It’s finally summer. Summer is the time to relax and let some of your worries wash away. Use this philosophy to get rid of some of the fears that come with your job search.Here are seven job search fears to conquer this summer:1. Networking. Many job seekers are intimidated by the concept of networking. Introducing yourself
It’s Quick Tip Tuesday! Hopefully, you are already on LinkedIn. If not, that’s your #1 to do. Assuming you are on LinkedIn, here are two quick tips that can make a big difference on your profile: 1. Customize your LinkedIn URL – This is one of the easiest things you can do on LinkedIn that can make a huge impact
If you are not sure what is wrong with your cover letter, see if you have made any of the 10 mistakes in the following post.
A strong cover letter could be your ticket to moving a step further in getting a new job. This relatively concise piece of information has the ability to place you steps ahead of other candidates, highlight your achievements, and showcase your personality – but no one ever said creating one would be
October 08, 2012
Cover Letters Still Matter
Every so often I look at Linkedin Today for career and recruiting news pertaining to job search and the written word. Many articles appear on various ideas about resumes and cover letters. It seems one of the most popular ways to view cover letters focuses on their general lack of importance. So I wanted to stick up for an old friend right now. Cover letters still make a difference. They still matter in this clouded world of applications that include a myriad of online forms and cut and paste text boxes that seems to rule that landscape of online job search applications. Now video resumes, web resumes and online portfolios can be submitted through a one touch push button of your bio to an employer, sort of like you have it on Linked In. I would assign a lot of merit to these new ways to apply to jobs. For the employer it synergies energy and provides uniformity to the view of applicants. All of these methods seem to undercut the age-old importance of the cover letter. In ancient days employers would say to me that “cover letters make the difference” and “if I can’t get past the cover letter then I won’t even read the resume” but that’s not the prevailing wisdom of today.
Regardless of the application vehicle I believe a powerful covering statement may make the difference between candidates and allow you to differentiate yourself to an employer.
Here are some of the reasons cover letters can separate you in competitive fields:
1. A Unique Vehicle – perhaps no other vehicle can immediately tell a potential employer that you understand their needs and can differentiate yourself immediately from other candidates. Cover letters could and perhaps should be viewed as your opening argument, setting the tone about why you understand and are a unique fit to any employers specific needs. A cover letter sets a tone and sets up the final argument – the resume – in a unique way. If you merely summarize points in the resume and your cover letter sounds staged then it may be a useless vessel. Handled right, your cover letter addresses the audience like a great speech or speechmaker. A cover letter sends a message, a theme and guides a reader through what separates you from the masses. Can you make your argument quickly and powerfully? A cover letter provides you a unique opportunity.
2. Your Writing Sample – a cover letter may be the best way to evaluate your argument and your writing sample. In almost all jobs employers want to know you can communicate verbally and in writing. Whether the potential employer views your resume material first or cover letter material first, the cover letter is often viewed as an indication of how well you communicate. A boiler plate “Dear Employer” generic cover letter doesn’t help your case but a focused, uniquely formatted and succinctly written statement about why your relevant qualifications, passions and interest match employer requirements makes it hard for a hiring authority to dispense with you. Today resumes can be very creatively built as functional and chronological visual documents in Microsoft Word. Resumes often butcher language down to emphasize achievements in non-complete sentences. All of these resume customs, done consistently, can show brevity and powerful language. To communicate in complete sentence there may be no better vehicle then a cover letter.
3. Your Competition Doesn’t Care – because the prevailing wisdom of jobseekers and the general masses say that cover letters are dead, writing a powerful argument outlining your unique qualifications absolutely sets you apart. Even if your cover letter appears in pieces or a box in an online application you can set yourself apart from other candidates who leave those “stupid cover letter boxes” empty. Just because the prevailing wisdom says don’t waste time on the cover letter may be the reason that you must take time to write each cover letter directly suited to your audience. A custom-made, personal and professional introduction can make all the difference when your competition provides no such entrée. The cover letter uniquely sets you apart because it nearly carries the sound of your voice into the hiring authorities ear. If you had a chance to talk to a person (which is what you want to win the job) your voice would sound more like a cover letter than the staccato sounding, parceled nature of the resume. Because your competition doesn’t care and they follow the masses that’s exactly why you need a great cover letter to stand out.
Take a moment to think clearly about what you are trying to accomplish. Today many employers don’t seem to require the age-old cover letter. Most jobseekers treat it like a silly formality so they don’t spend much time thinking through it. It’s an optional item that seems to be on the way out like, perhaps, a traditional paper greeting card. You may want to reconsider the power of the spoken word and the voice a cover letter gives you in the highly competitive world of job search. Set yourself apart from the prevailing job search wisdom and create a powerful and audience focused argument for you.
Image Credit: Instantshift.com
Read original article:
September 25, 2012
Six Ways To Make A Recruiter Hate You – And More
If you want a job, you wouldn’t intentionally try to make recruiters hate you. But you’d be surprised at how often an eager job seeker will make an enemy out of the very people they need to impress. Some blunders are merely irritating, while others can make recruiters do a slow burn when they hear your name.
