COMING UP SHORT?

Posted on: June 30th, 2020 by
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The job search process can be frustrating to those who come up short as a finalist candidate.  Here are some thoughts that might help you in the future.

 

  • Review the position description before interviewing so you can do two things: First, identify the skills or experiences where you come up short and prepare to respond positively to the question you know will be asked.  Second, see if you can take a basic on-line course before the interview.  Put it on your resume and say, “I’m taking a course on that subject and will be skilled in the basics.”
  • Most candidates successfully applying for a job aren’t 100% qualified. If you are 100% qualified, chances are you’re making a lateral move and are overqualified.  Being 75% to 85% qualified gives you room to grow.
  • If you’re asked about a skill or experience you don’t have, never say, “I’ve never done it before.” Simply describe a skill, experience or result that comes closest, or an experience to a similar job skill.
  • Another approach is to say, “I know you use Python in your operating system. I have used a Python equivalent and should have no problem with the transition.  My program mastery is high and just a complex as Python.”
  • If the job description is looking for someone with 5 years’ experience and you only have 3 ½ years, consider matching the results the hiring organization is looking for and suggest that your broad and deep experiences equally 5 comparable years. In other words, you’ve pack more experienced into a shorter time.
  • Or, take your 3+ year experience and add any internships, summer work in the function, additional courses and any major school projects that parallels the job specs which all adds up to the 5-year requirement.
  • Job descriptions typically define a hiring manager’s “perfect candidate”, who doesn’t exist except on paper. There is “wiggle room” for you except for highly technical jobs.
  • Filling in a new skill or experience can be partially overcome by a targeted certification in a specific functional area. There are many certifications available on-line.
  • Candidates are hired and paid for what they can produce and the results they can achieve, not for a specified number of years. Hiring managers know that some people have one year’s experience 10 times, rather than 10 years of experience with each one better than the one before.
  • The most difficult transition is to move from an individual contributor role to a supervisor. You can fill in the gap by providing similar experiences you may have had as a volunteer leader, team captain or chair a committee of a non-profit organization.  These positions of leadership have given you skills of organization, coordination of effort, guidance, influencing others, setting direction through persuasion and motivating others to achieve an objective.

 

Everyone comes up short at one time or another during their career.  It’s nothing to get upset about, but it is something for which to prepare.  Those who prepare are the winners.

 

For a FREE critique of your resume, send to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com


MATCHING SKILLS FOR A NEW JOB

Posted on: June 23rd, 2020 by
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“How do I know what skills and experiences to emphasize on my resume?”  “How do I demonstrate my expertise better than others who are vying for the same job?”  Here are some answers for your questions, and some steps to take:

 

  1. First, understand that a single resume going out to multiple organizations is like trying to play golf with just a putter. You resume can’t fit all jobs you want.  Your resume must be tailored as closely as possible with the requirements of each position description.  If your resume covers 50% of the expectations of the hiring manager, and others are at 80% or more, why would you be considered?
  2. Scan the position description and write down the broad elements for which the hiring manager is looking. They are usually the first 5 to 8 items listed, because the hiring manager will initially list the most important items that are needed.

 

  1. Write down the key words that the hiring manager uses. Take those words and transfer them to your resume, hopefully near the top of the first page.  When a hiring manager scans your resume, you want those words to show up early.  If you can, put those key words in 2 or 3 different places.  Why? Because if a computer scans your resume, the more times those words show up the higher your resume is ranked.
  2. Illustrate the skills and experiences that parallels the needs of the hiring manager. There are three ways to match the hiring manager’s requirements:
    1. Define the skills or experience that comes closest to equaling the desired tasks
    2. Highlight a project or program that duplicates the experience, from another organization, situation or application
    3. Use numbers to demonstrate measurable results

 

  1. Make sure you have a combination of both soft and hard skills and experiences. Soft skills are relationship oriented, like team-work, collaborations, interpersonal support.  Hard skills are the physical or technical tasks, like web design, product training or process improvement engineering.
  2. Use metrics at every opportunity. Why?  It demonstrates that:
    1. You measure results so the organization can see progress
    2. It differentiates you from those who only give subjective, non-measurable answers
    3. It demonstrates a level of detail that hiring managers are looking for in a candidate

