By James Hu, Next Avenue Contributor
Job board sites like Indeed or SimplyHired make it seem easy to apply for a job online. They have a system that keeps your resumé in tow to readily submit. And many offer One Click Application services, auto-filling your personal information in the designated areas. However, I’m willing to bet you’ve never even received a response from one of these applications.
That’s why I’m offering eight Do’s and Don’ts to effectively guide you through the process of applying for jobs online:
1. DO check out the company’s website before you apply. This one is two-fold.
First, recruiters want to see that you have a special interest in their company. They’re more likely to pursue a candidate who has a history with the company or industry and a story about why they’re applying now. Take the time to learn its mission and values. Then, incorporate those into your job history and cover letter. This will help you stand out among other applicants who applied without doing their homework.
Second, checking out the company’s website helps you see if the firm is one where you’d want to work. Isn’t it better to know before you fill out an application that the business doesn’t match your values or is further than you’d like to commute? Save yourself and the recruiter time and only fill out applications for places where you would be happy working.
2. DO tailor your resumé keywords for each job you’ll apply for online. The tendency when applying to jobs online is to quickly submit your resumé and cover letter and move forward. That’s a mistake,
The reason? When applying for a job online, there is a high chance your application will go right into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to be reviewed by a recruiter. Applicant Tracking Systems parse and sort resumés by topics or keywords, like education or managing a budget.
In order to optimize your resumé for ATS, you should match the keywords in it to the job description the company provides. Online tools (shameless plug: ones such as my company’s Jobscan.co) can help you identify the right keywords by copy and pasting your resumé and the job description into the site.
3. DO add your up-to-date LinkedIn profile. More and more companies now request you include a link to your LinkedIn profile in their job applications. Having an active LinkedIn profile helps show a recruiter that you’re serious about your job search and career. Many recruiters will search for it anyway, so making their job easier goes a long way toward making yourself a worthy candidate.
You can include more information about your background and skills on LinkedIn than through a normal job application, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Before you link to it, though, make sure your LinkedIn profile is job-search ready. Add a great picture, show some of your recent projects and make sure you’re active in relevant LinkedIn networks. For more insights on getting your LinkedIn profile recruiter ready, check out this great post from The Muse: “The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Jobseekers.”
4. DO write a cover letter. Although a cover letter is sometimes optional for an online job application, you should always submit one. A cover letter is a great way to talk more about yourself and your experience and to incorporate the company’s values and mission statement into your application.
Including a cover letter also has a more tactical advantage. Many Applicant Tracking Systems will account for a cover letter when recruiters search by keywords.
5. DO make sure the application on the company site is the same as the one on the job board. This is especially important with job-board features such as “one click apply” or “quick apply.” The company site may ask for something specific, like a salary requirement, or request you email someone your resumé and cover letter. If you apply without looking at the instructions and miss something, it will look like you can’t follow directions.
3 Things Not to Do When You Apply for a Job Online
1. DON’T type lazily or in shorthand. Sometimes, our online habits win out without us even realizing it. I occasionally receive applications where the candidate’s name is all lowercase. Not taking the time to capitalize the first letters of your name tells me three things: 1) You lack attention to detail; 2) You are lazy and 3) Working here is not important to you. You don’t want a recruiter to think any of those!
Many people also associate writing online with informality. But when you apply for a job online, you want to look professional and that means writing more formally. For example, for a cover letter, fill a page and use a formal heading.
2. DON’T use auto-fill to apply for positions. Sure, this makes things easier, but you’ll be trading results for ease. If you have ever looked back at the information loaded into your application when using auto-fill, you may have seen that it didn’t align correctly. Your “Position” answer might instead say which college you attended. Or prior employment dates might just show start dates
Auto-fill may also format the details of your job history in a strange or confusing way. Instead of leaving this to chance, fill in the details one at a time, double-checking as you go.
3. DON’T leave sections incomplete. It can feel redundant to upload your resumé and then type in your work history manually, so the temptation can be to leave that section blank. Don’t!
