3 step formula for resume ‘bullet-points’

3 step formula for resume ‘bullet-points’

Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”

Hi everyone,

In our effort to continue providing concrete ‘how-to’ content vs. just ‘best-practice’ content, we wanted to further explore tips for writing a resume.

While writing this post, I kept finding myself reaching back to a LinkedIn article from 2014 by Laszlo Bock (former SVP of people operations at Google) and I realized that I’m not going to say this better than Laszlo already has

We all know that ‘bullet-points’ on the resume are really important, but if you’re still listing out responsibilities and using a thesaurus (do they still exist?) to dress it up, please click the link below, it’s worth the 10 minute read.

Laszlo did a terrific job breaking down the resume to a tangible ‘how-to’ using the formula:

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z] (click to link to the article!!)

If you’ve read the article and still need help taking your resume to the next level applying this formula – please send me an e-mail, I’d be more than happy to walk through this tailored to your specific resume (jpickering@psgstaffing.com)

Job Search Resources: How Many is Too Many?

Job Search Resources:  How Many is Too Many?

Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”

Answer: There’s no such thing as too many resources for a job search! (ok, maybe 50+ is too many, but hear me out)

My goal with this post is to help provide a Check-List of Job Search Resources and let you experiment with each one to figure out what works best for you. I’m not here to declare which resource is better than the other because in the real world, it’s completely dependent on the person and their specific situation.

Depending on who you ask, everyone has a different “go-to” resource for the job search (probably on the list below) and each person swears by their method as the only way to find a job. I’m not a believer in a one-resource-fits-all model which is why I strongly recommend trying each resource, even if on a small scale, for the most effective results.

I’ve also included at least 1 quick tip for each resource, but I’d love to do a more thorough action plan if you want to talk more. Shoot me a quick email (jpickering@psgstaffing.com) or give me a call (617 250 1078) and who knows… if people want to see it, I can even write more detailed posts for each of the listed resources below.

Here’s the check-list based on the most popular suggestions I’ve heard from both active and passive job-seekers over the past year:

  1. Networking – Quick Tip: Make a list of family, friends, classmates, old colleagues, alumni, etc. and send at least 10 e-mails or make 10 phone calls a day working down the list asking for help
  2. Referral from someone at the company – Quick Tip: Use LinkedIn to target someone you know at the company you want to work for and have them to submit your resume on your behalf
  3. Referral from someone outside the company – Quick Tip: If you aren’t connected to anyone directly at the company, find someone who works there that is connected to someone in your LinkedIn network and ask for an email introduction
  4. Job boards (post your resume) – Quick Tip: if you’re worried about unwanted emails, set up an email account specifically for your job search where all resume inquiries can go
  5. Job boards (apply to ads) – Quick Tip: Don’t just use the major job boards (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, Glassdoor, etc.) Use the specialized sites too like Higheredjobs.com, idealist.org, or Dice.com
  6. Corporate websites – Quick Tip: Take advantage of instant connection opportunities like Live Chat and Messenger apps for companies on the cutting edge of hiring
  7. Staffing agencies – Quick Tip: Don’t partner with just one; sign on with multiple recruiters to maximize your exposure to new opportunities.
  8. Social media – Quick Tip: If you’re interested in start-up’s or Tech-savvy companies, check out classic social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Snap Chat where new jobs are posted.

PS – Have another great way to find a job that didn’t crack our list? I want to hear about it! Leave the suggestion in the comments or contact me directly with the feedback

Happy Searching!!

5 ways to get your resume to 1 page

5 ways to get your resume to 1 page

Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times – “your resume should be 1 page!” The problem is; that’s where the advice ends. Everyone seems to agree that a resume should stick to 1 page, but an actual guideline for what to edit is still missing

Here are 5 tips as part of our “1 page resume guideline” that will take you from knowing your resume needs to be shorter to actually making your resume shorter.

