In reader comments, I see job seekers complain about how they never get feedback from recruiters. Here’s your lucky day, because this article from recruiter info site ERE.net is exactly that unvarnished feedback that you’ve been asking for.
Maureen Sharib, owner of http://www.techtrak.com/ gave some interesting insight into common perception problems that candidates create for themselves. Maureen’s company finds candidates with certain titles, who have very specific experiences, from certain companies in the tech space. Employers hire Maureen and her company to find C# developers from Google, Mobile app project managers from Citibank or Facebook game QA testers from Zynga.
Maureen gives her unedited feedback to job seekers in her ERE article. So job seekers – here’s your feedback … are you listening?
Many 45+ year old candidates amplify these concerns when they use traditional techniques that aren’t relevant in the job search market and when they aren’t clearly involved in cutting edge. Why not just take a big hand stamp, slam it on a red ink pad, and stamp “OUT OF TOUCH” over your name at the top of your resume? Or … there are a number of things you can change to reduce the perception of being out of the loop.
Some examples: Want to be seen as old? List a fax and home number. Want to be seen as cutting edge? List Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype (or Google Voice) contact info instead.
Hopefully, candidates stay involved with volunteer activities while they’ve been on major work breaks (whether for raising children, caring for family members or extended unemployment). If you’re currently in this situation and you aren’t into volunteering, there are a number of ways to fill these gaps to lessen the gap effect. Take classes, even online classes, freelance, blog, start an online industry group or look for telecommuting internship opportunities. These are all ways to fill a glaring gap, keep skills up to date and reduce the perception that going back to work will be a huge culture shock.
(Hint – bullets are your resume’s best friend).
In a down market, selling your house won’t happen overnight … it may take years. Maureen recommends you buck up, “… get on with your life”, start the process now and put your house on the market so you can “… prepare to move if you have any inkling at all that you may need a job in the near future (five years or less).”
Maureen points out the importance of including the basic contact information to make it easy for recruiters to contact you … or they’ll contact the next name on their list instead. She stakes that women may be less likely to list full contact information, but “… Your names many times don’t show up on 411.com searches because your phone number is listed under your husband’s name. If you live alone many of you like to use unlisted numbers. This is career suicide these days.”
While privacy is an issue for many, if you make it difficult for recruiters to find or contact you … then they’ll just contact someone else.
If you’re concerned about listing your phone number, get a phone number specifically for your job search which you can screen by caller and forward to your cell. Google Voice is a great choice for an additional phone number, reserved for your job search – plus, it’s free. See “Google Voice Can Be An Effective Tool For Job Seekers“ at http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/03/18/google-voice-can-be-an-effective-tool-for-job-seekers/ to learn more about using Google Voice in your job search.
These are hard and fast facts of life these days. Get used to it. I don’t care that you have a PhD in fiddle-fooling-around. You’re at risk.”
If you’d like to see all of Maureen Sharib’s no-holds-barred feedback, see her full article at http://www.ere.net/2010/11/08/what-you-wish-you-could-tell-candidates/.
Readers – Now that you’ve gotten some feedback, will you listen?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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