Category Archives: job posting

Career Etiquette: DOA?

Fact: Job postings are presented because hiring managers want YOU to be the right candidate for an open position.

DSC_0001Are you (or your student base) delivering or destroying on arrival? Before responding, take a look at what’s going on now… really… now.

Currently seeking a writer/office associate for our Longwood, Florida headquarters; for those interested in working with a team of professional writers and partnering with academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals seeking career transitions, send cover letter and resume to dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

The above posting remains active, unfortunately.

Our management team is in the initial phasing-out stage and what is going on is rather disturbing: When it comes to candidates seeking employment, professionalism and career etiquette are an ignored strategy.

Let’s begin with a showing of several email responses in their uncut, uncensored form to the job posting mentioned a few moments ago:

1. “im interested.Evaluation: Grammar aside, responding to a job posting with two words is a slap in the face. By the way, no cover letter, resume, or sample was attached. Result: Not a chance to be part of our organization.

2. (No text at all) Evaluation: The prospective applicant submitted a dat. file which could not be viewed. No words were stated in the subject line; no words in the email at all. Our team replied with a Word of pdf format copy but a second dat. file was generously returned an hour later.  Result: Do I really need to say?

3. (No introduction or attachments—simply copied and pasted a resume to the open field) Evaluation: Without a cover letter or introduction, the resume lacked a reason to read… not to mention the disfigured display. Result: Another easy no even though this applicant did appear to offer a few positive attributes which may benefit ECS. Unfortunately the lack of professionalism forced a quick and negative reaction.

4. Four candidates did not submit a copy of their resume… is this really happening?

Our team could continue highlighting what not to do but I believe you know where this is going without further confirmation.

Over all, over 35 candidates responded to the writing position thus far. A slight majority (63%) did not supply a cover letter or formal introduction;
meaning most simply pasted their resume without forethought or intent to be called for an interview.

A total of one candidate appeared to perform research on our organization and the position (company name and contact was clearly stated within the posting). I say one because only one mentioned our company mission and/or products/services we offer.

Career etiquette means a brief introduction as to the value, contribution, and support as to why the candidate makes a good fit.

Career etiquette means designing a resume specific to the job posting, organization, and industry.

Career etiquette means letting the hiring manager know you really want the position… by way of following up.

5. Speaking of following up, NOT one of the 35 candidates submitted a follow up note, call, letter, telegraph, smoke signal, or message by pigeon.

Evaluation: Hiring managers know nothing about the candidate other than the job posting response. By not displaying professional courtesy (providing a tailored cover letter, resume, and follow up), you place yourself at a distinct disadvantage instantly.

With so much on the line, it would be a pity a few moments of diligence got in the way between an ideal/dream job and reality.

As a rule:
*
Compile a cover letter based upon the job posting and company research
* Send the resume as an attachment, Word or pdf
* Create the belief that you want the position by sending a follow up note, phone call, or both
* Professional courtesy will lift you above the many too busy on Twitter to show career etiquette

In regards to the open writing position, if you know of a writer in the Orlando area, send him or her my way. Before you do, make sure he or she follows proper career etiquette… or is that too much to ask?

Fact: Hiring managers desire the right information delivered in the right package and in the right way.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Resume Essentials, Part One

Best practice approaches to career marketing are in a state of constant flux (due to technological advances and the sort), but there remain proven fundamentals which should not be neglected as you seek to heighten your professional standing.

No matter what strategy you subscribe to, when it comes to creating effective cover letters and resumes, consider the following:

