Posts tagged: Recruiters

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

5 Tips How To Keep Your Resume Out Of The Black Hole

Candidates constantly complain about how when they email resumes they all seem to end up in the proverbial “black hole.”

As a recruiter, who receives on average 6 to 7 hundred resumes a week, I can understand your frustration. I’m also sure I may not be able to eliminate it, however, I hope I can help you reduce it with these few tips.

1) When you move from candidate to hiring manager remember your frustrations and treat the people sending you resumes as you want to be treated now. You know, the thing our parents always taught us about treating others the  way we want to be treated. Sounds so obvious but I just wrote another article about how rarely this happens.

2) The best way to avoid the black hole in the first place is not enter it. If you include a cover letter; a) don’t send it as a separate attachment to your resume. It should be the first page when the resume attachment is opened. b) use either Word or PDF to send your resume. I receive many resumes I can’t open. c) your cover letter should be designed to grab the reader’s attention. That means the cover letter must clearly and with a simple glance align your background with the needs of the job. CLICK HERE and download a free copy of a sample cover letter that does just that.

3) You don’t have to be the first resume received. Most ads run for at least 30 days. Many candidates have experienced most companies take their time. So wait a few days or even up to a week or more before replying. Avoid being one of the first 400 resumes. After the first blast of resumes come, as more trickle in one or two at a time, I will often just open the resume take a look at it and make a decision how to handle it. These people avoided the rush and got their resume reviewed.

4) First try the personal approach. With number 3 above in mind, use this time to try and find a personal connection within the company or recruiting firm. There are many ways to do this. 1) Linkedin should be first on your list. This is  exactly why you need to build your connections to the maximum number possible. 2) Google the person’s name, position, or company name, anything that will help you target the right person within the company. Then look for a personal introduction. Most recruiters value a referral.

5) Don’t use services that blast your resume to 10,000 recruiters and/or companies. This is a major waste of money. What do you expect will happen when someone receives a bunch of unsolicited resumes? What would you do with them? How do you handle unsolicited emails? Most call it SPAM. It doesn’t work.

Hope these tips are helpful and now your resume will at least pop to the top.

Designing a resume is the starting point of every job search. If your resume gets screened out it is worthless.

If you didn’t know these little tips our Complete Resume System is designed to make sure your resume gets noticed. We guarantee it. The hundreds of people who have used this system to build an effective resume are getting their resumes read. You can too. There are many more tips you should include in your resume. For more information about getting your resume noticed check out our Complete Resume System. CLICK HERE to view it.

You should join our LinkedIn IMPACT Hiring Solutions Job Search Networking Group. It is free on LinkedIn and there is an enormous amount of articles and discussions to help in your job search. That is why over 4000 people have joined so far. CLICK HERE to join if you are a LinkedIn member.

You can also download for FREE a sample cover letter to use that will align your background with those of the company. CLICK HERE to download your sample.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Job Hunters Searching For Help In Too Many Places

There are so many places to go today for help with your job search it is hard to know what is right, who is the best, what advice you should follow, and if you are doing things effectively. Everybody has a different opinion. Should you use Twitter, how much time to spend networking, do you need to change your resume, is your cover letter the best, what do to in an interview, etc.

What’s a candidate to do?

It really isn’t all that difficult to figure out. The answer is simple. It isn’t any different than other decisions you make, whether buying a home, buying a car, selecting a plumber or contractor, or what finance company to use.  You first decided what you needed (that was what YOU need), you then do your homework, seek out an expert in what you need, ask for referrals, if none are available you want to test drive the product or review their work, then  you decide.

Do the same in your job search. Filter out all the distractions. There are a lot of very good experts out there to help you. You just need to get the one that will work best with you and what you need in your search.

Some filtering ideas:

1) Identify exactly what you want or need help with. Don’t let some one else try to sell you on what they have to offer you. If your resume isn’t working, get an expert to help you with it, if you are getting interviews but not offers focus on that, if you are not familiar with using the Internet in your job search get help there, and if this is your first time looking in a long time you might need help with all aspects of your search.

2) Do your homework. Look around at what others are doing. Pick a book that has a reputable author. By reputable I don’t mean just because they wrote a book they are experts.  Review that authors background. Are they an expert in what you need? What makes them an expert? What accomplishments do they have similar to what you need? Ask for referrals. Read their book. Does it align with what you are seeing in the market and from other candidates?

3) Ask others for referrals. Who do they use to help them? If you don’t have a person to ask go on-line. In today’s world you can check out people and their credibility very easily. For example, if my partner Barry Deutsch or myself were referred to you or you simply wanted to check us out, all you have to do is Google our names. Look us up on Linkedin. There is adequate information out there on us and our firm for you to decide if we are credible and provide the services you need. It is the same for any expert in the job search business today. If that information isn’t available – run.

4) Can you test drive their services? Once you identify one or two people, due your due diligence. Can you test drive their products, can they provide examples of their services, can they produce a prototype for you, ask them for suggestions and decide if these make sense. Is the person responsive, have references, will they work with you as opposed to you working with them?

5) Then select the one or two experts you feel will best benefit you and work with them. Use them and abuse them. Forget about all the distractions out there. This is the best person for you and that is what works. If for some reason it doesn’t, then start the process again, just like you would with any other product or service. If you don’t like your banker, doctor, financial advisor, CPA, or the person doing your taxes, you move on and find someone else. Why should it be any different in a job search?

You should join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. It is free, has over 3300 members and an extensive amount of resources for you. CLICK HERE to join.

You can also get a FREE sample cover letter to help you. Over 2000 people have downloaded this. CLICK HERE to download yours.

Finally you can test drive our job search workbook to see if it is right for you. We will ship it to you for only $5. It is FREE for you to read and check out to see if it is right for you. We practice what we preach CLICK HERE to get yours. Readers have rated this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Don’t Underestimate the Power the Four “A’s” Have On Your Interview

In a previous article, “Leveraging the Power of the First Impression Helps You Win the Interview” we discussed just how critical (not important, critical) the first impression is to the interviewing process. One of the suggestions was to understand the most important points known as the four “A’s.”

These four “A’s” can dramatically impact the interview before the interview even starts. That is powerful.

Each of these must be integrated into your interviewing style and come off as if they come naturally to you.

  • Appearance – This is not just how you dress for the interview, it is much more than that. It includes your body language during the interview, how you sit in the chair, the appearance of your resume and cover letter, the appearance of any materials used during the interview, eye contact, and I hate to say it, but it does include physical appearance.
  • Assertive – This is mostly about how you project yourself during the interview. Please take note, the word was not “aggressive.” There is a big difference between aggressive and assertive. Most interviewers respect an assertive person and dislike aggressive people. Do you come across as confident, do you answer the question with a strong voice, do you engage the interviewer during the interview, do you ask probing questions or just sit there and answer questions, do you mirror the interviewer, does your body language and voice have a strong presence?
  • Affable – Are you friendly, outgoing, easy to communicate with, engaging and even have a sense of humor? Does the interviewer feel comfortable talking with you, are they relaxed and feel at ease, do you have some conversational questions to bring up on the way from the lobby to the interviewing room, do you engage in casual conversation and are you building rapport with the person the second they lay eyes on you?
  • Articulate – How well do you communicate? Do you listen to the question? Are your answers sharp and succinct? Do you have proper language skills, syntax, avoid using the word “like”, proper sentence structure and use of verbs? Do you ramble in the interview to make sure you hit every point in your background or are you able to quickly get to the point? This can be one of the easiest of the “A’s” to master. It takes practice and rehearsing, and you will probably need a coach to help you with this one.

On the surface, as you read these, they seem so obvious. Most are thinking, “I already know this stuff.” This may be true, but I think the purpose of the four “A’s” is to highlight in a very simple way some of the key issues many candidates take for granted. As a result they don’t work on mastering them.

There are a lot of dynamics happening at the same time during the hiring process. The more you can master, the better your chances of getting the green light.

Join our Job Search Networking Linkedin Group. There are over 2700 members and an extensive supply of resources for you to tap into. CLICK HERE to join. Membership is FREE.

We have numerous free downloads on our Web site to help you in your search. Sample cover letters, audio downloads from past radio shows,a transferable skills list, Linkedin Profile Assessment Matrix, and our Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. All can be downloaded from our home page.

Every Monday at 11 AM PDT listen to our radio show from anywhere in the world on channel 2.

