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Though you should often customize your resume to a posted position, this doesn’t mean trying to package yourself differently for different employers. Be straight-forward; show your achievements, rationale behind them, and impact. Telling the truth openly, voluntarily, and impressively is the key. The more you tell, the more you sell! Here are some things to keep in mind:

Consider tight paragraphs.
  • The two common approaches to presenting your work history are paragraphs, with each job written up as a mini-essay; or bullets, sentence fragments preceded by a raised dot. The latter is often used by advertising copywriters to make every point seem a highlight.
  • While either style is acceptable, I like tight, specifically-written paragraphs to tell a story. Sentences in a paragraph are easier to comprehend and believe, because they closely resemble what we see in books, memos, and other informational writing. Bullets resemble advertising copy.
  • Sentences in paragraphs also enable you to use transition phrases and conjunctions that connect the various statements in ways that serve you better than a series of unrelated exclamations. It’s helpful to say, “In recognition of my leadership on that project, was promoted to …” or “After consolidating these three acquisitions …” You get the gist.
  • I do think that bullets can serve as short testimony to successes that came out of the story in paragraph.
Make your resume factual and concrete.
  • Familiarize your reader with specifics. For each leadership position or collaborative contribution, orient your reader to the size, nature, and trend of (1) the larger unit in which you participated and (2) the part of it you were responsible for. What was the size of your operation in people, sales, and profit? What was its directive? The general business climate around it? The problems and opportunities you identified? The strategies you came up with? And the results you achieved?
  • Use numbers whenever possible. Focus on quantifiable data. Give dollar figures for sales, profits, ROI, costs, inventories, etc. before and after your initiatives were implemented. When you use percentages, try to give the base plus any comparative figures on the rest of the industry or another part of your company that will show your numbers are exceptional.
  • Avoid empty words and statements. Omit self-praising adjectives like “major,” “substantial,” and others. Wherever a word is justified, a number will be far more persuasive. Avoid over-generalized statements like, “Responsible for managing the strategic technical issues impacting the company’s ongoing core business.” What do you do all day? What’s your budget? Whom do you report to and who reports to you? How has your employer benefited from having you around?
  • Create a mosaic. Think of those pictures that are comprised of tiny colored stones. Imagine that each promotion to a new job, each numerical improvement, each specific point of analysis and strategy is a stone. When assembled together in the right order, these fragments will be connected by your reader into an image of you. Don’t assert what the shape of it is. Just lay out enough specific facts – stone by stone – so your reader will see his or her picture in his or her own mind.

The most important ingredients of a resume are time and thought. Decide what facts will prove you get great results, and state those facts in a distilled, clear way. You’ll face competing candidates. There are naysayers who profess that resumes don’t really matter anymore. That’s true of generic, kitchen-sink, this-could-be-anyone-in-the-industry resumes. But a resume that truthfully shows your past performance and shares your success stories in outperforming others does matter!

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post How Your Resume Can Sell You appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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Writing a cover letter can seem confusing and challenging when it’s a “special situation” or outside the scope of directly applying to a clear-cut advertised position.

Let’s look at other types of cover letters to consider in your job search and career management.

Cold Letters.

You can directly contact potential employers without a referral or previous correspondence. Job-seekers most commonly use this type of letter to advertise their ability to hiring managers or human resources. You should have compiled a list of the top employers you would like to work for and gathered basic company information for each.

Broadcast Letters.

With a broadcast letter, well-qualified candidates can advertise their availability to top-level professionals in a particular field. The candidate aims to entice the potential employer to consider his or her qualifications for available positions. Although the broadcast letter discusses a candidate’s background in detail, a resume is usually included. Since this type of letter is used primarily by seasoned executives, its tone should reflect the candidate’s experience, knowledge, and confidence in his or her capabilities.

Employment Agency Letters.

When searching for a job, some candidates seek help from employment agencies. These letters should focus on who you are, what type of position you are looking for and in what specific industry, and some of your strongest skills related to that field. For the agency to place you in an appropriate position, mention personal preferences, including geographic and salary requirements.

Executive Search Firm Letters.

Although these firms don’t actively recruit candidates (their clients are the employers), don’t let this discourage you from writing. A well-crafted cover letter can alert an otherwise unknowing recruiter to your availability. Highlight your most impressive accomplishments and attributes, and briefly summarize all relevant experience. If you have preferences, like geographical location, travel, and salary, mention them in your letter.

Networking Letters.

