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Real World Recruiting

Thank you for visiting our blog!   Here at Kingston O’Neill we have decided to start a new series of posts via our website to document, detail and lesson share with others about the recruiting world.  We like to be straight-up and candid, but also provide helpful tips and insight to what is really happening behind the recruiter curtain.  Thanks for visiting and please feel free to contribute your thoughts.  We can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 


Setting Expectations- Part 2-Employers

In Part two we are going to explore the employer’s responsibility with setting expectations.  As with all sides to the equation, it always comes back to the classic phrase—“Do what you say you are going to do!”

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Setting Expectations- Part 1- Recruiters

In a job search, setting expectations is pretty much EVERYTHING!  We are going to explore this topic further in a 3-part blog series and look at it this from the three legs of the stool:

  • The candidate
  • The employer 
  • The recruiter
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Timing is Everything!

As we all know it is a very common exercise at the start of a New Year to make resolutions.  Several of those include career related goals.  Perhaps it is focused on a promotion, more work/life balance or making a move to a new company.  It is very normal to contemplate your career aspirations when a New Year turns, but the reality is, as with any time of year, timing is everything!  

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Getting Organized

Many look at a new year as a clean slate of sorts; a good reset point to reevaluate what you’d like to accomplish personally and professionally.  We don’t know about you, but something we always strive for is better organization to work more efficiently.  Having your “ducks in a row” so to speak is mandatory for setting and reaching goals—it gives you a less cluttered canvas from which to work as well as an overall sense of preparation.

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Job-Hunting while still Employed?

You’ve often heard the advice “it’s easier to find a job when you have a job.”  That being said, embarking on a job search can feel like a full time gig—so how do you look for a new position while still employed?

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Are you an Active Job-Seeker?  Here are your Interviewers

A common question candidates ask is, “What can I expect from the interview process?”  This is a reasonable question, the answer to which varies depending on the company.  The level and responsibilities related to the job you’re pursuing can have you speaking with a few or many; either all at once or in separate meetings.  We’ve compiled a list of the usual suspects, so you know who you can expect to be interviewing you throughout your job search, and be ready to speak to your experience at all stages of the process.

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Top 5 things Internal Recruiters can learn from Recruiting Partners

Kingston O’Neill is dedicated to rising above the rest and providing focused search and vetting techniques to find you the candidate you can’t find on your own.  We often have client’s inquire about what we are doing that perhaps their internal recruitment team is not?  Here we list some habits and techniques that we find are smart to adopt on any end of the equation.

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The Case of the “Thank You” Note

Sending a thank you note after an interview is a well-known tactic among candidates vying for positions and we get asked often if you should or shouldn’t send one.  

If you choose to, what are the do’s and don’ts?  Should they be hand-written or emailed?  How long do they need to be, and what type of content should they include?  Our quick answer:  if you’re going to send them, make sure they are error proof and are helping your case instead of hurting it.  We break down the explanations and tactics below.

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InMails:  Like or Loathe?

Many recruiters use LinkedIn and the InMailing feature to reach out to potential candidates and to network regarding opportunities they are working on.  LinkedIn has announced several changes in the past few months that indicate LinkedIn efforts to “reel in” the more aggressive recruiters.  With these recent changes it has caused us at Kingston O’Neill to ask the questions, Do people want to hear from us?  How do I add the most amount of value to a potential job seeker and ensure the experience of partnering with our firm stays top notch?

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Great Candidates Ask These Questions

So, you got the interview?  Great!  Did you know that in addition to the general experience-related questions and personality fit, that you’re judged pretty heavily on the question and answer session at the end?  That’s right.  A good interviewer always leaves room at the end for you to ask questions about the role, company, and team.  Asking insightful questions during this time shows you did your homework, and that you really do want to assure the role is the right fit for you, and that you are the right candidate for the job.

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Group Interviewing

Once a retail manager, I remember having to beef up my sales staff in the months leading up to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays—at times adding up to 40 extra employees.  Because this was such high-volume hiring, the company’s policy and tactic was to interview several top candidates in a group interview.  

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Why your Title Does Not Speak for Itself

Recruiters speak with lots of potential candidates with different levels of skills and titles in any given week.  For any one position we are recruiting, there can be many different titles associated with the position depending on the company and size of the group in question.  All this being said, if we had a nickel for every time we heard the phrases, “Have you reviewed my resume?” or “Per my current job title…” well, we would have a lot of nickels.  

