When you start your job search after graduating from college or coding bootcamp or even graduate school, first thing first- manage your emotions and expectations.
- Don’t be a jerk because everyone remembers when someone was a jerk to him/her.
Looking for a job is a job in itself; it takes time, efforts and dedication. It can be a grueling process from start to finish- filling out dozens or even hundreds of applications, waiting for a response, explaining yourself to strangers, going through the interviews, being rejected many times, hoping for and accepting an offer.
Remember, everyone goes through the same hurdles to land a job. You need to respect each employer’s requirements and processes whether you agree with them or not. Unfortunately, many companies’ recruiting systems are broken and entry-level candidates usually get the short end of the stick. Also, you are likely to be competing with dozen if not hundreds of applicants with similar background and qualifications. The circumstance may be challenging but it is the first test on your perseverance. Who told you it’s gonna be easy? :scream:
You need to be as professional as possible during the application and interview process. Do not show your frustration or desperation in any way to recruiters or interviewers. No need to take it personal when you are rejected; it simply is not the right timing or right company for you.
True professionals start managing their reputation before they hold the title. Employers look for candidates who can work under pressure with emotional intelligence. Compartmentalize your emotions and don’t be a jerk to people you interact with during your job search.
- Patience is a (required) virtue and time is money. You either need patience and time or patience and money. Prepare for at least one of those options.
It will take a while for you to get an offer and finally get one that you actually want to accept (you may not be lucky enough to find one that you want for your first job but I’ll save that topic for another day). Of course, not everyone is in a good financial situation to be waiting for a perfect job.
Work with what you have as early as possible. You can decrease the time spent on job search after graduation by increasing the time spent on job preparation while you are in school. Know how much time and savings you have for job search and plan accordingly depending on the length of program you’re enrolled in. Start planting the seed and building your resume early. Way early. (P.S. Don’t listen to your academic adviser and pick any major randomly and take on student loans for no reason.)
Like most students, you probably don’t have savings to spend while looking for a job. Get as many internships as possible and start going to job fairs and talking to recruiters when you are a freshman. Connect with older cohort and alumni of your program because most alumni are willing to refer someone from their own alma mater, not to mention most would receive referral bonuses from their employers. :moneybag:
If you can’t afford to take internships for many are underpaid or unpaid, you can still make the best out of your part-time job in the service industry. Most people become good friends with their coworkers and you can leverage your network outside of school as well. There’s only six degrees of separation to almost everyone. Sometimes it’s not about who you know, it’s who knows you.
- “But it’s not fair!” Oh, honey, nothing is fair in this world. Not a dang thing.
You will probably see some of your mediocre classmates get seemingly the perfect job at some fortune 500 company while you are still taking the never-ending online personality assessment for a random job that you happened to click on. Guarantee that there is at least one person at every company that will make you wonder “How did he/she get there?” “Why is he making way more money than me?” “How is she the manager?”
There will be times that you were told that you’re not qualified because of your lack of the experience and they promoted someone without any relevant skills to that position. There will always be somebody making more money than you doing the exact same thing (sometimes a lot less work) and somebody with more vacation time than you without accruing it. It makes you bitter and cynical and sad. :tears:
That’s not the point. Comparing yourself to others or your imaginary expectations will only kill you slowly. It is exhausting if you try to live a instagram-perfect life, a.k.a looking fabulous while working hard AND playing hard. You are your own audience and the only judge. You have a job, you get paid, and you deserve a good night’s sleep.
Be fair to yourself because the world is never going to a fair place for you or anyone else. Invest in your own growth and development and become a better version of yourself every day. Become more emotionally attractive because how you feel about yourself and how you make others feel are 100 times more powerful than what the eyes can see- your looks, salary or title. :heart:
As a recruiter, I’ve read thousands of resumes, interviewed hundreds of candidates, and witnessed a few common job search mistakes. What could possibly be better to ring in the new year than singing along with me and learn how to increase your chance in upgrading your career in 2017?
♥ Call Me Maybe ♥ Hey, I just read your resume/ And this is crazy/ But where’s your number/ So I can call you, maybe?!
To get a call back from a company, it is extremely helpful to give your contact information (duh!): full name, email, phone number, address (local AND non-local if relocation is applicable for the position), personal website or online professional profile (if available).
