Guest Post: Multimedia – Breaking the Resume Mold in the 21st Century

Qualified candidates are regularly overlooked, and for the simplest of reasons: they didn’t plug the right combo of buzzwords into their resumes. Candidates are taking things into their own hands. In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are adopting a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be more focused on breaking away from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire.

Laurie Barkman of The Resumator explains, “We’ve been told for a long time, ‘This is how you do recruiting, and here’s what matters,’ but organizations are now more interested in interactions that help to determine a good fit. And more nimble organizations are looking at people beyond the resume.”

All of that sounds nice, sure, but what’s working and what’s not? There are certain guidelines that you should always follow when submitting a resume regardless of mode of delivery, but are candidates simply covering up mistakes with aesthetics? If you ask me, resumes and the mulitmedia techniques being used are essentially marketing tools–and the function they serve isn’t changing. As Barkman states, “The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Can multimedia enhance that message?’” If the answer is yes, there are four channels a candidate can tap into to accomplish this:

1.    Adding a Face and Voice with Video. By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate’s ability to successfully interview–Is she professional? Is she articulate?–or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.

2.    Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics. Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.

3.    Showing Off on Personal Blogs. Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, a resource for selecting a talent management or an applicant tracking system. Kyle reports on trends and best practices in HR and recruiting software—offering fresh insights into the ho-hum of people processes. For further reading, you can find this article in full on his HR blog.

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Guest Post: Social Net Works!

I believe in social networking! As a career consultant I use social media tools to help job seekers by sharing blog posts and relevant news.  What I’ve found over the past several years is that I’ve built real friendships with interesting people all over the country and all over the world. This has enriched my life and grown my network. I have developed mutually beneficial relationships with connections, followers and friends.  I am never quite sure when, where or why we’ll need each other; however, I do value them all for different reasons: a future client referral, a potential guest blog post, a promising partnership, great thought-leadership and new ideas, or just for fun.  I am in this game of networking for the long haul and I hope you think of it that way too.  The follow story helps explain how social networks can help lead to a job.

The Social Exchange

I am fairly active on Twitter and I am dabbling with Google Plus. Though most of my exchanges are on Twitter, there is something really nice about being able to have a dialogue on Google Plus because you are not limited to 140 characters and you can see the string of exchanges, very much like you can on Facebook. This is exactly what happened when I shared a post on Google Plus and received the following response/comment:

Careersherpa, "hannah morgan"

I loved this description of what they were looking for and I immediately posted it on a LinkedIn group for job seekers in our city. There were several people in this network who responded and at least one of the inquiries turned out to be the Goddess!

This is why it worked:

1. The job description, though brief, served as an insightful teaser for further conversation. (for more on job descriptions you can read Employers: Your Job Posting Sucks, Part II from YouTern.)

2. Because many job seekers aren’t active yet on Google Plus, I knew I had to share the opportunity where it would be found- a LinkedIn group of high caliber job seekers.

3. Most importantly, I knew the company, not well, but had been following them on Twitter for at least a year and we had shared information with each other previously. There was an existing familiarity and I was happy to help. I was also familiar with the group of job seekers, many of whom I had met. It was easy for me to post this description on the group and serve as the intermediary because I personally believed in these job seekers.

Trust, familiarity, and willingness to help. This is why social networking works!

The Employer’s Story

Now, from the employers side of the desk.  I asked Kelly Cheatle to tell her version of the story and this is what she said:

My partner and I have a pretty unusual business, we create large-scale balloon installations and balloon-based illustrations (You really need to see for yourself: www.airigami.com) Business has been going very well- but as we’ve been growing- our need for someone else to help manage all of the details that come along with that growth was becoming more and more apparent. So we spent many an evening trying to craft the perfect description of our ideal candidate, what skills they might have, etc. And we could never seem to list them all- we jokingly said we needed to hire someone who’d know what they were supposed to be doing.

When I first posted to your google+ page, in response to a discussion about hiring/job openings in Rochester, I rather cheekily said we needed a Goddess and listed a few super-powers. It was enough to intrigue a candidate to apply for the position. We hired her. She seems, (and her references glowingly agree) to be the sort of person you could put into any situation, and she’d find not only the most important things that needed to be done- but facilitate getting them done. This is EXACTLY what we need, and I’m glad we snatched her up!

THANK YOU!!

I am fairly certain, many smaller employers are perplexed and a bit overwhelmed by how to hire the right person. It is a daunting task and one they do not enter into lightly nor want to repeat. Social networking tools allow small and even large employers to tap into their networks and source candidates (for free). JobVite’s 2011 eBook “33 Essential Recruiting Stats“ cites a Burson-Marsteller study which shows the social networks being used by Fortune 100 companies.

Jobvite ebook Job Seeker Survey

More Proof That Social Networks Work

Jobvite’s Social Job Seeker Survey 2011 finds:

Jobvite Social Job Seeker Survey 2011

I hope this has helped convince you that using social networks to stay in contact with past employees, family members and all sorts of friends is more important than ever before- and there are tools to make it easy.  There is so much more to be said about the benefits of social networks, but the point I am trying to make is “don’t miss out” by not participating!

Hannah Morgan, aka @careersherpa on Twitter, provides advice and insights for job search, personal reputation management, and social media strategies via her site Career Sherpa.net. As a Career Consultant, Hannah draws upon her experience in Human Resources, Outplacement Services and Workforce Development to guide those new to job search through the process and towards their goals. Feel free to follow if you like what you see here. You can also find her on Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

I’m a Start-Up, and I Need to Start Hiring… Now What?

What is going to make your business grow? Hiring the right people. What is the most important asset to your organization? Hiring the right people. How are you going to meet your business objectives? Hiring the right people. Yet most organizations don’t take the time to really think about how, who, or when they are going to attract people to their organization.

