Agency Spotlight: Pavillion Agency

pavillion agency logoSince their founding in 1962, the Pavillion Agency has gained most of their business and candidates through repeat customers or referrals. With over 50 years in the industry, their reputation for being an effective source for finding top-notch candidates is well deserved. Along with solid recruiting practices, the agency has adopted new technology to stay on the cutting edge of the industry and meeting the ever-increasing demand from principals for the latest technical advances. In addition to their main office in New York, the firm opened a Miami Beach office in 2012. They place candidates in positions across the country, with a focus on Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Greenwich, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

In today’s Agency Spotlight, Seth Norman Greenberg, their Vice President and Marketing Director, gives us more insight into the long standing and ever-evolving company…

  1. How long have you been in business?

Since 1962.

  1. What makes your agency unique?

Our dedication to integrity, personalized service and client satisfaction. From the very beginning, Pavillion has distinguished itself as an organization with the highest ethical standards and moral values. This is evidenced by the fact that over 90% of our client and applicant base are either repeat customers or personally referred to us. Our reputation is everything. We have set ourselves apart by continuously improving the way we conduct business with innovations unique to our industry.

  1. What types of positions do you place?

Nannies, chefs, butlers, chauffeurs, private security, housekeepers, house/estate managers, personal assistants, baby nurses, domestic couples, laundress/lady’s maids and much more.

  1. What is your ideal candidate?

We look for four key traits. Specifically, someone who is experienced, friendly, accommodating, and flexible.

  1. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where?

Over the past 55 years, we have developed a strong following in many American cities. We have come to identify a group of regions that have the highest demand for our services. While we do place in multiple locations, we have found that by focusing on some key markets, we are able to serve our clients better as well as build a strong network for sourcing candidates.

Following are the primary domestic cities we have a focus on servicing: New York, Miami Beach, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Greenwich, Hamptons, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

  1. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc.

Certain positions require a certain education level or skill set.  Any continuing education is a plus.

  1. Where do you announce your open jobs?

Of course, our website is always a good source. We do advertise on EstateJobs.com and promote our positions through our social media accounts:

Pavillion Website www.pavillionagency.com

Pavillion Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Pavillion-Agency-181560385247783/

Pavillion Twitter Handle- @pavillionagency

  1. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?

We would like both.

Apply at https://pavillionagency.com/for-applicants/application

  1. Do you belong to any professional associations?

International Nanny Associtation (INA)

My Nannies Circle

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

  1. How can people contact you?

Call our main office at 212-889-6609

Email: info@pavillionagency.com

Follow us on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/Pavillion-Agency-181560385247783/

Private Service Educator Spotlight: The Charles MacPherson Academy

charles macpherson butler academyLocated in Toronto, Canada, The Charles MacPherson Academy has been preparing individuals for private service careers since 2009.  The Academy was started by Charles MacPherson, who is an experienced international butler. The school focuses on a mix of technical skills and management concepts to prepare students for such jobs as Estate Managers, Household Managers, Personal Assistants, and Major Domos in addition to traditional Butler roles.

One of the truly unique aspects of the school is their approach to placement after graduation.  In addition to being exposed to placement options through Charles MacPherson Associate’s placement division, they also present their graduates to other agencies for consideration.  Graduates benefit from Charles’ reputation in the industry for producing quality candidates, especially those seeking to transfer into the industry from another profession.

In this month’s Educator Spotlight, Charles tells us more about his Academy…

  1. How long have you been in business?

Charles MacPherson Associates has been in business since 1996, the school was opened and certified as a Private Career College in 2009.

Our experience working within the homes of high and ultra-high-net-worth families (as well as luxury hotels and clubs, palaces of Royal families, etc.) was heavily referenced in the development of the program’s curriculum.  Our significant experience in the field means that we understand the skills and trouble-shooting knowledge required by would-be Household Managers because we have done the job and have the experience of a private service insider.

  1. In a nutshell, what do you teach?

Our specialty is both Household Management and Butlering Skills for the 21st century.  Our program focuses on foundational skills for the operation of luxury residences.  We premised our curriculum on a core belief that good Managers understand the skills and knowledge required to perform the various positions within a household.  Without that understanding, a Manager is incapable of evaluating and upgrading the performance of staff members.  This is why we teach practical skills in areas like housekeeping, laundry, and the care of art and antiques in addition to household management and butlering skills.  Our objective is to educate individuals to become “Walking and Working” Managers as opposed to desk-bound individuals who are removed from day-to-day household operations.

