In Your Job Search, Are You Looking for Excuses or Solutions? Wednesday, Jun 6 2012

Are you a “glass is half full” or “glass is half empty” kind of person?

Some people… whenever they hit an obstacle in their job search or in their life… they stall, and decide that the obstacle looms so large that it’s unlikely they will be able to get past it. When they talk to others, they can describe the obstacle in great detail. Clearly, they have a good excuse. It’s obvious why it’s “impossible” to go further.

Others… may see the same obstacle, and begin exploring how they can get around it, over it, under it, or through it. They realize they have a challenge. They understand that it may take some creativity and harder work than expected, however, they are determined to find a solution. They decide they are not going to be kept from their destination by an obstacle in the road, and as a result, they often achieve the “impossible”.



5 Tips to a Great Skype Interview Tuesday, Jun 5 2012


It is becoming common for companies to conduct job interviews via Skype. Skype interviews are fast, easy and very inexpensive. Because you are online using your computer and a camera it can be a tad uncomfortable the first time. Here are 5 tips to help you excel at your Skype interview:

1. Background: Believe it or not the background of your Skype interview is more important than you think. The idea is to face your computer toward a simple but not boring background. Try framing a bookshelf or desk behind you. You want to give yourself a little depth in the image. Avoid stark white walls or brightly colored and too busy backgrounds. Computers distort colors and can make it difficultly for the interviewer to focus.

12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems Wednesday, May 30 2012

You filled out the job application, updated your resume and clicked “Submit.” But as the days or weeks pass, you never receive a phone call or email from the employer. What happened?

Unbeknownst to many job seekers, a whopping 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Why? Well, employers large and small now use applicant tracking software to parse the information from your resume and map it into a database called an ATS (applicant tracking system). From this information, the system will assign you a score based on how well you match the job the employer is trying to fill, and then rank and sort all candidates. Naturally, the potential employees with the highest scores move on, while others are left in the dust.

Wondering how you can optimize your resume and rank highly in the employer’s ATS? Here are several tricks to improving your resume’s score.

1. Use Language from the Job Description: Look through the job listing to determine the skills required. Identify industry terms, buzzwords and jargon the hiring manager uses most frequently in the description and incorporate these words into your resume when possible and applicable — the ATS is looking for these keywords.

4 Reasons Resumes Are Rejected Sunday, May 27 2012

Recruiters spend countless hours reviewing resumes and screening candidates. In fact, they spend so much time scanning resumes, they can often do it in one minute or less.

As disappointing as that may be given all the hard work you put into your resume, it’s the unfortunate reality…and with such a small amount of time to make an impression, it’s no wonder they occasionally get it wrong. You may have been the perfect person for the position, but because you failed to successfully package yourself, your resume and your chances end up meeting their demise with the click of a mouse. Read on to learn the top four reasons your resume may end up in recycle bin or folder.

1. The length: Have you ever read a magazine article, short story, blog, etc. and remember thinking “Get to the point already?” Well, recruiters have this same thought when they read over a three-page resume. Nine times out of 10 they will probably just move it to the rejection stack.


– I disagree with a few parts of this article, length of resume is very much dependent on the type of role you are applying for i.e. it would be inappropriate for an executive role to have a brief resume, as with IT roles where it is necessary to give a significant amount of detail about your technical expertise. I also don’t necessarily think that a cover letter is a deal breaker – if your résumé is well written, and specific to the role you are applying for, a cover letter, or lack thereof, is not going to damage your chances.

However, spelling and grammar errors can automatically place your résumé in the reject pile. I would suggest having someone else, with a fresh set of eyes, review it before sending it anywhere.

– Conduit

Is there a gap growing in your resume? Friday, May 25 2012

I’m getting more emails from people who’ve been out of work quite a long time. Not surprisingly, they’re very dispirited but what makes it worse is that they are worrying about how to cover the gap that is growing in their resume. Being out of work is debilitating because your morale plummets, your confidence starts to hemorrhage and your passion for network decidedly dwindles. What should you do?


I confronted this problem many years ago when I sold my business, moved continents and had my first child – all at pretty much the same time. (I would not recommend this to anyone.) So I found myself in a new city where I knew no one – so no networking. The industry I knew well – television – wasn’t a going concern in my new home. My confidence was rock bottom – having a baby at home will do that to you. What was I to do?

