Preptel Moves to FREE Model to Proactively Match Job Seekers with Qualified Positions
Preptel Corporation, provider of job-seeker optimization services which improve a candidate’s chances of getting an interview and securing an offer, today announced the launch of Preptel 2.0 which proactively seeks out and intelligently identifies job opportunities using proprietary algorithms, advanced semantic search, computational linguistics, statistical inference and patented skillset matching technology…for FREE, forgoing their previous monthly subscription fees.
Leveraging these proprietary matching tools, Preptel 2.0 is no longer simply a reactive tool that helps with candidate résumé optimization; it now also actively searches and presents positions that a job seeker has the best chance of getting, all while ranking the probability of them getting the job.
You have been using Preptel for several weeks and hopefully you found specific jobs to target, tuned your résumé, and applied to 1 or more jobs.
To get the most out of Preptel, we want to focus on all of the ratings, graphs and information provided on each screen. As you use Preptel, this information will provide important information to help you improve your efforts.
On the Overview page, we provide 2 graphs and one very important metric. Here is an explanation.
Saved Jobs: This graph shows the Job Fit Rating of jobs you saved and how well they met your background, connections and experiences. The more 4 & 5 star jobs you target, the more success you will have in landing interviews.
Job Status: This graph shows how many jobs you have applied, how many résumés you have tuned, and how many still need tuning. This graph shows progress on how many jobs applied.
Interview Hit Rate: This metric shows the number of jobs you received an interview or phone screen versus those applied. We recommend you mark the job status as Not Selected for any job you applied to that is older than 1 month and you have not heard back from the hiring company.
Jobs I Want
On the Jobs I Want page, we provide 1 graph and 5 metrics. Here is an explanation.
Ready to Apply: This metric shows how many résumés have been tuned to a strong rating and are ready to be submitted to the job. Submitting a résumé that has not been tuned reduces your likelihood of an interview. Therefore, we recommend you get all résumés to strong rating before applying.
Ready to Tune: This metric shows the number of résumés that need tuning before you apply to a job.
Résumé Ratings: This graph shows how many jobs you have applied, how many résumés you have tuned, and how many still need tuning. This graph shows progress on moving from a job you want to a job you applied.
Your Averages Per Job – Job Fit Rating: This metric shows the average Job Fit Rating of jobs you saved and how well they met your background, connections, and experiences. The higher the average, the more success you will have in landing interviews. We recommend you maintain an average of 3 stars minimum.
Your Averages Per Job – Network Connections: This metric shows the number of social connections you have at each job. Focusing on jobs where you have connections will improve your successes and provide an inside advantage to getting the job.
Interview Hit Rate: This metric shows the number of jobs you received an interview or phone screen versus those applied. We recommend you mark the job status as Not Selected for any job you applied to that is older than 1 month and you have not heard any update from the hiring company.
Résumé Tuning Page
On the Résumé Tuning page, we provide 5 metrics. Here is an explanation.
Résumé Strength: This shows the overall match of your résumé to the keywords from the job description. The more keywords your résumé includes from the job description, the higher the rating your résumé will get from the hiring company.
Missing Information Reviewed: As résumés are parsed and evaluated by hiring companies, information is often missed or identified incorrectly. This metric shows how many items found versus the total items expected. Preptel uses the same technology as hiring companies to provide the most accurate information.
Missing Keywords: This metric shows the missing keywords identified in the job description but not identified in your résumé. Reduce this number by adding the suggested keywords and watch your Résumé Rating increase.
Partial Keywords: Partial keywords are keywords in the job description that match part of the phrase in your résumé. Partial keywords can be frustrating to add so you may want to add them as new keywords instead of editing your current resume.
Matched Keywords: Matched keywords are keywords that match both in the job description and in your résumé.
One of the most often overlooked success factors in a job search is the job posting date. When a job is posted, the hiring company will begin receiving applications. Often a period of time, the hiring company will receive enough applications to begin scheduling interviews. This time period will range from 1 day to 2-3 weeks usually. Once interviews are scheduled, any new applicants have a significantly reduced chance of getting an interview.
Once a company begins interviewing candidates, a shift occurs in the hiring process that is not known to the candidate. When companies are receiving applications, the hiring company is trying to identify qualified candidates and is open to new applications. They are asking the question “are we getting ‘good’ candidates”. However, once the interview process begins, the hiring company switches focus to finding the best candidate available. The focus shifts from trying to get many qualified applicants to who is the best fit for the company. This shift towards a “closing” state of mind means new applicants will have less opportunity to get their résumé seen.
In Preptel we identify and manage the job posting date for you. If the job is more than 3 weeks old, we flag the job as becoming stale. The screenshot below shows the clock icon highlighted in red.
Caption: Job Posting Date is shown on the Jobs I Want page.
As you manage your job search, you will pay more attention to the posting date and trust it to ensure you get more responses to your applications.
