High Maintenance Job Seeker

The high maintenance jobseeker views the job search process and interviewing as a highly competitive structured process that should run at a clip. Many try to force things and cross over into Jobseeker Uptighterati territory, in an attempt to get an edge over other job seekers.

Franklin Paterson Company Inc. your One-Stop Career Boutique for Resume Writing, Interview Preparation and career Strategy Consulting.

Recognizing the High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker in yourself:

1.      In addition to applying to the job online, the high maintenance jobseeker sends their resume or project samples to Human Resources and the Hiring Manager by the next day post.

2.      Many job seekers use colorful paper or ink or graphics in their online resume in an attempt to stand out.  This may render a fair portion of the resume unreadable and look ever so slightly like a craft project gone wrong.

3.      Once contacted for an interview, they need to think about it, research, or look at their schedule. Then bombard the recruiter or manager with a series of “I would like to know emails” or calls before setting up or attending the interview.

4.      Resist your tendency to be a Uptighterati by showing up half an hour early for the interview to see if the manager is available and can meet with you a bit earlier. Adhering to your punctuality principle, then trying to make reality conform to it, can be very annoying to others.

5.      The high maintenance jobseeker brings a series of show-and-tell items, awards, projects, reference letters, etc., to the interview and constantly interrupts the interview to show the items.

6.      Is accompanied to the interview by a friend, who sits glumly in the lobby, or worse, wanders around, peering into the interview room or other offices.

In an attempt to stand out from other candidates, many jobseekers inadvertently commit one or more of these interview mistakes. Qualified for a position, had the first interview you are not asked back for a second interview? Check the items above. Did you commit any of these blunders?  Have you turned into a High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker?

Why over-using Buzz Phrases in your Resume is a bad idea!

In one resume I read this recently, the candidate described herself as an “extremely qualified team player,” a “self-starter,” and a “proactive worker” who will to “take it to the next level” with her “ability to multitask and prioritize.”

She did not explain what she was going to prioritize.

Very few of us can exercise distance and restraint when creating a career portrait, that highlights details of our skills and achievements. There is some pride in writing one’s resume and seeing our career history documented in word.

It can be exhausting work.

Now, I am not rubbishing the effort candidates put into creating a professional narrative of their work history and achievements. But (and I am struggling to be generous here), if the use case for your resume begins and ends, at you being the only person meant to read it, I would say go for it. Otherwise – Don’t do it!

Work with a professional resume writer whose job it is to make you look good, qualified, and hirable in two pages or less.

The problem often starts with the job description. If companies stopped using buzz phrases in job descriptions, perhaps candidates will stop cutting and pasting them into their resumes. Competencies and attributes that are not related to or referenced to achievements in the resume’s body may dissuade a reader from inviting you to an interview.

1. Perennial winners in the resume writing useless phrase derby include – “a demonstrated ability.”

2. Or the even worse phrase, “a demonstrated history.” How do you demonstrate your work history?

3. Battling for third place are the cringe-worthy twins “forward-thinking” and “drill down.” It appears that “forward-thinking” people tend to “drill down,” too.

Candidates add buzz phrases to their resumes hoping to increase interview invites. But it has the opposite effect. The professionals reading your resume are real people, and there is no benefit to adding nonsense jargon to your resume.

Finally, be wary of others who tell you that investing in a quality resume does not matter, because other important things do not matter to these folks either, like referring you and rooting for you at THEIR place of employment.

But I digress.

Job Searching during the Holidays

Why you should continue your job search during the Holiday Season.

Job searching during the holidays can add an additional stress level and an already stressful time of year. But there is an upside to interviewing during the holiday season.

Here’s why Job hunting during the holidays is such a brilliant idea!!

With over 20% of job seekers opting out of job searching due to the holidays, a fifth of your competition just left the market,  and an even larger percentage fail to update their resumes and profiles on the job search engines.  So now is the time to capitalize on that advantage.

