Job Descriptions

Beyond Job Descriptions


Searching for a new employee?

Look beyond the responsibilities and experience listed on your job descriptions. Think about the traits you valued in the employee who previously held the position or of other employees within your firm.

When interviewing potential candidates, have several team members sit in on the interview process to gain a better perspective of just who you want to bring on-board. Think about the person’s personality.

  • Do you feel they might fit within the company environment?
  • How well do they communicate?
  • Do they seem to embrace questions that are asked, or do they become nervous over something they weren’t prepared to answer?
  • Do they present themselves in a professional demeanor?

Some things you just can’t ‘see’ in a resume.

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Time Management #2

Welcome back! Here is the second portion of our Time Management guide for Recruiters. To be a successful Recruiter, you have to talk to A LOT of people. This can get confusing, and can cause a person who is a good Recruiter to an unsuccessful career. By being organized, and managing your time correctly, you can be more efficient. By making simple changes to the way you do things, you will find that you can be successful without just playing a numbers game, but by organizing yourself, and contacting the right people, at the right time. Enjoy!

Plan your calls in blocks of time. Take a short break after every 5-10 calls to get refreshed before making the next set of calls. The best times to make calls are between 8 am – 11 am, and 1 pm – 4 pm as most people are at their desks during these times. However, don’t assume your candidates will be able to talk to you during these times… sometimes it will be necessary to contact them before or after normal working hours. Recruiting is not a 9-5, Monday through Friday typical job!

Use a script for calls to help you stay on task. Ask your candidates and clients what the best time is to call them so you don’t have to keep leaving messages or call back several times before reaching them. If you make business development calls, research the company…know something about it and who you need to talk to before making the call. Follow through and be persistent. Try to get as much information as possible during your first call so you don‘t need to make additional ones.

Screen your incoming calls. It is not necessary to answer the phone each time it rings. Don’t be afraid to let it go to voice mail, and make return calls once or twice during the day to help decrease interruptions.

When sourcing candidates, start with your database. Why waste time sourcing other places when you may have just the right candidate right in front of you.

Keep a file for all your job descriptions. Somewhere, sometime, you will probably need to use one of them again. Why take time writing a new one if you already have one on hand. It’s much more time consuming to write a whole new one rather than to edit an existing one.

Leave the end of your day for administrative work and making plans for the next day. Always allow time for distractions and the unexpected, such as meetings, extra-long phone calls, etc., but focus your main attention on items that need to be done daily.

Being organized helps keep you in control. Don’t procrastinate! Being responsible for your own actions help reduce stress, minimizes problems, and allows you to complete tasks on time.

Have a high expectation of yourself and you will be more apt to succeed!

Thank you for reading, and feel free to visit us again for our next article. We release a newsletter with more information about our blog, and the posts we will be releasing. If you are interested in the information that we provide, but you simply do not have the time to visit our blog continuously, sign up for our free newsletter! This will provide up to date information on our up-coming articles, new releases, updates, and promotional events. See you soon!

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Resume Tips #2

Thank you for coming back, here is the second portion of our article on Resume Tips. This is the last 3 steps of our 6 step process to making a successful and impressive Resume. The point of a Resume is to show a potential employer what you are capable of doing, but most importantly to impress this person. Hiring Managers look at hundreds of resumes for each position that they are hiring for, therefore in order for your resume to stick out above the rest, you have to be different from the rest. Enjoy!

  1. Things You Should Do With Your Resume
    • Use 8-1/2″ X 11″ paper.
    • Include both a permanent contact and present address and phone number. You may be contacted through a permanent address or phone, even after you have moved from your present address.
    • Make your resume legible.
    • Include your job discipline(s) near your name at the top of page one of your resume and as a title to each assignment.
    • Make your resume visually appealing, keeping your format consistent throughout.
    • Try to keep to a maximum of two pages.
    • Avoid font changes, columns, italics, bolding, underlining, and graphics.
    • Keep records of where and to whom your resume is being sent.

