Resume FAQ

What action is taken when I submit my resume to Ashton Search Group?

A: You will be contacted... your resume is never provided to or discussed with potential employers prior to speaking with you. It would be dysfunctional to present your resume to our client companies until we completely understand what you are looking for.

What type of opportunities do you recruit for?

A: Opportunities that are "direct hire"... which means the company is hiring you as a direct salaried employee (formerly known as "full-time" or "permanent" employment), not as a consultant or on an hourly basis.

Ashton Search Group is a direct hire technical search firm specializing in the placement of software, hardware, electrical, RF, mechanical, biomedical and manufacturing engineers and technical managers (at all levels) with technology companies located throughout the United States. In some case, for our defense sector clients, an existing DOD Secret or Top Secret security clearance may be required by them prior to consideration of a candidate.

What does it cost?

A: There is no cost to the candidate. Clients (hiring companies) retain us, and pay our fees. Relocation assistance and other common benefits (such as health care) are the responsibility of the hiring company.


Less than 30% of all positions are advertised, but since most people focus 80% to 100% of their efforts chasing these jobs, the competition for them is immense. That means the smallest probable return for your effort.

In contrast, about two-thirds of all jobs are on managers' wish lists, still unofficial and unpublshed - or being circulated only to recruiters in the form of: "I'd like to find someone who..." These are not available to you through traditional sources, and you will never know they exist. These comprise a huge 'hidden market'. Ashton Search Group sees these choice 'hidden' requirements -- that companies will not (or are not ready to) advertise, and can position you for success... ahead of your competition surfing the job boards. Don't get lost in the noise.

Is there anything I shouldn't share with a recruiter... or a recruiter can't ask?

A: Yes. A recruiter can't ask about your religion, age, ethnic background, disabilities, marital status, lifestyle, political identity and health.

If a candidate is married, he or she will normally indicate if their spouse is employed, or their children are in school (because this information may impact the search parameters). Many candidates will provide unsolicted information on their, or a family member's special health needs (as a consideration for relocation and to insure that a specific type of specialized medical care is available in a new location).

Current salary is important, because it provides a starting point.

Recruiters will ask about citizenship, because all U.S. companies must comply with strict INS regulations. If you're looking at the defense sector, the recruiter will need to know if you have an active Secret or Top Secret clearance, or if you are a U.S. citizen that is "clearance eligible" (see foreign nationals and the defense sector).

Provide the recruiter with information that you feel will define the search outcome. The more the ASG recruiter knows, the faster he or she can make informed decisions when representing you to our client companies. We never share privileged conversations... if you provide information that will influence the direction of our efforts "off the record", it remains confidential and off the record.

How long will I remain as an active candidate once we speak?

A: You will be considered active until we place you, or until you notify us to discontinue our placement efforts. In the event that we can not match you to a current client requirement(s), we will continue to track your skills until a suitable opportunity is identified.

Do I have to apply multiple times to be considered for new positions?

A: No. Our recruiters review all new requirements that match your skills, experience and objectives frequently. Your resume will receive attention many times each week, as new opportunities become available. Updated resumes are always welcome.

Should I limit my resume to one page?

A: No. Engineers with over five years of experience typically need a two page resume to adequately explain their technical background. Companies want to see skills, accomplishments, education, company training, detailed responsibilities, the technology environment, project depth and more.

Don't shortchange yourself because someone said "resumes should never exceed one page". This is a urban legend circulated by people that don't have a clue about engineering employment (or have very limited skills). Explain your experience, don't make hiring managers dig for answers (they won't). They will always migrate to the candidate who explains his/her experience well.

Your resume is never provided to or discussed with employers prior to speaking with you.
If a company indicates interest in me, does your recruiter counsel me through the process?

A: Yes. Prior to the interview, your ASG recruiter we will explain the environment, what the hiring manager needs and expects, compensation issues... and prep you with our proven high performance interviewing techniques - so that you can best represent your skills, abilities and experience. We position you for success... leaving nothing to chance. We're in the business of making you successful, and postioning you to receive the offer.

Should I provide references when I submit my resume?

A: No, it's not mandatory to send references. However, a reference is a very effective tool when we are promoting your skills amd abilities to our clients.

If our recruiter can say to a client "In addition to his outstanding background, I spoke to one of his managers for a reference, and he indicated that Candidate X is a competent and significant contributor to Y company because...", we have the hiring managers attention. Managers are always influenced by a credible reference that can evaluate your contributions, combined with a skill set they are seeking.

Having a reference comment on your contributions is a proven way of positioning you in front of other candidates. It can tip the decision in your favor.

We have checked thousands of references over the years, and over 30% range between mediocre and awful... and these were references supplied directly by candidates. It's a good idea to have a third party like Ashton Search Group uncover this. See Handling References for more information on this important topic.

In the worst case on record, the candidate provided five references to a potential employer, and all five were bad to downright horrible (from current managers, supervisors and a peer). ASG was not representing the candidate, but the hiring manager indicated that an offer letter was quickly halted based on this consistent negitive response.- and ended up hiring the individual we were representing.

It pays to know exactly what your references will say about you. Always alert them ahead of time of your intentions. Never allow a reference to get blindsided.

How can I help the process?

A: Tell your ASG recruiter where you have already submitted your resume, to avoid duplication.

If you have been on interviews, or have interviews scheduled, let your recruiter know where you are in terms of timing, especially if you are expecting an offer. A recruiter wants to avoid companies that you are already speaking with. It is a waste of his/her time.

Provide a list of companies that you have already made contact with.

Don't call for daily updates. Your ASG recruiter will call you as soon as he or she has identified an opportunity, which may take a day or weeks, depending on the market and current active client requirements. A recruiter's time is better spent speaking with clients on your behalf then updating you. They will keep your informed once a match has been identified. Additionally, they will share your resume with other ASG recruiters for maximum internal exposure. It is a team effort.

Will my resume ever be provided to a third party?

A: No. We are frequently contacted by outside technical recruiters (that we have known for years) who need a specific candidate for one of their clients. If we think your skills are a fit, we will call you for your opinion and authorization first -- before we provide your resume to a third party, who we will identify.

We never sell or provide resumes to others... or put them in public spaces (like job boards). We do not submit unsolicited resumes to a hiring company. Client companies have no access to our internal databases.

Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of the search business, and Ashton Search Group will never violate this trust (see Candidate Confidentiality Policy).


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