Tag Archives | hiring tips

Stop Crashing Your Career By Doing THIS!

You are sitting at your computer, ready to apply for your dream job. You have been waiting for the perfect job to be posted or the certain person to reach out to you and so you start to ponder your cover letter. The butterflies are in your stomach and anticipation of getting the job is in your head. You are sitting there thinking “What should I write in my cover letter??” Well, be relieved that as much as you hate writing covering letters, hiring manager hate reading them.

It takes 7 seconds to review a resume and 1 second to scan your cover letter. So the truth is if we see another cover letter that expresses the “desire to learn” or how your education and experience matches that of the job, or how you managed 15 people which can clearly be seen in your resume please, don’t shoot us, just pull our eyes out! As there is no such thing as an “eye catching” cover letter. Don’t be fooled by posts with information that must be in the cover letter. For the love of anything do not have one…it’s old school!

In the new school of thought, there is no secret to writing a great cover letter, except for not having one and here’s why:

Cover Letters Have Proven To Be Your Window For Error: Countless people make so many errors in their cover letter. Aside for the fact people still make spelling and grammatical errors, people also forget to ensure their cover letter matches their resume and social media platforms.

The ATS- Applicant Tracking System Is Against You- All recruiting firms and most companies use an ATS to make their recruiting efforts more efficient so your cover letter isn’t even kept! It gets deleted as your resume put into the system.

Your Resume Tells Your Story: We know your cover letter is full of jargon about how you want the job but would you apply if you didn’t want the job or work at the company your writing about in detail??

It’s So Damn Long!! What the heck are you writing?? You make it as though we have all the time in the world to sit an read a novel during our work day. If you can’t write quickly, what will it be like meeting you??

The Cover Letter Profiles Your Monotony: Everything you have written in the cover letter is profiled in the resume..we get it. You worked at a, b c company for x years, managed so many people etc etc…again there’s no need to reiterate it in your cover letter.

Your resume, if strong enough, will highlight the elements of your resume that will ensure you are the right match for the job and company you are applying for. If it doesn’t then revamp your resume. Gone are the days when it had to be one page. If you have experience profile it, highlight it, embrace it but let the cover letter die in peace.

If you want to get noticed, don’t write a cover letter write an introductory email about the person you are writing to, as it’s not all about you.

Jessica Glazer is the Recruitment Director/Founder of www.MindHR.com-a head-hunting and resume writing agency. She can also be heard on Montreal’s NewsTalk Radio CJAD and seen on BTMontreal and Global television speaking about employment related issues.

Over 1M Recruiters, Who Is The Right One?

Every job has it’s perks and down falls and the biggest downfall in recruitment is the quality of talent that comes through staffing firms directly so here are the qualities needed for top performing recruiters you should know about if you are going to be working with them:

Emotional Intelligence: Being smart is one thing but a great recruiter needs to be able to read people and situations. They need to know what to say when and how, and WITHOUT LYING! Lying gets you nowhere but trouble

Diligent To The Point of Obsession: It’s one thing to be a perfectionist however top performing recruiters are people of the now with the vision of the long term as everything has to happen instantly for their candidates and their clients but building the solid relationship is always #1.

Multi-Task Masters: There is no way a top performing recruiter will take on one job at a time or talk to one candidate for one search. The don’t NEED a retained search as they know that they will find the top candidate and there’s no way they are working with one company so why make a company work with only them? Due to their busy desk, they need to know how to manage a different projects at different stages, hand while being observant enough to know what priorities are. As I was once told it’s “Magic hands”.

Listen: In sales it’s always important to listen but recruiters aren’t just sales people selling a glass. Their class walks, talks, speaks to other glasses and if they fall of the shelf, the recruiter can’t just find the exact same glass. So it’s so important they listen to the needs of their clients.

Caring: In all jobs the bottom line is important but someone who is in recruitment for the money is in it for the wrong reasons. The career placement industry isn’t a numbers game, it’s about changing lives.

Friendly: If the recruiter you are working with can not take the time to talk to you with a smile and caring voice, you have a problem

Sense of Sportsmanship:Recruiting is the People Person Sport. It’s impossible to be a successful recruiter without a team. It takes a village to make the right higher. They need the right tools and guidance from their clients and their candidates so if they aren’t working with you, they aren’t going to be able to help you

Energized: If a recruiter sounds like Eeyor you have a problem, they shouldn’t be like Tiger either. You need them to be a healthy balance of professional, fun and educated regarding your needs.

Self-Motivated: A recruiters lively hood depends on the clients they manage and the jobs they fill. If they are happy with just being at the level they are at, they will not strive to fill your jobs as they have no drive. A top preforming recruiter has drive faster then a formula 1 racer.

