Why your Resume gets “trashed” and how to avoid it

 Why your Resume gets “trashed and how to avoid  it

Your resume is all important.

Life seems to be a numbers game and sometimes the numbers may not seem to work for you. We’ve compiled some statistics about rejected resumes which explain why some resumes are trashed. Learn the lessons so that you don’t be become part of these statistics.

Reasons your Resume is Rejected

  • Resumes are rejected for even one typo
  • Employers receive the first application within 3 minutes and 30 seconds of posting the job
  • One in three employers reject applications because of something they found online
  • There is a 17% change your cover letter will be read
  • 68% of employers will find you on Facebook
  • 76% of resumes are ignored if your e-mail address is unprofessional
  • 88% job rejection rate if you have a photo of yourself on your resume
  • 89% of businesses planned to use social media networks for recruitment in 2011: 86% LinkedIn, 60% Facebook, 50% Twitter
  • An average of 250 resumes are received for each job position

Pretty interesting information and of course not all employers follow all of these “rules”. Smaller firms will spend more time on a resume and cover letter, while larger HR departments must eliminate candidates more quickly. Don’t become a statistics!

Ways to get your Resume looked at

Here are some ways to make sure someone looks at your resume.  Make sure it has “neat copy” with no errors or mistakes.  Keep it to one page, so that it is easy to read.  Use headings and key words so that the employer can quickly evaluate your skills and capabilities.  Make it easy for the hiring person to understand how you are qualified for the job. You want to make them curious to meet you so that you will be given an interview.

The resume is the first step for you to sell yourself to others, so use it to your advantage..  Make sure it creates a positive reflection on you and what you can do.  Put your best foot forward while still telling the truth.  Be clear and concise as you communicate your job skills, knowledge and abilities.

If You Never Ask, The Answer Will Always Be No

If you Never Ask, the Answer Will Always Be No

Find the job o your dreams

If you never ask, the answer will always be no.  Dear me!  Have you ever felt like you’ll never get the job of your dreams? I have.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and wonder why I’m going through all this trouble to pursue my passions (Film & Theatre) in an industry that is so competitive, cutthroat, and ultimately known for chewing people up and spitting them out (gulp). We live in a fast-paced society that grows more and more competitive.

Just re-reading that sentence makes my stomach lurch. It seems like there’s always one more thing to do or it feels as though we aren’t doing enough. There you are sitting in an interview waiting room sizing up your competition wondering why on earth you’re there. As a senior, I understand how it feels to be a little fish being thrown into the ocean that is the (insert Jaws theme song here) “job market.”

If I never ask, the answer will always be no to the job of my dreams

Bear with me. Sure, some mornings I wake up with that dread in my gut…but most mornings I wake up full of joy because I get to go to class and analyze film, create and share stories, and just generally do all the things I love to do. It’s a scary prospect that there is a chance that I may not make it in the industry I’ve come to love so much, but whenever I feel that way I remind myself that if I never ask, the answer will always be no.

    • If I never try to become a producer, I’ll never become a producer.
    • When I never go after the jobs I want, I’ll never get the jobs I want.
    • If I never get out of my comfort zone, I’ll live a passionless life or I will get bored because I haven’t challenged myself.
    • When I only do 10% of my work, I’ll only get 10% out of that experience.

Ask to get the job of your dreams

So here’s my two cents: Talk to people in your career field who have “made it” in the job you want. Ask them how they ended up being where they are, and why they decided to pursue that career. Send emails to people you’ve never met before, but hope to be like one day.

I’ve done this so many times and sometimes people say they don’t have time to speak with me, but so what? In that case, I’m proud of myself for having the courage to ask. I’ll never wonder if my life would have taken a different path had I talked to that person or gone after that specific opportunity.