  1. How big is the font? If the answer isn’t 10, make this change now… font size ’10’. If you’re already ahead on this one, take it down to 9.5. It might seem like a small concession but in reality it could save you 2-3 lines of valuable space.
  1. Do you have an objective or summary at the top? I get it, it can be tough to tell your story through a resume, but using an objective or summary is a DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Not only does it take up prime resume space, but you’re also holding yourself to a specific position or background. It can box you in and land in the dreaded “no” pile
  1. Save the Personal Interests for Social Media! You’d be shocked how many resumes include a section at the bottom of personal interests. I’m all for building a relationship and getting to know a person, but the bottom of a resume isn’t the time or the place.
  1. Stop equally dividing bullet points under each job! Your most recent position should have 5-8 accomplishment-based bullet points. That doesn’t mean all the jobs on the resume deserve the same real-estate. The further back the job in your career, the fewer bullet points it should have describing your accomplishments (2-3 tops). The more jobs you have, the less space you’ll have for bullets so make sure to save the majority for your most recent positions.
  1. Spacing, spacing, spacing. There are so many little ways to save a line here, or a line there on a resume that can really make a difference. Here are a few quick hacks:
    1. For Contact Info, put your email and phone # on the same line (instead of 2)
    2. For Skills, list them on one line using commas instead of multiple lines with bullet points
    3. Instead of double spacing between sections, try single spacing after inserting a “line break”
    4. Leave off employment from pre-graduation / non-relevant experience to the job

 Tried all 5 tips and still over a page? Here are a few more hints…

  • Put your best foot forward (lead with your strengths on top)
  • If it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying to… leave it off!
  • Assess each line of the resume looking for “wasted space”

I’d love to connect about this if you’re still having trouble or want to share feedback. Here are the best ways to get a hold of me and I promise you’ll hear back within 24 hours!!

  • Send me an email (jpickering@psgstaffing.com)
  • Give me a call 617-250-1078 (that’s my direct line)
  • Or, if you happen to be on our website, chat in and tell the operator you’re looking for me and 1 page resume advice. They will help us connect!

Ask A Recruiter: Tailoring A Resume

Q: I don’t really have to edit and update my resume for every single job I pursue, do I?

 

A: Allow me to be a little tongue in cheek here. Of course not…as long as you don’t mind having fewer interviews.

 

Just keep in mind that the more interested you are in a particular job, the more tailoring your resume to that specific job will help you achieve your goal. If you were a close relative or friend, I’d tell you to tailor your resume to any job you apply. And, it’s not that hard.

 

You know why? Because the employer has already told you what they’re looking for. All you have to do is show them how your experience and skills match what they’re seeking. Take a look back at the job description. Now read it again. That description is going to be your guiding light as you review and edit your resume for the job opening. The first person who reviews your resume often refers to themselves as a “screener”. This means your goal is to get them to not say “no” to your resume.

 

Let’s start at the top. Although we don’t recommend it, many candidates like to include a career summary or their objectives at the top of the page. As we said in our previous post, Why Your Resume Didn’t Get Past the First Round, those statements may be important to you, but they’re not what the screener is looking for. If you have such a paragraph on your resume, it should mirror the job description exactly. If you have 4 out of 6 required skills, you should list those 4 skills and no other additional skills or qualifications.

 

Of course, you can only tailor so much; you are who you are. But you can change how you present yourself and your experience. The best way to do this is to use bullet points that directly correlate to job responsibilities. Highlight your current responsibilities that match those in the open job. Again, it’s not about highlighting what you think are your best attributes, it’s about highlighting the experiences that are most relevant to the job and those that best match what the employer is looking for.

“The best way to do this is to use bullet points that directly correlate to job responsibilities.”

Make your accomplishments stand out by making them easy and obvious for the recruiter to see. We tell candidates to think about “what they did” and turn that into an impactful accomplishment by quantifying it in terms of efficiency or time and costs saved.

 

For example, instead of saying that you are a “proficient user” of Excel, tailor this to better illustrate your proficiency, “as demonstrated by creating 14 spreadsheets per week, maintaining 26 weekly reports, and instituting pivot tables on weekly report in Excel.” Reading that will give the reviewer a very detailed and descriptive understanding of your capabilities.

