Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Job Searching

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to job searching.

“New Year, New Job” — 5 Steps to Get Started in 2019

Kelly Benson By Kelly Benson,
Branch Manager at Eagle

"New Year, New Job" -- 5 Steps to Get Started in 2019 January.  A fresh start for the New Year.  The month where we set goals, commit to self-improvement and kick bad habits.

The New Year also often brings thoughts of new jobs and new career challenges – why wouldn’t we apply that same mentality to our careers?  Much like getting results from hitting the gym and eating more greens, a successful career also requires focus, commitment and hard work.  If New Year, New Job resonates with you, here is a quick guide to setting yourself up for a successful job search:

Step 1:  Get Your Resume Job Search Ready

Priority number one is to update your resume.  There are a lot great tips available online and many offer different opinions (our favourite tips can be found here).  Your resume is often your first chance to make a first impression, so be sure to check it for accuracy.  The devil really is in the details.

It is also a good idea to take stock of where you are today and put some thought in to where you want to get to.  From there, set some annual career goals.

Step 2:  Get Social, Network & Apply!

These days, having a current, online presence is just as important as having a great resume.  Make sure you have a professional online persona and that you are connected to everyone you know.  Think of your online profile as a personal brochure, but DO NOT hide behind it.  Step away from screens and get out in front of people.  Meet everyone you can – your contacts, industry events, meet-ups, contacts of contacts and reputable recruiters.

While you are networking, find the right jobs to apply for.  We believe in quality over quantity.  Your time is much better spent on a few great applications that are a good fit for your experience rather than blasting your resume to every posting you see.

Step 3:  Get Job Interview Ready

The job interview is your time to shine, but it can be stressful if you aren’t prepared.  Do your homework and read these tips and tricks to help you calm your nerves and bring your “A” game to the interview.

Step 4:  Master the Marketplace:  Learn & Grow

One of the realities of being a successful IT professional is that you always need to stay on top of trends.  Change is constant in this industry and – as technology advances – so must your knowledge and skills.

The most successful people we know are always broadening their knowledge and one of the most effective ways to open up new career opportunities is to develop new skills.

Step 5:  Stay on Track

We all know that the easiest thing to do with a New Year resolution is to simply forget about it or to give up when things start to get tough.  Don’t take the easy way out!  Stick with the job search process and you will have something new before you know it.

2018 in Review: The Job Search Process

Job hunting sucks. It’s a long drawn out process of non-billable time, filled with the same old resume-writing and interview questions (you do, however, get to have conversations with some pretty awesome recruiters!). Still, it’s inevitable. Unless you want to be unemployed when your current contract is up, the life of an IT contractor means you are always on the look-out and you should be keeping current in your job search skills.

At Eagle, we often come across new trends in job searching or recognize major shortfalls in how independent contractors approach the task. One of the Talent Development Centre’s top priorities is to compile this information and share tips and tricks to help you succeed in your job search. Not surprisingly, this is the most extensive list in Eagle’s “2018 in Review” series…

General Job Search Tips and Trends

Resumes

Job Interviews

Industry-Specific Job Search Tips

Why Every IT Professional Needs a Digital Resume

Guest Post by Victoria Greene, Ecommerce Marketing Expert

As technology has developed over the last twenty years, more and more parts of our lives have moved into the digital realm. The iPod supplanted CD players, then streaming services like Spotify took all our music into the cloud, allowing ready access from anywhere. And if you need to book a ticket for an event, you don’t head down to the venue or a ticket office — you visit the website (or use a booking app) and get what you need without needing to move a muscle.

So why are so many of us still putting so much time into the tired old paper resume? If you’ve ever spent any time applying for jobs (probably a safe assumption), then you’ll know how irritating it is mess around for ages trying to get everything formatted in a certain way, and how frustrating it is trying to tweak things for specific roles. Then you hand it out, and… nothing.

