Time: your riskiest investment

The current economic volatility has caused many of us to be concerned about our investments and thus spend our time worrying about how best to manage our money and stay ahead of the challenge of protecting our hard earned money and maximizing our investment portfolio.

Most of us are careful about our career choices, our opportunities for advancement and in many cases, bolstering our education. We hand pick our financial advisors and research our options. In the process, we spend our time and energy where we feel we will gain our largest profit.

Consider Time:

Time is our largest and riskiest investment. We all have time to spend, but are we spending it wisely, in the most profitable arenas? Since time is intangible, we struggle to place a value on it. Nonetheless, we all own it and have the full capacity to control it, invest it and spent it as we feel best suited to our own custom portfolio. Time is so easily wasted. Once time is spent, it has no value. Time spent wisely, however, is money in the bank.

Time spent is directly tied to our focus of energy. If getting your MBA is deemed your ticket to attaining the title of COO, then that is time and energy well spent and a great investment. But if you spend your time thinking about getting your MBA and all that it will take to earn it, you are wasting your most valuable commodity.

Wishing you career successes,
Liane

Applicant Tracking Software …sink or swim! | applicant tracking systems

I’ve had many meaningful conversations with clients about the importance and prevalence of software used by larger companies to sort through the often hundreds of applicants for one single job. The reality lies in the accuracy and ease that technical solutions bring to these companies and in the process the reduction of man hours. The risks are obvious in that the best applicant for the job may never get pulled from the pile.

“Over 90% of large companies use applicant tracking systems, which require a resume to apply. It is a recruiter’s first point of reference, and a poorly designed resume will hurt your chances immensely.” This stat was shared by career writer, Stephanie Walden (Mashable.com), who quotes VisualCV CEO, James Clift, whose company designs and sells templates for online marketing. “You only have one chance to make a first impression when looking for a new job, which means your resume needs to be top notch,” says James Clift whose subscribers can create, tweak and share their virtual resumes with the world. New designs are release every month and can include embedded videos, shifting images and customized content from the convenience of any keyboard, or exotic location you may be around the globe (searching for the perfect job, of course).

In Walden’s recent blog she stresses the importance of social media profiles and how applicants who are serious about getting noticed as a valid applicant for a posting must be diligent about their online presence and presentation. The underlying point to note here is that not only should your online resume be current and accurate, but the reality is that everything that is online and in some unfortunate cases ‘out of line’ are also at risk of ruining your career, or tarnishing a once-shiny career opportunity (if you’re not careful about what gets posted to the Web). There is enough debate material about balancing your online presence to launch a rocket into space.

Balancing the noticeability of your profile can be extreme: ‘Hey! Look at me!’ or ‘perfectly private’ and essentially ‘invisible’ to ‘Ooh no! How did that get online?’ The key nugget here is to comprehend the power of the Internet (with a Capital ‘I’), and to exercise great caution when ‘Accepting’ apps,’  such as Poacht, or buying a subscription to sites like Poachable.com, who help you find your dream job in the palm of your hand and with merely a few moments of aided data entry. Sites like Good.co, (‘the EHarmony of jobs,’ according to Time), aims to match you perfectly with an agreeable culture and as a fine bonus — a job. (Insert question mark, exclamation point here.)

Whoah!

All trends aside, all apps and dreams deactivated for a moment … the point to be noted is that not all these applications and services (free or paid) will benefit your career, or enhance your reputation. As Clift states, and every search firm and HR department will affirm, “the resume is still very much a crucial part of the hiring process.” Your personal and professional data must be compiled into a meaningful and customized format prior to any subsequent upload or dump into an app or onto a site. Consider quality versus quantity; invest your time and apply meaningful solutions to your career opportunities, rather than buy into a one-stop career shop where you’ll drown in the worldwide sea of ‘notsomuch’ opportunity.

Myths About Applicant Tracking Systems | resume sorting software

I came across this post this week; it helps explain a bit about how companies today find the perfect fit for the job posting.

Liane

Posted by Nancy Anderson in Career Advice • 
As you begin the job-seeking process, you might think that the old way of building your resume is good enough. However, a brilliant resume is one that is applicant tracking system optimized. These systems are great tools to weed out candidates who aren’t what the company is looking for. For as good as these systems are, there are myths surrounding them as well. The first myth is that if you have a keyword-rich resume, it will go to the head of the class, and you will automatically get the job. The truth is that the hiring manager still reads all resumes that the applicant tracking system suggests. He still interviews all potential candidates, and normally, more than a couple of interviews take place. The second myth is that once you have a system optimized resume, you will never have to write your resume again. Applicant tracking systems are different depending on the company, or type of job, you’re looking for. Plan to spend some time optimizing the resume for various positions using keywords that these systems pick up on so that the program recognizes you as a good potential candidate. The human resources department or the hiring managers tell these programs what to look for in a resume. Spend some time researching the company so that when you build your resume you have a better idea of which keywords to use. However, you must make the keywords flow naturally throughout the document. The last thing you want is to have your resume picked as one of the best by the tracking system but for the hiring manager to see jumbled up words. The same goes for formatting: ask the human resources department if the system reads Word files or another format. Not all of these algorithms are the same. Some might accept several formats, while others accept only one. Don’t fall for the myth that applicant tracking systems eliminate the need for networking. Even though a hiring manager may interview many people, he may still hire a candidate whom a friend or colleague recommended. Don’t quit networking just because your resume is optimized for an applicant tracking algorithm and happened to land on top. Remember that a human, not a database, decides whether you have a future with a particular company. Even though one of the myths surrounding applicant tracking systems is that they are unfair, the reality is that they treat every resume the same. They look for keywords and headings that match the hiring manager’s inputs. As long as you understand that keyword optimization and logical flow are important to get your resume noticed, you will do well. Companies find themselves inundated with candidates just like you. Creating a great resume, that’s optimized for the applicant tracking system, can land you an interview for the job of your dreams. It’s up to you to do the rest.