The Most Unpopular Term in the Job Market For Recruiters

A.S. Byatt once opined that “Vocabularies are crossing circles and loops. We are defined by the lines we choose to cross or to be confined by.”  Words have meaning, of course – they convey information – but they also elicit responses – they touch nerves – that shape the perceptions of those who read them.

For that reason, the choice of words as much as their definition matters in recruitment.  In the minds of the people who visit corporate career sites and read job postings, an employer is defined as much by the words it uses as it is by the information it provides or the practices it follows.

The impression is often unintentional, but it is real and potent nevertheless.  And, one term that is now jargon to recruiters but anathema to everyone else on the planet is “job seeker.”  It says an organization views prospective employees as supplicants for work. 

The Active & Passive Interpretation

To put it bluntly, both those who are actively looking for a new job and those who are passive prospects think the term “job seeker” signals an organization that may be prejudiced against them.  After all, they read the same news reports that everyone else does – you know, the ones that report on surveys which find an unspecified number of recruiters who now view today’s job seekers as damaged goods.

Those actively in the job market may not be put off by the term – they have no choice – but to them it says the employer may well view them as Losers.  Passive prospects, on the other hand, refuse to even acknowledge that the term applies to them and avoid the organizations that use it.

If you have any doubt about that latter point, do a survey of the visitors to your corporate career site.  Ask about their employment status, and you’ll almost certainly find that the vast majority – 80 to 90 percent – are unemployed.  And, yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition.  In other words, your site is plumbing the depths of the small cohort of the population that has no choice and missing out altogether on the much larger cohort of people who do.

How can you redress this situation?  Not simply by using different words.  To be credible, a change in vocabulary must be more than simply a matter of semantics.  It must reflect an organization’s culture and values.

So first, change the mindset of your organization to remove any conscious or unconscious bias against any prospective hire because of their employment status.  That means ensuring a more inclusive perspective among hiring managers and receptionists as well as recruiters.

Second, change the vocabulary on your corporate career site and in your job postings to remove any impression that you view potential applicants as Losers.  To have a lasting impact on the perception of your organization’s employment brand, however, that involves more than simply replacing one word with another.

For example, you might decide to replace the term “Job Seeker” with the more respectful word “Candidate.”  Site visitors and ad readers will certainly notice the difference – it’s such a rarity among employers – but they may not understand why you’ve made the change.  So, also include a visible statement – not one hidden six clicks deep in your site – that affirms your organization’s commitment to treating everyone as a valued employment prospect.

Jargon is often criticized for its lack of clarity, but in the case of the term “job seeker,” its impact is exactly the opposite.  To active and passive candidates, it sends a clear (if unintentional) signal that the organization views them as damaged goods, and that impression, in turn, undermines the organization’s ability to recruit high caliber talent effectively.

Thanks for Reading,


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Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American DreamThe Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.  Get them at and today.

Published in Work Strong Articles

Members of the human resource community are taking on more duties than ever before. With more job candidates and less time allotted for the recruitment process, HR professionals can only spend about six seconds to review one resume, according to a new study. While this may not be a lot, job seekers are starting to streamline and structure their résumés to ensure they stand out to recruiters. There are number of strategies recruiters can utilize to maximize those six seconds and find top talent.

Prioritize Relevant Information

A new study from The Ladders, a job-matching service, found HR professionals take an average of six seconds to review one résumé. According to, four seconds are used to scan for four areas: job titles, previous employers, start/end dates and education. This narrows recruiters to only two seconds to see everything else, such as the candidate’s skill set and any compatible qualifications. The study also found recruiters spend 20 percent of the time looking for keywords that match the job description.

While many of these things are essential to performing the position’s duties, recruiters should remember to create a hierarchy of what is most important to the position. Job seekers are beginning to optimize their résumé formats for HR professionals to observe qualifications easily. Recruiters may want to consider taking one second to scan through how the candidate formatted the résumé. Doing so can provide instant insight in the job seeker’s creativity, efficiency and ability to innovate, which can show the potential for top talent. A candidate who can organize his or her résumé into a clear format may offer stronger analytical skills than their counterparts and show they are systematic.

