Category Archives: resumes

Carmen’s Hot Jobs, Vol 1, No. 13

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B

The topic for this week’s blog was somewhat of a forgone conclusion. Oh sure, I could have ignored the obvious. I could have thrown caution to the wind and forged ahead with some other idea that had been floating around in my head for weeks. I could have just put on that somewhat faded t-shirt that said “No Fear!” and just written something else because I believed in what I was wearing. But why take a chance. Why tempt fate or the gods of blogging!
So I am yielding to some power greater than myself and writing about superstitions, this being my 13th blog in this series. (Freddy Krueger music playing in the background)
According to the dictionary, Superstition is an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear. I think most people have made decisions based on a superstition some time during their lives. I know that I have. Most superstitions are a matter of doing something, such as eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away; or avoiding doing something, such as not washing your car, because washing your car will bring rain. This last one is my husband’s favorite.

There are lists of superstitions, some familiar such as;

• To give someone a purse or wallet without money in it will bring that person bad luck
• If you shiver, someone is casting a shadow on your grave
• To find a penny heads up, brings good luck
• Toads cause warts
• If you blow out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first breath you will get whatever you wish for

Then there are some that are just downright weird, such as;

• A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after a slice has been cut from it.
• Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house.
• You should never start a trip on Friday or you will meet misfortune.
• It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
• Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.

Now here are a few more superstitions that are more job search related.

• Never show up for an interview wearing white socks, unless you are applying for a job as a tennis coach
• Always arrive for your interview at least 15 minutes early, because the early bird catches the worm
• If you drop your resume or your coffee or anything else during the interview chances are the interview is doomed
• If there is an elephant in the interview room, such as your age, your education, your reason for leaving your last position, the length of time since your last job, etc. immediately address it and get it off the table.
• Never leave an interview without some commitment to next step or at least some understanding of the hiring process and where you stand in that process.

On second thought, are these last five items superstitions or are they really good advice for interviewing? Either way, I would encourage any candidate to heed the advice given whether you are superstitious or not.

Now, here are the Hot Jobs for this week and you don’t have to find a four-leaf clover in order to apply.
• Enterprise Network Architect – Ever dream of being the Frank Lloyd Wright of networks? Now is your chance.
• Technical Recruiter – We are looking for the best recruiter for the best company, Q4B. Enough said!
• Mobile .NET Developer – A great contract position that will make you feel good because the company’s service helps others feel good.

If you are interested in the Hot Jobs above click on the link and apply through our Talent Hub. We will respond quickly and we will value your time. At Q4B candidates are our customers too.

And remember after reading this blog be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

And remember also while you are reading this blog, if a black cat walks towards you then good luck, and perhaps a good job is in your future. But don’t ask me what happens if the cat is walking away from you. You don’t want to know.

Til next week!


Are We There Yet?

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B


If you are a parent with small children starting out on a road trip of any length you have heard this question numerous times, even if the trip is just across town. Depending on how old you are you may even remember asking the question yourself when you took trips with your parents, perhaps even last week. It’s as though kids have the idea that we live in a Jetson’s age where everything happens at hyper speed, especially going from one place to another.

On a recent road trip one of my kids asked this question (not two minutes out of the driveway) and after responding nicely I began to think about the question from a business perspective. I asked myself, as a recruiter, are we there yet? Do we use the technology that is available, everything from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging, etc., to make ourselves better at what we do? Do we use this technology to provide a better service for our clients and our candidates? Are we better recruiters today than those who were recruiting 25 years ago?

As you might guess this was going to be a long road trip and the kids were still asking that question every 50 miles but I was too deep into my own thoughts to be discouraged.

I began to explore this question in thinking about resumes. Over the past couple of weeks there have been some interesting blogs and comments regarding resumes, and whether the whole idea of resumes was in fact Dead. One blog in particular by John Kreiss addressed this quite well. That no resumes are not Dead, that they are still necessary for sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates for both recruiters and hiring managers and that although the way resumes are delivered, viewed and used may be different (hard copy vs. online) they are still very much a part of the whole hiring process.

But resumes have always been a part of the hiring process. Twenty five years ago resumes were sent to recruiters or hiring managers through the mail (Snail) or were faxed. Today they are sent, viewed, stored online, in a database to be used immediately or hopefully later when a new assignment is posted.

