In a Wall Street Journal blog post (For Job Seekers, the Black Hole Persists), there’s disappointing and perhaps disgusting proof that the resume black hole is there. Like anyone in a job search needs to read an article to know it’s there.
But for the rest of the world… there’s no question.
Thanks to Mark Mehler and team at CareerXroads, who put together a fake resume each year and send apply for jobs at companies listed on Fortune’s “best companies to work for” list, we can see how these best companies treat applicants.
If this is how the best companies treat applicants, how do the worst companies treat applicants?
To be fair, the list is of the best companies to work for, not companies who have the best, most respectful hiring process.
Employers (should) know that if you are rude and disrespectful to a job seeker during any part of the hiring process, they remember your company and form new opinions about your products and services that run deep and stay for a long time.
Here are some highlights from the blog post:
“… his CV was loaded with the keywords needed to float to the top of today’s automated job-applicant software.” So in this test, they are playing to the ATS algorithms. Note this is not about networking in, talking to the hiring manager, etc. It’s all about the resume strategy, and, optimizing the resume. Yes, do that, but also network into the company!!!
“He was also not a real person, a fact noted at the bottom of his one-page resume.” Later in the blog post you learn that only 2 out of 100 companies spotted that. Of course an ATS isn’t going to look for some statement that this is a fake resume, but from this might we deduct that 98% of companies have no human involvement for much of the process? Mark Mehler, founder of CareerXroads, suggests that “recruiters [only] read the first three paragraphs of a resume.” Lesson? Make those first three paragraphs awesome and engaging!
“…64 never sent Stein any notification that he was not being considered for the job for which he had applied.” This has bothered me for a long time. Companies, please give me ANY notification of a status update!!! I know you have legal and HR breathing down your necks to say nothing, but for goodness sake, be humane!
There’s still a lot of work to do. I’m not talking about automated technology. I’m talking about basic, respectful communication, and managing expectations.
Until that gets figured out, folks, please do not solely rely on the spray-and-pray resume blasting strategy. No JibberJobber user should ever say “I’ve sent out 1,000 resumes and I got nothing… no leads.” Maybe you will send out 1,000 resumes, but JibberJobber users should use a networking strategy that far outweighs any time spent sending emails and applying to jobs online. I know it seems harder, but this is how you’ll get closer to getting your next dream job! Make me proud!
Nick Corcodilos, Ask the Headhunter, shared 6 Secrets of the New Interview from his book, The New Interview (an instruction book), on this blog post.
Here are his six, with my commentary:
1. Insiders have the best shot at the job. They also have the best shot at recommending outsiders for the job. Are you networking with people at your target companies so that you could be recommended by an insider? This, my friends, is what I would call working the hidden job market. How do you keep track of all of your networking touch points, and follow-up conversations? Using JibberJobber, of course.
2. The real matchmaking is done before the interview. Nick says “a headhunter never sends a candidate to an interview unless the headhunter already knows the candidate can do the job.” How do you keep track of which recruiters know what about you? Use JibberJobber to keep a profile on your recruiters, and when you send them what information, and who you have referred them to.
3. The interview is an invitation to do the job. Nick says the interview is not an interrogation (even thought it might feel like one, since the stakes for you are so high!). In JibberJobber there’s a section called Interview Prep, to help you prepare for your interviews.
4. The employer wants to hire you, and he will help you win the interview. Combine the idea of interviewing well and having insiders network you in and refer you, and you’ll be ahead more than if you didn’t do those two things! As noted above, JibberJobber helps with both.
5. The boss wants one thing from you: He wants you to solve a problem. Same as #4 – can you, in the interview, prove you can solve the problem? And, do you have insiders that influence the boss vouching for you? JibberJobber helps organize and track this.
6. You will win the job by doing it. That is, not talking about it, but somehow assuring them that you know how to do the job, without any doubt. This, I think, comes down to your personal brand, and how well you have communicated your abilities and success to your contacts. You can use JibberJobber to keep track of which contacts need to know what about you, and whether you have told them the right stories or not.
