Nobody likes looking for a job. Nobody. But the reality of life is that most of us will change jobs multiple times throughout our careers, and thus will have to face those “classified and job postings” many times. By just having some basic knowledge of the Do’s and Dont’s of job hunting world will secure your chances in landing that ideal job.
I have been a recruiter since 2000. During the last 8 years, I have learned a great deal as to what HR and hiring managers look for in job seekers. Here is a brief list of what they like and don’t like…so as you decide to move forward in your career, think about this list, and think carefully if changing jobs will be for the better or for the worse of your career:
- Job Hopping – if you are the type of person that moves jobs every year or two, within 6 years, this will be rather obvsious (6 years – 3 jobs – not good). Clearly, if you have valid reasons (relocation, laid off), then I recommend that write on your resume you this reason – as many times, recruiters or HR will glance at a resume and will right away assume that you are not loyal and don’t commit to your job. Yet, if you write in parenthesis reasons as to why you left (company closed down, spouse transferred to Los Angeles, laid off), then there will be a better chance of the company wanting to talk to you. If you have left your positions for “career opportunities (ie: better job, better compensation), well, after a few of these changes, you will have a hard time even landing an interview.
Solution: Think very carefully when you take a job – do you see yourself in this position for several years? Do you see yourself being happy in this position? Are you taking this job just because you need a job, or because you really want this job? By answering these questions honestly, you assure yourself a better chance of being at the company longer.
- GPA / Education: When you go to college, you have to focus on your grades. For some who are still in school, it’s not too late to really get your grades to B’s and A’s. If you go to a mediocre school, it is that much more imperative that your grades are more on the A’s. In Los Angeles, for example, you have UCLA as well as Cal State Northridge. If someone has a GPA of 3.0 from Cal State Northridge and 3.0 from UCLA, there is a better chance that an employer will lean towards the better school, as it is much harder to get into UCLA than it is to Cal State Northridge. Now, if the job seeker has a GPA of 3.8 from Cal State Northridge and is in competition with someone with a GPA of 3.0 from UCLA, well, now you can see there a firm may lean to the Northridge candidate.
Solution: realize that education is very important in your career – including GPA. Be smart about your grades – it will haunt you for the rest of your career – as time and time again, firms ask for transcripts as proof of education, and they will see those D’s and F’s and will reconsider your candidacy, unless you have a legitimate reason for less information on the resume which may let the application to be rejected by the company and not only that the person might not fill the vacancy form via construction recruitment agency if they do not provide them with right information about their selves. Interesting, I once had a candidate from Dartmouth college, with a GPA of 2.8 – my client that I worked with did not want to interview this candidate, as their GPA was not indicative of the caliber of school! So, even if you do get into a top school, GPA still counts.
- What if you are laid off? Being laid off is a current crisis in our economy today. It is a fact. You are competing with everyone in the same industry – the market is flooded. What to do?
Solution: This calls for desperate measures, including, going back to school and changing careers , sometimes even going into a whole new direction (many professions in the medical field are understaffed – including Physical Therapists and Registered Nurses – with baby boomers hitting their senior years, this industry will be explosive over the next 30 years – so go after that sector, where you will have more job security). You have to think out of the box. Look for more articles on this in the future that will focus on this further.
- Salary – when to bring this up? Nothing more of a turn off when a job seeker talks about “salary” at the first round of interviews. Keep away from this subject until you know they want to extend an offer to you – then you can talk about it all you want.