Speaker Summary: “Ask the Recruiter” with long time recruiter from Luna Data Solutions on 4/27

April 28, 2015

in Interviewing, Job Search, Meeting Reports

Zafar Choudhury is Director of Client Solutions at Luna Data Solutions, Inc. He spoke at Job Seekers Network on 4/27 to give attendees a recruiter’s perspective.

Zafar said that since moving to Austin in the early 1990s, he has seen several cycles in the job market. We are currently in an upswing coming out of the recession, making Austin one of the hottest job markets in the country. Living in a hot job market can be a two-edged sword, however, as motivated job seekers from outside the area move in and accept lower salaries, thereby driving compensation down for everyone. Zafar works with companies to help make sure they pay employees fairly, and often suggests other avenues of compensation when salaries dip.
Many tech startups are run by young entrepreneurs, and they tend to prefer working with other young people, and preferably ones with social media skills. Zafar encouraged job seekers to use this to their advantage by spicing up their LinkedIn profile and taking online courses in order to be up to date and current with trends in industry and education.
He made several specific recommendations regarding resumes:
  • If you have been working for two years or less, make your resume one page long. If you have been working more than two years, your resume should be more than one page, but not more than four.
  • Don’t include an objective in your resume. Hiring managers ignore them.
  • Put your skills and accomplishments at the top of page one.
  • Have a section for “professional experience” (not “job history”), with your job title, the city, and dates of employment including month and year.
  • Put education and associations at the bottom of the resume. Most companies these days care more about demonstrated abilities than formal degrees.
  • Cover letters are important for certain types of jobs, such as management, but keep that separate from the resume.
  • A rule of thumb with references is to use three professional references and two personal.
He also recommended the following ideas concerning interviews:
  • Visit the interview site the day before to make sure you know how to get there and where to go.
  • Bring at least three copies of your resume to an interview.
  • Research the person who will be interviewing you. Try to find some common ground. Do not make yourself anonymous on LinkedIn. If an interviewer sees that you viewed his or her profile, they will likely view it positively.
  • Turn your phone completely off before the interview. Do not even allow it to vibrate.
  • Stand in front of a mirror during a phone interview so you can see yourself smile. The interviewer will hear the smile in your voice and respond accordingly.
  • During an in-person interview, mirror the body language of the interviewer.
  • Listen to the interviewer’s entire question and think about your answer before speaking. It’s okay to be eager, but don’t rush into your answer before you’ve had time to organize your thoughts.
  • Be aware that many companies these days are using “scenario” questions such as, “If you were flying a plane that crashed, what would you do?” You can research companies at Glassdoor to see which ask these types of questions.
  • After an interview, send a thank-you note and attach a 30-, 60-, and 90-day action plan for starting the job.
Luna Data Solutions is a high-tech recruiting firm specializing in the placement of technical and executive management professionals nationwide. The positions they recruit for are 75% direct hire. Check out their available positions on their web site at http://www.lunadatasolutions.com/v/careers/.


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