The Dallas Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers has enjoyed a great partnership with The Art Institute of Dallas this past year, and the president for the past two years, Hillsman Jackson, gives some kind kudos to Victoria Clary, Gary McCoy, and Julie Janik in his Reflections from 2010. He also mentions the loss of our Charlie Freeman.
This is a long article but CRITICALLY important. We received this from the Professional Resume Writers Association. Read on...
"Screen Out" By Diane Hudson Burns, CPRW, CEIP, CPCC, CCMC
Career Marketing Techniques
The employee selection process is very much a screen-out process. Recruiters and hiring managers have a plethora of résumés to review to create the short list of candidates to be interviewed. So, at every opportunity, there are screen-out measures throughout the application and selection process.
Side note: This is also true for federal HR specialists and hiring managers. Federal announcements go so far as to clearly indicate to applicants that if they fail to accurately complete any part of an application process they will be disqualified. Which means, a highly qualified and otherwise desirable candidate may be removed from competition simply because they failed to submit transcripts with an application (screen-out factor).
Screen-out Factors in the Résumé
Since the process from the hiring side is screen-out, HR specialists can easily move through résumés and discard any potential candidates whose résumé does not adequately meet the recruiter’s requirements for an open job order. For example, an employment specialist may shrink a large pile of résumés by screening-out for the following issues:
* Missing a clear objective: If the résumé is missing a clear target, the HR specialist will not spend any time trying to review the résumé in-depth to determine the candidate’s areas of expertise.
* Missing a chronology: Résumés that do not provide an employment chronology raise red flags - the HR specialist may wonder what the candidate is trying to hide.
*Typos and other grammatical and spelling errors. HR specialists tell me that they like clean, well-written résumés - this is also a reflection of how the candidate might perform on the job.
*Gaps in time: If the résumé has gaps in time that are not justified, recruiters may not spend time to contact the candidate to determine the reasons for the gaps in time.
*Missing dates: Lack of dates is a red flag for an HR specialist - again, what is the candidate trying to hide (age, gaps of employment, etc.)?
*Missing education: If the announcement requests a specific degree and the résumé does not indicate the required degree - it is easy for the HR specialist to move on to the next résumé.
*Missing experience: If the resume does not adequately express the number of years of experience required on the recruiter’s job order, then it is out.
*Missing skill sets: If the job order is for a Budget Analyst, and the résumé reads - Program Manager and does not describe budget analyst skills - it will not be a good fit for the job (even though the candidate may have stated “I can do the job”). The same goes for specialized skills like speaking a foreign language or having a specific Credential.
*Missing any required documents: Candidates need to be careful to follow the directions of a job vacancy posting closely and submit required documents, i.e., transcripts, letters of reference, a reference list, a salary history and salary requirements, samples of writing, letter of interest/philosophy, etc. Missing documents can easily disqualify a candidate - a requirement used as a screen-out factor.
Job orders are so very specific, that a generic, one-size-fits-all résumé is pretty much a screen-out. To bypass the screen-out litmus test, candidates who meet directly with HR or hiring managers, perhaps via a networking contact, may have an opportunity to express their skills and experience in person - and get screened-in.
Screen Out Factors in the Interview
*Appearance / Dress for success: Candidates need to dress according to the culture of the company; or very professionally. First impressions are formed in the interviewer’s mind in 30 seconds - and there are no second chances for first impressions.
*Poor body language: Interviewers I speak with tell me they like a candidate who provides eye contact; a candidate who does not provide eye contact is normally out. Interviewers also like solid handshakes - not wimpy handshakes. Irritating hand gestures, standing up and pacing during an interview, or placing feet on the interviewer’s desk are all screen-out factors.
*Being too much of a generalist: Just like a “general” résumé is a screen-out, so too is a ‘generalist’ attitude in the interview. Trying to impress the interviewer with a “jack-of-all-trades / I can do anything” attitude can be an interview killer. Hiring managers want to hire candidates who have professional expertise in a specific industry or functional area.
*Using the cell phone during an interview. It seems obvious, but candidates should be instructed to leave a cell phone in the car or be certain it is off during the interview.
*Barking dogs and screaming children during a phone interview: This scenario leads the interviewer to believe the candidate did not plan the interview time well; and it can make for a challenging interview/conversation.
