5 of the Biggest Resume Mistakes

The quickest way to eliminate yourself from a job process is by having mistakes on your resume. Beyond the obvious grammatical and spelling mistakes to avoid, there are 5 other BIG mistakes to be aware of and stay away from:

1) Not including keywords that match the job. Your resume must show that you are qualified for the job so include keywords on your resume to refer to the specific position. You have very little time to grab a hiring manager’s attention so don’t send a generic resume. You will be lost in the pile.

2) Focusing on the wrong thing. Candidates often explain their responsibilities but forget to include results. Set yourself apart from the pack by highlighting specific accomplishments. The more quantitative, the better. In fact, numbers and metrics speak louder than words.

3) Being too modest. Don’t forget to include any awards or recognition you’ve received such as “President’s Club Member” for being over quota by 25%. Also, include any community service awards you received. Hiring managers look favorably upon people who not only work hard at the office but make a difference in the community as well.

4) Leaving unanswered red flags. Candidates usually wait until the first interview before addressing any gaps that may be on their resume, but this can prove to be a mistake. Most candidates won’t make it to a first interview if the issues are not explained on their resume, cover letter or even LinkedIn profile. So if you moved around a lot in your career, it would be to your benefit to explain the reasons for your movement.

5) Writing too much. When writing your resume be as succinct and concise as possible. Keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages max. Bullet points and short paragraphs enhance readability. Limit your resume to the last 10 - 15 years of work experience. You don't need to include everything you ever did.

 

Salary History: What you can & can’t ask based on recent changes in laws across the country

November 14, 2017

Throughout the recruiting process, there are countless questions aimed towards finding out whether job candidates will be a fit for the company. A common topic recruiters and employers bring up when vetting jobseekers is salary. While this may have been the norm in the past, asking about previous pay history is now banned in certain locations. The reasoning for this ban is to make efforts to close the pay gap between men and women, and to encourage basing pay upon skills and qualifications instead of previous salary, according to NYC Commission on Human RightsA recent Hunt Scanlon article covered how bans on compensation history questions could change the way recruiting firms do business, and how employers recruit talent. Here is what you need to know as a recruiter, employer, or jobseeker about salary history questions where the laws are in effect.

What you CAN’T do under the new laws:

  • You can’t ask a prospective candidate what they are currently earning at a job.
  • You can’t use the candidate’s previous pay to determine an offer if you stumble across it on accident.

What you CAN do:

  • If the candidate offers salary history without prompting and voluntarily, it can be considered.
  • You can ask about a candidate’s salary expectations, as opposed to what they made prior.

What happens if you break the rules:

Where you are restricted from asking about salary, based on a recent article by Business Insider:

  • California
    • The ban covers private and public employers from asking a candidate’s pay history, set to take effect in January 2018.
  • Delaware
    • All employers are banned, taking effect in December 2017.
  • Massachusetts
    • All employers are banned, taking effect in July 2018.
  • New Orleans
    • The ban is currently in effect just for city departments and employees of contractors working for the city.
  • New York City
    • Public and private employers are banned from asking pay history questions, effective now.
  • Oregon
    • The law banning all employers from salary questions goes into effect January 2019.
  • Philadelphia
    • The ban was set to take effect in May, 2017 for all employers, however, a temporary halt has been placed on it.
  • Pittsburgh
    • City agencies are banned from the inquiry, effective now.
  • Puerto Rico
    • All employers are restricted from inquiring about candidate’s pay history, going into effect March 2018

It is important for all parties involved in any recruiting process to be aware of these new and upcoming bans on salary history questions.

As a national executive search firm, Direct Recruiters, Inc. (DRI) stays current on these laws around the country. If you have any questions about this, please contact us for a conversation.

 

Managing Your Online Personal Brand

April 5, 2017

By Sarah Pozek, Director of Life Sciences

As an executive recruiter with a passion for social media, I spend a lot of time curating my personal brand and evaluating that of the candidates and companies in my sphere. Whether it is for your current career, job searching, networking, or simply to be social, chances are you interact with one or more social platforms daily… and the impression you leave makes an impact. CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey in 2016 showed that 60% of employers use social media sites to research job candidates. From a recruiter’s standpoint, it is closer to 100%. Culture fit is top priority for many of my clients, so when I check out someone’s LinkedIn profile I am looking for any sign that they would be a good (or bad) addition to their team.

This is just one reason why it is essential to effectively manage your personal brand online. It is extremely important to not only monitor it for negativity, but to bring something positive and useful to the table. This will make you more memorable when looking for your next executive level role.

Here are 6 key practices to craft your personal brand:

Know who you are

While companies all have differentiating goals and values they want to showcase and promote online, i.e. athenahealth wants to “unbreak healthcare”, while Medrio brings a rockstar mentality to clinical trials, individuals need to identify how they want to be perceived. Recent data from Glassdoor shows that 79% of jobseekers use social media in their job search. What is your differentiator?  Prospective employers, clients, and the rest of your network want to know!

Consistency

Consistency in the timing of posts, tone, and look of your personal brand is important to gain traction among your followers, friends, and connections.  From colors, images, types of language you use, to the content you re-post, it is important to keep a steady perception of your personal brand. While different social media sites are used for different reasons, it can only benefit you to make sure there are similarities in what you are projecting across all of them.

Engagement

Continuously updating your online presence with new content, job changes, or addition of new accomplishments will help grow engagement with your audience, but interacting with followers and friends is also important to gain feedback and essentially build brand loyalty. Always be receptive to feedback, new ideas, and the opportunity to learn something new from your connections. Also, never hesitate to throw out a “like” or “congratulations!”

Get Visual

Instead of posting standalone text, use photos, videos, infographics, and other types of visuals to capture your network’s attention. A study from Hubspot shows that infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content, and Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images.

Post Responsibly

As with a dinner party or networking event, the same conversation etiquette applies to social media – talk of religion, politics or money is frowned upon. It’s a safe bet to keep controversial opinions and posts off your social media sites. Stay away from negative posting, venting or engaging in argumentative conversations online to keep your online brand positive.

Monitor

In businesses, marketers are always working to build their brand, but also to get relative feedback from customers to analyze, then make improvements.  Similarly, your personal brand will benefit from the same concept.  Paying attention to what regularly is happening across your social media sites and being responsive will pay off in making your online presence strong and positive.

What strategies are you taking to cultivate your personal brand? We would love to hear from you!

Sarah Pozek
Director of Life Sciences
Direct Recruiters, Inc.
440-996-0597
spozek@directrecruiters.com