Weekend Reading

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For the recruiting readers: Top 15 Common Talent Sourcing Mistakes and Snag Influence with “Sticky” Recruitment Marketing.

And for employees: Don’t Wait for Layoffs or a Job Search to Update Your Resume. The idea is that during those periods, you’re feeling negative and may forget key accomplishments and skills. Updating your resume periodically ensures that you remember your accomplishments and can highlight them in a beneficial way.

I am definitely guilty of The Busy Trap; how about you? I think it’s partly a by-product of being a Human Services major in college– the program attracted all the students who wanted to save the world!

Here are some inspirational words for your week {or weekend, as the case may be}.

I have become convinced that the writers over at Tiny Buddha send thought waves or probes into my brain every week and then base their blog posts on my thoughts. Here’s what they wrote for me this week {joke!}: When Friends Fear We May Judge Them and Treat People How They Want to be Treated {the new golden rule}.


10 Thoughts for Friday

1) Any recruiters out there with experience using Entelo or TalentBin? What are the pros and cons of both of them? Which do you like better? I asked the same question on Quora.

2. Live in DC? Check out Cause, a new philanthropub opening soon. According to Glittarazzi, “Customers will visit Cause to drink and be merry. The money that the bar makes will pay the rent, staff and charity. Different causes will be selected every quarter and customers will get to pick which one they want their money to go towards.”

3. Lifehacker recommends that you look at two lists every morning: a to do list and an avoid list. I’ve recently started doing the same thing to remind myself to not mindlessly look at Twitter, Google Reader, my blog stats, etc throughout the day {only in the morning!}.

4. Here is what I had planned to meet during my “cleaning out the freezer & pantry week.” Here’s what I actually ate: corn taco tostadas; Mexican casserole from the freezer; a hot dog with Indian-spiced onion relish {found it on Edible Mosaic- yum!}, sushi, and other miscellaneous stuff! But I did make a dent in the freezer mess.

5. I think I finally got down my phrasing for when someone I don’t know connects with me on LinkedIn: “Hi x, Thank you for the invitation to connect on LinkedIn! I wanted to check in and see what you were interested in connecting about since I don’t believe we’ve met in person.  Thank you and take care, Cristina.” What do you think?

6. Want to find fun Raleigh events? First, follow the Scintillating Simplicity calendar! But you can also subscribe to the Visit Raleigh Events RSS Feed in your feed reader {I obviously love Google Reader!}.

7. I love the website 1000 Awesome Things and the latest two posts made me laugh: #996 Opening and sniffing a pack of tennis balls and #997: Locking people out of the car and pretending to drive away {my sister and I do this more than I think is normal for 20-somethings}.

8. I absolutely love The Girl Effect, an amazing YouTube video! In related news, apparently this month’s Fast Company is all about female social entrepreneurs! Need to pick up a copy…

9. You’ve no doubt seen the article in the Atlantic, “Why Women Can’t Have It All.” Since the piece came out, there’s been a ton of responses, like “Does Anyone Really Need to Have It All?” and “Why Women Shouldn’t Want to Have It All” and “How Women (and Men) Can Have It All” and lastly, “Men Can’t Have It All Either.” Whew! That’s a lot of conflicting opinions. What do you think? I feel a blog post coming on…

10. And finally, I’m considering making a 23 New Things List to start on my upcoming 23rd birthday, a la Sarah of Yes and Yes. Any suggestions for what I should put on it?

Photo credit: Uploaded by user via Jeanette on Pinterest

Who Should You Consider When Making a Career Decision?

Some people will tell you that the only thing that matters when making a career decision is you. I disagree- which may seem like it contradicts what I said here, but I promise it doesn’t!

I do believe that, ultimately, making yourself happy is the most important outcome of all. But here are some other entities you should consider- partially because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it will affect you now or in the future.

  • Family: Your family is ultimately affected by your career decisions- either directly or indirectly- be it because of changing finances, relocation, or having to deal with your emotions. At my age, family isn’t generally a huge consideration except if you are in business with a family member, like I am with my sister. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have to consider how any career decision I make will affect her.
  • Coworkers: Your current coworkers will undoubtedly be affected by any career move you make, especially if you decide to leave without sufficient notice or during a particularly busy time. Even if you don’t have strong ties to your coworkers, consider how their perceptions and opinions may affect you in the future- like if they are asked for a recommendation by your future employer…
  • Future employer: Before making a career move, it’s important to think about how your future employer will view your decision. Do you come across as flaky and unable to commit if you leave your job before two years? Does closing your business represent giving up or making the responsible choice? All important questions to ask yourself.
  • Community: In a perfect world, the opinion of distant others wouldn’t carry much weight. But particularly in a small community, news travels fast and the grapevine is always hard at work. Unfortunately, thinking about how your career decision will be perceived by those around you is critical.

What other people should be considered before making a career decision? Do you disagree about any of the above? 