On many Applicant Tracking Systems, the information typed in for job history is more visible than the resumé, which someone would have to click to view.
Don’t forget to tailor these sections in the same way you would tailor your resumé to match the necessary keywords to really optimize your resumé.
Settling into a new job can be tricky IRL – and straight up confusing online.
A 2012 Millennial Branding Survey found young adults become Facebook friends with an average of 16 of their coworkers, but research suggests we should connect at our own risk. After all, more than half of surveyed workers (51%) said social shows them too much information about their coworkers, according to a recent Pew Research report. And 29% of employees ages 18 to 29 found something on social media that lowered their professional opinion of a colleague.
But the rules of online engagement keep changing as more of us use social networks to actually, you know, network. “Ten years ago, it was taboo to friend your coworkers,” said Winnie Sun, a financial adviser and consultant on Millennial matters. “But nowadays, we’re all building our personal brands and making these connections.”
So Sun and Leonard Kim, a personal branding expert and author of “The Etiquette of Social Media,” spoke to Moneyish about the dos and don’ts of linking with colleagues online.
DON’T: FRIEND ABOVE YOUR PAY GRADE. That means your boss and your company’s C-Suite are off-limits. “You want them to respect you professionally so you can progress forward in your career,” said Kim. But seeing your casual conversations or pictures of you in a bathing suit can shatter that professional image. “And recovering what was lost from that level of respect is going to be quite difficult,” Kim said, who added that colleagues in the same position as you, or who work outside of your department, are more fair game.
The exception to this rule is LinkedIn. “LinkedIn is the same as if you walked into your new office building, and started going up to people and saying, ‘Hi, I’m working here now, and I’m excited to come on board,’” Sun said.
DO: USE THIS ‘MEAL TEST’ FOR HELP. Different social networks suggest different levels of intimacy. LinkedIn and Twitter are ways to introduce yourself, share industry news and support others in your field. “But Facebook and Instagram are like going out to lunch and dinner,” said Sun, where you’re sharing pieces of your personal life like news about your kids and your pets, or pictures from your vacation. “Snapchat is happy hour,” she added. “If we’re close enough to grab drinks and cut loose a bit, then we can connect on Snapchat.” And don’t send friend requests to colleagues with private pages – that’s a clear indicator they don’t want to mix business with pleasure.
DON’T: FRIEND REQUEST PEOPLE YOUR FIRST DAY ON THE JOB. If you haven’t had lunch or a conversation with colleagues in real life, it’s off-putting to friend them online. “The time frame for connecting with them [online] is after you build a personal bond. I’d recommend a minimum of one, but at least two months,” said Kim. “Following someone on Twitter is a lot less creepy than immediately adding someone on Facebook.”
DO: TEST THE WATERS WITH LINKEDIN. If someone green lights your connection request on LinkedIn, it opens the door for stronger social media relationships later. “If they accept, send a quick note saying, ‘Thank you so much for connecting. I’m excited to come on board,’” said Sun. “And if they respond to that … you know that person has a warmer personality.” And if the conversation continues, Kim suggests writing back after a few months to say that you might send him or her a Facebook invitation to continue networking, and take it from there.
DO: LOOK AT YOUR CONTENT. Are you really comfortable with coworkers seeing your posts? If you use Facebook and Twitter for business, like posting industry news and insights, then adding your coworkers makes sense. But you don’t want to give professional peers access to Snapchat or even Instagram and FB pages where you’re sharing provocative pix or posting statuses where you argue, put people down or suffer emotional breakdowns.
Trust is toast, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer.
It’s worldwide, it’s pervasive across business and government, and trust of CEOs is at an all-time low.
CEO Credibility plunged by 12 points this year. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said CEOs are somewhat or not at all credible.Whoa. Wow.
How Trust Is Broken…
Lack of trust creates an environment where concerns quickly evolve into fears. And when fears collide with a belief that the system is failing, trouble results. Also as distrust and fear increase, the negative impact on employee morale, engagement and performance accelerate. The end results are disengaged employees, frustrated management and lower profits. And the problem comes from four key emotional experiences.
