Continued from the previous interview with the bubbly and talented Allison. If you haven’t gone to her website by now, you should because she dishes out practical advice that are so useful in life!
For those who are either on the journey in finding a new job or on the verge of throwing the towel on your old one, you might find this article absolutely a Must-To-Read!!
Great to have you back with us again, your position as a recruiter is closely related to the folks who follow MiddleMe for career advice. Let’s talk about that, shall we?
As a recruiter, what are some of the common mistakes you see on a resume?
Oh, where should I start!? Kidding! Most common mistakes:
– Not updating your “objective” if you so choose to have one. Nothing more embarrassing than applying for a marketing job when it reads, “I’d love to expand my knowledge in the accounting field.”
– Spelling – there’s a button for this…it’s called Spell Check. Use it! It’s really helpful. I promise.
– Formatting – be careful with this! I actually just suggest turning your resume into a PDF so no program messes it up
– Name of your resume – if you’re attaching a resume just name it: Last name, First name. Believe it or not, the file name shows up more often than not on our side. “Dad’s updated resume” is not going to be a winner.
What should young graduates look out for when they are out searching for a job?
When I first graduated, my key word was “entry level” in my job search. If you don’t have any experience in your degree yet, look for entry level. Yes, that might suck for a year if you’re looking at a smaller wage, but you have to get your foot in the door at some point.
Make a LinkedIn account! Employers actually do search for prospective applicants this way! Update with all of your resume info, skills, and a picture.
I know everyone says this, but do be careful about what you make public on your social media. If you’re job hunting, clean it up. Of course, you’re protected by social media laws, but it doesn’t stop an employer from forming an opinion.
Set up your voicemail! If you’re job hunting, make sure your voicemail is set up, is not full, and is professional. Please change your ringback tone from “Everyday I’m Hustlin'”.
If a job applicant does not hear back from a potential employer, what are his next options?
This one is a toughy. But I guess not really, actually.
Follow up! It’s totally okay!
For me, I receive 100s of applications a week, and on top of my other responsibilities, it can take me awhile to get back to applicants. If you don’t hear back within a week, call the employer! Just give them your name and let them know how interested you are in the position and that you’re looking for an update. The worst they can say is, “Sorry, we’re moving forward with other applicants.” And then it’s on to the next job!
From your understanding, what are the hottest jobs right now in the market?
Wow, I have never been asked this before! And I’ve never really thought about it either! I’d have to say that right now, the jobs that are the most sought after are the jobs for the millennials. Those companies that let you bring your dog to work, have a cafeteria, no dress code, and a bar in the office. Those ones. Everyone wants to work for an employer that has a lot of perks!
Do you prep an individual for further interviews? How do you do that?
I actually don’t prep any of my applicants. I do all the prescreening, so I look over all the applications and resumes and set aside the ones I like or have questions on. Then I call those ones and prescreen them over the phone, like a phone interview. If I like them after our conversation, I collect all my notes and discuss with the hiring manager. Then I schedule an interview for the two of them to meet. I give the applicants as much information about the company and the position as I can, so they can think of any other questions before the face to face interview, but I don’t necessarily prep them.
When it comes to recruiting the right individual, how do you determine who is the right one out of so many applications?
It’s a lot of reading, and re-reading, and then looking at again before I determine who I even want to call. I look at everything. Where they are located, what they are currently making, tenure at previous positions, why they want to leave their current position, and how much effort they’ve put into the application. “See resume” is the worst thing you can do. How badly do you want that job??
Looking at previous work experience, effort into the app and resume, and then finally, the personality on the phone. I want you to be excited to hear from me! Like it’s the best day of your life! Because I chose you.
If someone has a time gap in between jobs, how should they explain away?
Well, you know honesty is the best policy. But if you don’t have a good reason…make one up! I hate it when I ask someone why he or she left a job and didn’t start another one for a few months and they tell me, “I just didn’t like it there, and then I had a hard time finding work.” So you’re irresponsible? That’s what that looks like to me. To me, that is not a person that is going to go above and beyond the everyday. I want to hear reasons like the company had to close and you struggled to find a job for a couple of months. That’s understandable. Or that your significant other was transferred out of state, so you left to go with them. But don’t tell me that you left because you didn’t like it and had nothing lined up, or that you had a good enough severance package from a lay off that you didn’t need to work for a year. If it sounds lame when you say it out loud, then it probably is.
Tell us an interesting incident you have come across as a recruiter.
Oh geez! Where should I begin!? Ha ha. I’ve talked to some pretty interesting characters. I actually wrote a post on my blog about “How to Not Fail a Phone Interview” and every single thing I tell you not to do is based on some real conversation I’ve had with an applicant.
There was the time that I was introducing myself over the phone to an applicant I’d been playing phone tag with, and then he says, “Hang on Allison, there’s a cop behind me! Oh no, now he’s pulling up beside me. Hang on. I’ll call you back, or you call me back!” And then he hung up. I never called him back and he never called me. He just kinda knew that he failed.
There was the other time when an applicant sounded like he was half asleep at 3:00 pm and according to his application, he was unemployed. I asked, “Is this a good time to talk, kind of sounds like I woke you up…” and then I chuckled to kind of joke around to see if he’d loosen up. Then he says, “Uh, well, yeah I did just wake up. My girlfriend and I were up really late arguing last night. But yeah, I can talk.”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?
I also have applicants that go through multiple interviews, pre-employment screening, drug tests, sign an offer letter, and then the night before their first day they call and say, “I actually can’t accept the offer. Sorry.” And then that’s it. Ouch. All that time and preparation and then poof.
Last but not least, what are your last words to readers?
Pay attention in your job search. Read the job description thoroughly, do your research on the company, make sure your resume is absolutely beautiful and specific to the job you are applying for! If you’re applying for an accounting position and you only put your last 5 years at Burger King on your resume, but you have 10 years of accounting experience that you just leave off…you’re setting yourself up for failure!
Don’t lie, because they will find out. Either before the job or after you start.
Be organized, pay attention, be yourself, and kick ass at whatever you do, every day.
Love this interview? Got an interesting job? Give a shout out to me at kally@MiddleMe.net for a collaboration.