Resume Writing: A Great Example

Posted in Career Advice, Uncategorized

I work with a lot of college graduates and graduate students who looking for their first real jobs.  I am frequently asked about the need for a resume vs. curriculum vitae (CV).  Generally speaking, persons in technical fields with advanced degrees ought to only be concerned with CVs (a resume is too short to adequately represent scholastic, research and  technical achievements).  That said, a resume will suffice for 2-and 4-year college grads seeking employment whether inside or outside of their chosen careers.

Over the course of my career, I have reviewed thousands of CVs and resumes.  While I will admit I have seen more CVs than resumes (I am a scientist after all), I recently came across a resume that was excellent and can serve as a resume template (see below) for recent college grads!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The resume writer used action verbs, great descriptive adjectives and clearly demonstrated his/her qualifications an easy-to-understand and concise manner. Hiring managers love this because they can rapidly determine whether or not a job applicant is a good technical fit for an advertised position.

Resumes that are constructed like this one will likely get to the next level whether that is a phone interview or even an on site one-on-one opportunity.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Twitter 101 for Job Seekers

Posted in Social Media

Forget about Facebook. The hottest social media platform on the Internet these days is Twitter the real time, 140 character microblogging service. While most people have heard of Twitter, there are still many folks out there who don’t know what it is or how to use it. Interestingly, a growing number of hiring managers and job seekers are turning to Twitter to search for fresh talent or learn about new job opportunities.

Using Twitter is very easy but potential users may be reluctant to use it simply because it is new and requires a little bit of practice.  To that end, my good friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal), a long time, professional recruiter and BlogTalk Radio personality who hosts the wildly popular the Recruiting Animal Show, did an excellent  television interview with ABC News describing how to use Twitter to find jobs.

For those of you who don’t know Animal he is a very colorful and bombastic personality. However, despite his theatrics, he is a very knowledgeable and insightful. So, listen closely to what he has to say in his video.

 

Until next time

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (and Tweeting too)!!!!!!

Creating Better Bosses–The Google Way

Posted in Career Advice

A common complaint amongst many employees is how awful the boss is! Sure, this may result from a bit of employee envy; after all who wouldn’t want the power and salary afforded to most “bosses.” But, the bottom line is that most bosses don’t go to “boss school” and many are elevated or placed in those positions without much formal training. In other words, there clearly room for improvement for many bosses. Unfortunately, the qualities and attributes of a “good” boss remain unclear.

Google, the ultimate masters and purveyors of analytical data have attempted to make them more clear by creating an algorithm that it thinks can help to decipher and identify the often time intangible qualities and attributes that most good bosses possess. The program dubbed Project Oxygen analyzed years of performance reviews, feedback surveys and awards nomination correlating words and phrases to create a list of so-called good behaviors and possible pitfalls of managers and executive. Project Oxygen took over a year and resulted in the following list.

Reprinted from the NY Times

While some of the positive behaviors on Google’s list may appear to be obvious, the fact that they were created based on analytical rather than entirely anecdotal data suggests that may be instructive and helpful. Interestingly, I think that the list of managerial pitfalls that Google identified may be more useful; mainly because these behaviors they are quite destructive and frequently the cause of low employee morale and corporate productivity.

Hat tip to Google!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Online Networking Sites Have Changed the Job Seeking Paradigm

Posted in Social Media

Before the advent of social media, the only way job candidates could communicate to a hiring manager why they—rather than other applicants—were the right fit for a job was through a face-to-face interview. Conventional wisdom suggests that a skilled candidate who can also demonstrate a legitimate enthusiasm for a position is generally the applicant who wins out. However, the online world, specifically the social web, has changed all that.

Numerous studies suggest that over 70% of hiring managers screen prospective job applicants by trolling social networking sites like BioCrowd, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While some hiring managers do this to make sure that a potential new hire hasn’t done anything untoward or unseemly, the plethora of blogs, forums, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds enable them to get to know job applicants better than ever before. In some cases, a well-crafted and carefully managed Facebook or LinkedIn profile or blog can make the difference between a new job and unemployment.

