We’ll get started in about 10 minutes, but feel free to submit your questions for Julie now.
my name is Julie, I have been in the recruitment industry for 14 years. I speak to all kinds of job seekers everyday and I also interview close to 1500 people a year. I like to think of myself as the bridge between the employer and employee, which helps me understand the job market. I’m looking forward to your questions today!
Alright, to get things rolling, here's a question for you Julie: It seems small- or medium-sized businesses are the ones doing a lot of hiring these days. What’s the best way to find out about these kinds of jobs if you don’t already know someone at the company? And how can you increase your chances of appealing to firms of this size?
I would say there are two things to remember here: 1) networking, and this can be beyond your social circles – connect with your local chamber of commerce, board of trade, etc. where small businesses tend to hang out; 2) look at free job posting sites (small businesses tend to use these tools more often), check out your local newspapers, student job boards, etc.
I would also like to add that small businesses often tend to work on word of mouth recommendations
Yes, networking seems especially important in a tough job market. People often talk about the “hidden job market” and word-of-mouth job opportunities.
Can you describe the top three things a person can do to tap in to this hidden cache of jobs?
Here are my top three reco’s: 1) work with a recruiter, but don’t just send in a resume and expect them to pursue you. Remind them that you are there – once in a while. Remember, send friendly reminders without being a stalker; 2) tell everyone on your network on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook (through status updates, not through mass messaging); and 3) target the companies you want to work for and send them a custom tailored pitch.
Let me answer your question #2 first: Summer is not a terrible time to be looking for work. There are less people looking for work so it gives you a chance to possibly stand out. Companies do hire throughout the year. Even over the holiday season....
Some companies think that public sector candidates are not as driven as private sectors employees even though that’s a myth. Also they may think that your expectations (salary and benefits) may be beyond the package they are offering. To fight against these potential stereotypes, clearly articulate your flexibility with salary expectations and show your accomplishments using “private sector terminology”.
Are there specific barriers you find you are facing? After 30 interviews, you probably have noticed some trends and barriers coming up. For example, are employers seeing you as over qualified? Do they feel you are lacking specific work experience?
Don’t feel shy in an information interview setting whether the company you are speaking to would see a potential barrier hiring you. Ask them how you can overcome those barriers. Have you spoken with a recruiter who can give you more candid feedback?
While we wait for Rebecca to get back to you Julie, do you mind following up on your answer to Kyle? Where can someone like him learn about "private sector terminology"?
He should study job descriptions from private sector companies and compare them to the terminology he may have on his resume which may be more government focused. If you are targeting certain private sector companies, look at their website and social media sites to identify their brand specific vocabulary and incorporate those in your profile.
Great to see you on this site. This is a great start. First collect all of your experience and accomplishments into one document and then transfer relevant information onto your resume. Don’t forget to include your volunteer and extra curricular activities as well. Companies are looking for young people who take initiative, who show leadership among their peers and who are willing to start from the bottom and work their way up.
The 2 challenges that a company may see in viewing your profile. #1: Are you are going to be too expensive for them and #2 how long are you going to stick around with the company? This is a myth because employees of any age group can leave a company at anytime. Nonetheless, this seems to be a concern with some companies for candidates within your age bracket. However, companies would hire you if they felt they could afford you. Clearly articulate your salary expectations along with job target so companies know the kind of you are you going to provide and the remuneration you are looking for.
ok here's Rebecca's response to Julie's earlier questions about informational interviews:
Have you consider taking on contract work? Your experience may position you well for this type of work.
This is where it’s really important to clearly articulate how the knowledge you have earned through your MBA can transfer into practical applications in a work environment…
I have met candidates in similar positions to yourself and I sometimes have found that they give answers that are too generic. My advice is always to dig a little deeper into what you personally bring to the table. What can you offer that is completely unique…
Job seekers worry too much sometimes about what employers want to hear versus answering the question “why me”?
We're getting a number of questions on post-interview protocol. People want to know how long to wait before following up with a potential employer, or how to get some feedback even if you weren't picked for the job. What can you tell them Julie?
Before the interview ends, you need to find out the following:
#1- What are the company’s next steps?
#2- When will a decision be made?
#3- Is it ok for me to follow up?...
Next, always follow up with a thank you email the same day as your interview. If the company is ok for you to follow up, wait 2 days from the time they said a decision would be made (to allow for a grace period) and send a short follow up email…
When it comes to asking for feedback, you can always ask but know that companies tend to avoid providing candid feedback because it can feel awkward.
Great question. To start, do you research and find companies who are promoting themselves as diversity focused employers…
You can emphasis on your resume the accomplishment you have amassed that are directly related to the position you are applying for. I would recommend that if your disability is not going to take away from you performing the work required, there is no need for you to mention it on your resume.
As we approach 1 p.m. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has participated this afternoon! And thanks to Julie for chatting with us and providing some great insights. Are there any final thoughts you’d like to leave with readers, Julie?
In your job search, attitude and mind-set are key. Employers can read that, in your body language, vocabulary and your general approach. When you want to stand-out against the competition, your best tools are research, knowing what the employers is looking for and making sure you are your expectations are in line with them. Demonstrate drive and a positive attitude and keep at your search.
Great chatting with you all today and thank you for the great questions.
Thanks a lot Julie! And thanks to everyone who submitted questions. We had some great questions and unfortunately couldn't get to them all.