Job Hunter's Journal

A Third-Party Recruiter's Effort to Help Job Seekers

The Interview Thank-You/Follow-Up-Note

Recently, we were working with an excellent company to fill a management position for them.  Fortunately, we had an excellent candidate that met all of the company’s experience and educational requirements.  The company and the candidate met and both were very happy and we thought the position was filled, but a few days later the head of Human Resources expressed a hiring reservation, the candidate had not sent any of the interviewers a Thank-You-Note.  We were very surprised to hear this because, we knew the candidate was too professional to overlook sending a Thank-You-Note.  We contacted the candidate and he stated he had sent Thank-You emails to the company’s interviewers.  The candidate sent us a copy of the Thank-You-Note.  After a little investigation, we determined the candidate had left a period out of the email address.  We contacted the company, a recruiting disaster was adverted, and the candidate was hired.  This demonstrates how important a Thank-You-Note is to the interview process.  Also, if emailing a Thank-You-Note, how important it is to check and make sure the email was delivered (my computer is set-up to automatically check and make sure my emails are delivered and opened (I tend to make a lot of mistakes).

According to a survey published by CNBC, one in five hiring managers will automatically dismiss a candidate if they haven’t sent a thank you note by email.  But more than that, the thank you note gives prospective job seekers a last chance to add any details left out of the interview or to reaffirm other elements and strengths you want to emphasize.  The following is a list of suggested items to include in the Thank-You-Note:

  1. Convey your continued interest in the position.  If at all possible, send the follow-up email within 24 hours of the interview, basically stating the interview confirmed your interest in position.  Be specific and reference some of the information shared by the interviewer about the role which enhanced the appeal of working with the organization.
  2. Tell them why the job is a fit.  Include a short paragraph providing a examples of why the position is a good fit for both of you.  Mention key strengths that will allow you to excel in the position, tailoring your most critical qualifications for the position.
  3. Add more information to support your candidacy.  Was there something that that you wished you had said during the interview but did not mention?  This could include something the interviewer did not ask or a response to a question that stumped you during the interview.
  4. Provide information requested during the interview process.  If the potential employer asked for examples of your writing or design skills, they could be attached to the Thank-You-Note.
  5. Ask for the job.  Hopefully you asked for the job at the end of the interview but it never hurts to ask again.  Make it clear you want the job and are willing to accept a reasonable offer.
  6. Don’t forget to express you gratitude for the interviewer for taking time away from his or her busy work day to interview you.


Recruiters’ Top 10 Resume Pet Peeves

I  was just looking through a listing of Recruiters’ Top 10 Resume Pet Peeves by Norma Mushkat, from a posting that I had downloaded from the Internet several years ago.   Since I was one of the 2,500 recruiters who contributed to the survey, I received a copy.  The original list had 20 items and is listed at   Norma Mushkat shortened the list and added some recruiter comments.  I will list everything verbatim and just wanted to make a note that the number 6 pet peeve is functional resumes.  I was going to devote a blog to writing functional resumes but since I really dislike them, and I don’t seem to be alone, I decided to provide this listing instead. 

Recruiters’ Top 10 Resume Pet Peeves:

10.  Personal Information Unrelated to the Job

With the limited time recruiters spend on your resume, you don’t want to distract them with your age, height, weight and interests unless they’re directly related to the work you want to do. 

 9.  Unqualified Candidates

You may want a job, but if you don’t have the skills and experience needed, recruiters will feel you’re wasting their time.  Look at the job description.  Be sure to highlight the skills the are looking for with a bulleted list of your related qualifications at the top of the document.

7.  Long Resumes and 8.  Paragraphs – Long Paragraphs instead of Bullet-points.

“I simply don’t have the time to read them,” says Bob Moore of Computer Recruiters, Inc.  Focus on the skills and accomplishments that directly apply to the job you’re trying to get.  Every word counts so don’t dwell on the specifics of each job, but rate the highlights specific to you.

6.  Functional Resumes

Whenever possible, recruiters advise you go with chronological resume and focus on the skills and accomplishments that pertain to the job you’re seeking.  If you are concerned about a layoff, be assured that “nowadays, unemployment is quite prevalent, and recruiters regard it differently,” says Jeanne Pace of Pace Search Services.  “Most people do something to keep their work (skills) going.”  Use that information to fill in the gaps.

5.  Poor Formatting

Different typefaces and boxes may look nice on paper, but if the resume needs to be scanned, they can cause confusion.  Recruiters suggest keeping your resume in plain text.

