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As an Employment Consultant I come into contact with senior level individuals in career transition. Most have held President, Vice President or Director positions in mid to large size companies. When an upper level executive is outplaced the company will most often provide some type of an outplacement package. It is very important to take full advantage of these outplacement services; it can be a life line in starting to prepare for the next career opportunity. Yes, being laid off is a stressful experience; and more so for senior level management. It is quite an adjustment, especially if the individual has been with the company for 10-15+ years. Learning how to search for a job in today’s market is a job in itself.

There are services available for all individuals in career transition. Employment Ontario is a government funded program which offers many good services; however, it may fall short when trying to assist the executive with his/her job search. This type of job search involves strategic sourcing, planning and networking, not to mention a very professional looking resume which mirrors the Linkedin profile.
Below are 10 Helpful Hints:
1. Take advantage of all industry related associations.
2. Update Linkedin profile and join appropriate groups – stay visible.
3. Network, Network, Network. A suggestion may be to join a reputable networking team. The Power Team offered through ConnectUs Canada is motivational, Innovational and chalked full of networking. There is a small fee but it is well worth it.
4. If the severance package contains outplacement – use those consultants to help build your professional profile and resume.
5. Some outplacement firms also offer business level workshops on a variety of different topics.
6. Join a local executive networking club – most are informal and get together for coffee once a week.
7. Conduct research on reputable Executive Search Firms, place a call and initiate a conversation with one of the partners.
8. Prepare an Introduction Letter – it is different from the resume. It introduces your competencies, knowledge and abilities.
9. Target companies by utilizing Scott’s Directory or other Business Directories and send the Introduction Letter – not a resume.
10. Above all stay Positive and remember to P.U.S.H. (Push Until Something Happens).

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and recognized as an expert in selection, recruitment and career transition management

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I shared this Q& A over a year ago, I have since made some updates – enjoy!

Q: With the job market so competitive, getting beyond the resume to an interview is difficult. Resumes are screened by recruiters or systems – any advice on how to get noticed?

A: The purpose of the resume is not to get you a job – it is to get you an interview. Therefore, the resume must optimize your key strengths and competencies and highlight them in a way which “catches the eye” of the recruiter or whoever might be reading the resume. Therefore, it is important to insure your key strengths and competencies are identified and strategically placed on the resume using “keywords”. This will improve the odds of your resume being noticed during the screening process. Also make sure your email is hyperlinked – the easier you make it for the recruiter to contact you the better.

Q: Do cover letters really get read?

A: Depends on the person – I have been a recruiter for 20+ years – if the cover letter is in the body of the email I will read it. If it is attached to the email along with the resume I will open the resume first. If it is incorporated into the resume document well I might scan it quickly. The shorter the cover letter the better, recruiters are just not going to read a 2 page cover letter. Three short paragraphs – First Paragraph contains your interest in the job. Second Paragraph makes the link between the key skills required for the job and your strengths. Third Paragraph is the close.

Q: I do not have a problem getting the interview; in fact I get good feedback on my interview skills. I usually get invited back for a second interview; however I just can’t seem to get beyond this point. Do you have any words of wisdom?

A: Oh to have a magic wand when it comes to the interview! There are so many things riding on a successful interview, some of them are out of your control. I coach my clients to be as prepared as possible. Find out all you can about the company on the internet, its website and Linkedin. If you know any employees ask for a few minutes of their time to chat about the company. Spend time going over the skills required for the job and identifying your accomplishments which demonstrate these skills. Be prepared with specific examples which link your skills to the skills required for the job. If the interviewer does not perform a behavioural interview work some of your good examples into the conversation.

Q: Does it matter if my resume is a Word document or PDF when applying on-line?

A; Many companies are purchasing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems may or may not be integrated with the rest of their business systems. If not integrated, then the system may or may not open a PDF.doc so to be safe I suggest using a Word doc Why? Because if the recruiter cannot open your resume he or she will most likely move on to the next resume on the list.

