Patrick Ortman is the president of SaleFirst Recruiting, with offices in Phoenix, AZ, Denver, CO and Portland, OR. Patrick is a very intelligent person who has his finger on the pulse of not only the world of employment but on many important topics surrounding us today.
Patrick is an athlete, an Eagle Scout, received his pilot license at 18, graduated from University of Dayton School of Law and was admitted to the Michigan State Bar in 2000. He had raced motorcycles semi-professionally until he broke his back in 2008, he has broken 27 bones over the course of his life (so far).
Before starting SalesFirst Recruiting, he was in professional business to business sales and upper management for 15 years. Patrick is passionate about placing good people into good jobs.
Part 2 digs deep into preparing your resume for submitting to potential employers and getting your LinkedIn profile up to spec.
There are so many great tidbits of information in these two episodes that are very time sensitive to the times we’re living in. Both Patrick and I sure hope you get a lot out of this conversation.
SalesFirst Recruiting Website: https://www.salesfirstrecruiting.com/
To email Patrick directly: [email protected]
Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014
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Recommended Book: “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson
Patrick Ortman Interview
Patrick Ortman Interview – Part 2
Joe: So I want to get into the real nitty gritty of your thoughts on two important things when it comes to getting a job and this is my experience of, you know, overhearing you on the phone, you know, having our proximity of where we sit in the office. Your LinkedIn profile and your current resumé. And so I, I, I would think right now, obviously, with all the time that everyone has. Those are the two things that you need to work on. So could you take each of those separately and and offer your advice? And again, I don’t. My next question, which probably should maybe come just before this, is does SalesFirst have any sort of service that they offer to help people to get either of those looking better, sounding better and prepared to be in front of potential employers?
Patrick: Yeah, yeah. All great questions and let’s tackle LinkedIn first. LinkedIn won’t apply to everybody who’s looking for a job. I want to be like, really clear. If you were previously working in food service and you were responsible for waiting tables, for example, the likelihood of your next employer if you plan on staying in an adjacent position at a different company. Looking at your LinkedIn profile is probably pretty low. Do I think that that means neglect your LinkedIn profile? Absolutely not. LinkedIn is currently being used by employers to pre-vett candidates before they are ever seen either virtually or physically for an interview. And the data that I’ve gathered based on various different H.R., ah, H..ah, H.R. communities that we’re involved with or members of show that about 75 percent of all employers who are looking at a resumé and considering seeing you carving valuable time out of their day to spend the half hour or hour or maybe even two hours in some cases to talk to you about the potential fit that you bring to the table, are going to do some investigation on you online. And the first place that most of those people are first going is LinkedIn and then Facebook and then some third level and fourth level social media platforms. But I can almost guarantee that LinkedIn and Facebook are going to be looked at. And if that’s gonna be the case, if seventy five percent of people are going to make some sort of judgment of prejudgment on you based on your LinkedIn profile, boy, would it make sense to dress that thing up. So first things first, whether it’s right, whether it’s wrong. We as human beings still judge people by looks. And if you have a grainy out of focus picture from the 80s, that clearly, clearly is way, way in the past, then it’s time for you to up your game.
Patrick: And I’m not saying you have to go out and spend a whole bunch of money on a fancy photography session and get, you know, a whole bunch of expensive headshots. But I do think that there is some merit to just a neutral background in good lighting with a cell phone that somebody else is holding on to. Don’t pull the whole hand out in front of your face thing or taking a picture in a bathroom mirror or something like that. Make it a nice shot. Make sure that it’s well cropped, around your face, roughly shoulder high and about an equal amount of distance above the top of your head. Just a nice square image of your face is all that’s required and then put that up on your LinkedIn profile and smile. People like people that are likable. Right. And maybe a little bit of pearly whites will help you appear more likable, even if you look kind of like this. So. And for people that are listening to the audio, I’m pointing at myself here. So with that being said, once you have a good head shot up, make sure that all of the information fields are updated. There is nothing more unfortunate than a good headshot and name and then linked and gives you the ability to describe yourself in the industry that you’re in in a short synopsis. And that hasn’t been updated by the people that have updated everything else below. So it’ll say, my name is Patrick Ortman and I’m currently a busser at Domino’s Pizza. I don’t think they even have bussers. But you get the idea.
Patrick: And my current position down below in LinkedIn shows me as an accountant, for example. Well, those two things are completely incongruent. And the message that sends me as a hiring manager is this person is not very diligent in their representation of themselves. They’re doing a poor job of marketing themselves. This information doesn’t make sense. So make sure that all the fields are completely up to date. Don’t just add your most recent job in the timeline down below. Make sure all the fields are updated. The next piece of that puzzle is make sure that your resumé and your LinkedIn profile completely align with each other. If on your resumé it says that you’ve been at your current job for four years and your LinkedIn profile says 3 ah oh, that’s a problem and a sharp hiring manager will see that and say, what is this person trying to hide here? What kind of shenanigans are going on again? Do they just like diligence? Or are they hiding something? Either scenario is a bad scenario, right? Make sure that you have good, robust content in your LinkedIn profile. And the quick rule of thumb and this carries over the resumé is that we’ll talk about in a second is what you do is really important. So what’s the title? I’m the Chief Machinist for a milling company. OK, got it. I think I know what that means. Tell me more. It should say the dates that you were employed there which indicate job stability. So now sometimes job stability isn’t always the employee’s fault, but sometimes it is.