So, are we there yet? Is there something more that recruiters can do better with the technology available that would change the resume’s purpose and value from what it has always been but in a new format, to become a source of easy to access information on potential job leads, company information, contacts within those companies, market information, potential recruits, industry trends and so much more?

There is a perception that most recruiters spend no more than 2 minutes quickly reviewing a resume. Whether that is true or not or if it only applies to in-house recruiters and not 3rd party recruiters it doesn’t matter. We can argue over how much time is spent but suffice it to say, recruiters do not spend nearly enough time on resumes that they should. And, yet the technology is there for us to gather tons of great information that would in turn make it possible for recruiters to be more knowledgeable, more productive, more valuable and more successful than their counterparts of 25 years ago.

I have begun to put these thoughts into an action plan for my company, Q4B. We will begin tracking all of the information from company leads, contacts, market intelligence, recruits that we gather from each resume that we receive. I hope that we can demonstrate the value of every resume beyond its initial purpose (candidate info) and very quickly be able to say, We Are There!

Now, I need to make a quick stop before I press on with the road trip. The kids are now asleep so I know that they have gotten the answer to their question, Are We There Yet?

What about you, are you there yet?

Politicians and Recruiters Make Strange Bedfellows

By Jennifer Brownell, Managing Director, Q4B

I got my political fix over the last few weeks that should carry me for a while, at least until the debates start. I watched some of the proceedings from both conventions, read the analysis from some political wonks that I follow and caught snippets of video from a few of news shows. I like being informed. I am interested in the issues and am willing to listen to those who want my vote as they attempt to explain their solutions, their vision, their qualifications for the job that they want to be elected to.

I will make my decision (maybe I already have) based on a number of factors the least of which is party affiliation. I want to see the best qualified person elected. I want to make an informed decision and I think that every voter should want the same. Otherwise any election for any office becomes more American Idol and not what our founding fathers envisioned.

During both the conventions there was a good deal of chatter about the vetting process. When I heard this phrase repeatedly I all of a sudden realized how similar that this process used in the political arena was to the process that recruiters use.

The Vetting process is employed by a political party to look for and uncover any and all issues, scandals, misdeeds, skeletons-in-the-closet events or relations that might pose a problem for a particular candidate and potentially make him/her unelectable in the eyes of voters. It is not used to determine proper qualifications for a particular position/office but it is sometimes used to determine the candidate’s positions on certain key issues how aligned and in agreement those positions are with the party or in some cases a running mate.

Recruiters have their own Vetting process and it is called the reference check. Good recruiters use the reference check to verify much of the information that the candidate has supplied during the interview and use some of this information when making a presentation to a hiring manager.

The true reference check is much more than dates of employment and title of position held. A true reference check comes from the candidate’s peers, supervisors, customers, suppliers and includes such things as verifying RFL (reason for leaving) a job; type of employee; type of co-worker; college degree; rehirable or not; strengths and weaknesses; recommended fit for position to be filled; and if and when there is not a strong reference, advising the candidate not to use that reference in the future.

All of this information becomes part of the candidate’s history that the recruiter could use in presenting the candidate to the hiring manager and to provide evidence that this candidate is the right candidate for the job. Additionally, if during this vetting process information surfaces that suggest some issues such as scandals, misdeeds, skeletons-in-the-closet events that would pose a problem with the candidate being hired then the recruiter can decide to not represent the candidate or take other action.

Recruiters also use a vetting process in determining the clients they would want to work with. Or do we just take a job order from any company that has an open position that is somewhere in our market space? How you answer that question goes a long way to defining what type of recruiter you are and what your client’s perception of you truly is.

Good recruiters struggle with vetting their clients but in the long run they know that it is worth the struggle. Before deciding to pursue a prospective client recruiters should do some research and gather as much information about the company, profitability, market position, number of open positions, history of layoffs, viability of product or service, BBB reports, Hoover’s info, references from former or current employees, references from customers. More information can be gathered in the needs analysis portion of the process where recruiters can get a sense of how cooperative the hiring manager will be, how much HR or internal recruiters will be involved, commitment to the recruiter’s process for interviewing candidates, commitment to quick feedback and access to those involved in the interview, complete specs for the position and a signed fee agreement.

