I recently had the opportunity to interview Abby McDonald of Dynamic Synergy Group. Abby kindly offered to address the candidate challenge of "How can I get noticed and get hired in a crowded marketplace?"
I asked Abby:
I hope it's a great help to everyone looking to secure a new job right now...
Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath
Well, first of all, Tony.
Thank you for inviting me.
Thank you for inviting me to this interview. I mean, it's quite timely. I'm sure we all agree that, the world in of itself has been sort of "topsy turvy" based on the COVID-19.
So as a result of that, it's quite timely to discuss the job market and how that relates to candidates actively on the job market due to COVID-19.
So thank you so much for having me.
And your company?
Yes, so I run a company talent search, talent acquisition firm by the name of Dynamic Synergy Group We're based out in Toronto.
And we staff offices for companies essentially, and we've been doing this for quite some time now.
I've been in the business now for pretty close to 20 years, and our specialty in particular from a talent acquisition, which is our primary service offering. Is in the logistics and freight forwarding industry, as well as transportation, manufacturing, distribution, construction and engineering.
So those are our niche industries that we tend to play in.
And having said that, we need a lot of fantastic professionals in that niche market.
So I'm excited and I'll share a little bit more once we get into the interview.
So I mean, that means you're really well placed to talk to us about the kinds of things candidates could do to have a resume that is going to stand out in the current market.
What would be some of the things you would suggest people focus on?
It's great for us to discuss that because I've certainly witnessed a lot of cycles throughout the industry on a whole and what I can say to candidates on the market right now is that, the conventional way, if you will, of going about a job search is going to change.
It has changed.
So, what I advise candidates on is to take an approach based on what recruiters have experienced when dealing directly with the hiring managers at these companies on what is going to make you stand out and get noticed more to a hiring manager?
Well, we believe that, putting together a winning job search strategy number one.
A very organized and very clear strategy on how to go about your job search will help you bring the results that you're looking for because intention is everything.
And what I've experienced over the years, in dealing with many candidates is when I dig a little deeper, and I ask them about, they share their frustrations about, "Oh Abby, I went on this interview, I didn't get the interview or I've been applying to the job boards and nothing is coming in, what is the problem?"
When I dig a little deeper, I find out that they're just sort of, shooting in the dark, if you will.
They don't have a plan.
They're not clear on what it is that they want, and then they're frustrated that they're not getting any results.
So start actually, even before the resume, and have that plan in place?
So if you were sitting down with a candidate today and you were advising them on a few things to do as part of that job search strategy.
What would be the kinds of things you would recommend?
Well, number one, the resume 100% is the first place to start because that is the first impression that you're making on the job market.
So look at it as branding yourself if you will.
It's very important that you position your resume using the keywords that the hiring managers that's going to garner their attention.
So I'm just going to expand on that a little to your viewers.
So for example, when a recruiter is dealing with a hiring manager and they have an opening, there is a stack of resumes of applicants that have applied.
And they're very busy, their calendar is booked up, and they have this job opening, which is essentially like, think of it as a problem.
This is why the job opening is open.
So they're looking for someone to fix the problem, if you will, by hiring this person to give them peace of mind, that they could do the job. So having said that, due to the urgency of that, it's very important that you give them what they're looking for in that position.
So using keywords, that position to the job that you're applying for, number one is key.
It's also what I'm finding because we keep testing our resume templates over and over again and, just to gauge their response.
But in terms of the template that we advise candidates on, we advise that to get clear.
Number one, the career objective is very important because as a first impression, you want to make sure that you emphasize the years of experience that you have, your area of specialty, that is relevant to the role, number one.
Because that's what they're going to be looking for.
Has this person worked in our industry?
How many years of experience are they looking for?
And then on top of that, you want to show a bit of your personality.
What do you stand for?
So maybe you are the type that is willing to go above and beyond to create a wonderful customer service experience.
Maybe your intention is to create client loyalty if you're applying for a sales position, you're really great at retaining these customers and creating an amazing experience that they're going to want to stay and come back for more.
So those are things, if you were applying for a sales position, for example, those are things that you want to have right on the objective initially because that's going to capture their attention.
I am energetic, I have a great sense of humor.
Say something about your personality that's going to determine if this person could potentially be a culture fit because oftentimes attitude comes over skills.
If they're willing to train so add a touch, don't be afraid to add a little bit of your personality in the profile.
Then what we recommend is to highlight your core competencies that are relevant to the role.
For example, if you're applying for a sales position, performance is what they want to know.
They want to know how have you met and exceeded in your performance, number one.
That's what they're going to be looking for.
This hiring manager has a mandate, an objective for their sales team.
So they want to know exactly how you're going to help them meet that mandate.
So how you're going to show that is emphasize your performance.
Put some numbers in there.
What you were, if you know your position and you have experience of certain vertical markets then you want to emphasize that if that's what they're looking for, because oh, you work in manufacturing.
You've worked with manufacturing clients, distribution clients.
Oh, wonderful. That's who we work with.
So you want to put that right there, because in that short period of time, you've eliminated doubt because you've given them what they want at the top of the resume instantly and then they're convinced.
So now they're going to go through the rest of your resume, but they're already convinced. So the first impression is very important.
Sounds like you're tailoring all of this to each individual position as well, so that the performance is really aligned.
And in terms of LinkedIn Recruiter, there are candidates who perhaps don't appreciate the extra filters and information that recruiters get on LinkedIn Recruiter.
What are some of the ideas you would share around things that candidates should be doing?
Well, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool.
And like I was sharing - I've been sharing with candidates that we work with.
LinkedIn is not going away.
And now over the years, what I've seen is LinkedIn is now becoming a part of the preliminary screening process.
So having said that, it's very important that your candidate brand presence is consistent across channels, and we believe this strongly, and we've seen the results when you begin a brand that is consistent.
What happens is it eliminates and mitigates any potential objections because you're clear through and through.
So back on LinkedIn, the bio is very important in the about section.
It's very important, and we believe that the bio is very much like, what we refer to as your candidate story.
So it's who you are.
Your experience obviously, and your expertise and where you've been, where you are now and where you're headed.
That is what your bio should be based on, the premise that it should be based on, because that's going to give them an indication.
Number one, is this person qualified?
Do they know our industry?
Where have they been before with the proven experience? Is it relevant to this role?
What is it that they stand for? Do they stand for excellence? Do they stand for integrity?
We have a very high, fast-paced environment.
Are they going to thrive in our culture?
Those are things that you want to emphasize.
I love challenges. I love meeting and exceeding challenges.
I have fantastic, complex problem-solving skills, or critical thinking skills for clients; I am very solutions-oriented.
Those are things that you want to emphasize that will capture the attention of the hiring manager.
So you want to show some passion in there,
And I think that when you do that, you have a higher probability of getting the callback because our intention is to ensure that you get a higher callback rate and get some momentum going.
So by having a clear approach, you're guaranteed that you're going to get some momentum going, and it's all a numbers game.
Once you get the momentum going, eventually, you going to land an interview and then you're going to go through the process.
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