Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hey San Antonio-I'm hiring!

I’m Hiring!! Top Producing B2B Sales Reps for $1.8 Billion High-Growth Staffing Organization!!!

I'm looking for rockstar sales candidates for an outstanding B2B sales opportunity in the following markets; San Antonio, Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro/Winston/Salem area, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Dallas, Orlando, and Washington DC area. If your skills run more hunter than farmer, we want to talk to you!

Our client is a $1.8 Billion staffing organization who is experiencing tremendous growth organically as well as through acquisitions. If you have 1-3 years of outside B2B sales experience servicing the staffing, hospitality, logistics, distribution, manufacturing, transportation or construction industries with a track record of success, I'd love to talk with you.

You need to bring high energy, drive, tenacity and a love for sales to the table. Excellent compensation, benefits and commission structure....along with unlimited growth potential for career progression and income earnings.

Interested in learning more?  Contact me!
Michelle Morettini
michelle@looking2landed.com
972-961-7662 Office
mmorettini Skype

It's not your resume!!

 

I received an email recently from a very capable and bright job seeker I know. This gentleman was convinced that the reason that he was not getting any responses in his job search was the format of his resume. Now, in all fairness, let me say that I wrote his resume, so I might be a little biased...but I know it's not his resume. And you know what-it's probably not yours either. Let's talk about that a bit.
Remember that the Average recruity type (Art) spends about 5-10 seconds glancing at your resume (10 seconds is probably too generous actually) to determine if he/she wants to review it more. From there, if Art likes the experience he first sees, then he will probably dig in a little deeper-maybe 30 seconds before deciding to call/email/smokesignal you for a further conversation. Alas, the amount of time you spend in writing a resume is NOT directly proportional to the amount of time that Art spends reading it.

So, while it's important to have a nice resume, the reality is that Art doesn't care if your font is Times New Roman or Arial, whether you use bullets or asterisks, or whether you use 11 or 12 point font-Art just wants it to be clean, easy to read, and full of information about what job you did AND how well you did it-ie performance metrics. Now, resume writing services are going to tell you the exact opposite, but the reality is that changing up little formatting details on a well written, clean, easy to read resume is probably not going to do anything for you but delay the inevitable realization of...
sometimes the market sucks.

Yep, I know. It's a shocker, no? In some geographies or industries, the market is still soft by anyone's definition and even a resume written on a sheet of $100 bills may not get noticed. Remember that for most of you who are relying solely on online applications, there is a good chance that your resume isn't even being seen by human eyes. And I promise, the computer reviewing your resume doesn't give a rat's behind how it looks. In fact, it probably would like you to have even more data/less formatting (hence the ASCII version of the resume-but that's a rant for another day.)

What to do then?

I think for any job seeker who is putting applications out there and getting no response, you have to ask yourself what you want. Are you doing these things to A) satisfy the requirements for your unemployment, or B) are you ready to get back in the saddle of the working world? If the answer is B, then let's talk about this circle...
Pic 1
As you can see from my 5th grade graphics, nowhere in the circle of a diversified search do I recommend leaning on one method above others. The truth is that a good search (one that is going to uncover the best jobs, not just the low hanging fruit), they are all interdependent and feed into one another.

Ok, I'm sold..how do I start? Well, I think the trick is to start adding in additional strategies. I highly HIGHLY recommend finding a local job search group/club and joining their ranks. While I don't think that all of your networking should come from the ranks of the unemployed, let's face it-we all need someone who understands how we are feeling from time to time. Check out sites like www.job-hunt.org, www.workministry.org, etc to find local groups for you. Beyond there, I would say add in more areas as you can until you have your job search running as a strategy and not a function. There is no magic bullet in job searching, but the closest we can come is having a diversified strategy.
Good luck and happy hunting!

Michelle currently serves as a recruiting and job search consultant helping professionals make the leap from looking to landed. In addition to her time spent recruiting and coaching individuals, she delivers a variety of training sessions from Social Networking, Working with Recruiters, Online Resume Posting, and Interview Prep.
Michelle possesses over 15 years of diverse experience in functional areas such as recruiting, human resources, coaching, training, organizational development, staffing, sales, sales management, retail, and banking/finance.
 
