From Forbes: Never Give Up Your Salary Details


“It is wonderful to see job-seekers waking up to realize they have more power in the hiring equation than they thought they did.

Employers can’t grow their businesses without great employees on board.

Job-seekers need to know that there are lots of badly-managed organizations that treat job-seekers like dirt. Almost everyone has run into one of those organizations at some point.

The faster you run away from organizations (and recruiters) who treat you badly, the sooner you’ll find the right people to collaborate with!

Don’t give up your current or past salary details just because someone asks you to. What you get paid now and what you got paid at every job you’ve ever held is your personal information — and nobody else’s business.

Recruiters will ask for your salary history and so will employers. If you run into the question ‘What did your past jobs pay?’ on an online job application, here’s how to handle it.”


From World Economic Forum: The 5 Skills All Job Recruiters Look For

skills job all recruiters look for

“Sometimes our clients will provide us with about five non-negotiable criteria for candidates to meet; skills they must possess or experience they have to have to be considered for a specific role. Of course this varies across positions and companies, but there are several items we see cropping up again and again. I compared notes with the other recruiters in our office to come up with those criteria we are asked to identify most frequently these days.

1. Leading up, down, and across
For directors it’s not just about management anymore. It’s all about leadership. Have you honed your management style in a way that inspires others and makes them want to follow you, not just listen to you? Have you looked for training and mentors? Good managers don’t just turn in your review and manage time and expectations, they develop talent and motivate their team to strive further and achieve more. Our Vice President, Kassie Wilner, adds that the ability to “use your influence to gain consensus cross-functionally and build effective relationships across divisions in a matrix corporate structure” is a skill that she sees coming up again and again.”

hai ninh nguyen

Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search

artificial intelligence and job search

Shelcy Joseph is recent graduate from the City University of New York and when she describes what she learned from her recent job hunt, she says she found out that it’s hard to get hiring manager’s attention, but that “once they like you, they’ll give you lots of attention.”

Shelcy is right. Recruiters like to zero in on high-potential candidates–that’s not new. What’s new is who–or what–determines which candidate has high potential. Increasingly, it is software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence technology that determines the desirability of a candidate.

That’s why, for the first time, we’ve shifted the focus of one of the largest career management MOOCs from the relationship-centered job search to the data-optimized job search.

Machine Learning-driven Software will Probably Make Make Your Next Career Match
In early 2016, LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft) acquired Connectifier, a machine learning platform for recruiters, for around $100m. It’s a watershed moment for artificial intelligence and recruiting.

Connectifier, started by ex-Googlers, takes your email address, pulls data from social networks, blends it with your LinkedIn profile, and then uses the data to help recruiters. For instance, recruiters can now take an outstanding performer from their company and use applications like Connectifier to mine LinkedIn for profiles that have a high probability of personality or cultural match.

This means that, in an instant, a recruiter can define cultural traits, technical skills, interests (expressed on your social media profiles), and more and find a cohort of candidates to target. There are multiple software packages leading this job search disruption: LinkedIn’s native platform for recruiters, LinkedIn’s new AI-powered mobile application for recent graduates, eHarmony’s platform for recruiters, and more.

Where People like Images, Robots Like Data
For a long time, we’ve been teaching professionals to make their LinkedIn profiles as visual as possible. We know, for example, that roughly 65% of people prefer to learn via images and that recruiters see well-designed LinkedIn profiles and professional portfolios as a signal of professional competence. But robots like data.

As LinkedIn integrates the Connectifier acquisition into their offering to recruiters, algorithms will be looking for any trace of usable data on your profile: your skills and endorsements, charitable causes and interests, group affiliations, text, and more. You can be fairly certain that, next time you apply for a job at a company larger than 20-30 employees, your application will include an automated ranking presented to the hiring manager that’s based on data mining and machine learning technology.

Your Resume is Now Your Little Data Hub
In almost all cases, your resume is more than a communication piece that’s (maybe) read by a recruiter. It’s your little data hub before it’s anything else.