It is okay to use your alias on your job application but make sure to include your full name for a professional job (unless you are Beyonce or Drake and I can see why you don’t need to). Please change your email sender name to your name listed on the resume as well. I get how Katy Brand used to be Katy Perry. But what confuses me the most is when I emailed Bruno Mars (name on application) and then received an email from Will Smith (email sender name). Eh?
Also, please explain why you apply for a job in Phoenix, AZ if you have lived and worked in Ann Arbor, MI for ten years. Are you open to relocate? Are you looking to work remotely? Most recruiters don’t have the psychic power to read minds even though mind-reading would be an awesome skill and not yet a resume buzzword (!).
No, a LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio such as github is not required unless requested by the company’s job listing. However, it is in your best interest to update and clean up all of your social profiles prior to your job search. Yes, 100k followers on Twitter is definitely impressive but your hating-on-your-company tweet probably won’t help you.
∞ Hello ∞ Hello from the other side/ I must have called a thousand times/ To tell you I’m ready to consider you for the job/ But when I call, you never seem to be home
“I’m available before 8am and after 5pm during the week and I’m open to speak any time on the weekend.” This is the most dreaded phone scheduling response for every recruiter. We are not trying to take you out for a date! Right, you are busy with a full-time job and so are we. Like anything worthy in life, landing a better job takes time, efforts and commitment. Time management is key to your success. Be ready to carve out some time in your regular schedule for calls with potential employers.
× Don’t Speak × I know just what you’re saying/ So please stop explaining/ Don’t tell me cause it may hurt you/ Don’t speak/ I know what you’re thinking/ I don’t need your reasons
When singing Karaoke, it is great to express your emotions and how you feel about the song. It isn’t just about the lyrics; it is how you make people feel with your performance. To impress your interviewer over the phone, emotion management is just as important as your answers. Job search is indeed one of the most stressful life events and many job seekers are in the market due to an unfortunate environmental factor such as lay-off, management change or toxic work culture. Regardless of what you have been through lately, employers are looking for people who are able to stay humble and positive, open to learn from the past, and excited about the future.
Bad things sometimes happen to good people; you can still present yourself with dignity and grace. I’m not asking you to talk like a robot because we are emotional beings and it is natural to show your feelings. Rigid and scripted answers to interview questions are just as deadly as lip-syncing in a live Karaoke show. Interviewers can spot a scripted answer and lose interest quickly. Be honest and genuine without spilling your frustration or hurt feelings when addressing your employment termination with past companies, your relationship with previous supervisors, or any change in career path. Your attitude and action towards adversities is what defines you, not what happened to you.
« Don’t Stop Believin’ » Don’t stop believin’/ Hold on to the interviewin’/ Opportunities, people/ Ohh-Ohh-Ohhhhhhhh
It usually takes about a month and sometimes up to three months to fill a skilled position. Sit tight and be patient. It is a process that may be very rewarding and life-changing!
→ I’m always hiring! Click here for open positions. I read every resume and email unlike your last recruiter (Ok, maybe not your last one, just the one(s) who ruined recruiter’s rep).
I have not been able to live a catcall-free life. Men catcall me at every street corner or public space for as long as I can remember. Highway is another common place for catcalling- yes, men catcall while they drive; it is dangerous and not sexy. Any weather condition from 10 degrees below in Chicago to 100+ degrees in Texas, men feel the urge to comment on my appearance or to voice their sexual desires. No matter what a woman wears, her outfits should not warrant any harassment or assault. And it turns out that what you wear isn’t even a trigger to street harassment. I get the unwanted attention with any outfit- from full makeup with long hair in a fitted dress to no makeup with messy short hair and glasses in my sweatpants under heavy winter coat.
Street harassment is such a common occurrence in my life; I expect it to happen as soon as I step out of the door. With catcalling, I never know what he is going to say or do to ruin my day. I have been followed a few times by strange men on the street- I would go into a store and wait for the stalker to leave me alone. There’s also incidents when a man attempted to touch or grope me.
The only time that I am safe from catcalling is when I walk with a man close-by as in shoulder-to-shoulder close. If I walk a few steps back from a male friend, I will still get catcalled. It’s happened a couple times when I was out with my husband and friends- because I was too far away from the pack, random man would assume I was alone and add me to their daily list of felines to hunt. The only way that I could think of to avoid street harassment is to not go out at all, but that is just not fair.