  1. What makes your training unique?

We firmly believe in the concept of “learning by doing.”  So much of what we teach is practical skills. We invested heavily in the production of a formal curriculum and proprietary textbook. Our faculty are experts in their respective fields and utilize a teaching laboratory that provides students with the opportunity to work firsthand with the best of the best. For this reason, we invested in the tools, materials, and equipment one would find in a luxury home. Students learn with the best so that, from day one in school, they develop an appreciation for the handling, care, and maintenance of luxury goods.

  1. How long are the courses?

The current certificate program is an intensive 4-weeks, Monday to Friday with a half day on Saturday. The program can also be taken in 1-week segments to accommodate scheduling constraints.

  1. How frequently are the programs run?

We offer three sessions per year; Winter, Spring and Fall.

  1. Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

We believe in the importance of an in-school, personal, hands-on learning experience. At this time, there is no convincing way to virtually replicate the quality of that experience.

  1. What are the requirements to attend your school?

Applicants must be high-school graduates or pass a language equivalency test.  During the application process, we also conduct interviews and evaluate each applicant and assess what we refer to as their “transferrable skill sets.”  Some students come to us with a private service background, however many do not.  For the latter group, we spend time identifying skills that would be of value to our clients but are not necessarily highlighted by applicants.  Our objective is to admit only those individuals who will most benefit from the program and have the highest prospect of success in their new career.

  1. Who is your ideal student?

Our graduates have such diverse backgrounds.  The students who do best tend to come from fields like hospitality, management, or positions such as executive or personal assistants.  The most important thing, however, is that each student has an understanding and appreciation for service or a willingness to learn and integrate a service mentality into what they have to offer potential employers.  Not everyone has this ability.  It is the secret sauce of private service.

  1. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates? What is your placement rate?

Yes, we proudly offer placement services to graduates as well as non-graduates.  We are careful to tell each applicant that we make no guarantees of placement since we do not control the variables of the labor market. Through our own placement division and through strategic relationships with reputable placement agencies across North America as well as the UK, we aggressively market our graduates so that they can find good jobs as quickly as possible.  The rate of placement does fluctuate from session to session for various reasons. Placement boils down to combined efforts that must include the active participation of graduates.

  1. Do you belong to any professional associations?

Our firm and individual team members are proud to be part of numerous professional associations spanning the private service, hospitality, hotel, protocol, and etiquette industries.

We belong to DEMA (Domestic Estate Managers Association) as well as PDI-POA (Protocol Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association.)

  1. Are you accredited? If so, with what entity…

We are an accredited Private Career College governed by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities [Canada].  The Ministry provides standards and oversight and ensures that our Academy meets its obligations to students.

  1. How much does your program cost?

The 4-week program is $7,500 (CAD) inclusive of our proprietary textbook and classroom materials. Accommodation is the responsibility of each student, although we are happy to provide guidance in that area.

  1. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

Not at this time.

  1. How can people contact you?

Andrew Gayman, Academy Director, at (416) 361-6434 or email andrew@charlesmacpherson.com

How to Behave in A Behavioral Interview

Do you struggle with answering behavioral interview questions? Not even sure what they are? Behavioral questions demand that the candidate describe a specific event from their past, such as “tell me about a time that you had to deal with a conflict at work…” These can be challenging, not just because you must think of a situation, but you also must answer the question in detail and conclude with a tangible result.

Why They Exist

The theory behind behavioral interviews is that your past performance will be indicative of your future behavior. This is why HR and hiring managers alike ask for specific examples from the past. Plus, it is a pretty good test for how well you can think on your feet and formulate a comprehensive answer that really addresses all the components of the question.

Difficulties in Preparation

While most candidates already have prepared answers for typical questions like “what is your greatest weakness” or “tell me about yourself,” it is more difficult to prepare for behavioral questions. There are some behavioral questions that have become more popular in the last few years, but in general, not all companies are using the same list of questions. In fact, employers will often customize these questions for their specific situation and needs. This means that preparing canned answers usually won’t work – instead, you must train your brain in HOW to answer behavioral questions, rather than just rattling off memorized answers.

Tell-Tale Sign of a Behavioral Question

Not sure of what denotes a behavioral question? Pay attention to the way it is asked. If it starts with anything like “tell me about a time…” or “describe a situation…” or “give me an example…” or similar language, you better start thinking of some story that will fit their criteria.

