August 25, 2008

My Fav Sites

Take a look at a few of the sites below that I check out at least on a weekly basis. Be careful, you might learn something!!!

1. -great site to get into the minds and hearts of professional recruiters.
2. -awesome site with information on the job search along with technical tips for the professional recruiter.
3. -great blog with honest answers from an anonymous human resource executive.
4. -access over 400 sites with career information.
5. -recruiting networking site. see how important networking is in the professional world.
6. -great blog with weekly highlights from top career posts each week.
7. -outstanding job search networking site with great information and posts from job seekers and recruiters.

Other Free and Useful Job Search/Social Networking Sites for recruiters and job seekers:


August 23, 2008

10 Rules for Dating and Recruiting

The article below is courtesy of one of my favorite sites as a recruiter: In my own experiences, I see a number of parallels between hiring candidates and finding a mate. Candidates can use this article a number of different ways. Enjoy!


by Amy Kimmes

Dating and recruiting have a lot in common. Learn how to improve your recruiting efforts by applying the most common dating rules.

Dating rule #1First impressions are critical.
Recruiting application:Differentiate yourself. Resist the “I have a great position for you” especially if you have never spoken to them.

Dating rule #2Don’t believe everything you see. We have all heard stories from people that signed up for an online dating service and were shocked when their date was two feet shorter and 10 years older than the profile.

Recruiting application:Candidates exaggerate their strengths and skills and down play their weaknesses. Do not assume anything. Prescreen, interview, administer assessments, and call the references before you present the candidate to your hiring manager.

Dating rule #3 Play hard to get. Desperation is the world’s worst perfume.
Recruiting application:If you make a huge fuss over the candidate and beg them to interview, you will diminish your negotiating power.

Dating rule #4 Be selective. You can not change people.
Recruiting application:Look for the red flags; don’t avoid them. It is better for you to uncover any candidate weaknesses or issues than your hiring manager discovering them. Your name and reputation is all you have in this business.

Dating rule #5Prepare for the date.
Recruiting application:If your candidate has spent 20 minutes on the phone with you and takes time off work to come to interview, and then you ask them “so, tell me what you want to do?” — you are wasting the candidate’s time. You should have notes on the candidate’s resume that you want to clarify, and if appropriate, the company profiles that best match what your candidate’s needs.

Dating rule #6Don’t talk too much. People who express the “enough about me, what do you think about me?” attitude sit home alone, a lot.
Recruiting application:The candidate should be doing most of the talking. Assess what the candidate has to offer, what they need, and then set expectations of how you will work together. Let the candidate talk about the interview before you disclose the hiring manager’s view. If you blurt out “they love you, you are the best candidate they have ever met!” — what do you think happens to the candidate’s salary requirements?

Dating rule #7Follow up with your date.
Recruiting application:As an industry, one of the biggest complaints we get from candidates and hiring managers is the lack of communication. No news is still considered news to the candidate; make sure you keep your candidate in the loop.

Dating rule #8Don’t be afraid to end the date early.
Recruiting application:Prescreen carefully, ask the hard questions, and always tell the candidate the truth. If they are not going to fit into your recruiting focus (skills, salary expectations, location, etc.), coach or make suggestions regarding who may be able to help them in the market.
Dating rule #9Improve your odds by hanging out where (like) people hang out.
Recruiting application:If you are recruiting technology talent, sign up and participate in technology activities in your market. Volunteer at association meetings to check members in: you will meet every attending member, every meeting.

Explain to people you meet that there are two types of people you would like to be introduced to: those who are leaders in their field and are looking for an opportunity and those who are leaders in their field and are not looking for an opportunity right now. You are an expert in your market, so people who are not looking now would still benefit from knowing you and the people in your network.

Dating Rule #10They will not buy the cow if they are getting the milk for free.
Recruiting application:When you agree to represent a candidate, you are entering into a business agreement. You need to set clear expectations of how the process must work. If the candidate will not agree to the terms, they are not committed to you, so turn them loose.

August 21, 2008

Resume Don't

Just yesterday received a resume via fax from a candidate who is interested in a career opportunity. I spent less than 5 seconds glancing at her resume before something stopped me in my tracks, the objective.

OBJECTIVE: To work for a company that uses my many years of experience in fast food in either management or administrative in a position with your company. If given the chance I will meet expectations in a position with your company and use my experience in fast food and vocational school to the best of my ability.

And to this I ask---WHY? This objective is long and rambles in addition to not getting to the point. Personally, I am not a fan of the Objective. I think it is a waste of valuable marketing space on your resume. Your coverletter can do a much better job of highlight your interest and focusing on any qualifications or characteristics that you feel set you apart from other candidates for the job. If you decide to include an Objective, make sure the objective directly relates to the position you are applying for. Don't be lazy and lump your administrative and management aspirations in the same objective. A resume is a marketing piece that is designed to grab the attention of the hiring manager much like a billboard or commercial does and in a short period of time, roughly 10-15 seconds.

