I never heard back. Why?

There comes a time when everyone thinks, “I thought I interviewed well.  What happened?  Why didn’t I get through to the next round?”  I think it’s human nature to always be asking “why”.  Let’s split this into a few scenarios:

You submitted your resume, but never heard back.  Why?

  • Before I make the decision to email/call you back, I look at your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, your blog posts, your Google+ page.  I Google you.  I have seen the rants about your job, how much you hate your boss, how you can’t wait for the day to be over.  I have seen the, sometimes, “unclassy” pictures of your drunken stupor from last weekend.  Would you hire you after seeing these things?
  • Your grammar.  Did you pass 2nd grade?  If so, I expect you to know the difference between “their”, “there”, and “they’re”.  Not only is this a poor reflection on you, but I risk my reputation as a recruiter as well.
  • Your resume is hard to read.  Why is it not in chronological order?  How long did you work at XYZ Corp?  When did you leave XYZ Corp?  Why is the font so small???  
  • Your resume is lackluster.  I can tell when you just copy a job description into your resume.  That’s great.  But tell me what YOU did in that role.
  • Your resume lacks information I want/need to see.  You’re in sales, and you don’t tell me how AWESOME you are at closing deals?  Why not?  Are you not proud of your accomplishments?  Things that make me go “hmm” will quickly put you in the reject pile.  

I had a phone interview with the recruiter, but never heard back.  Why?

  • You didn’t do your research.  Tsk tsk.  Always – ALWAYS – do a little reading on the company you’re interviewing with beforehand.  Know what their offerings are, know who their target clients are, know what questions you want to ask.  What else can you research?  The recruiter.  Find out where they went to school, their career history… use it to your advantage.  Build rapport with them off of any commonalities you might have.
  • You talk too much.  Long-winded answers rarely get you anywhere.  Why aren’t you listening to questions I’m asking?  Why aren’t you answering my question directly?  What are you dancing around?  Nerves are hard to overcome in interviews, I get it.  But you have to listen for cues.  What is the recruiter asking of you?  What kind of information does the recruiter need to evaluation your background? 
  • Your answers sound rehearsed and redundant.  Are you telling me the same thing using different words?  Have you said these sentences/phrases over and over in front of a mirror, and in every interview?  We can hear these nuances.
  • You don’t follow directions.  I found you on LinkedIn, I already have access to your profile.  When I ask for a resume, please send it to me.  Don’t direct me back to your LinkedIn page.  Not following an “ask” is a tell-tale sign of how much you want something.  
  • You interview poorly.  I have said it a million times, “interviews are just conversations”.  We are here to learn about each other.  I talk to some candidates where I feel like I’m trying to pull teeth.  Brag about yourself!  Be confident in your abilities.  Ask questions right back at the recruiter.  Just as we’re interviewing you, interview us!

I had an interview with the hiring manager, but never heard back.  Why?

  • Lack of detail.  By the time you’ve gotten to the hiring manager, they are looking for details on why you’d be great at a job.  If you can’t back up statements like “I’m a successful sales rep” with things like “I achieved 200% of my quota YOY by continuously prospecting my territory, fearlessly hunting and cold calling, and continuously analyzing my plan of attack”, the hiring manager isn’t going to be able to assess how well you’d do here.   
  • You didn’t send a “thank you”.  Call it what you will.  Some hiring managers don’t care.  Some do.  Some make it a “mandatory”, while others are just a “nice to have”.  But, why not increase your chances by taking 2 minutes out of your day to email them?  Show them you want it!

Job searches are hard.  Some would say, interviews are harder.  They’re stressful, they put you in a position of vulnerability.  Approach your job search like you would any other tough situation in life — head on!   

Remember… head down, chin up!  

 

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A Day In the Life

A colleague of mine called me this morning to ask for some insight as a Corporate Recruiter.  On what?  On LinkedIn and how we (corporate recruiters) see a candidate’s profile.  She wanted my insight since she comes from the Agency Recruiting side — a WHOLE different ballgame over there.

She asked.  I answered.

Q:  What do you look for in a candidate’s profile?
A:  I am looking for completeness.  I want to see a full name, where you are located, what industry you’re in.  I want to see accurate dates of employment, where you are/were employed, and what you did/do at your place of work.  I want to see a picture; I want to see a human face behind these words that are on their profile.  Above all, I want to see a story.  I want to know how they got to where they are today.

Q:  Anything else you look for?
A:  Oh yeah.  I want to see recommendations from colleagues, managers, people who have interacted with them.  If their LinkedIn network is small, I tend to second guess my reaching out to them – at least via that medium.  Their college degree(s).

