How recruiters check out applicants

January 10, 2010 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

It has become standard knowledge that recruiters go well beyond an applicant’s resume, cover letter and recommendations when checking out a job candidate. One of the benefits of the social-networking “put-everything-out-there” culture is there’s much more material available — quickly, easily and usually relatively cheaply —  for recruiters in checking out candidates.

This can work to a job hunter’s advantage if your digital footprint is one that makes you stand out from the crowd in showcasing expertise and experience. Yet if you’re not careful, this material could turn off a potential employer worried about how you  might fit into the corporate culture of the organization or if you indeed have the type of skills desired. Make no mistake about it, you’re being Googled and checked out on social networking sites. Here are some tips for putting your best foot forward so that recruiters are impressed — not dissuaded — by what they find:

*Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to your best advantage. Hiring managers are heading there to see what you’re doing. Recruiters are trying mainly to get a different “angle” on the applicant, as one recruiter recently put it in a LinkedIn discussion group on this topic. Post, link and tweet on topics that show your knowledge on a particular topic in a friendly and conversational way. (A snarky or sarcastic style tends to turn off more hiring managers than it impresses.) Try to use these sites to “build your brand” while job hunting. Comment on others’ links and posts as well to show that you would be a supportive colleague. Even in short items or tweets, present a lively writing style but backed up by information. Be journalistic at all times if you’re looking for a journalism job.

*Keep it clean. This refers to your language on social-networking sites as well as keeping your posts free of factual and spelling errors. Obviously the writing style of Twitter is different than that you’d use when writing a cover letter but you should still be careful in your spelling and phrasing, especially if you’re looking for a journalism job. And please remove any inappropriate, boozy photos (even those in which you’re in group shots) from your Facebook page and ask friends not to include you in them on their pages while you’re job hunting. That’s not the impression you want a recruiter to get from your social-networking activity. Also, a job hunt is usually not a good time to enter into contentious discussions with others on such sites, especially on LinkedIn, which recruiters view as an addendum to your resume. If you can’t say something smart and at least civil while you’re job hunting, don’t say it online.

*Consider starting a blog, especially if you have specific knowledge in a field that either backs up or complements the skills and experience you’re pitching to employers. This blog can be mentioned as part of your “calling cards” — your resume, business card and cover letter — and can be a way to grab the attention of a recruiter and stand out from the hundreds of resumes he or she may be viewing. Be careful, though. Just as with social-networking sites, all’s fair game with blogs and if a hiring manager sees something there he or she finds objectionable — or if you make a sloppy mistake and don’t correct it — it could work against you rather than in your favor.

*Stay out of any trouble during a job hunt. Like it or not, in this hotly competitive hiring environment, hiring managers conduct drug tests, run your driver’s license and car registration numbers for any infractions and check on credit reports — with credit scores (especially in financial industry jobs) used to weed out candidates who have exceptionally low scores. Bankruptcy filings or foreclosures also could affect hiring decisions. And many employers in journalism and elsewhere still conduct drug screenings. Though these methods may seem unfair and rankle the sensibilities of civil libertarians, they are used by many employers — ask about this when the time is right in the hiring process. If there’s something you need to confess, better to do so early on and give a good explanation of the circumstances surrounding your problem.

* published a fun and interesting piece recently that could be of use to job hunters in honing their presentation skills:

How to get or keep a job in 2010 using skills from the acting trade

Lane Rasberry may not be the next Steve Carell, but the same skills that improv comedians typically learn on their rise to stardom helped this research interviewer get better at what he does at work every day.
See Careers.

*This next item isn’t really a lead but an investigative reporter looking for some publicity might be interested:

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Danielle Gervais. I’m the Casting Producer for Tru TV’s new reality show All Worked Up. We are currently casting our first full season and we’re looking to profile an outgoing and passionate Investigative Reporter…someone who fights for justice every day! If you or someone you know works as an experienced Investigative Reporter, we want to hear from you!

All Worked Up is a documentary-style series that will feature a group of outgoing and dynamic characters, all working in challenging jobs that consistently test their patience, willpower and sanity! As part of our search, we’re looking for a dynamic Investigative Reporter to take part in this exciting new series to show us what it takes to stay tough and in control while fighting for “the little guy.” We’re looking for outgoing folks who are passionate and proud of what they do and are willing to show us the ropes when it comes to their job and what it takes to successfully investigate a complaint, concern or community issue. The documentary-style show would profile these individuals over the course of a week and would focus on the job from his or her point of view.

Thank you for your time and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything or have any questions!


