Archives for posts with tag: resumes

Finding a job is no easy thing, and even though technological advancements have seemingly made the process easier and more user-friendly, in many cases it’s more complicated than ever before. Job boards on the internet might seem like an easy way to get your resume out there, but it’s just as easy to be overlooked.

As job seekers and recruiters continue their searches a new tool is quickly rising to the top as a way to find the best people for the right positions: Big Data. Knowing how big data is being used now for recruiting and job searching can give people an advantage over the competition.

Think of how many people apply online for a position when a business posts on a job board. Some companies receive thousands of resumes for a single opening, so it’s understandable that qualified candidates can fall through the cracks. With such a deluge of resumes, companies are applying big data analytics practices to a field of prospective job seekers.



Big data, however, goes much further than search queries and talent management systems.

Many businesses are actually developing profiles on people based upon their social media presence. This even applies to people who aren’t actively searching for a job.

Businesses build their own resumes of candidates by identifying details from people’s social media profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites. From these profiles, companies use big data tools to identify patterns of behavior, interests and skills that are qualifying factors for current and future job openings. If the targeted individual isn’t looking for a job at the moment, businesses will likely keep them on file for future reference.


With social media playing such an integral role in big data recruitment, job seekers need to do what they can to manage their profiles with the intent of gaining a job in mind. That means using your social media presence to emphasize your work-related skills and demonstrating your abilities.

Curating your profiles also requires you to engage in discussions with other people in your field of choice, showcasing your thoughts and opinions and helping direct discussions. Using this process, you may even become known as a thought leader, someone to turn to when others want an expert’s opinion.


The bottom line: You need to put yourself in a position to take advantage of big data and utilize it to get noticed. The more understanding you have of how big data is affecting job searches, the faster you can get it working for you.

A study just released by Lever, a hiring management system used by small and mid-sized companies around the world describes how 600 of their clients hired 15,000 people – the real surprise in that 1.5 million people applied for these 15K jobs – only 1% of the total.

If you’re a job seeker this may seem like finding a job is a long-shot, however, taking a closer look at the numbers tells a different story.

  • The odds were worse for people who applied on a job board – 130 to one – yet 48% of their jobs were filled this way. Although it’s inefficient, it is a major source of hires.
  • Dollarphotoclub_68328671.jpgGetting referred was the best way to get a job. It only took 12 people to hire someone this way. This is 10X better than applying. According to the Lever data only 14% of all jobs were filled by referrals.
  • Only 4% of all hires came through a recruiting agency but in these cases the company only needed to see 25 people to hire one person.
  • This direct sourcing approach represented 34% of all hires and its recruiters needed to screen 65 people to yield one hire.

For more senior-level staff and mid-management positions. less than 20% are filled via people who apply online, 40% are referrals (including recruiting firms and staffing agencies) and 40% are direct sourced.

Consider these insights:

  1. Mix it up. Go narrow and deep rather than broad and shallow. Use a mix of all the techniques. Idea: Find 20 jobs every week you think look interesting and narrow this list down to the best five. And then only apply to 2-3 of them you’re perfectly qualified to handle. But don’t just wait to hear if the company is interested. Instead use the backdoor to get an interview. This means finding someone in the company who can get you a referral to the hiring manager.
  2. navigation-2-square.jpgGet found. Reverse engineer your LinkedIn profile and online resume to make sure recruiters can find it. When they find it make sure your major accomplishments and track record are instantly visible.
  3. Bypass screeners. If you get an onsite interview the chances for getting a job are (10%) regardless of how you were initially found, with one exception. For referrals it’s twice that at 20%.
  4. 20151111140508-social-media-icons-iphone-network-business-communication-web.jpgBuild a true network.Networking is getting people who can vouch for your abilities to recommend you open jobs they know about. In parallel, actively participate in business and groups where people in your field hang out. Recruiters review these online listings to get referrals.
  5. Build a reverse network. Take calls from recruiters. Listen to what they have to say and then provide a great referral. They will pay you back with future interviews.
  6. Force a discovery interview. If you do ALL of the above, you will probably get an interview. But the likelihood you’ll get an offer is still only 10% unless you’ve been referred, increasing your odds by 20%.

To increase your odds of getting an offer you need to make sure you’re being interviewed accurately. Ask the interviewer about some of the big tasks the person hired will likely be assigned to handle. Then give detailed examples of work you’ve accomplished that’s most comparable and you’ll likely be invited back as a finalist.