*Telling personal information or irrelevant information: Interviewers want to learn about a candidate’s professional skills and competencies and how they can function on the job - interviewers do not normally ask about personal information, and some questions are illegal (age, for example - unless the position has an age requirement, i.e., law enforcement professionals).
*Making rude or biased remarks: Disparaging a former boss or company is a quick screen-out for interviewers.
*Describing weaknesses in detail. Candidates need to be careful to describe a weakness, that they can work to improve. If the weakness, however, is angry outbursts, and the applicant was fired from two previous jobs for angry outbursts, then that may not be a good example to use in an interview.
*Not having any weaknesses: One hiring manager that I spoke with said he asked a senior level candidate what her weakness was, and she replied, “I don’t have any weaknesses.” He said, “That pretty much ended the interview she’s out.”
*Not being a team player: Much of the interview is for the hiring manager to determine if the candidate is a team player - will the candidate fit in on the team and help the supervisor, department, and company be successful? So, a hiring manager told me that he asked a candidate who was being considered for a supervisory role, “Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?” The candidate replied, “If I had it my way, I would work alone in a corner, and never talk to anyone.” He’s out.
*Introducing the discussion of salary and benefits during the interview or before an offer is presented: Asking for money sends the message that the candidate is motivated for personal reasons - salary and benefits - as opposed to being motivated to see the company succeed.
*Not asking questions of the interviewer: Interviewers want candidates to ask questions - they want to know that candidates have an interest in the position and the company. Candidates may ask questions about what skills the employer wants the person in the job to have to be successful, or perhaps, questions about what initial challenges the candidate will tackle when he/she first joins the company. Other questions may be introduced as the interviewer describes the position and the company in more detail. The wrong questions to ask, include, “Tell me about your mission.” Job candidates should do their due diligence and research the company in advance of the interview. Interview questions can be tough to answer - and can range from “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” - to - “When I call your current boss, what will he say about you?” - to - “Why are you interested in working for us?” - to - “Tell me why you are the best person for this job?” - and so on.
With recruiters receiving hundreds and sometimes even thousands of résumés for job openings, they are busy screening-out at every turn.
Candidates need to focus on screening themselves in, through the résumé and interview process, and carefully evaluate their résumé and interviewing skills.
The Dallas Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) proudly presents a lecture and presentation titled “Still to Motion”, sponsored by the ASMP Foundation.
The talk will be held Thursday, November 4, 2010 from 7:00-9:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. Location: Angelika Film Center Theater, 5321 East Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206.
Still to Motion is a presentation about the transition from still photography to video format. Speakers Jonathan Chapman and Stewart Cohen will present and discuss their work as well as give insight about changes, challenges and advancements photographers face in the industry. A Q&A will wrap up the discussion. The event is moderated by Leslie White, Director of Photography from the Dallas Morning News.
Jonathan Chapman is a Minneapolis based photographer and director specializes in people and places for advertising, corporate and editorial clients. He embodies a fresh approach creatively and visually, tapping his photojournalistic roots for both still and motion based projects. Since the advent of HDDSLR cameras, and their capabilities, Jonathan has enthusiastically embraced their presence and potential for application in his commercial work. Recent clients who have brought Jonathan in for combined still + video based projects include: McDonald's, Sprint, AARP, United Health Care and Boeing.
Stewart Cohen is a Dallas based advertising photographer and commercial film director is the winner of over fifty prestigious industry awards and numerous other honors. His work has appeared in every major advertising and photography publication and has been exhibited in museums, galleries and corporate art collections across the country. Cohen’s work has graced the cover and he has been profiled in Communication Arts and Photographer’s Forum. Adweek selected him as Photographer of the Year. His many clients for print, advertising and commercials include MasterCard, Fender, NFL, Amstel Light and Bank of America.
Leslie White has been Director of Photography at The Dallas Morning News since September 2006. As photo director, Leslie led the department's transition from a strict still image newspaper environment to its increased emphasis on video, multimedia and multi-platform content creation. She hails from New Orleans and worked as a staff photographer at the Times-Picayune before joining TDMN.
Dallas Chapter - American Society of Media Photographers
The Dallas Chapter is one of 40 chapters nationwide of the American Society of Media Photographers, a trade organization that promotes photographers’ rights, educates photographers in better business practices, and produces business publications for photographers. It was founded in 1944 by a handful of the world’s leading photojournalists and is recognized internationally for its leadership role. Photographers helping photographers since 1944. For more information, or to join, visit: www.asmpdallas.org