6 Ways to Turn Today’s Silver Medal Candidates into Tomorrow’s Gold Medalist Hires

How often have you progressed through the hiring process and ultimately realized that your final two candidates were almost evenly matched–one just slightly nudged out the other for the gold medal employment offer? While it’s great to be in that kind of position as the employer, it can be tough to turn down a talented second choice candidate.

However, these “silver medal candidates” pose a significant opportunity for your company and great care should be taken to continuously engage them. You never know when you may need them to step up to a gold medal platform in your organization.

Have you already had the opportunity to groom silver medal candidates into eventual hires? Or, perhaps you were previously a second choice candidate that was later given the opportunity to finish first for a different role. If so, then you understand that with thoughtful practices in place, your employer can leverage a silver medalist pipeline to edge out competition by sourcing top talent quickly and in a cost effective manner. In this blog, I’ll share six behaviors that you can implement to foster enduring positive relationships with your silver medalist applicants.

1 – Set expectations from the start

So much of the content I write underscores the importance of setting clear expectations in the hiring process–but it’s so true. This critical step begins before you ever know someone will end up as your silver medalist candidate for a role. An expectation that is a part of any respectful hiring process is that the recruiter or hiring manager should tell the candidate

  • the milestones involved with the hiring process,
  • an estimate of process duration, and
  • the method by which the candidate will be informed of his/her status during and at the end of the cycle.

The added bonus of setting expectations well is that this behavior naturally forces accountability. After all, a recruiter who doesn’t follow through with what he says he’ll do is going to damage his reputation, as well as the employment brand of the organization.

2 – Promptly communicate

To reinforce the expectations set at the beginning of the hiring process, employers should communicate with candidates regularly and promptly. Even with multiple job requisitions open and oodles of candidates, there’s no excuse not to touch base with applicants thanks to the communication automation tools that are capable of candidate personalization available in applicant tracking systems.

While it can induce less stress to communicate with candidates earlier in the process, it can be trickier to do so with the final two candidates…particularly if the top pick is reviewing an employment offer you already extended while the silver medalist waits to hear if she is still in contention. If a deadline passes while you wait on an answer from your gold medalist, message the silver medalist to explain that circumstances have changed and that you will touch base with her again in a reasonable amount of time. Then, make sure you do.

Timely communication shows your respect for the candidate, and even if she doesn’t make the cut this time, she’ll remember how you treated her and the resulting word of mouth will more favorably represent your company.

3 – Reject expertly

No one likes delivering bad news, but when there are only two candidates left in your hiring process and they’ve both invested a great deal of time completing employment applications, taking assessments and interviewing, you owe the silver medalist a formal let-down. Call him–don’t just email (or worse yet, an automated email)!

And if that’s hard, make yourself accountable heading into the final phase interview by telling him (in the expectations period, remember?) that he will receive a phone call either way at the end of the process.

Then, also follow up with an email thank you and let him know of your sincere, continued interest in him for future roles within your company. Tell him how to learn about future job postings via your ATS job alert feature, and be honest about how often you might hire for positions that fall into his wheelhouse.

4 – Connect for future follow-up

During the phone call and email thank you, let the candidate know that you’re open to connecting on social media (if you haven’t already) so that you have an easy means of staying in touch with each other in the future. This is a great way for the candidate to be exposed to future career-related content that you may personally post or that is shared from your company social media profiles.

If your organization isn’t likely to be hiring relevant roles anytime soon, offer to help the silver medalist by connecting her with others in your network through virtual introductions.

To help prepare the candidate to go for the gold at the next job opportunity, make her aware of resources that might help her improve her job-related skills or knowledge (e.g. certification study courses, industry-related member associations, etc.).

5 – Nurture candidates with technology tools

Use your applicant tracking software features to designate talented second place finishers as great future candidates for other roles. Use applicant status codes or tags to mark them as “#silver,” for example. Or, better yet, “#futuregold!”

Then, it will be easy to target this group of candidates to share culture- and job-related content with them periodically. Take it a step further and observe how they interact with social media posts and engage in follow-up. Make note of their connectivity in their candidate profile within your hiring software so that future hiring managers and recruiters in your organization have a rich record of not only their potential qualification for other roles, but also their organizational engagement.

6 – Put silver medalists on the fast track

A surefire way to disengage silver medal candidates is to make them reinvent the wheel to apply to future roles that interest them. Consider that they’ve already gone through your entire selection process, so there must be opportunities to put them on the fast track for certain roles.