When I was working as a consultant, we won a bid for a major project with the World Bank. I asked my superiors what we did to win the job and, essentially, they told me that they basically did SEO on our proposal. Today, keyword matching is fundamental to most in-house recruitment efforts.

Those software packages are looking for keywords in your resume (at minimum). Soon, recruiters at top firms will be leveraging sentiment analysis technology to predict your personality type and much of that analysis is going to be based on what you write in your resume.

The bottom line is this: it’s a new day for people like Shelcy and job applicants in developed economies around the world. As data from your “social media footprint,” the text of your resume, and many other sources are combined and processed to determine your career prospects, new questions emerge for job hunters.

For example, what’s your resume SEO strategy? Does your “social footprint” align with your career aspirations? Are you taking advantage of platforms that use machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence to recommend potential employers?

For job hunters, it’s a changed world out there.

From JobMob: Secrets to Finding Hidden Jobs Without Using Social Media

finding hidden jobs

“Most jobs are never advertised anywhere.

A hiring manager might tell the team that management has okayed a new hire, so “if you guys have any friends that qualify, send me their resumes.”

Those are the hidden jobs.

Recently, the definition of hidden or “unpublicized jobs” has expanded to also include jobs that are poorly advertised in places where they’re not likely to be seen.

Competition for advertised, non-hidden jobs is tougher as more people fight for a smaller number of openings than what are really available.

Put differently- if you can find a relevant hidden job opening, you’ll have much fewer candidates to compete with for the position, if any at all.

Sounds tempting, I know.

So where are the hidden jobs?”


The Debut Jobs App, DeepMind’s AI Labyrinth, and Facebook Payments

The Debut Jobs App
L’oreal, Ernst and Young, Microsoft, and Deutsche Bank have all signed up to support a smartphone app called Debut, which promises to let young people fast-track the recruitment process and land roles in big companies just by playing mobile games.

debut jobs app

Users download the game, they play, and they win(or are recognized) based on characteristics that employers are looking for, which will then connect them to fast-track interviews or international internships. You can visit the game here.

DeepMind’s AI Labyrinth
Google’s AI company, DeepMind, which was founded by Demis Hassabis, created a virtual world called Labyrinth. It’s part of its Apollo program and it’s designed to put software into a generalized world to see what it can learn while it’s there.

DeepMind AI Labyrinth

Currently, the software programs they’re developing are working on navigating mazes. This is the same team that built AlphaGo, which beat the world champion Go player in a five-game series recently.

You can watch the software try to navigate the maze here.

Facebook Payments
There are reports that the new code in the iPhone version of Facebook Messenger supports multiple payment features. For example, the ability to pay somebody in person through the app and also to pay based on the user’s location like when a customer would pick up an item at a retail outlet.

Look out for Facebook rolling out multiple mobile payments features in the future.

What are your favorite stories from the last week? Share your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.


From Harvard Business Review: How to Spot a Bad Boss During an Interview

bad boss in interview

Harvard Business Review covers how to spot a bad boss during an interview. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Gather as much information as possible- both good and bad
  • Make sure you know what kind of boss you are looking for
  • Always come back to assess whether the job and the boss sound right for you…don’t get caught up in securing the job for the sake of securing the job
  • Look for clues in the way the manager treats you
  • Manage your approach to asking questions/find indirect ways to learn what you need to know
  • Do your homework on the company and the interviewer/potential manager before you arrive
  • Talk to the people who you would be working with (a great way to get an inside look)

bad boss

Facebook Open Sources AI, 2016 Salary Guide, and the New HondaJet

In this week’s Brain Boost, we are talking about artificial intelligence at Facebook, this year’s salary guide, and HondaJet.

