FACETAlert Newsletter for 2/24/2014

FacetMasthead2014INSIDER JOB SEARCH TIPS FOR 2014                           


The Guerilla Job-seeker’s Manual for 2014, by Lou Adler for LinkedIn

Lou Adler is a CEO, best-selling author, and the creator of Performance-based Hiring. Recent book: The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired.

A few people recently asked me to provide some advice for their job-seeking children, siblings, parents, and semi-assorted semi-friends. I thought you’d find this bunch of mostly free links to articles, videos and resources I sent them helpful.

With the economy about to rebound, more people who already have jobs will start to quit. This creates a double-whammy opportunity for job-seekers who know how to play the hiring game to win. It will take you a few hours to master all the rules and techniques below, but it’s far better than complaining about how hard it is to get a job. Which rarely ever works.

A Checklist of Wild ‘n Crazy Job-seeker Advice

Avoid these five classic blunders. One of them is the idea that it’s not worth applying unless you’re a perfect fit. Instead, you need to implement a 20/20/60 job-hunting plan. Here’s a YouTube video webcast covering the idea that most of your efforts need to be spent on networking.

Don’t follow the traditional rules. If you’re okay with strange ideas, here are some even more radical rules for job-seekers. The big point: if you do what everyone else does, expect the same results.

Be fully prepared before you even think about applying for a job or going for an interview. Here’s a post and link to a video introduction to a job-seeker series I put together for a training company.

Define the job before you answer too many questions. In Chapter 6 in my book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, I suggest that candidates quickly ask the interviewer to define the job in terms of broad performance objectives. Then they need to give examples of their most comparable accomplishments. This way the candidate is evaluated on the stuff that matters, not what doesn’t. Here are more ideas on how to ensure you’re interviewed properly.

Ask forced-choice performance-based questions that highlight your strengths. Ask questions like, “Is leading a team of techies and non-techies an important part of this job?” to highlight your strengths. This is how you get the interviewer to focus on real job needs as they relate directly to your past performance, rather than box-checking skills. This post will help those who are wrongly classified as unqualified or overqualified become reclassified.

Use the back door to apply and more counter-intuitive advice you should follow. In this post I also suggest boiling down your whole resume onto a few 3×5 cards. One commenter thought this was idiotic. He’s still looking. Here’s the master key to the back door.

Don’t ask self-serving questions. Next to a track record of comparable past performance and the ability to conduct real-time problem solving, candidates will be judged heavily by the quality of their questions. (See Chapter 10 for more on this one.)

Anticipate and manage the negatives. Don’t try to hide your faults. You need to put them on the table to neutralize them. It’s also best if you voluntarily bring them up rather than hoping someone doesn’t ask. You’ll need to fast-forward this YouTube video for more ideas on this point.

Use the phone to minimize nervousness and weaker first impressions. To counter the impact of a less-than-stellar first impression or a case of the nerves, I suggest job-seekers ask to be evaluated on the phone before going onsite for an interview. This way you’ll be assessed on your accomplishments, not first impressions. Here’s an article for interviewers you can reverse engineer for more on this important point.

Bring samples of your work, maybe even a PowerPoint summary. If you can get the interviewer to talk about your actual work, you’ve increased the odds you’ll be judged on your past performance, not your presentation skills. Consider that athletes are judged on their actual ability to do the job, not how well they talk about it. The same principle applies for most individual contributor jobs.

Shift the risk. There’s a big risk in hiring someone who doesn’t work out. To shift the burden, volunteer to take a part-time job or handle a short project. One candidate told me he conducted a mini-marketing analysis comparing the company’s products to the competition to land an interview, and then completed it before being offered a job.

Ask about next steps. At the end of the interview with the hiring manager ask about next steps. If they’re anything other than definitely bringing you back as a finalist, ask if there are gaps in your background the manager is concerned about. With the gap defined, ask how this skill or lack of experience will be applied on the job. Then describe something you’ve accomplished that’s comparable. This full technique is described in this video training series.