I thought about fighting back with different tactics.
What if I say something back to the catcaller?
What if I start wearing clothes with “NO CATCALLING” written allover?
Should I wear my headphones so I can block out any noise?
I decided not to take any of those actions due to fear. If I infuriate a man, he could hurt me even in public. If I start an argument, I may be late to my appointment since most catcalling happen while I am on the go. Wearing “NO CATCALLING” clothing isn’t exactly friendly for a corporate office environment and I do need my job. Listening to music or tending to an electronic device isn’t a good solution because I prefer to be aware of my surrounding at all times. Also, the good Samaritan in me always makes me remove my earphones and listen to what strangers are saying to me on the street. What if they need help with direction? Just to be annoyed that he is yet another catcaller who wanted to tell me how beautiful I looked that day and inquire my status of being taken or not.
Like free, on-demand porn, catcalling is an instant entertainment for men without any legal or societal consequence. Right, most catcallers don’t rape you physically and catcalling usually ends within a few seconds. But since when rape is only about physical assault and the duration? It isn’t even about sex! It is about the mental control over women that permeates your body and soul, dictates how you act forever, and discourages you from making choices freely.Every woman is on display for public scrutiny simply because of her gender. Street harassment reinforces both objectification and self-objectification of women along with other patriarchal values and norms.
So who are those catcallers? I don’t believe they are rapists or sexual offenders going around and looking for their next target. They are probably considered normal in a different context and have their own family with mothers, sisters, & daughters. The problem is that they don’t respect women outside of their own circle and they don’t feel like a man unless they humiliate or criticize women in some way. Many street harassers probably hate on women on the internet and dismiss their female coworkers.
Like most gender inequality issues, street harassment isn’t about women. It is about how men are taught and conditioned to dehumanize women. It is about what defines masculinity, femininity, and power in the rape culture. It is about how we educate our children about gender roles and stereotypes.
To me, building a team is a lot like curating a wardrobe. Talent acquisition is an art that requires practicality, sensibility and creativity, the same skills that make or break your own style. Here are the steps in building a dream team using good fashion sense.
- Know what you need versus what you want
When shopping for clothes, people tend to get what they want, not what they need. For example, you shouldn’t have bought that shirt just because it was on sales. You should’ve got a pair of comfy, everyday flats instead of the stilettos that will end up sitting in the closet because they hurt your feet. A pair of hiking shoes are more practical for your camping trip instead of feeding your Air Jordan collection.
This is one of the most common pitfalls that hiring managers struggle with- they become a kid in the candy store, excited by the variety and possibilities and forget what they were looking for in the first place. Always start with practicality, stop listing what you want as the position qualifications. Look for candidates who can satisfy your needs (must-haves), not your wants (nice-to-haves/pluses).
- Try them on
It is much harder to terminate a bad hire than returning a pair of jeans that don’t fit. You wouldn’t bend your toes so you can fit the shoes, right? Be sensible without being blinded by your emotions or external pressures when it comes to hiring. Just move on if you’re in doubt about a candidate. To avoid hiring the wrong person, ask for candidates’ portfolio and work samples, or give them a small assignment. Be open to trying contract to hire to minimize your risk when a reliable skill assessment is not available.
- Work with what you can get
When it comes to specialized couture, your have few options due to availability and budget. For instance, it’s not easy to find a wedding gown that fits like a glove without alteration. Many new dress shoes require time to break them in. With limited design collections, you can’t possibly buy as many as you want when competing with other shoppers. And sometimes it makes more sense to rent a tuxedo than buying one because you won’t wear it again.
This is another common roadblock in recruiting because the hiring managers aren’t aware of the supply and demand in the market and who they can afford within their budget. When you compete to hire the same type of candidates with similar background like everyone else, there’s not enough talent to go around.
There’s an easy way to broaden your candidate pool by considering candidates who don’t typically fit the profile. Also, remove arbitrary qualifiers that won’t predict performance and potentials. For example, many hiring managers get hung up on the experience or degree requirement when many high performers or high potentials in the organization don’t even meet the requirement. Think creatively and consider candidates outside of the target population.
