Career Tips Blog

As of January 2014, I have been contributing career & job search advice blog posts for both Meet Your Gig, a cutting-edge startup business, and also the IBM Jobs Blog.

Meet Your Gig is a place where job seekers will get to meet technology startup businesses to medium-sized companies that are prequalified and recommended places to work.  The businesses featured will allow you to see what types of opportunities they will have and a realistic view of what it is like to work there, culturally.  Job seekers can learn if it will be a mutual fit before investing time into the application & interview process.  It's primarily geared towards the millennial generation and tech companies, but not exclusively, and all are welcome.  We have a team of career experts waiting to help you.

Now, all my blog posts will be posted directly on their blogging sites along with other related experts.  To check out my latest career and job search advice, please click on the 2 blogrolls below and subscribe.

I'm a PERFECT match! Why was I rejected?

May 7, 2013
Have you ever came across a job posting advertisement that was an EXACT match for your background?
You meet every single requirement and nearly all of the preferred qualifications.  Maybe you even get an interview...
You go for the interview.  You build rapport with the Hiring Manager, get them to smile a few times, and you proved to them why you're a perfect fit based on the job description and requirements they advertised.  Everything seemed to go very well and you're excited about the opportunity!

Then a week goes by, and you haven't heard anything.  You call the recruiter to follow up, and they tell you that you are still being considered, but the Hiring Manager is "still interviewing other candidates" or hasn't made a decision yet.  You ask when you can expect a decision.  The recruiter tells you probably by late next week.  Next week Wednesday rolls around and the Recruiter calls you (if you're lucky, maybe you just receive a templated rejection email) and vaguely explains that the hiring manager just decided to select another candidate with qualifications more closely matching specifically what they were looking for.

As a Career Coach, I've heard this same story many times. In fact, throughout my Recruiting/HR career, I've experienced it personally while searching for a job myself several times. Since I work as a Recruiter, I know what happens behind the scenes. There are many possibilities why the Hiring Manager did NOT select YOU. 

First of all, you need to think back and recall if you remembered to ask the following question: 
(ideally the Recruiter before the interview and/or to the Hiring Manager as early as possible in the interview)

“What would you say are the top 3 most important characteristics or qualifications that you’re looking for in a candidate for this role and why?”

The reason is that, many times, job postings usually are not 100% accurate to what the Hiring Manager specifically wants. Recruiting & Human Resources Departments have been squeezed to maximum capacity over the last 5-8 years because they are "overhead" to the organization. Typically, their time is very limited and being stretched in many directions at once.  When the Recruiter that is responsible intakes the information about what the Hiring Manager wants, they first start with a job description provided by HR that has been recycled from a similar role. Then, the details are tweaked. There are a million questions that the Recruiter could ask the Hiring Manager, but they gather the main attributes. Sometimes the Hiring Manager changes their mind, forgets to mention something, or didn't realize they needed something until after the fact.

Many industries & professions have very specific differentiations in environment where experience in one segment could be VERY different in another segment, even though the responsibility could be described the same way. It's difficult to conceptualize, so let's discuss a couple examples:
  • Recruiting - There are essentially 3 different types of environments that one could be working in:  Staffing Agency / Independent (Selling candidates to various client companies for a fee), Corporate / HR / Talent Acquisition (Recruiting for 1 company, acting as part of the HR Dept.), or RPO - Recruitment Process Outsourcing (Representing part or all of a particular client company's Recruiting team exclusively).  While many of the skills required are the same, there are also some differences in the business relationship and how to handle different situations. Each setting is unique in how the interests of all parties compete for profit:  candidate, hiring company, and staffing company.
  • Clinical Research - You could be working as a Clinical Trial Manager in 3 different settings within the pharmaceutical industry:  Sponsor company (Company that develops and manufactures the drug), CRO - Contract Research Organization (Company that outsources certain aspects of a clinical study), or ARO - Academic Research Organization (College University's Research Dept. that provides its students with projects to work on at their medical research center, while providing valuable data to the Sponsor company).  All 3 settings require similar responsibilities of a Clinical Trial Manager, however, the scope of responsibility is very different in each where some may handle the full process from start to finish, while others handle only part of the process, and may not even be aware of what happens outside of their personal experience.

Those examples are all within the SAME industry.  Now, imagine when candidates want to switch to a similar job title in a completely different industry. You will be considered much less desireable in most cases.

Is a lot of the experience transferable?  YES. 
Are there certain things that you can ONLY learn by gaining experience directly from each of those different business settings?  YES.