If you proactively source them for a new position, do the equivalent of giving them a “bye” in your recruiting tournament and start them at a later stage in the hiring process. The one exception to this may be if your organization/industry must adhere to certain compliance requirements that necessitate each individual experiencing every stage for a position.

Nevertheless, your applicant tracking system should make it easy for them to optionally pull forward previous resumes and standard application questions, while giving them the opportunity to answer job-related questions that are unique to the new role for which they are applying.

If they previously took an employee assessment that you use for many job categories, then there’s no need for them to retake it. And, especially if they are interviewing for a similar position the second time around–and you specifically invited them to apply–consider taking an informal approach with a coffee conversation to gauge the candidate’s interest, and to find out what’s new as it relates to the position and their career.


With proper grooming of silver medalist candidates, it will cost fewer staff hours to assess and hire the best candidates for the position because they will already be ready to go in your talent pipeline.

Choose Right HR Software | ExactHire

How to Make Social Media Work for Your Recruiting Process

These days, social media is about the best way for job seekers to see what’s out there and for hiring managers to find job seekers. Leveraging the community that social media sites provide can be an extremely effective way to source talent.

However, there are some things to remember. You have to understand the site is merely a platform. Simply being on the site will not generate results. You’ll have to make full use of the tools, network, and in some cases, paid features to be successful.

What works well?

  • First, complete all registration steps and requested information.
  • Note that full profiles with content, posts and updates will land at the top of search results.
  • Everyday interaction on social media will be required to stay “current” as well.
  • Don’t make your social media presence all about you.
  • Engage with others in non-job seeking or non-recruiting ways, too.

What doesn’t work?

  • Hiring managers can’t just post jobs and wait for the applicants to come to them. The “post and pray” method doesn’t work on even the best social media sites. You’ll have to identify keywords and run searches that target your ideal candidate. Leverage the communication features of the site to reach out and follow-up.
  • Job seekers have to go a step further and interact with and reach out to potential hiring managers. Merely setting up a profile, uploading a resume and sitting back hoping recruiters will come to them will get them nowhere.

Take a personal approach, after all we are talking about social networking.


LinkedIn is by far the best place for prospective white collar job seekers and recruiters. With some basic search knowledge, job seekers can identify individuals who may be the decision makers for hiring at desired locations. This allows them the ability to better customize their outreach to employers during the job application process, as well as use their network to ask for introductions to a specific individual in a position to influence the hiring decision.

They can also get the scoop on what’s available by following individuals, companies and groups. Savvy job seekers will look beyond the job postings and pay attention to what companies are posting. They shouldn’t request to connect with someone only to turn around and ask that person about a job. This tactic can be very annoying to anyone who has been on the receiving end of those connection requests before. If job seekers want to cold contact, they are better off calling the hiring manager as long as the job postings don’t advise against this approach.

As a hiring manager, you can attract individuals by leveraging your own social media profile, connections and company pages to promote openings. The same aforementioned basic search knowledge can be used to identify potential candidates. Pay attention to profile updates, promotions and those who are publishing to give you an indication of top performers.


Although not known to be a professional networking and social media venue, Facebook does have its own advantages. Job seekers can follow their favorite companies and brands, all of whom are posting not only consumer content, but company updates and job listings. Job seekers who want to work for their favorite brands pay attention to them on Facebook.

Hiring managers, you can hire your biggest company fans by paying attention to who interacts with your company’s page. If you hire people who are already fans of your products or services they are more likely to be valuable brand ambassadors and have a passion for what they are doing within your business.

The Muse

Relatively new to the social media career site beat, The Muse is a neat site with many tools for job seekers including career advice and career development tips. Companies who are active on The Muse will have direct access to job seekers, especially those with a focus on professional and career development. You can even leverage your hiring and recruiting expertise and apply to be a career counselor.

Job seekers will enjoy themed content relating to professional development and career growth. Astute hiring managers can look to provide content and coaching while interacting with job seekers.

Business Journals

Local business journals are always on the pulse of the local marketplace. They also frequently announce promotions, “people on the move,” new businesses, new offices and many other pieces of job seeking intelligence. If you’re sourcing applicants, following the social media profiles of business journals (as well as their actual online publications) is an excellent way to identify key players and top performers…not to mention keep an eye on the latest news about the labor market.