It’s particularly silly if you work in the IT industry, because your skills are electronic, computational, complex. How are you supposed to stand out in 2-3 pages of blandness? Well, the winning move is not to play. Instead of trying to make your regular resume creative, keep it standard and throw your creativity into a digital resume to accompany it — here’s why:

They’re faster, easier, and cheaper to share

Want to share a paper resume? No problem! But you’ll need to print it first. Better make plenty of copies, because you won’t know how many you’ll need. What if you go to a networking event and you want to show your professional qualities? Maybe you should take a hundred copies just to be safe, but then you need to carry them around, and face the indignity of rustling around in your bag for a few sheets to hand to someone.

Digital resumes are infinitely easier in a time of 24/7 online connectivity and advanced smartphones. Just have your resume as a website — find a short URL that suits your personal branding, or (if you can’t) just use a URL-shortening service and pick something memorable. You can put the URL on a T-shirt, or a business card, or just tell people.

And when you go through a standard application process that allows some freedom in your submission, or email a recruiter, you only need to advance that one thing. Let them know that anything they need is on that one site. No copying needed, no printing expenses to get glossy versions made, just the cost of hosting.

They naturally supplement standard resumes

In a perfect world, you’d only need one comprehensive resume to apply to any position — but this isn’t a perfect world. Plenty of recruitment services and company portals still require you to submit a .PDF, or even a .DOC (or .DOCX) file, with no room for compromise. Sometimes it’s because they want to run every submission through an automated assessment service, and sometimes it’s because they’re just behind the times and don’t understand digital resumes.

This can be frustrating, yes, but needing to submit an electronic resume needn’t totally hamper your efforts. Not only might you have some design flexibility allowing you to pull over some stylistic elements from your digital resume (though it’s something to be careful with, since an Applicant Tracking System might not be able to parse complex elements), but you can also simply add a shortened URL to the content.

If your resume gets automatically rejected, then it won’t help you much — but if at least one actual person gets to read it, they might be willing to head to that URL to see what you have to offer, giving you a great chance to add to what’s on your regular resume without trying to stuff ill-fitting copy into a two-page document.

They’re quick to revise or customize

Have you ever found yourself furious after an interview because you realized too late that you’d missed a typo on your resume? When you go to the printing stage, you commit to the copy you have, and that’s it — it’s fixed in place until you get a fresh batch printed. And if you want to provide a custom resume for an application (which is often advisable, since you should cater to the specific job you’re applying for), you’ll need to print a separate version for it.

When you provide a digital resume, you don’t need to worry about that kind of inflexibility. If you notice a typo as you’re heading to an interview, you can log in and change it on the fly. And if you want to provide different versions for different places, you can simply make duplicates of your site at different addresses and change them as needed.

They’re natural segues for other web projects

If you have a personal website you’d like to show people, or a program you developed, or a big live project you worked on, you can include a URL on a standard printed resume, but there likely isn’t much point. Do you really expect someone to go out of their way to head to a computer and type in that address?

A link in a digital resume, though, is much more powerful. It just takes one click to see what’s on the other end. That probability that a well-placed (and presented) link is going to get clicks gives you ample reason to look for other things you can achieve online. The more you can link out, the more compelling your overall candidacy becomes without adding any weight whatsoever to your main resume page.

Imagine that you were trying to attract interest at a really large company, possibly someone you’d wanted to work for a long time, but you felt that your current accomplishments weren’t up to scratch. Instead of simply trying and trying again in the hope that something would change, you could do something new, such as:

  • Document your efforts. Showing personal and professional development is incredibly important, but it isn’t always easy to showcase that kind of work on a resume. A one-liner about a new language you’re learning won’t go too far — you need to actually chart the challenges you face. If you set up a blog, or even a talking-to-camera video series about what you’re trying to achieve, you can link to it on your digital resume and add some meaningful character context.
  • Run a side business. IT and business savvy don’t always correspond. If you set up a freelance business and get even just a few clients, you can turn the site into a testimonial of sorts. Or you can run an ecommerce store. Set one up, or buy one — if you have money saved, there are top businesses for less than $10,000 that you can turn into meaningful sources of income. Link to your secondary sites, and you’ll be able to show entrepreneurial hustle without adding any clutter.
  • Collaborate on content. Networking is obviously vital in most industries, and though IT demands more of a close focus on your skills, it has its fair share of personal recommendations. If there are influential figures in your niche that you think you could work with, you can reach out to them and pitch some collaborative work — team up for a blog series on their website, for instance. You can then link to their site on your resume, lending authority to your case.

Think of a digital resume as your personal homepage, and turn it into a fleshed-out hub telling a professional story that spans numerous sites and resources.

They’re creatively fitting and freeing

Perhaps most importantly, a digital resume gives you the opportunity to show off what you can do with your career skills. Are you a web designer? Build a finely-polished resume website that will impress prospective employers before they even get to your conventional resume content. Are you a software developer? Make your resume an interactive application of some kind.

Instead of being stuck with whatever you can fit on a few sheets of paper, you have complete freedom to go in whatever creative direction you want. Now, you can go too far with that kind of creativity and sabotage your chances (limitations are important), but that’s not an issue with the medium — that’s just the added responsibility of controlling your own destiny.

With everything we’ve looked at, why wouldn’t you want to have a digital resume? Because times are still changing, you’re going to need to retain your basic paper and electric versions too, but leave all your creativity for your digital showcase. The more freedom you can exert in your candidacy, the more you’ll expand your opportunities.

Victoria GreeneVictoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who loves having so much of her writing available online. You can read more of her work at her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

 

New and Growing Job Opportunities for IT Contractors by 2022

According to a recent survey from Nintex, 71% of decision makers across multiple industries say automation will affect up to one out of five positions at their companies. In IT departments, this could include those in roles that include troubleshooting, password resets, and upgrading security patches.

Given the numerous studies being released on this topic every day, should IT contractors and technology professionals be concerned about their future? Only if they’re not willing to change and learn future skills says the Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum. In fact, there are a number of opportunities! Just have a look at this very brief summary of the report:

1. Automation, robotization and digitization look different across different industries

The many faces of the robot revolutionWhile it’s expected that companies world-wide will be developing robots and automation, different industries will have different needs. As such, WEF says we can expect to see fewer of the robots we’re used to seeing in sci-fi movies, and more stationary robots.

2. There is a net positive outlook for jobs – amid significant job disruption

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, 75 million current job roles will be displaced due to machines and algorithms. That may sound devastating; however, they also expect 133 million new job roles will emerge. Moreover, occupations like Data Analysts, Software & Applications Developers, and E-Commerce & Social Media Specialists should see some significant growth.

3. The division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms is shifting fast

Of all of the industries covered in World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, there is currently a 71%/29% split in task hours performed by humans versus by robots. By 2022, this is expected to be 58%/42% and 48%/52% by 2025.  According to the report, “Even work tasks overwhelmingly performed by humans today — communicating, interacting, coordinating, managing and advising — will begin to be taken on by machines, although to a lesser degree.”

4. New tasks at work are driving demand for new skills

Skills such as precision, memory, reading/writing, even management are expected to be less and less significant on resumes. Instead, the experts at World Economic Forum predict that you’ll get ahead in the next few years if you start highlighting skills such as analytical thinking, active learning, technology design and emotional intelligence.

5. We will all need to become lifelong learners

As noted in the previous point, learning is more and more important. Both individual workers and senior leaders are seeing a growing skills gap that can obstruct an organization’s growth if not managed properly. This shows opportunities for independent contractors in IT who manage to keep up with the latest skills and trends. It’s expected that one-half to two-thirds of the world’s companies will be turning to them for help.

What are you doing to prepare for the future and the inevitable changes due to automation? Will you be a leader taking advantage of the new opportunities or will you fall behind due to fear and resistance?

