Tips for Candidates

How to Create Networking Contacts

December 17th, 2014 by Southeast Technical

businessman connect to social networkUsually, when you are looking for a job, you will ask for help from your family and friends. You contact these people to ask for information on current job openings, business opportunities, and more. These people are considered your networking contact list. They are people you have an active personal relationship with. Other people who can be added to your warm contact list include classmates, coworkers, or neighbors.

Here is a list of possible people to add to your list:

Relatives and Friends
Your relatives and your friends are the ones who are always willing to help you in your search for a job or any business venture. They will be able to provide you information they have and refer you to trustworthy people who can help you further. They may be willing to introduce you to their contacts and provide honest information to the person who is looking at interviewing you.

Church Members/Political Party/Fraternity/Sorority
People who share faith, belief, or hobbies often bond together and they will help when needed. They may have a different career than what you are after, but they may know someone in your field. However, these groups of people need to be thought through before use. You want to make sure they know you well enough to feel comfortable assisting you. This may mean that you need a strategy to approach them and ask for assistance.

People Who Sell You Things
You may think that your relationships with people who sell you things are based purely on trading services, but they can also be useful networking resources. They are experienced with meeting new people and selling themselves. They may have come across someone in your field, and if their association has become solid enough, they can act as a referral. Maintaining a pleasant relationship is key to having a stable business relationship. They also know that the more money you make, the better their chances are to sell you their goods or services. If they help you secure a position, your relationship is likely to tighten.

Former Colleagues, Employers, Co-Workers
Whenever possible, end a job on a positive note so you can maintain a positive relationship with the people working there. Having relationships with colleagues and employers shows your potential employer that you work well with others. Even if you are battling personal problems with a business, try to get them all worked out prior to leaving the company. Your new job venture will need to call previous employers to review your work history. You want them to receive the information in a positive light instead of hearing negativity in the voice. Most companies want co-workers on the list of references because they can give first-hand knowledge on how you work. This information can either win you an interview or kill your chances with the company.

Monster Reports Six Ways to Make A Recruiter Hate You

August 21st, 2014 by Southeast Technical

Businessman presenting the word stalkingWe came across this tongue-in-cheek article at about ways to make a Recruiter hate you. While hate is a strong word, several elements of the story did resonate a little with our principal recruiter, Louie Smith. While Louie maintains he’d not be terribly offended by a marriage proposal (but happy at home, thanks) he DOES prefer to avoid candidates who are “liars, stalkers or particularly apathetic in their applications.”

“The important balance in a recruiter-candidate relationship is mutual respect and professionalism, with some warmth and fun thrown in,” Smith said.

“It’s hard to believe the anecdotes in the Monster article, but in fact, those of us who’ve been in the recruiting business for decades have certainly witnessed some ill-advised candidate behavior,” he said.

So candidates, beware. If you see yourself in the “Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You,” reconsider your approach!

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You

– By Larry Buhl, Monster Contributing Writer

If you want a job, you wouldn’t intentionally try to make recruiters hate you. But you’d be surprised at how often an eager job seeker will make an enemy out of the very people they need to impress. Some blunders are merely irritating, while others can make recruiters do a slow burn when they hear your name.

OK, hate is too strong a word in most cases. But if you want to totally blow your chances with recruiters — and, by extension, with the companies they work for — here are six perfect ways to do so.

1. Get Creepily Personal

Recruiting consultant Abby Kohut recalls a phone interview (that had gone pretty well up to that point) in which the job seeker ended the call by asking her to marry him. “When I told him that was an inappropriate thing to say to a hiring manager for the company, he said, ‘Oh, I thought you were a just a headhunter.’ As if that would have made it all right.”

2. Use Cutesy Language, Texting Slang and Dumb Resume Tricks

The gimmicky resume is a pet peeve of Barbara Safani, president of Career Solvers, a career-management firm based in New York City. “Please do not send a resume inside a shoe, saying you’re looking for ‘a foot in the door,’” she says. Beyond annoying the recruiter (FYI — that glitter you put in your envelope will get you noticed, but will take time to clean up), these tactics make recruiters think you don’t take them — or your job search — seriously.

3. Be Rude and Aggressive

Job hunters who use heavy-handed tactics with recruiters, like sending an angry email in all caps after being passed over for a job, won’t impress the recruiter either, says John O’Connor, president and CEO of Career Pro, a career-coaching company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Some candidates see the recruiter as an antagonist who must be pushed and prodded and bullied to work on their behalf,” O’Connor tells “In other cases, they’re frustrated by the job search process and feel the need to take it out on the recruiter.”