 The STAR Method

One of the best strategies for a behavioral question is the STAR method. This consists of 4 components to the answer: a situation, a description of your task, the action you took, and the result:

S = Situation: A specific, real world example that relates to the question

T = Task: Job duties or responsibilities within that situation

A = Action: What you actually did

R = Result: the measurable outcome of your action

Here’s an example:

Question: Tell us about a time when you had to manage a large project.

[Situation] Our company was putting on a conference for our employees scattered around the state.

[Task] As the executive assistant, my supervisor tasked me with organizing the event.

[Action] I selected the speakers, found a venue, contracted with caterers and managed the attendee list

[Result] Many of the 500 employees that attended stated it was the most meaningful conference in the past 5 years.

As you can see, this may be longer than the answer that you are used to giving. That’s part of the trap. Candidates feel like they have been talking too long, so they cut off the result from their answer. However, the result is the most important part!

Preparing for Behavioral Interviews

The best way to prepare for these types of questions is to practice writing out your answers to as many questions as you can find. Yes, it’s tedious. Yes, it can be boring. However, you really need to put pen (or keyboard) to paper to work out your answers. Just reading a list of questions is not going to help prepare for challenging and complex behavioral questions.

How To “Behave” In the Interview

Since you have few chances to prepare for specific questions, be ready to exercise some flexibility during the interview itself. If you find yourself in the midst of a behavioral interview, follow these tips to get your brain in gear:

  1. Don’t forget to breathe.
  2. Repeat back part of the question to help solidify your answer and give you more time to think of an appropriate situation.
  3. Don’t answer a behavioral question with a hypothetical response. If you honestly haven’t had a situation like what the employer has posed (for example, “tell me about a time you lead a team that failed” but you never managed a team before), DO preposition your answer with: “while I haven’t faced that yet, here’s what I would do…”
  4. Always come to a clear result at the end of your answer.
  5. If you feel like you spoke too long, ask the interviewer, “would you like to hear more?” This gives both of you an escape and an opportunity to move onto other subjects.
  6. Don’t use the same situation for every answer. It’s a common trap for candidates to keep coming back to the same story. To an interviewer, this looks like you have very limited experience (plus, it’s boring).

Some Practice Questions to Get You Started

While there are literally hundreds of behavioral questions, here’s a few that are very popular with hiring managers and HR departments alike:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a conflict at work.
  • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your job description.
  • Describe an achievement that you are very proud of and was very difficult to accomplish.
  • Give me an example of a time when you couldn’t provide a service that your customer wanted. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a decision you made while under a lot of pressure.
  • Describe a mistake you made or a project that failed. What did you learn from it?

 

Did you enjoy this article? Please join my newsletter to receive all the latest news, views, and job searching tips: http://eepurl.com/bgVrJr

Pricing changes effective May 15, 2017

It has been quite some time since we have adjusted our prices for our resume and LinkedIn services. To continue to provide our signature, high quality writing services and still keep it cost-effective, we are making some adjustments to our pricing policies, effective May 15, 2017.

Resume Packages

Effective mid-May, a 5% fee for processing, handling, and shipping costs will be added.

We wanted to keep the core price of our resume packages the same, ranging from $299 for entry level, $399 for mid-career, and $499 for senior level careers. When it comes to our executive packages, we encourage you to contact us directly to get an accurate quote.

Our resume packages include in-depth exploratory interview to discuss your work history, your new resume, a highly adaptable cover letter, a references page, and my book, “How to Get a Job Without Going Crazy.”  CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR RESUME PACKAGES

 

LinkedIn Packages

As with our resumes, the core price of our LinkedIn packages will remain at $125. The 5% processing and handling fee will be added.

LinkedIn packages include a fully written profile and our online class, “Using LinkedIn to Get a Job Without Going Crazy” (a $65 value).

Interview Coaching

Interview coaching will be increased to $249 for two sessions. The first 60-minute session covers strategies, establishes baselines, discusses behavioral interviews, and assigns ongoing exercises to help you be the best in your interview. The second 90-minute session is an invaluable recorded mock interview and review of the tape to provide direct feedback on your overall performance.

Get Your Quote Today

All of our written quotes are good for 30 days.  Anyone who gets a quote BEFORE May 15, 2017, will not be charged the increased prices. Now is the time to sign your quote as soon as possible to lock in your price.