These pertain largely to a third-party industry contact to garner the reader’s attention and induce him or her to assist you in your job search. It’s important to achieve the right tone in your networking letters. Unless you’re familiar with a contact, word your correspondence in a businesslike manner. Don’t use your addressee’s first name or rely on an overly casual writing style. If you have been in contact with this person recently, it could be useful to remind him or her, “It was great seeing you at the ABC Convention last month” or “It’s been several months since we bumped into each other on the plane to New York. How are you?” Many networking letters are written to someone whom the candidate has not met but has been referred to by a mutual acquaintance. In this case, immediately state the name of the person who referred you, such as “John Doe suggested I contact you.” Ask for assistance with information and names of people to contact. Don’t ask for a job!

Thank You Letters.

Your correspondence doesn’t end with cover letters. Other types of letters, such as thank you letters are often appropriate, even obligatory. It’s acceptable to handwrite them on a generic-blank note card. Make sure they’re neat and legible. If in doubt, type or email the letter. If you met with several people, it’s fine to send each an individual letter. Call the company if you need to check the correct spelling of names. Keep the letters short and send them promptly. Here are some of the situations where a thank you letter is appropriate:

  • After a job interview. Always send a thank you letter after an interview, ideally within 24 hours. Express thanks for the employer’s time and emphasize your continued interest in the position. Mention something specific from the interview and restate your interest. Avoid catchphrase and be careful the letter doesn’t come across sounding canned. Make it no more than a page or even a few sentences.
  • For a good reference. In your job search, it might be necessary to call upon personal and professional references to support your credentials. These people are doing you a favor and deserve your written thanks. They also keep your contacts current. You may want to remind the person why you needed the reference and mention the outcome of his or her efforts. Keep your comments brief and your tone polite.
  • For a letter of recommendation. Potential employers sometimes require letters of recommendation. These may be written by previous employers or, for those with little professional experience, by college professors or others who know your work ethic.
  • For a referral. Many jobs are found with the assistance of a networking contact or referrals. Throughout your job search, keep track of all your referrals and send each one a personalized thank you note. Briefly express sincere gratitude for help on your behalf. If the person’s’ efforts directly led to a positive outcome for you, let him or her know. Offer your return assistance if that is within your power.
  • After an informational interview. Everyone who assists you in any way during your job search deserves written thanks. This is true for any informational interview. Although you’re not asking for a job, you’ve taken a person’s time. Consider the case of my client Nancy, who wrote a timely thank you to an industry executive with whom she met in an informational interview. The executive, impressed by her considerate attention to detail, heard about an appropriate employment opportunity several weeks later and recommended her for the job!

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post Cover Letters for Varied Situations appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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It’s certainly important to do research on the potential employer interviewing you. It’s equally important to ponder and practice what you’ll ask and say. But if you flub the first few minutes with a poor impression via your appearance or body language, it’s sometimes hard to come back. So, how can you wow them from the get-go?

  • Lead with your manner. People often read your attitude immediately. Make a conscious choice about the mindset you want to communicate. Friendly, receptive, patient, approachable, welcoming, and curious attitudes are attractive. Those that are impatient, bored, arrogant, fearful, or distrustful are not.
  • Rise up. Your body language is more than a reflection of your feelings; it’s an influencer on them. Project confidence and credibility by standing up straight, pulling your shoulders back, and holding your head high. This positioning by itself will actually make you feel more self-assured.
  • Smile. A genuine smile is so welcoming! It tells others that you are pleasant and approachable. It influences how other people respond to you. Research shows that a happy brain prefers a happy face. When you smile, it’s a natural response for the other person to smile back at you!
  • Shake hands. This is the most successful and fastest way to establish rapport. Research shows that it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with one good handshake. Square your body off, facing that person fully. Use a firm (but not crushing) grip, with palm-to-palm contact. If you hold the other person’s hand a tad of a second longer than you might usually do, this conveys sincerity and holds the other person’s attention during the greeting.
  • Make eye contact. Looking at someone eye-to-eye shows vitality, interest, and sincerity. You can enhance your eye contact in those first few seconds by looking into the interviewer’s eyes long enough to notice what color they are. Don’t feel you have to engage in a staring contest though! And if you’re uncomfortable staring at the other person’s eyes too long, you can look the interviewer squarely in the nose.
  • Lean in just a bit. A great way to show that you’re interested and engaged is to lean forward with the small of your back against the chair. People naturally lean toward people we like and subjects we agree with. Just be aware to balance this leaning-forward posture with respect for the other person’s space.

