Candidate communication sometimes drops off between interviews, offers and post-offers. This is unacceptable and here is why: When you stop communicating with me, I start thinking: A) you’re changing your mind and afraid to talk to me about it, or B) you’re no longer interested in the opportunity, or C) you or someone you love is hurt or dead and you’re dealing with that without thinking about everything else in your life right now.
How these things are incredibly negative (aside from the obvious item C):
A) We are in a professional partnership if you’re interviewing with my client through me. You owe me communication about your feelings, your fears, your challenges, whatever your emotions are. I am an excellent soundboard, I can offer multiple perspectives, and I want what is best for you in your career, whether or not it’s the opportunity you’ve now interviewed for through me. I am not a mind-reader; you have to articulate what’s going on in your head so we can address it.
B) I need to understand why you may no longer be interested in the opportunity. Knowing this will help me better match you to opportunities in the future, and it will help me have a more candid, solution-oriented conversation with my hiring manager(s) who deserve accurate and timely feedback as well. And maybe you’re actually still interested in the opportunity, but if you’re not communicating that, what else am I supposed to think? If I can’t get a hold of you, I will eventually withdraw you from consideration from the role because I also have to protect my client’s time as much as I do yours and my own, and we all have reputations to hold up.
C) Worrying about your safety is not something I start out doing because you’re an adult, and I’m not your mother, but when you stop communicating, I start worrying about a plethora of things, and I can manage my clients’ expectations best if I know what’s going on your in your world. If there are delays and you are telling me about them, I can push off decisions (for a reasonable amount of time) or renegotiate terms, time frames, etc. I can go to bat for you and lobby on your behalf. However, without trying to sound incredibly calloused, I can only show you so much mercy. You must eventually remember that life around you is going on, and deadlines are passing, and people are depending on you, and as the adult that you are, you have to communicate unless you live in a shell as a hermit and then, this whole blog is irrelevant because we’re not working together.
If you are working with me, I’ve probably already stated to you that I expect honesty and communication from you, and you’ll get that in return from me. This is why you have to communicate with me.
Your resume is your calling card or your ticket to the presentation (also known as the interview), and therefore, it is not the presentation itself, but it should include a reader-friendly specific summary of your work history and experience as it relates to the jobs you are targeting and/or the position for which you are applying.
1. The last 10 years of history is required, and if you lack a full 10 years, include relevant academic or internship projects that will reflect current industry knowledge. List chronologically from most recent to least recent, and this order applies to education as well.
2. Cover or play down gaps in employment or be prepared to explain they are there. However, do not lie. There will come a point, you'll have to stand behind or demonstrate what you put on your resume.
3. Bullet points are better than full sentences and paragraphs which typically go unread. Grammatically speaking, bullet points are not declarative statements so do not insert periods.
4. If you list professional references on your CV, assume they will be contacted. If you or your references prefer some warning, make a statement along the lines of "References available upon request," which will almost ensure a phone call or email contact from the interested party.
Not everyone is a skilled resume writer, and that's OK. The people who are sometimes do it professionally, so make sure you have one or two really good ones in your network, and hire them to build a professional one for you. I learned from my professional resume writer that once you get a good one created, you merely have to build on it, so it's typically a one-time financial investment that can benefit you the rest of your career.
The longer I recruit professionally, the more I realize how low candidates’ standards are for the candidate-recruiter relationship. I’m not sure whose fault that is. After all, which came first: the chicken or the egg? Candidates are accustomed to never hearing back from a recruiter that is supposedly working on getting them an interview for a position for what could be their next professional role. Some recruiters are, for some reason, OK with negotiating salary via email, and never meeting their candidate either in-person or via newer technology such as Skype or Google Hangout. It’s too time-consuming to ask and seek the answer for the question: when did our standards drop so low? Rather, I prefer to be an agent of change. Phoenix Staff’s model of candidate recruitment is different, and I have personally helped to craft our effective approach.
