The Job Market is Getting Better

Greetings!

Finally some good news on the job front. The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, announced last week the job market is showing signs of improvement.

Now is a great time to update your resume so you are ready to apply for new opportunities.

Since the job search process went digital, most resumes fall into a black hole, and people are not contacted for interviews EVEN if qualified.

If you want your resume to rise to the top of electronic searches and get hiring managers’ attention, it must:
* have the right key words for the positions of interest,
* be achievement-based,
* be easy to read with a logical flow and
* be visually attractive after it has been parsed in Applicant Tracking Systems.

HireWorthy Spring Specials
* FREE Resume Evaluation
* $50 off any HireWorthy Service
Offer Expires 4-30-13

For more information, call 203-571-8067 or email info@hire-worthy.com

Lie to me. It’s not a secret.

When candidates lie during interviews, chances are, hiring managers can tell. This doesn’t mean that the interviewer will tell you that they’ve caught you in a lie though. Instead, they will ask a follow up question and if they still feel you’re not being truthful, they’ll begin to wrap up the interview. Usually, a hiring manager will end by saying something like, “do you have any questions?” and then, “We are early in the process and are still interviewing candidates for this position and will let you know.” You may think you nailed the interview.

When someone lies, according to Pamela Meyer, author of the book, “Liespotting”, there are “red flags” to tell that someone may be lying. Meyer said in an interview for CBS,”Deceptive people might freeze their upper body when trying to remember their story, they might point their feet toward the door, lean toward an exit, shift their posture in significant ways or exhibit “post-interview relief” — that exaggerated exhale of relief and shift in posture when all the hard questions are over.” Dr. Paul Ekman, the psychologist that the character, Dr. Lightman from the show “Lie to Me” is based on, says there are “micro-expressions”, which are split second facial cues that experienced lie spotters can identify.

So why is it that candidates lie in an interview? Well, I find that most of the time, people lie about things that they think the hiring manager will dissapprove of. For example, if they didn’t graduate from college or if they were fired from a previous position, or simply took time off to “hang out on a beach and kitesurf for a year”. While it may be tempting to cover-up some of your previous decisions to “look better” in the interview, it’s always better to go with the truth. A hiring manager is isn’t looking for perfection. They want someone honest that they can trust. If you’re worried about explaining something in an interview, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice in the form of coaching services. They can teach you how to talk about a sensitive topic so you feel more confident in your interview. Bottom line: Don’t Lie.

-Cathie

Get Hired After 50: Top Tips from a Recruiter

Hi Everyone,
If you’re over age fifty and are looking for a job, you’re not alone. Americans over 50 make up the largest segment of the unemployed in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  They do find employment, but it takes that group twice as long as the 30 to 40 year old demographic.
What can we do to speed up the hiring process for those of us over 50?   Well, lets acknowledge that there probably is some sort of age discrimination out there because younger workers demand less salary, but more often than not, its the candidates themselves that are responsible.

Below are my tips to avoid these critical missteps and land the job.
1. Combat Technophobia

Don’t let this be you!

Image Credit


One of the main things hiring managers look for in potential candidates is a proficiency in technology. Within a few minutes of the interview, they’ll be able to tell if you’re tech savvy or not. As a candidate, you need be comfortable with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook as well as the internet, and some social media like Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. If you don’t know how to use any of the above, take the time to learn it. Simply googling “how to change the background in a powerpoint presentation” will result in countless  YouTube tutorials and detailed online explanations. You can also take a class at Apple or another tech company or ask a techie  friend or family member. Also, make sure you avoid saying things like “My son fixed my blackberry for me” or making jokes like “I’m a dinosaur when it comes to technology”, these are red flags to hiring managers and will likely prevent you from getting the job.
2. Keep your Resumé succinct
I often receive resumes with a candidate’s entire work history listed. This is distracting and frankly, will age you. As a rule of thumb, include only the past 10-15 years of your employment history. Another tip is to keep your graduation date off your resume because it’s unnecessary and encourages readers to calculate your age even inadvertently.
3. Create an account on Linkedin!
If you don’t have a presence online, you’ll risk looking out-of-touch. Online content is huge in today’s world and you have to keep up! Linkedin is free to create and only takes a few minutes, for tips on presenting yourself in the best possible light, see this  <https://hireworthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/linked-in-or-linked-out/> article I wrote a couple of weeks ago.
4. Don’t look dated
As years go by, fashions change. But it’s easy to get stuck wearing the same styles that looked good on you in the past. That boxy blazer from the eighties that’s still hanging in your closet may have looked chic then, but if you wear it on an interview, it will age you now. Wear something current and well-fitting. It really doesn’t have to cost a lot, as long as it looks modern, professional, and it won’t matter if you got it at a consignment shop or at Barney’s. For more tips on what to wear for an interview, see this <https://hireworthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/what-to-wear-for-a-job-interview/>  article for women and this <https://hireworthy.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/what-men-should-wear-to-an-interview/>  article for men.
5. Avoid talking about your personal life
As much as you love your kids and significant other, refrain from mentioning them in your interview. Speaking about them will make it seem like you aren’t serious about business and may worry others that you may talk about your personal life too much; both are turnoffs to the interviewer. Oh, and please, please don’t say anything like, “you remind me of my grandson/son” or “I was worried one of those kids would interview me” if your interviewer is close in age.
With these simple tips, you’ll be more confident and will be more likely to be the best candidate for the job.
Remember, as Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

