Showing posts from April, 2021

Job Hunting Scams

Don’t fall for scams. Your resume may be floating around on public job boards or open-source portals, or being forwarded to a network through a string of emails. Somehow people will find you when you least expect it. Be careful. Apply discretion and good sense. Common sense isn't enough to function in today's age.

Contact Information is Key

Keep your contact information current on your resume. Make sure your email and phone number are listed in a legible font.  It’s not necessary to list your home address on the resume.  With the rise of identity theft online and offline, job seekers should use discretion about who they are disclosing their personal information to. If your job opportunity is represented by a staffing agency, you’ll be asked to provide personal information either in person, during the sign-up process, or when you secure a position through the job agency. 

Do Objective Statements Matter?

Include an objective statement only if it’s requested in your resume submission. Job applicants present an objective statement on their resume to communicate their specific job interests. There are advantages and disadvantages to these  statements. A very specific statement can put a job candidate at a disadvantage because it filters out all job opportunities that don’t align with their specific interests. This becomes a  problem when the resume suggests the applicant is not open  to entertaining any positions outside their “objective.” On the other hand, a too-broad objective statement is similar to not having one, because it suggests that the job candidate is open to a broad array of work. If the latter is the case, it is better to save the white space on the resume by not having an objective statement at all. Objective statements are not mandatory on resumes.  

Follow Directions - Don't Become the Weakest Link

Some job classifieds specify how they want the resume to be  submitted. Follow directions if you want to be considered for the opportunity. Depending on the position and the type of work, some firms may ask you to forward a sample of your portfolio of work.  Make sure your work is clearly credited with your name before  sharing any copyrighted material. Not all screeners will return your portfolio after the screening process. If possible, forward a copy of your portfolio without compromising your original work. 

Reader-Friendly Resumes

The resume must capture attention within the first ten or twenty seconds of screening. If the font and formatting are too distracting to read, chances are high that the resume will be immediately canned. Sorry! Remember that even though this is not an art competition, screeners are reading resumes all day long and they’ll thank you if you make their job easier.  

All Paid and Non-Paid Experiences Count

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, from the present to the past.   This includes temp, contract, consulting, and direct-hire positions.     Include short-term and unpaid work experiences; volunteer work also receives its fair share of respect.  These experiences contribute to your professional portfolio.  

Resumes 101 - Basic Parameters

Keep your resume to the point by aiming for one to two pages in length. If your resume is longer than that, condense the content to make it appear reader-friendly.   Resume screeners and job agents don’t have the time to look through a lengthy resume if it doesn’t appear readable. Do not give screeners a reason to reject your resume based on its appearance. Apply the following guidelines (customize as  necessary):   1-inch margins   Font size: 11 or 12   Fonts: Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman Use headers if necessary to separate different  sections Adjust your custom settings as needed 

'Lessons Learned' are Priceless

Acknowledge your “lessons learned” from all application and  interview experiences. Applicants can extract many valuable lessons, from interviewing tips to constructive guidance from their opportunity searches. Embrace these lessons learned by implementing them in future experiences.  What are your 'lessons learned'?

Put Your Best Foot Forward

If your job agent is scheduling interviews on your behalf, share  your availability and follow through with these appointments. You are representing both yourself and your job agency in  these meetings, put your best foot forward. Cancel only if it's an emergency because some interviews welcome little room for flexibility with future follow ups. Choose your life lines carefully to reschedule, cancel and withdraw your candidacy from an opportunity screening. 

Participate in All Scheduled Interviews

Attend and participate in all scheduled interviews. Only reschedule interviews if there’s an emergency or if the other party has a scheduling conflict. Be flexible with the  interviewing process. It’s rare, but there are occasions when interviews are rescheduled or cancelled unexpectedly by employers for undisclosed reasons. Even if you attend these meetings and they don't pan out well, you now have a lessons learned to reflect upon what went well and where there's room for improvement. It's a win-win if you're serious about your opportunity search. 

Keep An Eye on Local and Online Newspapers

Do not overlook searching online newspapers and local papers for job classifieds.  Not all employers participate in web recruiting platforms.   Such a simple tip yet it's overlooked by many people. Believe it or not, many companies still advertise in journals, magazines, newsletters, hard copy newspapers, local ads, local mail and word of mouth.

Mindful Boundaries with Resume Follow Ups

Follow up by calling the company to confirm your resume submission was received only if a number is provided (and) the ad does not ban calls. Ignoring the boundaries specified by the job poster tells the other party you can’t follow directions, nor do you respect boundaries in general. Follow directions, because it’s part of the job application process.  