Patrick: So employers are going to be looking to to your job history to try to determine, is this person that stable bet? If I invest 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars in onboarding and training into this person, am I going to receive that benefit back? Most companies won’t actually recoup their training and onboarding cost. the upfront costs, if you will, for their new employee for almost nine to 12 months. So if you have a job history that’s under that number, you become a little bit more risky in their opinion. So make sure that that number truly reflects what you’ve worked. So make sure it’s up to date. The next piece of the puzzle is first line in that description of your job. Chief Machinist should say exactly what you do. I’m responsible for milling aluminum products that are used in the aircraft industry. And then a few bullet points of what that actually means, I turn out one hundred and fifty components per hour am responsible for generating X amount of finished parts on a quarterly or annual basis. So people are starting to be able to quantify the amount of work that you currently do and might be able to do for them. So it’s what you do the time you’ve been there. A description of what you do and then some bullet points to help to quantify that thing that you do. Do you have any questions on that? Real quick before I kind of press forward and LinkedIn.
Joe: No, that’s perfect because I’m actually learning myself, so I’ll have to go and fix my own LinkedIn.
Patrick: Good, I’m glad I put some homework on your plate,
Joe: Yeah, exactly.
Patrick: Um, the next piece of the puzzle is linked in straddles the boundary between social media and friends and work, right? Some people have a little bit of a mixture and flavor of both. There are some things that you might include in your LinkedIn profile that might also show up on your Facebook profile could be appropriate. And I think some of those things are interests that are H.R. responsible. You wouldn’t want to say that. You know, my interest is getting hammered on the weekend. You might say that on your list, your Facebook, but you wouldn’t want to say that on your LinkedIn profile. But let’s say that you’re responsible for doing some charitable work within your community. Maybe you’ve achieved certain distinctions in activities that you’re involved in outside of work. For example, maybe you’ve achieved the rank of black belt in Taekwondo, which shows dedication, commitment and a whole bunch of other things that companies might find very valuable. And maybe they need a security officer and a chief machinist at the same time. So maybe, maybe you serve dual roles. I don’t know. So don’t be shy to put forward some of those achievements or activities that you think create a little bit of likability, a little bit of distinction, a little bit of those additional nice to have in any employee.
Patrick: If you received any credentials, certificates, licenses, trainings that are industry established that are important, make sure that those show up there, too. And LinkedIn does a very good job of giving you their own section for licenses and achievements and things of that nature. P.T. Barnum said that he was his own best self-promoter and he shamelessly did it and he was his own biggest fan. And he said he had the greatest show on earth. Come and see my show. You need to be your own shameless self-promoter. If there’s anything on any level that you’re very proud of, no matter how big or a little, the distinction might be in somebody else’s mind, go ahead and put it up there. So if you were the employee of the month in 2013, good for you! Put it on there. Show some show some distinction. Because what you’re trying to do is distance yourself from the people who don’t have any of those things. And in a world of many people and few jobs, that little bit of distinction might be the reason why you get an interview. So going back to seventy five percent of hiring managers are gonna look at your LinkedIn profile when they pull up the person who has a resumé that seems to be close to what they’re looking for And your resumé, that seems to be close to what they’re looking for.
Patrick: And they look at your profile headshot and it’s bright and lively and friendly looking. And then they look at somebody else’s who’s is grainy and dark and they don’t seem to have a lot of personality in that picture. You’re already off to the right start. And then they look at their content and it’s just a line. I worked at Napa Auto Parts from this date to present. That’s it!? That’s all that’s there. Then they look at yours and it’s really built out. This person clearly cares about their career and they shared a lot of good information that maybe is slightly outside of the resumé. That I wouldn’t have gotten from the four corners of that piece of paper. They start to know you. They start to like you. They start to understand you. Do you think that that person is more likely to talk to you if they only have one interview slot or the other person?
Joe: Right. Yeah, it’s. It’s having that, that personal connection that you put some of the personal side of who you are and then you actually I think that’s what we do. We we think that certain things that we’ve accomplished are important to other people. And, and like, you know, you like my own son, an Eagle Scout. I, I know that that takes a hell of a lot of work to accomplish. Now, it might have been when you were in your teens, but or, or whatever. But it’s still anybody that knows what that means. It sets you apart. You you know, like that should walk in the door to some organizations because they know what it took for you to get that. So I don’t think even if you’re in your 40s and you are looking for a job, should you eliminate something like that from your LinkedIn profile or your resumé? I think it’s important.
Patrick: Agreed. I fully agree, and I don’t want this to sound like it’s a science, right? There’s as much art to finding a job as there is science. And reasonable minds could certainly differ on a few things that I’m saying. But I think that generally speaking, this is probably the most accepted advice that’s out there right now. And again, I probably saw thirteen thousand LinkedIn profiles last year. I received a report from LinkedIn that shows how many people’s profiles I clicked on. So it’s a lot and I’ve talked to hiring managers post interview about why they hired candidates. And I’ve never heard a hiring manager say, you know what? I hired this person because they didn’t have a lot of content in their resumé or LinkedIn profile. They had a really horrible headshot. I’ve never heard that, but I have heard the opposite many, many times.
Patrick: While this person really stood out, there was a lot of distinction that I was able to create between them and the rest of the candidate pool. So my belief is that these little things, these games of inches, equal yards, equal jobs.
Joe: Yeah, it’s awesome.
Patrick: So the next
Joe: Yeah. Go ahead.