Want to connect to Michelle?
Send her an invitation on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemorettini.
Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mmorettini.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Resume Submissions, Customization is king!


I'm a big fan of History's Top Shot.  One of the competitors on this season of All-Stars is the husband of one of my favorite ex-bosses (and current friend) and he is doing great thus far!  My husband and I were watching the show the other night and were amazed by the skill and precision that these competitors applied to making the shot.  I saw one where the marksman hit an axe blade dead on (go to 24:54 in the video if you want to be amazed too) and was able to pop balloons on both sides to make his shot.  Talk about customizing his shot to the particulars of that target!

In job search, I think people are always looking for the same kind of thing-the magic or silver bullet that will get them exactly the response they desire.  I think it leads them down a lot of different paths trying to figure out what will work: 

If I network more, will I get a job? 
If I apply to more positions, will I get a job? 
If I work with more recruiters, will I get a job? 
If I redo my resume, will I get a job?

The reality is that there is no single silver bullet in job search.  However, I think there are two primary silver bullets that should govern your entire strategy:  diversification and customization.    Customization seems to be the strategy that most people skip.  Let's face it-customizing your resume, cover letter, email, networking approach for every single situation is time consuming!  Trying to figure out what that person/company/position needs to hear from you can feel just slightly easier than trying to come up with the recipe for cold fusion in your kitchen.  However, beyond diversification, I cannot think of a strategy that will faster make or break a job search.  Think of it this way...if you were in a position to hire, which letter would you take more seriously?

Dear hiring manager:

I am writing to express my interest for the job you have posted on Monster.com.  I feel that my skills and experience make me a strong fit for the role and I welcome the opportunity to talk with you more about the position. 

Thank you,
Fred Flintsone

or...

Dear Mr. Smith:

I am writing to express my interest in the Quality Analyst (job ID 34675) that you posted on Monster.com on 6/3/2013.  I have researched your firm and really appreciated that not only do you have a culture of learning, but many of your managers were hired from within. 

In reviewing the job description, it looks like many of your requirements are a good fit for my skills including:

3 Years QA experience
Intermediate to Advanced MS Access skills
At least 2 years working in a Lean Manufacturing environment

I'm interested in learning more about how my experience and background may serve the issues facing XYZ company today.  I will plan to follow up on 6/11/2013 to determine if there is mutual interest in continuing the conversation.  If you would like to reach me prior to that time, you are welcome to call me at 305-555-1212.

Thank you,
Barney Rubble

Now, let's break down this intro/cover letter:

Hiring managers name:  Sometimes this will be in the job posting, but sometimes it is not.  In other times, you would be save addressing this to the Recruiter/HR professional who posted the job.  If it's not in the posting, you could jump onto LinkedIn and try to ascertain the name of the hiring authority.  It might mean a little detective work on your part, but rarely will you find that this research doesn't pay off.

Highlight of skills:  This should come directly from the job posting where you align their desired skills and experience with specific and measurable answers about what skills and experience you have that matches this.  Do not assume that people can extrapolate that you have this experience from your resume.  If you ask a hiring authority to guess on your background too much, they are just going to put your resume in their special filing section (aka File 13) and move on to the next candidate who has been far more explicit in terms of skills they can deliver and problems they can solve.

Call to action:  Sure, it can be tough to find a human to follow up with via phone to ask about the job, but if nothing else, you can always reach out to Recruiting to follow up on your resume submission.  Give a specific date for your follow up and then do it!  If you fail to follow up as promised, this could ruin your chances.  Following up is never a bad thing UNLESS the job posting specifically says no calls.  If it says that, they I would not recommend calling Recruiting-chances are, they will be frustrated by your inability to follow directions and there is a good chance that your resume will go in that File 13.

