I Want To Pay A Headhunter To Find Me A Job – Three Ways To Not Look Foolish.


Expert Author Stephen Q Shannon

Recently a long-term client bristled when I offered recommendations on how to work with search firms. Margo (not her name) didn’t want to hear that she needs to be careful, forthcoming, and professional, once in the hands of pro recruiters. Further, Contingency and Retained search firms are two different animals.

Here’s three data points so you won’t make a fool of yourself when you contact professional recruiters, which is what was about to happen to Margo.

1) Accept the fact – most search firms (headhunters) work only for and get paid only by for-profit and not-for profit organizations, companies, and professional associations, not you, the job seeker. Yes, you should let them know you exist and send a professional looking resume and personalized cover letter to a real person at the firm. Ditch the idea you are doing them a favor. You become a source of revenue (income) for them only when an employer says, “Yes”. Pro recruiters have easy access to 100s of candidates. Their real mission is to find great people who are not actively looking for a job and can be recruited away from their present employer with the promise of not only more money, but, more important, potential growth, a position with huge opportunity for making a difference.

2) Demonstrate – you know the difference between Contingency search firm and Retained search firm, plus a few hybrids. The former gets paid only when a candidate (you) is successfully placed with an employer and hang in there for 90 days or more. You must make or be capable of commanding more than 70k. A Retained search firm (headhunters) typically accepts, by long-term contract, high level search assignments for individuals making six figures plus. Tip – Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile content agree. If you appear unemployed in one and not the other, many search firms will quickly exclude you. Second Tip – Start your stealth campaign “before your current job (well) runs dry”.

3) Do Homework – “go to school” on Kennedy’s Pocket Guide to Working With Executive Recruiters (Kennedy Career Services [dot] com]. (I am not affiliated). Kennedy also offers an affordable subscription to the industry bible, Kennedy Directory Of Executive Recruiters. It lists 99% of Contingency and Retained Search firms, their specialties, and names of recruiters.

If you are “found” by headhunters, because of your fully optimized LinkedIn profile (No picture? No interest!), your first question is, “Are you a Contingency or Retained Search Firm?” That tells the rep you know the drill. The more you know how recruiters behave, the more opportunities you’ll score working like a professional candidate with them. Tips – Make friends. Get phone numbers that work even after you are not chosen. Network. Network. Network. Find ways to send new business to the recruiter.

And now learn a little more about who I am and why am I writing the way I am writing via http://www.linkedin.com/in/steveqshannoncareertrainer/ I personally answer all e-mails.

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It’s Been Six Months, I Have Not Had A Real Interview – Is It My Resume? My 3 Speedy Wishes For You


Expert Author Stephen Q Shannon

At birth, it seems, we believed the fastest, even required way to find a job is to start with a resume. Wrong, not right. By the time a job seeker calls me, he has been “ridden hard and put up wet”. Before seeking assistance he/she experienced generic resume-driven unproductive weeks, more likely 6 months and no serious interviews. It’s not about the job seeker; it’s about using a same-o, “one size fits all” resume. There are more productive tools to use instead of agonizing over a resume. Here are three speed wishes:

SPEED WISH No. 1 – Heed and read, Don’t Send A Resume as Jeffrey Fox says, author of his classic book by that title. Fox is a “genius”, in my mind, because nine years later his book validated my training and beliefs I had “imposed” on hundreds of clients. Use quicker, non-resume tactics displayed in the 60-minute read book aimed at prospective employers to entice them to ask you for a resume at the first interview. You will then have what you need to quickly customize (tailor) your resume to pinpoint match the needs of your new boss.

SPEED WISH No. 2 – With research in hand about the target company and the job opening, compose what I call ResumeLESS ™ letter, which Fox labels as a Resu-letter ™. Call it what you will, it crisply portrays how your sterling background, experience, and results (accomplishments) line up perfectly with what the prospective employer expects of you, the successful candidate. TIPS – a) Use the pronoun “you”, far more than “I”, b) Avoid starting every sentence with “I”, c) Critical: Limit paragraphs to two tight sentences each, maximum. Make white space your friend.

