Founder and CEO of employment agency Ducci & Associates, Ducci has spent the past couple of decades vetting new hires for Fortune 500 companies. Along the way, she’s screened and coached thousands of applicants, and sat in on innumerable hiring decisions. “I often hear people say, ‘I wish I could be a fly on the wall when they decide whom to hire,’” says Ducci. “I am that fly on the wall.”
While you’re digging around, look out for specific anecdotes about the company that you can refer to during your job interview, advises Jackie Ducci, founder and CEO of the talent acquisition agency Ducci & Associates and author of Almost Hired. “Did you see a cool article about the company that piqued your interest? Perhaps the firm is involved in philanthropic work involving a cause that you care about, too?” she says. “Perfect examples of things to mention during the course of your interview.”
Ladies…give a warm welcome to Jackie Ducci! Jackie is an INSPIRING female entrepreneur who is the CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, an east coast-based talent acquisition agency servicing Fortune 500 clients nationwide. As if that’s not amazing enough, she is also the author of Almost Hired!
“Even if you’re an entry-level professional, your online presence is likely to be scrutinized,” Jackie Ducci, hiring expert and author of Almost Hired: What’s Really Standing Between You and the Job You Want, tells Mic. “Some candidates say, ‘My Instagram is personal. No employer should care or judge me based on what I post.’ Well, yes and no. The content you post on social media is a reflection of you as a person. And that becomes the employer’s business if anything you’ve put in full public view is in conflict with the company’s values.”
“To recruit effectively at the senior level, all decision-makers must share a vision of the ideal candidate. Companies often miss the mark on this critical aspect. Consider “best case” experience, personality traits, motivating factors, etc. Hone the picture until everyone is in agreement about whom they want to attract. This enables the hiring team to find (and ultimately hire) that ideal person.” ~ Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
I wish more men would offer genuine support with pure intentions — as if we were their sister, who they are rooting for. Look out for us, have our backs, encourage us, support our efforts, and be there when we need to bounce something off you. In short, just authentically be in our corner. — Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
A few simple words of encouragement from a friend or colleague can go a long way. I keep a file of complimentary hand-written notes and emails that I’ve received over the years. On a tough day, I find it helpful to turn to that file. Remembering the people I’ve helped over the years and the kind things they’ve said always leaves me feeling recharged. — Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
Candidates often believe that playing it cool will make them more attractive to employers. In reality, it is a terrible strategy. Interview processes are long and arduous. Hiring managers want a quick and enthusiastic "yes" from their top candidate once they have reached the final stage. But when an offer is met with indifference (think comments such as, "I need a few days to think it over" and/or "I have other offers on the table"), it is a massive turnoff. From the employer's perspective, extending a job offer is kind of like proposing marriage. Imagine being down on one knee, presenting a ring, only to be told by the potential spouse that they can't accept right away because they have other suitors out there and they need to think about it. It sounds silly, but it's true. - Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
Ask yourself how valuable the employee is. Would their departure have a major impact? How senior is their position? If the employee is worth fighting for, initiate an honest conversation. Perhaps the relationship can be salvaged. Conversely, if the person can be easily replaced, best to do nothing. Let them leave. No company needs an employee on their team who does not genuinely want to be there. - Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
Sure, being late to an interview or a delay in responding to a candidate might be a rare thing for you, but the candidate you drop the ball on doesn’t know that. If you don’t take care to make the first impression a good one, it could also be your last. Lengthy interview processes are a particularly common candidate complaint.
“Perhaps they’re put through the wringer of endless interviews with various ‘decision makers’… Or, perhaps they have a reasonable number of interviews, but then the employer ghosts them for weeks and suddenly an offer pops up out of nowhere. Either way, long interview processes never leave a good impression,” says Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates. “In fact, they often cause candidates to worry that the firm is inefficient in their processes, indecisive in their decision-making, etc., and this turns them off from the company completely. They may also feel put off if they don’t feel that the company is excited about hiring them.”
Hiring managers primarily look for one thing on resumes: relevance. This includes experience that is relevant to the job description and special skills that are relevant to the preferred qualifications. A candidate whose resume is clear, concise, and draws these direct parallels will always make the short list and be invited to interview. —Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
Hiring is similar to getting married after a couple of dates. Selections need to be made quickly, without the opportunity to know a person beyond an interview. Personality tests can be quite valuable, because they provide deeper insight into candidates who may not have otherwise come to light. Use them, but treat the results as “one more component to the puzzle,” rather than a be-all and end-all. —Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates
Recent grads rarely “get” the true power of networking. Rather than blindly applying for jobs online, only to have their resume lost in one black hole after the next, you’re far more likely to land a solid opportunity by utilizing their network. Now that you’ve enjoyed your summer, start speaking to friends, family, internship connections, teachers, LinkedIn contacts, etc. Most important: ask for referrals can make all the difference
Texting during your job search is still a grey area. Is text an acceptable job search tool? Not really, says Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, a talent acquisition agency in Washington, DC. “It is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a candidate to text a potential employer during the job search process,” says Ducci.
Boomers represent some of the area’s finest resources. It’s a shame that so much local talent in our community is under-used. A worker over 60 has much to offer, yet is likely unable to find a way to remain relevant and productive in the workforce. Companies seeking to build their businesses and thrive can achieve a win-win by seasoning their payroll with older workers.
By reviewing their employment history, you are more likely to know what you are getting, as opposed to a younger worker, who may be a wildcard. Having been in the workforce longer, they have more breadth and depth of experience. — Jackie Ducci, CEO & founder, Ducci & Associates
In terms of under use, Jackie Ducci, president of recruitment firm Ducci & Associates, says she believes it's not essential to be on LinkedIn to find your next career opportunity, but candidates who fail to take advantage are doing themselves a huge disservice.
Speaking without thinking: Dialogue is the most important element of any phone conversation, so choose your words wisely. "Your voice and choice of words are really the only aspect of who you are that the employer can use to gauge whether or not they like you," notes Ducci. "Be articulate of course, but also cognizant of expressing some personality and enthusiasm while you are speaking. The high-energy, friendly candidates are far more likely to excel in a phone interview."
Have Realistic Expectations: It is very common for new graduates to form unrealistic expectations about their first job. Jackie Ducci, President and Professional Recruiter of recruitment firm Ducci & Associates, notes: "It is amazing to us how many young college grads enter the work force with an air of entitlement. Many have an inflated sense of self, and unrealistic expectations as to how much money they should be making right out of the gate. The candidates who are more humble, realistic, and have the right attitude will stand out (in a good way) every single time."
The best way to attract the respect and interest of a recruiter is to actually be a fit for a position they currently have available. Don’t just blast resumes around aimlessly. Nothing is more annoying to a recruiter than when an unqualified candidate reaches out to them (sometimes multiple times!)
According to Jackie Ducci, president of New York-based boutique recruitment firm Ducci & Associates, two to three weeks is the standard notice most employers deem respectable, but employees should be prepared to depart immediately after communicating the news that they are leaving.
I always recommend that candidates present themselves in a way that is professional, but not stiff. Naturally, this is tougher for women than for men.