To read more about “lying, stalking and apathy,” please visit Monster for the full article.


The Proper Way to Resign & Additional Tips for Starting a New Job

July 10th, 2014 by Southeast Technical

resignationCongratulations. You’ve accepted a new job.
Now take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. Even though you may be floating on cloud nine now, there are a lot of emotional and logistical hurdles yet to clear.

As you’ve already learned, the job-changing process arouses all sorts of feelings. During the transitional phase that begins with your acceptance of an offer and ends a month or two after you’ve started your new position, the emotional limbo you’ll experience will be especially acute. 

Why? Because suddenly, the reality kicks in. After all this time, the changes you’ve been contemplating are actually going to happen. This jolting realization will be followed by a sense of guilt. Oh, my God, you tell yourself. I’ve been cheating on my present employer. Having an affair is one thing — but divorce? I never knew it would come to this!

Then the fear of reprisal begins. My boss is gonna kill me, I just know it. He’s really gonna make me suffer. And if the fear of guilt and reprisal don’t give you enough to worry about, consider the buyer’s remorse you’ll probably feel. What if I made a mistake? you ask yourself. I’m gonna ruin my life. Aaauuuggghhh!

Don’t Let the Demons Get You Down

Relax. Everyone who changes jobs is plagued by these demons, to a greater or lesser degree. It’s only natural.But rather than dwell on the past, imagine for a moment that you’re in your new job.

Isn’t this great? Think of all the changes you’re making, and how your new life is a huge improvement compared to what you had before. Think of the new people you’re meeting, the new skills you’re acquiring, and the new opportunities you have to advance your career.

Now, are you going to let your fears unravel everything you’ve accomplished in the way of self-evaluation, planning, resume writing, interviewing, and putting a deal together? No way. You’re not the type of person who’s going to allow cold feet to put the chill on changing jobs. You’re a person of action, and you seize the moment. You know that those who back away from golden opportunities may never get another chance.

Self-affirmations like these can do wonders for maintaining your positive energy and high self-esteem. And by projecting all the beneficial aspects of your new job into the present tense, you’ll ward off the demons that can distort your judgment, and make you vulnerable to a counteroffer attempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Resume Tips

June 13th, 2014 by Southeast Technical

Make a memorable impression with an attractive, results-oriented marketing document

Fred Runyan didn’t want to be left holding the bag when the Northern California-based management consulting firm he worked for completed a pending merger. After 10 years with the firm, the senior consultant knew there would be big staffing changes ahead, and decided to explore opportunities elsewhere.

He needed a resume, though, so he shuffled through his desk to find the one he’d used to land his current job. He thought a few paragraphs about his decade-worth of consulting assignments would update it sufficiently, so he jotted them down. Next, he dug up a resume he’d received six years ago that had an attractive format. He handed the revisions and original copy to his secretary and asked her to make the finished version look like the sample. In an hour, his new resume was done and he felt ready to interview.

Six months later, Mr. Runyan was still waiting for an invitation to interview. He’d received a few phone calls from employers, but nothing more. Discouraged and confused, he didn’t know why the response to his mailings was so poor. He had worked for good companies, held responsible management positions and delivered strong results. Couldn’t prospective employers see that when they reviewed his resume?

Apparently not. By not thoughtfully redrafting his document, Mr. Runyan failed to address key issues of resume-writing, according to members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based professional group. To ensure your resume makes the best possible impression, it’s essential to meet six challenges regarding its presentation, format and content, say recently surveyed association members. These challenges and professionals’ advice on writing a winning resume follow.

1. Presentation

Since your resume is actually a marketing document, its visual appearance is critical. To survive next to those of hundreds of equally qualified candidates, it must look sharp and dynamic. Don’t have it typed on an outdated word processor and printed onto plain bond paper, as Mr. Runyan did, and don’t model it after resumes from years back, says Jerry Bills, a Colorado Springs, CO resume writer.” Picking up an old resume book from the library and following suggestions or styles that have been outdated for years won’t give you a competitive advantage,” he says.

Instead, give your document an up-to-date style that attracts attention.This doesn’t mean using an italic typeface, cute logos or an outrageous paper color. Instead, be conservatively distinctive.Choose a sharp-looking typeface such as Bookman, Soutane, Krone, or Fritz, or if your font selection is limited, the more prevalent Times Roman, Helvetica or Arial typefaces.

Unless you’re seeking a position as a graphic artist, don’t put logos or artwork on your resume. However, using horizontal rules to separate sections can give it an upscale look. Your choice of paper color isn’t important, as long as it’s conservative -white, ivory or light gray.