Patrick: One. Yeah. Yeah. The next piece of the puzzle is the resumé. And the first thing that I’ll tell you is how you treat your resumé is really, really important! And you’re probably not going to like me for saying this, but your resumé is going to require a lot of work. Many times during the course of this process, because one resumé is not the perfect resumé for all jobs. If you were applying for a summer internship, then yeah, you could probably run with just one resumé. Because you’re a junior professional and you don’t got a lot to crow about. You got that one that one job working at Jamba Juice and maybe that’s it. Right? But for anything other than that, if you have real work experience, you’ve been out in the real world and you’ve received a W-2 or whatever, then your resumé should be bespoke for jobs that you’re really compelled by. And what that means to me is. If you’re going for a position that’s maybe sixty thousand dollars a year or a hundred thousand dollars a year or maybe even more depending on where you are in terms of seniority and industry and things like that. It deserves the extra 10 minutes each time to fine tune it before you send it out the door. And that goes back to this be workman like put in an eight to five. It’s gonna take time to do this. Most people aren’t doing it and it will make a difference. Question for you, Joe. When you go buy a car, do you create a list of things that you’re interested in before you actually show up? Or do you just kind of go. Any car will do.
Joe: Yeah. No. Absolutely. You know, you’re gonna be living in that thing. So you you get, you get the list that you get what you want.
Patrick: I’ve seen your car. Nice
Patrick: Car. I’m sure you probably thought about it a lot. Probably did a lot of Internet
Patrick: Sleuthing and figured out all the features that you liked and stuff like that. For those that don’t know Joes into European vehicles anyway. [laughter] So. So it goes with any job search, right? Hiring managers create a list of want to haves and nice to haves for every single position and they’re not going to buy. Unless they satisfy the vast majority of those things that they pre-identified and what you’re trying to communicate with your resumé is how many of these things that you’ve already indicated are important, Mr. or Mrs. Hiring Manager, do I bring? And so if you go to that car lot and you say, Mr. or Mrs. Salesperson, I’m interested in a four wheel drive vehicle because I like to go up to Flagstaff and go skiing and I don’t want to get stuck in the snow. And because I’m taking a lot of trips up there, I’d like this to be a fuel efficient vehicle as well. And because I’m bringing my family, I want it to be very safe, especially on icy roads. If that person says, you know what, I’ve got just the thing for ya. Come on over here. This is the new Corvette, it’s two wheel drive. It’s got a whole bunch of horsepower and it can outrun anybody. You would put your wallet back in your pocket. You go find somebody else that understands your want list.
Patrick: Right. Because this person clearly doesn’t get it. Well, candidates, people who are looking for a jobs make this mistake all the time. They created a general resumé. It doesn’t speak to any one position and they fire it out. They’ll send out 20 of them in one push of a button on Indeed. And then the hiring manager gets it. And that hiring managers. Let’s just take, for example, a sales position says I’m looking for somebody who’s an enterprise level sales professional, somebody who has sold software for at least a period of time, somebody who has experience talking to C level executives who make purchasing decisions within their organizations. These things are absolutes. And if I don’t see that, I’m not interested in the candidate. What would also be nice is if they’re bilingual and on the East Coast. But I could fly somebody from the West Coast over and bilingual is not a must, but it would sure be nice. And so when you’re a candidate, let’s say that you’re bilingual. Let’s say that you have sold software, but maybe it was two jobs ago and you conveniently left that point off of your resumé. And you conveniently left the fact off that you did speak more than one language and that hiring manager picks up your resumé and says ooh so close but doesn’t have all of the bullet points that I need.
Patrick: You go into the circular filing bin down at the bottom of their desk, right? So shame on you. You got the list of things they were looking for and you decided not to include those things that you had in your resumé. So before you push that submit button on your resumé, take a minute. Look at their checklist. They literally give you the checklist. And even if you’ve only done a little bit of that thing that they’re looking for, maybe in this case it’s software sales. You only did it for six months and it was a short job. So I didn’t even include it on my resumé. Whew! Backpedal. Let’s put that six month window on your resumé and really call out the fact that you were deep into software, even though it was six months. And they say when they look at that resumé check, they’ve sold the enterprise check. They’ve talked to sea level executives because you did a great job of calling it out early in your resumé. There’s only a little bit of software sales, but it’s there. I’d like to talk to him a little bit more and see exactly how deep that rabbit hole goes. And it looks like they’re even bilingual. This person is ninety nine percent of what I was looking for. At least at a surface level view.
Patrick: Let’s call them in for an interview. That five minutes that you took is the difference between going into the trash can and being set aside in their calendar for a future conversation. So spend the time! That’s the first piece with resumés. Is the the next thing that we need to focus on with your resumé is making sure that just like your LinkedIn profile, we’re setting the stage really well for understanding what it is that you’ve done. I see a lot of really convoluted resumés that have no specific format to them, that don’t communicate any facts about you and what you bring to the table. And equally, I’ve seen resumés that are very sparse and just I don’t know what this person does. You don’t want to be in either of those two lanes. The proper lane is really good descriptions of what it is that you’ve done and how you’ve done at that job. Those are the two most important parts. What you did, how you did, the how you did is the measurable portion. They can start to quantify what you really bring to their company. Sales is a nice position and SalesFirst recruiting primarily focuses on sales positions on very familiar and incompetent and talking about it. It’s easy to quantify what you did. There’s a common language for sales. So if the first position on your resumé is small business executive for a telecom company and your dates were the last two years and down below for those who are listening to go, I don’t know what a small business executive for a telecom company does, tell me more.