Q: You talk about a “system friendly resume” what does this mean?

A: Again, it goes back to a company’s technical infrastructure; and if there is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), whether or not it is fully integrated. If you up-load your resume online and it happens to contain fancy formatting, graphics and tables there is a possibility the text will be distorted when the document is opened at the other end. To be on the safe side, keep the formatting simple; avoid graphics, table and fancy bullets.

Q: I am in career transition and have been told to put a profile on Linkedin. As a recruiter do you use Linkedin to locate talent?

A: Absolutely, Linkedin is the best social networking tool out there and is very popular with corporate and agency recruiters when it comes to locating qualified talent. Again, remember “keywords” are critical – use them in your Summary and list them in the Specialties section. Don’t forget to monitor the Jobs section and take full advantage of all the other nifty job search functions.

Q: I have a few companies I am targeting and would like your option on asking executives at these companies for an informational meeting – what has been your experience with this type of approach – does it work?

A: It depends on how and who you ask. I know of a PhD grad that targeted a pharmaceutical company she was very interested in. She sent an email to one of the executives asking if he would mind taking time from his busy schedule to meet with her for the purpose of learning more about the company. He agreed and when they met he asked for a copy of her resume and suggested she send her resume to Human Resources. She sent the resume and sent him a thank you note (letting him know she sent the resume) and the next thing she knew she was being invited in for an interview and yes, received a job offer.

Remember to take one day at a time as one never knows what tomorrow may bring!

Lee Koren. PHR
lkoren@selectionstrategy.com

By Ryan Rancatore

I came across this article and as a Senior Recruiter with over 25 years of experience found it quite interesting.  As more and more generations leverage and embrace the power of social media one can only assume the resume, as we know it today, will definitely change.

Hope you enjoy Ryan’s post

What’s the Prospect of Job Resume – Will Resumes Be Extinct By 2020?  http://bit.ly/IPFhU7

 

Lee Koren is certifed as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – her passion and expertise is selection and recruitment.

According to the 2010 Social Recruiting Survey Results, social networks lead all other recruiting channels for planned investment by employers as the economy recovers.

So, what does this mean to you the job seeker? If you are not already using Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook as a part of your search strategy, it is time to take the plunge.   Why? Because 92% of those companies that hired in 2010 use or plan to use social networks to recruit, if you are not visible then you are invisible to the employer. 

It is not hard to get a presence on a social network.  Start slow, your number one objective should be opening a Linkedin account and building a good profile.   A large majority of the companies out there today are using Linkedin to search for talent.  In fact, as a recruiter my searches on Monster and Workopolis have greatly decreased and have been replaced by daily searches on Linkedin.

Make sure your profile has a summary which optimizes your strengths and competencies, add your skills as keywords to the specialty section.  The more info you add about current and past experience the better.  Once your profile is complete get out there and start networking, search for people you know and invite them to join your professional network.  Link in with a few good recruiters who specialize in the industry or areas that interest you.  Search the jobs on Linkedin and join a few groups which are of interest to you.  Make a plan to do a little networking on Linkedin everyday to stay active and visible – remember one never knows what opportunities tomorrow may bring so being visible on a social network is definitely a plus.

 Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – her passion and strength is recruitment and selection.

This is a an awesome on-line publication created by Donna Messer and her team at ConnectUs Canada.   I was thrilled my article was selected to be published in the “Business” section.  Please take a few minutes to read the article and scan the entire publication!

http://bit.ly/pOvQIP

This is a great article – validates a lot of my thoughts and opinions.

http://bit.ly/fP1aqd

Enjoy!

Lee Koren, PHR

I came across this article by Kate Rogers and found it to be quite interesting.  Especially the mention of Linkedin which is a powerful professional social network tool.   As a recruiter I have not yet had to use Facebook to find candidates, but I must admit with all the hype it is getting I just may have to check into it.   Hope you enjoy the article!    http://fxn.ws/gGRn1G

Lee Koren, PHR


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