P.S….       In addition, we will give you the option to delay starting your project until it is convenient for you, so long as we receive payment before the quote expires! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!

hockey skates

What job seekers can learn from the Colorado Avalanche’s historic season

While other hockey fans are preparing for the playoffs, Avalanche fans are just relieved to see their season end. With a final standing of 22-56-4 for the 2016-17 season, their record was one of the worst in NHL history since the salary cap was put in place. Yet even within this poor performance, there are a lot of lessons for job seekers.

  1. Celebrate every victory

For me, this was the first year that I bought a partial season ticket plan. Over the course of the season, every time the Avalanche won, the fans lost their minds – especially because it was all too rare.

For job seekers, it can often feel like a losing season because HR provides very little feedback after you turn in an application.  It is helpful to celebrate phone interviews, in-person interviews, new networking contacts, and even finding posted jobs in your ideal field as a victory. Rather than letting a defeatist attitude permeate every attempt, highlight the little victories to give yourself a positive boost.

  1. Know your winning percentage

The Avalanche ended their season with a .268 winning percentage – well below what the fans hoped to see.

As a job seeker, you need to know your percentage as well. Do you know how many jobs you applied to in a given week or month? Are you tracking how many interviews (including phone interviews) that you receive? Are you taking note of how long it takes for an employer to get back to you? If you don’t know these numbers, you really can’t gauge your success.

Here are some metrics that reflect a successful job search:

  • Receiving a phone interview for every 10-15 job applications
  • Gaining an in-person interview out of 5-10 phone interviews
  • Hearing back from HR within 3-4 weeks

 

  1. Understand the weaker statistics

The Avalanche looks at more than just the final score to determine their success. This includes shots on goal (SOG), time of possession, number of hits, and so on. After all, if your goalie is dealing with 40 SOG per game without a strong defense to back him up, some of those shots are going to get through.

As a job seeker, tracking both the positive and opposing outcomes can be beneficial in developing a better strategy. Here are some snags you might recognize, along with its underlying definition:

  • If you consistently get automatic rejections within 1-24 hours after submitting your resume, this means the computer screened you out before a human even read your materials. You need to refine the key words listed in your resume.
  • If you get phone interviews with HR but never invited to interview in person, you are not convincing the potential employer that you meet the requirements. This could also be because the hiring manager is not understanding the relevance of your background on your resume.
  • If you get the in-person interview but never get a second one, you need to improve your interviewing skills.
  • If you get multiple interviews with the same company but are constantly being told that there was someone who “was a better fit,” you are misunderstanding the company culture.

 

  1. Capitalize on what is working

One of the biggest complaints that Avalanche fans had this past season was Coach Bednar’s performance, especially in switching up the players’ lines before they had a chance to settle into a rhythm with each other. Even professional athletes need time to meld and improve.

Job seekers often ditch a strategy before they have a chance to really see how it is working. Similarly, they sometimes invest a lot of time into a losing strategy, simply because they don’t have any other tools in their resume and interviewing toolbox.

A classic example of this is scanning the job boards every single day, all day. While some opportunities are found on Indeed, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn, these are only a few sources. Take some time to figure out which sites have the type of jobs that you want and concentrate your efforts on those. If a certain site never has viable jobs, don’t waste your time on it.

  1. Make the shot

As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

I know some job seekers that screen themselves out of a job before they ever apply. Just because you don’t have 100% of the qualifications for a job doesn’t mean you should not apply. Let HR do the screening.

Every single job description has some requirements that are less important than others. However, you can’t tell what those requirements are just by reading the job description. For this reason, make HR do their work.

Of course, don’t put all of your fate in HR’s hands. Be proactive in taking the next step to get in touch with hiring managers directly. Ways to do this include researching them personally on such sites as LinkedIn and ZoomInfoGrow.com. After all, some of the sweetest goals are made not by the first shot, but by leveraging the rebound.

Want to improve your own job search strategy? Click here for a free consultation to discuss your tactics: http://personaltouchcareerservices.com/contact

resume writing struggle

7 Ways to evaluate a resume service

For many people, writing a resume is a painful process that they only have to dive into every few years. Fortunately, a professional resume writing service can help relieve this burden, especially if they make efforts to stay on top of the latest developments in the modern job search.

