they have written. If they can’t show you the three fundamental file types you will need for your search, pass.

Ask them if they will provide you with detailed directions for keeping your resume ATS-ready when you want to edit it in the future. If all they talk about is key words, pass.

If I job search coach has never ‘walked-the walk” of a hiring manager or recruiter, ask lots of questions before committing money. http://ow.ly/dgg2J

Monday, February 16, 2015

Things your resume writer may not know.



Are you one of the many people who have paid for resume service that has not improved your job search results? Are you still applying to companies and not getting responses?


I learned a long time ago that just because a person claims to be a financial adviser does not necessarily mean that person is qualified to counsel you on your finances. That can also be true for resume writers.


If you need resume writing services make sure your writer understands how parsing software does its job. You will probably be told how important key words are. You might also be told it’s important to use them in context. Both of those statements are true because parsing software has been instructed to search on specific key words. But there is a lot more to it. Please understand, parsing software is searching for text only. It can be confused by graphics; any graphics.


So the next time you speak to a resume writer, ask them a few pointed questions:


Ask them to describe how ATS parsing software works, what it can do and cannot do.

Ask them to tell you how word processor programs can cause you to create problems for ATS parsing software.

Ask them if they will provide you with directions for keeping your resume ATS-ready when you want to edit it in the future.

Ask them how your resume is stored on a company server and how it is ‘read’ by parsing software.


If the resume writer cannot tell you how word processing software can cause parsing software to fail to ‘read’ your resume properly, move on to another writer. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Can you count on a recruiting firm to help you?


Maybe, if you select one to work with carefully. But be careful how you interact with them. You can really annoy a recruiter if you call and email them frequently, leave voice messages repeatedly, demand status updates or send them your resume repeatedly.
Take this from an ex-recruiter. Unless you are a purple squirrel, you are just another one of the herd hoping they will work hard to find you a job. Don’t forget, they are paid by the companies they have contracted with to fill positions. They are not paid by you.
And don’t even think about paying a recruiter! That won’t change a thing unless you can match the fee they receive from the hiring company, typically 25 to 35 percent of your annual salary for most contingency firms, and more for some retained search firms.
Remember, recruiters are just one of the search tactics you can consider.

Karl has many years of experience as a hiring manager. He has also been an executive recruiter. Currently he is a job search coach. Visit his profile or http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Contacting the hiring manager BEFORE submitting your application should be a high priority tactic of any job search.

I regularly advise my clients to use this job search tactic. There are ten reasons to do so. It has the highest probability of landing the job.

1-    NEEDS DISCOVERY: A job description does not necessarily reflect the hiring manger’s highest priority needs. These can only be found out by speaking to the hiring manager and having the chance respond with examples about how you can resolve the needs.
2-    DIFFERENTIATION: Perhaps the most important reason is by using this tactic you will differentiate yourself from your competition!  Few people take the trouble to learn how to find out who the hiring manager is and speak to him/her. Differentiation is the foundation of a marketing yourself and creating a robust search!
3-    COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: By having direct knowledge of the hiring manager’s hot buttons and responding to them, you have the advantage over your competition.
4-    RESUME AND COVER LETTER: By learning the hot buttons you can tune your resume and cover letter to be responsive to the critical need before you submit.
5-    COVER LETTERS: It makes the writing a cover letter simple. You have a name, a position, a reason for writing, and the ability to reiterate the points you made during your conversation.  
6-    OMBUDSMAN: It offers you the chance to get your resume into the hiring manager's hand without going through the company hiring process and protocols, giving you the opportunity to have the most important person in the process to be your ombudsman.
7-     MOTIVATION / INITIATIVE: It demonstrates that you are motivated, that you take the initiative. You take matters into your own hands demonstrating that you are independent, action-oriented, creative, motivated and you take the initiative in managing your search.
8-    HIDDEN JOBS: Sometimes the hiring manager may not have a position that fits you but but after speaking to you, likes what you say and decides to make adjustments in the organization and create a new position just for you. It happens!
9-    FUTURE JOBS: Sometimes it opens up other opportunities at a later date. Sure, you may have found these out later in your search, or never found out about them at all!
10-  CONTROL: It gives you the greatest control over your destiny, making it the most  effective approach to job searching.
This tactic requires considerable practice. It involves learning how to identify who the hiring manager is and how to get past the gate keepers to make direct voice contact. I offer coaching on this and many other tactics.

If you are fearful. here is a very worthwhile link with some “how-to-overcome-fear” guidelines:

Here is another link to some good advice on cold-calling, one of the many approaches. I only disagree with the point about leaving messages. Messages are too easy to delete.


Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Another perspective on why you do not get a response when you spend your time applying online.

Although it is impolite, it is really not a personal thing when. There may be several reasons:

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) parsing software used primarily by large and medium size companies may not have been able to read your name and contact information. Often this is because of how you created the resume. (You need help from someone who understands the technical side of ATS parsing software to deal with this.)

ATS parsing software may have concluded you are not as qualified as your competition.

The ATS itself may not be programmed to send automated responses. Unbelievable, but it happens.

The job may have been put on hold.

