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Candidates Resources

We’ve got a lot of information we’d love to share with you. Things like tips for successful interviewing, information about protecting your privacy during your job search, ways to craft the optimum resume, career-planning advice, and more.

Counter Offers

While counter offers may be tempting and even flattering, there can be pitfalls that you need to be aware of. Remember that a counter offer can take several forms:

  • Financial – a bump in salary or bonus potential.
  • Needs – accommodation of schedule, duties or other specific needs that had previously been unmet.
  • Emotional – a play to your sense of loyalty, friendship, commitment to the organization, or its need for you.

Ask yourself these questions when considering a counter offer:

  • Is the counter offer a ploy to avoid a short-term inconvenience by your employer?
  • What will your employer do once they have time to fully assess what is in their best interest?
  • If you accept the counter offer for more money, are you just giving your employer the time they need to locate and select your replacement?
  • Will the relationship with your employer ever be the same?
  • Will your loyalty always be in question?
  • What are your realistic chances for promotions now that you have expressed a desire to take another opportunity?
  • If there are future cutbacks, will you be the first to go because of concerns about your loyalty?
  • Will your career track remain blocked if you accept it?
  • Will your responsibilities be expanded?
  • Will you have to report to a person you don't respect?
  • Is the counter offer next year's raise or bonus early?

Even if the counter offer is based on factors other than compensation, you still need to realize the effect that stating your desire to leave has on your manager and the company. So, think through this carefully before you accept an offer from another employer.

As attractive as counter offers may appear, they can greatly decrease your chances of achieving your career potential.

Do yourself a favor and Google™ “Counter offer” if you are considering accepting one.

The first step to furthering your professional career through CPSG begins here. Submit your profile or contact us to discuss your needs and how we can support your career objectives.

Why Work With A Professional Recruiter?

Why work with a CPSG Search Consultant?We consider ourselves recruiters that are highly consultative, thus the designation “Search Consultant.” The following will help you understand why working with a ConnectPoint Search Group (CPSG) Search Consultant will help your career development and how to make the most of this relationship.

  • Resume walked to the front of the line. When you apply to a position directly, your resume frequently lands in a pile that is often screened by HR or an administrative assistant. What are the odds that the hiring authority will see your resume? CPSG Search Consultants develop deep relationships and reputations with companies, their HR departments and hiring managers. They have the ability to get your resume in the hands of a decision maker. In most cases, our Search Consultants already have an established relationship with the hiring manager who personally reviews your resume along with an overview of why you are being presented. You are walked right to the front of the line!
  • Confidentiality. CPSG Search Consultants work with you in a confidential manner. Sending your resume out into the Internet is like posting a sign in front of your manager’s office door telling him/her that you are looking for another job. In addition, sending your resume blindly to a company is risky. How do you know who will see the resume and what they will do with it? Our Search Consultants will always tell you what they are doing with your resume, why they are doing it, and where they are presenting it. They will also request that your name and information is kept confidential; maintaining confidentiality is at the core of what we do.
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency. Proceeding through an interview process with a potential employer is a formal process that may not afford you the opportunity to ask tough questions and clear concerns to determine if the opportunity is right for you. How many interviews and conversations will it take you to get to the point where you really know if the opportunity is right for you?

Our Search Consultants provide the unique opportunity for you to ask tough questions, share concerns or discuss needs that you might not ask an employer in the interview process. Having these conversations with a Search Consultant helps you identify what is right and what is not early in the process. This saves you time and reduces the risk of making the wrong decision. What’s more, we support our clients by helping them get clear about what they are looking for in a candidate and refine weaknesses that may exist in their interview process. Let’s face it. Just like you are not an expert job seeker, employers are rarely experts in interviewing and hiring. We help both parties through the process so they can quickly rule in or out the fit.

What to look for and what to avoid when choosing a Search Consultant:

Choose a Search Consultant (Recruiter) who:

  • Specializes in your specific field.
  • Has a successful track record with the level and type of position you want.
  • Has a stellar reputation.
  • Has a proven process and can articulate what they can and can not do for you.

Avoid a Search Consultant (Recruiter) who:

  • Releases your resume or other personal information without permission.
  • Shows unethical behavior.
  • Posts fake Job Postings to induce you into communication.
  • Demonstrates “Transactional” behavior.

Maintain a good working relationship with your Search Consultant by:

  • Keeping him or her informed if some material has changed since you last spoke.
  • Being direct about concerns as you proceed through an interview process.
  • Disclosing your own job search efforts and working with other recruiters.
  • Determining up front the preferred frequency & method for each to maintain periodic contact.
  • Keeping commitments.
  • Allowing him/her to be consultative and offer professional advice.

No matter what your needs are, we offer the flexibility you need. Contact us to learn more and to discuss your needs or submit our online request form.

