10 Job Interview Tips From A CEO Headhunter Friday, Jun 15 2012 


Whether you’re being interviewed to be an intern or a CEO, you’re going to run into a few notoriously tricky questions–here’s a road map of what you’ll be asked, and how to craft impressive answers to even the toughest questions.

No two situations are ever exactly the same, but as a general guide, these are the types of questions that could come up in a typical interview.

1. Why don’t you tell me about yourself?

This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how confident you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.

Most candidates find this question a difficult one to answer. However, the upside is that this question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it.

There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and confidence.

The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.

Focus on what interests the interviewer

Do not dwell on your personal history–that is not why you are there. Start with your most recent employment and explain why you are well qualified for the position. The key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. You want to be selling what the buyer is buying.

Highlight Important Accomplishments

Have a story ready that illustrates your best professional qualities. For example, if you tell an interviewer that people describe you as creative, provide a brief story that shows how you have been creative in achieving your goals.

Stories are powerful and are what people remember most.

A good interviewee will memorize a 60-second commercial that clearly demonstrates why he or she is the best person for the job.

2. How long have you been with your current (or former) employer?

This is a hot-button question if your résumé reflects considerable job-hopping. Excellent performers tend to stay in their jobs at least three to five years. They implement course corrections, bring in new resources, and, in general, learn how to survive–that’s why they are valued by prospective employers.

If your résumé reflects jobs with companies that were acquired, moved, closed, or downsized, it is still viewed as a job-hopper’s history. Volunteer and go to events where hiring authorities may be found. Ratchet up your networking to include anything that exposes you to hiring authorities who can get past your tenure issue because now they know you. Your networking efforts have never been so important.


How to Make Recruiters Work for You Thursday, May 31 2012 


A call from a recruiter is more likely to be for their gain than yours. Still, that call could be the springboard for your next jump up the career ladder.

With the economy still sputtering and the unemployed outnumbering job vacancies by six to one, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recruiters and headhunters are becoming an increasingly vital contact. Last year they helped nearly 13 million U.S. workers find temporary, contract or permanent jobs, and more than 90% of U.S. companies now use staffing firms to fill vacancies, according to the American Staffing Association.

As you might expect, technology, health care and engineering are some of the major industries that are looking to hire at the moment, while ironically enough, the recruitment industry itself is one of the biggest boomers. (The U.S. Department of Labor expecting it to grow more than 50% by 2014.) While you might not expect it, you could soon get a call from one these smooth-talkers, so here are TIME Moneyland’s top tips for how to make recruiters work for you.

1. Set The Tone

It’s important to establish a dynamic from the outset and ensure your relationship starts on a comfortable footing. For Alison Doyle, job search expert for About.com, the first call is all about laying down cards on the table at the earliest point. “It’s important to set the tone at the very beginning of your relationship,” she says. “Find out what information the recruiter needs from you and if they have specific openings they are interested in talking to you about.” She also recommends determining how you will stay in contact with the recruiter, and how often.


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

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.


Resume problems: Is it your fault? Wednesday, May 9 2012 


In response to my article, the “Number 1 thing that’s wrong with your resume,” I received the following email:

So, the biggest problem with job candidates’ resumes is that “recruiters” are willfully ignorant; they don’t have a clue about the fields of work of the people they’re seeking to match up with employers, and they’re not really interested in learning, either. Got it.

I have been complaining about recruiters for years, and will continue to do so until recruiters and hiring managers stop playing games — like sending a candidate through 10 different interviews or not getting back to a candidate who has come in to interview.

But, job searchers need to deal with reality and not plan their job search around ideal circumstances. In an ideal world, you’d decide you want a new job, spend half a day looking around at companies you’re interested in, send 3 emails to people from your LinkedIn account and they’d tell the hiring manager how fabulous you are, you’d have a brief interview and set a start date.

What You Really Need to Apply for a Job—and What You Don’t Wednesday, May 9 2012 


“An ideal candidate should have a strong marketing background, five years of experience in the consumer goods industry, a track record of designing and running complex marketing campaigns for new consumer products, proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, and a graduate-level degree with a focus on marketing or public relations.”

How many times have you found your perfect job—and then taken a look at that list of requirements and decided there was just no way you could apply because you didn’t meet every one of the criteria they’d set out?   

Well, here’s a secret: You don’t really have to. Think of job descriptions as a hiring manager’s wish list for the ideal candidate, not as a list of non-negotiable requirements. This guide will help you understand what you can (and can’t) get away with when it comes to that intimidating list of qualifications.


The 3 Things Recruiters Look For In Every Hire, Regardless of the Job Tuesday, May 8 2012 


I have recruited for over 15 years in diverse industries (media, financial services, management consulting, pharma/ biotech, education) at different levels (interns through senior executives) and in different roles (strategy and operations, creative and business, freelance and permanent). The searches would differ, of course – in terms of where I would look for candidates or how competitive the field would be. However, regardless of industry, level role, or how the search was conducted, I was always looking for a positive answer to these 3 questions:


Tips from a corporate recruiter Monday, Apr 30 2012 


I have had the pleasure of bringing companies, candidates, and managers together for over four years and during this time have witnessed some major candidate faux pas that have made lasting impressions. I revisited my catalogue of candidate missteps to create my top five tips for the prospective employee. Best of luck in your career search!