Beyond the professional realm, my favorite thing in life to do is build relationships with people, so working for a company that promotes and requires the building of long-term professional relationships with each of our candidates suits me quite naturally. It is my belief that in order to sustain, all relationships have two key foundations: honesty and communication. I expect that of my candidates, and they can expect to receive that in return from me. It’s not always enough to give the candidate a salary range or skill set and say “do you fit that?” and then represent them for the role. I know some agencies do it that way and I suppose it works for them, but Phoenix Staff is hired for more than making sure a candidate fits an initial pay grade and skill set. Sure, those are very important items, but our clients usually ask us to find long-term human resources, and finding that almost-perfect fit includes understanding more than salary. Our clients choose us to determine if cultural fit is likely, for example, and I ask questions designed to understand a candidate’s primary motivation, what is important to them, and even other things like how far do they want to commute every day, and if they’re going to be willing to relocate, who else in their life is going to be affected by the move.
Over time, honest communication builds up trust, and I feel that providing critical information for something as life-changing as a job does require a degree of trust between the two parties. With life-altering events, there is typically celebration as well as heartache. A good recruiter will at least, periodically seek you out just to check in, and can serve as a counselor or soundboard for job-influencing matters which can include thousands of things. And if you trust them, you’ll want others to enjoy the same healthy and professional relationship, and you’ll refer your colleagues and peers. In doing so, the vicious cycle which I mentioned earlier can be broken, and a better standard can be set. Be an agent of change in this, too. Seek out the best resource for you, and build out the relationship that will maximally benefit you, which is to have a professional candidate-recruiter relationship cultivated by honesty and communication.
Fear can be crippling and, in many ways, it's the biggest threat to an individual’s personal success. Imagine all of the wonderful things we could accomplish in life if it weren’t for the burden of fear hanging like a dark cloud over every grand idea. While we like to assume it’s extreme competition or circumstance holding us back from fulfilling our goals, fear is generally to blame. If you’re ready to triumph over your apprehension of the future and gain better control over your career, consider the following steps.
Don’t ignore the fear. Suppressing a problem is like ignoring a flame in a dry forest – eventually it’s going to spiral out of control. Fear is much easier to manage when you address it head on. Ask yourself: what are you afraid of? Where did this fear come from? Sometimes we can trace our fear back to a comment made by a boss or coworker. Consider the source and get to the root of the fear.
Make a plan. Although it may sound silly, sit down and make a list of pros and cons of the situation causing you fear. If you’re afraid of an impending layoff in your company, consider the benefits and disadvantages to being let go from your current position. Devise a strategy – such as getting in touch with a recruiter ahead of the layoff.
Examine the outcomes. What is the worst-case scenario, and the best-case? Decide what you would do in either situation. For example, although you fear the possibility of job relocation, it may offer you new career opportunities or it may give you the push you need to start examining other job offers. By taking this step, you’re likely to realize that the worst outcome may not really be that bad after all.
Lastly, take small steps to reach your goals. If an upcoming deadline is the source of your fear, attack the project in small chunks. Set small daily goals that are in line with your end objective. You may find that you tackle the project and reach your goal much faster than you ever expected.
Here's the scenario: you've been working with your recruiter for a few weeks and they have discovered a position that is right in line with your skill set and job wishes. You have been on several rounds of successful interviews and you have been offered the job. Now what?
There are several aspects of this new position that you need to weigh against your current situation:
- Money Matters - It's not the only consideration, but it might be the most important one to you. Are you going to be able to pay your bills and still live a comfortable life with the salary you are being offered? No one wants to be working at a job where they feel they are not being justly compensated. If the salary isn't right, the job isn't right.
- Company Culture - When you walked into the office for your interview, did you get a good vibe? Think about the little things such as asking to use the restroom or take your lunch. Will you have your own office, or will you share an open office space? Think about what you want versus what you can put up with when considering a job offer.
- Your Personal Life - Will you have to give up the opportunity to drive your children to school in the morning because you will have a longer commute? Is it important to you to spend less time on the road and more time with your family? Keep that in mind when considering a job offer.
It's much easier to turn down an offer than it is to leave a job that you have already started. The employer would prefer that you decline, rather than having to start over the hiring process a couple of weeks down the road if you don't work out. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the offer. Ask questions, if you have them. Take the time you need to make an educated, informed decision so you feel as sure as possible that you, and the company, have made an excellent match.
