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What Did That Hiring Manager Say? Take an Inside Look

January 24, 2015 Leave a comment

recruiter-angry-620x350We’d all love to believe when our résumé and cover letter hits hiring manager’s hands rays of blissful light springs from it, and skittles candy rains down from the sky and fills the room. Right?  Well, I’m sorry. I’m here to help, so  cannot leave you living in fairyland. Hiring managers probably roll their eyes at more résumés than you can imagine. I’ve noted a few of their comments below. It’s up to you to take an honest look at yourself (meaning your résumé and cover letter approach) and take some corrective action. Here we go…


“Every time a job seeker uses a meaningless descriptive word on their #resume like energetic, another hiring manager becomes just a little more exhausted.”  (posted by B. S. on LinkedIn)

  • What to do: eliminate the fluff!

“If I have to spend more than 30 seconds finding out what you have accomplished, forget it … Likely, I will ignore the whole thing…”

“Of the probably close to 1,000 I’ve received, I’ve read less than a hundred submitted cover letters from start to finish. Why? Most people do not take the time to make the letter worth reading.” (poster: Jenny Yerrkin Martin of Careerealism)

“If you’ve been unemployed for a long stretch of time, it makes me wonder what’s wrong with you…” (poster unknown)

  • What to do: Stay enrolled in some type of job training/college course AND get busy volunteering at a reputable organization.  List both on your resume.

“Applying online is a losing game… We build our application process to weed out candidates…” (poster unknown)

  • What to do: Focus more on networking (both in-person and virtually) to get your foot in the door

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW; BUT THERE’S MORE TO COME. CHECK BACK SOON!

Michelle Walker-Wade Workplace Literacy Expert

Michelle Walker-Wade
Workforce, Training & Development
Professional

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California Employers Can No Longer Access Your Credit Report As A Condition of Employment

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

As the job market grew tighter and tighter, employers came up with more ways to weed-out job candidates.  One method employers used was to check your credit reports.  The rationale they used was, if a person’s credit was bad they probably were not “trustworthy” enough to be employed in their company.  Nearly 60% of employers began participating in this less-than-accurate practice, considering all of the factors in recent years that have caused many hard-working, trustworthy people to fall in their credit rating.

Well, CALIFORNIA (along with 6 other States) has banned this practice; and 19 more  States are in progress of banning it as well.  This is good news for millions of unemployed and under-employed individuals.

If any employer attempts to have you sign a release to run your credit report, make sure you tell them about the California credit check law, signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2011, and went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.  This law protects MOST, but not all.

CLICK HERE  to check out MarketWatch’s video clip entitled: States Start Banning Credit Checks

Here is a list of jobs that fall into the exception-to-the rule category:

Jobs that allow a credit check include:

  • A position in the state Department of Justice
  • A managerial position
  • A position as a sworn peace officer or other law enforcement job
  • A position for which the information is required by law
  • A position that involves access to specified personal information
  • A position in which the person is a named signatory on the employer’s bank or credit card account
  • A position that involves access to confidential or proprietary information
  • A position that involves regular access to $10,000 or more of cash

If interested, you can read the full bill,  AB 22,  at: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_22_bill_20110920_enrolled.html

Employment and Unemployment in the 209

January 20, 2012 1 comment

Did you know that in San Joaquin County…

  • The county unemployment rate is 15.9% while Alameda County is 9.3%?

And..

The top 3 fastest growing jobs are:

  • Personal and Home Care Aides ($9.86/hour),
  • Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architect – ($36.11/hour)
  • And other personal care and Service Workers such as beauticians, barbers, disability care workers, and food service workers – (pay rate varies)

Looking at the unemployment rates and taking into account the dramatic difference between the rate of pay for the 3 top fastest growing jobs, you must notice that unless you’re interested in spending the time and money needed to gain very technical skills, the quickest route into the workforce appears to be some sort of personal care.  Personal care jobs are often viewed as “low-skill” jobs; and as you can see from the rate of pay that these type jobs generally are low paying jobs as well.  While you many not want to make a life-long career in such low-skill/low-pay jobs, I encourage you to go ahead and enter (or re-enter) the workforce through the door that is open.

Getting in the workforce will help you:

  1. Develop even more skills (particularly soft-skills which employers say are 87.5% of almost every job).
  2. Build your confidence level and your general feelings of usefulness.
  3. Send a message to your family and friends that you are still workforce-minded, thereby minimizing the amount of time available to do random activities that really are  low priority time-busters.

I have found, particularly in the 209 area code, the conditions of the job market have many people so despondent they’ve found solace in doing “random activities“.  What I say to you is this:  make those activities count for something.  Use them to give you an edge into a new world or work. Unemployment benefits will not last forever. Just take a look at South Carolina’s new unemployment rules coming in 2012.  Under these  new rules, after a month of collecting benefits, the unemployed must now accept any offer for a job that pays at least 90 percent of what they used to earn. After 5 months, workers must accept a job that pays minimum wage, or $7.25 an hour. South Carolina’s unemployment rate has hovered around 9% for a few years (like California).

It won’t be long before other states plagued with high unemployment rates (like California) may look at similar alternatives.  I can take a hint; can you?

