Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The anatomy of a recruiter. What you should know.



There are two kinds of recruiters: Internal recruiters who are paid employees of the hiring company and external recruiters who work for recruiting firms that serve hiring companies.

They have one thing in common: their mission is to identify candidates who have the potential to serve a hiring need. There are other similarities, but there are also big differences between them you should understand.

The internal recruiter:

Is a company employee who works in HR and is paid a steady salary. He or she has no “skin in the game”.

He/she is often pressed to find candidates for a variety of positions, may or may not understand the job he/she is hiring for and may not be able to understand how you fit the needs of the job.

He/she may or may not view their work as nothing more than “just a job”.

He/she may have a myriad of other responsibilities in addition to recruiting.

He/she is driven to identify good candidates but is not incented financially for doing so other than having a base salary and employment.

The external recruiter:

The external recruiter usually works on a commission-only basis, therefore has considerable incentive to make placements.

He/she is paid part of the commission the firm receives from the hiring company, typically 25 to 35 percent of the candidates’ first year salary.

Very often there is a considerable time delay, perhaps 3 months or more, before the recruiter receives payment for a placement. Therefore the pressure is constantly on to find new candidates and achieve ‘sendouts’ (face-face interviews) every day.

Like the internal recruiter, the external recruiter may not understand the job he/she is recruiting for, but usually works in only one industry or discipline and has a higher incentive to understand the job, at least the jargon of the job, in order to make placements.

There tends to be considerable turnover in recruiting firms. Those who fail to get their candidates hired often leave the recruiting firm for lack of income, or they get fired.

Recruiting firm management presses hard for recruiters to make many calls each day. They know their business is a “numbers game”. Unless you are a “purple squirrel” you may not get much attention.

Sometimes it is not obvious from a job ad which type of recruiter you may be dealing with. When you get a call from a recruiter, make sure you understand which type is calling you.


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, April 27, 2015

A recipe for failure to land a new job may be caused from the lack of only one ingredient.

Do you fall short in any of these things?

Failure to get professional help early. Delay only extends the time to find a new job which creates a larger than necessary current gap in the resume.

Failure to network properly or at all. It really isn’t just who you know but who needs to know you.

Failure to have an ATS-ready resume. This is the largest cause of landing in the bottomless “black hole”.

Failure to find out who the hiring manager is and speak directly with him or her. If you are not seeking an HR position you do not want to apply to HR before speaking to the hiring manager. Many job ads are poorly written. Too often HR does not understand the hiring managers’ real needs, and that is what you need to know first and foremost. After all, if you don’t know what the key problem is, how can you demonstrate you are the best candidate to fix it?

Failure to edit your resume to be responsive to the hiring managers’ needs. Specifically, failure to demonstrate the results of your work. The resume is about you, but it needs to be edited for each and every job you apply to in order to show how you can help resolve the hiring managers’ pain.

Failure to learn good interview technique. Do you answer questions crisply and concisely? Do you listen carefully? Have you prepared for the interview? Do you talk too much?

Failure to learn and understand the art of selling. Your background may not be in sales, but you must learn how to sell the benefits of hiring you.

Wasting time pursuing a flawed job search strategy and tactics. Measure your search results. Make sure your plan is effective and be willing to modify it if it is not.

Make sure you are preparing yourself to conduct a search that does not fall short in any of the above.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What a personal brand Is, and what it Is Not.

When it comes to understanding what a personal brand is it is easiest to understand what a product brand is first. A product brand might be “Ford Mustang”, “Kleenex”, “Kraft Cheese”, etc. It is a short statement. It might include a brief modifier to attract attention such as, “A Ford Mustang that will do zero to 60 MPH in six seconds”.

Your personal brand is similar. It simply answers the question, “What do you do?” in a brief few words. It is not a long, detailed description about how great you are.

You might be “A School Teacher who has improved the math test scores for fourth graders from 62% to 88% over a five year period”, or “A Manufacturing Process Engineer who has saved companies millions of dollars in production costs”.

It is important to avoid the temptation to embellish the statement with lots of extraneous information, particularly self-assessing adjectives. But it is very worthwhile to follow the statement with a tabulated list of your core competencies, perhaps 3 columns by 3 rows, written in short phrases. These identify the primary skills you have that support the personal brand statement.

These two elements will give the reader an easily read picture of what you do in a manner that encourages them to read further. Your name, contact information, personal brand statement and core competencies should fit in the first one-third of the page so that the reader can quickly get to the results you have achieved in your most recent job experience on the first page of your resume.

If you can achieve this you will get more interviews.

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, April 20, 2015

I think Ulrich Schild said it best: “It’s not who you know, but who wants to know you.”

So you are searching for a new position. Who might want to know you? I suggest certain people in your network may.

Your personal network is critical to a job search, that is, if it contains people who can help you.

If it is just a lot of people you don’t know who you have connected with on LinkedIn, you may be wasting your time connecting unless they are employed by a company you are interested in pursuing or they know someone in the company or they are recruiting people for a position.

