Your Job Search Questions and Answers

On Friday from 9 – 10 AM PDT we often conduct free “Candidate Open Forums.” These are conference calls open to all of our candidates, in which we discuss topics and answer questions directly from you – our candidates. Unfortunately, we are limited to 50 people on the line at one time, so often we can’t get to all of the questions submitted ahead of time via email.

We believe these are important, so from time to time in this blog we will discuss the topics and questions we, 1) don’t get to during the conference call, 2) are asked over and over again (so these are probably on your mind too), and 3) just consider important for you to know.

Remember, we are retained executive recruiters so the answers and thoughts come strictly from that perspective.

1) Chronological vs. functional resume? Easy answer –  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, use a functional resume. In my almost 30 years of recruiting I have never had any recruiter or hiring manager support the functional resume. I have also been on many panels where all of the panelists agree to NEVER use a functional resume. Functional resumes just scream out,”Try to figure out what I’m trying to hide.” See our free audio file on resumes.

2) How do we overcome negatives such as age, turnover, time between jobs, etc? We believe you address them head on. If you have a negative, avoiding it doesn’t make it go away. We have a blog entry “Preemptive Strike” which you should also consider reading. If you have a negative item, you should bring it up straight away, discuss it openly and then whatever happens, happens. Don’t assume, “They didn’t bring it up so it must not be a problem.” They didn’t bring it up because they already settled it in their mind. You need to preempt any preconceived ideas before they come into play.

3) What is the best method and frequency for following up on a resume? For us, as recruiters, we prefer via email or one of the social media forums, Linkedin or Twitter. Recruiters have reduced staff just like many other companies, while the number of calls from candidates has skyrocketed. It isn’t possible to call every person. Email allows us to reply late at night, on weekends, or even while waiting in the lobby of a client. I can’t do that with phone calls. Regarding frequency, if in fact you are dead on perfect,  then after two weeks send a follow-up email.

4) With so many top level executives in the market, how do you differentiate yourself from the pack? This is the 64,000 dollar question. We believe the best answer is to have a very compelling resume which is targeted specifically to the position. A generic, one size fits all resume will not differentiate you. That is what “generic” means. In today’s market our clients and therefore recruiters, are seeking very specific backgrounds. We are not looking for the proverbial, “Jack of all trades,” we are looking for the, “King or Queen for a specific role.”

5) Is negotiating with the employer different today due to the economic situation, and if so how? There is a difference given today’s market. For example, most companies will not relocate today especially in a large market area. Also, companies tend to be closed to severance agreements. If you aren’t working, they figure there is no reason to give an agreement and they are in control. You have to pick your issues and know where to compromise. This is all part of the pre-planning process for a job search. What issues will you compromise on and which ones should you dig in your heels?

This is enough for now, check back regularly for more Q&A.

We realize not everyone will agree with these answers and that is healthy. So if you don’t agree, or wish to comment, we encourage you to do so. Just click the link below.

We offer a wealth of free resources to anyone in a job search. To see what is available to help you simply CLICK HERE.


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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