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March 2012
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May 2012

Should You Still Use A Cover Letter?

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

This question has been the subject of a great debate in recent years, and many times I hear clients ask, “Does anyone really read a cover letter anymore?” 

The answer is YES—if you know how to use it! 

While some hiring managers and recruiters will scan a cover letter for important bits of information, there is a surefire way to ensure your cover letter is read.  But before I tell you how to make sure your cover letter gets read I want to make sure you have a great cover letter.  Here are three points to remember when writing your cover letter:

-Be concise: Don’t get long winded; no one wants to read your entire life story.

-Be relevant: Don’t discuss information that is not related to the position.

-Be attention-getting: Use bullet points in the middle of the resume to relay hard-hitting facts and accomplishments.  Bullets will draw the eye—and for the reader who is scanning, they’ll pick this up.

Continue reading "Should You Still Use A Cover Letter?" »

Who Is The #1 Minnesota Executive Search Firm?

My colleagues in search and consulting firms are some of the most competitive people I know.

We have to be and for most of us it is in our DNA, to some extent.

We are always trying to find competitive edges, how we can do a search or project better than someone else, we have to find the best people, can we save the client time, etc.

And I like lists.

They may not always be accurate and some are subjective but it gives me an idea of who is doing well.

Last week the Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal released List Leaders: Twin Cities executive search firms with the 25 largest Twin Cities-area executive search firms ranked by revenue.

There are some curious things about the entries on the list:

  • Revenue divided by Placements = Average fee
    • Those are some amazing, way above industry average fees
  • Placements divided by Twin Cities recruiters
    • There are some very low and very high averages

Continue reading "Who Is The #1 Minnesota Executive Search Firm?" »

Survey: 37% Percent Of Companies Use Social Networks To Research Candidates

Carerbuilder has released survey results from 2,000+ hiring managers and HR pros about if and how they are using social media profiles for researching candidates.

I really wish these surveys used different language as I bet the results would change a bit.

For example, rather than say are hiring managers researching candidates it should be are hiring managers sourcing/recruiting candidates or are hiring managers using social media profiles as a background check.

These are very, very different things.

In the former... my guess is most managers are using social media sites to recruit.

In the latter... my guess is some managers are looking for “stuff” (good or bad) about those who have applied.

The former includes people into the process and on occasion the latter excludes people.


Results from the survey are:

Continue reading "Survey: 37% Percent Of Companies Use Social Networks To Research Candidates" »

16 Minnesota Companies Listed In Forbes Global 2,000

Forbes has come up with a Global 2,000 of the world’s biggest public companies.

How they came up with this list:

“Forbes annual ranking of the world’s biggest companies departs from lopsided lists based on a single metric, like sales. Instead we use an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value to rank companies according to size.”

16 companies are based in Minnesota (524 in the U.S.) and are listed below. For more information on each company click the company name to go to their Forbes page:

#105 UnitedHealth Group 

#122 U.S. Bancorp

#159 Target

#193 3M

#259 Medtronic

Continue reading "16 Minnesota Companies Listed In Forbes Global 2,000" »

20 Action-Oriented Words You Can Use On Your Resume Today!

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

Need to make an impact with your resume but not quite sure how?  Or maybe you know your resume is missing something but you just aren’t sure what?  Using strong, action-oriented words on your resume can change the perception people will have of your resume—and of you as a candidate.  If you’re stumped by word choice, using passive terminology such as: duties included … and responsible for … then I’m talking to you!

Below you’ll find a list of 20 action-oriented words you can start using on your resume today!

1.  Build or Builder
2.  Maintain or Maintainer
3.  Expand or Expander
4.  Create or Creator
5.  Market or Marketer
6.  Generate or Generator
7.  Pioneer
8.  Advisor
9.  Coach

Continue reading "20 Action-Oriented Words You Can Use On Your Resume Today!" »

Barrier To Hiring... Sometimes Superman Is Not Good Enough

I don’t get it... I really don’t.

I received an email from a Senior Software Engineer I met at MinneBar who wanted to talk about how he really wanted to work at “Fill In The Blank” but was rejected because one “nice to have skill” was not quite good enough.

With Minnesota IT unemployment at less than 2% some companies are still being so specific about who/what they are looking for that they will pass on someone who is 90%+ of what they are looking for.

Memo to those folks: the market has changed, it is passing you by and you will be lucky if you ever find someone better than the Superman who is knocking on your door.

Thankfully I found this cartoon which says way more than I could in the long rant I had planned so I will stop here before I blow a gasket…

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3 Reasons To Ditch That Resume Objective (and what to replace it with)

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

I remember when I used to think having “to obtain a position that utilizes my education and previous work experience while providing opportunities for growth and advancement …” on my resume was cool.  Not just cool but what I was supposed to put on my resume.  That was ten years ago … at least … so if you’re still using this outdated statement or something similar, let me provide you with three good reason to stop now.

- It’s outdated.  Enough said.  If it wasn’t working ten years ago, then it sure isn’t going to work in this job market.

- It’s generic.  If everyone else can use it too, then you sure aren’t going to stand out from the crowd, are you?

- It’s boring.  Your resume needs to grab the hiring manager’s attention from the beginning, and all this statement will do is bore him to death.

Okay, so now that you know why you shouldn’t have a resume objective, what do you replace it with?  Here are three key elements to include on your resume instead of that dated objective statement.

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