Job seekers who follow business journals will gain insight on companies that are actively growing, hiring and promoting. They can put these companies on their short list, then flip over to LinkedIn and try to identify the decision makers.

Write [on Social Media]

This works equally well for job seekers and hiring managers. Hiring managers want to hire smart people and job seekers want to work for smart people. Make your own social media content plan and calendar. Utilize Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your recruitment brand, your company and your knowledge and expertise. Don’t forget to regularly share your job listings on social media with relevant hashtags, too. You can streamline this process using an applicant tracking system with social recruiting features. As you build a following, you will begin to attract candidates because you’ll bring positive, relevant attention to you and your company.

For job seekers, staying current on social media will help them maintain a digital portfolio and resume. For best results, they should keep it focused to their specialty and post frequently–it’s free advertising. Hiring managers are sure to be looking at job candidates’ social media profiles, so it is in the best of interest of job seekers to make sure it is not only professional but full of quality content.


There are many other social media platforms out there to investigate. Ultimately you’ll want to find a platform that aligns with your industry and the applicants with which you want to associate. You need to go to where your candidates are and that may even include following your competitors’ social media pages, too.

Photo Credit: Maialisa

Hello, My Name is Intern

Interns are like Play-Doh. We’re easy to find, easy to train, but if you leave us out to dry by ourselves we might stiffen up and become molded in a way that can’t be changed. As an intern for ExactHire, I’ve been offered the ability to work on different projects and writing assignments, and have been included in various company culture activities all the while being treated as an equal (that still has much to learn). With this internship, and my previous ones, I’ve been very lucky to find individuals and mentors that have helped mold me into a Play-Doh sculpture that is confident in its ability to adapt and change. The tricky part is that not all internships are that great, so in order to really get the full potential out of your employee, there are a few key elements to follow.

They Have No Idea What They are Doing


We talk a big game through the interview, truly believing that we can handle anything that you throw at us, but once you sit us down at our desk for the first time, we have a monumental freak out. We can’t remember the first thing about our marketing vocab words or how to code in a simple HTML Heading 2.

The key is to comfort your intern, pretend they are approaching a work experience like this for the very first time – because they probably are. Comforting is not the same thing as hand holding. Many employers start the internship or interview with, “we’re not here to hold your hand or coddle you through this, we need you to hit the ground running,” and trust me, we want to do just that. But, we can only help as much as you allow us.

  • Be clear and set expectations with us. Do you want an intern that is only there for the coffee runs or do you want someone that could actually improve your department?
  • Don’t get frustrated if we ask the same question two or three times. If your intern is asking more than five times, then maybe get a little angry, but most of the time we just want to make sure we’re giving you the exact results you wanted.
  • Set an example. Reminisce with us on your own internship days. We have no idea what to expect from the new people, business, or material so we really appreciate when you’re there to make us feel like we’re not the plague, speaking of which…

Interns are Not the Plague


I know that some employers dislike the idea of interns. It makes sense, we’re only there for a short period and you spend most of your time teaching us valuable skills that may not be used within your own four walls. Teaching and employing interns is a selfless (but not a thankless) act. To ensure that no suspicious or lasting symptoms of a potential intern plague linger (decreased work activity, too many hours on facebook, etc.) there are a few ways to keep you and your intern engaged.

  • Though we are not the plague, we do like to integrate into each department at least once (if possible) whether it’s through sitting in on meetings or encouraging us to ask questions that may not pertain to our own assignments. Interns want to learn and we want to help you as best as we can; therefore, by getting a view of the bigger picture, we are able to really focus on how to best approach what you need from us.
  • We are responsible. Interns often don’t get recognized for the fact that they are taking the initiative to gain experience before leaving formal schooling. The fact that you have found someone that wants to learn from you while helping better your company is something to be appreciative of, especially when your intern is most likely eternally grateful for the opportunity you are giving them.
  • We can help you learn too! Internships are a great way to bring in a new set of eyes and energy. Additionally, if your organization is not yet sure it is ready for a full-time position in a certain area, an internship experience allows the employer to essentially “try before you buy.” The best part is, if you really like the work your intern does, they are always looking for a full time job after graduation!

Interns can be exciting, creative, and tech-savvy–but most of all they are grateful. As an intern, I can’t thank my current and previous employers enough for the opportunity to intern within their companies. If you’re interested in finding an intern or setting up an internship program, use ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking system to find the perfect candidate!

