Entries from the Job Hunter's Journal


How Is The Plastic Industry Job Market?

“How is the Plastic Industry Job Market?” remains the primary question I am asked by candidates looking for positions in the Plastics Industry.

In my role as a Third Party Recruiter (Headhunter) to the Plastics Industry, I have been talking to many plastic manufacturing companies about their current hiring plans.  The good news is that most of the companies report they are hiring, and in addition, many of them are hiring sales people.  The hiring of plastic sales people, especially resin sales people, is viewed as a very strong indicator because, from our experience, companies hire sales people when the market is on an upward swing and, strangely enough, companies downsize sales people when the plastics market is going south.

Overall, I believe the plastic industry job market is going to continue to grow in 2017 but probably at a slightly reduced rate from 2015 and 2016, so if you are looking at a great job offer this year, you might want to take it.

Many Job Seekers are Still “Not Getting It”!

I am a third party recruiter who receives over 100 resumes per week.  Most of those resumes are responding to postings I have place on several thousand job boards, or on my own web site.  When I post a job opening, I carefully spell out the job requirements.  Job seekers responding to my posting often have very few, or none, of the job skill and experience requirements in their resumes.  When I respond to the candidate via e-mail, or call them, and inform them that they don’t fit the job requirements, the job seeker often responds by telling me that they have the requisite skills but they failed to include the information in the resume.

A Resume is not just a formality, it is the key to unlocking the company’s hiring door.  If the information on the resume does not include the  information the hiring company wants, no amount of cajoling by the recruiter will get the hiring company to interview the candidate.  With the easy access to word processing software these days, there is no excuse for not tailoring a resume to fit the job description unless the job seeker does not have the requisite job skills and experience.  If a job seeker does not have the experience and job skills the company wants, they should not be responding to the positing by a third party recruiter for that particular position anyway.  If the job seeker is responding to the posting in order to get help from the third party recruiter with their job search, that should be clearly stated somewhere in the response.

I know many candidates believe that third party recruiters should “think outside the box” and present them to the hiring company anyway but that is not what companies are paying us to do.  Companies provide lists of qualifications they want met and that is that.  Companies are not looking for creativity when they hire a third party recruiter, they are looking to have their hiring needs met period.

CELL PHONES – DANGER WILL SMITH

A recruiter that is a member of the same recruiting network I am a member of, had what appeared to be a stellar Big-4 CPA candidate sail through a phone and follow up SKYPE interview with one of my top clients. They discussed money and responsibilities on the SKYPE and he was ready to accept an on the spot offer when they flew him in for the in person interview. As part of the interview process, the team took him out for lunch and twice during the luncheon discussion he looked down and checked his cell phone, once returning a text message. He was devastated when I told him that is why he is not getting the offer. He mentioned that all of his 20 something friends and fellow Big-4 CPAs text during meals.

I found this kind of amusing until, the very next day, one of my candidates who was suppose to be being trained could not quit texting an lost his job on the first day of work.  He is in his low twenties.   Now I am concerned this may be reoccurring problem with the Millennials.

The moral of the story is whether interviewing or being trained, turn the cell phone off and more importantly; do not text.

FINDING A JOB IN THE 22nd CENTURY

Once upon a time, in America, all that was needed to start a very good paying career was a four year college degree but, unfortunately, that is no longer the case.  Companies no longer just care about what you know, they want to know how well you can apply that knowledge.  After all, companies are looking for employees that can solve their problems and solve them immediately.  Gone are the days when companies were willing, and could afford to, train promising talent coming straight out of college.  Technology is changing so rapidly, and most schools lag behind industry, that a degree, even in an engineering or computer technology field, is no longer considered an adequate proxy by employers for candidates to do a particular job.  Many employers are designing, or purchasing, tests to determine if the candidate can apply their knowledge.  Unfortunately, most schools (High Schools and Colleges) are so busy trying to force feed knowledge into students’ brains, and then testing to make sure it is there, that they do not have time to teach students how to apply that knowledge.   Now many technical companies are asking candidates questions, such as, “how many tennis balls will fit in a school bus and what was your thought process that led you to this solution?”, instead of asking; what is the value of Planck’s constant?