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my response: 11 things you should never put on your resume

A piece recently came out on Business Insider entitled “11 Things You Should Never Put On Your Resume.” Though I’m fairly new to the recruiting game, I generally have pretty strong opinions on resume dos and don’t {check out my Confessions of a Recruiter series}, but I was up in the air about some of these. The comments add some interesting arguments to the article; they’re worth checking out.

1. Don’t have an objective: I’ve discussed the pros and cons of this before and I’m still on the fenceEvery once in a blue moon, I see it done well- creatively, articulately, uniquely, etc. But put an irrelevant career path or the wrong job or company and you’re toast.

2. Eliminate irrelevant work experience: Again, on the fence. I agree that it looks cluttered and can make a candidate look wishy washy, but without it, you risk having inexplicable gaps in your work history. Which is the lesser of two evils?

3. Eliminate marital status, social security number, etc: Agreed! It’s odd, outdated, and uncomfortable.

4. Keep it to one page: I’ve discussed this one before too. I used to be a strict adherent to this rule, but I now see the merits of including more details if you’re a seasoned executive (but don’t sloppily let a resume run over to a second page. PDF that thang!).

5. Don’t list your hobbies: As one commentator said, ” hire people, not robots, and the hobbies and personal interests help me understand the person better.” I agree- it shows balance, self-motivation, and can often be just the thing that makes a recruiter take notice. I’ve convinced I was only hired because I could share the cool story of GW Bites, which was a hobby business.

6. Don’t give them a chance to guess your age: While companies do often play the “too senior” card, leaving off dates looks suspicious!

7. Don’t write your resume in the 3rd person: Agreed all the way! I used to have my LinkedIn in 3rd person but realized how strange it looks!

8. Don’t include references: Agreed- it’s a waste of space and besides, you should prep your recommenders about each individual job before they are contacted. They should be able to speak to your skill set for that job in particular.

9. Don’t use a tacky (my word) email address: Yup yup yup.

10. Don’t identify your phone number: As in “Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx.” I definitely wouldn’t reject someone because of this, but I’ll agree it’s obvious that it’s your number!

11. Don’t include your current employer’s contact info: Yup!

What do you think? Disagree with the article and/or me? Let me know!

P.S. Anyone realize how every part of the Confessions series has a different title? That’s because I always have a different title. Haha!

link love

Freezing Herbs

How Digital Dirt is Changing Recruitment for Better or Worse

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers

What Would You Do If?

Burger King- Pay It Your Way

Seven Layer Bars {so unbelievably easy and delicious}

Most Adorable Teahouse

Real Food Tips: 10 Common Misconceptions

The Most Common Cooking Mistakes {incredibly valuable tips}

recruiting resources

When I was up in DC with the recruiting team, one of my coworkers gave me several resources to help me flourish as a recruiter! I thought I’d share them with you {hopefully at least one of my readers does some form of recruiting!}


Twitter Accounts

@researchgoddess {Amybeth Hale}




Recruiting in 3D {shout-out to my coworker, even though he never updates haha}

SourceCon {especially my piece *shameless plug*}

Boolean Blackbelt

Fistful of Talent



Bullhorn Reach University {you can earn your social recruiting badge! Just a heads up that this course is very basic}

As a recruiter, what resources do you use to stay up-to-date on the field? 

confessions of a {junior} recruiter, part iii

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For part i, click here and for part ii, click here!

  • Attach the right version of your resume! I recently saw a resume that had sections highlighted in yellow and notes throughout. Turns out it was feedback on how to improve the resume!
  • No need to write things like “So and so’s Amazing Resume.” Your amazing resume should speak for itself.
  • Have a profile on LinkedIn, Jobfox, or Visual CV {like I mentioned way back when}? Or a cool site like Christine Hall‘s? Fantastic! I would love to see it (assuming the rest of your application is decent). But don’t make me go to a link just to see your resume. We use a standardized online system for a reason. And before you argue that I’m just too lazy to follow a link, I promise that’s not it!
  • “Worked on a start-up but stopped when investment ran out”: So you took someone’s money, used it for your project, and then quit when the initial capital ran out? That doesn’t give me much confidence in your ability to innovate and persevere, I gotta say!
  • Referring to yourself in third person or as “Ms” or “Mr” is strange…
  • Feel free to thank me for spending time on your resume but don’t apologize for wasting my time! Edited: On the other, no need to thank me for spending my “precious” time on your resume. I’m not that in demand!
  • No dates found anywhere on your resume? It makes me think you’re covering up a spotty work history.
  • Telling me about your work history in the military then talking about our “critically important work?” Let’s call a spade a spade- we’re offering Daily Deals, not providing the solution for world peace. EDITED: Along the same lines, don’t tell me in your cover letter that your passion is to become a fair trade organic farmer or the director of a human rights organization. More power to you, but that’s not exactly what we do.

As I write these “confessions,” I wonder if it makes me sound pretentious or negative. My intention is certainly not to be either of those things! I intend to pass on {hopefully} valuable insight that I’ve gleaned from reading literally thousands of resumes. And I hope you get as much of a kick out of the crazy ones as I do 🙂 On that note, if you have any specific recruiting questions, don’t hesitate to ask me! If I can’t answer it, I’ll try to find someone who can!

