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Posts Tagged ‘job search

Well another year has come to a close; and yep it’s time to settle into more of a regular routine. For those employed it means back to work, for those in career transition it means back to the search for a new opportunity. Here are ten tips to help jumpstart the job search:

1. Start with a clean slate – if you have your sights set on certain companies who were not responsive last year try again this year. Requirements change and for a number of companies it is a new budget year. Don’t be shy.
2. Network, Network, Network. It is the most effective way to jumpstart a job search. Reach out to old co-worker, managers or supervisors. If you belong to groups or associations let the members know who you are and what you are all about. If you do not belong to a group or association consider joining one. Networking is the best way to become and stay visible.
3. Another way to become and stay visible is to volunteer. Think of activities you enjoy and volunteer. What better way to help motivate others and yourself?
4. If you have a profile on Linkedin be sure it depicts your key competencies and strengths. Recruiters use Linkedin on a daily basis as a search engine to find qualified candidates. Make sure they can find you by using the appropriate business and technical key words in your profile.
5. If you are in career transition and do not have a profile on Linkedin consider setting one up immediately for the reasons outlined above.
6. Review your resume with fresh eyes. Does it contain a Profile/Summary, list of business competencies and technical skills at eye level? Does the Profile/Summary do a good job of introducing who you are, your successes and strengths? Does it do a good job of capturing the reader’s interest? Is there just enough to entice the reader for more?
7. Remember a Profile/Summary is never written in first person i.e. “I am an experienced Human Resources Professional”. “I possess 10 years of IT experience within the telecommunication industry”. It is your resume so “I” is implied.
8. They say it takes about a month of consist effort to develop a new behaviour. So for that month don’t take “No” for an answer. Stays focused and remember to take one day at a time.
9. Practice the P.U.S.H. philosophy “Push Until Something Happens”. Remember most rejections are not personal so remain determined. After all, Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he decided to sell his chicken recipe. He was confident restaurants would be lining up for his special recipe. However, Colonel Sanders was turned down 1,009 times before getting his first “yes” – it took determination and the ability to push until he made something happen.
10. Most of all – build fun activities and laughter into each day. Take time to exhale – control the search don’t let it control you.

OK I know what you’re saying – there is nothing new here Lee – same stuff just a different year and of course you’d be right – the ten tips are more of a refresher. However the key is how to incorporate these tips into a successful job search strategy. Because searching for a job takes time, commitment, focus and perseverance. There are no shortcuts; and unfortunately 95% of companies continue to use the same old sourcing and selection processes – posting jobs, internet searches, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing. She is an expert in Selection, Recruitment and Career Transition Management.

Just found and read this article by Tamsin McMahon about the trials and tribulations faced by new Canadians. Although written last year it is as true today as then. The Canadian Government portrays Canada as the land of “milk and honey” full of awesome job opportunities – which just is not true. Well, let me reiterate – there may be more opportunity in the Western and/or Eastern Provinces but is is a fact that the Greater Toronto Area is over-populated – for every job opportunity there is fierce competition. This article definitely hits the nail on the head especially when it comes to New Canadians and job opportunities in Ontario. Enjoy!

http://www.macleans.ca/economy/business/land-of-misfortune

Lee Koren is a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert when it comes to Recruitment, Selection and Career Transition. Lee has over 25 years in Recruitment within the USA and Canada.

There is a theory circulating that the Resume is on its way out. Over the past six months there seems to be a lot of chatter on the internet. In fact, during a training session 2 weeks ago the facilitator insisted there is no longer a need for the resume. It was not clear exactly what is replacing the resume but did make me ponder this paradox. Hmm, I have been in the recruitment and selection industry for over 25 years and the resume has always been a key part of the process. However, I will be the first to admit that things do change, not always for the better, but they do change.

Of course, I realize this is only my opinion so I set out to conduct research to see what other recruiters and hiring managers think. I spoke to a multitude of people – asking the same questions – “Do you think the resume is on its way out?” and the response was an overwhelming “No”. In fact, Carolina Diaz, Senior Recruiter at Ian Martin says “I have yet to see a substitute for the resume. The hiring managers I work with want to review the resume”. She goes on to say “the format of the resume may have changed, i.e. more attention is given to the “Summary” at the top of the resume outlining key strengths and competencies”. I would definitely agree. Like it or not the “Objective” is outdated and the “Summary” is a value add replacement. A summary or profile situated directly under the heading (eye level) to whoever is reviewing the resume is very important. If done properly, it should catch the reader’s attention creating the interest for more information.

According to Laura Machan, Partner Talent Acquisition at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions “until I see a substitute the resume will remain a critical part of the hiring process”. Laura goes on to say that in her business she must maintain a strong relationship with her clients in order to be able to help recruit and select the right talent. Once she has done her due diligence, Laura will pick up a phone and have a one-on-one conversation with the hiring authority; however the resume is still a key piece of the process.

