Sing Your Way To A New Job

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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).  

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Sing Your Way To A New Job

What You Didn’t Know About Your Resume

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It is unfair that employers judge your knowledge, skills and ability on a piece of paper. On the other hand, it is scary for employers to hire someone based on the information on a piece of paper. Would you pay $100,000 for a piece of paper? No. So if you’re shooting for an annual salary of $100,000, better make sure your resume reads like it is worth $100,000 of investment with minimal foreseeing risks and high potential ROI.

Every recruiter knows. Some hiring managers say no to your resume even though you have the exact qualification as the job description.

Why?

“I don’t know about this guy. He’s bounced around too much. ”

“What school is that? I never heard of it.”

“Never got her degree? Nah.”

“He’s never worked in the industry. He’s never worked with (specific) software/system/program. We need someone with experience.”

Unemployed for months? I don’t know about that.”

“She lives too far. She’ll quit in a month.”

“He’s always worked at a small/medium/large organization; he won’t last here.”

You have to manage two things: risk and expectation. Job hunting is a lot like dating, you want to be a safe and attractive choice. By managing risk, you’re telling them why they should hire you over other candidates. By managing expectation, you’re tell them what they’re getting for their bucks.

Market yourself like a investment portfolio. First, you have to know your investors. Are they looking to get rich fast and move on to the next opportunity? Are they looking to let their money sit in the account for years to come? Here are some actions you may take to mitigate the obvious risks on your resume:

  1. Explain briefly about your employment gaps or presumed job hopping.
  2. Include relevant experience in targeted industry or projects even it was a pro bono gig for your family business or your church or your children’s school.
  3. Clarify any change or anything out of ordinary: relocation, change of career path, change of industry, job search after only one month into a new job, etc.
  4. Show the expected graduation date if you’re still in school and let them know if it’s a remote/part-time/evening program.
  5. Monitor your social media activities and profiles. Make sure your online professional information are up to date and either match or supplement your resume.

Second, you have to sell your investment mix. Just the right amount of everything that will satisfy the investors’ needs. Here comes the expectation management- make it look so good that they can smell the money just by reading it. Some actions you may consider to reflect or boost your market value:

  1. Quantify your duties, accomplishments, tasks, or knowledge (e.g. managed 10M annual budget and 5 direct reports, optimized conversion rate with email marketing campaigns by 123% within a year resulting in 10% increase in revenues, analyzed data of 2 million unique records with 500 variables, 800 hours of Coursera on open source coding, progressive career advancement in a well-respected company). Include a link to your personal website or portfolio (a must for creative positions) so employers can check out your work samples.
  2. Research about the company and list any relevant facts about your professional history that would resonate with the employer (e.g. worked on a major account that the employer is trying to get, implemented agile for a startup).
  3. Paint a picture of who you are so the employer can gauge your culture fit (e.g. hobbies, memberships, charities/causes).
  4. Tell a story about where you work(ed) and how you work(ed). (e.g. company mission, infrastructure and operations, on-site v.s remote v.s travel/ team v.s individual/ domestic v.s international).
  5. Showcase your learning agility, including any current training/courses and earned certificates/licenses. This is an indicator of your future efficacy. The only constant is change and employers are looking for people who are lifelong learners.

Lastly, do not lie on your resume. Yes, some people may get away with it. You? Probably not. Remember, there’s only six degrees of separation. People can find out a lot about you if they try. And you probably won’t enjoy the job you get from a fake resume because it is not who you are and what you want to do ultimately.

Once you get past the why and what, employers will figure out how to get you.

Good luck!

What You Didn’t Know About Your Resume

The Holy Trinity of Resume Writing

The Holy Trinity of Resume Writing

Most employers still expect you to submit your resume even though they are accepting online profiles as official applications.

So what exactly do employers look for in a resume?

The Holy Trinity.

These are the three key elements to demonstrate your qualifications for the position on a piece of paper.  Sounds daunting but it’s not that bad when you know what you should include. Employers don’t spend a lot of time reading each and every single resume. In order to stand out from hundreds of applicants, you must elevate your Holy Trinity and impress at first sight (you may only get a few seconds; minutes if you’re lucky).

Here’s how you can make your resume sexy and sweep the employers off their feet right away:

  1. Read the job description/posting of the position that you’re applying. Research about the company as much as possible on their history, mission, vision and current projects.
  2. Identify the skills, experience, and results the employer is looking for.
  3. Write down your own skills, experience and results that match up to the employer’s Holy Trinity during step 2.
  4. Voila! Now you showcase the most important things that an employer wants to gauge:
    1. Your caliber: What are your skills? How have you applied your skills? What have you accomplished?
    2. Your competence: How many years have you worked in the position/field/industry? What have you learned? Have you made any career progression?
    3. Your fit:  Is any of your accomplishments relevant to the employer’s current or future goals? Is any of your experience relevant to the employer’s current or future state? Can the employer capitalize or utilize your experience in the near future? Will you be able to replicate the same results for the employer who’s dealing with similar problems?

Good luck!

The Holy Trinity of Resume Writing