And here’s the amazing part:  they are more than happy to meet with me  After all, people love to talk about themselves and it’s fascinating to learn about the paths people take in life. It’s also easier on them if you pursue them and they don’t have to work so hard to find the perfect person (a.k.a. you). Your path will be entirely your own, and I have no doubt it will be an incredibly interesting story.

I don’t claim to be an expert in job hunting, but you know who is? Debbie Kubena and Monica Jackson…so you should make an appointment and talk to them. Not only are they super friendly and kind, but I get help figuring out how to swim in this ocean. It helps to have people encouraging you and helping you pursue your passions and they are the kind of women who will do just that.

The interview question everyone fails

The Interview Question everyone fails

I recently received some feedback from a recruiter that works for a well-known American brand icon about a particular interview question that most candidates can’t seem to answer correctly. It’s one of the most common questions asked in an interview and one of the most fumbled unknowingly by a candidate. Are you ready for the question??

Why should we hire you?

What most people say

Most people answer with “I’ve always admired your company [Insert whatever reason here]” or use this as an opportunity to show off the research they’ve done about the company. While all of these are decent responses, you can really blow a recruiters socks off by taking a slightly different approach.

What companies want to hear

Employers really would rather hear about how you can help their company, because in the end that is why they want to hire you. Unfortunately, it’s not for your great fashion sense or how you tell the best he-said/she-said jokes. While they might come to love these qualities down the road, your initial purpose is to help grow their company. It is the success that you can bring the specific role, department, or company as a whole.

So next time, take this as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the company AND show off what you can do for them. For example, you’re interviewing with Advertising Agency that has a strong emphasis on account planning. Your answer should go something like this:

“It sounds like you are looking for someone who is a strong communicator and has the ability to draw in new clients with fresh ideas. During my last internship with ABC Advertising I was able to bring in 10 new clients over a 6 month period in 3 different industries. I believe I have the demonstrated ability to conceptualize and introduce new strategies that build brands and increase product growth while maximizing profits.”

Sounds easy enough right?

Best practices for on-campus recruiting

Best Practices for on-campus recruiting

Consider a number of best practices for on-campus recruiting in order to increase your inpact. Increase your visibility on-campus.  It will create a steady pipeline of talent for the organization.  I like to think of different opportunities like a menu where you can take some options and not others.  Selecting options brings satisfaction.

Career Fairs

There is a lot of debate surrounding on-campus recruiting.  In some schools, the numbers of students attending may be dwindling. However, the majority of Universities still see this as being their most successful and well attended event of the semester.  Many students attend the recruiting event, so take advantage of that.  Students can speak to multiple employers in a short time frame without having to travel anywhere. While some companies won’t spend a large chunk of their budget on these events, it is a great way to show community involvement.  It can generate interest that far outweighs the expense.

Student Organization Involvement

These days, student organizations aren’t looking for an employer to hold an information session in their meetings. They would rather hold a resume review or have you speak to a topic related to their organization’s interest. Talk about career options for their majors or the importance of networking. Also, pick a representative who is open, friendly, approachable and charismatic.

Help Out

Watch out for Higher education budgets that are constantly being cut. While you and I realize the importance of funding for career services events, the powers that be may not. So, if your company is interested in having access to students at a particular event (ie. networking breakfasts, site visits, etiquette dinners, speaker panels, etc.) consider sponsoring the event.

On-Campus Recruiting

Many Career Services Offices have interview suites for employers to use free of charge. It is surprising how few companies take advantage of this convenient service. Instead of trying to interview students off-site, you can spend a day on-campus and have students interview between classes.  This makes it easier for students to fit interviews into their schedule. It is usually a more effective way of interviewing for the recruiter as well.

Give Feedback

Career Services offices love to hear new ideas that you think would work for your organization and their students. Share events that have been successful at other campuses.  Make suggestions that would work on their campus.

