Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ten Things A Recruiter Will Never Tell You

So today I came across this article that can be very helpful in today's job search. It is written by a former headhunter and executive recruiter, Deborah Walker. Here is her list of the top ten things a recruiter will never tell you:

  1. Your cover letter put him off.

    You might have been thrilled to find just the right cover letter form in a book of cover letters or computer template. What you don’t realize is that a thousand other people have also found that cover letter—and the recruiter has seen them all. It makes your cover letter look like 150 other letters he has read that morning. And it makes you seem unoriginal, and not a good candidate.

    If your cover letter sounds like an exact repeat of your resume, or if it sounds pompous and self-absorbed, your cover letter and resume will be tossed or ignored. A professionally written cover letter can make the best of your accomplishments and give a fresh sound to recruiters, winning their interest.

  2. Recruiters spend five to ten seconds looking at each resume.

    If your resume cannot get his attention in five to ten seconds, it will be passed over.

    In an extremely fast-paced environment, high-volume resume reading is required; recruiters are professionally trained to look for certain items. If your resume is not designed to contain what recruiters are looking for, you won’t get a second chance.

  3. Your resume may be full of hidden or unsuspected red flags.

    You think you have a great resume, but there may be red flags you are not even aware of. Here are a few that cause concern for recruiters:

    • Too many jobs in a short time = Unstable candidate

    • Too many years at the same company/industry = Inflexible to change

    • Overqualified = Too expensive or won’t stay long

    • Underqualified = Long learning curve

    • Too many different types of jobs = Candidate doesn’t know what he wants
  4. A professional resume and cover letter can avoid these misperceptions by guiding the recruiter toward your strongest accomplishments—and away from the red flags.

  5. Your age is obvious from your resume.

    You may think you’ve fooled the recruiter by leaving out your college graduation date, but there are many resume cues that can betray your age. In today’s youth-oriented market, this can lead to a whole series of misconceptions:

    • Your industry knowledge is out of date

    • You don’t understand current technology

    • You won’t be able to work under younger managers
  6. A well-written resume can prove your experience while downplaying your actual age.

  7. Your resume indicates you are not a good "cultural fit" for his clients.

    Your resume reveals more about you than you know. Your personal information or extracurricular activities may actually make a negative impression on recruiters or potential employers. Even the way you phrase your job experience can prove that you don’t belong in his client’s workplace.

    This is one area where a strong resume, particularly one written by a professional with past recruiting expertise, can definitely win you the interview. A strong resume allows the recruiter to sell you to his clients with ease.

  8. The recruiter’s first motivation is earning commissions.

    The recruiter’s loyalty is not to you; it is to the companies that pay his commission. Those employers are interested in the bottom line—and so is he. Don’t expect a recruiter to be personally interested in your career goals; he only wants to talk to you if you match the qualifications of the job openings he has to offer.

    It is up to YOU to make him understand what a great asset you would be to his clients—and therefore to him as well. A professionally written resume and cover letter will help display your quantifiable accomplishments and marketable skills to your best advantage.

  9. He doesn’t care why the employer didn’t want you for a second interview.

    If the employer isn’t interested in you, then neither is the recruiter. Recruiters don’t feel any obligation to tell you why you didn’t make the cut; he has other jobs to fill and other candidates to fill them. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, recruiters have to focus on jobs that pay them, not on improving your interview techniques.

    It pays to work on your interviewing skills well before you get to that stage. A career coach can help you polish those skills. You can’t rely on the recruiter to do that for you.

  10. He doesn’t care why the employer didn’t make you the offer.

    Recruiters don’t want to admit that they knew you were the second choice all along or that the employer was just interviewing you to go through the motions. Maybe the top candidate was even someone else he sent in.

    You have to be aware that you are in competition at all times—even with other job seekers your recruiter represents. As such, you have to be prepared to wow the recruiters and employers with a top-notch resume and cover letter, one that will win everyone’s attention, and hone the interview skills that will win you the offer.

  11. He won’t tell you the real reason the position you want is on hold.

    Again, a recruiter’s first loyalty is to the companies that pay his commission. So he is not going to tell you that the employer just ordered a budget cut or that they are having a management crisis. And you will be left to wonder if the company put the job on hold to avoid hiring you.