Image credit: Play-Doh by Dennis Brekke (contact)

6 Skills to Master in Your First Year Out of College

1. How to Write a Resume


Resumes are like the windows into your job seeking souls, or a window into what you did before this job. Either way, they’re important. Whether or not you think you are a resume “expert,” every position requires a little tweaking of the resume. So, it doesn’t matter how good or bad you think your resume is, there are hundreds of ways to create or improve one that looks totally professional. Here are some previous blogs about how to do just that:

2. How to Budget


I’m still working on this one myself, but learning how to budget your money is crucial in the year after you graduate. Through college, you were generally guaranteed a place to live and could beg your friends into giving you their leftovers, but now you might be out on your own. If you are (or if you’re trying to be) it could be time to actually log your spending/savings so that you’re not left out in the cold. If you don’t want to take my word on it, maybe read the Forbes take on it.

3. Taking Care of Yourself


And that means getting in and out of bed at a reasonable hour. This is probably the easiest and hardest part of graduating college. Sure, you had to learn how to “cook” and maintain decently healthy living habits, but now it’s the time where you actually have to pretend to know how to be an adult. This means exercising, knowing where the produce section of the grocery store is, and hopefully having more than just alcohol and ketchup packets in your fridge at any given time.

4. Creating and Maintaining Professional Relationships


It’s easy to fall into the routine of seeing the same people everyday, and if you’ve just graduated, it’s even easier to forget the difference in experience levels. Creating professional relationships are simple; just show and give respect where deserved, but maintaining the professionalism is a little more difficult. If you already have a job or want to study how you can become a functioning member of work culture, you can check out these blogs:

5. Interviewing Well


Lucky for you, ExactHire has multiple blogs on how to do just that! Here are a few that you should definitely check out in order to find success at every turn, or interview.

6. Having an Opinion


This may seem like an obvious skill to have mastered, especially after you ruled the classroom with your deep and probing thoughts; but what happens when your opinion on Jane Eyre’s choice to return to blind Mr. Rochester is no longer relevant? Answer: you form new opinions. Just as you had to do your research for that research project your senior year, you have to research your new job. The more you know and understand about the company, the easier it will be to give your own input. Though it may seem scary at first to have different thoughts than those around you, stick to what you know, show that you care, but always be open to new and other opinions.

Image credit: PUSH FOR HELP by Jonahthan Nightingale (contact)

Thank You, But We’re Not Hiring (You)

Thank you for your interest in our company. Though your resume was impressive, we have decided to consider other applicants further. I apologize for the disappointing news, best of luck in your job search.

After reading an email like the one above, a flurry of emotions begin to take hold. Overwhelming disappointment, crippling self-doubt, and a fear of eternal unemployment begin to manifest when reading rejection after rejection. College students and recent graduates, who were once eager to take on the business world, receive these emails and are quickly knocked down into the dark hollows of reality and exclusion.

College students spend four years participating in activities, workshops, volunteer events, and clubs among the countless hours of class and homework to simply be told that, outside of internship experiences, any extracurriculars hold little to no bearing on what the business is actually looking for in a candidate. Internship experience is often heavily tied to your major; CNN reported the following about various college majors and levels of success found through employment rates as well as wage:

Graduates who majored in agriculture, construction or nursing are dominating the job market. Their unemployment rates are 2% or lower — less than half the national average of 5%. Recent grads with nursing degrees make about $48,000 a year. Fine arts graduates struggle a lot — their starting salaries are on the lower side of the spectrum of new graduates: $29,000 a year, 7.6% are without a job and 62.3% end up taking lower paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.

This may seem daunting, but I am here to help! As an English major, I was told time and time again that I would never find a job – we all know the English major jokes, like McSweeney’s, Things to do with your English Degree, but in reality, it doesn’t matter what degree you have or even how hard you work – what matters is how smart you work or at least how smart you say you worked on your resume. The key is phrasing and confidence. So let’s start on how to even get through the countless job boards in order to gain the attention of a potential employer.

Where to Look

Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, and here in Indianapolis–the Charitable Advisors nonprofit job board—are just a few of the many job boards that you, a potential applicant, can look through to find a position nearly anywhere in the world. Some of my tips are to really look at the descriptions before you just click “Apply” all willy-nilly. After all, you don’t want to receive emails and phone calls from employers in which you’re not actually interested…it’s a waste of everyone’s time, yours included.

