Auteur/autrice : Sebastien De Stoop
🚨 Resume Tip 🚨: Yes, you need a picture on your resume! 😳
If a recruiter wants to discriminate you, they will. Save time and let them discriminate you as soon as the resume screening!
Let’s go to the main point: people believe that putting a picture on their profile will ruin their chance if they unluckily fall on a recruiter with preventions: racist, fatphobic, ageist, cacophobic, validist or any other, they could be rejected. Maybe. But what do you think will happen if you don’t? There will be a time you will need to go to an interview. Do you think that if the recruiter has preventions, those will disappear between the time you sent an email and the interview? Or maybe your infinite charisma will disable these bad traits? Or maybe you will go to the interview wearing a paper bag on your head, sunglasses, and gloves so no one will see what you look like? If recruiters want to discriminate you, they will. So, in my opinion, it’s better to be discriminated as soon as the resume screening: you will not waste time and won’t place your expectations in the wrong company. Do you really want, anyway, work for a discriminating company?!
This said, if you had done a targeted search, you shall not be worrying about being discriminated, as you should have on your list only non-discriminating companies. The more accurate is your search, the less you risk engaging with wrong companies.
Beside, a picture will help recruiters recognizing you when you show up at the interview, as well as recognizing you on any Internet publication, which can be useful when you have a common name. It implies that you have to control your e-reputation, though…
Would you please just stop whining?
Humans see themselves as rational beings when eventually they are rationalizing beings: once they have done something, they are able to find rational reasons a posteriori to justify what they did. In my opinion, this is not to mistake with excuses, which are poor reasons given by people who didn’t do or succeed in something…
Among these numerous excuses, there is one related to my occupation which is very popular, especially on LinkedIn: recruiters are too demanding, they ask for too much qualification, they want years of experience for entry level jobs, don’t give a chance… And that is the reason why the unlucky victims, the candidates, don’t get jobs. This might be a comforting story to make children sleep. Isn’t it, by the way a beautiful yet sad fairy tale, that will make you feel good and not accountable for your failure?! Indeed!
The ugly truth is that the main reason why you don’t get a job is not because recruiters are evil and do everything they can for you not to have one (but maybe am I wrong and they are actually conspiring secretly against you!), but because you are searching in a wrong way.
Instead of blaming you (like you do with recruiters: shame on you!), I will give a hand. There are three things you should be doing if you want to find a job and that I suspect you to not do:
Doing spontaneous applications. I understand that it is easy to just scroll pages of job ads. At least, it is easier than torturing our brain with real work. Nowadays job boards made it even easier with the opportunity to « easy apply »: 2 or 3 clicks, and you applied to a job. Isn’t it fabulous?
My answer: no, it is not! Recruitment ads have a very bad Return On Investment unless you match 100% of the requirements (when was the last time you matched that much?). If it is not the case, your chances are near zero, because you will face 50, 100 or 500 competitors. Maybe you will be as worthy of the job as the others, but an average human recruiter will keep 10, 20 or maybe 30 resumes (in this last case, the person is a stakhanovist!) meaning that if you answered too late and are the 31st, you will be rejected like 100, 200 or 300 others. Let’s not talk about robots that might screen your application through irrelevant criteria, job ads which are in fact just ads with no jobs, or a way to fill the files, and so many reasons why job ads are a useless tool for 90% of the job seekers.
Targeting the companies to which you will apply. Sending spontaneous applications is must-do, yet you need to send them to the right companies. It is absolutely necessary to understand what your value proposition is and what kind of company might be interested in it. The companies that could be interested by you might not be the most famous or popular ones (it means that targeting companies does not mean copying/pasting the Fortune 500 companies on your target list). Find the match between your skills, interests, qualities, values and those of the companies you are studying. You don’t need to find hundreds: if you did an excellent research, 10 companies will be enough to find your next employer. On a looser search, your next company will be on a list of 50 companies (and if you do a completely crap search… Forget finding a job: go fishing). Try to understand as well as possible what are the trends, the issues, the projects of the companies you are studying and considering to join. Then, ask yourself how you fit in this organization. Nobody asks you to revolutionize the organization, just to understand where your place could be in this organization, and to show a real interest.
