9 Email Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job Offer

Source: Fox Business via Glassdoor.com

When you’re job hunting, you’re on high alert for every mistake you can possibly make: You run your resume by every friend you have, carefully craft a cover letter, scrutinize every detail you put into the job application, and spend hours preparing for your interview.

But did you ever stop to think that you could make it all the way to a final interview, only to lose the job offer to something as small as an email?

Jennie Ellis, founder and CEO of Recruiting Bandwidth, wants job hunters to understand that every interaction they have with a prospective employer reflects on them, and that goes for the highly visible parts of a job hunt (like a resume, cover letter, application, and interview) and the behind-the-scenes communication that goes on in an email inbox.

If you want to make sure you’re presenting yourself professionally at all times, make sure you’re not making these nine common email mistakes.

1. Writing misleading email subjects

The way you communicate should express respect, and that starts with being accurate and honest. Make sure you’re using email subjects that convey exactly what you mean, not clickbait email headlines that encourage the reader to open but leave them disappointed in the content.

“I don’t appreciate an intrusive, alarmist approach,” explains Ellis. “For example, in email subject stating someone has an urgent need to speak to me, but when I open it, it’s just a solicitation [for] a job. Simply be transparent — include the position title in the subject, or if you were referred by someone who knows the recipient, state that.”

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2. Using the wrong name or title

In the Internet age, addressing an email “To whom it may concern” or an incorrect name often shows a lack of initiative — more often than not, that information is available online. Furthermore, out-of-touch salutations can be a clue for recruiters and hiring managers that you may not fit in with the culture.

“For example, [some] women don’t typically like being addressed as Ms. or Mrs. in email,” says Ellis. “If someone did this to me I would think they were old school and [did] not get our informal tech culture.”

3. Not getting to the point

One danger of communicating with prospective employers by email is that you have plenty of time to linger on your draft until it expands into a mini-treatise on why you should be hired. Skip the long correspondence and try to keep your emails to three to five sentences or less.

“Long, rambling emails when I didn’t ask for one in the first place assumes that I have nothing better to do than listen to a candidate go on about themselves,” explains Ellis. “Instead, think about what is the most important thing you need to convey and be clear and concise about it.”

4. Cutting corners on language

You don’t want to treat an email like a 10-page term paper, but you also don’t want to treat it like a text to your best friend. No matter how informal a company culture, you’ll always need to write with full words, full sentences, and good grammar and spelling.

“I cannot stand it when people use text acronyms in email messages in something that should be as formal as a cover letter,” says Ellis. “It shows an immaturity and disrespect for a job seeker to be that informal to someone they don’t know.”

5. Being too personal

Using email to build a strong relationship with a recruiter or hiring manager is not the same thing as assuming you have a personal relationship right from the start. Strive to keep your tone warm, but not too intimate.

“Avoid anything that sounds too personal,” says Ellis. “Even ‘Very best regards’ could be construed as too personal. After all, why would someone give me their very best regards if they don’t even know me? For all they know, I could be a total jerk, so that feels inauthentic.”

6. Not customizing your note

Recruiters get it — you may be a very busy, in-demand candidate trying to coordinate interviews and follow-up materials with several companies at a time. But that’s no excuse to send everyone the same content.

“Sending vague emails that are clearly part of a massive blind copy blast is a big mistake,” says Ellis. “Many recruiters are screening your emails to see if you pay attention to details, and getting obviously copy-and-paste responses without any personal details is a big red flag.”

7. Being too experimental

There’s a time and place for experimenting with the way you work, but it’s not in the way you communicate with a recruiter or hiring manager. The only thing that should stand out about you in the interview process is the quality and efficiency of your work.

“Recruiters read email for the content, not for the creative expression through color and format,” explains Ellis. “Style choices like offbeat formatting and colored or oddly large font does not give off the most professional vibe, and smiley faces and lack of paragraph breaks just send a confusing message.”

8. Using an unprofessional email address

Your email address should be some combination of your first name, initials, and last name. Anything else should be reserved exclusively for personal use.