Resume Submission Tip

Submit at least three to five resumes daily to jobs that meet your interests. This is an average; realistically, there will be slow days when new positions aren’t posted as frequently as on other days of the week. Due to the networking of the global workforce online, most job sites post positions seven days a week, at all hours of the day. Some candidates set up job alerts on various classified sites, which allows them to apply  immediately for positions that align with their interests. This give applicants an advantage, as their resume is being screened sooner rather than later by the job poster. 

Consistency is Key

Consistency is key. Consistency is a monumentally important  ingredient when seeking results in any aspect of life. Acknowledging this reality helps when revising your job hunting strategy to keep up with the demands of your personal life and the job market. Rain or shine, it is your responsibility to keep driving towards your goals.  

Display Maturity in Your Professional Taste

Talents of all calibers should be able to display mature and professional taste in their appearance, from the details of their  hygiene to how they visually present themselves to their  audience. This is a basic common-sense tenet, but sometimes common sense is not common after all! Be mindful that various work environments might encourage casual or formal  attire, depending on the company’s culture. Pink hair might be appreciated in an artistic environment, whereas it would be a deal breaker in a formal corporate environment. Applicants sometimes tend to discount their choice of attire and accessories, but this can disqualify them from moving ahead  in the interview process. Companies try their best to recruit  talent that understands their culture from the inside out; they need to feel confident that they can trust their talent to  represent them in the best light possible before clients and vested third parties. 

Work On Your Overall Presentation

Many job candidates focus so much of their effort on  producing an attractive resume that they overlook the  importance of their physical demeanor and the proper  decorum when engaging in formal encounters such as behavioral interviewing. Invest some time in scanning potential interview questions, conduct mock interviews if  possible, and pay attention to body language. Employers view you as an entire package, rather than parts of a whole.  

Treat Yourself Like a Brand

Treat yourself like a brand. When people see and hear your name, they automatically form ideas about you that they will remember the next time they encounter you. Marketing yourself does not require money; it requires tact and patience as you let the job market know you exist. 

Marketing Yourself

Like it or not, you’re a walking, talking brand. Marketing yourself is mandatory, regardless of how you come across a job opportunity; sooner or later you’ll be expected to prove that  you are more than what is written in your resume. First impressions matter, whether they take place virtually or in  person, because how you do small things provides insight into how you will perform greater things. These initial impressions  give employers an opportunity to assess your speech, demeanor, presentation, and values; they represent a part of your professional identity.  

A SAMPLE List of Job Agencies

Here’s a SAMPLE list of job agencies:   Account Pros,    Adecco,    Aerotek,    Ajilon,    Apple One,    Elite Staffing,    Headhunter,    Kelly Services,    Kforce,    Man Power,    Premier Staffing,    Randstad,    Real Match,    Robert Half International,    The Recruiter Network,      Readers can explore a broader variety of staffing agencies, using their geographic and industry preferences, by visiting  the following sites:   Best of Staffing,    Find a Recruiter,

The Value of Job Agencies

Job agencies can serve as a great networking tool for acquiring professional experiences and paychecks, and for  building a strong portfolio of employers to support your career aspirations.   There exist several types of job agencies that cater to various  interests, such as: local vs. national jobs, temp work, contractual assignments, consulting positions, direct-hire positions, specialized labor (technical, administrative,  medical, sales), etc.   The best way to discover the appropriate agencies is by scanning for leads. Googling your city name, followed by “job agencies,” “temp agencies,” or “staffing  agencies” and “staffing firms” should do the trick.  Do your homework then proceed with caution.

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

Remain open-minded. This is your moment to prove to  yourself and your job agency that you are open to taking on positions that may pay off at a later time. You are building a resume, earning money, and accumulating contacts in the process. Working short and long-term contracts are a great  way to get your foot in the door with an organization that can potentially offer growth opportunities. Do not judge a book by its cover.  

Know When to Speak Up

Be positive about your work assignment. No one can force you  to accept an assignment without your consent. If you agree to  work an assignment, be professional at all times and do your  best. There will be moments when you might sign a contract only to discover that the client site presents some challenges,  from difficult personalities to a disorderly work environment. Try your best to navigate these circumstances; no work environment is perfect.   High-achieving job candidates know how to capitalize on these opportunities, by performing well under tricky conditions. It’s only a matter of time before the right people will  take notice and recommend them for more rewarding  positions that result in contract extensions and, possibly, direct-hire placement. Within the bounds of practicality and common sense, candidates are expected to use discretion when working an assignment. No one should allow themselves to accept any form of abuse, negligence, or harassment in the workplace. 

