Five Interview Responses Recruiters Can See Right Through

20708189_lRecruiters aren’t pessimists, but throughout the years we have become more cautious and maybe a little suspicious. Many of us interviewed enough candidates that we have come to approach each new person with a “trust but verify” mentality. I’m very trusting in my personal life, but at work, my job is to be a detective. I follow clues to dig up the good, the bad, and the ugly.

During a recent talk with fellow recruiters, we realized there are some things many candidates say that perk up our sleuth ears every single time. These answers may be coming from a truthful and benign place, but they raise suspicions in any good recruiter. The average candidate has no idea what other candidates are saying, so I’m here to share. Recruiters hear these answers often and, take it from us, you’ll come off better in your interview if you avoid them. Continue reading “Five Interview Responses Recruiters Can See Right Through”

Compensation 101: What You Need to Know Now

money in the handsCompensation is a bit of a mystery to most people outside of HR. We go to work to make money and receive benefits, but aren’t always sure how our salaries and benefits packages are decided. In order to understand if we are being paid fairly, negotiate an offer, or counsel a friend on a career change, we need to have some understanding of compensation. Interestingly, in most cases, the more people know about how they are being compensated, the better they feel about their pay and benefits.  I’m going to let you in on some secrets to help demystify compensation. Continue reading “Compensation 101: What You Need to Know Now”

The Biggest Blunders of Job Searching: Part 4 The Interview Process

Let’s review. Here we taught you how to craft a resume so amazing it will surely get your foot in the door at a great organization. Here we taught you how to nail your interview and avoid putting the aforementioned foot in your mouth. And here we taught you how to rock an interview presentation or seminar. You may be wondering what else there could be. In the last of this four-part series, we will talk about how to comport yourself with grace and dignity throughout the process. Some prospective employees forget about the process; the stuff in between the phone interview and the onsite interview. Sometimes the way candidates act when they are not being formally interviewed is the best window into how they will act when they are employed, and interviewers pay attention to that. Let us help you avoid some interview process pitfalls.

Continue reading “The Biggest Blunders of Job Searching: Part 4 The Interview Process”

The Biggest Blunders of Job Searching: Part 2 Interviews

Part 2: Interviews

Last month we shared the most typical blunders recruiters see on resumes. Now that your resume is flawless and you are likely going to be interviewed for your dream job, we should move on to the interviews.

Interviewers will not only be assessing your ability to do the job, but also how you will fit in with the company, culture, and team. Make sure you bring your A-game and read on for things to avoid during your interview. Continue reading “The Biggest Blunders of Job Searching: Part 2 Interviews”

Surviving the Job Hunt

So you’re looking for a job.  Maybe you’ve been laid off, downsized, fired, or just finished school. The hunt is now on to find gainful and hopefully meaningful employment. There’s no way around it. Being unemployed is no fun. Trust me, I’ve been there – more than once! 

My first job casualty came after the combined bubble burst of 2000 and 9/11. This bout of unemployment was the longest and the most devastating.  I had never been out of work, a day in my life. I was crushed and didn’t know what to do with myself.  In the beginning I would spend all day every day looking for a job.  I wrote and rewrote my resume, agonizing over every word. Don’t even get me started on versions of my cover letter. Somehow I thought that if I had everything just perfect, I would at least get an interview. I would spend hours combing the different job boards, looking at different company websites, emailing people I knew, and yes (at the time) still checking the Sunday paper. Not only did these efforts leave me exhausted and frustrated, I didn’t get any interviews. 

I quickly learned that in order to be successful I had to structure my day more efficiently, take better care of myself, and have some fun. So after you’ve written your resume and had it reviewed (preferably by a colleague or a recruiter in your industry) here are a couple things you can do to keep your sanity and hopefully find a job.  Continue reading “Surviving the Job Hunt”

Networking for Scientists Part II: How to Get a Job (Hopefully)

Times are hard. Unemployment is high. Networking and maintaining job-relevant connections is more important than ever.  Employers literally get hundreds of applications for each job posting.  One of the most useful ways to make yourself stand out in a crowd (besides things like credentials and resumes) is to have a personal recommendation.  In my last post, I talked about the importance of making small talk (no matter how scary it seems!).  Here, we’ll take it a step further. Once you’ve met new people and added them to your contacts list and perhaps your social networking sites, how can you use these contacts to help you achieve your goals? Continue reading “Networking for Scientists Part II: How to Get a Job (Hopefully)”

Networking for Scientists Part I: How I Learned to Talk to Strangers

When thinking about career opportunities in science (and in any field really), solid networking skills can be the key factor in determining where and how you’ll be spending your next holiday.  Networking breaks down into two parts: small talk/meeting people and establishing/maintaining job-relevant connections.  Neither of these things are rocket science, but can be particularly difficult depending on your personality. I realized early on that if I wanted to stay up on the latest, unpublished results, if I wanted to find out what other labs were working on, or if I wanted to know who was looking to fill a position before it was listed, I would need to master this skill.  It took lots of practice, but I now consider myself pretty darn good at this networking thing.  I even used the same strategies I used in the science world to build a network in the local music scene and it worked!  In this post, the first of two parts, I will address small talk. Continue reading “Networking for Scientists Part I: How I Learned to Talk to Strangers”

Would You Remove Your Ph.D. Degree from Your Resume?

Let’s say that you just spent the last 8 years of your life earning a Ph.D. in biology, chemistry or physics, including 5 years devoted to graduate study (i.e., school) and 3 years devoted to postgraduate study (i.e., postdoctoral work). Let’s say that you are now looking for work outside of the academic realm, and perhaps even out of your field of study. Most corporations do not require a Ph.D. for entry-level positions. After a few interviews wherein you are asked why you are applying for a position outside of your educational level and realm of expertise, and after which you do not receive any job offers, you start wondering if perhaps you should leave your Ph.D. off of your resume. Does this sound crazy or just a case of career savvy?

For over a month now, I have been following a LinkedIn discussion about whether or not scientists should remove their doctoral degree from their resumes. The discussion, termed “PhD degree… include or remove from resume?” has 193 comments posted so far. This discussion is arguably one of the more popular discussions on LinkedIn, generating not only thoughtful answers and solutions but also some heated debates. Continue reading “Would You Remove Your Ph.D. Degree from Your Resume?”

Pick me! Four tips for getting your application to the top of the stack

In these economic times, finding a job can be one of the most daunting tasks someone can take on. It seems like every time I turn on the news I hear about depressing unemployment numbers or another massive layoff. But don’t lose all faith yet- there are jobs out there! Whether you are a recent grad, were just laid off, or are looking for a career change, the following tips can help turn your job search nightmare into a job search success. All of my suggestions can be boiled down to one overarching theme- PREPARE! Don’t go out into the job search world without doing your due diligence. If you do, you may end up looking foolish or (even worse) you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime. Continue reading “Pick me! Four tips for getting your application to the top of the stack”