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The Art of Writing a Cover Letter

January 13th, 2012

As recruiters, we field cover letters and résumés on a daily basis. While some are extremely well crafted—perfectly showcasing all of their skill and attributes—some just fail to hit the mark. We understand that many of you may have a family, a second job and other obligations, but you must invest time and effort to your cover letter. In this blog entry, we will offer up a few trusty tips that will not only improve your cover letter, but will help you land the job of your dreams!

#1 Personalize it: There is nothing worse than a carbon copy cover letter. Sure it makes life a lot easier for you, but it doesn’t say much about your work ethic. Employers like prospects who have done their homework. By not doing your homework about the position shows that maybe you don’t really care about the job opportunity. If you don’t care about them why should they care about you?

#2 Highlight Your Resume: Whatever skill or experience you possess that best fits the position be sure to make that the focus of the introduction. Given the amount of cover letters a place of business may receive for a job opening, make sure the beginning grabs their attention.

#3 Spell Check: Even in the digital era where every computer has a built in spell check function, it is still common to find submitted cover letters and résumés with spelling and grammatical errors. The best way to avoid this issue is by simply taking your time. Scan each sentence carefully, checking for any minor typos you may have missed. Also, if possible hand it off to another person for a second pair of eyes. Remember: any cover letters with typos will get immediately filed to the bottom of the pile.

As recruiters we know what employers are looking for in a candidate searching for employment in the financial industry. If you’re an executive professional currently searching for a new opportunity, contact us today to learn more!

In The Trenches: “Older” Versus “Younger” in the Global Recession

November 10th, 2011

The job market is a cut-throat place these days, but is it extra difficult for older workers? The consensus seems to be “yes”. The questions that arise may include: are they less qualified? Less hardworking? Or is it that younger workers are less expensive?  These are the questions that are instigating conversations across the job market. We have narrowed down some reasons older workers may be suffering when battling for a job against their younger competition. Read the rest of this entry »

What to Look For in a Marketing Job Candidate

October 6th, 2011

Looking for a strong marketing candidate is a little like looking for a strong sales candidate. You want to find someone who is good at forming relationships and can tell you the strengths and unique features of a product. Since marketing is so web-reliant these days, marketing candidates also need a lot of tech savvy and a talent for analytical thinking. They also need to be creative problem solvers: Anyone can learn to use Google Analytics and to read demographic data, but it takes more to assimilate that data, then propose solutions to challenges and improvements on strengths.

So how do you find the candidates with all of these qualities?

First, ask the right questions:

“How do you define marketing?”
A good candidate will talk about more than just tactics. You want to hear that the candidate understands the importance of gaining customer input, monitoring the competition and allocating resources effectively with your goals in mind.

“How would you define our company’s mission?”
A strong candidate will be able to answer, because he or she will have done his or her homework.
“As a member of the marketing team, how do you see your role in relation to [list various departments]?” You want a team player who can work effectively with everyone in your organization and understands how the role of marketing fits in.

“Tell me about your experience with market research.”
A good candidate will be able to tell you about acquiring, interpreting, and presenting customer data.

“What marketing skills do you bring to the organization?”
You want people with hard skills, so ask if they don’t tell you specifically about their experience producing direct mail campaigns, managing databases, handling press relations or performing other key functions.

Second, ask yourself the right questions:

  • Does he or she understand that business is about being cost effective and understanding your customers?
  • Does he or she have good people/communication skills?
  • Would he or she fit into your organization?

Listen to your candidates’ answers, not only to what they say but how they say it. If they exhibit the right combination of people skills, business knowledge and technological know-how, you know you’re headed in the right direction.

A Financial Interview

September 29th, 2011

Advancing—or even jumping headfirst into the finance industry—can prove to be a monumental task. It’s vital for you to gain a competitive edge over other candidates by standing out and properly preparing yourself for the recruiting and interviewing process. We’ve put together some insights into the dynamics of for a career in finance. Read the rest of this entry »

Make It or Break It

September 23rd, 2011

It’s a war out there—figuratively, of course. Job seekers and hiring managers are battling tooth and nail to come out on top. Recruiters want to hire the best candidates and candidates are battling to be the best prospect. The pool of candidates, although substantial, lacks volume when it comes to experience. It is our job as recruiters to not only attract, but also retain the best candidates for your industry. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s All About Who You Know

September 14th, 2011

It’s not news that networking is a vital to jobseekers on the hunt for a new career. It’s said regularly by professionals and job seekers alike, “It’s all about who you know”. Do you know the right people? Whether you are just starting your networking venture or consider yourself a networking veteran, there are five top individuals who should be in your network. Read the rest of this entry »

Real Recruiters Win Out

September 2nd, 2011

Well-rounded, dedicated recruiters know the difference between sourcing and recruiting; they also know the difference between passive candidates compared to the active ones. To be an effective, successful recruiter, there are several characteristics you must possess that help define you from hiring average employees to hiring candidates that reside at the top of the talent pool. Real recruiters possess the following characteristics and knowledge: Read the rest of this entry »

The Financial Market Speaks to Entry Level Job Seekers

August 29th, 2011

AAFA (American Association of Finance & Accounting) is an alliance of executive search firms that focuses on recruiting and staffing finance and accounting professionals. They support over 45 offices across the United States that are staffed with more than 200 specialized accounting and finance job recruiters.

