Volume 14, Issue 01 | ISSN: 1528-9443 | First Quarter: January 2013
What You’ll Find: Job-Hunting Annual Report
Editor’s Note: About this Issue…
For the 11th time since 2001, we’ve produced the Quintessential Careers Report on the State of Internet Job-Hunting. The 2013 report is a litte different from those in the past in that it focuses on a single issue — a flawed hiring process, underpinned by technology, for both hiring decision-makers and job-seekers.
Most importantly, the articles accompanying our annual report tell job-seekers how to navigate and succeed within this flawed system.
We also include a beginning-of-the-year article about reviewing the accomplishments of the past year with the idea of setting goals for the year ahead.
We’re a few weeks into 2013, but it’s not too late to wish you a wonderful year of job-search and career success.
Start your 2013 job search by checking out job listings and posting your resume on our job-search portal.
–Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., Master Resume Writer, Credentialed Career Master, Certified Electronic Career Coach, and editor at kathy(at)quintcareers.com
Job-Hunting Annual Report Feature Article: Have Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Ruined Recruiting, Hiring, and Job Search? A Quintessential Careers Annual Report 2013
by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Let’s say there exists a standard tool for job-hunting, nearly universally accepted (if not universally loved) by both job-seekers and hiring decision-makers. Let’s say it turns out that three-quarters of the tools submitted in response to job vacancies are wholly unsuited to the current technology that assesses job-seekers’s fitness to fill those vacancies. Let’s say that job-seekers are poorly educated in how to adjust these tools to fit the technology and therefore present themselves as qualified for these job openings. And let’s say that job-seeker understanding of how to adjust these tools has increased incrementally at best in the years since employers began using the screening technology they currently use. Would that situation likely result in a desperate claim by employers that a “skills shortage” exists? Would it even exacerbate the current jobs crisis since many perfectly qualified people can’t demonstrate their qualifications and get hired because their tools are broken?
A press release the Human Alliance Ltd. issued at the time of this report’s writing noted, “Right now, we have about 3.7 million jobs open with a hire rate [of] 3.2 percent … We’re simply not filling those jobs fast enough, and the US economy is suffering from it,” Joe Shaheen, founder and managing principal of the Human Alliance Ltd., said. The number of openings is more than would be expected based on the current unemployment rate, writes James Surowieki in The New Yorker.
The tool, of course, is the job-search resume. The employer technology is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), first used more than two decades ago to manage what one recruiter calls “a tsunami” of resumes submitted online. If we are to believe one of 2012’s most startling statistics from the company Preptel, this situation is not hypothetical. “Seventy-five percent of applicants are discarded [by Applicant Tracking Systems] because of the words in their resume,” the company states on its blog. Preptel has a stake in promulgating this figure because it offers a service that optimizes resumes for employers’ screening technology. But other facts and speculations that emerged in 2012 suggest a flawed process for both hiring decision-makers and job-seekers.
Read our full Annual Report on the State of Internet Job-Hunting, focused on the flawed process known as Applicant Tracking Systems.
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Annual Report Feature: Applicant Tracking Systems 101 for Job-Seekers: Understanding the ATS Technology That Dominates Online Job Search
Special to Quintessential Careers
The promise of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is an alluring one: Apply the principles of technology search to the complicated hiring process, allowing recruiters and hiring managers access to a search system like the one that exists online with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Type in what you want and voila! The perfect candidate appears. That’s the idea anyway. Applicant tracking systems allow companies to determine which candidates may be a match for a particular position, based on their resume.
Applicant tracking systems fulfill two purposes: to manage applications for positions (especially in the face of a high volume of applicants), and to screen out candidates who lack the required skills for the job.
Annual Report Feature: Optimizing and Formatting Your Job-Search Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems
Special to Quintessential Careers
The easiest way to ensure your resume will be accepted by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is to submit a resume that is both ATS-friendly and human-reader ready. The two are not mutually exclusive; however, ATS-friendly resumes are formatted much more simply, while human-reader resumes may contain graphic elements that make the document easier to read and more appealing to the reader.
