How to Win a Recruiter’s Heart & Mind

28 03 2017

A very common, and often accepted piece of wisdom in the world of recruiting is that you should follow your gut.

Some of the most respected minds in HR and recruiting advice using intuition to help guide who they hire.

At the same time, there is a real, measurable skills crunch out there. There are more jobs going unfilled in the U.S. than ever before, and it’s because there’s a lack of workers with the right skills to fill them.  

Many recruiters believe strongly in using their hearts – their intuition – to make hiring decisions, but at the same time, they’re having to use their minds to evaluate who has the right skills for important positions.

Want to land your dream job? The one that everyone’s going to apply for the second it comes up? You’ll need to prove you have the skills and pass the intuition test with recruiters and hiring managers.

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Winning a Recruiter’s Heart

Is it possible to win over someone’s intuition? Can you intentionally give someone a good gut feeling about you?

I believe you can.

According to studies on the job interview process, most interviewers make a snap judgment the moment they see you about what kind of candidate you’ll be, and then spend the rest of the interview confirming that judgment and ignoring things that don’t agree with it.

I know, that sounds terribly unfair.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can do about this. The main take away is that the first impression is the impression.

Now, you can bet that if we make snap judgments during interviews, we make them throughout the hiring process.

For example, recruiters spend just 6 seconds looking at resumes.

So first impression matters at every stage of the hiring process, and you can expect it to be even more important if you’re after a desirable job.

Here’s a checklist to go through at each stage of the process to make sure you make the right impression.

The Resume

Generally speaking, recruiters and hiring managers check resumes for sloppiness, usually in the form of glaring typos and grammar errors. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your resume is error-free.

  • Run it through a spell-checker.

  • Read the entire resume out loud to yourself (it’s one of the best ways to catch errors).

  • Have a friend read through it.

  • Look for these common grammar mistakes.

The Phone Interview

Phone interviews are generally used by recruiters and hiring managers for screening. A few tips to keep you from getting screened.

  • Don’t talk negatively about previous jobs or bosses.

  • Don’t talk about money too much.

  • But be prepared to answer questions about expected salary – know what the going rate is, and why you’re asking for your rate if it’s different.

  • Make it clear that this is the only type of role you’re interested in doing.

The Face-to-Face Interview

You’ve come so far! Don’t blow it in the final phase.

  • If you’re not early, you’re late. Be 15 minutes early, minimum.

  • Use a couple of those extra minutes for a final appearance check.

  • Use a couple minutes to take a short walk once you’ve arrived. It’ll help calm your nerves.

  • Use the bathroom one last time.

  • Smile and be friendly to everyone you meet.

Winning a Recruiter’s Mind

As I mentioned, employers are having a terrible time finding candidates with the skills they need.

The problem has gotten so bad that the time to fill a position is at 27 days, the longest ever.

I talk to recruiters and hiring managers every day at Betterteam, and they almost always mention the lack of qualified people applying to jobs.

I worry that companies get so used to unqualified people applying for jobs that they just expect them to be unqualified, and so miss great hires because they passed by the qualifications they were looking for during the whole 6 seconds they spent with the resume.

So, here’s a quick checklist to help make sure you don’t get passed over for a job you are qualified for.

The Resume

Make it so they’d notice your qualifications even if your resume blew by during a hurricane.

  • Pay close attention to how the employer writes the job ad. Reuse the language they use to describe qualifications in your resume.

  • Make sure the format is easy to read, and that qualifications are bolded and bullet pointed.

The Phone Interview

They’re going to do an initial check to be sure you’ve got the skills.

  • Be ready to talk about specific projects you completed from beginning to end.

  • Know what success looks like for the position, as well as common mistakes people make.

  • Be ready to give specific numbers, i.e. exactly how much you grew sales by in the first quarter.

The Face-to-Face Interview

Almost there! They probably think you’re qualified at this point, but just to be sure…

  • Be ready with specific examples of what you’ve accomplished in previous roles.

  • Know your industry – be able to talk about the best examples of people doing your job well, what direction it’s headed in, etc.

It really is a fantastic time to be looking for a job. If you can show employers that you’ve got the skills they need and make the right impression, you’ve got an excellent shot at landing an awesome job. If you’re looking for more job search advice, check out Betterteams’ list of job boards, by profession. Good luck!

****Campus to Career thanks Paul Peters for this insightful post!!****

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About the author: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.