I’m over 50 and it doesn’t stop me from doing anything I set my mind to!
-Cathie

Linked-in or Linked-out?

Hi Everyone,

As a recruiter, if I’m not talking to clients and candidates on the phone, I’m looking for them on LinkedIn.

If you don’t already know, LinkedIn is an electronic database where  people keep their own personal business  information up to date, (almost like a resume but not as detailed.)  If you are in the job market or just open to new business opportunities it is especially important to have a well written LinkedIn profile.  The best thing about LinkedIn is that everyone is on it, (not just job seekers)  and its free to set up.  Job Seekers can use it to research a company before an interview to find out if you have any friends or business associates working there. Hiring managers will often look up candidates before bringing them on an interview so they see how they present themselves online.

Photo Credit

There are a few rules of thumb when creating a Linkedin profile…

1. Have a professional profile picture

Since basically everyone has a picture on their LinkedIn profile, you really should make sure that you have one too-that is if the picture is appropriate and businesslike. I’ve seen photos of comic strip characters, people’s dogs, family photos, and photos that probably belong on a dating website. In my opinion, these belong on Facebook, not LinkedIn. Does you potential boss really need to see how you kids or pets are doing? Didn’t think so. I recommend that, if possible, job seekers spend a few extra dollars and have a professional photographer take their profile picture. And make sure you wear business attire.

2. Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume

Your Linkedin profile should be a summary of your work experience and have all of your contact info. It should not be word-for-word, your professional resume. Hiring managers already have your resume, they’re looking to see another side of you on Linkedin.

3. Let people get in contact with you

If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’ll want  hiring managers and recruiters to be able to contact you, right? Take the time to make sure its easy for someone to contact you. Include your email, cell phone number, and any business related blog or website you may have.

4. Add skills tags

In the skills section of your profile, make sure you put in “key words” to describe your business skills. This will make it easier for companies and recruiters to find you when a great job opens up. When they search for certain skills, your LinkedIn profile will come up and they’ll be able to read about you and send an email or give you a call.

Lastly, make sure you present yourself on LinkedIn the way you’d want to present yourself to your future boss or someone that can give you a job. Keep it professional and simple. Don’t include lofty titles to describe yourself from using “visionary” or “jack of all trades” or attempts at humor with titles like “CEO of the House” which is not what you the person in charge of hiring you to think.

Best of luck with Linkedin. That was just the basics, I’ll do another post soon and give examples and more tips.  If you want immediate help with creating a professional LinkedIn profile go to http://www.hire-worthy.com and ask for Susan.

Cathie

What men should wear to an Interview

Hi Everyone,

My last post was on what women should wear to a job interview and recently, a male client asked what he should wear as well. My business partner, Susan and I were discussing interview attire for men this morning and decided there was a need for an explanation.

While it may seem relatively simple for men since there are much less wardrobe choices, it’s actually quite difficult because all of the small details matter more.

Last week, we sent two candidates on interviews for an IT position. One wore a navy suit, white button-down shirt, conservative tie, and dark shoes. The other wore crisp khaki pants, a navy blazer, white button-down shirt, and dark shoes. Both candidates looked appropriate when they met with the IT manager. Below is a sample outfit that would be appropriate for most job interviews.

 

Men's Interview Look

In general, I recommend that men wear dark suits, ties, button-down shirts, and dark shoes. Most importantly, make sure the suit jacket and pants fit properly. I often see that men gain weight in their stomach and can’t button their suit jacket. This is distracting and unpolished. If your suit no longer fits, just wear a nice, pressed pair of pants with a blazer. I advise men to carry an attaché case to hold their resume, a note pad, pen, references, keys, and cell phone (which should be SHUT OFF!). There’s nothing worse than men on an interview pulling out their phone and reading a message right in front of the interviewer. Another mistake is to carry loose change and keys in your pocket because if you get nervous, it’s tempting to reach into your pocket and jingle and play with these items, which can be distracting to the interviewer. Aside from the attire, grooming is incredibly important in men. If you have earrings, you should take them out and I feel that it’s better not to have facial hair for an interview. If you do have a beard and/or mustache, make sure it’s extremely tight to the face and is trimmed by a professional barber. I also recommend that male candidates get a haircut before their interview, so that they look more put together. Nails should be clean and trimmed and if you have any tattoos, please cover them up.