 

Take it a step further by describing the impact your work had. For example, change “my primary responsibility was creating weekly reports for the executive team” to “By adding pivot tables to Excel, I saved senior management two hours of research time per week.”

 

Another way to change how you present your experience is by tailoring your previous job titles to the current position. Are you interviewing for a role as a marketing assistant? Highlight other positions you held as an ‘assistant,’ even if they weren’t in marketing. Consider tailoring the dates in your employment history so that your most relevant experiences are pushed to the top. We’re not recommending that you falsify any parts of your job history, but that you present your past experiences in a way that most closely matches what the prospective employer is looking for.

 

Again, remember that it’s important to write about accomplishments the recruiter is looking for and that best match the job requirements. Don’t include accomplishments — however great they seem — if they’re not relevant.

 

 

 

Jim Pickering has worked at Professional Staffing Group for 8 years. He started in PSG’s entry-level training program and is now a senior recruiting manager. Jim oversees a team that sources and pre-screens candidates for PSG’s clients.

16f2df2

Ask A Recruiter: Are Cover Letters Important?

Q: Are cover letters important?

 

A: Yes, cover letters are still very important. They present a terrific opportunity to differentiate and sell yourself as the best candidate for the job opening.

 

Cover letters should always do more than just preview what’s in a resume. Job seekers can summarize and highlight their professional history and strengths, as well as specific soft skills and traits that they wouldn’t include on a resume.

 

Other things that you can include in a cover letter, but not a resume:

  • Talk about why you’re interested in the opportunity or the company – This is the primary purpose of the cover letter and something that the hiring manager will be looking for, especially if it’s not obvious from your resume.
  • Explain ‘red flags’ that may be in your resume – While you should stick to factual information on your resume, the cover letter is a good place to briefly explain things in your work history that may be questionable, such as an employment gap or your location.
  • Mention a personal connection– If you have a personal connection to the job opening, i.e. you know someone who works or worked at the company, and mentioning their name could help you get a foot in the door, the cover letter is a good place to communicate that connection. Of course, it’s advisable to get the contact’s permission first.

 

Some best practices for writing cover letters:

Length – Just like a resume, length is important. A cover letter should be no longer than a half page or 3-4 paragraphs.

 

Keep it fresh – As I mentioned above, the cover letter shouldn’t repeat what’s in your resume. Keep the content focused on why you’re a good fit for the company or position.

 

Address it to a specific person – It’s better to address the cover letter to a proper name than to use a general greeting such as “To Whom it May Concern.” Do your research; call and ask who to address in your cover letter.

 

Personalize it – Use the cover letter to differentiate yourself among other candidates by revealing who you are and what your personality is like. Consider the questions that interviewers like to ask and mention your career goals, aspirations, and/or where you see yourself in the future.

 

Demonstrate knowledge – The cover letter is a good opportunity to show that you’ve researched the company you’re applying to. Incorporate the research into your reasons for being interested in the opportunity or into an explanation of why you’re a good match.

 

Know your audience – While the cover letter presents a good opportunity to communicate your personal interests, it’s also important to match your style with the hiring organization. Different organizations have different workplace priorities and values that can depend on their size, industry, competitive landscape, whether they’re a headquarter location vs. a branch office, etc.

 

Always Proofread – Have someone proofread the letter for you before sending it. Nothing will get you eliminated faster than typos!

 

Gwendolen Andre is a Senior Group Manager on the Major Accounts Division at Professional Staffing Group. She manages four teams that work with a variety of clients within the higher education and healthcare industries.

39279fb

Ask A Recruiter: Why Your Resume Didn’t Get Past the First Round

Q: I haven’t been called for an interview for the past few jobs I’ve applied to. What am I doing wrong?