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Recruiters and Recent Grads

As the matchmakers of great employers with great candidates, recruiters are often contacted by many job-seekers and often times recent college graduates.  The misconception can be that we are in the business of finding everyone jobs.  What is important to understand is that we are engaged by clients, typically in a specific industry, to facilitate the identification of candidates they cannot find on their own.  It can be tough and unfortunate in the case of recent college graduates who by no fault of their own, lack the working experience for some of the roles we partner with our clients to fill.

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Texting Candidates – Right or Wrong?

Candidate management is an ever-changing, many moving parts process that must take into account expectations, timing, momentum, etc to run smoothly.  Communication from clients and candidates is crucial for all of these moving parts to be accurately and quickly represented to both sides.  We utilize phone calls, in-person meetings, and emailing to send and receive these messages, but what about our society’s foray into text messaging as a main form of contact?  Are we in the recruiting world missing out on a valuable, untapped resource, or are we just trying to maintain a little professionalism by keeping the texting out of it?

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Quick Tips:  Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

As important as LinkedIn has become to the professional networking world, you should be leveraging your profile in the best way possible.  How do you do this?  We have some quick tips to help increase your presence:

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What NOT to Include in your Resume

Most job-seekers have the same thought when searching for the perfect opportunity, “If I could just get an interview, I would get the job for sure!”  Well, it’s your resume that initially creates interest and starts the domino effect leading up to the interview, so today we focus on how to maximize impact when recruiters and hiring managers are looking at your career history.  Specifically, we want to highlight things to REMOVE so no one is bogged down or turned off by irrelevant content.

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Interview Attire – Are you being trendy to the point of looking casual?

In today’s job market, standing out from the crowd and selling your skills and attributes to a potential employer during an interview is of the utmost importance.  You want to command respect, emote confidence, and show that you can handle obstacles gracefully while getting the job done.  Did you know that looking the part sets the best stage for being able to successfully showcase these things?  I think most of us know via interview 101 that you should wear suits and ties, yadda yadda, when interviewing.  However, with the emergence of business casual and spicing up the common work outfit by incorporating new trends, this pretty solid line of what to wear and what NOT to wear has gotten thinner and quite blurry.

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To Interview, or Not To Interview?  That is the Question

As recruiters, when we connect with candidates who could be potential fits for our clients’ we are tasked to adequately vet and qualify these folks first before introducing them to our clients.  Much goes into the vetting process, but aside from looking for the right skill set and background of experience, we also take a look at what is motivating a person to look elsewhere for employment.  Many times, the overall fit of a candidate comes down to this.

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100 Happy Days Challenge - The Results Are In

On March 4 of this year, Kingston O’Neill started the 100 Happy Days challenge, a mission that put our team to the test of recognizing happiness in our busy lives at least once per day for 100 consecutive days.  This happiness was to be documented in the form of a picture to be posted on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and appropriately hash-tagged #100happydays #kingstononeill100dayshappy.  The challenge website noted that 71% of participants had failed simply because they had been too busy to complete the task.  Did we even stand a chance of getting to the end and stopping the glorification of busy despite the fact that we are indeed a business?

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Top 5 Traits of a Great CRA

We partner with clients on many job searches within the drug development space, but a common denominator among many of our clients is the Clinical Research Associate role.  These individuals are pivotal to running and maintaining a successful drug trial, and must possess not only the skill, experience, and know-how needed to monitor real-time patient data, but also embody other important soft skills to be successful.  Having placed many successful candidates in these roles, Kingston O’Neill has compiled a list of the top 5 traits we hear time and time again that makes a CRA candidate a uniKOrn find: 

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Internal Recruiter/HR Power of Influence on the Interview Process

We have posted several blogs in the past about the importance of momentum during the interview process, and its overall effect on candidate interest, company interest, and ultimately, who gets hired.  It’s imperative that there be a rhythm and consistency in timing between different stages of the process, but who drives this vehicle with the precious cargo that could develop into your new-hires?  Well, it’s the Human Resources department normally, and may more specifically the internal recruiter.

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The Power of the Pre-Close:  A Message from Our CEO

What is the ‘pre-close’?  It the process of assuring that your candidate’s expectations are in line with your client’s potential upcoming offer.  Why is it so important?  It keeps surprises to a minimum.  Setting expectations around every corner in the recruitment process is KEY, and salary is probably one of the most important expectations to clearly and accurately communicate!

