Monday, December 28, 2009

10 Minutes to Greater Job Search Productivity

Searching for a new job? Need to turbo-charge the job search for the new year? Three quick and easy steps that will make your search less time-intensive, and possibly lead you to new opportunities faster. Got additional suggestions? Leave them in the comment box and we'll highlight them in future posts.
  1. Sign up for Tweetajob -- you didn't expect us to skip this, did you? Providing you already have a Twitter account, this should take about three minutes. If you need to set up a Twitter account, it might take you five minutes. Simply complete the brief profile on the Tweetajob site, tell us where you are, and check off the job categories that interest you. We'll send jobs that match your criteria while you're out doing things that are more fun than searching Twitter for jobs. We're posting thousands of new jobs every day!
  2. Join a LinkedIn Group -- visit LinkedIn and search for a group in your profession or industry. Join the group that looks most active. While you're at it, search for and join your college alumni LinkedIn group. Why? Because LinkedIn Groups allow recruiters to post jobs free of charge. You won't find these jobs by searching LinkedIn jobs. But if you're a group member, you'll have access to these hidden jobs, as well as access to the recruiters who post the jobs.
  3. Consider spending $10 a month to organize your job search. Sign up at Virtual Job Coach to store resumes, cover letters, contacts and track your progress. You could probably create something like this yourself, but why spend the time? Not sure if the super deluxe version is worth it, but spending $2.50 a week to increase your job search productivity could result in big gains of time and earned dollars. Signing up for the free trial appears to be quick and painless.
Wishing you a productive and successful 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Get Yourself Referred -- Part II of II

Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of referrals in the recruiting/job search process. The truth is, recruiters have a love/hate relationship with referrals. They absolutely l-o-v-e referrals that match open positions. A targeted, validated referral is like manna from the heavens.

On the other hand, a mis-fired referral doesn't help recruiters fill immediate needs and most likely creates additional work. It falls to the jobseeker to ensure that he or she gets referred by the right person to the right person for the right job.

Getting yourself referred -- successfully -- means that you'll have to do some homework. Before you fire off an email to your neighbor, asking him to forward your resume to Human Resources, you must conduct research on the following topics:
  1. The Position -- find out the exact job title of the position for which you are applying. Search the company website (most companies have a careers section). Are there multiple jobs open with the same title? Perhaps they are in different divisions. Make a note of the position that most closely matches your skills are target that position. Make a note of the position number, and be sure to mention the position number in your email and cover letter. Sometimes the website lists the date the job was posted. This will tell you if the job is brand new, or if it is an older posting. Just because a job has been listed for a while does not mean it is not valid. For a number of reasons, the company might be having difficulty filling the position.
  2. The Department or Division -- Explore the company website to find out more information about the department or division in which you have interest. Do a broader Google or Yahoo search to find out more about the division. Perhaps they have done something newsworthy in the last few months. Make a note of any executives or managers mentioned in articles. Search LinkedIn and Twitter for these folks; add them to your networks. If you have a contact or friend at the company, ask about the reputation of the department. What are the challenges they face? What are the people like?
  3. The Hiring Manager -- If you do not have a connection into the company, this information may be difficult to come by. But not impossible. If you know the company, the job title and the division or department, you might be able to find the name of the hiring manager by doing a web search or searching LinkedIn. This is a bit like putting together a puzzle. Before you submit your resume, make sure you understand how all of the pieces fit together.
  4. The Recruiter -- Again, it's best to have an inside connection to get this right, but there are plenty of ways to get this information, including LinkedIn or Twitter. Many recruiters have a LinkedIn profile -- a good place to start. Some recruiters are active Twitter users, as well. Check out this exhaustive list of recruiters on Twitter.
  5. Relevant insider info -- If you have an inside connection, have coffee or a face to face conversation about the open position, the company, and the best way to submit your resume. Your contact might be able to tell which division is more likely to hire, or which hiring manager should be avoided. He or she might also offer an assessment of how you might best fit into the organization. At the very least, you will be able to let them know how interested you are, how qualified you are, and how grateful you are that they have agreed to act as your advocate. Pick up the tab for the coffee!
Once you have this information, you're ready to get yourself referred, to the right person, for the right job. This is a lot of legwork, but it will give you an advantage in a tight job market.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Meet David Brown, Talent Architect

We are excited to introduce David Brown of David Brown Recruiting! David is the first of our Featured Recruiter Series; we plan to feature recruiters who use social media as part of their strategy to recruit and attract talent. David has been recruiting since 1995, focusing on the Design and Architecture industry. We asked him to tell us about his background, social media, and his blog. This is what we found out:

Where did you get the most significant recruiting experience?

