Now’s the Time to Act; The Tech Industry Is Booming (And so Are the Salaries)

If you haven’t taken the market’s pulse lately, now is a good time to do it. In spite of where we were just eight years ago, it’s made huge positive gains and the tech sector, in particular, continues to thrive and outpace analyst expectations. And yet, there are simply not enough qualified applicants actively exploring the employment market to meet demand. 

There are not enough candidates in today’s market

Don’t let fear (or anything else) keep you from finding the job of your dreams

Soapbox time; I want to encourage anyone who’s been sitting on the sidelines and staying in a job that’s not the right fit or has no room for growth to consider making the leap and start actively looking. The job market has changed dramatically in the past eight years – even in the past few years – and continues to rebound steadily.

I understand that many people, including highly-qualified and well-liked employees, lost their jobs during the recession. It was the toughest employment market many of us will ever experience in our lifetime. And it can be tempting to stay put, especially if you’re someone who experienced a long period of unemployment during the downturn. However, there’s never been a better time to get out there than now.  

It’s a great time for tech candidates to test the market

Overall, tech industry salaries are booming and well-qualified candidates are receiving multiple offers. The number of qualified tech workers is expected to grow an average of 3.4% a year. Yet companies are still clamoring for top talent especially in the niche pockets of the tech world where qualified applicants and expert resources are extremely limited.

The takeaway from almost every tech employment study done this year is that salaries are climbing nationwide – not solely in larger cities like San Francisco and San Jose.

That means regardless of where you reside, chances are high that your local job market is experiencing growth too.

Most companies have fully recovered from the recession and are meeting or exceeding growth expectations. Corporations are back to striving to add services and products and increase market share instead of just maintaining the status quo. And historically, the first step to achieving corporate success is by bringing on talented and ambitious employees that share that vision. It could be you!  

Take advantage of trusted resources to streamline your job search

If you’re feeling rusty or unsure about branching out and exploring the job market, there are companies like Coppertree available and ready to help you. Not only can we connect you to opportunities that aren’t publicly advertised but we can also walk you through the local market stats and how your background and experience can benefit you.

Contact our team at Coppertree Staffing to learn more about the current market and how you can make the most of it. 

 

Why the Human Element is Essential to Recruiting

In a world where we’re continually evolving and making everything faster and more efficient, it’s easy to see why corporations might be tempted to move towards automated recruiting. But while it’s quick and often feels efficient; is it effective?

Can AI Select the Best People?

Choosing the right person for the job can save time and money in the long run. So the question becomes;  is AI (artificial intelligence) capable of selecting the best person for the job? 

Artificial Intelligence in Industry

Artificial intelligence has impacted recruiting most heavily in the candidate search, evaluation, and selection steps. Companies frequently use recruiting tools that leverage websites like Monster and Indeed. Which is why it’s often automation and not careful consideration that determines where a job listing will be posted. Subsequently, there’s an onslaught of resumes sent in – some of which are not from qualified people.

This raises the first issue and one of the reasons companies began leaning on AI in the first place – not enough manpower and too many resumes to sort through individually.

To make matters worse, some recruiting websites have partnerships with other platforms and will bulk post job listings across the internet and sometimes to questionable sites. This further increases the volume of responses and dilutes the quality of applications companies receive. Rather than scale back and create a more targeted search parameter, many companies will use AI either directly within their organization or, more commonly,  indirectly (and sometimes unknowingly) by allowing the recruiting websites to evaluate and sort resumes based on their own internal algorithms. 

AI recruiting is quantity, not quality, focused. Which only fuels the desire for more artificial intelligence to sort through the high volume of responses received. 

Keyword matching is one of the most popular mechanisms used to sort applications, and it boils down to a computer finding enough overlap between a job posting and the candidate’s response. It doesn’t take into account syntax, context or synonyms and allows borderline intelligible applications to get through while those with synonyms in place of keywords may not.

How does AI evaluate personality, drive, and intelligence? Simple. It doesn’t.  

A smart candidate may figure out how to “game” the system and get their resume in front of the right person (which is to say, an actual person). But there are plenty of smart and qualified job seekers who are exactly the type of person you’re looking for but who don’t make it a point to outsmart the recruiting algorithms. Chances are, their applications won’t make it to the top of the stack because they don’t use enough of the right “keywords”. How frustrating.