2. Format

Format shouldn’t be your primary consideration when preparing a resume. When Mr. Runyan saw a format he liked, he tried to manipulate his information to fit it.Other job hunters make the same mistake, says Susan Higgins, a resume write with Q Resume Service in Grove City, Ohio. Many of her clients “insist on [using] a friend’s format because it worked for the friend, but [it’s a] critical mistake,” she says.

Decide on a resume format after your text is prepared. And even then, don’t try to make your information fit into someone else’s structure. Since each person’s career history, achievements and academic credentials are unique, their resume format should be as well. Review other resumes for ideas, but craft your document to “sell” only you.

Start writing without worrying about the format and concentrate on marketing yourself. It’s likely that when you’re finished, the format you should use will become obvious. You’ll just need to change headings or margins, insert rules, bold or italic type or edit sections to fit your information more comfortably onto a page.

If possible, adhere to these formatting guidelines:

  • Don’t expect readers to struggle through 10- to 15- line paragraphs. Substitute two or three shorter paragraphs or use bullets to offset new sentences and sections. Don’t overdo bold and italic type. Excessive use of either defeats the purpose of these enhancements. For example, if half the type on a page is bold, nothing will stand out.
  • Use nothing smaller than 10-point type.If you want employers to review your resume, make sure they don’t need a magnifying glass!
  • Don’t clutter your resume. Everything you’ve heard about “white space” is true. Let your document “breathe” so readers won’t have to struggle through it.
  • Use an excellent printer.Smudged, faint, heavy or otherwise poor quality print will discourage red-eyed readers.

3. Spelling, Grammar and Syntax

Typographical errors signal job-search death, which may be why Mr. Runyan’s did so poorly.It contained three typographical and two syntax errors, as well as unpolished wording. He didn’t recognize that resumes serve as your introduction to employers, and indicate the quality and caliber of work you’ll produce.An imperfect document isn’t acceptable.

Write your document in the active first-person tense, never the third person, and choose language that’s appropriate to the type of position you’re seeking.If you’re a mid-level manager, don’t use “Ph.D.” language. If you’re in line for CEO, COO or other top operating slots, use words appropriate to that level.

Proofread your resume not just once or twice, but repeatedly for typographical and wording errors. Then ask three to five others to review it, paying attention to your terminology and tone. As Walt Schuette, a resume writer with The Village Wordsmith in Fallbrook, Calif., says, “The greatest mistake job seekers make is not reading for erors (whoops, errors).”

4. Content

Resumes aren’t job descriptions. Still, you may have seen some that included such descriptions as, “This position was responsible for purchasing, logistics, materials management and distribution.”

Were you impressed with those?

Mr. Runyan made this mistake. For instance, under “Experience,” he included descriptions of positions without mentioning the size of his past employers or his achievements. It could have been anyone’s resume.He also cited every job he’d held, going back to 1968. Listing all your past employment isn’t necessary or helpful. And, if you list responsibilities, include their scope and your contributions. ”Generalizations aren’t impressive,” says Estelle Wiesmann, a Fort Atkinson, Wis., resume writer. “You must cite specific figures, percentages and results when describing previous accomplishments in the workplace.”

To highlight your strengths, develop strong, results-driven position summaries. For instance, a logistics manager might write:

Directed the planning, staffing, budgeting and operations of a 4-site logistics and warehousing operation for this $650 million automotive products distributor. Scope of responsibility was diverse and included all purchasing, vendor management, materials handling, inventory control, distribution planning and field delivery operations.

Managed a staff of 55 through six supervisors. Controlled a $6.5 million annually operating budget.

Introduced continuous improvement and quality management programs throughout the organization. Results included a 25% increase in daily productivity and 63% increase in customer satisfaction.

Spearheaded cost-reduction initiatives that reduced labor costs by 18%, overtime by 34% and material waste by 42%.

Renegotiated key vendor contracts for a 28% reduction over previous year costs.

Prospective employers who read this description can sense the scope and results of the manager’s experience. Remember, recruiters won’t read between the lines for relevant information if you don’t spell it out. And if positions you held 15, 20, or 30 years ago aren’t relevant to your current career path, delete or briefly summarize them at the end. For example, “Previous professional employment includes several increasingly responsible management positions with the ABC Co. and XYZ Corp.”

Whether you include your dates of employment depends on your circumstances.

5. Focus

A resume doesn’t work if readers can’t quickly grasp who a candidate is and what he or she seeks to do, say survey respondents. For instance, it’s likely that Mr. Runyan baffled readers with his objective: “Seeking a position where I can contribute to the growth of a corporation.”