  • Place yourself in the employer’s shoes. Simply stated, research the desired position AND the company under consideration. Once you determine what the company is truly seeking (the posting simply touches the surface of candidate expectations so you must delve several layers deeper), target your material to confirm how you are capable of satisfying the need. For those unable to gather a great deal of information, check out www.ONETOnline.org, this free site is a great tool to learn about industry occupation    expectations, responsibilities, and salaries.
  • Incorporate keywords into all documents. Once position and company expectations are known, introduce specific terms from the posting into your resume and cover letter. Don’t smother your documents with terms though as the reader won’t appreciate it. By the way, merging keywords will help you get through an ATS filter and also demonstrates functional knowledge and expertise… and that’s a good thing.
  • Take advantage of being recognized for outstanding performance. To your advantage, much of the competition applying for the same job as you neglects to let others share insight as to the value they offer. Think of it this way, if former supervisors, professors, colleagues, and/or customers  praise your performance, what does that say (and prove) about your work and team ethic? In case you are wondering, quotes can be taken from professional networking sites such as LinkedIn… just don’t use more than one quote per page.
  • Cover letters ARE worth the effort. True enough, some hiring managers don’t read cover letters or request on with the application, but others give cover letters serious attention. Since one rarely knows what hiring managers are looking for, ALWAYS send along a cover letter. While constructing your cover letter, be sure and use the same header as your resume. Keeping consistency shows an attention to detail and many hiring managers look for detail. Regarding content, highlight information that      will draw in the reader by showcasing how you stand out from the competition.
  • Keep it quick. There appears to be an indirect relationship between technology speed and reader attention; as electronic gadget speed increases, reader attention decreases. As a result, most career experts agree that a typical resume is scanned by a hiring manager for less than ten seconds, leaving you no time for idle, misplaced, or irrelevant information. To give you the advantage, place the most important information within the  top third of the resume, making sure you include keywords and immediate      value or contributions you bring. For those with an added or unique value (for example, bilingual, secret service clearance, and/or knowledge in a related industry skill), be sure and share this with the reader.

With a global applicant pool exceeding hundreds fighting for a single position, the need for you to prepare and deliver an effective marketing strategy has never been greater. For those willing to invest in themselves by way of diligence, the future can be quite bright.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

Are you interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters? I can show you the best strategies for a successful interview, how to take advantage of social/professional networking, and ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Breakout: E-Resume Basics

“I’m new to the whole online job search thing. I’ve been told I need to make an ‘e resume’, separate from my own, to be used on the Internet. I have no idea what an e resume is, I only have my normal paper copy… help!”
-Krista Lovette

This week we’re answering a question that people ask very often. What is an e resume?

An e resume, short for electronic resume, is an online representation of your already existing paper resume. Unlike your paper resume, however, e resumes contain none of the eye-catching ‘fluff’.

E-Resume tip: Since many electronic platforms do not transfer many of the graphics properly, it is wise to play it safe and stick to the basics.

When going electronic, keep your document reader-friendly. In other words, keep away from fancy layouts, wingdings, and graphics.

I know you’re thinking: “Why go through all the trouble of eliminating everything that makes your eye-catching resume stand out? After all, the point of a resume is to display your unique value… right?”

Yes, all of that is true, but when you send a resume to an employer online, you want to make sure they receive it properly, that it looks and reads professional, and you highlight the many skills and contributions you offer in a way that will entice the reader to give you a call.

Different computers–heck, different programs–read information differently. Have you ever tried to copy and paste a document on your computer only to find your information becomes scrambled and out of place? If so, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

By utilizing just a few simple rules and keeping it simple, electronic resumes are your solution to avoiding any reader-friendly problems when an employer receives your resume. Keeping it simple also makes your documents compatible with practically every word processor in existence.

Electronic tip: Make sure and include key words and key phrases in your documents as your material will most likely go through an electronic tracking system… companies often eliminate resumes before looking at them if the electronic tracking system does not pick up industry-specific words.

Okay, so your documents may look plain and boring, but remember the point of an electronic resume isn’t to make yourself stand out, it’s to ensure an employer is able to read your resume when it’s absolutely necessary. That’s why we recommend you have at least two resumes: your standard paper resume and a stripped down electronic resume to go along with it.

As Krista mentioned, e resumes are great for online job search sites such as Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed, allowing you to upload and share your resume online with employers.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Where are the jobs?

Over the past few months more and more people throughout the Greater Orlando area have been writing in with one basic question: “Where are the jobs?” Though there are no job-warehouses impatiently waiting for your application, rest assured, companies ARE hiring.