As you weave your way through all of the links here, you’ll discover that getting a worthy job is comparable to landing a big sale. Also worthy of note is that the best salespeople don’t complain about all of the people who didn’t buy their products, they proudly point to those that did. They’re also fully prepared to make sure they do.

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Did you know that LinkedIn counts executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate talent solutions are used by 90 of the Fortune 100 companies.


Jay Lacaze
76A Helicopter Mechanic
Westwind Helicopters
Santa Fe, TX
Elizabeth Martin Carr
Clinical Director-Ophthalmology
Eye Consultants of Texas
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Joseph Nnadi
Account Manager
Reach Local
Dallas, TX
Tim Kirkendall
Mechanic
Maritime
Fairbanks, AK
Andrew Rusinko
Associate Principal Scientist
Merck
Westpointe, PA
Benton Selman
A&P Mechanic
Westwind Helicopters
Santa Fe, TX
Lonnie Nogle
Cheryl McAnally
Chuck Kane
Cynthia Jones
Denita Derouselle
Michelle Aspen
Ralph Hodges
Sharon Gilmore

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– in-depth company profiles,
– “hidden” job opportunities
– comprehensive recruiter databases, and
– online career networking tools

SEE HOW THIS TOOL ACCELERATES YOUR JOB SEARCH


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The Value of a Referral

 

We found this infographic at youtern by way of jobvite, and believe it well-illustrates the power of networking during job search.

There are two types of job searches – well three actually if you do a well-balanced combination of the first two; Active and Passive. Passive is when you search job boards, submit resumes, and wait for a call. Active is when you actively network – creating professional friendships – and reaching into your community to help, learn, and contribute, demonstrating your skills and value. Take a look at this infographic  – good food for thought.

12.04.30_The-Value-of-a-Referral-2

Disaster Preparedness eBook Available to Facet Readers

Disaster Preparedness

eBook Available to Facet Readers

Our friends at Firestorm have an outstanding eBook available for our readers: Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America

Given the recent disastrous wildfires Texas has experienced, this is a timely benefit for your company and employees.

Firestorm founders Harry Rhulen and Jim Satterfield wrote Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America specifically toDisaster Ready People address the need for disaster preparedness at home, and the book has become a cornerstone of many personal and corporate preparedness programs. “Remember:  you are your own first responder,” the book reminds readers as it guides them through a comprehensive program of readiness.

Employee Preparedness

Many companies have used Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America as a promotional tool/gift for their clients, who in turn use the book to encourage their own employees to develop plans at home. In every crisis or disaster, family concerns override work commitments.  If the impact of a disaster or crisis can be lessened, the benefits to the employee, their family, and the client are enormous. The process of addressing these exposures sends a positive message to every employee that their family’s well being is valued.   In addition, the client’s operational and financial impacts can be lessened. Firestorm has customized the Disaster Ready People book for several companies, utilizing their corporate logo on the cover and a foreword written by their CEO.

Standard versions of the book can be shipped from existing inventory within five business days. In checking with the publisher regarding the printing of a custom, client version of Disaster Ready People, Firestorm can easily modify the book to meet client needs. Upon publisher receipt of the camera-ready logo and CEO foreword, a proof will be provided to the client within three business days. After proof approval by the client, the book will be printed and shipped within 45 to 60 days.  Furthermore, if additional pages of specific content relating to the client’s corporate plans or services are requested, Firestorm can arrange to add a custom chapter up to 10 pages to the client version for a small, additional incremental charge.

Currently, Firestorm is enhancing the Disaster Ready People book series to address the remaining four out of five common failures – Failure of Critical Supply Vendors, Failure to Identify all Vulnerabilities, Failure to Update and Test Plans, and Failure to have a Crisis Communications Plan. These books will focus on the impacts on corporations and contain insights and case studies from key C-level executives. The series will also reinforce the strategic governance responsibility and compliance.