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Hiring Profile for a Great External Recruiter:  A Few Words from Our CEO

There are a lot of different approaches to hiring a great external recruiter.  Some think to hire a sales person, some think to hire an HR professional, some think to just hire anyone and hope that they do well.  Over the years I have seen a lot of great people succeed and great people fail.  The common phrase is “no one goes to school for this”, but over the years I have found consistent traits in those who have done well and created a career.

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Interviewing:  Client/Sponsor Discretion

Interviewing is tough—you have to be ‘on your game’ and ready to talk about yourself and your demonstrated work experiences several times over and with lots of different people.  This involves giving specific examples and talking through your personal approach to how you do your job and how you resolve issues and make decisions.  Working in the clinical research and drug development space, we at Kingston O’Neill recognize the importance of the different Sponsors you’ve worked with or on behalf of throughout your career.  At the same time, we also know the importance of keeping this information confidential during the interview process. 

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Benefits are Benefits, Not Bargaining Chips

There are many factors to consider at offer negotiation time, and we know that both tangibles and intangible reasons should contribute to the decision.  Today we focus on one of the tangibles:  benefits.  A company’s benefits plan typically includes PTO, personal days, and recognized holidays; Health, Vision, Dental, Disability, and Life Insurance; Flex-spending, tuition reimbursement, 401 (k) plans, and professional development allotment.  A company’s benefits allow them to provide their employees with a personal lifestyle that compliments their work lifestyle; while rendering them competitive with industry and professional standards.  At the end of the day, these are added bonuses to base salaries offered.  Too often, we see candidates who want to barter or alter these benefits, increasing them in order to make the entire offer more compelling as they consider a move.  As recruiting partners to both you and our clients, we want to caution candidates on doing this.

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Candidates:  The Case of the Selective Memory

​Recruiting is a big industry—there are many different agencies, and lucky you, you don’t have to choose just one to work with.  We also know that we’re not the middlemen between you and every position out there.  You are entitled to apply on your own and control your own destiny.  We just have some tips for you.

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Looking for a Career Change?  A Recruiter may not be your Best Resource

In recruiting, we often speak in terms of partnerships with clients and candidates, striving to make the best fit on both ends.    When we are evaluating what our clients want to see in the candidates we present, there are usually little to no gray areas meaning that a candidate will either have the demonstrated experience or not.  We are tasked with finding that uniKOrn candidate who fits the skill-set,  the culture of the company, and has demonstrated potential for career growth and longevity.  When you layer on top of it that clients are paying our service fee, it is rare to find a situation where they will hire if one of these pieces is missing. 

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Clients—Shoot Straight with Us

We’ve mentioned before that with the ongoing partnership of candidate and client management comes communication.  As recruiters, we are tasked with the responsibility of communicating for our candidates AND our clients.  We don’t take this lightly.  We want to be on the same page as you at all times so that we can better represent you as an employer.  We also want to properly represent your interview process and timing so that we can in turn portray a sense of urgency when you’re motivated to hire quickly and you do not have a deep candidate pool; and slow down the momentum when you’re in comparison mode and near a final decision.

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Candidate Professionalism:  What You do Now Sets the Stage for the Future

We’ve talked before about putting your best foot forward regardless of how comfortable you feel with your recruiters.  We’re the “middle men”, so you can be a bit more casual because the client won’t see, right?  Well, yes, but we’re not only representing you, we’re looking out for and trying to find the right fit for our clients.  Having said this, let’s look longer-term.  

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Reference Checks:  What Message Are You Sending?

A positive professional reference always makes you feel good about a hiring decision and should be icing on top of an already amazing cake.  References can help you hone in on training and development opportunities when on-boarding a new-hire and should be intended to validate already positive feelings about a candidate.  You would not be checking references if the candidate was not moving through your process.  

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Candidate Etiquette:  Help Me Help You

Aside from full-fledged recruitment efforts we launch, as recruiters, we are also contacted by job-seekers on a consistent basis.  We may be asked what opportunities are out there; help with career growth or planning; be given a referral of a colleague/associate, etc.  For the most part, we know what to expect in terms of content.  What we don’t always expect is the over-the-top forthrightness and overall candidness we get from some of those out there.

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Why your Clients AREN’T Handing your Searches

Ever feel like you’re the last one on the list of agency partners to receive a search from your client, when you can plainly see that your competition is recruiting on it?  It’s perplexing and down-right upsetting.  But have you thought about why you’re not on the ‘preferred’ list? 

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The Twelve Days of Christmas (Recruiting Remix)

As recruiters, we gladly overcome daily obstacles to get our client the best fit and most fantastic sparkly uniKOrn candidate.  Here’s Kingston O’Neill’s rendition of the 12 days of Christmas, recruiting style. 