While having a good service is important, not everyone knows how to find the best company for their needs. Different writers conduct their business in very different ways. To help you determine the right service for you – whether it is with us or another company – consider these seven evaluation points:

  1. Google it!

While it sounds like the automatic first step, using a Google search wisely is more than just typing “Denver resume writer” in the search field. In particular, look beyond the sponsored ads to target the organic listings. This may mean looking beyond just the first 5 results, but sometimes you must dig for gold.

  1. What is their online presence like?

Just like resumes and job searching tactics, websites have changed a lot over time. If the resume service or career coach is using a website that looks static, out-of-date, or clunky, this might be an indication that they aren’t evolving their resumes to fit more modern tactics as well.

  1. Where are they located?

Even if a company’s headquarters are local, their writers may not be. It is very common for resume companies to use contract writers that may be located anywhere in the US or abroad. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem. After all, we all live in an online world where a lot of the communication is done via email, Skype, or phone. Many talented writers may be in a different city than you. However, you should be aware of that fact when evaluating different writing services. Sometimes the local writer can have unique insight into your market and its dynamics that someone in another state or country just may not understand. Plus, a local writer may be able to meet with you in person.

  1. What do other people say about them?

Possibly the best way to research any company is to read reviews on Yelp and Google+.  That will quickly narrow down your search.  Reading actual reviews written by real people is the proof in the pudding.

  1. Are they on LinkedIn – and can you find them?

Without a doubt, any resume writer that you consider should have a stellar LinkedIn profile. Ideally, they should also be active on the site, including publishing articles, participating in groups, and generally being easy to find. Pay attention to how that profile is written. Chances are, what they write for you will be similar. There are different philosophies on how to write an effective LinkedIn profile. Choose one that matches your own personal style.

A new tool that LinkedIn is offering is the ProFinder. This service is free to people who want to collect quotes on particular services, such as resume writing. It’s a great way to gain competing quotes that include a direct link back to the career coach’s LinkedIn profile.

  1. What do they charge?

A quick search will soon reveal a huge gap in price. You can pay anywhere from $20 for an editor on Fiverr to over $1,000 for an executive resume from a boutique writing firm. Of course, there is also a huge gap in the quality of those services. In many ways, the old adage of “Cheap, Fast, or Good – Pick 2” can be very true in the world of resume writing.

However, the most expensive service may not be the best one. It’s more important to find the best service that fits your needs while staying within your budget. On average, most quality resume services will charge between $300 – $600 for a package that includes the resume and cover letter. It is also very common that the package prices will vary between experience levels. After all, it takes more time and effort to write a resume for someone with 20 years of experience vs. a new graduate with only one internship.

  1. Can I see real samples of their work?

The best test of a resume company is their own work. Look at several examples. If their online samples are hard to read, contact them for a cleaner copy. When you sign up for the service, you should be able to pick from different templates that will represent you well while still being consistent with the standards for your industry. Not only that, make sure that this service has some modern design options as well as the traditional formats. After all, the job search has evolved and their resumes must be able to keep up with the times.

 

Wondering how your resume stacks up? The Personal Touch Career Services offers a free resume review!  Click here to sign up for a consultation: http://personaltouchcareerservices.com/contact

nanny connections household staffing logo

Agency Spotlight: Nanny Connections Household Staffing

Founded in 1998, Nanny Connections has stood the test of time in helping private families hire talented nannies, baby nurses / Newborn Care Specialists (NCS), private chefs, and household managers. Active in several markets across the country, they exercise their philosophy of high standards of professional conduct, promotion of the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children, and a support of life-long learning for their placements.

 

In today’s Agency Spotlight, founder and CEO Tiffanie Kinder tells us more about her well recognized agency, which has been featured in such publications as Parents Magazine, Chicago Parent, Yahoo! Celebrity, Parenting OC, and Nashville Parent…

 

  1. How long have you been in business?

Nanny Connections Household Staffing has been in business since August of 1998.

 

  1. What makes your agency unique?

Nanny Connections Household Staffing is unique because we have been in business since 1998 and are one of the few agencies with this type of longevity in the industry. All of our exceptional placement coordinators have been a nanny at some point in their career. Also, we all have children of our own and understand both sides of employing a nanny and being a nanny. Our passion for finding the perfect match with a trained eye through rigorous screening and vetting is a key part of our success. Our reputation for quick communication to both candidates and clients exceeds most. We have a very sophisticated database which allows us to serve requests throughout the country.