CEO Guest Post: Don’t Name Your Resume, “resume” & Nine Other Head-Smacking Tips for Job Seekers

We’ve said these very same things, so it’s great to hear it from the CEO of a company that’s hiring.  If you’re not familiar with ERP SoftwareAdvice, they help buyers find the right software for their business. Like the big consulting firms, they research the market identifying the best solutions for each buyer. Unlike those firms, their advice is available to everyone, for free.  In the last year, their website helped 15,206 organizations find the right software.  Check them out and enjoy the POV of Don Fornes, CEO.

Don’t Name Your Resume, “resume” & Nine Other Head-Smacking Tips for Job Seekers

At Software Advice, we’re hiring like mad, or at least trying to. You might think a growing company with interesting jobs, great pay, top-notch benefits and a cool office would find hiring to be a breeze in a recession like this. Nope.

We want A players on our team – we have 19 so far.

However, we typically sort through about 150 candidates for each hire we make. Only about twelve of those 150 candidates get to a first-round phone interview.

Why so few?

It’s not worth our time to interview any more than that. The incremental effort of interviewing more than twelve out of 150 candidates produces a very low marginal yield of qualified hires. There may be a superstar hidden in the other 138, but it’s not worth our time to dig too deep to find her. Yes, we look at each application, but we do so with an eye for why we should reject the candidate, not why we should hire them. That quickly gets us to roughly a dozen interviewees, and then we switch our mindset to start thinking about who we want to hire.

With that as context, I want to share some of the screens I use to whittle down 150 applications to twelve interviews. I’m not talking about the usual hiring criteria; yes, we absolutely look at experience, achievements, academic credentials, etc. That’s all core and critical. Instead, I’m going to talk about the head-smacking, silly things people do that make me click “reject” in our applicant tracking system (ATS).

One more bit of context: our typical hiring profile is a recent college grad, zero to five years out, looking for a sales or marketing job. Keep that in mind. Here goes:

1. Don’t name your resume, “resume.” About a third of applicants name their resume document, “resume.doc.” “Resume” may make sense on your computer, where you know it’s your resume. However, on my computer, it’s one of many, many resumes with the same name. I used to rename them, but then I noticed the strong correlation between unqualified candidates and the “resume” file name. Now I reject them if I don’t see something really good within ten seconds. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand themselves (e.g. “John Doe – Quota Crusher”). If you’re qualified enough to sell or market for us, you won’t miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.

2. don’t use all lowercase. i’m not sure where this trend originated. is it some text messaging thing? it’s so easy to capitalize properly on a keyboard. how much time is this really saving you? to me, it screams out, “hi. i’m lazy. my pinkies are really heavy and I’d rather not move them to shift. when i start working for you, i’ll look for other ways to be lazy. i’ll also rebel against authority figures like you, just like i’m rebelling against the english teachers that dedicated their lives to helping me become literate.” seriously though, this bad habit buys you next to nothing and is bound to offend countless detailed-oriented hiring managers.

3. Don’t write like a robot. I’ve noticed a funny phenomenon with many grads that are entering “the real world.” While their speech is still littered with “ums,” “likes” and “you knows,” their writing is exceedingly formal, long-winded and boring. The people that are reviewing your application were young once too. They may still be young. Most of them have a sense of humor. They get bored. Please, don’t make them parse dense cover letters and resumes that read like some robot ate a thesaurus and puked. Just use concise, well-written prose. Keep sentences short. Toss in a joke or two. Show us a little bit of your personality. We’re going to have to work with you more than we see our spouses, so show us that we’ll enjoy it. No robots.

