I’m consistently amazed by how unaware the average job seeker is of how to establish a positive first impression on a phone interview. I hear the same frustrated complaints from employers of all industries and sizes – that candidates who voluntarily submitted their resumes in hopes of discussing a position they’re supposedly interested in just can’t seem to get it together. Remember when all you needed was a solid resume to be guaranteed a face-to-face interview? For the sake of saving time, resources, and money, recruiters have become much more selective on who they decide to meet in person. In an effort to weed out time-wasters and soft-skill-deficient candidates, recruiters are conducting phone screens to find out who’s off their game.
1. They’re unprepared to take the call.
If you’re 4 beers deep at a Yankees game or trying to wrestle a dirty diaper off a screaming baby, you probably shouldn’t answer a call you don’t recognize. Yet, most of the candidates my recruiting team speaks with are under the impression that it’s better to answer a call you’re not completely prepared for than to miss the call altogether. It’s not. If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t suitable for a professional conversation, don’t pick up. Instead, call back within 24 hours, after you’ve collected your thoughts, can speak confidently, and have locked down a quiet location.
Not to mention, they start timing you from the second they leave a voicemail, which brings me to my next point. If you’re actively looking, you should have a professional voicemail with specific instructions to avoid an unwanted game of phone tag. For example, “Hi, you’ve reached Mark Smith. If you’re calling in regards to my resume, please leave your name and number as well as the best times for me to reach you.”
2. They expect the recruiter to fill in the blanks.
“Hi, what job did I apply for again? What company are you calling on behalf of?” It pains me to admit this, but these responses are the norm when an employer reaches out to a candidate, even for high-level positions. You’re a job seeker, which means you probably apply to several jobs each week. We understand that it’s tough to keep track, but it’s essential – if only for the sake of a recruiter’s sanity – that you start taking notes. Just by picking up the phone and saying, “Hi Wendy, you must be calling in regards to the Customer Service position I applied for last week.” Mind blown.
3. They conduct an unorganized job search.
This goes hand in hand with my last point. Today, it’s not enough to print out a handful of resumes and call it a day. We always recommend that our candidates keep a spreadsheet of every job application they submitted with corresponding dates, company names, and relevant contacts. Or, if you’re a tech wiz, try these awesome job search apps. That way, when the phone rings, you’ll have a handy guide that’ll save you from playing guessing games. Also, it’s important to keep your background information and portfolios within arms reach to provide some quick material for preliminary questions. It says a great deal about your personal brand if you’re prepared to answer a challenging question, and even have some on-hand stats to back up your argument. And for bonus points, don’t forget to browse company websites and connect with HR personnel on LinkedIn. Taking that extra step makes a huge impression.
4. They don’t understand why recruiters really call.
More often than not, recruiters aren’t calling to simply schedule a personal interview; they’re calling to conduct a prescreen. In other words, to decide whether they want to move you forward. Remember all that research you were supposed to do when you applied for the gig? Use it to show recruiters you know something about how their company culture works and that you’re serious about the job.
5. They have a bad “radio personality.”
Phones are tough – all you have to make an impression is your voice. Candidates, especially introverts, often fail to heighten their energy over the phone. Nobody’s expecting you to sound like Ron Burgundy, but you should at the very least sound excited, confident, and prepared. Excessive “umms,” stammering, or sounding like you’re dead inside are huge turnoffs to recruiters. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through practice. Record yourself on any device you have handy, and ask yourself this difficult question: “Would you hire you?” Getting your career narrative down in a way that engages and connects with an employer is essential to winning that face-to-face meeting.
6. They have a weak or unprofessional online presence.
Chances are, if recruiters are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be googling you before then end of your conversation. A half-complete LinkedIn profile or a racy Facebook picture is all it takes to eliminate you from the game. Just last week, one of my recruiters found a candidate with a stellar background and scheduled her for an interview right away. But just minutes before their call, she discovered an R-rated photo online that involved a stripper pole. Needless to say, the recruiter’s mind was made up before the conversation started.
7. They fail to treat a phone interview with the same decorum as they would a personal one.
Just because you didn’t put on a suit or block out time in your day doesn’t mean it counts any less towards your chances of securing the job. Request follow up procedures, send personalized thank you notes, and be sure to highlight any takeaways to reinforce your sincerity. Take it from me, the small things really do matter.
(Editor’s Note: All of us in the TalentCulture community mourn the loss of our dear friend, brilliant colleague and mindful mentor, Judy Martin, who passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. The following is the last post she contributed to our blog, only 10 days earlier. Her message and her life are a lesson for us all.)
