It’s Team Day at Ashley Ellis! Who do you root for?
Figuring out what’s most important to you professionally and what complements your current life style can be a tough task. So taking a moment to sit down and really think about what is most important to you can be extremely beneficial in making that difficult decision. We all have different motivating or important factors to consider when making career decisions or choosing the right employer. At Ashley Ellis we take the time to discuss with our candidates what’s most important to them going forward. In fact, we even have them personally rank those motivating or important factors in order of importance. This is beneficial in helping us match our candidates in finding their dream IT jobs and assisting our clients in finding ideal candidates that fit their team. Below you can find a list of the most common important factors we discuss with our candidates so we can make that perfect match!
For some of us out there the opportunity to go to work and get paid well for it is most important. I would think most of us would agree it’s nice to get compensated for all your hard work? Right?
The opportunity to enjoy great employee benefits can be very important to most. Most organizations understand this and try to gain an advantage on their competitors by offering superior employee benefits.
The Technology You Use
Being able to come to work everyday and work with something that you truly believe in, are comfortable with and enjoy using can be highly motivating.
Sometimes just being close to home or not having to relocate for a new opportunity can be important.
Work Environment or Culture
Coming to work and having that feeling of that you fit in with your team can be important. Or maybe you just enjoy the company culture and how the day to day operations are implemented?
We are all different and what’s most important to one person could have little significance on another. So take the time to think about what drives you as an individual when deciding on that next career move or choosing the right employer. It might make that difficult decision not seem so complicated anymore?
Let us know what motivates you?!?
The program at United Way of the Greater Triangle is Teaming for Technology. It is managed by a staff of two and we get help from literally hundreds of people who volunteer each year. What they do is simply refurbish computer systems that are donated by caring individuals and businesses which end up going to nonprofits and schools all across NC.
They accept donations of any type of computer system and equipment. Right now they are in greatest need of keyboards, mice, laptops and flat panel monitors.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Al Reynolds, Program Operations Coordinator at 463-5031 (firstname.lastname@example.org) They keep an updated calendar about volunteer opportunities: http://www.unitedwaytriangle.org/t4t/volunteer.php
Check out their brochure:
Last week my colleague wrote about tailoring your resume to the job you want. She had some great examples and if you haven’t already you should definitely go back and read her article.
This week, I’d like to take your resume a little bit further.
So, you’ve written the resume and sent it out. But you’ve gotten no responses – or worse, a bunch of spam and scam responses.
What went wrong?
I talk to Hiring Managers and heads of HR all day and let me tell you they are busy people.
Human Resources normally handle all hiring and internal issues for the entire company, even the smaller companies have a busy HR representative.
Hiring Managers? Even busier. Not only do they have a department to run but if they’re actively hiring it means that they’re most likely missing at least one member of their staff which gives them even more to do.
Both of these groups are too important in their roles and too busy to read hundreds of detailed resumes.
What does this mean?
On average you have 8 seconds worth of resume to make an impact. That means that within 8 seconds of picking up your resume from that stack on their desk, the HR rep or Hiring Manager will decide whether or not to move forward with you. If they don’t see something that catches their eye they will move on to the next person.
Before you start crying that this process isn’t fair, think of it from your own perspective. You make snap judgments based on content daily whether it’s an article you choose not to read because the headline isn’t catchy enough or a new novel with a poorly written synopsis.
So, ask yourself: What does your headline and synopsis say about you in 8 seconds?
1. Put the meat of who you are on TOP.
I look at resumes every day that have their technical skills on the very back page underneath their educational and volunteer history. Why? Put your skills front and center. This crosses all industry lines, it doesn’t matter if you’re a computer programmer, an office manager, or a day-care worker. Whatever it is that makes you qualified for the position you’re applying for needs to be the first thing they see.
2. Kill the “cute” fonts.
Seriously, if you’re applying to work at a Fortune200 company and have comic sans anywhere on your resume you should probably stop and reflect on where you lost control of your writing.
If you’re wanting to be taken seriously in whatever industry you’re in the more professional the better.
3. Keep It Short and Simple.
I know if you’ve been in the game for a while it’s very hard to keep your resume to 2 pages. But take a look at it, how much filler do you have in there?
4. Eliminate traditional buzz words.
Everybody knows that you’re an “effective team player” who holds your “company record” and wants to “make an impact”. Why does everybody already know that? Because, everybody says that on their resume.
5. Your LinkedIn profile is not a substitute for a solid, well written resume.
I love Technology. I’m a Technical Recruiter by trade and a huge geek in my private life. But at this stage LinkedIn is not your resume. At least once a week I get told by a candidate that they don’t have a resume but that I can look at their LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is an amazing tool, I use it daily. But when you rely on it you’re assuming that a potential employer utilizes it as much as you do. Not only that, but you’re putting your fate into the formatting of LinkedIn. If your intention is to get noticed quickly can you be 100% sure that the information that employer is looking for is front and center? Also, how did they find you? You’re leaving a lot of your future up to chance.
Once your resume is perfect and appropriate: NETWORK. It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.
I’m going to leave you with a fun fact: Did you know that when you apply for a job through a job board the odds of getting hired are about 1 in 219 due to all the other resumes being sent in.
But, if you’re introduced to the HR rep or Hiring Manager directly – whether it’s through a recruiter or a referral from someone inside – your chances are 1 in 10.
