Should you put your resume out on one internet job board? On 50? It really could get you a job. But there’s a down side too. Consider:
Your boss calls you into his office and closes the door. “Two days ago you posted your resume on an internet job board. Why are you quitting?” Are you looking forward to that conversation?
Want even more fun? You may not have posted your resume on the internet for 6 months. A job board you never visited may have bought your resume and posted it without permission. That way they can attract employers. I know one guy who got called in by his boss 2 years after he first posted his resume. The funny thing was that 2 years ago that posting got him his current job and the boss who was cross examining him.
One way to avoid this problem is to post a confidential resume. It isn’t very effective, but it will keep you from being recognized by all but those who know your background in detail. The problem is that you will get fewer responses to your posting.
Recruiters and resume blasting are a two sided coin. Putting your resume on a website may get you calls from a lot of recruiters. However, some recruiters refuse to work with candidates who have posted their resumes. The ones who refuse to work with you because you posted your resume online are far fewer in number, but tend to have the more exclusive job openings.
Posting your resume online can absolutely energize your job search. It can also be a long term problem. It is easier to post your resume than to get it off the internet.
If you decide to post to as many places as possible you may want to consider a service like ResumeRabbit. It can submit you to up to 85 sites instantly.
Something To Do Today
Go to ResumeRabbit and look at the places they will post your resume. Whether you use the service or not, you may want to look for job postings at some of those sites.
Tomorrow: Resume blasting – mail services
Later: Certifications – gold and lead
Do you shoot yourself in the foot when you start a job? Here is a list of good ideas.
It is easy to destroy your reputation in the first week or two. Whether you have a new job, are on a contract, or are just on a temp assignment.
Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. (E. Letterman)
Here is how your boss decides to use personality tests. Then we will show you how to “beat” them.
Your job as boss is in danger. 3 more people have quit. 5 of the last 10 people you hired are having performance problems. Technically they are proficient. At least you got that right. They just aren’t working hard. They complain constantly. They don’t fit in. What can you do to keep your job?
You’ve got to hire better, right? You go to HR (human resources) and ask for help. Jill, the VP of HR, has no time for you. In desperation you blurt out, “Can’t we test these people to see if they are good team players?”
Jill stops, smiles and says, “I’ve seen just the test for the job. It costs $95 every time you give it, but it will do the trick. With your sponsorship we can make it mandatory for all new hires.” Now she has time for you. Why? You just saved her job too. She is also under fire for all the hiring problems. Testing will prove it is not her problem.
A mistake hirers often make is getting the personality they want. Got it? They hire the exact person they want. They just want the wrong person. An accurate test won’t fix that. Better interviews won’t fix that. And truthfully, the tests are a pain to take, but reasonably accurate.
How do I beat a personality test?
Be yourself. Answer honestly. Don’t get upset. Really. It works.
So, what do you do when asked to take a personality test?
Take it. Do your best.
Should you worry about the company that asks you to take it?
No. Someone there is trying to hire scientifically. It may work and it may not. It depends on their attitude towards the test, and you have no way to measure that. So don’t worry.
Can I change my answers to score better?
No. Don’t try. You will probably fail miserably. Test makers work hard to make their test detect liars. Anyway, do you really want to get a job that a company thinks is a bad fit for you? Just answer honestly and openly.
Isn’t there a chance I’ll be wrongly excluded?
Yes, yes, yes. That’s the biggest problem with personality tests. It is also the biggest problem with interviews. Hirers sometimes are looking for the wrong person. Get used to it. And sometimes you really are the wrong person for the job!
Personality tests are just another form of interview. Companies pay huge amounts for interview training that may or may not help. They also pay for tests that may or may not help. Don’t take it personally. They are trying to figure out how to hire better. Work with them. Do your best to help them make a good hire.
Something To Do Today
For the fun of it, go online and find a free personality test. Take it. Does it get close to your personality? It probably does. That means the problem is not the test or you. The problem is that the hiring manager is looking for the wrong result, or that you really are the wrong person for the job.
