"When you thank someone, like a friend who gave you a job lead or a hiring manager after an interview, for example, you help satisfy that person's need to be appreciated. Not only is it an ego boost for them, it can propel you faster toward employment." You may have heard it said that the most beautiful one word in any language is your Name. And the most beautiful two words? They might be Thank You. Because, as the American psychologist and philosopher William James once said: "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." When you thank someone, like a friend who gave you a job lead or a hiring manager after an interview, for example, you help satisfy that person's need to be appreciated. Not only is it an ego boost for them, it can propel you faster toward employment, too. And it all begins with two words: Thank you. Here are four ways to harness the power of "Thank you" to shorten your job search.
Today, I spoke to Craig Fisher, aka Fishdogs. He is a hot shot recruiter, social media strategist, speaker and founder of A-List Solutions based in Dallas, Texas.
What do you recruit for and what geography do you cover?Our main business is IT staffing and executive search. We mainly cover the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. But we have clients with offices nationwide that we service as well.
How's business and outlook for the year?Business has been brisk since December. Our projections are good. We'll set records. But last year started strong and then fell off as unemployment rose.
What is the key to your success?Our clients like us because we have a good combination of technical and business knowledge. So we get under the hood and discover what the client's real needs are. This usually differs substantially from the given job description. We also talk with current employees and try to develop a personality profile that will work long term. Then we are able to really target specific candidates vs. sending multiple resumes to see what sticks.
What are the trends you have spotted in your field?Sourcing is a bigger and bigger deal. I have been a full desk recruiter and did all my own sourcing. But I have also employed dedicated sourcers for specific searches. It's great to have someone who can just churn out skill-qualified candidates. Unfortunately you still need a good recruiter to vet these candidates thoroughly. And that's where the process often breaks down. We find more candidates, but they are not vetted, pre-closed, etc. So candidate to hire ratio is no better. Maybe worse. It is taking longer to hire overall.
How much do you use social media to find clients and candidates?We use social media all the time to find clients and candidates. Most of our new clients come from social media. Many of our candidate or candidate referrals do too. For sourcing, Linkedin is by far the most effective. Linkedin is also good for creating groups of candidate and client communities. Twitter is best for actual relationship building. You can have better conversations there than on any other platfform. I like to use Twitter to compliment my Linkedin and Facebook accounts. Facebook is becoming a better referral tool as I create more groups there for specific communities. But Twitter is still where the conversations take place.
How important are resumes and cover letters?Resumes and cover letters are still very important. But they may begin to take more of an online or virtual form on sites designed to keep the information fluid and dynamic.
What are your best tips to jobseekers in a tough market?Spread your digital footprint. Get your entire resume complete with keywords into Linkedin. Have a nice profile pic there too. Don't just rely on submitting resumes to job boards. Grow your Linkedin network and reach out to people in the companies you want to work for. Contribute to the groups in which they participate. Become a trusted resource of valuable information. Then ask to be referred in for positions with their organizations. Start a blog about the space in which you wish to be hired. Post good content and more information about yourself there. Occasionally refer your growing network to an article you have posted there. Position yourself as the expert.
Are job coaches, career coaches of any use to jobseekers?Yes, certainly. Most good recruiters can help as well. But remember to use your head and speak to references before paying money to a coach.
Any other pearls of wisdom you would like to share?A great way to grow your Linkedin network is to first follow those you wish to connect with on Twitter. Network with your targets there for a week or two before going back to Linkedin to ask them to join your network. Let them know you have been following them on Twitter and would like to connect on Linkedin as well. Remember to be a vaulable contributor on Twitter as well as Linkedin. Don't just ask for help. Contribute first. Related: Secrets of the Internal Recruiter, Interview with David Cherry from McAfee is a founding partner of A-List solutions, blogger at www.fishdogs.com, and host of the TalentNet Live #TNL recruiter forum. As a 15 year recruiting industry veteran, Craig is a social recruiting & new media branding strategist for job seekers and employers. Follow Craig on Twitter [url=http://twitter.com/fishdogs">@Fishdogs
The more resumes you look at, the more confused you can get especially since there are so many different formats to choose from. Most people don’t realize that the format is one of the most important choices when writing a winning resume. Get this wrong and you could effectively be hiding your own career highlights from the reader. The bad news is that you only get about 10 seconds attention from the person screening your resume so you best make a good first impression. The good news is that I have narrowed it down to only three formats worth considering. Here they are, complete with reasons why you should choose them and in what order the content should be in your resume.
The chronological formatThe chronological resume is the most used out there, it’s the employer’s favorite as it is very easy to read and it’s hard to hide anything in it. It works brilliantly when you have stayed consistent in your career. As long as the job you are applying for is in the same field, the full chronology will be relevant to the reader and therefore the focus is on your experience. Your employment history is actually in reverse chronological order and your current position will be at the top of the list. The chronological resume doesn’t work well when you have gaps or when you have shifted industries often, as it will expose your weak points. • Objective • Summary • Experience • Education • References
The functional formatThe functional format should be used when you want to draw attention away from your work experience due to job hopping, a very long career, a very short career, long gaps, re-entering the job market and so forth. The functional resume focuses on what you can do, what your achievements are and your core competence. This format is used by graduates, people seeking to change their career completely and anyone with employment gaps that don’t add any value to their experience. If you are looking to change industries, make sure to focus on transferable skills such as sales or people management. A word of warning; employers are known to raise their eyebrows when they see a functional resume so only use this format if you absolutely have to. • Objective • Accomplishments • Capabilities • Employment History • Education • References
The combined formatThe combination format is exactly what it sounds like; it combines the chronological and functional formats to give you the best of both worlds. It allows you to use the tasty features from the functional resume but you can still fly in under the radar in the eye of the reader. Examples of people that can benefit from this would be someone wanting to change careers and has some relevant skills for the new field. It can also be useful when someone wants to pack more skills in than the work experience section allows for or would not bring out adequately. • Objective • Summary • Accomplishments • Experience • Education • References
5 Housekeeping rules that apply to all formats1. Make sure you put all your contact details on every page, make it easy for the employer to call you up for an interview. 2. You have to put exact dates against every employment and education. If you don’t it will look slightly dodgy and you have to be prepared for a lack-of-dates grilling. 3. All education and qualifications should be listed. The fact that you majored in art history doesn’t mean you can’t apply for a Java consultant job; it means you are trainable and can learn anything. 4. The layout should be pleasing on the eye and never distracting, allow for enough white space in between your text, boxes and bullet points. 5. Make it a habit to use a spel cheker, as your intended audience will swiftly delete a resume that contains typos.
Great, so which format do I use again?If you can, go with the chronological as it’s everyone’s favorite. If you are shifting careers and possibly have transferable skills, go combined. If you have a short career or big holes in your experience, go functional. Applying across state borders? Check out 3 Tips for Sending Your Resume to Another State. Which format do you use and are you getting interviews?
Sometimes you can achieve a breakthrough by thinking in the opposite direction. Take 7-Up, for example. It became hugely popular in the ‘60s by branding itself as the Uncola. 7-Up went in the reverse direction from other soft drink companies, who were competing with Coke and Pepsi in the cola market. Or how about the Volkswagen Beetle? Back when Detroit was pumping out big, fast, hot muscle cars, VW was selling the small, slow, ugly Beetle. They went in reverse -- and found huge commercial success. Success in your job search might be right around the corner, if you're willing to do the opposite of what the hordes of other job seekers are doing. Here are two examples of "reverse thinking" that could help you find a job faster ...