So, picture this: You’re sitting in your office, contemplating over and over how much disdain you have for your job….or better yet, you’re looking for new opportunities where there’s more room for advancement than your current job. And then it hits you…”I haven’t updated my resume in years!”
What should you do? What should you say? You mull over everything you’ve been doing at your current job and everything you WANT to do at your next one, but how do you put it into words? How do you make your resume appeal to the job you want and not the one you have? Spend some time considering what you want and go for it!
What I mean when I say that is, gear your resume towards the job you desire. For example, I had a candidate that wanted to be a web developer. She had been freelancing for a few years and just recently graduated with her Bachelor’s. She had only worked a receptionist role but told me, “Kristynna, Web Development is my True Passion!” Her resume had her other random jobs on it, nothing dealing with her web background, and she was confused as to why no one was hiring her. After critiquing her resume, I told her why: “No one wants a waitress/web developer, they want a web developer.” We went through and transitioned her entire resume. We left off the positions that didn’t make sense and replaced it with what she’s done with web development. And then! She told me she had a website….I said “What!” Not only was the website awesome, she hadn’t been including it in her current resume. She was missing so many opportunities because her resume had nothing to do with what she wanted, only with what she had previously accomplished.
Now, by no means am I saying go out and fabricate your resume with skills you don’t have to get jobs you don’t qualify for. What I am saying is if you have the skills, make sure you’re expressing them in your resume. Don’t sugarcoat the truth, and don’t lie. Be honest about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing. Bill Dueease says that there are 9 important secrets to getting the job you really want. My two favorite secrets are: Research the Companies You Want to Work for and Get Support from Somebody Who Knows the Process. By working with people who are familiar with what you’re trying to get into (i.e.-recruiters, family, friends, colleagues, etc) you identify ways that you can overcome obstacles and work towards your goals. It’s never ever too late to change the direction of your career goals. You are the only one that can impact your destiny. You just have to take the necessary steps to do so.
We are having an office competition…Who do you think made the best skeleton?
4. Little Bow Peep
Have you ever responded to an interview question with, “Ah, that’s a good question…” while your mind goes entirely blank? You may be a perfect fit for a position, but there always seems to be one interview question that you get hung up on. This may frazzle you to the point where you’re so distracted that you blow the rest of the interview. The following are just a few of potential questions that hiring managers may use to stump you, plus our advice to make you un-stump-able!
1. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Questions like this are almost always asked, and you have to be prepared for it. It can be a tricky one, especially in regards to weaknesses. Your weakness should be something realistic, though original, and resolvable. Avoid answers like, “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I’m a workaholic.” These answers imply that to improve your weakness, you have to work sloppily or work less. Be sincere, but be careful: you do not want your weakness to appear so bad that it disqualifies you from the position. Also, remember that no one is perfect, and, in fact, self-professed perfection implies arrogance, so be honest about your weaknesses, and you’ll ace the question!
When discussing your strengths, you want to make sure it’s something relevant to the position. For example, speak about personality traits that have resulted in success in your work, such as great communication or teamwork skills. Do not speak about how you are a great snowboarder outside of work. Your strength should be something beneficial for the company or position. Be relevant, but not generic.
2. Tell us what you know about the organization.
Look at the company’s website and read it! Make absolutely sure you do this. A hiring manager wants you to show interest in what the company does. They’re not looking for you to have all the answers or information, but they would like you to have general knowledge. Complete silence in response to this question implies that all you’re interested in is getting a job, no matter who company is. In this day and age, with all the different social media outlets, you can do research on everything from Google and YouTube to LinkedIn and Twitter. Be familiar with the product or service as well as the company’s values, history, mission statement, and major figure-heads.
3. Tell us about yourself.
Many people are unsure how to approach this question. There is a fine line between a short generic answer and a novel-length ramble about yourself. This is one of the most common interview questions asked, so you’re going to have to figure out how to walk this fine line without tripping up. The great part about this question is that you can practice and prepare for it at home.
In short, you should create a 30-second commercial about yourself. Speak about relevant education, recent work experience and accomplishments, and your current professional goals. As with any commercial, this is not the place for personal information such as hobbies, your family history, or personal opinions regarding politics, religion, etc. Don’t forget, this question is all about you, so be confident in your delivery.
4. Why should we hire you?
Be sure to appear confident, not cocky, when answering this question. This may be the last question in the interview process. Go out with a bang. Hit on 3-5 key points that align your experience, accomplishments, and goals with the company, position or scope of the project. Do not give an unending list of all your attributes! Make sure your answer is clear and concise, and be sure to show your value.
5. Bizarre Questions!
If you were a food, what type of food would you be?
If you had a dinner party and could invite three famous people, who would they be?
What’s the last book you read?
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
How many gas stations in the U.S. do you think there are?
Many companies, including big names like Microsoft, use these types of questions. These questions are meant to catch you off-guard, and shows how quickly and creatively you can think on your feet. This also gives them an insight to your thought process, which may help them predict your future job performance. If you’re asked a bizarre question, don’t freak out; just have a little fun with it!
These are just 5 of the many 100’s of types of questions that hiring manager could ask. With all interviews, the main thing is to b
e confident, clear and concise. Practice in front of the mirror or with a spouse, friend or family member.