The unthinkable happened during the first week in January.
TalentCulture CEO Meghan M. Biro had gone missing. She hadn’t returned a tweet from me for more than three days. Unheard of, I tell you.
Naturally, I was concerned about her well-being. I actually considered contacting Boston area hospitals. But instead, I did what any good friend would do. Resorting to an antiquated strategy, I picked up the phone and called her.
“Seriously Judy, I’m taking a break. I don’t want to burn out,” Meghan told me.
“What? A break from your BFF?” I almost blurted. Then, a calm washed over me, and instead I said, “Good for you.”
8 Tips to Reduce Stress In The Face of Digital Exuberance
1) Schedule Social Sessions:Timing is everything. And quality time counts. When does your network naturally buzz with activity? If you’re a rock star, you might be inclined to check Twitter in the late evening, but if you’re into talent management and business news like me, you’re probably trolling Twitter from 7-8 a.m. Instead of trying to pay attention 24/7, pick one or two intervals each a day to dip into the stream. Don’t just “fly by” with retweets — really dive in and engage in conversations that build relationships. But when your scheduled time is up, move on. Eventually, you’ll adjust to an established rhythm, and so will those in your inner circles.
2) Take Breathing Breaks: Twitter and Facebook interactions can become surprisingly intense. Periodically, take 5 minutes to literally sit back and just follow your breath. Close your eyes, or look away from the screen. Simply being aware of how you are breathing helps regulate cortisol, the “stress-producing” hormone. Count as you inhale – one, two, three. Then hold your breath for several seconds, and exhale to the count of three. Better managing stress “in the moment” gives you more energy later, when you may need to tap into your reserves.
3) Stand Up and Stretch: Once in a while just walk away. Yes, leave the computer behind. This is important to get blood circulating in your body, which delivers more oxygen to your brain. If you prefer not to stand, push your chair away from the desk. Inhale and raise your arms above your head, clasping your hands in a “steeple” position. Look up and gaze at your hands for several moments. Then exhale slowly while your hands float gradually back down to your sides. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to shift back into business gear.
4) Hum with Purpose: That’s right — make noise. Humming actually calms the mind and body. It’s an ancient yogic technique that helps focus attention prior to meditation. The sound reverberates in your skull, and helps your brain rewire your attention. Here’s how: Plug your ears with your fingers and inhale deeply. Pause. Then as you exhale, hum for the reminder of the “out breath.” Repeat two more times. If you feel dizzy, stop. But ideally, it will help release tension and help you focus.
5) Let Filtering Tools Work for You: Sometimes we need to look beyond human behavior for help. If we opened every link that came our way we’d never sleep. Aggregation tools help consolidate and organize the chaos — news sources, blog posts, and other information sources of interest. I’ve set up Google alerts to deliver breaking news on keywords that matter most to me. For less critical topics, I receive news feeds once a week. You can use Hootsuite, Buffer Tweetdeck and Aggregation tools and dashboards to identify relevant content and create a delivery schedule that works for you.
6) Harness Hashtags:Hashtags are the fastest way to share and find relevant information on Twitter. For example, professionals who participate in the TalentCulture community share HR and business leadership knowledge by adding the #TChat hashtag to their tweets. At any moment, anyone can search for #TChat, to see the community’s latest tweets. It’s like round-the-clock access to the most popular human resources conversation on the planet. If you follow a hashtag like #TChat in your Twitter dashboard, you’ll quickly and easily find helpful peers, ideas and advice. Also, when you schedule Twitter posts, be sure to add hashtags that reflect your area of expertise. Your posts will reach people in your niche, even when you’re offline.
7) Leverage Human Relationships: Sometimes, all of us need to unplug for several days or more. When you do, plan ahead. Just because you’ll be off the grid doesn’t mean your networking must come to a standstill. Reach out to several people in your immediate network. Let them know that you’re taking a break, and ask for a little extra support in sharing your work on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — wherever you’re most active. You can even form ongoing support alliances and develop common “social back-up” guidelines. Just remember, you’re not alone.
8) Create a FOMO Free Zone: Perhaps the most important advice I can offer is to honor your social self. Competitive pressure shouldn’t drive your social brand development. Don’t let yourself become obsessed with how other people behave on social channels, or about whether volume or frequency of their activity trumps your own efforts. Whatever your message is, you’ll succeed when you deliver it through your own lens, with your own voice, to an audience that is naturally interested in you. Forget #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!