Annual Report Feature: Preparing Job-Seeker Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems: Checklist and Critical Do’s and Don’ts
Special to Quintessential Careers
See our handy job-seeker checklist and set of critical do’s and don’ts thatsummarizes some of the key information about Applicant Tracking Systemsand how to prepare your resume for them
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Extra Feature: The Goals, Accomplishments Equation: Conducting an Annual Self-Review
by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
New Year’s resolutions are often trivialized because they are seldom maintained. It’s not too late to consider a process a bit more meaningful than declaring New Year’s resolutions. Instead, recognize the relationship between goals and accomplishments and conduct an annual review of both.
Goals are the flip side of accomplishments. You can achieve accomplishments without setting goals, but if you set goals and follow through, you are virtually guaranteed accomplishments. Accomplishments are the indicators that we have met our goals, and goals give us the motivation to have accomplishments.
An annual review of accomplishments can help you set goals for the year ahead. Reflect on the year just completed and consider how it went.
Quintessential Site of the Issue: Preptel
Preptel, prominently featured in our article, Optimizing and Formatting Your Job-Search Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems, offers products underpinned by technology that “combines computational linguistics with statistics to provide powerful insight for each step of your job search.”
Resumeter is Preptel’s Resume Optimization service. Resumeter, the site says, “enables individuals to quickly and easily customize a resume for each job opening, increasing the success the resume will be reviewed and considered for an interview. Resumeter uses the same technology hiring companies use to show where a resume may contain errors, and where a resume may be improved so it rises to the top of the applicant pool.”
Some of the New Job and Career Sites Added to Quintessential Careers
Career Cloud — where job-seekers can aggregate your social media accounts into the creation of a social resume. The mission of the site is to bring together job seekers and recruiters through social and mobile technology. No-cost to job-seekers for basic service.
Careerleaf — a job-search tool for job-seekers that includes some interesting features, such as a virtual assistant to help manage and apply to job listings, access to virtual communities and niche job boards, and ability to create recruiter-friendly profile. No cost to job-seekers.
SocialCareer — a job candidate referral/social recruiting site where you can help a friend or colleague get a job and get rewarded for the recommendation. No cost to job-seeke s.
S ringT rn.com — a site designed to assist college students wi h finding non-paid i ternships that provide opportunity for professional experience before graduation. Browse internship listings and apply directly. No cost to job-seekers.
Many other great new additions to Quintessential Careers can be found in the latest additions section.
Quick and Quintessential Tips to Guide Your Job Search and Work Life
- Networking via social media is a centerpiece of the Internet job search process we celebrate in this issue, but many job-seekers may not know that many social-media venues exist beyond the big three — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Specialized social-media venues can help job-seekers make contacts in their specific fields.
- An issue — discussed in this issue’s annual report — that frustrates job-seekers and hiring decision-makers alike, is that too many unqualified candidates submit resumes in response to job postings. But how do you really know if you’re qualified? Do you have to possess 100 percent of the requirements? Recruiting expert Jorg Stegemann a advises not applying unless you match 75 percent of the job posting. He also suggests holding back from applying when you are clearly over- or under-qualified, “If you read ‘7 years relevant experience,’ you can be sure to get a negative response if you have 2 or 20 years of experience as we consider that the job is either under or over your competencies or not in line with the salary range for this level.” Finally, Stegemann advises living in the area where the job is located. Employers will consider excellent candidates from out of the area, or even out of the country, but non-locals will probably not get high priority.
- A couple of tidbits about followup: First, many job-seekers think it’s hard or unacceptable to make a followup call to employers after submitting a resume. A survey by Accountemps shows that, for most hiring decision-makers, this kind of followup is OK. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said they’re fine with job-seekers calling them a week or less after submitting a resume, while another 43 percent said a a followup call 1-2 weeks after submitting is acceptable. Only 1 percent didn’t want a followup call.
Secondly, if you’re struggling for what to say in a followup email after meeting a new network contact, seeJohn Muscarello’s The Ultimate Networking Follow Up Email Cheat Sheet for a good structure for such a followup.
See our entire collection of Q-Tips: Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.
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