I’m Perfect For The Position, So Why Did I Get Screened Out?

Great question. Probably an obvious answer.

The easy answer is, you probably aren’t perfect for the job, at least from the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s perspective. Now that doesn’t mean you aren’t perfect. It may mean you didn’t communicate effectively as to demonstrate just how perfect you are. So you get screened out.

It has been my experience in close to 30 years as a recruiter that candidates too often ignore the competition that also claim to be perfect for the job. As a recruiter in today’s economy, we can get 500+ responses to an executive level position, all claiming to be, “perfect.” With this volume of resumes, emails, phone calls and referrals, you have to demonstrate you are more perfect than all of the rest.

The real question is, “Have you demonstrated you are more perfect than all the others?” I realize candidates generally have limited information about the position, so demonstrating this can be difficult. It isn’t possible to give every screening detail. Anyone who has hired people knows this. Most hiring managers experience the same thing. When you are looking to hire some one you too get resume overload. So how do you prioritize all these resumes, calls, emails, and referrals? Most have set up some sort of checklist to reduce the number to a manageable figure. Some things on the checklist include, industry, company size, compatibility with products, systems, organization, title, turnover, etc. This is important information that is missing from many resumes. The result is you may get screen out or put in the infamous “B” pile.

The next step might be to further read the resumes that passed the checklist to reduce the number even further. It is at this stage that you must really demonstrate that you are perfect for the position. From a recruiter’s perspective this is the point where I want to see how your accomplishments align with what the client is looking for in the person they hire to deliver the results. This is the, “So why did I get screened out?” point.

Here are some suggestions that might help you to not get screened out if you really are perfect:

  1. Customize your resume as much as possible to directly align with the job. Don’t send the one-size fits all resume.
  2. Your bullet points must include quantifiable results, time frame to accomplish, and be believable.
  3. If you don’t know the exact expectations, some research on the company might give you some tips. If your research highlights issues, try to extrapolate how your functional area will participate in these issues and then how your accomplishments align.
  4. Don’t limit your research to the company’s Web site. Look for press releases, announcements, industry trends, local newspapers, business journals, industry periodicals, and Google the company and its competitors. It will take some work, however, the pay off is not getting screened out.
  5. Use a two column cover letter that compares your experience and accomplishments with what their needs are. (You can download a free sample cover letter on our Web site. (CLICK HERE to get yours)
  6. Keep your resume to two pages. Don’t have so much detail that the important points get lost.
  7. Make sure you have the basic screening information on your resume. Step back and be objective as to exactly how you screen resumes when you were a hiring manager with a stack of 300 resumes on your desk.

There are a lot of reasons you can get screened out, even if you are perfect. I’m convinced doing these few things will at least increase the odds in your favor. I’m sure they will increase the odds if you really are perfect for the position.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group for many more tips on helping you in your job search. CLICK HERE to join – it is free.

Our job search workbook deals with all of the issues one encounters in a job search. To review the book and have it sent to you for just $5 CLICK HERE. Readers rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

Three Most Important Words In a Job Search Radio Show

These three simple words have the biggest impact on your job search. They can make the difference between getting a job or not. That is the power they have. If you don’t know what these are then this is a MUST listen to. We not only give you the words but discuss how to ensure you implement them. Make sure you are the one that wins the interview and then the job. We are serious about the power of these on your job search.

Download the audio at

Download a sample cover letter the gets results at

Join our LinkedIN Job Search Networking Group

What if Your Job Search takes 2X-3X longer than expected?


Amazing how time keeps marching forward in your job search like the sand through an hour glass. Every day, week, and month not spent conducting an effective job search drains your wallet and puts an unbearable level of pressure on your job hunting activities.

Miriam Salpeter, who writes a blog at Keppie Careers,  recently posted an article titled “What’s the Cost of Being Unemployed?”  Great article.  Miriam gave a few good examples:

If you expect a $20,000 salary, your weekly salary is $384.61 and an 18 week job hunt will cost you $6,992.98.

If you are looking for a job with a $50,000 salary, your weekly salary is $961.54 and an 18 week job hunt costs you $17,307.69.

If you are hoping for a $100,000 salary, your weekly salary is $1,923.08 and an 18 week job hunt costs you $34,615.38.