Facebook Open Sources AI
The Facebook artificial intelligence team has provided the designs for the machines that they’re using to process AI or deep learning tasks and they are showing the public what is different about these machines. Generally, they’re taking an open source approach to artificial intelligence at Facebook and developers can even visit, where they can access the Facebook artificial intelligence code base so that they can use that as a foundation for granting robots or computers or other types of artificial intelligence tasks like granting it computer vision. This is one of the tasks that they’re working on. 

In general, there is a trend in developing ecosystems around these emerging technologies and these ecosystems represent big opportunities for product developers, businesses, and entrepreneurs. For example, Google’s works with Nest ecosystem is really robust in the world of Internet of Things and smart spaces. If you can design a product that will work within that ecosystem, you are likely to get a nice marketing boost from being part of an ecosystem that is already relatively vibrant.

2016 Salary Guide
The Robert Half Salary Guide for 2016 is out. Robert Half is the world’s largest recruitment firm and this salary guide is the most important benchmarking tool used by HR departments and employers in the US when determining the compensation packages of people in the finance and accounting world. This year, the Salary Guide reports that the hottest positions tend to be analytical in nature and advanced Excel skills are in heavy demand. You might want to get a copy of the Salary Guide so that you can check whether or not you’re getting paid market value for your work.

This year, the Salary Guide reports that the hottest positions tend to be analytical in nature and advanced Excel skills are in heavy demand.
This year, the Salary Guide reports that the hottest positions tend to be analytical in nature and advanced Excel skills are in heavy demand.

There are also salary guides for administrative, technology, legal, and creative professionals.

The New HondaJet
Finally, in a fun piece of news, Honda has released its first jet. It’s a regional jet that can fly about 1,400 miles, which is about the distance between San Francisco and Denver. It seats seven people and has a price tag of about 4.5 million dollars.


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How to Use Recruiters and Staffing Agencies

Human resources diagram

In this blog post, we are going to level-up your thinking about how to source career opportunities; particularly, how to use recruiters and staffing managers.

These people, on the one hand, are interviewing and checking the references for dozens or even hundreds of candidates at one time. On the other hand, they are staying in touch with regional employers -dozens or even hundreds of organizations at one time.

Staffing Managers
A staffing manager is a temporary staffing agent. Basically, what they do is they are going to send you to work at a client’s firm for a specific, short period of time. However, there is a chance that you and the client can get along really well and the client will say, “We want to hire this person full time,” and you’ll convert into a full-time employee. Staffing managers can ultimately help you find full-time work.

Recruiting Managers
There are also recruiting managers -sometimes called headhunters- and these people are placing you directly on their client’s payroll, meaning that you go directly to full-time employment with their client. These interview rounds tend to be more rigorous and the process is a little bit slower, whereas the staffing manager’s process is really fast. This is related to the amount of risk the client takes with bringing on someone full-time. Using a recruitment agency is expensive for any client and they want to make sure they find the perfect candidate for the role.

Real-Life Example
Let’s say that Mark is a recent graduate and he does a little bit of internet searching, finds a staffing agency in his area, and goes in for an interview. What is going to happen is the agency will interview Mark for his skillsets. They will not be interviewing him like they would hire him directly. What they need to do is know how to sell Mark to their clients. They are also going to help coach Mark in his interviewing skills, which is a huge bonus.

Asian man smiling, closeup
A recruiter will often coach their candidates on interviewing skills, which is a huge bonus.

Staffing managers and recruiters are good partners for you have in your job search. You can ask them, “What could I have done better?” and that helps you on your job search generally.

Tweet: Staffing managers and recruiters are good partners for you have in your job search.

After his interview with the agency, the agent or the recruiter is going to go out and broadcast Mark’s profile to potential clients of theirs who might like to hire Mark and could use his skills. If any of these leads come up positive -and often they do- they’ll give Mark a call and Mark can begin work with this organization on a temporary or full-time basis. Depending on the client, he might also have an interview with the client before being hired.
Agency recruiters can be a really powerful asset for you on your job hunt. Make sure you are working with a recruiter in addition to applying for jobs independently. Temporary work might also be a good “band aid” for your financials if you are currently unemployed and waiting for the right job-fit.