 

A: A decade ago, job seekers used resumes to get their foot in the door for an interview. However, in today’s job market, resumes are used to screen candidates out. Even if you’re qualified for an interview, your resume could prevent you from getting to that step, so it’s important that you have a bulletproof resume to avoid getting screened out. Here’s how it works: a ‘screener,’ who could be a human or could be automated software, quickly scans your resume and gauges whether it’s worthy to go to the next round where it will be given more careful consideration and where you’ll perhaps be invited in for an interview.

 

Screeners spend less than one minute looking over your resume so it’s important to show them your best attributes right away and not waste their time. Don’t bury your most essential or biggest accomplishment – put it right at the top of your resume. For example, if you’re a recent college graduate, your degree will likely be your biggest qualification. If you’ve worked in a certain industry or in a certain role for a few years, summarize that as your biggest qualification. Don’t waste important ‘real estate’ on your resume by putting a summary or your objectives at the top of the page. While those statements may be important to you, they’re not what the screener is looking for.

 

Here are other things that screeners look for:

 

A resume that’s easy to read – Think about it: the screener has a huge stack of resumes and not much time – are they going to want to dig in to a multi-page resume with cramped type? No. They want to see a sleek, easy-to-scan, one page document that highlights the candidate’s most important attributes.

 

Location – From the screener’s perspective, seeing that a candidate lives out of state or far from the job site is a red flag. They might assume that the candidate will need to relocate or want to negotiate commuting. While a resume may otherwise be very strong, if the screener has an abundance of candidates and needs to knock some out of contention, resumes that point out a long-distance address could go to the bottom of the pile. If you’re in this situation, try listing generic contact information (such as a gmail account) or putting your contact information at the bottom of the page.

 

Education–It’s not always the case that just because you have information to share, it should be included on your resume and the Education category is a good example. First, consider which is stronger – your education or your work experience – and put the stronger attribute at the top of your resume. If you’ve been working for a few years, it doesn’t make sense to highlight non-essential education information like the high school you went to or a GPA that isn’t very strong (3.8 or higher). If you are a new graduate and want to put the spotlight on your degree, it’s fine to highlight leadership experience from school or classes that are relative to your industry or area of work, but don’t highlight unimportant parts of your education.

 

 

Requirements – Some companies, especially large organizations, use tracking systems that pre-screen resumes. In this situation, it’s important that your resume contain the keywords that the software will be looking for. These keywords are taken from the job description, often they will be listed as “requirements” in the job description. It’s important to incorporate these keywords as often as possible in your resume – as long as they’re applicable, of course.

 

Hobbies & interests – While talking about a unique hobby could help a candidate appear to be well-rounded or break the ice in an interview, listing that hobby on a resume comes across as a waste of space. Screeners would rather see resumes that list skills, certifications and/or awards instead.

 

Spacing & formatting – One of the first pieces of advice resume writers receive is to triple check that there are no grammar mistakes and typos. Here is a second piece of advice: make sure your resume is formatted correctly throughout, that the font and size are uniform, and that everything is bolded and italicized that should be.

 

 

Jim Pickering has worked at Professional Staffing Group for 8 years. He started in PSG’s entry-level training program and is now a senior recruiting manager. Jim oversees a team that sources and pre-screens candidates for PSG’s clients.

16f2df2

Ask A Recruiter: What to Wear to a Job Interview

Anxiety over what to wear to a job interview is a common occurrence, especially if you’re switching industries or haven’t been on a job interview in awhile.

PSG recruiters have joined together to illustrate the difference between different attires and provide insight on which one is most appropriate for your next job interview.

In general, dress codes are similar across industries. For example, technology companies and startups, such as TripAdvisor, Google, etc., tend to dress Smart-Business Casual. Higher education institutions and medical industry organizations lean toward Business Casual, and law practices, financial institutions – like Wellington Management – and formal business environments dress in Business Professional Attire. You’ll see Creative dress at advertising and marketing firms, art galleries and graphic design firms. Remember, there are exceptions to every “rule” so it’s always a good idea to confirm the dress code with your recruiter and through research before the interview.

