The SafeHire blog

You Should Meet with a Career Advisor

Posted on 2 weeks ago

The benefits of a quality education don’t end in the classroom. Strong higher-ed institutions are eager to help you launch your career with impact.

Finding a quality job isn’t as simple as having the right skills, and job hunts have become anything but intuitive. You're likely competing against hundreds of other applicants with similar qualifications and work experience. Presentation is everything, and that's where your career service team steps in.

Only once in your life you have a team fully dedicated to your career success. From landing internships, writing cover letters, job interview prep, and more, students who leverage their college’s career services gain a substantial advantage.

Before meeting with your career services team, you simply don't know what you don't know. What may strike you as a perfectly compelling cover letter may show obvious flaws to an experienced career advisor. You may have crafted the perfect "objective statement" on your resume, only to have your career advisor tell you these statements appear self-serving and are outdated. This is why approaching your job search alone is a bad idea.

Crafting a powerful application is more than merely avoiding grammatical and punctuation errors. Career advisors can help you humanize and strengthen your application, boosting your chances of landing quality interviews.

You are more than your resume. You just need to show it.

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Posted in Jobs

Land More Interviews with Social Proof

Posted on 3 weeks ago

It’s never been harder to stand out and land interviews. The ability to apply with a single click allows some jobseekers to spam their resume to hundreds of employers. In 2015, Glassdoor estimated 250 applications for the average job opening.

Hiring managers wade through countless nearly identical resumes, looking for standout applicants. To their chagrin, jobseekers pack their resumes with “action verbs,” lengthy work history descriptions, and claims of excellence.

And why should the hiring manager believe what Joe Schmoe claims about his skills? Because Joe said so.

The best jobseekers lose interviews to those who are better at “tooting their own horn.” Self-boasting is beating merit.

Take an example: Candace, as college Senior, completed business internships during her Sophomore and Junior years. Her managers at both companies described her as "the best intern they'd ever had." Now Candace is trying to get an interview with her three dream employers. Does being the best intern ever help her get that 1st interview?

Nope. How would those three dream employers know she was the best intern ever? Her resume looks exactly the same as everyone else's: A few bullet points about her internship, such as what she did, what she learned, and skills she used. Her internship experience on her resume will look identical to that of the average intern, and the worst intern. Candace has to hope to get the 1st interview, then pass 2-3 more, before those employers even consider contacting her references.

Recruiters simply can't contact everyone's references. Reference checks require a lot of time, phone tag, and frustration. That's why they wait until the end of the hiring process before maybe contacting references.

They'd love to have high-quality references; that’s why internal references drive so much hiring. They just can’t spend hours trying to contact references.

As a pro-active jobseeker, this is a problem you can solve and be rewarded for.

By applying with upfront, validated testimonials from quality sources, you can stand out immediately as the most credible candidate. SafeHire makes it easy to gather & apply anywhere with video/written testimonials from educators, internships, and past employers. Just link your SafeHire URL in your resume’s contact info section. While you're at it, use your profile to make a targeted 30-second video pitch for each of your top employer choices.

The best way to stand out and land quality interviews is by problem-solving for hiring managers. Why leave it up to chance for hiring managers to find out your past superiors thought you were exceptional?

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Posted in Jobs

The Issue with LinkedIn Recommendations

Posted on 1 month ago

LinkedIn is the world’s go-to professional networking platform. Their efforts have generated 700 million users and countless opportunities. However, a pure focus on networking has come with a few tradeoffs.

LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations as networking features, not to give recruiters confidence in your value. These features are built for reciprocation- friends, family, and work acquaintances give endorsements & recommendations, expecting to receive one back. This creates too much complexity for employers to find useful, especially when they cannot even contact recommendation providers without paying for InMail messages or sending a connection request. SafeHire’s founder (my wife), Karli, effortlessly stacked up LinkedIn endorsements for “Hostage Negotiation,” despite precisely zero experience. Because why not?

Those most qualified to give credible recommendations, such as employers & educators, face hazards for providing LinkedIn recommendations. Each user's profile shows the recommendations they've given, leading their other connections to feel entitled to an equally complimentary recommendation. For employers & educators, it’s safer not to give any recommendations than to become obligated with continual requests and expectations.

SafeHire solves references for hiring managers, jobseekers, and reference providers, focusing on verification, not networking. References may only come from workplace superiors, HR officers, and educators, using their verified professional email addresses. Reference-providers can know their references will only be visible to employers with access to an applicant’s custom URL. Each reference contains the provider’s professional email address, verifying their identity and allowing employers to quickly confirm their sincerity.