Use the Cover Letter as a Guide

According, only 17 percent of recruiters read cover letters. Taking the time to scan the cover letter may fall outside the six seconds recruiters allot to reading résumés, but provides information about whether the job seeker understands the position. A résumé highlights the candidate’s accomplishments and it can be easy for an applicant to embellish their experience and skill sets. Recruiters should think about reading the cover letter as a way to glean insights about how the candidate may perform on the job. It can also offer a standard that recruiters can utilize when scanning the resume. The cover letter helps HR professionals ensure they are not missing any relevant information that can aid in finding top talent.

--- Joseph Azzata
Joseph J. Azzata is the founder of eCareer Holdings, Inc. From 2002 to 2010, Azzata was CEO and co-founder of Medical Connections Holdings Inc.

Published in Work Strong Articles

Who Employs Real Estate Managers

Real estate managers are employed by owners of real estate ? either directly or through third-party management firms and the manager's job is affected by the type of employer.

Property Management Firms

These are companies that specialize in providing real estate management services to individual and institutional owners of real estate in exchange for a fee. For this reason, these managers often are referred to as "fee managers" or third-party managers.

Full-Service Real Estate Companies

These companies provide a full range of professional real estate services, with third-party real estate management being one of them. Their management departments function in the same way as property management firms.

Real Estate Development Companies

Real estate managers on staff at development companies are managing properties that are developed by the company and owned by the company. These managers may be involved in property development, including renovation and marketing properties to prospective investors, as well as the ongoing management once the property is completed.

Commercial Banks

Banks have moved beyond their traditional role of providing clients with a source of mortgage money for investment properties and may act as equity participants in properties. Property and asset managers are on staff to manage the banks' portfolios of investment properties as well as properties held in trust by the bank. They also are on staff to take over management of properties that have been turned over to the banks as a result of foreclosures ? sometimes known as REO (real estate owned) properties.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) represent a way of securitizing investment properties for groups of investors who pool their funds together to purchase a portfolio of properties. These REITs often employ property managers on their staffs to manage the individual properties and also have real estate asset managers who are called upon to use their financial skills to assist owners in evaluating the profitability of the properties in the portfolio.


Many large corporations have property and asset managers working in their in-house real estate divisions. They are responsible for managing the companies' owned properties which are used for conducting their business. A corporate real estate manager will be involved in determining the best uses for corporate property and the terms for buying, selling, and leasing real estate occupied or owned by the corporation.

Government Agencies

Real estate managers are on staff managing government housing programs and development programs through municipal, state, and federal housing authorities and nonprofit sponsors. These agencies can include everything from the General Services Administration (GSA) that manages federally owned property to state housing and government real estate departments to local public housing and government agencies. Also included within this category are the military services, which provide housing and other facilities to those in the armed forces, either directly or through private-sector partners.

Insurance Companies

Property and asset managers get involved managing investment property owned directly by insurance companies or in portfolio management of investment properties for large institutional investors and pension funds.

Mortgage Brokerage Firms

Real estate management services are provided in connection with financial lenders as well as marketing properties to potential investors.

Religious and Charitable Organizations

Affordable, low-cost, and no-cost housing is often run by religious or other charitable organizations. Sometimes called supportive housing, this type of property may include a social service component to management providing training, job-finding, mental health and other services on site to residents.


This information was an excerpted from the Careers in Real Estate Management brochure put out by the Institue of Real Estate Management (IREM)

© 2010 Institute of Real Estate Management. All rights reserved

NAAEI Launches National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) Online

This course was developed to provide affordable, convenient, self-paced training for both new and experienced leasing consultants. This interactive NALP Online Course takes advantage of the online medium to create an engaging, effective learner experience.

NALP Online:
 Follows an interactive scenario-based approach that engages and challenges learners;
 Focuses on applied skills training rather than solely on facts and information, thus truly preparing enrolled students for the job of a leasing professional; and
 Enhances the current NALP classroom content by adding up-to-date social media and interactive content, including vendor Internet-based programs.

