Top Tips for Candidates - by Mike Toohey

1.) You should always be on the lookout for another position..(especially when you are very happy in your current one). Think of finding a career as dating. Usually, if you are not dating anyone or seeing anyone it is harder for you to find someone to get that date. However, once you start seeing someone or dating, it is amazing how many other opportunities arise from other prospects.

The point is that you have to make yourself attractive to employers. If you are not working, you look unattractive to prospective employers. Why should they hire you if no one else wants you, etc. Plus, some company might string you along for you have nothing else anyway. Why should they hire you, etc. They can also make you wait for you have nothing anyway.

That is life...when you don't need money, the bank calls you and asks you if you want to borrow money. When you need money, the bank won't return your call.

When you are happy in your position is the perfect time to see what else might be out there. Who knows, you might find a position that is closer to home, pays more, more exciting etc.

We can always tell a bad candidate when we call him/her and they state "I got a job already" and they don't want to interview with another company. That same candidate will wait until they get downsized to look for another job and that is exactly the wrong time to look for a new position.


2.) Never wait until you quit or get fired or caught in a layoff to start looking for you next position. About 97% percent of the people we place in positions are currently working and very happy in their position....until they hear from us about our client(s) position(s).

We hardly ever place anyone who is not working.

Always look at Senior Management. They are always looking and testing the market to see what else might be out there. That is why they are Senior Management. They never settle for less or status quo.


3.) Post your resume on and You never know what opportunities will come up from someone giving you a call or sending you an e-mail. If you are afraid that your current company will see you name, post as confidential.
4.) Always go on at least 1 interview a year(especially if you are happy in your current position) There is nothing like confidence when you go on an interview. If you are happy in your current position this will show on the interview. At least you will get more interview experience.
5.) Always be learning new systems, and educate yourself or through classes. Keep learning and enjoying new ideas.
6.) Talk to recruiters to judge their skills and to see if they can get you going on interviews (There are many awful staffing agency recruiters in the business who just do not know what they are doing) However, by talking to them you will at least improve your negotiating skills at the very least. What harm can a phone call do?

7.) Recruiters wanting you to come in to interview with them? BE VERY CAREFUL. Many recruiters at those large national chains are very junior and have quotas that they have to bring in 3-5 candidates in to interview them everyday (regardless if they have any jobs for them)

I talk to many candidates that tell me how they went to meet with recruiters who never got them set up for interviews at clients and now never return their phone calls.

Do this: Tell the recruiter that you will meet them as soon as they set you up with an interview at one of their clients so as not to waste your time. If they do not want to do this, then go to another recruiter. This will cut the waste in your life in dealing with just the cream of the crop recruiters.

8.) You can have your resume be more than 1 page. 1 page resumes are generally for people that just come out of college and do not have that much experience.

So called "experts" that tell you to keep your resume to 1 page are wrong. And by the way, the only expert that you can believe, is the person that gets you your next position (and that can be you many times!)

It is better to list everything so hiring manager/recruiters can see it. Sometimes if they do not see something on your resume, they will think you don't have it. It is just like what my grandfather used to tell me when I was a kid....take your jacket with can always take it off but if you don't take it, you can't put it on when you get cold.

9.) PUT GRADUATION DATES ON YOUR RESUME. More and more we see that people are not putting the date they graduate from college or grad school. We know they are trying to avoid age discrimination right off the bat and employers know are not fooling anyone but yourself.

We always tell candidates that when you go in for the interview, they(company) are going to "SEE" you. And, plus if a company is going to discriminate, do you really want to work for a company like that? You are not wasting their time for they are being paid to interview, you are not.

There are good and bad people in the world as well as good and bad employers.

As well as many employers want to hire folks over 40, 50, 60 and even 70 now instead of under 30 and 40. Seems some employers are tired of seeing that generation on facebook and texting all day in instead of working. Want folks that show up and work. Times are changing.

10.) Do you add value to the corporation? What the value is that you bring to a company is a very important aspect as to why you might be hired. Understanding this value that you bring to the table can make all the difference in getting the position, rather than someone else.

11.) This is for Temporary/Contractors. Make sure you put the name of the companies that you have worked for....putting the name of the temp agency that places is OK BUT make sure to put the direct company where you worked or just leave the temp agency out of the resume all together.

Temp Agencies want you to put their name on your resume and not the company they place you at for it helps them not you. Who do you really care about? Yourself or a temp agency?

Why? When a company or recruiter is searching for a candidate they search on skills and many times on a company name, etc. (usually their competitor so they get candidates that can hit the ground running)

For example, when we ( and/or are searching for a candidate in the healthcare field (or other fields) for one of our client(s), we search many times on their competitors to get qualified candidates for them. We don't search on temp agency names for that would be useless.

Nobody is going to care about the temp agency that put you at the company. They are only going to care about where you worked directly and what you were/are doing. This way a company can tell if you have the background to fill their position.

If you have a comment or question, please feel free to contact Mike Toohey at 203-315-1197 or OR
REMEMBER: YOUR CAREER IS UP TO YOU, NO ONE ELSE. YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME IF YOU NOT HAPPY IN YOUR CURRENT PLACE IN LIFE AND/OR WORK. It is very sad to see when people wait until they get downsized or go through a layoff to start looking for a job. They put themselves at a huge disadvantage in finding a position.