Friday, February 21, 2014
Adjectives/Terms/Qualities to Describe Me
Able, hard-working, determined, accountable, conscientious, down-to-earth, responsible, creative, team-player, initiator, open-minded, out-of-the-box thinker, collaborator, leader, innovator, professional, diplomatic, flexible, tactful, driven, self-improving, realist, diligent.
Okay, that might be a bit busy on the top of a resume, but worth a shot. Maybe craft a little word cloud that would be catchy and space saving. I do like more avant-garde resumes, but know that they are not to every hiring manager's liking. You have to craft the resume you feel comfortable with. But take time to craft something that will be informative and interesting to the reader.
After reading the resume I wanted to use these adjectives as an example for this blog. I asked this candidate if he'd be up for me posting about it. I loved his response, "Yes, you may use my Adjectives/Terms/Qualities to Describe Me section as long as you give me credit publicly on your blog. If you can describe me as a college graduate with an innovative streak in New Jersey who is looking to break into the wine wholesale business, that would be wonderful." So Evan Bruder out of New Jersey, I definitely will give you credit for making my day.
So Evan Bruder out of New Jersey, thanks for putting an original item together on your resume. If I know of any sales roles within the wholesaler world out in New Jersey we'll be in touch!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
In 2014 I am vowing to predominately use LinkedIn as my main recruiting tool. Over the last few years I have been using it more often, and getting better results. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for a recruiter and I think it is the best social media site for your professional life.
When people seek my advice for how to maximize their job search, one of the first things I recommend is that they have a good profile on LinkedIn. Then I encourage them to connect with their colleagues. The next step is to connect up with professionals they have interacted with in the past, say that friendly wine industry recruiter they've run into in the past (and to make it that much easier, here's that link right here: www.linkedin.com/in/winetalent/ )
So if my resolution is to use LinkedIn first, how can I find the best people and connect with them quickly. We recruiters are good at searching for people, and LinkedIn has great search capabilities. When I find someone on the site that looks promising, my first instinct is to ask them to connect on LinkedIn. Of course I have to have some sort of connection to this person or LinkedIn won't let me send the invitation. LinkedIn asks if I have worked with this person previously, have done business with them or am friends with them. When I am contacting this person for the first time, those qualifiers don't apply. But there is one avenue that frequently has top notch people who I can quickly connect with, and that is through LinkedIn GROUPS.
LinkedIn Groups is a feature that allows fellow members in the same industry or with mutual interests to share content, post and look at jobs, make contacts and network within the group. Some of the groups are private and you can only join with the approval of the host while other groups are open to all.
When you are building your profile it is easy to put a lot of effort into your career profile. Yes, make sure you have your education and important accomplishments. But don't stop there. Join some groups. Groups on LinkedIn can be company specific--if you've worked for Diageo or ABInBev or a host of other companies they have groups you can be involved with. Give your alma mater a little love and join that group. Are you active with a business group such as CANVAS or ASEV? Link up to the group. Some popular groups of my connections are Wine & Spirits, Wine Business Network and Wine & Spirits Job Opportunities.
When I am conducting a search, I will often limit my search to people within certain groups. I have found that fellow group members are easy to communicate with and responsive. While they may not be interested in the project I am recruiting on, they often turn me onto someone else they know who may be a good prospect. Being engaged within the group also can lead you to new information and professional contacts.
The jobs section of the various LinkedIn groups has been a bit hit and miss for me. Some groups allow job posting while others have more stringent rules. I do like being involved with the various groups, and I wouldn't want to tread on the toes of the members by broadcasting content they don't want. Maybe my next resolution will be to maximize the job posting abilities within groups. Maybe.
So, wine industry professional, go out there and be a groupie. By being a groupie in the right group you might just get a call about a great job I am working on!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Recently a job seeker asked my advice on job hunting strategies. Knowing that these are very common questions, I thought an online response would be fitting. Here goes:
Good afternoon Amy,
I have been applying for jobs online and have a question for you. When asked for a cover letter, how much detail is expected? I have been advised to keep it to one page. I was under the impression the cover letter was to address the requirements in the ad and thus was much more involved. Could you clarify this please?