Screen shot 2016-05-12 at 11.57.05 AM

When looking at the postings, there should be some key takeaways and red flags. With each post and potential application you should make a mental pros/cons list. As an example, let’s look at the three listings:

1st Post – Freelance Social Media Coordinator:
Pro: “Posted five hours ago” – ensures that you’ll be one of the first applicants
Con: “Dates: October 31st-January 22nd*” – no potential to work more than 3 months
2nd Post – Freelance Writer
Pro: “Sponsored by Work Market” – since the company is sponsoring their own work, it is likely that they are well known and can provide a position that is exactly what you are looking for (in the freelance world)
Con: “Sponsored by Work Market” – oftentimes when a job listing is sponsored, it either has been dormant or it is done through a recruiting agency (which isn’t always a bad thing, it’s all about your personal preference) and Work Market is a site that requires payment for specific applications
3rd Post – Sales Specialist – PT Freelance
Pro: “Part-Time Sales” – as long as you enjoy sales positions, this is guaranteed to not have a predetermined end date
Con: “Posted 30+ days ago” – this job has probably been dormant or filled for awhile now.
Generally, it is unlikely to hear back from a listing that has been posted for more than 10 days (based on personal experience)

Though I can’t guarantee you these methods will work in finding you a job, I have listed a few websites where you can find a job, potentially leading you to the pond of real-world employment (or interning).
VelvetJobs (this one requires a membership)
Charitable Advisors (non-profit positions)

Selling Yourself (and Skills)

I’ve mentioned a few times that the huge selling point is phrasing and working smarter, not harder; in a resume, cover letter, or interview you want the employer to see you as an ideal fit. As a fine arts grad myself, this should be overwhelmingly concerning, right? Well, lucky for me, I minored in business and interned solely in the marketing field throughout college (hence, I am able to phrase my experience as a strong concentration in business and marketing). My dreams of being an editor-in-chief and publishing young adult authors such as Sarah Dessen and J.K. Rowling have been put on the back burner (for now) in order to make ends meet. I’m kidding – I truly have enjoyed working in the marketing field, and anyone that enjoys reading, editing, and writing should strongly consider looking into a business-esque job because the possibilities are endless. But that doesn’t let everyone off the hook; if you didn’t minor or intern in the business field, how do you even land an interview?

First, you’ve got to believe in yourself. Sounds cheesy, I know, but if you think you’re qualified, than others are more likely to believe it too. Your resume is the primary place to present this confidence. Everyone knows how to list jobs and internships, but not everyone knows how to describe the experience. Monster, one of the job boards listed above, made a list of mistakes to avoid that you can check out here, but what I have found to be most important are tips number four and eight.

4. Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments
It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume…Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:
· Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
· Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
· Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.

8. Leaving off important information
You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you’ve taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you’ve gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

These tips lead the employer to see that you’re driven to achieve rather than someone likely to sit by and wait for direction. Success, no matter how big or small, is an important factor to exhibit on a resume. It shows the employer that you are motivated and confident in your ability to bring achievement to a team. It’s easy to become discouraged when entering the workforce, but what is important to remember is that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Finding a job you like is hard but selling yourself on a piece of paper is even harder; you have to believe that you deserve that job then take the necessary steps to obtain it.
The hiring playing field is far from level, but by being confident in your skill set and searching in the right places, you may find just the job you’ve been looking for.

Image credit: Dealing With Rejection by Honest Blogger (contact)

Is Applying For A Job Online Safe?

Identity theft is an issue for people of all backgrounds. The outcome can range from a minor inconvenience to a life-altering event. The copying and use of your credit card information could be merely an inconvenience, as credit card companies have become very effective at detecting these, and the card owner is easily reimbursed. Full-on identity theft is a different story.

When the bad guy claims to be YOU in order to secure lines of credit or obtain false identification, it can ruin your life before you even know what happened. Some of these thieves commit crimes under stolen identities, causing warrants, fines, and sentencing to be issued to the victims. (Has anyone seen Identity Thief, the movie? That stuff really happens!)

So rightly so, we try to protect ourselves from risks associated with identity theft. We shred financial documents, use secure online banking sites, purchase services from a 3rd party company, and maybe even put a security freeze on our credit to insure against identity thieves. But have you ever considered the risk of losing your identity to a thief while applying for a job opportunity online?

