As the New Year approaches, it is the perfect time to think about your job search process and the steps you can take to improve your job search techniques in the coming year. A new year means new opportunities and this can be a very exciting time for job seekers and employers. So what can you do to increase your chances of landing your dream job in the upcoming year?

Refresh Your Resume

It may be time to update your resume if you haven’t done so since last year. Make sure to add all of your accomplishments and really make your resume stand out with bullet points about how you overcome challenges and what skills you used in the process. Go through your resume and redo bullet points that begin with things like “Responsible for” or “Experience in” as they are generic and don’t tell much about how you may have managed or led an initiative. If these phrases didn’t work last year, don’t expect them to work next year!

Update Your Social Media

It may have been awhile since you took a look at your social media profile information. Update your profiles with your latest jobs and include a description about what you are passionate about. You should place the greatest focus on your LinkedIn profile, as this is where many recruiters hang out and search for new candidates. Make it your goal to complete every section of your LinkedIn profile this year and include keywords in your previous job descriptions that would help a recruiter come across your profile when searching through the platform. You can even add work samples and request professional references to strengthen your profile and draw more attention.

Touch Base with Contacts

This is a good time to keep in touch with professional references and contacts you may not have communicated with much throughout the year. Simply wishing these contacts a Happy New Year can go a long way and help build upon the relationship you have with them. After all, you will be counting on these people to give you good references when called upon.

Learn a New Skill

Everyone else is making New Year’s Resolutions, so here is one for you! Take advantage of the vast resources that can be found online to learn a new skill that can help build your resume and help you succeed in your career. There are many online courses and certifications available that can help you stand out amongst the pile of other candidates and can also be used as negotiating tools later in the job-hunting process. It’s never too late to learn a new skill!

We wish you a happy New Year and hope the upcoming year brings you everything you wish for and more. A new year brings exciting opportunities and we are thrilled to see what’s in store for 2017!

 

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Recruiters know all too well that finding the right talent for the right job is far from easy. In order to find and secure top talent, recruiters must act quickly before qualified candidates find work elsewhere. There are a few things recruiters can do to help simplify and expedite the commonly tenuous process.

1. Create Enticing but Accurate Job Listings

This is your opportunity to really draw the interest of quality candidates to your posting and move them one step closer towards becoming the valuable asset you seek. Candidates are looking for accurate job listings that are easy to read, so give it to them! Your posting should include what the day-to-day responsibilities are like and what it would take to be successful in the role, both in skillset and personality. Be sure to list the qualifications and requirements clearly. Never embellish what the duties will be. Instead, include a description of your company’s accomplishments along with the benefits the position can provide to help catch the right candidate’s eye.

2. Simplify Application & Interview Process

Unless absolutely necessary, try to avoid forcing candidates to fill out multiple pages of information before even submitting a resume. Top, qualified candidates may have other employment options to consider and can be put off by complicated or cumbersome application processes. Don’t lose quality candidates before even getting started!

Interviewing requires a lot of time and effort from both parties, so make it count. Be sure to have your interview sessions properly organized and conducted by experienced staff members who show up prepared. If there are multiple interviewers involved, encourage communication between everyone to discuss the objectives and outcomes of each interview. This will help eliminate repetitive actions that can cause a candidate to become disengaged.

3. Build Relationships

Give candidates meaningful and timely feedback even if they are not being chosen for the position. Candidates who are being seriously considered will appreciate the personalized feedback and this can help keep them interested if the process is a longer one. On the other hand, one candidate may not have fit the current opening, but could be great for an opportunity in the future. Make sure to keep in touch with key prospects, as they could prove to be valuable in the future.

Let’s face it, hiring isn’t easy, but taking some key steps towards improving the recruitment process can go a long way!

 

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So you finally landed that big interview after applying to job after job. Now’s the time to get everything prepared just right before going in and showing the employer why they picked the right person. There are a million things running through your mind before an interview like what questions will be asked, what to wear, when to arrive, and how to get there. While most people generally prepare by running through and answering all of these questions, one thing is often overlooked – what to bring with you on the interview! Here are some essential items you should have the next time you walk into that interview room:

Your Resume

Yes, we know you already submitted, emailed, and entered all of the information of your resume into the system when you applied for the job – but you MUST bring copies when going in for an interview. Bring a few copies of your resume in case the interviewer was unable to print one out, or if you end up meeting with multiple people.

Notepad and a Pen

You may discuss important items during your interview and having a notepad and a pen handy is good for jotting down some quick notes in the process. This can end up helping you provide some more detailed information if you end up writing a thank you email after you leave (HINT: You Should!). Alternatively, this shows a good level of preparation similar to when employees bring in a notepad and pen into company meetings.