What does this mean for individuals looking for their first or a new job (obsolescence occurs very rapidly in todays job market)?  Obviously, demonstrated experience and training in the field that the employer is trying to fill is a must.  As a Technical Recruiter in the Plastics Industry, I am constantly amazed that after advertising for an Injection Molding Engineer, almost 90% of the respondents do not have any experience in the plastics field, much less, injection molding experience. If you have the requisite experience, the next step is preparing a resume that not only shows that you have the experience and training in the field you are applying for, but in addition, it is very important to provide examples of how you have used that knowledge to solve your employer’s problems and, therefore, increase sales and profits.  Obviously, most college students lack the experience and skills upon graduation that employer’s want so desperately.  That is why it is important, more than ever, for college students to perform internships, or summer positions, with companies that can provide some of the experience and skills that you want to pursue upon graduation from college and emphasize them on your resume.

Keeping your resume current is also very important.  Not listing skills or experience that you have that a company wants, based on the posted job description, is the kiss of death.  I never cease to be amazed how many individuals send me resumes that do not contain any reference to the experience required by the hiring company and when I reject them for consideration for the position they e-mail saying they have the experience requested but they have not had time to update their resume or “you are a recruiter and should have been able to tell that I have the right experience”.   Despite of what some people believe, Corporate or Third Party Recruiters are rarely clairvoyant.

Companies are constantly looking for overqualified people these days or “purple squirrels” as those of us in the recruiting industry call them.  Usually, if a company asks that a candidate meets 10 criteria, as soon as I submit a candidate that meets all 10 criteria, the company comes up with a 11th.  Being under qualified in areas of experience, training and skills will also keep the company from seriously considering you for the position.  This means that someone that has been out of school for a years should be continuing their education, usually through seminars conducted by whatever technical society they belong.  Companies use to provide continuing training to their employees but that is rarely the case anymore.  It has fallen upon the individual to assume much of the responsibility for keeping expertise and skills current, much as it is the responsibility of the professional athlete to run and lift weights to stay in shape in the off-season.  An example is; currently almost all plastic injection molding companies want engineers and technicians with “Scientific Molding” or RJG experience but some companies do not do scientific molding and their engineers or technicians lack that expertise and then when the get “downsized or rightsized” they have trouble finding another position because the lack the scientific molding skills.   Scientific Molding and/or RJG training is offered by some very good trainers and should be pursued by everyone in the industry if for no other reason than to keep themselves marketable.

In summary, candidates get rejected for jobs for two main reasons; the candidate cannot demonstrate to the company that they can solve the problems they are being interviewed for, or they don’t know what the company needs, and it comes through because the candidate has not developed the expertise and learned the skills that are needed.

 

TIPS FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE RESUME

The perfect resume probably has not been written but a resume does not have to be perfect, it merely has to be good enough to get you a job interview.  The following 13 items should help in your efforts to write an … Continued

Job Searching Using Social Media

I am reading Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies by Joshua Waldman, MBA among several other books.  I started reading this book to get a better feel for how Social Media can help the job seeker.  After spending several chapters … Continued

Interviewing Tip #1

During a telephone or face-to-face interview, the key thing to remember is the company is trying to solve a perceived problem.  The company hopes that you are the solution to their problem and that is why they are interviewing you.  If for … Continued

An Answer to “How is the Job Market”

As bad as the economy is at the moment, there must be more to life than toys, travel, newer cars, and larger homes.  As Viktor Frankl, who wrote, Man’s Search For Meaning, stated a half a century ago, People have … Continued

Searching for a Job???

I just read an article by the self proclaimed largest Job Search Board, providing ten reasons a job seeker may not be able to find a job.  I totally agree with the first reason, which was, the job seeker may not … Continued