With SafeHire, providers can write a reference or even easily record a 30-45 second reference video. And let me tell you, recruiters love the added sincerity of a reference video.

In summary, LinkedIn will serve as a great networking resource, while SafeHire is the best way to share compelling, upfront references with employers and land interviews.

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Posted in Jobs

The Power of Concise Credibility

Posted on 3 months ago

Most people have no problem talking extensively about their work, often in detail far exceeding their audience’s interest. It’s natural for our experiences and responsibilities to seem far more interesting to us than they do to others.

This propensity to overshare can become dangerous when fitting one’s entire professional profile onto a single-page resume. Many jobseekers assume they should squeeze as many details, action verbs, and power phrases into their self-presentation as possible.

This is where applying with empathy comes into play. A hiring manager with 250 resumes to review just isn’t that interested in detailed lists of your many duties. The best way to stand out is by concisely showing your unique value and credibility.

Start your resume by linking your experiences and qualifications to those listed in the job description. A detail-dense resume only makes it harder for hiring managers to find those important links. Even worse, the utility of less relevant information quickly turns from diminishing returns into negative returns as hiring managers become more likely to skip a dense resume.

Instead of adding density with claims of self-excellence and unsubstantiated skills, why not stand out and establish credibility by letting others do the bragging for you? With your free SafeHire profile, you can begin gathering compelling, validated testimonials from educators & employers. Just link your SafeHire URL in your resume’s contact info section to quickly catch hiring managers’ attention and start landing quality interviews.

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Posted in Jobs

Sell Your Services

Posted on 3 months ago

Like it or not, selling is non-optional. When you apply for a job, you sell your services to a customer (the hiring manager). Hiring you is an incredibly important (and expensive) decision for the customer. Fortunately, you happen to be the world’s foremost expert on your services.

This isn’t cold sales. An open job means there is a recognized problem requiring a solution. It’s your responsibility to fully understand the employer’s need in order to present yourself as the perfect solution. You likely even have a job description to work with.

Start by matching your services and capabilities to the job description; the employer shouldn’t have to think very hard to see how you as the perfect fit.

Next, do something to grab the employer’s attention. When you and I shop for a product or service, we may look at 3-5 options. Compare that to the average job opening, wherein a hiring manager is likely to receive around 250 competing applications. The right qualifications and credentials aren't enough. You have to set yourself apart from the competition.

Many applicants mistakenly attempt to stand out visually with something like a unique resume format, which only adds hassle for the hiring manager. The key is to differentiate yourself in a way that adds value or eliminates hassle.

What do you look for when making important purchasing decisions? My wife and I always use Google reviews before eating at a restaurant and Rotten Tomatoes before watching a movie.

Would you make an expensive purchase from a company that wasn’t eager to share customer testimonials? Would you buy an expensive product with bold claims but that didn’t make evidence readily available for customers? Probably not.

As customers, we expect credible sellers to eagerly provide evidence, not just claims. Hiring managers know that most resumes contain just as many embellishments as online dating profiles, making credible candidates the best candidates.

You can become the most credible candidate by applying with validated written/video testimonials from your past employers and educators. If you have achievements to be proud of, you can do better than hoping potential employers will take your resume claims on faith. With your SafeHire profile, you can easily provide employers with upfront, compelling testimonials and evidence of your achievements. Simply link your custom SafeHire URL in the contact information section of your resume.

Best of all, you can get started by creating your free profile today.

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Posted in Jobs

How to Think Like a Hiring Manager

Posted on 4 months ago

Your application isn’t about you. Your application is about helping a hiring manager quickly decide to move your application forward while simultaneously deleting one-hundred other resumes.

How can you help the hiring manager? Start by putting yourself in their shoes.

Hiring managers have priorities, incentives, fears, and time-constraints. When they first look at an application, they will take a few seconds to determine whether to hit delete or keep reading. Their initial decision depends upon a few questions, such as:

  • Is this candidate looking to solve our problem or wanting us to solve theirs?
  • Does this candidate’s history and skillset fit our need?
  • Does some information appear to be omitted?
  • Is the candidate forthcoming with high-quality references?
  • How many of these resume claims would I need to investigate?
  • Could advancing this candidate waste my time or backfire?
  • Is this the kind of person I’d like to work with?

Most applicants fail to reflect on how quickly and directly their application addresses these concerns. This is the power of applying with empathy.