Pre-prepared Questions

There is nothing worse than that awkward moment of silence when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them and you are unable to come up with anything off the top of your head. Have some questions prepared before entering the meeting about the company culture, more details about the job, or anything else you’d like to know.

Work Samples

You’ve done the talking; now show them what you can really do! Bring a couple samples of work that you are really proud of with you and show them off at the appropriate time. This will show that you are both prepared and able to handle the tasks ahead of you.

Ultimately, bringing the right tools with you on an interview can make all of the difference. Be sure to bring the essentials with you and do your research before stepping into that interview room. With proper preparation, you can show your potential employer how much you can truly benefit their company!

 

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With recruiters typically overwhelmed with applications, phone screenings serve as an effective method for narrowing down qualified candidates before spending valuable time with the in-person interview process. When initial phone screenings are conducted correctly, a short and simple call can help set the tone for the interview and help gauge what exactly a candidate is looking for. On your next phone screen be sure to:

Prepare

Know exactly what type of candidate you are looking for in terms of qualifications and overall demeanor. Have a goal in mind and set a plan for the phone call. Just as you can tell when a candidate is unprepared for an interview, the candidate can easily tell when the recruiter is unprepared to conduct the interview if the questions asked are irrelevant or scattered. A good plan of action is to develop questions about the candidate’s past experiences, what they liked/disliked about these roles, why they left, what their motivations and goals are, and their compensation expectations.

Assess and Verify

Most job requirements will include some sort of minimum technical or personal skills and experience. If you can’t easily determine the candidate’s experiences with these, ask a few basic questions. This will help to see if the candidate meets your basic screening criteria and allow you to determine whether they really know the software required of them or perhaps embellished a bit. Next, ask about the most recent dates of employment and role and confirm that the months and year are correct as these can often times be manipulated in an attempt to shorten long gap periods.

Additionally, take time throughout the conversation to gauge the candidate’s manners and etiquette. Take note of how they answered the phone call, conducted themselves throughout the phone call, and how they closed the phone call. After all, you want to determine how professional the individual is along with their qualifications.

Determine Availability

If a candidate seems like a good fit for the position, determine when they are available to come in for an in-person interview. If the candidate is unavailable to interview in the next 3-4 weeks then this might be an indication they are not serious about the job searching process. On the other hand, if a candidate is willing to make time in the next couple of days to come in and interview, they may be eager and excited for an opportunity with your company.

All in all, a phone screening is an important and effective way to screen out unqualified candidates with a short and simple call. Listen carefully, be prepared, and take notes of your assessment!

 

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Not getting as many replies or callbacks to your job applications as you’d like? It may be time to update your resume and get rid of those common words and phrases recruiters are sick of seeing over and over again. Recruiters are generally inundated with resume submissions when looking to fill a vacancy, so using the same general, basic descriptions in your resume is going to make it difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. So, what words should you avoid?

“Responsible For”

Avoid simply stating what you were responsible for, which sounds passive and unenthusiastic to a potential employer. Using this phrase can also hide your experiences and achievements, so try to use words like “managed” where applicable, or include improvements you made to the tasks you were responsible for.

“Team Player”

Strong communication skills and being a team player are important for nearly every position. However, stating that you are a team player is not going to set you apart from the rest of the candidates in that stack of resumes. Provide examples of how you collaborated effectively in a team or even stepped up and led a team project to succeed.

“Detail-Oriented”

Of course you want to show your potential employer that you pay attention to the little things and are willing to go the extra mile towards ensuring that your work is done correctly, but this is another time where showing is better than telling. Show the recruiter that you are detail-oriented by proofreading your resume and having others look it over as well. Presenting an organized, error-free resume is going to give you the recruiter the impression you seek. Putting the words “detail-oriented” in your resume leaves you very vulnerable, and you will lose all credibility if there is even one miniscule typo or grammar mistake within your document.

“References Available Upon Request”

This phrase is taking up valuable space on your resume. Every word counts towards sparking the recruiter’s interest, so remove this phrase and add in other valuable achievements instead. These days, it has become customary that if you progress in the interview process, the employer will request professional references from you if it is something they deem important. Have a list of professional references prepared, but avoid using this phrase in your resume.

Other Notable Words/Phrases to Avoid

Avoid using terms like punctual, hard working, results-driven, highly qualified, or proactive. The main idea is to provide examples of how you are each of these things rather than simply stating the terms. Provide examples of how you portray each of these common words/phrases and you will begin to stand out amongst that large stack of resumes that recruiter has piled on their desk!

 

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Small companies to large companies alike can benefit from a quality applicant screening process to get through the hefty stack of resumes that typically accompany job listings. Setting aside time for interviews can be a lengthy and tedious process, but taking some quick steps towards properly screening the applicants can go a long way towards saving both time and resources.

