Furloughed? Displaced due to COVID-19? Let’s find you a new work today!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Saying that we are in a really crazy time right now is an understatement these days. Some people are lucky, and that includes myself, because they get to keep their jobs amidst the pandemic. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most people around the world right now.

I had two things in mind when I was thinking things through:

  1. What if it’s me who is looking for job? To whom should I reach out to if my role becomes redundant because of business decisions? What would I do? Where do I begin?
  2. Within my network, I can see that at least two people are looking for a new work after getting displaced. As a recruiter and a champion of Talent Attraction and Marketing, what’s stopping me from connecting them to a work that I know?

Then, this mission finally happened.

I want to help.

I have the tools. I can build the audience. I can write. In a millennial term, I need to find out “What’s not clicking, Brenda?”

Now that I have renewed faith in my passion (and a renewed subscription of my domain lol), expect that over the next weeks or so (every fortnightly, if not weekly) I will be sharing my expertise and some tips on how to land and ace your interview, improve your resume, or simply share some of my newly discovered work-at-home hacks and essentials to get things going for your remote work.

Every blog that I will publish will also feature leads (mostly work-at-home jobs) to help anyone who is looking for new work (whether because of job change, displacement… that’s on you). Leads will not be country or location-specific because I will share them as I see fit. So that means I could be sharing an opening in the Philippines today and an opening in the US next week.

Job market is stalling? Not for my company!

You know, it’s really scary when we hear people talk about how the job market recovery is stalling and when we see more people claim unemployment benefits these days not just in the United States but as well as globally. On the contrary, the company that I work for is nowhere near slowing down.

Did you know that even before the pandemic hit TTEC has already been employing thousands of work-at-home phone agents across the globe? Yes, unlike typical outsourcing companies out there, our goal is to make customer service-related work available for people globally. Working from home is not easy. However, if you have some of our minimum requirements we can help and set you up for success – internal career mobility, full-time benefits, outstanding work culture, transparent leadership… you name it, we have it!

Oh, if you happen to be in the United States (minus California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New York – so sorry!) you may want to check out this Work From Home Customer Service Representative work that we have. I once asked why we couldn’t hire to those states right now and my boss’s answer was simple: it’s because of state legislations that they have in place right now. Soon, when things might be different, we will be able to hire from those states, too! Over the next four weeks, we are hiring 3500 representatives to join us and if you wish to be one of them, let me know!

From the Philippines: if you’re looking for a career under Human Resources and Talent Acquisition, check out this Global Talent Acquisition Co-Ordinator post that we have for you. Potentially, we need someone who is agile and flexible schedule-wise. If you’re someone who loves collaborating and discovering news ways to effectively support your market and region this role could be for you.

Now, if you’re unsure about what to pursue but is keen to hear more from TTEC, you can join the Talent Community to hear the first dibs from us. We send some cool stuff, watch out!

Let’s help each other. If you know someone who is looking for work right now, connect them with me and we can help them find a job, which means it’s not only limited to TTEC. My email is always open to connect with you if you have questions or opportunities to share.

Hiring Tip: Time to Fix That Resume Today!


Photo credits to assets.entrepreneur.com

When I graduated from my University, I had a 2 page Resume with me and a lot of confidence to get any job that I am fit. I initially wanted a writing work, since I was a Feature Writer for four years in the newspaper organization, but life has different plans for me. My first gig landed me on a Research work – we interview people, we record their answers, and we translate the data for a study. It lasted for a month before I’ve decided to go full-time.

As I progress on my career and when I’d get into a new role, my Resume would get longer to make sure I get to include everything. I didn’t want to miss everything, not even those tiniest detail about the projects I got involved to, even though it wouldn’t be relevant to what I’d be doing for the company I’m interviewing with.

My Resume would look like this:

If I would rate and interview myself back then, then I don’t think I’d have the time and patience to read through – not even skim or scan through – all the details I’ve included here. It was long, tiring, and text heavy.

I wouldn’t talk about how you’d accessorize, decorate, or design your Resume but I’m going to point out some of the things you need to remember when creating one. In order not to end up like that Resume above, here are some tips I could share to you on how to build a rock star Resume.

Less is more.

Like what I’ve shared on the biggest mistake I ever did in an interview, always keep in mind that less is more. It’s okay to include brief explanations and bullet points but make sure that it’s not text heavy and painful to read. These words may not mean anything to you but to the interviewer, it’s a good ice breaker to exactly know what to ask you. If you included there some details about the duties and responsibilities that you do, then expect that the interviewer would ask things about it. If you wrote down details about the skills and ability you were able to acquire and exude on that role, then the line of questioning might revolve there.