Here’s what we mean when we use these terms to describe an organization’s dress code:

Smart-business casual– This is likely seen in a tech environment and at startup companies, etc. This style of interview dress could be considered to be a blend of “business casual” and “creative.” You should still have a polished appearance, but should consider adding a unique and varied component to express your personality. This could include a printed, more unique tie or bowtie, a colorful necklace, or a printed blazer instead of conventional black.

{"total_effects_actions":0,"total_draw_time":0,"layers_used":0,"effects_tried":0,"total_draw_actions":0,"total_editor_actions":{"border":0,"frame":0,"mask":0,"lensflare":0,"clipart":0,"text":0,"square_fit":0,"shape_mask":0,"callout":0},"effects_applied":0,"uid":"49A40515-2DAC-4745-91A4-BE9F13393496_1455869172659","width":480,"photos_added":0,"tools_used":{"tilt_shift":0,"resize":0,"adjust":0,"curves":0,"motion":0,"perspective":0,"clone":1,"crop":0,"enhance":0,"selection":0,"free_crop":0,"flip_rotate":0,"shape_crop":0,"stretch":0},"total_effects_time":0,"origin":"gallery","height":640,"total_editor_time":164442,"brushes_used":0}

{"total_effects_actions":0,"total_draw_time":0,"layers_used":0,"effects_tried":0,"total_draw_actions":0,"total_editor_actions":{"border":0,"frame":0,"mask":0,"lensflare":0,"clipart":0,"text":0,"square_fit":0,"shape_mask":0,"callout":0},"effects_applied":0,"uid":"49A40515-2DAC-4745-91A4-BE9F13393496_1455869830128","width":332,"photos_added":0,"tools_used":{"tilt_shift":0,"resize":0,"adjust":0,"curves":0,"motion":0,"perspective":0,"clone":1,"crop":0,"enhance":0,"selection":0,"free_crop":0,"flip_rotate":0,"shape_crop":0,"stretch":0},"total_effects_time":0,"origin":"gallery","height":637,"total_editor_time":198689,"brushes_used":0}

Business casual– This would typically be seen in higher education institutions, the medical field, and a number of other industries. Business casual refers to a professional look, but a full suit is not needed. You should feel comfortable wearing separates instead of a full suit. This could be a dress pant with a collared shirt and v-neck sweater for men, or a solid dress skirt with printed blouse and a solid cardigan for women. Please remember that “Business Casual” does not equal “casual.” Denim should not be worn to a business casual interview. For interview purposes, if you wear a skirt, you should also wear nylons, as they are considered more appropriate.

yellow shirt

 

grid shirt

 

 

Creative– Feel free to really express yourself! Incorporating prints, patterns, accessories, and fun are typically viewed favorably. Keep in mind that “creative” and “fun” still mean professional. You should therefor make sure you are not wearing anything ripped, too low cut, too short in length (skirts), etc. You still want to be viewed as a professional, but need to balance creativity with professionalism. Layers, prints, and accessories can be helpful in pulling together your look. Also remember to bring your professional portfolio of all of your creative work, as most firms in this space will ask to see it. You likely don’t need to wear a tie, but if you do, a bowtie or tie with a fun, bold, or colorful pattern will be best.

image1-11

image1-12

Business Professional– This is considered to be a very formal business environment, and is often found within the legal and financial fields. For these environments, a full suit is required for the interview. Wearing a dark suit (grey, black, navy) is highly recommended, and will convey the most polished presentation. You should also make sure you wear nylons if you choose to wear a skirt suit, and will want to make sure makeup is minimal, hair is tidy, and accessories are simple. For men and women, wearing heavy cologne or perfume will not be well received in a highly professional environment. You will also want to bring a professional “padfolio” with you that contains your resumes and the questions you plan to ask during your interview.

 

 

gray suit

IMG_8809

 

In addition to the basic guidelines highlighted above, it is important to take the following into consideration:

Department

Dress can vary extensively by department. For example, within a highly professional financial firm, the Client Services team may be required to wear a full suit at all times, whereas an IT team may have business casual dress. By doing research and learning more about the specific department you are interviewing with, you can tailor your interview “look.”