    By honing your interview skills, you will be able to determine those hidden concerns and rely on your own judgment, not your recruiter’s.

  12. He won’t tell you the true salary range for the position.

    For internal, corporate recruiters, it is in their best interest to keep the salary range low. It makes them look good if they can have a positive impact on the bottom line, and what better way to save thousands of dollars than by negotiating low?

    For third-party recruiters, their commission is often based on your salary, so they will try to inflate the salary range. This seems like it could work in your benefit—until you find yourself priced out of a job.

    You can avoid leaving dollars on the table and avoid pricing yourself out of a job only by learning negotiation skills that can earn you the salary you truly deserve.

So Portland, if found these tips to be helpful check out some more useful tips here. As always Portland you can always find other useful tips on the blog or at our home page. If anyone has anymore useful job searching tips please feel free to post them in the comment section below.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Portland Employment Guide March 30th - April 5th

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MLS Coming To Portland And Other Northwest News

In the last week, Portland received great news that it was going to land a new MLS expansion team. In 2011 the Portland Timbers will officially become Portland's second major sports franchise. The is great news for those who like sports and those who are looking to work in sports. Bringing a professional sports team to PGE Park will only increase the need for employment with concession stands and box office help. With the Timber's at PGE Park, the Portland Beaver's needed a new home and one of the deal makers on bringing the MLS to Portland was building a new stadium for the Beavers. This will also help with the unemployment issues with bringing in a construction crew to design and build a new stadium. It was also draw more businesses to the Rose Quarter area, which does not have nearly as many places to eat or drink like PGE Park.

In other good news, the FedEx Ground Plant near Troutdale is ahead of schedule in its developement which plans on being a hub for employment, commerical activity, and other spinoff developments. Being that it is the largest construction project in Multnomah County, it will provide lots of local jobs for local people. Also, C.E. John Co. Is ready to open their new riverfront office on the Columbia River. The building will only have one occupant and is looking for up to three more. This could be an ideal location for those looking to expand their business or start a new one. Even the Oregon Zoo is looking to hire for the summer. Those jobs maybe part time, but there are opportunities out there, even when times are tough.

With Seattle PI going web only last week, the Oregonian is gearing up for tough times. They are amidst an expense-reduction plan that will include pay cuts, furloughs, and lay offs for part time employees. This maybe a tough time to break into the journalism business with so many newspapers facing crisis. Even Intel, which is Oregon's largest employer is going through a challenging situation. They are trying to propose letting their employees trade their worthless stocks for fewer options at a lower price. If the shareholders approve, the company hopes to restore options incentive value at a time when it is freezing pay across the board, cutting jobs, and trimming other perks.

Want to see how Oregon spends federal stimulus dollars? Check this website out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Portland Employment Guide March 23rd - March 29th

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Seattle PI and More Oregon Businesses Having Trouble

Today marks a sad but current trend that happening to a lot of newspapers in the United States. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is going web only and halting its printing presses completly. It had been printing newspapers for the last 146 years making it Seattle's oldest business when it started in December 1863. That is a long time ago and time have changed radically since then. Though the presses may be stopped, The Hearst Corp. which own the newspapers rights said that it would keep seattlepi.com and make it the nation's largest web only newspaper. The Seattle P-I might the largest newspaper to go web only, but it is not the only one in trouble. Here is list of the 10 most endangered newspapers in the country right now. Number 6 on that list is the San Francisco Chronicle, which is also own by Hearst. This might be the second major newspaper in the Northwest to go web only. Even some of the smaller Northwest papers like The News Tribune Tacoma, and The Olympian are cutting back staff and reducing payroll. I know that there are a lot of websites and other newspapers from which to get your news on a daily basis, but this is truly an odd and groundbreaking day in the Northwest.

Here in Oregon, more and more companies are feeling the weight of the recession such as Weyerhaeuser Lumber Mill and Lithia Motors. Weyerhaeuser is shutting down its lumber mill in Dallas, Oregon due the lack of demand for wood to build homes. This ties right into the housing market that is not recession proof either. Medford based, Lithia Motors on the other hand is reporting a loss of $252.6 million for 2008. Since the midyear announcement, Lithia has sold 17 of it stores and is looking to sell 12 more. That is bad news for those in the automotive industry.