How to beat the Holiday Job Search blues:

  • Create complete job applications. Resist the urge to send a blind resume. Employers seeking to hire are more likely to view resumes in an online format that they are accustomed to. The rest is for the delete button.
  • Please follow the job application instructions.  To ignore directions tells the manager that you do not/will not follow directions – and you wonder why they have not called on your resume!
  • If you created a job application more than three months ago, please go back in and update it; better yet, create a new resume or profile. You may have fallen to Resume 1005 – nobody reads that many.
  • Most job boards allow you to add up to three resumes/profiles. Every now and again, update to rise to the top.
  • Change or remove your objective or summary, so your info looks new.
  • Take a good attitude and lots of business cards to holiday functions. Hint: do not hand out your resume at holiday functions. Offer to email it the next day.
  • Still no hits or interviews after three weeks – thrash the whole thing. Create a new resume or profile.  Do it yourself or invest in your career, have a professional resume writer design it for you.
  • Some of the best salary offers are made during this upbeat time of year – so hang in there!!

Visit us often at  FranklinPaterson Company for resume writing, cover letters, and interview coaching that will enhance your job search, and get you noticed for the right reasons.

http://franklinpaterson.com

Thanks and Happy Holidays!!  

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The Three Interview Questions Candidates should always ask


Here are three interview questions that applicants are afraid to ask, and hiring managers loathed to answer?

Question #1:
Why is the position open? Or better phrased: Is this a growth position, or are you replacing someone? The answer to this question will tell you a great deal about the manager and the state of the project or department.

Question #2:
How do you prefer to be communicated with, by email, impromptu meetings, a quick drop by your office, or a weekly meeting with an agreed-upon agenda?

How a manager communicates with their staff can significantly affect project outcomes and day to day workflow. Are you one of those people who dislikes people popping into your office for a quick unscheduled chat, what if that is the a hiring manager’s prefers that choice of communication?

Question: #3:
Will I be reporting directly you? Be careful if managers dance around this one. Sometimes a candidate is being hired into a pool and their direct manger can change as projects arise. Or worse if everyone you meet with responds, that you will not be working for the? You may want to ask at what point in the interview process you will be meeting with your direct hiring manager.

Have you asked any of these questions at interview and how has the interviewer responded?

Job Searching? Checked in with your References lately?

At some point during your job search, the potential employer will request references.

Typically, it will be when the company is seriously interested in you as a potential hire. You should be prepared to provide a list of employment references who are knowledgeable regarding your expertise in the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are seeking.

Plan ahead,  get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. Keep in mind that good recommendations can help you clinch a job offer, so be sure to have a substantial list of references who are willing to attest to your capabilities.
Do not use someone for a reference unless you have their permission.

How to Ask for Reference
You you need to be sure that you are asking the right person to write a letter of reference or to give you a verbal reference. You also need to know what the reference giver is going to say about you. Ask the reference writer if you can use them as a reference. Update the potential reference regarding the type of positions you are applying for, so they can tailor their recommendation to fit your circumstances.

Who to Ask for a Reference
Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, colleagues, and college professors are good references. If you area recent grad just entering the workforce or if you have not worked in a while, you can use personal reference from someone who knows your skills and attributes.

Company Reference Policy
Be aware that some employers will not provide references. Due to concerns about litigation, they will only provide job title, dates of employment, and salary history. If that is the case, be creative and try to find alternative reference writers who are willing to speak to your qualifications.

Make a List
Create a document listing your references. Do not add the list of references to your resume. Create a separate reference list, add an email in addition to the telephone number. Have it ready to give to employers if requested by phone, or at the end of the interview. Include three or four references, along with their job title, employer, and contact information. If the employer asks you to email your references, paste the list into the body of any email letter, rather than sending an attachment.

Paper vs. Personal
It is a good idea to have a couple of written reference letters, especially if you are graduating from college, relocating, or the company you work for is going out of business. Most companies prefer to speak to a reference so they can ask specific questions about your background to find out what type of employee you were and why you might be qualified for the job.

Request a Reference Letter
Every time you change employment, make a point of asking for a reference letter from your supervisor or a co-worker. That way, you can create a file of recommendations from people you may not necessarily be able to track down years later.

Keep Your References Up-to-Date
Let your references know where your job search stands. Tell them who might be calling for a reference. When you get a new job, remember to send a thank-you note or email to those who provided you with a recommendation.

Requesting Permission
A prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references. This is especially important if you are employed – you do not want to surprise your current employer with a phone call checking your references. Finally, it is perfectly acceptable to say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted. However, do have a list of alternative references available.