Blog

A new hire is a big deal. A piece of an unfinished puzzle. A chance to add valuable skills and great energy to your team. Meeting a candidate in an interview is a great first impression, but let's be real: you're meeting their Best Self, not necessarily their Real Self. A potential hire will tell you everything you want to hear, but trying to cut through the fluff can be a challenge.

Enter: the reference.

A reference, usually a former boss or coworker, is your key to getting the real story on your potential candidate. They have shared workspace, email correspondence, and project managements with them, and probably know a thing or two about what makes them tick. With such a valuable resource at your fingertips, make sure you use your time wisely – asking them these questions will offer a glimpse into this new hire.


1) What motivates them?

Are they driven by deadlines? Pushed by penalties? Encouraged by esteem-boosts? Find out what gets them going from someone who knows, and ensure you're pushing your new employee to their full potential in a way that works.

2) What was their role on the team?

In this case, we aren't talking about their technical role, but more or their social role. Every workplace has its own dynamic, and employees naturally find their place from the start. Are they the idea initiator or more likely to let the brainstorm session sit and simmer? Maybe they keep the mood light in meetings. Maybe they're a bit of a morale drag. Who knows? You'll have to ask.

3) In what area would they need support during their first few months?

This is a crucial question for planning your next quarter. Get a sense of your potential hire's problem areas and you won't be caught off-guard when some subpar skills show up later.

4) Can you name a situation when this candidate has gone above and beyond?

The answer to this question won't be as revealing as the speed at which it is answered. If an instance is recalled quickly, you can assume the candidate goes beyond their expected duties fairly often.

5) Would you hire them again?

Perhaps the most important question to ask, the answer to this sums up the reference's overall impression of the candidate and indicates whether this person is worth hiring or not. Whether the answer is yes or no, be sure to press for an explanation.

6) What conflicts did they have? How were they resolved?

As they say, "beautiful sunsets don't exist without cloudy skies." There's a chance even the most attractive candidate has had some clouds in their professional past. Learn more about how your candidate responds to pressure and conflict with a question that's bound to get an interesting response.

When dealing with a potential new hire, don't make any assumptions. Put some effort into your discussions with references, and get the valuable information for making your decision!

Posted: 9/24/2019 12:29:26 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


When it comes time for the next step in your career, you rarely find a new job through a human being. You're searching online, applying on a website, or emailing a resume and cover letter in an effort to come across as best you can on paper. It should be easy to present your professional career on a resume, since we all have to do it at some point, right? But it's not as natural to write about yourself and your past experiences as you might think.

resume_writing

Look, we've seen a lot of resumes. We've sorted through the good the bad and the ugly, and believe us when we tell you, we know what works and more importantly, what doesn't. Here are some tips on what you should and shouldn't do to create a killer resume.

Do: update frequently, even you aren't looking for a job

Sometimes the right thing comes along.. all together now.. when you least expect it! Why scramble at the last minute to put your best foot forward when you can be ready to go with some regular maintenance? You know how they suggest a quick clean of your living space for 10 mins a day to avoid a solid weekend of cleaning? Same situation. Once you have a good handle of your new job, add it to your resume, updating as your responsibilities change.

Don't: use an unprofessional personal email address

If your email address was created before you could drive, there's a good chance you'll want to keep it off of your resume – stick with an email closest to your name, and don't use your current work email address.

Do: write smart descriptions

Avoid using blanket phrases or uninteresting wording. For example, rather than saying "hard worker," start by describing a person who works hard, with wording like "dedicated and fastidious designer comfortable with a fast-paced project schedule." Instead of describing yourself as "creative," explain that you "developed innovative solutions for clients in a variety of industries" and "sparked connections in brainstorming sessions." If a fifth grader would use the word, try to think of a better way to exemplify the quality.

Do: revisit your annual reviews

One of the best places to discover your recognizable strengths is to take a look at your past performance reviews. If your supervisor noticed a strength or flaw, you can bet your future employer will be interested. Who knows, maybe they pulled something out of your personality that you hadn't even known about!

Don't: use keywords obviously

Get this: 491 of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system. ATSs are used to weed out resumes that don't fit the position. That's great for hiring managers, but what if your resume and cover letter resonate better with a real live person? Tough luck, as you'll need to include some keywords spotted in the job descriptions. Don't fill your resume with invisible text containing those keywords (yes, people really do that!), but instead try using them organically throughout the page. ATSs can somehow spot a "stuffed" resume from a mile away, so avoid overusing keywords.

Now that you know how to perfect the art of resume crafting, stay tuned for our next post on making a resume that'll move you to the top of the applicant pile!

Posted: 2/11/2019 8:22:22 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments