More and more people are saying that objectives are obsolete these days. Back in the 1900’s everyone had an objective on their resume and if you did not have one it was no bueno. These days though, they usually do more harm than good. Most people could use that space on their resume more effectively with a summary of qualifications tailored to the job they are applying for or a skill summary.
Day after day I see people who apply for a position and their objective has nothing to do with the job they are applying for. Still don’t believe me? Even the best objective is just a drawn out way of saying “I want the job I applied for.” Anything that does not match the job you applied for might as well say “I don’t really want your job but I do not have a trust fund and the bills are piling up” or “I am on unemployment and I must apply for ten jobs a week to keep by benefits, you are number five.”
It would be like if you are on a date with a blonde and they ask “I got my hair cut today, do you like it?” and you answer “It looks great, I am a big fan of red heads.” They would be like WTF! Recruiters think that a lot when looking at applications. There may be an argument for putting an objective on a resume that you have on LinkedIn or in a database but I think it could limit you.
A resume is a job search tool that should be sharpened and refined each time before use.
Listening to a podcast the other day I heard someone say that sales is not the same as cash flow. That got me thinking… applying for jobs is not the same as getting interviews.
This is a very important distinction in your job search. You probably already know the definition of insanity.
If you keep applying for job after job after job and you are not getting any interviews then you probably have one of the following problems:
- You are applying for jobs that you do not qualify for. It is true that most times you do not have to meet ALL of the job requirements to be considered for a position but at least meet some of them!
- Your spam filter is grabbing the recruiter’s emails. I email people to schedule interviews. Why? Primarily because it is faster and I sometimes review applicants’ information at weird times when you would not want me to call. For instance, I am writing this blog post at 6am on a Sunday morning.
- Your voicemail is full or not set up at all. Check the number you put on your resume and make sure that people can leave a voicemail and that you will receive them.
- Your resume sucks. I have covered this before and I am sure I will again.
If you are getting interviews but not getting an offer then don’t focus on your resume a lot, focus on your interviewing skills, or lack there of. A lot of people ask “why don’t they hire me and we’ll see if it will work out?” REALLY! Why don’t you just marry someone before dating them and see how that works out for you?
When resumes come in, especially in this market, hiring managers aren’t looking to find someone… they are looking to disqualify someone. Errors and hype do that.
Everyone should know that it is a really bad idea to lie on your resume. Even if you had enough credits to graduate, if you don’t have the degree, you don’t have it.
The mistake that I see more people making is putting too much or unrelated education on their resume. I have made this point before. You really do need to change your resume some for each position you apply for. I know that is tough but suck it up buttercup. But then again, this is your job we are talking about, not mine.
Let’s say you are applying for a sales position. If you are pursuing your master’s in child psychology I would leave it off your resume. Why? Because it tells a company that you just want a job till you get your degree. Ever heard of overqualified? People don’t get hired because of it all the time, even if it is impossible to be overqualified. That is like having too much fun or someone being too good-looking, it don’t happen.
Most employers want people who will work there for longer than 18-24 months. Many companies invest a lot of time an resources into their people. Some positions I have recruited for in the past don’t actually break even till 18 months on the job. Yep, they actually cost the company more money than they bring in for a year and a half.
Just remember… on your resume always think about recency and relevancy.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.
One of the many types of punctuation that is frequently overly and incorrectly used on resumes or in cover letters are quotes. In my opinion quotation marks should not be uses for emphasis.
Here is a guide on when to use quotes from wikiHow. But I did not see the way I really like to see the use of quotes… When someone is indicating irony. Here are a few examples from the web:
See what I mean? To call attention to words in your resume or cover letter I would suggest using italics or bold. If you are quoting someone directly then use quotes. I totally admit that this is my issue and might not be yours. I also admit that I am not perfect and I almost failed 7th grade english so my writing may not be up to snuff but I try to speak good. That is a joke by the way, I know it should be “I speak well.”
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Most people on LinkedIn have a profile picture and almost everyone on Facebook and Twitter does. Do me a favor… get out of the car before you take the picture! Better yet, ask someone else to take it. If you really want to go the extra mile, dress professionally and don’t act like you are flirting with the camera.
You don’t have to go all out and pay for a professional photographer. If you do pay PLEASE do not do anything that screams glamorshots. Your smartyphone will do OK, a SLR will be better and someone who actually knows what they are doing can be best. Just ask around. I bet one of your co-workers or friends has an interest in taking pictures.
Also, try to resist cutting yourself out of that group shot. I know your hair looked really good that day but it would be better if you take a picture specifically for your head shot.
While I cannot guarantee that a good profile picture will land you your dream job, I have seen social media play a part in hiring decisions. Remember, you only need one job.
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In business we call it blocking and tackling. If you don’t get the basics right then nothing else matters. Instructions to candidates are usually viewed the same way.
This could be as simple as what time your phone interview is, what format to submit your resume in, or how long your presentation in the interview should be. As a recruiter I am very clear with my instructions. I let people pick their own day and time for the phone interview through Acuity Scheduling. They then get an email confirming the day and time of the phone interview. Finally, I email them the day before reminding them of the interview. Not only do I do that but I also include a four page document on the position they are interviewing for. Lastly, I even tell them the first question I will ask them and that I want them to go over their resume and walk me through it including why the left each position. But guess what?… Many people are still caught off-guard.