To put it into real-world context; imagine two helpdesk technicians at an investment firm in NYC. Each of them could show up very differently in a search not only because of what they emphasize about the position and their experience but also for something as simple as whether they list themselves in the IT industry or banking industry.  

Searches require iteration, adjustment, and creativity to squeeze out results – three fundamental aspects of targeted recruiting that AI struggles to overcome.

Being able to look beyond the resumes and experience of multiple qualified candidates and figure out the personality traits and the best match is a uniquely human quality. In the end, people hire people, and people they like get hired the most.

Ready to work with an experienced IT recruiter that can help you look beyond keywords and find the perfect candidate for your open positions?  Contact our team to learn more about how we can help you round out your team.

Why am I not getting any response to my resume?

Why is my resume not getting responses?

I’ve talked to a multitude of candidates about a recurring issue that seems to affect most professionals at some point in their career: the dreaded radio silence that follows after you’ve submitted your resume to a new company. Candidates ask; why is this happening? What’s wrong with me? Am I not good enough?

The truth is; you might be getting zero response to your resume for a number of very valid reasons. And it’s usually nothing personal.

As a recruiter, I work with executives eager to fill open positions in their companies every day. In my experience, three reasons come up again and again for candidates who aren’t getting any nibbles when they apply.

Three Reasons Your Resume Isn’t Getting a Response

  • You’re applying for positions outside your core competencies
  • There’s a staggering number of other candidates
  • Your resume needs some work

You’re branching out a little (or a lot) too far

There’s nothing wrong with trying to land a job that’s not quite like anything else on your resume. However, you have to accept going into it that your application will be viewed alongside those from candidates with more direct experience, and that may put you at a disadvantage.

It’s not that companies don’t give candidates who haven’t held the exact position they’re applying for a chance. It’s that you have to do a really good job of showing the recruiter how the experience you do have will translate to success in the position they’re looking to fill.

In my experience, companies are looking for good matches along the axes of experience, industry, and level. If your core competencies don’t complement the job duties, chances are you aren’t getting an interview.

You’re one of many

I know it’s tough, but put yourself in the recruiter’s position. Some jobs are more popular than others, which means many people are going to apply. And if the company is known as a great place to work, you can bet any open position is going to attract a lot of attention in the employment market.

Of course, I would encourage you to apply for the jobs you want, especially if you’re a good fit and regardless of how many applicants may be applying. Just remember that it’s common to get no response. There are a ton of people vying for an interview, and only a fraction of the applicants will get one. Try not to take it personally; sometimes recruiters can’t get back to every candidate, even the good ones.

Your resume isn’t sending the right message

Before you assume the lack of response is due to reasons #1 or #2, consider your resume.

  • Is it well written?
  • Does it flow nicely?
  • Is it easy to read and comprehend?
  • Is it easy to skim?

Be brutally honest with yourself. If your resume doesn’t read well or present you as the best candidate for the job, you aren’t going to get a call.

The good news is; your resume is something completely in your control. You can revise, tweak, and re-write it to your heart’s content. Obviously, you’re limited to the positions, education, and experience you have, but you can polish and refine all that information to present yourself in the best possible light.

If you’re not updating your resume to read well for the position you’re applying for, you’re missing a huge opportunity to stand out.

Many candidates – even top-level executives – will send a generic resume. However, marketing 101 says if you want to persuade someone to do something (like give you an interview), you have to speak in a way that appeals to them. Knowing your audience is key.

Check out the job listing and pick out keywords the company uses to describe the position and the person they’re looking for and revise your resume & cover letter using those keywords and supporting information that directly reflects how your experience and expertise will meet their needs.

Ready to find your dream job? Contact our team to learn more about open positions, what skills are in top demand, and how you can get noticed in a crowded employment marketplace.

Three Things You Should Always Include in Your Cover Letter

As a candidate in the marketplace, chances are you’ve seen or applied to job postings that require a cover letter along with your resume and other pertinent information.  Or maybe you are just trying to figure out the best way to stand out from the crowd when applying to positions.

What you might not realize is that the traditional cover letter is changing a lot – and it’s still important.  And while you may have even written a cover letter (or ten), chances are you, like many other candidates, have missed one or more of the most crucial parts of a standout cover letter.

But before we get into the top three elements you should include in your cover letters, the first thing you need to recognize about 21st-century job listings is they won’t always be formal.  And the growth of “Apply with LinkedIn” or Facebook postings means that you may have to get creative with when and where you include cover letter details.