There may be a point in your life where you are unhappy with your job. You might be underutilized, your might work with older technology, you might dislike the way your boss treats you or you might not fit in with your company's culture. Whatever the reason, you are in the right place. Here are Phoenix Staff we pride ourselves on finding our candidates the right job in the right place. You have made the first step in realizing that you are ready for a new job, possibly a new city, and a new life.
Your job should the the solution to life's woes, not the problem. Your job should give you security, financial compensation, a life outside the home, life-long learning and enjoyment. Perhaps you are being paid very well, but you absolutely abhor what you do. No amount of money pays for that kind of misery.
You realize that you want something real, not just something you call a career. If your current job isn't what you want to do for the rest of your life, then you know it's time to leave.
Now it's time to figure out what you really want to do. Here's where a recruiter can come in handy. Assess your skills and abilities to what areas you excel in, and communicate that with a recruiter. Remember, he/she is not just a recruiter, he/she is your recruiter. He/she will get to know you on a personal level to find out what makes you get up in the morning and actually want to go to work.
A career is just as much an idea as it is a job.
The basics for a new job in a new city for a new life:
- Move when you're ready to move, and have somewhere to move to
- Don't get impatient -- get busy, get things done.
- Make sure there's some money coming in on the other side of the door when you walk through it
- Find and remove any costs, debts or any other dead weights before leaving
- Don't invent problems for yourself -- you've done the worrying, now take care of business
In this technological age we are in, there are better ways to find a job in 2012. According to CNBC, "In 2011, 53% of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed." Tackle the odds and find your ideal position by following these simple tips:
- Update your resume with your final GPA, completed coursework and graduation date so that employers are up to date with your current information. Also, you may remove your college email address and replace it with a personal email address that you will check often. Most universities will disable your email account approximately 6 months after you graduate.
- Get out there and network. If you live in the Las Vegas area, we at Phoenix Staff hold a monthly BarCode Network where IT professionals gather to collaborate on the latest IT advancements in the industry while kicking back with a drink. This is a great way to get your name and face out there. Bring business cards to this free event that is open to all in the IT industry.
- Gather references from your professors. These professional references will be able to help you out down the line when it comes to applying for jobs and confirming your skill set. Professors will also be able to easily highlight your skills; this should reaffirm what you are good.
- Maintain your relationship with your recruiter. They are on the inside when it comes to the latest job openings that fit right in line with your skills and abilities. If something changes, let your recruiter know. Your recruiter is there to help you find a job, plain and simple.
If you have not contacted a recruiter at Phoenix Staff yet, give us a call in our Las Vegas office at 702-566-3694 or in our Phoenix office at 602-254-6363.
It’s late at night in a quiet suburban neighborhood. A man lies in bed, holding his eyes tightly closed as he begins to count backward from 100. It’s a trick he remembers from his grade school days, but tonight it’s not working. Finally, the man sits up and sighs dejectedly as the clock strikes 2 a.m. He has approximately four hours to sleep before it will be time to wake up, shower and join the morning traffic routine. Exasperated, he puts his head between his hands and breathes deeply. Tomorrow he will begin his first day at his new job.
To some, a new job is merely a change in scenery. However, to most Americans, a new job means a new life – a brand new city, a larger salary or a complete career change. Whatever it is, a new job can quickly change everything. Also, like the new kid in school searching for a lunch table to join, it’s also a time when people are at their most vulnerable.
Here are a few tips for avoiding the first day jitters and finding a niche in a new company:
Get to know your employer. Just as when preparing for an interview, it’s important to prepare for your first day. Use the internet to brush up on the company’s history, hiring practices, objectives and mission statement.
Keep in mind that attitudes are contagious. Forge relationships with positive, hardworking and friendly employees and avoid the negative and unhappy workers.
Remember that people are hired for their own ideas – not someone else’s. It’s never a good idea to agree with someone just to fit in.
Keep networking both inside and outside of the company. One never knows when the next great hiring opportunity or inspiring idea will surface.
Walk with the team before running with it. It’s important to get to know all of the personalities at play on a team and what drives each member to achieve their best.