Of course, even with healthy habits, it often feels like we’re networking at the speed of light. But hopefully these tips help you slow the pace a bit, focus on what matters, and generate more energy to fuel your social success.
Do you have tips for reducing stress and improving productivity in the age of social networking? What techniques and tools work for you? Share your ideas in the comments below.
(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/woman-163425_1920.jpg351700Maren Hoganhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMaren Hogan2014-01-21 09:25:302020-05-27 16:54:06How to Build Your Network Without Burning Out
The endorsement process is an evolution. What you try to do is you endorse someone that you believe in and their ideas align with yours. -Herman Cain
“It’s not what you know, it is who you know.” I’ve heard this statement throughout my college years and my career hunt. So, if everyone I know endorses me on LinkedIn, or if I email personal endorsements with my resume, will that land me the perfect job?
Recently I’ve been researching the role of social media in predicting consumer behavior. I see a connection with professional endorsements. For example, today’s technologies allow companies to track customer sentiment. According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising Report, 92% of consumers around the world say that they trust earned media (such as recommendations from friends or family) above all other forms of advertising.
If consumer reviews have such a significant influence on potential buyers, then surely professional endorsements carry tremendous weight with recruiters and job seekers.
But what about the new “skills endorsement” feature in LinkedIn profiles? What do these “thumbs up” stamps of approval really mean? How authentic are they? Are they considered credible? And how do they relate to more traditional professional recommendations?
I am not the only one with these questions. That’s why the TalentCulture community focused attention this week on the role of recommendations in today’s social workplace.
G+ Hangout Video: As a prelude to his appearance later in the week, Mike Dwyer, discussed the value of endorsements with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald. Mike is Co-founder of QUEsocial, a social business platform that equips employees with training, content and motivation to improve their performance.
WED 1/23 #TChat on Twitter: Mike and Marla joined us again – this time on the Twitter stream – as Mike led participants through an open discussion of issues, experiences and best practices in managing professional recommendations. Representative comments are featured below…
NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “The Power of Online Endorsements” #TChat session on Twitter, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online?
Endorsements SUCK. Require no effort & too many ppl are abusing them to try to garner reciprocal endorsements. @DawnRasmussen
Are all online endorsement and related activity created equal?
I feel that referrals and recommendations weigh more than endorsements. It’s not a one click free-for all. @AshLaurenPerez
+K endorsement on klout is like Linkedin endorsement. Fast and fleeting, with no context. Written endorsements prove relevance. @bryanchaney
LinkedIn endorse. would make more sense if they had engagement portion where you could see discussion about person/brand taking place. @rezlady
How should leaders interpret online recommendations and endorsements?
Consider the source. Probably best not take at face value. @TomBolt
As an initial filter it will probably speed up recruitment, but, I still prefer meeting people to make an accurate choice. @EnZzzoo
When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online?
Endorsements are nice but in prefer calling people and talking business. @levyrecruits
I have to know someone personally to endorse them and have something significant to say to recommend them. @nancyrubin
How is tech changing the nature and value of endorsements and recommendations?
Tech will increasingly become the norm. For delicate HR placements it will never replace a genuine CV and interview…I hope. @EnZzzoo
While tech makes it easier for everyone to see your endorsements, when abused it dimisses value for all. Why you need network. @tamcdonald
# # #
Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow
SPECIAL THANKS: A nod to Mike Dwyer and Marla Gottschalk PhD for your leadership this week. The TalentCulture community would recommend you anywhere, anytime!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about professional endorsements or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we examine “Diversity of What?” – a fresh take on diversity in the workplace. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 29, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 30, at 7pm ET. Look for more details on Monday, January 28 via @TalentCulture and #TChat.
Question: What was your favorite job to-date? Now tell me, how did you learn about that job? And how did the hiring manager decide that you were the best candidate?
Did friends, family, former colleagues – any people you know – make a difference in helping you locate and land that satisfying opportunity? I bet you said yes.
Certainly, other factors count. Skill, speed and smarts – even serendipity – can play a role in making a strong career move.
But after a week of #TChat discussions about how to stay ahead of the curve in today’s job environment, I’m reminded that one factor matters most. The key is not how fast or how elegantly you travel along your professional path – it’s how many others you bring along for the ride.
Hint: The Secret Sauce is Social
No matter how rapidly the world of work evolves – desired skills, business environment, job hunting tools – relationships are the common denominator that defines the trajectory of every career. Truth is, connectedness creates powerful career leverage.