Security of Online Job Applications

Many companies support online applications and expect to receive candidate information this way. Likewise, most candidates want the option to apply online via a computer or mobile device. It is a mutually beneficial way to quickly transmit information and start the hiring process.

But, is it safe?

Luckily, the answer is generally “yes.” However, when it comes to online applications, applicants and employers alike should keep a few guiding principles in mind:

  • An online application should collect and transfer information to a database on a secure server via TSL/SSL.
  • Access to the applicant database should be limited to the authorized staff of the employer and software provider.
  • An online job application should only request information necessary and relevant for the open position.

Of course, ensuring that the above items are in place is much easier for the employer than the applicant. These security features are often highlighted by software vendors who seek to gain an employer’s business. For an applicant, however, it may be more difficult to determine the security measures in place.

Applicants may verify that online applications are secure by looking at the status bar of their browsers. Secure pages will have a green URI https preceding the URL and/or the image of a lock. This is a pretty good sign that page is secure, but clicking on the lock will allow you to view the security certificate and more information on the security employed–make sure the owner is what you expect and that it is signed and dated.

Unfortunately, a secure page only informs applicants that their data will be secure in transit to the database server. Additional security will be needed to protect applicant data once it arrives there. This is where employers and software vendors can step in to reassure wary applicants.

Employers can earn the trust of applicants by proactively communicating the security that is in place for their online applications and submitted data. A simple statement such as the one below along with a link to a longer statement can help:

“The following application utilizes industry standard security measures to ensure the privacy of your information. The information you submit can only be accessed by personnel authorized by ABC LLC. For more details, please review our security statement.

Protect Yourself

Ultimately, regardless of the security employed by an organization, thieves will continue to seek ways to access and steal personal information. But if individuals use common sense, and organizations and software vendors invest in security, the chances of identity theft dramatically decrease.

ExactHire provides hiring solutions for small- to medium-sized business that protect all personally identifiable digital information by storing data on a separate server and using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) pages.


Feature Image Credit: Identity Theft Protection by Taylor White (contact)

Trending: Reverse Job Fairs

Money makes the world go ‘round. And time is money.  So it is no wonder that companies and job seekers alike look for ways to save time and money in finding the right employer-employee match. A newer fad that seems to be catching on in the recruiting world is a trend referred to as Reverse Job Fairs, or RJF.

What Is A Reverse Job Fair?

Job seekers set up booths with science-fair like flair. Stacks of printed resumes, posters of accomplishments, degrees, pictures, recommendations, achievements, and samples of individual works can be displayed around the main attraction, the job seeker. All the while, hiring managers and recruiters can walk around and see what type of talent is available.

  • Employers Come to Candidates

    A divergence from the normal job fair, where HR professionals display information about their company and wait for candidates to act interested and approach their booth, this approach offers a different perspective. RJFs display the job-seeker’s assets and allow the HR/ recruiting role to peruse the stock of potential candidates.

  • Spotlight On The Candidate

    The time is now. As the job markets continue to become more competitive and companies are fighting over qualified candidates, this approach allows you (the job seeker) to present yourself in a way that highlights all your best assets and abilities.

  • Where Are RJFs?

    Many colleges are already setting these RJFs up for seniors and recent graduates to help them land the proper job that can launch their careers. Most colleges host industry-specific RJFs or organize them with a common theme in order attract many employers. Having a focused theme also yields a pool of qualified candidates with desirable traits.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Attend?

    Time is the biggest investment here. Not only in the time a job seeker stands at a booth, but in the time invested before the RJF. Like most things, you get back what you put into a RJF. Spending time to prep the booth, materials, and presentation are worthwhile for the job seeker.

  • Results

    Hiring managers and recruiters agree that RJFs offer them a good bang for the buck, so to speak. Being able to scan over 100 potential candidates in a few hours and dig in deeper to the most qualified candidates saves a lot of time.

ExactHire offers small- to medium-sized businesses the opportunity to save time and money with hiring technology. Applicant Tracking, Reference Checking, and Onboarding can all be automated and streamlined with the use of our cloud-based solutions. To learn more visit our or contact us today!

Image credit: DAY 255 (TEXT ADDED) by WEST MIDLANDS POLICE (contact)

Job Hunting – Cool, Calm, Personal

You’ve likely heard the saying “Don’t let them see you sweat.” Well, you might find that this adage especially applies to job hunting. When job hunting, you want to make sure to stay calm and positive–never give the impression that you are desperate for a job because it will overshadow all your positives.