Following up. This is the ultimate tear trigger topic: « recruiters don’t answer to my application! » But why don’t you follow-up by yourself? You sent an application email, YOU need to contact the company within 3 days (max) to check that your email didn’t simply end up in spams. That will enable you to know the status of your application, the recruitment process, the name(s) of people in charge. It will also show that you feel involved ad don’t just spam the « apply » button. Believe me, it is quite rare candidates to do so and if you want to stand out, that is a good start to set up a reputation. If you are rejected, ask feedback instead of running on social medias to dramatize: you will learn what is weak in your application and again your reputation will improve. Don’t forget that not getting a job in a company now doesn’t mean you will never get a job in it.
Looking for a position requires you to do some efforts. No company owes you a job, you need to take it. Work on your application process, professionally.
Find the company that will need your profile, don’t expect every company to need it.
Sébastien De Stoop (!)
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Would you eat junk Food at the gym?
This Article: « Outplacement Firms Struggles to Do Job » published in 2009 in The Wall Street Journal is, believe me or not, still true nowadays. Nothing has changed. That is why I would like to debrief deeply about this interesting article, and tell you what makes Mankesav different…
The article starts with satisfaction, and the time needed to find a position. As a Career Coach, our first responsibility is to be clear with what we will be doing with the people your work with. For me, I never say that people will find a job in one month, two month or even one year. Because, of course, it depends first on the job market. If you want to find a job in Greece, Spain or France nowadays, good luck! You will have to compete thousands of other applicants, and even if you have the best job-search tools, remember that behind the job boards there are human-beings. And those humans won’t necessarily reckon your outstanding profile, either because their mental framework of “matching the position” is not yours, or (sometimes) basically because some of them are not very competent… So, the first thing is to accept that recruitment is not an exact science. If it were, there would not be HR services, but only computers.
The second, and main point as for me, is your own personality when it comes to looking for a job. I always compare my job of a Career-Coach to the job of a Fitness-Coach. Let’s go to it by a little story: You decide that you are too fat, or you want to gain muscles, or prepare to run a Marathon. You enroll to a gym, buy the fancy apparel, and decide to hire a Fitness-Coach to help you doing so. There comes the first session, and… You sit on a bench, unpack your Lays, Mc Donald’s and Coca-Cola, start eating them and tell your coach: “Ok, now you train, and I will lose the fat!”
Do you find it funny but stupid? Me too. Though, in my job, I have crossed hundreds of people asking me: “will you find me a job?”, to which I always answer now by this story. What I mean is that, I agree: a good fitness coach doesn’t just give you a paper to tell you what you have to do, then get your money, then leaves. A good fitness coach is there to co-program your training, depending on your agenda, constraints, following the waves of your motivation, helps to work your *** out, get the best of you. But you do the efforts, mainly. So, will I find you a job? No. WE will find you a job. And we will do even better: we will find you a career that will make your life better. The thing is that if you don’t do anything of what I suggest to do, explaining you why and how, then, we will fail. If you don’t train at the gym properly, and if you go to a junk-food provider just after every of your gym sessions and eat twice the amount of calories you just spent, you will never lose your fat, get muscles, or get back to fit. So, remember, your attitude is important, and you have to fit it with your local employment market.
Third and last thing for today: know yourself. The first thing I work with the persons I coach is their awareness of their own personality, based on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which enables to question their clarity regarding to their preferences and how to apply them at work. This is fundamental: we are all impacted by what is commonly considered as a good job or a good career. But you can have spent your last 20 years in a job which was not meant for you. That is a factor leading to burn-outs, bore-outs, and lose your path. Many people need to do some re-calibration and get back on tracks to what they do the best with a better well-being. I deeply believe that many of us just unconsciously screw up some application, because we know instinctively that this is not for us. Once we have spent a little of time, usually one week, to discuss and adjust this very specific point, then we can start working on “finding a job”. And lots of canned outplacement programs fail, because this fundamental is not treated properly.
