Tag Archives: resume

Word It Wisely

13 Jan


How you word things changes the way people perceive you. This applies to a cover letter, a resume, an email and so forth. Make sure that your wording matches what you are trying to say and showcases you in the best way possible. You don’t want to not land that dream job because you didn’t word your cover letter as professionally as you should of, or have your resume not adequately represent you because instead of putting “Lead Recruiter at Search Solution Group, where I helped to find over 200 applicants careers” you wrote “Recruiter at SSG, helped find jobs for people without them.” Make yourself sound amazing while also being clear and concise. Don’t use abbreviations! Assume, like your high school teachers always said, that whoever is reading over your information is an alien who knows nothing about you.

Wording is especially key in your follow-up email to a job interview. You want to make sure that they know in a few short lines that you are really interested in the position, you have a lot to offer them and are appreciative of the time they took to look over your qualifications and interview you. Nothing says, “Don’t hire me!” like a lackluster follow-up email (or none at all) that expresses no gratitude or further interest in the job. Even though you’re not face-to-face, write the email as if you were talking to your boss at that moment. Make sure you don’t sound too robotic or scripted. Show your interest without being annoying, meaning two follow-up emails should be your limit and they should be well spaced out. If they are going to contact you they will, if not…too bad for them…or you, more likely it’s too bad for you…

Just remember: Wording, Wording, Wording is KEY!

How Not to Baba Booey an Interview

6 Jan


We know it. We have studied it. We dread it. The Interview. When you are actively searching for jobs many thoughts run through your mind: “This position looks like it fits me, I’m going to apply!” or “Awesome! They sent me a positive email/phone response to my application!” and “What do I wear? What time do I arrive? How do I act for… The Interview?!” Let’s face it interviews are terrifying! No matter how prepared you are, how well you are suited for the job or how nice the interviewer is, that “interview panic” stays with you before, during and for a little while after you knock their socks off…or don’t (but that’s why you are reading this!). So here are seven tips and tricks for how to make a positive impression:

1.    Make Your Resume Relevant

Over the course of our professional careers our resumes are going to be edited dramatically not only from the variety of positions we will hold, but also from altering each resume for each job application. You may have held 10 internship positions in your college career, from working at a magazine, graphic design, carpentry, etc., but that doesn’t mean that your potential future employer needs to know, nor cares about all of these positions. Make sure that what you list on your resume applies to the job you are hoping to get! Sure, add a few things to show that you are well rounded, but not too many. Make it relevant not ridiculous.

2.    Practice, Practice, Practice

No matter how many interviews you have attempted, practice always makes perfect! Look up common interview questions and practice your responses to them. Make sure that your responses are short and relevant to the position. The more you practice the more confident and competent you will look!

 3.    10-15 Minutes

Arriving on time is arriving late. If your interview is at 9:00 a.m. be there at 8:45, 8:50 at the latest. Without saying anything, your timely, or not so timely, arrival shows how important this position is to you and what kind of worker you are. Arriving early is the easiest way to make a positive impression, so plan ahead and show them you are serious!

4.    Do Your Homework

One of the most common interview questions is: So tell me what you know about (company’s name)? If you can’t sum up the basics from what is on the company’s website or social media pages, you mine as well just apologize for being a moron/wasting their time, and leave. Like showing up early, knowing basic facts about the company’s history and goals is a must and shows how seriously you do and will take this position. Make them feel like you have been a part of the team for years from all that you know about the company!

5.    Dress The Part

Dressing the part goes hand-in-hand with doing your homework on the company. For example, showing up for an interview at a laid-back company that sells surfboards in a suit is not appropriate and quite frankly borders on embarrassing. The same goes for showing up at an interview with a law firm in jeans and a t-shirt. Like showing up early, this is a non-verbal cue that shows how much work you have put into your research on the company and what you know about the position you are hoping to fill.

6.    Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Some Q’s!

The best way to show that you are engaged in the interview is to ask questions throughout, and end it with a few closing q’s! Questions like: What are you looking for in the employee who fills this position? And, When are you hoping to fill this position by? Are great ways to look as though not only do you want the position, but you are willing to be whatever they need you to be and you are ready to start immediately. Obviously, do not ask these questions if they have already been discussed in the interview, so make sure you come up with a list of 5 or 6 ahead of time. 

7.    Follow Up!

Lastly, after your interview, when they smack themselves in the head wondering where you had been hiding all this time because of how perfect you are for this job, follow up. Send an email, or hand-write a thank you card (the latter is a great choice in an age where technology has overtaken personal mail), expressing your gratitude to them for taking the time to interview you and emphasize your continued interest in the position. Be prompt and professional! As I have repeated, show them that you are serious about their company and this position!