Danielle Gervais

Casting Producer, All Worked Up

Ph. 646-747-7956

*And now for some job leads…The hat tip on the first two is to

*AARP is looking for an executive producer in D.C. to lead its online editorial team as it revamps its Web site:

Company: AARP
WSO – Executive Producer
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
February 12, 2010
Job ID: 1141761

Executive Producer Location: Washington, DC AARP, publisher of the largest circulation print magazine in the U.S., is retooling its website, and seeking an experienced and skilled consumer-facing journalist to lead the online editorial team. Reporting directly to the online VP/editor in our Washington DC office, the successful candidate will be a top-notch editorial visionary and strategist, able to conceive and create great content (practical, inspirational, and aspirational) for people striving to live their best lives after age 50.

Must have significant editorial and management experience in both news (preferably daily) and features, including several years in a web environment; must play extremely well with others (up, down, and sideways) in a complex organization; and must be utterly unflappable.

Qualified candidates are invited to apply on-line at: (refer to WSO – Executive Producer). We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that values workplace diversity. We offer competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision, and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.

Chad Edwards HR Recruiting Partner AARP 202.434.2816

*The National Academies in D.C. has an opening for a manager of Web communications:

Company: The National Academies
Seeking Manager, Web Communications
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $60,000 to $75,000
Ad Expires:
February 10, 2010
Job ID: 1140782

The mission of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is to advance and disseminate scientific knowledge to improve human health. The Institute provides objective, timely, authoritative information and advice concerning health and science policy to government, the corporate sector, the professions and the public. The Manager, Web Communications oversees all aspects of the division/major unit’s website and intranet site. Serves as editor and is responsible for the content and consistent look of the overall site. Maps the flow of the site. Where applicable, provides specifications to web developers and outside vendors for development of databases, interactive applets, and custom graphics. Using a general knowledge of the site’s technical organization and operation, acts as a liaison between the site and users. Employing languages such as HTML and focusing primarily on files within the document root, creates and develops visually aesthetic graphics and writes text about the organization and website and creates documents for inclusion in the site. Participates in web team meetings. 1. Oversees the creation, refinement, and maintenance of all aspects of the division/major unit’s web presence, web activities, intranet site, and electronic newsletters. Identifies where original content will add value to the website and plans and implements new coverage areas accordingly. 2. Ensures adherence to institutional and division-level dissemination, branding, usability, and design models. 3. Develops strategy for division/major unit’s online presence and established metrics and evaluation criteria for the sites. Establishes standards, processes, and guidelines for web activities. 4. Serves as web editor. Develops and implements site-wide editorial standards and practices. Develops and recommends institution-wide policies related to Internet dissemination and communication. Plans and directs development and production of interactive news content, e-newsletters, discussion forums, and live events. 5. Identifies communications needs that can be met using the Internet and manages their implementation. Develops internal and external partnerships aimed at enhancing website content. Proposes and coordinates new dissemination and communication techniques, methods, or activities in support of unit and institutional missions. 6. Instructs and advises staff on developing and maintaining project-specific websites or products. Coordinates with design staff and web developer to implement results of studies. Tests refined navigational structures and designs. 7. May supervise staff and interact with research staff, committee volunteers, National Academies’ members, and other content providers as well as with graphic designers and multimedia, interactive, and technical support personnel to provide editorial depth and variety. 8. Creates and administers listserves or other electronic dissemination channels. 9. Produces on- and offsite webcasts. Manages webcast scheduling. Serves as primary webcast contact. 10. Provides analysis and recommendations for internet, intranet, and other technical environments. 11. Develops internal and external benchmarking, measurement, and other electronic communications assessment strategies. 12. Proposes and coordinates new dissemination and communication techniques, methods, or activities in support of unit and institutional missions. 13. May serve as the unit representative on the organization’s web team.

Job Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field or equivalent knowledge with 3 years of related professional experience. Ability to solve intellectual problems of appreciable variety and complexity using originality and ingenuity. Ability to operate using appreciable latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to work successfully in a team environment. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent written and oral skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees. Knowledge of Flash, HTML, and databases is important. Experience with Sitecore, ExactTarget, and SurveyGizmo desired.

To Apply:

Click this link to apply:

*The Alliance for Natural Health USA in D.C. needs a communications and policy director:
Communications and Policy Director
Alliance for Natural Health USA – Washington, DC
The Alliance for Natural Health USA seeks a Communications and Policy Director, who will be responsible… media, and verbal communications skills; Ability…

*And last but not least, the Human Rights Campaign has an opening in D.C. for a vice president of communications and marketing:

Vice President of Communications & Marketing
Human Rights Campaign – Washington, DC
seeks a senior communications and marketing specialist to direct all of HRC’s communications and marketing… communications, and internal communications. The…
From Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

Happy hunting on this winter’s day!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

How to wrap up a job hunt Job fairs — are they worth the time of job hunters or recruiters?

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