Monthly Archives: August 2014

Make Your Job Pop!

Your company has a job opening with no interest from job seekers.  Is it possible that your job ad could use some help?  Here are some tips to writing effective ads for hiring the right person the first time:

Use an Informative Job Title
The job title really isn’t the place to get creative.  The job title is the first piece of the puzzle that job seekers see and will make a quick decision on whether or not to read on.  Use a title that best describes the position and utilizes common keywords (ex:  sales, accounting, customer service).

Explain Your Company Culture
What makes your company so great to work for?  Explain your company culture and highlight your signature attributes in your job ad.  This job ad is, after all, an advertisement for your company.  Highlight perks offered, unique benefits and why anyone would love to work for your company.

Give a Descriptive Job Summary
Represent a full scope of the functions the successful candidate will be completing as well as what their role will be within your company or organization.  Don’t just list tasks, make it all encompassing and inviting.

Describe What Your Company Needs
While most applicants know that you are not going to find someone that meets all of your expectations in an employee, if you are clear about the skill set that is necessary to perform the job and which additional skills would be valuable, you will cut down on the time it takes to sift through résumé’s after you place your ad.

Group Information
There is a lot of information to include when posting a job, but a complicated posting can deter job seekers from reading or applying.  Keep your information grouped in a logical manner using bullet points and breaks to make it easier to read and follow, as well as bold, italics and underlines to make it appear more interesting.

Make it Easy to Take Action
Once you have the attention of candidates, you want to present an easy to execute way to apply.  This could be a direct link to an online application, an email to send a resume to, or use the site for a one click application for job seekers.

Share the Job Posting
After you have finished writing your job post, share the information on your network.  Post it to your social media sites, post it in your foyer, share it with your employees to repost on their social networking sites and share it off of’s page.

The Power of Small Talk

Everyone knows a person who can talk to anyone.  This person has interesting information to share, interesting experiences to discuss and a general knowledge of local current events.  In the realm of job seeking, does small talk help?  Yes.

For a person who can strategically create small talk the Kellogg Business school study of 120 hiring managers in the professional services sector showed that modern hiring decisions were not just being based on capabilities. It seems that hiring decisions are being based on a person’s culture fit, (determined by their interests and hobbies) and may be becoming more important than experience and qualifications in the assessment decision.

Well placed small talk at the beginning and end of the interview allows hiring managers to understand your hobbies and interests and determine if you would be a good cultural fit for the company.

Another area where some strategic small talk will help you to get the job is via word-of-mouth hiring, naturally, which is dependent on small talk to help you make contact with potential referrers. It also helps you to build trust, increasing the chance of them referring you for a job.

Whether you like it or hate it, there is power in small talk.  Of course, small talk alone won’t get you the job, it needs to be combined with appropriate displays of competency, enthusiasm and energy, but relationship building via small talk is clearly advantageous when you are job hunting.

Business Leadership

There is a general consensus that being a boss does not instantly make you a leader. They are different.  A person becomes a leader by inspiring others to follow.  A person becomes a boss because of a hierarchy within a company.

There are all sorts of books out there that make claims to help you become a great leader, but in general, it is the humanness of us all that help us become better leaders.  Here are some tips on how to lead your employees to greatness:

1.  Set reasonable goals.  Don’t over delegate workloads and manage the flow of work on your team.  Assess each member’s skills and assign accordingly.  Keep notes or mental notes of strengths and weaknesses and reassign duties as needed.

2.  Lead by example.  Respect authority, inspire your followers to perform at a high level and take pride in your work and theirs.  Empower your workers. 

3.  Don’t focus on the negative.  Too many bosses spend their time correcting issues, faults and errors of employees.  Instead, focus your efforts on the positive to create an inspiring atmosphere.  Mention behavior that needs to be corrected, but praise achievements.   

4.  Analyze your performance.  Being in charge gives you autonomy with your workers and how you are performing, but you must still be transparent to find room for improvement and inspire others by identifying your weaknesses and finding solutions.

5.  Encourage others to problem solve.  As the boss you may believe that your solutions or ideas are the best fix, but maybe you haven’t thought of all the options.  By bringing others in to discuss and brainstorm with you, you may discover solutions that had previously not been on your radar.

6.  Listen.  Listen to ideas and thinking processes, don’t let people become dependent on you to lead them to ideas.  Explore problems with employees and hear their thoughts.

To be a great leader, it is important to really hear and understand the issues people face daily.  Every worker is different, so are their struggles and their strengths.  Hear it, understand it and embrace it.

Job Search Trends, Tips and Strategies

By Arnie Fertig, US News, Money Careers

The changing nature of résumés, use of applicant tracking systems, LinkedIn and other social media sites, Skype video conferencing, big data applications and more are all impacting the way employers and hope-to-be-employees find, communicate and interact with each other.

Employers have ever more candidates to evaluate in their search for the perfect fit solution to their need for talent. And in the continuing wake of the Great Recession, career expectations have changed for new grads trying to get a career started, baby boomers with dated skills and just about everyone in between.

With so much chatter online and elsewhere about the changing landscape, it can be difficult to determine what the real story is, what trends are newly emerging and where we are all heading.

To document and make sense of it all, the Career Thought Leaders Consortium conducts a Global Career Brainstorming Day annually. Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, co-executive directors, gathered more than 150 of the top career professionals from the U.S. and five other countries for 15 live and virtual concurrent sessions for the 2013 event. The white paper detailing the discussions of that day has just been published, and it contains hundreds of valuable facts, insights and tips. The following 10 points are excerpted from the report with permission from the Career Thought Leaders Consortium:

1. There is increased use of targeting to build company brand as an employer of choice to ideal candidates. Online and offline tools are being used to actively engage with potential candidates, and helping prospects navigate the organization to create interest and determine fit.

2. Mobile apps will be the next big thing for applying for jobs. This trend has already emerged and is projected to grow rapidly.

3. Younger job seekers approach career communications differently. Millennials are more comfortable with video and online representation. They think a paper resume is stagnant; they can’t “post or tweet” it. They are shunning email.

4. Recruiters are crunched for time. The average resume review time was 20–30 seconds. Now, six seconds is the reported norm.  You must make those seconds count.

5. Resumes will become an aggregation of social media. Some project less content but with more links to work, social media, video bios, contact options, infographics, and other online bio bits.

6. LinkedIn is a complement to the resume, not a mirror. LinkedIn profiles should be more personal and more engaging than a resume. And as LinkedIn has become more robust, with the capability to link files, videos, portfolios, and other beneficial information, it often provides a portrait that is richer and deeper than a resume. Multimedia presentations, projects, and videos are more common elements of LI profiles. Summaries continue to become more creative in presenting motivation, passion, and individuality.

7. Twitter is valuable for following companies and searching for job postings. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, recruiters on a low budget can post opportunities for free.

8. Group interviews are commonplace, and candidates need to prepare for both scenarios: either responding to a team of interviewers, or being one of several candidates being interviewed in the same session.

9. Companies are using writing exercises. Candidates may be asked to write emails introducing themselves to the company – or be required to discuss what they will accomplish in the first few weeks in the job. Even for internships, writing samples are being required.

10. Follow-up/thank-you notes are most commonly sent by email, ideally within 24 hours of an interview. Candidates should reference key points uncovered during the interview and provide evidence about how they would approach these challenges.

When you keep these insights in mind as you create your own job search strategy, you will have a better understanding of the process as a whole, and you will be able act on tips that will foster your success.

Happy hunting!