When interviewing, you can create a positive impression from the moment you walk in the door!

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post 6 Ways to Make a Great Interview First Impression appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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The most recognized reason for networking is that it increases your contacts geometrically. Especially for folks who are unemployed, it is often touted as the most effective method of finding the next fit.

The concept is that everyone you approach, while probably not personally in control of a job that would interest you, can at least refer you to several additional people. And each of those can send you to several more. If each person only passed you along to one further person, your progress would be linear. Each Networking visit leads to multiple further visits, so your progress is ordered.

Let’s look at both sides.

The Pros of Face-to-Face, Local Networking
  • More people meet and know about you. Your finite circle of acquaintances expands infinitely.
  • People who want to help can help. Only one hard-to-find person will provide your ideal job, but everyone can suggest additional people to see.
  • There’s high impact in a face-to-face visit. There’s more power and impact than when blasting off a resume or sending email, text and or social media reach-out.
  • It’s a process you can initiate. Rather than passively waiting for a recruiter’s call, you can be as active as your time and energy allow.
  • The job you find probably won’t require relocation. Local visits lead you toward local jobs.

As appealing as its benefits are, classic local networking also has some potential drawbacks.

The Cons of Face-to-Face, Local Networking
  • It’s time-consuming. Making and keeping networking appointments is slow, laborious work.
  • There’s risked confidentiality. It’s challenging to dive into networking without making your intentions public.
  • You reach relatively few people. You’re doing well if you make and keep two or three appointments per day – not enough to survey the overall employment marketplace very quickly.
  • Asking for favors from strangers isn’t easy. Asking for help from friends is hard enough; pursuing other people’s friends is tougher still.
  • Focus is random and local. If you want to scour the nation for jobs in a particular field, a series of random local visits isn’t the best way to do it.

At its best, face-to-face, local networking is personal contacts. The big difference is that you’re not limited to the few people you already know.

At its worst, networking is like dealing with personal contacts on a mass-production basis, with much of the “personal” removed. Where on the spectrum you position your own version of this highly individualistic method is entirely up to you.

In all its shapes, networking remains the single most powerful job-transition tool, so it’s worthwhile to learn to use it effectively. And to plan for possible challenges or snares.

I always love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.

The post Face-to-Face Local Networking Pros and Cons appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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“Stuck” is how you might feel when you’ve followed your career coach or other career experts’ advice, worked as hard as you have in any other job, explored and summarized your skills, pounded the pavement, but still full progress evades you. This broken record in your head echoes downers like, “Wouldn’t someone else have landed by now?” and “What am I doing wrong?”

You’re in the world of the advanced job seeker. You have been through the wringer a few times, know the principles of job searching backward and forward and, as a result, you are choosier about what you accept. You’re facing the complicated concerns of a more demanding job seeker.

Perhaps it’s time to go beyond past learned principles and develop a strategy that fits your current situation. Your complaint of “nothing works for me” may be temporary if you can identify and attack that problem. Here are two typical roadblocks advanced job seekers often face, along with solutions for getting unstuck.

Roadblock 1: My network goes round and round … and nowhere.

John told me that his network list was used up and that the folks he’d been contacting were too. Some of them had heard from him multiple times. John knew he was getting a “pest” reputation. He also worried that with time, those network contacts’ perception of him had diminished. Why hadn’t he gotten a job yet? This was in John’s own mind. Feeling back to zero, he wondered where to find a new network.

Networking gets exhausting for both you and your contacts. You are stuck in a rut of your making and have to leave people alone for a while. Don’t assume that networking is the end product of the job search. It’s a method, an imperfect one. It’s like being a salesperson and assuming that talking to a lot of people will lead to sales. Not necessarily true.

Don’t network till it hurts. If you really don’t want to make that next contact, don’t, because you’ll just be going through the motions. Like mass mailing of resumes, such product-line networking will yield very low returns. Numbers seen, hours spent, and calls made do not translate to results.

Take a close look at how you have been networking. Are you making friends, or are you making poor use of people’s time? Are you doing anything that might turn folks off? Are you asking them questions that you could have answered for yourself by reading their literature? Are you asking for more help than they can reasonably provide? Networking and informational interviewing are the fine arts of getting help from people in ways that feel painless to them. Your technique may be a little rough around the edges. Maybe because you are tired, you are not concentrating anymore, just rushing from one contact to the next.

Get away from networking for a while. Go back to making direct applications. You may have been relying too heavily on “help” from others. Such help can sometimes lead you to relax and expect that others will do the work for you. Direct application will force you to sell yourself more strongly. Refer to your target list and head in their direction. Don’t ask anyone to help introduce you.