I need a job!!!! like right now.. I am tired of waiting…

September 21, 2011 1 comment

I recently read an informative piece by Job Talk With Anita Clew called: “Hiring Process”. This article discusses two employment options that staffing agencies offer: temp-to-hire and direct hire.  At the end of her article a reader posted the following comment:

“yeah ok.. i need a job!!!! like right now.. i am tired of waiting for a agency to call me.”

My article is in response to the reader’s comment.  I know she is not alone in this sentiment of frustration and in no way do I write to belittle the fact that anyone currently searching for a job has a reason or right to be frustrated.  You’re feelings are VALID!

However

In a tough job market like today, no one can wait for an agency to call them. Agency account mangers are bombarded with tons of applicants and fewer available positions than normal. When a job comes up, the account manger will usually think to his/herself: “Hmmmm who would be good for this position?”  And quite naturally his/her mind will roam to the persons whose names and faces have continually come up before them. Or, IF the job opening requires some type of uncommon skill and work experience, and you have that uncommon work experience, then your name or face might flash before the account mangers eyes and he/she will look for you.

It is unlikely that waiting for a call will result in a job placement. You as the job-seeker (job-needer) must make sure that your name and face continually comes up before your account manager. No, I’m not saying that you should drop by the agency’s office 3 times a week, but at the very least you should:

  1. Call the agency weekly
  2. Do the online tutorials that many agencies offer, and then request to take more of the skills test. This will cause your electronic profile to continuously keep updating with a fresh date.
  3. Update and/or refine your résumé, upload it to the system and email it to your account manager about 2 times a month.
  4. Use the agency’s online job search tool and apply for positions that fit your qualifications and that you would be willing to accept.
  5. Work regularly with multiple agencies, but put more of your efforts into working with the account manager that has been most responsive.

So many people need a job right now, and it is hard to keep tugging along when nothing seems to be working. But remember, it is the one who stays diligent in business who will find his/herself standing in front of their new boss with a smile and a sense of relief.

~ Keep your head up!  Michelle Walker-Wade
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Poll – What Components of a Résumé Make the Biggest Impact?

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Cast your vote please!  You may choose up to THREE!

Also, if you are a HR professional or a hiring manger, please feel free to add additional comments and share your perspective.   Thank you!

I look forward to seeing your replies!

~ Michelle Walker-Wade

Things That may Cause Your Résumé to Get Ignored

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Tons of people are on the hunt for a job. Some are hunting more fervently than others, putting out résumés for every job in sight, yet getting no bites.  So what are some reasons that may cause your résumé to get ignored?  I’m sure you’ve heard that your résumé should be error free with no typos. While I agree with this as a goal, I must tell you that I have in fact called in an individual for an interview who had a less than perfect résumé.  So, let’s consider a few other résumé faux pas I believe can hurt you:

      • Your résumé does not have the correct vocabulary or keywords for the job or industry for which you are applying.

 

      • You have included the job or industry keywords, but you have not used them in the correct context of the job; it looks like you’ve found the right words to use, but have no idea how to use them.

 

      • When comparing the body of your résumé to the job posting there is no connection between the two. The way I see it, if you did not take time to show me how you qualify for this open position, I cannot take the time to figure it out either.

 

      • You either have not included accomplishment statements or the accomplishment statements you have included seem too unrealistic; this makes me wonder about your integrity.

 

      • You have an unprofessional email address listed in your contact information. Email addresses are free, so why not get one appropriate for business?

 

Lastly – and this is a true story – I once received a résumé from someone who had logo images next to each of the company names for which he had worked.  The images, obviously obtained from the company’s websites, were smudgy and pixilated.  This person’s intention was to get my attention – to make his résumé stand out in the crowd. I personally did not care for this approach, and I would not personally use this strategy; but it did make me vividly remember his résumé.  I interviewed him because other than the company logos, his résumé looked good, and he could have been the right person for the job. Although I ultimately did not hire him, more than 2 years later, I still have his résumé in my files… Not sure why though.

Your résumé is your marketing advertisement for yourself. I believe you would be better off putting additional time and intentional effort into improving the quality of each résumé instead of going at full-speed sending out the same old one.

~ Go do it! – Michelle Walker-Wade

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You are free to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work Under the following conditions: (1) Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). (2) Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes. (3) No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Top Three Reasons People Do not Get Hired After an Interview

September 2, 2011 4 comments

According to a survey given to hiring committees, here are the top three reasons people do not get hired AFTER having participated in an interview.

  1. Candidate was unable to respond to the questions. They either gave a single-word answer or answered a question other than the one that was asked.
  2. Poor appearance. Candidate came to interview inappropriately dressed for that particular work environment.
  3. Lack of individuality. The candidate did not open up enough to allow the interviewer(s) to get a sense of who he/she is.

I agree with the three top reasons listed above and have experienced all three during the interview process.  In addition to these, here are three more reasons that would make me think twice about the candidate

  1. The candidate talks too much; rambling on and on or interrupting the interviewer.
  2. The candidate has not prepared for the interview; he/she knows nothing about our organization.
  3. The person who walks through the door is not the same person I’ve read about on paper (the résumé and cover letter do not match the person).

Trust me. Interviewers generally do not look forward to days and days of interviewing candidates. Anything you can do to make the interview a pleasant conversation is to your advantage.  Consider attending classes and workshops on getting a job. They are vital to your success!

~ Go out and make it happen! – Michelle Walker-Wade