“Using an inappropriate personal email address to apply for jobs is really unprofessional and it may affect whether or not the hiring manager takes you seriously,” says Ellis. “For example, I once had an email from ‘stoner54@’ come through the ATS once, and I thought it was a joke!”

9. Following up too aggressively

In a competitive job market, there’s a lot of pressure to express your interest in a position. Unfortunately, this can lead a lot of candidates to be more aggressive than they should be, which runs the risk of turning off the hiring manager. You’re better off directing your energy to following directions for applying for a job and carefully reading all of the instructions you receive throughout the interview process — and nothing more.

“Emailing too often in the course of an interview process — especially if you’ve been told to expect a reply in a couple of days — can be very frustrating for a recruiter,” says Ellis. “Likewise, not responding in a timely manner to an email that necessitates a response from the potential employer can take you out of the running for a job.”

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Make Your Age an Asset: 7 Job-Search Tips If You’re Over 50

Source: Chris Forman via Forbes

if-opportunity-doesnt-knock

A recent unemployment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that job growth continued in July with 163,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls.

Still, with the unemployment rate essentially unchanged at 8.3%, many mature workers worry that their age will work against them in a job search.

In fact, their years of experience can be a huge asset to future employers. Some new jobs data suggests that older workers are actually in demand. A recent Challenger, Gray & Christmas study shows that of the 4.3 million jobs created in the past three years, nearly 3 million have gone to people over the age of 55.

Older workers can improve their success rate by focusing on the value of their experience. Here are steps you can take to make age an asset.

1. Network across all platforms. Harness the power of your personal, community, and business network. Mature workers have the advantage of a developed network, both online–for example, through LinkedIn–and offline. Think about your connections and who can potentially refer you for an open position. If your application is marked as a referral, it triples your chances of securing an interview.

Don’t procrastinate when you find out about job openings. StartWire research shows that 50% of successful new hires applied within the first week of a job being posted; 75% applied in the first three weeks. If you find out about a job opening from a contact, send in your application immediately and have the contact mark it as a referral.

2. Focus on relevant, recent experience. There is no need to list on your resume every position you have held since you entered the workforce. That will put the spotlight on your age, rather than your talent. Instead, focus on work experience that shows you have the skills needed for the job you are targeting.  If you can’t make that connection, in your description of a past position, consider downplaying or removing it from your resume.

3. Find employers who will value your know-how. Many employers seek out older workers. Far from being a blemish, your age will put your resume on top of the pile. Financial services firms, for example, have a primarily older client base. To best reflect their clientele, they often prefer older employees.

Other companies, constrained by the current economy, do not have the time or resources to extensively train new hires. They want to bring someone in who can sit down and produce work on day one. This is a growing trend across multiple industries. And don’t overlook startups and non-profits.

4. Don’t ignore glaring resume gaps. While you shouldn’t list every experience held, try to fill in recent resume gaps when possible. Employers will wonder what you were doing, and in the absence of information could assume the worst. If you were forced to take time off to care for a loved one, it is okay to put “caregiver” in place of a gap. If you’ve filled time with volunteer work, include that detail. It’s a bonus if you’ve honed skills while volunteering, so feel free to mention it very briefly.

5. Stay in the loop. Keep up with trends in your industry. Follow blogs, join relevant groups on LinkedIn, and participate in the discussion. Look for a local networking group for people in your profession, or start one if it doesn’t exist. Joining a group like this or a job club or meetup group for job seekers can help you stay on top of trends. The more people you meet and reach out to, the more you will learn and the more likely you are to find job opportunities.

6. Upgrade your skills strategically. Depending on your field, you may need to advance your skills to be competitive. This is especially true with new technology. Find out what programs potential employers value, and take a class or a refresher course in your community or online. If you’re not already active in social media, develop a digital footprint.

7. Practice interviewing. If you haven’t recently participated in interviews, brush up on your skills. Do a practice round with a friend. Focus on the skill set that you can bring to the company. Have a few questions of your own ready–for example, about the company’s plans for the future.