Congratulations, you received a call or response back from the hiring company and now you need to begin preparing for the phone screen or interview. You successfully passed from applicant to candidate. To prepare properly, we have created Preptel’s Interview Guide. This interview guide shows how you compare to other candidates so you understand your strengths and weaknesses.
To get started, prepare for a transition in your approach. You need to transition from job searching to selling. During the interview stage, the focus shifts from “I am qualified” to “I am the best available candidate.” Therefore, knowing where you are strong or weak compared to other candidates becomes important.
The Interview Guide is setup in a SWOT format. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Here is the information contained within each section.
Strengths & Weaknesses: Preptel analyzes the job requirements, your skills and competencies, and other candidate’s skills and competencies. If your skills and competencies are stronger than 80% of the other candidates, this is highlighted as a strength. However, if 50% candidates have stronger skills and competencies, then we list it under weaknesses. The ratings are guidelines to help you focus and not absolute evaluations. The goal is to identify areas of your background that distinguish you from other candidates.
Opportunities & Threats: Preptel analyzes the location, industry, education, and work experience of the job requirements against your résumé and the résumé of other candidates. Based on the comparison, we list these items as Opportunities or Threats. For instance, if you have 12 years of industry experience and 80% of the candidates have 5 years of industry experience, this is an opportunity to show off your deep knowledge of the market. Comparatively, if you live in Boston and the job is located in Los Angeles, this may be a threat if other candidates live in Los Angeles. The ratings are guidelines to help you focus. They are not absolute evaluations. The goal is to identify areas of your background where you may have an opportunity to showcase other areas of your background outside of core job responsibilities.
For some items, we provide a definition to help explain the item. Use this to get a better understanding to the item listed.
In addition, we provide a list of questions to help you prepare. Working through these questions, try to include your strengths and opportunities so you showcase your best talents.
Preparing for an interview with a focus on the competition will give you an advantage. While other candidates are preparing to answer interview questions related to the job requirements, you will be answering the same questions, but with an emphasis on your strengths to the job requirements and distinguish you from other candidates.
When making an introduction or asking for help from your network, one big challenge is how to tell someone why you are a strong candidate for a given job. Most often, this valuable piece of information is left out entirely, or communicated vaguely. When asking for help or making an introduction, you need to communicate why someone should recommend you. They are risking their credibility and you want to alleviate any fears by clearly showing why you are a top candidate.
Here is a recent request I received to make an introduction for a former colleague.
While the message is nice, it doesn’t provide me with any information about the job, if she is qualified, or what I should say. This person doesn’t realize her request carries risk for me. These contacts are important to my job networking so I will be careful in how I use them. I don’t want to burn a bridge by recommending someone who is not qualified. When I do make an introduction, I want to make a good recommendation so they understand why I am contacting them. Preferably, I would want to point out a few strengths that apply to this job.
Unfortunately, this person did not get an introduction. In fact, this person didn’t follow up with me again about this job. You might think this is atypical, but it happens the majority of the requests I get.
What would have made this introduction stronger? Preptel’s candidate report and a well crafted email. See how this email could have been written.
Preptel Candidate Report (abbreviated)
With a compelling introduction and Preptel’s Candidate Report, your success rate of engaging your network will increase leading to more interviews.
In a recent article written by Wharton School, about 25% of new hires come from referrals. A lot of press recently has focused on job networking and articles on social media are at all time highs. Despite the press, engaging your network may still be challenging for two reasons – 1. You have to overcome any pride issues related to requesting help, 2. You need a solid introduction so the person feels confident in recommending you, and can make a strong recommendation.
As you begin considering your job network, it may help to understand the value put on internal referrals.
“Each day, I am looking at a screen, scrolling down and seeing line after line of applicants. If an applicant is flagged saying this person comes with an employee referral. That person goes right to the top. I can’t afford to ignore that referral.” says Bill, a technology Recruiting Manager.
The value of getting an internal referral is clear. But, why is it so hard? First, it is hard because you have to promote your need for a job. Most people feel uncomfortable publicizing this information. Overcoming your resistance is critical to engaging your network.
Our advice to target a select few jobs and focus on getting introductions to these companies. This will help focus your efforts on just a few contacts, and get you comfortable talking to a few people. Engaging your network on a select few jobs is the most effective strategy.
Once you determine who you need to contact, your challenge shifts to making the right introduction. You need to convincingly communicate why someone should recommend you . Most often, you will be requesting an introduction from someone not very close to you so just asking is not enough to make them take action. Therefore, you need to provide them with enough information to offset the risk they take. Remember, they are putting their name on the line by recommending you.
To accomplish this, we recommend you provide an strong review of your skills and background to the job. Focus on the requirements and highlight the areas where you have strength. If they are looking for someone with 3 years experience and you have 5, call this out. You would be surprised how many people request a referral or introduction and do not articulate why they are a good candidate. To often, the message is some version of “Dear Jon, Bob referred me to you regarding the position xxx. I was hoping I could talk to you about this position and discuss my background in marketing. When would be a good time to meet? I look forward to connecting with you. Sincerely, Gary”
With Preptel, we have develop a candidate report to help make this introduction easier. For each job, we provide a detailed chart showing why you are a strong candidate to the job. This is a fast, visual way to demonstrate your capabilities. We recommend any introduction includes the candidate report.