1. A sense of injustice – the experience of unfairness tamps down the insula, the part of the brain responsible for emotional hurt and intuition. If a person is experiencing unfairness they will be spending more time in critter state, which will impact performance, decision making, collaboration, overall peace and happiness.
2. Lack of hope – the experience of hopelessness is even more painful than unfairness, and it’s below Critter State on the emotional range. In neurolinguistics the states of hopeless, helpless, worthless, and grief/terror are consider Baseline States. It doesn’t get worse than this.
3. Lack of confidence – depending on the person and degree of lack of confidence we’ll likely see procrastination, reluctance to take risks, playing “small”, and yes, more Critter State.
4. Desire for change – this is encouraging as there’s some energy here. Desire for change means we can envision a possible future where things are better. This lights up the Ventral Striatum where we anticipate reward. If we can increase this experience we can get into Smart State.
A few more key findings are that with the experience of distrust Edelman found that facts matter less to people and bias becomes the filter. 53% of respondents stated they do not listen to people or organizations with whom they often disagree. Further, people are 4x more likely to ignore info that doesn’t support their beliefs. Wow.
…And How To Fix It
So what’s the solution? Edelman’s survey respondents said that a shift from a top-down approach to a more participatory model is needed. In a word: collaboration, communication, transparency and mutual respect. This means deeply listening to and strategically acting on insights from employees. The report also concluded that rebuilding trust is a shared responsibility. We’re in this together.
And sustainable trust is key. This means taking employee engagement and empowerment to a new level, and ensuring leadership is engaged and empowered too.
Engaged employees have better work performance and increased likelihood of fulfilling personal lives. In previous blogs we have discussed proven and trusted neuroscience-based tools that will increase employee engagement, the real reasons your team is not engaged, how great leaders build trust and increase employee engagement and the one mistake leaders make that kills employee engagement. Engagement starts at the top where the culture of the organization is formed–leaders must build a solid foundation where employee engagement can thrive. The C Suite must work on leadership engagement intentionally now more than ever. Leadership engagement = employee engagement.
You may have heard the old saying “hire for fit, teach skills.” And, it’s genuinely true. Hiring for fit, or more accurately, attitude, has become something I’ve espoused closely over the years. Now that I am running my own company, it’s more important than ever not to get the greatest coder, but to find the person willing to bring a smile to a difficult job every day, look at an issue a totally different way, and take feedback regularly.
And, from my experience, there are specific qualities I can screen for to determine if the candidate has the right attitude and will be a fit. Here are the ten questions that help me decide:
How you can tell: In our process, I always give the employee the chance to reach back out to me after the phone interview. While this may not work for all companies, it works well here, because I only want people who WANT to be here and I tell them so. I won’t schedule a follow up to the phone interview until they contact me.
How you can tell: We use a tool called Vitru to help identify if someone has adaptability. I know other companies use Gallup’s Strengthsfinder. However, you can also see how they adapt if you mess something up, which I inevitably do.
While I don’t recommend playing mind games with a likely nervous candidate, do take note of how they react to their potential future workspace and colleagues. If someone brings them the wrong coffee, what is their reaction? If you schedule them for the wrong time, how do they react? If you are interrupted during the interview, what do they do or say? Any change to the norm is a great opportunity to see if a potential candidate is adaptable.
How you can tell: Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not NOT team players, so first, remove your pre-conceived notions. Once you’ve done that, take them around and introduce them to the team.
How do they act, do they remember names or bring up topics that might be interesting to the new team member? While making small talk is not a prerequisite for any job, it’s useful to observe if they really SEE the other team members or are simply focused on you, the interviewer. I usually “name-drop” some of my people during the phone interview to see if they bring it back up later. Again, I’m not of the school that everyone needs to be a team player ALL the time, but if you do need to know, this is how you can find out.