 

  1. Use action words to describe your activities, like “increased”, “decreased”, “improved”, not passive words like, “assisted”, “communicated”, “prepared”.
  2. If you need a certification or experience that you don’t have, sign up and state that you are currently enrolled in an on-line course to achieve the skills required

 

Hiring managers are looking for candidates that can help them achieve their objectives.  Make sure your resume highlights past skills and experiences in parallel with the position description.  It’s the first step toward being a top candidate.  Adding in metrics to show your direct and measurable contribution to the results, gives you an advantage over all other candidates.

 

For a FREE critique of your resume, send to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com


TOMORROW IS HERE NOW!

Posted on: June 16th, 2020 by
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Here are some random facts when thinking about changing your career.  It provides trends that give you the direction of jobs that are popular now, but will fade into oblivion within the next 2 to 10 years.  Alternatively, some jobs are accelerating faster than the supply of talent.  Still other jobs require skills and knowledge that we can only guess, and at present are not prepared.  Where is it all going?  As we say:  Knowledge is power.  Here’s just a sampling:

 

  • Some car manufactures are phasing out gas vehicles, replacing them with electric cars. Gas engines have thousands of parts. Electrical motors have only about 20. What that means is gas cars, gas pumps, service stations and many car mechanics will be eliminated.
  • Gasoline producing companies (exploration, drilling, production, processing and distribution) will also be significantly diminished.
  • Airbnb doesn’t own any real estate, yet it’s a large “hotel” organization globally
  • Brick and mortar retail locations are closing, while on-line shopping is increasing. Free delivery of orders improves the convenience of an on-line purchase
  • Computers, cell and smart phones keep getting out-of-date with newer models. There is currently technology that takes your mental questions, then answers them displayed on a screen
  • Four million retail salespeople in the U.S. make about $25,000 a year, with computer skills that have increased 22% in 10 years: Inventory, check-out systems, and shelf-scanning
  • With an increase in the aging population, personal health care nurses and aides are in short supply, but their level of digital skills have increased over 150% in the last decade
  • Medical Assistants need 25% more computer and tech skills than they did in 2009
  • Technical skills for software developers have not changed very much over the past 10 years. However, the demand for open positions have far outstripped the supply
  • The cost to train/re-train the workforce is a multi-billion-dollar problem. Large companies are better positioned for the task, while smaller companies will have a competitive disadvantage.

 

So, what does all of this have to do with you.? If you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re already behind the curve. In the coming years you’ll be affected by transformations in your industry, company and profession; a fluctuating economy; life-style changes; social and political confusion; mergers, acquisitions, new competitors and failed business, plus many other unforeseen events.  Look what chaos the coronavirus has caused over the past year.

 

The rate, content and implications of change is accelerating, while our ability to understand, manage and apply that change to the benefit of our lives, have not.  Get ahead of the curve whenever you can through a new degree, certification, application, system, or special training or development in your field of expertise.  Become an expert in something.

 

Seek information that tracks trends and needs over the next 5 to 10 years generally, and in your job category specifically.  Find out what the future may bring.  Prepare yourself before the winds of change overwhelm you.

 

For a FREE critique of your resume, send it to:  wkaufmann44@gmail.com


PHISHING, SPOOFING, AND MORE

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by
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Fraudulent communication has become a way of life during the past few months, from which we must protect ourselves.   Words like phishing, hacking, phreaking or bluejacking all generally mean the same thing:  Someone is trying to get into your computer and access or manipulate your information.  Spoofing on the other hand, means someone is trying to trick you by deceiving your computer into thinking they are someone else, hiding or faking their identity so you think they are another user.

 

Dishonest or fake electronic communications may take many forms.  Basically, it is unauthorized actions from a third party.  Phishing or spoofing is becoming more common and bold, as unauthorized users may present themselves as a legitimate company, using their logo, brand names or offers.  These frauds may use the U.S. Mail, emails, texts, telephone or social media.  The most malicious is through social media because you may think it’s someone you trust, while in fact it’s someone who plans to do you harm.

