Increasing Your Resume Response Rate – Audio Recording

Most resumes and cover letters end up in the trash can. The vast majority of resumes and cover letters submitted for a job posting DO NOT give a hiring manager or recruiter the incentive to pick up the phone and conduct an interview. Most Resumes and Cover Letters fail to match-up with the listing of expectations, skills, duties, responsibilities, results, and outcomes mentioned in the advertisement or job description.  Learn the behind-the-scene’s secrets on how to increase your response rate with recruiters and employers from Barry Deutsch and Brad Remillard, who’ve viewed millions of resumes over the last 30 years in their executive search business.

To download or listen to this recording CLICK HERE, then scroll down to the recording.

How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds – Audio Recording

Recruiters screen your resume in less than 10 seconds for a few very simple reasons. Do you know the top 5 reasons why a recruiter will toss your resume into the circular file after a quick glance? Are you making simple mistakes and errors that consistently get your resume thrown into the trash? Learn how to overcome those resume mistakes that are preventing you from being interviewed.  In this radio program, Brad and Barry dissect, discuss, and recommend improvements to overcome the most common resume mistakes and errors that permit recruiters to read your resume in less than 10 seconds

You can read a complete and very detailed article on this topic. CLICK HERE

To download or listen to this recording CLICK HERE, then scroll down to the recording.

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Hurting Or Helping Your Job Search – Audio Recording

LinkedIn is without question one of the most powerful business networking tools available – and as an extension – one of the most useful tools for professionals, managers, and executives conducting a job search. Many candidates are not effectively leveraging the power of LinkedIn to build their brand, differentiate themselves from peers, extend the value of their resume, and networking with recruiters and employers to uncover the hidden job market. We identify and discuss the wide range of FREE tools and components on LinkedIn that can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of your job search. Learn how to build a powerful profile to attract recruiters and employers conducting searches.

CLICK HERE to download or listen to this recording

2 Types Of Resume Key Word Searches You Must Get Past

There are two types of resume key word searches. It is my opinion after having spoken with hundreds or maybe thousands of candidates that the vast majority focus on the wrong type. The result  is they rarely get a call back.

The two types of resume key word searches are (starting with in my opinion the least important):

1) The automated key word search. The most commonly thought of when most people think of key word searches. It is used by resume management systems. This is the type used by most job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder.

Although these play an important role, for the most part they play a much smaller role than most think. Granted for those screening resumes using the resume databases on one of the job boards, the key word search is important. But how many hiring managers, HR execs, CEOs actually spend a lot of time doing this? I have asked hundreds of these and very few claim they even use the resume databases. They are just too expensive. Most just run an ad and wait for the responses. Third party recruiters  and those companies that can afford on-site recruiters will spend time searching the databases, however, this is a small percentage.

The majority of  hiring is not done by large or Fortune 500 companies. Iit is done by the mid and small size companies.  The fact is most mid and small size companies can’t afford a sophisticated resume management system. This  then eliminates the importance of the automated key word search in the vast majority of hiring.

It is for this reason, coupled with the fact that most hiring managers don’t spend hours sorting resumes on the job boards, that I believe this is the least important of the two.

The hands down most important resume key word search is done 100% of the time by every CEO, HR person, hiring manager or recruiter. This is why it is so important. Yet, most candidates show complete surprise when in our coaching session I mention it.

2) The human eye key word search. This  is done with the eyes of the person scanning your resume. That person is looking for key words or phrases to jump off the page. They want their eyes to latch on to these as they move down the page. Most have trained their eyes to be on the lookout for these key words.

This is the key word search candidates should focus on. Yet so many candidates have a generic, one-size-fits-all resume that the key words are either missing,  buried so deep in a paragraph or are mentioned only once on page two of the resume, the key words or phrases are never noticed.

Here are a few suggestions to get past the human eye key word search.

Do you:

1) have the key words or phrases embedded multiple times in the body of the resume. Not just at the top of your resume.

2) have quantifiable results associated with your accomplishments. Don’t write out numbers. Actual numbers stand out more to the eye.

3) have the key words or phrases listed under multiple positions or companies.

4) have these words or phrases at the beginning of  the sentence or bullet point so the eye catches them. We read left to right. Don’t bury them in a long paragraph where it is hard for the eye to catch.

5) have them aligned with the advertisement or job description.