In the tight economy these days, Hiring Managers are already overworked, trying to get by with less staff, and have been asking their Manager for approval to add headcount to their Dept. for months.  In many cases, they just can't justify the risk of a bad hire that isn't ready to "hit the ground running" and would require training specific to their business environment.

***  Beginning of rant ***
Is it fair?  NO.  But, it is the way that it is because the Hiring Manager's head will be on the chopping block if their department fails.  Companies have an obligation to make a profit for their stockholders or business owner(s) that invested their own money, which allowed the company to operate, exist, and grow in the first place.  Employees and job seekers at each company need to understand and be thankful for the company providing the opportunity of employment to earn a steady paycheck!

Of course there is a moral/ethical balance required between company profit and fairness to the employees that make the company profit, so there are always two sides to the arguement. The ONLY alternative to avoid the "unfairness" is to untake the risk of starting your own company!  Then you can run it HOWEVER YOU WANT.  After you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into starting your own business, you may feel that you deserve to be a little bit greedy because you've earned it.
*** End of rant ***

There are many other possible reasons why you could be rejected even though you fit the description perfectly, but that is one of the top reasons and is mostly beyond your control.  The important thing to understand is that you need to figure out quickly what exactly the ideal background they are looking for is.  Do your best to highlight how you meet the described qualifications and how you could be successful at little risk to them.  Lastly, do not take it personally if they select someone else.


Don't get too carried away with your resume!

December 8, 2012
As a recruiter, I see hundreds of resumes per day.
Some are long, some are short.
Some are succinct & to-the-point, some are overly verbose.
Some are black & white, some are so colorful it makes my eyes hurt!
Some look like they were created by a 4th grader, some look like a graphically designed sales brochure.

You may think that the professionally done sales brochure resume is better than the 4th grade level resume containing spelling and grammatical errors... Well, you are right! However, an o...
Continue reading...

Your Resume is NOT a Work History report!

November 22, 2011
I wanted to discuss an interesting debate that many job seekers have asked me... 
Do you have to include EVERY job you've worked in your resume?

 - Maybe you had a job that you started, found wasn't a good fit for you, and would prefer to just leave it off your resume because it was only 1 week of employment. 
 - Maybe you were fired.
 - Maybe you were working multiple jobs at once and don't want it to appear that you are a "job hopper" from first glance.
 - Maybe you don't want it to appear tha...
Continue reading...

Unemployed and losing hope?

November 16, 2011
When you're not having much luck in your job search, it can be tempting to blame it on the poor economy. 
Yes, on average, there are less opportunities.
Yes, companies hiring practices normally have little regard or care for their applicants, because they usually have more than enough to pick from.
Yes, cost of living and inflation have sky-rocketed and most people haven't saved enough money in their piggy banks.

However, even in a poor economy, it is a fact that there are still millions of job...
Continue reading...

Conquer those pre-interview butterflies

October 3, 2011
Everyone, at some point, has been nervous before a job interview.  Whether it's a just slight discomfort in the pit of your stomach or sweaty palms, trembling hands, cracking voice, profuse sweating, clouded thinking, or even repetitive pre-interview potty-breaks.  Some people only experience this for their first or second job interview of their career, but some experience it their whole life.  Either way, it all stems from anxiety caused by a sub-par self-image, fear of failure, fear of the ...
Continue reading...

What NOT to include in your resume

September 21, 2011
According to a recent CareerBuilder study, nearly half (45 percent) of human resource managers said they spend, on average, less than one minute reviewing an application. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© from May 19 to June 8, 2011, included more than 2,600 employers nationwide.

With unemployment at a record high in the USA, recruiters and hiring managers aren't wasting time to dig through your resume & application.  Most of the time, we only look at the top half-page of...
Continue reading...

Do you STAND OUT, or are you just capable?

September 19, 2011
For years, I've been watching candidates' behaviors in their job search.  Some job seekers try to demonstrate how they "could" do the job, some demonstrate how they "did" aspects of the job applied for, and some demonstrate the evidence of how they have created value for their companies in the past, and would be able to create results/value for their potentially new employer.

Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes for a minute.  Which type of candidate would you choose?...
Unfortunately, mo...
Continue reading...

Under Construction

September 8, 2011
Coming Soon...
Continue reading...

About Me

I have worked in Human Resources, currently work as a recruiter, and do career coaching/job search assistance in my spare time. My recruiting experience encompasses a wide variety of industries, having worked with manual labor to CEO's. After a long time of seeing job seekers "bang their head against the wall," making the same mistakes over and over, and oozing of desperation in this poor economy, I decided to reach out to the workforce and offer help from an inside-perspective. I sincerely hope that I can make your job search less frustrating.

Make a free website with Yola