You still need the right cover letter to stand out

For example, if you apply for a position through a platform like LinkedIn, there is usually a section for “comments.” That is the space where you must introduce yourself and include elements of your cover letter if the posting didn’t include a place to attach one.

Never, ever send your resume without an introduction. It doesn’t matter how polished the content in it is, if you don’t take the time to set the stage, your resume will be overlooked.

Now that we’ve got the disclaimers out of the way, we can jump into exploring the three crucial things you need to include in your cover letters.

The Top Three Things EVERY Cover Letter Should Include

#1 How Your Unique Experiences & Expertise Apply

It doesn’t matter if it seems crystal clear to you how your past positions have made you into the ideal candidate for an open position, you need to connect the dots for the reader. Even if you’ve had the same position with another company, think: What kind of progress and outcomes might they expect as a result of your experiences?

If you can clearly and succinctly make a case for why you’re the most qualified and well-prepared candidate in their sights, you will have a much better chance of getting an interview.

#2 Hard Numbers

It’s not enough to narrate your previous duties that make you a good fit for the position. You need to (humbly) brag a little bit. Including hard numbers in your cover letter is like creating spark notes for your resume.

What are the most impressive (and applicable) achievements in your career to date?

Did you increase your territory revenue by 30% month over month for a year? Were you able to streamline accounting processes to improve efficiency by 10%? These are the things future employers will want to know about you and what you’re going to bring to the table when you come on board.

#3 A Personal Touch

Throughout any cover letter, you should sprinkle a bit of your personal touch. Ideally, you’re going to weave a dialogue for the recruiter that allows them to get to know you a little and, hopefully, even begin to like you. One powerful technique for accomplishing this is to tell a part of your story.

What has happened to you in your life or career that set you on the path to becoming a rock star candidate?

If you’re applying to be an analyst; have you loved tackling complex calculations since college and known since then that you’d dedicate your life to helping companies unravel their greatest financial challenges? If you’re looking to lead an agricultural company’s development unit; did you grow up on a working farm and realize you have a natural talent for agriculture and land management?

Let the recruiter have a peek behind the curtain so they can see why you’re not only a qualified candidate but also the best person for the job.  In the end, people still hire people they like, so be enthusiastic and friendly!

Ready to streamline your job search? Contact our team to learn more about open positions, standing out in a sea of applicants, and finding your dream job.

Closing the Skills Gap: Addressing the Unqualified Candidate Pool

Remember the days (circa 2009) when you could publish a job opening and have dozens of qualified, hungry candidates vying for the opportunity to be interviewed?

Addressing the Skills Gap

A decade ago the employment landscape, and the economy as a whole, was completely different. Hundreds of thousands of talented professionals were thrust into the job market for one reason or another, and suddenly employers could fill positions with the best of the best. But those days are over. We’re operating in a whole new market.

On top of keeping your eyes and ears open for skilled candidates who may already be happily employed, it’s time we start thinking about what we can do to address the proverbial elephant in the room – the massive skills gap that’s holding America’s workforce back.

It’s more complicated than it seems at first glance

Are there good paying jobs available at virtually every level of the professional ladder? Absolutely. Are there qualified candidates to fill all those skilled positions? If you listen to the feedback of employers across the nation, the answer is a resounding no. And the lack of qualified candidates costs companies tens, if not hundreds, of thousands each year.

What’s creating the deficit and how can we fix it?

The same years that saw companies flush with qualified candidates combined with an aging population helped to fuel the employment market we’re struggling with now.

Employees who aged into the workforce in the last decade or found themselves thrust back into the open market have been faced with multiple challenges. They’ve been dogged by everything from fierce competition for jobs to lack of opportunity or availability of training and education. Not to mention the fear of sky-high student debt with no guarantee of employment and the increasing skill level required for many middle-class jobs.

All of these challenges and others combined to create a perfect storm; an ominous and large pool of unqualified candidates in the workforce.

It’s not that people don’t want to work. It’s that many of those who do and are still in the open market, are not qualified to take technical jobs which so desperately need to be filled. And while the qualified applicant pool dwindles, the economy continues to strengthen and the demand for a more educated workforce increases.

Potential solutions worth discussing at national and local levels

There’s no shortage of ideas for elevating the national candidate pool and increasing the qualifications of applicants within it. The struggle is in finding balance and creating an environment that supports both individuals within the workforce and employers.