 

  1. What types of positions do you place?

We place live in or live out nannies, infant care specialists, baby nurses, household managers, family assistants, housekeepers, chefs and butlers.

 

  1. What is your ideal candidate?

An ideal candidate to us is someone that is positive, forward thinking, flexible, trustworthy, experienced, honest, extremely reliable with above average references and letters of recommendation from previous employers.

 

  1. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where:

We primarily place in Beverly Hills, CA, Chicago, IL, Madison & Milwaukee, WI, and Nashville, TN, and the surroundings areas.

 

  1. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc.?

We honor the request of our clients and listen to their criteria preferences. Our candidates all have different levels of educational background and experience.

 

  1. Where do you announce your open jobs?

We post them on our website and Facebook page.

Website: www.nannyconnection.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nannyconnections

 

  1. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?

Candidates can begin with sending their cover letter and resume and any letters of recommendation to info@nannyconnections.com. Our placement coordinators will then contact them with next steps.

 

  1. Do you belong to any professional associations?

In the past, we were members of the International Nanny Association (INA) and also members of our local Chambers of Commerce.

 

  1. How can people contact you?

The best way to contact us is to go to our website and click on the location closest to you. Our website is www.nannyconnections.com or to speak with us directly call 866-484-5550

linkedin cardinal sin lust

LinkedIn Cardinal Sin: Lust

On the surface, this may appear to be the most obvious “LinkedIn Cardinal Sin” to avoid. After all, this is NOT a dating site, so lust shouldn’t be part of it, right? However, there is more to the concept of lust than the sexual aspect. When we look at it from a different point-of-view, lust is the ultimate concept of using other people to get what we want. And using people is definitely a huge LinkedIn Cardinal Sin.

I WANT IT NOW

Just like Veruca Salt, the spoiled brat from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” someone consumed with lust wants what they want and they want it right now. I personally have seen this on LinkedIn when I accept a connection from someone, just to immediately be hit with a heavy-handed sales pitch. The person didn’t do anything to build a relationship with me, and I instantly feel duped or used as a result. Needless to say, those are the connections that I tend to “unfriend” almost immediately.

 

HUNTING MANAGERS

Another area that the instant gratification becomes a problem is with job seekers. Now I’m not suggesting that job seekers refrain from using LinkedIn to connect with managers and workers at their target companies. It’s the way the connections are made that needs to be addressed.

When reaching out to a possible future employer, be honest about your interest in the company as well as the target contact as a person. Ask about their backgrounds and how they managed to rise to a leadership position within the company. If all of your messages to a possible hiring manager only talk about how much you want the job, it’s not showing that you care about the other person at all.

THE OBVIOUS INTERPRETATION

No discussion about lust on LinkedIn would be complete without pointing out that for some people, lust is the literal interpretation. In this case, I’d like to warn you both about the phishing profiles and the poor choices that can lead to misinterpretation from other LinkedIn users.

  1. Phishing profiles

Typically speaking, if you see someone with a very beautiful or attractive profile picture, a low number of connections, and a job history that is either inconsistent or not complete, this could be a phishing profile. The scammers are hoping to connect with you to reach out to your own contacts or to even proposition you directly.

One of the more unique examples were phishing profiles that used the job title of “BDM.” In some circles, that means “Business Development Manager;” however, it can also mean “bondage, discipline, and masochism.” Yikes! And yes, I HAVE seen profiles that indicate the secondary meaning.

Fortunately, LinkedIn is proactive about identifying these types of abuses on the site. Of course, when you find one yourself, you can report it to LinkedIn as well.

  1. Profile misinterpretation

In some cases, just a poor choice on a profile can open a LinkedIn user to a misinterpretation of their intentions on the site. Most often, I this relates to the profile picture.

Some recent bad pictures I saw include:

  • Showing too much skin – both male and female
  • A low-cut prom dress – complete with roses
  • Cheesy selfies
  • Vacation pictures
  • Workout pictures (but still applying for professional jobs)
  • Duck lips
  • Extreme close-ups

Picture choice is vital on LinkedIn. Not only do profiles with pictures gain 11x more views than those without, they do send a huge message about the person. If you aren’t sure that your picture is sending the right message, I highly suggest that you check out the website www.PhotoFeeler.com. You can get direct feedback as well as source great articles on how to improve your pictures.

