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March 2012
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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.

Anyway...

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.

Continue reading "3 Reasons To Ditch That Resume Objective (and what to replace it with)" »


Minnesota Recruiter Jobs

The following have been added to the page:


Check out . An informal group of 2,900 corporate, consulting and search firm recruiters - you must be in Minnesota to join.

   
 

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55% of Global Workers Are Considering A Career Change Because Of The Economy

This hit the wire and Internet today: Monster Worldwide Poll Reveals 55 Percent of Global Workers are Considering a Career Change in Response to Economic Climate

Before getting to the statistics I wonder:

- what percentage will actually do something about it?

- how many will actually find a better situation?

To the poll…

International results:

  • Yes, I am trying to switch my career: 55%

  • Maybe, if I can find a better career: 30%

  • No, my career is not impacted by economic troubles: 15%

The numbers were fairly consistent:

  • North American regions included US: 56%

  • Canada: 55%

  • Mexico: 51%

I do like these kinds of polls because over a period of time (ups, downs and trends) one can get a sense of what folks are thinking about.

That only 15% say their career is not impacted by economic troubles leaves me thinking there are a lot of worried people.

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7 Steps To Ensuring Your Resume Isn’t Your Downfall

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:
 

Job seeking can be a drawn-out process with many steps involved—any one of which could easily eliminate you as a candidate. The last thing you want is to have your resume—the first step in the process—be the reason you’re not considered for a position. There are a number of actions you can take to make sure that this crucial document is not your downfall. Here are seven to consider:

1. Make Your Resume Keyword-Friendly

A large number of employers are using scanning software to identify keywords telling them how well-aligned your resume is with the qualifications of a specific position. So in the process of writing your resume, be sure to identify field- and position-specific keywords in the job posting, then add them to the document before submitting it.

2. Align Your Professional History With the Position

Another key step in giving yourself a leg up as a job candidate is to align your professional history with the position you’re applying for. If an employer doesn’t see evidence that you have a background that shows you’ve accomplished company goals in the past, it will be hard to prove you can do it in the future.

Continue reading "7 Steps To Ensuring Your Resume Isn’t Your Downfall" »


Some Tech Companies Not Retaining Staff Because Of $5 An Hour

$5 Bill

Last night I was chatting with Steven Sorsveen (my business partner) about how nearly every day a client says they lost a key employee to a competitor.

In this case it was a web development shop losing a mobile developer who was truly underpaid.

I told Steven I think it is silly that $10K more a year would have likely kept the person. They liked the company, culture and work.

Steven said, “Even more silly, that is $5 an hour”.

Think about that for a moment... $5 an hour.

The $10K would only have put the developer almost even with market rates. So no, they were not being greedy.

Why could that $5 an hour not have been added in to the projects when they were pitched?

I guess if you have 4 mobile developers working on a project that’s an extra $20 an hour and over a 160 hour project $3,200.

But $3,200 is cheap compared to the time and energy (those are dollars too) to recruit someone new. There is also the ramp up time of the new hire and likely lost revenue in the process.

All over $5 an hour.

Really does seem silly...


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Client Or A Source: A Difficult Conversation

I have had a number of conversations these past weeks with companies in Minnesota about whether or not we are going to be partners in the recruiting of their IT staff.

There is a BIG elephant in the room that sometimes gets missed by who I meet with... IT unemployment in Minneapolis and St Paul is thought to be <2% that means you are either a client or a potential source of candidates.

Example: if a client of mine is looking for a Microsoft.NET and SQL Server developer I am going to use a variety of tools and tactics to source and recruit these folks.

Maybe a developer is someone I know and they contact me after hearing about the opening.

Maybe they get the RSS feed of this blog and see the job post.

Maybe they subscribe to the newsletter.

Maybe they follow me on Twitter and they respond to my Tweet.

Maybe a friend of a friend refers them to me

Maybe they find me on LinkedIn.

Too many maybes for me.

I am going to be aggressive in finding who my client needs and that includes recruiting IT pros away from their current company.

That’s what I do and I am fiercely loyal. Either you are on my team or, well... you get it.

 
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