Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Don't Employers Call Me Back?

Finding a job is not rocket science... Work your job search smarter; read article below to learn why you may not be getting that call.

Why Don't Employers Call Me Back? Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder writer

Is there any worse confidence killer than rejection? I think it goes back to childhood, when you want a new bike for your birthday but you end up getting a pack of tube socks instead. You immediately wonder if you did something wrong and that's why you didn't get what you wanted.

Go forward a few years when you end up taking your cousin to the prom because everyone else turned you down. And the college years? Basically a parade of rejection that feels like an endless line of Rockette kicks to your confidence.

Or maybe that was just my experience.

Still, that same game of "Is it me or them?" continues well into adulthood as you begin searching for a job. You make a list of your best qualities, send them to employers, get dressed up and try to woo them in an interview. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. The phone never rings.

Job seekers want to know why they can seemingly do everything right, and yet, still they don't hear back from employers. We're not talking about getting turned down for the job -- we're talking about not even hearing a "Sorry, but the position has been filled." So we went to the source to find out.

Submitting the application
For a job seeker, the application process is full of anxiety and excitement. When you're looking for a job, each available position represents a possible new beginning. Before you've submitted an application, you've already daydreamed about your first day on the job. The problem is that to some employers, you're just one in a dozen. Or in some cases, one in 500.

"In the current market, if you post a job, you will get buried with résumés," says Matthew McMahon, partner at staffing firm McMahon Partners LLC. "Maybe 5 percent are in the ballpark." This means plenty of hiring managers spend their time reading irrelevant applications that don't help them find the right candidate. As a result, they have less time for you. "You simply don't have time to respond to [all applicants]."

To many job seekers this attitude may sound cold and impersonal. After all, behind each of these applications is a person waiting for a return call. McMahon cannot possibly respond to each one individually, but he does take the time to reach out to applicants who show promise.

"If somebody is close, but slightly off target, I will usually take the time to give them a call, learn about what they are looking for, tell them about the sort of roles I fill, and keep the notes for future use," he says.

How about the ones who miss the mark completely?

"If the person isn't even close (or has not read the description), I don't bother spending the time because they are obviously applying for everything," he says. Take that as further proof that throwing your application at every open position and hoping to have some success is not the way to conduct a job search.

Can you expect any changes soon?
OK, so that's how things are now, but can job seekers expect to have a more personal interaction with the hiring managers in the future? Possibly, says Caitrin O'Sullivan of iCIMS, a provider of software for human resource companies to track recruiting activity and applications.

"If an organization, especially a medium or large one, were not leveraging an applicant tracking system, it's difficult for job seekers to understand the magnitude of applications flooding recruiters [and] HR managers' desks -- especially during a period of high unemployment," O'Sullivan explains. "Just visually scanning through all of these résumés can take hours upon hours of manpower. To have to communicate with every one of those applicants on top of that would be a truly formidable task."

That's not to say things will always be that way. As someone on the forefront of tracking technology, O'Sullivan sees an increase in interest among companies that can and do keep job seekers updated at regular intervals.

"As more and more organizations are investing in and leveraging HR technology and [applicant tracking systems], it is much easier for the HR team to automate and streamline that process and enable applicants to be aware of their status within the review process," O'Sullivan says. Although not all employers use tools that allow for such tracking, it's something that iCIMS has provided to human resources departments to benefit job seekers.

Until everyone gets on board, don't expect to hear back from employers to learn where you stand. You're always free to call an employer to check on the status of your application or to see if the position has been filled. As long as you are courteous and don't pester them, most companies will let you know one way or the other.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow him on Twitter at

Last Updated: 27/08/2009 - 10:34 PM

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Would You Change Your Personality to Advance your Career?

Interesting article below... I've taken Myers-Briggs several times throughout my career; results are always the same. DISC Profile, says that you can't change your personality. What do you think?

Would You Change Your Personality to Advance your Career?

~Anthony Portuesi

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on the road quite a bit and with each flight I find some needed time to catch up on industry journals, books, and whatever I can get my hands on. My last trip to Chicago proved to be just such an occasion, yet this time I found myself grazing the most recent issue of Spirit (Southwest’s in-flight magazine). Flipping through the pages, I came across an interesting article by Executive Editor Brad Cope, pondering an interesting question – is it possible to change your personality type to advance your career?