Here are some easy guidelines for making sure you remain cool and calm in your job search:

Embrace Social Media for Job Searching

This should (hopefully) not come as any shock: social media can be extremely valuable in your job search. LinkedIn and other social networking sites show jobs that are available immediately, and often, new jobs are first posted to these networks before they appear on more traditional job boards. Be proactive by using niche professional networking sites to connect directly with people in your industry or with previous co-workers or classmates.

Take it one step further, and read and comment on blogs written by others on topics that interest you.  Better yet, write your own blogs in order to share your insight on subjects that are relevant to your area of expertise or your industry of interest. Over the past year, LinkedIn has rolled out a feature that allows users to self-publish blogs within the platform. One thing to remember when trying to connect to others, though: do not email every single person you know. Rather, write more specifically and personally to only those that would share an interest and an ability to help with your search.

Don’t Forget Good, Old-Fashioned Networking

With the advent of social media, it can be easy to downplay the effectiveness and importance of traditional in-person networking. This involves talking directly to people in your field — similar to an interview but more informal, and with different expectations of the outcome.  An easy way to start is to join industry associations or groups that focus on your career interests. This exercise will help you widen your network in a somewhat casual manner.

As you become acquainted with others, you may ask them for introductions to people in other organizations who can help in your job search.  Since this approach does not involve directly asking for a job, people will be more apt to assist you…especially if you return the favor.

Remember not to “name drop” when seeking employment unless someone said you could use him/her as a reference. Otherwise, not only does this seem desperate or needy, it could lead to awkwardness if you didn’t really have consent from that person. You wouldn’t want to cast yourself in a negative light to future potential hiring managers.

Do Your Research

Do some homework before contacting anyone about your job search so that you know what industries, company size, and job types interest you. As a result, you should be able to quickly and clearly convey your intentions to others when networking. Then, make a list of companies for which you would like to work and contact each organization directly or visit their career portal to see if a position is available that would fit your background and interests. If a desirable company does have an attractive job opening, then go back to your network to see if you know someone who might be willing to introduce you to a decision maker at this organization. This may work more often than you think because it shows you have initiative and passion.

If you are noticing a trend with theses guidelines, then great job! It’s all about being personal, and that’s achieved by being calm and cool. And even if you are really desperate for a job, it will not seem that way when you  follow these guidelines. Best of luck in your job search!

Image credit: Yoga by Jean Henrique Wichinoski (contact)

Beware of Unicorn Job Descriptions

Every job seeker has seen a “unicorn” job description. This is where an employer has created a job description with unmeetable standards. This is not to say that they seek someone under the age of 25 with 40 years of experience, but perhaps they require a candidate to have experience on proprietary software that was just created; or maybe the ideal candidate should have four degrees and speak seven languages. Does this magical person exist?

Perhaps, but the bottom line with unicorn job descriptions is that there aren’t many individuals who meet the absurdly high standards they contain. But job seekers, you should not be discouraged! In fact, you might want to consider applying for the position anyway.

Should You Apply for a Unicorn Position?

If the job appeals to you, and you can see yourself in the role, keep reading through the position’s requirements and responsibilities. In general, if you meet at least half of the required qualifications and have experience doing at least half of the listed responsibilities, you should apply. When it comes to education vs. experience, you can probably be considered with some combination of resume bullets that address the listed responsibilities.

The fact is, no one who applies for the the unicorn job listing will be fully qualified. Because, well, they’re looking for a unicorn. And unicorns don’t exist.

…except during one of our office coloring contests at ExactHire.



Are You Writing Unicorn Job Listings?

If you are guilty of writing unicorn job listings, that’s okay. Perhaps you are new to writing job descriptions, or you want to ask for everything just to see who you can get. But if you want to maximize your chances of getting the ideal candidate, it may make sense to seek guidance. Consider reading these articles to gain valuable advice on writing job descriptions that will open the doors to more qualified applicants for your posted positions.


ExactHire provides technology for hiring that streamlines recruitment, pre-employment screening, and employee onboarding processes. In addition to these solutions, our monthly newsletter and resources page provide valuable knowledge, tips, and best practices to support your organization’s HR operations.

Image credit: Unicorn Crossing by Rumpleteaser (contact)