Sunday, January 29, 2017

Only 0.1% of people Who Job Search Online Get the Job

Network is the answer!

80 percent of positions are filled without any advertising. Yet most people spend 70 to 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus talking to employers, without realizing that the majority of hiring is done through networking, finding and speaking with hiring managers.

The following data is several years old. It may be a bit stale but it demonstrates the point because not much has changed since it was generated. 

One survey says major job boards each receive about 427,000 resumes posted every week.

Major companies typically receive about six times as many applications as there are employees in the company. That means for a 30,000 employee company, they might get 180,000 applications a year.

Another survey says the average company receives 250 resumes for each job opening.

1,000 people look at any given job post.

200 begin the tedious, time consuming application process.

100  complete the application.

The first resume is received in less than 4 minutes of the post going live.

75 of the 100 resumes will be screened out, mostly by ATS.

Leaving 25 resumes that will be reviewed by a human.

The hiring manager will invite 4 to 6  for an interview.

1 to 3 of them will be invited for a final interview.

80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept.

Assuming the data is true today, only 1 out of 1000 job seekers that spend time surfing for a job online and actually completing the application process will be offered the job!

Talking to the hiring manager before applying is the key to gaining a competitive advantage and is a more effective use of time.

There are several better search strategies to choose from. Common to each is eliminating the lengthy application process, networking extensively to determine who the hiring manager is, and learning the skills necessary to reach out directly to that person before applying.

Strategies that work are:
1. Be referred. Search the web with appropriate filters for companies that are hiring your job objective, network to find current employees who can refer you, make direct voice contact with the hiring manager, and then apply.
2. Network to identify the hiring manager and introduce yourself. Target specific companies of interest and make direct voice contact with the hiring manager. Apply after speaking to the hiring manager.
3. Gain access to the 'hidden' job market. Target specific companies and ignore whether they have an opening that fits, call to find out who the most logical person is the hiring manager, and make direct voice contact. Apply after speaking to the hiring manager. 

Skillful networking is the answer!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Suggestions for those uncomfortable meeting new people

If you are not very outgoing, networking meetings can be nerve-racking. On the other hand, if you are naturally outgoing and find it easy to engage anyone in conversation you are likely to have some great ideas to share with others in the comments section of this post.

For those who feel fear and nervousness, this is how to change those feelings and become a pro:

#1 - Smile. Always be smiling, like Martha Stewart. That's just being friendly and approachable.

#2 - Ask questions. There are only two types you need to ask, ice-breakers and the ones that are critical to you. 

#3 - Find your 'target' person. Look for someone in the room that is not already talking with another person. You really don't want to walk up to people who are conversing and break up their conversation, or stand around like a third wheel, just listening and looking foolish. (However if you find yourself in that situation and there's an opportunity to add something of value, politely ask a question.)

#4 - Walk up to your 'target', smiling and offer a handshake. For greater impact place your left hand on top of the handshake. This has the effect of demonstrating you are truly interested in meeting the other person with respect and warmness. And that you are approachable. Bill Clinton is an example to learn from. 

#5 - In your case you will introduce yourself and ask an ice-breaker question. "Hi, my name is Karl. How's your day going?" Ice breaker questions are innocuous and open-ended. Listen carefully to the response and build on it by asking why and how regarding the answer. Once started, the conversation continues easily and you will forget your anxiety. Keep practicing and you will quickly become an expert.

Some ice-breakers that might work for you involve searching for some common ground. You could smile and say:
How's your day going?
What brought you here?
Where are you from?
Tell me about ___?
What do you think about ___?
What do you do when you're not doing this?
What do you think of this place?
Have you been here before?

As the conversation progresses watch out for things to avoid doing. Avoid monopolizing the conversation. Don't call people sweetie, honey, doll, handsome, etc. Avoid discussing politics, ethnicity, religion, and biases. Refrain from off-color comments or  jokes. Avoid swearing. Don't take the chance of offending people you may want help from.