6) have them listed in your cover letter. You can download a sample cover letter for free that will show you how to do this. CLICK HERE to download.

7) have them re-enforced in your thank you letter. You can download for free a sample thank you letter that will show you how to do this. CLICK HERE to get yours.

These are just a few things you can do to get past the most important key word search – the person reading your resume.

In summary, if you do all the things necessary to get past the human key word search, I firmly believe you will by default have the proper  key words to get past the automated search.

For more information on building a resume that will get noticed and get you the call back, take a look at our job search workbook. It provides solutions to the most common mistakes candidates make during a job search.   Like this one. We will send it to you for just the cost of shipping ($5 USA only). CLICK HERE to learn more.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. Over 4200 people have. There is a wealth of articles and other resources for you in this group. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

The Curious George Approach to Interviewing

Use the Curious George style to ACE your next job interview

As many of you know, I follow an large number of blogs every day on a wide range of subjects – hiring, job search, motivation, blogging, retention, performance management, social media, internet marketing, basketball coaching – every interest that I have both personally and professionally. I get hundreds of ideas about blogging, marketing, FREE tools to offer YOU – the list is endless.

Which begs the question – what are you reading?

Do you have your books list up in the LinkedIn Application? What blogs do you subscribe to and read consistently in some RSS feeder like Google Reader? What blogs/forums are you commenting on what you’ve recently read?

(Little sidenote: There are few activities that a professional, manager, and can engage in that will lead to as many benefits as a high level of reading and exploration – do you make reading and exploration a big priority in your job search?)

Shoot us back a note in the comments about your favorite blogs that keep you informed, moving to a new level of learning, and turned on about new knowledge.

YOU MIGHT ASK  – where are you going with all this? You might ask – how does all this talk about blogs relate to job search and job interviewing?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs on how to blog better, ProBlogger , and Darren Rowse, the blog author, talked about the lessons learned from reading Curious George Books with his 3 year old. You remember Curious George – I still have the ones from my childhood and I had the chance to share them with my kids when they were younger.

Here’s what Darren said in his blog article titled A Lesson from Curious George for Bloggers:

The books of choice at bed time in my 3 year olds room are all Curious George books at the moment. He’s crazy for George.

Needless to say that the 6 Curious George books that we have are getting read again and again – I pretty much know them off by heart…. to the point that I’ve started taking less notice of the story itself and more notice of HOW its been written.

There’s one thing about Curious George Books (or at least the ones we have) that I’ve noticed that really makes them more engaging than some of the other kids books my boy reads.

Do you know what it is?

It’s something that draws my boy further and further into the book.

Any ideas what it could be?

It’s a technique that actually causes my little guy to ask me to turn the page – something that gets him thinking about what is coming next – something causes him to be curious – just like George.

What do you think it is?

This technique is not only a page turner – its something that draws my boy from being a passive listener/reader of the book – but actually gets him interacting with the book – talking about it as I’m reading.

Have you guessed what it is?

The technique is simple – on every second page there’s a question.

It’s not a question that needs an answer – but it’s a question that engages the person reading the book and draws them deeper into the story.

They are questions about what will happen next, questions about what the reader thinks or knows, leading questions that draw readers to keep reading but also to become engaged.

I’m reading the blog article and all of sudden it hit me – this is the same best practice technique that most top candidates use in an interview to engage with hiring managers (Thanks Darren for letting me borrow your analogy). The same concept applied in a writing a popular children’s book can be applied in a high level interview.

Do you engage, build rapport, draw the interviewer toward you, and build passion in them around wanting to learn more about YOU? Think about your last few interviews.

  • Did you wait till the end to ask questions?
  • Did you use your questions as a technique of engaging and stimulating a conversation instead of an interrogation?
  • Did you get ask questions to get the hiring manager talking?
  • Did your technique of asking questions last for a moment or two – or were you able to sustain it through-out the entire interview?
  • What happened on the interviews you were engaging through questions vs. the interviews where you didn’t ask very many questions?

Download a few of our FREE Audio recordings of past Radio Broadcasts that Brad and I have done on interviewing best practices.

You can also find more details on how to prepare and ACE a “Curious George” Interview in our Job Search Workbook.

Try the technique on your next interview. Let us know what happens.

Who would have thought a simple children’s book could provide so much insight about interviewing?

Barry Deutsch

Our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group frequently discusses best practices for interviewing. Learn from some of the best in how the instinctively use the “Curious George” Technique.