When you set yourself apart by identifying and solving hiring managers’ problems, you dramatically increase your interview chances. If problem-solving is in your nature, show it.

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Posted in Jobs

Reduce racial prejudice with your video resume

Posted on 6 months ago

Do you worry that your ethnicity, country of origin, or name hurt your chances of landing interviews?

The 2004 study, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” studied how likely resumes with randomly assigned identifiably White and Black-sounding names were to receive callbacks. Black-sounding names received only 50% as many callbacks. Similar research has since shown applicants with Greek, Pakistani, Indian, and Chinese names, or foreign work experience, were 40% less likely to receive callbacks for an interview.

While most large employers now have express diversity goals & incentives, it would be hard not to worry that race or origin may still negatively impact your interview chances. Even worse, you hardly have the option to conceal your race. Handshake reports applicants with a profile picture receive 7x more views than those without, and LinkedIn reports a 14x increase in views with a profile picture. Recruiters are going to know your race.

As a diverse applicant, you can minimize prejudice by intentionally presenting yourself as an individual. Rapid group stereotyping can happen when recruiters are reviewing hundreds of resumes each day. This creates a prime environment for “Type-1 thinking”- Daniel Kahneman’s term for our brains’ fast and bias-prone default state. Seeing each resume as an individual requires sustained, conscious effort from recruiters. Top applicants know to do more than wish for this.

 

How to show the real you

So what does it mean to present yourself as an individual? It means introducing the real you and helping recruiters escape from the monotony of text-only applications. Including a short (30-60 second) video introduction with your resume nails both targets. Recruiters welcome a reprieve from traditional resumes, and 89% say they would watch a video resume.

Psychologists suggest the best way to reduce prejudice is by contact. Acquaintance lessens prejudice, confirmed by meta-analysis on Intergroup Contact Theory. This effect is called “decategorization.”

If you use a top platform like LinkedIn or Handshake, employers are going to see your picture. Applying with a short video pitch allows them to see you as an individual, not a member of a group. Even better, it gives them the chance to connect with you as a human, which they can’t do with the other resumes.

 

Making it easy

We make creating your short video pitch easy. After creating your SafeHire profile, just customize the script we provide and read it like a teleprompter. Wherever you apply, link your SafeHire URL with your contact info and mention your video intro in your resume’s summary statement.

Most importantly, show the real you.

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Posted in Jobs

How to Create Your Video Resume in 2022

Posted on 7 months ago

So, you’ve heard video resumes are all the rage. Many employers already require applicants to answer questions on video before an interview. Plus, everything eventually moves over to video-based platforms in due time. You may as well be ahead of the curve.

A video resume can help you display strengths that don’t show on a traditional resume, such as your enthusiasm, professionalism, and communication skills.

76% of recruiters say they would watch a video resume**, compared to the mere 6 seconds they spend on the average resume. A video resume earns you additional attention, while allowing you to break the monotony for recruiters and connect as a human.

You are more than your resume. It’s up to you to show them.

When the recruiter sees your enthusiasm, smile, and professionalism, it allows them to imagine you handing a customer, or just being pleasant to work with. Recruiters want to hire someone who will make a good co-worker. Your video pitch allows you to signal that’s you, and there’s strong research backing it up.

 

The data on video applications

The University of Chicago studied how 30 recruiters from Microsoft, Deloitte, and Goldman Sachs responded to applicants who submitted a verbal pitch vs. a cover letter.

Recruiters thought the applicants with the verbal pitch were 54% more intelligent and were 62% more interested in hiring them*. The twist? The wording of the cover letters and verbal pitches was the same, so that the variable was simply the format the recruiters received the pitch in.

A 54% advantage is a big deal. So I have to ask: Why wouldn’t you include a video pitch with your application?

Watch a clip of my interview with Juliana Schroeder, a researcher on the study, below:

 

 

A recruiter's perspective on video pitches

Recruiters constantly endure wasted interviews with unenthusiastic candidates. Employers want to feel like they are your dream employer, not 1 of 200 companies you applied at. Your video pitch is your chance to show you’re passionate about their company and won’t take an interview for granted. They won’t have this assurance from competing applicants.

Recruiters are more likely to interview & hire someone they connect with. Unless you went to the same school, you won't connect with them from your resume alone. But when they hear that why their company matters to you, and that you read and fit their job description, it’s easy to picture you as an ideal co-worker.



Can a video resume replace my traditional resume?

A video pitch can't replace your resume, but it can replace your cover letter. Employers need a traditional resume to compare your employment and education history with other candidates. They're also unlikely to have the attention-span or time to watch a 5-minute video resume.

