Bias in the Job Search – Avoiding Triggers in Your Resume

Last week, we had an awesome webinar on the topic of bias in the job search, focusing on things that you as a jobseeker can do in order to avoid falling victim to the biases (conscious and unconscious) of a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR person.  Thank you everyone for the great feedback – we are so glad that you enjoyed it.  For those of you who weren’t able to attend, the recording is available in our webinar archive – but, here are some quick tips to help you fortify your resume so that you can get to more interviews!

  1. – Cut down on the amount of personal information you’re giving away

I know, I know – your resume is your marketing piece.  It’s where you put your best foot forward and give your potential employer the opportunity to get to know the *real* you, right?  Well, sort of.  Your resume is absolutely your strongest marketing piece for your job search – however, it is also rife with opportunities to count you out of a job based on triggers.  Avoid putting too much personal information in the resume.  Certain things are just not necessary in order to have a strong document, and they can hurt you more than they help you.  Some things to avoid including are:  your address, graduation dates, photos, and specific years of experience (if you have more than 10-15 years, that is).  You want an employer to look at your whole document, and not get hung up on one little thing – so the best thing to do is simply eliminate those things when and where you can.

  1. – Always have a clear, specific headline

Back in the old days (meaning, 10 years ago or so), we used to use an objective statement for every resume.  This was an easy way to customize your resume for specific employers, and a clear way to communicate what your professional goal was.  Unfortunately, including an objective statement on your resume today is a sure fire way to get passed over, because it immediately ages you (even if you’re a 20-something or 30-something) and makes you seem out of touch.  Instead, we opt for Professional Summaries that give the reader an idea of who we are and what we are about, rather than simply what we want.

The problem, though, is that sometimes we become a bit too lofty with our professional summaries, and not everyone has the time to read them.  One of the best things that you can do on your resume is create a “headline” (think, LinkedIn) immediately below your name (you know, where that address used to be), so that the reader knows who you are and what you do right off the bat.  Remember that the average recruiter spends less than 20 seconds reading through a resume before making a decision on whether or not to recommend you for next steps – it is your job to connect the dots and make it as easy as possible for them to see who you are and what you offer, so that they feel comfortable going forward with you as a candidate.

  1. – Master the AI aspect

Artificial intelligence, including those awful applicant tracking systems (aka, the resume robots) are here to stay.  Instead of railing against them and bemoaning their use, learn to make them work for you.  With regard to your resume, ATS are trained to do one thing:  use your skills and keywords to match the best candidate with the requisition from the company.  In order to be chosen as the best candidate, you need to speak the ATS’ language.  Use a wordcloud generator, or a tool like Jobscan.co to figure out how the ATS is reading your resume, and adjust it so that you are highlighting the same keywords, skills, and attributes that the computer is designed to look for.  This will help you get an interview, and from there, you can land the job.

Bonus:  Understanding the technology of today’s job search demonstrates awareness and ability to learn new things, which is always a plus for mature jobseekers, or those who have been out of the market for a while.

We hope that these tips will help you as you begin crafting your bias-proof resume.  As always, if you would like some one on one advice from one of our career consultants in the Office of Alumni Career Management, we are more than happy to assist you, either in person or virtually.

Have a great day, and Go Bucks!

The Best Jobs in America for 2019

Greetings everyone!

As we work our way through the first month of 2019, many of you are on the #newyearnewcareer train!  January is always a great time to start fresh in your career, whether that means transitioning to a different industry or position, or simply better positioning yourself for professional growth while remaining consistent with where you are for the moment.

With that in mind, Glassdoor has released its annual “Best Jobs in America” report, complete with a compilation of the top 50 jobs for professionals in 2019.  This report is, as always, chock full of excellent information for job seekers who are interested in knowing where industries and job types are projected to go throughout the next year.  Just to give a sample, here are the top five “Best Jobs” according to the report:

  1. Data Scientist – Average salary:  $108k/year – 6,510 projected openings
  2. Nursing Manager – Average salary:  $83k/year – 13,931 projected openings
  3.  – Marketing Manager – Average salary:  $82k/year – 7,395 projected openings
  4. Occupational Therapist – Average salary:  $74k/year – 17,701 projected openings
  5. Product manager – Average salary:  $115k/year – 11,884 projected openings

Additionally, the report forcasts a spike in demand for highly-skilled workers, and sees the healthy job market we are currently enjoying as one that is particularly favorable to job seekers.  Unsurprisingly, healthcare jobs continue to gain ground, taking up 8 of the top 50 spots, but this list is well-rounded, showing progress and opportunities for people across a variety of industries. All in all, it looks like this is a good time to change positions!