Patrick: Well, I’m about to educate you. The next sentence to two sentences of your I should say something along the lines of responsible for calling small businesses and asking them questions about their current telecom and how they’re using it within their business and positioning our telecom service appropriately. OK, I get it. This is a salesperson who’s calling new customers. Well, if you’re a salesperson, tell me about how you did in that role. Well, I had a quota of contacting fifteen customers per day and sending out five proposals per day of which I was able to turn one of those into a deal every single day that had roughly a value of ten thousand dollars to my company. I now understand your activity levels and expectations. And then if you tell me my quota was to sell X number per month and I sold one hundred and fifty percent of that number and I was the third best person on my team of one hundred people consistently year over year or quarter over quarter or month over month. Then I can start to see how you differentiate from your peers.
Patrick: Because I know in every in every group of people there’s gonna be a top and a bottom performer. Not everybody’s gonna perform identical, right? And if I’m going to spend my time and money to hire somebody, I want somebody who’s better than most, right? So your responsibility is to think of the things that you do well, and you might not be the number one person on your team, regardless of what it is that you do for a living. Whether it’s, I’m responsible for processing payrolls and I will process a hundred individual payroll forms per week. I don’t know. And other people on my team are anywhere between 50 and a 150. OK. You’re roughly in the middle. That’s fine. You’re still employable. But maybe you had the highest level of audits completed successfully. Like of all of the payrolls that I completed, I never had a failed audit. Talk about that. That’s something worth crowing about. Highest audit percentage on my team of fifteen people who process payroll at my company. Good! Now you’ve got something to crow about. And this might take a little bit of, of reflection to think of. Be creative. Think about things that you’ve done that create some distinction, put it into your resumé. Let me pause for a second, because I’d settle through a whole bunch of the listeners here.
Joe: So this is really important. This is like the meat and potatoes of this conversation, because I think this is what’s going to be helpful. And I don’t believe a lot of people get this inside scoop because they don’t get to know they’re hearing this firsthand about what you get asked from the company side of, you know, the employer themselves. And you get to be in the position of hearing what the candidates want. You get to see their resumé. You get to see their LinkedIn profile. So you’re right in the middle. And you’re seeing both sides and this is what’s important for people that are going to be out there fighting for these jobs when they when they come, you know, open again as the economy picks back up. So what I heard that was really important and I just want to re-state it so that it’s you know, I want to make sure I heard it, that I’ve made the mistake. So I actually had to hang my head down low for a moment, because when I actually had applied for certain jobs in the past and I’ve been my own boss, you know, self-employed for a really long time. But the few times that I did work for other people or send out resumés for jobs, I was totally guilty of this as my resumé and this is what I send out no matter what job I’m going for. So I think the key takeaway is, take that extra time and customize the resumé for this particular job that you’re applying for and, and tailor it so that if you were on the other end, reading it for that position, it would make sense and not have it be just, hey, this is my résumé and I’m sticking to it. And I don’t care where it’s going. They either like me or they don’t. So
Patrick: Mm hmm.
Joe: That’s one important thing that I got out of it, is that your resumé is not your resumé. It’s your resumé for that particular job. The next job, our position, you have to tailor it towards that. And so I think that’s important to take away from what you just said. And the other piece of it is you have to be able to sell yourself, you know. And if you can go sell like especially in people that you place, they are I would say the majority are sales people. That’s hence the name of your company. If you can go out and sell products and services, then you know, God, you have to be able to sell yourself, too. So why not use that talent that got you to where you are in the sales world, to sell yourself and not be afraid to just do that? And I think that’s where people
Patrick: Um hmm.
Joe: Fall short. They don’t they don’t sell themselves. They they hear those little voices in their head saying, oh, that sounds like you’re being cocky or your ego or blah, blah, blah.
Patrick: You, Joe, I’m glad you you restated it exactly how you did, because you completely capture the spirit of what I was trying to communicate. You just did it much more elegantly in fewer words. But yeah, that’s that’s the gist. And it’s interesting, even working with sales people, some who are exceptionally talented and have the pedigree to prove it, aren’t great at resumés. And you sort of wonder why they can’t put more of that sales showmanship into their resumé? And I don’t know exactly why. And I’ve been scratching my head about that for many years, but I think that this is a a foreign skill that people don’t use on a regular basis and like anything, it’s perishable. So I, I think that if people are understanding what you just said and capturing it and using it, they’re going to be more successful than people that aren’t listening to your podcast honestly. If I could and I don’t want to, you know, take up a whole bunch of your bandwidth and you can cut me off, you know, with the old cane pulled me off the stage
Joe: No, no, no
Patrick: At any time. One of the things that has flummoxed candidates on the job boards more recently and I mean the last handful of years is they’re submitting their resumés and they feel like it’s a good resumé, two jobs that they’re well qualified for and they’re not hearing back. And one of the things that we’ve identified that can really change that in their favor is the format that they submit their resumé. And then this is really important. A lot of the systems, a lot of the job boards, are capturing that resumé and forwarding it to a company. And a lot of these companies these days have something called an ATS system, which is an applicant tracking system. And essentially, it’s just a fancy way of keeping track of people that apply for jobs. And what that ATS system will do once it receives a resumé from one of the job boards is something called parsing. It’s essentially going to read your resumé and then populate a whole bunch of fields, in the system and then create a condensed report for the hiring manager or H.R. professional to see a condensed version of your resumé. And unfortunately, that technology is not foolproof at this point, which means a lot of people’s resumés get completely chopped up like it was put into a paper shredder, into the ATS system in the ATS system spits out a report that’s almost unreasonable or unreadable and unrecognizable.