If you want to continue down the rabbit hole and research this topic, I encourage you to do so, especially if your company has been personally affected. For the sake of time, I am going to focus on what our team at Coppertree sees as the most promising solutions.

How We Can Begin to Close the Skills Gap

Return vocational classes to high schools

High school is a prime opportunity to reach the younger generations and create a long-term solution that will help close the skills gap in the near future as well as prevent it from widening. Previously high schools put an emphasis on trades and technical knowledge, but due to budget cuts and shifting priorities, most have decreased, if not eliminated, their hands-on courses. Applied skills are still in demand, and revisiting our public education programs is the place to start.

Make technical post-graduation programs more widely available and accessible

Four-year schools and junior colleges are already beginning to address the growing need for technical and trades programs.  For the most part, schools in large cities have been the first to adapt. But the need must be more widely addressed.  People across the US, including less densely populated regions, need access to the same courses, whether they’re offered online or in-person.

Offset the cost of higher education with more work-study opportunities

Work study allows college & technical students to work part-time while they’re in school. While it’s not always a stand-alone solution, depending on the student’s circumstance, it’s still helpful and is part of the answer to closing the skills gap. Work study has a few advantages including providing an organic opportunity to build soft skills and allowing a student to earn while they learn, which can make college costs easier to navigate.

If more companies – particularly those in industries experiencing the sharpest decline of skilled candidates, offered work-study opportunities to students, they would give this solution even more appeal. Not only would these companies be helping the students, but they would also have access to candidates with the latest education in the field who are eager to put what they’ve learned into practice and embrace more hands-on training.

Don’t forget about soft skills

With the pressing demand for technical skills, it’s easy to overlook the importance of soft skills like professionalism, workplace communication, and tolerance. While it’s crucial that we address the glaring skills gap, we can’t forget also to train for and improve the soft skills that help candidates highlight their qualifications, communicate effectively, and contribute to a positive work environment.

Lastly, there needs to be a shift in our collective thinking. Maybe you’ve seen those Verizon commercials aimed at our youth. They center on the idea that we have made it more appealing and accessible to believe you will grow up to be an NBA superstar than to become an engineer or carpenter. Technical and trades jobs are nothing to shy away from. They may not be as glamorous as some other jobs that promise a huge starting salary, but they’re good jobs, and most can offer a comfortable living. This solution is one we can all participate in regardless of where we fall on the corporate spectrum.

Learn more about the current job market, strategies for finding the right candidates, and more on the blog.

 

5 Things to Remember After Your Interview

There’s a common theme in the recruiting process that gives job seekers cold sweats and anxiety. It’s not sending out resumes or even preparing for the interview. It’s what happens afterward.

The waiting is the hardest part…

You probably know the feeling. You’ve just had a great interview, and you’re elated. You were well prepared, and it showed. They seemed to like you and even asked key questions like “when could you start?” Everything feels like it’s going your way as you high-step back to your car and head home.  You remembered to get the hiring manager’s card when you interviewed and you sent a professional thank you note the day after the interview.  At this point, you’re certain you’re going to hear from the company very soon.

But then you don’t. Instead, uninterrupted radio silence ensues for days or weeks (sometimes longer), and you start to doubt yourself. You begin to wonder what to do next.

Don’t stress. This article is for you. Here are the four things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in interview limbo.

Five Key Things to Remember After the Interview:

  1. Whatever you do; don’t panic
  2. Be polite, enthusiastic, and positive
  3. Recognize that hiring managers are busy
  4. Keep up your job search
  5. You might be a good match, but not a perfect fit

Don’t Panic

Hiring managers can sense self-doubt and fear. Desperation is not a good negotiation tactic, and when you sound stressed or frazzled, it won’t make a good impression. Instead of panicking, remind yourself of how well the interview went and then keep your mind occupied with whatever distracts and relaxes you.  Put your energies into reinforcing that positive image you projected during the interview instead.

There is a really good chance that the delay has nothing to do with you exactly and instead is being driven by business factors and management decisions inside the company.

Stay Positive and Friendly

Remember how you felt when you had just left the interview? Channel that upbeat and positive feeling into polite, professional follow-ups. It’s ok to leave a voicemail or send an email once a week. But that’s about it. Don’t overdo it, no matter how polite or enthusiastic you are.