Many readers of our blog are in the $150K-$200K plus range. What’s the cost of your job search moving from a traditional 6 months out to 12-18 months?

Here’s the comment I wrote to Miriam’s Blog posting:

Excellent point about the cost of an extended job search. Most of the candidates I work with are significantly north of $150,000-$200,000 in annual income. Imagine the cost of a search that has gone from a traditional 6 months and is now approaching 12-18 months.

Here’s the irony: We provide many good products and services, like you and other gurus/experts in this field. Yet, my experience is that the vast majority of managerial and executive candidates would rather flounder around for 12-18 months at the cost of $150K-$200K instead of investing $29, $59, $99 in a proven validated product/service that will take months off their job search.

I realize folks who are out of work don’t want to spend money unnecessarily. However, like most things in life you’ve got to make a few key investments and spend a little money to make money. Most candidates we encounter have no clue what to do in an effective job search – and they’re trying the same strategies which may have worked 8 – 10 -15 years ago. Whether it’s our products/services, yours, another well-known expert – my recommendation would be for job seekers to become masters of the job search process. To do that requires purchasing audio, video, kits, courses, books, and workbooks. On top of all that great content is an extraordinary amount of FREE resources which few people take advantage of.

I just wrote a recent article on my blog about mastering the job search. My partner Brad and I will be discussing this idea in our weekly radio show on Monday.


P.S.: On Monday in our Radio Show we will release our long awaited Self-Assessment Scorecard to determine if your Job Search Plan is adequate to complete a quick and effective job search.

Job Search Mistake #1: Not Having a Systematic Approach to Conducting a Job Search

Metaphor for most job searches which are more dependent on luck than a systematic plan

Is your job search systematic or more dependent on luck?

Many candidates approach a job search “willy-nilly”. The approach goes something like this “I’ll tell my friends I’m looking for a job, I’ll call the 3 recruiters I know and tell them to start circulating my resumes, I’ll dust off my old resume and update it for my last job, I’ll sit down tonight and look a few job boards to see what jobs are being advertised.”

After 25 years of executive search, over 1000 search assignments, and beyond 100,000 candidate interviews, I can guarantee that “willy-nilly” approach to your job search is a recipe for disaster. Unless luck intervenes, you’ll probably fall victim to one of two unfortunate job search failure scenarios:

Job Search Failure Scenario #1: You’ll take 2X-3X longer to conduct a job search than is necessary. If the average time to conduct a job search for your level of position is 4 months – it will probably take 8-12 months. Imagine the savings if you could knock a few months off your job search.

Job Search Failure Scenario #2: You’ll take a job that is not a good fit out of desperation and lack of clear thinking and planning about what is the right role for you. This job search scenario will force you into what we term is the “Circle of Transition”. You can read more about the Circle of Transition in our blog post on this subject and download a visual representation of this depressing cycle many individuals fall into during their career and from which they cannot escape.

A systematic plan requires the ability to conduct effective job search preparation, develop a compelling resume through a personal success profile, prepare to win every phone interview and face-to-face interview, master networking, and create a powerful personal brand that makes you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers.

We’ve developed a FREE Job Search Planning Self-Assessment Tool to determine if your job search is systematic or if it’s “willy-nilly”. This tool can help you restart a stalled job search, get your job search off to a rapid start, and most importantly, help you to reduce by half the time it normally takes to complete an effective job hunt for an ideal opportunity.

This FREE Job Search Planning Assessment takes our 25 year mountain of research across every dimension of job hunting and walks you through the steps of our Career Success Methodology –  a deeply researched and validated systematic job search system.

The FREE Assessment will be made available within the next 24-48 hours only to those who are members of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. This is an exclusive offer to the 2,000 plus members of our Discussion Group. You can join the group by clicking here.

By the way – as an added bonus, we have also developed a FREE Assessment to determine if your LinkedIn Profile is effective in making you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers. This FREE LinkedIn Profile Assessment is also available through membership in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. You’ll see it immediately upon joining as one of the featured discussions.

Our Job Search Home Study Course takes the Career Success Methodology and presents it through a comprehensive workbook, templates, and audio programs. After completing the Job Search Home Study Course, you should be able to dramatically reduce the time it will take to find a great opportunity. If you’re not happy with the course, use our guarantee to return it at no obligation.