Warnings signs and tips for job seekers Tuesday, May 22 2012

In today’s market there is a lot of choice when it comes to looking for a new role. The volume of vacancies in the IT sector is incredibly high as we climb out of the recession and the battle for quality resource is at unprecedented levels. But things aren’t always what they seem and I’m about to outline some of the pitfalls you should try to avoid as a candidate when you are looking for a new role in today’s employment climate.

Everybody has one, if not several, stories of being mucked around by a recruiter when they have applied for a job. The common complaint I hear is that they received no response back on their initial application or even worse they are spoken to by the recruiter and agree to have their details presented to the client to then never hear from the recruiter again. The truth of what is going on here is that the recruiter is more than likely “fishing”. They haven’t done a thorough enough job defining the requirement with the client up front and therefore spend most of their days on a wild goose chase and unfortunately the innocent party in the equation (the candidate) receives the rough end of the stick by receiving no feedback.


Ignored After that Interview? Don’t Do This! Tuesday, May 22 2012

Yes, too frequently, job seekers are ignored and treated rudely.  Particularly after an interview, when some sort of face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, connection has presumably been made, an acknowledgement of the event and the job seeker’s standing in the process should be made but might not happen.

This can be enormously discouraging and disheartening for job seekers.  And, some run out of patience with the whole situation.  One reader, obviously at the end of her rope, described in a comment how she really dumped on the hiring manager when she finally got the hiring manager on the phone.

“I may regret it later but I feel good now. I stood up to an unprofessional hiring manager who gave me a waste-of-time interview.  I gave her a piece of my mind…  I just hung up. I feel good though! I struck a blow for all frustrated job seekers.”

Yes! We can all understand that feeling, and cheer this job seeker who was able to do some much-deserved venting.


Finding the Invisible Job Market Tuesday, May 22 2012

Job seekers today probably realize that the online job marketplace is extremely visible and therefore, extremely competitive. Sometimes thousands of potential candidates will view a job and hundreds will apply. With competition so fierce, many job seekers may favor better in the invisible job market.

But what is the invisible job market?  Well, it’s not another name for Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame.  The invisible market refers to the market of job openings that never appear online, or any public job-posting site.

Here are some strategies for finding this invisible job market:

Social Networking

If you know a specific company you are interested in, find a hiring manager or recruiter at the company to follow with LinkedIn.  Once you have found a recruiter on Linkedin then search for them on other social media sites, for example Twitter, and follow them.  Now keep a close watch on their social channels.  If they post any jobs on the social sites that do not appear on their company’s site you’ve found a hidden job!



Work Gaps – Can You Really Hide Them? Monday, May 21 2012

Work gaps continue to be job seekers’ biggest worry.  It’s little wonder; we still carry a certain amount of stigma associated with a gap – never mind what it might do to the bank account.  I am continuously asked, “How do I lay out my resume to minimize the effect of a gap?”   Sure, you can do a few things, but really, I think most work gaps look worse to the owner than they do to everyone else.

I’d like to look at work gaps and also try to adjust your attitude.

What’s the problem with a work gap?

A gap may signify that we have a hidden issue that causes us to be undesirable to hire.  We all know the type of person who no one misses when they leave.  They may have a funky personality, are difficult to work with or have a host of other undesirable work traits.  It might be glaringly obvious to others, but not to ourselves.

A work gap could mean you’re just plain lazy.  Too lazy to get a job and therefore too lazy to consider for hire.

It could be hiding a deep dark secret, like being in jail; and no one wants that!

What lies beneath….the hidden job market (and how you can find it) Friday, May 18 2012

Okay, so the first part of this blog post title doesn’t exactly have a direct link to what I’m about to talk about, but hey, that is one creepy film with a very good title worthy of a blog post!

The hidden job market – not as scary as Michelle Pfieffer’s character in What Lies Beneath…

But horror film endorsements aside (disclaimer: I don’t actually like horror films, in fact I could just about get through half an episode of the X-Files without wimping out totally), there is another layer to the job hunting process that surprisingly, a lot of jobseekers have yet to catch on to. This layer is called the hidden (or invisible) job market and it’s what lies beneath the surface of advertised jobs.

The hidden job market is very real – in fact, I have firsthand experience of this as this route is how I came to be in the new role I spoke about in my last post.


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