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4 Reasons Companies Hire

One question that you should always ask when considering applying for –or taking– a job is, “Why is this position available?”  Pinpointing the reasons companies hire will tell you a lot about what is happening within the companies and determine how you frame your skills in your resume and cover letter for the individuals who review your applications and even during your interviews. It can also help you decide whether it’s a right fit and if you actually want to work for the company.

There are a few different reasons for a job opening:

  1. The organization is growing
Growth is a good thing and it means that the company is on the up and up.
Growth is a good thing and it means that the company is on the up and up.

This is generally a good thing and it means that the company is on the up and up. You want to figure out the precise reason they are growing. Maybe they received funding, are opening a new office or location, or are expanding their service or product line. Knowing this will help you assess how you might fit into the company and also help you appear to be more knowledgeable about the company in your cover letter and if you secure an interview.

You can find information about a larger company’s growth by searching for news online.

  1. Someone was terminated
    It is not only important to know if someone was fired, but why they were fired is a crucial piece of information as well. Granted, there are some situations where the employer might not choose to be very open about why someone was terminated. This could be a bad sign, but if you can get them to talk about it, ask questions like:
  • Was the termination performance-based?
  • Was it lack of cultural fit?
  • What about this former employee didn’t work?

You cannot find out if someone was terminated before you apply so you will not be able to frame your cover letter with this is mind, but it is a good thing to determine during an interview.

  1. Reorganization
    When a company reorganizes, it means they are shrinking certain teams and growing others. You should inquire about the strategy behind the reorganization to better understand how the company is changing and whether you are a good fit or not. It will also help you present yourself as someone who cares and knows a lot about what is happening there.
When a company reorganizes, it means they are shrinking certain teams and growing others.
When a company reorganizes, it means they are shrinking certain teams and growing others.

To find out if a large organization is restructuring, you can perform a Google search for news related to recent or upcoming changes.

  1. Promotions
    If someone is retiring, a company will promote from within and bring in new employees for lower  positions. This is a good opportunity to inquire about what the person in the open role did well and how they succeeded. This will give you an inside look at what the company considers good work for that particular role and what it takes to get promoted.


You want to get as much strategic information as you can about the positions for which you apply and use it in places like your cover letter, formal interview, and informal networking. Note that it is good to work with a recruiter because they know exactly why the position is open and can’t give you a lot of inside information about the company, the position, and the person who held it before you.

Personal Branding, GitHub, and Coding Labs on Technical Resumes

Recently, our founder, Davis Jones, worked with a guy named Donovan. He is a developer and somebody who is enrolled in Eazl’s Career Hacking Masterclass. Donovan sent us his resume and it looked really good, but one thing that we noticed is that there could an improvement to the way that you use your personal information at the top of the template.

This blog is especially relevant for people who are in relatively technical roles. You will notice that, at the top of the template, you have these links like your Linkedin profile, your telephone number, etc. Donovan has this great website where she shows off the stuff that he has built, which is exactly what Nick Livingston, who is a former technical recruiter and now the co-founder of Hornit, told us when he was interviewed for the Career Hacking course. Make sure that you check out that interview if you haven’t already seen it.

Basically, what you can do is, in addition to –or maybe instead of your LinkedIn profile– you might want to do things on your technical resume like put your GitHub link or maybe your personal website. But, here is a hack for you: rather than titling it “Personal Website”, title it something like “Donovan’s Coding Labs” because, if the recruiter’s eyes scan over to this contact information section of your resume first, you’re going to be more positioned in their minds as a coder.

They’re going say, “Man, this guy’s got a coding lab? That’s exactly the kind of candidate that we want.” Or, “This girl’s got a coding lab?”

You want to make sure that you are positioning yourself throughout your resume, but especially on the top as a developer.

Do you have any questions? If you do, let me know in the comments or submit your hacks for your technical resume.