Level of role

Regardless of industry, you may want to wear a full suit if you are interviewing with a higher level individual. For example, although the day-to-day attire in a higher education institute might be “business casual,” if you are interviewing with the president of the college, you would want to wear a full suit and shift more towards “Business Professional” attire.

Culture of company

It can be valuable to learn about the culture of a firm prior to interviewing. Doing research on the firm through a variety of channels (LinkedIn, Google, Glassdoor) can help you learn more about the cultural norms at an organization. This can help shape what you wear to an interview. You may also find discussions on Glassdoor or other online forums about what others wore on their interviews with that specific company. This insight can help you make a strong first impression that also aligns culturally with the firm.

Ask A Recruiter: Staying Organized During Your Job Search

 

Q: What are some tips for staying organized during my job search?

 

A: Recruiters love this question because the more organized you are, the more effective your job search will be!

 

Tracking your activity will help you see what actions are most effective. It will also help you avoid being caught off guard and making mistakes. (There’s really nothing more awkward than an employer or recruiter calling a candidate who doesn’t remember applying for their job.)

 

To start getting organized, I recommend these steps:

 

Create an organized workspace – While it may seem great that you can apply for jobs on your phone while walking to work, it’s really not an organized way to do so. I recommend identifying a physical place where you can be productive in your job search. This place could be a home office, a place in the library, or a spot on the counter in your kitchen. It should have access to the basics, like a computer with Internet access, a printer to print your resume, a calendar or schedule, and a folder or file to keep important documents.

 

Make a commitment – Dedicate time each day or each week to your job search and stick to it. Many successful job seekers treat looking for a job as if it’s their job.

 

Set goals – It can be hard to stay motivated if you’re facing rejection or a slow search process. Setting and reaching goals can help you feel a sense of achievement and keep your momentum going. Achievable goals include scheduling in-person networking opportunities, researching new companies, submitting applications, etc.

 

Be strategic – Identify the top companies you’d like to work for and then research the opportunities at each. You can also research which recruiting firms work for those companies and when each will be holding job fairs.

 

Be image conscious – Your best efforts will come to naught if you don’t have an updated and optimized resume and if your online presence isn’t professional.

 

Track your efforts – Whether you use a notebook, a traditional spreadsheet, or a mobile app, it’s important to track your efforts. Many of the small steps that you take in your job search – e.g. following up, sending thank you notes or emails, connecting on LinkedIn – can become important factors in the hiring process. Your tracking efforts should include:

  • the date you apply for the job
  • the name of the position and the job number if there is one
  • the name of the organization
  • the application deadline
  • a date to follow up
  • the name of the recruiter and their contact information
  • notes and reflections on the interview, including what questions were asked
  • whether thank you note or email was sent
  • strategies for networking, e.g. following on LinkedIn, meeting at an upcoming event

 

We created an easy-to-use template for tracking your job search efforts, which you can download by clicking on the image below:

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.22.35 AM

 

There are also plenty of calendar and project management apps, like those offered by Trello, that can help you stay organized.

 

Gwendolen Knott is a Senior Group Manager on the Major Accounts Division at Professional Staffing Group. She manages four teams that work with a variety of clients within the higher education and healthcare industries.

39279fb

Ask A Recruiter: Using Backdoor References

Q: I have an interview coming up and want to find out more about the company, but there’s not a lot of information about them online.

 

A: It’s commendable that you want to research and find out more about the company you’re meeting with. Hiring managers like to see candidates who have done their homework, as it demonstrates your interest in finding a job and an employer that is the right fit for you.

 

When looking for additional information, keep an eye out for disconfirming information and different perspectives. In other words, don’t stop just because you find information that confirms your assumptions and predispositions about the company. In the end, if your research yields contradictory information, it will give you more to talk about in the interview!

 

If you’ve exhausted publicly available resources, like the company’s web site and social media pages (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and other pages like Glassdoor, and you have tried finding articles or other links via Google searches, it may be time to consider backdoor references.