You don’t expect your interviewer to have the luxury of time to read through heavy texts. Include only those relevant information you wanted to showcase. Do not include achievements that are more than 10 years already – high school achievements, awards and recognition from your employer 10 years ago… anything that is more than 10 years already, unless it would be the biggest achievement of your career, should not be there.

The best way to get this over is to take advantage of the interview/talk time to explain how relevant your role and your responsibilities are to the job you’re applying to. Make use of that communication skill that you got!

Job hopped? No problem!

Now here’s the real score – many do not include their earlier employments because it’s less than the ideal job span for any employment. Really, I ask, what is this ideal tenure per job anyway? 1 year? 2 years? 6 months? Who cares? I don’t! If you think and feel that your future employer might do, then you either live up with it or forever suffer the pain of getting rejected on a job because you didn’t declare one or two (or even more) of your previous employer.

It’s okay to include it on your Resume and explain it thoroughly to your interviewer, but why is this important? You have to own those skills you’ve created and learned despite the short tenure. Despite limited time with your previous employer/s, according to Forbes, there are so many skills you could learn and you need to highlight this with achievements and evidences. This is to help you build credibility and show sincerity; hence your potential employer would feel you’re being genuine and transparent to them.

Instead of them finding this out on your background checks, it would be best if you’d tell it straight to them. Make sure to use every opportunity to explain this to the interviewer because this can be the determining factor to either make or break it.

Each of us has his or her fair share with this and that is okay. The thing about this is that you have to show to them the real reason you left. In my case, I had this employment doing Business Development and Sales for an international company for 5 months and I decided to leave because I realized that night shift was not for me (our clients were based out of US and Canada, I’m physically in Manila, Philippines). The money was there, I must say, but I had to leave greener pasture for my health and well-being.

You don’t have to lie, especially if there’s really nothing to be hidden, unless you want to hide something then that’s a whole different story to tell.

To over skill yourself is overkill!

Okay, so here goes the part where you would include skills that are only relevant to you and those skills that you really know by heart. Most people have a bad habit of including those skills they know really nothing of. So when they get to the role, despite training and exposures, they wouldn’t function well due to limited technical knowledge about the job.

Do not include skills that you really don’t know of – Microsoft Excel/Google Spreadsheets expert and yet you don’t know what the Vlookup formula is; Salesforce master but doesn’t know how to merge an account; Social Media savvy but does not know how to measure an ad campaign and what metrics should be used… this is a major red flag!

Assess your technical knowledge. If you feel less confident about anything technical about the role you’re applying for, you can be honest about it and mention that you’re open to learning and training. If the interviewer would be looking for someone who has already mastered the technical knowledge, then re-assess your application. It would be best to ask for recommendations if there’d be position where you can fit. It’s never wrong to ask and to be honest about anything.

No Character References, please?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have available Character References but make sure to never include it on your Resume. You have to make sure that you’re giving your interviewer an updated list once they ask for one. What if the person you’ve included on the list has a different number and/or employment details already? You need to keep everything updated so the Character References Checker does not need to constantly reach out to you.

Moreover, this will give you an ample time to tell your Character References first about any contact that your next potential employer might do in line with your application with them. This another way to get good recommendations, too. When you reach out first to your Character References, they’d be conscious and aware that they should give good reviews about you, since you reconnected with them and you put trust to their words.

There’s no ideal number of Character References to keep but I would recommend at least five, unless there’s a need for you to give more. Normally employers would ask for three so it’s best to keep at least five if anyone of the first three wouldn’t be able to respond immediately within the time frame set by your next potential employer.

It really would take a while for you to get used to doing this but it would be a good exercise to start as early as now – and it’s never too late to start even if you’re already halfway through your career! What you want employers to see these days is you impress them at the first glance. How do you do that? You go fix your Resume before you send it to them.

How does your Resume look like 5 years ago? I’d love to hear more from you. X

The biggest mistake I ever did in an interview


Photo credits to Luxebag.com.

Last year, prior joining my current company, I got contacted by my dream company. What I meant with dream company was that it’s my employer of choice; that when I finished college in my university I see myself working there for the rest of my life. Fate has different plans and brought me to different industries and employers, but last year was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for a very long time.

My dream company wants me. They. Want. Me.