SPEED WISH No. 3 – When searching for the “hidden” (unpublished) job, author Fox recommends, an “Impact Letter”. Virtual colleague, Mary Elizabeth Bradford (dot) com calls it a “Value Proposition Letter” or e-mail. Career Thought Leaders (dot) com promotes “e-notes”. Choose one and “ship it” fast to your prospective boss, not HR, with NO resume. You craft the equivalent of a half page “spelling out” how your background, experience, and achievements specifically align with which the company is struggling and the reason why there should be a job opening.

All three sources give you sample letters. Fox and his book. Bradford and her e-book, The Hidden Job Market – Proven Strategies, Done-For-You Letters, and CTL seminars, hand you on silver platters, at low or no cost, what to say and how to say it. Put aside your resume until you dive deep into half-pagers to non-HR and non-recruiter persons. Stand out in the resume pushing crowd by avoiding it. Hat tip to profane artist and author, Hugh MacLeod.

And now learn a little more about who I am and why am I writing the way I am writing via http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/steveqshannoncareertrainer/ I personally answer all e-mails.

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Italics And Bolding On A Resume, Underline or Bold Name Of Degrees – Three Finicky Fixes


Expert Author Stephen Q Shannon

Being user (customer) friendly in and on your resume is critical. Italics, bold or bolding and underlining degrees or underlining anything can win over or lose the reader in seconds. Being consistent rules.

Italics – Season (Tastefully) Your Resume With Italics

Too many herbs and spices can ruin a great dish. Guideline, not rules: When you employ Italics bold them, otherwise italics text will look anemic or pale to the reader. Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, says there are 40 ways to employ italics. For emphasis, use italics sparinglySome might put the wordsparingly in italics in the preceding sentence. Ending the sentence with “sparingly” is emphasis enough.

Bold Type, Such As In This Headline

Sentence above is how “bold face” type looks in your resume. Yes, bold your degree (don’t underline it, read below), but don’t bold your school or university. Remind you (yourself) your name is atop of your resume. You promote you when you bold face degrees, titles, and accomplishment key numbers, percents, and dollars. Step back from the document. Seek valid opinions of others. Watch. What catches their attention? Let is rest few hours or more, then fine tune it and, as Seth Godin says, “ShipIt”. Get it out the door via texting, e-mail, USPS priority or overnight and flat with no staples. Think redundancy.

Underline Only When You Are Convinced It’s Demanded

One senior executive overused underlining causing reader fatigue. Everything seemed important to him. Underlining “mooshes” lower case letters – f” “g” “j” “q“. Can you tell the difference between the “g” and the “q” underlined? Not so much. Fax machines are still in use in some quarters. If you use underlining and an employer asks you to “fax” your resume or faxes your resume internally, your resume readability will suffer. Avoid using thin ruled lines and underlines.

How To Decide When To Use Italics, Bold, and Underlines In You Resume

Be insanely consistent. Pick familiar type face and stick to it. Bold italics to ensure the text is readable and keep italics to a minimum. Always bold your name (on all pages), your title, your degrees, and boffo recognition in upper and lower case. Set your prior employer’s company name apart from your name, by using light face CAPITAL LETTERS only. Underline sparingly and preserve valuable white space by not using thin ruled lines that can become jagged when a fax machine or tired copier are employed.

Let’s presume you can do without a resume for the moment. Highly recommend you acquire, USED-IN GOOD CONDITION, the book Don’t Send A Resume, the original classic by Jeffrey Fox former Frito-Lay VP of marketing. Ask for more info from Steve via http://www.resumesteve.comStephen “Steve” Q Shannon – The Free Resume-Cover Letter Collaboration Guy

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How Do I Start My First Job Search in 20 Years When I Don’t Want To Do It? – Three Bizarre Steps by Stephen Q. Shannon

How Do I Start My First Job Search in 20 Years When I Don’t Want To Do It? – Three Bizarre Steps


Expert Author Stephen Q Shannon

First, “Don’t Send A Resume” and get 60 minute classic book by same name by Jeffrey Fox. Second, don’t half-start your alleged search, then suddenly go on vacation, paint a room or clean out the garage, then start it up again. You lose. Third, don’t go it alone. Flesh out (intensely optimize) your orphaned LinkedIn profile using fr^ee Quick Start guidelines offered on LinkedIn by my paid coach and now mentor, Nathan “Nate” Kievman. Siphon helps from Nate’s 15+ page LinkedIn profile or from 100s of other so-called gurus.

