Is your job search going mobile? It should.

Here are some quick stats to get you thinking about one way you should approach your job search.

  • 1 in 5 of all job searches are now made via mobile (Google)
  • 30% of company traffic is now coming from a mobile device (WRC)
  • 63% of passive candidates used mobile to search for their next role (Educate)
  • 90% of smart phone users use mobile to read emails and search the web (ALP)
  • 61% of users will go to a competitor site if you do not have a mobile site (Forbes)

In my life there have been two distinct job-search worlds; one when I graduated from college, the other just recently.

Here’s what my job-search world looked like when I graduated from college:

I graduated in May of 1995.  The next month I got married.  At that point, we certainly had no money and only an idea of what we wanted our future to look like.  Obviously, the first priority was finding me a job.  It seemed only fair.  At that point, my wife had two.  Actually, I was working a retail position.  But it was time to find that ever elusive “career” track.

Back then I read the want-ads in the Sunday paper and circled the best possibilities.  Because we did not have a home computer or printer I would find some time during the week to go over to my father-in-law’s office and use his.  I would update my resume and write a cover letter, print it out and put it in the mail.  So after reading an ad on Sunday I would be lucky to have my resume/cover letter in the mail by Wednesday or Thursday.  Talk about lag time.  Obviously, it was not the quickest or most efficient system.  But I had to use the resources available to me the best way I knew how.

Contrast that to what my job-search world looked like when I was searching for a new position just a few months ago:

This time, no want ads.  It would have been difficult to do that since I haven’t had a subscription to the paper in several years anyway.

I did lean on all the other avenues available to me, however.  The most valuable was my network.  I have spent the intervening 15+ plus years since my post-college job search building it and I knew it would be a powerful tool.

I also created several job-search agents on various job boards that met specific criteria I entered.  The various systems would then email me the daily results.  By the time I woke up every morning, I would have anywhere from a handful to several dozen opportunities waiting for me in my inbox.  Even before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I could respond to any particular opportunity I chose by submitting my resume which was stored on my smart phone.  I use the Galaxy S II and am a huge fan.

I had several versions of my resume to reflect various aspects of my career.  I could choose which one to send based on the details of the opportunity.  If a particular opportunity required me to make additional changes to my resume I would get on my laptop, make the changes and store the new version on my phone as well.

If a lead came through that looked really exciting I would get on Linked In and see if anyone in my network worked at that particular company.  I would then reach out to them and ask for their help in networking with the right people at the target company.

The best example I can think of to illustrate how things have changed in my two job-search worlds is this story:

I was meeting a member of my network for lunch.  I got there early and as I was a waiting, another member of my network who happened to be located in Pennsylvania had forwarded me a really good job lead.  I looked through the details, composed an email/cover letter and sent it off with the appropriate version of my resume.  By the time my lunch was over I had already received a response from the recruiter.

It’s fascinating to me how things have changed.  Years ago, looking through the paper it took days to respond. Today, anyone can receive and respond to opportunities in real-time all thanks to advances in technology, their network and their smart phone.  Did I mention I love my Galaxy S II?

If you don’t use your mobile device for your job search, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.  The ability to respond to opportunities in a timely manner is essential.  Don’t miss out.

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How do you stay positive?

Better Get to Livin'

Better Get to Livin’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can we all agree that there are just some days we do not feel motivated?  It happens to the best of us.  The daily grind can get you down if you let it.  My favorite way to get my mind right in a hurry is to listen to music.   And of course there’s a song for just about everything.  I must also admit if there is any advantage to having a long commute it provides a wonderful opportunity to dive deep into your favorite music. Every couple of weeks I try to remember to listen to Better Get To Livin’ by Dolly Parton.  If you’re not familiar with that one, go look it up on You Tube or iTunes.  Another song that can keep me in a positive frame of mind is My Best Days by Danny Gokey.  You’ll want to find the video for that one as well.  I have my favorite music for reminding me how awesome my life is because of my family, my roots, my successes and even my failures. In no particular order I have listed out just some of the music I like to listen to.  Is there a song you like to listen to that gets you back on positive ground?  What is it?

  • Sanctus Real – Lead Me
  • Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
  • Danny Gokey – My Best Days
  • Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying
  • 10,000 Maniacs – These Are Days
  • John Mayer – Say
  • Chris Cagle – Chicks Dig It
  • Dolly Parton – The Sacrifice & Better Get to Living
  • Jo Dee Messina – That’s God
  • John Michael Montgomery – Life’s a Dance
  • ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man
  • Five For Fighting – Chances & 100 Years
  • Dire Straits – Why Worry
  • Tom Petty – Free Fallin’
  • Barry White – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love
  • Aerosmith – Livin’ On The Edge
  • Darius Rucker – This
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket – Crazy Life
  • Nickelback – Gotta Be Somebody
  • Lady Antebellum – Perfect Day
  • Enrique Iglesias – Hero
  • Jason Jones – Ferris Wheel
  • Sting – Brand New Day
  • Hal Ketchum – I Know Where Love Lives
  • Shawn Colvin – Climb On (A Back That’s Strong)

To get the job would you do this?

This is by far one of my all-time favorite recruiting stories.

Years ago, a co-worker was working to fill several administrative positions.  Part of her responsibility was to verify the information a candidate would enter on their application.  It was common for her to ask candidates to send in copies of their high-school or college diplomas as a way to verify their education.

One day she stopped by my cube and handed me a fax and with a big grin on her face asked “does anything look out-of-place to you?”  It was a copy of a high-school diploma.  The copy was a bit grainy but it was still fairly easy to read.  I read it three times before I finally started to believe what I was reading.

