Accelerate the Hiring Process

Accelerate the Hiring Process

The job hunting process can sometimes go on and on and on, but there are some things you can do to put some gas in that engine.

 

Remember one size does not fit all

If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while you might be tempted to just send out the same cover letter to every position that seems like a possible opportunity. Creating different cover letters doesn’t mean just changing the name of the company. It means researching the company you’re applying to and including specific information about them, and you and them in the cover letter. It means highlighting specific experiences you bring to THIS position. One size actually fits no one well!

 

The same thing goes for your resume. Tailor your experiences to what best match the job you are after. You might want to change the order of your information to best grab the attention of the hiring manager for each job you are applying for.

 

Don’t just throw everything against the wall and see what sticks

Speaking of applying to everything that could possibly be an opportunity – don’t. If you are not suited to the job it’s a waste of your time and the interviewer’s for you to put in an application. Do your homework find jobs that suit your skills, experiences and aspirations and focus your precious energies on those.

 

Don’t forget your keys

As you know, there’s a lot of competition for jobs. Hiring managers read all kinds of resumes for every posting they put out there. By using key words you’ll ensure your resume and cover letter get more than a passing glance. To do this, look at what they wrote in the job description, then reflect their phrasing and words right back at them.

 

Look beyond your resume

Of course, you are going to update your resume with all your current experiences and qualifications. But that’s not the beginning and end of what a potential employer might see. They might check out what you’ve got on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. If you have a website, they will likely look at what you’ve got posted there. Make sure your online presence is as up to date as your resume!

GRADUATES: Have You Applied to Jobs Yet?

If you’re about to become a graduate soon, we know that you’re probably in the middle of finishing up that final paper, attending your last class EVER or cramming for exams. Congrats in advance! But while those are all very important, did you start applying for jobs yet?

It’s never too early to get a head start because remember, the hiring process takes a few weeks or even months for some companies. If you have some time between all the chaos at school, sit down and get your resume and cover letter together and send them out to employers. This will save you a lot of time, as you’ll be employed either right out of school or a few weeks or months afterwards.

Graduates should talk to a career counselor:
These people are here to help you. They’re also included in the tuition that you paid for at the beginning of the year. So why not take advantage of their service and get advice from them? Counselors get very busy around this time and the months leading up to graduation so give them a call first and schedule an appointment.

Graduates should start connecting with people on LinkedIn:
Create a professional profile and include a professional picture of yourself. Send requests to hiring managers and current employees in the industry you want to get in to. You can also start getting in touch with other supervisors or leaders whom you worked with in any of your past internships. Shoot them an email and ask if there are any job openings. If there aren’t any, tell them you’d like to keep in touch so when an opportunity does pop up, they can refer you.

Graduates should apply for internships to gain experience:
You don’t necessarily have to find a full-time job after graduation. If you have minimal or no experience at all, intern at a few places for a few months. But don’t forget to keep applying for jobs during this time. In the meantime, build a personal but professional relationship with employees there for a better chance to get hired in the company you are interning at.

Good luck on your journey as you start the next chapter of your life!

 

Social Media Series (Part 2): Best FREE Job Apps for Your Phone

Most things are mobile friendly these days and people take their phones with them wherever they go. So why not use it to apply for jobs? Download these free apps and apply on the go!

Job Board Phone Apps
Known job boards that are now mobile friendly.

Indeed: The biggest job search engine in the world right now and it’s very user friendly on your mobile device. Receive job alerts straight to your phone and you can also upload your resume from there. If you see something suitable to your friend, there is a button for you to email it to them, again, through your phone.

CareerBuilder.com: The great thing about this app is that you can search jobs by description, keywords or salary. But that’s not all! It also allows you to search for job openings nearby with GPS capabilities.

BeKnown: A professional networking site launched by the popular job board, Monster. BeKnown is an app where you can view individual profiles, connect with them and see their recent updates. You can also use this app to search for jobs on Monster.com/ca

Social Media Phone Apps
People use LinkedIn so often that they may not think that it could be a very useful tool for job hunting.

LinkedIn: If you’re a LinkedIn user, you already know that there is a job board section       on their website. If you download the app, you can search jobs like you normally do on your computer. You can also save jobs to apply to them later and obviously connect with others wherever you go.

Twitter: Using proper hashtags (NOTE: Please hyperlink “Using proper hashtags to blog title “Social Media Series (Part 1)”] will narrow down your job search. A list of positions will appear in the “discover” section of Twitter on your phone. Use hashtags such as #jobs #hiring or #[position name].

