Career Advice | Interviews | Employment
by Alan Henry 1-20-2015
The idea that you should answer “what’s your biggest weakness” in a job interview with something that’s really just a positive trait (“I’m a workaholic!” or “I’m a perfectionist!”) is something you’ll hear often from career coaches. The truth is, just stop. Every interviewer everywhere has heard it before, and would rather you just be honest.
This is one of those job hunting tips that’s often repeated. We’ve discussed how to best answer this question before, among other tricky interview questions, but if you catch yourself about to spin a positive into something that could appear negative just to get through the question without looking like you actually have any weaknesses, you’ve probably revealed your real issue then and there—a lack of clarity, honesty, and capacity for self-introspection. Ultimately, your answer to the question should be well considered and relevant to the job and the interview, and it should be an actual point you’d like to work on and improve—not something designed to just make you look good. Read more…
by Dennis McCafferty | 12-08-2016
Are you one of the many executives who haven’t looked at their résumé in months … or years? Do you think it’s not necessary because you’re secure and happy with your current company and feel that revising your résumé would be a waste of time? Well, you may want to reassess your thinking, because career experts recommend that you review your résumé at least once a year. After all, résumés are often submitted as part of consideration for award nominations, guest bylines, speaking events at industry conference and partnership opportunities. It would also help to have a strong résumé in case your organization gets involved in a merger or acquisition. To this end, we’ve come up with the following best practices for résumés, which is adapted from an article by Lisa Rangel, titled “9 Executive Résumé Trends for 2017.” Founder of ResumeCheatSheet.com
, Rangel is an executive résumé writer and official LinkedIn moderator at Chameleonresumes.com
. Career Toolkit recently named her as one of the top 28 résumé writers. – See more at: http://www.cioinsight.com/it-management/careers/slideshows/how-to-market-yourself-with-a-winning-resume.html#sthash.pcWgX3Gw.dpuf
This question originally appeared on Quora: What do recruiters look for in a resume at first glance? Answer by Ambra Benjamin, Engineering Recruiter.
I don’t look through stacks of resumes anymore. I hate paper. I do everything online.
There has been for many decades, a mysterious Wizard of Oz-type viewpoint of the recruiting world that I think is somewhat misappropriated. People seem to be truly fascinated by what goes on behind the curtain, when in reality, recruiters aren’t running the covert operation many think. “Does this candidate seem like they stand a chance of being a good match for this role? If yes, proceed to next step. If no, reject.”
I’ll highlight how I personally absorb a resume. I should preface this by saying that currently I primarily recruit for senior-level software engineers. In my past life I recruited for PMs, MBAs, finance, sales, and pretty much all of it. Everything I’m about to say broadly applies to all of these fields. I also was a campus recruiter, and you read resumes of new grads a bit differently since experience is less meaty. So for non-new grads, here’s how it goes in my brain:
- Most recent role. I’m generally trying to figure out what this person’s current status is, and why/if they might even be interested in a new role. Have they only been in their last position for three months? If so, probably not the best time for me to reach out, right? Unless they work for Zynga, or somewhere tragic like that (said with great respect for Farmville, the app that put Facebook apps on the map). If it’s an incoming resume, I’m wondering why the candidate is looking now. Are they laid off? Did they get fired? Have they only been in their role for a few months and they’re possibly hating it? But most importantly, is their most recent experience relevant to the position for which I’m hiring?
- Company recognition. Not even gonna lie. I am a company snob. Now don’t get all Judgy McJudgerson about my judgy-ness. Hear me out. It’s not even that I think certain companies are better than others (although some most certainly are). It’s purely a matter of how quickly can I assign a frame of reference. This is also known as “credibility.” Oh you worked at Amazon? Then you’re probably accustomed to working on projects at scale. You’re at a well known crash-and-burn start-up? You have probably worn many hats and have been running at a sprinter’s pace. There are some pretty blatant if/then associations I can make simply by recognizing a company name. Because recruiters have generally been doing this job for awhile, we notice patterns and trends among candidates from certain companies and we formulate assumptions as a result. There are edge cases and our assumptions can fail us, but again, this is a resume review; we’re talking a less than 20-second analysis. Assigning frame of reference is often more difficult to do when a candidate has only worked for obscure companies I’ve never heard of. When I can’t assign company recognition, it just means I have to read the resume a little deeper, which usually isn’t an issue, unless it’s poorly formatted, poorly written, uninformative, and wrought with spelling errors—in which case, you might have lost my interest.
There’s no doubt that we live in a culture obsessed with youth. That doesn’t mean you’re over the hill at 40. Many people are active and working in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond–if you’re Betty White well beyond–but most of us don’t want to brag about it. The fact is that age discrimination is alive and well.
Related: Resumes For Job Seekers Over 50
One of the keys to staying attractive to potential employers is to not look or act out-of-date – in person or on paper. This doesn’t that you shouldn’t post a photo on your LinkedIn profile. Profiles without pictures only make recruiters, and potential employers, wonder what you may be hiding. And the truth is they are going to meet you during the interview process. So there’s no reason to hide.
Still, there are many ways you can date yourself without realizing it. Here are three ways your resume can make you look old.
1. Objective Statement
Over the years, styles change. You wouldn’t wear the same suit as you did 20 years ago. Unless you’re a collector, the car you’re driving looks a lot different too. The same is true for resumes.