LinkedIn Lacking Pizazz? 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Profile

21 03 2017

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It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the king when it comes to social and professional networking for businesses and professionals. Like all social media, it only serves its purpose when the information presented on it is complete and you remain active and update frequently. But a boring LinkedIn page can cause you to be overlooked just as much as an incomplete or messy one, so what can you do to add a little pizazz to your page? Here are three easy ways to professionally spice up your LinkedIn profile or business page.

Write Articles

Whether for your company or as a professional, writing articles to be posted on LinkedIn is a great way to spice up your profile because it demonstrates your professional knowledge of your field and shows that you are active and engaged with the community. Articles published on LinkedIn from your company might also be seen as more legitimate than if they had been posted on your blog. These articles can also showcase images that further add color to your page and catch the eyes of readers. Articles can be regarding just about anything to do with business or LinkedIn itself, but it’s almost always best to focus your subject matter on what you do professionally in a way that best represents the brand you are trying to cultivate.

Have a Business Page

If you run a business, having a profile page for it on LinkedIn like this one is about as important as having a page for it on Facebook. Like this ASEA LinkedIn page, you want to make it look professional and appealing, with your logo as the profile picture and eye-pleasing graphics for your background and header photos. Just like on a personal page, a business page needs to be kept active and updated with relative frequency. Give people a reason to follow you by posting humorous, interesting and engaging content, whether it’s pictures or articles. Graphics need to look professional, so hiring a professional designer to create them is likely what you need to do – DIY graphics rarely look nice enough and can tarnish your business’s image as slipshod.

TIP: If you prefer working with stock photos, here are 10 sites that don’t suck.

Craft a Compelling Headline and Summary

First impressions are everything. To get people hooked from the beginning on your page or profile, take the time to craft a compelling headline and summary that will tell others who you are, what your experience is and what you can do for them. The key is to keep it both short and sweet, while hitting on the main things you want your customers or clients to know about your business. When coming up with your headline, make sure that it says what you do, who you help and why you’re qualified. Summaries can include information such as how long you’ve been in business, what you do and for whom (be as specific and targeted as possible). Appeal to the people you want to attract by knowing what they’re looking for and explain what you can do for them. Just like with major search engines, include key words and phrases that companies or potential clients will search for.

There are any number of other things that can also serve to make your LinkedIn page stand out more, such as having a personalized public profile LinkedIn URL, recommendations from former clients and bosses, all of your professional information and a portfolio of your work. If you are not currently utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, we’d recommend that you put some more time and effort into it to see just how useful an account can be for your career and your business.

Extra credit reading: 6 Tips for Getting More Out of LinkedIn

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Emma Sturgis!!****

 

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About the author: Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2





18 Next-Level Résumé Tips

14 03 2017

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As you prepare to leave college and head into the world of work, you’ll have one thing on your mind: landing that dream job! Those first months after graduating can be a disheartening time. You may anticipate suffering knock-back after knock-back as you gradually acclimatize to the idea that you’re going to have to settle for less until you have a bit more experience. But you can improve your chances of getting a great position, or at least a nice leaping point, by sprucing up your CV in ways that we know make recruiters pay attention.

List your achievements and experience in reverse-chronological order, so as to grab their attention quickly – many recruiters will look at a résumé for less than ten seconds before moving on if they’re not interested. If you’re graduating for the first time, you might not have much experience to share yet – but you can convey what skills you have learnt in a succinct list of bullet points under your jobs, qualifications and extracurricular activities. Tailor these to each specific job to which you apply: go through their list of requirements, and see how you can promote personal examples under your own job or course descriptions. You may need to think laterally!

You can also make an impact by including a short but unique cover letter. This is your chance to get an edge over the 45% of applicants who won’t bother, and to address the hiring manager by name – a detail which you will of course research in advance, to show what a hot property you are.

For 18 simple tips on how to tweak your CV to perfection, check out this new infographic – it’s full of ways to make that résumé stand out, even if you don’t yet have the experience you feel you need.

****Big thanks to our friends at NeoMam Studios for the graphic!!****

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11 Simple Steps to Help Build New, Better Habits

21 02 2017

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Forming a new habit or behavior more conducive to getting what and where you want to go:

How is this accomplished and how long does it take? Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process. Forming new patterns or habits may be gradual, little by little moving to a more positive and satisfying behavior.

Make small changes until a new pattern of attitudes and behavior is in place. You can also decide to stop a negative habit or attitude, like smoking, and go cold turkey and never smoke again.

New, more positive plans that you can implement with specific actions will take you closer and closer to the desired outcome and can be accomplished in a very short time. Once a decision is made, and acted on, you will reach a new, stable lifestyle.

