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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

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Ask A Recruiter: Balancing Personal and Professional Use of Social Media

Q: What are your recommendations for balancing personal and professional information on social media?

A: It used to be easy to know which social media were for strictly professional use (e.g. LinkedIn) and which were for more personal use (e.g. Instagram), but the line has certainly blurred. Some job seekers leverage the social aspect of sites like Facebook and Pinterest to showcase a passion or talent that enhances their personal brand, and some job seekers are sharing more personal information on their professional profiles in order to differentiate themselves.

A simple answer is to create separate identities on the social media you use to keep personal and professional interactions separate. But that can be confusing to friends and followers and life today rarely has relationships that fall into such neat categories.

It’s important today to understand how social media is perceived by others. No matter how you regard and use social media, employers and recruiters will use it to help them do their jobs. Most will Google you and look up your LinkedIn profile. For many positions (not all) it’s considered a detriment NOT to have a LinkedIn profile. In addition, the social world is expanding every day. Whether they’re active users or not, your various family members and acquaintances from every imaginable aspect of life are on social media and can see your posts.

With that in mind, here are some tips for balancing personal and professional information and activities on social media:

Consider the impression you’re making – Take a look at your profile(s) as if you were a recruiter or hiring manager. What is the first impression you get from your photo (or lack of photo)? Do you share professional content on your profile? Does your online activity reinforce your resume? I.e. do you participate in online groups or blog about topics that demonstrate your expertise? Make sure your online presence is sharing the impression you want it to give.

Make sure you’re search-friendly – Just as there are certain conventions to follow for writing resumes, there are different criteria to consider when updating your digital bio. In this case, that means making sure your bio includes the right keywords to appeal to employers.

Remember the behavior rules for social situations – Poor social skills – think of party-goers who monopolize conversations, complain about everything, or take credit for others’ ideas – are just as bad when they happen online. Social media was designed for engaging, not broadcasting. With that in mind, consider posting updates that spark conversation or adding your comment to a retweet. Look for businesses and brands that you’d like to work with and follow them online. Engage with the thought-leaders in your industry.

Know the difference between personalizing and being overly personal – Sometimes we don’t know where the line between personal and professional is until we’ve crossed it. Negative comments, a spike in ‘unfollowers,’ or overall decrease in activity on your social media profile page can be signs that you’ve gone too far. Conversely, a lack of activity and engagement may mean that you’re not interesting enough.

Update privacy settings – If you don’t trust yourself to remember personal and professional boundaries, consider creating rules that will remember for you. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to choose who can see your posts and Pinterest gives you the ability to create secret boards.

 

 

About the Recruiter

Kristen Coppins has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry.  As a Director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees the new hire training and development program. Kristen is also a member of ASA’s Continued Education Committee.  K-Coppins

Ask A Recruiter: Negotiating Salary

Q: What tips do you have for negotiating salary?

A: This is a good question, because there are lots of factors to consider when it comes to salary negotiations.

My first recommendation when considering salary negotiation is to do research so you understand the market and how you and your salary, or salary offer, fit in it. Salary.com is a good place to start to get a base salary range relevant to your position and experience, but then you have to consider the employer’s situation, the job market (demand) for that position and the economy overall in your area. If you are interviewing for a new job, the salary you are offered is based on these things, as well as how your interview goes and whether or not you are currently employed and, if so, what you’re currently making, as well as how your experience and education compares to current employees and their compensation within the organization. The employer will make you a salary offer based on all of these factors. They may make another candidate a different salary offer for the same position.

Understanding the situation is important so that you go into the negotiation (or not) with the right expectations. In my work, it’s common to see candidates whose expectations are out-of-line get stuck without a job because they don’t get offers or turn them down because they are below their out-of-line expectations.

Once you have vetted your expectations, here are a few ‘do’s and don’ts’:

Do:

Understand what you’re worth – Understanding your value will help you enter negotiations with a realistic outlook. A recruiter can help you understand what salary range is appropriate for your industry and experience levels.

‘Monetize’ your skills – Where it’s appropriate, frame your work in terms that show real monetary value. For example, customer support skills can be framed in terms of how much time or money was saved by resolving issues faster.

Remember why you’re doing this – Think about why you want the job and what it is that you’re looking for. It shouldn’t only be about the money. Even if that’s an important factor, keeping the other reasons in mind will help you focus on the big picture.

Don’t:

Don’t mention money too early – Let the employer bring up the subject first. If you ask about salary too early in the process, it will seem as though this is your primary interest. Focus on getting the offer first! Some interviewers bring the topic up early to use it as a screening tool. In that case, you can respond with an honest answer about what you’re currently earning and what your hopes are, but you should also stress how important it is to you to find a rewarding job.

Don’t ignore other parts of the compensation package – Salary is only part of an offer; it’s important to consider the whole package and the other benefits being offered, such as healthcare insurance, retirement investment programs, tuition reimbursement, etc. as well as other aspects of the work like the size, culture and reputation of the organization, the commute and more.

Don’t lose track of the big picture – When candidates become too focused on one particular aspect of the job search – getting a raise of a certain percentage, being offered a certain job title – they run the risk of missing out on opportunities that might be right for them.

About the Recruiter
ImageFrank Gentile is a 20+ year veteran of the staffing industry and an experienced recruiter. As a Director at Professional Staffing Group (PSG) Frank oversees the permanent placement division. 

 

 

Ask A Recruiter: Temp-to-Hire

Q: What does the term “temp-to-hire” mean?

A: There are several ways you can be employed when working with a staffing firm: as a temporary employee, a temp-to-hire worker or as a direct-hire.

A temporary employee is someone who is employed by the staffing firm, but goes to work for a client of the firm. The client company manages the employee while the staffing firm pays the employee. A temporary job can last anywhere from several hours or one day to many months. Temporary employees are sometimes called ‘contractual,’ ‘seasonal,’ ‘interim,’ or ‘freelance.’

Direct-hire means that the firm’s client hires the employee directly. The staffing firm is used to recruit and screen candidates for the role, but once the employee is hired, they no longer have an affiliation with the staffing firm and go directly on the client firm’s payroll.

Temp-to-hire is a middle ground term and it means that the employee begins as a temporary worker, but if the job goes well he/she may be offered a permanent position. Sometimes this is also called ‘temp-to-perm’ or ‘right-to-hire.’

Sometimes an open position is designated as a temp-to-hire position right away, because the employer knows they want to fill the position with a permanent employee, but wants to use evaluate temporary workers in the role to find the best candidate. Other times the position is advertised as a temporary position, but the employee does a great job and the employer decides they want to make that worker a permanent staff member.

Many of the candidates we meet with would prefer to find a permanent position. However, temp-to-hire opportunities can be just as beneficial to the candidate as they are to the employer. There’s only so much information that each party can learn about the other in one or two interviews. It’s only when you’re immersed in the job on a day-to-day basis and interacting with co-workers and customers, that you can truly understand whether the situation is a good fit.

About the Recruiter

K-CoppinsKristen Coppins has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry.  As a Director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees the new hire training and development program. Kristen is also a member of ASA’s Continued Education Committee.