4.  Inaccurate or Missing Contact Information

“You create a resume for one reason:  To get a phone call,” says Kim Fowler of Fowler Placement Service Inc.  How can someone contact you if the phone number is  missing a digit or your email address is incorrect?  Be sure every resume you send has you correct contact information, including name, phone number, email address and street address.  Recruiter will not look you up; they’ll move on to the next candidate.

3.  Inaccurate Dates or None at All

Recruiters need to know when you worked where to get a better understanding of your work history and to use the dates for background checks.  According to Kathi Bradley of Bradley Resources, “Missing dates, especially for long periods of time, could send up a red flag, and the resume may be discarded as a result.”

Include specific ranges in months and years of  for every position.  If you have gaps, explain them either in your cover letter of introduction, but not you resume.  “It always helps to continue your education and training and to list any volunteer work during a slow period,” says Bradley.  “listing these under education or volunteer work should explain some of the gaps.”

2.  Too Duty-Oriented

“If you’re using your company’s job description, you’re missing the point of your resume,” says Paul Schmitz of Hufford Associates.  Recruiters already know what the job is; your resume should highlight your accomplishments in that position.  Schmitz advises you show what you’ve really done by outlining the process, outcomes and results that are specific to you.

1.  Spelling Errors, Typos and Poor Grammar

According to Bruce Noehren of J. Douglas Scott & Associates, this directly reflects your reputation.  “You don’t gain anything by getting it right,” he says.  “This is credibility you should already possess.”

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.


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 … Continued


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 … Continued


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

Headhunters, Friend or Foe???

I am a Third Party Technical Recruiter who likes to feel that I am a friend of any job seeker who asks for my help to find them a new position, or responds to my postings at various job posting sites on the … Continued

Reason For Leaving

As a Third Party Recruiter, recruiting for the plastics industry, one of the least pleasant things I have to ask a job seeker is “why did you leave your last employer?”.   This question must be asked because, it is one of … Continued


I am a Third Party Recruiter (Headhunter) specializing in finding employees for the Plastics Industry.  In today’s buyer (employer) driven market, well written resumes are even more important than ever.  Unfortunately, I continue to see many poorly written resumes.  In order to … Continued

Even GOD Has A Resume

I have been a third party recruiting doing staffing for the Plastics Industry for the last 12 years.  I receive about 100 resumes each day and after all this time I am still amazed by how poorly written so many of these resumes … Continued

Article About Career Sites Failing Job Seekers

Job Seekers often ask me if they should post their resumes and/or search on Career Sites. Depending on the circumstances I tell them that it is their best interest to post or not to post.  Since I get so many questions … Continued

How Did The Headhunter Find You?

Very often candidates are asked by company hiring officials how the Third Party Recruiter (Headhunter) found them.  This rather innocuous seeming question is often asked early in the interview process, why?  There is an obvious answer to this question.  The … Continued

Getting the Offer is Job 1 when Interviewing

  Previously, I have talked about the fact that when an individual interviews for a job, the purpose of the interview is to get the job.  Recently another of my candidates lost an excellent job that he fit perfectly because he was worried … Continued

Plastics as a Career?

One of the most famous lines in modern movies (The Graduate) is when Mr. Robinson takes Dustin Hoffman aside at his college graduation party and offers him some career advice, which was one word, “PLASTICS“.  Unfortunately, Dustin Hoffman’s character spent the summer having … Continued

Things Inquiring Recruiter Minds Want to Know

Ken Nunley, a third party recruiter and owner of Ken Nunley Gate House Consulting gave me a Questionnaire that he asks candidates to fill out and submit if they are interested in one of the positions listed on his web … Continued

Eliminate all False/Misleading Information From Your Resume!

A recent straw poll of approximately 1,700 recruiters, members of the Top Echelon Network (the largest group of independent recruiters), found that over 33% of all job seekers lie on their resumes.  The lies range from stating that they have degrees, that they do … Continued


I just read another Internet article about how job seekers should get out of the box.  After reading the article I still could not figure out why the author seems to thing job seekers should “get out of the box”.  … Continued

Plastics as a Career?

One of the most famous lines in modern movies (The Graduate) is when Mr. Robinson takes Dustin Hoffman aside at his college graduation party and offers him some career advice, which was one word, “PLASTICS”. Unfortunately, Dustin Hoffman’s character spent … Continued