Ultimately you need to commit to doing what other candidates aren’t willing to do. That’s how you stand out. Consider these tips:

  1. Find the company you want to work for.

Many job seekers respond to as many job postings as possible, hoping the numbers will be on their side. But shotgun resume submissions result in hiring managers sifting through dozens of candidates to find the right person.

To show the hiring manager you are the right candidate, you have to do the work. Instead of shot-gunning your resume, put in the time to determine a company you definitely want to work for in terms of the job and cultural fit.

  1. Preparing-To-Sell-Your-Company.jpgReally know the company.

You can’t possibly know if you want to work for my company unless you know a lot about the company; that’s the difference between just wanting a job and wanting an actual role in a business. Check out management and employees on social media. When you know the people, you know the company. Learn as much as you can, then leverage that knowledge.

  1. Determine how you will make an immediate impact in the role.

Training takes time, money and effort. An ideal new hire can be productive immediately. While you don’t need to be able to do everything required in the job, it helps if the company can see an immediate return on their hiring investment. (Remember, hiring you is an investment that needs to generate a return.) Identify one or two important things you can contribute from day one.

  1. torn-paper-Show-me.jpgDon’t just tell. Show.

Put what you can offer on display. If you’re a programmer, mock up a new application. If you want a sales position, create a plan for how you’ll target a new market or customer base, or describe how you will implement marketing strategies the business doesn’t currently use.

  1. Use a referral as a reinforcement.

Business is all about relationships.  Knowing that someone we trust is willing to vouch for you is a data point that often tips the decision scale toward giving you an interview, and even giving you the job.

  1. i-am-the-one-who-knocks.jpgBe the one who knocks.

Don’t wait to be called for an interview. Don’t even wait for an opening to be posted; after all, you’ve identified ways you can immediately help the company you want to work for. Approach people right and they will pay attention.


The key to success that wins in the job market is knowing your audience. Define how you can help a company fix real problems in their market, after you understand their world and their perspectives, you can validate these findings with a mix of empirical or intuitive thinking – that’s what will get you hired.


Think about the brand of coffee that you were drinking 5 years ago.
More than likely, it was a well known brand advertised on TV priced at $4.29 a pound.

Then along came Starbucks where you went with your friends to socialize.
The coffee was more expensive but you decided that the experience was worth the price.

Eventually Starbucks started selling their coffee in grocery stores and one day you saw it on sale for $6.29/lb. You bought a bag and enjoyed 2 weeks of premium coffee at your home. Then a bag went back up to the regular $8.95 / lb. and you had to decide – continue with a cup of Starbucks or go back to your value brand?  A premium brand coffee was your new standard – time for an upgrade.

Notice how your buying decisions were small enough that you were able to update your standard of coffee one small step at a time without really thinking about it. Issues related to cost or your need to save money probably never came into your mind. And once you started drinking the premium coffee, you essentially decided that you would never go back to a value brand. Somehow you found a way to adjust your buying options to enjoy the taste of a cup of Starbucks.

The gap between what you wanted and what you settled for was small enough to allow you to upgrade without having to make any radical changes. Little upgrades became your new standard and a better standard.

Amazing success for most people never happens because they try to make changes that are too big. Once you decide what you want, do something each DAY that gets you closer to your goal. One day you start a blog, then you start getting ideas to write a book and then before you know it, you are planning a speaking tour reaching out to people directly to help them reach their goals.

Realize that SMALL steps to reach your goals are the secret.

Drinking premium coffee offers another insight. Once you tasted a great cup of coffee, it’s unlikely you will go back to a value brand.  As you improve your standard of living as a result of reaching your goals, you are essentially preparing yourself to resist regressing back to where you were when you started.

A Starbucks competitor used a great marketing slogan in the 1990’s – “Life’s too short to drink lousy coffee!” The implied message is still valid. Decide TODAY what you want out of your life and more specifically your career. Then write down the steps to get there starting with simple DAILY goals that will become something AMAZING in the next 6 – 12 months.

The next time you’re sipping a cup of coffee, realize that Starbucks has 17,009 stores in 50 countries, including 11,000 in the US, 1000 in Canada and 700 in the UK. Starbucks was founded in 1971 by an English teacher, a history teacher and a writer. Last year the company generated $10 billion in revenue. Not bad for a goal of selling a cup of coffee to one customer at a time.


