Shared: What really happens during the background check stage of the interview process

It’s unlikely that an organization is going to initiate this step unless it’s pretty certain you’re the best person for the job.

via What really happens during the background check stage of the interview process — USA TODAY College

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Job Searching – Allowing for the Inevitable Crisis

Don't be like an

Don’t be like an ostrich with your head in the sand – you have to keep an eye on things

I wish it weren’t so, but we live in a world where precious little is guaranteed to us, anymore. Once upon a time, you could join a company and stay with it your entire career. No more.

Job changes are no doubt stressful, and they show up in a number of ways on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale.

Whether you’re let go from a position, or you experience a change in responsibilities… or you end up relocating or changing your living structure to adapt, work-related changes are nothing to take lightly.

Here’s the scale, which I’ve emphasized with job-related picks:

Life event Life change units
Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Imprisonment 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Dismissal from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain a new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in frequency of arguments 35
Major mortgage 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse starts or stops work 26
Beginning or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Minor mortgage or loan 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Major Holiday 12
Minor violation of law 11

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

Without getting into all the scoring, just at a quick glance, you can see how life changes related to work can impact you — and add up, to where you’re at risk of illness… and some say a shortened life.

Without being melodramatic, yes, I think we can all agree that changing jobs is nerve-wracking.

Especially when you’re not expecting it to happen.

I recall a time, about 15 years ago, when I got a call from a recruiter who was reaching out with job training opportunities. That was strange. I was well-established in my line of work, and I couldn’t see any reason to train for something different.

“I’m so sorry about your situation,” the recruiter said.

“What situation?” I asked.

“Oh, the RIF (reduction in force) that’s coming. I’m sorry you’re on the list.”

RIF?!” I exclaimed. “What list?!” My heart started to pound, and bullets of sweat started streaming down my torso.

The recruiter was silent.

“This is the first I’m hearing about it,” I said, trying to keep my cool. “Are you saying I’m going to get laid off?”

“Well…” she continued tentatively. “Actually…”

In the ensuing minutes of conversation, I learned some incredibly valuable lessons — how the RIF system works (at least in Massachusetts), as well as how much recruiters actually  new about the ebb and flow of the employment market. As it turns out, unbeknownst to me — and totally out of the blue, without any prior indication — I actually was on a preliminary reduction-in-force list. And the Department of Labor knew it. And they told recruiters, because there were training dollars available for people who were caught up in downsizing.

As it turns out, the list was purely preliminary and was apparently accidentally leaked. And my name wasn’t on the final list. So, I was spared. Which was good. (Being let go is never ever a good thing to have on your record.) And another good thing — it was a wake-up call I sorely needed. I was a little too comfortable in my position. I was a little too complacent in my work. I needed to revisit my resume — and sooner, rather than later.

And I needed to be ready, no matter what. Because about 15 years ago, just after 9-11, the economy took a major hit — and I never in all my years prior to that would have guessed that my career path would be impacted by a terrorist attack, of all things.

But it happens. You know it. I know it. We all know it. And yet, we’re woefully unprepared for the inevitable crisis or two when they suddenly emerge. We think we’re in a good place, we think our contributions are valued — and maybe they are. But on a larger meta-scale, things change. The economy shifts. Consumer sentiment tanks. Or our industry of choice is upstaged by something newer, shinier, more efficient, more attractive.

Just like me, sitting on the call with that recruiter, we can get blind-sided. And it’s no fun. It’s pretty terrible, actually. But it happens. And while we can’t control every single factor and variable in our career, there are some things we can do to improve our chances — and one of those things is connecting with the right recruiters.

Who can provide insider’s insights into what’s happening in the job market, and what your options are.

Posted in career, employment, hiring, job, job search, recruiter, resume, success, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Stages to a Job Search

A great read about very, very common conditions we all face when on the job search.

Storytime with John

To those who don’t know I am back in the UK:

Now this is as wonderful as you may expect; I’m seeing family and old friends, walking around familiar streets and experiencing our tropical climate – however it is also becoming increasingly frustrating. This is for one reason and one reason only: I’m on a hunt for a job, and a good one if you please.

So for your entertainment and my own catharsis I thought I would note down some of the stages to this job search so far – perhaps it may curse me forever, or perhaps (hopefully) the universe will decide to cut me break after this divine offering to the Blogosphere Gods.

Well we can always hope…anyway, here we go – in at number one:

1. Looking through the amazing opportunities:


Clicking GIF

This is great at first as you can look through all of…

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Sharing from someone who shared – How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search

via How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search

via How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search — Randy The Recruiter by Randy Schwartz, Executive Recruiter

Posted in writing

6 Job Search Tips That Are So Basic People Forget Them

This is great advice – very common-sense and accessible. And yes, it’s so obvious, a lot of people miss or forget it.

Outplacement Services | Career Coaching | Retained Search

by Jenny Foss for The Muse

The irony of job search advice: There’s so much available that you don’t have to spend more than four seconds Googling about before you land on some nugget of wisdom or another.

Yet, at the same time, there’s so much available (some of which completely contradicts other advice you’ll find) that it can easily overwhelm you. Which, in fact, is probably the exact opposite outcome you’re looking for when you go sleuthing for genuinely useful counsel in the first place.

So let’s do this: Let’s boil things down to a short list of sound, timeless job searching tips that’ll help you fine-tune your strategy so that you may sail through the process (or at least cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration).

1. Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit

When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very…

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7 answers your recruiter wants to hear

checklistWhen you’re looking for a new job, you may find yourself working with recruiters. I’ve talked to hundreds of them over the past 30 years, and I’ve found that there are certain things they all want to know.

They need to know those things, because that will direct them in their own search for the perfect position for you. Once they know the answers to the following questions, you can continue the conversation and develop the search from there.

But before anything can happen, you need to tell them the following:

  1. What is your current status? Are you employed or not?
  2. If you’re open to new opportunities.
  3. What the timeframe of your next move is.
  4. What type of position you’re seeking – contract, permanent, contract-to-perm, W2, corp-to-corp, remote/telecommute, etc.
  5. How much you want to make (per hour for contract, annual for full-time).
  6. Where you want to work, geographically.
  7. Where they can get your most current resume.

I’ve got a new section on this site covering these in more detail — 7 Answers Your Recruiter Wants to Hear – And Why. I’ll be elaborating over the coming weeks, to help you better understand how best to answer them — and why it matters.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to have a consistent answer to each of these questions, so whenever you talk to recruiters, you are giving them the same info each and every time.

“Mixing and matching” is not helpful at all, and it only muddies the waters. So, the more clear you can be with everyone, and the more consistent your answers are, the better your chances of actually finding a new position that works for you.

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Why you should keep looking even when you’re interviewing for the job of your dreams

A very insightful article I wish I’d read about 15 years ago.

When you’re just starting out, it’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of the job search. And then you actually have an interview at a great company… and your mind blanks out on anything but that one opportunity.

But as they say, keeping in the game is so critical.

One of the important aspects is your image, as the hiring company perceives it. The last thing you want, is to look desperate and willing to jump at the first offer – no matter how well it fits you. There are other considerations, too – and this post makes a lot of sense — check it out!

We see it all the time: Candidates get excited about a specific company or position and don’t want to look at anything else. They think if they just focus really, really hard on this, it will all work out. Or they start to lose interest in other positions without the luster of their dream job. […]

Read the rest here: Why you should keep looking even when you’re interviewing for the job of your dreams — Merrfeld Resumes and Coaching

Posted in career, employment, hiring, interview, job, job search, recruiter, resume, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,