GO AWAY, CREEPY PEOPLE

One other way that lust slides onto LinkedIn are direct predators. Every now and then, I will get an invitation from someone I don’t know. Once I accept, they will follow up with a message along the lines of “you had such a beautiful smile, I just had to reach out to you!”

Yep, that’s creepy.

The solution is simple: “unfriend” and block that user. If the person really crossed a line, you can also report him or her to LinkedIn directly.

PROTECTING YOURSELF

LinkedIn offers several tools to make sure the site stays a safe environment for networking, professional development, career advancement, and research. When you run across something questionable, help the community and yourself by making LinkedIn aware.

resume key words

6 easy ways to customize your resume

In general, I am not a fan of customizing the resume for every single job. The chances of making mistakes are just too great, not to mention the stories of people who spend literally hours on a single customization just makes me shudder. However, there are times that some adjustments are necessary to get through HR’s screening processes. This is especially true if the job seeker’s positions only turn up rarely or are highly specialized.

The good news is that it is possible to customize your resume quickly without going crazy. It’s just a matter of a few simple tricks:

  1. Have a solid resume FIRST

Before you go insane tweaking your resume for a single job, make sure you have a solid resume in the first place. This should be written with the targeted job in mind already. For example, if you are considering either a job in accounting or HR, you need two different resumes, as the base skills, experience, and traits are vastly different for those two roles.

When we create a resume for a client, we do a comparative analysis of 3-6 job descriptions for the same type of job but with different companies. This way, we discover what are the universal key words, desired experience, top traits, and education levels that are inherent for that type of job. Once the foundation of a solid resume is built, you can adjust it for specific positions.

  1. Include the title of the target job

This is one of the best ways to get through HR’s screening computers on the application systems. The actual title of the position ranks really high in the valuable key words. Whenever possible, be sure to use the exact phrasing of the job title in your resume. This can be added as a variation to your current title: for example, if your title is “Outside Sales Manager” but their title is “Manager of Key Accounts Division,” change your title on the resume to “Manager of Key Accounts (Outside Sales Manager).” Notice that the actual, real job title must be in parentheses. That way, when HR calls to confirm your work history, there won’t be a discrepancy.

But what if you don’t have a similar title or if you are switching industries? This is where a title for the resume itself comes into play. While objective statements are very old fashioned and self-serving, starting the resume with a heading that uses the exact title indicates to HR that this is your target job:

  1. Match the skills

HR screens people based on skills, specifically the key words within the skills. This is one reason why we must include phrases like “excellent communication skills” on the resume. While everyone knows that isn’t the most exciting writing ever, if HR is using that phrase in the job description, you must use it in your resume or risk being cut by the screening computers. But how do we include these asinine phrases without destroying the overall quality of our resume?

Take a close look at the job description, especially the area called “qualifications” or “requirements.” Ignore the garbage words like “demonstrated ability to” or “responsible for;” only focus on the actual skill or personality trait itself. Now take those phrases and load up the SKILLS section of your resume:

By the way, the core competencies area is a great place to do some key word packing. By using different columns, you can load up a lot of skills without taking too much space.

  1. Use variations of top skills

This matters more for software than some of the other types of skills. One of the biggest offenders is actually Microsoft Office – the words, not the program. Some employers use “MS Office” in their job description. Others may state “Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.” However, the computer will only recognize the way it’s written in that exact job description. In other words, many computers are dumb and don’t know that Office and Word are the same thing. To combat this, consider using a variation for the software, such as “Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).”

  1. Describe relevant experience

Within the job description, pay attention to the duties or responsibilities. When you describe your own experience, find ways to match your own experience or achievements to those specific areas:

  1. Use both the acronym and the name for your degree

Sometimes screening computers are very literal. It may recognize the MBA, but not Masters of Business Administration and vice versa. By using both, you cover all of your bases. And of course, if the job is looking for a specific major, be sure to mention that you have it.  Same thing with your certifications. If the company wants them, make sure to list them.

  1. BONUS! Customize your cover letter

Okay, so that’s not your resume, I know. However, take the effort to read up on the company before drafting your cover letter. Keep in mind that the cover letter is actually written for PEOPLE, as opposed to all of these other tricks that are designed to get past a COMPUTER. In the end, both your resume and cover letter needs to be written well so that once a human being gets to see your materials, you will make the right impression.