Many of my clients report that they have applied to job postings that are a perfect match to their qualifications but never hear anything from a potential employer. Perhaps it’s a fake job posting. Why would a job board allow ‘fake’ job postings?

1. Thousands of jobs are posted on sites each week. The job board can’t tell fakes from real jobs. The only requirement is that someone pays for the listings.

2. Employers and Recruiters use these listings to gather resumes for future needs. If they buy 30 job postings, but only use 20 and the unused postings expire in 30 days, they run some fake listings to collect resumes for future hiring?

3. Non staffing companies post fake jobs to collect names for on-line solicitation calls and sales leads to sell to other companies.

4. Some recruiters make a fake employer site including a corporate logo that redirects resumes directly to the recruiter to get candidates before the employer sees them and the recruiter loses a commission.

5. If someone has already been chosen for a job, the employer wants to appear to be offering the opportunity to everyone who is qualified.

6. Staffing firms want to appear to be “the connection” for jobs – more job postings equal more interested candidates.

7. Large firms sometimes post 700+ openings but many of them are actually “wish lists” for “potential” jobs IF a contract is awarded.

8. Recruiters want to get your resume and send it to an employer without a job requirement thinking that they will get a commission if a match is made tied to a typical 1 year” finder’s fee” contract provision.

9. In extreme cases, identify thieves post fake jobs looking for resumes where people list their social security number or they get applicants to disclose this confidential data over the phone as part of “verbal application”.

For the most part, most postings are real but it’s important to know that some are not what they seem to be. The lesson here is: Be selective in who you apply to and don’t rely on postings as the foundation for your job searchFocus on building relationships where you are dealing with real people instead of digital strangers.

The key to survival in the new employment marketplace is to develop a digital infrastructure that’s focused on multiple income streams and cash flow instead of an annual salary from one company. Now that it’s easier, faster and cheaper to launch a web business than ever before, developing your own personal business brand has to be more than just great design or service.

In his book, Pour Your Heart into It¸ Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks wrote that he founded Starbucks because of a cup of watered-down, bland instant coffee that he was served on a flight to Canada. Prior to the arrival of Starbucks, many Americans had never tasted cappuccinos, lattes, and espresso. Despite the high cost to maintain a coffee shop, Schultz figured out a way to charge $3.00 for a cup of premium coffee while gas stations charged $.75 a cup. He was convinced that if he could introduce a “coffee culture”, his new company would become one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Schultz opened up Starbuck’s coffee houses that were furnished to look like a combination of a living room and a reading room. Then he introduced new names to describe the coffee options .The baristas (Starbucks employees) educated their customers about coffee in a brand new and passionate light. Rather than purchasing a Styrofoam cup of bland coffee from a gas station, coffee purchases became social experiences.

Ultimately, the higher price of the coffee was dwarfed by the intimate and extraordinary experience provided by Starbucks. Howard Schultz achieved product differentiation by just focusing on the simple process of buying a cup of coffee. He chose to layer his product in a package of multiple benefits that made customers feel connected AND loyal to Starbucks.  Here’s how you can “own your own niche” as “talent” not just someone looking for work.

Differentiate What You Can Offer

·         Analyze what products or services already exist and see what your potential competition has in common with what you might offer. Don’t try to be different just to stand out. Think through what you can eliminate, what you can add and how you can create a truly creative offer that helps people get what they want.

Focus on a Customer Niche

·         Give yourself a competitive edge by focusing on making yourself the go-to person for a target group of customers i.e. ex-military clients, people over 50 or possibly high school students.

Become a Niche Expert

·         To stand out from your competition, you need to become the expert in your market – identify a level of expertise beyond your competition.

Work Your Brand

·         Consumers are paying less attention to comparisons between companies that do the same thing. If you can connect with your audience on more levels than your competitors, you’ll ultimately get new customers who are attracted to your brand, not just your niche.

Rebrand Your Customers

·         To maintain your niche, think of new ways to build another niche market from an existing one. Consider re-branding your customers like the airlines did. They created status levels and frequent flier miles to give loyal customers another reason to stay with that airline instead of just switching airlines to get a better fare.

Starbucks used niche marketing to attract customers who expected more than just coffee. Customers come to be a part of the coffee shop experience as a neighborhood gathering place. Through deliberate product differentiation, Starbucks has become synonymous with coffee. Start now to own your own “niche” as “talent” not just someone searching the job boards looking for work. If Howard Schultz did it by selling a simple cup of coffee, you can do it too.