While there is no single personality type that can be label the “best” or “most successful,” it’s no secret that certain personalities seem to excel in the business. If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you will find that “ESTJ’s” or those labeled as - Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging - are among those most frequently on the fast track for the corner office.

“More executives and managers are ESTJ’s than any other personality type,” says Rich Thompson, divisional director of research for CPP Inc., the organization that publishes the Myers-Briggs test. “ESTJ’s are the preferred personality of America’s business culture.”

To provide a little background, the MBTI enables one to discover and understand their personality preferences. Not necessarily a concrete picture of your every action, but in general, the natural preferences that make you who you are. The theory contends that:

An individual is either primarily Extraverted or Introverted
An individual is either primarily Sensing or iNtuitive
An individual is either primarily Thinking or Feeling
An individual is either primarily Judging or Perceiving
The possible combinations of these basic preferences form the 16 different Personality Types of which we all possess. (To learn more about each personality type visit the Myers-Briggs Foundation website.)

While I won’t ruin the fun of Doug’s adventure in changing his personality, his article brings to light the importance of understanding our own behavior, how we are likely to deal with different situations, and in which environments we are most comfortable. This understanding of our strengths and weaknesses will aid us in becoming a better leaders. Conversely, learning about others’ Personality Types help us to understand the most effective way to communicate with them, and how they function best - essential pieces to creating a winning team.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Have More Experience Than You Think

Posted in Career Advice First Job Out of College
Generation Y Job Hunting on September 28, 2009
~Lindsey Pollak

Remember those days when your first assignment back at school in September was to write an essay about everything you did that summer? In recalling those memories, I started to think about the way people recount and catalog their experiences.

When young professionals in particular think about their accomplishments, they don’t often view their experiences and skills as relevant to their job search. But many seemingly non-professional experiences are more relevant than you might think.

I recently wrote about how even the most professionally inactive summers may have qualities applicable to your job search. To find out why summer jobs, self-improvement and summer socials are important, read my blog post, Slacked off This Summer? Time to Turn up the Heat! on The Huffington Post.

As I was writing that post, I realized that most young people are indeed more experienced than they think. We all know that jobs and internships are relevant, but it’s important to take inventory of all your talents and experiences so you don’t freeze up when writing your resume, interviewing for your dream job or filling out your LinkedIn profile. Whether you’re crafting a cover letter for a new job or negotiating a higher salary a current one, it’s important to take inventory and gain confidence in your experiences and abilities.

How far back should you go in your analysis? As a general rule, resume-relevant experience goes back four years for students and recent grads, unless you’ve done something super impressive like winning an Olympic medal or starting your own business, which you should always mention. Read more on the timeline for recalling your achievements in my blog post, Career Q&A: Is it lame to put high school achievements on my resume?

I’ve put together a laundry list of valuable experiences and skills that may not automatically come to mind when conducting your job search. Here are the first five as a teaser — stay tuned for the rest in days to come:

Part I: Education

1. Writing. Do you write for your school newspaper? Did you start a blog? Book reviews, short stories and letters to the editor are all important uses of your communication skills. If you’ve acquired bylines, don’t be shy about showing potential employers what you’ve done. Any well-written content labeled with your name holds value in the marketplace, especially in a business world where writing skills are often lacking.

2. Course work. Every student takes classes, but what have you done specifically that demonstrates the skills and knowledge you bring to the workplace? Notable accomplishments include completing projects from beginning to end, writing research papers, building presentations or models, testing theories, conducting labs and participating in an organized debate. Be selective in what you share, but don’t be shy about it either.

3. Group projects. Though they often seem like a drag, group projects teach us a lot about ourselves and how we work with others. Did you face challenges in working with different types of people? Was your group stuck in a last minute crisis? Did you somehow save the day and pull off a killer presentation? Since most companies value teamwork, these types of experiences add value to your candidacy for a position. If you’re the go-to group leader because everyone knows you’re organized and efficient, mention this as well.

4. Second language. Are you fluent in another language from college courses or Rosetta Stone? Have you learned sign language to help a parent or aid your volunteer efforts? Whether you’ve been bilingual (or more) since birth or learned through time, knowledge of multiple languages is a significant asset in today’s marketplace.

5. Study abroad. Have you lived in another country? Did you participate in an exchange program or live with another family while overseas? The desire to live in another place shows curiosity and confidence. The ability to adjust to another culture demonstrates flexibility, resilience and resourcefulness. These traits are extremely important when adjusting to a new work environment, and employers want to know you’re adaptable.