 Keys to Success in Leasing
 Telephone Presentations
 Leasing and the Internet
 The Leasing Interview and Qualifying Residents
 Leasing Demonstration and Resolving Objections
 Rental Policies and Procedures
 Legal Aspects
 Market Survey
 Plus, the NALP Online Reference.

Entire NALP Online Course $239 and NALP Online Modules (8) $31 each. Click here to learn more.

Did You Know? Just the facts about the Apartment Industry....

Rental housing is a major force in the U.S. economy:

Almost one-third of U.S. households are renter occupied households (approximately 35 million households with almost 85 million residents), annually generating over $300 billion dollars in rental revenues.

Of these renter occupied households, 22.5 million households represent multifamily (structures with two or more units) rental units that house 48.3 million residents, generating over $195 billion dollars in rental revenues.

Rental housing accounts for about 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), placing it on par with industries such as transportation and utilities.

Apartment industry growth:

Direct employment of on-site personnel at Apartment Communities and in the Rental Housing industry has reached 750,000 jobs in 2013 and is estimated to be growing at a rate of at least 25,000 jobs a year.

Employment supported by rental housing through product and service companies is estimated to be an additional 2,000,000 jobs.

The apartment industry offers three distinct career paths:

Apartment Management‚ responsible for the financial performance of the apartment community, enhancing the value of the real estate asset, ensuring resident satisfaction and managing staff and contractors.

Apartment Maintenance, responsible for the overall maintenance of the apartment community and ensuring that all service requests are handled in a timely manner.

Apartment Leasing‚ responsible for leasing and marketing apartment homes and maintaining positive resident relations.

Become a member of an exciting team:

The US apartment industry directly employs approximately 1.1 million employees and indirectly employs millions of product and service providers.

The average onsite apartment management and maintenance team:

  1. Operates an apartment community with 264 apartment homes;
  2. Is composed of six management, leasing and maintenance professionals;
  3. Develops and operates an annual budget of $2.87 million; and
  4. Is responsible for maintaing an asset valued at $21.3 million.


Become part of a growing industry:

One third of all US households are renter households.  In 2007, the number of renter households grew by almost 1 million.

The number of US apartment and rental homes is estimated to be 35.2 million.  Between 2000 and 2007, approximately 2.4 million new apartment homes were completed.

National Apartment Association Industry Designations

Industry training and continuing education are the vital links between an employee and the industry. There are several nationally recognized industry designations offered by the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) and your local apartment association.  In addition, there are a multitude of issue-specific classes available to help you to progress professionally and pursue any position in the industry you desire.

Education offerings undergo intensive annual reviews and are revised as standards change and expand. Click on the links below to view more information about each of NAAEI's nationally-recognized designations.

NAAEI Designation Information:

Certified Apartment Manager

Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians

Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor

Certified Apartment Supplier

National Apartment Leasing Professional

How to Enroll
Find out the steps required to enroll in the designation programs.

Other Programs
Fair Housing and Beyond course, Rental Owners Course (ROC), Credential for Green Property Management (CGPM) and Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM) programs.

Designation Renewal
View the renewal requirements, pay dues and report your Continuing Education Credits (CECs) here.

Online Learning

Recent NAAEI Program News

NAAEI Announces CAMT Accreditation

The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) is pleased to announce that its Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) program has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The CAMT program is the only apartment industry program to be accredited by ANSI.

NAAEI and NAHMA Announce New Green Credential for Property Management

NAAEI and NAHMA have jointly launched a new Green Credential for Property Management (GCPM) designed for on-site managers, maintenance staff and supervisors of front-line staff.

Campus Connection

Residential Property Management (RPM) is a major, minor and concentration that is offered by various colleges and universities, both in the classroom and online. RPM is a unique opportunity for students to learn about the multifamily housing industry and apply their knowledge to the real world of residential property management. With some programs, RPM is a complementary program to other degrees.