Respect is a Two Way Street

Respect is a two-way street. Job candidates retain rights just  as their prospective employers do. There are rare instances  when misunderstandings may occur between an agent and  their talent, an agent and their client, or a talent and the  client—and it’s okay. There will be times when either communication breaks down or misunderstandings surface out of nowhere. In such situations, it’s important to sort through these misunderstandings in a civilized manner, without emotions getting the best of you. Appearing temperamental isn’t wise; it only diminishes your credibility in the workplace.  Keyword: Misunderstandings Half the time they will occur and it will be out of your control. Know how to navigate through them without monopolizing your time and resources. If you realize that people are masking their negligence behind a 'misunderstanding', address the concern in a professional yet forthright manner. Small problems only snowball into bigger problems over time. 

Rules of Engagement

If you’re working as a temp, a contractor, or a consultant through a job agency, it’s important to remember that your employer is the job agency, not the client that you are currently  assigned to work for. If any personnel concerns, pay questions, or matters pertaining to the logistics surface, contact your agent for guidance. You’re contracted with the agency to perform work on their behalf at a mutually agreed-upon client site. Avoid approaching employees at a client site with your employment concerns, unless you’re advised by your agent to proceed forward with your assigned point of contact onsite. It’s important to acknowledge the chain of command when you’re employed through a job agency. This prevents any  communication problems among the contractually bound parties. 

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Treat all job agents with respect, honor healthy boundaries, and do not treat them as a therapist for your personal problems. If you found employment through your agent’s hard work, turn to your agent for guidance prior to making any bold decisions at the client site (place of employment). Your presence and work performance at the client site also represents your agent. If it weren’t for your agent, you would still be waiting to earn a paycheck.   If you need therapy, go seek therapy at the RIGHT place. This is not the time to air your dirty laundry.

Respond to Your Emails and Calls

Your job agent can serve as an asset or a liability. Make sure you respond to your agent’s calls and emails in a timely manner, and always be professional, even if you disagree with their feedback. Your agent can potentially become a long-term asset for you if you can work well together. Do not forget that agents need to secure their own livelihoods too!  Respond or it will cost you. Too many unanswered and/or ignored messages equate to a bold 'no' from you. Prospective agents, employers and third parties will either deactivate you in their system, or situate your profile to the bottom of their list. 

First Impressions Go Both Ways

These headhunters serve as your professional contacts in the marketplace. Like everything in life, there are some that are great at what they do, and then there are headhunters who prey upon na├»ve talent by serving up false hope. Be professional with your assigned agent; it’s your agent’s job to assess your competence and professional demeanor before they pitch you to a client. Job agencies and their agents value first impressions as much as their clients do.  

Don't Get Too Comfortable

Job agents work with multitudes of clients and talents; they cannot attend to your career needs 24/7. Unless and until they find an opportunity that is a reasonable fit for you, aligning with your skill sets, do not abandon all your other methods of landing your next position. You may be registered with a few job agencies, which is convenient, but still doesn’t guarantee results. You are ultimately responsible for your own opportunities and results.  

Job Agencies

Job agencies ( also known as temp or headhunter agencies)   serve as a great complement to your career endeavors. There are local, regional, and national job agencies that can assist you in pursuing your career and professional interests. Some agencies represent very specific talent niches, such as office administration, engineering, finance and accounting, advertising, information technology, etc. Do not underestimate the power of these temp, or consulting, agencies to help you find a great position. One must understand these agencies serve as a “crutch,” and not as a sole means to an  end. Those who register with these agencies are assigned job agents ( aka headhunters ) to assist in their opportunity search.  Candidates can on occasion tend to grow passive in their search, thinking it is their agent’s role to find their next position. These agents aren't gods. They need to meet their sales quota and nurture their reputation that they'll respond to candidates that are ready a

Job Hunting Sites

Here is a list of ( SAMPLE ) sites where job hunters can start screening their opportunities and planning their career goals.     CareerBuilder,    Federal Jobs,    Glassdoor,    Hot Jobs,    Indeed,    Jobfox,    LinkedIn,    Monster,    Simply Hired,    Top USA Jobs,   Remote, Flex Jobs, Angel, Jobspresso, We Work Remote, Remote Ok, No Desk, Remotive, Workew,