Ahem, sing along…you know you want to.

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The Holiday Recruiting Campaign

We’ve been focused on the holiday slow-down over the past few posts, but as recruiters, taking advantage of this down-time to ramp up for the New Year and reflect on the year past is pivotal to positioning the coming business—just a few short weeks away.  

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Holiday Pace

We noted last week that the hiring pace tends to slow to a crawl during the holidays.  Employers are meeting deadlines, using up PTO, and generally trying to tie up loose ends instead of opening new projects.

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A Thanksgiving Top Ten from Kingston O’Neill

For the hiring world, the holidays affect momentum in the exact opposite way that they do for retailers—processes slow down…way down.  We’re not complaining, because we know that our clients push forward and stay urgent in their decision-making all year long.  As recruiting partners, we mirror this pace, and manage candidates’ expectations and momentum accordingly.  Apart from this, we also see the holidays as a time for reflection, business plan strategies, and being thankful.  A sort of winding down in order to ramp back up time, if you will.

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Work/Life Balance:  A Message from our CEO

Hi there!  My name is Megan Lisiecki and I am the founder of Kingston O’Neill Search.  We focus in the drug development space and work on behalf of organizations who value consultative recruitment partners.

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Momentum during Hiring:  The Importance of maintaining a steady rhythm

As recruiters, we often talk about how crucial it is for us to set the right expectations to clients on candidate timing and parameters, and to candidates on client interview structure and hiring timelines.  However, if we could pinpoint one thing that is of equal importance for clients to maintain during our partnership up until the new-hire start-date, it would be momentum.

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Vendor vs. Partner: Where do you fall?

We’re all called recruiters, and we all provide a service to our clients, right?  Well, yes, in a way.  How, then, are we so very different in our respective approaches, and why are some of us so hated while others of us become a trusted resource for talent acquisition?  Because, like most categorization, there is a spectrum from minimum to maximum; from missing the boat to hitting the mark; from vendor to partner.

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Poker Face

As much as we liken recruiting sometimes to dating, we liken the interviewing process to Poker.  You definitely need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, and know when to walk away” when looking for the right candidate.  However, we here at Kingston O’Neill also assert that of equal importance on the employer side is being able to “show ‘em”.

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Navigating the Resignation Period

Many times in the interviewing and hiring process, one of the tougher aspects is the period of time AFTER accepting the job and tendering your resignation.  This is perhaps one of the areas that is the hardest to endure, and on the recruiting-partner side, the hardest to coach.  Much of what you experience during this time can tug on your heart strings more than it will on the “it’s just business” portion of employment.  Not only this—but it can also be tough for your new employer to contain their excitement , creating the risk of a potential outing of where you’re going before you actually get there.  How do we navigate this job-change limbo period, and what are the best practices and acts of courtesy???  

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Hey Clients, What is our Relationship Status?

For recruiting firms, one of the toughest aspects of handling both client and candidate expectations during the interviewing/hiring process is communication.  At Kingston O’Neill, we believe in transparency, and we want to keep everyone on the same page at all times.  This is especially directed towards clients, and one of the areas of highest priority when searching on your behalf.

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Interview Etiquette

So, you’ve been through the pre-requisite phone interviews and have finally scored that in-person meeting with the hiring managers at your dream job.  Good for you!  Now, what? 

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Don’t Let Anxiety Get the Best of You!

You interview with a company, the meeting goes great, the HR Manager says upon your exit, “We will be in touch soon”, you get positive initial feedback from your recruiter…and then you wait.  Sometimes the radio silence after a great interview can really play with your mind.  You start saying to yourself:

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Pace of Play

The pace at which an interview process happens is a very interesting factor.  Some interviews and companies take months and some take 5 days.  This is not always indicative of the priority, but sometimes an indicator of the culture of a company or the nature of the position within the organization.

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It’s Not a Mug Shot

Like many recruitment professionals, we spend time on social media platforms like LinkedIn.  If you look at different publications LinkedIn puts out there they will always advise to have a profile picture versus not if you are wanting to maximize your networking capabilities.  I believe the statistic is that your profile is 7 times more likely to return in a search if you have a profile picture. That being said, we have seen some LinkedIn pics that could potential double as a mug shot.  