Ridiculous Researcher: A top recruiter won’t just research a company to know what they do, they will know the company and the match of what they are looking for better then an adult tooth moving into a mouth. They love to research, to the point of almost stalking. It;s their passion to research, learn and talk to others. It’s just in their blood.

Laugh At Themselves: If they can’t laugh at themselves they will die as some things said and done along the way can kill them…literally.

Resume & Cover Letter Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make But Others Have!!

Sometimes you just have to stop and laugh at what the universe sends you but we can actually learn from these humerous errors as well.

Below are just a few laugh out loud errors that have been sent my way. Happy Laughing. Happy Learning.

In Cover Letter: Benefits currently include…”Ham at Christmas” That was conversation I will never forget. I had to call him confirm it was real…it was!! “Ham can be expensive at Christmas, you know?” Was his response…for the record this was a 90k figure guy!

Email address: missyshakes@*******.com Your email address should be professional…Missshakes might agree…and it does exist!!

A gap in employment because…..”Dog Was Sick” I understand people love their pets but not everyone is a pet person this smells like a person with serious issues

“Perfectly Bilingual Written/ Spoken English, French Spoken, Some Italian” Umm..Perfectly bilingual in itself doesn’t make sense but then to break it down to not being bilingual at all???

Sent out a resume on the back side of a draft cover letter to another firm with the words “Pays attention to detail in the cover letter” Just Pay Attention!!

Wrong Name And Company In The Message. Hi, I’m Jessica, Not Jennifer, Not Jasmine, Not Stacey, Nor Susan or Marissa or Nancy…although nice names, they are not mine. My name is Jessica and my company name is MindHR, pretty simple :)

Send Cover Letter On Current Company Letterhead! I get you are working but can you at least have the decency to NOT use your current company’s property…it makes me very uneasy

Including Naked Pictures/Half Naked Pictures- If you think you are hot save the gogglers for the beach…I am not Candy-Dating. I am trying to get the best of the best for my clients not the egocentric, narcissistic ones.

Bachelors In Arts 1990 to present…Ummm so when are you going to be finishing that???

Reason for leaving for 4 careers in a row Layoffs but all companies are still in working order and there are no references RED FLAG!!

“Turnaround Consultant- Turned X Y Z companies around” And let me guess you are also a well educated, articulate person with many words!!

15 Page Resume!! I didn’t think it was ever going to end!! DO NOT DO IT!! Send a 2-3 page MAX!

Gardenview Elementary School I really never need to know when you went to elementary school…I’m trying to think of a time I need it, but nope…never…I don’t even need to know when you went to high school…keep to college and above and should we know people in common let’s figure it out when we speak.

Write THIS Resume To Land Your Dream Job!

The time will come when you want to leave your snug job and when that time comes you have to ask yourself: “Is my resume parallel to the career I am looking for?” That resume you put together in college landed you your first office job but as you try to scurry up the food chain that resume sink right into the interweb trash can. So as you grow up, so should your resume.

1) Write about your achievements. You had x job and did a, b, c. But NO you didn’t just do a,b,c you accomplished x, y, z!! You save the company money, you opened multinationals, you led a team of all sorts of trades, you negotiated off the ying and the yang to reach the end of the earth for the company you worked for and THIS IS HOW!! Explain what you did and how you did it! Your new hiring manager wants to see numbers and names. Throw them!

2) You didn’t just reach targets you went above and beyond because you did THIS!

3) Add color and spice and everything nice. You need to stand out on paper. Your resume is you selling yourself on paper. Cap where caps go, italic where italics go, use small and large fonts, use graphs and diagrams BUT ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT!!

4) You are one person with many talents who may have a few jobs that are of interest to you. You may want to be a GM, a Director of Operations or a VP. Whatever the case may be do know it’s okay to have more than one resume for more than one job.

5) Say goodbye to your objectives on the top of the page. Your applying for a job, we get it you are motivated, highly educated, and a thought provoking team leader. Instead brand yourself, add information we can’t find anywhere else on your resume, add things you did but be sure you actually did them.

6) NEVER LIE!! I don’t care how great this all reads to you, don’t you dare lie. Liers get caught in one way or another….Karma baby karma!

7) Date your work. If you are senior go about 15-20 years but not more! DO NOT add high school but add dates to all other places and if you worked at one place for many years, break it down to what you did when. And don’t tell me you have to think…we all have to think!