- Buy for the fit, not for the brand
Right. Don’t we all want to fill our closets with designer brands. However, it is not wise to fill your wardrobe with luxury items because you may not get enough use out of them to justify your investment. You want a piece that will compliment your style, not simply speak class with a hefty price tag. Sometime a thrift store find may fit you better.
We all want the candidates with the perfect resume- the exact background, a reputable degree from an ivy league school, and consulting experience with fortune 500 companies. Many hiring managers have a distorted definition of A-player-to-bes and lose sight of what really drives great performance and results. Attitudes, motivations and goal alignment have a higher correlation to success in the position than a candidate’s skills and past experience.
- Create your own style
Fashion is one of the most fast-paced industries- there’s something new every season. Talent acquisition changes as fast as the market demands, too. “Do my candidates have the hottest skills in the market right now?” “Has the candidate used the latest ERP software that we’re planning to implement?” Hiring managers sometimes get fixated on the past (a candidate’s experience) and the present (a candidate’s skills set) and ignore what a candidate could offer in the future (a candidate’s perspective potential and performance).
True fashionistas know not to chase the trend blindly. You know who is best for your team. Use the market intel to guide you, not blindside you. Many times the recruiting roadblocks are artificial and can be easily removed if we focus on the essentials, not what is trending.
“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” —Yves Saint Laurent
- Shop around
Smart shoppers never buy everything from one store so they won’t lose out not only on the bargains but also unique finds. You can’t establish your own style if you settle for what is convenient. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You may find your new favorite pair of jeans at a garage sales. That denim blazer may not be something you would consider wearing, but you don’t know how good you’ll look until you put it on.
Same goes for recruiting. It is a slipping slope when you hire from a specific population repeatedly with the same screening methods. It may be easy to hire from your in-group but easy isn’t always the best. Innovations don’t happen when all of the employees think alike. Like any business function, you should challenge the status quo in recruiting and hiring practice. Consider populations with diverse backgrounds who might not conform to your norms – give them the benefit of the doubt and be open to the possibilities of tapping into a new vein of resources.
Nobody probably told you this before- one of the biggest pet peeves HR and recruiters have is candidate showing up too early for his/her time. We really hate it when you show up too early.
How early should you show up for your interview? While interviewers expect you to be on time, we don’t want you to show up too early. It is very likely we have meetings to go or work to do right before the scheduled interview.
Be prepared in advance for the travel time, considering general traffic condition and the exact interview location (what floor? what suite? security check-in needed? easy parking?). Managers expect you to arrive on time but you may arrive 5 minutes before the scheduled time. 10 minutes is good enough if you wish to use the bathroom to freshen up and calm your nerves. You are pushing the button if you decide to show up 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. 20 plus minutes before scheduled time? Please just sit in your car, read today’s news, play Candy Crush, meditate, or walk around in the neighborhood to find tidbits to chat about with the interviewers.
You normally wouldn’t show up 20 minutes early for your restaurant reservation, right? It’s even more uncomfortable for employers because we don’t usually have a bar for you to get a drink while you wait. Typically you won’t have the DMV experience where you have to wait a long time for your turn with skilled, non-volume positions. If you insist on showing up super early, expect to be left alone until your scheduled time.
I’m seriously thinking about giving unfinished sweaters to candidates who show up way early for their interviews. Yeah why don’t you try knitting while you wait?
In a world of talent shortage, passive candidates and LinkedIn inMails with low response rate, it is obvious that we are in a candidate-drive market. However, many employers are slow to adapt to the trend. For example, many HR & recruiting professionals don’t track any meaningful data beyond the old-school recruiting metrics such as time to fill and cost per hire.
With all the talks about candidate experience, the so-called talent strategies and recruiting technology are still reactive and limited by the design of applicant tracking systems.
How do we move away from reactive recruiting to interactive recruiting? How do we reverse the impersonal, transactional job search experience via applicant tracking system? How do we leverage the power of software without discouraging meaningful conversations & interactions? We know the recruiting process is broken and frustrating.
See the infographic and my proposal below on how to ace your candidate experience and apply recruiting analytics to your talent acquisition strategy.
- Attract talent with great contents, UI/UX, & interactions.
First, find out if your branded, career-related pages are attractive to potential candidates. Second, update and create landing pages with great UI/UX design. Last, encourage conversations and interactions between recruiters and general visitors, including candidates, referrers, and brand followers.