This is not to say that jobseekers are required to have Facebook or LinkedIn page or Twitter feed to get hired. But, if executed correctly, they can help. That said, there are certain cardinal rules that must be followed to not run afoul of prospective new employers. These include:

  1. No swearing or use of foul language
  2. Do not post party or sexually-explicit photos
  3. Don’t say bad things about past employers or current co-workers
  4. Keep posts and status updates to a minimum and make sure that they are posted before or after working hours
  5. Avoid posting opinions about religion, sexual orientation and politics

Also, it is a good idea to Google yourself from time to time to see what the search results look like. Most employers routinely Google job applicants to acquire more information about prospective hires. As many social media gurus like to say “Google never forgets.”

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

 

Jobseekers: Red Flags for Hiring Managers

Posted in Career Advice

Times are still tough and unemployment remains high. This means that finding a job is a lot harder and will take a lot longer than in previous times. Because of layoffs and reorganizations many jobseekers may have gaps in their resumes or difficult to explain periods of unemployment. Further, it you have a physical disability, health issues, a criminal record or you are older, finding a job becomes even more challenging.                    

With this in mind, an article entitled “Get Hired Despite Red Flags in Your Story” by Susan Adams at Forbes.com provides jobseekers with obvious disabilities, troubled pasts or less than stellar resumes advice on how to present themselves to hiring managers. Much of the advice is obvious but there are other gems in the article that may be useful to some in particularly difficult hiring situations.

Getting Hired Despite Red Flags in Your Story

By Susan Adams

Debra Ann MacDougall advises job seekers with troubled pasts or obvious disabilities on how to present themselves to hiring managers.

When a job-seeker’s challenges are highly visible, like some physical disabilities or a serious weight problem, MacDougall recommends a direct approach. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits job discrimination based on disability, it’s nevertheless wise to be upfront about a potential employer’s possible concerns.

A client of hers who had lost an arm in a motorcycle accident would routinely answer the ubiquitous first job interview question — tell me about yourself — by saying, "You may have noticed that I have only one arm." Then he’d proceed to explain how he coped, using a specialized computer keyboard on which he could type 85 words a minute. "He had a positive, can-do attitude that inspired other workers," MacDougall says. He landed a job as an administrative assistant at a large company in Los Angeles.

Older job-seekers should also consider potential employers’ concerns, MacDougall says. Hiring managers might worry about an older person’s health, his capacity to learn new systems quickly, his ability to adapt to technology and his energy level. MacDougall had a 59-year-old client who mentioned in interviews that she enjoyed running several times a week and participated in discussion groups on LinkedIn. MacDougall also advised her to get an updated haircut, if she didn’t want to dye her hair, and a fashionable suit. She was hired as a sales manager in Denver.

For job-seekers with less obvious physical challenges, MacDougall recommends what she calls the "make them love you first" approach. For instance, if you have a vision problem that would require you to use a special computer screen or a bad back that makes it impossible to sit through long meetings without getting up, she recommends keeping quiet until you get a job offer. Before accepting, let the employer know about your challenge. "Tell the employer about it, but tell them after they already love you," MacDougall says. She explains that hiring managers are always weighing the benefits and risks of new employees. You want to convince your potential employer that you have a surplus of benefits before revealing your risks.

For more serious challenges like criminal convictions, MacDougall says you should be prepared to talk about what you did and how you’ve changed. She tells the story of a client she calls Chuck who had been jailed on drug charges. Chuck had a moment of clarity and life change when he had to tell his 10-year-old daughter that he would miss her soccer final because he was going to jail. MacDougall recommended that Chuck share that revelation with potential employers and talk openly about how he had remade his life. She also told him to volunteer to take regular drug tests. He is now clean and working, she says.

Job-seekers with criminal records, who are HIV-positive or have alcohol or drug issues do have legal protections, and there are nonprofit organizations that advocate for people who encounter discrimination. The Legal Action Center’s website is a good resource, and the federal government has a site loaded with information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sometimes your serious struggles may be far enough in the past that you don’t need to address them at all with a potential employer. For instance, if you were hospitalized for a mental illness years ago but you’re now healthy and your work performance won’t be affected, you don’t need to discuss it. "The deciding factor is whether the employer will find out about it," MacDougall says. "If it’s not going to affect your ability to do the job, because you’ve stabilized, don’t bring it up." The same applies to drug and alcohol problems, she says.

