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Tips for Job Seekers: Inside the Mind of a Recruiter | James Citrin

Tips for Job Seekers: Inside the Mind of a Recruiter | James Citrin


So let’s talk about the tactics of searching
for a job today. Some of the tactics are quite different, but some of the principles are
absolutely timeless. Some of the tactics that are different: LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an essential
resource for potential employees and employers. It is the de facto global standard for 400
million people in business, part of the reason why Microsoft paid $26.2 billion for the global
LinkedIn network. But LinkedIn is a really essential thing to do and filling in and completing
a good LinkedIn profile is an essential step. You want to have a really good professional
but personable picture on it because pictures are more valuable than all the words. And
then you want to have the equivalent of a top-level resume in all of your affiliations,
your titles and your interests. So the LinkedIn profile is key. Most likely that’s going to
be how you get a job, but when you’re in a job conversation employers will refer automatically
to your LinkedIn profile so that’s really important. Before you do a LinkedIn profile it’s important
to develop a resume. Coming out of college you generally want to have your resume on
one page. All the resume basics, there’s millions of things written about resumes, but I will
tell you one thing, I probably evaluated 20,000 resumes over the last 25 years. Here’s how
people read resumes. They look at your name and the mindset is do I know her or him or
not and where are they based. And then they quickly look to the bottom of the page and
they look at the personal things. And this is where it’s really in your power to differentiate
yourself. You don’t want to say capable at Microsoft Word and Excel and PowerPoint, the
Adobe suite Photoshop things, that’s fine but that’s the place where you want to say
completed the world triathlon championship or hiked Machu Picchu or enjoy cooking and
specialize in Mexican tequila recipes. Traveled to whatever, very specific things, member
of the League of Women Voters, if you’re a guy. It creates a little bit of a question
that’s a real entrée into the conversation. And employers are looking to start a conversation
to say you had three holes in one in golf, how did that happen? And it’s on the bottom
of your resume. So that’s the next thing. And then the basics: what the company or the
organization or the education is, the year, a couple of the quantifiable basics, internships.
And it’s okay, especially if you’re coming out of college, to be totally real. You mowed
lawns for the summer or you bussed in a restaurant. All of those things, which is actually someone
in their 20s you might think oh God I didn’t learn anything, I didn’t do anything, but
employers are looking for those real life skills to show work ethic and initiative and
they respected that. If you’re a camp counselor that’s fine too, but talk about what the experience
you gained being responsible for a bunk of seven-year-old girls. Anyway, it’s okay to
be yourself and put that in the kind of context. So have a resume. After the resume it’s easier to create your
LinkedIn profile from that. It used to be that resumes were sent with cover letters
through the mail. They would get opened or not and they would get filed. It’s important
to know that most of resumes certainly will be read as a first time, if they’re read at
all they’ll be opened most likely on a mobile device. So the layout is really important.
And if you’re writing to an HR leader, human resources later, maybe they’ll be reading
it in their office, but they’ll be transmitted electronically. So the principles of a cover
letter are a transmittal email. And an email is not a text but an email is not a formal
letter either so it’s somewhere in between. It’s got to be professional, make sure to
have a no grammatical errors in your resume or on your transmittal email. So those are
basic. But here’s the thing, over two thirds of jobs
are gotten through referrals; they’re not gotten by applying cold to an organization.
And it’s really frustrating for people, I know this, to like look at an employment site;
go into the jobs listings about us and it says submit your application or submit your
resume or LinkedIn profile and a cover letter and you do that. And it feels like you’re
putting your personal materials into a black hole. Many great companies find a way to have
the systems to get back to you, but most don’t. It’s just hard because they get too many inbounds.
But here’s the thing, most positions are filled before they ever go to be listings and sometimes
companies feel the need or for legal reasons that they have to list of them. Two thirds
of the jobs are gotten through referrals. So with that in mind, and having done your
basics of a good LinkedIn profile and a resume, here’s the way to activate that. And this
is a timeless principal about job searching at the entry level all the way up to the CEO
suite. It’s recommendations by your friends or your friends of friends. And I often get asked what is the single best
piece of job search advice I have? And here’s what I say: have a crisp answer to the question
so what do you want to do? Especially people coming out of college, they’re sometimes surprised
by that question and they’re – like the worst answer is I don’t know. The second worst answer
is I’ll do anything. You want to be able to help people help you. And so you want to have
a one sentence answer to that question of what you want to do that makes sense and give
someone enough ammunition so that when they hear that there’s an opening at the American
red cross it’s like oh I just met this really talented young woman who’s coming out of John’s
Hopkins University who is dedicated to helping disaster relief and she wants to work at the
American Red Cross. Maybe it’s your aunt who you mention that to at the Father’s Day picnic.
You never know where it’s going to come from. So I like to think that it’s like planting
seeds on the wind and sometimes they’ll land and they’ll grow roots. So had your one sentence
answer. And anything is fine, but you really need to say I’ve always loved the financial
markets; I want to get an entry-level position on Wall Street. I’m interested in government;
I majored in political science and I want to break in with a legislative internship.
I’m really passionate about protecting the environment so I want to find a not for profit
dedicated to prevent global warming. I love gender equality. I’m looking for a
company that is really focused on empowering women. Whatever it is have the answer to that
and then say that to as many people as you can and you’ll be shocked at when it comes
from. And this is where it pays to mention that to your professors, to your parents,
to the friends of your parents and to your friends and most of this will come back. And
then your LinkedIn profile and your resume will get kicked in. But unless you give someone
the tool to say I’m looking to break into online video production, nobody will come
back and ask you that. So anyway, that’s my single best piece of job search advice.

