New Year Resolutions

The new year is the perfect time to reevaluate your job search to see what is working and what you could improve on. The holidays also give you some time to prepare and get organized. Look at some of these resolutions and see what you can do to improve your job search and ring in the new year with a new job!

1. Your Resume. Make sure your resume is ready for the new year. Make sure the information is up to date. The resume should be clear and concise, one-page and spell checked. Make sure that the font is clean and looks professional.

2. Interviews. Make sure you are prepared for all of your interviews this New Year. Practice a 30 second pitch about yourself. Prepare your interview outfit look at our previous blog to see some ideas. Take some time to look up information about the companies you will be interviewing with and think of some questions you would like the interviewer to answer during the interview.

3. Your Skills. Do you need to brush up on your professional skills? This may include finishing a degree or taking a few technical courses to prepare for the workforce. Look into some job descriptions that you are interested in and see what skills you might need.

4. Networking. Look into some local networking events. Use google or your local newspaper to find networking event opportunities and try to go to at least one each week. Make sure you practice starting up a conversation before you go.

5. Get Organized. Clean up your desktop . Bookmark your favorite job sites (such as The Wilson Group [LINK]). Get some professional job searching business cards that you can leave at networking events or with potential employers.

6. Volunteer More. Not only will it look great on your resume but it will also grow your network. Volunteering can also help you hone your skills and gain new ones. So make good use of your time without a job and do something that will impact others’ lives as well.

7. Your Attitude. Do everything you can to maintain a positive attitude. These are trying times but keeping a great attitude is half the battle!

We hope these resolutions will help with your job search in the New Year. For more tips and job opportunities check out our website.

Is Your Job Description Enticing or Bewildering?

To hire great talent, you need to get a great talent pool to apply for your job. That may sound glaringly obvious, but it’s surprising how many companies fall down on the job when it comes to the first impression they’ll make on most candidates – the job description.

Perhaps nothing is as frustrating to a job seeker than reading through a job description and still having no idea what the position entails, what skills are necessary and sometimes even basic details like the job title or company location.

Here are three applicant turn offs that are sure to significantly decrease the number of qualified candidates applying for your position.

What’s the title?
The problem is usually not so much that the title isn’t listed, but that it’s 10 words long and does nothing to describe the actual position. Even if your company lists the official job title as “Primary Facilitator of Quality Assurance in Executive Correspondence and Scheduling”, “Executive Assistant” will be much clearer and more relatable for candidates.

The same goes for the description itself. Avoid making the reader try to translate long strings of business jargon in an attempt to figure out what the job actually entails.

How long is this thing?
In the digital age, attention spans have gotten shorter, and job seekers are no exception. If your description is an epic-length single block of text, many candidates won’t even bother to begin reading it. Keep it concise – you don’t need to go into all the details about your three insurance plans and all the equipment in the company gym. Stick to the pertinent details and use bullet points wherever possible to highlight the important points.

Is this a top secret position?
For various reasons, it’s sometimes necessary for a company to conceal its name in a job ad. But don’t be too secretive. If the candidate gets through the job description without finding a mention of your industry or the city in which they’d be working, they’ll be less inclined to take the time to apply.

If you’re not getting enough qualified applicants for your positions, The Wilson Group has extensive experience in attracting top talent and finding the best fits for our clients. Please contact us if we can be of any help.

Rescue Your Resume from the Black Hole

“I’ve sent my resume to a dozen companies weeks ago and I haven’t heard from one.”

If you’ve been in the job market or know anyone in the job market, you’ve heard this statement. Your resume has been sucked into the infamous HR “Black Hole”. Today we’ll explore how the black hole is created, and some ways you can rescue your resume from the abyss and get it in front of the hiring manager.

Big companies can get hundreds of resumes for a position. If the company has several open positions at one time, multiply that number. Simple math will tell you that the handful of recruiters in a typical HR department simply can’t process thousands of resumes each month. That’s why most companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which automatically parses incoming resumes and converts them into database records.

When searching for candidates, corporate recruiters will plug in keywords related to the particular job opening, and resumes containing those keywords will turn up in the search. If your resume turns up toward the top of the list, it has a chance of being viewed.

How can you increase your chances of turning up in that search, or perhaps bypass the black hole completely?

Keywords are key 
The ATS will return results that contain the keywords the HR person has entered. Be sure your resume contains plenty of words that relate to the particular job you’re seeking. Think like an HR person – if you were searching for candidates for this job, what terms would you use? Also, try to include variants of those keywords. For example, if you are applying for a copywriter job, include copywriter, copywriting, writer and writing.

One caveat – be sure the words you use make sense in the context of your resume. If you include a block of text at the top that reads “analyst analyst analyst analyst analyst”, you may show up at the top of the results for an analyst search, but it’s going to look ridiculous to the HR person when they actually open your resume.

Format is important
Always submit your resume in Word, plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) format. DON’T submit a PDF. A PDF is basically a snapshot of your text document. It’s visible to the human eye, but an ATS, which is designed to parse text, won’t recognize any information on a PDF document. It will most likely attach your resume to a blank database record, which doesn’t do you any good.

Also, keep your resume formatting simple. An ATS will look for certain patterns when parsing your resume. It will assume that the first block of text is your contact information, and then it will look for common headings like “education”, “experience”, and “skills.” If you have a complicated format with graphics or pull quotes, there’s a good chance your information will either go into the wrong database fields or not be imported at all. The best format for an ATS is a simple, straightforward, chronological resume.

So remember, don’t let your resume get trapped in the black hole! Remember you are writing for a computer AND Human Resources.

TIME TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION

We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

Attach your resume