1. Create a Good Job Description

This is one of the most important steps in finding an employee that is a good fit for your company. Take the time to think about exactly what you want from a potential employee in terms of work experience, skills, and even personality. Consider what criteria would make a person successful in the position and include this information in the job listing. Applicants who do not possess the skills or experience necessary to succeed in the role can be immediately screened.

2. Consider Phone Screening Prior to In-Person Interview

A good resume may catch your eye, but a piece of paper can only tell you so much about an applicant. Preparing a few good questions or simply asking the candidate to expand upon their work experience over the phone can help gain a better understanding if they could become a good fit for the role. Asking basic questions about their computer skills or training can end up saving a lot of time for unqualified candidates. Speaking with candidates over the phone will give you a better sense of their ability to communicate and a better understanding of their experience. Setting aside time for an in-person interview can be difficult for both the applicant and employer, so a phone screening can help you interview only the most qualified candidates in-person.

3. Prepare Quality Questions

High turnover can cost companies large amounts of time and money, so preparing quality questions for the interview can be crucial towards finding the employee that can fill the role successfully. Prepare yourself before the interview and have questions ready that will help you dig deeper into the candidate’s experience and compatibility within your company culture. In preparation, avoid asking questions that could simply lead to yes/no answers. Instead, ask questions that allow the candidate to expand upon his answers and give you as much information as possible.

Looking at a large stack of applications and resumes on your desk may seem overwhelming at first, but taking a few quick steps towards screening candidates can save you time and money. Proper screening can lead to better hires and reduced turnover in the future.

 

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Tired of completing endless applications online? Tired of re-entering the same information over and over again into various online portals in a tedious, frustrating process? Finding the perfect job these days can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but taking some simple steps towards improving your job search process can go a long way to getting your resume in front of the right eyes to land an interview. Then, it’s time to lock up that job! So where does the improvement begin?

Update Your Resume

Your resume is your first impression, so make it a good one! Update your resume to include your current and most recent positions with any skills applicable to the positions you are applying. Even after your resume displays your current position, don’t stop there. Keep your resume up to date with your most recent achievements at work or projects you have been successful with. Many people overlook their most recent achievements in their current position just because they had already filled out the information on their resume from past responsibilities.

Next, technology has evolved to scan your resume for keywords and filter out resumes that do not include the main words companies are looking for. Read each job description carefully and tailor your resume with the keywords the job is looking for. List any relevant experience along with experience you have with relevant software associated with the job or description. This will help get your resume in front of more eyes.

Network, Network, Network!

Of course applying online has become the easiest way to submit an application for the job you are seeking, but networking still remains the most effective. A referral is much more likely to help you get your foot in the door at a company. Networking can be an uncomfortable event for many, but find ways to network that work for you. Speak with your friends and family to see if they can get your resume in front of a recruiter. You can even reach out to professionals on LinkedIn or other forms of social media briefly introducing yourself. Many openings are not listed online, and this could end up giving you an opportunity at a position that is not as competitive in terms of quantity of applicants.

Prepare Yourself for the Interview

Once you have an interview set up, it is essential to prepare! If you show up to the interview with little or no idea about the company’s products, mission, or vision it will show. Research the company’s website and browse through their social media pages to gather valuable information that can help you during your interview. Additionally, look through the job description and responsibilities of the position you applied for and be ready to talk about how you can tackle these objectives. After all, the interviewer will likely ask you about your strongest skills and this is a perfect opportunity to tailor them to the job’s responsibilities.

Send a Thank You Email

After the interview is complete, ask your interviewer for a business card. This way, you will have all of their contact information and be able to send them a thank you email further expressing your interest in the position and showing gratitude. It is a good idea to send this email 24 to 48 hours after the interview takes place.

 

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One of the first steps towards a successful recruiting campaign is creating a good job listing. Failing to spend the appropriate time and effort in creating the job description and other relevant information can make finding the qualified candidates you are seeking a difficult process. Similar to the way recruiters want to see specific, organized information on a candidate’s resume, candidate’s are looking for certain things that will draw their attention and spark their enthusiasm and interest on a listing. Here’s some ways you can perfect that listing:

1. Personalize Each Listing

While using a template can be quick and convenient, you can lose your voice and objective by creating listings off of pre-existing templates. Be clear and specific with the tasks and responsibilities you are looking for. Make sure to include the experience required for the position and consider bolding this piece to help discourage those who are not qualified from applying. Having clear descriptions and qualifications helps minimize the number of unqualified applicants.