How you can tell: I am a master BS artist. Many, MANY times, I have found myself not at all listening to someone and having to pull out some ridiculous question or response right out of you know where. So, it’s pretty hard to pretend like you are paying attention to me if you are not. If a candidate just parrots your own words back to you, but slightly out of order, it’s a guarantee they are paying very little attention.
Another indicator is a lack of specificity. If your candidate talks in broad terms about success, clients, lessons (all the usual job interview fodder), pull back and ask for really specific or one-off proof points or cases. A meaningful question to me is one where I (the interviewer) need to think for a minute before I can answer. That means not only are they paying attention, but are thinking through more sophisticated concepts than the one I put on the table.
How you can tell: Every job interview has that fun question about when you screwed up. Articles have been written about how to overcome it and every recruiter you know has heard the “I think my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist,” answer more times than she cares to admit.
But to me, this is a huge indicator of whether or not they will be a fit. Do they blame their boss, their team, their MOM? Is it the traffic’s fault, the computer’s fault, the inability to read directions? If they cannot give you a specific example of a time they failed and what they did to get back on that proverbial horse, they are either lying or unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes and that will KILL whatever team you put them on.
Employment in manufacturing peaked in the late 1970s at over 19 million. Since then, despite occasional positive bumps, manufacturing employment has shown a long-term secular decline. Today, fewer than 13 million workers are employed in factory jobs. This long-run, large scale decline in employment is largely attributable to automation and the offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries. The workers most affected by these technological and global shifts are unfortunately those with the least skills, whose jobs are most susceptible to these causes of displacement. The Carrier deal that President-elect Trump pushed through prevented fewer than a thousand jobs from being offshored, but as the CEO of United Technologies put it to CNBC, many of these jobs will be automated anyway; hence the benefit to US workers is likely very low. Even a thousand such deals are not the solution to the displacement occurring in manufacturing. The correct response to this predicament is skill upgradation, so that workers can work with these new technologies, as complements rather than substitutes. Beyond that, manufacturing also badly needs an image makeover.
In an interview, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, claimed the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. as the reason for the company doing its actual production in China. While some speculate that the skills gap is more fiction than fact, there is clearly a problem in the manufacturing jobs market. Between 2005 and 2016, employment in manufacturing declined by 14%. There many potential reasons for this decline in employment: slow hiring, a small supply of workers, or turnover from workers quitting or being fired. The charts below, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ JOLTS survey, are fairly revealing. Over the same period of employment decline, the number of job vacancies increased from 303,000 to 346,000 while the number of people hired for jobs declined from 369,000 to 272,000.
In addition, as the chart below shows, people were less likely to quit their factory jobs during the recession, but the quit rate is returning to pre-recession levels. Layoffs have fallen and remain low, bringing total separations down as well.
Today, there are 322,000 vacancies that are unfilled. Clearly, manufacturing jobs exist, and employers are ready to hire, but for some reason workers and firms are not matching up to fill these jobs. What could explain that?
As a recent study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows, there has been a global shift towards the value added by high skill workers in manufacturing and a shift away from low and medium skill workers. As manufacturing has become more technologically advanced, the demand for skilled workers to occupy positions has grown, but many companies appear unable to find people with the requisite skills. As per a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, 70% of companies reported shortages of workers with adequate technology, computer and technical skills, despite their willingness to pay higher than the market wage in their area. As a result, nearly 2 million jobs will go unfilled over the next decade due to this skills gap.
But there is more to the skills gap than just workers who don’t have the basic problem-solving or computing skills that companies want. A significant problem facing companies is also the lack of demand for these jobs amongst workers with skills. Many workers are simply no longer interested in manufacturing jobs, and there appears to be a stigma attached to manufacturing work. A survey on the Public Perception of Manufacturing shows that while most Americans perceive manufacturing as the backbone of a strong domestic economy, few parents want their children to work in this industry, and manufacturing is the last career choice for people between the ages of 19 and 33.
