Paula Goodman is a 30-year veteran of recruiting and currently the Director of Recruitment for Columbia University. She recruits for senior-level administrative positions within central administration and the schools.
1. What do you know about the job search process as a recruiter that you wish more jobseekers knew?
In higher education the process takes a long, long, long time. Hiring units are very busy and finding time to review resumes and schedule interviews is difficult. Also most academic institutions like here are highly decentralized. Central HR does not filter out any resumes. Each and every resume submitted goes directly to the hiring unit and they determine whom they call. My role is as an in-house executive recruiter is working only on very senior jobs by agreement with the hiring unit.
2. What is an example of something a strong candidate did very well or that impressed you?
The candidates that do the best with me are those that have done extensive research not just on Columbia but about the hiring unit. The more research the better. We have a great website with most everything readily accessible to research if someone digs.
3. What is a pet peeve or dealbreaker that candidates may unwittingly or carelessly do?
I do not like people to touch things on my desk. You would be surprised that I have had several candidates do that as the interview begins
4. Many jobseekers spend a lot of time fretting about the resume. Is this a good idea? What is another area (interviewing, networking, follow-up, online profile, company research, etc) that you recommend jobseekers spend significant time on?
I DESPISE functional resumes. It is almost an allergic reaction. Only classic reverse chronological resumes work well with me. Cover letters are important here. They need not be long, but they need to be specifically tailored to the job
5. What is one favorite piece of advice you’d like to share with jobseekers to make them more effective in their searches (and better candidates for yours)?
Try to pace your follow up. Too frequent contact is not good. Just an occasional check-in is preferable.
Next week’s Recruiter Interview features Jennifer Sobel, Recruitment Manager for Disney ABC Television Group.