8) Just because you are out of school doesn’t mean education isn’t important. Add all relevant degrees, affiliates and certifications. And do know if you are applying to certain careers a scuba certificate can be interesting BUT for others and most…keep it out! (Point 8.5, Know your audience. Do your research about what works and doesn’t work with the company, figure out if and where they volunteer, perhaps not only are your interests are the same but you have both been to the same event at the same time.)

9) References upon request is old school. Of course you will give references if requested. If not what’s the matter with you?? And with that though don’t add your actual references here, wait until asked or bring your glowing letters to an interview. It’s manners :)

10) Your information on the top of the page can be limited to your name, your phone number, your email address, your twitter, linkedin link but after that no need to add more. You can leave your actual mailing address out, it won’t be used until you are hired.

11) If you are too lazy to do this all yourself. There are resume writing agencies that can help….including ours but do know no resume will guarantee you a job. It will hopefully get you an interview but after that it’s all you.

Do know, the bigger the job, the more humanistic the process will be. You will have multiple interviews with multiple people. It may all be for nothing but you don’t know what you can or will have until you try. So fix your resume and get on out there!

Why Can’t I Offer More Money When They Want To Leave?

There are so many reasons why it’s not in your favour to offer someone who wants to leave your company more money.

Here are some of them:

The person wasn’t happy and it wasn’t just about the money.
Money is great, we all need it, most of us want more if it BUT when someone is making a move to another company, money was never the only issues and if twas the only issue why all of the sudden, now that they are about to go, you are able to throw more at them??

If you were able to throw the dollars at them now why didn’t you do it before??
This makes sense of course if you didn’t know it was an issue however if there are unhappy employees, it is your responsibility as a manager and/or an owner to know your people are unhappy. To say “You were too busy to notice” Or you have “too many people to know everything” is just an excuse that doesn’t work. Unhappy employees are less productive employees, they are the one missing work to go out, leaving early, on the phone more and taking lunch more often then before. You can’t know everything but you should be able to catch on and work accordingly.

If someone is about to take an offer now, in three to six months they will take another offer again as chances are it wasn’t about the money, they will still be unhappy but the idea of staying was much easier then the idea of leaving.

We see it all the time, managers/HR/CEO’s saying “we will give you more responsibilities, we will raise your salary” but the chances of this actually happening is truly nil to none…as again, why didn’t they just do it before??

Moving from job to job is never ideal however sometimes people need to leave a company and what that time comes it’s is best to just let them go. It’s hard, as breakups are never easy but once you are down, pick yourself up again and come back/hire stronger!

Learn To Keep Your Employees!

You have employees, you are growing, you want to grow, that’s all great! Nerve wracking but great!! The only problem is, everyone is different and every company is different so as much as it’s fabulous to want to add employees you need to go about it the right way!
So what can you do to actually keep employees so people like me don’t take them out???

A steady job and paycheck is not enough to keep them happy.
Here are some not deep pocket examples that can help employees feel warm and fuzzy inside:

Relax on the dress code once a week or provide a free lunch of Fridays…offices love free!! Free coffee, free donuts, free time!!

Keep them motivated, keep them educated!
Lunch and learn sessions: The government of Quebec provides grants to companies that provide training. Take advantage of it!! It will save you money in the long run as well! If you need more information please do feel free to send jessica@mindhr.com an email. She will put you in touch with the right person.

Offer a flexible work schedule. I have a client that has a 7.5 hour work week. Everyone has to be in at 10am but they can come in anytime before and leave 7.5 hours later.

Don’t yell, it’s not good for you and it’s not good for the morale of the office. Keep calm and work on!

Dangle a carrot in front of the right people. Everyone has different motivations so work with what those differences. It’s not discrimination if everyone has something to look forward to. I worked with a sales woman who was motivated by time off. She didn’t care about the commissions, she wanted a half day off for every sale made. Not the end of the world.

Celebrate occasions and offer the option of It’s your Birthday take the day off. With smart phones we are always available, so a day off is never really a day off.

Participate in community events. Events bring up team spirit. You don’t have to make it mandatory but you can make it an option. Building a sense of community and family makes it harder for people to leave.

As a manager or an owner, bond with them and get to know them. You don’t have to be best buddies but you can get to know their favorite color.

If you can and have the space, offer gym memberships or provide the time for your employees to get out and exercise. Healthy body healthy mind

Work with your employees to show the progression of their work and the company, if that is something that interests them. Don’t worry, NOT everyone wants to the be chief and not everyone wants to be the soldier.

Don’t forget to congratulate successes not everything has to be about money, a simple well done, is really enough sometimes.

The employers who treat their employees the best will not only keep their current staff but also find the best employees flocking to them.

Happy flying!