Patrick: So if you’re being inundated with one hundred or a thousand resumés a day and you’re one of those people whose resumé gets chewed up by the ATS system, the chances that hiring manager are going back to the ATS system and unraveling and putting it back together correctly is probably pretty low. That resumé is just lost forever. They’re going to wait for one that comes through that’s recognizable and readable, right? How do I fix this problem? Well, I’ll tell ya! The format that you submit your resumé and is important. The first thing is the actual digital format .pdf is most typical or Word document is next. Go with Word .doc, a Word document tends to get chewed up far less than a .pdf or other formats on other platforms, like if you’re a Mac user and you’re using one of their word processing, um I would recommend Word, good old fashioned Microsoft Word. Does it mean that it won’t get chewed up? No, but you’re going to have a much better chance of it going through. The next piece of the puzzle is the things that seem to get chewed up the most, are names, addresses, phone numbers and job titles. So what that means to me is on your resumé may have your name, don’t put anything else on that line…it’s its own line.
Patrick: Then your city that you live in. If you want to include your home address, that’s fine. And that’s a sort of an FAQ question that I get a lot. Should I put my home address? There’s a lot of, a lot of differing opinions on this one, and I’ll pause just for a second. People can make judgments on you by looking up your home address and Google mapping you and seeing exactly where you live. If you put yourself out there as a professional, that’s done very well for themselves, but you’re living in the bottom basement of the worst part of town, the hiring manager is going to go, I don’t know if this person is as successful as they’re putting themselves out there to be. So there’s a lot of information that can be gained by your personal address. But frankly, if you’re applying for a position that is general to an area, for example, I’ll just use Phoenix. They’re taking applicants from the city of Phoenix, then putting Phoenix on your resumé is fine. And it’ll actually be easier for the applicant tracking system to figure out because it’s not, 1234 West Cherry Lane, Suite 405, Floor B, City state zip code now the tracking system goes state floor B. You
Patrick: Know, and all of a sudden the hiring manager says they live in floor, floor B, what is that? So keeping those lines separate is important. And then on your job description of what you do, enterprise sales executive for software company XYZ, make that its own line so that it’s easier for the applicant tracking system to unpack what it is you or your current job title and subsequent job titles are. So you would want to just put that into a big, long paragraph and it won’t figure it out. Thee, maybe, maybe something worth worth talking about here is ageism as it relates to your LinkedIn profile and resumé and as a hiring professional, I have never seen racism. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I’m not even trying to make that assertion, but I’ve never seen it personally. I have a lot of hiring managers that I create very close relationships with, of all different nationalities, all different age groups, all different industries all over the country and even the world and of all of the hours that we’ve spent over the years talking with these people, there’s plenty of opportunity for them to say something disparaging about a minor, minority group. I’ve never seen it as it relates to race or religion or anything like that. Again, not saying it doesn’t exist. I have on only a handful of occasions, ever heard anything that was based on gender. Like we’re not interested in the following gender for this role. And maybe they meant well by it, but shame on them, right? So there are there is a hiring group that I have identified in past conversations that were gender bias.
Patrick: I’ve never seen sexual preference pop up, that’s never been a thing. Although again, not saying it doesn’t exist. But by a wide margin, the number of times that I’ve had a hiring manager say something about age or youthfulness or somebody who’s a little bit more coachable or moldable or starting to swerve toward age related terms, I can’t even express to you the number of times I’ve had that conversation. Ageism is by far the thing that I’ve encountered in my business the most. And so for those folks, that might be a little bit more senior, I see very a lot less of it at the younger spectrum junior candidates. I don’t see a ton of ageism there. And usually the work requirement itself will exclude those people anyway. So if you’re looking for 10 years of experience coding software and you just got out of college, you probably don’t have it anyway. So, they don’t need to be specific about age but where I see the point of diminishing returns in conversations and willingness for people to talk to all applicants, is right around that late 40s to early 50s. That’s where I start to feel the first waves of resistance. And as we get closer to retirement age, it only becomes that much greater. And at SalesFirst we tried very hard to look past those things and place people that are in those age brackets, but it becomes more challenging for, for us, just because we received pushback not from everybody, but from those people that I’ve already identified and we tried to distance ourselves in those companies, but usually don’t know it.
Patrick: So you sent out candidates? Yes. Why are you seeing this person? And then it starts to come out in the wash. Right. So the question that I get a lot of times from folks that are a little bit further on in years are a little bit more tenured or experienced, is should I put my education because my degree is from 1970 or something along that lines. It’s going to tell them how old I am. Well, I this is not the definitive answer, but they’re probably going to be able to tell anyway. If all you put on your resumé is your last three jobs and it stops at the year 2000 but all of your positions where Senior Vice President of a big company, they’re going to assume that you’re probably already a little bit older based on the positions that you’ve held, unless you’re a wonder kid, right? Other positions, maybe not. Maybe your entire career, you’ve been the very best administrative assistant. God bless you! We all need ya! But it’s been that same position for a long time. So maybe do you put just the last five years of that experience of the last twenty five that have all been administrative assistant? I’ll leave that to you, but I will tell you that your resumé, in my opinion, going back to P.T. Barnum is your shameless self-promotion of yourself and anything that helps somebody buy a ticket to your circus, good! You can clarify everything else that needs to be talked about in an in-person or virtual interview with the hiring manager. Give yourself a chance to have the conversation is what I would say.