 

Here’s some information that may help you sort out the bad players from the good:

  • No responsible organization will request personal information by email, telephone, fax, text, or through social media. This includes personal or financial information like banking, securities, tax, account numbers, Social Security identification numbers, passwords, or copies of invoices of a recent purchase.
  • If through email, check the sender’s address in the “From” line in the email. Usually a fraudulent email will have a bogus made up address that does not match the name of the legitimate organization.  In a recent article, a member of the “Shark Tank” received a bill asking for payment of an almost $400,000 invoice of a legitimate company.  It seemed real, except the name was purposely misspelled in the “From” line which should have been the tipoff.
  • Sometimes the color is off or the email format or attachment, if there is one, looks amateurish or slightly out of alignment.
  • If you get a phone call from a governmental agency or company that you do business with, check the number of the incoming call. First off, the government does not use the phone to do business, whether it’s the Internal Revenue or Social Security.  If your suspicious of the call, ask for a manager to get on the line, or better yet, ask for their name and phone number and you’ll call them back to verify that they are legit.
  • If you receive telephone calls asking for information or a solicitation, simply say, “I don’t do business over the phone. Send me the information.”  If they ask you for your address, hang up.

 

What to do about a fraudulent message or contact?  A few ides:

  • Send a screenshot and forward it to the legitimate company to research
  • If you receive a message from a fraudulent IPS, send a screenshot of the message to the fraud division for investigation
  • Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission: Google “FTC fraud complaint”

For a FREE critique of your resume, send it to:  wkaufmann44@gmail.com


INFLUENCE HIRING MANAGERS

Posted on: June 2nd, 2020 by
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How do you influence a hiring manager to at least consider you for a telephone screening interview?   Give him what he’s looking for.  What is that and how do I accomplish it?  The job description gives you all you need to know.

 

Focus on the top 5 to 8 items on the position description.  They are the key items that are the priority skills or experiences the hiring manager needs.  In order for your resume to stand out from everyone else, your skills and experiences should match those 5 to 8 items.  On your resume, back up your experiences and skills with specific measurable results that parallels the requirements on the position description.

 

Next, match the language used in the position description.  Some companies use a computer to screen incoming resumes.  The computer compares the words on the resume with the words on the position description.  Make sure your resume reflects the most commonly used words for your function, education and skills.  It sounds simple.  Hiring managers give you the answers to constructing your resume through the position description.

 

While hiring managers are looking for someone who can do the job, they also want someone who has both hard and soft skills.  Hard skills tend to be function-specific and technical. Hard skills are objectively measured, easy to demonstrate, and easily proven like:  Programing a computer, designing a flow chart, making as sales presentation or auditing the books.  Soft skills are a set of behaviors that are difficult to measure, subjective, and hard to prove, like:  Creative problem solving, collaboration, persuasion, an effective team member.

 

So, when you’re creating a resume or preparing for an interview, ask yourself, “How do I demonstrate or verify my skills?”  The best way is to provide concrete examples when describing a previous role, skills or experience.  Also, don’t use words that diminish or minimize your contribution.  Words like “maintain” tell the hiring manager that you don’t improve performance or add to results, you just keep the status quo. If you’re a hiring manager would you want someone to keep things static, or someone who will grow and accelerate your results?

 

Use words that sell and tie them to a result, like. “accelerated revenue by xx%, decreased costs by $xx, improved productively through xxx, or increased days cash on hand by xx.”  These words tell a story about your contribution.  Some words are neutral like created, delivered, analyzed, developed or organized.  Anyone can use these neutral words, but you need to tie them to some form of positive outcome.

 

Hiring managers can be influenced, but they need to see the connection between what you have done in the past to what the organization needs currently or in the near future.  They need to see solutions that you have achieved to their issues, or provide them with opportunities to improve their performance or productivity.

 

For a FREE critique of your resume, send it to:  wkaufmann44@gmail.com