Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to beat Resume Screening Software

Who hasn't come across a few opportunities where they were screened by those software programs? It's frustrating right? Here's a few tips on how to beat 'em.

Try calling the company and "working the building" (sales term for finagling your way from one person to the next until you find the decision maker) so you can figure out what keywords their looking for.

Contact a friend who works there and ask what the process is, what keywords they're looking for, etc.

Don't have a friend there? Make a friend who works there, by commenting on their blogs, websites, FB, etc.

I have done all of the above and got a call from the companies with those blasted scanning software programs.

SIDEOUT: Ask yourself, why are you just sending resumes into companies? The best way to get a job is through your personal network. So start networking.

Note: Those software programs can have some term recognition flaws, as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Are you scared to apply for a job?

"Those who are hesitating, getting scared, or becoming paralyzed lose out on the opportunities at hand..." - Mike Mann, Make Millions and Make Change!
When it comes to job searching don't NOT apply for a job because you're not sure about it. Go ahead and apply. If you don't you may miss out on an opportunity.

The same goes with contacting folks in your personal network to find out if they have or know of any job openings. When you hesitate or back off something because of fear, you can lose out on great opportunities.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure that you are following the best practices that I've mentioned in my blogs when you're applying for these jobs. (tailor your resume, apply for something that has a relevant connection to your skill sets, etc.) And remember don't lose your head if they don't call you back. Try to figure out what would get you more call backs (again read past Brecheisen blogs on that) but don't worry about everyone calling you back, worry about the right ones calling you back.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Why have you been out of work for so long?

Read this blog from Simply Hired:

“Why have you been out of work for so long?" Another Tough Interview Question

By Martin Yate CP

My take is this. Don't be out of work for so long! Employers don't want to hire deadbeats. Sounds harsh, right? It's the wrong mindset, but it's the reality of what a lot of HR folks think about people who've been out of work for so long. So don't be.

You're probably asking. But how? I can't find a job. I'm getting an unfair shake. (I can hear Jeffrey Gitomer's whiny voice here) On and on you can go complaining and rationalizing your position, but that won't find you work. So what's the answer?

Easy. Don't be out of work. If you get layed off, fired, whatever don't stop. Start consulting. Go after business. Make connections. Shoot, you may find a job from knocking the socks off some clients as a consultant.

The best answer I've heard is "I have several (or a few) projects going that I would need to wrap up.

Please feel free to check out our current job openings on my links widget to the right. 

Prepare for Unusual Interview Questions

Okay. So you can't prepare for everything in the interview. You're dealing with people and people are random, meaning you may not be able to predict everything that they're going to throw at you. But you can prepare yourself for that randomness.

The goal is to think outside of the box in your preparation. Prepare your mind how to respond to random or seemingly out of place questions. Make a list of the areas an interviewer might test with their questions. They'll ask questions about: My personal background, professional background, my problem solving, handling stress and/or deadlines, specific experiences, growth, past performance, my behavior in regards to change or confrontation, etc.

Once you've identified these areas. First, think about the motives behind the questions. Why are they asking it? To get specific answers on my skill set, to see my thought process, to gauge my interest or emotion, etc. Second, think of specific ways you would answer those. Again, you can't prepare for every question but you can map out a pattern to answer the questions. For example, if someone is asking you a question about behavior in regards to change. The motive of the question is they want to know if you're going to be difficult to work with. So pattern your response to be agreeable and polite no matter what or who is the subject of your response.

Of course, these tips are for those who are trying to genuinely answer the questions, and doing it in a way that gets the intended message across. If you're trying to be deceitful, that almost always comes through, unless you're a great con-man. Which I wouldn't suggest being - that always ends poorly. The truth always comes out sooner or later. So be truthful but prepare for randomness in the interview.

Here's a few examples of random interview questions

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Conduct Job Warfare Like George W. Bush.

Yes. Looking for a job and warfare can be related. You need contacts: people. And you need contacts: shots that hit their intended target. But where I'm going with this is preemptive strikes.

How many HR people do you know?

That's not a rhetorical question. Count 'em up! Then contact them and stay in touch. This is important whether you're currently looking for a job or happily employed. In fact, if you preemptively reach out and stay in touch with HR folks the better position you'll be in when you are looking for a job.

Go the extra mile and seek out HR folks in companies within your industry or the industry you would like to be in. Make a friend and stay in touch in case something changes for you in the future. They may even reach out to you at an unexpected time. So the lesson here is to be preemptive in your job search.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interview Tip: Provide Solutions in the Interview.

Whatever position you're interviewing for, you should come prepared with questions that will help you understand what problems the company needs the position to solve.