Joe: And before we get off the topic of LinkedIn or resumé, does SalesFirst offer any services to help people clean either of those, those things up?
Patrick: Yeah. So all of the candidates that we work with are gonna receive some level of LinkedIn and resumé a coaching, the more viable that candidate is two roles that we’re currently working on. Then they will receive bespoke treatment on both of those where we’re going to spend a lot of time really unpacking it. And here’s what that means. So if you approach our company and let’s say that you’re that machinist that we talked about a little bit earlier and we look at the jobs that we’re currently working on and we’ll likely work on in the future, Machinist will not be one of those. But we like to leave everybody that we talked to in a better position than we found them. So we’ll do things like talk about your resumé. Talk about your LinkedIn profile. It will not be nearly as exhaustive as if you are a perfect fit for one of the roles that we’re potentially working toward. And that’s just a matter of bandwidth for the recruiters. If we did the same exercise with everybody that called in, we would be SalesFirst Consulting Services, helping people brush up their LinkedIn profile in resumés for free [laughter] and then, then we’re gonna be coming to you looking for a job, Joe, because we’re gonna be out of business.
Patrick: That being said, there are a lot of companies out there that specialize in writing resumés. Some are better than worse. My recommendation is, first, Google, if they’ve got a good web presence, that’s a good indicator that they’re probably better than others. Look at some of the sample documents they create. If they seem to line up with the things that we’ve talked about here today and they meet with how you want to represent yourself, then go ahead and proceed with that conversation and they will probably put together a resumé that’s better than what you could do yourself. Then use the tools that we talked about earlier. Just because they gave you a finished product doesn’t mean it’s finished because each job we’re going gonna apply to, we’re probably gonna add a few bullet points to make it bespoke to that job. So your job is not done just because you’ve paid for a fancy resumé.
Joe: How many times have you seen something with social media cause a potential candidate to not get a job? Like how, I know you’ve already mentioned that employers are companies will look at LinkedIn and Facebook as the two primary. And, you know, obviously there’s Twitter and Instagram and now Tic-Toc and all the other things.
Patrick: Umm hmm..
Joe: How often have you seen it crop up where the company went, the extra, you know, effort to dig deeper, to find out more about what this person’s really about. And it caused someone to not get a position based on poor choices on social media.
Patrick: Yeah, all the time. Yeah,
Patrick: All the time. I.
Joe: That wasn’t the answer I expected. I seriously I. But.
Patrick: Yeah, well, the good news is when we talk to everybody and we ask them questions about, you know, what’s going on in your particular job search, where else are you applying? What was the result of that application? Why don’t you think you got that job? Why do you think that you could get this job? And we’re having all those conversations and yeah, they, they found my political beliefs on raising mink or whatever ya know, it’s very polarizing these days, mink farming. But whatever it is, there is a lot of things that we put out in the universe that can be polarizing to certain groups of people and this is not like a left versus right thing. There’s a lot of things that just turn people off and people hire people that they like and if you aren’t in alignment with some of those hiring managers on your social media, you might find yourself nixed. Now, is that reasonable? I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t necessarily think so, not in every occasion. But I do think that there’s, you know, the rules of right and then there’s the rules of smart. And you might be right on a particular belief, maybe not to get into anything political here, but maybe your belief is that cannabis should be legal. Maybe your belief is that cannabis should be illegal.
Patrick: And maybe you’re right! But I will tell you that going on social media and making it your your stump for whatever your particular belief is might not help you get your next job because the person who is eventually almost certain to see it, is going to form their own opinions on it. So my question back to the listeners is, is that the hill that you want to die on? Maybe it is! In which case you’re right, good! Your, your, your particular belief is important to you to, die on that hill. Is it smart from a job seeking perspective? Probably not. Can you be somewhat politically active or have some opinions? Absolutely! I think that hiring managers realize that people are real, but I also think that, like the pictures of you passed out drunk the night before your interview on your Facebook or streaking through the quad or something like that, or probably not things that are going to create a lot of confidence in that hiring manager. So I would encourage you to weigh the difference between right and smart here. You do have the ability to post everything in your life and be public and should people care? Yes, you should be able to do those things and people shouldn’t care, but guess what they do. So be smart! Get a job!
Joe: Right. All right. WOW!, I’m glad I asked it because I didn’t expect…I know people do a lot of crazy things on social media and I’ve done my share, but nothing too drastic.
Joe: But, ah
Patrick: We had ah…
Patrick: Not to interrupt, Joe, but we actually had a gentleman…again, this doesn’t happen to us very often because we’re having the conversation like it’s time for you to go scrub your social media because we’re gonna apply to some jobs here. And so most of those folks take our advice and they do the right thing. So we don’t get candidates that are getting rejected personally very often. But we had a situation where a person who were and remain completely anonymous, applied to a job, received the job offer, did a great job in the interview, and somebody who wasn’t the hiring manager, but within the company was wondering who the new employee was decided to do a little bit of rooting around on social media and found out this person several years ago decided to experiment with opium and that got back to the hiring manager. And even though there was no recent footprints of it, they decided to nix the candidate
Patrick: Before they ever started.
Joe: Yeah, there you go!
