Job Seekers – Why Using a Recruiter Can Help You Land Your Next Job–Faster!

As recruiters, we often talk about the benefits of working with a recruiter from the side of the company we are serving, but what about the job seeker? There are many benefits to job seekers to connect with the right recruiters in their specific industry—when they are looking for a new position and even when they are not.

Developing relationships is a critical part of the job search that many people often overlook or begin when it’s too late (they are already unemployed, they need something in that moment, etc.) When individuals wait to create a relationship with a recruiter just because they “aren’t looking,”  they miss out on the opportunity to form and build a relationship that could potentially serve them in the future.

Recruiters come with a specialized network and they know the companies they work with well, and when a person comes along who is a good fit, even during a time when there isn’t a position open or available, that candidate will be remembered in the future. Those networks and relationships could become extremely valuable down the road.

Once you’ve developed a relationship with a recruiter and you’ve built the ultimate, “know, like, and trust” factor—that recruiter will go out of their way to find a role that fits for you when you do need to make a move. You’ll have developed a relationship that could give you immediate results.

When job seekers work with recruiters to find a new position, recruiters can help make the process go faster and easier for the candidate and potentially find them a position that couldn’t otherwise be found.

So, if you are ready to get known by a recruiter in your industry, begin by reaching out and introducing yourself. Offer to take the recruiter out to coffee to get to know them better, see how you can help them and their business by referring other candidates or even potential employers. Once you’ve established a connection, then be sure to stay in touch consistently so you can continue the relationship.

Managing Your Energy throughout Your Job Search

Searching for a new position takes a lot of time, effort and energy. Once you’ve been looking for work for a few months, doubt and worry can often creep in. That’s why it’s critical to manage your energy while searching for a job.

First, it’s important to get support. Whether that means you find a coach or a mentor to work with you throughout the process or you participate in a group that is focused on supporting job-seekers. It’s always beneficial to have someone in your life who can reflect back to you what you are doing right and what you can improve upon. Utilize your support network to know how to adjust, adapt, and course-correct when needed.

Next, know when it’s time to take a break or walk away. Whether that means walking away from searching for jobs online or taking a week or two away from the searching and applying pattern that it’s easy to fall into. Sometimes, stepping away for a few days or a few weeks can give you a fresh perspective on your job search.

Remember to use alternative ways of finding a position—especially your network and the relationships you’ve built over the years. Most positions that are posted online receive a tremendous response from job seekers. To get past that stack of resumes, seek to get an introduction through someone you know or better yet, find the jobs that aren’t posted yet.

Lastly, you’ll also want to practice extreme self-care. Be sure to get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, avoid any self-sabotaging behaviors, and try to have fun too. While it may take time to find the right job for you, it will come. Be patient, keep taking steps forward, and don’t give up!

 

The Cover Letter Conundrum: When, Why and How to Write and Use Them

This post was originally seen on the Career Rocketeer site and was written by Perry Newman.

In my opinion cover letters are the most controversial aspect of a candidate’s resume portfolio and there is much debate about the pro and con of when, why and how to write and use them effectively.

For me only one cover letter rule is written in stone; if a job posting, recruiter, or the person you are sending it to specifically ask that you include a cover letter you must send one along with your resume! If they also include a special instruction such as salary history etc, you must address the request without being cute or overly evasive.

On the other hand if a cover letter is not requested and you choose not to include one, no harm/no foul.

Something I think job hunters should be aware of is this: when you send both a cover letter and a resume as a package the majority of people in the selection and decision making process will not receive or read your cover letter; unless one is specifically requested.

First off not everyone who first screens your documents will read both; at best 50%-70% of the people will read the cover letter; this figure gets lower depending on how many resumes they have to review. Then at each level of escalation only 25%-50% of the people who got both the resume and cover letter will send the cover letter up the line to the next level of interviewer or decision maker along with your resume.

So if you’re counting on a cover letter being read and influencing the decision to interview or hire you, as we say here in Brooklyn Fuggetaboutit.

The most common cover letter approaches

Sell Yourself Approach
This approach is my least favorite, but for some reason it is the most common. I believe if a resume can stand up to scrutiny a sell yourself oriented cover letter is unnecessary. However if you feel a need to sell yourself in your cover letter to get noticed do it subtly. Focus on how you fit the job, don’t stretch the truth, and by all means don’t be long winded or ramble on. Make your point and stop.

One reason I dislike this type of cover letter is that most people who use this approach tend to reiterate verbatim the words that appear on their resume, especially the accomplishments. Worse yet some cover letters I’ve read include information that contradicts what is written in the resume.

If you are going to sell yourself in a cover letter I suggest rewriting and repackaging the information so it will be fresh not boring when they get around to reading the same information on your resume; and check your facts.

On the creative side I’ve seen people, I being one of them, use charts in cover letters when the goal is to draw comparisons between the candidate and what the company wants, what the competition brings to the table, or to compare industry wide metrics the candidate greatly exceeded.

A sales approach is best used when the resume can not strongly articulate certain critical factors because they may not be current, they are solid but limited in time or scope, or it is felt the competition is stronger. Some use a sales approach because they are lazy or uninformed about tweaking their resume for particular a job, or they feel they have a poor resume but a strong cover letter will compensate for this.

