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Looking for a Job? Don’t Do This! Part 2

November 3, 2011

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Just over one year ago, I posted an entry with the same title and I am again inclined to revisit the subject with more things that shouldn’t be done when looking for a new position, especially in a difficult economy. It’s been just over a year since my last post on this subject and the unemployment rate in our state continues to be above 9% and is showing no sign of relief any time soon.

Fortunately, Founders is selectively hiring qualified candidates for new positions. As you might imagine, it’s an “employers market” as the labor pool in our area is fairly large. In order to be hired by Founders or other companies in the area, it’s important to remember that you are selling YOU! Remember that setting yourself apart from the pack takes some thought and professionalism.

The advent of technology has led us to see more than 90% of the resumes that we receive come through electronically. The use of electronic resumes through sites like Career Builder or Monster has made sending one’s resume fast and easy. However, it also allows candidates to “Carpet Bomb” employers. We have seen a dramatic increase in folks that have not taken the time to read the job description and review the qualifications required. Our most recent posting is for a position that requires a very narrow and specific set of existing skills. Our current need prohibits us from taking a candidate through the nearly two year training process as our need is immediate.

Even though the requirements are clearly listed, each day we receive an email box full of resumes from candidates that appear to not have read the listing. We receive resumes that are missing contact phone numbers or even worse, are using a friend’s email address as the point of contact. In the past week, I have received three resumes that are simply a half page list of prior jobs with no description of those jobs, no dates of employment and no cover letter. Even worse, I recently had two candidates that put a specific skill related to the job on their resume only to find out that they had never used that skill in the past! Remember, the only thing an employer has to select a group of interview candidates from is that resume. Be proud of your background and let it be seen on your resume. It is a snapshot of you!

Once you make it to the interview, arrive on time. Take the time to know something about our company. I am often surprised be the number of candidates that have not taken the time to look at our website, blog or Facebook page. Generally, in the first interview, one of the very first questions of the candidate will be centered on how much they know about us. Come to the interview dressed professionally. Our positions are “career” positions that pay well and offer substantial benefits, don’t come in as preparing to interview at your local sandwich shop.

Be prepared to ask pointed questions and take a few notes. Make sure that they are the right questions, appropriate for a first interview. On two occasions, I have been asked in the first five minutes of the interview about compensation or vacation time. One person that I asked to meet with me responded by saying and I quote, “before we set up an appointment, how much does this job pay?”

Remember, it’s a very tough economy on businesses too. We are forced to be more careful than ever in our hiring decisions as a wrong decision can be very costly.

Good luck in the hunt! I am rooting for you and your success!

Chris Garlasco

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2011 4:20 pm

    Chris – You’ve brought up a good point when you mention about asking about salary and vacation. Vacation, I understand. But let’s face it, salary range is a HUGE criteria when searching for a job. I can’t understand why employers will not at least give you a range when posting a job ad. If I’m looking for a job that pays $75,000 a year, I’m wasting my time to apply for a job that pays $25k. I do understand that an employer might stretch their range for a candidate they love, but sometimes you are obviously too far apart. We are working, after all, to earn money. What is asking about it so verboten?

    • December 29, 2011 5:14 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Asking the salary range is appropriate, however there is a time and a place for that question and my point was that the first five minutes of your interview is not the correct time to ask that question. However, your point about why salaries are not listed in postings is a good one, especially for salaried positions. However, we are a sales organization first and I find that the vast majority of employment ads for sales people mislead prospects with wild, often out of reach compensation numbers in an effort to produce a lot of candidates. We are unwilling to do that, but since sales compensation has such a broad economic range, we find it benefits the folks we interview to walk them through various results scenario’s. We will also share the general historical results of our sales staff. That is simply too much information for an employment advertisement.

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