Look at it this way, what if you invited someone on a date to an Auburn vs. LSU game and they wore their Alabama jersey? You would think they so idiot. Or how about if you invite them to a nice restaurant and they show up in a tank-top, shorts and running shoes. I would start to think that they are lacking the plastic thingy to keep their six-pack together or they really didn’t give much of a crap about me. Same way with interviews.
You know who doesn’t follow the rules? Selfish people. They think rules are for other lesser-minded, less-educated or lower-skilled people. Here is a shocker… most people would rather not work with some narcissistic tool, so we try to screen them out in the interview process.
Passive inactivity, because you have not been given specific instructions to do this or to do that, is a serious deficiency.
George C. Marshall
I hear people all the time talk about work-life balance but there is little agreement on what that means.
Balance is not static. What is considered work-life balance today may be different tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. You may put in 60+ hours for a while then wham! You get cancer. It will then look different, trust me. Or how about if you go from a two income household to a one income? Either of those scenarios will change the balance.
Everyone’s definition is different. This if very important when you are talking to other people or internalizing work-life balance. Just because Sam wants to only work 40 hours a week it does not mean that you have to. Nor do you need to do 60 hours a week just because Sally does.
Most people lie about it. People either tout all their time off and conveniently forget to mention the two Sunday afternoon conference calls they had or they brag about their long hours and neglect to mention that ten hours of those every week it at a restaurant. It is difficult to get a good read on what people really do with their time.
So when you are interviewing with a company don’t just ask “what does the work-life balance look like here,” but do ask questions that will give you that answer:
- What is an average day and week look like for you?
- Tell me about the toughest week you have had here.
- Does everyone keep the same hours?
- If I have a project I am working on is it alright to take it home, come in early or stay late to complete it?
You want to ask everyone you interview with some of these questions to get a sense of the culture around work-life balance. Maybe you get to bring your dog to work because they would die from neglect if they were left at home.
Nothing has any power over me other than that which I give it through my conscious thoughts.
I have heard from some people voicemail is going away. Verizon says that about a third of their new business clients are not adding voicemail. Personally I think that is not a good idea as not everyone has text or email yet and sometimes you still want/need to leave a message. All that to say you need to learn how to leave a message correctly.
I know this sounds stupid but I get voicemails every day that range from terrible to unfortunate. The terrible one are the ones where someone does not do a good job of communicating the necessary information in a clear and concise manner with the listener in mind. Here are a few tips.
Speak clearly, distinctly and with a measured cadence. Accents are one thing but many people speak WAY to quickly on voicemail.
- Leave your name, number and any other important identifiers (account number, etc…) at the beginning of the message and at the end.
- Be sure you leave a couple of ways to contact you.
- Be sure your voicemail is not full.
- Did you set your voicemail up on your cell phone?
- Is there background noise?
- Do you have a good signal?
- Organize your thoughts so you know what you want to communicate.
This might sound like overkill but I oftentimes have to replay the message to get the name and number. Our stupid voicemail does not let me back it up a few seconds, I have to start it over so if I missed the number at the end I have to start all over. I try to get the information I need to call you back twice, maybe three times, that’s it. After that you just wasted your time and mine.
It is VERY frustrating when I call someone back, who told me to call them only to hear “this subscriber has not set up their voicemail” or “you cannot leave a message because their mailbox is full.” The next frustrating thing is when I call you and you say “oh, I can’t talk right now, can you call back?” REALLY!? Do not answer the phone if you cannot talk, take a message or schedule a time to call me back. Sure, I “can” call you back….
All this might sound trivial but companies take all this into consideration when hiring someone. If you do this poorly then how will you be at work? Remember, this is dating and once you’re married people get lazy, I mean comfortable.
Good things come to those
who wait work their asses off and never give up.
I usually ask a softball question first in a first interview: “Why are you interested in this position and working for our company?” Some people say: “Well, I’m open to anything.” To quote a song “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
This is NOT a good answer. Think of it from the dating perspective. What if someone asks you out and you ask them “why do you want to go out with me?” and they answer “oh, I’m not picky, I’ll date anyone.” Boy, doesn’t that make you feel as special as a public toilet. Seriously! Do people ever listen to the words that come out of their mouths?
OK, so what if the truth is that you are not picky. So what, just don’t tell the interviewer that. I can hear you now “but I thought you wanted honesty!” You DO NOT need to be little kid honest! If you are not that interested you have two choices: don’t apply or fake it till you make it! Seriously, that’s it… two choices. Pick one and move on.
Some people just need a high-five
In the face
With a chair
Social media these days is everywhere! If you are reading this you probably have a few different accounts. But is that helping or hurting you?
Recruiters are also getting on social media to recruit people. Keep in mind that they are usually doing what we call “passive recruiting” where we try to get people who are already happily employed interested in working for us.
Most people who are “hurt” by their social media accounts are just “exercising their rights” as citizens of ‘merica. I hear it a lot in HR “I have the right to…” or “This is ‘merica, I can say what I want.” All of that is true. But since this is America a company can also decide that they no longer want you as an employee. Many people are under the misconceived notion that a company cannot fire you without a good reason. That just is not true. Now there are sometimes union agreements that layout how people are terminated and companies have policies about it but generally speaking, a company can fire you because they want to, period. Just look at Amazon.
So, if your tweets, posts, videos, vines, etc are deemed as having a negative impact on the business or might have a negative impact you might not have an impact at all because you will not be there. You are entitled to your rights but rights come at a price and that price might be your current or future job.
The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true.