For some reason, hiring is very reactive, and this puts pressure on making quick decisions versus taking the time to really think about who, what, how, and when.

So let’s take a step back…

Your company is growing, which is a great thing. You are at a point where you need to add talent in order to meet upcoming demand. plant in hand

Sometimes, you have to be more reactive even when you are a start-up because in order to scale you have to have demand. Think about where your bottlenecks currently are… where you have the most exposure and need to fill in that gap to make the next leap. For most organizations it is sales, marketing, or development. You need to find folks that can bring in new business, you need folks to promote your business, or you need to add and develop technology to stay ahead of the innovation curve.

I tell my clients to be proactive as much as they can regarding their hiring needs. Map out a hiring plan in six (6) month segments and think about where you are going to need folks to meet your upcoming demand. Give yourself as much time as possible. If you are not at the point where you can either hire a recruiting company to help you in the process or your network is not rich in this area, allow yourself a good three (3) months to bring on that resource.

Recruiting takes time. You already have a day job and you want to ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to find the right resource.

·      If your company is just starting out and you are making your first big hire, make sure to have a “pitch.” You have to remember that candidates are consumers; they are seeking out their next job. This equates to a major purchase, and they are going to do their research.

·      Make sure you have a detailed job description. It is important to have thinking clearly outlined. This will make the process run more smoothly and the candidate will have a better understanding of their overall responsibilities and expectations of the role.

·      Ensure that your interview team is consistent on what the company is hiring for, that the team is “on board” with the choice to hire, and that everyone understands what the benefits are going to be. Everyone should know what this person’s responsibilities would be. Candidates want to see that your team knows where they are going to fit into your company’s picture and what contributions they are expected to provide.

Also research what the going rate is for the resources you are looking to hire. Many start-ups simply cannot afford the pay-level of the people they are looking to hire. They want VP-level skills for a mid-level manager’s salary, but in the end, this can hurt your overall process by not biting the bullet and hiring at the salary level you really need. If you are going to make the right hire, invest in where you need to grow your organization. Having a candidate settle for a lower salary in the end is not a win/win situation.  This process takes planning and strategy.  But, if executed effectively, you can have your new employee making significant contributions to your company’s bottom line within 90 days of hire.  That is music to the ears of any startup company.  Invest on the front end and your return on the back end will be substantial.

How to Land a Job After Graduation- Part I

With college graduation fast approaching, I thought I would create a series blog for the Class of 2011 and any other recent college graduate job seeker in their quest to land a job after graduation. For the series, we’re taking our intern’s real-life experiences, personal brand, and social media profiles and transforming them to deliver top results for what is found online by job seekers and what hiring managers are looking for in a top candidate. Join us in our journey of helping college grads transform into top notch candidates and how to properly approach the current job market.

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part II

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

Job Seekers: The Phone is Back – 5 Phone Etiquette Tips

Cell, Cellphones, Phones, Pile of phones, Variety of cellphones

Today there are so many ways to communicate with one another:  texting, social media tools, IM etc. Rarely do we have to use a phone to have a verbal conversation….Where I am getting with all this is that folks are forgetting how to leverage the phone for success during the interview process.

For many years, companies would have candidates come into the office from the beginning of the recruitment process…that is no longer the case.  For most candidates the first interview takes place over the phone…but even before that first phone interview is scheduled you need to be aware of how you come across over the phone.

The first impression no longer happens when you walk into the office- it happens with that first initial call.  Here are some phone etiquette tips to make a successful first impression: Continue reading

The Value of a Relationship Interview

hand picking chocolate, Box of Chocolates

 There are many different types of interviewing styles hiring mangers leverage to determine if a person is the right candidate for the job.

I was sitting pool side with my sister in law who just has a beautiful understanding of the English language. We were talking about interviews and how they sometimes don’t undercover what we need to detect to make the right decision. She used the word ‘relationship interview,’ and I thought she has done it again by capturing the right wording for what we as recruiters need to follow.

One of the most important features throughout an interview is building a sense of trust with the candidate. This needs to happen very quickly. Hiring managers need to understand that a candidate will be nervous, which is only natural, and trying to put a person at ease should be the first priority! If I take a look back at the people who make the candidate feel at home and build trust, overall they have a better experience than those who don’t. Continue reading

10 Qualities Employers Search For In a Candidate

Millennials- Here are the 10 ways to impress a future employer with the skills they look for in a candidate, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers Research: Job Outlook 2010.

  1. Communication skills. Practice them before the interview. Employers want to hear clear and concise answers. For me, it’s easier to communicate all of my thoughts clearly in person. During my first phone interview, those clear communication waves were all chopped up, and it wasn’t the phone’s fault! The interviewer had to reword what I said after. I was horrified! Even if it’s on the phone, think slowly before you speak. Pauses are OKAY.
  2. Strong work ethic. Employers want their workers to be committed to what they do, and get the job done beyond expectations.
  3. Teamwork. Use the STAR method of answering interview questions that involve team projects. Don’t be afraid to give recognition to other team contributors during the interview. Don’t only focus on yourself. Add in how you have used leadership to successfully work in a team setting, and what challenges you had to overcome to get your end results. I recommend giving your results in number form, if possible, to really emphasize what you’ve accomplished.
  4. Initiative. Employers don’t want their Millennial workers to be slackers. Show your enthusiasm for completing any task given to you. Growing up as an athlete, I’ve become a very driven individual, and that’s what employers want. They want to know they can hire someone who can work with little supervision.
  5. Analytical skills. Employers want their workers to be able to identify key issues, do in-depth research for information, and streamline processes. Show up to the interview with company research done, and assess the night before what the company can do to be more successful in the future. Don’t criticize the company, but offer your value for long-term company growth and profit. Continue reading
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