The news does not get any better for the state of Oregon as it was announced on Monday that the unemployment rate is now 10.8% in Oregon. This is the first time that Oregon's unemployment has been in double digits since 1984. That is 25 years folks! Here is another article on the subject. However, the numbers that are reported might be off, but in the wrong direction. They might actually be higher than intially thought. That can not be exciting to hear, but at the Employment Guide, we are always here to help.

So in closing Portland, what are your thoughts on the Seattle P-I becoming the largest web only newspaper? And, what are your thoughts about the businesses that are hurting and directly effecting other markets? Let us know in the comments below.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Portland Employment Guide March 16th - March 22nd

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taking A Job - Almost Any Job

In today's job market it seems that the companies that are offering jobs, job seekers are not finding matches. A lot of people are settling for positions that they are over qualified for, just because the supply of jobs just is not there. According to Rebecca Morrison-Stoney, the CEO and President of Portland-based Advantage Staffing, "What we have is a lot of mismatches, with people working in the lower wage jobs just because they’re willing." “It’s a disaster. It’s bad for American industry. It’s bad for employees. It’s a lose-lose all around." That speaks volumes for were we are at with today's job market. Staffing agencies typically serve as the bellweathers for the economy and this is the situation we are faced with today.

However, for those not willing to settle on finding work through staffing agencies or first thing that comes around, there are other options. Take for example, this list from the magazine Fast Company. These companies might not be hiring up front, but this is great list on how to incorporate their products into recruiting needs, therefore generating more work. Here in the Portland area, KeyBank announced that they are starting construction on a Columbia Tech Center branch that will be open by 2010. It is a part of a three-year expanison that could bring up to 20 new offices to the area. This is great news for those looking to get into the banking business. Another example would be Kroger, who owns Fred Meyer. Kroger posted a fourth quarter profit for 2008, which could very well mean that they are hiring and not cutting jobs.

With the job market the way it is, and with new people looking for work in high volumes. A lot of people have started going back to school. Here in the Portland area, the enrollment at Portland State University jumped up 5.5% this year. That is double the amount from last year and Portland Community College is up 10.5%. This shows that not everyone is settling for work and trying to gain an edge on those searching for jobs.

So in closing Portland, what are you doing in hopes to find work? Are you taking the first thing that comes your way or are you holding out for something that you want? Is going back to school the best option right? We here at the Employment Guide are on your side and want to help! Let us know what is on your mind in the comments below.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Portland Employment Guide March 9th - March 15th

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Amidst All The Bad News, Some Good News Is Needed!

Yesterday was a bad day for the stock market and today has not been any better, and many of us are still in the same situation that does not seem to be getting any better any faster. This is truly a scary time for a lot of people, and not just in Oregon. People are saving were they can and not trying to buy extravagant things. Take for example, Monaco the RV maker. They have had great success as one of the areas major employers. Now they are struggling to stay in business and had to let 2000 employees go. If the market is drying up for auto industry, RV's are definitely included in that discussion.

However, the job market and the economy are not suffering across the board and have some hope moving forward. Starbucks just announce that it would not be making anymore job cuts for the time being. They have also revamped their product by changing up the menu and now offering instant coffee. It is coffee on the go for under a dollar per serving which is nice because Starbucks can be a bit pricey. Another success story comes from Bend Factory Stores in Bend, Oregon. The outlet mall that caters to tourists and locals alike, has been fairly successful during the recession. Their 2008 sales were flat compared with 2007 sales. That is really good for retail with today's market being the way it is. In other news, a small Vancouver based website called Dotster Inc. bought two new web companies and sold a part of its own as a part of a new strategic focus on serving businesses. With the market for domain registering being so competitive, Dotster has decided to expand by offering entry-level rates for business web site design and associated business and marketing services.

All in all, there are jobs out there and they might not be plentiful or in a field of interest, but they do exist. So Portland, let us know about some success stories in today's market. And as always The Employment Guide is here to help. Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Portland Employment Guide March 2nd - March 8th

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