Broaden your range of potential employers. Perhaps you’ve been too narrowly focused on a single field. If you like to sell, try other products than you’ve been targeting. Even if you prefer a certain industry, give others a chance, to see if they could use your abilities too.

Roadblock 2: There’s too much competition.

Sandra told me, “There’s too much competition for the jobs I want. I have good interviews, but someone else is always better qualified. I can do everything I am supposed to do in job search, but still come up second best. Why beat my head against the wall? I knew I should have picked an easier field to get into.”

Like Sandra, you may be faced with a highly competitive field. If so, I advise you to broaden your reach in one of several ways:

  1. Geographically – widen the territory in which you are making contacts.
  2. By level – maybe you are shooting too high; try the next level down to see if you can hired and then promoted.
  3. Organizations – search for employers that do similar work, perhaps smaller companies or firms in related areas.

If all this still leads to blank walls, decide what you must do to become competitive in that occupation, set those steps in motion (education, part-time experience, acquisition of skills, volunteer work, etc.) and seek an interim job while you are building your case for the longer-range goals. You haven’t lost the competition. You’re simply going to enter the game at a later date.

If you are just starting out or have not covered the field yet, you may be exaggerating the depth of the competition. It is easy to get scared off by other people. Don’t take secondhand information. Go directly to the “experts” and ask them what they think your chances are and how you can best prepare for successful entry.

Don’t be deterred if you lack a particular degree or credentials. Check to see if there are people hired recently who did not have the credential that relates to their work. Ask them how they got hired.

I imagine that if you looked hard enough, you could always find someone who is better than you. But not everyone is out job searching at the same time you are, not everyone is as motivated as you are, not everyone is in the same location you are, and even people with “better” qualifications often conduct the search poorly or don’t fit with a particular company culture.

Remember, for any given job, most people don’t want it, most don’t have the talent for it, and even fewer are willing to try to obtain it. So, if you have ambition, talent, and persistence, the odds are almost always in your favor for any career.

If your assessment of the competition is accurate, that simply means you must position yourself for the next move. You must decide what you lack, find a strategy for correcting the situation, and then while you are getting yourself in shape, make yourself visible to those people who may be interested in you or in the nature future.

In each of my next two posts, I’ll cover two more potential roadblocks and solutions for advanced job seekers!

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post Are You Stuck on the Job-Search Merry-Go-Round? appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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Hire Imaging by Barb Poole - 1M ago

In this time of data analytics and statistics, just what do the numbers say about how people find jobs? In this age of social media, channels overlap – Twitter might lead you to a person who over coffee tells you about a job not yet advertised on his organization’s website.

Generally, the rule of thumb is that on average one-third of jobs are filled through word of mouth. It’s an overview of all levels and sectors, of course.

When you move beyond entry-level jobs or look at specialized sectors, or explore new or small organizations, the proportion of jobs filled by conversations and connections is easily 80%.

What’s going on?

In any market, no matter how transparent on its surface, a large proportion of jobs are either not advertised or already have someone’s name on them before the first interview. This under advertised market has long been described as hidden, and there are consultants, websites, and apps promising access. A bit crazy when you think about it, because hidden jobs are by their nature, not documented! It’s not unusual for an employer to seem to be operating openly and transparently, but behind the scenes be trying to get the right people quickly, at minimum risk. For this reason, employers often gravitate toward people they know something about!

It’s easier to work with people who have no preconceptions about how to look for a job. They tend to have a much more direct buyer/seller approach. They instinctively look for opportunities to meet decision-makers, because that significantly boosts their chances.

There are always those who poo-poo the idea that you might talk your way onto a shortlist, citing ethics. This cynicism can be echoed in the popular phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” It’s a good phrase to hide behind; an excuse not to find anyone to help you. The sentence should end, “who you get to know”. The process is about making an active choice to get to know more people. You’re most likely to get any job through somebody you talk to in the next three months – people you already know, people you have yet to meet. Yes, some jobs are still given out by family, friends, people who went to your school or were former work colleagues. But far more often the job goes to someone who is just plain visible. No matter your age or background, the best tool for finding things out is talking to people and building long-term relationships with the people you meet is often the igniter of a successful job or career.

Is it fair?

