Friday, April 27, 2012

Applying Online ~ AKA The Resume Blackhole

How many times have you applied through a company web site never to hear a response?  Perhaps you've applied through a company web site and received a call from a recruiter months later after you've already landed a new position? These scenarios are all too common, particularly in the Healthcare industry.  Applying through a hospital web site can be akin to circular filing your resume...pointless. 
With that being said, do continue to make the effort to upload your resume via company web sites, but also back up your efforts with the following suggestions:
> Search Linkedin to locate the probable hiring manager for your desired position (ex: IT Director of XYZ Hospital) and reach out to them directly on linkedin.  Let them know you've applied online and would like to also send your resume to the appropriate person via email as you are very interested in the specific position.
> Review the original job posting that drove you to the company web site for a name of a Recruiter or Hiring Mgr.  Wait 1 week after applying and then put a call in to that person to find out if you are being considered for the role.  Many sites will specify NO PHONE CALLS, if this is the case you can usually google and figure out the email string for the company and then email the person instead.
>Make sure you keep a spreadsheet with the names of the companies you have applied to, the date you applied and the method you used to apply. 

Keep these things in mind: 
If your qualifications do not match the requirements of the position it is likely you will not be chosen and your efforts will be time wasted. 
If your qualifications are a close match but you are missing one or two of the requirements, when you follow up be prepared to give an over-view on why you'd be a good investment for the company even though you are lacking certain skills or experience.
If you've made the effort to follow up 2x and still have not received a response, check that position off your list and let it go.
Remember that HR Departments and Recruiters receive as many as 100's of resumes a week.  It takes time to go through them all.  If you have not received an personal response (automated emails don't count) within a few weeks of your submittal, it is unlikely they will be moving forward.

In today's electronic age when we rarely hand a resume to someone face to face anymore, navigating the virtual process can be frustrating, especially when you're confident that your qualifications are exactly right for the role you are applying for.  Hopefully by using the above contact methods you will increase your chances of an interview.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Importance of Keeping Appointments

This really should be a "given" but for some reason it is often over-looked.  When a business appointment is made, that appointment should be kept and if for some reason a person is unable to attend, plenty of notice should be provided to all parties involved.  This is imperative when it comes to interviews.  As a candidate, you rarely have more than one shot to make a good first impression and that is in the initial interview.  If you miss your initial interview, whether it is by phone or in person and you fail to provide advance notice, you can assume that the potential employer will not offer you another chance to interview.  Unfortunately I've seen this happen a number of times and it never bodes well for the candidate.  Yes we're all extremely busy, but that is no excuse to completely forget an interview. 
You have a phone interview scheduled with a potential employer, you suddenly get called into an unexpected meeting.  You:
A.  Grab your notepad and hustle into the meeting figuring you'll call the interviewing company later.
B.  Figure "screw it" the interviewing company will call you back, they couldn't possibly walk away  from your excessive expertise.
C.  Think "Oh well" there are so many jobs in the market place right now, if I lose this one, no big deal.
D.  Tell your current colleagues you'll be with them in just one moment and either pick up the phone or send an email to the person that scheduled the interview and let them know you will need to reschedule.

Obviously the correct answer is D.  Unless you've been abducted by aliens or you're completely incapacitated there is no excuse for not providing notice if you need to cancel or reschedule. Missing a scheduled interview with out providing notice is completely unprofessional.  By blowing off a scheduled interview you are wasting the time of the person that was to conduct your interview and potentially wasting the time of the person that was responsible for scheduling the interview as they work frantically to track you down and find out why you aren't available.

Even if you are going to be delayed by 5 minutes or more, call or email in advance and let people know. Again, this professional courtesy goes both ways... the person conducting the interview should also provide advance notice of cancellation, delay or need to reschedule.  I wont stand in a glass office and throw stones, I've been guilty of missing an interview I've scheduled with a candidate a few times over the years and I own up to it.  If you miss an interview, best to be honest and then grovel if the position is important to you.  Sometimes you'll get an understanding person that is willing to reschedule. This goes back to one of the oldest rules of all time... Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you.

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