  2. Things You Should Not Do With Your Resume
    • Don’t include hobbies.
    • Don’t include your Social Security Number.
    • Don’t use a “Job Objective.” A “Job Objective” tells what you want from a firm whereas a “Summary” tells what you can do for them.
    • Don’t exaggerate your experience.
    • Don’t show salary or pay information.
    • Don’t offer explanations for leaving prior employers.
    • Don’t include your photograph.
    • Don’t use abbreviations (except those that are acceptable in the engineering/technical fields, such as IBM, CAD, etc.).
  3. Many Firms Use Resume Scanners

  4. Most firms utilize scanners to input resumes into their computer databases. To make your resume “scanner ready”:

    • Use white paper and black ink.
    • Don’t underline words
    • Don’t use script or other fancy typefaces.
    • Be sure all letters are of the same quality (no light or broken letters, no smudgy or filled-in letters, etc.).
    • Use adequate margins (at least 1/2″ on all sides).
    • Don’t hand-write anything on your resume.
    • If using a dot matrix printer, utilize the best quality of type the printer provides (i.e. letter quality, dark copy, etc.).
    • Avoid boxes or unusual configurations.

    NOTE: If you transmit your resume by using a FAX card in your personal computer, make sure you see what you transmit. Many resumes received in this manner have problems (extraneous characters, missing copy, strange lines, etc.). Also, the format of the received resume is often different than what you think you are transmitting. Try faxing to a friend or local fax number so you can physically see what everyone else sees!

Thank you for reading, and come back next week for more! We will be releasing articles consistently which will provide more useful information for potential employees. Feel free to sign up for our free newsletter! This will provide up to date information on our up-coming articles, new releases, updates, and promotional events. See you soon!

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Recruiter Questions

Critical Issues to Discuss with your Recruiter

Before you begin to work with a recruiter know what type of person you are looking for and what your urgency is for the person. A job description is a good starting point, but more important is to know the challenges and responsibilities for the position, the minimum requirements a candidate must have, the salary range you are willing to pay, why the position is important to the company, and why a top professional would want the job. Do you want someone based solely on their skills and / or experience, or one based on their performance? Just because someone has done something for several years doesn’t necessarily translate that they are the best candidate for the job. What is more important is if they have the proven skills and can ‘get the job done’. All these items should be conveyed to the recruiter you are working with.

Your recruiter should be available to assist you, and save you time and money in your search. The more thorough you can be upfront about the candidate you wish to hire the easier it is for all involved in the process. Communicate with your recruiter on a timely basis and provide constructive feedback about resumes that are being presented to you. If you don’t, you are likely to receive the same type of candidate over and over again, thereby wasting your valuable time. The more information you can provide, the more your recruiter is readily able to assess and qualify potential candidates that ‘fit your mold’. Your recruiter wants to be able to do you justice and if provided the above information you will find that they will be able to do just that.

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Time Management

Time Management and Organization

It is very easy in the recruiting industry to be extremely busy doing the wrong things. If you want to succeed there are several things to take into account:

  1. Be Organized.
  2. Be Confident.
  3. Be a Hard Worker.
  4. Do not Procrastinate.
  5. Have a Desire to Succeed.

Set yourself realistic goals and arrange your time in order to meet them. Each day is 20% of your work week so don’t waste it being unproductive. Establish a routine to make phone calls, take care of email, use your database, source candidates, and do paperwork. Break your day out accordingly, so that all these tasks can be completed. Take the task that you like the least and do that one the first thing each day, while you are fresh. This way it is over with, and you won’t be dwelling on it the rest of the day.

Keep track of your time during the day. Identify bad habits, such as shuffling papers, talking to co-workers, taking breaks, going to appointments, etc. You will be surprised how much time you actually waste during the day on these things. Figure out what percent of the day you are actually using to make money, and eliminate those things that aren’t.

Organize your desk. Keep it clean and neat. Take anything off that is a distraction. Don’t have a lot of loose papers or sticky notes on your desk. All meetings, appointments, interviews, etc. that you need to keep track of on a regular basis should all be in one spot. Put papers in folders and file them in your desk drawers, labeling each one so you can retrieve them easily when needed. These will help you be more efficient so you won’t forget what needs to be completed each day and will also prevent you from forgetting something, which at times could be costly.

Organize your computer. Set up folders in your email or on your desktop for each of your job orders. Label each with the job title or job number. Each time you receive an email for a particular job, transfer it into the correct folder. This saves you time searching for files you need. Create a separate folder for all your administrative forms.

These are simple things which will help any recruiter to reach the level of success they are looking for quickly, and efficiently.

Come back next week for the rest of our “Time Management and Organization” rules to success for a Recruiter. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next week!