Why Study Residential Property Management?

Everyone needs a place to live and rental housing can be found almost everywhere!

Some individuals select rental housing as an affordable housing option. A growing number decide to rent because they want a more carefree lifestyle - no yardwork, no maintenance, with access to a pool, fitness room, clubhouse, and business center.

Many residential communities are owned by large groups of investors, who hire professional property managers to direct the day-to-day operations of these multi-million dollar properties. There are also employment opportunities in leasing, marketing, finance, maintenance, development, and risk management. You can even specialize in a segment of apartment management:

  • Market rate or conventional apartment communities
  • Affordable apartment communities
  • Seniors housing
  • Privatized military housing
  • Student housing

Source: Ball State University

Following are colleges and universities that currently offer a major, minor, emphasis or concentration in Residential Property Management:








The following college offers a Master's Degree in Residential Property Management:


Suppliers are important liaisons to the multifamily housing industry. This course is designed as an opportunity for suppliers to hear the everyday challenges faced by the apartment manager customer. The course is ideal for new salespeople as well as veterans of the industry. The Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) course  includes:


  • Management of Residential Issues
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Management

Electives (Select One):

  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Human Resource Management
  • Fair Housing
  • Marketing
  • Property Maintenance for Managers

Programs may be taken as standalone seminars or in full to earn the industry designation.

CAS Prerequisites:

CAS candidates must have:

  • worked in the apartment industry for at least 12 months in a supplier role;
  • successfully complete the three required courses (which total 20 1/2 hours) and one of the elective courses
    listed below (which range from 4.5 to 9.5); and
  • meet all examination requirements within 24 months of
    declaring candidacy for CAS.

go Designate Benefits:

  • Listing as NAA designate
  • Annual subscription to units Magazine
  • Discounted prices for industry products
  • Designation certificate, pin and wallet card

follow url NAAEI designation programs are scheduled by local and state affiliates.

For more information, contact NAAEI at 703/518-6141 or your state or local affiliate.

View the National Training CAMT video to learn more about the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) National Training program.

Maintenance expenses are the single largest controllable element in any operating budget. This course is designed as an introduction for new maintenance professionals or as a refresher for the veteran employee, to give these professionals the knowledge and tools necessary to run an effective maintenance program.

source url CAMT Training includes seven courses:
The two non-technical courses consist of online learning followed by online practice scenarios; the five technical courses consist of hands-on classroom training followed by online practice scenarios.

Non-Technical Courses:

  • Inside the Apartment Business
  • People, Projects and Profits

Technical Courses:

  • Electrical Maintenance and Repair
  • Plumbing Maintenance and Repair
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Maintenance and Repair
  • Appliance Maintenance and Repair
  • Interior and Exterior Maintenance and Repair

Programs may be taken as standalone seminars or in full to earn the industry designation.

CAMT Prerequisites:

CAMT certificate candidates must have (before being eligible to receive the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians):

  • one year of apartment or rental housing maintenance experience;
  • successfully completed the seven courses and online content listed above (which total 90 ? hours); and
  • meet all examination requirements within 24 months of declaring candidacy for CAMT.

CAMT Certificate Holder Benefits:

  • Listing as NAAEI Certificate Holder
  • Annual subscription to units magazine
  • Discounted prices for industry products
  • Designation certificate, patch and wallet card

NAAEI designation programs are scheduled by local and state affiliates.

To download the flyer and save it to your computer, right-click the image and select "Save Target As". For MAC users, control-click and select "Save Link As".

For more information, contact NAAEI at 703/518-6141 or your state or local affiliate.

CAMT Skill Standard

CAMT Skill Standard

The CAMT skill standards were developed with input from industry experts in order to challenge and define the elements of work and skills that are common among these industries. For workers, the standards increase opportunities to transfer job skills and expand career opportunities because the standards are applicable to companies of all sizes and geographic locations. For employers, the standards provide a benchmark for evaluating and improving their work process. NAAEI invites you to integrate the skill standards into your own training, learning and employee development programs.

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