Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coaches Corner: From Cubicle to Corner Office

The Experts Have Spoken!

Coaches Corner is a collection of career coaching and job-seeking advice from a group of expert technology career coaches from across the United States.

Job Search Tips from a Technical Recruiter
Our guest blogger today is business and technical recruiting consultant, Christyn S. Freemon. Freemon’s is currently providing strategic business planning expertise to businesses in low to moderate income neighborhoods with Chicago Community Ventures She will be starting an IT Consulting and Staffing Company, with an emphasis on diversity, September 2009.

To read more of Freemon’s perspective on career advancement, you can visit her blog at
From Cubicle to Corner Office

In an economy that is on the decline, open positions are becoming more and more scarce. At every turn companies are trying to “trim the fat” by decreasing the work force. Despite this fact, companies will still need to hire people, especially in the technology sector. Given the problems facing the financial industry, there will be new compliance standards that companies will have to adhere to (similar to the Sarbanes Oxley standards enforced after the Enron scandal).

Now is a time to make sure that your resume is up to par and that you utilize various resources in your job search. Even if you are just getting feelers out in the market. You will have to be even more competitive in your search, because of the limited job supply.

Please take it from someone who has a background in technical recruitment. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when searching for a new position.

Tailor Your Resume
The importance of a resume is that it is the first impression that a prospective employer gets of you, the job seeker. Think of job hunting like dating, your resume is the equivalent of the first date. You want to make sure everything is perfect, because you only get one chance to make a first impression. You make sure your breath is fresh, you smell nice and your slacks pressed, hair primped. That’s the same thing with a resume. You don’t want your resume to stink and it should have a pleasing appearance. That could be the difference between getting an interview or a “Thank you for applying, but…” letter.

By following the advice below, you will have a pretty good chance of getting called for a second date:

1) Take time to tailor your resume to the particular position that you are applying for. If the company uses specific terms but your resume reflects the synonyms, CHANGE YOUR RESUME.2) Use the objective area of a resume for a "Professional Summary," instead. This section should highlight requested skills from the job description. 3) Requested technological experience should not only be in the "Skills" section of the resume, but multiple times throughout the body of the resume.4) Quantify your results or accomplishments as much as possible. It makes the accomplishment more believable and applicable to the hiring manager. 5)I know its very basic, but please not only spell check, but have another person review the resume to ensure that their are no missing words, grammatical errors, etc. Its gives the hiring manager a bad impressing of the resume riter if they canot spel right or has gramaticl errors. 6) Keep your skills current. If you are out of work for a substantial amount of time, find some academic program or educational course that will allow you to keep your skills fresh.

Work with Recruiters
7)Work with recruiters. I’m not just saying that because I was a recruiter. Think about it: Companies may be laying off internal staff, but they are still working with contingency recruiters because these firms don't get paid unless they place someone. A word of caution: due to the fact no one gets paid until the position is filled, there may be multiple recruiters working on the same open job. Due diligence goes a LONG way here. Get requisition numbers (or job identification numbers) to ensure that you are not being "double submitted." Use your intuition, feel the recruiter out. Also, realize that when working with recruiting firms like this, there is often a deadline associated with submitted a resume. You may get a feeling that you are being "rushed" but understand it is for a purpose. 8) In my technical recruiting experience, many of the Top Chicago land companies in healthcare, banking, finance and food service require the last 4 digits of your social security and/or your birth month and day (not the year). No one is trying to scam you. It is required by the major company to ensure that contingency technical recruitment firms did get permission to submit the job seeker‘s resume for consideration.I hope the above tips can be helpful in any one's job search out there. 

Happy Hunting!