Changes are Coming to How the Federal Government Hires IT Contractors

David O'Brien By David O’Brien,
Vice President, East Region & Government Services at Eagle

Changes are Coming to How the Federal Government Hires IT ContractorsThe Federal government last reformed procurement around IT Professional Services over 10 years ago, introducing the supply methods Task-Based Informatics Professional Services (TBIPS) in December 2007 and Solutions-Based Informatics Professional Services (SBIPS) the following July ’08. TBIPS has by far been the most-used vehicle across the Federal Government to acquire IT contractors, with the last known spend figures being over $1 billion in 2016-17 and it’s expected to have topped $1.5 billion the following fiscal year.

Although the spend is significant, there has been a long-building uniform dissatisfaction with the evolution of TBIPS among ALL stakeholders — industry/suppliers, client departments and IT contractors. I currently sit as the President of the National Association of Canadian Consulting Businesses (NACCB). Over the last several years, the organization has been very active in working with the Feds in advocating real changes to the way the Government acquires IT contractors.  The overall objective is to create a process that is simpler, quicker, focuses on quality over price and most importantly, results in a better procurement outcome for Canadian taxpayers.

The Federal government has been receptive and have begun in earnest a full TBIPS Review Process, engaging all stakeholders and have assured us they are willing to put “everything on the table” in order to modernize what has become a very cumbersome and often dysfunctional procurement process.

It is our hope the new process focuses on the quality of IT professionals and away from the over-reliance on lowest price as the primary awarding criteria. After all, contractor quality is a function of both supply and cost. The current way in which TBIPS solicitations are conducted tends to have a negative impact on both supply and cost. At a very high level of generalization, when evaluations are based on lowest price or artificial median bid rates, it guarantees a low price. That in turn all but guarantees two things — a low quality resource and frequent consultant turnover.

When someone is looking to have their roof re-shingled, usually the lowest bid is also of the lowest quality, and so the same concepts hold true for professional services. You get what you pay for, and if the goal is to get someone at -20% of the median, which itself is an artificially downward-skewed measurement of “market rate”, then the result is predictable.

As to supply, the evaluation of solicitations typically takes so long that even if candidates that are bid were legitimately available at the time of submission, by the time the solicitation is awarded there is little chance that they are still available. The current process has created an environment, unfortunately, where unethical vendors are fully aware of the long evaluation process and can bid candidates solely to maximize score (they typically do not consider legitimate availability). When the solicitations are awarded, the candidates are not available and a backfill process must be initiated.

There a number of changes the NACCB strongly recommended that will serve to make for a far better procurement. For example, some of the significant and true process changes that will undoubtedly serve all interests much better include establishing a Vendor Performance mechanism to reward quality-based vendors over under-performing vendors focused on the lowest price only. As well, the elimination of paper only based grids (Ottawa is probably the only city in North America that sees 30,50, 80 page! resumes) and the implementation of a Skills Assessment/Interview both to assure resource availability and to truly vet skills as part of the process.

We know today there is a severe skills shortage that is expected to get more challenging in IT for the foreseeable future. The ability for the Federal Government to compete to acquire these resources will be imperative. Having an efficient, clean and quick hiring process will be critical to that competitiveness.

9 Tips Every IT Contractor and Job Seeker Must Read Before Sending Email from a Phone

9 Tips Every IT Contractor and Job Seeker Must Read Before Sending Email from a PhoneMany IT contractors always keep their smart phone attached to them because the plethora of apps mean they can always be connected to family, friends and work. Among the many apps that keep you connected to work, email is arguably the most important but can also have the greatest failures.

In many ways, email etiquette when sending from your phone is the exact same as when sending from a computer. For example, you will always need to review the tone, use Reply All sparingly or know when it’s better to pick up the phone. However, there are also some distinct differences. Here are a few tips for anyone — IT contractors, job seekers, managers –to consider before sending an email from your phone.

  1. Get to know your email app. There are several mobile email apps available. Whether you’re using the native one to your phone or you have another you prefer, get to know it and ensure the settings are configured. How does your name display when you send an email? Is your signature block set-up (and do you want that “Sent from my mobile device” line)? Do you know all of the tools and how to properly format with bullet points and numbering when sending an email? Failing to review these early will result in unprofessional-looking emails.
  2. Keep them short. Sending emails from a phone is more time consuming compared to sending from a computer where you have a full-size keyboard. There’s also a higher margin for error. To save yourself time and embarrassment, keep the emails on your phone short. If it needs to be longer, jot down a few points in a draft and complete the email when you’re back at a computer.
  3. Don’t Be Too Short. Yes, it’s best to keep mobile emails succinct, but that doesn’t mean you can be lazy. Continue to have a quality subject line and include proper greetings and sign-offs. As well, keep in mind that an email from your phone is NOT a text message. There is no place for emoticons and typical cell phone short-hand. Finally, use subject-only emails sparingly. The email with no body and just a subject that says “Please send Susan that process document” may be efficient for you, but can be perceived negatively by your recipients.
  4. Avoid Long Blocks of Text. Another common flaw that appears in phone-generated emails is the massive brick of text, clearly written by somebody too lazy to hit the enter button. As noted in Tip #1, get to know your app so you can use bullets and line spacing to organize your email in the same way you would from a computer.
  5. Double-Check More Than Usual. While checking spelling is a given because of the nature of writing on a small keyboard and the jokes autocorrect sometimes plays, it’s also prudent to take a second look at the recipient you selected and the email account from which you’re sending.
  6. Have a Plan for Attachments. Do you have a way to access all of the attachments you may need to include in an email? If you did manage to load the files onto your phone, uploading them to emails uses data. Instead, keep files on a cloud account (iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) that you can access from your phone and only send a link to those files.
  7. Be Careful of Emotions. At this point in your career, you know not to send an email when you’re in an emotional state (ie. Angry) because it’s too easy to write something you’ll regret. Your phone being so readily available will make it even more tempting and easy to send that email… don’t fall into the trap!
  8. Check Your Surroundings. It goes without saying that you should never write an email while driving. It’s also wise and courteous not to start firing off emails while socializing or meeting with other people. Not only is it rude, but the distractions almost guarantee mistakes will happen.
  9. Decide if It’s Necessary. Consider both the urgency and length of your response. If it can wait a few hours or you need to write specific details with attachments not currently available, then wait until you’re back at your desk where you can do it properly. Worst case, send a quick reply confirming you received the email, provide a brief answer, and let the sender know you’ll respond in more detail later.

Certainly you’ve been on both the sending and receiving end of a mobile email. If you’re like many others, you have mixed emotions about them too. How often do you send emails from your phone? Do you have any stories of mobile emails gone wrong? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

The 10 Scariest Job Seeker Mistakes

What scary character are you going to dress up as for Halloween? A witch? A zombie? How about job seeker mistake? OK, so maybe that last one isn’t an actual character, nor will it eat your brains or turn you into a frog, but it could hurt your chances at winning your next IT contract!

This seasonal infographic from careerleaf is fun to go through, and more importantly, it shines a light on 10 common mistakes made by job seekers that prevent them from finding their next job. All of these can apply to an independent contractor and we dare you to honestly tell us that you never make any of these mistakes. In what area can you improve?

Happy Halloween week!