Later: Resume blasting
Certifications – gold and lead
I just got upset with non-compete agreements again. Here is what I have written on it before. Good stuff.
How to negotiate a noncompete
When you are presented with a contract that has a non-compete agreement the most effective negotiation is to say, “My lawyer needs to look at this.” Your lawyer always trumps their negotiator. The problem is that they may assume you are not worth the hassle of lawyers and changing the contract. That is what you need to decide. For most situations, I suggest you try the “Very Good” approach.
Cross out and alter the parts of the non-compete paragraph that you don’t like, initial the changes, sign the contract and hand it back. Do NOT tell them what you are doing until you have finished and handed it back. Then don’t say a word, not one word, until they start talking. The HR person will turn green. That is okay. They may accept it without comment. This is the most commonly successful ploy I have seen. What you have written on the agreement always takes precedence over what was printed. Make sure you get a copy of what you signed to take home with you.
Often the person telling you that they can’t accept the contract actually does have the authority to accept your changes. Since you have already despoiled the pristine contract, and won’t be moved, they are under pressure. At this point you can say, “If you cannot accept those reasonable changes to the non-compete clause, I will have to take this to my lawyer. That may take a week or two. Would you like me to consult my lawyer?” That may be enough pressure to get them to just accept it.
Accept the assurances of the person you are talking to that they never enforce the non-competes. If they never enforce them, then legally the court is likely to let you off the hook. However, that will be 3 months after you left your job and your new employer won’t pay you a penny until you clean up the legal mess.
Don’t be pressured into a non-compete you don’t want to accept. Negotiate.
Even a fox can get a job guarding a henhouse if he has good enough references.
Internet job boards fill 25% of jobs, recruiters fill 16%, and referrals fill 27% of jobs according to one survey. So where do you want to concentrate your job hunting time?
But there are so many jobs on Indeed, Monster, Dice, and Career Builder, shouldn’t I try to get those jobs?
Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean you should automatically send a resume through those services.
22% of jobs are found on a company’s own website. Gotta like that. Still, don’t even apply at the company’s own website until after you have tried to take advantage of this country’s main job finding system: Networking into referrals.
Print out the jobs you want that you find on the internet. Make a list of the companies. Next to each company, make a list of people you know who work there. Include people who know someone who works there. Add a list of recruiters who can get your resume past HR (Human Resources) and directly to the hiring manager. Get into www.linkedin.com and see if you can find someone working at that company. (Link to email@example.com to expand your network.) Add the people at companies you are targeting to a list.
Your objective is to find someone who can drop your information on the hiring manager’s desk. Look at your whole list before you make a move. Who has the best chance of helping you? Who is the best connected? Is it a professional networker or a recruiter? Is it your friend’s wife? Get your resume in there and follow up. If you don’t get a call within a week, try again through another person.
27% of jobs are being filled by networking, 25% by job boards, 16% are being filled by recruiters. Shouldn’t networking AND job boards AND recruiters be your main job search tools?
Something To Do Today
Get into www.linkedin.com
List where everyone you know works, their spouses too. Keep adding to the list whenever you find out where someone works. Keep track of coworkers who leave. Start making a list of where everyone who knows you works. It may be worth more than gold to you now or in the future.
Later Personality tests
Certifications – gold and lead
Your resume has spots that no professional resume reader ever looks at: the objective, the summary, and big block paragraphs. It is just a fact, no one reads them.
You may have hidden critical stuff in your resume the way my son once hid himself. In a game my son hid from our family right by the front door. Right in the open. We have coat hooks there. He hid inside a coat hanging on a hook. His shoes and a foot of his pants were fully exposed. Our whole family looked for 15 minutes before someone found him. He hid in a spot no one ever looks at.
The objective and summary on everybody’s resume says the same thing. So I read the first 5 words just to be sure, then I skip them.
