As we progress through our careers we mature and we learn our strengths and “opportunities” for development. We may progress consistently up the pre-programmed ladder or we may deter from it, re-develop ourselves and start up a new ladder. Some of us listen to that inner voice and redirect our career path as necessary. I was one of those people. I was in a very sales focused role for years and then became a sales leader. There were a lot of aspects of my role I really enjoyed. I loved the coaching piece and seeing people have those “ah ha” moments and start seeing success, as well as the recruitment piece of my leadership role. What I struggled with was the sales component. There was a lot and I mean A LOT of cold sales. Literally just walking up to people and engaging them in a scripted sales discussion while they were on a completely different train of thought. I remember some of the looks I got; complete confusion as to why I was even talking to them, let alone attempting to sell them something while they were just trying to get some errands done. Then came the objection handling; this gets better with experience but requires quick thinking and knowing every possible angle your product can add value to someone’s life. Some people just do not like sales, it is a skill that can be learned and coached toward performance but there is an innate quality the true performers possess.
As a Recruiter, one of the lessons I’ve learned early in my career, was networking in the summer is one of the best times to do so. People are generally more relaxed, want to get outdoors and, if not on vacation or at the cottage, enjoy the typical summer activities. What follows are some helpful tips for networking and things to think about during those typical summer activities. Happy Networking!
I have seen these images passed around social media for years where it shows the title of an occupation; be it a Lawyer, an actor, or even a Stay at home Mom. For obvious reasons the one for a Corporate Recruiter resonated with me. There are six laid out images with the subtitles “What my friend’s think I do, what my mom thinks I do, what society thinks I do, what applicants think I do, what I think I do until that last slide shows what I actually do. Of course the last image is a needle in a haystack…had to be right? I have always looked at this and thought maybe I will “LOL” it but I always have this nagging feeling its wrong. Perhaps it’s just in the wrong order? Maybe one or two images are off the mark or maybe it is simply wrong?
As any professional recruiter/talent sourcer knows, finding good talent is sometimes akin to trying to find an explanation for how the world works and why it works the way it does. Although there are obvious clues to finding both strong qualified candidates and the “how the world works” paradigm, neither is an easy task at the best of times. Yes, there are those fortunate moments when, as a recruiter, I have plugged in all the right words to a Boolean Search and come up with a David Copperfield moment…with the precise candidate I am seeking at the top of the search results…but in 12 years I think this may have happened once or twice. What then is the experience of the majority?
Please Please Tell Me Now… Is There Something I Should Know? (or, the Importance of Candidate Feedback)
I’ve been in the workforce 20+ years. I’ve applied to quite a few jobs, and I’ve received quite a few interviews. And I’m still amazed how often I never heard back from the recruiter if I wasn’t the successful candidate. Of course I assumed (and was obviously correct) that I didn’t get the job after two weeks passed, then three, then a whole month without a peep. Some feedback would have been nice – after all, I did take time from my other job to interview, spent hours researching my prospective new employer, and one time even bought an expensive new suit and fabulous dress shoes to make that great impression.
Prior to the advent of the fax machine, internet, mobile devices, search engines, aggregators, job boards and e-mail, finding talent to fill vacancies was a somewhat laborious process. Or was it? In these times, with our collective access to a multitude of sourcing/recruiting tools, all of which were created to generate candidate profiles, we have put to the side our greatest tool; our ability to engage and interact with people in person or at least through the phone.
In the course of my 12+ year career as a Recruiter/Strategic Talent Sourcer, I have likely reviewed close to 200,000 resumes. While that number doesn’t necessarily make me an expert, the fact that I have seen that many resumes certainly provides me with some insight on what I see as a critical part of one’s career and life.
A lot of applicants have asked for a quick list/check list on how to get to hired when searching for a job. Well ask and you shall receive. Here is a comprehensive check list on how to get to Hired: A. Resumes Rise to the Top of the Pile of applicants – Get That Interview Always include Cover Letter – does not have to be in long form style…..Dear Ms. Smith, I am writing to you to apply…. Cover Letter should summarize your strengths BUT…must also acknowledge your experience/ capability gaps compared to the Job Posting specs……..While I do not have a MBA, I have been a successful Analyst for 10 years and recently completed my Analyst Certification at the University of Toronto….don’t think they won’t notice if you don’t mention it Cover Letter and Resumes should contain key words from Job Posting as applicant tracking systems and recruiters will be looking for these in the first scan Your Resume is the marketing doc for Your Brand and You are the Product…sell it! Clearly show your strengths & attributes…do not make recruiters guess…they will not assume what is not there Make them want you…demonstrate clearly why you believe that you are the right candidate for that job List your Top 3 Strengths in the Cover Letter AND reflect these in the Job Experience in the resume Keep the style clean and spacious but do not waste space Skip a) nonsense skills – MS Office, email, b) hobbies – swimming, hiking Resume Template – Job Experience, Organizing Content List experience in order of relevance…whichever type you use (Functional or Chronological)…indicate in title….e.g. Work Experience (by relevance) or…..Work Experience (by position, company, year) Give a brief explanation of what a company is about if it is not self-explanatory..e.g….BMO…ok…Aviva? Use your Main Resume template and then shape to Job Posting…shift the focus on your various Job Experiences to reflect the needs of the Job Posting Show success of position while you were in it – position open state…..activity you were involved in which resulted in a positive impact or solutions you brought to the table ….position closing state Offer references that are specific to each position that you want to highlight and note their contact details in the same section with the Job Experience Show reason for leaving in your most relevant or recent positions Include your Name, Resident City and telephone # in document Header