Career Resource Center

Inside our Career Resource Center you will find helpful information to assist with your job search.  As new ideas and concepts surface they will be added to this area…so please return often. From Salary Calculators and Cost of Living Comparisons to Employment News as well as Interviewing and Resume tips, timely information to assist you in making an informed career choice can be found here.

Lately, candidates are learning that prospective employers are checking out their credit history, especially if they are considering finance-related positions.  Prospective employers want to know whether people are paying their bills before considering them as employees. If you thought your finances were your own business, think again. The cultural shift caused by Sept. 11 and the glut of accounting scandals has firms double- and triple-checking every little thing about a job applicant. And that can include a probing of your credit record as a measure of your trustworthiness. Generally speaking, positions that involve access to money are the ones that require a credit check. That could include everyone from CFOs and cashiers to sales and relationship management, to customer-service reps who handle credit card orders and practically everyone in the financial services sector. “If they can’t handle their own money, they will not be handling ours,” is the typical sentiment.

Beyond finance-related jobs, you could still have your debt history examined.  One course of action is to keep in mind that firms can’t explore your finances without your permission. On your job application there is a box to mark off, giving them the right to conduct all manner of background checks. Obviously, refusing to comply, while within your rights, will probably stop the interview process. Given that, here are a few tips:

If the position has nothing to do with handling money, you could tactfully point that out. You might convince the interviewer your credit is not relevant, especially since such a check could potentially expose a company to charges of discrimination.

Do your own background check.
Practically everyone has some debt in his or her life, whether from student loans or a mortgage. So it’s not necessarily your debt level screeners look for, it’s how well you manage it.

Moral of the story: Make your payments on time, every time. Though repairing a poor credit score will take years, at least you won’t be driving it down further.

Check for errors, too. Check for errors because mistakes are often made on credit reports. Contact credit-reporting firms such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to find out — for a fee of around $12 or $13 — what they’re telling potential bosses about you.

Think preemptively.
If you have a tarnished credit record that an employer is sure to catch, discuss the circumstances with the hiring manager up front. Maybe you had an illness in the family and you had to cover the medical bills. In a tough economy, an interviewer will likely be sympathetic to an honest, rational explanation. You want them to understand exactly what transpired in the past and how it’s being managed.

 Right Time For Change

Twenty years ago eyebrows were raised when anyone changed jobs more than twice in a career. And it has only been since the early 90’s when anyone who left a job with less than four years tenure was considered a job-hopper. Today, the average person remains in a job approximately 34 months.

Today, employers are less inclined to pay attention to tenure than ever before. You need only look at the dot-com effect and you can see why.

Since 2000, changing jobs has become somewhat challenging; the dot-com bomb combined with the retreat in technology spending released a ton of talent and resulted in a lot of job cuts. Once dominant and successful industries have been shrinking rather than growing, and start-ups are having a hard time finding capital.

But suppose you’re happy… or at least you aren’t unhappy with your job. Should you stay or look around?

Here are some good reasons to keep your options open and consider a job change:

Staying “too long” can…

  1. reduce your earning potential.
  2. put you in a “cubbyhole”.
  3. identify you with a single industry.
  4. make transitions more difficult down the road.
  5. keep you in a career rut.

Obviously, the decision to make a job change should be carefully considered.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you contemplate career transitions:

Set realistic three and five year career goals.

Don’t run to another job just to leave the one you’re at… go to a new job because you are attracted to it. That has to come out during your interviews. The prospective employer must sense that you understand their problems and can solve them. Career moves should be planned and not just random happenings, knowing that even with such planning, no one can plan for or always predict a “down-sizing”.

What would my ideal job look like? Write down all the things you’d like in a job (be sure you include personal goals). Remember, this is the “ideal” and not necessarily what you’re going to get.

Do work at attaining the job that is closest to your “ideal job”.

Update your resume every year. On top of having a current resume in case a new opportunity comes up, it will be a worthwhile exercise. If you’re not able to add any additional accomplishments to your resume, or if you’re off track from the goals you’ve set for yourself, it’s probably time to proactively enter yourself in the job market. Ask yourself what other functions do you need to add to your resume to get you where you want to go?

When faced with a potential new position, ask yourself questions like:

  • Is the job or company I’m in currently going to get me closer to my goals?
  • Is the job or company I’m considering going to get me there sooner?
  • Does the new opportunity closely match my “ideal job”? Do any anticipated “trade-offs” still
  • balance with my personal and professional goals?

 Exec-Link Benefits

Some of the benefits that will come from working with Exec-Links include:

We are specialized professionals. We work at the recruitment process exclusively and survive on our proven ability to generate results in a highly competitive marketplace. We also bring years of experience to our work, and are intimately familiar with every aspect of candidate identification, sourcing and selection.

Often, the greatest jobs are not advertised or publicly posted. Hiring managers rely on relationships with search firms to identify the most qualified candidates. They know that enlisting the help of a search firm will provide them with candidates whose skill sets exactly match their job Profiles.  Because there is usually a sense of urgency in filling positions, hiring managers are serious about seeing only qualified candidates. They refuse to waste valuable time reviewing unsolicited resumes that fail to meet their parameters. Companies have established budgets and are willing to pay fees to get candidates who can step into the position and hit the ground running. Search firms typically have exclusive access to candidates who can fill such positions and save organizations both time and hiring errors.

Other Reasons to Use a Recruiter:

A professionally experienced recruiter will help you present yourself in a professional and competent manner on paper and throughout the interviewing process.

They should be expert at resume-building and interviewing. This expertise assists candidates in highlighting their more marketable experiences and skill sets pertaining to a particular position.

They will know what professional experiences are the employer’s “hot buttons” and help you to emphasize those particular skills each time your resume is submitted to an organization.
Selecting The Right Search Firm
Even though no Search firm will guarantee you a new job, you have much to gain from working with us, and vice-versa, since you represent an important addition to our continuously growing database. While it’s true that search firms owe their allegiance to our client companies (who pay the Fees), without Talented candidates, Search firms would not exist.

Always look for a recruiter who will take an interest in you, return your calls or offer help in other ways. For each search assignment, we may prescreen dozens of prospective candidates. Therefore, the majority of our time is spent with the finalists for each open position, relegating to our database candidates who will be considered for other searches. These often highly skilled professionals who simply don’t fit the specific qualifications required by our client companies – it’s all about timing! For that reason, you should always press for a realistic appraisal of your chances of being placed. If one isn’t forthcoming, you can assume the recruiter is giving your candidacy a low priority at that particular time. In that case, you can opt to let your resume languish in a recruiter’s file, or seek the help of a recruiter who’ll take an active role in finding you a new position. Always look for a recruiter who takes an interest in your background, or who specializes in your industry. The last thing you need is to pin your hopes on someone who’s not in a position to help you. Be prepared for mixed reviews when you talk to recruiters.

Supply and Demand…
Even the most qualified candidacy is subject to the whims of a supply and demand job market. In many cases, a recruiter simply won’t know what your chances of getting another job might be until he or she puts out feelers or sends you out on an interview. To work most efficiently, invest your time with a recruiter who really wants to help you.

There is usually a sense of urgency in filling positions and hiring managers are serious about seeing only qualified candidates. They refuse to waste valuable time reviewing unsolicited resumes that fail to meet the necessary qualifications. So, organizations are willing to pay fees to get candidates who can step into the position and hit the ground running. Search firms typically have exclusive access to candidates who can fill such positions and save organizations both time and hiring errors.

 Resume Writing Help And Tips
Many folks dread authoring their own resume. One reason may be the “The One Page Resume” myth. Forget the myth. That advice is best given to the recent graduate who may have only a couple of years of job experience. How can you provide all the facts about your entire career on one page?

Try to avoid a brochure format. This type of resume lists a number of categories and lists accomplishments in each area. The trouble is that the reader is left to wonder when you did what you say you did and for whom?

Be careful about resume writing software. There are very few good software packages and the resumes they produce are often scrambled when sent by email, which is most often the case.

Don’t waste time and money on mass mailing your resume to multiple companies or recruiters. Most companies have an electronic filing system. In fact, many companies will not accept anything but electronic resumes.

We recommend a clear and classic, chronological format. Once you’re written it this way once, it’s easy to add your next job. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel each time you need to update your resume. This format also allows you to add your accomplishments as they happen and are fresh in your mind. Keep this in mind…the best predictor of future success is past accomplishments.

  • The Summary Statement is a concise two to three-sentence paragraph that identifies your expertise, the industries where you have worked and your career focus.
  • A brief one-line description of the business of the company – its size and scope. (This is most important if you have worked for “dotcoms” or small startups which may not be generally known). Also consider adding company URL where appropriate.
  • Lead with a Functional Statement that describes why you were hired. Try to distinguish between the function of your job and the achievements.
  • Bullets are for achievements only, not the functions of your job. Bulleted sentences start with strong, action-oriented verbs. Avoid using “ing” instead of active verbs (developed, not developing).
  • Separate any technical skills from your education experience.
  • List Publications and speaking engagements in a separate section, either at the end of your resume or as an Addendum.
  • Clearly state any consulting experiences by showing the project and the results.