How we build and maintain relationships may shift as technologies and customs change. But at the end of the day, relationships matter. They’re the fuel that drives professional momentum. And professional communities like TalentCulture are living proof.
Digital forums may never replace the impact of direct contact. But they create a whole new context for connectedness that the world has never seen. And that can translate into far richer learning, collaboration and professional opportunities for career-minded individuals.
But don’t take my word for it. Look at what experts say…
NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “Career Management” #TChat session on Twitter, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
A special thanks to career management and mentoring expert, Mark Babbitt, Founder and CEO of the popular internship portal and blog, YouTern. His leadership through the week’s #TChat activities kept us all focused, engaged and open to new ways of managing our careers.
WED 12/19 #TChat on Twitter: The community returned from the holidays in fine form, ready to share ideas about career management challenges, opportunities and strategies for success. Thanks to everyone who contributed thoughtful input!
Here’s just a taste of the interaction from last night’s #TChat stream… (For full highlights, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)
Biggest career management challenges?
There’s no such thing as job security any more, but a good network provides security. @AlliPolin
Learning when to stay, leave or pivot in your career / job is a heavy thought for many people. @CyndyTrivella
What job hunting activities matter most?
Get comfortable with the relentless pursuit of community and meaningful connection. Employed or not. Your next dream job starts here. @SocialSalima
Social media isn’t going to get you hired. The relationships you build there, though, just might. @talemetry
Whatever the technology – must be used to get face-to-face with hiring manager! @RichardSPearson
Best tech for finding a job is a handshake and positive attitude! The rest just gets us to the handshake. @JanisSpirit
# # #
Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this #TChat session inspire you to write about career management or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along. There are many voices in this community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we shift our focus to Gratitude and Employee Recognition. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 15, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 16, at 7pm ET. Look for a full preview on Monday, January 14 via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Til then, keep rockin the World of Work!
Informational interviews have a number of things going against them. They sound boring, ineffective and most importantly are hard to get. However, in reality, they aren’t hard to get at all and, if leveraged effectively, will increase your chances of finding and being considered for jobs, especially the “hidden” ones.
Unfortunately, many job seekers fail to request the interviews properly and as a result, actually turn off or lose the “interviewee” altogether. Here are eight secrets for effectively requesting and successfully getting informational interviews:
1. Email, don’t call. Emailing or sending a message via LinkedIn allows the recipient to choose to respond at their own leisure and doesn’t interrupt their schedule.
2. Make GRAMMAR your new best friend. I know we all use spell-check nowadays, but honestly, proofread anything and everything you write to any professional. It doesn’t matter how well they write, they have a job and you don’t yet, so make sure everything from punctuation to capitalization is perfect. If possible, ask someone else you trust to read your outgoing messages to these professionals just for outside perspective. This is especially important if English is not your first language.
3. Hook them with your subject line. No matter how you know the person you want to contact, the subject of your message has to be personal and direct to catch their attention and move them to read it. If you don’t know the person, consider using “John – Question from a Student” or “John – Request for Informational Interview.” If you do know them, I recommend “John – Request from Chris Perry” or if you don’t know them personally, but went to the same college or have something in common, I recommend something along the lines of “John – Request from a W&M Student.”
4. Briefly introduce yourself. In a short first paragraph, state your name, who you are and what you are doing. Remember, busy people don’t have time to read long messages. Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
5. Command the common ground. If someone who knows them has referred you or you have something significant in common with the person (i.e. college, professional organization), make sure to include this at the end of your first paragraph or at the beginning of your second. A stronger connection or link between you both can only help you get the interview.
6. They know you want a job, so don’t ask for one! In your next paragraph, this is where you make the direct request for the informational interview; however, DON’T ask them upfront for help to get you a job in their company, as they already know you’re interested in opportunities in their company or you wouldn’t be contacting them. I recommend you make it more about them and ask them for the opportunity to speak about THEIR career, how THEY got involved in it, THEIR company and/or its culture.
7. NEVER send your resume to them with your initial request. This looks presumptuous and inconsiderate and your resume just implies that you expect them to take time to look at it and more time to send it to the right person BEFORE they have even had a chance to “yes” or “no” to your request. If you are emailing them, include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your signature, and if you are sending a message via LinkedIn, there is no need, as you are already on that network. Let them be the one that request more information from you.
8. Don’t Forget Your Contact Info. Make sure to have a professional email/message signature with all possible methods of contact listed. This way, you look good, but they can also get in touch with you in whatever way they prefer. You might even tastefully include a link to your LinkedIn profile, personal website or other supporting media online. This is more appropriate than a resume, because it offers them the option of seeking more info about you.