What to Do When You Lose Out on a Contract

The nature of IT contracting means that throughout your profession, you’re going to inevitably experience rejection. It’s not uncommon to work closely with a recruiter and meet with clients in an extensive interview process, only to find out you didn’t win the work. Especially for those new to the technology contracting space, this can be disheartening and discouraging. Those who have been around the block a few times know that how you react to such rejection plays a role in how your career will shape out. Here are a few things to do when you don’t win the contract you were hoping to get:

  1. Confirm the Opportunity is Closed. Let’s take a step back. Do you know for sure that you didn’t get the job or are you assuming so because you haven’t heard anything recently. Some clients, especially in the public sector, have a long evaluation process. It’s possible nobody, including your recruiter, has heard anything yet.
  2. Ask Questions. And do it promptly. As soon as you learn that the contract was awarded to somebody else, pick up the phone to your recruiter and start digging into reasons why. Try to get feedback from both the recruiter’s perspective and the client’s. Specific questions could be:
  • Was the contract awarded to someone else? (see #1)
  • What was the decision based on? (provide examples to help pry for details — price, qualifications, fit, etc.)
  • How can I improve for future opportunities? (interview performance, qualifications or training, soft skills)
  • What was the one thing I did best?
  • Are there any other open roles I’d be better suited for?
  1. Review Your References. You may get a signal based on your recruiter’s feedback that your references weren’t as shining as you’d hoped. In this case, review the names you’re providing and ensure that you are clear on the information they’re sharing with recruiters and clients.
  2. Self-Reflect. Take the feedback you receive and combine it with what you already know (practice self-awareness and be honest with yourself). Could you have been better prepared? Are you applying to jobs out of your league? Could you have been more personable?
  3. Act on the Results. It’s one thing to know what you must do but it’s another thing to actually do it. Using the feedback you receive, read through your resume, social networks and personal website to make improvements. Also review your skills and create a training plan based on gaps.
  4. Continue to Build Relationships. Just because your recruiter wasn’t able to help you land this contract, it doesn’t mean they will not have opportunities in the future. Keep working with them (and others) and ensure lines of communication remain open to build relationships and find new opportunities.
  5. Stay Positive. Negativity is a downward spiral that brings nothing productive. The right attitude is crucial in a successful job search and the opposite will quickly spread and make people much less likely to want to work with you.

Whatever your reaction to a lost contract opportunity, never burn bridges. This can happen much more easily than you might think. Letting pride get in the way, refusing any responsibility and blaming the recruiter, or pushing to change a final decision can all affect how willing your staffing agency is to present you for an opportunity in the future.

How do you deal with lost contract opportunities? Do you have a specific process, do you ignore them all together, or do react based on each situation? We’d love to hear your feedback and experiences. Please share them in the comments below.

Do These 5 Things Before You Even Apply to Your Next IT Contract

If your job search strategy consists of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks… and very little is sticking, then it’s time to re-vamp your way of thinking. Applying to multiple jobs with little thought or preparation is not just aggravating to recruiters but you’re wasting your own time as well. Rather than taking an “Apply and Pray” approach to finding your next gig, take a step back and review these five items Dice suggests an IT professional should do before applying to their next freelance opportunity:

Build Up an Online Reputation

Believe it or not, Recruiters have access to the Internet. And they know how to use it. Yes, an Internet-based job like a Web Designer should have a portfolio, but those seeking offline jobs also need an online presence. Recruiters always look beyond a resume to learn what others think of you and if it matches what you say in your resume. When you consciously build up your online reputation, you control the narrative!

Create a List of Verifiable References

The keyword here is verifiable. IT contractors have a different challenge finding great references compared to those in permanent positions. You don’t have the luxury of a long-term relationship with a manager who will remain at their company for a number of years. Instead, your top references could be other contractors who move around and lack the fancy title. You’re also in an industry where the landscape changes fast, so that valuable reference from five years ago may not be able to speak to your skills on a newer technology. When you build a relationship with a credible professional, add them to an on-going list of potential references. Organize that list based on experience and maintain it to keep it up-to-date with current contact information.