92 thoughts on “Tips for Job Seekers: Inside the Mind of a Recruiter | James Citrin

  1. "big think" – more like… "seriously, try to use the slightest bit of your brain once in a while"

  2. "big think" – more like… "seriously, try to use the slightest bit of your brain once in a while"

  3. I don't really understand what everyone's problem is with this guy. He shows you how to go the extra mile when applying for a job; He's got all pretty good advice.

  4. I find everyone is asking me what I want to do after leaving college. I realised early on that I needed a concrete answer, and that one of these people will probably refer me for a job.

  5. This only matters in jobs where your CV sells you, but there's a whole lot of industries where your portfolio is much more important.
    I've abandoned my linked in, and god a job thanks to a wordpress blog.

  6. Is this video coming off as unprofessional to anyone else? Why put your skills on the resume when you can talk about past vacations….

  7. More proof that the entire hiring process is total bullshit. As if my picture and the fact I go kayaking has anything to do with my ability to do a specific job.

  8. The problem with LinkedIn is that it presents just one view of yourself. It's not easy to 'focus' a CV to a role if you need to change your LinkedIn profile as well.

  9. I'd love to hear this guy answer the medical school, "Why do you want to be a doctor?" question. I bet he could come up with a lot of good answers. I don't understand all the negativity towards him. He's dead-on with most of this stuff. HR people gets stacks of resumes with tons of people with equivalent educations and job histories. How do you pick someone out from 25 resumes that all say the same thing? It's random without something in there to help people personify a person to the page, and a face to the name. That's why referrals are accountable for 2/3's of jobs. You have 25 of them, and somebody says, "Pick that one, I know him" and there you go. Also, it's never "right" but everyone does it: you see that picture of someone and think, "This guy looks like a dick." He could be the nicest person in the world, though, but do you think he'll get hired? Of course not – hence why if you look good on paper with qualifications, the trick is to appeal to the human side. Give them a reason to think they could work with you and enjoy your company: "Hey, he plays golf, too! Maybe we could play some rounds together." You get what I mean – you need a way to distinguish you from the others and to put positive thoughts in a recruiter's head – they very much do judge book's by their cover. I got a job years ago because I shared a sense of humor with the recruiter. I listed "janitor" as one of my earliest jobs in my teens, and made a quick joke about how I preferred to call it "sanitation engineering" and boom, we hit it off. We laughed a lot through the interview and I could tell he was already going to say yes less than 5 minutes into it and he was just going through the motions. I got called on the drive on the way home and told I got it.

  10. Inside the Mind of a Recruiter : "Will the worker be happy with being underpaid …if so…..HIRED"

  11. I hear so many people in England complain "there is no work out there", "there are no jobs"… Join a few employment agencies! They literally find work for while you get baked, play xbox & rave it up on the weekends. They tend to pay higher than NMW, & if an employer takes you on at any point (it happens a lot) you know they pay the agency £1-£1.50 + your wages an hour so you can tell them to jog on for less than 8.50+/ph

  12. I wish I could give this video two thumbs up instead of just one… 8 minutes summed up a quarter of the book "what color is your parachute"

  13. Hopefully you have the "what do you want to do" question nailed before you go to college, otherwise you are wasting your time at college.

  14. When an entire generation of educated and experienced
    professionals suddenly become unemployable, recruiters become the enemy. Plus,
    recruiters are often forced to hire the wrong person, and then are forced to
    take the blame when they don't work out. Why all this madness? Why is there a
    historic income inequality? Why does pointing it out disqualify you? Greed and
    Austerity of course!

  15. u fur just gave bad advice ER's dont give a fok about if you've climbed a mountain they wannna know what you can Do like microsoft certified etc type 90wpm. multi-task well under pressure… are you peeps getting all this.

  16. He says flat out: there are not enough jobs for those applying. It's a crap shoot. Plus 2/3 are already hired before the listing is available online. There either will be a societal shift in terms of the job market "how normal folks go about their everyday" or there will be all out Dystopia if UBI isn't implemented. Automation and AI has for better or worse screwed up the way jobs/business has been done for all the time humans have been on Earth in a working setting. I have a BA and an MA and can flat out say there is absolutely no reason you need a degree in the 21st Century. The only reason I can think of is if you want a loan from a bank for a personal endeavor/business plan. Other than that there are too many graduates versus jobs available. By the way big sectors that are open with jobs like IT/Tech sector will be in the same circle of "forever applying" when Artificial Intelligence becomes smart enough to write themselves, i.e. Machines building machines. It's maybe a decade away

  17. Yeah… Never met a recruiter or HR professional who gave a damn about what random, quirky little know fact at the bottom of the resume. It's nowhere near a top priority.

  18. These tips and strategies are especially important if you do not come from an affluent family and/or are the first person in your family to go to college.
    I know it's not fair and it's not based on who is the best for the job, but this is exactly how it works. I wish I had grasped this in college instead of 6-8 years later. The people you know and the people they know are the ones that get you good jobs, not blindly submitting your application in the same stack with every other person's. Build and maintain relationships, be actively involved at work and in life, offer to help other people find opportunities and they'll do the same for you. It's not what you know (until you get that interview), it's WHO you know that gets you in the door.

  19. I like to devise some tests for applicants. If you worked on every position in company you get a deep understanding of that particular job so you can make test deep enough which can't be googled or reasoned out. Most managers didn't start at the bottom and HR people are even less qualified to do the testing.

  20. When I hear such kind of bullshits, I am then convinced that all these Human Resources "pro" are just a bunch of parasites between the Companies and the job seekers!

  21. Click bait on resume 😛 Call me if you want to know 7 reasons that recruiters should not use LinkedIn. Or. Hiring managers won't believe this easy technique to find their best employees.

  22. In other words, you need to have established connections already…. This is why so many first-generation or low income people have trouble because they do not have the established social networks that other third, fourth, or fifth generation college students have.

  23. Number one advice from the experts: if you want a job, be a forcefully extroverted and extremely shallow "social climber" who treats their own friends and family like professional contacts!

  24. What does it mean to "have the equivalent of a top level resume in all your affiliations – your… your, uh, your titles, your interests"?

  25. While I'm mentioning my tequila recipes on the front page of my resume, should I also add my favorite strain of cannabis, or most money I've ever spent on cocaine in the span of a weekend?

  26. Linked-IN: A place people go to exaggerate and out-right LIE about their experience and abilities.

    This guy is talking about personal information on a resume? That is no one's damned business!

    This guy is a FUCKING WORM.

    Stupid ass companies: If you are going to fill a job from within, DON'T FUCKIN' ADVERTISE THE JOB.

  27. Hi, James:

    What if your career isn't very popular numbers-wise (I'm an industrial designer, for example), and even if you have a reasonably decent network to refer you & vouch for your skills, none are EVER likely to know of any openings? I've gone years unemployed or scraping by freelancing between jobs because there's never that "in" with anybody that accountants, marketing managers, etc. have on the regular. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

  28. good stuff, lots of it doesnt make sense to me, since people seem to put value in irrelevant things. Too bad I have zero referral references.

  29. all sounds good. the whole "you get jobs by having the right friends" thank always frustrates me. So what if you don't know those people? are you just supposed to find something else to do? otherwise solid advice but i've never liked that.

  30. Most human resources people are not qualified to judge whether a job candidate will be a good fit or not, as they are not competent to perform the job themselves. That's why they focus on the trivial crap at the bottom of the resumes. They can talk about that stuff without making a complete fool of themselves.