Why do companies hire the people they hire? Is it always because the selected candidate is the absolute best qualified to do the job? It’s hard to quantify, but my guess is probably not. Hiring is a complicated art involving selecting a person to do a job, but, often more importantly, someone who is a good “fit” for the role.
Think about interviewing someone to join your family – someone you need to see and spend a lot of time with for the conceivable future. You may be interested in particular skills, depending on your family’s culture. (Cooking? Softball? Driving?) At the end of the day, you probably want to select the one who won’t annoy or embarrass you; someone willing to pitch in (even if it is not his or her job), the candidate who can communicate – and who people like to be around.
It’s not surprising to learn these emotional intelligence skills are gaining more focus and impacting job seekers. A quick definition is in order. Here is one that I like and is easy to understand from Mike Poskey, VP of Zerorisk HR, Inc:
Emotional Intelligence…is defined as a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods and impulses, and to manage them best according to the situation.
Companies are incorporating emotional intelligence into their hiring processes, with good reason. The Sodexo(one of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world) blog reminds readers that “businesses that will succeed in the 21st century will be the ones that allow employees to bring the whole of their intelligence into the work force – their emotional and intellectual self. Not only does this impact morale, but productivity increases, too.” A recent study from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that “high emotional intelligence does have a relationship to strong job performance — in short, emotionally intelligent people make better workers.”
To be successful in a job hunt, you not only need to demonstrate an association between what the employer wants and your skills and accomplishments, you need to be able to tell your story in a way that makes it obvious you have the emotional intelligence/emotional quotient (EI/EQ – or soft skills) to fit in. Companies want to hire a candidate who will work well in the team; they all seek someone who will contribute and get the job done with finesse. Most seek employees they will trust to represent the company graciously. No one wants to be embarrassed.
This is why social media is such a great tool for job seekers. A job seeker with a pristine online portfolio and nothing questionable in her digital footprint makes a strong case for actually being someone who knows how to negotiate the digital world where we all function.
Using social networking tools to illustrate your expertise can provide entree into a network of professionals writing and talking about the topics important for you and your field. If, for example, you write a blog to showcase your knowledge of the restaurant industry, or use Twitter and Facebook to be sure people understand you know a lot about finance, you have a chance to connect with multitudes of potential contacts, any one of whom may connect you to the person you need to know to land an opportunity.
At the same time you demonstrate your expertise online and grow your network, you are also giving people a taste of the type of person you may be in person. Granted, some people have a distinct online-only persona. Many of us know people who seem mean and spiteful online and are amazing friends in person. Certainly, the opposite is possible.
However, for the most part, it’s safe to assume how people act and communicate online represents how they behave in person. When we get to know people via social media, by sharing tweets (including those all important personal tweets about what we’re eating, watching, and doing for the weekend), trading comments on blog posts, and keeping in touch via Facebook and LinkedIn, we are part of the longest job interview – with a very long “tail.”
No doubt, for some people, social media is dangerous for their job search. The people who aren’t attentive to details (and don’t untag themselves in inappropriate photos), the ones with short tempers and no filter who share every thought, and those who complain about people or things and appear excessively negative online. In an environment where employers are reviewing digital footprints, those people, who are not illustrating high levels of emotional intelligence, may have difficulty landing jobs.
The flip side? If you know your business, connect and share easily online, make new friends and contacts, and try to give at least as much as you hope to receive, social media may be just the “social proof” you need to help you stand out from the crowd.
My book, Social Networking for CareerSuccess, shows you how to leverage the “big three” tools (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), and describes how blogging and many other social media tools can help job seekers distinguish themselves. Learn more at www.socialnetworkingforcareersuccess.com. Download a free chapter HERE.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2011-05-04 08:51:542020-05-20 17:02:32Social Networking For Career Success
Today’s post is by Ty Abernethy — founder and CEO of ZuzuHire, a multimedia candidate screening tool incorporating video, voice, essay and multiple-choice questions. He has a background in executive recruiting, and currently manages the finance/accounting recruiting division of Chase Professionals.
The hiring process is changing–not only for companies and recruiters, but also for candidates. With companies facing challenges like budget cuts and understaffed recruiting departments, they are looking at new tools to simplify the hiring process. Things are changing quickly, and it’s hard to keep up. But it’s also difficult to tell which tools and innovations will stick once the dust has settled. Here’s a breakdown of some of the exciting new technologies that will (most likely) stick and how candidates should adapt to keep up.