Once you've discovered what the problems are give solutions. No brainer right? Wrong! People don't usually offer solutions in their interviews. It happens every day. If you offer solutions that make sense to them you will get hired. And that's the ultimate goal.

(Note: If you're a real pro, you'll find a way to figure out the problems before you even get to the interview and come with developed solutions.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't get old and rusty, just get old.

Just because you're getting old, doesn't mean your career has to taper off. Like Napoleon Hill mentions in his book Think and Grow Rich, most of the richest people in the US made the majority of their money in their 50s.

I believe one of the best ways to accomplish this is to stay relevant throughout your career. Always stay hands on in whatever you do. Continue to get your hands dirty even as you move into management. You will grow stagnant if you do not continue to view the problems at eye level and dream, create, and solve.

In all the interviews I've done with executives, this seems to stand out as one of the most common themes among the successful ones. So as you get old, don't forget where you came from.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jack-of-all-Trades VS Master-of-One

Today's question is should you be a jack of all trades or a master of one?

They both have their merits. A master of one has a highly developed skill set. Those type of jobs tend to pay a lot higher than the average. A jack of all trades will also have a job because of their versatility.

On the flip side, both have their drawbacks. A master of one can become so specialized that they work themselves out of a job when that need disappears. A jack of all trades may never achieve a higher than average income.

So which way should you go? My advice is to do what you love. But to speak specifically to these two options I would say you want to become both. Become highly specialized in a specific skill, but diversify by running a business on the side or dipping your hand in another area from time to time. Or along the path to specialization master a process or talent that can be used across any industry.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Are you struggling to find your calling?

"Where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling." -Aristotle
There's nothing more fulfilling than finding your calling in life. Sometimes it can be a battle to find. The best way to to find it is to start early. The more life experiences you have, the more you explore who you are, and the more involved you get in the workforce the easier it will be.

1) Life experiences - get out see the world. Go on a vacation and take a trip around the country. Or just spend an entire day walking around downtown. These are all ways to see the world from a different perspective which can help inspire you.

2) Explore who you are - write down your talents. Ask others what they think your talents are. Then take those talents around to different people (friends, family, etc.) and ask what occupations those would be most conducive with.

3) Get more involved in the workforce - start your own curb painting company, window washing company, etc. Do internships instead of wasting your summers at home.

Whatever you do. Do it. It can be a life long battle to find your calling. Trust me you can cover a lot more ground if you get others involved.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't fall short in the interview like the Pats did in the Super Bowl.

Yesterday I read a great article from Career Rocketeer on what you can take away from the Super Bowl that can help you in your job search. Here's the link:

I just wanted to add a couple thoughts. First, DON'T THROW BEHIND YOUR RECEIVERS. That lost the game for Tom Brady and the Pats. In your job search, your receivers are those who receive your resumes, your words in an interview, etc. Don't leave the interview saying oh I should have said this or that. Say it.

The easiest way to do that is to prepare before hand with the materials that best sell you on the position. Of course, as I've preached throughout my blog, you must do research online about the company, you must call and talk to folks within the company and you have to prepare statements that show your abilities by sharing past successes to the interviewer.

Don't fall short in the interview like the Pats did in the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't be willy nilly!

Pay attention to detail throughout the interview process. Many hiring managers see your attention to detail as a sign of your professionalism and ability.

Don't put together a resume willy nilly! The same holds true for any other document. Have a friend proof read it for you and give you feedback.

And whatever you do don't be disqualified for not using SPELL CHECK!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do NOT go out with guns a blazing!

Here's a tip on dealing with rejection in your job search. Learn to bow out gracefully. Do NOT go out with guns a blazing!

It's never good to burn a bridge so don't. It's especially not good to burn a bridge if it's the only way out of town. I have interviewed several folks that were also interviewing at other companies where I know people in HR. You have to be careful because you never know who knows who.

The same holds true for me. I don't burn bridges with candidates. I may find them a perfect fit for another position in the future. It's also possible that they could be instrumental in helping me find a job in the future.

Be professional and bow out gracefully. You are in control of your own PR.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tip on Interview Tips

Here's a tip on following interview tips. Don't get discouraged if you try one and it doesn't work. Every situation is different. It doesn't mean that the tip doesn't work. It may mean that it needs to be changed or modified for the situation.

It's also possible that it was used incorrectly. Keep at it. The tips I give and hopefully any other tip you might come across have worked for someone. That's why I share them, because I've seen them work.

Again, if you tried a tip and it didn't work, modify it, practice it, hone it and it will work.