Find the Career Coach Who’s Right for You
When you’re in the midst of a mid-career crisis or professional reinvention, the right career coach can be a lifesaver, helping you identify potential future directions and the path to reach them. But how do you find the right one? As an unregulated industry, anyone can hang a shingle and declare themselves a “career coach,” an “executive coach,” or even a “life coach.” Some are talented and knowledgeable, and others not so much. Since writing Reinventing You, I’ve often been asked for recommendations about hiring a career coach. Here’s the advice I give.
Understand when you need to reach out. Because it can be complex to hire a career coach (How do I know who’s good? What if it’s a waste of money?), many people delay the process until they reach a breaking point — they’ve lost their job, or they’re so miserable at their current one, they’re on the brink of quitting. But as with most things, preventative measures are best, and you’re far better off speaking with someone before you’re overwhelmed and desperate.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to hire someone yet, do some investigating. Get recommendations from friends and colleagues, scour blogs and do research online (because thanks to Skype, the coach you hire doesn’t need to be local), and create a timeline for yourself. If you don’t have time in your life now to explore work with a career coach, when will you? After tax season? In six months, after the new product launch? Make a firm commitment to revisit it down the line.
And keep in mind that if you’re facing a broader upheaval in your life, you may want to consider seeing a therapist (which will often be covered by insurance), rather than a career coach, which won’t.
Identify what you want to learn. Because coaches come from such widely divergent backgrounds, they have different skills and insights to offer you. If you want to make the right choice, identify upfront what you’d like to learn from the experience. If you’re feeling dissatisfaction with your professional life, start by combing the aisles of your bookstore; a variety of career books such as What Should I Do With My Life? or How Will You Measure Your Life? can help you ascertain the broad themes you’d like to explore, so your work with a coach can be more targeted.
If you want to understand how to navigate office politics better, you may want to consider hiring a coach who has personal familiarity with corporate life, so she’s speaking from experience rather than theory. Other coaches specialize in particular types of transitions, such as guiding people toward nonprofit or socially meaningful careers, or work with specific demographic groups. I even know one woman who bills herself as a “Workplace Cancer and Disease Crisis Coach.
Give them a test drive. Ten or 15 years ago, you would have had to vet your coach through a personal meeting or phone call, and perhaps by talking with their past clients. That’s still a good idea, but today you have another tool in your arsenal. Legitimate professionals have embraced content creation, including blogging, podcasting, videoblogging, and more. Almost every coach will have a “paper trail” allowing you to see for yourself the kinds of issues they’re writing and thinking about, how they approach the situation, and their personal style. You may be drawn to someone with a more reserved and serious style, or want an encouraging cheerleader. By consuming their content in advance, you can make an informed choice about whether you’ll “click” professionally.
Recognize it’s not forever. As you grow professionally, your challenges will evolve over the years. Today, you may be looking for help finding your true passion or making a career change; in 10 or 20 years, your goal may be a fulfilling second act in retirement. It’s important to recognize that different coaches may be uniquely suited to help you at different phases.
When I first started my consulting business, I devoured the works of one author whose approach I found particularly salient, and even paid to participate in various in-person workshops and a mentor program. His advice on starting and setting up a business was invaluable, but became less relevant as I fixed my sights on bigger goals and began to be able to predict exactly what he’d say. Today, I’m focused on learning from those who have already excelled at my next targets, such as writing a bestselling book and dramatically expanding my email list. Any decision you make to work with someone is revocable if it’s not working or if you outgrow the approach; by staying in touch with your goals, you can adjust accordingly.
It can be difficult to navigate a professional reinvention on your own. A good career coach can save you countless hours of frustration by sharing best practices with you and helping you avoid common pitfalls as you transition. But finding the right one makes all the difference.