Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are you undermining your job search by doing these things?


You will stunt the progress of your job search if you do any of the following:
Don’t bother to write a cover letter.
Create a single resume that you believe will fit all jobs.
Riddle your resume or cover letter with spelling or grammar errors.
Avoid networking.
Broadcast your resume far and wide.
Avoid participating in LinkedIn groups and discussions.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is incomplete, forget about having a good, smiling headshot of yourself (only you) and make it difficult for people to contact you.
And if you win an interview anyway, show up late, chew gum, forget about good hygiene, arrive reeking of tobacco or alcohol, don’t make good eye contact, provide long-winded answers to questions, bad mouth a previous boss or company and make some bigoted remark.
Be creative and think of many other things you can do to extend your job search. You can do it.
Of course if you really do want a new job you could choose to do the opposite of all of these things.
Best wishes for an effective search!

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

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

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.


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

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

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