Final Thought

HR must cut 95% or more of the candidate pool before sending potential new hires to the manager’s interviews. To do this, they all rely on screening tools, with getting past the computer being just the first step. To make sure you survive, try to match 70-80% of the key words, requirements, and experience to get past those killer bots. And of course, get in touch with the managers directly to greatly increase your chances for an interview, especially if you are changing industries or job levels.

 

Wondering how well your resume stands up? Contact Donna Shannon for a free resume review: https://personaltouchcareerservices.com/contact

2017 goals and tips for job search

New Year’s Checklist for Job Seekers

I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, especially since I am so good at breaking them. However, I do recognize that now is a great time to set up my strategies and plans, which usually involves creating a robust and proactive checklist to kick things off. Job seekers can use this same strategy to make the most of the upcoming busy hiring season.

  1. Update your resume

While this seems to go without saying, you need to review your resume. But when you give it the once-over, look at more than if your experience is current. To pass the rigorous and ever-present screening procedures that HR uses, make sure to use relevant key words, achievements, educational highlights, and work responsibilities for the job you want, not just the job you already have.

Things to consider:

  • Are the right key words in place and are they easy to find?
  • Does my resume format look old, dated, or bland?
  • Am I including achievements or quantifiable metrics in my work history?
  • Am I describing aspects of my career that the hiring manager would find valuable?

 

  1. Review your LinkedIn profile

Every year, LinkedIn rolls out changes for the website in January. In 2017, the push has been in tools for recruiters. Because the site is pushing their value for recruiters, this means that your profile better be 100% complete to even be taken seriously.

Things to consider:

  • Is my profile written in first person? Is it personable and attractive?
  • Am I using high value key words throughout the entire profile?
  • Are all of the relevant sections complete?
  • Have I filled my Skills with more valuable key words?
  • Does my profile read well in all platforms, including online, on mobile devices, and as a PDF download?
  • Does my profile picture convey that I am a trustworthy professional?

 

  1. Review your LinkedIn strategies

Now that the profile looks great, do you really know how to maximize the site? For example, getting involved in Groups adds to your network while giving you an avenue to build your reputation among your peers and look for hidden jobs. In particular, LinkedIn has a new setting within the “Jobs” tab. You can now let recruiters know that you are looking without blatantly announcing it within your profile – a great trick if you are in a confidential job search. Just check out the “Preferences” tab within the “Jobs” section.

Other strategies to consider:

  • Am I involved in the right kinds of Groups, such as industry-specific, locally-based, or alumni Groups?
  • Have I updated your Jobs Preferences?
  • Have I reviewed your Privacy settings – and do I know what they mean?
  • Am I actively reaching out to other LinkedIn members AND customizing your greeting message?
  • Am I Following your top choice Company’s pages?
  • Have I created any Job Alerts and am I checking them regularly?

 

  1. Set up or review settings on job boards and employment websites

Yes, plenty of employers are still posting their jobs on public websites like Indeed.com, Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Idealist.com and many other specialty sites. It can be very helpful and really streamline your job search process to have accounts on several different sites. However, there are steps to can take to make this more effective and not be subjected to massive amounts of spam jobs or even scams.

Steps to make the most of job boards:

  • Do NOT post your resume publicly. Only post it privately – this way, only jobs you actually apply to will receive your resume and it will greatly reduce the amount of spam jobs.
  • Set up job search agents to deliver on different days. For example, Indeed on Monday, CareerBuilder Tuesday, Monster on Wednesday and so on. This make the most of your time.
  • Review your profile settings. This goes out with every application, so make sure that old profile is in line with your current goals.
  • Be sure to upload your resume as Word or PDF. Indeed in particular is notorious for parsing your resume into their application format, even if you use Word. Employers prefer to see the Word or PDF document over Indeed’s format.
  • Always send a custom cover letter with your application and resume.
  • Track down the hiring managers and get your resume in hands – don’t leave your fate in HR’s hands!

 

  1. Get ready for the flood of jobs

January, February, and March are the biggest hiring months of the year. However, things usually start ramping up until the second week of January. After all, the employers just got back from vacation and it takes a few days to get jobs posted. Use this time wisely and get all of your tools in order to make the most of this upcoming hiring season.

Did you enjoy this article? Hungry for more? Check out my online course, “Using LinkedIn to Get a Job Without Going Crazy.” Click here to save 75%: https://www.udemy.com/using-linkedin-to-get-a-job/?couponCode=LIDIRECTARTICLE

 

Page 1 of 12 12345...»