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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, 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.

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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J. 

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

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. And visit his website, 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. 

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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.

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 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. And visit his website, http://ow.ly/dgg2J.