For the full report, check out Glassdoor here:  https://www.glassdoor.com/List/Best-Jobs-in-America-LST_KQ0,20.htm

 

Tools You Can Use (To Spruce Up Your Social Media)

Happy New Year everyone! We here in the Office of Alumni Career Management hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season and are starting the new year off with a bang!
This time of year always brings new year’s resolutions, and desires for self-improvement. Though we often see many new clients approaching us with desires about finding a new job, we recognize that a new gig isn’t necessarily everyone’s goal. However, whether you’re looking to start something new, or simply looking to refresh your own personal brand (hint: you definitely should be), we have a few tools that can help you along the way with that.

This week’s tools you can use focuses on two awesome tools that will support you in cultivating a strong, professional brand presence online. As we all know, the internet is an ever present part of our lives these days. We have long since surpassed the days where social media was this “new” thing that “the kids” were into – now it seems that everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn profile. And while you may not be one of “the kids” any more, it is likely that you’ve had these accounts for quite a while. If so, there’s a possibility that you may have said or done something (maybe years ago) online that is now coming back to haunt you in your current life. The worst part? You might not even know/remember what it is.

That’s where our tools you can use come in! Our tools this week are WillMyTweetsGetMeFired? and Brand Yourself.

The first tool, WillMyTweetsGetMeFired? is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a tool that, for $2.99, will comb through all of your public tweets of old and flag the ones that are likely to cause trouble for you professionally. The algorithm looks for things like: profanity, racial slurs, nudity, etc. and it highlights them for your review. Of course, you can look at each of them and decide individually whether or not those are tweets that you think you should get rid of, prior to deleting them.

The second tool, Brand Yourself, goes a little farther. For $9.99, Brand Yourself does a complete sweep of the internet and gives you a score. It will scan through any social media accounts that you have, including the standards of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. and flag any strange or unbecoming posts. This includes posts that (may) contain profanity, sexual references, and anything else that may be deemed “offensive” to others (think: political opinions, etc.). Those can be reviewed by you so that you can determine whether or not you would like to keep them or delete them.

Additionally, Brand Yourself will offer up advice/steps that you can take to make your online presence more positive, including optimizing search results, etc. so that you appear higher when being “Googled” or otherwise researched.

Both of these tools are important, because they work in accordance with applicant tracking systems – you know, the dreaded “resume robots” we are all accustomed to dodging during online applications. What you may not know is that the ATS not only scans and scores the documents that you submit online as part of your application, but they may also scan the internet in search of mentions of you, and include the content they find in your overall score. Because of this, it is critically important that you are cognizant of the things that you have posted in the past, as well as things that you will post in the future. Always think before you post, and if you’re ever in doubt, these tools can definitely lend you a helping hand!

Job Search Tools You Can Use This Week – Part Two

Happy Monday all!  Here it a quick list of resources and tools to help you in your job search this week:

 

  1. – Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD is the oldest and largest online social community dedicated to assisting PhDs build careers outside of academia.  Specializing in PhDs with concentrations in humanities, social sciences, and STEM, the platform provides members with the opportunity to discover interesting career paths, network and consult with the larger PhD community, and see job listings appropriate for PhDs.

Why it’s great:  Versatile PhD focuses primarily on those PhDs who are not currently seeking work in academia – the focus is on non-academic, non-faculty careers.  There are more than 85,000 members that PhDs can connect and network with, even attending local meet-ups if they would like!  This is a great way to build community and find support as you take a non-traditional path toward a career outside of the academic world.

 Where you can get it:  For OSU alumni, visit the “Job Search Resources” page of the Career Management website here:  https://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/job-search-resources/  and log in with your OSU credentials to join the site!

  1. – AlumniFire

AlumniFire is Ohio State’s exclusive online professional networking site, where members can work with one another to support each other’s professional development and growth.  As a member, you’ll have the ability to search Buckeyes based on any number of variables, including industry, location, class year, college, and more.  You can seek them out for support based on what they are “offering”, and you have the ability to offer professional development support to others as well.  AlumniFire is what I often refer to as “LinkedIn Lite” – it allows for many of the same benefits of LinkedIn, including job listings, a bulletin board for announcements, and networking opportunities.  However, it is a much smaller, more contained online platform that is exclusive to Ohio State alumni, faculty/staff, and current students.  It also has a feature that LinkedIn doesn’t – offerings

Why it’s great:  Every person who is a member of the site is required to “offer” something to the general community – general career advice, networking assistance, resume reviews, etc.  This takes some of the pressure off when reaching out to someone to obtain their assistance, because they have already “raised their hand” to help you!

