Archive for November, 2017

The Power of Passivity: Seek Not and Ye Shall Find

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Employers are frequently found to prefer passive job seekers over active ones, so how can you use this knowledge to improve your career prospects?

While you may think that being proactive gives you an edge in your job hunt, research has shown that many employers favor job seekers who are playing it cool. Passive job seekers are those that are open to a new position, although not actively searching or applying for vacancies. Instead of spending hours sifting through job boards and contacting companies, your best bet for progressing your career could be to “play hard to get” and entice recruiters to come to you.

Passive job seekers have the advantage

A recent study revealed that 80% of HR professionals feel passive job seekers are the best source of quality employees. However, the survey also found that only 47% of job seekers are aware of this fact, showing that employers and candidates have very different understandings of what works in the recruitment world.

When asked what makes passive candidates more attractive than active ones, 42% of respondents said these individuals take their careers more seriously, 44% felt that they had the most experience, and an additional 44% said they had the best skill sets.

Even if you’re unemployed, you can turn into a passive job seeker right now by freelancing, becoming an entrepreneur, volunteering, or blogging. By engaging in these activities while you search for a job, you won’t have gaps on your resume, you’ll be practicing new skills, and you’ll potentially be earning side income so you will be less desperate for a job, which makes you more attractive as a candidate (and gives you leverage).

Tips for becoming a passive job seeker

Now that you’ve recognized the “power of passivity” in attaining long-term job search success, try using the following strategies to your advantage:

1. Keep your resume up-to-date – If a recruiter ever contacts you about a position, you want to be ready to show them what you can do immediately.

2. Stay involved online – While you may not be engaging in an active job search, maintaining an online presence means staying in the forefront of your professional contacts’ minds. This includes building a robust LinkedIn profile, joining relevant LinkedIn Groups, and tapping into social networking (Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, for example) to strengthen your social presence.

3. Develop a solid pool of referrals – Professional connections are the biggest assets of a passive job seeker, as their recommendations will do the legwork for you. Stay connected with your network via social media and offer help in return, rather than just building your network and only reaching out when you’re looking for a job. If you’re interested and engaged, your contacts will be more likely to give you help if and when you need it.

4. Write Recommendations – Giving to get works every time. Write LinkedIn recommendations for some of your connections. In return, you’ll get a recommendation back from at least some of the people you provide a reference for. Those recommendations show on your Profile and they are a reference in advance to a potential employer.

5. Be Interview Ready – Don’t use up all your accrued vacation or personal leave time unless you have to. Keep some in reserve, so you have time to interview if an opportunity that’s too good to pass up comes along.

Good luck!

The power of passivity: How not looking could get you the job | via Talent International.

Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Which blunders will send your resume straight into oblivion? There might be dozens (apart from simple things, like bad grammar and spelling), depending on the job, but experts say including these five things on your resume are most likely to derail your job search:

1. A list of every job you’ve ever held

Hiring managers don’t want to know about that summer you worked as a lifeguard—unless you’re applying to manage the park district’s pool.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for relevance and stability. The key is to list the work you’ve done in the past 10 to 15 years that tells an employer you’re a skilled, reliable fit for the job.

Say you’ve had three employers in the past seven years but only two of them are in the industry you’re applying for. Employers don’t want to see a gap in your employment record, so you still need to list that third job — just make sure you list the accomplishments in that job that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

2. Your Age

Hiring managers need to know what you can do for them, not how many years you’ve managed to stay alive. Therefore, experts commonly argue against:

* Listing professional experience more than 15 years old.
* Providing an exact number of years of professional experience in your opening summary.

And don’t forget that age bias cuts both ways: A resume that tells a future boss you’re too young for the job is no good, either.

3. Lists of tasks or duties without results

Your resume has to go beyond saying which jobs you’ve done: It must establish what you’ve accomplished on those jobs. Many applicants miss this key distinction.

The only things that separate equally qualified candidates are the results of their efforts. For example, an administrative assistant may write, “reorganized filing system.” That provides the task. What were the results? A better way to write it would be, “Increased team productivity 20% by reorganizing filing system.” Results are what matter to hiring managers.

4. Explanations of anything negative

Everybody has dark stories in their past.

There’s no place for them on your resume. Your resume is a promotional document and all promotional documents need to be positive.

The time to explain yourself is when you’re talking to the hiring manager in person after you’ve scored an interview.

5. Personal details

Employers usually don’t care about your marital status, race, sexual orientation or hobbies, unless they are somehow pivotal to the job. Including personal data is a rookie mistake, and nobody wants to hire a rookie.

Crafting and sending a resume is part of the “discovery phase” of the hiring process so employers at this phase don’t need personal details beyond your name, city, state and a way to contact you. If you make it to the hiring phase, the human resources department will collect your relevant personal details then.

Most resumes are now transmitted electronically, and there’s no way to be sure where one might end up after you send it in. With identity thieves always on the prowl, you always need to protect your personal data. Never include your Social Security number.

6. A photo of yourself

This is probably more applicable to international candidates, who generally have more experience with resume and CV formats that include a photo. However, standard policy for US resumes is not to include one. Partly this is due to the age and personal details issues above (i.e., potential for bias).

But also, if your resume has your photo, a recruiter isn’t going to spend any longer looking at it. Instead, they’ll just waste part of the valuable 6-10 seconds generally spent scanning a resume looking at the picture instead of reading what they need to find out about you.

Good luck!

5 Things You Should Never Put on Your Resume | by Tom Mangan via Monster.