• Interview-Etiquette Violation # 1

    May 31, 2006 by

    Like most recruiters, I’ve seen my share of interview-etiquette violations over the years. And, like most, I always forget to write them down (so I guess I’ll never be able to publish that book).
    Or, maybe I’ll just start blogging about these violations and give the audience an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others.
    Interview-Etiquette Violation #1:

    Showing up at the office to meet the recruiter face-to-face when a telephone interview has been scheduled.

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  • Compensation Analyst Resume


    Position where extensive compensation analysis and
    management experience will add value.
    * Strong background in compensation/incentive systems
    analysis, design and management; combine experience
    in retail banking and financial sales with MBA
    (Finance and Strategy).
    * Proven ability to build and manage project teams.
    Led team that reviewed Firstar and US Bank sales
    tracking systems and recommended new post-merger
    system (2001).
    * Rapidly promoted three times in three years to
    current role as Sales Tracking System Administrator.
    Designed and managed two breakthrough incentive
    programs (1999-2001).
    * Manager said: “His technical skills related to
    data management, data analysis, and report
    preparation and analysis are strong. (He) does an
    excellent job.” (2000)
    XYZ Bank (seventh-largest bank in US), Any City, Any State
    Sales Tracking System Administrator: Retail Staffing
    & Incentives Group (2001-present).
    Manage functionality of sales tracking system during
    integration with Firstar Bank, while preparing system
    for PeopleSoft integration in 2002 (involving 22,000
    personnel in 24 states).
    * Lead systems team that plans and executes sales
    tracking system conversion, creates system
    requirements for other system conversions and reviews
    requested changes to system.
    * Manage process to update hierarchy, banker
    information, products, reports and commission rates
    to reflect merger-related changes. Currently support
    10,000 sales personnel in 16 states.
    * Lead cross-functional team to develop and implement
    training for 2002 branch conversion.
    * Serve as compensation/incentives expert; act as
    liaison between IT and business lines.
    * Review incentive plan changes for new plan managers
    and senior HR management. Review product rules and
    commission rates. Maintain online reference manual.
    * Improved quality of sales data available to
    branches while decreasing nightly run times 20% by
    implementing system-wide changes.
    * Achieved 70% reduction in system-generated reports
    by eliminating and consolidating data.
    Incentive Plan Manager/Project Manager: XYZ
    Incentive Group (1999-2001).
    Effectively led design of incentive plans, calculated
    payments and managed systems.
    * Designed and managed incentive plans for Brokered
    Loan Group sales force of 70 during rapid growth,
    from $21 million in loan sales in 1/00 to $203
    million by 5/01.
    * Designed new in-store branch manager incentive
    plans for 120 personnel. Helped decrease audit
    failures 80%, reduce teller errors 30% and increase
    sales 14% in two quarters (2000).
    * Took over and completed stagnant project to change
    sales incentive reference manual from paper-based to
    intranet site. Saved over $30,000 in costs and
    ensured instant updates.
    * Created Access databases to generate reports of
    sales quality trend analysis, quarterly sales volume
    analysis, sales contest reporting and ad hoc
    * Served as subject matter expert on sales incentive
    plans and sales tracking system. Routinely served on
    new product design teams and compensation issues
    discussion groups.
    * Chosen to administer entire sales tracking system
    (Motivator). Prioritized work for system analyst and
    programmers, and managed all system functions.
    Interpreted sales rules.
    XYZ Bank (seventh-largest bank in US), Any City, Any State
    Sales Incentive Auditor: Retail Sales Support Group
    Created centralized, sustainable sales audit process
    for this newly formed group.
    * Audited sales transactions for compliance with
    compensation rules. Worked with internal
    investigators on branch employee fraud cases.
    * Identified weaknesses and problems within sales
    incentive rules. Analyzed sales data for trends. Work
    with sales management to decrease likelihood of audit
    * Created procedures that decreased dollar value of
    average audit violation by 45%, while reducing number
    of monthly violations by 15%.
    * New procedures rapidly identified ineligible sales
    worth over $160,000 in commissions.
    Financial Analyst: XYZ Group (1998-1999).
    Tasked with cleanup and reconciliation of special-
    conversion general ledger account.
    * Designed financial models and databases to
    reconcile ATM deposit G/L accounts.
    XYZ Loans Analyst: Bank of XYZ, Any City, Any State (1996-1997).
    Provided analysis within Farm Lending Department of
    bank with $900 million in assets.
    * Analyzed financial statements (for loan
    applications) and corporate financial statements (for
    exemption from state bonding requirements). Released
    collateral on paid-in-full loans.
    * Managed interest rate changes for $40 million in
    variable rate farm mortgages.
    * Designed and completed project for senior
    management that drove bank-wide restructure of
    mortgage processing, enabling higher-yield products
    and increased client satisfaction.
    Financial Sales Rep: XYZ, Any City, Any State
    Provides sales and service (commission-based).
    Specialized in retirement plan sales, with primary
    focus on government employees’ deferred compensation
    Annuities Special Projects Analyst: XYZ Financial
    Insurance, Any City, Any State (1993-1994).
    Contacted and sold customers on merits of
    transferring assets to new annuity product provider.
    * Transformed stagnant project with highly effective
    efforts, increasing transfer rate to average of $3
    million per month (up from $500,000 per month
    MBA (Finance and Strategy dual emphasis): University
    of XYZ, Any City, Any State (1998).
    * Compiled GPA of 3.67 while completing accelerated
    program in 11.5 months.
    BS: Economics, University of XYZ, Any City, Any State (1994).
    * Dean’s List (1991) and Air Force Association
    Scholarship recipient (1992).
    * Computer skills include Windows and Macintosh,
    Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Access, FOCUS programming, Word,
    PowerPoint, Project, Extra (3270 emulator) and
    Internet research.
    * Member: World at Work (formerly XYZ
    Compensation Association) and XYZ Cities
    Compensation Network.
    * Former Licensure: Series 6 and 63; North Dakota
    Life and Health Insurance.
    Incentive Plan Manager, Incentive Plan Analyst,
    Incentive Plan Manager, Incentive Plan Analyst,
    Compensation Analyst, Compensation Manager,
    compensation analysis, compensation management
    compensation systems analysis, incentive systems
    analysis, systems design, systems management, retail
    banking, financial sales, master of business
    administration, MBA Finance and Strategy, project
    management, projects, sales tracking systems