Be Consistent

Be sure to have a consistent presence at campus events to build brand recognition.  This adds to your company’s reputation. Even if you don’t have immediate openings, it can be worthwhile. There may be a  position that  comes available down the road.  Your regular on-campus contacts may help fill that position.   There is a  direct correlation between employer consistency and student interest. Show up every year to get your name recognized. This can  ultimately cut down on recruiting efforts due to name recognition.

Keep this in mind as you develop your recruiting  methods. The best  strategy is one where you partner with the university’s Career Services Office to navigate their campus. You want  to hiure those who are well prepared from their campus studies.

21 career tips from Stanford faculty

Career tips seems to follow the old adage that advice is worth about as much as you paid for it. So, what are you willing to pay? For most of us, we are getting drowned in all the free advice. Instead, we have collected career advice from some of the best faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. A two year MBA from Stanford costs upwards of $200,000 so it’s good. Therefore, read on.

Career tips

  • Successful people listen. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio. You learn more by listening than talking.
  • Follow the Pareto principle. Always look for the 80/20 of any situation, relationship, or project. Eighty percent of the value is delivered by twenty percent of the product/service. Focus on that 20 percent.
  • Never underestimate the importance of passion. When Warren Buffet finds people to run his business, his key criteria is to find somebody who would do the job whether they would get paid or not. His $58.5 billion in net worth proves it.
  • Be likable. People who are liked have the wind at their backs not in their face. So be liked.
  • Just when you think you’ve got it 100% right, you can be taken down. It doesn’t matter how secure you feel don’t get complacent. Large companies aren’t beaten by startups because they get out resourced they get trumped because they think they have things all figured out.
  • People who are lucky make their own luck. You only make your own luck by staying in the game. Almost everybody thinks they have a million dollar idea but only the select few have the vision and determination to make it into a reality.

Working with People

  • Put on “the cloak” of leadership. A large part of your role as a leader is to inspire and motivate your employees, and people will look to you for confidence. If you were on a plane with engine problems, you don’t want the pilot to say “I am exploring a number of options and hope that…”, you want him to say, “I will do whatever it takes to land this plane.”
  • The outcome of a negotiation is largely a function of your alternatives. Know your next best option, and your next best. It helps to be the smartest person in the room and the most prepared person in the room.
  • You will only be as good as the people you will recruit. Pop culture and the media celebrate individuals and create icons but teams succeed. Think about the wildly successful i-products (iPhone, iPad, iPod) it wasn’t Steve Jobs doing everything, there were numerous teams of hundreds of employees that worked together to make those products into a reality.

Management Best Practices

  • The best scientists can explain complex issues in simple terms. Pretty good scientists can explain complex issues in complex terms. Communication not so that they understand but communication so clearly that they cannot misunderstand.
  • A’s hire A’s. B’s hire C’s. Always strive to hire people better than you are. Take your ego out of it. Surround yourself with great minds and smart people and they will amaze you. Remember teams not individuals succeed.
  • Be a clear, fair manager. For example, when speaking to a business unit leader that isn’t succeeding, say: “I want a strategy to win in 1-page and the objectives we need to hit each quarter to reach them.” Don’t be a jerk but communication expectations and standards of excellence. Provide a vision and get down in the trenches and work.

Create Business Opportunities

  • When considering a business opportunity, look for change. What inflection point are you taking advantage of? Without change, there is rarely opportunity. Sometimes a seemingly meaningless idea can’t be worth billions. How can relationship statuses and vacation pictures be worth billions? Ask Facebook.
  • When in doubt, just keep selling. Not a bad default strategy to communicate to your team. It concerted, persistent effort.
  • Be humble. The markets are brutal to those who are arrogant.
  • Understand what you don’t do well. First, know thyself. Surround yourself with people and resources that can do these things well. Blind spots are for cars not people.
  • Practice self-discipline. Set targets, have timetables, have clear unambiguous goals. Life passes quickly – days, weeks, months, years, a lifetime. “Regret for the things we did, can be tempered by time. It is regret for the things that we did not do that is inconsolable.”