Keep in mind that a candidate was submitting this document as proof of their high-school graduation.  It had not one…not two…but three typos on it.  I must say, it was quite an accomplishment to pack so many typos in a document that had so little verbiage.

As if that wasn’t significant enough, the signature for the district’s superintendent was not the correct name.  It was fairly common knowledge who the superintendent was because that particular school district was in the news a lot and they were currently on the hunt for a new superintendent.

To this day I still do not know what would possess someone to submit a document like that.  I understand there are some people who are willing to lie, cheat or steal.  But in this case, if they are willing to falsify employment documentation, don’t you think they would have someone look it over?  I guess that story ended the way it should have.  Cleary, my co-worker passed on the opportunity to hire this individual.

A recruiter’s job

I was talking with a friend the other day and our conversation reminded me of an experience I had while working at a job fair.

It was several years ago (maybe 2002 or 2003) and I had signed up to attend a career fair for the company I was working for at the time.  It had been a long day as I was the only recruiter there so I talked to EVERYBODY that came by.  During a lull in the crowd this gentleman stopped by and started a conversation.  He had a technical background and I was there recruiting for sales people – I’m a sales recruiter, that’s what I do.

I told him I was not aware of any specific technical positions at our company because I had a different focus.  I told him I could take his resume, share it with the other recruiters on the team and that he could also apply on-line directly to any specific position that interested him.  Judging by his reaction, you would have thought I threatened his life and the lives of each of his family members.  He  instantly started wagging a finger at me yelling about the ‘black hole’ and how it was my job to find him a job.

For those of you that know me, when I say that I am a really easy-going, laid-back kinda guy, it wouldn’t be a shock to you.  That’s the way I like to live my life.  But when necessary, all that can go away.  And it did, considering the way he reacted to my comments.  He had clearly fallen prey to a serious misconception that I now felt was my duty to cure him of – and quickly.

I told him as much as he may want to belive it, my company does not (did not) pay me to find him a job.  I had a long list of positions I was tasked with filling and THAT was my job.  I also told him it was not my job to find any single individual a job.  My job was and is to find the best possible candidate I could find to fill the positions I was responsible for.

That’s the message I want to share with you today.  When you are in the midst of your job search, remember that it is not the responsibility of the recruiter to find you a job.  They are responsible for evaluating as much talent as they can find and making selections based on that pool.  It’s also important to remember that no matter what news you’re hearing, you must always stay professional.  The gentleman in this example lost any and all opportunity to find a position with my company because of his behaviour.  True to my word, I did go back and share his resume with my team.  But it came with a  warning to stay away from him.  He was far too volatile to consider.

And just so you know, there are people out there that will be more than happy to take your money, leading you to believe they will guarantee they will find you a job.  It is my strong recommendation you tell those kinds of people what they can do with their offer.  They are about getting your money not finding you a job.

In your job search, stay positive and work with trustworthy people.  How do you know if they’re trustworthy?  Ask lots of questions and trust your gut.

Happy hunting!

How should you submit a resume via email?

In your job search, a recruiter or hiring authority has asked you to send them your resume directly.  Or, perhaps someone in your network has told you “I heard about an opportunity you would be perfect for.  I know who you need to send your resume to.  Here’s the email address.”  They provide you with the email where they would like you to send it.

Ideally, the subject line should contain only three things: 1) your name 2) the word ‘Resume’ and 3) the city or location of the opening.  It should look like this:

Chris Gustafson Resume – Dallas

Those elements in a subject line tell the recipient everything they need to know about what the email is for and what it contains.  There’s no guess-work or excess information.  If there are any other details you believe should be included, I recommend you leave that for the text of the email.  I recommend adding the city because all too often recruiters or hiring authorities have multiple positions in multiple markets.  Listing the location is a very simple way for them to know where the candidate is located.  It also makes it easy for future searching.  Presenting your information this way prevents the recruiter from having to guess what email your resume is in or opening multiple emails trying to find the one with your resume in it.  Additionally, if it gets forwarded, more often than not, nothing needs to be changed in the subject line.  It’s already ready to go.

And another quick suggestion is to label (name) your resume with your name only; first and last.  Don’t put the date it was last updated or anything else.  It just makes things confusing. Ultimately, you want to make the experience of receiving your resume via email an easy experience.  Who ever you send it to will want to name it based on their system so having a lot of additional information is unnecessary.

A Wise Man

Albrecht Dürer - The Adoration of the Wise Man...

Albrecht Dürer – The Adoration of the Wise Man – WGA7111 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A wise man knows how unreliable his wisdom is.

A wise man knows that pride can lead to either honor or shame.

A wise man steers his ambition as if it were a dozer through a schoolyard.

A wise man is conscious that each moment is a passing gift from God.

A wise man is ready to stand alone yet acts in counsel.

A wise man is angered by injustice or evil but submits his anger to the rule of law.

A wise man trusts a wounded bear more than his appetites.

A wise man values character above success.

A wise man will guard his mind as if it were his daughter.

A wise man knows how fickle fame is, how vain is notoriety.

A wise man labors and builds knowing that it will return to dust.

A wise man is ever conscious of the presence of God.

A wise man will pray as a first resort.

A wise man loves one woman as if it were his sole appointment for eternity.

A wise man will father children and then train them as if they were God’s.

A wise man will alleviate the suffering of others but never mention his own.

A wise man will utilize his past mistakes as signposts for the future.

A wise man will love and live each day as if it were his last.

– Author unknown