“With a resume full of unnecessary details, repetitive information and no summary of skills or achievements, how is an employer to know who you are?” asks Jackie Murphy, a resume writer with Accurate Professional Typists in Melbourne, Fla. Clearly and directly state who you are, with this strategy:

Omit an objective and start with a “summary” or “career or technical profile” instead. Unlike an objective, which states what you want, a summary describes what you know and quickly grabs readers’ attention.

For example:


Building Revenues & Market Share Throughout Global Business Markets Dynamic 15-year career leading sales, marketing and service organizations throughout the U.S., Europe and Pacific Rim. Delivered strong and sustainable revenue gains in both emerging and mature business markets.Strong sales training and team leadership skills.

A summary eliminates the need for an objective because it usually indicates the type of position a candidate seeks. And don’t assume that stating your objective in a cover letter is sufficient. Cover letters and resumes must be able to stand alone.

6. Selling

A resume should be more than a list of past jobs. It should serve as a personal sales and marketing tool that attracts and impresses employers.Your qualifications, words, format and presentation must all be packaged to sell yourself. ”Take credit for your accomplishments. Know what makes you marketable and sell it,” advised Mark Berkowitz with Career Development Resources in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Ironically, sales and marketing professionals often write the worst resumes, say career counselors. That’s because when they become the “product,” they seem to forget everything they know about selling. Your resume is your only opportunity to distinguish yourself among the crowd of other candidates. You must market your qualifications aggressively by highlighting your achievements and defining the scope of your responsibilities. That means not just saying what you did but also how well you did it.

Poor example:

Managed sales regions throughout the U.S. with 82 sales associates Met all company sales goals and profit objectives.

Good example:

Independently planned and directed a team of 82 sales associates marketing sophisticated technology products throughout the northeastern U.S.

Launched a series of customer-driven marketing programs to expand market penetration and increase key account base.Closed 1995 at 182% of revenue goal and 143% of profit objective.

Poor example:

Managed all financial, accounting, budgeting, MIS and administrative functions. Updated computer technology

Good example:

Chief Financial Officer with full responsibility for the strategic planning, development and leadership of the entire corporate finance organization for this $280 million consumer products manufacturer. Directed financial planning analysis, accounting, tax, treasury, budgeting, MIS and administrative functions through a 12-person management team.

Launched the introduction of PC-based client server technology to expand MIS operations throughout the finance function. Resulted in a measurable improvement in data accuracy and long-range planning.

To create impressive descriptions, ask yourself not only what you did but how well you did it. Then sell your achievements, not your responsibilities.When Mr. Runyan went back to the drawing board, preparing his resume took three weeks instead of an hour. The process involved his secretary, two friends and three professional colleagues. His new document includes a strong, accomplishments-oriented text and makes a sharp visual presentation. Two weeks and 100 resumes later, his phone started to ring. In one day, he had spoken with five employers and scheduled more than 10 interviews. By remembering these six rules, your resume can help you to do the same.

Telephone Interview Tips

May 23rd, 2014 by Southeast Technical

Many employers conduct telephone interviews to screen candidates for basic qualifications. It is also an alternative when it is not practical to invite an out-of-area candidate to the office.

Telephone interviews can be challenging, because it is more difficult to gain rapport with the interviewer because you cannot see the interviewer’s non-verbal reactions and cues. Conversely, the interviewer cannot see your enthusiastic expressions or professional appearance. This places all the weight on your phone manners, clarity of speech, voice tone and the content of your answers.

Here is a quick tip list for excelling at a telephone interview:

  • Treat the phone interview as you would a face-to-face interview.
  • Select a quiet, private room with a telephone in good working condition.
  • Before the interview, prepare talking points for the call including value you bring to the company and specific questions.
  • Arrange the following items: your resume, cover letter, copy of application if you submitted one, highlights of corporate information and brief talking points.
  • Dress appropriately. This may sound absurd since the person calling you will not see you, but it has been proven that how you dress affects your attitude towards yourself.
  • Breathe deeply and relax. Speak slowly, clearly and with purpose. Smile, it changes your speech and the person on the other end can sense it.
  • Write down the full names and titles of each call participant. Take notes when appropriate.
  • Be courteous and try not to speak over the interviewer. If you do, apologize and let the interviewer continue.
  • Support your statements with detailed examples of accomplishments when possible. It is easy for someone to get distracted on a phone call, so paint a vivid picture to keep the interviewer interested.
  • Explain any pauses in your speech to ponder a question or take notes. If you think of a question or comment while the interviewer is speaking, jot a note on your talking points list, so you remember it later.
  • During the interview, if the interviewer inadvertently answers a question from your prepared list, cross it off. If you forget and ask it, it will seem as if you were not listening.
  • Offer to provide additional information or answer other questions.
  • Use your talking points list of specific skills and accomplishments; cross them off as you work them into the conversation. At the end, if you have some uncrossed items, you might say something like, “I thought you might be interested to know I led a major conversion project, quite similar to what you are planning. I managed a $2.5 million budget and completed it 45 days early, saving over $48,000.”
  • Before ending the call, be sure you know the next step in the process, and offer to provide any additional information needed.
  • Do not hang up until the interviewer has hung up. Promptly send a formal follow-up / thank you letter, just as you would for a face-to-face interview.