A Letter To The Unprepared

2 Oct

Dear Potential Candidate,

Lets play a game.

You have an interview in the morning and you need to print your resume and you don’t have a printer, what do you do?

A) Go to the interview without a Resume?

B) Go Print out 5 copies of your Resumé at Kinkos?

C) Go play kickball and hope  the interviewer already has a copy?

D) Go all the way and not wear a suit jacket, not brush your hair, AND not  bother printing a resume?

If you answered anything but B, go home and quit wasting people’s time. Seriously. If you’ve made it so far that you actually have an interview with Search Solution Group, you should be professional and intelligent enough to know better.

Do people think that when meeting with a recruiter it isn’t necessary to be your best possible self?

A recruiter is like a Matchmaker and as a Matchmaker, we want to present the best candidate to a client and that means professional presence, appearance, and experience.  If you were working with a Matchmaker, would you want to be set up with someone with jacked up teeth, no social skills, and the possibility of having rabies?  Didn’t think so.

Please for the sake of all parties involved, wear a suit jacket, comb your hair ( and teeth), and bring a Resumé!

Thank you kindly,

Recruiters of Search Solution Group


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Good BUSINESS SENSE for the Job Seeker‏

16 Feb

Just like it is customary for a civilized human being to wash their hands after using the restroom (yes that includes in the privacy of your home) I believe it should just be business sense that when you go for an interview to BRING YOUR RESUME. When you call someone about a job or a business opportunity and you get their voice mail, leave a contact number so they can call you back.

 I shouldn’t have to tell you this, you are a grown ADULT. Have some business sense!!!

Dating Site Bios & Resumes

3 Feb

The job market has changed so much in last two years or so. The majority of the resumes and candidates I was getting back then were from candidates who had just been let go from their jobs.  They were unemployed and feeling kind of desperate and down. However things change….. In the past three months or so I have spoken to some really talented candidates. Most of them are employed and looking for something new, essentially a better opportunity.  The process that I have gotten used to is having a resume in front of me to help judge and evaluate the talent and what the candidate is currently doing and looking to do next.  The problem is that when I get the resume in front of me it reminds me of the aka “FAT GIRL” (don’t get offended keep reading) that I used to be friends with.

She is the definition of desperate and confused. Upon moving to a new city the first thing she would do is sign up for a dating site and try to meet a guy willing to date her. I would try to coax her into looking for a career and explain to her that most guys like a girl with a job opposed to the unemployed girl trolling dating sites. But she knew how to market herself and I would hire her again if she wasn’t a thief (long story). What she did is what I wish some of these candidates would do that send me their resumes and call me. “Fat Girl” knew that if she put pictures of herself from head to toe on that site that the guys would be turned off by a short fat girl, but throw 4 or 5 pictures of her face with a cute smile and this will get some attention and IT SURE DID!! Very much like putting together a great resume with only your best skills and your highlights. You never want to put your mistakes/errors on your resume for your future employer to see; shit they will figure that out 4 months after they hire you.

“Fat Girl” would tell me about all these emails and attention she would get on the dating website from potential suitors. How this guy wants to meet her and this guy asked her out (interview). Plus in her BIO (resume) she would say only the most amazing things about herself. She wasn’t a “consultant” (that is my favorite job title for unemployed professionals), she would say “I’m not working BUT searching for my passion”. HOOK LINE and  SINKER!!!!!! “Fat Girl” would go on date after date but when I followed up with her and asked about second dates, it was always the same old story. “Fat Girl” wasn’t interested. Reality Check, the guys finally saw you and realized that you look more like SNOOKIE from the Jersey Shore than Courtney Cox (from the 90’s) .

I often compare the dating process to the interview process because they are so similar. In this scenario I wish  some of my candidates knew how to put a resume together that could catch the attention of our clients (the date). That means recognizing what their strengths are, their accomplishments and really selling themselves. Being able to put together that eye-popping resume/profile that just makes us and our clients say YES we want to interview that person. Sure, we do this with some of the candidates, but it is impossible to do this with everyone. Being self-aware and recognizing what it is going to take to get noticed, to get the interview and have the opportunity to get the job is sometimes more than half of the battle. Luckily most of our clients aren’t judging the candidates by what they look like, but initially what we have to say about them, their resumes and then finally how they interview and articulate what they have done over the years. You can’t fake it, eventually the truth comes out, but you can learn to sell yourself better and put yourself in a better situation to succeed.