Busted – Age Discrimination Revealed

Anyone that has read the discussions in our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group knows that I am not a big believer in age discrimination. That doesn’t mean I think it doesn’t happen. What it does mean is that I don’t think it happens as frequently as many candidates do. In fact, I believe it is far more rare than most.

Well I am wrong. Age discrimination is alive, living, and doing very well. My last two executive searches prove that I’m wrong and it definitely exists.

I have been retained to fill a CFO and VP Manufacturing search. Both positions are very senior level spots and in two different companies. In a normal search, we will present 4 or 5 candidates to the client before they hire one of them. These two were a little different. I had presented my normal 5 candidates and the client was interested in, but not sold on, a couple of the candidates. They still wanted to see a few more. (By the way as a side journey, in today’s market that is very common. Clients seem to always want to see a few more. After all, there are so many candidates on the market.)

The candidates they liked were all 7 or 8’s on a scale of 1 – 10. They all had 15-20 years of experience and judging from when they graduated from college, ranged in age from late 30’s to mid-40’s. Both of these jobs were very senior, and due to the nature of the challenges facing the companies required a real depth of experience and not just the normal depth one gets in 15-20 years. These candidates just weren’t “mature or experienced” enough were the words the clients used.

As the client requested, I presented 2 more candidates to each company. These last 4 candidates all had no less than 30 years of experience, and all had graduated from college in the late 70’s and early 80’s. You can do the math on their ages. My guess is mid to late 50’s and possibly even 60. To no real surprise my clients each hired one of these 4. The comment the client made to me at some point during the hiring process was, “If I can get a good 3-5 years from them, that is all one can expect in today’s world, and I’m more than fine with that. Hell, I may not even be here in 5 years.”

WOW, a clear case of age discrimination if I ever saw one. The first group was clearly discriminated against due to their age.

Again, before you write me a nasty comment, I agree age discrimination exists. But it works both ways. I also don’t believe every time a person doesn’t get a position, especially more senior candidates, it is age discrimination. Often they are just plain over-qualified for the job, just as these candidates were under-qualified for these jobs.

Part 2 on this topic will be more in-depth as to some other contributing factors that helped the second group win the job. There is hope, and by following the suggestions in part 2, you can avoid age discrimination on either side of the equation.

We provide a large repository of free tools and resources (CLICK HERE FOR LISTING) for candidates of all ages to help you significantly reduce your time in search. Every day of lost wages costs you hundreds of dollars and stress. I personally want to encourage you to spend some time reviewing these. There are audio files (CLICK HERE to enter the audio library), templates, assessments, and articles. The topics cover just about every aspect of the search process, networking, branding, resumes, interviewing, common mistakes, leveraging social networks, etc.

Our bi-weekly Candidate Open Forums are available to all who want to participate. You can speak directly with myself or Barry on the conference calls. Our homepage list the upcoming forums. CLICK HERE FOR LIST.

We are committed to assisting you in your search as best we can. These free resources are the best we can do for now. We have even more ideas coming and all will be free.

IMPACT Hiring Solutions Weekly Job Search Blog Round-up: August 22, 2009

The IMPACT Hiring Solutions Weekly Job Search Blog Round-up

In case you missed some of the individual blog postings this week, here’s a round-up of some of the more popular posts Brad and I wrote for the Job Search Blog:

It’s Okay to Swear in the Interview: Learn the secrets of a structured response to every interview question. Follow this format in responding to interview questions and hiring managers will move away from box checking to engaging with you in a conversation and dialogue about the job.

Your LinkedIn Profile as a Multi-media Expansion of Your Resume: LinkedIn provides a wealth of tools for job seekers for personal branding, networking, self-promotion. Are you using all these tools to become visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers?

Keyword Searches in Resumes: You might think you’re perfect for a job – but hiring managers would disagree after reviewing your resume. By not focusing on the proper key words – are missing out on job opportunities?

Honesty + Guts Works in the Interview: Can you look a hiring manager in the eye and challenge them in the interview if you disagree with their expectations or perspective. Are you praying things might be different when you join the company. The interview is the time for honest and direct dialogue without being confrontational.

Brad and I wish you much success in your job search in the coming week.