AAFA offers every accounting and finance job candidate national reach with local job market expertise and outstanding opportunities. We are fortunate to share this partnership in hopes of making the perfect match between financial recruiters and job seekers. Read the rest of this entry »

What Type of Resume is Best for Me?

August 18th, 2011

One of the first things you need to do when embarking on a job search is create a strong, concise resume. Your resume needs to be more than a list of what you’ve done. It needs to be a document that represents who you are and tells employers what you can do.

Your resume often serves as the first impression you make on a hiring manager or potential employer. It can often be the deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview.

So what type of resume should you have?

There are two main types of resume formats, each of which have their own advantages:

1) Chronological

The chronological resume lists your work experience in order. This is the most popular, common format. The main point of this type of resume is to show that you have the background and work experience necessary for the job.

When creating a chronological resume, list your most recent employment experience first and work backward, which allows you to highlight your most recent achievements.

Remember to focus on your most notable successes and don’t go overboard. Most hiring managers look at a resume for only a few seconds, so you don’t have long to capture their interest.

Employers tend to prefer the chronological resume because it is fact-based and easily skimmed.

For job seekers with solid experience and a logical job history, the chronological resume is the most effective. Career changers and those who lack formal on-the-job experience may want to try another format.

2) Functional

Instead of listing your experience in chronological order, the functional resume allows you to break your experience into different areas, which can be useful if you’re applying for a very specific type of job. For instance, you can classify your experience under headings such as management, leadership and support.

Rearrange your employment history into sections that highlight areas of skill and accomplishment, although you should still give a sense of your professional chronology – don’t neglect to include dates and company names.

The functional resume is good for job seekers who have little work experience, various employment experiences or are changing careers. By breaking your experience up into groups, you can better show that you have the experience and skills necessary for the job.

The functional resume might be thought of as a “problem solving” format. It gives you latitude to “make sense” of your work history and match up skills and accomplishments that might not be obvious to the employer in a traditional chronological format. Just be sure to match up skills with job titles, level of responsibility and dates of experience. Remember, the employer won’t take the time to decipher this information. Lay it out as clearly as you can.

Whether you choose a chronological or functional resume, be sure to create a version that is formatted to read well when submitted as a data file or scanned and searched by optical scanning systems.

Many large employers use electronic resume processing systems, or automated applicant tracking systems, to handle large volumes of resumes. Job ads may direct applicants to visit their website and submit a resume electronically. The resume will go into a database that recruiter or hiring manager can search by keyword. Not only must your resume include any relevant keywords, you must avoid fonts and formatting that will not scan properly into the system such as italics, bold type or fancy typefaces.

IT Hiring Remains Strong Despite Economic Fears

August 4th, 2011

IT hiring has been on the rise since 2011 began, and that growth should continue into 2012, despite recent rumblings that the economy may take another downturn.

“Despite the economic woes we’ve been hearing about, I haven’t … seen any change in demand [for IT workers],” says Shane Bernstein, managing director of IT staffing firm Q. “In fact, demand keeps increasing. Every week I hear, ‘We have a lot more positions coming down the pipeline that we need to fill.’”

IT professionals are also feeling optimistic about the job market. According to a recent poll, 44% feel confident they could find a new job. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of IT professionals aren’t worried about getting laid off.

Staffing industry executives are confident about continued IT hiring despite economic concerns because IT departments cut so deeply and delayed so many projects during the recession of 2008 and 2009. They can’t afford to keep putting projects on hold. Client companies in every industry from financial services to retail are working hard to complete projects started in 2010 and start new ones.

Also, corporations feel comfortable spending some of the cash reserves they built up during those two years of aggressive cost-cutting.

And let’s face it: businesses across the board are so dependent on IT infrastructure and technology, that slowing down or stopping IT progress is impossible. Many businesses are remembering that investing in IT can help cut costs or improve productivity

And in more good news, after two years of pay cuts and stagnating wages, IT salaries are once again on the rise, driven by demand for contract and permanent IT staff. Nobody is predicting that IT salaries will skyrocket; rather, we’ll see continued, moderate increases in the price of talent. Salary levels are finally getting back to where they were before the recession.

If you need extra IT talent to revitalize your current and future projects, contact Morgan Hunter Corporate Search today!