I am not making fun of “Fat Girl”, I am simply pointing out that she was playing the odds. As the Great Wayne Gretzky said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take”. She was taking her shot that one of these guys was going to be ok with what she had going on and see her a second time (ha ha). Isn’t that what interviewing is all about? Very few people get every job they interview for and those who do I would argue never took a shot and challenged themselves to be great.

Job History & the secrets that they tell

13 Jan

I have been in the recruiting business for over twelve years and have owned this firm for almost a full ten years, the anniversary date is fast approaching. We have worked with clients from California to Maine and across the ocean in Europe. We have filled all sorts of interesting positions for our clients, some have been easy others much more challenging. But there seems to be one common job qualification that our clients have almost unanimously asked for or asked about……JOB HISTORY. They want to hire candidates with a good JOB HISTORY. I get it and I want to explain it to you.

 I am sure not everyone is going to agree with me and those who don’t will probably be those who have poor job history for either being fired(most likely numerous times), being stupid and quitting a job without another job or starting a business and not being smart enough to have it last more than a few months.  When I am trying to coach candidates and my employees on how to handle certain situations in this business I often use dating analogies because interviewing is so similar to dating. You need to make a really good first impression and leave the interviewer wanting more and excited to want to see you again. Heck after a good first date we all go and tell our buddies or girlfriends, that is what we want the interviewer to go and do. We want that person to tell their co-workers, make a special trip to see the VP or CEO and tell them how good this candidate is that we just interviewed.  However seldom if ever is someone running down the hall telling everyone how great the interview was and saying it is ok ” they have been laid off from the last 6 jobs in the last 3 years, but none if it was their fault”. That is such crap!!  We were just doing our morning meeting when one of our favorite clients called, she and most of her team have all been with the same company for over 20 years!! That is incredible and the majority of them live and work in a borderline economically depressed area of the country, so I don’t want to hear the excuses. They don’t quite get people who leave job after job and for that matter job history is an important part of the resume and interview process for this client and many more we work with.

Now this leads me to one of those moments when I finally saw the light. As a lot of you know I consider myself more of a behaviorist than a recruiter or business owner. Just like a really good poker player can read and find tells in their opponents I can read and hear what people are going to do most of the time when it comes to interviewing, selling and how they will react to certain situations. How do I do this?  If I told everyone than those of you smart enough to read might actually be half as successful as I am, so for now it’s my secret(s). But back to the light, I was attempting to get back together with my girlfriend for the 3rd time when she asked me to help her with her resume. That is when it finally made sense to me, she had a span of 3 years when she had 6 jobs. Just leaving for any old reason (my boss was mean to me that day, this other company offered me 1.00 dollar more) running from one problem to the next without trying to make her current situation better or for that matter herself better.

Again, dating is so much like interviewing if you ever get the chance to see your significant others resume and they have  bad job history, put on your NIKES and run like Forest Gump did !!!

Are you ready for some…….HR??‏

26 Aug
Fantasy american football

Image via Wikipedia

YES, it is that time again for most of us. Fantasy Football.

 A bunch of years ago I would have laughed at you and thought you were more nerdy than me for wanting to participate in such a thing. BUT WOW IS IT FUN. Right now I am engaged in a dispute of how much money I owe my father and his best friend for losing to them last year. I was hoping old age would kick in and they would think that they owed me money but that isn’t the case. Another league we are starting has 10 people. Some of us know each other, others don’t. I happen to know everyone, but yet I am not the commissioner.  This one is interesting, we have no rules, no scoring system and I’m not even sure what kind of league we are having.  All of this was being battled out yesterday between some friendly hazing and a few hundred suggestions. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION, and my inbox showed every email that was sent…agggggghhhhh

 This all reminded me of so many HR/Recruiting experiences I have had with clients over the years. The lack of organization, the lack of communication, everyone sticking in their opinions and causing more headaches than necessary. Deals not getting done on time, losing great candidates because someone else thought they were interviewing at 2pm instead of 3pm. Or I thought the offer letter was in the mail. Or, sure you can have 4 weeks of vacation, nope we only give 2 weeks. Where is the communication? Where is the leadership? Where is the process? Come on HR, you have to be better than that. You are the unofficial commissioner for your company and how it is perceived by people.

 Those 3 questions are so important, not for Fantasy Football so much, but for life and business. If you and your organization have those 3 skills locked in you are off to a good start. Get them implemented sooner than later and you have a  shot of surviving. Good recruiters and candidates can recognize a company that has all three components working together. It makes the recruiting process so much better not just for the recruiter but our mutual goal of attracting good talent.  A well run HR Group or “Fantasy Football League” has to be communicating with each other. Coordinating time, dates and what we want to get out of our interview so we can hire the best candidate for the job. It sounds easier than it really is. On a daily basis I see the good the bad and the ugly from HR.  The best ones are fun to work with and make waking up earlier than usual exciting and rewarding. The ugly and bad are not lost, they just need to recognize that things can be improved and make those changes. Search Solution Group can HELP!! Call us

 As for Fantasy Football. I predict my friends will cry at the humiliation my teams will cause them this year. I can only apologize and offer some comfort that next year is right around the corner for them. As far as my Dad and his best friend are concerned. I promise I will have the last laugh.