But does customization stop with the cover letter?  Absolutely not.  I cannot count how many times I have discounted a candidate simply because they sent a highly generic resume for a job posting that I took time to craft with specific information.  It's not a broad jump to assume that if a job seeker is too lazy to take the time to send me something that speaks to my needs, they will probably do the same for my clients.  Hiring manager after hiring manager tells me that customization is the single most important thing that you can do in submitting a resume.  But, what exactly should you be looking at?  Well, think of it in a couple of different parts:

Summary statement:  This is where you want to make sure that it reads appropriate to the job you are targeting.  If you are an Administrative Assistant but you want to make a change to Sales Management, you had better make sure that your resume summary reads Sales Management.  Failure to do this is pretty much going to result in a rejection every time. 

Technical/computer skills:  In some roles, your soft skills are far more important than your ability to sling code.  Let the job posting be your guide on where to put this information-front loaded after the summary or buried in the back.

Work history:  I'm hoping by now that we all understand the value of including highlights of performance with metrics in your work history.  In this case, you may want to reorder your bullet points to better correspond with how they are ordered in the job description.  That is if you have a bullet that talks about a specific customer service issue that is buried on page 2, but the job description reads very heavily around the importance of customer service, you probably want to rework the order of your bullets.  Also, if the job description lists skills that you have, but maybe didn't think were important enough to put on your resume, I would encourage you to include them on your resume.  Again-don't assume that an employer can extrapolate your skills.  It's not going to happen.

Beyond the resume and cover letter, you also need to remember customization in how you apply for jobs.  Really want to get into a specific company?  Well, applying for every single job opening from janitor to CFO isn't going to get it done.  While it may get the recruiting staff talking about you, chances are it will be for all the wrong reasons.  Trust me-this isn't going to make you top of mind as  a candidate of choice-just merely an annoyance if at all.  Most companies use an applicant tracking system to filter their candidate flow.  These ATS are designed to screen candidates out based on keywords and filters tied to the specific job posting, so the reality is that if you haven't customized your resume to the job posting, you probably won't ever even have the chance to be reviewed by a hiring authority anyway.

While I recognize that this can add hours to your job search day, I promise you that it will make a difference in both the quantity and quality of your employer response rate.  Good luck and happy hunting!



 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Job seekers: Select your paid resume writer carefully please!


Picture it...Melbourne, Fl 199something...I was young, dumb and full of money.  I decided that I hated my first post-college job (didn't we all back then?) because I had taken it believing that it was more than what it was. 

pic courtesy of Wikipedia


So, I decided that I would enlist the help of a Professional Resume Writer to help me spruce up my college-y resume.  $350 dollars later(which is $500 in today's dollars, thank you InflationData.com)
I had a new resume and cover letter printed on terribly fancy paper (yes kids-we used to do that), an hour of job search coaching and the memory of an awkward and unsolicited conversation held in my Resume Writer's driveway about the state of her marriage.  While I could have lived without that conversation, the resume itself was a perfectly servicable resume that served me well enough for a couple of years. And while I still think that the price was highway robbery, I can still look back on it now and say it was a decent resume for the price.

Fast forward to today where it seems like everyone who ever got received an A in English is hanging out their shingle as a Resume Writer.  Now, don't get me wrong-there are some tremendous resume writers out there accessible through organizations like PARW and NRWA to name a few.  These are professionals who have invested time and money securing certifications to back up their extensive experience.

However, that also means that every knucklehead with time and money can also secure certifications to back up the knowledge that they don't know anything other than how to pass a certification exam. 

Why the vitriol from me...someone who doesn't even have this designation?  Well, I'll get to why I don't have the certification in a moment.  For me, this becomes a hot button issue when I see job seeker after job seeker who has paid a ton of money for a resume believing that it MUST be good simply because it came from one of these certified professionals never recognizing the fact that for someone who has never hired a soul, never recruited a body or never walked a human through job search....this is all just academic.  Is the grammar correct?  Sure.  Is the font recommended?  You betcha.  Are you going to look like an idiot for having it?  Not likely.  Is it going to be your silver bullet in job searching?  Probably not, but it would make your HS English Teacher really, really proud.  For me, I get really heated about these hacks (I said it-hacks!) who know nothing about job search but yet scam people anyway into paying them more money than they have to put out a document that isn't worth the fancy paper it's printed on.

