Friday, January 23, 2009

Blog Post at Corporate Eye

Corporate Eye has published a post I wrote on how agencies use corporate recruiting websites. It's on the front page right now, but here is the link.

Resume Tips - Beware!

So I thought it would be interesting to do a Google Blog search on Resume Tips to see what kind of advice is floating out there. Kids are told nowadays to be careful of the information you find on the internet, that it is not always reliable, and so forth. I've never thought about it too much...until now.

The first result was an article from posted earlier today on "How to Make a Resume." The advice contained herein seemed to come straight out of a resume book from 1990, even down to using fancy paper. This article generally contains bad are some highlights:

"You will start with what your objective is and how it is you plan on benefiting this company."

While many resumes nowadays contain objectives, I generally find them useless. Everbody who is looking at a resume knows that your objective is to get a job with XYZ Company. If it is not, then you shouldn't be sending a resume. Furthermore, recruiters and hiring managers don't generally care what it is that you want to do, they want to find out whether your skills and experience are something that they need, not the other way around. An objective says "meet my needs." The article continues:

"After that, you move on to your employment history. You always want to ensure that you include all of your job duties here because even the smallest of duties may be relevant to this potential position. Do dont leave anything out."

Two things about this. First, your work history is not a list of job duties and should not read like a job description. I have honestly seen resumes that say "Other duties as assigned." Your work history should highlight your experience and accomplishments as they relate to your targeted company. This ties into the second point...your resume should be targeted to a specific company and position. A resume needs to include enough information to say "I can help solve your problem, invite me in for an interview and I'll tell you how."

"The next section of your resume is where you outline any relevant experience that you have, such as in volunteering. You will want to include any certifications or licensing that you may have. You never know when one of these items could be important. You never know what might impress a potential employer, so be sure to leave out nothing."

Okay, if you have volunteer work that is relevant to a position, fine, include it. But again, your potential employer really could care less that you walked dogs at the Humane Society. They want to know if you can solve their problems. I think you do know what might impress a potential employer: somebody who can solve the problem that they have that has led them to open a position.

"The reference section is the last part. You may decide to include your references on your resume. Some individuals do not like to include references, so they will provide them upon request."

Don't include references. Everybody assumes that you have references, so don't say "References available upon request" or anything like that. Your employer will ask for references when they are ready and assume that you have them. Although as a recruiter, I like references because they are potential candidates.

* * * * * * * * * *

Okay, this is exhausting. I was going to look at a few of these posts, but when the very first result is this bad, I have to break it down a little bit. The author runs a website that seems to be focused on selling a software package. When looking for resume advice, always consider the source, get as much advice as possible, and solicit advice from real people (recruiters, HR people) that will help you. Heck, I'll help you if you're in a bind...I do it every day for my candidates.

I'll try to write more about resumes in upcoming posts.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aerospace Corporate Recruiting Sites

Even the juggernaut of aerospace and defense has been slowed by this recession, although there is still plenty of hiring going on. Many aerospace companies lack sophisticated recruiting infrastructures and most utilize recruiting firms for both contract and permanent openings. Getting in can be another topic all together, but many of them have locations in out of the way locations that can be particularly challenging to attract strong candidates.

Curtiss-Wright Controls
Aitech Defense Systems
L-3 Interstate Electronics
Meggitt Defense Systems
The Aerospace Corporation
Parker Hannifin
Composite Engineering
BAE Systems
Northrup Grumman
Alliant Techsystems
Elbit Systems
Cobham Defense

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The End of the Easy Internet Prospecting?

I have been wondering if agency recruiters are now past the "Golden Age" for using the internet to prospect for clients. Allow me to explain.

In the days before the internet, candidates and recruiters alike found out that a certain company was hiring either through the newspaper or other print media, or through a connection. Recruiters had to work to find the right people in an organization to get their job orders and so forth, as did candidates for that matter (certainly sending a resume via mail or fax sometimes led to a job, but it just seems so primitive in hindsight!).

Then the internet came and along came e-mail and job boards. Suddenly it was a lot easier and cheaper for companies to advertise their positions, and easier for recruiters and candidates to find those positions. The flip side of this was that it suddenly became a lot easier to identify the hiring contacts because everybody put their e-mail address on their job postings to receive resumes.

I worked briefly for a recruiting company in the early 2000's that capitalized on this by developing software that dug out e-mail addresses from job postings and sent blast prospecting e-mails. Most would get rejected, but even a very low response rate led to numerous job orders with almost no work.

For the last several years, companies have gone away from receiving resumes at direct e-mail addresses and gone to anything from a "" e-mail address to applicant tracking systems which avoid e-mail all together. The result is that we are largely back to where we were before the internet! Candidates submit their resumes to a website just like they sent it via e-mail, and hope that somebody looks at it. Recruiters can see the jobs posted, but have to go back to old-fashioned prospecting to find the right contacts to turn those postings into Job Orders.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Fortune 500 job search (1-20)

So you want to work at a Fortune 500 company? Here are direct links to the career search websites at the Fortune 500 companies. While many of these very large corporations will post their jobs to other sites (and most are indexed in the job aggregators), if you want to target one as a job seeker or a recruiter, I will be cataloging their job search websites as I can.