4. Don’t spam hiring managers. It’s easy to tell when a candidate is just applying to any job out there to see if anyone will call for an interview. Unlikely. Hiring managers want to know that you are excited about the position. They know that passion for the role is critical to success. Take the time to understand the company and the open position. Write a cover letter or email that explains your interest in the role and your qualifications. Tweak your resume to match the hiring criteria. On our web application, we ask applicants to answer three questions. Why? Because spammer applicants will just enter simple answers of a few words; applicants that care enter well-written, thoughtful answers. We delete the former immediately. Remember, these jobs are competitive; the only way to compete is to stand out…in a good way. Spam won’t.

5. Don’t expose your licentious personal life. We’ve all read about social media missteps – those unfortunate photos of you passed out drunk, covered in flour (“antiqued” as my co-workers call it), profane words written on your face. Honestly, I understand. If Facebook and camera phones were around when I was in college, I’d still be blushing in embarrassment. Now that you want a career, put that stuff behind you. Start managing your reputation online and off. One of our three application questions asks for the applicant’s proudest achievements. Today some guy answered that he had produced and stared in his own music video. Kinda cool, I thought. That is, until I clicked the link and witnessed the puerile lifestyle of which he remains so proud. Reject. As a rule, I’m not going to pry too deep into your personal life, so don’t jinx yourself by showing us you at your worst.

6. Don’t talk badly about your former employer. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This is especially relevant in the hiring process. When I read negative comments in an application or cover letter, I’m shocked. My problem with this is twofold. First, it typically takes two to tangle. I assume there is a high likelihood that this applicant finds trouble wherever they go. Moreover, talking badly betrays a lack of “political judgment” – a critical skill set for the workplace, whether you like it or not. When I hear a candidate say that their last employer was incompetent, a micro-manager, or unfair, I assume I’m next on their list. The candidate may be right; their former employer may be horrible. I’ll pass on the opportunity to find out.

7. Proofread your resume. It’s unbelievable the number of spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in resumes. Again, this is a blaring clue telling the hiring manager that you don’t check your work and you don’t pay attention to detail. More than one error and I’m clicking reject. Why so harsh? Because I don’t want to have to double check your work when I hire you. Hiring managers want leverage, not more work. It’s really easy to have someone review your resume. Friends, family, career counselors – all these folks should be willing to give it a quick read. Fresh eyes can catch those typos you’ve glanced over ten times. Take the extra effort and avoid the nearly automatic “reject” reflex that hiring managers have when they spot your errors.

8. Format your resume nicely. Take the time to format your resume nicely. It’s one of those small clues hiring managers look to for an indication of your attention to detail, organization and pride in your work. If you send me a sloppy resume, I’ll reject it knowing that you are likely to do sloppy work if I hire you. There are standard formats out there; use them. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t get creative (unless you are applying for creative jobs in design, advertising, etc.). For sales, marketing, finance, administration, etc., stick to a clean, one-page format like the Wharton School Template. Don’t make us figure out your resume format when we’re busy trying to figure out you.

9. PDF your resume. Not everyone uses the same operating system and word processor that you do. I use a Mac. I don’t have Word – don’t want it. My ATS can’t handle .docx files. A lot of the resumes I see come through horribly garbled. So much for that nice formatting you did (Did you?). PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution. Anyone with Adobe Reader – most any corporate computer has it installed – can open a PDF file and see exactly what you intended them to see. Most ATSs read PDFs just fine. Most any Mac application can print/export to PDF. If your Windows apps won’t, go download one of the many free PDF creator applications and PDF your resume. It’s so easy. It’s so free. It’s so appreciated.

10. When you get a job, don’t job hop. Finally, here’s one last piece of advice that goes far beyond the job application. When you get a job, try your very best to stay at it for at least two years, preferably more. We understand that the job market is fluid and you are not likely to stay with us long enough to get the gold watch. However, we do want to get a couple years of productivity from you if we’re going to invest in training and mentoring. One of the first things I look for on a resume is some demonstration of tenure. Had three jobs in your first year out of college? Reject. Four jobs in your first five years out? Reject. I’ve got to assume that you were fired repeatedly or you’ve got a bad case of career ADD. Got a good story about all that job hopping? Unfortunately, I can’t afford to take the risk.

