Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the single most important thing that clients and candidates alike can do as a recruiting/career best practice?
A: Update your LinkedIn Profile! For candidates (the job seeker): The standard should be that your LinkedIn Profile mirrors your resume and tells a complete story. In a social media-driven world, you should absolutely post a professional looking picture of yourself.
For clients (hiring entities): Now more than ever, candidates are doing research on prospective employers before they arrive for the first interview. They are not just looking at your website, but they are researching senior management, HR, the hiring manager, and future team members. We are advocating to our clients that social media policies include having the entire company get on board with having a professional, updated LinkedIn profile (including duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments–and yes, a picture).
Q: Some people say, “do a one page resume while others say two pages.” What’s the correct answer?
If you are right out of college, then use a one page resume. If, however, you have four to five years of work experience (or more) then you need to have a two-page resume. Mark Cenedella founder of TheLadders.com wrote a great piece about this a few years back. He debunked even the most recent (and, in our view, inaccurate) information published every single year in the career issues of many business magazine. Your resume needs to tell a COMPLETE STORY about you. Page two should be reserved for your education, all of your corporate training and development, and special skills. In our experience, hiring managers think that a skill does not exist if they don’t see it in writing on a resume. Make sure your information is true and accurate. No padding, please! Also, no matter what anyone tells you NEVER DO A FUNCTIONAL RESUME. Always do a pure chronological resume with duties, responsibilities, and quantifiable accomplishments tied to each job. Include the beginning and ending month and year of each company you’ve worked for and the positions you’ve carried. When working with The Sales Zone, we tell our candidates to err on the side of putting more information–not less–on the resume. If we think something is overly wordy or over-done we’ll tell you. We might also refer you to a professional resume writer if we think its warranted for your particular situation.
Q: What information should appear at the top of my resume?
A: For starters, your first and last name. Sounds obvious, right? Let’s take that a step further. Use the name you’d like people to use when they call you on the phone. For example, if you go by Bill, then use Bill + your last name (think Bill Gates–if he were writing his resume, it is doubtful that he’d put William at the top). Don’t use, Stevenson William Windsor Smith, III (save your full and formal for the job application which is the LEGAL document that you’ll have to fill out and sign–even if you are interviewing for an executive level job). Also, if you are a junior or a senior or a second, third or fourth, leave that designation off the resume. No one cares and it sounds pretentious. Another example: If your name is Debra or Kimberly, but everyone calls you Debbie or Kim, then use Kim or Debbie on your resume. If you go by Jeff (not Jeffrey), then use Jeff. You get the idea.
Additional information: Include your cell phone number (not your home phone unless you never leave your house), your e-mail, the link to your LinkedIn public profile, and your city and state. DO NOT use your street address for security and identity theft purposes.
Q: What is the best way to handle the question of relocation if it is required for a job?
A: For Candidates: Please don’t say, “I’d relocate for the right opportunity.” That is like putting “References provided Upon Request” at the bottom of your resume. Either you’ll relocate or your won’t. OF COURSE YOU’LL RELOCATE FOR RIGHT OPPORTUNITY–that is implied/understood if you are in job-search mode. The real question is, are you prepared to sell your house, uproot your family and move to another city/state/country? The answer is either, yes or no. There is no gray area here. You’re either motivated to make a career move that “ticks all the boxes” for you or you’re mindset is one of staying put where you are geographically–this isn’t a criticism by the way, but years of experience have shown us that people will either relocate or they won’t.
A: For Companies: Given the market dynamics of selling a house, companies need to be flexible here. Unless your company is willing to buy someone out of their current situation (note to everyone, very few companies are doing this sort of thing these days), you–as a hiring entity–need to exercise flexibility. If the sale of a home is involved, a 12 to 24 month commute may be required to acquire the right candidate.