Most people are too afraid to really ask Recruiters and Headhunters exactly what we're thinking. So I thought I'd ease everyone's curiosity...
1. Is it bad that I've had a lot of jobs?
Usually, the answer is no - unless you were fired from every single job and there's 20 on your resume. Generally, companies are pretty forgiving if you have a good (or pretty acceptable) reason for moving on like :
- You found a better opportunity (bigger company or more boutique one depending on your wants)
- You were promoted/moved up a position
- You wanted to progress (more money/training etc)
- You old workplace was a terrible work environment.
Rule of thumb, if you can explain it convincingly in a positive way, you're fine. Gone are our parents days were they stayed in a company for a gazillion years. Companies realize that people move from job to job - the secret is how you communicate your reasons for it.
2. Is my resume good enough?
Most likely, no. I've seen thousands of resumes and there hasn't been a single one that I've yet wanted to edit or change around in some form or fashion. Why? Cause when you apply for a job, your resume should be geared towards the actual job and most people just send out their Master Resume. I can't stress enough how important it is to have different versions of your resume. Even though your skills and experience doesn't actually change - highlighting the necessary skills to a job posting/profile will make the difference. For example - if you're applying for a management role, then really highlighting your experience with leaderships, team and if you have none and are just starting to climb the ladder - then talk about how you take charge in a community event or volunteer capacity. And for the love of goodness, use spell check!
3. Are Cover Letters really important?
As a Recruiter, I would make a YES/NO/MAYBE pile of candidate applications. Cover letters were the difference between what made me excited to talk to a candidate and what took people from the "Maybe" pile to the Yes or No one.
Things that made it to the NO pile - typos, a profound lack of attention to detail and if it had nothing more interesting to tell me. Cover letters are the opportunity to tell your story and hook people into wanting to call you for an interview.
4. Will you judge me if I am bad at interviewing?
Honestly, companies just want to know 2 things - 1. Can you get the job done? 2. Do people want to work with you. It doesn't matter if you are nervous or aren't the world's best interviewee - you just need to be able to communicate those 2 things. It's ok if you hem, hum and mmm your way through it As long as you can still get your skills, strengths and point across
5. Do you actually check social media?
Ya. Nowadays, it's the quickest and easiest ways to verify that you are who you are. It's window to what you might be like as an employee. Not to say that what you're like on a crazy Saturday night while you're on vacation is the same person that shows up in a boardroom meeting on a Monday, but sadly, it's become the norm to check. Personally, I find it a bit creeptastic but it does get checked and people do lose out on opportunities because of it.
6. What would make me a better candidate?
Aside from having the perfect and sometimes completely unrealistic range of experiences and skills we've been told to look for - You have to be potentially a great fit for the opportunity and that changes from job spec to spec. In general, having an amazing attitude and perspective is what wins. People who make it through the rounds of cuts/gatekeepers/rounds of interviews are the ones that seem like their going to be great to work with and have passion about their job and career. Yes, I can always hear it when someone is in a career that resonates with them or they are just faking it to make it. So go out and do something that speaks to you. Oh and get a coach to help you through it ;)