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Resume Tips #1

Resume Tips

As a potential employee your resume is your calling card. It sells you to your potential employer. So, it is in your best interest to take extreme care in preparing a resume that will be a professional presentation of your qualifications.

There are many acceptable resume formats and methods of preparation. If you use the format and guidelines we suggest, we can’t guarantee you’ll land a job, but we can assure you that your chances of getting that next opportunity will have definitely improved!

  1. Basic Guidelines for Resume Preparation
    • Typesetting
      You can use your own computer with word processing software such as Word or WordPerfect. The quality of this method depends greatly upon the kind of printer you use with your computer. A less desirable method is to use a typewriter. If you do use a typewriter, make sure that it is in good condition, and use a new ribbon.
    • Printing
      If you have a laser printer attached to your computer, you can elect to print multiple copies of your resume that way. The quality of a resume which you type on your computer and produce on your laser printer should be excellent; almost as good as one that is typeset by a professional and reproduced at a nearby printer. Be aware that the typed copy on your laser-printed resume can “crack” along the crease if you fold it. If that happens to your laser-printed resume, mail them to firms flat in a 9″x12″ envelope.

  2. Helpful Hints on Writing your Resume
    • Start your resume writing process by listing your jobs and what your day to day activities are/were.
    • Write job descriptions in easy-to-understand terms, and as completely as space allows.
    • Organize these by your employer in the suggested format.
    • Next list all your skills, technical knowledge, and computer skills.
    • Group your technical skills or other skills at the beginning of your resume under a summary paragraph near the top of your resume and add an objective if desired. Be brief but be complete.
    • Finish with your pertinent education and/or training, seminars, work-related course work, etc.
    • List “Under contract to” for any contract assignments you may have had.
    • Include total number of years experience.
    • Give security status, if any. If your security clearance has expired, include the date of expiration.
    • Include your name and page number on each page of a multiple page resume (except don’t number the first page).
    • If you want to use a better quality paper, consider a white bond paper with a rag content (available from most printers or paper supply stores). Rag bond, however, should not be used if you are printing copies of your resume on a photo copier (such as Xerox), as the letters may break up on folds.

  3. Tips to Help you Shorten a Lengthy Resume
    • Have it typed by a professional typesetter.
    • Eliminate all extra spaces between lines (except between job assignments).
    • Use narrower margins.
    • Keep job descriptions to 3-5 sentences (especially for older positions).
    • If your “length” problem is due to an extensive number of job assignments, leave the oldest positions off and type the following at the bottom of the last page of your resume: “Experience from (date) to (date) available upon request.” Then prepare a “complete” resume to furnish only to firms asking for it.
We will be releasing the last 3 portions of our “Resume Tips” next week. If you thought these tips were helpful, come back next week for the complete Resume Guide by Professional Recruiter Associates.
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Interview Tips #2

Here is the second part of our interview tips. We hope that we were able to provide useful information for tips and tricks to do before an interview. We will now provide our guide book to success for what to do during the interview. Enjoy!

During the Interview:

  1. Timing
    Arrive at least 10 minutes early.
  2. Salutations
    Stick with last names unless you are told to use first names.
  3. Control
    Let the prospective employer dictate the pace of the interview. Many people in management do a lot of interviewing and they are used to being “in control” of the process. They have trouble letting go of the control when they are on the opposite side of the desk. If you are one of those people be careful. Good interviewers expect people to know which side of the desk they are sitting on.

    What do you do if the person interviewing you is totally unprepared or totally inept? Carefully take control of the interview but be alert to give control back to the interviewer if they come to life. How do you “carefully take control”? This is where your interview preparation and mock interviews come into play. Explain how you made a difference at your most recent employers. Why you did things and how you feel you can contribute to this company. Tell them how your earlier training and background have prepared you for this position. Sometimes the interviewer will come to life and want to re-take control. Let them. If they don’t you will have given them the critical information they need to make a decision on your candidacy.

    What do you do if the interview comes to an end before you have a chance to ask your questions, or they do ask assuming they can answer your questions in five minutes or less? Simply indicate that before you could make a decision on the position you would need a few questions answered, and then just give them a couple of the questions you have prepared. They probably will not have time to answer them right then, but they will see that you have come prepared and that you have some solid, intelligent questions that indicate that you have really thought about the position. That will leave them with a favorable impression. Always thank them for taking the time to interview you and express your interest in their company. (Even if you wouldn’t go to work for them for all the money in the world.)