Finally, those new to a job should remember not to begin campaigning for change unless it’s in the job description. In addition to seeming ruthless and impulsive, immediately proposing major change can also inspire a lack of trust from coworkers. Learn about the environment and key players to avoid overstepping boundaries. By making responsible choices early on, a new hire is more likely to move up quickly and prosper.
Although the economy is on the upswing, many professionals across the Southwest are still having a difficult time locating a job that suits their skills, needs and interests. However, one such area in which there are many opportunities available is in the field of Information Technology.
However, just because there are several openings in your job searching results does not mean the competition is lacking. Professionals looking for a career due to a contract end, lay off or those who currently feel they have reached their zenith at their current company may have sour feelings towards their current or former employer. However, it is important to always keep a positive and professional attitude regardless of the current situation. There are a few key points that can help job seekers stay on track.
1. Professionals should never “bad mouth” a current or former employer. Besides the fact that employers in the IT field are a close-knit community and may know each other personally, it also makes candidates look unprofessional and rude. These qualities are never acceptable in any workplace.
2. Job seekers, regardless of their circumstance, should never let on that they are desperate. If a candidate seems desperate the employer may question their motives – this may cause them to wonder whether the candidate is truly eager to work for their company or simply looking for the first thing to come along.
3. Appearance is important – both in the way job interviewee dresses, presents themselves online and the way in which they talk. If candidates are asked a question that could inspire a negative response, they should form their words carefully. For example, if an employer asks what they didn’t like about their previous job, an interviewee should never respond with something personal, such as “My boss was a real jerk” or “I was never paid on time” – even if those statements are true.
Job seekers should remember that employers are always watching. This can happen even in unexpected scenarios, such as on social media profiles and in restaurants or bars. Those looking for a new job should remember to maintain a positive and professional attitude at all times and they will always have a leg up on the competition.
With continuing layoffs and uncertainty in the job market, employees must make themselves irreplaceable. The only way to become irreplaceable and achieve job security is by strengthening your personal brand. Your personal brand is how you are defined in a company by your superiors, peers and yourself. In today’s economy, you cannot just maintain the status quo. You must go above and beyond expectations by adapting to the changing needs of the company and providing innovative ideas to solve problems. Here are 10 great tips to strengthen your personal brand:
- Always take the long and thorough road. The definition of work is an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or preform something. Exert yourself, do not take shortcuts or be lazy. How many successful people do you know who are lazy?
- Learn to adjust, do not resist change. With the advent of technology, knowledge grows and changes every day. Companies change business plans and implement new strategies for success. The quickest way to losing your job is to be rigid and hold on to the past. By choosing to speak of the good old days or advocating against changes, you show your employers a willingness to undermine their authority and a lack faith in their leadership.
- Be innovative, create beneficial changes. Think of solutions to problems that are original, well researched and beneficial to the company. Even if your plan fails or is not put into action, you show your employer that you want to be valuable to the organization.
- Striving to be perfect leads to failure. Most people believe that being perfect is the only way to achieve success. Actually, perfectionists tend to be inactive, waiting until they have a perfect plan to guarantee success. Nothing is guaranteed, take risks and do work.
- Be driven by purpose instead of by goals. In every profession, employees are supposed to meet certain goals, but this is often impossible due to an unclear sense of purpose. Know your purpose and achieve that purpose. Choose to produce actual changes instead of merely preforming daily tasks.
- Help others for the good of the team and organization. Most people will only do things for others if they expect something in return. Help others to help the company which in turn helps you. The more you become company oriented instead of personally motivated the more indispensable you become.
- Never be satisfied. Continue to learn about your field and keep up to date on current trends and innovation. Go to conferences to gain knowledge even if you have to pay yourself. Always be proactive, because someone who is not learning is going backwards.
- Self-promote by being assertive. If you are the most intelligent and hardworking employee at your company, but no one knows, what does it matter? Don’t be afraid to speak up, share your ideas, and make yourself be noticed.
- Forgive others and yourself quickly. Your worth at a company is not determined by getting everything right all the time. How you handle mistakes, accidents and failures shows your accountability and value as an employee. Get over it, everyone makes mistakes.
- Leave your problems at home. Everyone has a personal life and that personal life can have many problems. Dwelling or talking about those problems won’t make them go away and you can’t solve those issues while working. Prove your dedication to your job by working while at work.