If you’re a smoker, make sure you wear a nicotine patch on the day of the interview because non-smokers can smell cigarette smoke and might be a turn off.

I hope these tips helped,

Good luck on your interview.

Cathie

What to Wear for a Job Interview:

Hi Everyone,

Times have changed and if you haven’t been in the job market for a long time, you may not know what to wear to your next interview. Ten years ago, women wore a kind of uniform to professional interviews: solid navy or black skirt suits, pearls, pantyhose and closed-toed pumps. In today’s market, that look is dated. While you still want to look polished and professional, you also want to look modern. Women should wear either a dress and jacket or a skirt with a coordinating jacket and top. Pantyhose really aren’t necessary – especially not in summer. Most importantly, dress like you want to be there – neat, clean and properly fitted.  This lets your interviewer know that you’re putting your best foot forward.

Here’s a picture of Josephine and I at the office today. Here’s what’s good about our outfits:

My Outfit (on left)

What works:

-Closed-toed pumps look polished for an interview

-Covered arms

-Sheath dress in a smaller scaled graphic print

-Hemline is to the knee

This would be an ideal outfit for a second interview because it’s a bit more casual but is still put together. My hair is a mess and I would have made sure I spent extra time on it if I had an interview today.

Josephine’s Outfit

Josephine is wearing a grey sleeveless sheath dress that is cinched at the waist. The dress is great for a first interview  because it’s professional when paired with a jacket to cover her arms.

Closed-toed pumps are a better choice than her open-toed slingbacks look for a first interview – their a little more conservative and sophisticated.

Here are some other outfits that would be ideal for an interview:

Interview Outfit #3

Jacket
express.com

Earrings
piperlime.gap.com

Melie Bianco Dora
piperlime.gap.com

Steve Madden Intrude
piperlime.gap.com
Interview outfit #2

Jacket
express.com

Earrings
piperlime.gap.com

Julie belted sheath
bananarepublic.gap.com

Melie Bianco Dora
piperlime.gap.com

Interview outfit #1

Jacket
express.com

Melie Bianco Dora
piperlime.gap.com

Steve Madden Intrude
piperlime.gap.com

Not so sure about the cuff bracelet…what would you say? Is it appropriate for an interview or is it too busy? Comment below.

In my experience, interviewers would be impressed if their candidates wore any of these three outfits for a first interview. First impressions are very important in your interview and the way you put yourself together is a part of that.

Cathie

What Not to Include on your Resume:

Hi Everyone,

Its hard to believe but studies have shown that hiring managers spend less than 20 seconds reading a resume.  Because they are scanned so quickly, it’s important to keep the readers focused on your skills and qualifications for the job.  Extraneous information and fancy graphics are simply distracting and can take the readers attention away from you.

Here’s what not to include…

1. Too Much Personal Info

When I’m reviewing resumes, I notice that people tend to include lots of hobbies that really don’t have anything to do with the job they’re applying for. While it may be interesting that you climbed every major mountain, including Mt. Everest, hiring managers might be thinking about how much time you take off from work to climb mountains. This creates questions that companies shouldn’t be thinking about and can hurt your chances of getting a call for an interview.

2. Photo

In the U.S., photos just aren’t included in resumes. Including a photo will make you look like a novice. What’s worse, you run the risk of putting the hiring manager in an awkward position; they could be accused of discrimination if they don’t interview you. If you have a great business photo of yourself they are always welcome on Linked-In and other social media sites, just not on your resume.

3. Graphics and fancy fonts

Scented, pink resumes only work in Legally Blonde!!

Fancy graphics shouldn’t be included in resumes and can make you appear out of date. In addition, images and special fonts don’t always come across on the receiving end after they go through the applicant tracking system. When special fonts or graphics are at the top of your resume, important information such as your name and address can get cut off. Of course, if you’re a graphic artist or graphic designer, it probably makes sense to showcase your talents on your resume. In this case, I would recommend sending 2 resumes; one done in word and the other done as a PDF (with graphics).  Another solution for creative types is to include a link to their portfolio.

4. References

It’s usually best not to include references on your resume because it’s just not done most of the time. Again, you run the risk of appearing dated and wasting valuable space. Also, you want to make sure your reference contacts don’t get inundated with calls, which can happen if you list them on your resume. I wouldn’t include the statement “references available upon request” because it’s a waste of space and is obvious to the hiring manager.  No one gets hired without references.

5. Your entire work history

Sometimes I see resumes with a person’s entire work history; high school and college summer jobs, internships and 25 years  worth of work experience. At some point it just isn’t relevant.  As a general rule of thumb, include only work experience from the past 10 or 15 years.

Hope these tips helped,

Cathie

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