Patrick: So we all have a history. Don’t be ashamed of who you are as a person. All of our experiences made you who you are today. And that’s probably a good person. But when it comes to getting a job, it’s not, that’s not the story that’s going to come out to the hiring manager. So be smart. Set yourself up for success. You can get back to all of your funky stuff once the companies hired you, they know you, they love you, they would never get rid of you, even if you do have big beliefs about mink farming.
Joe: [Laughter] So I only have a couple more questions. This is putting you on the spot, but you’re well-versed in a lot of areas. What would be your guess as to what jobs will come back first when we start to progressively get out on the other side of this? And on the other side of this, I mean, in case this is listened to months from now, I’m talking about the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re going through right now in April 2020.
Patrick: Well, it’s definitely outside of my normal vein in business. And now we’re looking at the big black magic 8 ball, right? Trying to trying to find some answers. Instinctively, I would respond that companies that saw this coming sooner made proactive steps to insulate themselves from the potential fallout of the pandemic. Who were prior to the outbreak, financially savvy enough to put money away for rainy days and who are as part of their business model, further away from the social distancing that’s currently being implemented, right? So be an example of that is we have a corporate client that does large scale commercial projects and this is everything from the Hoover Dam that they participated in the construction of the Hoover Dam. They’ve constructed major stadiums, including the new Raiders stadium that’s going in in Nevada, high rises in Chicago and New York. So they do major construction projects and they felt this coming the very end of last year and the smart executives there decided to immediately halt discretionary travel, spending, hiring and offers that were out, they retracted. Even though nobody in the United States had even been diagnosed with COVID-19 yet. And so, they had already been smart. They’ve got a war chest of cash. They buckled their seat belt for a rough ride. And when they come back out of it, these big projects, most of whom are being either state or locally funded to some degree, right, with tax incentives and zoning allowances and all these different things that go on, these big construction projects, they’re going to move forward. And with that being the case, these type of companies are immediately going to come out of hibernation, have all the money in the world.
Patrick: They’ve been able to really think through their business plans and strategize how they’re going to emerge from this during this. I do want to call it idling because they’re still doing some work, but there was no growth during this period of time. So they should have a little bit more bandwidth to engage in thinking about what are they going to be in the new world that’s that’s coming out and they’re going to be able to make strategic hiring plans. And I suspect that when they do come online, they’re going to really tax their internal recruiters to find as many qualified applicants as possible. And those internal recruiters will reach out to companies like us and say, hey, listen, we have 150 open recs that just opened today and I already had one hundred the day before and I’m only one person. Can you help? And our team will jump into motion. And here as a candidate, this is why the earlier advice of reaching out to all the different people in your network and reaching out to recruiting agencies, because as soon as one of those people gets wind, hey, our company is hiring or the company that we represent is hiring and you’ve already submitted your résumé, they already know who you are, you’re in the system, you’re at the front of the line, my friend! And when they do come out of this hibernation, you might be one of the first people that they’re calling. So I think that that’s, that’s the business profile that’s most likely to come out of this first.
Patrick: And then as they grow, as they spend money, so goes the trickle down. So it was the bottom, that got consumed first, it will be the bottom that fills up first.
Joe: Got it!
Patrick: So I think it’s going to be a little while until we see people at a, ah at concerts or people that are doing hospitality in in mass. So I know that’s not good news for a lot of the listeners because I know the types of people that are attracted to your your business here, your podcast but that’s the way I see it panning out.
Joe: Well I appreciate that um, so what is next for SalesFirst recruiting?
Patrick: It’s, I don’t want to pretend that we’re insulated from this. I think that we as a business are somewhere between that singer who was singing at a local hotel every single weekend, who immediately lost their job all the way up to the meg a-corporation Amazon who is hiring lots of new drivers, we’re somewhere in the middle of that continuum and our business has been absolutely affected as well.
Patrick: There was a period of time where we were getting calls from clients a couple of times an hour. Hey, we’re, we’re gonna cancel this job. We’re gonna pause this job. Hey, we’re gonna see how this all works out in the long run. So our business has equally been been drawn down as a result of this. So that’s it’s unfortunate because at a time when we’re seeing more candidates come to us, needing help for jobs is exactly the same time that we see fewer jobs that we can offer them. So it’s been really frustrating. You know, that’s my passion, is putting good people in contact with good companies and not being able to help as many people as maybe we were once upon a time able to, has been exceptionally frustrating, has caused a lot of sleepless nights for me. So what’s next for sales first recruiting? Well, we’re going to continue recruiting as long as there’s companies out there that have jobs, as long as there’s companies that are reaching out to us with their jobs, we’re gonna keep doing what we do. Additionally, we’re gonna continue to do business development, reaching out to companies that we didn’t previously have a relationship with, that through our own networks, we see are actively hiring. Well, we want to understand how we can be a part of that success, because when they open their business to us, we then open their business to a big universe of candidates that have reached out to us. So that’s really gonna be our focus going forward, working remotely, continuing to work with candidates when they come to us, needing some assistance, continuing to work with our active clients as well as our perspective and future clients.
Joe: Awesome! How do the listeners and viewers get in touch with SalesFirst recruiting, can you give me all of your handles, the website, any way that they can get in touch with you? And obviously, I’ll put all of this info in the show notes as well, but I’d like to at least give you a chance to let them know where they can find you.
Patrick: Yes. I’m going to give you three things. I think it’ll be easiest. I’m always one of those people who’s confused when I see something on TV that I would actually like to have and it’s like 1 800 485-21852…and I’m like, slow down! And then the commercial, the commercials that’s based on like I only got 3 of the numbers, it looks like I’m not buying that thing, right?
