Monday, August 18, 2008

Have You Jepardized Your Job Search?

Career Builder recently completed a survey of over 31,000 employers regarding the use of online tools and social media in hiring. This survey found that more than one in five employers search social networking sites to screen job candidates Of the hiring managers who use social networks, one-third said they found information on such sites that caused them to toss the candidate out of consideration for a job.

The study found that the number of hiring managers that are turning to social networks like MySpace and Facebook to delve into candidates' online behavior is increasing quickly. Roughly 22% of employers said they already review social networks to screen candidates, while an additional 9% said they are planning to do so. This is a big jump from the 11% of managers that used the technology in 2006.

What are they looking for?
Employers don’t usually search with the hopes of finding something negative about you. In fact, the opposite is true- they’re looking to confirm the information on your resume and hoping to find more proof that you’re a good candidate who really can help their company. However, employers can’t predict how their search will end. Employers in the survey listed these items as reasons they have chosen NOT to pursue the candidate:
· Information about alcohol or drug use (41% of managers said this was a top concern)
· Inappropriate photos or information posted on a candidate’s page (40%)
· Poor communication skills (29%)
· Bad-mouthing of former employers or fellow employees (28%)
· Inaccurate qualifications (27%)
· Unprofessional screen names (22%)
· Notes showing links to criminal behavior (21%)
· Confidential information about past employers (19%)

Take Preventative Action
Google yourself and see what comes up. Do you find things that support your resume? Are there things that your friends would find amusing but an employer would not? It's no longer enough to have a great resume and a good interview. Employers are able to check for themselves just by typing your name into a search engine. Even a series of great references can't mask you from the power of a Google search. Here are some things to consider.

The internet is public domain. If you post something on the internet, it’s no longer a private thought or comment. Everything on the Internet can be found if someone is really determined to find it. Google caches (keeps copies of) websites for months and the Internet Archive keeps copies of web pages for years.
People can’t find what isn’t there. Keep the above list of employer concerns in mind whenever you comment, blog, post a video, upload pictures of yourself or contribute to the Internet in any other way.
Google yourself before you send in a resume. See what employers will discover about you before deciding whether or not to give you a call. Search for you name on Google, Yahoo, and any social networks that are popular for you and your friends.
A little cleanup goes a long way. Once you know which results employers will see, clean up any sites that will leave a negative impression and improve the sites that will leave a positive one. For example, clean up your profiles on the social networks that you use or have used in the past. The order these sites appear in the search results is the way to determine priorities.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Double The Impact of Your Interviewing Success

There is probably only one bit of advice I can give you that comes with a GUARANTEE. My guarantee is that a Thank You note following an interview will increase the odds of your success.

Even the most quick and simple Thank You note will accomplish accomplishes 3 specific things:

1) It will increase your odds of making a psychological connection to the interviewer. The person who interviewed you is no different than the rest of us. They appreciate being valued for their time and are more likely to select a candidate they feel a connection with.

2) Unless you are interviewing for an actual writing position, odds are you didn’t even discuss your writing abilities during the discussion. A Thank You note provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your level of professionalism and writing ability. This is opportunity that others who interviewed missed out on, and can only make you look better for the position.

3) You only get one chance to make a first impression in an interview. HOWEVER, a Thank You note gives you a second opportunity to make an impression. By writing a Thank You, you get a second chance to remind your interviewer of your qualifications and desire to work for the company. If this person just interviewed 15 people, a thank you will automatically help them remember YOU and why they need to hire YOU

Wiring a thank you letters is no different than any other form of business writing. Just remember a few of the golden rules: less is more, or “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Here is an example of a good letter. It’s simple, quick to read, and accomplishes each of the key factors I listed above. By taking a few minutes to write a Thank You,I will Guarantee your odds of getting a great position will improve.

August 11, 2008
Robert Smith
Regional Sales Manager
Seed Corn Inc
1234 1st Ave
Anywhere, IL 54321

Dear Robert,

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you today. The position we discussed is a great opportunity. After reviewing your comments about the position, I’m convinced that I could make an immediate contribution to the success of your organization. Since you are planning to make a decision quickly I would like to mention several things that I feel qualify me for the position.
· Proven seed sales ability with a growth of 4,000 bags in the last 2 years
· Dealer development experience with the recruiting and development of 10 new dealers in my district
· Strong technical background with 6 years of retail sales and crop consulting experience
· CCA Certified since 2004

I am self motivated and a quick learner with an intense desire to do a great job in everything I do.

Thank you for the time you took to visit with me, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Mark Waschek

Friday, August 1, 2008

If you want a job in agriculture - provide the best contact info

Today's job seekers never cease to amaze me. They want to pursue a new career, yet list numbers for phones they are rarely near, and email addresses for accounts they rarely check. If you're serious about looking for a new position, leaving active contact info is critical to your job search success.

Hiring managers are going to close off the search and start the interview process at some point. If your resume arrives at the end of that window, they may only have a day to reach you. With no response, they will most likely pass on you.

Do your job search a big favor and list your cell phone number, along with your home phone number. If you have a company cell phone and would rather not have these calls come in, it might be worth the small investment in a phone to ensure you can be reached for these opportunities.

The same goes for email. I would highly encourage you NOT to use the email account provided by your current employer. Not only is it a questionable practice to use company resources to look for a job with another employer, it's also possible that your employer may have tracking software that can use these activities against you. If you don't have a personal account, there are many free options with Hotmail, Yahoo, and Google. Just remember, it's very important to check it regularly!