In Nick’s post he shares a link to the interview flow chart… this is a complex process, and I can see how JibberJobber could add value to almost every step in the flowchart.
I get Liz Handlin’s newsletter. She gave me permission to post this from her newsletter… I thought it was interesting. Liz says these are her questions and his answers over coffee (learn more about Jeff Browning here):
Liz says “Jeff may see more resumes than any other recruiter in Texas so his perspective on what a resume should say and how it should look is crucial information for job seekers.”
I saw this blog post somewhere… I thought it was going to be a junky, unqualified article written by an entry level writer or someone who was writing nine points for SEO… but then I noticed it was written by Sultan Camp. Sultan works with veterans and helps them land their next gig. He’s a military recruiter. He’s definitely qualified to make these observations, and I know that he shares them in the spirit of helping you NOT make the mistakes he lists.
My call with Fred Coon was awesome. There were a lot of gems throughout this call. I have two regrets:
We didn’t have more time. It seems like Fred just skimmed the surface on an 8-step plan… I think we could have talked for hours more. BUT, what he was able to share in 90 minutes was a great foundation for anyone.
I asked Fred, impromptu, to provide a little banjo music in the back while I wrapped it up. He did, I wrapped up, and I mistakenly stopped the recording when I was done instead of when he was done. I’ve never been banjo’d before… it was very cool
Below is our conversation. I encourage you to take notes, and if you want, let us know what impacted you most, and the minute mark of that impactful moment, so we can get to it easier.
Enjoy! (vimeo provides a full screen option comes on after you click play, but there is no visual… you can put this on while you do something else (like take notes?))
This call was AWESOME. Off the charts. Seriously. There is so much good information in this call that it should be required to listen to.
I’m sure there are recruiters who do things differently. That’s one of the challenges that job seekers face: there is no single right or best answer for the situations we face (like, working with recruiters). Robert gives us a great look into the processes and systems that we need to know about. You can tell he has a heart for job seekers. Enjoy:
Note: This is hosted on Vimeo. To make full-size, push play and then on the bottom right click the icon that looks like this:
You might not be familiar with the Ask The Expert series so let me share the back-story.
Over a year ago I decided I wanted to help my amazing contacts who have expertise in career-related topics intersect with my users, people who are interested in job search, career management or JibberJobber. What started out as a fun idea turned into a very cool series of interviews. You can see ALL of the Ask The Expert calls we’ve done at JibberJobber.com/ate (feel free to share that link).
Below is a list of recordings, to date. I don’t expect you to spend 15 hours and listen to them all right now, but I do suggest you check them out over the next few weeks – there is GREAT stuff in these interviews (the name links to their website, after the dash links to JibberJobber.com/ate):
Robert is a friend of mine who I met at blog dinners many years ago. While I haven’t seen him in person for years, we keep in touch mostly through chat and email. Robert is a busy guy, and has had some crazy-cool recruiting jobs. When I met him he was a tech recruiter at a staffing firm. Since then he has been in-house at Novell (which was “kind of a big deal” here in Utah for a while), and is currently a senior “engineering and technical recruiter” at Fuision-io, which I think is the greatest thing to come out of Utah’s tech space in a long time.
Robert is a … how do I say this,… a geeky nerd. Let me clarify – he has great people skills, and can communicate very well (which you’ll figure out on Tuesday). But he LOVES to learn. He loves technology and dabbles in it all the time. He is also one of the better recruiting bloggers out there… check out his blog at Connected Well. Click the link below to see his LinkedIn profile:
Anyway, join us on Tuesday. And put your questions in the comments below, or shoot me an email so I can list them and be ready with YOUR questions.
Last August I did an Ask The Expert call with Dave Perry… it was awesome. You can access it (and others) for free here. In a blog post announcing his interview I got a comment with a great question… and Dave answered it. Here is the complete question/answer. If you think Dave is great, you have to devour his book and check out his other stuff.
Bruce’s question is about disclosure to a recruiter: