My absolute favorite part of my job is negotiating salary. I feel so much satisfaction knowing I have negotiated the best possible job offer for the candidate. Whether you are coming off a period of unemployment, raising a large family, or trying to make sure you put away as much as possible for the future, every dollar counts! While company cost constraints are important, each dollar just matters so much more to the candidate. Also, when it’s the right “fit,” it is a win-win situation. I have never had a company regret giving a top candidate top dollar.
So how do you get top dollar?
As with any negotiation, you must have leverage to get what you want.
Nothing frustrates me more than wanting to be able to negotiate the highest possible offer, but not being able to because I have no leverage.
What is leverage?
You have leverage in negotiation when you have something the other party wants…badly, and nothing else will do!
In essence, I can only negotiate a top offer when I know they want my candidate so much that the #2 candidate WILL NOT do. I cannot take the risk of saying, “Well, if you cannot offer $X, maybe you should think about your second choice,” if I am not ABSOLUTELY sure that the second choice is unacceptable.
So how do you get leverage?
Make’em want you!!!
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make in the interview process is not selling themselves to their fullest extent. Either they do not know how, or they feel it is not necessary.
Yes, the interview process is one of “due diligence” but it is also one of “elimination.” If you are not selling yourself to your fullest extent from the very beginning, you run the risk of being eliminated before you even have the chance to get through the process. Should you get through the process and then decide you really want the job, you may not have the leverage you had hoped for if you were not selling yourself from the beginning.
So what should you do to get the maximum leverage in the event you want the job?
Focus on the only 3 things you control in the interview process and go “all out.”
So what do you actually say if the interviewer asks about what sort of salary you are looking for?
It is very important to answer this correctly, or you could throw away any leverage you have built up for yourself.
Take a peek at the 3 minute answer on “How to Answer the Money Question.” If you still need more help you can download the follow-up 8 minute tutorial on dealing with that question when push comes to shove.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee Accounting & Finance Staffing
Times change and so do job search rules. The problem with most resume and job search advice is that it is given by professionals who just give advice or write resumes and are not on the “front line.”
What does that mean?
If a professional resume writer is using the same rules used since the dawn of time, they will most likely not be appropriate for today’s job market. “Front line” refers to someone who is speaking with Hiring Managers and Corporate Recruiters all day long, listening to the feedback on the resumes submitted and job candidates interviewed.
Here are 5 Outdated Job Search Rules
- Your resume needs to be one page. This rule dates back to when resumes were mailed or faxed in. Now, your resume is parsed in by software and, if you are lucky and it is queried and on someone’s screen, it will just be scrolled for a quick read through. Make sure the most recent job is above the fold.
- Your resume should list intangibles. Gone are the days when saying that you were motivated meant something. Now you must show it with factual accomplishments. Today, if you write on a resume that you are motivated, it is assumed you have nothing to show for it.
- The more you apply, the better your chances. Think quality vs. quantity. “Click, submit” is no longer enough. You must now make sure you accurately highlight why you are ideal for the job for which you are applying. If your attitude is, “Here is my resume, you figure out why I would be a good fit,” you will not get very far. Also, applying for positions in which you do not meet the minimum requirements will not cast you in a good light.
- You must wear a full suit, no exceptions. Business attire is always a must. However, there are now several genres of business attire. For some industries, such as financial services, a full suit is a must. If you are applying to an artistic department for a start-up, you can go with more trendy versions of business attire.
For more detail on business attire, see Modern Power Dressing for an Interview and What Does Men’s Business Casual Mean?
- Thank you notes must be hand-written. If you are lucky enough to interview with someone in their office, take note of their surroundings. If they have lots of paper and cards on their desk, maybe a hand-written “Thank you” note will go a long way. Otherwise, email is fine and will ensure it is seen before the interviewer makes a decision as to the next step for you. No matter what medium you use to send, the “Thank you” note can make or break you, so make sure it is perfect.
In this last recession, many people found themselves unable to secure a new job for the first time in their lives. The main reason is they had allowed their skills to be outdated largely due to a fear of change.
Don’t be afraid of change, embrace it! It is the essence of your job security.
If you have not yet given your resume a 2013 makeover, it’s time you do! Download the Quick & Easy Resume Updater Guide now! Don't let your resume say you are outdated.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
There is one very important fact you need to know before you start a job search. Your resume will NEVER get you the job. The only thing your resume can do is get you an interview. Once you get to the job interview, you must act as though your resume does not exist.
Probably the stupidest thing someone can say in a job interview is, “Well, as it says in my resume…” If you cannot communicate your skills and experience beyond the written word, you will not get the job.
So what can prevent your resume from getting you the job interview?
Well, there are probably about 25 reasons that come to mind right away and we talked about the 5 Biggest Resume Turn-offs but the following 5 things can actually prevent you from getting the job interview.
Here are the top 5 reasons your resume will not get you the job interview
1. Someone convinced you to use a functional resume. A “functional” resume starts with a big summary of skills and accomplishments and then just lists the jobs. This has come to mean that the candidate has no recent relevant skills and is trying to use a summary tactic as a trick. Tricks work once or twice. Then they become red flags. For more, see A Chronological Resume vs. a Functional Resume.
2. Puffery. In Real Estate, this word is quite common. It refers to listing a property with too many descriptive phrases and adjectives vs. just stating the facts. Why even say “cozy?” We know it means not enough room to turn around. Puffery in a resume will send the message that you have nothing substantial to offer.
3. Your most recent job looks tossed in. I know. I talk about this often, but it is one of the most common errors made by 6 figure professionals. We see it so much! If your most recent job is not the star of the show, it will send a message that either you were too lazy to put any thought into your most recent resume update, or you just hung out and got a pay check. Neither of which will get you the job interview. Be sure your most recent job is the star of the show.
4. Your most recent job is not relevant to the job. If your most recent job is just a job you took to pay the bills and is not relevant to your intended career track, you may have to face the fact that your resume may not be the best tool you have to get your next job. Worry not. LinkedIn may be very useful to you. Check out The Confidential Job Seekers’ Guide to LinkedIn.
5. Errors. Whether it’s “typos,” “first person” wording, or formatting errors, these types of mishaps can give the impression that you have no attention to detail or you really don’t care. It is nearly impossible to proof your own work as the eyes have a tendency to see what they think we wrote, so make sure you ask someone with a good eye to proof your resume.
Do not let your resume hurt your chances of getting what could be the ideal job. Take some time and do it right! Actually, it does not need to take very long if you follow the right process. If updating your resume is on your “to do” list, download the Quick and Easy Resume Updater Guide. The Resume Updater Guide is designed to guide you through the resume updating process in 30 minutes or less. Download the Resume Updater Guide free for a limited time.
Posted bySaundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
Using a Headhunter is not for everyone. Headhunters are niche oriented and in the business of “hunting” for the exact skill set for which a company requests. Because I believe in full disclosure, I will tell you what no one else will…
There are certainly instances when it is a complete waste of your time to use a Headhunter.
Here are 3 Reasons NOT to use a Headhunter
1. You are making a career change. If you are an Accountant looking to do something different or doing something different and looking to get into accounting, using a Headhunter is most likely NOT going to be fruitful. Headhunters are always industry and/or discipline specific so they do “apples to apples” only. Since I am a Recruiting Professional, I could not go to a Restaurant Headhunter and tell him or her that, because I am a seriously good cook, I would like to work as a Chef. Well, I could but it would be a waste of my time.
2. You lack the credentials in demand in your industry. Certainly there are some exceptions to this if you have been able to build some skills that are in demand in your industry. The tougher the job market, the more companies reach out to Headhunters to help them find the credentials. So, if you are an Accountant with a highly sought after CPA, you can and should utilize a Headhunter to help you find the best of the best opportunities.
3. Your resume is all over the place. If you are posted on the job boards and have not kept track of everywhere you have sent your resume, chances are, a Headhunter’s hands are tied. A Headhunter is not going to be able to present you to a company that you have submitted to prior.
A duplicate resume submission or being posted for the whole world to see will not be favorable to your reputation as a job seeker. It will make you appear to be “low hanging fruit” aka desperate. Perception is everything, so keep a spreadsheet of EVERY company that has received your resume with the date submitted and who submitted it.
If none of these scenarios apply to you, it is best to use a Headhunter to save you time and find the position that is right for you. A good Headhunter can narrow down the opportunities based on your career goals and priorities. Otherwise, you might find yourself running ragged on job interviews and not finding your ideal job. We average about 3 different companies per top notch candidate before the candidate finds the perfect job.
Getting a job in all 3 of these scenarios is possible if you take the right steps on your own. Getting hired on your own just requires specific strategies, which anyone can learn if they are willing to put in the time and effort.
One of the best strategies is LinkedIn if you are not going to use a Headhunter.
If you know how to utilize special settings on LinkedIn and know how to optimize your profile and network, your dream job will find you. Learn how in with The Confidential Job Seeker’s Guide to LinkedIn. Download The Confidential Jobseekers Guide to LinkedIn free now for a limited time.
Posted By:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
A resume is far more than words and experience. It is also speaks volumes about the person. While your resume may not be able to get you an interview for a job you are not qualified for, your resume can blow an opportunity to get an interview for a job for which you are qualified.
In other words, your resume cannot “make” you but it sure can “break” you!
Why would someone read a resume, see all the experience necessary for the job and still hit the delete button?
The reason is because the resume is saying something or many things that may be a turn-off to an employer. Most of the biggest resume turn-offs imply that the applicant either lacks attention to detail, does not care or just does not know any better…any one of which is reason enough to get the delete button in this long process of elimination.
Here are the 5 biggest resume turn offs
1. Most current role looks “tossed in.” Many professionals with more than 10 years of experience and several jobs seem to just get tired of adding new jobs and just throw in the last job making it appear almost like an afterthought. Especially for someone with more than 10 years of experience, the most recent job, no matter how short of a stint, must be the star of the show.
2. Written in a narrative. Most people know that a resume should not be in “first person” therefore, most of the time start the resume properly but many times, “first person” language sneaks in. Also, the content of your resume should be more like a list without over descriptive adjectives or scenarios. Your resume audience is scanning your resume for what they want and they are not interesting in reading a novel.
3. Paragraph vs. bullets. Large blocks of text is one of the fastest ways to get your resume skipped or “bottom of the pile” as they use to say in the old days. Just as an fyi, “skipped” is almost the same as being deleted as once the resume reader comes up with enough people they are have time to speak with, they are done. We only go back to the “pile” if none of the applicants in the first round worked out. That is rare.
4. Bad formatting. Believe it or not, format matters because the resume needs to be easy to read. The resume reader goes through hundreds of resumes a day and this can be very tedious. Leave out the fancy graphics and use a simple, easy to scan resume format such as the one illustrated in the Resume Updater Guide. Also, make sure everything is aligned correctly as those types of inconsistencies scream “horrible attention to detail.”
5. Typos. It is nearly impossible to proof your own work as the eyes have a tendency to see what we think with wrote. Misspellings and poor grammar can kill your chances at getting the interview. After all, a resume is a writing sample.
Do not let your resume hurt your chances of getting what could be the ideal job. Take some time and do it right! Actually, it does not need to take very long it you follow the right process. If updating your resume is on your “to do” list, download the Quick and Easy Resume Updater Guide. The Resume Updater Guide is designed to guide your through the resume updating process in 30 minutes or less. Download the Resume Updater Guide free for a limited time.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
You may or may not have heard the term "career ending move." I have heard it used so much that some have even referred to it as the acronym, CEM. I have heard countless stories but as a Headhunter, I usually tend to see it after the fact on a resume.
When I am reviewing a resume and deciding whether or not this is a candidate I can represent to my client, I sometimes am disappointed in one wrong move made in the job seeker's career that slipped them out of contention for the job I have been engaged to fill.
For an Accountant, it might be something like leaving Big 4, public accounting before he or she received the CPA credential. For most people, that “career ending move” usually had something to do with them taking a job with a company that offered no career development.
I ask myself,
“Why did they take that one wrong job that made their career path take a U-turn?”
When I have asked the job seeker why they took that job instead of the plethora of choices they should have had at the time, 9 times out of 10, they say because it offered more money.
Believe it or not, that’s it! Taking a job because it is offering more money is the Achilles heel to so many fast track professionals.
For your next career move, keep these 3 things in mind for your job search
1. If a company is offering above market value, ask yourself honestly, “why?” The best companies, offering the best long term career path don’t have to bribe for talent acquisition.
2. Salary is important but don’t be short-sided about your compensation aspirations. Figure out what you will be worth in 2, 5 or 10 years down the road with each opportunity you encounter. What is a 5k/yr. difference now could be a 50k/yr difference in 10 years. Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish.”
3. Don’t under estimate happiness. You will be more successful when you are happy. When we love what we do we tend to go the extra mile with passion and enthusiasm. Passion and strong work ethic in the right environment is a recipe for upward mobility!
“Money is the root of all evil” is a MISQUOTATION.
The actual quote is, “For the LOVE OF money is the root of all evil.”
Have a love for offering your calling and the money will follow.
Are you planning a career move in the future? If so, download the new, updated 3 Guidelines to Avoid Choosing a Job for the Wrong Reason to ensure your next career move propels your career forward.
Posted BySaundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee
The Resume Summary concept has been under some scrutiny lately. All the top Resume Writers have always touted the benefits of the Executive Summary as it is inscribed into their resume writing books that date back many years.
The problem is that times are changing!
In our world of ever increasing multitasking, we don’t read as much as we scan (FREE MONEY…just a test). Also, in a competitive job market, the resume reader (or resume scanner) has only a short amount of time to go through around 150-200 resumes and come up with maybe 10 resumes to present to a boss or to actually call the candidate.
How does the resume reader usually scan?
In order to scan for relevant and disired experience, your resume audience is more interested in when and where you gained the desired experiences than just that you had the experiences. That is why the eye will, most of the time, go right to the job content and skip the summaries.
Here are 4 Things You Need to Know about Your Resume Executive Summary
1. Lose the objective! The resume reader wants to know if you have what they want. Not what you want. Unless with each submission, you CAREFULLY craft the objective for that specific job and company, it will most of the time be used to eliminate you.
2. Just the facts. First of all, there should be no puffery on the resume. A resume should not contain any intangibles such as hard working, great communication skills or motivated. The interview is the time to sell the intangibles.
3. Keep it simple. If you are going to add the Executive summary, make sure it is short, sweet and to the point or you will end up taking a bunch of valuable Real Estate for no reason.
4. Use a Technology Summary. This is where you put all the systems you know. Just listing is fine (Excel, Access, Great Plains)…this way it does not take up to much room. Resume readers do scan for systems so make it easy on them.
You can’t trick the resume reader and if you do, it will just make him or her angry. If you load up a summary with past experiences to disguise the fact that your most recent experience is not relevant to the job, it won’t work…it will backfire!
The best thing to do is just be who you are and highlight what your really have to offer. If you think you can do the job despite not getting a response to your resume, then it is time to think of alternative ways to get your foot in the door.
To get tips like this and to give your resume a 2013 makeover in 30 minutes or less, download the “Quick and Easy Resume Updater Guide” free for a limited time.
Poste by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
If you have you spent good money on a professional resume writer to help you put together a fancy resume objective, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you might have just wasted your money.
The truth is that the resume objective often does more harm than good.
- First, ask yourself this question. “What does American Idol and the hiring process have in common?” From the time you submit your resume to the time you negotiate the offer, the hiring process is one of elimination. No matter how great the top 3 are, only one wins. The hiring process is designed to look for a reasons to rule you out as opposed to reasons to rule you in.
- Second, according to an article in Forbes magazine, there are only 3 interview questions and one of them is, “Will you love the job?” In other words, one of the most important things to a company when considering you for a job is whether or not you will truly be happy…keyword, truly.
So what all this means is that one of the primary reasons a company will rule you out is because they think this job is not what you really want.
Because the hiring party is acutely aware of the fact that your job, as the job seeker, is to sell yourself, they believe that they need to do more reading between the lines to deduce your true motivations. Yes, they might not believe you when you say, “This is my dream job."
That is why that “objective” better be a dead hit for what the job and company has to offer or its deletes-ville for your resume.
So how do you know exactly what the job and company have to offer?