If during the course of your upfront research and the needs analysis you discover anything that would cause concern, anything that would make you think that this may not be a good engagement then make a decision. Cast your vote to either go forward with the assignment or decide not to do business with that company and be professional about it.

The recruiters vetting process allows the recruiter to provide the best qualified, interested and available candidates for the most cooperative, appreciative and long-term clients.

Now, if that only could work in the political arena.

My next blog will be about another phrase I heard repeatedly during the conventions, Fact Checkers.

Til then.

Carmen’s Hot Jobs, Vol 1, No. 10

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations

Let’s face it; Labor Day needs a make over. It no longer carries the same significance that it once did. There was a time when Labor Day was celebrated with speeches, parades and picnics honoring those who worked, the laborer. Most people today probably don’t even know what Labor Day is meant to celebrate. And beyond the historical significance of the day itself, it no longer signifies such things as the last day before school starts with some schools starting as early as August 1st;  the last day that swimming pools are open or the last day that those fashion conscious among us can wear white.

So what happened to Labor Day? Where did it lose its significance? Why isn’t it still celebrated like Independence Day or Memorial Day or even Groundhog Day?

I was pondering these questions while I was out with my family and a few friends doing my part to keep the Labor Day tradition alive. We packed a picnic lunch complete with a great selection of some fine crafted beers brewed by some local laborers; we listened to some speeches by my husband and his friends regarding the best place to picnic and the best way to get there without using Google maps or asking for directions; and we paraded around several great locations until we settled upon a shaded hilly spot close enough to the stage where young local musicians were covering some of the great Woody Guthrie tunes.

A Great Labor Day! But those questions kept nagging at me the whole time. Could Labor Day have lost its mojo because unlike two of the other days, Independence and Groundhog, there was never a movie made about it? Or could it be that unlike the other day, Memorial there was not a significant auto race or a major (sort of) golf tournament played that weekend?

I am not sure what the reason is but I have an idea that might help to bring the first Monday in September back to its glory days, back to being a day that is truly celebrated by all. We need to rename it. We need to call it Career Day, a day to celebrate those who are working, those who have been working and are now looking for work, those who have been working and are now retired or only seek part time work and those just entering the workforce. It would be a day to recognize workers of all types and honor them for what they are doing, what they have done and what they would like to do.

Those of us in the recruiting business could spearhead this movement and organize job fairs, seminars and discussions about job search, career management, career planning, career coaching and involve our own clients in the process.

We could come out from behind our desks, take off our headsets and for one day join the ranks of the masses who are yearning for any and all information regarding work, labor, career, job search, interviewing, offer acceptance, negotiating, resumes as product literature and performance profiles that only we, as seasoned professional recruiters, possess.

It would be a national day of information and celebration that no other special day could rival. And the next day we would have job orders to fill and pools of talent from which to source.

“Carmen, Carmen the show is over we need to get the kids home and you have a big day tomorrow.”

Oh well, it seemed like a good idea. I wonder if Hallmark would be interested in producing a line of greeting cards for Career Day!

Now here are our Hot Jobs for this week and they are worthy of celebrating.

  • Senior JDE Project Manager – If you thought all PM jobs were alike, think again! Great internationally recognized Oracle consulting firm promising as much travel as you have always wanted.
  • Junior Security Engineer – A job with real security and the only difference between the Junior and Senior position is that only one of you gets to wear the Green Lantern’s Ring and the Senior picks which one!

That is it for this week. If you are interested in the Hot Jobs above click on the link and apply through our Talent Hub. We will respond quickly and we will value your time. At Q4B candidates are our customers too.

And remember after reading this blog be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

Til next week!

Carmen’s Hot Jobs! Vol 1, No. 3

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B

I was thinking about the old adage, ‘When it rains, it pours” last week. Our company HQ is in Houston, one of our key clients has their US operation in Houston and some of our consultants call Houston home as does many of the great candidates in our Talent Hub database. Last week Houston and the surrounding area received more rain in one week than most cities get in a year. The residents experienced record setting rainfall, flooded streets, homes and businesses, power outages, wind damage, trees down and no internet access for many.

