Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by
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Ever wonder if your skills and experience are in demand or in decline? There are no set rules, but there are some trends that come and go with the economy and other trends that are influenced by a function or technology that changes the marketplace dynamics. Here are some examples:


When the economy or a company is on the downslide or business is just bouncing along the bottom with revenue, then the cost cutters are in demand within the marketplace. This can take the form of cost accountants, performance improvement expertise, system analysts, controllers, project managers, waste reduction, process improvement, reengineering, value analysis and more. The focus is on the reduction of expenses, operating optimization and cost efficiencies.


When the economy or a company is on the upswing and business is beginning to show life after the cost cutting has been completed, then marketing and sales take the lead to generate revenue. Revenue can be accelerated by a new marketing approach, developing new products or services, upselling current customers, generating new customers, sales campaign or a whole host of other sales and marketing activities. In this way, new revenue will increase with a lower cost base, thereby expanding profit. Eventually the cost base must raise, but the spread between cost and revenue will advance and a healthy profit margin will fund future growth.


When the marketplace sees a new technology or a way to use a function in a different way, the same market dynamic makes that new application “hot”. Such is the case with “Big Data”. Organizations with access to mountains of information, either their own or purchased from others, there’s a need to sift through the data to find usable information from which to drive new business.


Big Data goes by different names and uses. Here are a few words to look for:


Data mining: Research large amounts of data for usable information

Forecasting: Estimate a future outcome, event or trend based on available information

Simulation: The imitation of an operation of a real-world process or system over time

Modeling: Creating new prototypes of a product or service based on new knowledge

Algorithm development: Specific method to create a mathematical process in solving problems

Deep machine learning: Algorithms to model high-level abstractions in data with complex layers

Data or Cloud Analysis: Integrating data sources that exist outside of the organization

Predictive or Advanced Analytics: The prediction of future probabilities and trends

Information Retrieval: Obtaining information resources relevant to an information need from a collection of information resources

Mapping: An association of a given set of information with one or more elements of a second set


If you have any experience, knowledge, certifications or even just courses in any of these areas, you’re a “hot” prospect. Hiring organizations are looking for various levels of experience in each of these areas. Make sure your resume focuses on these niche functions.


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Posted on: June 21st, 2016 by
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Ever wonder why, during an interview, you can’t seem to get your message across, you don’t seem to connect with the interviewer, or you have a series of miscommunications?


Each individual may be filtering the interview from a totally different perspective. Put more simply, the “filter” through which we speak or listen may be tuned to a different frequency. Eric Berne, famous psychiatrist called it TRANSACTION ANALYSIS. Berne said we talk and/or listen through three different filters:


Parent Filter: This individual speaks and listens as a parent would speak or listen. Substitute the word parent with teacher, interviewer or boss. They may “talk down” to others and speak through the language of a higher authority.


Adult Filter: This individual speaks and listens as an objective, calm and analytical communicator. They tend to speak or listen in direct response to the here and now. They talk in parallel to what they are thinking through the language of rationality and logic.


Child Filter: This individual speaks and listens reactively, is spontaneous, will show passion but lacks the objectivity of an Adult Filter. They tend to be impulsive in their behavior, which could end up as a shouting-match or laughing-spell through the language of emotion.


Once you understand these different filters, you can more easily understand the person with whom you interview, and then adjust your responses to get the most effective communications at the highest level possible. Here are some examples:


An interview where both parties are communicating out of their own Parent Filter will tend to talk past each other. Both are trying to make their points to the other without listening to the other point of view. Parents, teachers and bosses who use this communications method, may fail to get the best result. Switch to an Adult Filter for a more favorable outcome of the interview.


An interview where both parties are communicating out of their Adult Filter will tend to be objective, calm and problem-solve the content in an unemotional way. Both will seem like Mister Spock, from the planet Vulcan, from the television series “Star Trek”. Add a bit of humor (Child) and a little strategy (Parent) to optimize the interview.


An interview where both parties are communicating out of their own Child Filter will be spontaneous, uninhibited and passionate, but will react to another Child Filter the way children often do, on impulse. Move out of the Child Filter as soon as possible. It’s unproductive.


As an exercise, take each filter and pair it with each of the other two. Develop the best strategy-solution for each combination in order to create the most productive interview.


Transactional Analysis can be used as an effective job interviewing technique. Understanding the filters through which we see the world can provide a very fruitful interview for you.


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JOB HOPPING: Pro and Con

Posted on: June 14th, 2016 by
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For some, job-hopping means changing jobs every year or so. For others, it means ten years for each job. How often should you change jobs? My thought: It depends.


Here’s some information that you might find interesting:

  • The average number of years on the job is 4.4 years for all age groups
  • Youngest employees change jobs every 12 to 18 months; Oldest employees every 10 years
  • High tech jobs have an expectation of rapid change measured in months
  • Other industries discourage change, like teaching in a city school system


Why do people change jobs? Some because of external factors: Business slowdown, bad supervisors, or lack of support. Other factors are internal: No training or development, unused skills, and lack of growth or opportunities. Money is seldom the primary reason for a major job change. It’s usually how you are treated or managed. Two important factors keep people on a job: A positive and supportive working environment and work that is interesting and engaging.