Take note of your body language. Folding your arms is a stand-offish position. Don't frown or use a negative tone of voice. People like to be around positive people. 

For your critical questions make good eye contact, continue to smile, and look for opportunities to ask the questions that are important to you, particularly getting names or finding out about the companies you are interested in. These are the "Who do you know" or "Tell me about ABC company" questions. 

Practice your approach out loud in front of a mirror or video record yourself, even better with someone you can role play with. 

Practice when you go shopping, when you visit someone, or even when you meet someone casually or informally. You will improve.

Karl Liechty is a published resume writer and job search skills coach and an authority on writing resumes that are compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems. If you like the post, please share it so others may see it.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Applying for a job online sucks - These 6 things can make it better

I regularly advise people NOT to apply online. No amount of trickery will get you past the cumbersome process of answering long questionnaires or interpreting poorly written job descriptions and application instructions. But if you insist on doing it, there are some things you can do to improve your luck and there's no trickery to it.

The key is you need to make it through ATS unscathed.

1. Don't submit a fancy resume. Keep it simple, no graphics, no fancy fonts, no fancy formatting, no fancy anything. ATS systems do not have eyes. They cannot see what humans see and will not appreciate your creativity. You can create a fancy version of your resume to hand out to humans at interviews or when networking but don't use it to apply online.

2. Focus your resume on your accomplishments, the results of your work, particularly those things that are relevant to what the hiring manager needs. Quantify your results as often as possible. Numbers attract attention.

3. Save your resume as a Word (doc) file. Also save it as a plain text file (txt). Yes, txt files are butt-ugly, but again, computers are blind. They only read digital information. Submit your resume online as either a doc or txt file. All ATS systems can read these two. Actually ATS prefers a text file because all formatting is removed.

Some people will tell you to submit PDF files, arguing that they can protect the file from editing, by a recruiter for instance. The fact is every PDF file can be edited, protected or not. One just needs to know how. They will also tell you ATS can read PDF files, but don't count on it. Most ATS software cannot read PDF's because they are graphical representations of documents. ATS does not like graphics.

4. Watch out for spelling and grammar errors. Most ATS will check spelling at the very least. You will probably not find all of your own errors. Get capable help proofreading.

5. Don't use document creation shortcut tools provided in word processing software. In variably these tools will introduce graphic attributes that will cause information extraction issues for ATS. This can lead to outright rejection or non-response to your application. The tools include those that create headers, tables, text boxes, etc. Find a work-around for simplification tools, for example use tabs instead of tables. Using tabs and getting everything lined up like a nice table is more difficult than the tools that create tables, which is why word processors provide you with the tools.

6. Organize your resume the way ATS wants to see it. ATS will be looking for sections of information it wants to see, for instance Summary, Skills, Experience, and Education. It's advisable not to use variations of these titles. Also, if you held more than one position with a company, ATS prefers to see the company name restated for each position and the dates for that position.

If you insist on applying online, these suggestions will help you become the 1 in 250 that land a job. The best alternative to applying online is making voice contact with the hiring manager first, before applying. Eventually you will probably have to apply online, but you will already have established rapport with the hiring manager.

Help getting the word out. Share this with others.

Karl Liechty is a published resume writer and job search skills coach with careers in business management, engineering and executive recruiting. He is an authority on writing ATS compatible resumes.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Never update your resume when you have a job!

If you buy that I have a bridge to sell to you. The reason to update your resume is no different than the reason to buy auto insurance. Think about it.
Are you happy? Feeling secure? Change is inevitable. If you like the way things are going, it will change!
Unhappy, but haven't yet taken steps to make a change?  Same comment: Change is inevitable. If you don't like the way things are going, it will change ... for better or worse! Update your resume while you are employed.
Many people are so busy they are complacent. Or lazy. Or are simply procrastinating.
Or they are cocky. They don't realize that they're replaceable. Hey, put your fist in a bucket of water. Pull it out fast. The hole that is left is the amount you will be missed.
Make a New Year Resolution to get help before you become one of the nation's unemployed statistic.
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