Letter of Introduction Approach

This is the approach I favor most. Again, I am of the belief if your resume can stand up to scrutiny and shows that you fit the desired profile there is no need to pre-sell yourself in a cover letter.

What I prefer is a brief professional letter of introduction expressing your interest in a specific position and telling the reader why you want this particular job and want to work for their company above all others.

I’ve been know to make a strong opening statement and then in the following paragraph/s quote the company’s own words that describe what they are looking for and close the paragraph with a statement such as ‘this is an area in which I excel’, or ‘this is my forte’, or ‘as you will see from my resume and accomplishments, I am a perfect match for the person you seek to interview and hire.’

I also on occasion have suggested including verifiable endorsement/s in this cover letter to validate value.

Closing On Objections approach

Sometimes you are not a perfect fit for a job and your resume taken at face value includes as many deselecting points as qualifiers; and there is a lot of what I call green areas (a term based on my resume writing exercises) that can be misinterpreted. These are areas where you do not have exactly what the company seeks in a hire in the exact way they want it; but you do have closely related skills, experience or had similar responsibilities in a different field or industry.

In these cases I suggest a cover letter that focuses on getting the reader to see you through your eyes and why you feel you can do the job.

If you can anticipate their objections you can overcome them before they become a deselecting factor, or get a reader to give you the benefit of the doubt and bring you in for an interview to see if you are a good match.

This cover letter is the most difficult to write; it needs to be 100% on point, positive, and perfectly worded to get your point across without turning off the screener.

About the Author: Perry Newman is a nationally-renowned job transition specialist who develops branded resumes and is a career coach for executives, professionals and MBA’s seeking six- figure positions in multiple industries within the USA. As a Certified Placement Consultant, Certified Social Media Strategist and founder and former Managing Director of a NYC-based executive search firm, Perry has a rare combination of talent and experience that is essential for your success in today’s job market. Acknowledged as a subject matter expert in his field Perry is a sought-after public speaker for radio, TV shows and career services seminars and his articles and blog posts are published in national newspapers, magazines and blogs throughout the nation and the world.

The Interviewer Said!

This post was written by Perry Newman and was originally featured on the Career Rocketeer blog.

In my career, I have written and read thousands of resumes and I will be the first to admit a well-written resume is no guarantee that you will be hired for a new job. However from my own experience and the experiences of many of the people I have worked with I can say with 100% certainty that a well-written resume will increase your apply to interview ratio by at least 25% and improve your chances of impressing the people who interview you.

To highlight for you how a effective a tool a well-written resume can be, I asked a number of people who found a new positions about the feedback they received on the resume we collaborated on, and here are a few responses..

1: The interviewer said “you are a candidate we could not afford to pass on so after I finished reading your resume I picked up the phone ASAP to contact you to schedule an interview.”

2: The interviewer said” the minute I finished reading your resume I knew you were a perfect match for the profile we developed for a new hire.”

3: The interviewer said “after reading your resume I felt I’ve known you for years even though we’ve never met.

4: The interviewer said “based on your resume I know what we can expect from you in the future if we hire you.”

5: The interviewer said “I screened over 100 resumes but yours was one of only a handful that stood out and caught my attention based on its style and content.”

6: The interviewer said “your resume answered all the questions I had about you and raised a few questions I had not considered about your competition.”

The bottom line is if you have a well-written resume you can elicit they same type of responses as well. Not every resume can get interviewers and screeners to react like this; after all you must have the talent and ability to put on paper that will excite people. But I can tell you that a well-written resume will get people to take notice of you and what you have to offer and it will increase your chances of being considered a front runner for a new job.

Perry Newman is a nationally-renowned job transition specialist who develops branded resumes and is a career coach for executives, professionals and MBA’s seeking six- figure positions in multiple industries within the USA. As a Certified Placement Consultant, Certified Social Media Strategist and founder and former Managing Director of a NYC-based executive search firm, Perry has a rare combination of talent and experience that is essential for your success in today’s job market. Acknowledged as a subject matter expert in his field Perry is a sought-after public speaker for radio, TV shows and career services seminars and his articles and blog posts are published in national newspapers, magazines and blogs throughout the nation and the world.

Consistency, Clarity, and Integrity in Your Job Interview

Have you ever been in an interview and found that the interviewer was asking very similar questions over and over again? The questions may sound different, but in fact, what the person is asking is essentially the same.

This is why consistency, clarity, and integrity are an important part of your job interview. Interviewers are often seeking to understand a personal fully, and to listen to any inconsistencies.

For example, if you said you left an employer for better employment opportunities (very general answer), yet you bring up a conflict with your manager in your interview, you’ll be sure that the interviewer will pick up on this. They will then ask more questions that will come back around to finding the real answer. Interviewers know that people are going to give the best answers they can in an interview, but when asking a question repeatedly it generally makes the interviewee drop their defenses and get to a more honest answer.

Consider this, if you were asked a question and then were repeatedly asked to dig deeper, how would you respond? What happens is that you are given a chance to really think about your answer as you reflect on the reasons behind your actions. This is where consistency, clarity and integrity come into play.

It’s actually a great topic to think about prior to your interview. You can ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What are my values?
  • What’s really important to me?

Then, when you start your interview you can have a clear direction and focus for your answers. As the person digs deeper, they shouldn’t get a different answer because your first answer will be in alignment with your integrity.

What do you think? Have you been in a situation like this before?