Unfortunately for most, jobs are NOT growing on a tree where all you have to do is pluck the one you want as you passively stroll on by. Taking a passive approach does not do you or your career success a favor.

For the record, I consider an individual putting in less than four hours a day pursuing for a job to be taking a passive approach. How about a quick survey of sorts, raise your hand if the following refers to you: I spend less than two hours a day on my career campaign? If you raised your hand, congratulations as your complacency will allow you take advantage of unemployment longer than your aggressive counterpart… do you feel lucky!

As many career management studies indicate, most people undergoing a career transition spends an average of 3.5 hours daily looking for employment.

After looking at this morning’s job classified in the Orlando Sentinel, I came away quite under-whelmed as the amount of jobs were an embarrassment… so glad President Obama’s job stimulus program is working the same way most politicians work… not at all (oops, did I say that out loud?).

Despite political efforts to dampen the field, companies are hiring. For those living under a rock, companies skipped rope and have jumped away from the traditional method of newspapers to another medium. So, where are jobs to be found?

Did you know: The top career management associations in the United States suggest that only 20% to 30% of all job openings are listed traditionally; meaning that 70% to 80% of all jobs are not advertised!

The above statistic is bad news for the passive job seeker but GREAT news for the aggressive job seeker. The aggressive job seeker works at finding work six to eight hours daily and is finding payday (on average) four to six months quicker than the second-handers (any Ayn Rand fans out there?).

If job listings are not advertised, why did they leave and where are they?

Let’s tackle the first question first and understand why companies turned away from traditional advertising. Though the main reason is obvious, I’ll say it anyway: MONEY. The cost of print advertising has skyrocketed to the point of absurdity (even more than the price of gas—go figure).

In addition to the increased cost factor, demographics come into play. Newspapers cater to a limited area and to a limited audience. In order for companies to be competitive, they must attract and keep cutting-edge employees from across the globe. No longer is a village good enough (sorry Hillary, this is not child-rearing); companies on the move reach across village lines, state lines, and country lines to gain their competitive advantage.

With cost high and reach low, companies are taking advantage of low-cost methods to attract high quality candidates via two main avenues (both of which reside under the networking umbrella):

* Employee referrals: Companies enjoy this method of finding quality hires as it is cost effective while empowering current workers who now play an active role in the hiring process.
* Digital networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter has become the number one place for companies to secure help.

How does the shift from traditional advertising to a digital and employee referral system affect you? To be blunt, if you want to find your perfect job, networking is the key though you must maximize your efforts. Not to worry, we’ll review networking techniques as well as some of the do’s and don’ts in upcoming articles.

No doubt about it: In this day and age, an online presence is important. In fact, in some professions, not having an online presence is an immediate disqualifier.

Think about it the suspicion: If the hiring manager enters a name in a search engine and nothing comes up, he or she may wonder several things:

●  Why doesn’t their name show up?
●  Are they behind on the latest trends?
●  Do they not know how to use the Internet to its fullest?
●  What are they trying to hide?

Time to draw a line between professional networking and social networking. Professional networking is a place for business related discussions, not so
much social networking. Social networking, however, IS ALSO a place for business related discussions as well as personal.

Warning! Everything you do, post, or say on the Internet is fair game for employers.

Data triangulation is part of the hiring process… hiring managers are not just going to check the references on your reference document, they’ll do a Google search and more detail searches as part of your background check.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Company Connection

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to meet career professionals from across the United States as well as beyond our boundaries during the APSCU and NACE conferences held in Las Vegas. One common theme among participating career professionals had to do with the methods one can one to “speak the right language” when responding to a job posting. In other words, what can one do to enhance a company connection and get called in for an interview?

Like I tell all of my clients, the resume and cover letter MUST detail, in a valuable and error-free fashion, what the employer is seeking, not what you want from the company. I know it sounds easy but the truth of the matter is YOU must take an active role if you want to succeed. Enough said as this is common sense; after all, who in their right mind would send a resume highlighting electrical skills for a bartender job posting? Certainly not you! With this said, time for company connection…

Rule #1: Make sure your cover letter and resume is targeting the right job posting. Yes, you guessed it, this means redoing your cover letter and resume for each job posting.