Use language like:

“I’m just calling to check on the status…”

“I’m still very excited about the opportunity…”

“I know you’re busy and appreciate your time…”

Don’t say things like:

“I have left several messages already…”

“I expected a decision by now…”

Recognize that Hiring is Not the Manager’s Only Job

It can feel like the only important aspect of a hiring manager’s job is to hire people (and by that, we mean immediately call and recruit top candidates), but it’s not. Hiring managers have a great many duties, and even when it comes to recruiting there are usually multiple steps.

Try to remember that your interviewer may be busy doing any number of important things like reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and probably covering for some of the responsibilities that you are hoping to cover.  The company is probably hiring because they are short staffed in some way, so that might put a strain on everyone in the department including the manager.

Keep up with your job search and interviewing

Not only should you never put all your eggs in one basket, but there are positive psychological and functional reasons for pursuing other opportunities, even if this was your ‘dream job’.  You might find an even better job in the process, but in any case, the interviewing practice will benefit you in the long run.

If you do get another offer in the meantime, but you still prefer this first job, you might be able to TACTFULLY use it to move the process along.  Don’t ever do this if you don’t have another offer.  You can call or email the hiring manager to let them know that you are still very interested in their position, but that want to give them a heads up that you have another offer that you are considering right now.  Don’t overtly try to ‘put the squeeze on them’, but if they are interested and have the ability to move forward, this should at least restart the conversation.

You Might Not be a Perfect Fit (but You May Be Able to Overcome It)

This last one is a little tricky. It might be a case of the truth hurts, but it doesn’t have to mean the door is closed. Companies frequently hire people who are a good fit, but not quite a great fit. And why do they decide to pull the trigger? Usually, it’s because that person shows them that they are capable of filling the position and adding value to the team, even if they aren’t an ideal match.

If you find yourself in this predicament and facing objections from an employer that you really want to work for, put in a little effort.

For example, if it’s a sales job, put together a sales presentation and pitch them. Or send a technical article based on something you discussed during the interview and try to weave a friendly conversation around it (to show that you’re always learning and advancing). Or, select key points from your resume that are a perfect fit for the position and expand on them in a brief email and sell why those skills do, in fact, make you a great fit (even if they can’t see it yet). Just remember to be polite and upbeat and not argumentative.

Ready to get in front of your dream employer? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn about open positions at exceptional companies or visit our blog to learn more about interviewing, onboarding, and job market trends.

The Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop, but You Can Still Find Great Candidates (if You Know Where to Look)

Pick the right partner in a tight job market

The U.S. Department of Labor has released another report summarizing the employment situation for March & April 2017. The overall unemployment rate continues to drop and has fallen another 0.2% to 4.5% overall.  The situation in the IT industry is even tighter – unemployment rates of 2.0% to 2.8% are the norm in major cities across the US.

While the numbers breakdown varies based on everything from gender and race to age, there’s no denying what those of us in the tech industry have been feeling for years – the pinch. The employment pool is getting tighter and tighter, and qualified candidates are getting harder to find. And it’s not because they aren’t out there. It’s because the vast majority of them are already employed.

Just Listing Jobs Won’t Cut It in This Tight Employment Market

There are a lot of ads these days for “supersites”, that promise to list your job on hundreds of web sites to expand your job’s reach.  While you might get lucky and catch that rare perfect candidate that way, you are more likely in my experience to get even more resume from candidates that are tough to employ for a reason.  They could be from outside your area looking to relocate, or have a very choppy job history or just are not a match for the job description.  Even the traditional job boards will give this result in a tight market, which results in you weeding through a lot of resumes that don’t result in a lot of good conversations.

In a tight job market, companies that have made a commitment to engaging and building relationships with top talented people in their industry will be the ones that are successful in hiring.  Rather than getting lucky with the timing of your job opening and a good candidate’s availability, they can tap a pool of qualified, employed professionals.

Some of those IT pros who already count themselves as “employed” are actively looking for opportunities to move up or change companies, and some are not. However, among the working who “aren’t looking,” there are always candidates who would be open to the right opportunity if it came their way. And, of course, if it came from a trusted source.

When you consider those three groups – the unemployed, the employed and looking, and the happily employed but open, you have a much larger candidate pool to work with.

