For the first time in 15 years, I’m getting ready to start a new job search, and I’ve heard horror stories about what a jungle it is out there! Things have changed quite a bit since my last time out, and I want to be as prepared as I possibly can be. Could you give me some insider information about what employers look for to help me be as competitive as possible?
Anxious in Akron
Thanks for your question! There’s no way around it – job searching is stressful, but hopefully I can help you become a little less anxious.
I ran across this article in the online newspaper The Huffington Post related to job searching and what employers do before interviewing a candidate. The author points out that, “80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them to an interview!” No doubt about it, I agree with the author as I, and many of my recruitment colleagues Google candidates during the interview process. It’s so easy and fast, why would we not?!
I myself am a user of LinkedIn and I do compare a resume against the LinkedIn profile as the article stated. It constantly amazes me when drastic differences between the two exist. That’s a red flag for a recruiter and makes me think, “hhhmmmm, what else is missing?” Here are some tips to use LinkedIn effectively.
So what else do recruiters do before the interview? I’m going to let you in on a couple secrets about what happens during the hiring process, read, what I do all day. It’s research, research, thorough research. Not only do employers Google a candidate’s name, but we seek out others that can speak to the quality of the candidate. Just today a resume crossed my desk in which the candidate worked for a particular hospital and I happen to know that two other individuals in my firm also worked at said hospital. I immediately reached out to them to gather their thoughts on this candidate. I tend to find these “underground” reference checks far more valuable than references provided by the candidate. It’s rare that a candidate will provide a reference that will provide negative feedback; therefore this type of candidate research is a must in order to make quality hires.
Recruiters and hiring managers will do this same thing for consultants that have their current and former clients listed on their resumes. The Healthcare IT consulting industry is a small world, as cliché as that is, but chances are good that someone at a firm knows someone at clients listed on a resume. If you’re a good consultant, this works highly in your favor, and if not, well, it’s not so good for you, but good for firms that want to know what they’re thinking of buying.
Therefore, like the article above recommends, be mindful. Like the X-Files intro says, “the truth is out there.”
Have a career question you’d like to see addressed in this column? Post it in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer it!