Some helpful steps to adopt:

  1. Start simple: do not try to do everything in one day. Have a target that is attainable and keep at it for at least 30 days.
  1. Set your goals high, and break it down into small attainable steps. Losing 50 pounds may be overwhelming, but if you break it down to a smaller amount over a longer period of time then not only is it achievable, but easier to attain and maintain.
  1. Evaluate what knocks you off that new habit pattern. Strengthen and focus on the new habit.
  2. Establish relationships with people supportive of the new desired habit. Find role models. If you want to work out, establish relationships with people that go to the gym.
  1. Keep the desired habits or habit pattern actions in place for a minimum of 30-60 days. Easy changes will be incorporated quickly. Harder ones may take longer but do these daily.
  1. Schedule and follow through doing what you are committing to change. Create a strategy to apply consistently and improve your plan of action as results improve.
  1. Envision yourself having the end result. Keep reviewing and celebrating the benefits in your Journal.
  1. Review your Journal write-up, your game plan each morning, including the new habits. Track your progress.
  1. Put the new habit first, not last. If you want to start playing tennis, do not do it at the end of the day, rather do it when you are fresh and when you will benefit the most from doing so.
  1. Tell a friend or another about your new decision and invite their support. For example, I told my group of friends that I was writing a book. Each time I saw them I shared my progress as they asked about it. This kept me interested in a purpose for the book beyond myself, but envisioning the benefits for others as well. A purpose beyond mere self-benefits provides a greater-good purpose that means more value to all that are impacted.
  1. Determine what has to happen for you to know that you have a stable new habit by viewing your Journal entries progress feedback and acknowledge where you have achieved changed habits, and then define what is needed next to achieve the desired results!

How does one stay motivated?

What to do when:

There are moments where mood, fatigue, and lack of motivation, which are permitted, may create inconsistencies toward your desired goal and may cause your new habit to drop out.

Realize:

Minor setbacks are possible until a stable new habit is formulated and becomes a part of life. In order to motivate yourself and prevent set- backs, simply focus on your prior achievements and restore your purpose for change, and the benefits already achieved, and then re-commit with attention to consistency, no matter what happens in your life. Review negative thoughts and those folks with negative attitudes to avoid these. To have a more permanent change, you may ultimately have to change your environment and your schedule to match what works best for progress.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Dr. Gerald J. Regni!!****

 

About the author: The above article is an excerpt from The Job Book: Find Yourself and a Job in 30 Days written by Dr. Gerald J. Regni and co-authored by Diane Phillips. The authors have worked out a simple to follow, user friendly road map that anyone can follow to find a career that fits, where one will follow his or her passion in easy steps. Start Your Career Finding Adventure Today! READ A LIFE CHANGING CHAPTER FOR FREE by visiting www.thejobbook.info.

 

 





How Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

1 02 2017

 

Did you share that super-fun, albeit slightly embarrassing story about your wild Friday night on Facebook? How about express a moderately insensitive political viewpoint on a short but pointed tweet? If you’re thinking about a prospective job, you might want to reconsider damaging posts, tags, or rants.

That’s because prospective employers don’t just sit back and let your resume speak for itself. They’re looking at all sorts of information, from references you provide to information you don’t even know you’ve given them—your social media accounts. What’s the risk, and what should you do about it? The information in this graphic helps you make a good assessment.

Additional resources:

How Your Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

Via AkkenCloud





Why Skills Matter More Than Your Degree

19 01 2017

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When applying for a job, hiring managers are going to look at your education to determine whether or not they feel you are qualified for the job. But your degree and education are not the only important factors when considering if you fit the job needs.

The skills and experiences you have are sometimes more important than your education. In many ways, having the right set of skills will be more beneficial than having the right degree.

But why are your skills so important when applying to a job?

Skills Better Show Your Personality, Values and Goals

While your degree can show you are educated and a hard worker, it doesn’t tell much about you as a person. Your degree can show you’re capable of completing the job tasks, but it doesn’t tell how well you will fulfill the other necessities of the position.

In order to be successful in a job, you need to have communication skills, time management skills, and teamwork and leadership skills. If you’re unable to work as a team, communicate with your coworkers, and properly manage your tasks, your education won’t matter.

A Degree May Get You the Job, But Skills Help You Advance

Your entry-level positon is rarely the job you hope to be in until retirement. While having the right degree and the right education may land you the entry-level position you need to enter the workforce, without necessary skills you won’t move beyond into higher roles and responsibilities.

If you want to continue to receive promotions and be handed bigger and better projects, you need to show you have the skills employers are looking for in long-term employees. Continue to develop your skills even after you’ve been hired into your initial position.