1. Get Creepily Personal
Recruiting consultant Abby Kohut recalls a phone interview (that had gone pretty well up to that point) in which the job seeker ended the call by asking her to marry him. “When I told him that was an inappropriate thing to say to a hiring manager for the company, he said, ‘Oh, I thought you were a just a headhunter.’ As if that would have made it all right.”
2. Use Cutesy Language, Texting Slang and Dumb Resume Tricks
The gimmicky resume is a pet peeve of Barbara Safani, president of Career Solvers, a career-management firm based in New York City. “Please do not send a resume inside a shoe, saying you’re looking for ‘a foot in the door,’” she says. Beyond annoying the recruiter (FYI — that glitter you put in your envelope will get you noticed, but will take time to clean up), these tactics make recruiters think you don’t take them — or your job search — seriously.
3. Be Rude and Aggressive
Job hunters who use heavy-handed tactics with recruiters, like sending an angry email in all caps after being passed over for a job, won’t impress the recruiter either, says John O’Connor, president and CEO of Career Pro, a career-coaching company in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Some candidates see the recruiter as an antagonist who must be pushed and prodded and bullied to work on their behalf,” O’Connor tells Monster.com. “In other cases, they’re frustrated by the job search process and feel the need to take it out on the recruiter.”
Making up something impressive might get you in the door. But if you’ve grossly inflated your abilities and work history and the employer finds out, you will have burned two bridges, not just one. “Lying on the resume drives recruiters mad,” O’Connor says. “I know people think desperate times call for desperate measures, but the best recruiters are going to do their due diligence and if you’ve misrepresented the dates, times, duties and technical responsibilities, that recruiter will never trust you, and probably won’t call you.”
5. Stalk the Recruiter
A suggestion to “stay in touch” doesn’t mean daily or twice-daily follow-ups. “If it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t heard, it doesn’t mean you’ve been forgotten,” Safani says. Kohut agrees, adding that a recruiter who thinks you’re a good fit for a position will let you know right away. “Calling them constantly and demanding to be submitted to a company will just make them think you’re desperate and unhinged and a little scary,” she says.
6. Act Like You Don’t Care
Sending stock cover letters addressed to “sir” or “madam,” forgetting to change the name of the last recruiter you queried on your cover letter, saying you’ll take any old job and not proofing your correspondence might not make a recruiter hate you. But such sloppiness won’t impress them, either. And they might just take affront at your dismissive attitude.
7. Always Be Professional
Employment professionals say that, while one screwup won’t engender hatred, it might cause the recruiter to relegate you to the NDC list — the list of nondesirable candidates they will not correspond with. Some of the worst behaviors — pushiness, stalking, haughtiness — come from job hunters who don’t really understand how a recruiter works, O’Connor says. “If candidates would understand that the recruiter’s real clients are the companies with the job openings, not the job seekers, they would approach recruiters with more professionalism.” Even if the recruiter isn’t acting in the most professional or diligent manner, you still need to be professional, he adds.
8. View & Treat Them As An Obstacle
“Recruiters are kind of like obstacles to me,” one job hunter said to me. “So I just know that I have to play a game with them and I’ll tell them what they want to here so I can get through the door. So I will say just about anything to them to get the interview.” In job search it’s hard to hide emotions and a belief system like this when you are in communication with people. This kind obstacle focus demonstrates a prevailing attitude among some people who are frustrated and searching for jobs. But it can drive recruiters nuts when a job hunter overtly treats them like an obstacle and not a part of the hiring process. Emotions and ego aside recruiters job can be to thin the herd of resumes they receive. Companies can receive hundreds and even thousands of resumes per open requisition. Recruiters serve the process but viewing them as an obstacle and not a part of the process when communicating with them verbally or in writing can leave you on the cutting room floor.
9. Going Around Them to the Company
A third-party recruiter who submits your resume to a company is compensated by that company if they hire you. A retained recruiter is partially paid to conduct a search then fully paid when the company hires you if you become the candidate of choice. Let’s focus on these outside the company recruiters on this point. “I try to go around recruiters directly to the company,” a job hunter suggested to me. “If I can get the recruiter to blurt out the company name or if I can guess it I will go around the recruiter even if they try to submit me.” Does it make sense to cut out the “middle man” so to speak? Does the company sometimes perceive recruiting expenses as an unnecessary evil? That can be the case. But does it drive recruiters nuts when jobseekers try to circumvent the process of hiring? Yes. Will you burn a bridge if you decide to go around the recruiter to the company in most cases? Yes. Could the company view you as someone who does not follow protocol if you do it this way and almost black ball you? Yes.
So what can you do if you are frustrated with these so-called “middle men” in the process of job search? At least try to build relationships with them. Find out how companies they represent hire. Try being perfectly honest with them and try to understand their deadlines, needs and how you can help them. By doing this many people that I have coached through the job search process have had recruiters actually advocate for them, become references for them and actually coach them in a positive way to get hired. A mature, ethical recruiter realizes that he or she may work for the client company but must also build critical relationships with top talent. Try this before you ever go to tactics that could hurt your brand.
Image Credit: instantshift.com