While most workers today focus on their local unemployment rate and the limited jobs that seem to be available, there are major changes in the world of work that are reshaping the way we need to think about earning income.  The Internet is changing the economy from companies with lots of jobs, to platforms that offer the capacity to generate multiple streams of income.

An amazing example of this is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace that enables employers (Requesters) to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that need human intervention to complete.  Tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) may include choosing the best among several photographs, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers browse among existing tasks and compete for them tied to a maximum monetary payment set by the Requester.

The Amazon application supports the emerging category of micro work, where complex informational questions are broken down into discrete tasks that require human intelligence and distributed to individuals who perform those tasks for small payments. Micro work is already being used by large-scale corporate customers to distribute micro tasks to workers globally. HITs being offered include podcast transcribing, rating products and image tagging. Other common HIT types ask Turkers to write or rewrite sentences, paragraphs, or whole articles. Workers are paid from one cent per word to $10 for a project. HITs that reward people for linking to or commenting on a blog, or friending a person on Facebook are also common. It’s estimated that Turks currently support 100,000 workers in 100 countries.

Micro work is becoming an emerging category of jobs that anyone with a mobile phone can do to make a living. It’s estimated that the micro work market could be worth several billion dollars within the next 5 years. As I’ve travelled around the world to 28 countries, I saw that globally, many people don’t HAVE a job, they DO a job. They have many employers (customers) and they earn a collective income instead of a salary. Essentially they are hunters AND farmers. They find customers and perform work from day-to-day with their income primarily tied to the numbers of customers they have. Their day involves doing work AND finding new customers.

Step back from the statistics and the news reports, and you’ll see that salaried jobs and positions are evolving to being tasks and projects periodically needed by many employers at different times. In our new global workplace, people’s capacity to deliver a product or service is now as basic as having a cell phone and access to the Internet.

While attending a party, I was introduced to a blind man who was a multi-millionaire. He sold tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.  He built a network of restaurants and small grocery stores where he sold vegetables for 50 cents that he imported wholesale for 25 cents.  His wealth came from selling his products to a large network of customers throughout the U.S. His secret to wealth:  selling a simple inexpensive product to a large number of repeat customers. His technology: a cell phone and a notebook. The lesson: Your income will be in direct proportion to the number of people you serve.

It’s never too late to be what you might have been. Rethink your mindset as it relates to YOUR world of work.

Ask yourself, “What would you like to do with the rest of your life?” It’s time to invest some time thinking about your lifestyle architecture. Decide what you want and then build a bridge to it. If you can become a millionaire selling tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, anything is possible.  Perhaps it’s time to change your thoughts to change your world.


Many job searchers today have developed a great system for sending out resumes to Internet postings.

They use template cover letters and resumes. On a good day, they may respond to 30 posted openings hoping that someone will call them.

Their strategy – exposure increases their odds of getting noticed by a potential employer. Essentially they are “advertising” that they are available.

However, the key to finding a job is NOT through advertising. Selling what you can offer and conveying how you are remarkable gets better results.

You need to understand the difference between advertising and selling.

Responding to posted jobs is like saying, “I’m interested, pick me if you think I’m qualified”. The expectation is that an employer will take the time to assess your qualifications and see if there is a match. It rarely happens.

A more effective approach is to “sell” what you can offer to an employer with clearly defined ways that you can help them save money, make money or solve a problem.

This approach requires you to research the employer and then go to them with a “solution” instead of just advertising your qualifications.

Consider trying the “Rule of 20”.

Decide on 20 employers that you want to work for. Forget about if they have a posted job or not. Your goal is to target and SELL yourself to an employer that you can help.

Think about what you can propose as an “offer of employment” uniquely focused on how you can help them save money, make money or solve a problem.

Your strategy – minimize your completion by going after non-posted jobs and be proactive instead of reactive in finding employment.

·         Set up a Google Alert to track your target companies and look for information that can help you establish a relationship within the company.
·         Use LinkedIn to find corporate contacts and follow key personnel on twitter by using corporate hash tags
·         Focus on building relationships, not just contacts with people that work for a target company.
The Pareto Principle states that generally 80% of great results are likely to come from only 20% of your efforts.

Consider reversing those numbers and focus 80% of your efforts selling what you have to offer linked to well established relationships.

The “Rule of 20” allows you to get what you WANT instead of just focusing on what’s available.

Since most jobs never get posted, offering solutions instead of advertising your qualifications is sure to put your job search back on track.


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