Your resume may not have been reviewed by ATS but by someone in the company, often a recruiter, who determined you do not meet the minimum requirements. If that person was an internal recruiter many things come into play. Internal recruiters employed by companies tend to be extremely overworked. They could provide an excellent service to you but they don’t. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • The recruiter may not be adequately trained.
  • The recruiter does not understand the requirements of the job.
  • The recruiter has a large workload which he/she cannot handle. Recruiters are often required to perform background checks, arrange drug tests, and arrange interviews, etc., for candidates in process which diminishes the time to respond to new applicants. I’m not making excuses for them, simply explaining what goes on in their workday.
  • The hiring process is realistically a disqualification process in which the recruiter’s mindset is to focus on why you should not be a candidate to move forward with and is not incented to pass that information on to you.
  • Recruiter’s performance is usually measured by “days to fill”. When the metric reaches a preset point the recruiter gets “dinged”. So recruiters invent ways to stop the measurement clock by un-posting it for any day they did not have time to spend on it or reset the clock if the hiring manager wanted to tweak the posting. 

The above is the reason I believe there are far more productive ways of conducting a job search. The most effective way is to network your way to speaking directly to the hiring manager. The rationale for doing this is outlined here: http://ow.ly/HXqHt

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marketing, advertising, and sales skills are needed for conducting an effective job search.

Many companies have entire staffs to perform each of these functions. When you think of it, job seekers need to perform all of these functions and are a staff of only one.

If we explore the skills needed to perform each function is there any wonder job seekers need competent search coaches?

Fortunately some of the required skills for each function overlap. The common skills required by all are Organization and Focus, Presentation, Questioning and Listening skills.

Organization and Focus – priorities, time allocation, avoiding diversion from the immediate task.
Presentation – The ability to write and speak confidently, correctly, knowledgeably and intelligently in any situation plus the ability to “think on your feet”.
Questioning and Listening – The ability to seek information, ferret out objections, focus on listening carefully to responses so that good responses can be made.

In addition to the overlapping skills, Marketing and Advertising skills needed by job seekers are Market Research, Advertising and Collateral Materials preparation. These skills develop a search strategy and supporting tactics.

Market Research/Prospecting – What sector, industry and companies play in your market, what are their relative strengths and weaknesses, who should be targeted? Who is the possible hiring manager? What are the most effective ways of identifying the name? How can that person be accessed? 

Advertising – What are the best venues to advertise in, which venues have the greatest potential return, what information is most important to present, how should it be presented?

Collateral Materials preparation – how should the resume be written, what format should be used, how should it be organized, what are the hiring managers’ needs, how should the needs be responded to, how should it be written so that it passes ATS parsing scrutiny, are the necessary spelling and grammar skills available to prepare professional documents, how should the cover letter be written so that it does not look like everyone else’s cover letter?

In addition to the overlapping skills, the selling skills required by a good salesperson are: Prospecting, Contacting hiring managers, Getting past gatekeepers, Rapport building, Overcoming Objections, Closing, Negotiating, and Persistence.

Prospecting – Who is the possible hiring manager, what are the most effective resources for identifying the name, how can that person be accessed? 

Contacting hiring managers– Networking, cold calling, asking for referrals, writing articles, joining and actively participating in LinkedIn, meeting people at industry meetings, arranging casual face-to-face meetings over coffee, breakfast, or lunch, establishing rapport, preparing and practicing scripts.

Getting past gatekeepers – Establishing rapport, handle filter questions, avoid HR, prepare and practicing scripts.

Rapport building - Speak your prospect’s language, demonstrate that you understand the business problem they face

Presenting – When making contact with hiring managers, keep in mind you are imposing upon their time, be crisp and concise. Too many people talk far too much and focus on themselves rather than the hiring managers needs. This is also true in telephone and face-to-face interviews. Resist the urge to start out by building background information. Discuss only the aspects of yourself that are critical for your prospect to know. Verbally rehearse that presentation before you make it. Watch your body language, gestures, and facial expressions. If possible practice in a live video; use the voice recorder feature of your smart phone. You might be surprised, or appalled, by how you come across.

Questioning – Many people ask low-value questions that do little to engage their prospects in the conversation, such as “What are your needs?” Instead ask high-value questions that differentiate yourself from your competition.  “What internal challenges do you need to deal with to achieve the goals you are signed up for? What is preventing you from achieving that goal?” Look for responses that fit your expertise. Then respond with an example of one of your accomplishments that is similar to the need.

Listening - Listen carefully to what the other person tells you. Ask clarifying questions when the other person says something vague or that requires elaboration. Recap what the person said to confirm your understanding. Seek clarification if your understanding needs it.

Overcoming Objections – Gate keeping is a natural part of the recruiting process. You can make considerable headway toward reaching the hiring manager be preparing and practicing rebuttals to the most common objections by empathizing with the objection, clarifying the objection and seeking permission to continue.  

Closing – There are books on the many various ways of closing a sale. It’s not necessary for a job seeker to learn them all. Becoming proficient in a few important ones are setting expectations, asking for the job, the conditional close (if I, will you) and the trial close (get them saying 'yes' and they'll keep saying 'yes').

Negotiating – This skill is particularly useful when it comes time to discuss salary, benefits and perks. Most important is starting from a realistic place. That requires research into salaries paid in specific industries, locations, etc., and establishing a bottom line one is willing to live with.

Persistence - Persistence means finding creative ways to keep your name in your prospect’s mind, not allowing the first few no’s to prevent you from continuing pursuit and asking for job.


These are a daunting number of skills job seekers need to attend to. Professional coaching is usually the only way to executing an efficient search. For help see http://ow.ly/dgg2J.