So, is the hidden job market fair? Yes, it is. It is, in the sense that in any competition, some players understand the rules better than others. Applying only for advertised jobs because that’s somehow “fairer” is a great way of extending your job search time, and a firm strategy for avoiding some of the most interesting opportunities. They won’t be in the Help Wanted section, because right now they’re steeping in the mind of someone you might just meet soon, if you quite simply, start asking the best career question ever: “Who else should I be talking to?”

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post The World of Hidden Jobs appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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You’ve connected with your interviewer(s). Rapport has been established. Great! Don’t leave it there. Now, it’s important to get to the whats and hows of the position you’re interviewing for. You want to clarify what needs to be done and then collaborate on how it can be done! This is key to positioning yourself as a top candidate who understands – and can deliver on – the employer’s needs.

Here are some tips:

  • Try to learn the employer’s top two or three deliverables, i.e. what the employer needs to have done. You’ll then be better able to frame your answers.
  • Timing is important with asking questions. Before you begin asking clarifying questions of your own, answer the interviewer’s questions. Use your success stories to validate your value. Then, the interviewer(s) will be more open to answering your questions.
  • Ask big-picture questions in your first face-to-face interview. “How will success be measured?” “How will this position support that?” “What are the three most important priorities for the role?” If you can, also ask the same type of questions beforehand to your networking contacts. You’ll be more easily able to position yourself as a solution.
  • Further into the first interview or in subsequent interviews, ask deeper-dive questions. “What are the roadblocks needing push-through to meet your goals?” “What’s your biggest frustration with the role’s status-quo?” Then take notes.
  • After telling a success story, pause to tie in what you did to what the employer might need. For example, “If you don’t mind my asking, how would you prefer to have something like this addressed?”
  • Move and dance with your questions. It’s important to move forward methodically with clarifying questions. Don’t jump in as the savior to all their problems. “Dance” with the interviewer(s). If details about a process are being discussed, don’t jump to the topic of big-picture visioning for end results.
  • Ask permission. The secret to being able to ask potentially hard questions is to ask permission. If you’re moving into sensitive issues, preface your questions with something like, “May I ask more about that?” or “Could I learn more about that?”
  • After clarifying, then collaborate. When you’re clear on what needs to be done, then focus on how the deliverables will be met. Questions like, “What’s working well?” and “What would you like to see more of?” can help with collaboration.
  • Discuss and demonstrate how you would do the job. Discussion might include language like “We had a similar scenario with my former employer. Our strategy involved … which worked well. How would something like this work at ABC?”
  • Act. To demonstrate how you would do the job (and with permission), consider giving a brief presentation to showcase sales skills, addressing a fictionalized case study to show your analysis strengths, brainstorming strategies to illustrate your marketing vision, or other actions that correlate to the role interviewed for. The more an employer can visibly see you doing the work, the better.
  • Collaborate by walking around. A great way to shift from interrogative question-and-answer to collaborative discussion is to ask for a tour. When walking around, ask lots of questions, take notes, and meet as many people as you can. Note their names and, if appropriate, ask for business cards. This will give you fodder for follow-up.

Clarifying and collaborating in an interview will help position you as a top candidate who understands and can deliver on what that employer needs.

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post Collaborate in Your Interviews appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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Describing your skills can feel like an ill-fitting label. What does “excellent communication skills” really mean? Job candidates are often too vague and generic regarding their skills. You are being hired because you can solve particular problems; not because you are a generic Jill or Jack of all trades.

Skills come alive when you describe them as strengths. This means implanting them in a story that is not about the skill but about you.

The best resume contains assertions and evidence, and the best kind of evidence of your skills is contained in defined achievements. As mini-narratives, they are also useful to answer interview questions.

Here are 10 tips to remembering how you used your strengths in action.
  1. Start with supportive friends and colleagues. Ask them to remind you of things you did well, where you have made a difference, and what you are like when you are performing at your best.
  2. Collect tangible evidence of achievements – numbers, percentages, margins and timescales help, but your evidence might also be an email or letter from a happy customer, coworker, or boss.
  3. Look for times when you faced problems or obstacles. How did you go about solving the problems? What were your strategies, actions, and the end results?
  4. Look at the job description for your last job. In what ways did you redefine or expand that job?
  5. Think back on times when you delivered more than people were expecting, or went the extra mile to achieve the optimum result.
  6. Look at projects or tasks where there was a clear outcome, or where something changed.
  7. Review all documentation of your past work. Think about the projects in detail. What did you actually do? What were you capable of doing at the end that you couldn’t do at the beginning of the project?
  8. Where have you learned something very quickly in order to get something accomplished?
  9. Think about times when you brought in new ideas or adapted something creatively.
  10. Identify moments when you snatched victory from the jaws of failure.