In my next post, I’ll outline often-overlooked work and extra curricular experiences that are relevant to your job search activities. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Program Manager, Java Developer, SharePoint Developer; Dayton, OH


Sr. Program Manager

Java Developer (4 openings)

SharePoint Developer

Please contact me directy if interested.

Angela Marasco

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great Hires / Bad Hires: How to tell the difference BEFORE you make the offer

How important are soft skills in potential employees? You might be surprised!

The lesson to be learned is that the interview process is complex, don't let a resume or first interview fool you! Interview better, and possibly invest in pre-employment testing.

Great Hires / Bad Hires: How to tell the difference BEFORE you make the offer
~Kathleen Quinn Votaw

You hire someone. They don’t work out. They leave. What is it that you remember and say about them in the past tense? It’s rarely the fact that they didn’t know how to work the numbers, or that they couldn’t put the pieces of a widget together. No, it’s almost always their soft skills that generate conversation—their personality, character and values.

Two recent scenarios from my personal experience serve as good examples: A multi-generation family-run, team-oriented company in Michigan was about to hire a sales person who had all the skills needed to fill the role and an impressive track record. Before making the hire, they wisely chose to get an assessment of him. In an interview that was part of the assessment, the candidate went into a rage when questioned more deeply about his background. His temper was missed in the normal interview process. Discovering this major flaw before they made the mistake of hiring this key person saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another company was not so careful and made a bad hire. This company had strong values: everyone counts; everyone is part of the team; decisions are made by consensus. When a candidate with a strong hierarchical bent was hired, he lasted just thirty days. The disruption was significant, as were the costs.

Go beyond the tactical

Most companies tend toward the tactical in their hiring practices, focusing on long lists of competencies, specific experience required and other hard skills. These are important, of course. Equally important is how the person you hire will fit into your culture, their soft skills. No one would list drama queen, insensitivity, trouble meeting deadlines or poor ethics as qualities they’d like to bring into their companies. But, by not checking out the soft skills, those are exactly the traits you risk hiring. You may also lose your A-players when you make bad hires; they don’t have to tolerate a difficult work environment. As many companies have experienced, the costs and other consequences of a bad hire can be extreme.

Begin with the end in mind
The solution? Begin with the end in mind. Start by thinking about the soft skills that will fit into your organization; then consider the hard skills necessary for the job. Culture, then candidate.

Your company’s values should serve as the foundation for hiring decisions: Who are your customers and how do you choose to serve them? What gives synergy to your teams? Who are the great hires in your organization and what about them helped them succeed in your culture? And what was it, specifically, that kept others from fitting in? These are things you need to understand even before you write the job description. And they tell you what to look for in the interview.

What is it you need to learn in order to understand a candidate’s culture fit? Following are some of the things you need to get to in the interview process and through assessment: How they treat other people on the team; how the people they work with will most likely relate to them; how their interpersonal skills will impact their performance and that of the team; what motivates them and what turns them off; how they process information; how well they communicate; how they react under pressure; how they demonstrate leadership—and how all of these things mesh with your culture. Understanding a candidate’s hard skills is definitely the easy part of the hiring process.

Take your time interviewing. Ask candidates about their previous job, what they liked and didn’t like, and then let them talk. Don’t be afraid of silence. Let the candidate fill the gaps. You’ll discover much of what you need to know. And as you interview and assess candidates, keep in mind that cultural fit can’t be developed.

As Jack Welch said, “You cannot have a black hole in your organization where a star should be.” A star for your company is someone with the hard skills to do the job and the personality, character and values that match your culture. Anything less is a high risk business decision.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ohio Ranks Best in the Midwest, Among Top 5 for Job Growth in a Clean Energy Economy

Know your skills and what you have to offer as an employee. ...And one more time for posterity; Focus your job serach on GROWING industries.

Interesting article with hope for Ohio.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Job Search Success! (Quick List!)

1. Know who "you" are.
Know your strengths. Understand your value in today's market.

2. Network, Network, Network!I will say it again...your network should be built before you ever start searching for a job! Family, friends, face-to-face.

3. Quantify your Strengths.
Define your key strengths by at least 3 accomplishments.

4. Get Techno-savvy.
Social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Linked In. Just DO IT!

5. Make a plan and work your plan (DAILY).
Set achievable goals.

6. Stay upbeat.
Positive attitude can work wonders during a job search. It may feel impossible at times, but trust me, it will help!