Other Awesome Phone Apps
Primarily used on mobile devices.

TweetMyJobs: The cool thing about this app is that it uses the GPS to locate where you are on the map and automatically populates the map view with current jobs nearby. It then gives you the option to view it “as a map”, “street view” or “list view”. You can also select the “search range” for jobs, whether it’d be a 3 or 20-mile radius from your location.

Proven: Allows you to search and apply for jobs on Craigslist and Indeed on your phone and you can also upload your resume and cover letter. The app also attracts applicants.

JobServe: Your job search can get very specific by using this. You can search for jobs with a number of filters: how long the job has been posted, salary, industry, permanent, full-time or contract, location and keyword.

 

 

5 Ways to Impress Recruiters

Just a heads up, if you think you only need to impress the hiring manager to get a job, think again. It’s very important to also make a good impression with the recruiter who is calling you back to potentially schedule you in for an interview. However, candidates sometimes overlook the importance of this and as a result, lose a great opportunity.

Think of it like a football game. In order to get to the quarterback (hiring manager), you have to past the defensive linemen (recruiters) first. If you can’t get past the defense, you can’t get to the quarterback and end up giving the other team an opportunity to make a touchdown. In other words, you risk someone else getting the job over you.

Here are five things to do/say to convince the hiring manager that you’re deserving of a job.

1) Update your resume:
Right here at The Job Window, we’ve had a number of occasions where the recruiter is going over the resume with a candidate over the phone and that’s when the candidate realizes their resume is out of date. For example, the word “present” is written beside a job the candidate no longer has. At that point, a million things go through the recruiter’s mind: “Is this candidate blindly sending out resumes to every job post they see?” “They don’t pay attention to detail,” or worse “They don’t care”. These are all impressions that can hurt you as a job seeker. Again, first impressions are key and not updating your resume makes a bad first impression.

2) Be conversational:
In other words, don’t give one-worded answers – it shows disinterest in the job. Even if you’re not a very conversational person, pretend you are and be interpersonal. Speak to the recruiter as if they’re you’re friend. Try to elaborate on your answers as much as possible and make them like you. Without knowing it, you may be developing a personal, but professional relationship with them – which will work to your advantage.

3) Make it seem like you really want the job:
Recruiters hate it when they call a candidate and ask, “Hi, is this a good time to talk?” and the candidate says, “No, can you call me back later?” with no explanation. Right off the bat, the recruiter will perceive the person as rude and disinterested. If you really want the job, you should make an effort to call the recruiter back. They’re not going to chase after you when they’ve got hundreds of other candidates who’d gladly take your place.

Instead, say: “I’m driving right now, can I please call you back when I pull over?” Recruiters understand that they might be catching you at a bad time. So if you tell them that you’ll call them back, they’ll appreciate it.

4) Speak to recruiters in a quiet area:
Do you ever find it annoying when you can’t hear someone on the other line? Or when you’re trying to speak to them and they’re distracted by something? Well, recruiters feel the same way. Just like in the previous situation, explain to them that you will call them back once you find a quieter place. That way, you can express your interest and reiterate your skills clearly, on the way to the recruiter scheduling you in for an interview.

5) Be prepared for the call:
After applying for a position, give everyone in your household a heads up that you may be expecting a call from an employer. Recruiters find it unprofessional when you or someone else answers the phone in a improper manner such as “yo, sup” or “hello” in an annoyed tone of voice. It’s all about first impressions, so perk up and expect every call to be the employer or recruiter.

Final tips:

  • Be polite
  • Sound enthusiastic and interpersonal
  • Keep your resume updated and honest

Remember, first impressions are everything. And just because the recruiter doesn’t have the power to hire you, they still have the ability to give the hiring manager that first impression about you, whether it’s good or bad.

How to Prep for the Interview (Part 2): Different Types of Interviews

With the competition so steep in the job market and the fact that the Internet is practically a necessity, there are all sorts of job interviews that hiring managers use that are not your typical one-on-ones anymore – sometimes one of the interviews might even be on the other side of the world.

1) One-on-one Interview:
The most generic kind of interview. This probably doesn’t need much explaining since it’s pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all been through the process where you sit in front of the hiring manager in their office or a room and it’s just you two chatting away. This is the most common kind of job interview but it gets more complicated as more people get involved…

 

 

2) Group interview: 
This type of interview is usually with two or more candidates fighting for the same position. It really tests your social skills and in a way, it can be a situational interview because the it shows how you react, speak and compose yourself under pressure.