Career Planning

When you decide to take your next career step, write out your personal and professional goals and seek to align them. The following questions can help you clarify your objectives as you seek to identify the next step to take in your career:What is important to you in regards to:

  1. The Company that you work for.
    • What products, industry, or service are of interest to you?
    • What about company reputation and values?
  2. The Opportunity of a position.
    • Ideally, would the next opportunity allow you to:
      • Be aligned with your career goals?
      • Provide the challenge and growth you desire?
      • Provide the career advancement potential you desire?
      • Best utilize your skills, talents, and experience?
      • Align with your lifestyle in terms of commute, personal interests. and goals?
  3. The Boss, manager or leadership associated with a position.
    • What are your support, mentorship, and management needs and preferences?
  4. The Salary and compensation components.
    • Does the salary and earnings potential align with realistic needs?

After you have answered these questions, take the following next steps:

Support. Be sure that the people in your life that rely on you or that support you endorse your choices. You'll be able to move faster when an opportunity materializes and an offer is tendered.

Networking. Your career network should include friends, current and former colleagues, vendors, industry contacts, and associations. Being clear about what you want and do not want allows others to better support your search. Contact us for a list of networking opportunities.

Skills. The skills and technology utilized in today's business world is constantly changing. Take steps to ensure you have the skills required to pursue your next opportunity. Contact us to make arrangements for COMPLIMENTARY access to our e-learning tools and resources.

The first step to furthering your professional career through CPSG begins here. Submit your profile or contact us to discuss your needs and how we can support your career objectives.

Resume Tips

Your resume is your most important calling card in your job search. It should include the following information:

Contact Information. Include phone, mail and email contact information. In addition, make sure your voicemail message is professional. A message that is too casual can create a negative impression.

Career Objective. You may choose to list or not list your career objective. If your objective doesn't match the Search Consultant's needs, you may miss out on a golden opportunity. However, a clearly stated career objective can help your Search Consultant find your ideal career match.

Summary Statement. Your summary should be brief.

  1. Include your title and years of experience.
  2. List pertinent skills.
  3. Discuss your character traits or work style.

Example: "Financial Accountant with over 10 years' experience with two Fortune 500 companies. Technical skills include P&L, budgeting, forecasting, and variance reporting. Bilingual in Spanish and English. Self-starter who approaches every project in a detailed, analytical manner."

Professional Experience. List each position held in reverse chronological order, dating back at least ten years. If you held multiple positions within the same company, list them all to show advancement and growth. The body of each position description should describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Other Components. Include education, professional training, affiliations/appointments, licenses, technical skills, and languages.

Personal Information. Do not include personal information such as marital status.

The first step to furthering your professional career through CPSG begins here. Submit your profile or contact us to discuss your needs and how we can support your career objectives.

Before you interview for a position, learn as much about the position and the employer as possible. Our Search Consultants will discuss a good portion of this information with you. Always conduct your own research as well.

Prior to the interview, our Search Consultant will prepare you by offering interviewing tips and suggestions, company information and a description of the hiring manager’s style and personality. The reason he/she does this is to better prepare both parties for the interview. When this is done properly, both parties feel more comfortable when they meet. You can then concentrate on the opportunity itself and if it is of interest to you.

Questions to ask

After you have studied the company, make a list of questions to ask the employer:

  • Why is this position available?
  • What training programs are available to the person in this position?
  • What are your expectations and goals for this position in the first 90 days? In the next year? Long term?
  • What obstacles must be overcome for the person in this position to succeed?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • What opportunities are there for growth in the next 12 months? Two years? Five years?
  • What growth do you anticipate for your organization in the next 12 months?

At a minimum, ensure that you ask questions to satisfy your understanding of these three main questions.

  1. What does the company want to accomplish when filling the open position (job duties)?
  2. Are you capable of doing it (does your skill-set match)?
  3. Do you want to do it (does the position provide challenge and opportunity you desire)?
Questions you may be asked

Consider the following when preparing to answer the following questions that the employer is likely to ask:

  • Tell me about yourself. Keep your answer in the professional realm only. Review your past positions, education and other strengths.
  • Why are you interested in this position? Relate how you feel your qualifications match the job requirements. Also, express your desire to work for the employer.
  • What are the most significant accomplishments in your career? Identify recent accomplishments that relate to the position and its requirements.
  • Describe a situation in which your work was criticized. Focus on how you resolved the situation and became a better person because of the experience.
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • How would you describe your personality?
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  • What have you done to improve yourself over the past year?
  • What did you like least about your last position?
  • Are you leaving (did you leave) your present (last) company?
  • What is your ideal working environment?
  • How would your co-workers describe you?
  • What do you think of your boss?
  • Have you ever fired anyone?
  • What was the situation and how did you handle it?
  • Are you creative?
  • What are your goals in your career?
  • Where do you see yourself in two years?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What kind of salary are you looking for?
  • What other types of jobs/companies are you considering?
Learn about Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts.

Interviewing Do's And Don'ts

The following tips will help you have a more productive and comfortable interview.

