Your first “real” (as in, now-I-must-be-self-supporting) job search is a learning experience like no other. So many options; so little time! You do NOT want to make mistakes, but you may not be clear on exactly what to do next and what is appropriate.
The 10 mistakes that new grads (and many others) make that postpone that first paycheck:
1. Don’t apply too slowly.
According to a 2011 study of 6,600 hires in 10 industries by StartWire.com:
“Of those hired, 27% applied within the first two days after a job was posted. Nearly 50% of the hires were applicants who applied within the 1st week; approximately 75% of all hired candidates applied within three weeks.”
2. Don’t apply too quickly.
This is the flip side of not applying quickly enough – many job seekers seem to apply too quickly. They don’t appear to take the time to read more than the job title of the posting. So they waste time and energy applying for jobs that are not appropriate, and they look dumb while doing it.
If you don’t meet at least 80% of the job’s “requirements” move on. [Read More...]
In a recent CareerBuilders survey, over 2,200 hiring managers were asked to rank the terms they typically see in resumes as good or bad terms to use. The results really weren’t too surprising, but they are interesting to note, particularly if you are currently submitting resumes for job opportunities.
The 15 Best Resume Terms
These are the 15 terms those hiring managers preferred to see on resumes.
Notice that these are mostly action verbs, probably describing the accomplishments (bet they were quantified accomplishments, too): [Read More...]
Customizing your resume for each opportunity is not optional in most situations. Resume/application customization is becoming increasingly important now that most resumes and applications are stored in an employer’s resume database or applicant tracking system (“ATS”).
In addition, several recent studies have indicated that the human reviewer – if/when they do actually see your resume – will spend fewer than 10 seconds looking at your resume before deciding whether or not you are qualified for the opportunity.
Appropriate Customization Pays Off!
Carefully done, customizing your resume should do two things for you: [Read More...]
I’ve spoken or interacted with several job seekers recently who think that customizing their resumes for specific opportunities is a waste of their time. I’ve even heard from a professional resume writer who agreed with that approach.
One resume, sufficiently generalized to cover a wide range of employers and opportunities is fine. They say.
Every recruiter I have spoken with strongly disagrees with one-version-of-your-resume-is fine philosophy. They believe that resumes should be customized to the opportunity the job seeker is applying for. And, below, are 5 reasons why.
Five Good Reasons to Customize Your Resume for Each Opportunity
You can find many reasons (or make many excuses) for not taking the time to customize your resume. But here are 5 reasons why you should: [Read More...]
Many job seekers I speak with spend most of their job search efforts responding to job postings online, and, usually, they are very discouraged about the responses they are getting (or NOT getting).
Visiting job boards and applying for jobs is probably not the best use of their time for many reasons. Here are three…
Bad Assumptions About Job Postings
If you haven’t been hunting for a new job for a while, you may be making these assumptions about job postings that are wrong. Or, at least, not totally correct. These are the most common bad assumptions I see job seekers make in their job hunting:
1. Applying for a job in response to a job posting is the fastest way to land a new job.
In studies of many different employers going back to 2001, employee referrals are the top source of people hired into a company – not responding to a job posting. In 2013, employee referrals provided over 55% of the hires in one of the studies. [Read More...]
As challenging as it is for most job seekers to “score” a job interview, the actions of many job seekers in job interviews raise questions about their understanding of what job interviews are or, perhaps, their true interests in the opportunities those job interviews provide.
A recent CareerBuilder study of over 2,200 hiring managers and human resources representatives across a wide range of industries and sizes showed some amazing behavior on the part of job seekers.
My suspicion is that most (not all, of course) people are not naturally this clueless. On some level, they must understand that they are blowing away the opportunity with their actions.
Among the strange actions in the CareerBuilder study:
Applicant crashed her car into the building.
Applicants dressing strangely – in a Star Wars costume or in their running gear.
Applicant kept iPod headphone on during the interview.
Applicant checked Facebook during the job interview.
Applicant asked for the receptionist’s name and phone number because he really liked her. [Read More...]
An article of mine published by HuffingtonPost on March 1 attracted a great deal of attention. The topic was how most employers are Googling job seekers these days before inviting them in to an interview.
When you read the comments, you will see that many people didn’t read the article, which was about how to use the Internet to manage your online reputation. You will also see many of those same people were very offended by the very idea that an employer would check out their social media activities. Eh?
Informed vs. Uninformed Decisions
Most of us want to make “informed decisions” about what we buy, what we use, and who we work with, because we’ve learned from painful experience that people – or things – are not always what they appear to be.
Don’t assume that your job is safe. In the 21st century, every job is temporary (even CEO). The reality is that layoffs can happen anywhere and any time. Even highly profitable companies like Google have had layoffs. So, best to be prepared, particularly if your employer feels a little shaky or the work situation has gotten unpleasant.
Even being a “top performer” may not protect your job.
An HR executive once described most layoffs as being done with an ax rather than a scalpel. In my experience, that is definitely true – who goes and who stays is more a matter of right-place-right-time than competence (unfortunately).
I see so much advice about how to find a job. But the advice-givers usually assume that the person receiving the advice is unemployed. That’s a very dangerous assumption!
IF you are currently employed, particularly in a full-time job, you MUST be very careful in your job search for an extremely good reason:
Being open about your job search can cost you your paycheck.
Conduct a “Stealth Job Search” When Employed
Most of us prefer to be open and transparent in what we are doing. It’s the more honorable way to act, and it’s also less complicated - no “details” beyond the truth to remember (what did I say I was doing yesterday; who did I say I was meeting?) [Read More...]
Yet, employers often require the current salary field to be completed in the application form (or the applicant is excluded from consideration).
Many employers even ask for the most recent IRS W-2 Form in the USA, as proof not only of the salary paid, but also of the length of unemployment. We had a quite interesting discussion about this on the Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group recently.
If employers require applicants to provide their salary history, the employer should make their salary ranges and the salary grade for the job being sought visible to all applicants.
But, they very seldom make the salary grade and salary range visible, although many do brag about their “benefits.” [Read More...]