Instead, give them a 30-45 second video pitch. If you were serious about the company, you were probably planning on writing a cover letter. As you likely know, the goal of a cover letter is to express why you chose their company and that you match their job description. This is what you can replace with an employer-targeted video pitch.

If you're a recruiter who's already read 50 covers today, would you rather read the 51st cover letter or watch a 30-second video pitch?

You guessed right. And the University of Chicago's research shows that your chances of landing the job are about 62% better with a video pitch than the cover letter.

 

Video application instructions:

What you say in your video pitch matters, but not as much as how you say it. If you try to memorize and recite your pitch word-for-word, showing passion may be difficult. SafeHire provides a bullet-point outline you can easily customize, then use like a teleprompter while recording.

In any case, here’s a list to help you create your video pitch:

Do:

  • Set your camera at eye-level. It shouldn't look up or down at your face.
  • Keep lighting in front of you, not behind you.
  • Dress as you would for a job interview.
  • Keep your attention on the camera.
  • Show your enthusiasm and smile.
  • Practice your pitch at least 3-4 times. Nobody's first recording is their best.

Don't:

  • Rush through your pitch.
  • Read your outline from the screen. Use your outline as a reference while recording.
  • Let your pitch last longer than a minute.
  • Have a messy/distracting background.
  • Repeat your resume.
  • Say something that is likely true of every applicant for the job.

 

Ways to share your video pitch

mp4 file:

  • Your computer will have a Camera or Quicktime Player application. You can use these apps to record your video, then attach the mp4 file with your application. In this case, you'll likely want to remember a few bullet points to cover, rather than memorizing a script.

YouTube/Vimeo:

  • Many employers will feel more comfortable opening an HTTPS (secure) webpage than an unknown file. After creating an account, upload your mp4 file and share your video's URL link with employers on your resume.
  • CAUTION: Be certain that your profile isn't linked to other videos that you wouldn't want employers to see.

SafeHire:

  • If memorizing a script or free-styling isn’t for you, SafeHire is your best bet. We provide a customizable bullet-point outline, and allow you to use it like a teleprompter. Your SafeHire profile also allows you to gather & share validated employer/professor testimonials, soft skill assessment results, and more.

 

Employers don't receive video applications often. When they do, they notice.

You don't have to be just another resume.


The Sound of Intellect Research
** LinkedIn and Microsoft Skills Commitment

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Posted in Jobs

Watch Our Interview on How to Best Apply With Your Voice

Posted on 8 months ago

Below is our interview with Juliana Schroeder, a behavioral scientist and researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. Juliana's research has examined how recruiters perceive candidates who apply with verbal vs. textual applications. This research found that recruiters perceive candidates who apply with a verbal application to be 40% more likable and worthy of hiring, even if the words are the same as an identical candidate's text-based submission.

 

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Posted in Jobs

Your Voice Beats Your Resume

Posted on 9 months ago

The days of submitting a job application in-person are over, and probably for the best. Jobseekers today can apply for more jobs in less time by submitting their resume around online. This page of text is meant to summarize all an employer should need to know about you before determining whether you’re worth interviewing. This method is so commonplace that its efficacy goes unquestioned by the average jobseeker. Research has shown following the crowd when applying will lead you into making a suboptimal impression.

Your voice is the key to an outstanding first impression, according to research by the University of Chicago’s Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder. They asked recruiters to rate candidates’ qualifications from both written and spoken submissions. The method of testing utilized identical words in written and spoken submissions from different candidates. Their conclusions were dramatic.

 

 

Recruiters found candidates with oral submissions to be more thoughtful, intelligent, and rational than candidates with identical written submissions. This is contrary to the understanding most people have of their own impression when communicating. If you’ve ever heard your voice played back, you understand the nearly universal discomfort with one’s own voice.  

However, this research shows your voice is the most effective form of communicating your intelligence and humanity. This is likely because we have an easier time attributing mental processing power to verbal statements than textual statements. Verbal statements can also convey conviction and happiness, while textual statements are easy to misunderstand and fail to deliver emotion.

We’ve all heard before that it doesn’t matter so much what you say, as how you say it. It appears to be so.

The takeaway for jobseekers is there is much to gain by applying with more than a resume. Employers will view you as more thoughtful, intelligent, and rational if you include a verbal message with your application. SafeHire enables you to apply anywhere with a personal video introduction, and even video testimonials from past employers/professors. So why not start applying better today?

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Posted in Jobs

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