The SafeHire blog

Gig Work Belongs on Your Resume

Posted on 1 year ago

Gig-work deserves proud placement on resumes.

I’d argue the gig arena is a customer service meritocracy. For example, if a ride-share driver’s ratings drop below 4.6, they risk deactivation. Poor service also leads to unsustainably poor tips, allowing the strongest to survive.

There are no organizational “free-riders” among workers dependent upon tips and reviews. Gig-workers must be proactive when no one is expecting them to clock-in and value urgency during their shifts. Gig-work is not a labor of last resort; for many skilled workers, it is a transitional income choice while waiting for a job suited to their expertise.

Employers want evidence of skills, not just claims. Your hundreds of reviews allow you to out-compete applicants who merely claim customer service skills on their resume. I don’t know about you, but when if I’m choosing a restaurant, I prefer to see hundreds of 5-star reviews over a website claiming good customer service. Hiring managers feel the same way.

On your free SafeHire profile, use your Portfolio to upload evidence of your gig-work ratings, along with other achievements such as past performance reviews and awards. Just link your SafeHire URL at the top of your resume, in the contact info section.


Posted in Jobs

Are you selling yourself to employers?

Posted on 1 year ago

An unfortunate reality about the hiring process: Selling is non-optional. Wouldn’t it be better if only merit mattered? Sure, but hiring managers are only human. They can’t help but respond to good marketing and powerful anecdotes (just like you and me).

Establishing your competence is necessary, but entirely insufficient. Your dream job requires out-competing other candidates to win over the hiring manager. If equipped with nothing but self-assurance in your own competence, you’ll find yourself outmaneuvered by competitors who tell beautifully rehearsed stories of accomplishment and service. Hiring managers must buy what you’re selling.

Fortunately, landing the job isn’t “cold” sales. Access to the job description is your opportunity to understand the employer’s needs and present yourself as the perfect solution. This is where many applicants will get it wrong. Selling yourself is about understanding the needs and wants of the buyer (the hiring manager). Buyer-focused selling will give you an edge over candidates who prefer self-focused telling.

To add credibility to your claims, consider using testimonies from compelling sources, such as past supervisors and educators. Buyers prefer customer reviews over a salesperson’s claims. Hiring managers are the same way, but they don’t have the time to call and verify all (or any) applicants’ past employers. Providing letters of recommendation upfront can help you stand out as the most credible candidate.

As buyers, we expect credible sellers to provide evidence, not just claims. With resumes as likely to contain embellishments as dating profiles, hiring managers crave evidence. You can stand out and problem-solve by sharing evidence of your achievements, such as strong performance reviews, awards, and credentials.

Selling yourself begins and ends with empathy. Match yourself to the employer’s needs, as expressed in the job description. Then, put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager by considering how you can add certainty to and reduce hassle from their life.


Posted in Jobs

The Reference Check Problem (and Solution)

Posted on 1 year ago

While reference checks are the most common assessment technique for executive level hires, many employers are cutting back on reference checks for mid & low-level positions. The time-intensive nature of reference checks doesn’t mesh well with positions that receive more applications, experience higher turnover, and require faster hiring.

Time-consumption isn’t the only problem though. Everyone can get a positive reference from someone, and hiring managers know applicants won’t list references who could say something negative. The question isn’t whether someone can get a positive reference, but rather whom they can get a positive reference from. References from friends, family, or unverifiable sources are a waste of time, but references from past employers speak volumes. Who better to speak to the applicant’s competency, work ethic, and character?

Some companies save time by outsourcing their reference checks to third-parties. The tradeoff is third-parties make it easy for applicants to provide themselves references by creating new email addresses and using a Starbucks IP address or VPN. This can hurt more than it helps.

In sum, employers face two key problems: Time consumption and low-quality sources. At the same time, applicants and reference-providers have their own problems. 

High quality references are normally busy and can’t be expected to provide multiple thoughtful references for the same person. This problem is further exaggerated when automated reference checks are used earlier in the hiring process. 

Having reference checks at the end makes sense for minimizing time-sink and respecting references’ time, but it also means top performing applicants will slip through the cracks. The best evidence of a worker’s future work ethic and character is the experience of the past employer, and it’s a shame for applicants to have to first make it through 3 interviews before those experiences matter. The best applicants are eager to share the experiences of their past employers.