Working with an Experienced IT Recruiter Makes All the Difference

If you’ve never worked with a recruiter, you may be shaking your head in exasperation wondering why we’d even count employed IT talent when they aren’t all on the market or even thinking about a new position. And the answer is: because they aren’t on the market yet.

Recruiting consultants can be the difference between waiting half a year or more to fill an open position and waiting for only a handful of months (or even less).

As IT recruiters, we are privileged to work with some of the most qualified, talented, and hardworking IT professionals in the field.  We spend a lot of our time talking to candidates before they are looking for new jobs so that we can be that trusted source to introduce them to a great opportunity.  Some of them are actively looking for a new position, but many are not. Nevertheless, almost all are open to making a change, and they rely on us to keep them informed of potential opportunities.

With unemployment in the IT sector continuing to drop, there’s no better time than now to partner with experienced tech recruiters to help you identify and attract the right people to fill your position and complement your company culture.  If you have not been able to commit the time and resources to building that network ahead of time, it is even more important to partner with an experienced recruiter to find that top talent.

Contact CopperTree Staffing today and let us help you find the perfect candidate. 

The Gig Economy is Here to Stay: Why Full-Time Jobs are Going to Contractors

Best talent and flexible costs

It’s no secret to employers that bringing on a new full-time employee is expensive.  Still, let’s consider some numbers to put it in perspective for those reading who might not be direct hiring managers.

For example’s sake, say you’re looking to fill an entry level position paying $40,000 per year. Add to that salary the average cost of recruiting a new employee yourself (about $4,000). Also, consider the time you invest in training them before they’re ready to perform, and health insurance when the average employer contribution is just under $13,000 for a family plan. Then there’s potentially retirement plan matching, and any other benefits you offer to remain competitive.

Costs for Hiring a 9-5 Employee Can Be Overwhelming

Just with our basic but very realistic example, we’re already sitting at more than $56,000 first year costs for an entry level employee. And those are only surface numbers. There’s are dozens of little and big expenses that add up quickly (sick pay, vacations, processing paperwork, etc.), and if you’re replacing an employee, the numbers can be even more staggering.

Now you can start to see why some employers are beginning to mix up their workforce and engaging freelancers for long-term contract work.

Contract Work Offers a Flexible Solution to Rounding Out Your Labor Force

Making the switch and incorporating some contractors in your workforce can provide you a degree of operating flexibility you’ve never had before. In addition to the substantial reduction in overhead, you will also have more internal financial flexibility to classify your labor costs. And hiring contractors in some instances can even give you access to a better talent pool who only take contract or contingent work because of the higher earning potential.

Lastly, when you hire contractors; yes, you will likely pay more per hour, but you won’t pay for healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off, or any of those other expenses that are the expectation for full-time workers.

The Number of Available Contract Workers Is Increasing Every Year

The gig economy or contract labor force, however, you like to think of it, continues to grow at a rapid rate. Many of the workforce’s best and brightest self-starters are making the transition to contracting. And you can access that talent pool just as easily as you can the broader, traditional full-time market. You just have to know where to look.

Interested in finding the perfect contract worker for your open position? Contact CopperTree Staffing; with our top-tier contracting talent you can potentially lower your expenses, add flexibility, and access dedicated professionals who will work harder and smarter to improve your bottom line.

5 Things You Should Do Before Every Interview

There are literally thousands of articles across the internet sharing tips and tricks for acing your next interview. So many, in fact, that just a simple search on Google is enough to give most people a headache. It’s difficult to know what to focus on and put into practice, after all, chances are you’re not going to recall every pearl of wisdom when there’s so much good input to consider.

Ace your interviews!

Instead of wondering what you should be sure to implement and what isn’t *quite* as critical, we’ve created a short list of the top five things you can do before every interview to help get your head in the game and leave a great first impression.

And, what’s even better – these tips are helpful regardless of how exceptionally qualified you are or what position you’ve applied for!

Our Top 5 Tips for
Acing Your Job Interview

Research the Company

It goes without saying that you should research the business you’d like to work for before your interview, but it is surprising how many people skip this critical step. Take the time to read their “About Us” and learn more about the company history, their published mission, and how they talk about their products or services.

Regardless of what kind of position you may be interviewing for, the more you know about them and speak like you’re already one of the team, the better. The company website and team member LinkedIn pages are a great place to start your research.