Try to stay away from personal topics. A friendly interviewer and your own nervousness may lead you to let your guard down and reveal personal details that work against you, like health problems and family woes. It’s often in these moments that employers make a decision on your cultural fit for the organization. So show off your best self.

Employees Looking for New Opportunities in 2018

Source: Hunt Scalon

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Approximately three in 10 (29 percent) professionals intend to look for a new position in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Accountemps, a recruiting arm of Robert Half. Of the 27 markets surveyed, Los Angeles (40 percent), Austin (38 percent), and Dallas (37 percent) topped the list of U.S. cities with the most workers planning to find new opportunities.

“The employment market is favorable for job seekers right now, but candidates still need to put their best foot forward,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director for Accountemps. “While some aspects of the job search have changed over time, others are timeless, like having a concise and compelling resume, following up with employers after applying for a job, and sending a thank-you note after an interview.”

Here are some additional findings from recent Accountemps job search surveys:

  • Resume length is less important. Almost half (46 percent) of senior managers prefer a one-page resume for staff-level candidates, and nearly an equal number (47 percent) believe two pages is an ideal length. Ten years ago, managers were more likely to want just one page. For executive roles, half of managers (50 percent) cited two pages as acceptable, while 21 percent were most receptive to one page.
  • Employers consider more than a resume when evaluating potential hires. More than half (56 percent) of managers said the candidate’s online profile is equally important.
  • Follow-up is expected and appreciated.All HR managers surveyed encourage candidates to check in after submitting a job application. Eight in 10 (80 percent) respondents said they take thank-you messages into account when deciding who to hire, but HR managers reported receiving notes from only 24 percent of applicants. The survey also found email is the most common way to stay in touch and send thank-you notes. While following up is key, 33 percent of HR managers said they have removed a candidate from consideration because they were too pushy after an interview.

Accountemps offers the following job search tips:

  • Take stock of your successes. List your accomplishments to help you update your resume and prepare for interviews. Be ready to explain your most important career achievements with specific examples.
  • Check your online presence.Review your social media accounts to ensure they cast you in a favorable light. Also, keep your online profile up to date, noting key accomplishments at your current and previous jobs.
  • Tailor the resume to the position and employer. Describe your skills and experience in relation to the job opportunity. Detail significant contributions you’ve made at your current or former employer and how they impacted the department or company’s bottom line.
  • Follow up throughout the application process. Always follow up with a thank-you note immediately after the interview. It’s also okay to send a quick email to the hiring manager one to two weeks after submitting your resume or interviewing if you have not heard anything, but keep follow-up communication to a minimum. You don’t want to be perceived as pushy, the report said.
  • Know what you’re worth. Many companies are wooing in-demand candidates with higher pay and other benefits. Use resources to determine a starting compensation range for your desired position in your local market.
  • Partner with a specialized recruiter. Work with a staffing firm to uncover opportunities that match your skill-set. Consider temporary work to learn which industries and work environments suit you or get your foot in the door at a company that interests you, said Accountemps.

Companies Are Ready to Hire

According to a recently released report by Indeed61 percent of the 1,000 HR leaders who were surveyed said they expect to hire more people this year than they did in 2017. By contrast, just 10 percent are planning to reduce their rate of hiring, while the rest plan to maintain current levels.

Most businesses in virtually every industry should see a jump in hiring in 2018, but some will be more aggressive in going after talent than others, according to the report. The most active sectors for recruiting will be architecture and engineering, where 82 percent plan to hire; IT and telecom companies (75 percent); and professional services firms (71 percent).

“I’ve been recruiting for nearly 30 years, and rarely have I been as optimistic as I am right now about the coming year,” said Rob Tillman, founder of executive search firm TillmanCarlson. “Historically, recruiting activity has most closely tracked the consumer confidence index which is now at a 17-year high. With the stock market at all-time highs and tax cuts on the horizon, economic conditions should get even better in 2018. While we may be entering the final stages of the economic recovery, the trends we see in the war for talent should become even more pronounced in 2018.”