If you’ve had a long period of unemployment, MacDougall recommends listing yourself as a consultant on your resume. Include both paid and unpaid experience. Nowadays, she says, employers are increasingly receptive to resumes that include long stints of consulting or freelance work. "They know what the situation is out there," she says.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

More Facebook Advice for Jobseekers

Posted in Career Advice

There is no question that Facebook is the de facto social network that almost everyone uses. It has become an important source of personal information and is routinely used by professional recruiters and corporate hiring managers to identify right-fit job candidates.

However, there are more nefarious individuals in the ether who may mine your social media data to steal your identity or burglarize your home.

According to Credit.com it is not a good idea to post your address online or your mother’s maiden name (the answer to security questions on many websites). Also the folks at Identify Theft 911 recommend that you don’t add status updates to your Facebook page announcing to the world that you are away from your home or on vacation! Also, they recommend not using applications on social networking sites quizzes, which could expose personal information to the applications’ developer.

Finally, it is not a good idea to mention on Facebook or other social media sites where you were born or security question clues like the names of your favorite song, your best friend or your first pet.

While all of these recommendations may seem obvious, it is very easy to divulge personal information when updating Facebook or tweeting away on Twitter. Unfortunately, there are bad people out there who are willing to exploit others any way they can for financial gain.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Tweeting (be careful out there!)

Good News for Jobseekers: German Law Will Limit Employer Use of Facebook to Vet Job Candidates

Posted in Social Media

Over 70 percent of hiring managers and HR professionals routinely use Google to find out more about prospective job candidates. While many jobseekers know this and do everything possible to expunge deleterious and compromising information from a Google search on their names, some don’t know that Facebook profiles are a routine target of all Google searches. Consequently, hiring managers may have access to some personal information (including photos) that may jeopardize a job candidate’s prospects.  

Today, German government officials proposed a new law that would place restrictions on employers who want to use Facebook profiles to recruit and vet job candidates. The bill would allow hiring managers to search for publicly accessible information about prospective employees on the Web and to view pages on job networking sites like LinkedIn, BioCrowd and Xing.  But it would not allow employers to access or use information about job candidates on purely social networks like Facebook. The proposed law would also prohibit companies from secretly videotaping employees except in certain areas as long as they disclosed the fact.

The idea of crafting legislation to limit company access to personal information of job candidates found on social networks like Facebook, Ning and others reveals the underlying paradox of the social media phenomenon. That is that people publicly, voluntarily and willingly offer private and intimate information about themselves as part of their right to freedom of expression and then that information can be used against them! In other words, the transparency and inherent freedom of expression offered by social media can in reality hinder, restrict or inhibit the professional and social opportunities of those who use it. I highly doubt that legislation similar to the proposed German law would ever see the light of day in the US.

For now, I highly recommend that jobseekers continue to routinely Google themselves to see what information is “out there” about them. Also, continue to limit access to personal profiles on Facebook and any other “purely social” online networking sites that you may belong too. Both activities will help to insure that the photo of you in a compromising position or with a beer bong in your hand won’t eliminate you as a prospective job candidate.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

 

Layoffs: Another View

Posted in Career Advice

While I have never been layed off, I understand how awful and painful it must be. After all, unlike people who were fired for cause or otherwise, most people who are layed off are performing well but they simply became too expensive or expendable to remain with a company facing financial exigency.

Most of us feel for employees who have been layed off—anyone who has experienced a layoff will tell you that it can be a life altering or changing event. But, what about the people who are charged with delivering the bad news to the employees who will be layed off? How do you think they feel and what impact does it have on their lives? 

There was a poignant and heartfelt piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times that was written by a company executive who made the decision to layoff workers and then delivered the news to them himself. While his plight doesn’t compare with that of the employees who lost their jobs, it shows how difficult and disruptive layoffs can for companies that are forced to downsize.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!