As I mentioned before, I am not a fan of Objectives but if you choose to include one here is an example of one that in my opinion is acceptable.

OBJECTIVE: To secure a challenging position where skills, motivation,and performance will be utilized for mutual profit.

This is short, sweet, and to the point. Happy Hunting!!

August 19, 2008

Do Employers Really Use Myspace?

Take a look at the article from highlighting a professional friend of mine, Lisa Graham. Lisa is a great recruiter and has a great deal of success from recruiting on social networking sites. Interestingly enough, the article that highlights Lisa was written after she posted a comment on someone else's article post. See below.


Do Employers Really Hire Candidates from Facebook and MySpace? FurstPerson / Sprint Does.
I recently read an article at ERE and noticed a comment posted to it by Lisa Graham, Client Relationship Manager for FurstPerson / Sprint. Lisa's comment caught my eye because she wrote that she's made four good hires from MYSpace and had multiple potential candidates ask questions about her positions and express interest in them. She's had similar responses from Facebook. And to make her comment even more intriguing, she admitted to being a relative newbie as she's only been using MySpace and Facebook for about six months.
I emailed Lisa to ask her to share her wisdom and she very kindly obliged right away. Lisa hires for Sprint's contact center in Oklahoma City. They focus on tech support but have some customer service positions available as well but the customer service department is smaller and her group does not hire for it very often.

The tech support group has three tiers: tech, advanced tech, and tickets. Her group hires only for the first level tech support. Employees in that area are promoted into the higher two groups. Together they support Sprint's wireless devices including some of the more complex BlackBerry and other PDA-style phones and the wireless air cards. As you can imagine, their workforce skews young. Sprint's only age requirement is that the employees must be over the age of 18 and they do hire some retirees but the tech skills they're looking are more commonly found in younger rather than older employees and they're even more commonly found amongst people who are using these sites as the ability of a candidate to use the sites at all indicates that they're at least somewhat tech savvy. Which leads us to Lisa's decision to use MySpace and Facebook as part of her recruiting arsenal.

So what did Lisa do? On MySpace she created a personal profile, set it to private, and then placed a classified ad. She checks her MySpace account daily to answer any emails she receives regarding and to-date has hired at least four candidates and had numerous interested inquiries from candidates. She tries to update her ads at least once a month and sometimes even more frequently depending on the number of positions she has available.

On Facebook, she set up her entire profile as one big recruitment ad. She lists events for any on- or off-site job fairs she attend or hosts and has joined area networks so when she posts information about her job fairs to her page that information also gets displayed on the area network pages. She's also purchased Facebook Flyer advertising to be sent out to the network in her area and looks for people that she knows and adds them to her friend list to build her network. LIsa has also posted ads in the marketplace. As she does with MySpace, Lisa checks her Facebook email daily and keeps her page updated.

Interestingly, Lisa's efforts so far on Bebo have so far failed to bear fruit. Bebo is more popular amongst high school students than Facebook (average user age 25) and MySpace (average user age 35). Perhaps she will need to adapt her strategies and tactics for Bebo or perhaps the demographics are too different and she'll end up abandoning her Bebo efforts. Time will tell.
Lisa's story is inspiring. Too often I hear recruiters and hiring managers bad mouth social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace as being wastes of time. When I scratch the surface a bit most of them either haven't spent any time on the sites at all or haven't invested nearly enough to form an accurate opinion. Lisa took the plunge and continues to invest time virtually every day. She understands that first and foremost these sites are about networking so she networks. She keeps her pages updated so that her "friends" are continually reminded in a soft sell way about her and the opportunities she has available. They may not all have been interested in working in tech support for Sprint six months ago when Lisa first started using the sites and they may not be today but some have been and some will be. And Lisa has hired some already and will certainly hire some more.


Why a Vacation May be Good for Your Job Search??

I just got back from a much needed week long trip to Orlando. More than anything, it was nice to get away. Away from reality, away from stress, and far away from work to decompress and reflect with a new and fresh perspective. This Monday, I came back to the real world with a blackberry list full of ideas and an improved focus on what my team needed to do to be successful.

This is also true for your job search. It's easy to get caught up in the mundane day to day stresses waiting for that one phone call to change your life. It's easy to obsess and I know because I've been there. Even a short vacation and what I classify as a vacation is anything longer than an extended weekend is a good idea to help reinvigorate and reinvent yourself. You don't have to go far or break the bank to get that much needed perspective that only a vacation can bring.