Trust in yourself

  • Be yourself. In group settings, you usually serve the group best by thoughtfully expressing exactly what you are thinking. Not necessarily what the group wants to hear. The world has enough yes men, learn to communicate the truth and you will be very valuable.
  • Learn to relax. Overachievers are often passionate about many things. It’s important to learn not to always care so much. Try being indifferent to things that aren’t that important.
  • You’ve got to give trust to get trust. Treat people as you would want to be treated. Sometimes people take advantage of you. That’s fine, don’t do business with them again.
  • Shoot for the moon. To be successful, don’t follow the pack. If you want to win, don’t hedge.

“Appreciate the people you work with, take care of your investors, celebrate successes along the way, communicate lavishly – good news and bad news, tell the truth, don’t try to maximize everything, and take time to stop and smell the roses. Life is pretty short and most of what really matters doesn’t happen at the office.”

50 Questions for Self-assessment and Feedback

These fifty questions will help you perform a self-assessment and provide feedback to yourself. Be honest with yourself, this isn’t anybody to impress here.

Self-Assessment Section 1: Defining Goals

1. If you were to FULLY live your life, what is the first change you would start to make?
2. What areas of your life could be upgraded/tweaked?
3. What could we work on now that would make the biggest difference to your life?
4. How would you feel about doubling that goal?
5. What are you tolerating/putting up with?
6. What do you want MORE of in your life? (Make a list)
7. What do you want LESS of in your life? (Make a list)
8. What are three things you are doing regularly that don’t serve or support you?
9. How could you make this goal more specific or measurable?
10. What would be the biggest impact from achieving your goal(s)?
11. What would you try now if you knew you could not fail?
12. How can we make this something you’re aiming towards, rather than something you’re trying to move away from?
13. What do you love?
14. What do you hate?
15. What’s one thing you would love to do before you die?
16. Is now the right time for you to make a commitment to achieving these goals?
17. What could we work on right now that would really put a smile on your face?
18. For your life to be perfect, what would have to change?
19. What do you really, really want?
20. What’s one change you could make to your lifestyle that would give you more peace?

Self-Assessment Section 2: Action Stations

21. What’s the first/next step?
22. What research could you do to help you find the first (or next) step?
23. Who could you talk to who would illuminate this issue?
24. Who should you be hanging out with – so that achieving this goal becomes natural? (i.e. who’s already doing it?)
25. How can you get the knowledge/ information you need?
26. What are three actions you could take that would make sense this week?
27. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited to you feel about taking these actions?
28. What would increase that score? (e.g. handle fear, clearer steps, more support, more fun)
29. What would Tony Robbins do in this situation? What would “massive action” look like?
30. What will happen (what is the cost) of you NOT doing anything about this?

Self-Assessment Section 3: Gaining New Perspectives

31. What can you learn from this?
32. In what way is the current situation absolutely perfect?
33. How could you turn this around immediately, and enjoy the process?
34. What in this situation can you find to be grateful for?
35. What are you doing well? What can you do better?
36. What’s one way you could have more fun in your life?
37. If you were your own coach, what coaching would you give yourself right now?
38. What is the value of your current attitude?
39. What’s your favorite way of sabotaging yourself, and your goals?
40. What should I say to you if I spot you doing this?

Self-Assessment Section 4: General Diagnostic Questions

41. What are three of your greatest strengths?
42. What are you most excited about now? What are you looking forward to?
43. What’s one way to get more energy into your life?
44. If your relationship was IDEAL, what’s one thing that would be different?
45. What would be your ideal career – if you could do anything?
46. What’s one thing that you could do to give yourself more peace financially?
47. What is your life really about? What is your purpose?
48. If you had to guess your life purpose (from looking at your life to date), what would it be?
49. What would you like most to be acknowledged for so far in your life?
50. Who in your life should be acknowledged more? Would you like to acknowledge them for something today?