Don’t Send A Resume (The Book & The Recommendation)

I know. I know, your existing resume is causing you grief. Repeated tweaks of CVs do not sprout instant interviews. Absorbing Don’t Send A Resume, the book, Used-In Good Condition, might make you angry or impose “must dos” for new job search. While you’re waiting for Jeff Fox’ book, explore 30-minute “survey” of 200+ page “bible” of networking, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey MacKay, known for his world-wide best seller,Swim With The Sharks. Check how to get your free survey copy in this article’s final paragraph.

Don’t Start – Don’t Stop – Don’t Start Up Again Until You’re Really Ready

Your prompt reply is a good sign. Dive into Dig Your Well survey. Begin listing life-long contacts you have not connected with recently. Add more contacts with your LinkedIn profile, critical must-do in my view. My peers and virtual mentors steeped in today’s vicious job market, agree.

Being “found” and sought-after are far more powerful than our Dads’ job search. I have a copy of one of my Father’s resumes, circa 1900s. Looks so typical to this day. Oops.

Don’t Orphan-ize Your LinkedIn Profile – Intensely Optimize Instead

If you have “filed” and “forgotten” your picture-less, headline-less, and summary-less LinkedIn Profile, ignore anti-social network pickers of nits, and get fully pregnant by a) Displaying (publishing) a pro-like head-shot with blank internet-white background (infinity void), by b) Keyword-rich, strategic 120-character (with spaces) headline, and by c) Personalized summary that starts with personal pronoun “I”. You have scant 6.5 seconds (not minutes) to grab eyes of browsing recruiter. Kid you not.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK, vet what I recommend. Then take action. 1) Get at least one high rated job search book readable in less than hour. Read it twice. 2) Contiguous searches backed by one page written plan causes work. Skip this step, like many do, at your peril. 3) Make your abandoned LinkedIn profile robust or delete it. Half-vast LI profiles confirm you don’t care or didn’t try.

And now claim your Free 30-minute Dig-Your-Well-Before-You’re-Thirsty book survey by visiting the following website and by sending your request by e-mail. No sales person involved. http://www.resumesteve.com/
Stephen Q Shannon The Free Resume-Cover Letter – Career Trainer Guy

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Resume Help! “How to Look Employed When You’re Not without Lying – 3 Obnoxious Options!”


Expert Author Stephen Q Shannon

Research, studies, and news stories allege 75% of American resumes inflicted on potential employers, contain lies. Lies about current employment, education, employers, dates, certifications, skills, accomplishments, you name it.

There’s no security in fudging.

Former Georgia Tech Head Football Coach, George O’Leary, was head coach at Notre Dame for about five (5) days. A reporter researched his education and football playing history. “Inaccuracies” were discovered. O’Leary resigned.

What to do when pro recruiters and “Head Hunters” refuse to consider you, because you don’t hide the fact you are unemployed?

Enterprise these actions to reverse your plight.

1. Work Three Part-Time Jobs – “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” to take a flying leap with hat tip to NPR’s program of the same name. Literal, I am not. If you are receiving an unemployment check, it’s a barrier. Author-Speaker and Marketing Guru, Seth Godin says in title of his early free 35-page e-book, Everyone Is An Expert About SomethingWhat’s your expertise? A faith-based client gives cash-only expert guitar lessons in his home. He’s found a way to schedule one-on-one teaching to fit in with another part-time gig he already has and charge more. New revenue stream. A professional Human Resources Manager discovered he was expert at selling furniture part-time when his unemployment checks stopped. When he was not chosen for an HR job at the furniture company, he snagged full-time HR management position elsewhere, 15 minutes from home. Impressive. His family rallied around him too.