Build stories that demonstrate your strengths, and dig out the achievements within those stories. Remember times when you used these strengths and how you felt. The more you think about them, the more clearly you can articulate them orally and in writing. You will then be selling something you believe in – you! Not an obscure skill that doesn’t impress.

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post 10 Tips To Tap Into Your Career Strengths appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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In my last post, I shared some checklist items to note when applying to advertised job openings.

When a job advertisement is published, employers typically get many phone calls, both from individuals trying to make an impression and from agencies proposing candidates. Neither are usually welcome.

However, there are times when you might contact an organization before you send in a written application. Here are a few potential scenarios where this might be appropriate.

If there is something important you need to research.

This research needs to involve an important detail which is unclear. For example, there’s no point calling and asking about a total compensation package or asking about something which is perfectly obvious from the published posting. You might, however, call to ask about features of the job which are important but not listed. It’s also reasonable to ask if an employer will consider alternative qualifications or experiences which have relevance. This gives a favorable impression that you are trying to not waste their (or your) time by applying with the wrong background.

If there is explicit permission to make further queries.

Some job postings give the name and number of someone who is charged with answering telephone inquiries about the job, and this is often a senior person with substantial knowledge of the organization. Don’t use this call to have that person read you the job description again. It’s a wasted call. Analyze the job posting documentation in depth, and then use the call to flesh out a more in-depth picture. You can subtly bring up your own background and experience here, but don’t sell yourself hard. That will often be perceived as pushiness, rather than inquisitiveness and thoroughness.

If you know someone in the organization.

Once again, focus this call on fact-finding rather than thrusting for positioning. A good contact in the organization can help you get to the heart of published job advertisements or recruitment statements. For example, if the job appears to be all about disruptive change leadership and management, you can find out how serious the organization is about that idea, and how much the leadership actually supports new initiatives.

In my next post, I’ll share some of the more common hoops to jump through, as well as some specific questions to ask.

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post When Is It Okay to Contact Employers About Advertised Jobs? appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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One of the challenges of analyzing posted job openings is to figure out what the employer really wants. Sometimes the information is vague (the employer isn’t quite sure), contradictory (the job ad was designed by a committee or group), or obscure (containing insider language or jargon).

Most job ads will provide some information about selection criteria. Consider this the beginning, not the end, of your job ad analysis; and treat all information as if it is incomplete. That said, do look at the order of information (high priority wants tend to appear earlier), and do look at the language used. Then, go on to find a detailed picture of the organization from its website, particularly where strategy and organization structure are highlighted. Look at formal and informal reports, newsletters, press releases, and awards. Use LinkedIn to see the profile and background of key staff.

Then, look at the job title and its function within the organization. Check online to see if you can find others holding the same or similar titles and use LinkedIn to see if you know people who do the same job at other organizations.

Advertised Job Posting Checklist

Read job advertisements carefully, several times. Use a highlighter pen to mark hints that may shape your response:

  • Job title. How helpful is it? Use Google to check out the same job title in other organizations.
  • Identity. Is it clear who the employer is? Is the role being handled by an outside recruiter or agency?
  • Role. Are clues given about what the job is really about? Are there indicators as to what success looks like?
  • Language. Analyze the balance of strong, weak, and neutral language. Try to get a sense of how strongly the employer feels about those characteristics it says it wants.
  • Mirror the language. Using a few more key phrases from job documents can sometimes add focus to your cover letter and resume.
  • Ranking points. What hints are given (salary, role title, degree, experience sought) about the preferred experience and seniority of applicants?
  • Style. What personality does the organization indicate it wants?
  • Wants and needs. What are the “must have” and “nice to have” components?
  • Level. Examine carefully the description about the level of responsibility and accountability, and then measure that against the size of the organization.
  • Contact Point. Does the organization actively welcome conversations with prospective candidates about approaching before applying?
  • Employer brand and culture. What does the organization choose to disclose about itself?
  • Process. What do candidates have to do to move to the next stage?
  • Problems or issues. Your research may uncover potential changes ahead that might possibly change the role you’re applying for. For example, the organization is just about to name a new CEO and COO. While these don’t impact your application, they are things to keep in mind during an interview and if you are given a job offer.

In my next post, I’ll share some ideas for contacting organizations that advertise job openings.

I always love to hear from you! Please comment below.

The post Use a Checklist for Advertised Job Postings appeared first on Hire Imaging.

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