Talent Shortages

Top global HR leaders and executive recruiters say these are tough days for finding talent in virtually every market sector around the world, and it’s a situation that is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Companies also continue to have trouble attracting and hiring top talent. As the scope of readily available high-level candidates shrinks, leading prospects have more offers than ever. A recent study by Aberdeen Group found that 87 percent of companies have difficulty establishing a talent pipeline.

“I feel like hiring great talent is tougher than at any time before,” said Gabor Varjasi, chief human resources officer at the Hungarian Post in Budapest. “We should be getting ready for how much harder it will be in a few years because the talent shortage problem is deepening. New jobs are emerging in the U.S., Europe and Asia and Africa is also developing by tremendous investments in banking, the telecom sector and a number of others.”

“Company talent pools are shrinking, and competition is getting more intense,” said Mr. Varjasi. “The only way to get ahead of all this is to understand as best we can the trends that are shaping how organizations should and could recruit in the coming years. For anyone connected to HR, you better get more informed very fast about the challenges as well as the opportunities coming. AI will soon infuse every aspect of HR. We’re simply not ready for this, especially on a global scale.”

More countries are delivering positive economic news every week, Mr. Varjasi said. But he questions how sustainable growth can be with such a lack of talent. “We cannot expand without people,” he said. “So I expect pressure to remain on finding and retaining talent across Europe and U.S. Asia, on the other hand, is becoming more and more attractive on the global labor market. It’s going to be a bumpy ride into the future.”

Warren Buffett Says, “If You Hire People on Intelligence but They Lack This Other Trait, Don’t Bother!”

Warren Buffett gave some great advice a few years ago on key attributes to look for when considering job candidates.

He narrowed it down to three, but one is purely non-negotiable. Buffet said:

You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.

Buffett is dead on. Here’s why integrity is so important in the people you hire, especially your future managers.

You don’t question them for their actions.

Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy, in his book Uncommon, said: “Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.” When someone leads with integrity, it makes it hard to question that person.

People operating within parameters of truth, honesty, and ethics will listen to their heart and do the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Their actions are open for everyone to see; they don’t have to worry about hiding anything from anyone, nor do you have to worry about them hiding anything from you!

Trust is developed seamlessly.

When someone exercises integrity and good judgment, trust is gained, especially with those working and collaborating in close proximity. Colleagues see each other as dependable and accountable for their actions. When trust develops, people feel safe in each other’s presence and influence is spread within the tribe.

Spotlight
Patti Thoma
After 14 years with the same company, my position was affected due to a corporate consolidation. Even though I knew it was coming, I was worried about starting a job search after being out of the market for so long. My FACET Career Strategist, Harry LeBouef, helped me update my resume to work with online systems, and coached me through ways to search and use LinkedIn to connect with people. In addition, the written materials FACET provided were very helpful as I tried to get my thoughts together to launch my job search. The elevator pitch worksheet was especially useful when I started interviewing.I was really nervous about reaching out to strangers, but Harry encouraged me and helped me develop different approaches to networking with specific professionals. Harry was a huge source of support. We talked weekly about what I had accomplished that week, and he helped me create a list of things to do the next week. He was always upbeat and positive, and would not allow me to undersell myself. More than anything, he kept my spirits up. I’m very thankful to Harry and FACET for giving me the confidence I needed to land a director-level job.

~FacetGroup.com

6 Steps to take when using LinkedIn to Network for a Job

DECEMBER 2017 BLOG

6 Steps to take when using LinkedIn to Network for a Job

You’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional, online networking application with approximately 470 million worldwide members*. It’s also said that LinkedIn is growing at a rapid rate of two people per second. And according to Jobvite.com, at least 87 percent of recruiters are sourcing for talent on LinkedIn.

Here’s another fact that I can personally attest to: most recruiters with whom I’ve spoken tell me that LinkedIn is their site of choice when it comes to looking for talent. Not Facebook.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, or SimplyHired.com.