So what determines the number of different jobs you have over time? There are a number of factors and combinations of internal and external forces that determine the number of job changes you experience over your career:

  • Your ambition and long-term goals. The higher your career goal, the more changes in jobs.
  • Your age, pay and level: Younger and lower paid workers will change jobs most frequently.
  • The higher your level, pay and age, the less opportunity for higher job openings
  • Your industry and the economy. Industry-wide layoffs force changes that are not anticipated.


How do you know when its time to change jobs?

  • When you can perform all tasks in a job at a very high level, with no next level job available
  • The supply/demand equation is in your favor: Your talent is in demand with few candidates
  • When your career path is blocked and there’s no way to move upward in skill development
  • You’re bored and ready for a new challenge in a different organization

What are the Pro and Con of continuing to move up your career ladder quickly?


  • You accelerate learning new skills with each new job at a higher level
  • You expand your responsibilities at a faster pace and move up the career ladder quicker
  • At each step you increase compensation and competencies with each new job



  • You may add responsibilities without completely mastering the skills from past jobs
  • The cost of relocations may be more than the increase in pay
  • If you’re in the wrong job track, you may have to drop back later on in level, pay and time
  • Too many job jumps are seen as lacking loyalty, continuity, or incomplete training


Job-hopping can either hinder or help your career. It depends upon how and when you choose to advance your career, your readiness for the next step and your overall goal to the time available.


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Posted on: June 7th, 2016 by
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“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Check to see if these statements apply to you:

• You continually use the same generic resume and are not getting responses
• You believe your resume is the greatest, but no one is calling you for a telephone interview
• You apply to everything, thinking that you’ll get lucky and one will come through
• You only use on-line job search websites hoping someone will eventually discover you
• You haven’t been invited back for a second round interview after the first one
• You’ve come in second place more times than you can count
• You keep pursuing a specific job niche and discount alternative lines of inquiry
• Your friends are getting weary of your phone messages and aren’t returning your calls

Needless to say, something is wrong! You need to change your strategy. Resumes that get the attention of the hiring manager have certain things in common:
• The power of your background must be established in the top half of the first page
• The words used must parallel what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate
• The results you’ve achieved must be what the hiring manager needs
• The initial scan of your resume must be powerful or you won’t get a second chance
• All resumes are not treated equally. Your resume must have actual and measureable results in order to be viewed favorably. The resume that meets or exceeds the defined specifications listed will get a follow-up call.
• When you get the initial call back, it means you are in the top 10 or 15 candidates from all of the resumes received. Ask the question, “What was it about my resume that was of special interest to you?” If answered, you now know exactly what their problem is, and why they are talking to you. You now have more information than any other candidate.
• Since your resume is the only document the hiring organization has about you, it will be the primary focus of your telephone or Skype interview. Focus on the items that parallel the position description. Usually the top 5 items on the position description are the most important to the hiring manager.
• When responding to questions about your experiences and results, answer with specific information, emphasizing:
o The issue that had to be solved (what was the problem)
o The action you took (this is what you did)
o The metric outcome as a result (this was the consequence of your actions)

There are many more hints and steps to advance your candidacy. Only a personalized, custom-designed strategy that only fits you can make a job search successful. Your first step is to assess where you are and where you want to go.

If you need help, its best to get it with a professional, rather than remaining in the spin cycle.

For a FREE assessment of your resume, send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
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Resume Not Getting Through?

Posted on: May 31st, 2016 by
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You have a good educational background, solid experiences and an accelerated career plan. Your resume is compelling, but you don’t hear back from companies where you have applied for open positions. What’s wrong? The simple answer may be that your resume isn’t getting through to a human being for consideration, but rather a robot is tossing your resume into the trash. The robot’s name is CATS: Computer Applicant Tracking Software.

So who, or what, is CATS? Let me explain:
Since the economic slowdown of the past 20 years, more and more people are applying to more and more open jobs. Many of these people are not remotely qualified.
With the advent of the Internet and huge job boards, hundreds of thousands of people may be applying to tens of thousands of jobs, remotely.
Companies are swamped with applicants, but are only looking for one talented person that is qualified and fit their requirements
So they write a software program that screens all of these resumes, not to scan qualified people IN, but to quickly eliminate unqualified candidates to scan them OUT.
How do they do that? By using an algorithm of key words that describes the education, experiences and level of the position they are looking to fill, then compare those key words with the words you are using in your resume.
The more key words that are repeated on your resume that parallels the key words on the algorithm, the greater your chances of being screened IN after everyone else is screened OUT.

It’s a process of elimination. Your job is to figure out how NOT to be eliminated by CATS.
Don’t… be overly clever with symbols, unusual font, artistic license or underlining. Some systems will recognize them but most will not. The usual symbols are OK.
Don’t… use inserted graphics, shading, shapes or color that won’t be understood by the computer in their memory banks. It may look good to you, but unintelligible to CATS.
Don’t … use footnotes or headers beyond your usual name, address, telephone number and email connection. Computers are only as smart as their programming.
Don’t… use abbreviations that are outside of the position description of the open job. Spell out the association, college, company name and others that are important to you.

Do… use keywords in your resume that parallel the key words in the job description. The number of times a key word is used gives you an extra credit.
Do… use fonts that are compatible with fonts that are used on the web. They are the most recognizable to the computer: Arial, Calibri, and Verdana.
Do… use section headings that are commonly used in resumes: Education, Employment, Experiences, Training, Certifications, Expertise, Technology, Awards, and Languages.

When interacting with a computer, you need to make it simple and speak their language. Save the more sophisticated interaction for the humans.

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