Where you can get it:  http://osu.alumnifire.com

  1. – Alumni Career Connection

By virtue of being an alumnus of this great institution, you are eligible for a number of benefits through the Office of Alumni Career Management.  One of those resources is Alumni Career Connection, our alumni-exclusive job board.  With as many as 20 companies per day posting opportunities specifically seeking to hire our graduates, there are many chances to explore and obtain work, regardless of your field or point in your career transition.  There are entry-level positions available, as well as professional-level opportunities for more seasoned workers.  This is a great benefit for any of our alumni who are currently seeking.

Why it’s great:  Job opportunities exclusive to OSU alumni?  What more do I need to say?  J

Where you can get ithttps://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/alumni-career-connection.html

  1. – Career Management Webinar Library

Another addition to the wealth of resources that we have available to you through this office is our webinar library.  Here you will find more than 25 webinars hosted by either our career consultants or select distinguished alumni, on topics ranging from doing well in an interview to networking in different ways.  There are also informative sessions that cater to specific areas of interest, such as women returning to work, or defining success on your own terms.

Why it’s great:  Lots and lots of career advice, for people at any stage in their career development.

Where you can get ithttps://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/webinars.html

 

I hope that these resources are valuable to you as you work your way through your job search – whatever stage you may be at currently.  Don’t forget that you can always reach out to our office for additional assistance, by calling 1.800.635.8944 as well.

Make it a great week!

Three Tips for Rocking an Out of State Job Search

So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to spread your wings and relocate to another state for your next career move.  If so, you’re not alone.  A recent survey from MSN shows that 1 in 4 jobseekers are willing and ready to relocate in order to facilitate a career change.  With those statistics, you might think that employers are open to candidates from varying locales, but ask any number of job seekers who have been in the hunt for a job outside of their current area, and you will likely find that securing a position in another state is a bit more challenging than you’d expect.  Oftentimes employers do not offer relocation packages, and they may look poorly on candidates from different areas because of the time and effort that it would take to have them move to the job location.  Sometimes employers just don’t want the bother.

So, what can you do about it?  Below are three tips to help you move your interstate job search forward.

  1. – Remove location markers from your resume

Most recruiters agree that when they see a resume with an out of state address, it comes off as something of a red flag.  They anticipate that employers will give pushback on those candidates, and therefore they are moved to the bottom of the “priority list”.  One of the easiest things that you can do to make yourself more competitive in the out-of-state job market is to remove your address from the document altogether.

Also, keep in mind that an address is no longer an important element of the resume – in fact, it is pretty erroneous information at this point.  You would be better served to use the area traditionally reserved for your address to instead showcase a link to your Linkedin profile or a headline introducing yourself to the employer.

You can also take it a bit farther and remove the locations of previous jobs that you have held as well (since this is also not pertinent information) and use the Google voice app to create a local phone number.  These two strategies are less common, but still considered acceptable according to most recruiters.

  1. – Talk about it and BE HONEST

Once you’ve been called for an interview, it is best to address the topic upfront.  When talking with a potential employer, you should use affirmative language and reference a time-frame for your move.  For example, you might ask for a Skype or phone interview for the first round.  At that point, you would let the company know that you are planning to relocate by saying something along the lines of, “Yes, I currently live in Ohio – however, I anticipate moving to Boston within the next 8 weeks.”  You should also include that you are prepared to move at your own cost, as many companies rule out candidates for whom they feel they will have to make a substantial investment in up front (such as a relocation package).

Also take care not to lie or lead an employer on.  I’ve often seen candidates use a local address on an application in order to avoid getting red flagged for being a non-local applicant.  This is fine – however, be sure that you explain clearly to an employer that this is the address you anticipate staying at once you arrive in the area, and not your current address.  Telling an employer you currently reside in LA with a current employer in Colorado is a sure fire way to get those red flags raised again, and, what’s worse, now you look like a liar to the hiring manager.  Don’t do it – this is never a good idea.

  1. – NETWORK!

Aside from the above two tips, you should treat your out of state job search largely the way that you would a local search – with the exception of needing to cast a much wider net.  Network with as many people as you can from your target area – Linkedin is a great tool for this.  You should be making connections with people in your industry and preferred area – be diligent about this, and make sure any meetings/informational interviews/etc. are as fruitful and meaningful as possible.

You should also be prepared to make a few trips to your target area as well.  Doing this will allow you to meet with your connections in real time, as well as become familiar with the area itself.  Depending on your familial situation, you may also need to research housing, schools, etc.  All of this will be much easier to do in person.