I'm Looking for You
By Michele Wingfield
May 7, 2009
1. Help me find you. Post on Monster, Careerbuilder and any niche boards relative to your field (salesjobs, biospace, dice). Make sure your email and phone numbers are current. Don’t post a “confidential” resume because I won’t go through the trouble of finding you, no matter how great your resume looks. If you’re concerned about your current employer finding your posting, then simply put “Top Pharmaceutical Company” instead of “Pfizer” (though I do search by competitors as well). And don’t forget social networks such as LinkedIn and profile sites like Jigsaw, Spoke and ZoomInfo, which serve as recruitment hotspots.
2. Update with keywords and be specific. Don’t say “databases” when you can list Access. I search by key abilities or required skills. So if cold calling your forte but you’ve only listed “sales” then I’ve skimmed right past your post. Also, include anything that is specific to your industry. “Building relationships” happens in nearly every occupation, but “Hits sales targets every quarter” tells me that you can sell. List those awards and numbers to prove it.
3. Flaunt what employers need. If you have technical skills, show me – pivot tables, SAP, or software specific to your trade is crucial. As well, companies everywhere are trying to keep up with the diversity of this world. Though it won’t get you the job, memberships in the Black MBA Society or the fact that you’re bilingual will likely put you on the list for a first interview. Employers across the country are screaming for people who can communicate in multiple languages, specifically Spanish, Chinese and Korean.
1. Be specific. Tell me about a time when you had real success. Don’t be arrogant about it, but show me your have had past success. Prove it with numbers or manager feedback.
2. Be upfront. Don’t fear the salary question and be honest about your expectations. If you’re okay with $30k a year but you’re hoping for $50k, then give a range. Don’t disqualify yourself if you’re negotiable, but don’t list a price you’re not actually willing to work for. It’s an employers’ market and they’ll find someone to work for their wage.
3. Be gracious. Don’t bad mouth a past employer, even if you were right. Employers want to know you’ll work well with others and take responsibility for problems that arise, not just blame the nearest bad guy you can find.
1. Know who your recruiter works for. I am a recruiter paid by specific companies, so I’m looking for talent. Contingency recruiters work for the candidate. Plenty of talented recruiters will get you the interview you’re wanting, but be aware of some who will place you anywhere you can get hired so they can take a slice of your salary. Make sure the recruiter presents you with opportunities that fit in your desired, or acceptable, career direction.
2. Make yourself a necessity. There are layoffs in every industry, but employers find ways to keep quality workers. If your company is on shaky ground, be the person who gets results and the boss won’t bring herself to fire you. In the mean time, start a preemptive search because employers want to see that you were good enough to survive the cuts, and therefore would be valuable to their company.
3. Don’t personalize rejection. Every employer, even within the same industry, is looking for specific, and often different, criteria. For example, one pharmaceutical company is looking for previous sales experience while another wants seasoned educators to be their representatives. Do your research, talk to employees and find out what a company likes. But when and if the “thanks but no thanks” comes, realize that it might not be because of your lack of skill, but rather your skill set isn’t a fit.