Well, you don’t really unless you are working with a Headhunter that knows the inside scoop. If you do enough research on the job and the company, then you might have some solid company hot buttons to work with so if you are willing to do the upfront research and customize your objective for each submission, it could work. The problem is the potential for missing something you would have no way of knowing.
- Reason the job is open: Someone just left because he did not get the promotion he thought he deserved.
- Your objective says: “Looking for a company where I can grow.”
Right away, the company is going to be a little gun shy about someone looking for the next opportunity before they prove they can do the one they were hired to do.
Just to be safe, you are better off with no objective on the resume.
For more resume pitfalls to avoid and how to give your resume a facelift in 30 minutes, download the Resume Updater Guide, free for a limited time.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
Author: Jill Crouch
Eight months ago, I interviewed for a job outside of my industry expertise. After twenty plus years in the private sector, I was facing two hurdles. I am a six figure salary executive and I was trying to make a career transition. This particular organization was using an outside consultant for the placement and I struck up a good rapport with her during the pre-screening and interview process.
When she called to tell me that the organization had selected another candidate, I was disappointed, but thanked her for her support along the way and took the opportunity to solicit constructive feedback. During that discussion, she gave me a couple of leads and said she hoped our paths would cross again. I followed up with cookies and a note, once again thanking her for her encouragement.
Fast forward six months. I received an email from this same consultant, telling me she had been contacted about a position but she was tied up with the current assignment. She explained that she felt it was a perfect match for my past industry experience.
Subsequently, I interviewed and accepted a six month consulting project that has since been extended and has offered up the opportunity to do ongoing work for them over the next several years.
What is the moral of this story?
Interviews can be about much more than the job you’re actually interviewing for. Job interviews can also provide an opportunity to build networking connections that can lead to surprising offers, sometimes taking your career path in a new and unexpected direction along the way.
Here are 4 keys to turning interviews into future job opportunities
- Remain positive. It’s not easy losing out on a job, but it is important to leave those involved in the hiring process with the best impression possible.
- Impression matters. If you make a great impression, and follow up correctly, people will remember you when an appropriate opportunity presents itself.
- Positive follow up after a rejection. Cookies can’t hurt!
- Be open for anything. Recognize you need to remain flexible and open minded about how you transition, it may not always be the way you expect.
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A real life success story posted by:Jill CrouchConsultant; Operations, Business Development Research
Have you ever been advised to "sell" yourself as something different than the “real” you in a job interview? One of the most annoying habits of a Headhunter is persuading the job seekers to sell themselves as something they are not when interviewing with the company. This is not the way to go about finding your dream job.
This tends to happen quite frequently in the Accounting & Finance interview process because “selling yourself” (as is necessary in a job interview) has traditionally been thought to be something that did not come natural to an Accounting or Finance professional. This assumption has led these professionals to take some bad advice.
Here is the problem...
When you try and fit a square peg in a round hole, it does not usually work out in the long run. The differences come out sooner or later and pretty soon you are looking for a job that is a better fit and most likely, you will not be leaving with a stellar reference. Your time in a career search will be best spent selling yourself correctly to the jobs and companies that fit your skills, personality and career goals.
Here is a 3 step process to selling yourself the right way in a job interview
1. Make a list of the company “hot buttons.”
- Exactly what the company is looking for (skill sets, personality, etc.)
- Hiring Manager’s pet peeves
- Why the last interviewee did not fare so well (or why he/she did)
2. Make a list of your “selling points”
- Skill sets
- Character driven professional attributes
3. Create a 2 circle Venn diagram. In one circle, list the company “hot buttons” and in the other circle, list your “selling points.” The note the Venn diagram subset.
That “subset” is where ALL THE MAGIC HAPPENS!
You may have one million things you want to tell the company about yourself that you are so proud of but if it is not of use to them, then 3 things happen:
- The company thinks that you might not be happy if you don’t get to use your talents.
- It ends up being noise that distracts them from what they want to hear.
- You are wasting the very limited to you have to really sell yourself.
Spend 100% of your interview on the common ground only. Be prepared to dig into those topics and prepare in your mind how you will verbalize your real life scenarios regarding your experiences. Most importantly, always be the best, most professional version of yourself and do not try and be someone you are not.
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Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee