Tag: resume

More than Another Sheet of Paper – Your resume deserves a fresh approach

More than Another Sheet of Paper – Your resume deserves a fresh approach

Today’s executives seeking new talent can reach thousands of potential candidates online, run background checks in seconds and track down former colleagues anywhere in the world on social networks. Hiring has changed, and it’s time for the humble resume to catch up.

Whether you’re looking to stand out early in the hiring process for an advertised opening or are proactively networking for your next job, here are a few ideas to document your work history more effectively.

Set yourself apart

Perhaps you’ve seen the viral resume created by a Northwestern University junior who applied to ad agencies with customized kits of Legos challenging them to “build the perfect account service intern.” Even for professionals in a more subdued field like real estate, this provides a good example of how fresh thinking can give applicants an edge. When quantifying personal talents, responsibilities and accomplishments, bullet points don’t always cut it. But today you don’t have to be a graphic designer to visualize your career in new ways. Sites like visualize.me, resumup.com and re.vu now let anyone use graphics, charts and other visual formats to chronicle career highlights in ways that can prove more compelling than a simple sheet of paper.

Give real examples

Of course, regardless of the format, what matters most in any part of an application is the evidence it offers that a candidate can do the job at hand. Laszlo Bock, who hires about 100 people each week for Google, recently shared his best piece of advice for writing an effective resume: “Frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.'”

That means being as specific as possible. Don’t just say you successfully managed a portfolio of properties for five years. How many units did that encompass, with how many people under your leadership? What sort of NOI growth did you achieve and how did that compare to your peers? What challenges did you face in that position, and, most importantly, what decisions did you make to overcome them? Take every opportunity you can when describing your work history to highlight concrete results achieved through your leadership and knowledge that managers can use to differentiate your experience from that of other applicants.

Give them what they want

Unlike an interview, the written application process offers the chance to research exactly what the company is looking for in advance. Rather than taking the same approach for every position, tailor your resume to the requirements listed in a given job description. If it mentions presentation skills, highlight the frequency and number of your in-person reports to upper management. If it mentions a specific type of property, emphasize your experience in that niche early in the resume, even if it means moving a more prestigious but less relevant job title down the list. Try to use the same terms and language as the employer to describe your work and why it’s relevant to the position. By thinking independently, focusing on pertinent examples in your work history and always keeping your audience in mind, you can change resume writing from a chore to a useful tool that shows why you are the best person for the job.

Big Data or Big Mistake? How a Personal Approach to Recruiting Can Beat Out Automated Screening

Big Data or Big Mistake? How a Personal Approach to Recruiting Can Beat Out Automated Screening

When it comes to creating a pool of potential job candidates, some employers think bigger is better. Large companies will often make use of their electronic application systems to gather any and all resumes that come their way on a continual basis. The logic for doing so is sound, as personnel departments can then analyze the resultant data for insight into their hiring programs while building a seemingly endless bank of potential employees. In practice, though, such automation is only useful to a point and can actually hinder the very personal process of building a successful team.

To start with, resume-reading algorithms are not perfect, even when it comes to basic sorting. I once read of a job candidate who found he’d been marked as unqualified by a computer program despite a relevant degree from Stanford. The full name of that school is Leland Stanford Junior University, but the computer didn’t understand that Mr. Stanford shared a name with his father, assuming instead that the applicant had only been to junior college. It might be impossible to review hundreds of applications in a timely fashion without some form of automation. But a better solution is to create a smaller applicant pool by tailoring job solicitations to a specific group of the most qualified people. This approach is also more fair to those searching for jobs. Many have grown wary of online applications after submitting them by the dozens and hearing nothing in return, potentially because employers solicited applications on popular job boards as a way to gauge potential response, rather than to actually fill a position. In an environment where candidates feel they are casting their resumes into a lottery drawing, they are less likely to apply for the most appropriate positions or become motivated to pursue a particular employer. Be upfront about the position, its requirements and your hiring time frame. Serious candidates will see you are reaching out to them in good faith and will take extra steps to show that they have the most to offer.

For example, my executive recruitment firm approaches only candidates with demonstrated leadership in real estate, narrowing our target audience further by geographic area. Our digital network has nearly 200,000 members, but it’s our seasoned recruiting expertise that makes that network effective. While we make use of technology to help reach the best candidates, we then review responses individually, interacting with applicants and conducting the one-on-one work needed to find the right personalities and knowledge to fit our clients’ needs. It’s the second part of that process that computers cannot replace. Don’t make big mistakes when it comes to your big data while hiring. Digital technology provides today’s managers with an array of powerful tools, but using them well requires discretion and the ability to evaluate candidates as people whose potential value is not always obvious on a spreadsheet.

Over more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has helped some of the biggest names in real estate hire the people key to their success. To learn more about how we leverage our digital network with our extensive recruitment experience, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate executives.

Working the Network – How Targeted, Digital Recruiting is Changing the Way Companies Search for Talent

Working the Network – How Targeted, Digital Recruiting is Changing the Way Companies Search for Talent

Salesmen don’t attend conferences without stacks of business cards. College grads don’t head to job fairs without folders full of resumes. So why do so many employers and job seekers enter the online marketplace for talent without the tools for a proper introduction?

More and more, recruiting takes place in the context of digital networks. These go well beyond online job postings to encompass social networking sites and customized services like the Christopher Frederick digital network for professionals in real estate. Frequently, recruiters will no longer publicly advertise open positions, preferring instead to seek out potential candidates individually based on their online profiles and personal contacts. This makes it increasingly important to stay connected to your profession online, even when not actively seeking work or filling a specific position.

Here are a few ways to make the most of the growing trend toward targeted online recruitment:

For Job Seekers:

Be visible. Don’t let your online accounts languish between job searches, or you may miss opportunities from recruiting companies without even knowing it. Always keep your location information up-to-date, as this is one of the most common parameters that companies use to find talent on social networks. The same goes for your past positions, as hiring managers also narrow searches by years of experience in a given field. On LinkedIn, it’s possible to see the people who view your profile, or at least the industries they come from. Use this information to fine tune the way you present yourself. Specifically, ensuring the presence of key skills and industry terms that recruiters use to search for candidates will help bring the most appropriate people to your page. Finally, make sure you have a presence on all of the online forums and networks frequented by peers in your field. Those in real estate, for example, can receive regular recruitment emails from Christopher Frederick’s digital network or check the firm’s jobs page for executive opportunities in their area.

For Companies:

Today’s recruiters need today’s techniques. In many ways, a hybrid search tool that combines old-fashioned networking with powerful databases is the only effective way to find the absolute best candidates in a broad talent pool. Even in periods between significant hires, managers should cultivate their professional networks and follow potential talent online so that connections are in place when a critical opening needs to be filled. Many avenues for soliciting external candidates have become time-consuming and less effective than they once were, as the ability to share information seamlessly online can result in a high volume of candidates to sort through who may be inappropriate for the job. Instead, it helps to reach out to only the most qualified candidates. That could take place within Google Plus circles, executives’ Twitter accounts or LinkedIn networks. Companies can also take advantage of online services highly tailored to their needs, like Christopher Frederick’s unique email recruitment. It offers the ability to reach leaders in real estate within a given geographic area using an extensive database leveraged by a seasoned executive recruiter who knows how to select the best group of final candidates for your consideration.

Whatever your approach to the growing world of digital networking, do it consistently. The range of opportunities available to you can only grow with the reach and relevancy of your network.

Over more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has used its extensive contacts and digital network to connect top real estate talent with some of the industry’s leading companies. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our unique method of digital recruitment, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com.

On The Subject of Objectives: Summarizing Who You Are and What You Do at the Top of the Resume

On The Subject of Objectives: Summarizing Who You Are and What You Do at the Top of the Resume

Think of it as an elevator pitch. The “objective” on your resume likely represents the first 50 words you’ll present to a potential employer. You can use it to succinctly identify the position you want, why you want it and why you’re the best person for the job.

That can be a big challenge for such a small segment of a resume, but it’s worth the time and effort to get it right. Employers’ expectations have changed in the last few years, and they want to know more about you than about the job titles you’ve held. Positions are diverse, and today’s labor market gives companies the leeway to hunt for people they feel have the perfect personalities to fill them. Do your best to share your priorities, your approach to management, your work tempo, your goals and anything else that demonstrates what you are like to work with in person.

Here are a few tips to ensure your objective gets results:

Customize it:

Just like a cover letter, every resume objective should be unique to the position on offer. Broad descriptions like “a position in leasing” or a “management role” could tell a hiring manager you’re sending numerous, boilerplate resumes to companies you don’t particularly care about. Or, worse, your resume could confuse a personnel department and divert your application from the specific position you had in mind.

Mind the computer:

At least within a personnel department, a real human will decide which pile best suits your resume. An unfortunate reality in applying at many large companies is the use of computer programs to sort applications and pick out those most suited to the company’s needs. The objective section can address this by offering a place to mention key words that may be used to sort applications but might not feature prominently elsewhere in the document. An example: If you’re applying for a position involving project management, but your project management experience is obscured by a vague job title with a previous employer, the objective section offers a place to work that specific term into your resume. Effective key words can include degrees, product names, company names, professional organizations, service types, industry issues and phrases from the posted job description.

Make it about them:

This is counterintuitive, but try to see your career objective through the hiring manager’s eyes. What sort of career ambitions, personal traits and knowledge would he or she want in the ideal candidate? Let the position shape what you say about your interest in it. For example: “Objective: To take a position as a leasing executive at a Miami REIT” simply repeats what the employer already knows about the position. “Objective: To continue my nine years in leasing and apply my knowledge of the Miami office market to help a REIT exceed its NOI goals,” on the other hand, offers a better look at why the candidate is qualified and what he or she has to offer.

Don’t be too specific:

While you want to be clear about what position you’re applying for, it’s worth remembering that employers frequently consider candidates for positions beyond the immediate opening they may have applied for. For example, instead of citing a specific “senior financial analyst” position advertised, the subtle change to “senior analyst” signals you’re open to other job possibilities. There are usually several types of analysts, accountants, managers and other professional titles within a large organization. Mention a job title that can apply to more than one position and that also sums up your broad area of expertise. If you feel that even a broad job description would shut down opportunities at a given organization, many people have success omitting the objective entirely.

That said, for most jobs the objective offers a worthwhile place to pitch yourself as the best candidate for a position. Hiring managers going through a stack of applications may not get through all the employer listings on a resume, but they read what’s at the top. Use it well.

For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has helped recruit the most promising talent for leading companies in the real estate industry. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our extensive digital network of professionals, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com.

Age Before Beauty: Why employers and candidates alike should value maturity

Age Before Beauty: Why employers and candidates alike should value maturity

Traditionally, stakes rise for employees entering the second half of their careers. College expenses and retirement planning can stretch family finances. Health coverage becomes more critical. And there’s less time to make up ground in the event of a job loss or unexpected career change. Employers, too, face tradeoffs. Salaries mount with the experience of employees, and hiring managers weight the enthusiasm and malleability of younger workers against the expertise of seasoned hands.

The last five years, though, have forced companies to adapt their thinking on traditional career patterns as economic upheaval disrupted the career trajectory of potentially valuable hires. Everyone has a story of how they personally weathered the downturn and how that experience has made them more knowledgeable, harder working and more strategic in their fields. These experiences often demonstrate the values that hiring managers seek, and job candidates at all points in their careers should emphasize how their maturity can enhance their value.

For companies seeking talent, a long resume and a wealth of diverse experiences in the industry offer a range of advantages:

  • Businesses change: It’s impossible to predict the challenges a team will face five years from now. Markets, competition and the work skills to deal with them change constantly. Odds are, an employee with a longer list of past job titles will have a broader skill set and better strategic knowledge in a changing business environment.
  • Perseverance: So long as an advertised position’s job description is accurate, more experienced applicants are more likely to know what they’re getting into when they apply. That could include candidates who’ve endured the trials of entrepreneurship, new product development or mission-critical project completion many times over. Likewise, an established road warrior with enough frequent flier miles to vacation in Tahiti can offer management more peace of mind than someone new to the workforce who hasn’t experienced that lifestyle.
  • Training: It’s a myth that only entry-level workers are adept at learning new technology. New software is, after all, new to everyone who encounters it. If a candidate meets the current technical requirements for a position, his or her ability to adopt new technologies in the future will depend on a willingness to learn and to embrace change. Neither is age-dependent.

Candidates, too, should see their maturity as an asset and sell it with confidence to potential employers:

  • Emphasize experience: The more time people spend in the workforce, the better they understand the nature of their work and their interaction with their coworkers. Approach employment prospects with concrete examples of how your knowledge sets you apart. Your years in the workforce likely give you numerous specific instances that prove you can drive sales, improve efficiency, meet deadlines, motivate a team or otherwise achieve the accomplishments valued by potential employers.
  • Professional contacts: A long industry career results in decades of personal contacts, former clients and coworkers whose careers have moved in parallel to your own. Networking is always more effective than scouring job postings, and here seasoned workers have an edge. A long resume is unlikely to scare a potential employer if he or she has met you in person and knows you from your past work before they see an application. Furthermore, someone who has been in the industry longer may find it easier to relate to managers and to identify their needs in the interview process.

The disruptive changes in the real estate market have leveled the playing field somewhat. With everyone’s career affected to one degree or another, companies have to look deeper than the list of job titles and dates on a resume to uncover the personal characteristics, skills and values that reveal a candidate’s potential. Job seekers and hiring managers alike are best served by focusing on all that a candidate’s years in the business can offer down the road.

For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has helped find the talent that drives the growth of leading companies in the real estate industry. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our extensive digital network of professionals, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com.

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