*As always, the views expressed above are my own. They do not represent the views of my employer.

article on sourcecon!

I didn’t share this on my blog because I wanted it to be certain first- but I had a piece come out on SourceCon, which is a well-known recruiting website! I was approached awhile back by someone there who found my blog and liked my writing style.

My piece, entitled “Gmail Tools to Help You Source,” highlights Rapportive, Boomerang, and MeetWith.Me, three very useful apps that link with Gmail. These apps are valuable time-savers outside of the recruiting world too!

To read the article, head over to SourceCon!

If you’re new to my blog- welcome! To see my other recruiting pieces, visit the limited but ever-growing Recruiting category or simply search for the term recruiting 🙂

personal branding + reputation management

If you follow The Raleigh Forum’s blog, you’ll know that we regularly host brown bag lunches on topics that are relevant to our members.

We recently held one on personal branding and reputation management with Morgan Siem {known by her user name morgansiem! See below for more on that}, so I thought I’d share some takeaways.

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  • Personal branding is all about striking a balance between TMI and “whitewashing” {read: being boring}; this balance is strongly tied to your industry
  • Branding is important for consistency, recognizability, and identity 
  • Oftentimes local success {especially in downtown Raleigh} is based largely on your personality, which re-emphasizes the need to blur the lines between business and personal
  • Don’t just think about how your brand affects you- also consider how it affects your clients, members, customers, etc
  • Consistency is important: use similar colors, fonts, pictures, tone, etc across social media outlets
  • Own the first page of Google. When you search my name, you get my LinkedIn, my Twitter, Quora, blog, Google+, GW Bites, etc
  • Use the same name across platforms. If it’s a common name, brand a new one. Make sure that it can carry you into the next stage of life (i.e. using your business name or company affiliation isn’t necessarily a good thing). My most common user name (cmroman) could use some work
  • Link your profiles as much as possible. One thing I’ve done is link my blog to my LinkedIn. Only blog posts tagged with “LinkedIn” go to LinkedIn though. This gives you control over the content that is shared to that audience
  • Especially locally, your name should precede your resume. Make people be able to find you and know you before meeting you
  • Creative resumes like DoYouBuzz? or Vizualize.Me are great for personal branding, especially in creative professionals. Remember though- they are a supplement to a traditional resume. If an employer asks for a resume, include both, not just your super sleek infographic! More on that in another blog post!
  • Think of three words to brand yourself and portray these qualities throughout your online and offline presence
  • If you have a bad reputation online, work against it: start a blog. Build your LinkedIn page. Fill out your Google profile. All these things push negative results lower in searches
  • Think about how you would want someone to describe you behind your back; work toward having that be the message you portray
  • Set up your Gravatar {global avatar}, which uses a universal picture for different websites
  • Set up Google Alerts for your name, your business name, and other variations
  • Buy the domain tied to your real name or online user name {cmroman.com- done!}
  • Get business cards that tie into your brand
  • Reserve your about.me page
  • Search KnowEm.com to find up and coming social media platforms and reserve your brand name on them

For more on personal branding, click here, here, and here! For Holly Bazemore’s recap of the brown bag, click here.

Thank you Morgan!

Was this helpful? Do you have any other advice?

confessions of a recruiting coordinator, part ii

The eternal recruiting debates continue. For part i, click here.

“As your future _____, I will…”: Too presumptuous in my opinion.

Breastfeeding: Never appropriate. Never.

“Dear sir”: You never know who’s reading your resume. This feels very antiquated to me.

“Searching for a position with room for growth”: Who isn’t? This says to me “I’m just looking to climb the ladder and I won’t be happy in my entry position for long.”

Word vs PDF: PDFs are so easy to do! They will look the same no matter what kind of computer you view them on, so you don’t have to worry about misformatting. Why wouldn’t you do it?

Correct capitalization of your name: This shouldn’t even have to be discussed. First letter of first name, first letter of last name. Not Cristina roman or cristina Roman and definitely not CRISTINA ROMAN. Yes, it grabs my attention but not in the right way.

Here’s an interesting question that I posted on my Twitter: Do you think ability (or inability) to write a good cover letter and resume correlates with overall ability to perform the job? 

I’m torn- in some ways, I think a well-written cover letter and resume shows an understanding of proper grammar and spelling, which is critical in almost every industry and position. In addition, presenting well-written materials shows that you have taken the time to show that you care and are proactive enough to learn the proper way to structure these important documents. After all, it’s only a Google search away.

On the other hand, sometimes written skills are not essential for job performance. For example, a salesperson may be stellar at closing deals but may lack superb written skills. And, as one friend (and former prom date!) on Twitter pointed out: “resumes are tough and it is hard to determine what should be on there. Don’t think it has any relevancy.”

What do you think?!

*As always, the viewpoints expressed here represent my own thoughts and not those of my employer.