In Houston and the surrounding area when it rained last week it truly did pour and pour and pour.

I also thought about the same old adage, as we received a flood of new positions, some with existing clients (always good to get), some with new clients (even better to get) and many where Q4B is the exclusive firm providing a managed recruiting service (exclusive is best to get).

So here are a few Hot Jobs that poured in on us last week.

One of our clients, a leader in providing technology enabled consulting services to companies in the utility, mining and transportation industries, is looking to fill a key support position at their corporate office in Atlanta. The Executive Assistant will support three key groups, the executive team, the accounting team and the Internal Ops team.

So, if you always thought of your self as a Team player, then click on the link for the EA to check out the requirements for this critically important position, then go to our Talent Hub, upload your resume and apply. This job won’t wait for another rainy day!

Our next few Hot Jobs are from our new client, the leading provider of innovative traveler information solutions for state and local governments. Customers are public transit agencies and state departments of transportation and the company’s products provide travelers with easy and intuitive access to transit and traffic information by voice, SMS, email or the web. Their solutions focus on software based communications platforms that make for a better world.

Our client, located in Denver, is looking to hire talented people who want to be part of building a solution to the issue of getting information in real time on multiple data platforms and delivering it to people stuck in traffic, trying to find a bus or just wanting to get from point A to point B, and getting that information on your phone, in a text or on the web.

The people in Houston could have used this product and service last week when the streets were flooded. Come to think of it Houston is most likely a client.

The positions most hot are Customer Support Engineer, Senior Java Developer, and a Database Administrator.

Look them over, by clicking on each position and uploading your resume in our Talent Hub. Pass them along to friends and family, who might be interested and be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

I am looking forward to another rainy week here at Q4B, raining new positions that we can fill, that is.

Now where is my umbrella?


Reflections of a Rookie Recruiter

By Jen Copley, Rookie Recruiter, Q4B

“Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school” –Robert Fulghum.

I recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Communication Studies and French degree (if you need some help ordering a good wine at your favorite French restaurant, call me). Like every fresh out grad, I spent the better part of my senior year writing resumes, looking at job opportunities on Career Builder and Monster and generally stressing about my chances of landing a job, any job in this economy.

A little over a month ago my mother (thanks Mom) introduced me to a friend of hers, Jennifer Brownell, a remarkable woman who had just become the Managing Director of an established managed recruiting services firm, Q4B. Jennifer was in the process of setting up operations in the Denver area, hiring staff and preparing to expand Q4B’s target markets and service offerings.

I am sure that my mother (thanks again, Mom) thought that perhaps Jennifer could use some help, any help in getting her office up and running, functioning on all cylinders. And it wouldn’t hurt to be working for a company that helps people find great careers.

So, I was hired on as a part-time intern, initially handling various office chores and making several daily runs to the local Starbucks. I began working closely with Carmen Lapham, who was brought in by Jennifer to be the Director of Recruiting and Operations.

Soon, within days, I was being asked to help Carmen and Jennifer with the work of recruiting. I was being taught the fine art of sourcing, screening, selecting and marketing by two very talented, dedicated women.

And it turns out that aside from feeling excited, challenged and rewarded for the work I was being asked to do, I felt prepared to do it, to take on the various tasks I was given.

What prepared me for this job, what allowed me to feel that I could do it wasn’t the fact that I graduated from college, wasn’t my degree in Communication and French, wasn’t even my desire to always do my best, to be successful.

My preparation goes all the way back to my first experience in school. It turns out that all I needed to know about recruiting and working for Q4B, I learned in Kindergarten.

Robert Fulghum in his best selling book, All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten, lists 11 things that can be learned in Kindergarten and here is how I have seen them applied at Q4B.

  • Share Everything –

Communication is the key to success in any personal and professional setting, and perhaps even more so in the recruiting business.  At Q4B, we have a great channel of communication internally and externally with other employees and customers, our clients and candidates. Making sure that the candidate has all the information about an opportunity; making sure that the client has all the information about the candidates; making sure that everyone involved in the recruiting process has all the information they need to do their jobs successfully, that is sharing everything.