You say, “hard worker,” “team player,” and “want to grow.” So what? The day I read a resume that says, “I’m lazy, can’t work with others and want to stagnate,” I’ll show the whole office. I don’t have time to wade through a bunch of descriptions of things everyone does. So I skip the objective and the summary.
If I’m going to read your objective or summary it has to be short. One line is best. It has to start telling me about you in the first 5 words. What is unique about you must come out. Don’t talk about things I expect in every employee.
Ugly, huge, wordy paragraphs are also more than I can handle. Take the 6 most important points of your paragraph and turn each essential point into one line bullets. I’ll get those 6 points. If you bury the 6 most important things about you in a half page paragraph, I’ll never read them. If YOU don’t know what the 6 most important things are, YOU have been lazy. Don’t expect me to pick the most important points in your resume out for you. I don’t have time.
10 seconds is all that most resumes get before they are trashed. If they make it past the 10 second screening, they get a 45 second review. A final few will be fully read. Don’t hide the most important information. Make it stand out. Make sure I read it.
Something To Do Today
Try to get your Objective and Summary sections down to less than one line. If you have a paragraph over 3 lines in length, consider cutting it out or turning it into bullets.
Remember: Your resume has only one job, to get you an interview. It is not a complete job history or a confessional. Its only purpose is to get you an interview.
Tomorrow: Referrals vs. Monster
Later: Personality tests
Good manners soothe people in a potentially bad situation. In a positive situation good manners make everyone involved even more pleased. Manners are society’s way of helping people cope with each other.
Here are some situations and how to deal with them:
I really want this job: At the end of the interview say, “This sounds like a great opportunity. Is there anything you’ve seen today that would keep me from working for you?” Then say, “Can we set up the next step of the process right now?” They will probably say they’ll call later. That’s okay. They know you really want the job. Send an email and ground mail thank you letter.
In the interview, I realized I don’t want this job: Never walk out of an interview unless they are asking you to do something illegal or immoral. You may be interviewing with this person in 5 years for a different job. Companies change. Opportunities change. If you get the feeling the job is absolutely not for you, stop the interviewer and ask very specific questions and explore your reasons in the interview. Don’t let your interviewer bypass your concerns. They may have solid answers, they may not. Once you are sure the job is NOT for you, look at the interview as a network building opportunity. You may have a chance to talk with a manager who will have a different hiring need, and get the job you really want. Networking for an extra half hour in an interview is easier than getting a manager to go to lunch with you.
They ask how much they have to pay you: Answer them, “I really like this company. The opportunity seems like a good one. I’d like to go to work for you. In my previous job I earned $(amount), I certainly wouldn’t want to work for less. What I would like is to entertain your best offer.”
You are concerned they won’t pay enough: Ask the recruiter or HR person what the pay range is for the job. Don’t ask the hiring manager about money unless you become convinced they won’t pay near enough. Better to ask, “Considering what I have done previously, how will this job continue to challenge me?” That lets the interviewer know you are concerned that the job sounds too easy.
You want to know about vacation time and benefits: Wait a bit. The first interview is absolutely NOT the place to ask. If at some point you talk with an HR person who is already explaining that stuff, ask away. If you are working with a recruiter, ask him. Otherwise, when they are offering you the job is early enough. You don’t have any bargaining power until they have made a decision to hire you.
They ask an improper question: You don’t have to answer. Better to try to understand what they want to know. Reply, “Why do you ask?” or “Have you had a problem with that in the past?” Another way is to answer the underlying question. If they ask, “How old are you?” You can answer, “I’m in perfect health. I haven’t missed a day of work in years.” That gives them the information they need without answering a question you may dislike.
I will be late for my interview: stop and call the person you are to meet. Apologize and tell them when you expect to arrive. Add 10-20 minutes to the time so they are pleasantly surprised when you arrive earlier than you said you would.