Do

  • Know the logistics – Time, location, interviewer's name and position title.
  • Preplan your day so that you are not rushed, preoccupied or lacking sleep.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Being late to an interview is never excusable.
  • Be professional. Smile, make eye contact and maintain good posture. This starts at the front door.
  • Remember, your interview may actually start in the parking lot or lobby. Your potential employer and their employees are watching.
  • Ask questions. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation.
  • Clarify questions. Answer the interviewer's questions as specifically as possible. Relate your skills and background to the position requirements throughout the interview.
  • Give your qualifications. Focus on accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job.
  • Anticipate tough questions. Prepare to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
  • Listen. Concentrate not only on the interviewer's words, but also on the tone of voice and body language. Once you understand how the interviewer thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to establish a better rapport.
  • Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one. Dressing up is better than dressing down.

Don't

  • Don't answer vague questions by responding based on assumptions. Ask the interviewer to clarify or focus questions so that you provide responses that are on the mark.
  • Don't interrupt the interviewer. If you don't listen, the interviewer won't either.
  • Don't be overly familiar, even if the interviewer is.
  • Don't ramble. Overlong answers are not received well.
  • Don't lie or embellish facts, accomplishments or qualifications. Answer questions truthfully.
  • Don't express resentment. Avoid derogatory remarks about present or former employers.
  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne. The interviewer may not share your tastes and the risk of having an overwhelming fragrance ruin the interview is very real.
  • Jewelry -- less is more.
  • Don’t discuss salary and other needs at the first interview. You and your Search Consultant will discuss these items prior to your interview.

Closing the Interview

By asking good questions you can reduce post-interview doubts. If you feel that the interview went well and you want to take the next step, you should express your interest to the interviewer by asking: "After learning more about your company, the position and responsibilities, I believe that I have the qualities you are looking for. Do you see any issues or concerns that would lead you to believe otherwise?"

This is an effective question because it opens the door for the hiring manager to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, you may be able to create an opportunity to overcome them, and have one final chance to dispel concerns, correct misconceptions, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.

A few things to remember during the closing process
  • Make sure that you have thoroughly answered these questions during the interview: "Why are you interested in our company?" and "What can you offer?"
  • Express appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration and ask for a business card so that you can correctly address a Thank You letter.
  • Don't expect an offer to be made or a specific salary to be discussed during your first interview.
Follow-up

After your interview, follow-up is critical. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. Note these and any other questions or concerns that you will want to discuss with the Search Consultant. Call your Search Consultant as soon as possible after the interview to discuss your thoughts, questions, impressions and interest. Finally, make sure to write and send a Thank You letter no later than 24 hours after the interview.

Resigning Gracefully

Congratulations! You've been offered the new job! Now you are faced with the delicate challenge of resigning from your current employer without burning bridges, and saying good-bye to friends and colleagues. This can be tough, but with the proper forethought, you will reduce the risks and emotions as you move on to further your career and honor the reasons that caused you to make this decision. Finally, consider this important point … you should not be accepting a new position until you have at least written your resignation letter and thought through what you will do if a counter offer is given.

Resign with Confidence and Appreciation

Your Search Consultant can provide you with examples of resignation letters if you like. Remember, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding your resignation, a professional approach is always recommended. Your professional reputation and references depend greatly on the manner in which you depart.

Once your resignation letter is complete, make an appointment with your manager to respectfully tender your resignation and communicate your decision. Your manager needs to hear that your decision is firm and final, and that you are committed to a new position elsewhere. Express appreciation for the opportunities that your former employer has given you. Remember that people change jobs. This is not the first time that someone has resigned from this company.

Expect the question, "What would it take to keep you here?" Be prepared with an honest and firm answer, something like: "I've thought through my decision and I feel this is the best direction for my career."

Cooperate but be CAREFUL

Be careful not to get into any discussions other than your resignation at your resignation meeting. It's best to schedule a separate meeting to discuss how your employer wants to handle your final weeks or the transition of your current responsibilities and projects.

Provide two weeks notice and be prepared to be dismissed

A standard two-week notice is typical but may be shortened or eliminated depending on the employer. Don't take it personally if you are asked to leave early – this is often best for both parties and companies have many good reasons for this decision. If you do stay two weeks, work hard and diligently transition your responsibilities and knowledge as agreed.

The first step to furthering your professional career through CPSG begins here. Submit your profile or contact us to discuss your needs and how we can support your career objectives.

Career Direction - What is right for YOU?

Are you looking for an online assessment to find out what careers are right for you? We offer Elevations, a comprehensive assessment of your values, skills, career interests (real jobs that you can pursue) and a detailed personality profile. Take Elevations® Online to:

  • Evaluate how well your talents fit with your current job.
  • Identify a course of study when you return to school.
  • Discover career alternatives for your future growth.
  • Learn about exciting, emerging careers.
  • Understand your natural abilities and sources of career satisfaction.
  • Take control of your future in the privacy of your own home.
  • Wake up your career dreams!

 

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