Doug Alexander, VP and General Manager at Wing’s Foods states “the resume is the candidate’s business card and an essential tool in candidate selection.” Doug agrees that an effective pre-screen is also required; however the resume is a key piece of the hiring process. Doug questions how a candidate would introduce themselves to a potential employer if not for the resume?

Charolene Hollister, HR Coordinator at Amdocs comments on the fact that the hiring managers at Amdocs want to see a resume. However she acknowledged that the corporate recruiters are required to conduct a thorough pre-screen and only pass on qualified applicants. When an applicant is passed on to the hiring manager the resume is not far behind.

Well by now you can see a trend; the majority of people I spoke with were adamant that the resume is not on its way out anytime soon. Will it happen? Can it happen? My philosophy is “never say never”.

In fact there is probably a talented student working on a web-based software application right now. By the time it is ready to be launched 98% of the population will have some sort of access to a computer and subsequently resume replacement software might just be successful. Until that time, the resume is alive and well; so make the most of it especially if you are in career transition. Remember the resume will not get you the job, but definitely can land you an interview.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert in recruitment, selection and career transition management.

Check out this article by Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff. There are some very good points here especially the part about networking. Successful job seekers know the value of networking, don’t just send a resume on-line, get out there, be visible and network. Also pay attention to the section about keeping your resume simple, no graphics, tables or logos which might “clog” an applicant tracking system. Enjoy – Lee A Koren, PHR

Many job seekers spend countless hours writing, polishing and blasting their resumes to dozens of companies. Then they wait, and wait, and never hear a thing.
That’s because human resources people and hiring managers receive heaps of resumes for any given job opening, and they end up missing, skipping or tossing a lot of them. However, it turns out there are things you can do to help ensure your resume is seen.

Career experts and a spokesperson for Glassdoor.com, a jobs and career community where people share information and opinions about their workplaces, weigh in.
“I think resumes end up in the resume black hole if the person just responds to a posting or ad and does nothing else,” says Anita Attridge, a Five O’Clock Club career and executive coach. “Today companies are receiving hundreds of resumes for each position and, due to the volume, are not acknowledging receipt of them. Most large and medium-size companies are using applicant tracking systems to screen resumes before a person looks at them. Smaller organizations many just review the ones they receive until they find enough qualified candidates and then set the other resumes aside.”

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at the jobs site CareerBuilder.com, says she suggests that candidates use the job posting to their advantage. “Use some of the same words and phrases that appear in the job posting in your resume,” she says. “The computer will then recognize them and move your resume toward the top of the pile because you will be a match. But don’t just cut and paste the job posting into your resume or cover letter. If the computer doesn’t catch it, the hiring manager definitely will, and it could hurt your chances of moving forward with an interview.”

Ruth Robbins, a certified career counselor with the Five O’Clock Club, agrees that using buzz words and key phrases that demonstrate you are a perfect fit for the job will help you get on the employer’s radar—but even with a perfectly tailored resume, there is no way to know if or when it will be reviewed by the hiring manager.
“The best way to make sure your resume is seen is by networking into the company,” Attridge says. “Let your networking contact know that you have applied for a position, and ask that person if he or she would send your resume to the H.R. department with an endorsement of you as a candidate. Another way is to try to determine who the hiring manager is and send a resume directly to that person, with a letter asking for an informational interview.”

Robbins agrees. “H.R. managers are often avalanched with resumes, so if you can find someone who works at the company who would be willing to hand in your resume directly to a hiring manager or interested influencer in the selection process, your chances of landing in the black hole [will shrink significantly],” she says.
Mary Elizabeth Bradford, an executive resume writer and author of the bestselling eBook series The Career Artisan, offers some alternative advice. “From what I have seen, what works best in any market is for the job seeker to take a pure, entrepreneurial approach to their job search process,” she says. “I think it would be futile to call H.R. and leave repeated voice messages. A better way is to contact a key decision maker through hard mail and follow up with a phone call. Go around H.R. That’s provocative, right? Well, it works.”

Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor, agrees that it’s smart to look for more than one way to apply. “In addition to sending your resume through a company’s online job portal, also take the time to do some research and try to identify who the hiring manager may be. If you send a personalized note to the likely hiring manager, a good e-mail may get your resume pulled out of the stack.”
Zupan offers some additional advice:
Have someone proofread your resume. Sometimes it can be something as small as a typo that may turn off an employer and land you in the black hole, she says. “Before sending your resume, have at least one person you trust review it so that it can have a better chance of catching the eyes of the employer.”
Keep it simple. Avoid graphics and logos and other things that may “clog” how an applicant tracking system reads your resume, Zupan suggests.

Research the company’s hiring process. “Companies like Google and Facebook include specific insights into their interview process,” Zupan says. “For example, on the Google careers page, they let you know that one of their recruiters is the first to review your resume and that they look first at your qualifications and experience.” Thorough research can help you properly prepare to avoid the resume black hole.

Interesting Article by Gina Cajucom – she is right on – there will be lots of rejection during a job search -“don’t take it personally”……happy reading!!!