Skills Show Experiences Education Can’t

When you’re ready to enter into the workforce, you’ve had years and years of experiences and challenges behind you that do not relate to your degree. Through part-time jobs you’ve held, internships you’ve participated in, or even military experience, you’ve developed skills, habits and behaviors your degree cannot represent.

If you didn’t have a traditional education or feel your skills better reflect what you can contribute to the position, you may want to consider applying to a job using a different kind of resume. By highlighting your skills instead of your education, you’re putting what you feel to be most important at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.

Having a Degree is Important the Focus of the Degree is Not

When you go to get a degree, the field of your degree is becoming less and less important. As jobs become more fluid and majors become more specific, it isn’t always clear where a degree lines up in the workforce. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A degree tells a hiring manager you are serious about continuing your education and you are able to follow a rigid course of classes and requirements to achieve a goal. Having a degree is typically a prerequisite for entering the workforce and getting a job, but the focus of your degree is becoming less and less important.

If you’re applying for your first “real” job, don’t stress too much about your degree. As long as you’ve received a quality education, you’re serious about the job you’re applying to, and you’re ready to work hard for the company that hires you, your major or field of focus won’t be the most important application factor. Instead, let your unique skills, values and perceptions land you the job of your dreams and fuel you through promotions and raises.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also a member of the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum





10 Ways Top Candidates Set Themselves Apart

10 01 2017

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Let’s face it, if you were hired for a job based on your resume alone, there would be no need to interview. But because no one is hired solely as a result of their work experience and/or accomplishments, interviews are a necessary evil. The face-to-face meeting does, however, offer an opportunity to go beyond the resume and set yourself apart from other equally qualified candidates.

So, how do you leverage the interview to rise above the rest? It all comes down to communication. A recent study declared verbal communication the top skill employers value in recent college grads. Being well-spoken is the best way for candidates at every level, in every industry, to gain an edge over their competition.

Here are a few more specifics:

Make your excitement about the opportunity obvious

Companies want to hire people who are eager to work for them, so express enthusiasm while you’re answering interview questions. Oddly enough, candidates don’t always realize that they aren’t fully expressing their interest. More often than we want to admit, recruiters get the following feedback from clients, “I like this candidate but s/he didn’t really seem excited about the position.”  Ouch, that stings and is definitely hard to recover from. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Wouldn’t you pick the candidate who showed more interest and excitement about the opportunity, assuming all the skills were there?

Don’t make the interviewer dig for answers

Solid candidates recognize what the interviewer is trying to uncover based on the line of questioning and respond accordingly. This means they don’t just say, “oh I have great organizational skills,” but they actually offer unprompted examples of how they organize their priorities and how their organizational skills positively impacted the outcome of a certain project.

Leave the generic responses at home

Great candidates usually have a unique point of view and thoughtful answers to questions asked. Don’t be afraid to gather your thoughts in front of the interviewer before responding to a question, rather than rushing to give the generic answer that the interviewer has probably heard a hundred times.

Convey flexibility

It’s wonderful to be committed to a five-year plan or to have clear, professional goal in mind. But you don’t want to come across as rigid, especially since your specific goals may limit you from opportunities and or direction that only become apparent with a new position.

Command the convo regarding your previous experience

When responding to questions, you are either in control of the answer, or the answer is like a runaway train. Candidates with excellent communication skills talk about their past experience in precise terms with specificity. Prior to an interview, brush up on the details of your work history and the progression of your career so that you can talk about any aspect with ease, and use it to your advantage when needed.

Hear what Atrium Recruiters have to say about standing out in a job interview.

Quantify your value

If you have numbers to back up your experience, use them. Whether it’s dollars saved or earned for a company, time-saving efficiencies you introduced or other quantifiable successes, be sure to articulate them during the interview process. #humblebrag

Show that you can take initiative

Effectively communicate that you’re they type of employee who takes initiative. Even at the entry-level, companies hire individuals who will evolve into leaders. Convey this during the interview by providing an example of a project where you self-started or went above and beyond.

Talk about being growth-oriented, without talking about future positions

Great candidates are able to express a desire to grow within a position for their own betterment and to add to their own skill set, not necessarily to climb the ranks. 

Be genuine in your delivery and comfortable in your own skin

An interview can put people on edge and make them tense. Although easier said than done, be yourself. It’s critical that you come across as genuine and authentic in order to build rapport with the interviewer. If you do this well, the interviewer will come away with an idea of what it would be like to have you on his/her team.

Keep the conversation fluid

Make the interview enjoyable for the interviewer! Ask questions that engage the interviewer and facilitate back and forth dialogue.

****For this fantastic post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at Atrium Staffing!!****