Shouldn’t these facts be enough to use LinkedIn for your job search? Now, here’s the question: how can you most effectively use LinkedIn to network for a job?

1. LinkedIn is more than your online résumé

First of all, your LinkedIn profile is not simply your resume. This said, I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop that their first move is to copy and paste their résumé to their new LinkedIn profile.

From there, however, you need to add to it to make it more of a networking document that expresses your value, while also showing your personality. For example, your Summary must tell a story describing your passion for what you do, how you do what you do, and throw in some accomplishments to immediately sell yourself.

Your Experience section must include accomplishment statements with quantified results that include numbers, dollars, and percentages. I prefer each job to comprise only of accomplishments, while other LinkedIn members throw everything into the mix,

Also important is that your LinkedIn profile is optimized for keyword searches by recruiters and hiring managers. They’re looking for a specific title, vital areas of expertise, and location. For example: “sales operations” AND CRM “lead generation” AND pharmaceutical AND “greater Boston area”.

Read how to create a powerful profile with the new LinkedIn.

2. Use LinkedIn to network with people at your desired companies

Perhaps one of LinkedIn’s greatest strengths is the ability to locate the key players at the companies for which you’d like to work. My suggestion is that first you create a list of your target companies and from there connect with people on your level in those companies.

There are ways to go about getting noticed by the people with whom you’d like to connect:
1 You may want to first follow said people
2 When you visit their profile, show your profile (don’t choose anonymous)
3 Like or comment on their posts
4 Wait to see if they reach out to you first
5 Finally, ask to connect with them using a personalized message, not the default LinkedIn one

Read this popular post on the proper way to connect.

Once you’ve built your foundation, you can ask for introductions to the individuals who would be making the hiring decisions. You don’t want to do this immediately because hiring managers will be less likely to connect with you without an introduction.

Find Out The Four Steps: CLICK HERE
BE THE BEST ‘YOU’ THAT YOU ARE IN YOUR JOB SEARCH.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

How Older Job-Seekers Can Overcome Their 3 Biggest Roadblocks

NOVEMBER 1 2017 BLOG

How Older Job-Seekers Can Overcome Their 3 Biggest Roadblocks
SOURCE: Mary Eileen Williams

As a post-50 job-seeker, you know all too well that ageism presents some major barriers to your success. Younger hiring managers are far too prone to believing unfortunate stereotypes about your skill sets, fit within the organization and attitude. Yet, by recognizing the negative preconceptions you are likely to face and preparing ways to address these obstacles, you can shift their focus to highlight
your strengths. Here are three of the biggest roadblocks and best ways to handle them.

Roadblock #1: Technology
Negative preconception: Your technical skills are deficient and outdated.

What you can do: This is the #1 stereotype held against applicants of a certain age. Unless you take the steps to address and resolve this belief, you will be eliminated on the spot.

• First, you have to be very clear that your skills are up-to-date and valued in today’s marketplace. There is no way around this. You must have the technical skills for the job. For a listing of websites that offer free and low-fee training, check out my recent Huff/Post 50 article entitled, “Why Right Now May Be The Best Time Of The Year To Find A Job.”

• Secondly, be certain you let your interviewer know that you possess the skills required for the position. If you do not openly share this information, they are likely to leap to the assumption that your skill set is outdated. That said, unless your interviewer is woefully inept, this make-or-break stereotype will remain unspoken — rendering it silent but deadly.

• You want, therefore, to practice ways you can proactively bring up any hidden objections during the interview. This is your best way to dispel these types of misconceptions. Saying something like, “I pride myself on keeping my skills cutting-edge and current” or “I’ve become the go-to person for coworkers who need help with the technical aspects of the job” are phrases that will allow you to pave the way to list your technical proficiencies. Follow these statements by citing solid examples of times when your technical expertise solved a problem, expedited a procedure or otherwise made a difference.

• Thirdly, highlight and make special note of your cross-functional skill sets. State something along the lines of, “My combination of skills in both x & y has allowed me to….” You want to show that, not only are you proficient in the skills required for the position, but—moreover—how you can contribute in ways that others cannot. This is one important instance when age and experience will give you a substantial edge over the competition.