With job networking, getting past the these two obstacles will go a long way in ensuring your job search success.
Preptel Resumeter: Helping
Job Seekers and Talent Acquisition Managers Meet
Much of the R&D and investment in the recruiting industry is focused
on the needs of the corporate recruiter. Tools, such as applicant
tracking systems (ATS), search and recruitment outsourcing firms1,
assessments, and employment-branding services are all designed to
help corporate talent acquisition teams (which generally have lots of
money) find the right people.
What about job seekers? What tools do they have to find just the
right positions and make sure that they present the best-possible value
proposition to the employers which they believe have the best fit?
How to Beat the Automated Resume Screening System and Get Hired
Job-hunters are frustrated by the automated screening systems being used by many employers. Their resumes are not getting through and not being reviewed by a human screener. Job hunters are being warned in the media and by countless job search experts about the low probability of success from relying on applying online through job boards or through employer web sites. According to an expert on applicant tracking systems (ATS), Jonathan Ciampi, President and Founder of Preptel Corporation, the average job applicant has a 4 to 5 percent chance of getting a “hit” from a computer selection process.
With these low odds what is a job seeker to do?
Imagine if you could review millions of job applications and thousands of job descriptions to improve your job search. If you reviewed the hiring practices from a specific company would you change how you would apply to a job posting? If you could compare the hiring practices of one company versus another, would this information improve your job search success? Do you believe this information would make you more confident, more knowledgeable, and lead to more job offers?
At Preptel, we started with a core belief that the hiring process has patterns and probabilities just like any other business process. Moreover, we believed that invaluable insight could be gleamed by analyzing the hiring practices, candidate differences, industry difference, and company differences.
We started off with this basic idea expecting we would learn critical information unique to each company and each job that would significantly increase the chances of someone getting a job. And we did!
After analyzing thousands of job descriptions and millions of résumés using the latest computational linguistics technology and statistical inference techniques we found ways to:
- determine the best job opportunities for a candidate
- improve a résumé for each job
- increase the probability of getting an interview
- leverage an individual’s social networks
- prepare for an interview
Why Use Computational Linguistics
Computational linguistics is the use of computers in the analysis and synthesis of language. Since résumés are the most widely used communication tool when applying to a job, we believed opportunities existed to improve the positioning and representation of a candidate so the hiring company will take a more favorable view. As more than 80% of companies have adopted Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), a new challenge exists for job seekers. Job seekers need to optimize their résumé for these specific systems so their résumé ranks higher. Learn more about Applicant Tracking Systems here.
In addition, using our database of job descriptions and candidates, we are able to determine the important words and phrases for each job so you better match the culture of the company and the vernacular specific to the company. Using the same language as the company and focusing on their buzz words helps develop a favorable perception and an advantage.
A surprising side benefit of this effort came from analyzing all this language. While we were analyzing every job and every candidate, we also learned what makes each and every candidate unique and different from other candidates who were applying for the same job. For each job, 10, 20, 50, or 100 candidates or more apply. Within this group, we could identify what makes each candidate a great fit for the job (or not great fit) and what makes this candidate unique and different from all the other candidates. When a candidate’s unique characteristics match the needs of the company, the information is extremely powerful. We knew immediately this was information every candidate should have.
How Statistical Inference Helps Improve Success
At Preptel, we developed insights from the data using statistical inference. Statistical inference allows us to draw conclusions from our data about what is working and what is not working for job seekers. While we may not have every candidate and every job in our system, we are able to extrapolate the information and identify strategies that work and improve success rates.
A Learning System So We Keep Improving
Our systems are constantly learning and changing based on new information every day. As unemployment rates change, and hiring strategies change, Preptel is updating itself. This ensures the latest trends, techniques, and strategies are being used and communicated to our users.
Job seekers rarely consider themselves an expert or “professional” job seeker. Therefore, having the insight and expertise of an expert is invaluable when the time comes to begin the job search process. With Preptel, we want to remove the stress and trepidation of searching for a job by providing every advantage to our users so they are confident, knowledgeable, and get jobs faster.
When searching for jobs, it is easy to focus on common terms. However, to find the best jobs, use keywords that capture your unique skills or experiences. For example, “Sales Manager” is a common phrase across many industries, but “selling to hospital ER rooms” is specific.
To find good keywords, review your résumé and ask yourself “what on my résumé makes me different than everyone else who had similar jobs at other companies.” This will focus your attention on good keywords and lead you to jobs you should be a great fit.
When looking at the results from your search, see how many stars you receive. If you are getting 3, 4, and 5 star ratings, then you are searching on the right terms. If you are getting 1, 2, and 3 star ratings, then you probably need to search on other terms.
Job fit rating will help you focus on the jobs that best fit you. Use it as an advantage and watch your success rate improve.