Review Typical Interview Questions for the Position

If you’ve been job hunting in the same field for a while, it’s possible you’ve already spent a significant amount of time cruising job forums and reviewing some of the most commonly asked interview questions for your prospective position.

Even still, now that you have a specific title in your sights, you should once again take to the keyboard and spend some time investigating what questions you may be asked and begin formulating your answers ahead of time.  If you are working with a recruiter, you can gain additional insight.  Will it be heavy on technical questions, or more geared toward cultural fit?  Will you get probing questions with no real right answer, like “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”

Prepare Your Responses to Common Questions

You don’t need to rehearse your answers to every question, but you should have a good idea of what examples and references you want to share that are the most applicable to the job you’re interviewing for and make you sound like a rock star employee. Think of bullet points you want to be sure to mention rather than entire canned responses.  It is a great idea to have specific examples of past projects or successes in mind that you can work into the conversation.

Practice Power Postures

One secret to quickly boosting your confidence just before an interview is practicing power postures (sometimes called power poses). By purposefully putting yourself into positions psychologically associated with power, dominance, and confidence, you can make yourself feel those things even if you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a lot like smiling to improve your mood. Confidence, attitude and mostly enthusiasm are much more important in hiring decisions than most people realize.

It might sound a little over the top, but you don’t need to do these poses in front of anyone to feel the effect. You just need to commit to the full pose and hold the posture of your choice for at least two minutes (and you can do it in a restroom or stairwell if you have to).

Figure Out Your Hook

Last but not least, know your hook. What is the #1 reason you’re a perfect fit for this position? What pivotal moment in your life set you on the path to becoming exactly the right person they’re looking for? Or think of it this way – each candidate for a position has a brand identity that the interviewer should conjure up when they think of you.  What is your branding – Super technical talent? Great teammate?  Industry guru?  Consistent achiever?

If you can tell a brief story about how your experiences or background have created a passion for all things (fill in the blank, as related to the field you’re interviewing for), then you will have a hook. Using a “hook” not only makes you more memorable but also makes it sound like the position is more than a job to you, it’s a perfect fit.

Searching for that perfect position? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn more about open positions with our partners, some of whom work exclusively with us.

Three Tips to Help You Write an Eye-Catching Bulleted Resume


If you’re active in the job market, chances are you’ve come across an article or two promoting bulleted resumes as the latest way to get noticed by hiring managers. And, for good reason.

Bulleted resumes make skimming easier, and we know recruiters skim read; they help key points stand out instead of getting lost in a block of text; and when done well they’re usually more concise than the traditional, multi-paragraph styles.

Ready to get in on the trend and try a bulleted resume but not sure where to start? Follow these tips to make the most of bulleted formatting and get noticed by interested employers.

A well written resume can get you the interview

Three Tips For Nailing Your Bulleted Resume:

  • Focus on achievements and measurable results
  • Limit bullet points to 3-5 of your most impressive stats and stories
  • Write in an active voice

Focus On Achievements & Measurable Results

If you’re in a field where you’re expected to meet measurable goals, then this aspect of creating a bulleted resume will be easy for you. Share details like what percent of your performance goal you met regularly or the ROI on ideas you implemented or projects you were in charge of. Focus on your best work.

If some of your roles have been less goal-focused and centered more around daily or repetitive tasks (think admin and customer-service heavy positions), then it might take a little more finesse to write interesting bullet points.

Think about all the challenges you overcame in your position and how you improved your work environment, even if you can’t measure the results with hard numbers. Did you organize an entire department? Create forms that streamlined procedures? Revamp the training program to make it more efficient and effective? Share how you’ve made your mark at every job.

Keep It Relevant, Impressive, and Concise

Generally speaking, you should aim to share no less than three bullet points per position and no more than five. The easiest way to keep your bulleted resume from getting too long is to remember the goal is to concentrate on achievements, not duties.

Each bullet should highlight one of your most impressive job stats or victories. If there are too many to choose from, then force yourself to pick the top five that are also the most relevant to the position you’re applying for and list only those. You can always share additional stats in your interview.

Make Sure You Write in an Active Voice

One thing not many recruiters talk about is writing in an active voice. Using an active voice is more powerful and helps future employers to see you as the catalyst to generating positive results. And luckily, switching from a passive voice to an active voice is easier than you might think when you follow these simple active writing tricks.

 Visit our blog to learn how to stand out in the job market, what employers and recruiters are looking for, interview tips, and more.