  31. His tips about personalising your Linkedin profile are terrible: it only opens you up to discrimination even before there's a job opening in your preferred industry or workplace. When it comes to your profile, stick to things that are only relevant to the industry or job that you're interested in.

  32. Careful folks. He explains how recruiters look at your resume, but hiring managers mostly have a different set of criteria.

  33. I too have looked at hundreds of resumes over the years and I have never skipped to the bottom to see if someone got holes-in-one or completed a triathlon.

  34. As a hiring manager I am appalled by the prospect that someone like this recruiter may not be giving me candidates to talk to because of some idiot prejudice. Kayaking? Really? I don't care about that stuff. I care about whether the person can do the job.

  35. So I just have to get better in golf. That is the dumbest think I have ever heard. Recruiter aren't going to contact you because you had 3 holes in one unless you are trying to be a golf pro.

  36. The management of TRUST RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT Canada is recruiting new workers whose careers suites into these categories. Doctors, University graduate, Stewards and Nurses, Pharmacist, Accountants and Auditors, Deputy manager, Bar manager, Shop manager, Engineers and Mechanics, Purchasing manager and Food & Beverage manager, Sounds & Light Technicians, Maintenance manager, Catering supervisor, Computer engineer, Professional chauffeurs,Drivers,Tennis/Squash/Swimming/Golf/gym instructors, Club Bouncers, Cooks and chef, Clerks andreceptionists,Cashiers, Secretary, Graphic designer, Messengers, Store Keeper, Bakers, Comedians and entertainers, Bar Tenders,Butcher’s,Professional beauticians and massage, House Keepers, Security, Porters and ushers, Cleaners, Gardener, Florist and Petroleum Engineering

    TRUST RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT management will be responsible for the payment of all foreign workers air ticket,feeding and accommodation. Interested candidates should contact us back With his/her CV. We will look forward for your prompt reply via this E-mail Address: [email protected]

    Sign: Kathy Redford

  37. Help people help you by having for them a crisp answer in just one sentence for the question 'What do you want to do?'

  38. I work in statistical research and I would throw someone's application in the TRASH if they bothered to put that idiotic stuff on their resume. I only care about your relevant experiences and what conferences you have attended and if you have any publications. Also, I expect these resumes to be more than 1-page.

  39. Great advice thank you. Im an expected college graduate looking for jobs. Referrals would be appreciated!!

  40. I wish that companies were more interested in exchanging a fair wage for quality work than wanting to know my marathon time. I think we do a disservice to introverted people who don’t want to share their life storylies with this kind of nonsense.

  41. I wonder if you took the easier approach to your subject, just to make a video. I find it interesting that you chose to focus your subject on how college students should approach their job search in this brutal global (gig) economy(nothing against college students).. To make my point. it appears to me, that you look like you could be past your college years. If I'm wrong, I do apologize. I just think while your delivering your message, you would have also included some suggestions for which those job seekers who are past their college years and have more years of experience could consider using. I am assuming those of us in the older demographic have experienced the reality, that no matter how effective our ability is to network, and use LinkedIn, it's still almost impossible to get in front of a hiring manager. And, for this reason, it appears to me that you were more interested in taking an important message, by focusing only on a younger demographic, and not including the older demographic that would presumably include yourself. No malice in what I'm saying intended. Best endeavors.

  42. These tips are not useful for graduates… Sorry Linkedin is useless, its a social networking platform. You need parents or family who can help you onto a first job – referrals come from family. Privacy concerns – Linkedin asks you for your picture, and Linkedin adds this to your DNS (internet telephone number), so they have your location, your face, and they can track you afterwards. I am not a fan of linkedin…

  43. i've had both incredible success and incredible failure in job searches and I can say this guy knows his stuff. He did leave out a big thing though: FOLLOW UP. Be willing to send an introductory e-mail and then call a week or two later, and then call again a month later, and again 3 months later. Change up your wording and your approach each time (don't just say "I thought I'd follow up") but make it personal. Don't be afraid to annoy people a little bit. Most working people are really scattered and nervous and have probably forgotten your initial query 10 minutes after you sent it (sad but true). Your value does not decrease just because someone fails to notice it!

  44. Basically recruiters are corrupt dumbasses who don't do their jobs correctly. They are overly biased, look for people who have the luxury of connections, and they focus on shit that has nothing to do with the job.

    Its no wonder alot of people cant find jobs: its because of idiots like this…

  45. This video was extremely helpful I'm job seeking and he explained and gave me the confidence I needed.

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