Being Rejected

You may have experienced being rejected quite a few times for positions you’ve applied for.  Each time is no better than the one before.  Rejections sting all the time.  Even when you receive tactfully written emails from companies saying they regret not to consider you for the position, you still wish that you had not received them anyway.  After all, no news is bad news when it comes to job application and you would rather not hear the “rejection” notice at all.

Different people react differently to this kind of rejection.  Some will consider this as a challenge or a motivator to do better and prove them wrong.  However, some people might get demoralized and continue to lose confidence.  They may settle for less pay or less attractive role. A client even asked me one time:  “What’s wrong with me?  I thought I was perfect for that role!”

Some people just give up altogether when they see how many people have applied.  Well, no matter how many people lined up for the role, they would definitely hire someone and that someone could very well be you.  Before you begin a litany of everything that is wrong about you, consider that, to some degree, intuition also plays a role in the selection and rating process.

This is why it is important to remember that recruitment, just like any assessment activity, is subject to biases, prejudices, and error in judgment.  Some companies hire unqualified candidates and miss hiring potential stellar performers.  Some companies correct this phenomenon by using specific metrics and highly structured selection process.  “Selection by scoring is a process whereby   selection factor or component run along a scale and is scored by value previously assigned.   Decision is made based on the total score achieved.  Selection by intuition is getting a feel of how a candidate will fit in based on the dynamics of personality that come out in the selection process, either through interviews or role-plays.”  [i]

It is then important for job seekers not to take this kind of rejection personally.  It is not about you.  It is about the unique demands of the position that the company needs to fill.  Sometimes, it is even about the corporate culture that the hiring company needs to consider. At the end of the day, wherever you end up in is the perfect place for you. Not only did you select that company but that company chose you.

Today I’d like to talk about personal strengths.  Each of us has them, yet most of us do not know how to identify and leverage these strengths.    It is a fact that when we are engaging our core strengths we feel much better physically and mentally.   If employed, you are likely to be more engaged at work when utilizing your strengths.  When not using these strengths you may dread going to work, have more negative interactions with your colleagues and achieve less.  Same can be said for the Entrepreneur who may have a great service or product; however, if not utilizing and leveraging their core strengths on a daily basis it can affect their confidence, direction and ability to win business.

So how do you discover your core strengths and better still how do you leverage these strengths?  Well, there are ample books, videos and behavioural assessments available to help with this process.   However, the problem is not so much identifying as it is engaging the strengths on a daily basis.   Ever since I was a young child I have possessed a strong intuitive ability, I am told it is a talent handed down from generation to generation.   As I matured I channeled my gift into my career.  My passion and expertise are in recruitment and selection, I am certified as a Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing and because of my strong intuitive ability I am able to take this methodology to a whole new level.   In 2009, during the high point of the recession I decided to use my talent to help those in career transition.  Utilizing their resume, I took clients through a performance based interview.   Nine times out of ten the results were always the same, we discovered that their key strengths are not displayed on the resume.   Hmm, not so unusual, we are good at depicting our experience but not so good at representing our inner strengths – yet it is our experience coupled with these strengths that make the person and tell the whole story.

Earlier this week I attended Donna Messer’s new book launch “Cycles of Life – Keeping you on Track”.  During a break one of the participants came over to speak to me about his small business and resume.   As with most of us who are starting off in business we look for some type of supplemental income to help pay the bills while we get the business off the ground.    This young man was no different; however he could not understand why he was not getting a better response to his resume.  After all he does have a good technical background.  I asked him to describe himself in a few words – he gave me  “artistic” and “storyteller”,  next I asked him if these words were on his resume – the answer was “no”.   Ok! – So this young man is a graphic artist and my first thought is “artistic and storyteller” are very important when it comes to standing out as a graphic artist – right?  Yet these strengths are not mentioned.  Now if he was a client I would conduct a performance based interview to confirm these strengths and help identify other core competencies along with updating the resume to enhance visibility.   In addition, I would help him verbalize these strengths with examples of successful past performance utilizing the mock interview.   You see, this is my strength and I believe by helping others succeed, I too will be successful.

I encourage everyone to discover and identify their key strengths, but don’t stop there! Figure out the best way to leverage these strengths each and every day whether at work or at play.  If you invest the time to do this I guarantee you will feel better about yourself; and that positive energy you are generating is bound to get you noticed in a very rewarding way!

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Lead Mater Trainer in behavioural interviewing.   She has over 25 years of international experience in recruitment across multiple industries and levels along with developing and implementing talent acquisition strategies.  In addition, Lee possesses a unique talent when it comes to career transition management.

To all my fellow Blog writers and readers I wish to extend a happy holiday season greeting.  I hope 2011 was good to you and that 2012 is even better. 

I will be back next year with tips for individuals who are in career transition; and of course tips for corporations about recruiting and selecting the very best talent. 

It is no secret that good people drive business performance yet most companies do not have a selection strategy.   Yep, it is still tough out there and if the hiring process is not done correctly it is definitely costly.  Given the economic situation can your corporation afford the cost?

 Until next year………………….

Lee Koren, PHR


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