  • How to Write an Effective Job Posting Ad


    Writing a job posting for the Internet is different than writing a job posting for a newspaper. Since you are charged by the line or column width for newspaper ads, ads are very plain and full of abbreviations therefore job seekers can not get detailed information about your company or the position. Unlike newspaper advertising, an online job posting allows you to showcase your company and provide a full description of the position. Even though some career sites do have length restrictions, there is still sufficient space to outline enough information for the candidate to fully understand the requirements and expectations of the candidate for the available position.
    Here are some tips to effectively write an Internet job posting ad:

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  • Keeping It In Perspective


    Okay. After submitting what seems like millions of cover letters, resumes, and applications, I finally have an interview with the federal government! (which I don’t even remember applying to) It all works for me though. I’m really hoping that this works out for me.
    I have testing on the same day as my interview which makes me a little nervous. If I have to answer essay questions, I’ll be all right because it was my major in college, but if I have to answer math questions, I’ll probably be lost.
    I’m going to try and brush up on some general math concepts until my interview, but is there really anything else that I should be doing until my interview? Should I call the office and ask them what kind of testing there will be and what it will consist of? I don’t want to mess up this interview.

  • Get Hired Faster — Get Specific


    If you walk into a car dealer and announce, “I want a car,” what kind of reply will you get?
    The sales rep will say, “Sure. What are you looking for?” Then he’ll ask for more details — the make, model, color, price you’re willing to pay, etc.
    It’s never enough to say, “I want a car.” You have to be specific. Otherwise, nobody can help you.
    Why, then, do so many people say, “I want a job,” and then fail to get more specific than that? Is it any wonder that so many job searches sputter and lurch along, like a ’67 Chevy in need of a tune-up?
    But this is not for you.
    If you want to find the right job, you must first answer three questions in specific detail. Here they are …

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  • A Key to the Unknown


    So it’s been almost 48 hours since my graduation and I have to say that adjusting is a bit difficult. I sort of wander about my parent’s house in a daze with nothing to do yet constantly thinking there is something I could be doing. I have to reassure myself that I don’t have any essays to write or tests to take—not for at least a year anyway when I head to graduate school. I was not one of the lucky seniors that secured work before graduation so I’m on a mad dash to find work for the fall. This summer I have a seminar program that pays me so I think about that to not discourage myself. It’s hard not to think what the use an expensive education is when friends of mine who chose to work instead of going to college are doing okay for themselves. While I, on the other hand, am frantically applying to any and everything so that I don’t become one of those unemployed statistics. It’s then that I think about all the kind words friends and family gave me the days before and during graduation that console me. This degree is significant although I am currently pushing myself in a million different directions right now. As I gain more and more work experience, this degree will serve to be invaluable to me. Even as I look at the diploma and admit it’s just a piece of paper in fancy wrapping, it’s power demands a certain respect and acknowledgement. With this paper doors are consistently open to me and only my imagination limits me, which is refreshing. The world is endless and enormous and I am grateful that I had the drive to accomplish so much. I am the first graduate in my immediate family and I’m sure when my parents embarked on the job hunt many doors were slammed in their face. I find that there are a plethora of employers out there who are itching to shape and mold recent graduates and willing to train them. It seems that experience, while important no doubt, is not the eliminating factor for the graduate that lacks it. The degree grants certain rites of passages that others can only dream of attaining. All of these thoughts have culminated into that brief moment the 29th of May that granted me my key to the unknown and in so doing gave me endless possibilities. Although I am on the “mad dash” it worries me not at all. I mean it is hard work applying for jobs and nerve racking waiting for approvals but at least with this key I know these days will soon be few and far between.

  • College Recruiting Audio Conference


    Want to learn more about college hiring? Join me on Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 1 p.m. E.T. as I present a 90-minute, Kennedy Information sponsored audio conference.

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  • The Most Important Piece of Paper in Your Job Search

    May 30, 2006 by

    What’s the most important piece of paper in your job search? If you said it’s your resume or your cover letter, you’d be wrong. It’s your job application.
    Over 90% of companies run some type of background check on job applicants today. To get the detailed information that is required to run a thorough check, most companies require applicants to fill out a specially-designed application form.
    Over 80% of companies say that discrepancies on a job application can take a candidate out of the running, yet half of the background checks run in 2005 found inaccuracies in the information provided by applicants.

    As you can see, how you fill out that job application is directly tied to whether or not you get hired.

    There are four golden rules to follow when filling out a job application. Some of them are obvious and all of them are important. If you follow these rules, you will start the pre-employment screening process far ahead of your competitors.
    Tell the Truth:
    As amazing as it sounds, over half of all applicants lie on their applications. Don’t be one of them. Nothing will take you out of consideration faster than fabricating information. Because so many companies check backgrounds today, the chances are very good that lies will be discovered and you will not get the job.

    Be Neat:

    Since companies use the information on your job application to check your background, make sure people can read it. If you can type your application, do it. If not, print clearly. Your mother might be able to read your handwriting, but she is not the one who will be checking your background.

    Be Complete:

    It is always better to give too much information, rather than too little. You never know what a company will want to verify. Here are some general rules:
    1. If there is space on the application, list every diploma and degree you have received. Some companies will only verify your highest degree, while others will want to verify everything.
    2. Fill in as many employment boxes as you can. Work study, internships, and volunteer jobs all provided you with experience. List them if you have room.
    3. Always provide up-to-date phone numbers and addresses for your previous employers.
    Be Prepared:
    Most companies will not tell you what information they plan to check. Some will only run a criminal check, while others will verify every piece of information on your job application. You need to be prepared for anything they choose to do.
    You also need to be prepared for anything a hiring company might hear about you. Even though previous employers may be liable for saying bad things about you, it happens every day. If there is bad news out there, it is far better for you to tell the hiring company than to have them find it out on their own.
    Before you send out that first resume, or respond to that first newspaper ad, take the time to prepare the detailed information that needs to go on your job application.
    Remember, while a great-looking resume and solid interviewing skills will help you make the final cut, if you don’t pass the background check, you won’t get the job.
    Jan Maxwell is the author of “A Job Hunter’s Secret Weapon: How to Survive a Background Check and Get the Job You Really Want” (www.jobhunterssecretweapon.com). It’s the first book that takes job applicants inside a real background check, explains how information gets verified, and shows them how to fill out a job application that will sail through pre-employment screening.