I know I sound like a grumpy old man. I just can’t help but share this inside scoop on our screening process. I know it might reduce my screening effectiveness if I share my criteria. However, if you read this and fix your application, that tells me you are coachable and you care. Let’s interview.

If you are an A player, I hope you’ll get a good laugh out of this. Moreover, I want you to know that there is a company out there working hard to find you. We’ll hire you. We’ll appreciate you. We’ll reward you handsomely. Please apply! Just take your time on the application.

Don Fornes is the CEO of ERP Software Advice, an online resource that reviews HR and ERP software. This article was originally featured at: RescueResumes.com and is reprinted here by permission of the author.

The 7 Rules of Goals

The 7 Rules of GoalsThe 7 Rules of Goals is about improving your personal results and your life through the effective setting and attainment of goals. The 7 Rules of Goals is personal, compelling and motivational. It includes just the right amount of personal stories to keep it interesting, and the stories are relevant and to the point.

About the Author

Bill Eveleth is one of Facet’s own, as our Senior Consultant & Career Coach in Pensacola, Florida.

Bill has an MBA and more than 26 years of business experience with companies like AT&T and Citicorp.

A New Service Opens Doors for Early Adopters: LinktoPro.com

Introducing LinktoPro

In the current economic environment, professionals who find themselves in job search are facing a highly competitive market.  The job search itself may take up to twice as long as pre-2009 search times, and given the standard career transition rule of thumb of one-month of job search for every $10k in salary earned, formerly highly compensated

Whether you're a business looking for online professional help on a project, or a professional  looking to market your skills online to a global audience, LinktoPro is the web portal marketplace that revolutionizes your workspace.

LinktoPro - Revolutionize Your Workspace

employees may see career transition periods of 18 to 24 months or longer.

Many highly skilled senior professionals turn to consulting and contracting opportunities during these extended transition periods, and those who have been exposed to consulting in the past may find project-based work and independent contracting success quickly.

Professionals new to consulting and contracting will find all of the project management tools they need to be successful at LinktoPro.

More important, the ability to market future opportunities while actively working on a present project is solved by allowing LinktoPro’s recommendation Engine to work for them.

Additionally, companies that have been forced to reduce staff may find they are in need of short-term talent to complete new or existing projects.

This is the gap LinktoPro.com fills for the highly skilled, senior executive professional in career transition and the company or business seeking help with any type of project or consulting assignment; LinktoPro seeks to present a new option with all of the support, tools, opportunities and community wisdom needed for a successful consulting relationship.

For more information, visit LinktoPro.com

Introducing LinktoPro

In the current economic environment, professionals who find themselves in job search are facing a highly competitive market.  The job search itself may take up to twice as long as pre-2009 search times, and given the standard career transition rule of thumb of one-month of job search for every $10k in salary earned, formerly highly compensated employees may see career transition periods of 18 to 24 months or longer.

Many highly skilled senior professionals turn to consulting and contracting opportunities during these extended transition periods, and those who have been exposed to consulting in the past may find project-based work and independent contracting success quickly.

However, professionals who enter into consulting projects with no previous experience in performing as an independent contractor may find themselves challenged without the tools, guidance, and support needed to be successful.  Professionals new to consulting and contracting will find all of the project management tools they need to be successful.

More important, the ability to market future opportunities while actively working on a present project is solved by allowing LinktoPro’s recommendation Engine to work for you..

Additionally, companies that have been forced to reduce staff may find they are in need of short-term talent to complete new or existing projects.

This is the gap LinktoPro.com fills for the highly skilled, senior executive professional in career transition and the company or business seeking help with any type of project or consulting assignment; we seek to present a new option with all of the support, tools, opportunities and community wisdom needed for a successful consulting relationship.

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