After the Interview:

  1. Thanks
    Send a brief thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. (This is also the perfect time to submit any interview expenses you incurred.) A hand-written note is always best, but it is also acceptable to send a thank-you note via email. Be sure to complete any follow-up steps they asked you to take, or submit additional information requested.

By using these simple strategies we have been able to place candidates within various industries. These are just simple tips and tricks to use to show that you are a professional, and that you will not be a burden to your new employer, but a success.

The truth of the matter is that your qualifications, your experience, and your education do make a difference. However, these things don’t help you during your interview, they simply get you in the door. Every hiring manager is looking for someone that they like as a person, perhaps someone that exemplifies the same work ethic, attitude, and personality that they themselves have.

To be successful during an interview, you have to get the hiring manager to LIKE you. That is the biggest factor, your skills and experience show through your resume and your previous accomplishments.

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Headhunter Rules

Here are the rules we live by when working to bring new employees to HR Directors and other hiring authorities:

  1. Don’t waste their time. You don’t have nearly enough to start with. Do everything you can to avoid wasting their time.
  2. Use email as much as possible instead of the telephone. Recruiters must use the telephone in order to “sell” but remember that the customer comes first
  3. Keep reminding them where we are in the process because this is just one of a hundred things on their “top priority” list today.
  4.  Don’t send them resumes you found on a national job board. They’re already looking there. Besides, they need you because you have the time and recruiting talent to work the phones and really dig for the top talent they’re looking for.
  5. If they tell you something one day and then change course the next, understand that unless they have the title “VP” or “Owner” after their name, they’re really just a bottom-feeder and must respond to the ever-changing needs of their organization.
  6.  Take burdens off of them by:
  • Don’t send them junk resumes.
  • Understand their Job Order and the requirements for the position.
  • Interview your candidates thoroughly and attach a summary.
  • Offer to complete reference checks.
  • Stay in touch daily with your candidate and keep them informed so you can report and update progress to their next boss.
  • Know your candidate’s needs in terms of salary & benefits before you invest their time and energy.
  • Be a great salesperson when it comes to the offer, and close the deal.
  • Know what’s going on in their business and who the players are. Yes, this is the core basic recruiter skill of knowing who is in the decision making loop. Ask them and they’ll be happy to tell you who the decision makers are.
  • Don’t push them if they don’t want to give you certain information. (Examples:
  • Other positions they’re working to fill; full salary range data; succession plans; etc.) You may ask if it’s something they’d rather not share, but if you push too hard you may find you no longer have them as a client.
  • Show appreciation. Thank you cards, with a sincere hand-written note, really will help build the relationship. (Remember, you are in the relationships business!)
  • Make sure you make them look good. Take every opportunity to brag them up to their boss and the hiring manager, and give them credit for snagging the great new hire (It will be our little secret!).

Working with “their” recruiter has got to be one of their positive experiences.

Professional Recruiter Associates is a world-wide firm of executive search consultants dedicated to matching the right Talent to our clients’ needs. Our executive search consultants fully understand the issues of real business that our clients experience on a daily basis. Our added value is that we approach assignments from a business point of view, have experience in our industry sectors, and are trained to assess candidates from a skills, cultural fit and personality profile perspective.

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Interview Tips #1

We will be releasing a set of Interview Tips for Candidates to review. These tips will assist you during the interview process for hiring companies. We have found these to be very useful and provide proven results that candidates have been able to acquire their “dream” jobs using our very simple guidelines. Our first set of tips will be what our candidates have done PREVIOUS to going into their interview with their potential employers. Enjoy!

Before the Interview:

  1. Research
    Research the company and the job. Libraries, the Internet (including Hospitality Online), industry magazines, the local Visitor and Convention Bureau, and competing hotels and restaurants are all good sources. If you know who you will be interviewing with, try to find a short bio on that person.