Why Avoid Counter Offers?

April 1st, 2014 by Southeast Technical
Leadership Position
Employees who accept Counter Offers may find themselves passed over for advancement.

 Counter Offers Should Not Be Taken 98% of the Time

Counter Offers, if offered and subsequently accepted, can easily be devastating to an individual’s long term career. A Counter Offer is basically a ploy to persuade an individual to remain with his/her present employer after that individual has informed that employer that they intend to accept a position with another company. Over the years, our research and personal interviews with both companies and individuals have led us to one basic conclusion:

One should never take a Counter Offer.

We do concede that there are always exceptions to any rule and that it is a possibility that an accepted Counter Offer could actually be good for one’s career. But…these are very, very rare situations.

Food for Thought: Why Not Take a Counter Offer?

  • Why did you go looking for another job in the first place? If it was because of money, will you have to threaten to quit your current employer every time you legitimately deserve a raise? More than likely, your reasoning was sound in deciding to consider a change in the first place.
  • Could your employer just be trying to delay the inevitable? That way, they have more time to look for your replacement. Remember, an employee either saves or makes a company money and if you are a valuable employee, it will cost the company more money in the short term and possibly long term, if you unexpectedly leave them.
  • You are now a “marked” person. If a company is looking to promote someone with a group, who with they be more likely to promote first, a total company person or someone who they feel may decide to leave them again in the near future? Companies must gamble on many necessary things everyday, however, they will promote the almost “sure-thing” versus taking a gamble on a “marked” employee.
  • You were interested in leaving, what has changed that will continue to make you happy if you stay? Will some short term money remove the reasons?
  • Companies will feel threatened by someone who threatens to leave if he/she doesn’t receive more money. Companies may feel “Blackmailed” and that you might just threaten to leave every time something doesn’t go your way.
  • Your boss may take it as a personal insult. It makes a boss look bad when their employees want to leave. If your boss has to give you money to stay, he’ll be wondering if word will get out and then all of his subordinates will want more money also. Your boss may even be thinking that if you can give you enough money to stay until they can find your replacement. If it is just a bad time and/or a busy time for you to leave, your boss may be thinking of just getting through a tough period of time. After that period has passed, your career could then be dead working under that specific boss.


Recruiter Secrets for Candidates About Leveraging Linked In

March 13th, 2014 by Southeast Technical

LI-homeThe following article was published at the blog recently by the CEO of the international recruiter network, Dave Nerz. We wanted to share it here for the benefit of Candidates who’d like to polish their linked-in presence.

Top Tips on Linked In

Did you know you can edit your endorsements? It is simple. Just go to Edit Your Profile, scroll down to the Endorsements Section and hit Edit. Start the clean-up. So if you have goofball friends that have voted up your “accounting skills” when you are a sales professional, get busy making the change. I had lots of one-off floaters from someone that knew me 25 years ago. It helps to keep things clean. Candidates should do this before the client looks them up during a due diligence process.

Have you used LinkedIn to search for a job and then apply? Well, you should do it at least once and do it from your smart phone. This is so easy, it makes me want to get more jobs out on LinkedIn to see what can be dragged in. I tested it and I’ll be interested to see if I get contacted. Sure makes it easy for anyone to apply for your open positions.

Try the LinkedIn Resume Builder. In about 10 seconds you can build a decent resume from a LinkedIn profile. So for candidates who are a little slow to get a “hard copy” of a resume to their recruiters…problem solved in 10 seconds. Personally I would never use this resume for myself, but for an initial submittal with a highly repetitive and strongly connected hiring manager, I would give it a go.

Did you know that candidates can add media, files and presentations under the summary and experiences? Candidates in the marketing world should have a small portfolio under their positions held. Others can celebrate papers they have written or other documents that show something about creativity and passion.

Finally how about keywords for LinkedIn? Recruiters and employers search keywords on LinkedIn. Candidates should be using keywords to help their odds of connecting with the right recruiter and ultimately, company.

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