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}.

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link roundup for the week

Straight from The Kitchn: the best way to measure fresh herbs.

Allie of Eat Run Read got to attend a fancy dinner hosted Chobani– all the dishes contained the Greek yogurt. Now that is smart marketing 🙂 I may or may not have my own little Chobani posts in the works 🙂 In the meantime, follow my Chobani updates on Twitter!

Still confused about giving up gluten? Here’s a little crash course.

Be careful not to make these 3 LinkedIn blunders when job searching!

From The New Professional- four questions to ask when you’re lacking direction (this one’s for you, recent grads!).

In the mood to shed a few tears? Check out these 75 day-brightening stories of generosity.

I’m going to be the best party guest ever when I show up with these homemade watermelon mojito popsicles! Maybe I’ll bring these bangin’ shrimp skewers too 🙂

I stumbled across the Happiness Project awhile back and fell in love with Gretchen’s approach to life- she spent a year “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.” Here are 7 ways she sparks her creativity {I need these when I’m feelin’ uninspired}.

a psa to recent graduates

This post is dedicated to all my friends experiencing quarter-life crises. I love you all, hence the tough love approach 🙂 

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I come to you today with a revolutionary message: it’s going to be okay. There you go- straightforward, no bull. And I mean it.

So you want to go to grad school. Guess what? There’s at least one school in the world that will accept you, even if your GPA was less than perfect.

So you want to quit your first job out of college because it sucks your soul. Do it. I’m sure at least one successful CEO quit their first job out of school. And I think at least one recruiter at one company will choose to overlook the fact that you stayed at a job for less than the ideal two year period. They’ve been there.

So you don’t know where to want to be in life. Guess what? I think a lot of 50 year olds feel the same way. Quarter-life and mid-life career switches happen pretty regularly; my mom found her calling around age 50.

Remember- just being part of the group I’m addressing means you’re in the minority in terms of education (in 2010, only 27.9% of adults age 25+ had a Bachelor’s degree or higher). Had an internship during college? That’s another minority group you’re part of- only 37.5% of 2010 grads had internship experience…and that’s not taking into account all the schools that didn’t report, which I assume would make the percentage lower.

I’m not advocating that you throw caution to the wind or that you take your life for granted. As recent graduates, we’re primed to take advantage of our education and take on the career world. That’s not to be taken lightly.

But I am suggesting that you acknowledge that this is a rocky time for most recent graduates and make peace with the fact that you don’t need to have it all figured out.

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!

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.

confessions of a recruiting specialist, part 1

I have quite a bit of experience reading resumes- I chose 24 guides for Community Building Community, I helped choose 15 freshmen for Compass Partners, I’m in the process of hiring an Office Assistant with my sister…oh, and I work in a recruiting department.

So what advice do I have?

  • Don’t worry about applying to more than one job in a company, but don’t apply to too many (I get wary around 4/5)
  • Always read the instructions. Then re-read them. Then re-read them again. We’ve tossed applications for the Office Assistant position because they failed to write a paragraph on why they’re perfect for the job (which we specifically asked for).
  • Don’t  mass-email your resume. We actually had someone put multiple recipients in the “To” line. This should be incredibly obvious, but apparently it’s not.
  • Never say that your resume is available once you are offered an interview. I don’t know any recruiter who has time for those kinds of games.
  • Tow the line between a cover letter that is too brief and too long. Three to four paragraphs is Goldilocks-approved.
  • “Optional” does not mean “optional.” It means “Do it or risk looking like you don’t care enough to spend time on your application.”
  • Do not email from an address that is has explicit or implicit sexual  undertones. Again, an obvious. No “Sexy [or Sexi],” “4You,” etc. The “first name, last name” formula still works pretty darn well.
  • Volunteering is voluntary. Raising your own child does not qualify as a volunteer project.
  • Use punctuation. Period. And PrOpEr CaPitAlization. And well speling and gramar.
  • The standard format of a resume still works. No need to get fancy or “creative.” Bullet points > numbers.
  • Creativity is encouraged but don’t cross the line into inappropriate.
  • Personalize your application- a simple Google search can often tell you who to address your cover letter to.
  • Whenever possible, link to your LinkedIn profile and/or Twitter account. This demonstrates initiative and thoroughness, as well as experience with social media. If your Twitter name includes the word “stud” or “babe” or “sexy,” maybe don’t include it. Better yet, maybe delete it.
  • Google yourself periodically. Even better, set up a Google alert for your name so that you see all new posts about you.
  • Make your Facebook profile private. Hide any inappropriate posts/pictures/profiles, etc. Companies DO check this. If there are inappropriate postings about you out there, ask for them to be taken down. If they can’t be, begin building an online presence to push the bad results further down in searches (i.e. start a blog, a Twitter account, post on forums related to your interestes, etc).

P.S. My sister and I are cracking up as I write this post (with her assistance!). Oh, the memories.

What advice do you have for individuals applying to jobs?

*The views expressed above are my own. They do not represent the views of my employer.

found a great job? consider withdrawing your applications

I’ve had similar conversations with two friends recently. Both had full-time job offers from companies that they loved and in jobs that they wanted. But both were still waiting to hear from other companies, even though it was driving them crazy to have the unknown hanging over their heads.

My recommendation to them was this: unless you’re seriously considering accepting a new job offer, think about withdrawing your applications. This serves two purposes:

1) You can stop stressing and quit constantly thinking “What if I get the other job?” “What if it’s better?” “What if I’ll make more?”

2) You can salvage your relationship with the company- especially if you’d like to work there in the future! This saves them the time and energy of interviewing you, choosing you, and then having to go back to the drawing board to find another candidate. If I were an employer, I’d appreciate the person’s proactive and considerate action.

Life updates

  • I felt daring and reached out to a certain group-buying site about a job for next semester. When out of a limb and got a request for an interview! Reiterates what I always say: it pays off (literally!) to take risks
  • In addition to being interviewing about GW Bites by my school newspaper, I’m being interviewed by a friend for GWTV! I better look extra good tomorrow 🙂 It will be a whirlwind of grocery shopping, cooking, assembling Meals in a Jar, making deliveries, posing for pictures, and being videoed.
  • As I mentioned, I reached out to my network- trusted professors, friends, mentors, colleagues, etc- and I’ve had INCREDIBLE feedback. Looking forward to adding to my ongoing career search database (yes, I made myself a database. Yes, I’m a huge dork).
  • I submitted my India application 4 minutes to go- whew!
  • Looking forward to Gov 2.0 event at GW on Friday!
  • Wish I could attend YNPNdc’s International Development Happy Hour!

Tra la la, life is great!