Make Sure Your Expectations Align with Reality

In this section, Dice suggests doing some homework to get a solid understanding of the workload, deadline structure and pay to ensure it matches your own needs. This may require a phone call to the recruiter working on the role, but your 5 minute discussion will be well worth your time compared to the hours you spend customizing your resume. Another piece of reality to align is whether or not you are the right fit for the job. In this article we found on The Muse, the author suggests you ask yourself not just if your skills match those requested, but also if your goals match the position and if the client’s culture and workspace fit with your ideal working conditions.

Research the Client

When you work through a recruiter, you have two clients — the staffing agency and the end client — and it’s wise to research both. First, always know what you’re up against before you start working with any recruiter. There are many criteria on which to evaluate an employment agency and how you weigh each one is your personal choice. What’s important is that you’re working with a recruiter you trust. Knowing the end-client is equally as important. For example, if they’re on the list of tech companies most likely to cause burnout or if they have a terrible reputation in how they treat independent contractors, then the higher rate may not be worth your pain.

Understand the Hiring Standards

Finally, Dice warns freelancers that they should not to assume that hiring standards are more relaxed for independent contractors versus full-time employees. A quick contract does not mean your recruiter or client will skip due diligence. Expect that they will conduct detailed reference checks, run background checks, and hold you under a magnifying glass before extending that final contract offer.

What kind of job seeker are you? Do you take similar steps before sending your resume (if so we’d love to hear them) or do you apply for everything that looks like it could be interesting (if so, we’d love to hear if it’s successful). Regardless, share your comments below!

The Most Effective Way to Apply to Jobs

A lot of effort goes into an effective job search. Searching for the best jobs, networking through companies and preparing resumes are all labour intensive and require significant amounts of time. Once you’re prepared, submitting the actual application is quick and easy; however, it should still receive as much attention as any other step. After all, you’ve done all that work, why waste it by being careless during a company’s online application process?

The simple action of applying to a job is not complicated but failing to pay attention to the details could cost you an interview. These simple items help you stand out when you submit a job application online:

  • Ensure you definitely qualify. Review that job description once more to guarantee that you meet the absolute must-haves of the job. This includes a willingness to work at the location. If you’re not willing to move and they want you in their city, then don’t bother applying.
  • Review the name of your resume file. Naming your resume “Resume.doc” is not very helpful to a recruiter looking at multiple files. At the minimum, include your name in the filename. It’s also wise to include your title and the date it was last modified.
  • Provide multiple contact options. As much as a good recruiter will always contact you in your preferred manner, there are always exceptions. Give them as many options as possible if they need to speak with you immediately — email, phone, cell phone (are you open to texting?), and LinkedIn are all helpful.
  • Complete all requested fields. Staffing agency job boards often ask for additional information to help keep their records up-to-date and match you with future opportunities. Even when it’s not mandatory, it’s a good practice to complete all fields. This helps you appear in future searches and recruiters will call you as job opportunities arise.
  • Avoid Creating Multiple Profiles. We see this happen often at Eagle. Candidates start using a new email address and end up creating a separate profile under their new address. The result is duplicate profiles in a database, which will cause confusion and you may miss out on future opportunities.
  • Save Information from Your Applications. Tracking all of your job applications means you can follow-up later and know the status of all jobs. Specific details you’ll want to reference when following-up with a recruiter include: Job Title, an ID number associated with the posting, the location, and the date it was posted.
  • Follow-Up… but be Realistic. Speaking of following-up, we always recommend it. If anything, it gets you in contact with a recruiter and helps you network. That said, be realistic about it. Following up hours after applying does not give a recruiter enough time to review all applicants and you will not get a good response. You should also avoid following up too frequently and keep in mind that it’s not worth arguing when you don’t receive a favourable answer.
  • Save and Return Later. Finally, there are going to be situations when you want to apply to a job but don’t have time to complete all of these suggestions. That’s OK. Save the job information and the application then return to complete the details at a more convenient time.

As the old saying goes “A job (application) worth doing is worth doing right.” The more you pay attention to detail and provide the right information, the easier you make the job of a recruiter, and the more likely you are to get that interview.