holiday job search myths
Don’t be fooled like most job seekers and put your efforts on hold until after the holidays! Use this special time of year to your advantage. Actually, you could find networking and interviewing for a new job to be easier during the holidays than other times during the calendar year.
New Year Hiring
Many companies begin their budgets in January, which means they have set their recruiting targets in the fall and they continue their efforts to fill those positions for the New Year. Combine that with most of your competition kicking back and watching old reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation” and you have the advantage Continue reading
If you haven’t heard, your resume probably will be “read” by a robot before someone’s eyes have a chance to review your qualifications against the job being pursued. That presents challenges, especially, if you are going by the old school of writing your resume.
Applicant Tracking System (aka Robot)
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System and most corporations “employ” this method of screening candidates for positions posted. The truth of the matter is that you need to know the new rules of resume writing and applying for jobs in order to get to the coveted interview and have any chance at a job offer. Frustrating?
(Part 3 and last in a series on Resumes)
So far in the series on Resumes, we have discussed the best resume format and the difference between a CV and a resume. Next, we cover critical resume details.
Don’t forget the details
Metrics, when added to your resume, tell the recruiter or hiring manager several things:
- You have an understanding of business, whether the organization is non profit or for profit, a governmental agency or in the private sector
- You know how your position has contributed to the overall goals of the organization. You have a “line of sight” between what you do and the bigger picture.
- Metrics should supplement your resume when describing the result or outcome of your position.
- What is the scope of your position? What number of people do you support or serve? Do you have managerial responsibility for 10 or 50 people?
- How many “widgets” did you produce or sell vs. your goal?
- Do you have budget responsibility? Did you meet budget or save costs?
- Does your job description include measurements of success? Goals? Quotas? Timebound requirements? If so, did you meet or surpass and by what percentage? Continue reading
(Part 2 of a series on Resumes)
Chronological, Functional or a Combination of Both? Which is best for you?
There are times when a chronological formatted resume is best and other times when you will want to use a functional formatted resume. Most job seekers use a chronological resume; however, if you are changing careers , industries or transitioning from government/military to private sector/civilian jobs, the functional resume is your best bet.
A chronological resume lists your job progression, experience and skills in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.
- This format works best for those with a strong and continuous employment history
- Worked a long time? Consider deleting those positions which are over 10 – 15 years ago. Most employers are interested in reviewing your most recent positions rather than a string of jobs which are dated and, possibly, unrelated to the one you are now applying for.
- Continue reading
It’s been a long and frustrating job search. You scoured hundreds of job postings, applied to so many you lost count, attended so many job fairs that you have a colorful collection of tote bags filled with collectibles, and interviewed with so many recruiters that you anticipated their next questions. And now you just got a great job offer. But wait. Make sure you ask and get the answers to the following questions:
- Why did the last person leave the job? You may not get much of an answer but you might. The person may have been transferred or promoted (and is possibly your new boss) but s/he may have been terminated. Be sure to pose the question professionally and be ready to state that you are committed to being open to any changes within the company based on that experience.
- What set me apart from the other candidates you interviewed? Since you invested so much time in your resume, networking and interviewing, you deserve to know what attracted them to you and how your qualifications match up to the job. If they can’t provide you with specific information which validates your individual background, they may be looking for a warm body to fill the position. That may mean that they aren’t as invested in you as you are in the company.
- Who will I be reporting to? In some positions, you may report to a training specialist or new-hire supervisor for a short time, followed by reporting to another individual. This is an opportune time to make sure you understand the organizational structure and where you fit. From there, you will be able to better understand the career paths available as well.
- What are your short-term and long-term expectations and goals for this position? After what may be a short answer, you can ask for more details by inquiring as to how your success will be measured. Many companies assess performance with metrics and measurable factors such as feedback.
- What is the most important thing I should know before starting the job? So far, you have been answering lots of questions so now is your time to ask in order for you to understand what you are walking into. Every organization has its challenges and you get a jump start on your new job by having time to understand them and how you might contribute to the solutions before you actually begin the job. Depending upon the answer, you will be able to tell the scope of the challenges. Perhaps it is to take the company from #4 spot to #2 in the marketplace or maybe it is to completely change the leadership team, translating to the possibility of you working for a different set of people from when you start.