Ding, Dong the Job Boards Are Dead (well sort of…)
Once upon a time, all hiring strategies went like this: 1) post an ad to a major job board, 2) review resumes, 3) interview, 4) and hire. But things are changin’. Now, with the advent of social media, companies and recruiters have so many more recruiting gadgets in their tool kit. And with aggregate job sites like Indeed and SimplyHired, there is no longer a need for employers to post with the major job boards. Companies can use the smaller, lesser known (and cheaper) boards and get great results. And LinkedIn has now become the largest “resume” database in the world. Soon companies and recruiters will use LinkedIn profiles interchangeably with resumes. And before too long, companies will start allowing applicants to apply to their job postings via the “Connect with LinkedIn” plug-in instead of having to upload a resume. For candidates, this means they must have a professional, updated, and detailed profile.
Video Is Not Just For Pop Stars!
Video is fast becoming a major component to the hiring process, both as a marketing tool and as a candidate screening and interviewing tool. Companies are realizing that the more they differentiate their jobs from their competitors’, the easier it is for them to attract exceptional candidates. And video is a great way for a job seeker to get to know a company better. YouTube and Facebook videos help to give a company a face and a personality and make candidates more excited about the organization. Additionally, video offers a great time saving solution for companies during the interviewing process. Companies can interview candidates in a fraction of the time by incorporating video, and save on travel costs as well. Very soon it will be commonplace for companies to screen and interview candidates via video before bringing candidates in-house to interview. Job seekers need to purchase a webcam so they can keep up!
Mobile! (It’s not just a town in Alabama!)
Mobile recruiting will be huge in the future. Currently, companies looking for a competitive edge have started to incorporate mobile apps and text messaging into their recruiting campaigns. New technology allows recruiters to send out a job via an app and candidates can “check in” if they are available. Recruiters see not only that the candidate is available, but where he/she is geographically located. Then recruiters can reach out to candidates that are in the closest proximity to the job. Crazy, right! Additionally, recruiters now have the capabilities to mass text message candidates with job specs. Instead of having to wait for a candidate to check his/her email, recruiters send the message directly to the one device candidates never put down—their cell phones! Powerful stuff, especially for recruiters sourcing for time-sensitive temp jobs. Job seekers should update to smart phones to keep up.
How Job Seekers Should Adapt
Job seekers that adapt the fastest will see the best results. Being prepared for these changes really helps a job seeker stand out from the crowd. First off, it’s imperative for candidates to leverage their social media communities. Great sites like StartWire make it extremely easy to keep your networks updated on your job search and to ask for assistance and support along the way. It is imperative to find and apply to jobs within the first 24 hours that they are posted. Candidates should set up Indeed and Bing job alerts for target job titles in their geographic location. Signing up for social media job search tools like BraveNewTalent can also be quite effective for finding companies that are hiring. Job seekers should purchase a webcam and become comfortable communicating and interviewing online. If job seekers can keep up, they will stand out among the crowd.
The times are a changin’, and if you adapt you will thrive. What are you doing to update you recruiting or job search strategy?
After reading a recent US News article, “6 Steps to Polish Up Your Resume,” my vision of a staid, buzzword-rich resume with your top 10 accomplishments waxed. Though the bones of the article were solid, and the emphasis on translating your work history into achievements respectable, I couldn’t help being consumed by a certain dull roar of the same-old, same-old resume advice.
Unfortunately, the focus on the tactical aspects of resume construction seem to command the most media air-time, undermining, it seems the depth and breadth of a meaningful, meaty and strategically written marketing message.
Having collaborated and consulted with, cajoled and coached 100s of career-transitioning and career-climbing clients over the past 13+ years, I can quickly glean the nuanced differences between a strategically written resume and one that meticulously (and sheepishly) follows the tactical rules of “keyword smattering and front-loading accomplishments.”
Keep in mind that a majority of companies (especially the mid-sized and smaller organizations) still do not use key-word-screening software to ferret resumes, and that your resume will ultimately be absorbed by a human being. In fact, ideal job search, research and relationship practices would have your resume being read by a real-live person from the outset. In other words, depending solely upon job-search boards and other online job-attracting initiatives will certainly limit your results.