If you are an optimist, you will be able to ignore how many of these top 20 companies have either received or requested a bailout from the US Federal Government.

Without further are direct links to search for jobs at the 20 largest corporations in the United States.

1 Wal-Mart Stores
2 Exxon Mobil
3 Chevron
4 General Motors
5 ConocoPhillips
6 General Electric
7 Ford Motor
8 Citigroup
9 Bank of America Corp.
10 AT&T
11 Berkshire Hathaway
12 J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
13 American International Group
14 Hewlett-Packard
15 International Business Machines
16 Valero Energy
17 Verizon Communications
18 McKesson
19 Cardinal Health
20 Goldman Sachs Group

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RSS Job Feeds

Most job seekers are familiar by now with the job sites that aggregate postings from other sources (Indeed, SimplyHired, et. al). The benefits of these sites are clear, they provide job listings from hundreds of sites (paid like Monster and Careerbuilder, but also corporate websites and free websites). They don't get all the jobs, but they find enough of them to be a useful tool.

Where the tool becomes most interesting, however, is if you use their RSS feeds. This can be an incredibly useful tool for the job seeker, and a powerful tool for the agency recruiter. If you are already an RSS addict like me, it can fit job hunting or prospecting into your existing daily routine without having to do any extra work. Here is what you do:

1. Set up a Google Reader (or other RSS reader) account.

2. Go to Indeed and figure out a search string that effectively finds the type of positions in which you are most interested. It's important to play around with it, because you don't want a search that is too broad (you will waste time with irrelevant jobs) or too narrow.

3. At the top of the search results you will see a message "Save this search as an email job alert or RSS feed." Click the RSS link, choose Google Reader, and then watch as the jobs come in.

The main advantage of this is that the jobs will automatically come into your reader so you don't need to run the same searches over and over. This will leave you in a better position to pursue the opportunities (again, as a recruiter or a job-seeker).

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Corporate Career Websites

If you are either a job seeker or a recruiter, you certainly know that job posting websites (Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed, Simply Hired, etc.) only ever have a fraction of the available positions. Generally, the best place to get a complete list of available positions is from corporate websites themselves (those that have them at least). But finding all of the corporations of interest and then finding their job postings is such a pain!

Keep an eye out for more of these lists...they will be linked on the sidebar.

ATS Medical
Intelect Medical
Minntech, Inc.
Stereotaxis, Inc.
St. Jude Medical
American Medical Systems
GN Resound
Boston Scientific
Nonin Medical
Tactile Systems Technology
AGA Medical
Zimmer Spine
CIBA Vision
Lumen Biomedical
Arizant Healthcare
Gyrus ACMI
Vital Images
Lifecore Biomedical
Possis Medical
Transoma Medical
Beckman Coulter
Acorn Cardiovascular
Smiths Medical
Acist Medical


Don't send a resume!

I once thought it was a great idea to write a book on job-hunting that I would call "Don't Send a Resume!" or something to that effect. It only took a couple of minutes of research to find out that my idea had already been taken by this guy. I never read the book, but skimmed through it at my local Barnes & Noble and thought that he seemed to make things way more complicated than they needed to be.

I frequently tell job seekers that they should only send a resume when the person receiving the resume knows that it is coming. It will increase the likelihood that your resume will get looked at seriously by 100% (I made the percentage up, but the point stands). Not only will that person have a voice to connect to the resume, but you hopefully got a direct e-mail address to send it to rather than or whatever.

How do you go about doing this? It depends on your interest level in the position and the amount of time you want to invest. If you really want to make sure that you get noticed, you will do your research to try and find out who the actual hiring manager is, then call that person and at least leave a message "Hi, my name is Erwin and I am a Senior Oracle Programmer who has been involved in 5 implementations. I had a couple of questions about the open position at Company and was hoping for a couple of minutes of your time. Please call me at your convenience at 555-555-5555." You then hit 0 and ask the operator for manager's direct e-mail address and send your resume referencing your phone call. If you get Manager on the phone, you can just ask him for the e-mail.

If you cannot find the manager, you need to talk to HR, but make sure you ask who the specific recruiter is who is handling that specific position. Again, ask some question about the position ("I was wondering how much travel was going to be involved") or whatever, the point is to be able to introduce yourself, summarize your qualifications, and get an e-mail address to send a resume.

If you are a passive job seeker, you may not have time to do this (which is why you work with headhunters, who basically spend all day doing this), but it is well worth your while for any positions of interest. You will get more interviews and get them faster if you call before sending a resume.

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First Post

This will be little more than a hobby, but hopefully I will be able to provide some interesting insight, tools, and resources for job seekers, companies, and recruiters alike.