5 Most Frequently Asked Job Search Questions I Receive

On Friday’s 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?

You can download a free 8 Point Job Search Plan Self-Assessment that will help you evaluate exactly what you need to do to improve your search. CLICK HERE to download.

Is your Linkedin Profile going to get you noticed. Our FREE Linkedin Profile Matrix will help you develop an outstanding profile. CLICK HERE to download yours.

Join our LINKEDIN Job Search Networking group. Over 4200 people have joined. CLICK HERE to join.

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.

Brad Remillard

Never Waste A Thank You Letter Saying Thank You

After an interview, sending a “Thank You” letter is common etiquette and a nice thing to do, but saying “thank you” should not be the main reason for sending it. Most candidates send one after interviewing with a company, but as a recruiter, I rarely receive one. I personally don’t need one, but on the occasions when I have received one, I think the candidate misses a great opportunity by just saying, “Thank you for the interview.”

I believe a good “Thank You” letter should be used to reinforce your ability to do the job and/or address any potential issues that came up during the interview. It can be another marketing document. It is important not to over do it, but a tactful letter, that does some subtle marketing can have a big impact on the person reading it.

For example, a few years ago a candidate called me after an interview and said, “I think I blew the interview.” The CEO asked me, ‘What my career plan is for taking this position?’ I answered how over the next few years I would impact my department and how that would impact the company. The CEO responded, “That is fine, but we really want people that want to grow and maybe some day have my job.” The candidate asked me what would be the best way to recover from this or if there was a way to recover. The answer was the, “Thank You” letter.

A carefully worded, “Thank You” letter explained to the CEO that the candidate interpreted the question as asking for the short term impact he would have once on board. He went on to explain, in the “Thank You” letter, that certainly in the long-term his desire was definitely to advance, but he realized that was dependent upon him doing an exceptional job in the role he was being hired to fill, hence the reason for answering the question as he did.

The candidate had the opportunity to address a miscommunication during the interview, which is a common problem with interviews. Ultimately, the candidate did get the job. Would he have gotten it anyway? Hard to tell. One thing is certain, the candidate didn’t think he would have.

Some other basic issues regarding a “Thank You” letter:

  • One page maximum
  • Send shortly after the interview
  • Not an email (with the possible exception of IT professionals)
  • Addressed to a specific person, not “Dear Interviewer” or salutation left blank
  • Individualized to the particular interview, personalized to the specific topic
  • Do not use a generic one-size-fits-all thank you letter

Consider using this as one more chance to market yourself. Don’t over do it. This is not the time for a hard sell. It must be subtle and tactful. It won’t work all the time, but hopefully as in the example, it will work the one time you really need it.

Download a FREE sample Thank You letter along with some Do’s and Don’ts for Thank You letters. CLICK HERE to get yours.

Join the IMPACT Hiring Solutions Job Search Networking group.  There are over 4000 members . JOIN BY CLICKING HERE.

We encourage comments and your feedback.

Brad Remillard

Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed?

Learn how the behavior of initiative/self-motivation is the determining factor of success for every job

In over 1000 presentations in the last decade to CEOs, Company Presidents, and Senior Executives, we have heard the vast majority indicate that the number one behavior they have seen lead to success is initiative and self-motivation.

Brad and I have personally screened either in-person or on-the-phone well over 200,000 candidates over the last 25-30 years. We’ve seen young kids come out of college at 21/22 years old and who are now CEOs, company presidents, and senior executives. We’ve also seen many young graduates from 25-30 years ago who have had mediocre careers and are stuck in low-mid level jobs without much success. What’s the difference?

In our Success Factor Methodology that has been implemented as a structured hiring process in thousands of companies around the world, we identify 3 primary behaviors that help lead to success: Initiative and Self-Motivation, Flawless Execution, and Leadership. Each of these leads to a specific question in our 5-Question Success-based Interview.

Initiative/Self-Motivation is the primary behavior that stands head-and-shoulders above all other behaviors in determining job and career success. No other behavior comes remotely close to influencing career and job success IN ANY JOB!

Do you have a high level of initiative and self-motivation? Do you have the ability to prove in a job interview?

How many of the examples that you’ve assembled and practiced contain elements of demonstrating your initiative and self-motivation?