  • Play Fair –

Jennifer Brownell and Carmen Lapham are the greatest authority figures to work under.  They play fair.  They work hard.  They both fix problems tactfully and use positive reinforcement properly. They also play fair with Q4B’s clients when negotiating business and setting the fees for services. They also play fair when closing the candidates on a realistic salary range to consider for any job opportunity. But don’t challenge them to a game of Trivial Pursuit – that’s a whole other ball game!

  • Don’t Hit People –

I know we could get away with actually hitting people when we were in Kindergarten. None of us packed too much of a wallop. But there are other types of “hitting” that I have seen practiced in the adult world that are in many ways much more harmful than a right cross to the chin. I am referring to verbal “hitting” of employees, subordinates, clients, customers, vendors and candidates.  It is not a good practice to hit any one and certainly doesn’t make any sense in the recruiting business, where everything hinges on the strength of the relationship that recruiters establish with their clients and candidates. We don’t hit.

  • Put things back where you found them –

Hard copy or digital it doesn’t matter. If you take something from somewhere always put it back. This includes resumes, files, job orders, notes, reference material, sourcing material, company info. Jennifer and Carmen are insistent upon this. Information is key in the recruiting business. Knowing that the information will always be accessible is equally important. Put it back is my motto, along with twenty (and counting) others so far.

  • Clean up your own mess –

This applies to just about everything that we do. Not just physical mess, like papers and files on a desk top or coffee cups and left over lunch around the work space. But the other messes that we sometimes find ourselves in, such as, not following up with a candidate as promised, not following up with a client, not checking references, not closing the candidate properly, promising more than can be delivered to either candidate or client, agreeing to do something and then not doing it. These are all messes and if they are yours then clean’em up! So far at Q4B, the messes if there were any have either been cleaned up by the messer or the cleaning crew. Oh, wait, we don’t have a cleaning crew!

  • Don’t take things that are not yours –

At Q4B I have been taught some basic things about ownership. Candidates are “owned” by the recruiter who sourced them, screened them and in many cases presented them to the client. Clients are “owned” by the recruiter/business development person who identified the account, presented the proposal and got the engagement agreement signed. And as long as those who “own” something have documented their “ownership” then there is no possibility of someone taking things that are not theirs. Honesty is our policy.

  • Say you are sorry when you hurt someone –

This applies to anything that might be said to candidates, clients, employees, peers, vendors, partners, contractors, consultants by any one, by any means. I have not seen any evidence of this at Q4B, not to say that it could never happen, which is why there is a social media policy being developed that will address what is being said by any one in the company through any SM channel. Luckily, the company has some good role models.

  • Wash your hands before you eat –

Or maybe it should be wash your hands before you greet. I have noticed that Jennifer and Carmen schedule a number of face to face meetings, mostly with potential clients. Those candidates who are local to the Denver area will also be interviewed face to face, by either one or both. I have had the opportunity to attend a few meetings and de-briefings. People always shake hands. My impression is that aside from the information on job opportunities, candidate’s qualifications, interest and availability, and establishing a profitable, long term relationship, Carmen and Jennifer want to leave a good impression. Not germs.

  • Flush –

This refers to the obvious, but also to other types of waste that need to be disposed of quickly and sometimes quietly (thanks Moen) or avoided all together. Working at Q4B and with Carmen and Jennifer, I have seen very little waste of time (candidate’s, client’s and our own), energy, resources, opportunities.

  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you –

And so is a good bottle of wine (French of course) and some cheese; a cold can of Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale or Mama’s Little Yella Pils and pizza; or just that first latte in the morning. Especially if there are others around (co-workers, bosses) to enjoy it with. All work and no play…..etc.

  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some

I learn every minute of everyday working under these two women.  I think about how successful they are and how I can reflect their actions into my own work and life. I draw connections between candidate and career/listen to Carmen paint an enticing picture of the job for the candidate, and the candidate for the client. And we all sing and dance at work when the perfect candidate is hired.

So this is what I was taught in Kindergarten, along with a few other things that I will discuss in future blogs.

And I will leave you with this one last thought which is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world and look for a job, it is best to hold hands with a good recruiter and stick together.

Thanks Jennifer and Carmen (and Mom)!