You are so Perfect – What Kind of Candidate do you think you are?

7 Jul

Here I go again, bursting your bubble and telling you stuff you don’t want to hear. However, open your eyes and ears because I am speaking the truth! I know it hurts , but it’s the reality of the world we live in. I made this mistake when I was 18 or maybe even 23 years old. But really, if you graduated from college and have been working for a few years, you should not be making this crucial mistake. It’s to the point when I hear it or see it in an email I cringe!! It’s as bad as running your ugly gross nails across a chalkboard.

STOP I repeat STOP telling me and anyone else you are perfect for a job! Because you are not Perfect and nobody is. You might be good or the best candidate for the job today, or a solid fit. Sadly, you might just be good enough for what we need now and we will deal with it later fit. You might even be a good temporary fit or in most cases not a good fit at all. BUT you are never a perfect fit, it just doesn’t happen.

So, tell me your point of contact or your potential new boss that your skills match up well and the culture seems to fit you very well. Say you are excited to be interviewing for this position because you love the industry or the location is close to your home or favorite restaurant.  Say anything, but PERFECT. It’s the biggest turn off to see a seasoned professional, especially an HR professional send me an email and say how he/she is a perfect fit for “said job”. If you have to tell me you are a perfect fit and I cannot not tell that you are qualified for the job by looking at your CV then guess what, you are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It just won’t work.

I am telling this to you to help you. If you disagree, let me hear it……..

My Top Twenty Things I Like To Boo!

24 Jun

1. The word obviously

2. Bad Tee shots

3. Mis-spelings on resumes 🙂

4. When my co-workers are sick

5. Dorito Breath

6. Not being able to find my keys

7. Bees, wasps, or anything else that flies and can sting

8. People who talk over me

9. Toes

10. Bad job history (tough to hide it on a resume)

11. Stepping in poop

12. Crabby HR people

13. Allergies

14. Cal Ripken(inside joke)

15. Reality TV Dance shows…why???

16. Bad waiters/waitresses

17. Things that taste like coffee including coffee

18. Bank of America employees at the Center City Banking Center

19. Internal Corporate Recruiters who do not get it

20.YOU, if you do not add a comment!!!

A Good ATS is like Good Buffalo, NY Food‏

10 Jun

About 10 years ago when I started Search Solution Group I was using small, medium and large size notebooks to track everything I did. Heck, my computer monitor weighed as much as me and was probably bigger. Times sure have changed in a hurry. I could never read my own hand writing, my father to this day still makes fun of me because of my hand writing, however he wasn’t complaining  about it when I signed for his Christmas present last year. That is a whole other story.

I was having success growing a recruiting business and decided the next logical step was to purchase an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). It was a complete disaster!!  I went thru that first one very quickly and could not stand it. The next ATS lasted me about five years till we started to grow and get busier and things were getting more complicated and my ATS was not able to keep up. It was boring, non functional, non interactive and not progressive. I was becoming my ATS and it was not allowing me to grow and be a  better recruiter.

So, we went on the hunt for a new ATS and just like my old computer monitor things changed. The systems were quicker, smarter, easier to access and doing the things I dreamed of. I had no idea!! I was learning quickly, but becoming very overwhelmed. We narrowed the choice down and finally had two finalists. Both were great, so much better than what we were currently using. I even got to meet a fellow alumni of the Prestigious High School(ha) I attended in Buffalo, NY. He was one of the competing salesmen and my unofficial inspiration for this weeks blog. I thought it was a no brainer, I would go with my heart and choose the guy who is from Buffalo and who went to my old High School. But then a funny thing happened…..

I realized that I am a business owner and I need to take the emotion out of my business decisions and listen to my team and make the best choice for the business. It was a big growing up moment. Telling someone NO is not easy. I don’t like to do it. But I think it was an important lesson for me to learn. As I reflect back to those days, that single decision would affect me and help me mature as a person and business owner!

Discovering how important technology is to my business was an eye-opening experience. I also learned that even when you leave Buffalo, Mighty Taco still has the best taco’s!!

If I can ever help anyone with their ATS decisions please call or email me. I am not sure I picked the best ATS that day, but the experience was life changing. I would love to refer you to my friend.