Tuesday Tips – Job Search Advice from Experienced Recruiters

A Question of “Work /Life Balanceâ€

Of course you care about work/life balance. Everyone does. In an interview, questions about vacation, flex hours, etc. are important, but an overfocus on them can be a red flag to employers who want to know that you will be fully engaged in your work. So, address these questions from the company perspective rather than your own. Rather than “Can I work from home?†ask, “Do any employees work from home?†Instead of, “My kid needs regular allergy shots.†ask “What is the policy around medical appointments?†This way, you will get the information you need without raising alarm bells.

-Robert Slawson, Principal

Listening well is critical to your success in a job interview and will set you apart from other candidates.

Often candidates are so focused on what they are going to say that they forget that excellent listening skills are a crucial part of being a good communicator.

Pay attention while the interviewer is talking, ask follow up questions, and convey genuine interest in what they are saying. This will help to showcase your listening and learning capacity, along with your ability to work well with a team.

Cathy Barrett, Search Consultant

When providing job references, professional references always trump personal references.

This means you should stick to people who can speak to your work ethic and skills. If a colleague also happens to be a friend, that’s a different story.

The best references will be: 1) a former manager 2) other managers, colleagues, subordinates, etc. Be sure to ask their permission prior to sending; you never want someone to appear unprepared or caught off-guard when contacted by a potential employer.

-Tamra Sanders, Search Consultant

Embrace “I don’t know”.

It’s impossible to know the answer to every question an interviewer asks, and that’s ok!

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” – but follow It with a plan to find out the information.

For example: “I’m not sure, but I’ll dig in and follow up with you in an email.”

Then actually follow up!

Andrea Markewych, Marketing & Recruitment Manager

If you are ready to start your job search, be sure to turn on the “let recruiters know you’re open to work†function in your LinkedIn preferences.

Thanks to LinkedIn’s “Open to Work†setting, you can tell the world that you’re open to new opportunities without worrying about your current employer finding out.

This function allows recruiters to see that you are actively looking for new opportunities, but hides that information from anyone at your current company or affiliated companies. Of course, you’ll want to be sure that your profile is updated and accurate first, as this will be the first thing the recruiter looks at.

-Tamra Sanders, Search Consultant

Be mindful of your facial expressions & body language during a video interview.

It’s easy to feel more relaxed during a video call from the comfort of your home, but don’t forget that you are still on camera and can be seen. Be mindful of your facial expressions and make sure your body language shows that you’re alert, engaged, and professional.

-Andrea Markewych, Marketing & Recruitment Manager

A strong professional network can have a significant impact on your career success.

Networking will help you improve your skill set and stay on top of the latest trends in your industry but it can also help you to advance your career, by giving you access to more job opportunities. Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, and personal growth.

Of course, tools like LinkedIn and trade associations are invaluable, but don’t forget to tap your personal network as well! Friends and family can be a great source of ideas and connections.

The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn how to make lasting connections for years to come.

-Cathy Barrett, Search Consultant

Be efficient when scheduling interviews!

Whether you are the interviewer or the candidate, when scheduling interviews, save time and frustration by offering as many time/day options as possible.

When asked when you are available, avoid vague statements like “next week is better†or “Tuesday afternoon.†Instead, offer multiple options including detailed time windows and time zone.

Example: TU 4/5: 3-4PM CST and FRI 4/8: 2-3 CST.

Everyone is very busy these days. Taking time upfront to provide details and options will move the process along much faster and prevent the need for rescheduling.

-Jennifer Graham, Principal

Tips for working with multiple recruiters:

Do share with each recruiter that you are working with others, so that they know how to proceed with assisting you.

It’s a good idea to tell all recruiters that they should never send your resume anywhere without your approval. If an employer receives your resume from two sources, it reflects badly on you and creates a unwelcome complication for them.

-Robin Foster, Sr. Strategic Search Director

Once you’ve accepted an offer and started the onboarding process, it would be a good idea to make a file for all of the documents you are about to receive.

Your new employer will, most likely, have numerous documents for you to sign and review: non-disclosure, non-compete agreements, review dates, PTO info, and more. Make a digital file and store all of those pre-employment documents on your hard drive. The 5 minutes you invest today may save you hours if and when you need them a few years down the line.

-Robert Slawson, Principal

Looking for a fresh interview question to cut through the scripted responses from candidates?
One of the best interview questions I ever heard was “What question were you hoping I wouldn’t ask today?”

The candidate’s response will help you evaluate their honesty, as well as their ability to think on the fly. And, they might just give an answer that reveals something you would otherwise never have learned!

-Jennifer Graham, Principal

Our #1 tip for an effective resume would be: Don’t just describe what you do, explain why you are good at what you do. Show results! Chances are all of the applicants that you are competing against will list similar job titles and responsibilities.

Make your resume stand out by showing why you are the best at doing that job. Describe your accomplishments such as promotions, awards/ any money you have saved or made the company/ any initiatives you have successfully implemented, etc. This will show your potential employers that you don’t just do the work, but that you do it very well.

Jennifer Graham, Principal