Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recruiters will focus on you ... if you are a purple squirrel

Purple squirrels are valuable to a recruiter. But if you are not one, well maybe not so much, so don't count on much help. 

When I was an executive recruiter I learned a lot about how the recruiting industry works. I learned if you want to use them, it's important to understand what makes them tick and how to market yourself effectively.

There are differences between internal recruiters that are employees of a hiring company, and external recruiters, those who work for recruiting firms.

They have several things in common:
  • Both are measured by finding top talent.
  • They behave differently because they are paid differently.
  • Neither will always be completely truthful with you.

The internal recruiter: 
  • Is an employee of the hiring company.
  • Is not rewarded financially for filling jobs. Is paid a regular salary which may not be a lot.
  • May or may not understand your discipline very well.
  • Often views work as a 9 to 5 job.
  • Often has many other responsibilities in addition to recruiting.

The external recruiter: 
  • Works for a recruiting firm
  • Typically works on a commission-only basis, is only paid if the candidate is hired.
  • Can earn very large income. Is paid a big percentage of the huge service fee the firm receives. 
  • But usually there are several months of delay before the recruiter receives payment for a placement, therefore he/she is under constant pressure to place new candidates and must make many calls each day to keep the 'pipeline' filled.
  • Therefore views you as a meal ticket, someone to focus on if you are a "purple squirrel", otherwise may have little interest in you.
  • While there is potential for high earnings, the reality is, the probability of making a lot of money is not high, which leads to making many prospecting calls vs. staying in touch with you.

The takeaway is this: Create a resume that postures you as a “purple squirrel”. Otherwise don't rely on getting much attention from either type of recruiter. 

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at

Sunday, July 17, 2016

6 ideas for better networking

Successful job seekers have learned the best way to find a job is to speak to hiring managers before applying. The most effective way to get hired is to be referred directly to the hiring manager by a current employee. An effective way to find current employees is by networking.

People who network successfully do the following things:
·         Use all possible networking venues: 'By-chance' meetings, Formal meetings, Casual activities, LinkedIn, Social Media, everything.
·         When meeting people for the first time they ask simple questions that show interest in other person, like "What do you do?", "How is your day going?", "Where are you from?" These are easy questions particularly if you have a more introverted personality.
·         They keep asking questions to draw the other person out and are always looking for common ground to establish rapport.
·         In the beginning of a networking conversation, they avoid saying they may be seeking a new job. Starting conversations by saying they are job hunting tends to put people on the spot and may cause them to become defensive.
·         They make themselves likable by showing interest, establishing trust, and offering help before seeking it.
·         If they are using LinkedIn or other social media they check the other person's profile, looking for topics the other person is interested in to ask about.

The most successful networkers do not focus on themselves.

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at

Friday, July 15, 2016

How to Write a Script for Calling a Hiring Manager

Calling the hiring manager BEFORE you send your resume is the most successful approach for getting a job. It is best to have a practiced script for the first things you say to the hiring manager.

The 4 objectives of the call to hiring manager are:
  • To introduce yourself and establish rapport and find common ground
  • To gather information about the hiring managers needs for the position
  • To engage the hiring manager in a telephone interview (TI) that leads to a face-face (FF) interview
  • To set expectations for what is to happen next, by whom, and when before the end of the call

The script should include:
  • A request for permission to talk; ask if the person has a few moments
  • A very brief introduction about who you are and what you do
  • A statement that establishes rapport: Engage in conversation before indicating you are looking for a job; Ask about key challenges/hot buttons & describe your success in resolving challenges
  • A request to send your resume: Get the hiring manager's email address
  • Set expectations before ending the call (what - who - when) for the hiring manager

Some Do's and Don'ts:
  • Don't end the call without setting expectations or you will be left wondering what to do if you don't hear back after some period.
  • Don't open with "I'm seeking a job" - That sets up automatic defenses. Let it come out from the nature of the questions and answers in the conversation after establishing rapport.
  • Do research before the call. Learn all you can about the company, its history, what's new, what's happening, etc. And, if possible, learn about the hiring manager, background, likes, personality, managing style.
  • Do align yourself with the company/hiring manager as you establish rapport. Tell them how you are like them.

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at

The #1 way to get hired

Most people pound the job boards to find an opening and apply directly online.  Sometimes that works, but it is far less than 2% effective. It's what everyone else does. And it drops them directly into the automated "system", ATS, where they are most likely to be rejected without a response.