Employers often have ERP’s, Employee Referral Programs, in which current employees may receive a bonus if the company hires someone they refer (like you for instance). Connecting and establishing rapport with a current employee is an excellent way to get hired. In fact it is one of the best. So check out company websites. Sometimes they will say they have an ERP. And certainly ask a new connection the same question.

But it is difficult to get a referral from a connection who doesn’t know you if they have nothing to gain from it. If you are a strong candidate the referring employee is likely to want to know you. The hiring manager will too.


And if you get an interview from a referring employee, make sure HR knows who referred you so that person gets the credit …. And the bonus!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Is your resume long and verbose? You probably talk too much as well.


More than any other factor there is one thing will cause people to reject your application or fail to hire you, even if you satisfy the basic job requirements:

You can’t express yourself verbally or in written form crisply and succinctly.

This factor is the single biggest reason people don’t get interviews or they get rejected after interviewing.

If you write too much your resume won’t get read.

If you talk too much you will monopolize the conversation and interviewers will find ways to get rid of you.

Verbosity is likely to be interpreted as unable to work efficiently, spending too much time getting to the conclusion.

A simple solution is to record your own conversations with people. Listen to the play-backs and see what you are doing. How long did it take you to arrive at the point of the answer? How could you have gotten there quickly?

When you write, think about the end point you are trying to reach. Start eliminating words. Can you get to the point in one brief sentence?


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, April 8, 2015

It’s no wonder that many candidates drop out of the online application process before completing it.

Listen up employers: 

By asking candidates to fill out an online questionnaire that requires repeating information already on their resume and by asking them for their salary requirements before they have even had an opportunity to talk to you, you are driving away many of your best candidates in an attempt at being efficient.

If you ever find yourself wondering why your job advertising is not delivering results, or why you don’t seem to get enough good people to interview, consider this: It is often because you made a bad first impression online.

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, April 7, 2015

Do you plan to use a recruiter in your job search? Here are some rules of engagement:



Rule #1 – Never pay a recruiter for help! Recruiters are paid handsomely by their client companies. And be careful. There are scam artists who may promise you employment within a short time period for a fee.

Rule #2 – Never assume a recruiter works for you! Again, recruiters are paid by their client companies. You are a meal ticket, not a client. And if you are not a “purple squirrel”, a clearly unique, superior candidate in the eyes of the recruiter, you may get lots of promises but little or no real help.

Rule #3 – Figure out if your recruiter is capable of helping you before you align yourself with him or her! This may be an obvious thing to do, but it is easier said than done. Ask probing questions. The industry has some great recruiters, lots of turnover, lots of rookies, its’ share of  “hard-sell salesmen”, some sharks and a few crooks.

Rule #4 – Make sure the recruiter does not change anything in your resume unless you review and approve it before it is submitted to their client! Find out why the recruiter wants to make changes. Make sure any changes represent you accurately, honestly, are grammatically correct and have no spelling errors. Many recruiters are not good resume writers.

Rule #5 - If the recruiter appears annoyed by your questions or unable to answer them thoroughly and confidently, do not walk away, RUN AWAY!


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, April 6, 2015

Why you should avoid using resume templates.


Generally they are not ATS-ready! And if not, they may not be parsed correctly … or at all.

It is true that resume templates are often attractive and easy to use. That’s probably why you would pick one to use. However, that attractive format may be the very reason you don’t get many responses because it may not be ATS-ready. In fact most are not. Resume templates usually include features that cause incorrect text parsing. It may be the reason you get rejections. Parsing software does not care about beauty. It does not have eyes. It cannot see. It can only the ‘read’ the binary code that represents your resume on a server.

If a company does not use ATS software to make their hiring process more efficient and less costly, then using a template may not be a problem.

But the question is how do you know for sure whether they do or do not? It’s also not a problem if you physically hand your beautiful resume to a human who can see. But if ATS is used in the hiring process you may run into a pile of trouble.

Some templates are free, and that certainly is appealing.

 But you may just get what you paid for. Think about 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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beware of claims about “Secret Sentences” you can use that will land you a job!


We see this kind of hoax posted frequently on LinkedIn, posted by people who make all kinds of claims about sharing with you a certain sentence you can use that will win you a job – in exchange for your money! The hype usually includes “comments from satisfied customers” who have been hired by using this “secret sentence”. You can guess who wrote the comments.

“Secret Sentences” are pure marketing hype worded to entice you to spend your money. After all, who wouldn’t want to know what secret sentence would get you hired. If it really were true everyone would use it and there would be no secrecy about it; and every hiring manager would recognize it in a heartbeat. There are very few hiring managers in this world who can be swayed by some “secret sentence” to hire you.

Hiring managers want to know who you are, how to reach you, what you have done, what you have achieved (the results of your work), and what your credentials are. From this information they will decide to interview you or not.

Based on interviews hiring managers will decide if they like you, if they think you can do the job and if they believe you will fit into their team. No “secret sentences” will ever come into play, so don’t be duped into believing that. Hoaxes are just that, hoaxes.

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.