 

A backdoor reference refers to finding information via a secondary or less publicly known method. One way to do this would be to find someone in your network that works at the company you’re looking into.

 

A good way to start is to search LinkedIn for anyone in your network that’s affiliated with the company or is connected to someone else who’s at the company.

 

Once you find a connection, you’ll want to make the most of your opportunity to gather insight on what it’s like to work at the company.

 

A questioning tactic that has become popular lately is to ask “stay” questions, as in “What makes you stay in this position/at this company?” Other stay interview questions cover what’s good and bad about the employee’s job, like these from Monster.com:

  • What about your job makes you want jump out of bed?
  • What about your job makes you want to hit the snooze button?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What’s your dream job?
  • If you changed your role completely, what would you miss the most?
  • If you won the lottery and didn’t have to work, what would you miss?
  • What did you love in your last position that you’re not doing now?
  • What makes for a great day at work?
  • If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about your work, your role and your responsibilities?
  • What do you think about on your way to work?
  • What’s bothering you most about your job?

 

If your contact isn’t working in the department or role that you’re interested in, ask them if they can put you in touch with someone who works in a similar role. This will help you get a sense of the role’s responsibilities and the team’s culture.

 

Of course, you’ll want to practice discretion when pursuing backdoor references, which is why it’s important to look for personal connections and contacts you know to be trustworthy. Keep your questions professional – you don’t want to be perceived as negative or prying for gossip.

 

 

As PSG’s internal HR Manager, Heather is a certified Professional in HR and oversees the team that brings talent into the organization.  She also oversees PSG’s training programs and is a member of the MSA Legislative Committee as well as NEHRA’s Diversity Scholarship and Conference Planning Committees.

2Xsxt9_h_400x400

Ask A Recruiter: Tips for Working with a Recruiter

Q: This is my first time working with a recruiter. How can I make sure it is a productive experience?

 

A: Working with a recruiter can give your job search a big boost. While some parts of working with a recruiter are similar to the experience of searching on your own – e.g. the need to be prepared and responsive – there are some differences, too. To get the most from working with a recruiter, here are my tips:

 

Bring your A-Game For some reason, some candidates treat their first meeting or interview with their recruiter casually. While the recruiter is “on your side,” it’s still very important to make a good impression. The recruiter will use your initial conversations and meetings to help them determine your preparedness for meeting an employer and your “hire-ability.” Show up on time (or early). Dress professionally. Be prepared to answer the questions that typically come up in a job interview and also have questions of your own ready to ask the recruiter and get insight on the process.

 

Be prepared to tell your story. A “get to know you” meeting with a recruiter is different from a coffee date with friends. The recruiter needs data and detail to fully understand your situation. Before meeting your recruiter, take a look at your resume and add detail (go back and research it, if necessary) about the dates of each job, the salary, and any helpful details about your accomplishments.

 

Don’t hold back. Be prepared to share as much detail as possible about your current search, including the location, position, responsibilities, industries and specific organizations you are interested in, and your preferred start-date for a new job (ideally you should be ready to move into a new job immediately). Even if you’re just “testing the waters” and are not ready to discuss every aspect of a job search in detail, be specific about the things you can talk about.

 

Be transparent. When it comes to compensation, you might be tempted to “fudge” your salary history or give a range. However, doing so makes it more difficult for the recruiter to find you the right opportunities. The more detail you can provide to the recruiter, the better able they will be to help you find a suitable new position. Don’t be vague. Be clear about salary numbers, bonus, bonus structure and current benefits.

 

Have an open mind. Recruiters want to know what you’re looking for in a new job and what your priorities are. At the same time, try to limit your restrictions by avoiding statements like “I’ll only take a job with x percent salary increase” or “I only want to work in X area.” Try to cast a wide net, especially to start, and be open to a range when it comes to compensation.

 

About the Recruiter

Greg Menzone is a 10-year veteran of the staffing industry who has made hundreds of successful placements. Greg and the team he manages specialize in direct hire placement of accounting and finance professionals. 

 

greg-menzone-pic1