Now, all of that being said-please believe that there are some tremendously excellent professional Resume Writers with certification out there.  I know quite a few of them and if having a certification is important to a job seeker, I can happily and safely refer people to these men and women all day without worry.  And me...why no certification?  Well, it's purely a personal choice.  My resumes aren't always perfect but that's probably because I write them with a recruiter's mind and if you know any recruiters, you know we aren't always perfect! My credentials are in the literally thousands upon thousands of people who I have screened, interviewed, hired, fired, coached or helped in the course of my career.  And my theory is that the resume that you write for a Hiring Manager and the resume that you write for your English Teacher...it is not always the same.

Perhaps you are out there looking on your own for someone to give your resume a little tweak or a massive overhaul, here are some things to consider:

1) Please think about how you are finding this resume writer.  Are you getting solicited off a job board either because it's part of the job board's service offering or because they found you on the job board?  If so, please take that advice with a grain of salt.  I remember a little experiment that I did with the approval of one of my job search clients and my husband who are in wildly different fields.  They both sent in their resumes to the resume writing service of a large job board.  Amazingly enough even though these resumes were vastly different in style, content and format, the feedback that they received was identical.  AND it could all be correct for the bargain basement price of $600.  This is not what good looks like folks.

2) Does this person have zero presence on the web?  If so, can you confidently say that they know how to help you navigate what a resume needs to look like to come out relatively unscathed from today's Applicant Tracking Systems?  You do know that it's not always coming out as pretty as you would like on the other end of the online application system, right?   I hate to use the term chop-o-matic, but in some cases, it fits.  Someone who has let technology pass them by may not be qualified to help you navigate the very technology laden job search market.

3) Ask for references or samples of work.  While a resume writer is going to be hesitant to give away work product, it's ok to see what this person might have to offer you before you cough up the money.  And of course, when in doubt...

4) Talk to your network-see who they have used.

Bottom line is this.  Do your research and make your choice wisely.  Certifications are great but they shouldn't disguise redflags.  Good luck and happy hunting!

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LinkedIn accounts: Does it pay to pay?


I often get this question in the LinkedIn workshops that I teach...do I need to have a premium account?  And my answer is always the same: yes/no/idon'tknow because there is no one size fits all account type on LI.  However, let's spend a little time breaking down what the basic options are:

Recruiter accounts: monthly charge ranges from $39.95 to $499.95 per month. 
Job Seeker accounts: monthly charge ranges from $15.95 to $49.95 per month
Sales Professional accounts: monthly charge ranges from $15.95 to $99.95 per month
Premium/Business accounts: monthly charge ranges from $19.95 to $99.95 per month



Now each of these has little nuances that make them different.  For example, the job seeker premium accounts supposedly take you to the top of the pile in search results.  Sounds nifty but it isn't going to make a bit of difference if the recruiter isn't interested in you.  High ranking does not always equate with high interest.  In addition, the job seeker account does not give you access to see full profiles of anyone in your network.  Seems like a big thing to leave out...The sales professional account offers you access to Lead Builder.  Sounds cool, right?  Hmmm...not sure that it's anything other than a riff on searches that you could already do on your own.  But, the reality is that all of these will have different features and benefits that will interest some and turn off others. 

My bottom line advice is to compare all of them and if you are a job seeker who thinks that the recruiter account gives you the most bang for your buck, then buy that one.  Who cares if you aren't a recruiter-it's simply LI's account title, not your job title...And ultimately, first strengthen your presence on LI before you shell out any cash.  You may find that you can do everything you need without having a premium account anyway!  Good luck and happy hunting!
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Portfolio careers...are they worth it?


A lot of people are tossing the title Consultant around these days.  For some, it means that they consult with companies on things that they posess subject matter expertise in.  For others, it means that they do contracting work on a short term basis but prefer the term Consultant versus Contractor.  And for others it means unemployed and consulting the TV guide on back episodes of NCIS.

However, for me, Consulting means that I do a little of this and a little of that.  For those of us in the career planning business, we refer to these as portfolio careers.