Let’s take a moment and define initiative and self-motivation:

  • Going above and beyond the call of duty
  • Anticipating what needs to be done
  • Not waiting to be told what to do
  • Showing INITIATIVE
  • Being assigned project “A” and returning “A” plus 10%
  • “Out-working” your peers – higher more intensive effort
  • Helping others when you were not required to do so
  • Offering positive suggestions/recommendations
  • Solving problems/obstacles without putting the monkey on the back of your boss

Can you claim to have lots of examples that fit the definition above in your last job? How about the job before that? And the one before that?

Here’s a great exercise: Write down every example of self-motivation and initiative from your last 3 jobs. Weave those into your examples/illustrations you offer in an interview or on your resume.

Here’s another great idea: Comment back on this blog post about your best example of demonstrating self-motivation and initiative in your last job. Brad and I will review your example and offer our insights from 25 years in the recruiting trenches.

If you would like to understand, how to prepare your examples, illustrations, and demonstrations of showing initiative and self-motivation, check out FREE audio downloads in our Job Search Library from our past Radio Shows. Brad and I have frequently discussed this topic of initiative and self-motivation.

We also cover the topic of initiative and self-motivation in-depth in our popular Job Search Workbook, This is NOT the Position I Accepted. If you would like to get a feel for the 5-Question Interview of best practice interview questions asked by Hiring Managers, especially the initiative and self-motivation question, take a look at our award-winning book on Hiring, You’re NOT the Person I Hired.

Barry Deutsch

As always, don’t forget to join Brad and I in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group for a lively discussion of interview questions and tips.

2 Simple Questions I Asked 10 Job Seekers And They Failed

This is why recruiters and hiring managers get frustrated with candidates. For the most part this demonstrates why most candidates fail the interview. Candidates leave an interview thinking all went well, when in fact, the candidate is not going to be asked to come back.

It also demonstrates why candidates need to consider investing in their job search. There are many great resources available to ensure candidates conduct a really effective and professional job search. In today’s economy a job seeker can’t afford (literally) to be anything less than 100% effective.  Unfortunately, none of these 10 will get the job. If they had invested less than $100, I believe they could have properly answered these simple questions.

Instead they will spend more time looking, ultimately costing them thousands of dollars. Who knows when another opportunity will come up.

So here are the two simple questions I asked the senior executives.

1) Do you consider yourself to be a person who demonstrates high initiative on a regular basis? All 10 basically answered, “Absolutely.” Not just “yes”  but “absolutely.”

The obvious follow-up question to me is:

2) Can  you give me a specific example  where you demonstrated high initiative in your current or most recent role? This is where the interview collapsed. Not one could give me an example of high initiative. All 10 either  rambled on and on hoping I would forget the question or the example was what I would normally expect them to be doing as part of their job. Not HIGH initiative.  Not one could provide an example of something they claim to do on a regular basis.

Basically they were not prepared. They all answered positively expecting that to be the end of it.

If they claim to “absolutely” demonstrate high initiative on a regular basis, I would expect them to have at least one example. That doesn’t seem like a trick question to me.

Why these candidates were not able to answer this simple question is beyond me. I can only think, like many candidates, they thought, “I will just wing it.” Proper preparation isn’t all that important.  The key word is, “proper.” They may have prepared, but obviously not the right or effective way.

I wonder how many times a day a candidate blows the interview or a candidate’s resume gets screened out for something simple.  How many candidates are still searching only because they refused to invest  in their job search. In the same way,  many people  invest in anything they want to become proficient at, including piano lessons, golf lessons, tennis lessons, lessons to learn a software program, etc. investing in a job search is just as critical. I believe  a lot more critical.

Every extra day in a job search is costing these people thousands.

So what can you do  so it doesn’t happen to you:

1) The internet offers an endless amount of free resources for all to tap into.

2) Not all resources are right for every person. Some may be more appropriate for technical people, some for non-professionals or for professionals, and some are primarily focused at managers and above. Search until you find a resource that fits  your needs. Like most things job search resources are not one-size-fits-all.

3) Once you find a resource take full advantage of the free offerings. Read the blog articles, listen to any audio files, if the offer free webinars attend them. Use these free resources to the fullest extent you can.

4) Only after you trust them and recognize they are right for you, don’t be afraid to invest a few bucks. Nobody can possibly give away everything for free. They  have to make a living too.  Since you have already engaged them and trust them purchasing a book, CD,or  attending a paid webinar will be worth every penny. Many won’t even charge you until  you are completely satisfied or offer a money back guarantee. That takes away any risk of wasting money.