2. Short Term, High Profile, Name-Brand Volunteerism – Save prime-time mornings for networking calls. Carve out afternoons and evenings to chair an event or recruit volunteers for brand-name, non-profits or not-for-profits. Be around people you don’t know. List your new title and organization, as current gig on your LinkedIn profile. Be Founder of professionals’ once weekly 7am Jobs Club Meetup at well-located café. Tell local media. Social network the group on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and FB. Delegate. Promote. Merchandise. Market. Publicize. Add new people. Pro recruiters notice you pitched-in.

3. Adult internshipspaid and unpaid. Demonstrate to prospective employers you are active in meaningful ways. Push your passion through research. An adult offspring interns at NPR Radio affiliate. In less than three months interning 4 partial days a week, the idea of her being hired fulltime was on the table. Her expertise? Command of English language.

Seth says, “When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter. When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter. When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter”. Your expertise matters. Put it to use in multiple paid, part-time jobs, in prime volunteerism, and in adult paid and un-paid internships

If you would like to read Seth’s free 35-page book mentioned in this article simply “Google” the title. You’ll be directed to a “Squidoo Lens” where you can download the quick read. Why? Get some ideas how to monetize your expertise. And ask me, Steve, for more free information via http://www.resumesteve.com Stephen “Steve” Q Shannon – The Free Resume-Cover Letter Collaboration Guy

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Resume Photos, Videos and Portrait – What to Do, What Not to Do

In the USA the use of a photo on, in or around a resume (G-mail users can opt in with a photo that automatically accompanies all e-messages) is, at best, confusing, and at worst stressful for you and for medium and large employers who must comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) federal regulations. Overseas (off shore) it is not uncommon for prospective employers to ask for a photo.

What Not To Do: In the USA it is NOT a good idea to include a photo or video or picture because EEOC regulations put the employer (not the candidate) between a rock and a hard place when photos, videos, or pictures of the applicant are included with or on a resume.

What To Do: Recommend your friend publish a free “lens” on Squidoo dot com or add a portrait with her resume on their LinkedIn profile. She can display all she wants. Advantage: Only about 40% of the more than 200 hundred million LinkedIn members bother to include a professional looking “head shot”. Don’t skip this step when you optimize your LI profile.

Why: What To Do?: The EEOC has not commented on Internet applicant image searches or discovery. Professional recruiters and employer hiring officials are going to do a Google search no matter what. An estimated 85% of professional recruiters use Google and/or LinkedIn. If there is not photo, sorry, you lose.

The government is foiled. How can the EEOC prove that someone from a hiring organization (e.g., at home or at a public place) examined the applicant’s business, career, and social websites and discovered a portrait? The EEOC cares less.

Unasked-for applicant images received by employers that show race, weight, or for example, candidates confined to a wheel chair, spell trouble. Mail room personnel are instructed to destroy (shred) mail that might have photos or videos enclosed. A former Fortune 500 client firm trained mail room staff to find and destroy mail that “looked like” it might contain unsolicited resumes or job applications so there would be no evidence who applied there. Sad, but true.

Exceptions – If you are applying for a job as a model or television announcer or any job where your personal appearance is a key and true part of the job, you will be asked to submit photos, pictures and even a video of you along with your resume and “credits”. In my opinion, that’s lawful.

Final Thinking Point – You have a first name that is used by males and females, such as “Logan” or “Blair”. Including your photo could make a difference even if USA law says it should not. Read again, most recruiters will “Google” you. If you are not found on the Web, those doing the selecting will conclude, you simply don’t exist.

Expert Author Stephen Q ShannonClaim your free 60 minute consult via http://www.resumesteve.com/ no charge ever by Stephen Q Shannon  The Free Resume-Cover Letter Collaboration Guy!