A portfolio career is simply a work life that encompasses a couple of different roles/functions often in a non-traditional way.  For some it may mean that they do part time admin work while also doing as needed dog walking.  For others it may mean that they pick up the odd contract here and there doing consulting in the energy industry while also launching their website selling wax figurines of their dog.  And for some still, it may mean that they work to make a living doing a couple of different professional endeavors like job search coaching and recruiting (hello-me!).  Regardless of what is in your portfolio, this is becoming more and more appealing to professionals who are realizing that they no longer have to have one traditional job in order to still maintain a happy and healthy career.

So, sounds awesome-where do I sign up for days in my PJ's at home where opportunities rain down from the sky?  Hmm...I'd like to know that too.  Before embarking on a portfolio career, I recommend asking yourself a couple of things:

1) Am I in a position financially where I can afford to take some risk.  That is-can I afford to be without a paycheck while I launch these endeavors?

2) Speaking of risk...do I enjoy uncertainty?  Will I be comfortable with the idea that I have to sing for my supper or do I prefer the stability of what might be a predictable job...with a predictable paycheck/work life?

3) Do I have skills that would be in demand?  Are my skills up to date?  Do employers/consumers need me?  Do my skills fill a place in the market that can't be filled by a machine?  If not, do I know what I want to do to improve my skills?

4) Can I sell myself?  Is my network solid with referrals ready?  Do I have appropriate marketing materials like the right kind of resume, bio, social media presence, etc?  If not, do I know where to go to get these materials?

5) And to me most important....do I have a plan to do address all of this?  What's my goal?  How will I overcome obstacles?  Do I need a backup plan?

I have found that if you can answer these questions first, you are pretty far down the road to creating a portfolio career.  I have been outside of traditional "Corporate America" for several years now and while I'm guessing that I may feel the call to go back someday, I am certainly enjoying where I am now helping companies and individuals make healthy matches.  Until then, happy hunting!

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why I'm not likely to accept your LinkedIn invite


Or alternate title: Why are your invites boring me to death?
 
 
We've all gotten these invites on LinkedIn right?  You know what I'm talking about-the form that LinkedIn populates into the template for sending invitations to connect:
 
 
Hello,
 
 
I would like to add you to my professional netZZZZZZZ. 
 
Oops-sorry.  Drifted off on that one because IT'S A FORM PEOPLE!
 
 
I will be the first to admit that I do use the form from time to time.  Typically I only use it when I have already given someone the heads up that I will be sending an invite or when it's someone I know already.  But what stymies me is when I receive the form from people that I do not know, that I cannot understand the value in networking with and that I see no commonality between the two of us.  In that case, while I might be an open networker, it still has to be a value add for me to include you in my network.
 
So, please remember that while it's a size restricted form (that is-you won't have the room to write a 5 page letter), you still need to get bang for your buck with ideas like:
 
 
One I sent recently to a total stranger that was not only accepted, but she took the time to respond:
 
Dear name,
 
I just tripped across an old posting from you on Answers and it led me to further activity of yours here on the site. Long story short-I'm impressed! If I can do anything to help you, please don't hesitate to ask. In the interim, I'd love to add you to my network.

Best,
Michelle
 
Or when perhaps there is a common group:
 
Dear name,
 
I see that you and I are both in the Blah Blah group.  I'm looking to further my networking in the group by connecting individually.  I would love to chat with you to learn more about what you do.  If you have a couple of minutes to connect, I'd appreciate it.  In the interim, can I add you to my network?
 
Best,
Michelle
 
Another option when there is a connection in common:
 
Dear name,
 
You and I are both connected to Clark Kent here on LinkedIn.  When I asked him about you, he had nothing but praise for your work and professionalism.  I am seeking to expand my networking efforts with people that are also interested in finding ways to do more with LinkedIn.  Think we might connect?
 
Best,
Michelle
 
Bottom line is this.  There is no perfect way to send an invitation to connect but you have to remember that if you are using a basic form, you are going to be imminently forgettable.  Speak genuinely and from the heart without pretense or falsehood.  And of course, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression!  Good luck and happy hunting!