Roadblock #2: You Won’t Fit In With The Group
Negative preconception: Hiring you will prove a cultural and personality mismatch. As an older applicant, you are likely to be stuck in your ways and unable to deal with change in a fast-paced environment. Furthermore, you may refuse to take direction from someone younger.

What you can do: Make it very clear that you have reported to younger bosses many times in the past. It has never been a problem nor have you experienced difficulties dealing with a rapidly changing workplace.

• Proactively state that you enjoy working with and learning from people of all ages. You are invigorated by diverse, fast-paced environments and thrive on variety, challenge and change. Prepare examples of times when you came up with innovative solutions and/or resolved unexpected problems. Share instances when your boss was especially complimentary and you were singled out for your contributions.

• Stress your flexibility and adaptability by providing illustrations that demonstrate you are a quick study and enjoy learning new things. Periodically refer to the fact that you like what you do, know you’re good at it, and want to continue to grow your skill set.

• Show energy and enthusiasm for the position, the company and what you know you can contribute. Be sure to make your nonverbal messages and vocal tone upbeat and enthusiastic. A positive attitude will go a long way to dispel the idea that you are just going through the motions, reluctant to take direction and can’t relate to younger co-workers.

Find Out What the Third Roadblock is: CLICK HERE

SPOTLIGHT
Laura Koury
U.S. Congress Staff Assistant
Biloxi, MS
FACET’s Resume & Career Centers services were vital to my career. They produced high-quality work and I could not be happier with the results.

The writer I worked with is very detail oriented and strives to give you the best results while keeping your best interests in mind. I would definitely recommend their services to those on the job hunt.

JOB SEARCH A Simple Networking Strategy That Makes You Memorable (for the Right Reasons)

You know that networking can connect you with the next big opportunity in your career. And that’s exactly why you leave your comfort zone to do it.

But all your efforts are a little pointless if you never follow up in a meaningful way. If you want to grow that initial meeting into something more, you have to impress the other person, and lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship.

Fortunately, it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

There’s a simple strategy you can use to stand out and impress anyone you meet (even if they’ve met 100 other people that day). I call it the Super-Connector strategy.

It’s not a substitute for the basics like confident body language and a concise elevator pitch when you introduce yourself. Rather, it builds on them to help you stand out.

Here’s how it works: Every time you meet someone new, think of one person in your network who they’d benefit from knowing, and then do your best to make the introduction within a week.

In order to do this well, you should be asking questions to learn about your new contact’s background and recent work. For example, Muse writer Andrew Horn suggests the following alternatives to “What do you do?”:

What are you most excited about at the moment?

Any big challenges coming down the line for you?

What’s the next big thing you have coming up?

If you didn’t do what you’re doing now—what kind of job would you have?

What This Sounds Like

“You know, I actually have a colleague who made the transition from nonprofit to tech. I’ll ask about connecting the two of you this week so you can share ideas.”

Why This Works

Clearly, you’re offering to connect them so they can gain valuable insights and new connection. But, it isn’t just generous, there are a lot of ways this will benefit you too:

It encourages you to listen more than you talk because you’re so focused on what they’re doing. And that helps you look genuinely interested.
It makes you stand out because you’re offering something rather than asking for help or advice. You’re giving, not taking.
It’s a seamless transition into getting their contact info.
It gives you an angle to follow-up later that week. Meeting somebody one time doesn’t make them an asset in your network. It takes multiple conversations—and this starts that discussion.
It shows how thoughtful you are. By saying you’ll check with the other person first, they know you’re thinking about how you can add value, but not simply assuming; and that you’ll treat them with the same respect. (P.S. Asking that other contact is called a “double opt-in intro” and we have a template for it here.)

As with anything else, the more you practice it, the easier it’ll become—and the more people you’ll add to your network. So, stand out by taking yourself out of the equation. Trust me: By thinking about the most valuable contact for the other person, you’ll make yourself even more memorable.