Author Archives: Alex Freund

About Alex Freund

Alex has extensive experience with interviewing people. He has also practical training in career coaching. Consequently, he formed LandingExpert – Career Coaching services. He is prominent in a number of networking groups and has helped many job seekers with their career searches, providing them with tools, information, marketing material, and one-on-one preparation for the interview. Via his website www.landingexpert.com he offers people in transition and otherwise a comprehensive and updated list of job-search networking groups. This list is being viewed consistently by over 3000 people per month.

The Biggest Change in Hiring

The Biggest Change in Hiring

Be nice to recruiters

Unpredictability and uncertainty in the business world shorten employment tenure. There are several reasons for this: The fast-paced and ever-changing evolution of technology is generating competitive pressures. Consumer tastes are changing and demanding new products and services. And world events are destabilizers; revolutions, wars, floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, and reactor meltdowns are examples.

Employers find themselves needing to react via quick adaptation. Company organizational charts the way we used to know them are shifting to meet foreseeable demands for staffing needs. Thus, the result is a contingent and temporary labor force. Statistics show that people change jobs on an average of every three years—some of them staying with the same employer but in new roles and some joining a different employer.

Recruiters will have an increased role in matching job seekers with jobs.

About half of all new openings at large employers are nowadays filled by internal mobility but still under the control of a recruiter. The rest of the openings are filled by new hires—also via a recruiter. The hiring manager makes the final decision about whom to hire, but recruiters can block job seekers based on their own discretion.

It is evident that job seekers’ interactions with recruiters will increase. In many cases, recruiters are not viewed favorably by job seekers. They are considered the necessary [d]evils. Most job seekers don’t understand the pressures on the typical recruiter. Each recruiter works simultaneously on filling 15 to 20 job openings. Recruiting is a human resources task but functionally reports to and is evaluated by hiring managers. Recruiters rely on applicant-tracking-system technology but have to make final decisions based on interviewing every reasonable candidate. Recruiters don’t know the details of the job more than the extent of the information supplied in the job description. And recruiters are very much under time pressure to produce results for hiring managers and meet hiring managers’ urgent needs.

How to increase your chances of being selected as a good candidate by recruiters

Follow the instructions precisely in terms of how recruiters want you to submit your credentials. Demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the position you’re applying for. Be honest and genuine. Come prepared when interacting with them. Don’t cause them embarrassment. They need to present you to the hiring manager. Ensure that you are a match with the job description. Use TagCrowd to make sure your résumé includes most of the keywords that recruiters are likely to use as queries based on the job description. And last, use Jobscan.co (note: the filename ends with .co and not .com) to match your résumé to the job description.

In the current job market, the competition is fierce, and to maintain a high level of competitiveness, one has to know what to do and how to adapt to employers’ needs. All of that learning and carrying out are laborious and time-consuming. But don’t give up! A job is waiting for you. Go get it!

 

How to Win in Today’s Job Market

Getting a job is a competition

It is well-known that in today’s economy, job seekers face unprecedented challenges. One of them is the large numbers of applicants chasing just a few openings, but another is their lack of understanding of the rules of the competition. Many discount the fact that employers use different methods of selecting final candidates by applying certain technology, and those job applicants simply keep doing what they did years ago, when they almost always had success finding a job.

Data supporting the facts about job application are available online via such sources as wsj.com, CareerBuilder, TheLadders, staffing.org, Adecco, and BeHiring. Here are a few of those facts: On average, 200 to 300 résumés are received for every single corporate job opening. Half of those will be screened out by recruiters or applicant-tracking-system (ATS) software. About 20 to 30 résumés will be reviewed by the decision maker. Only 4 to 6 will be invited for interviews. One to 3 might be invited back for a final interview, and ultimately, of course, one will be offered the job. And then, 20 percent of applicants given an offer will reject it. Surprised?

Data shows that recruiters spend on average six seconds reviewing a résumé. Their eyes follow a certain pattern by seeking out (1) job titles, (2) companies you worked at, (3) start and end dates, and (4) your education. Recruiters are known to deselect résumés with even one tiny typo, résumés of applicants not currently employed, and, often, if your name or certain other information reveals something the recruiter has a bias against.

Applicants should realize that many ATSs are simply not able to scan and read résumés that are in pdf or other formats. A very high number—sometimes up to 90 percent—of résumés are rejected because they have not been customized to the specific job opening. Before initiating contact with an applicant, recruiters typically search on the Internet for additional information about the person. Mostly they look at LinkedIn, and if the applicant has no photo, that’s another reason to move on to the next prospect. If there is indeed a photo, it should be professional looking and complimentary. Sometimes people even apply for positions that do not exist. Or a posted job description got changed in the meantime.

Recruiters don’t have an easy job because if they submit candidates to be interviewed who in the eyes of the hiring managers don’t have the perfect qualifications those hiring managers are looking for, the recruiters will hear about it in a derogatory way.

So, what’s the answer to increasing your chances of being chosen for an interview? Here are a few suggestions.

  • Your résumé should be customized for application to each and every specific position.
  • You should ensure that it contains many of the keywords included in the job description.
  • It should have no typos or misspellings or grammatical errors.
  • It should be in the standard résumé format starting with the job title you’re applying for, followed by your past employers and including your titles, and ending with your education.
  • After you customize your résumé for the position, you should save it in plain-text format with everything flush left and submit that. A nicely formatted version can be sent at a later point.
  • Your best chances for being invited to an interview lie in finding someone inside the company who would sponsor your candidacy.

How Many LinkedIn Connections One Needs?

How Many LinkedIn Connections One Needs

The more the merrier

Many people ask me how many LinkedIn connections one needs.  I’m a huge proponent of increasing the number of connections on LinkedIn. I voice that strong opinion every time I make a public presentation on a relevant subject or speak with anyone looking for advice on finding a job. At times, I find opponents to the concept, but mostly only up until I give them the logic behind my reasoning. Admittedly, I can’t convert everyone. Some people are very emotional about the subject, and perhaps that’s their only reason; my own argument is logical.

In LinkedIn lingo, we talk about first-, second-, and third-level connections. Sociologists have been wrestling with the subject of such connections, or ties, as they call it, many years before the LinkedIn era. They differentiate between strong ties and weak ties. For our purpose, first-level connections are considered strong ties; the rest are weak ties. Sociologists such as Mark Granovetter of Stanford University, Ofer Sharone of MIT, and Sandra Smith of the University of California, Berkeley have done work in this area. Through their extensive research, they’ve proved that a weak tie is more prone to be of assistance to someone looking for work than a strong tie is. The logical explanation is that if you recommend someone who ultimately doesn’t get the job, it reflects badly on you as the person making the recommendation. By making a recommendation, you’re spending your own reputational capital in the form of social and, at times, political currency. This does not hold true—or at least not to the same extent—if the connection is a weak tie. In addition, if you know someone well—that is, via a strong tie—it is very likely that you’re also familiar with the person’s weaknesses and you might feel bad about not being 100 percent honest if you recommend the person. And two more valid arguments surfaced from the sociologists’ research: (1) that the strong-tie connections mingle in the same social and work circles and all of them are exposed to similar information, whereas (2) the weak-tie connections mingle in different circles.

I hope I’ve clarified my point for the need to increase the number of your first-level connections on LinkedIn. Why? Because you cannot get to second- and third-level connections—which might be the connections you really want (based on these studies)—unless you have sufficient first-level connections. Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers, which are people who accept all invitations) on LinkedIn? One reason is that those LIONs understand the need for weak connections; another reason is that people by nature are competitive and want to outdo others, or who knows why? Do you? Please share your opinion.