The solution is to make direct contact with the hiring manager before applying. That's the most effective way to get hired. Use job boards to research jobs, then apply offline through the hiring manager. Don't lull yourself into thinking you are making progress on job boards.

But what if you don't know who the hiring manager is? Fortunately there are options for finding them:

The most effective approach is to be referred by a current employee. Often companies have  an Employee Referral Program (ERP) in which employees who refer candidates receive a cash bonus if the candidate is hired.

If you know someone at the company, ask them to refer you. If you don't know someone, use LinkedIn to search for all employees at the company and try to connect with them. Sometimes your search will uncover the hiring manager.

Try doing a Google search. Enter the company name, department name (guess at several or use a functional name like Sales), and the word "manage" or director or vice president or other title. Try different combinations.

Start at the top. Identify a senior manager and work your way down to the hiring manager. If the company is public you can find senior managers by searching online via the SEC for K-1 reports, which give lots names plus other information you should learn about the company anyway.

Network formally and informally for names.

Cold-call into the company. This sales technique can work for you too. It does require you to learn cold-calling technique skills if you don't already know them.

Working through the hiring manager is second to none when it comes to getting a job. Finding the right name sometimes requires some ingenuity.

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2 ways to make your resume stand out

One way is to have a perfectly horrible resume that gets tossed immediately.

The other is to have a resume that clearly shows how you meet the specific needs of the hiring manager and is compatible with the ATS parsing software that will 'read' it.

To get an interview the resume should focus on by citing achievements, results and skills that are needed by the hiring manager. Lacking these, the hiring manager will have no interest.

To respond to needs, after every statement you write ask yourself, "So what? Others can do this too. What did I achieve? What was the result? How did it benefit the business?" Since all managers must achieve certain goals, it is logical that they are chiefly interested in what you have achieved that may help them. If your resume says nothing about your achievements it is unlikely they will want to talk to you.

In addition, most medium and large size companies today utilize ATS software on the front end of their hiring process. When you apply online on job boards or company websites, your resume is analyzed by parsing software associated with ATS before any human ever knows about you. Information in your resume is extracted, scored and entered into a common ATS form for everyone that applies. Only those candidates who receive a high score will be sent to a human for review. The reviewer receives the forms created by ATS, not your resume. Your actual resume can be retrieved later if they so desire.

Because of ATS technology, resume writing has become complex. Not only must you know what keywords ATS will be looking for, you must use them in context. But that is the simple part. ATS parsing software will not be able to 'read' your resume if you have unwittingly built in attributes commonly used in word processing software. Some of the more common are headers, footers, tables, and columns. Even the file type is important. So be careful. 

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 
And visit my website at

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

11 Tips to Make Your Resume ATS Compatible

ATS parsing software is used to reduce many candidates to a short list. To get on the short list your resume must contain key words and phrases the parsing software is looking for, used in context. But ATS can be confounded by other attributes you may unwittingly build into your resume. 

The following provides guidance on how to avoid being rejected because of some of the key attributes.

Keep it Simple. Use a simple document format, not a fancy one. Keep in mind that computers do not have eyes.

Put your Name on the First Line, By Itself. The last word on the first line will be interpreted as your last name. 

Do Not Use Graphics! Period! Make sure you understand what constitutes a graphic.

Do Not Use word processor Toolbar tools that utilize graphics in the background. Not always obvious.

Do Not Nest job titles under one company. ATS prefers you to repeat the company name for each position held with dates for each position. No, ATS will not think you are a job-hopper.

Do Not Use Columns.

Use Only One Font, preferably san-serif one like Arial 12pt.

Use Section Titles that ATS looks for, e.g., Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, etc.

Avoid Using Company Names without their legal structure suffix. Eastman Kodak could be interpreted as a person's name. Eastman Kodak Company is the legal name. Kodak is a trademark, not a company name.

Two additional tips:

Don't Use PDF files for Electronic Application, e.g., on company websites or job boards.

Be Compatible with Scanners and OCR, occasionally used in conjunction with ATS.

Send your resume to for a FREE estimate Today! Then let's talk, no obligations! 

And visit my website at

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What annoys you the most about your experiences applying for a job and why?

I hear many justifiable complaints about hiring processes from job seekers I talk to, things like getting no response, being rejected without explanation, questions asked on online applications,  focus on salary before discussing the job, poorly written job descriptions, Applicant Tracking Systems, and numerous other things. 

I don't hear HR departments or other company managers asking candidates about how they can improve, so I will.

If you could make it better, what specific things would you do to make hiring processes more reasonable for job applicants?

If you are interested in getting help with your search, visit my website.