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Follow Our Company

We had a really insightful call today with LinkedIn about how well our team is using the tool and since we genuinely care about adding value and engaging with candidates and clients, both existing and potential, we thought we would encourage people to follow our company on LinkedIn.  Since I am the furthest thing from a programmer, I apologize for the amount of sharing options on this post!  Please click the follow button immediately below and that will allow you to keep up with us.  Thanks in advance for sharing with your network!

 

 

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Straight up, now tell me

​Yes, that is a Paula Abdul reference from the 90’s.  We had a situation happen with a candidate recently where we truly think they were afraid of personally hurting our feelings because deep down they were no longer interested in the opportunity we had presented to them.  We are here to say, it is okay. 

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Employers- Are you Vetting your Recruitment Partners???

There must be something in the water because in the past few weeks we have heard all sorts of stories from candidates about bad recruiter experiences.  One really shocking situation was a candidate who told us she decided to decline an offer from a company because the external recruiter she was working with became so pushy and aggressive that it turned her off from working for the potential future employer.  Yes, that sounds extreme, but bottom line is people care about the courting process and when making their decision, often rely on intuition and such to help guide them.

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Insight into How Recruiters Work

Every recruiter has experienced this situation before—You present a candidate to your client and the client is already aware of the person, yet the candidate never told you they applied.  When you go back to the candidate to make them aware they brush it off as no big deal.

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Super Bowl Reflections

Watching the Super Bowl last night brought an interesting thought to my mind.  With the coaches being brothers, how incredibly hard it must have been for their parents to watch this game?  To know that in real life, only one can win the big game and one will be disappointed.  So what does this have to do with recruiting?!?  

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What to Expect from Your Recruiter When Preparing for an Interview

First off, there are no stupid questions when preparing for an interview and it is important to be on your A-Game for every type of interview you may have; phone, Skype, in-person, etc.  Some folks think phone interviews are just a formality (they are usually the people who don’t do too well on them!).  Every interview is designed to get you to the next step and all are important.  

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If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be

LinkedIn has often been called the Facebook for professionals and I could not agree more. It has become such a fluid representation of one’s background, skills, accomplishments and goings-on.  Frankly, I find it hard to keep up with my news feed because there is so much activity within my network of people connecting with others, sharing status updates, interesting articles, etc.  

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Attracting Bees

I was a fairly feisty young adult and it was not until after college and I entered “the real world”, you know the one where you have real bills to pay and real responsibilities, that I discovered the power of a positive attitude.  Fast forward to 2013, now with 10+ years in the recruiting industry, and I am still sort of shocked that we come across candidates who could stand to be told, “Darling, you attract more bees with honey”, in my best southern draw, of course.

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Behaving Badly

Let’s start with a soapbox issue.  My biggest pet peeve in the recruiting industry is the not-so-great recruiters who give the recruiting industry SUCH a bad name.  To scratch the surface, bad recruiters are often characterized by being dishonest, pushy, and selfish and lack all ability to communicate or follow up.  Let me ask this: Recruiter, how can you expect someone to tell you everything about their job search, timing, where they are interviewing, etc. if you are not even willing to return their call to tell them you have not heard from your client yet???  That being said, I have seen and heard of candidates misbehaving.  I have to ask, which came first, the badly behaved recruiter or the badly behaved candidate?

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Avoid The Black Hole - Creating A ‘Stand Out’ Resume

This day and age almost every organization is using the Internet as a means to recruit candidates for open positions. The good ole’ days of going into a business, shaking hands, and leaving them with a hard-copy of your resume are almost obsolete. As a job-seeker submitting your resume via a Web Portal, you may feel that it never gets looked at and goes into the black hole of the company’s database. Not true!

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How To Really Prepare For An Interview

When you are getting ready for an interview there are a lot of basic steps everyone follows. You already know: wear a suit, bring several copies of your resume, know where you are going, arrive 10 minutes early, etc.

But what else can you do to be prepared above and beyond the expectations of your potential future employer? Well, we have several suggestions for you, and we are always open to new and creative ideas. So, if you do something in your preparation routine that “gets you the offer”, please share!

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Resigning from your employer can feel a little bit like a high school break-up. You know it is going to be an awkward conversation, someone is going to be disappointed, but you knew this relationship was not forever. We suggest taking the “it’s not you, it’s me” approach…it is usually the lightest way to deliver the tough news and keeps bridges from being burned!

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Who Doesn’t Love a Greatest Hits Album?

There is an incredible amount of information on the Internet about job searching, such as what to do, what not to do, what to wear, what to put on your resume, what to avoid like the plague, etc.

To help you navigate your way through this information, we thought we would put together our version of a Greatest Hits compilation.

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