Week #48.2

Beauty is in the Eye of Artificial Intelligence – Format your Resume Appropriately

What looks nice to the human eye may be a garbled mess after passing through the artificial intelligence (AI) in Application Tracking System Software (ATS). Ensure that your resume’s vital information stays intact:

  • Use standard Word/PDF formats, 12-point black text on white background.
  • Eliminate images, designs, charts, and tables.
  • Use reverse chronological order – start with the present and work
  • backwards including dates of employment.
  • Never put contact information in headers or footers.
  • Include key words that match the job description.
  • Conclude with education, applicable certifications and patents.

Week #47.2

It’s a Panel Interview – Not a Firing Squad

Relax. During a panel interview you will be answering questions from two or more people, and the panel will usually mirror the working environment of the open position. Co-workers from within the department and often people you will work with closely from other departments may be included. Also those you will answer to, and those that will answer to you.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate how you will work with the team. Just remember a few simple strategies to nail the interview and get the offer:

  • Introductions: Nod, smile and greet each person individually. Jot down the names in order of the seating arrangement so that you can refer to them by name each time they ask a question.
  • Adjust your chair as necessary to ensure that you are facing all participants.
  • Show grace under pressure: make eye contact and project confidence.
  • Stay neutral – show the same respect and consideration to everyone. Don’t gravitate to the higher-level managers.
  • Finally, thank each person individually for their time.

Week #46.2

You Only Get One Shot at a First Impression. Make it Count.

Your interviewer’s impression of you will be established within the first 60 seconds. Don’t miss the opportunity to radiate your likability and competence.

  • Be on time. Allow several minutes to check the mirror, take one last look at the job description – and still be a few minutes early.
  • Dress appropriately. Dress appropriately for the company culture – research what the C-suite wears on the job.
  • Go light (or sans) perfume or cologne. Think neat and professional – without bright colors or trendy fashions.
  • Make Eye Contact and Smile make direct eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Be enthusiastic and amicable. Project an approachable, positive attitude and a friendly demeanor.
  • Do your homework! Study memorize and rehearse. Know everything you can about the company and the job challenges. Demonstrate exactly how your experience intersects with their needs.

Week #45.2

Holiday Season = Slow Hiring. Not Necessarily.

As the Holidays grow near, traditional thinking is that companies aren’t hiring and job opportunities grow scarce. Use this to your advantage. Go against the trend and make sure your resume is in the hands of as many hiring executives as possible.

  • Many companies have a use-it-or-lose-it budget philosophy. End-of- year hiring secures the headcount budget for the following year.
  • Companies have new positions approved for the next fiscal year. They want to find the perfect candidate and on-board as quickly as possible.
  • Competition is scarce. Folks are focused on the holidays and sitting tight until after year-end bonuses and paid time off. This gives your resume a chance to truly standout.
  • Business is slow. Down time is perfect for scheduling interviews.

Week #44

A Picture is Worth… LinkedIn Profile Photo Do’s and Don’ts

A professional looking profile photo is an essential element of your LinkedIn presentation. Studies show that you are much more likely to be contacted by a recruiter if you include a photo in your profile.

  • Make sure your photo is high resolution, use the portrait function on your camera if it has one.
  • The photo should be from the chest up—60% should be your head and face. A plain background is best.
  • Dress for success – always wear business clothes appropriate for the job you are seeking.
  • Remember to smile, show some personality.
  • Never use group, family, or photos that contain other individuals. This is all about YOU.
  • Party or dating site photos are not appropriate, you want to reflect your professional side.
  • Get a friend to take many images. The more you take, the more relaxed and natural you will look. Never use a “selfie”.

Week #43

Age Is Just a State of Mind

The goal for your resume is to get you to the next step in the hiring process. It should express compelling, relevant and accomplished- based content. In today’s technology-driven business environments, what we did 20 years ago is almost always irrelevant.

Focus on and refine your last two positions to fit the job description as closely as possible. 15-20 years of experience is plenty – really! More than that will reflect your age long before you’ve had a chance to communicate your value.


Week #42

Thank You Notes That Get You Note-ist

Your interviewer may have spoken with 10, 20 or even more candidates for the position. A brief, personalized thank you note will help keep you in the forefront of the recruiter or manager’s mind.
Keep it brief—three sentences or so. As you craft your message be sure to touch on these three points.
Thank them for their time. Succinctly express the top reason you are right for this job, and personalize with a nod to something you have learned about the interviewer (did they mention a recent vacation, a pet, a hobby?).
Sign off with a reiteration of your sincere appreciation and anticipation of further communication.
For more tips and tools to optimize your job search, visit us our our website.


Week #41

LinkedIn — What’s the Big Deal?

LinkedIn should be one of the most important tools in your job search toolbox. Its massive database can be mined for information and connections that will give you innumerable entry points into your target companies. This is what makes it such a powerful tool:

  • 610 Million+ users (2020)—50% are active users and 40% use it daily
  • LinkedIn is used by 92% of Fortune 500 companies
  • LinkedIn is used by 90% of recruiters

With LinkedIn you will be able to open and expand your network. It can deliver visibility to unknown connections, 1st degree connection introductions, identities of hiring managers and their connections, and much more useful information. To learn how to leverage LinkedIn to optimize your job search, visit our website.


Week #40

“Hi, I’m Chris Roberts” — Four Simple Tips for Your Elevator Pitch

Elevator pitches are an important component of your job search. You will be networking with friends, acquaintances, industry peers, screeners, interviewers and casual encounters during your search. Your pitch should be carefully crafted to propel the conversation to the next level. Be direct and clear about what you want to achieve from the conversation and turn you brief monologue into an ongoing dialog. Tell the listener enough compelling information about yourself to pique their interest.

What are you passionate about? — “I find it really exciting to apply new technology to old problems, in my case developing digital automation solutions for the SMB market.”

Define your destination — “I am looking for my next opportunity with a progressive company where I can put my design skills to work to create a favorable impact.”

Have a backstory — “I have been working in a startup company that has grown 20% in its second year by implementing my new design technology.”

Bring it together — “I am hoping to find a small, progressive company that values innovation and where I can use my experience and expertise, while continuing to expand my knowledge and my role with the organization.”


Week #39

Guerilla Marketing—Fed-Ex Your Resume to Ensure It Gets Immediate Attention

Snail mail is fine for birthday cards but never trust something as important as your resume to the mailman. Too often it will languish in the company mailroom or gather dust in an assistant’s in-box.

It is very likely that a next-day envelope gets delivered directly to the addressee, and we all open a Fed-Ex envelope immediately— we know it contains something important or valuable. Your resume is both of these things so get it directly into the hiring manager’s hands as quickly as possible!