Metrics and properly spelled words are essential, basic resume ingredients. Extending the message beyond the basics, however, whets hiring decision-makers’ appetites, spurs calls for interviews and encourages the conversations beyond the interviews. In this way, your resume stands apart from the pack. Here’s how:
BEFORE writing your resume, be introspective. Simply put, take the time to perform career brain dumpthrough an exercise comprised of challenge/action/results (C-A-R) stories enhanced via problem-stomping, product building, idea-inducing initiatives you took to spur business improvement. Then, dive deeper (beyond the C-A-R) and weave in the leadership, team-building, relationship-leveraging talents you leveraged to battle through armies of naysayers or climb to the summit of mountainous challenges.
Did what you do help your department, division, region or overall company do something bigger and better — save money, reduce time to market, boost revenues, attract new customers, build a better reputation, expand the profit margin, etc.? Command attention for the little things you did and how they helped the organization do something larger. The bottom line is that you must bottom-line it!
Of course, command attention for the BIG things you personally achieved, as well. Taking credit for your individual role in business that has skyrocketed, sustained and survived (especially during these lean economic times) is crucial for marketing yourself. If you can take singular credit for a larger, business-transforming initiative, DO it!
While bottom-lining is essential resume nourishment, the story around the bottom-line should be equally rich. Simmer your nuances with the finest of career messaging juices to establish you as a unique individual focused on target companies’ needs.
Rather than churning out a canned resume recipe with career vocabulary inserts across your Summary and Experience sections, blend together a custom recipe of your finest career enterprises that meld forethought, vision, creativity, bottom-line savvy and customer relationship management insights. Warm up the decision-making reader with words that wrap around their needs.
Position your career expertise by writing with passion, tempered with pragmatism. Show flair–be personable and enticing and assert your culture fit that will attract the culture you desire. People hire people who express ideas and show HOW their ideas and execution talent build corporate value. People hire people who are turned on and tuned into the company’s needs (the it’s-all-about-THEM-resume-concept). And people hire people who evoke emotion and show confidence in their contribution and culture-enhancing initiative.
Rather than scrubbing, polishing and tweaking your resume, consider how you can differentiate your candidacy in the interviewing process! Wile them with your words!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Jacqui Barrett-Poindexterhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngJacqui Barrett-Poindexter2010-12-04 12:39:342020-05-20 16:39:36‘Polishing, Scrubbing and Tweaking’ your Resume (Oh My!)
More and more people are talking about the importance of personal branding both in your career search and in your career development. Effective personal branding not only makes you stand out from the crowd to employers and recruiters; it can also increase your job security by communicating your value as a leader and team player to your organization.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the process of identifying the unique and differentiating value that you can bring to an organization, team and/or project, and communicating it in a professionally memorable and consistent manner in all of your actions and outputs, both online and offline, to all current and prospective stakeholders in your career.
Everyone has a unique personal brand. You communicate your own brand in everything you do — whether you know it or not. It is important to remember that personal branding is so much more than what you put on your social networks or what you write on a blog.
It’s who you are inside and out, online AND offline. Your personal brand is your reputation.
How do you create your personal brand?
1) Write down your differentiating strengths (those you feel make you stand out from the rest)
2) Ask your friends, family and colleagues/managers to do the same
3) Identify the top 3 to 5 strengths that you feel will support the career direction you want to pursue
4) Create/find a word or phrase that can become your personal brand and that represents these strengths
5) Develop a short pitch that can follow your brand, describing your strengths in more detail
Note: Ensure that your word or phrase is versatile and can change with your direction
How do you build your personal brand?