They were very discreet about my application because I honestly told them that I didn’t want my employer (former) to know that I’m exploring opportunities outside early on. They agreed. We went on with the processes. I got endorsed to the next steps. I was feeling it. I was close. It was a home run, so I thought.

“Correspondence… we regret to inform you, Kim, that we won’t be moving your application to the final step which is the interview with our boss based in UK. Thank you for your time!”

What happened? We were all positive and head on with the interviews, so what went wrong? How could this happen? I was so close. I even asked the manager about the feedback and he said,

“Hi Kim,

Thank you for going through the interview process. We appreciate the fact that you were consistently early for your interview schedules and demonstrated a clear grasp of the subject matter. We also appreciate your being very transparent with your accomplishments, challenges and how you overcame them to get results. We also believe that you’ve demonstrated a strong passion for Employer Branding across industries – this was very evident in our conversations about your work. Finally, we have observed that you are a very driven individual, and you have a strong desire to achieve / excel in any role you take on.

We did however find that there were certain topics where you could have been more concise, and answered more directly – while we appreciate the nuances of your processes, we would have wanted more insight into the solutions you had proposed / the results you generated.

It was a pleasure to meet you, and we hope to work with you again in the future.

Thanks!”

I didn’t respond to the manager after but I sent my regards. It was my first interview for a very long time. I got so used to being the one conducting the interviews that I forgot how it feels like to be questioned. Now the lingering question is, what went wrong?

As a Recruiter, I’ve dissected every step of the application process and I was able to find out the big mistakes I did during the course of the interviews and assessments. Here are my takeaways:

I was not giving any solution.

While I was able to present myself confidently to the manager and the rest of the team, I was not able to articulate the solutions that I have formulated and implemented. It should be 30-70 take – 30% you should appear strong and adept all the time, 70% you should discuss what you did to address a problem/situation in your team.

The manager’s question to me was to ‘Tell me about a time when you had to face a difficult situation.’ I kept mentioning things about undefined process, difficult manager to work with, unbelievable hiring timeline vs. the number of hiring requirements being raised. Sure I was able to mention my above the average organisational skills and impeccable intuition to prioritize things, but I was not able to present to them anything deeper than that.

As a candidate, it is very important to always mention the steps you did in order to attain certain result. The more specific, the better. My answers were vague and lacked clarity. It has a structure but it lacked thought and meat; hence I was speaking gibberish. I sounded like a whiner more than an advocate of change and improvement.

If I was the interviewer, that’s already a flag.

Over excitement.

I could not contain my emotions. Whenever I’d go to their office, honestly, my heart is jumping for joy. This over excitement spilled over to my interviews. Later I realised I was talking and sharing too much information. It benefited the interviewer but it wasn’t the case for my application with them. I was sharing information which should not be shared to my potential employer – strategic plans for next year, future campaigns, failed marketing strategies… anything they’d ask from me, I’d give them.

The thing about this is that I should have filtered the things I should be sharing to them. It’s okay to be transparent, indeed, but it really pays to carefully curate words in your mind before sharing; thus, limited information would be shared but those would’ve been the more important, more relevant ones than sharing the whole of everything.

Less is more, keep in mind!

Over confidence.

I was cool and I easily have established rapport with the Manager and his team, I could tell that with the way we were exchanging jokes as if they’ve known me for a long time already. Perhaps I saw that as a good thing, but maybe not to them. Did you know that most of the companies’ hiring process these days would incorporate unique methods for candidate selection, such as group interviews, video interview/selection, and behavioral assessments will provide a diverse, robust, and comprehensive idea of the character and passion of the individual? Meaning, there would be companies where their assessment starts right when the candidate entered the building and interacted with the Receptionist and Security Personnel. Who knows, I might have been watched all the time, right when I first came to their floor/building?

Pro tip: Always, and never forget, to treat everyone right. I didn’t miss this mark but it might have been better if I toned down the interaction level I’ve had with them and it might’ve come across to them as being too over confident. It would always pay off to temp check the atmosphere building showing your giddy-easy-going-side.

Overall, here’s my assessment and scoring per competency:

  • Communication: 3.5/5
  • Thought process: 2/5
  • Behaviour: 4/5
  • Technical knowledge: 4/5
  • Organisational skill: 3/5
  • Results-driven: 2/5
  • Culture fit: 2/5
  • Attention to details: 2/5
  • Overall score: 2.8125/5 – failed

What do you think was your biggest mistake ever in an interview? I’d love to hear more of your thoughts and experience! X