- Are your career-related contents relevant, educational or entertaining, and timely?
- Are those career-related pages easy to find, use and navigate?
- Do you encourage conversations and interactions on and beyond those pages?
- Which websites or pages refer the most qualified candidates and the most loyal brand advocates to your site?
- How friendly or unfriendly is your applicant process? Does it take more than 30 minutes?
- Convert page visitors into candidates and/or referrers and/or followers.
Depending on the nature of your business, your website may attract mostly customers, vendors, partners or even competitors. However, it is crucial to optimize your branded pages and convert your visitors into your brand advocates on every degree possible: a brand follower on social media, a job referrer, and/or a candidate. Make it easy for people to apply for jobs, refer someone for a job, share a job with others, and follow your brand on social media and beyond.
- How many people visited your page and became a candidate and/or referrer and/or follower on social media?
- How many people clicked to apply for a job but never finished the application?
- Do you send follow-up or reminder emails to candidates who abandoned the application?
- Do you drive the target audience to visit and share your career-related pages?
- Do you have call-to-action buttons for site visitors to apply for jobs, subscribe to job alerts, or follow your company on social media & niche sites?
- Engage target communities with integrated campaigns.
People are tired of relentless cold calls and unsolicited emails about job openings. Employers are trying hard to connect with potential candidates by talking at them, not having an open conversation in a timely manner. Engage talent with activities, conversations, causes, and events that matter to them such as healthy contests, charity or community outreach, and purpose-driven sponsorships.
- Do you actively monitor and manage your employer brand with open communications & public relations efforts?
- Do you address candidate’s feedback and questions with respect and transparency?
- Do you evaluate, validate and improve your recruiting campaigns and processes based on data?
- Do you integrate your recruiting campaigns on multiple platforms and websites?
- Do you know what each candidate segment is looking for and customize your recruiting campaign for each group?
Please share your thoughts and continue the discussion on candidate experience! Together, we can make the candidate experience better.
I am one of a few recruiters who actually read through LinkedIn profiles when I source candidates. I keep a collection of what engineers say to recruiters for my own entertainment. Again, this post is meant for people who appreciate the humor and irony; think a Buzzfeed article. No haters here, please.
“Recruiters: Happy to converse about your projects that involve telecommuting. I am looking for talent as well, so asking if I know anyone won’t get you very far.” – Architect/Engineer
(Haaaa! He really knows the game.)
“Attention Recruiters/Talent Searchers – I do not take cold calls.”- Sr. Software Developer
(How about warm calls??? Emails ok???)
“Status: Happily Employed, not looking for work.”- Sr. .Net Developer
(Do you know anyone who is unhappily employed? I offer free displacement services at no charge if anyone is looking to leave. Just saying.)
“…not looking to be poached and am here to network.”- Software Engineer
(So you’re saying you want to network with everyone else but a recruiter. *sad face*)
“If you’re a recruiter, I’m not looking. If that changes, you can sign up for an email at the following address: …”- Dev Manager
(Look at him! What a genius. A soft rejection.)
“I’m not looking for additional work; in particular if you are a recruiter then thank you I’m flattered, but really no, I’m not going to be interested! Thank you, have a nice day.”- Engineering Manager
(How cute. And there’s no trace of anger. I want to hire you already.)
“As a note for recruiters, I’m not looking to move anywhere out of state — you’d be hard pressed to even get me to drive to Milwaukee. Also, specifically to Amazon recruiters, please do not contact me. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve told Amazon recruiters specifically that I’m not interested.”- Software Developer
“RECRUITERS I am currently not looking for a new position. If you work for a recruitment firm please do not contact or invite me to connect. I will not respond.”- Sr. Software Developer
(Severe PTSD from other recruiters, I see.)
“NOTE: If you need to get in touch with me, please do not call my office. I prefer email or Linkedin messages.”- Sr. Software Dev
(Sorry about all the awkward phone calls you have to deal with, dear. Next time, just pretend it’s a pizza delivery guy, “Yeah, a large pepperoni with extra cheese.”)
“I AM NOT LOOKING FOR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AT THIS POINT IN TIME. RECRUITERS PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL.”- Apps Dev
(OKAY. UNDERSTOOD. GOT IT. ROGER THAT.)