Q:  What pet peeves do you have about some LinkedIn profiles?
A:  Where do I start?  Why do people think that by hiding their names, they’re doing themselves any good?  I guess, unless they don’t want to be found.  But professionally speaking, why wouldn’t you want to be headhunted?  Also, I understand why one might refuse to disclose their current company’s name, but why must all the companies in your profile be anonymous?  What is the point of that?  All job titles and no job duties.  This doesn’t help me!  Help me, help you.

Q:  What do you think about LinkedIn Groups for networking?
A:  They’re a GREAT networking tool.  I don’t know why more people don’t participate in them.  Not just to be members, but to be contributing members.  Engage with the folks in the group.  Ask questions.  “Networking” isn’t just handshakes anymore!

Q:  How many resumes do you review daily that come in from your ATS (Applicant Tracking System)?
A:  30-ish per position, daily.

Q:  How many positions do you normally hire for at any given time?
A:  On average, anywhere between 8-15.

Q:  That’s a lot of resumes.  How many profiles do you review on a daily basis via channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc?
A:  I’ll look at about 500 daily, in addition to whatever resumes came in that day.

Q:  How do you have time to read all those resumes??
A:  Read?  I skim.  I’m scanning for the most important pieces of information that I need to make this person qualified for the role.  If it’s not on their profile/resume, I’m moving on.  Definitely under 30 seconds per profile/resume.  So, if they want to be “seen”, they have to make sure they have the information we’re (recruiters) are looking for.

Q:  Isn’t that unfair?
A:  No, I don’t think so.  Nature of the beast, I guess.  Dog eat dog world.  If you want it, make it happen.

I find that a lot of “job seekers” lackadaisically go about their job search.  They tirelessly send resumes and are upset when they don’t hear back.  They want to be headhunted, but their online presence is minimal.  A little fine tuning will do wonders!  I have faith in you.

Good luck!  And as always… I’m all ears!

Social Recruiting

What is this new term, “social recruiting”, anyway???

Most common definition says it is defined as the process in which recruiters source for candidates via social mediums.

Still, what does that mean?!

To Recruiters, “social recruiting” means:

  • … that we can connect with top talent faster and better than ever before
  • … that we can build relationships with that talent for current or future hiring needs
  • … that “we” (recruiter and/or company) have a real voice
  • … that we can learn more about a candidate than what is portrayed on their resume
  • … that we can network faster and better than ever before
To Candidates, “social recruiting” means:
  • … that you can make yourself “findable” across social mediums
  • … that you can give yourself a human voice
  • … that you can tell your story, instead of the recruiter assuming what your story actually is
  • … that you can engage with employees and recruiters at the company you are interested in
  • … that you can provide (your) industry specific knowledge to those seeking it – be a subject matter expert (SME)
There are so many avenues that we engage with candidates.  To name a few (not an extensive list), the most popular are: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus. 
If you were to ask me how to start engaging in this new way of recruiting, I would tell you to network!  Go find recruiters from XYZ company on LinkedIn.  Connect with them, and engage with them.  Find the Facebook Page of XYZ company and engage with them – ask them questions, provide input on topics.  Start a Twitter account.  Post commentary on your industry, become a SME in it, provide your opinions on topics that are important to your industry, and don’t forget to #hashtag.  
The best piece of advice I got when I asked about creating my “social profile” is to give myself a face.  If you look at my LinkedIn, Twitter and my blog, all my pictures are the same.  It makes me easily recognizable to those seeking me out.  
Good luck!  And as always, I’m all ears!

We Are Always Watching…

Social media outlets provide great insights to a potential candidate.  Let’s say I find someone on LinkedIn Recruiter that I think looks great for the position I am looking for.  I will be the first to admit (and many recruiters will) that I am not only looking at your professional profiles, but I am going to look at your Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp, and/or any blogs you write for or own.  I not only want to get a sense for who you are as a professional, but I want to see how you will be as an employee.

People make assumptions.  Lots of them.  How many times have you looked at someone’s Facebook profile and said to yourself, “Joe Shmo is always partying” or “Mary Jane’s updates are always her complaining about something”.  I’m sorry to break it to you, but recruiters are doing the exact same thing.  We are people, after all.  If we see something we don’t like, it may cost you an interview – or worse, a job offer.

So, what’s killing your social networking profile, you ask?

Inappropriate pictures.  Mentions of excessive use of drugs and/or alcohol.  Complaints about work, or your boss.  Bad grammar.  

Employers are trying to get a picture of who you are as a professional, who you are at work and outside of work, how you interact with your colleagues.  Ultimately, they are trying to figure out whether you will be good for the culture, or whether you will be a parasite for it.

My suggestion:  Google yourself.  See what pops up.  Would a future employer be pleased with what they see?  Would you offer yourself a job?