Patrick: So I don’t want to be that guy here. So I’ll make it really simple. Our Web site is salesfirstrecruiting.com. And if you go there, you’ll see all of our contact information, including my personal contact information. And first is spelled out F.I.R.S.T. I get some people who will put the 1 then st and that’s that’s going somewhere else… I don’t know where that’s going.
Patrick: So, S.A.L.E.S.F.I.R.S.T.R.E.C.R.U.I.T.I.N.G.com, which is a mouthful. salesfirstrecruiting.com. We’ll get you to all of the other contact information. Feel free to message me personally at Patrick, [email protected].
Joe: Awesome! Did I miss anything? Did I forget anything?
Patrick: I feel like we need to have at least one wildly off topic question, don’t you?
Patrick: Something just so, so far out of left field that, the everything that we just said we’ll lose all credibility for, because what we’re what we’re about to talk about is so, so, so far afield.
Joe: Yeah! Well, I was I was going to bring that up earlier when you started talking about. We brought up the whole social media thing and you talked about pictures of someone passed out on their on their Facebook page or streaking through the quad cities like damn, you were you are on my Facebook page, weren’t you?
Patrick: [Laughter] Busted, busted!
Joe: Yeah, yeah, gosh, I don’t know. Are you? Are you out on your motorcycle? A lot? Because you have to social distance and that’s how you get your head straight?
Patrick: Yeah, that’s that’s the ultimate social distancing, isn’t it? Yeah. One of my pastimes is I live very close to the national forest and there’s unlimited millions of miles of, of ah, acres, millions of acres out there to be discovered. And it is a really good way to kind of cleanse the palate. My mind has been churning as everybody else has and I think that regardless of what level it’s been impacting you personally, you’ve probably felt more stress than you ever had before. And I think that taking care of our mind and taking care of our meat vehicle, I like to refer to this as our bodies, is really, really important!
Patrick: And I’ve always taken health and wellness very seriously. I track what I eat, I track all of my statistics on my Whoop strap every morning and have peculiar diets and of various different activities in my life, but probably the one that I’ve fallen back on the most recently is getting out of my dirt bike and just spending time in nature and seeing the great beauty that is our our land here in Arizona. Even though some people find it a little bit stark, I just find a lot of beauty in the sunrise, the mountains and the cactuses and things like that. So for me, it’s very refreshing, so, yeah, I’ve I’ve actually been out a lot lately. I’ve got some stories that I’ll tell you next, next time off, off camera, but yeah, a lot of exploring has been done.
Joe: Awesome. Yeah, and I’m sure you miss jujitsu, since you can’t be doing, you know, hand-to-hand combat
Joe: At the moment.
Patrick: It was funny when this all started, right? My wife came to me and said, well, are you going to continue to go to jujitsu, which is for me just a fantastic outlet as well and it’s a good social point for me, a lot of my friends are there. And she’s like, the last thing you need is somebody sweating, snorting, sneezing on you during during a pandemic. So maybe you cut that out.
Patrick: And, she’s right! And I haven’t gone to jujitsu lately. It it pains me, though, because my friend Mike, my coach who owns the gym, I know that he’s struggling right now because that was his livelihood. And I sincerely hope that he’s able to recover from this thing and it might be a long time till people re-embrace togetherness, right? Because and again, I’m getting far away from where my area of expertise is, but this, this thing might be with us just like the flu or just like the cold is, and it’s maybe it’s something that comes around seasonally. And I think that if that is the case and if there’s not a robust cure or some sort of a way to better mitigate it, other than social distancing, that we might not get back to that type of activity anytime soon and that’s that’s a little bit disheartening because it’s something that I enjoy. But again, as as we started this podcast, Jocko said, every time that life throws you something that you weren’t expecting that you didn’t necessarily want, Good! Now you have a chance to get better, to change, to evolve, to grow in new ways that you never knew that you could. And I think that this conversation today, Joe, is really just been about discovering things that you can personally do, to take advantage of the gaps that are still out there, they’re still open for you and you can go through those gaps as long as you’re doing the right things. It’s gonna be hard, it’s going to require work, it’s going to require discipline but there is going to be opportunities for people that are listening to this podcast. If they believe in themselves, they do some self-assessment, then do the mechanics that get more jobs, they’re gonna be fine.
Joe: Well, awesome man, that’s a perfect way to end it. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate your expertise. I think this is important at this time. We do you know, we this prep can’t happen when the floodgates open, it has to happen now and you have to position yourself to be on the pole position in the race, right? You can’t be in the back of the field and then try to catch up because it’s it’s going to be every man, every woman for themselves when, when things head in the other direction. And I know what you personally do to help these people. I’ve heard the sincerity in your voice and how you take that, you know, you take such time with every single candidate. And um I, I you know, for me, this this is important to convey how special you are and what you do and the knowledge that you have and so I’m really honored that you said yes to coming on the podcast. You’ve given me two hours, which is amazing! But I can’t thank you enough, man. I really, really appreciate it! And and I look forward to seeing you in person again at some point. I do miss hanging with all you guys. Take care of yourself and your family. And thank you again so much. Patrick.
Patrick: Thanks a lot, Joe, really appreciated the forum, and you’re right. I really do enjoy working with the people that I’ve had an opportunity to consult with, and I hope to hear from some of your people that are listening to this podcast. So good luck to you all.
Joe: Awesome, man. Thank you!