My most significant experience came from two places, Merritt Hawkins and Callison Architecture. My first recruiting job with Merritt Hawkins was very influential in that it set the ground work for my recruiting career. There I learned how to develop relationships, source candidates and negotiate. My other significant recruiting experience came when I worked at Callison Architecture. My work with Callison let me develop upon what I knew. Not only was I using my skills to develop relationships, source and negotiate I was learning about the niche I am in love with, design. I was able to see first-hand the inner workings of an architectural firm and was exposed to the human resources/regulations aspect of the business. This gave me a complete view of the recruiting and on-boarding process in the architecture and interior design industry.

Tell us about your company. How did you come to recruit in this niche space?

Recruiting in the design space, focusing on Architects and Interior Designers, was a logical choice as I started my own firm. I have been working in this niche for the past seven years and have been lucky enough to see the industry from two sides, the firm side and the corporation side.

Because of my time with both Callison and Starbucks I am able to recognize design talent; I have learned the vernacular, can evaluate a portfolio and have developed a great network of contacts.

Beyond that, I love design. I am fascinated by the way architecture inspires us and interior design defines a space.

What are your most effective methods of sourcing candidates?

As I mentioned, I have a large network of candidates that I have developed over the years. With that being said, much of my daily work is sourcing for new candidates. I have had great success with LinkedIn. I have found most people on LinkedIn are ready to network and learn about new positions.

Another effective way I have been reaching candidates is with my blog. My approach to my blog is to balance the fun and the business related. My love of architecture inspires me to post about new buildings or developments. My love of design inspires me to post about design in our modern world. My love of recruiting inspires me to post articles about portfolio and resume development or how firms can enhance their recruiting programs.

When and why did you start your blog?

I started my blog before I started my firm, in February of 2009. I started the blog as an inexpensive way to develop my brand. The blog allows me to be an expert in my field. Through interesting and informative articles I have developed my brand as a trusted, informative and knowledgeable business. With that as a base I feel my firm is poised to be very successful.

Who reads it?

I have been surprised by who reads my blog. Of course I am developing a great following in the design world, with job seekers and firm leadership alike, but I also have a strong following among Europeans. I have a stat counter on my site and 30% of my daily hits are from Europe.

I have also received great feedback from people who enjoy architecture but have no ties to the industry. This is why I feel it is important to have a balanced blog, filled with the informative and the fun.

How has it been received?

I am so grateful that my blog has been received so well. When I started writing the blog I had no idea who would read it or really what to say. Of course I had an end goal, reaching candidate and clients to grow my business, but I had no idea what that looked like. So, I wrote the blog for me and I still do. I write about what I know and what interest me. Fortunately there are others with similar interest.

Please share other examples of using social media for recruiting:

My approach to using social media to recruit is to try it all. LinkedIn has been a great place to reach candidates but I also use Twitter and Facebook to develop a base of candidates.

Something new I just started this week is my own LinkedIn group. I think of it as an extension of my blog. It allows me to develop a following of candidates and clients in a venue where people are primed to network and do business.

What do you do when you're not recruiting?

When I am not recruiting I enjoy fitness. I run and enjoy training in the gym. I also love to travel. I am also a TV junkie; my Tivo always seems to be recording something.

Your favorite:

My favorite vacation spot has to be London. I feel it is truly the world's city. I love its energy, diversity, architecture, history and modernism. I get there as often as I can.

You can follow David's Blog:

Find him on Twitter: @dbrecruiting

Connect with him on LinkedIn:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Free Webinar: Use Twitter to find and Attract Candidates

New to Twitter? Not sure if it is an effective recruiting tool? Spend 45 minutes with the Tweetajob crew to find out how savvy recruiters are sourcing passive candidates, as well as reaching active jobseekers. Yes, we're going to try to sell you some Tweetajob goodness (hey- at least we're honest!) We'll also provide valuable information about Twitter along the way. Sign up here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Yourself Referred - Part I

When jobseekers ask, "What's the best way to get hired?" I always respond with the same answer. Get someone to refer you. Short answer to a hard question. The truth is, getting someone to refer you is not as easy as it sounds.

Perhaps at one time it was enough to ask a neighbor to "put in a good word for me."

Today, with hundreds of candidates applying for a single position, recruiters who work on dozens of positions at once, and technology that dictates the recruiting process, simple word of mouth isn't enough. You are going to have to put in Herculean effort in order to get someone to refer you successfully. Some steps you may want to take:

  1. Ensure that everyone has your correct contact information. Check your resume, your social networking profiles (especially Linkedin), your email signature, your business cards, your blog, to ensure that the info is correct and consistent. Email signature is especially important. Ensure that your phone number and email address appears in every email you send, even it is a reply, a reply all, or an email sent to someone you know very well. You never know when your contact might forward your mail to someone influential, or to HR.
  2. Does everyone know what you do, know your expertise? Be able to succinctly describe your career history, professional achievements and specialty verbally. For example, if asked, I would describe myself as having more than 15 years of corporate recruiting and recruiting management experience at Fortune 500 companies. Notice that my description is only one sentence long.
  3. Expand your "outer ring" contacts. These are professional colleagues, friends of friends, online contacts. Not exactly friends, but folks who might be happy to help or do a favor. If you have met someone at a conference, or have a link to someone through someone else, or perhaps regularly comment on a blog, these people are part of your network. It may take a bit of time and effort to strengthen these relationships. The end result, however, is an increased number of contacts who might refer you for an open position at their company. Before asking an outer ring contact to refer you, make sure you have taken steps to deepen the relationship. Share valuable information, collaborate on a project, support online/social media activities, write a guest blog post, meet for coffee, attend a professional meeting together, support a cause. Once the person is comfortable enough to call you a friend, they're ready to refer you.
Next: Doing your homework.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do Recruiters Really Care?

I often talk to jobseekers -- friends, family members, folks I meet in the airport -- and they almost always have the same complaint. Recruiters don't call back.

It's true. When I worked for big corporate recruiting departments, there were many meetings and offsites where we talked about the problem. Solutions were hard to come by. Most recruiters really do care. But we're trained to spend time on the activities that yield results. In an environment where there are waaaay more candidates than jobs, the common courtesy of returning a call falls low on the priority list. I drew up this fictional chart to illustrate how a recruiter might spend a 40-hour work week. Often, recruiters are responsible for filling 20, 30 or more positions at once.

It's a big problem. Employers who don't return phone calls know they are damaging their reputation candidate by candidate. Yet, companies can't afford to employ resources to call every candidate. What can you, the jobseeker, do?
  1. Don't take it personally. It is a universal problem. If a recruiter fails to return your call, don't read too much into it.
  2. Whenever possible, secure a promise from the hiring manager that he/she will call you with the decision. Hiring managers have far fewer candidates to worry about, so they are more likely to make the call.
  3. Nobody likes to deliver bad news. If a recruiter or manager is procrastinating, it might be because they fear delivering bad news. Let them know that you look forward to a follow up call -- good news or bad news.
  4. Don't burn a bridge. Build a relationship. If you don't hear back, send a polite email expressing your disappointment that there wasn't a fit this time. Let them know how impressed you are with the organization, and how thrilled you would be to hear about future opportunities (even though this may not be exactly the case).

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think recruiters should get a blanket pardon. Recruiting organizations fall far short of their responsibility to provide a great candidate experience. I'm just saying give a recruiter a break. They're under a lot of pressure to fill jobs quickly and often are doing their very best.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm Sorry Twitter, Tweetajob is the Best Job Service of All Time!

Hello from Chicago! The rest of the Tweetajob team might be a bit groggy, after a night of celebration. We are in Chicago to introduce the new Tweetajob to the recruiting community. The response has been tremendous. More than 100 recruiters have already signed up.

For jobseekers, this is good news. Recruiters want to find you on Twitter. We talk about it all the time. Tweetajob makes it easier for recruiters to post jobs. Yay us!

Most importantly, Tweetajob makes jobhunting on Twitter much more effective. Here's how it works:
  • Visit
  • Complete a brief profile, indicating your location and career interests
  • Tweetajob will tweet only those jobs that match your criteria. Get jobs on your Twitter feed, or on your mobile device. You can also search for jobs on our site.

Sweet! Check it out. Let us know what you think. We are pumped!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

v 1.0 vs. v 1.1

I am having a running argument with our Chief Technology Officer, who insists that our upcoming launch should be version 1.0. The new site will be entirely different in look, feel and functionality. I say that we should call it version 2.0, or, at the very least version 1.1, paying homage to our initial website.

In all fairness, the CTO had nothing to do with the initial website. I developed it all by myself using a Yahoo! template. It took me a few hours, and I wouldn't say it was the most attractive website, but it worked. Quite an accomplishment for a girl with the tech skills of a seahorse.

While that site was short on features, it did introduce many followers to the concept of receiving job opportunities via Twitter. And we managed to develop an impressive list of customers (recruiters) who were willing to experiment in this new medium.

Going forward, we will introduce many features that will make the experience so much better for jobseekers and recruiters alike. But I'd like to remember our humble roots, the early adopters, and the loyal customers who inspired us to make Tweetajob an innovative recruiting platform. Here's to version 1.1!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Preparing for Lift-Off

Last week we demo'd our product for the first time. We had the luxury of practicing our demo on a friend, so we had worked out many of the kinks. Still, software has a way of misbehaving at just the wrong time. I held my breath as our CTO walked a talent VP through the features. The big moment came at the end of the demo -- the proof that it worked. And it worked!

So Tweetajob v. 1.1 will arrive later this month, and we're so excited we can't contain ourselves. The upcoming week will include more previews, more software testing, and preparing to attend two industry conferences. Hope you're looking forward to Monday -- I sure am! CMH