Also, what is a reasonable time to hear back from one of these ads I submit to? I have noticed there is not often an email address given and thus it is impossible to do any follow up. Is it common for there to be some acknowledgment of your application or only if they are interested?
Thanks for any help you can offer,
Dear Job Seeker,
While I can only offer my perspective, I'm happy to share my thoughts with you. Here they are:
Cover letters: Ok, I've probably admitted to this before, but I don't even read cover letters 95% of the time. It is often another document to open and can be cumbersome when I'm dealing with a lot of new submittals. I think a resume should be self-explanatory. That being said, I do like a succinct email message with a polite greeting, a brief introduction and any pertinent information that may not be included in the resume. This information could include the reason why you are looking for a new role, why this role appeals to you and also facts such as ability to relocate, availability to interview and/or start a job and the best ways to reach you. But that's me. Some people really expect a cover letter. With that in mind, do write a succinct cover letter that explains why you are interested in the role and that you are qualified for the role. I also recommend including the pertinent information I outlined above. I think with many of the larger companies they are stripping your resume from any other documents and putting it into their database. But it is your call if you continue to include a cover letter or simply move to an email message.
Feedback after submitting your resume: What is a reasonable time? I don't know. Many of the ads you submit your resume to are blind box ads and are posted that way so the company can keep its anonymity and not be deluged with calls from job seekers. While I may kick myself for saying this, I always encourage you to follow up after submitting a resume--when you can. So if you do submit your resume to a specific company and can put a call into the hiring manager of the department, or the HR manager, do it. While I may get 100 resumes for a posting, I hear from about 5% of the applicants. Sometimes the people who have followed up with me discovered that their resume got routed to my spam folder. Some of those people have ended up getting hired through WineTalent--so it definitely paid off for them to follow up on their resume submission.
Acknowledgement of submission: I do try to let every applicant know I received their resume. When I have someone check in with me I ask if they got a confirmation. When they don't, sometimes I have found their resume stuck in the spam folder. Or they realize they sent it to the wrong email address. But that's my system. Unfortunately, the vast majority of job seekers say that they never get any confirmation of their resume being received by other companies. This is after direct submissions to companies, to blind box ads, and to fellow recruiters. I empathize with the frustration people feel in this situation. There really isn't much you can do. I do anticipate that job seekers will hear from a company if there is interest in them as an employee--otherwise the whole job posting system isn't working! But that is not much solace during the job hunt.
Takeaway: My advice is to be good at submitting ads to openings, at following up on those submissions when possible, and to find out anything you can about the company and the role if it is of real interest to you.
Good Luck! Hopefully this is helpful. Keep me posted on how the job hunt goes. You'll be hearing from me when a suitable role comes up--hopefully soon!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Recently a group of researchers at the Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University published their research on how personality traits of job applicants are reflected on social media posts. This research was nicely summarized in Aaron Elliot's post, Traits of Job Applicants on Social Media Detrimental to Career on the Social Media Today site.
The researchers studied the links between online behaviors and the personality characteristics of job applicants. The research focused on two main posting types: badmouthing behavior (criticizing superiors and peers) and those involving references to alcohol and drug use. These posting types are often viewed by hiring managers as red flags for potential employees. These posts were then correlated to the poster's five personality traits: agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness and openness to experience.
Using this information, the research found that people with the traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness were very unlikely to badmouth others on their posts. And there was no true connection found between a person's substance use postings and their conscientiousness traits. They did find that extroverts are more likely to post topics about substance use on social media. Employers often quickly dismiss candidates with this tendency, possibly eliminating a lot of extroverts from the talent pool.
Phew, so it is okay to post what I'm toasting with this weekend, as long as I don't badmouth anyone while I'm doing it! While employers learn what to look for on social media, I encourage you to keep your postings filtered to show off your best personality traits.