For those wanting to take the easy way out and decide to send a one-size-fitting all resume, think about the employer for a moment. Nothing like impressing a human resources professional like reading a template… NOT.

On a first-hand basis, when I receive a resume that I know was not tailored to the position, the candidate is automatically disqualified. In case you’re wondering, it’s easy to tell which are tailored and which are not… so don’t fool yourself.

Rule #2: Research the company (if possible) and incorporate relevant information (check out the mission statement) in your cover letter. For example, if you are interested in a position with a company who engages in community involvement, don’t forget to mention the volunteer work performed over the summer at the local animal shelter.

Rule #3: Take advantage of keywords and phrases from the job posting. One method of making sure you don’t forget to highlight what the company needs is to take advantage of a free online tool from tagcrowd.com. For those unfamiliar with this resource, this is your lucky day.

* Copy and paste the job posting into tagcrowd.com, change word redundancy to 3 (or more), and submit. The result will amaze you by displaying the most common words used within the posting. Once you have these high priority words at your disposal, incorporate those applicable to your skills and interest.

By following the above three rules, you will increase the odds of a company connection by speaking the right language. Not only will these rules assist you in being recognized as the right candidate, your interviewing skills will also improve (as you will now respond to questions based upon what the company wants… NOT what you want).

For those interested in guidelines, samples, and applications on how to improve your resume and cover letter, consider investing in the Career Intelligence Series job search library of cutting edge workbooks. Visit www.edu-cs.com or Google (search Danny at ECS) for more information and a complete listing.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC

Education Career Services
Follow me on Twitter: DannyatECS

Phone Interviews on the Rise

According to the most recent Career Thought Leaders Group, phone interviews are increasing in frequency and scrutiny. Accordingly, in addition to the initial phone screening, telephone interviews are being used more often to cut costs and save time during the hiring process.

Given its usage increase during the interview cycle, the consequence of improper phone etiquette can be damaging to your career. With this in mind, improving your phone interview odds can be gained by following these common-sense tips.

●  Dressing up for your phone interview. I know it sounds a bit odd but it is a well-known fact that individuals “looking the part” perform more effectively than those in their pajamas.
●  Researching the company, industry, and specific position. Besides doing a bit of company research on the Internet, a valuable job skills and responsibilities resource can be found at ONETOnline.org. Recognizing what’s out there in terms of products, competitors, and job opportunities will give the interviewer the perception that you know what you are talking about and that you are interested in the company and position.
●  Engaging in the phone interview in a quiet area with limited (how about none) distractions. Remember the interviewer can’t see you or your physical reactions. As a result, the interviewer is seeking clues to help them determine if you are the right fit. For example, are dogs barking near your feet? Is a mother-in-law asking what you want for lunch? Are kids yelling in the background? Is street-rap blaring in the background? Noises and distractions in the background do create an impression, rarely a positive one.
●  Being prepared for the “Tell me about yourself” question. When asked this question (or something like the “Why should I hire you” question) appreciate the question is designed for your benefit and is the ideal opportunity to sell yourself and the many contributions you bring. This is where company and job position research comes in handy as you develop a response based upon what the company needs, not a long-winded story about summer camp.
●  Keeping a professional and calm tone. This is not the time to speak rapidly, too softly, or too loudly. Make sure your responses are heard at a comfortable level and not overtaking. Remember the interviewer is listening for clues of confidence, not cockiness.
●  Asking a career coach, mentor, or family member to practice with you. When it comes to phone interview strategies, practice does make perfect. Don’t fight me on this, but when conducting a mock interview, dress and act the part.

No doubt companies are becoming more and more cost conscious and will expand the use of non-face-to-face interview methods. For the unprepared, this could be disastrous on many levels. But for those who have performed their due diligence, becoming one of the pack leaders can be obtained.