There are many ways that you can build and communicate your personal brand both online and in-person; however, to get you started, here are some topline recommendations for establishing your brand and credibility in today’s career marketplace:
Get active and get visible online and offline: If no one meets you or sees you, it won’t matter how strong your personal brand is. Therefore, it is essential that you get your name and yourself in front of your target network. Here are some ways to increase your visibility:
Create a LinkedIn profile and follow the suggested steps to complete your profile 100%, making sure you include your personal brand and pitch in your subtitle and summary sections
Create a Google account and profile for improved search engine optimization
Include your personal brand on your resume, cover letter, business cards, email signature, voicemail message and across your other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook
Consider creating a personal website or blog site where you can house all of your information, including experience, education, skills, honors, entrepreneurial efforts and more
Join associations or networking groups within your industry and try attending their events to meet new contacts and build your target network. Be sure to share your personal brand with those new contacts you meet
Conduct informational interviews with target network contacts (whether or not you’re seeking a job) and share your personal brand with them in your introductions
Contribute consistent value: Make sure that everything you contribute is valuable to those with whom you share it and also relevant to and supportive of your personal brand. Consistency is critical, for the more consistent all of your own marketing efforts are both online and offline, the more powerful and memorable your personal brand impression will be on all current and prospective stakeholders in your career. Here are some ways you start contributing value:
Book or product reviews
Comments on other blog posts
Blog articles or articles for print publications
Discussions in LinkedIn Groups or in other forums
Advice via LinkedIn Answers and other forums
Become a thought leader: As you grow the quantity, quality and uniqueness of your contributions, you may be increasingly considered as an industry thought leader. Here are some ways to support and even expedite your rise to thought leadership:
Start your own blog with a unique POV on your industry/area of interest
Found a company with relevant and valuable products/services/resources for the industry
Publish and offer print and/or electronic publications
Get quoted in the media by joining HARO and contributing advice, experiences and insights to writers and journalists seeking expert sources
Find ways to bring fellow industry thought leaders together on a project or at an event
Find ways to contribute to the projects or events of fellow industry experts
Get recommended on LinkedIn and any other networks where you or your offerings are available and/or collect and display testimonials from customers, clients and partners
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Chris Perryhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngChris Perry2010-11-19 09:57:542020-05-20 16:36:35Creating an Interactive Personal Brand
Brand is something that cuts both ways in the recruiting business. Candidates have personal brands – we talk about that a lot on the TalentCulture blog – and companies have brands. A company’s brand directly relates to it’s workplace culture. An excellent (and disturbing) article by David Lee on ERE.net has me thinking about the perils of brand abandonment – those moments when people, or companies, stop paying attention to the messages they’re sending out when they are hiring and retaining talent.
Brand, the way I talk about it with candidates, is a shorthand way of presenting yourself to others. It’s more than an elevator pitch, but it relies on the same idea: a condensed and polished presentation of a few key facts about you and why you’d be a good employee. As I’ve written here, a personal brand should present your skills, interests, personality attributes and values in a coherent manner that will be compelling and authentic to recruiters and hiring managers.
For companies the process isn’t that different. An organization/workplace may start with a mission statement, then move on to values and objectives, but the point of the exercise is the same: to create a compelling, credible, and authentic collective persona – a culture brand – that is compelling to customers, investors and valuable employees. Of course, we know workplace culture is so much more than a mere mission statement. Healthy organizations strive to make their brand consistent on all angles.
But sometimes, when you’ve worked to establish your brand, you start to believe the shorthand version. You drink the Kool-Aid. You stop listening, stop monitoring how people react, and stop thinking about the value of your brand.
Lee’s article describes a survey in which candidates describe horrific, dispiriting experiences they had with prospective employers. Read the article for particulars, but the net is this: treating candidates poorly at any point in the recruiting process leaves them with a bad impression of your company. It’s brand abandonment, and it’s completely avoidable.
Brand abandonment is a real risk for career seeking candidates as well.
Here are a few points of risk:
Social Media and TMI
Social media can be the enemy of brand for a job seeker. We’ve all heard the stories of candidates being screened out for Facebook and Twitter posts. Don’t put anything on social media you wouldn’t tell your grandmother. The not-cool grandmother. I’m not saying do not be authentic and interesting. If your not-cool grandmother does not accept your unique personality well then – perhaps we can ignore her. I want you to be you! Just be thoughtful. Protect yourself here.
Poor Interview Technique
Talk about what you can do for the employer. In an interview situation you need to reinforce the links between your brand value and the company’s brand, without being narcissistic. Don’t reveal details that aren’t relevant. You may have been an Eagle Scout, but that was then and this is now. Listen, don’t just talk.
Improper (or no) Follow up
It is absolutely imperative to follow up with a thank you note. Unless part of your personal brand is being rude, there’s no excuse for not saying thank you. No scented pink paper, check your spelling, sum up the key takeaway of the interview – What you learned about the company, why you’d be the right candidate, why it’s the right company/fit.
Check Your References Before the Interviewer Does
Don’t count on the boss you had three jobs ago for a great reference – make sure you’ll get one by making a call and running through what you need in a reference and what he or she is comfortable saying. Don’t trust your brand to someone else: make sure you’re on the same page before you hand out names and phone numbers.
Brand is a responsibility. It takes care, constant monitoring and periodic refreshes. You are your personal brand. And companies need to stay present and take full responsibility for their brand behaviors by being consistent and sensitive to the messages they are sending career seekers about their workplace culture. Bottom line: Use what you’ve got to keep it shiny and fresh.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2010-10-22 10:02:122020-05-20 16:33:47Perils of Brand Abandonment: Strive for Shiny, Fresh and Authentic
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