BARRYSTAFF Launches New Communication
Effort on Social Media
ASPM is a busy place. Even though BarryStaff has an on-site supervisor stationed at the Vandalia plant every day, it’s difficult to maintain contact with everyone.
Consider that BarryStaff may have as many as 100 employees working at ASPM, making everything from small gears to washer and dryer tops. Employees work through the evening and in the wee hours of the morning.
A Facebook page was created so BarryStaff can stay intouch with these workers. The page – only for BarryStaff employees working atASPM –
is multi-functional. It is part suggestion box. Private messages sent to page administrators remain private. It’s also part message board because the page celebrates perfect attendance, new hires and promotions.
Within a week of its launch, the bulk of BarryStaff employees currently working at ASPM had “liked” the page. They were also messaging administrators on a regular basis.
“We want to meet our employees where they already are –on social media,” said President Doug Barry. “You’re either keeping up with technology or you’re not. We intend to find new ways to use it to our advantage.”
What’s more, employees are permitted to message BarryStaff page administrators to let them know if they won’t be at work. BarryStaff then relays that information to supervisors at ASPM in a matter of minutes.
“Sometimes employees are reluctant to have that conversationon the phone,” Barry said. “The last thing we want is for them to just not showup. This is an alternative that’s less confrontational.”
Employees must still give notice two hours prior to the start of the shift.
BARRYSTAFF Begins Work on New Patio
The southern side of the BarryStaff office building will soon look much different.
Construction on a new patio between the building and lot will begin in the coming weeks. The concrete patio will be 33 feet long by 24 feetwide. A black aluminum fence will circle the perimeter and 14 new Juniper trees will be planted to ensure even greater privacy.
“This will be a space for our employees,” said BarryStaff founder and co-owner Pam Barry. “We’ve always been about a quality work experience.”
Numerous studies have drawn a line betweenhappy workers and higher levels of productivity. BarryStaff’s hope is that thepatio will provide a getaway without really getting away.
An outdoor grill will be used for cookouts. Tables will pepper the patio and a small fountain will provide additional serenity.
“These jobs can be demanding,” saidPresident Doug Barry. “Breaks are needed. Hopefully this area will recharge the batteries.”
Employee Spotlight: Buddy Myers of Walther EMC
Buddy Myers has dedicated much of his life to manufacturing and construction. When he says he’s happy at Walther EMC in Franklin, you can bet he has his reasons.
“People recognize my abilities here,” he said. “I’ve been around a while. It means a lot when people respond to what you have to say.”
Myers has been employed by BarryStaff for six years. When asked to recall the time when he was placed with Walther, he remembers that the company called him“three or four times” to make sure all sides were on the same page before he started.
“They were wonderful,” he said. “Very down to earth about everything.”
At this point, there are very few machines the 51-year-old doesn’t know how to operate. Younger employees, he said, should know that while the machines don’t change from employer to employer, the process and protocol will.
“The products look the same,” he said. “But the way they get there is different.”
When Myers isn’t at Walther, he’s playing his guitar. He loves country, southern rock and Jerry Lee Lewis. When asked to look back on his time at Walther, he smiles.
“It’s been a pretty good run so far,” he said.
Client Spotlight: Steve Mock of
Steve Mock, distributor at Safeguard in Centerville, will tell you his office once attempted the hiring process themselves. And then he’ll say it was cumbersome… to say the least.
“It didn’t work,” Mock said. “It was too time-consuming.”
He had worked with a staffing agency in the past. Speaking frankly, the previous experience left a sour taste in his mouth. A few years ago, however, Mock met a BarryStaff representative through his Business Network International group. He decided to partner with a staffing company once again.
Today Mock has 10 employees. He credits BarryStaff – the only staffing agency he’ll work with – with helping him find the right people.
“BarryStaff is just professional,” he said. “I know they are looking out for my best interests.”
Safeguard handles checks, forms and filing systems,full-color printing, promotional products, business apparel and web services for businesses across North America. After a strong second quarter, Mock is optimistic the company will finish out the year in a similar fashion.
“Steady as it goes,” he says with a smile.