2. Pick an Appropriate Job Title

Because job titles are usually just a few words long, this is one of the most overlooked pieces of the job listing process. Take the time to think about what the candidate’s you would like to hire could be searching for across the internet in terms of titles. Include major keywords that will be searched for, as this can help your listing show up higher in search results. Much like the subject line of an email, this is the first step in drawing the candidate’s attention and they must click the title to view the description, so make it count!

3. It’s Okay to Boast

This is your chance to really sell your company and explain why this is an attractive job opportunity. Talk about the work culture within your company and include any major achievements or awards the organization has received within recent years like Best Places to Work or Fastest Growing. Make a quick note about any major perks that would help differentiate you from other companies within the industry.

 

By keeping your audience in mind and tailoring the job description and job title to their search needs, your job listings will begin to attract more qualified candidates. Of course once you have taken the time to go through this whole process, you will want to share it on your company website’s Career page and throughout social media to make sure it gets viewed.

 

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The time has come. You applied for the position, passed the phone screening, and have been invited in for the big discussion. You finally have an interview date set with a great company and are ready to land your dream job. Of course you know you are perfect for the job, but how do you convince the employer?

1. First Impression is Everything

The interview process starts way before the first question of an interview is ever even asked. Your arrival time is a key factor in making a good impression. Aim to arrive at your interview 5-10 minutes before the set time, and avoid arriving too early or late. Walk in with a positive attitude and treat everybody from the janitor to the CEO with respect and in a friendly manner. Many times the interviewer will ask other coworkers what their thoughts were of an individual even if they did not sit in on the interview process.

Secondly, your physical appearance matters. This includes your hygiene, hair, and dress. If you are overdue for a haircut, make sure to get one before the interview takes place. Men should make sure their facial hair is well groomed. Moving past physical aspects, dress to impress! The old saying says to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Dress professionally even if the normal attire at the office you are interviewing at is casual.

2. Preparation is Key

Do research before the day of the interview. This includes having good knowledge of the position itself and what skills are required. If you have the person’s name you are interviewing with, you can even search through their LinkedIn profile to get a better idea of their achievements and hobbies. In addition to this, look further into the organization for recent news, their mission, and what values their core values are.

While you never know exactly what questions you will be asked in an interview, prepare for the most common interview questions. Look into the questions that are asked most in general, and do an additional search for common interview questions for the specific position you are interviewing for.

3. Follow Up

Though you may be relieved after the interview has reached an end, the process is not over when you walk out of the door. Make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and ask them for a business card.

Now that you have their contact information, take the opportunity to say thank you with an email. This also gives you a chance to reassert yourself with a quick explanation of why you feel you are a good fit for the position or with any remaining questions you may have. Send this thank you email within 48 hours of the interview.

 

Use these tips to help you with your next interview and become the organization’s next successful hire. Happy job hunting!

 

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Technology continued to evolve in 2015 as we experienced the emergence of big data, the Internet of things, and even self-driving cars! As technology evolves, so should our recruiting strategies and the techniques we use to hire new, qualified candidates. It’s time to move past the pencil and paper applications and use technology to our advantage. So, how can you use technology for recruiting in the New Year?

1. Get Social With Openings

Move past the traditional methods of posting jobs solely on your website or a job board. While these methods should continue to be a part of your recruiting strategy, take note that social media has taken off for more than just sharing funny pictures or chatting with friends. While millennials occupy the majority of the space, other generations are using social media more and more often. LinkedIn provides a good opportunity for reaching a large audience with its “Jobs” section. This section makes it easy for candidates to easily upload resumes for your view, or you can even redirect these candidates to your website to apply. Utilize this section and create a status update with the job post that can be shared by your employees for greater reach. This same method can be applied to Twitter to post a job and have employees retweet it or Facebook with shares.

2. Use Video Conferencing for Opening Talks

Hiring a new person can be a long process. Finding the right, qualified candidate often takes times and it may take multiple interviews to feel confident in your decision. As the old saying goes, time is money. Phone interviews are great for screening certain candidates, but we now live in a day and age where almost everybody has easy access to a web cam either through their laptop or phone. Take advantage of this and use video conferencing as another screening method or for the first interview. You could even ask the candidate to send you a one or two minute video introduction recording before scheduling the first meet. This can help save both parties time.

3. Go Mobile

Mobile is everywhere now. Smartphones allow us to check email, social media, text messages, or voicemails easily throughout the day. Take advantage of the mobile crazy and make sure your job listings can be viewed easily on mobile devices. Also, mobile devices will allow you to communicate quickly with interested candidates that you may find when you post on social media. Quick and effective communication could make all the difference in finding a qualified candidate before they move on to a new opportunity.


It’s a new year, but the goals remain the same. Stay ahead of the game to find those qualified candidates and let technology lead the way. Use social media to expand your reach and network, video conferencing to save time and screen candidates, and your smartphone to reach them quickly. This is your year!

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