    Always visit the location you will be working at before the interview to see how well they are managed, how clean they are, and if they are well maintained. Greet some employees to see how they respond (they don’t have to know who you are or that you are there for a job interview). If you are flying in for an interview always arrive a few hours before the interview so you can walk the property before your interview to at least see the public space. Your “walk through” will give you a flavor of the property and company and provide you a reference point during your interview. It will indicate whether cleanliness is really stressed, how well the physical facility is maintained, whether employees are in uniform, what the dress code appears to be, etc.
  2. Practice
    Practice your interview at least three times in front of a mirror at home with a critical audience. It is always best if you can find someone you know and can trust, who is currently in the position you are applying for. Pick their brains!If you can, find someone who is in the same position as the person who will be interviewing you. Ask them to do a mock interview with you. Make up a list of all the questions you think you will be asked. Have someone grill you on the questions with a third party sitting in to critique your answers and your body language. Dress for these mock interviews. You may or may not guess the questions you will be asked but you will be prepared. Odds are, most of the questions potential employers will ask, will be similar to the ones you have practiced.

    You will be probably be asked to give an overview of your background. Can you easily summarize it, within 2-5 minutes, showing your career progression and how each position helped prepare you for the position you are applying for? You will also probably be asked to identify your strengths and weaknesses…What are they and what steps are you taking to solidify your strengths and minimize/overcome your weaknesses? What do you feel are your most significant accomplishments and why? Why should you be considered for the position you are applying for? How have you made your current company better? What are the three most important things you do in your current job?

    What would make you more effective in your current job? What don’t you like about your current job?

    There are hundreds of questions you can prepare. Just stick with the basics. Your objective is to think about your upcoming interview in relation to your current career progression. If you accomplish that you will be way ahead of most of your peers.

    Questions to watch out for? Questions that start with HOW or WHY. Smart employers will often be more interested in how and why you did something rather than in what you did. Spend some time thinking about your current job. Why do you do what you do? How do you do it? How you could do it better? Review your accomplishments and be prepared to support your answers with facts and figures.  Keep your answers short, and don’t ramble on and on.
  3. Dress and Manner
    Determine your dress and manner. Figure out what you are going to wear to the interview and how you will act. Have your hair and nails neatly groomed and shoes shined. Women should avoid excessive make-up, gaudy jewelry, or a bunch of bracelets (or a charm bracelet) that makes noise every time you move, and minimize the number of earrings you wear. Men should have neatly trimmed beards or mustaches, and leave earrings at home. A job interview is not the time to express your individuality or a fashion statement.

    Your usual choice of clothing may be very tasteful, but if you arrive looking like you slept in your clothes odds are you will not get the job offer, even if your clothes have designer names. Will your interview be in an area of high humidity? Will the clothes you are going to wear to the interview stand up if your prospective employer asks you to take a tour of the property parking lot or kitchen?

    The purpose of the job interview is to present yourself in your best light. Play it safe! The objective of the job interview, from your perspective, is to get a job offer. Once you have the job offer you can decide whether your style fits in with their culture. Even if you decide five minutes into the interview that you don’t want the job you still want to get the job offer. You never know what doors this prospective employer might be able to open for you. Remember the old adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

    Interviewing over a meal? Eat conservatively. Avoid spaghetti and other foods that can spatter and spoil a shirt, blouse, or tie. Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while you are interviewing. You are still interviewing if you are staying overnight at a hotel. The prospective employer may be paying for your stay and may monitor your bill after you check out. Other employees will notice if you had drinks, even if you pay for them yourself. Some employers don’t mind a drink or two. It is just safer to avoid them during the interview process even if they tell you it is OK. Again, you are not likely to know the culture of the company you are interviewing with and potential employer tolerance of alcoholic beverages is not the same as acceptance. How do you feel about drug tests and submitting to a background investigation? Figure out your response before it comes up. Had a DWI? Several speeding tickets and a suspended license? If these things happened to you, even if it was years ago, be prepared to answer them.
  4. Questions
    Make a list of questions you would like to ask the prospective employer. Smart employers will ask HOW and WHY questions. Have some of your own. Avoid asking about salary and benefits during the first interview unless they make you a job offer on the spot.

    Good questions to ask? What are the three most important parts of this job? How do you measure success for each of them? How will your performance be measured and monitored the first three months? Why is this position vacant? How many people have held this job the last five years? What difficulties did they experience? How could they have been more successful? Why isn’t someone being promoted?

We will release our tips for during the interview next week, make sure to follow up! The steps above do help to prepare yourself for the interview so you walk in feeling confident, and like you did the most you could do before the interview, however if you don’t know how to perform, act, or what to say during the interview, you still won’t be at the top of your game!

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