These are the problems SafeHire aims to resolve. SafeHire only accepts references from validated professional email addresses, which are published along with their reference. Reference-providers must explicitly affirm that they were the jobseeker’s workplace superior, HR officer, or professor. When top applicants use SafeHire, employers save time with upfront, validated references from past employers and reference-providers can provide just one lasting, quality reference. Most importantly, applicants who are eager to share the experiences of their past employers can stand out by linking their SafeHire profile on their resume.


Posted in Jobs

What small resume errors say about you

Posted on 1 year ago

Your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself in the briefest format possible. Your entire history of work ethic, sacrifices, and contributions are represented on a single page. If you’re a student or graduate, all your sleepless nights studying and hard-sought achievements in college will boil down to a single page. Landing the first interview comes down to how well your resume represents your credibility, experience, attention to detail, and dedication.

So what does it say about you if there are mistakes?

Your resume is perhaps the most important document you will ever draft, and you bear all the risk and all the reward for its presentation. If it contains mistakes, what should employers conclude about your performance when you no longer bear all the risk and reward from your actions, but they do? The most rational conclusion is that your mistakes would worsen if the liability were transferred to the employer.

With an average of 250 applicants per job opening, employers need to weed out applicants quickly. One of the easiest ways to start is by deleting resumes with mistakes because there are plenty without mistakes.

Your resume may be perfectly legible, even with a few grammatical or punctual mistakes, but that’s not the point. The point is that any applicant who can’t be trusted to get things right when they bear all the liability certainly can’t be trusted to get things right when their employer bears all the liability.


Posted in Jobs

Action verbs won't save your resume

Posted on 1 year ago

The perceived importance of action verbs and power words is a good indicator that many jobseekers are forgetting about what (and who) matters most.

In past blogs, I’ve coined the term “apply with empathy” to encourage jobseekers to consider the hiring manager’s priorities, incentives, fears, and time constraints. Applying with empathy isn’t just about being a considerate person; it’s about improving the chances that your resume accomplishes its goal.

From this perspective, you should first make it easy for the hiring manager to process your resume. Complex or uncommon words will often lead to your resume getting skipped or scanned, while clear, simple language makes it easier to read and process your resume. If you wish to increase the probability of hiring managers reading your resume, then complex and uncommon words are doing you a disservice.

Even if a hiring manager trudges through a resume packed with complex words, what emotion will they feel? They are more likely to feel frustration than admiration. A clear resume is much preferable to a complex resume.

Hiring managers grant limited interview slots to applicants who match the job description and provide confidence in their ability to perform. The obvious use of achieves neither of these objectives. The purpose of a Thesaurus should be to find the most precise words for your sentences, not the fanciest.

Applying with empathy means applying with the fears and time constraints of hiring managers in mind. Instead of trying to get your resume noticed with your word choice, why not get noticed by becoming the most credible candidate? By linking your custom SafeHire URL at the top of your resume, you can stand out as the most credible candidate. Use your SafeHire profile to gather & publish validated testimonials from your past employers, HR officers, & educators.

Hiring managers prefer interviewing credible candidates and hate spending their time calling references they can’t verify. They will love you for applying with validated references upfront.


Posted in Jobs

The Effects of Your First Job Choice

Posted on 1 year ago

Graduation forces hard decisions. You’ve spent countless nights studying in sacrifice to a higher purpose: developing your in-demand skillset. Ready to put your newly acquired skills to use, you begin a strategic application process. When the appropriate job offers don’t come in right away, and you need the income, it’s easy to take a “temporary” position.

This isn’t rare; 43% of college graduates take a job out of school that doesn’t require a college degree. Post-graduation underemployment may initially seem like a phase, but the data tells a scarier story.

After researching four million resumes, Strada Institute found two-thirds of those workers were still underemployed after five years. Compared to graduates who put their diploma to use right away, initially underemployed graduates were five times as likely to be underemployed in five years. At ten years post-graduation, 50% of initially underemployed graduates were still underemployed.

Initial underemployment acts as a sinkhole because most employers categorize applicants by recent work experience, not past education. The underemployed then become anchored to their low income while missing out on valuable experience and connections.

The data is a lesson in the necessity of approaching your job search with even more intentionality than you did learning your college curriculum; in fact, accepting the wrong job could mean never using your degree at all. If you find yourself initially underemployed, continue searching relentlessly before you find yourself joining the majority.

If you are a student or recent graduate, consider requesting testimonials from a few of your professors. You’ll be competing against other applicants who also have little work experience, making the insights of your professors compelling evidence that can set you apart. With a free SafeHire profile, you can land more interviews by applying as the most credible candidate. You can also gather validated testimonials from your internships and early employers, compounding your career trajectory.


Posted in Jobs

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