I don’t want to go to the interview: call the person who set up the interview, the recruiter, HR person or manager, and explain why. Explain your true reasons and then listen. After a couple of minutes of discussion, finalize your decision to go or not. Let the person who set up the interview tell the people who would interview you.
You don’t want them to call your boss for a reference: Just tell them you don’t want to jeopardize your current job. They will understand.
The basic ideas are: 1. Ask the question at the right time. 2. Let people know your concerns in as positive a manner as possible.
Something To Do Today
Make an interview preparation list. What things do you want to review before you talk to your next boss?
Later: Skipped parts
Referrals vs. Monster and CareerBuilder
How early should you get to a job interview? That depends on how far you have to travel and how slow the traffic is likely to be.
If you are sure you will get there right when you expect to, arrive 10 minutes early in the parking lot. Grab your notes and go over them. Practice the interview questions you have written out. Go into the building 5 minutes before the interview is to start. You want to be on time, but avoid waiting too long in the lobby, getting nervous.
If you are going a long distance, you may need to plan on arriving 15 to 30 minutes early. In that case, tell the interviewer of your dilemma when you set up the interview. Waiting 20 minutes in your car is a waste of your time. Your interviewer can often set up a soft start time and see you immediately when you show up early.
Perfect timing: walk into the building 5 minutes before your interview. If you will have to wait more than 5 minutes in your car, go in earlier. Horrible timing is 5 minutes late unless you have called ahead to let them know you will be late.
If something anticipated arrives too late it finds us numb, wrung out from waiting, and we feel…nothing at all. The best things arrive on time. (Gilman)
If you are late: your best job interviewing tool may be a cell phone. If you are going to be late you can call the person you are going to meet with and let them know you will be late. Tell them a time 10-20 minutes later than you really expect to arrive. That way you can still arrive “early.”
Something To Do Today
Before your next job interview make a list of questions that show your desire, interest and motivation. Use those 5 minutes in the car for interview preparation.
Next: The phone interview
Contributor, hard working, excited and interested will get you a job. Greedy, lazy, bored and distracted will get you shown the door out.
Excellent questions are a way to show the difference between you and the other candidates. You need to ask questions that show you will take some of the burden off of the hiring manager. You must show your great attitude with your questions.
“What do you see as the greatest contribution I can make to my team here?” is a winner.
“What problems will I be helping to solve in this job?” works.
“What burden can I take off of your back in my first 3 months?” will be a relief.
“How will my performance be evaluated in one year’s time when I take this job?” is a great question.
Let them know you will be trying to meet their expectations. Open up a conversation on what is really expected of you.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. (Twain)
Do you get the idea? You need to ask questions that show the ways you can contribute and start taking away some of your new boss’s headaches.
Something To Do Today
Before your next job interview or pay review, make a list of questions that show your desire, interest and motivation.
Next: How early do I get there?
Later: Good manners
Boring means not read. Not read means no job. A sexy resume gets attention.
What does the person who gets your resume want to see?
Don’t tell him what you are “Responsible for.” That means you are overhead. No initiative. You didn’t cause anything to happen. You just slowed things down and kept the people who do things from making mistakes.
“Supervised” means you didn’t accomplish anything. You were useless. If you had trained all those people well, you could have made the company some money. If you say, “Cut support costs by 27% by realigning my team,” that’s a lot better than, “Supervised 10 people.”
Companies hate people who are overhead. Overhead doesn’t make them more money.
Go to www.agicc.com/actionwords.htm or www.agicc.com/actionwords.doc . Replace the verbs in your resume with some of these. Change the sentences to talk about how many more sales were made because of you, how much more money the company made, and how much money you saved the company. Karen Woodworth’s list of “Action Words” can spruce up your resume.
Your resume may become irresistibly sexy. That’s how you get a job.
Something To Do Today
Get that sexy resume worksheet at www.agicc.com/actionwords.htm or www.agicc.com/actionwords.doc Run your resume through it. Make your resume attractive
Next: What to ask in every interview
Later: Good manners