  • And maybe we’ll get lucky, and we’ll both live again


    You would have to have used a jackhammer to try and get the smile off of my face.
    I expected the worst. WIth how unstable of a man my boss is, I expected to be told to “get out.” I expected profanity to be hurled at me.
    So with a stomach full of butterflies, I told him that I needed to talk to him. And I told him that my girlfriend had taken a job, and that I was planning on moving, and that I was putting in my two week notice. And then I waited for it.
    But it never came. Instead, he wished me the best in the future and said I could use him as a reference.j
    The last two weeks of work flew by in a blur. I had managed to keep my job up until the last minute before I left town. That meant I had to pack up my apartment at night, and still try and find time to visit everyone still in Dubuque that I wanted to see.
    And then that glorious last day came around. My god it was beautiful. To never have to answer phone call after phone call all day long. To never have to try and sell a satellite dish to a senile old man over the phone again. To never have to care about what features this refrigerator has over the next. To never have to awkwardly video tape a wedding again. To not be called “fella” by my boss every day.
    I couldn’t stop smiling as my car sped down the highway back home.
    There’s a lot of uncertainty and adjusting to do now though, but waking up this morning to take my girlfriend to her first full day of work, I felt good about myself. And I had forgotten what that felt like.

  • Attorney At Law Resume


    JD, law, legal, attorney, landlord/tenant, entertainment, personal injury, business litigation, administrative
    hearing, formal conference, unlawful detainer, civil procedure issues, personal jurisdiction, arbitration,
    talent agency, copyright liability, trademark liability, Child Support Enforcement, Psychology, Sociology,
    XYZ University School of Law, Any City, Any State (May 1996).
    Program: Southwestern’s Conceptual Approach to Legal Education
    SCALE, Complete Law Education In 2 Years
    Juris Doctor
    University of XYZ, Any City, Any State (June 1992).
    Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Psychology and Sociology with a specialization in business and
    Independent Contractor
    Free Lance Attorney, September 1997 to June 1998
    Represented clients and assisted attorneys with cases in landlord/tenant, entertainment, personal injury and
    business litigation.
    Made court appearances in municipal, superior and federal courts for pre-trial matters, including law and
    motion hearings.
    XYZ Legal Services, Any City, Any State
    Nonprofit organization dedicated to serving indigents and the elderly
    Volunteer Attorney, June 1997 to September 1997
    Volunteer Law Clerk, April 1997 to May 1997
    Represented clients in administrative hearing and formal conference.
    Assisted counsel in unlawful detainer cases appearing in municipal court.
    Performed intake of clients, evaluated and researched cases.
    XYZ Law, Any City, Any State
    Civil Litigation Firm
    Law Clerk, March to May 1996
    Researched and drafted memoranda on civil procedure issues, such as personal jurisdiction.
    Prepared supervising attorney for arbitration to defend talent agency against a multi-million dollar claim for
    breach of fiduciary duty.
    Alerted counsel of potential copyright and trademark
    liability regarding television script for Fall 1996 season
    Attorney General’s Office, XYZ Child Support Enforcement,
    Any City, Any State
    Research Assistant, January to June 1994
    Researched and located impoverished mothers to send child support payments and located delinquent
    fathers to enforce child support payments.
    Recovered approximately $800,000 in federal funds for child support payments
    XYZ Advertising, Any City, Any State
    Clerk, January to September 1993
    Initiated and created agency newsletter.
    Drafted arbitration agreement and safety procedures for human resources.
    Fluent in reading and speaking French.