While you're out, take inventory and put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes. What signals are you, as the candidate sending to prospective employers. Is it confidence or desperation? Take a step back and access the situation. Are your marketing materials up to snuff and what about your networking? Can you say for 100% certainty that you have been fully prepared and given it your all when following every job lead and resume you've submitted? Chances are there is always something we can improve upon. And a vacation is just the time for to give yourself a real, honest, and unbiased assessment.

From here, it's time to build your new plan of action. Be realistic and make sure that your plan is actionable with clear and specific goals. Maybe it's creating a monthly e-zine or adding 10 meaningful business and networking connections each week. Schedule an appointment with yourself to take a 1-2 hour mental vacation to reassess your job search strategy in 30, 60, and 90 days.

You'll be amazed at the results!! Happy Hunting!


August 5, 2008

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August 4, 2008

Is Your City Recession Proof?

Is your city recession proof? Take a look at the article below from Forbes that listed the top 10 Recession Proof Cities.

home prices are falling, unemployment is on the rise and the economy is expected to grow slowly--or even contract--in the first half of the year. But some cities are doing just fine.

Oklahoma City, Okla. With falling unemployment, one of the country's strongest housing markets, and solid growth in agriculture, energy and manufacturing, it looks best positioned among the nation's largest metropolitan areas to ride out the current crisis.

San Antonio is right behind. It also features solid employment figures and affordable home prices that continue to rise. Its industries are growing; it can't hurt that the new AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) was formed when San Antonio-based SBC Communications swallowed the old AT&T Corp. and BellSouth.

The others holding steady or improving include
Austin, Texas; Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; San Jose, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C.; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

Behind The Numbers To find them, examined the country's 50 largest metros and looked at several key measures.

We examined unemployment data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year ending in February 2008 to see which areas are most adding or subtracting jobs. Next, we looked at the BLS data on job growth in non-farm payrolls, through February 2008, for construction, education and health services, financial activities, information, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, natural resources and mining, professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, and the BLS's catch-all category, "other services."

We also took into account median home price data from the National Association of Realtors--from the fourth quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2007--to see which areas posted the largest annual gains. Our data don't account for the impact of declining sales in the first several months of this year.

Finally, our rankings were adjusted using data from a November 2007 report, "U.S. Metro Economies: The Mortgage Crisis," by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It lists each city's estimated gross metropolitan product growth by projecting how rising foreclosures and falling home prices would affect overall levels of productivity in local economies.

Sunny Southern Skies Texas cities fared best under these measures. San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth have benefited from historically lower home prices, which have been affordable to a large segment of the population. The availability of land--and, in some cases, little zoning--helped keep prices in these cities low. Instead of competing for homes, Texans could move to a new subdivision a little farther out.

What's more, all four boast falling unemployment rates, with Austin dropping from 3.8% to 3.6% and San Antonio from 4.3% to 4%.

Cities that are expected to see growth in non-farm payrolls include Raleigh, which is expected to see 7.4% growth in professional and business services and 6% growth in education and health. In Salt Lake City, where the median home price rose 2.5% and unemployment, at 3.1%, is below the 5.1% national average, growth in education and health services is expected to be 5.5%.

Tactful Ways to Turndown Job Offer Without Burning Bridges

In Oklahoma, the job market here is very different than most places. It is super competitive, aggressive, and hot, hot, hot!! Over the last several months, the competition among businesses in the hunt to find top talent is on fire! It is not uncommon for candidates to receive multiple offers within days of one another. Question is how does one negotiate better and turn down multiple offers without burning that bridge you've worked so hard to build?

  1. Be honest. I'm a fan of honesty being the best policy. When you receive an offer let the company know you either need time to weight your options or that you have another offer you are entertaining. Companies that are serious players will make their move here.
  2. Karma's a ******(you know). Don't wait until the last minute or day before you start the new job to decline the offer. This leaves the company with a bad taste in their mouth. It's a small world and you never know when a hasty decision will come back to bite you.
  3. Be respectful. When declining an offer, a phone call is best. Don't send some random and poorly written email. Rehearse your script and be professional. The company invested a great deal of time, money, and effort in recruiting and interviewing you. Give them the attention and respect they deserve even if they don't really deserve it.
  4. Leverage your relationship. Burning your bridge is not a good option especially when you don't know what your future has in store. I have built relationships with candidates who declined my offer initially, I kept in contact, and one year later a different opportunity arose that was a better fit for that candidate.
  5. Follow up. It's okay to contact the hiring manager or recruiter for feedback or to make them aware that you are interested in additional opportunities. Recruiters are not always the best at getting back with you, however, I have been known to forward or direct candidates to other opportunities from those within my network that might be a better fit for them.

Happy Hunting!