If you have questions or examples regarding phone interviews or any other career related issue, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

For those interested in obtaining cutting-edge career books and single topic guidebooks, visit our website (www.edu-cs.com) or go to Amazon (simply search Danny at ECS) and review the available library of available career resources.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Follow Up IS REQUIRED

The following comment and question was presented by Brent Musell several days. Hope it helps and good luck with your search.

“I’ve been sending out resumes but not getting any feedback. I’m wondering if I should also send a follow-up letter and what needs to be said. What do you suggest?”

I get asked this question all the time by job seekers who fear they’re being impatient with their potential employer. Following up after an interview is a given, but should you follow up after sending a resume? It depends… do you want the job?

Jokes aside, research has found that it is truly beneficial to follow up after applying for a position. According to the Findings of a 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day, “Follow-up is essential. Up to 40% of job seekers who follow-up after sending a resume to a hiring manager secure an interview.”

Think about this from the standpoint of the employer. Many hiring managers try to weed out the resume ‘spray and pray’ candidates from those that are truly interested in the position with the company. Following up is a great way to show that hiring manager you’re genuine.

Of course, it’s not as simple as contacting the company and saying, “Hey, I’m interested!” There are certain guidelines you need to consider before following up, lest you want to accomplish the opposite (annoying the company):

  • Think of the method you used to apply for the position. Some companies use online applications and resume submission services. Others are more informal, requiring you to directly speak with the hiring manager first. Remember this level of formality before crafting your actual letter.
  • There’s a fine line between sounding confident and sounding desperate. Assert that you are interested in the position because you feel you would best fit their needs, not because you really need or want the job.
  • Limit your follow up to one occasion (two if the application process is lengthy). Remember, your goal is to remind the employer about your application without annoying them.

Career tip: You always want to come off sounding confident and qualified.

With that said, let’s go over some of the tools you have at your disposal:

Phone Calls seem like an obvious choice based upon the immediate response time but it’s not always that simple. First, it’s not always easy to find the phone number of the hiring manager; what’s more, you may not even be able to get a hold of them because of their busy schedule. Repeated attempts to reach may frustrate the individual and make you appear desperate. If you choose this method, make one call and leave a message—that’s it.

E-Mails are quick and easy, requiring little effort on both your part and the employer’s part. The employer can read it at any time and your follow up will not be “live”, so to speak. However, this is also the problem with e-mails; they don’t really demand any attention at all and may become lost in an employer’s Inbox (look at your own Inbox for a frame of reference).

Career tip: If you email, capture their attention with a strong subject line such as “Interested in (position title)” or “Application follow-up” that let’s the employer know not to mark the message as spam or delete it.

Hard copy letters are the most popular and the most effective. In the shoes of the potential employer who receives an average of 50 applications, setting yourself above the pack can be accomplished with a quick, formal, typed letter. Going a step further, the hiring manager (typically) will take your hard copy letter and staple it to your application, giving you a second look to impress.

No doubt you’re wondering about content…

Content and tone sets the stage and will determine success or failure. It’s not enough to simply say you’re following up after submitting your resume. What you write or say is just as important as the act itself. One constant is you should keep it short—best not to use up too much of the employer’s time. Typically two or three paragraphs will do but much depends on the job position and what you bring to the table.

Besides stating your purpose, you always want to leave your contact information, should they need to contact your further. In the case of e-mails, it’s not always easy to determine a candidates name from the message itself.

For phone calls, you especially want to keep the conversation short to avoid a ramble. Something along the lines of, “This is _____ calling. I recently applied for the _____ position in (company’s name and department). I’m calling to make sure you received the resume I submitted. I’m interested in this position, so I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.”

Always remember to format your letter or e-mail properly. Standard business letter format is appreciated by almost everyone. For phone calls, write a script or dialogue and practice it until it sounds natural and not rehearsed.

For serious job seekers, I encourage you to visit www.edu-cs.com for additional information and career/professional development products, books, and resources specializing in your success.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services
www.edu-cs.com