Frequently Asked Questions
How to make yourself the most effective and attractive on social media when seeking a job
Social media is a proven way to new opportunities . LinkedIn has been shown to be one of the most effective tools. When creating a LinkedIn profile, always make sure that your resume and Linkedin profile are in sync.
Also, always keep in mind that whatever you’re posting on social media, chances are that your prospective employer is viewing that too!
How long should my resume be?
A resume should be 1-2 pages. For a professional with 5 years or less experience, one page. For candidates with more experience, two pages.
How to create a strong resume
Your resume should be concise and readable – get rid of fluff and wording that manifests your elevated opinion of yourself. Do not include paragraphs titled as Objectives or Summaries that use language that reflects your opinion of yourself – like “Results oriented manager with proven track record of positive results.” or “A Problem solver and trouble shooter who works long hours towards making a profit to the bottom line.”
You’re getting hired for what you’ve done for the last 3-5 years. Not what you did 20-years ago. So don’t go into any lengthy detail about a job you held 25-years ago. A resume is there to spark interest, not tell a life story.
Each job should reflect Title, Company, Years there, Industry, and size of company both in employees and revenue to give it scope.
Don’t leave off early portions of your career in attempt to hide your age. People see right through this and it gives the impression that it is a concern of yours. BTW – some of these young startup companies where the CEO is 27 years old are looking to hire a “gray hair” so that Banks, Investors and the like know someone is on board who possesses life/business experiences.
Don’t have three different resumes to address different situations. Let your Cover Letter address specific situations.
What are the most important things to include in my resume?
Accomplishments! An objective is outdated and should not be included. Rather an executive summary of your core skills and accomplishments. Education and “technical skills” (software, etc.) are extremely important as well.
How to utilize your own network to help secure employment
Call everyone you know and let them know you are no longer working and that you are in search of an opportunity – there is no shame in being unemployed! Follow up the phone call with an e-mail and an attached resume.
Keep a log and write down the date and time of each call and make a note of what was discussed.
Call again a week or two later as a follow up– ask about industry associations, clubs, political events, charities and events that you might get involved with that have the type of business leaders you need to meet – ask their advice on what they would do in a similar situation.
As time goes by, refer to your call log and continue to call your contacts. It is the third and fourth call that you should look to offer information and added value. If you keep calling and asking for something and never offer anything of value, that person will begin to ignore you calls and fail to return them.
Remember to keep your references and contact numbers updated. It is helpful to let your references know that a recruiter or prospective employer will be calling them and to make themselves available.
How to make sure your resume stands out above the rest
Use keywords in your resume, so that if someone is searching, you will be found easily. For example, employers may look for talent with certain software experience, Yardi, for example. Be sure that it is represented in your resume.
How to best communicate during an interview process
Communication with your recruiter throughout the search process is critical. Be available and respond accordingly. A recruiter that has to track a candidate down, when the employer is trying to get an interview scheduled, for example, gives the prospective employer and the recruiter the impression that you are not serious about your future.
How should I respond to “what’s your biggest weakness?”
Make your answer specific and do not use character traits. Choose something about the company or the job description that will NOT hurt your candidacy, but yet would be a learning curve.
How should I respond to “Why are you currently unemployed?"
Design a positive response to this question. In the case you may have been let go, have a response that says something like, “I was hired to complete certain goals and tasks for the company, and as those goals were met and completed it was time to move on to another opportunity that would not only challenge me but allow me to use the knowledge and skill sets to assist my new employer…”
Keep it positive and upbeat.
Interview tips/Questions to ask in an interview
Make the interview about the company, not about you. Ask how you can help the company and tailor your answers based on the feedback you hear. You are there to solve a problem, always remember that!
Think of a job interview as a sales presentation. You are there to sell your skill sets, knowledge, and experiences as a professional in your field. The only way to market yourself is to first understand the need of your potential employer. Obviously, if they asked you in for an interview, they have a need and an issue or problem to solve by entertaining you as a potential employee.
That being said, an interview should not be a Q & A session were the employer asks you questions and you answer those questions, or worse – a dissection of your resume. Rather, you should be asking about what the need of the employer is and what issue they are trying to solve. As you hear things that relate to you and your skills sets and experience, that is where you interject and tell them how you are a solution to their need.
This method of asking questions about the need will also demonstrate to your potential employer that you are interested not solely in yourself and gaining employment, but of their issues and the problem they are trying to solve.
BTW – people like to “buy,” not to be “sold.” So this approach will allow the “buyer” (in this case, the employer) to tell you what they need. Give them the satisfaction they were able to tell you such, as opposed to you, the “seller” going into an interview assuming they need you and “selling” yourself to a job you know little about.
By asking questions about the need and day-to-day, week-to-week expectations, you not only determine whether the job is a fit for you, but will also be able to provide the perfect information that will allow you to market to their need, thereby making your interview stand out above the rest of applicants vying for the same job.
How to stay motivated/optimistic during a job hunt
Use your network, first and foremost. The professionals who’ve done the best job networking and creating a professional circle are usually the ones who have the best success.
Maintain a schedule during the work week and work hours. Don’t stay up late and therefore sleep late. Get up in the morning like you normally do during a work week. Shower and dress and look your best everywhere you go. Be on!
Invest in lunches, breakfasts and cocktails to meet people in restaurants where other business people congregate. You will get good intel this way and possibly meet someone that will make the difference in your job search.
Stay healthy and do positive actions! Start an exercise routine if you don’t have one and challenge yourself to do things differently and positively. Mix up your schedule. Do a project that you’ve wanted to do for a while. Do things that give you a sense of accomplishment. Get outdoors and get some fresh air and sun. Avoid watching TV or limit it to a half hour of news in the early morning or watch something relaxing at the end of the day but don’t watch it all during the day.
Join charitable organizations and donate your time and effort towards things you have an interest in.
Put your game face on for every phone call or meeting! Psyche yourself up and stay positive.
Associate with positive upbeat people. Avoid the downer types.
It only takes one job offer. You are not going to get every job you interview for and mostly for good reason. Remember you are only one person and can only fill one role.
Keep the faith, fight the good fight, run the good race, never give up because you WILL land employment somewhere.