You need to have a balance:
A group interview is all about thinking on your feet, standing out from all the other candidates, being well-spoken and making sure you don’t interrupt or use the same answer as someone else – all at the same time. If all that freaks you out, you have some things to work on.

How to prep for a group interview:
Feeling nervous? A great tip to shake off the nerves is to pretend it’s only you and the hiring manager(s) in the room. When they ask everyone a question, pretend they are directing it to you and no one else. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to answer the question. This shows leadership. Also, if you aren’t the first person to answer the question, patiently wait for the other candidate to finish and then speak up.

Tip: Try being the first to answer the questions so your answer seems original and it won’t look like you took it from the person before you!

Speak up!
It is so important to speak during this type of interview because if you remain silent the whole time, chances are that you will not be noticed and won’t get the offer.


3) Panel interview:

This is when you are sitting in front of two or more people in the company while they grill you with questions (just kidding, it’s not really that bad unless you’re unprepared).

Who’s on the panel and why?
Depending on the position you’ve applied for, a panel interview can happen in the first or second interview – but usually in the second. This happens because when they bring you back for a second round, they want different perspectives from different people in the company. For example, there may be one HR person, the boss of the company and one or two others from the department you will be working in.

How to Prep for a panel interview:
Have you ever said to your friend after an interview: “O-M-G there were five people interviewing me at once! I was so not prepared!” Well, to avoid being overwhelmed, see if you can find out how many will be interviewing you and their names from the recruiter or administrator in the company. Then, you can research them and get to know them beforehand.


4) Phone interview/screening:

This is usually the qualifying phase where the recruiter weeds out certain candidates based on the company’s requirements before bringing them in for an in-person interview. You may be asked why you are interested in the position, where you are located, how you will travel to work and what you can bring to the company – all the generic questions.

 

How to Prep for a phone interview/screening:
Don’t just give one-worded answers like yes or no. Answer the question and take the conversation to the next level. For example, if they ask you how you will get there, don’t just say “I can drive”. Say, “I have a car and can drive to your location everyday. I live in the central part of downtown so it will take me about 20 to 30 minutes.” Add relevant information so the person on the other line will be engaged.

Talk about your goals and the company:
Use every chance you get to talk about the company and your goals if they are relevant to the questions you are being asked. You want to have a conversation with the person on the other line for them to be interested enough to bring you in for the in-person interview. Don’t make it sound like an interrogation. Engagement is KEY!

5) On-site interview:
Hiring managers can bring in candidates and interview them on the job. For example, if you were going in for a retail position at a store, the manager(s) may interview you on the floor while stocking products and speaking with customers – basically when the hiring manager(s) are working. This tests the candidates’ composure, interest in the job and social skills – similar to the group interview above.


How to prep for an on-site interview:
Whether the company tells you that it will be on-site or not, always keep a smile on your face because you will most likely be bumping into other employees on the job. Shake everyone’s hand, introduce yourself and say “Hi, nice to meet you”. Be observant of your surroundings and ask questions during the interview to seem engaged. The hiring manager(s) will notice this and appreciate the fact that you are paying attention while there are other distractions around you.

All in all, look confident. Talk to the hiring manager like you’ve known them for years, but keep it in a professional tone. Confidence will give you a huge advantage over other candidates.

Good luck!

How high will YOU climb to get to the TOP?

Jesse Chadwick, a Pure Octane employee who was promoted to trainer in less than a week of working in the entry level position, gave an interesting analogy of the difference between those who are very successful and those who just settle with their careers.

Here’s what the hardworking and driven candidate had to say:

“There’s pullers, there’s people who sit at the bottom of the mountain and there’s people who climb to the top. A puller are the people who are at the bottom of the mountain and they admire the mountain because they think it’s great. The people who climb halfway up the mountain say ‘Wow I made it this far and it’s pretty cool to come up here and see everything down below such as the valleys’. Then there’s the people who go all the way to the top and reach the peak of the mountain. So all the people who work for Andre [at Pure Octane] are the people who are going to the top of the mountain. That’s their goal and that’s what they want to do and they’ll work hard for it.”

So, how would you classify yourself?

Tip Tuesday: Women’s interview attire

Ladies, if you’re going to wear a skirt to a job interview, make sure that it is as conservative as it can be and not tight-fitted. The most important rule of thumb when choosing to wear a one is that it has to be no shorter than your knees. If possible, pair it with black tights. In terms of colour, black is always the way to go but any neutral colour will do.

Remember that you are trying to make a good first impression to your employer, not your friends at a party.