5) Seek their help with your resume or interviewing skills. Many will give you a first pass for free. Again, if you trust them investing a few bucks may make the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. I know it would have helped these ten people.

The best thing you can do for your job search is to make sure you don’t lose an opportunity because of a simple mistake. In this economy it may be a while before another opportunity comes along.

To practice what we preach, we offer an enormous amount of free resources for you to take full advantage of.  I encourage you to use these resources as often as you like and to their fullest extent. For example:

1) Our extensive audio library recordings from our weekly radio program on www. CLICK HERE to review the program listing.

2) Our FREE sample cover letter. Over 2000 people have downloaded this. CLICK HERE to download yours.

3) Our FREE Linkedin profile assessment. Build a great profile on Linkedin. CLICK HERE to download yours.

4) Over 4000 people have joined our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. CLICK HERE to join.

5) Download a free chapter from our job search  book on phone interviewing tips. CLICK HERE to download.

6) These are just a few of the free offerings on our website. There are many more for you to take advantage of without buying anything.

FULL DISCLOSURE. Yes, there are products to buy on these pages. If this is your first time you should check out the free stuff first. If those are helpful and you still need help then you can check out the products. We offer most of them on a free trial basis. You don’t have to buy anything until you are sure it will help you.

We want to be a resource for  you in your job search. Our goal is the same as yours. We want to help you spend as little time in a job search as possible.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

It’s play-off time for your job search – what do you have to lose?

Are you conducting a job search like it's the last 5 minutes of your championship play-off game?

Here comes another basketball metaphor about your job search.

A few nights ago, my Varsity HS Girls Basketball Team played in the first round of the State Playoffs. In our section we were ranked 6th out of 32 teams. We played a team ranked 24 and almost lost.

Why? It should have been an easy win – a no-brainer.

At playoff time, teams change – they go from being conservative, playing careful, doing the same old thing, and usually playing within their capability. At playoff time, lower ranked teams hike it up to whole other level. They play with complete abandon – and give it a 110%.

What do the lower ranked teams have to lose? If they don’t win, their season ends right now. And if they can pull off one more win – they get to come back and play another game. Many upsets occur, because lower ranked teams fight as hard as they ever fought, they do everything they can to influence the outcome, and they leave nothing on the table.

If you asked the team last night that lost to us in the last 5 minutes of the game if they had any regrets – if any of the players felt they had not played as hard as they could – and the answer would be an overwhelming “I gave it everything I could”.

When asked that question, our higher ranked girls would have said there was a lot they could have done and they were disappointed in their performance since they didn’t “work hard enough”. They were coasting on their high ranking, thinking their past track record could speak for itself.

Are you guilty of this dysfunctional thinking in your job search?

If you ask most candidates that question about their job search, I would predict that most candidates would have significant regrets about their commitment, energy, and intensity regarding their job search.

Most candidates are not willing to “go beyond the call of duty” in their job search.

Most candidates could not claim that they have “outworked their peers” in their job search.

Most candidates are just doing the same thing over and over (Benjamin Franklin’s Definition of Insanity).

No wonder the typical executive/senior management job search is now significantly over 6 months. Here are some questions to ponder about your job search:

  • What are you doing in your job search that your peers are unwilling to do?
  • What are doing this week that represents a high level of energy, commitment, and intensity in your job search than last week?
  • How would you quantify the effort and intensity of your job search?
  • Shouldn’t you be treating your job search like it’s play-off time and it’s the last 5 minutes of what could be the last game of the season or your entire career?
  • Are you going beyond the call of duty in your job search?

What could you be doing differently that would represent a higher level of commitment, energy, and intensity?

This is just a small list of the hundreds of things you could be doing in your job search to reduce the time it takes to find a great opportunity. Most of your peers are unwilling to invest the time to do these job search best practices. Are you willing be to do what it takes to win – to go beyond what most of your peers do in their job search – or would you rather coast in the middle of the pack?

Have you downloaded our FREE Job Search Preparation Scorecard to see if you’re doing everything you can to conduct an effective job search?

What’s holding you back from pouring everything you’ve got into your job search?

Barry Deutsch

Jump into the Questions and Answers in our popular LinkedIn Discussion Group to discover what some candidates are doing that truly represents an effort to go “beyond the call of duty”.