A Winning Resume

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by
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Let’s look at different resume styles: Some are effective while others are not. If you were a hiring manager, which candidate below would you want to interview? These examples are real. They are the original narrative approach from a submitted resume, along with an alternative.

Candidate A – “Objective: “I’m looking for a career opportunity where we can work together to grow your business revenue online. I am an outgoing, strategic, creative and passionate individual. I enjoy learning about, as well as implementing new and/or current marketing strategies within the various online marketing channels available today.”

Candidate B – “Objective: “To increase revenue and profit for a growth-oriented business through digital marketing.”

The hiring manager doesn’t care what you are looking for! The hiring manager wants to know, “What are you going to do for me?” In the second example you are telling the hiring manager the results you have achieved before and can achieve for him/her. Which is more powerful?

Candidate A – “Managed the bank’s business banking relationship with clients to maintain and enhance revenue targets, profitability, customer satisfaction and credit risk profile consistent with the banks objectives.”

Candidate B – “A 10% increase in revenue by developing new banking relationships”

Candidate A – “Manage all commercial video and data product portfolios across the XXX, YYY, and ZZZ markets to ensure customer satisfaction and attainment of budgeted targets including net subscribers, revenue and others, including on-going performance trajectory to long range plan. Lead major product lifecycle maintenance activity, portfolio initiatives, new product launches, acquisition and retention campaigns, pricing, and rate action activity. Perform competitive analysis and execute projects to ensure successful implementation of strategic product initiatives, create/conduct presentations, communicate technical requirements, and track and report results. Lead cross-functional teams to coordinate product enhancements with wide range of boundary partners including sales, marketing, engineering, finance, senior leadership, vendors, and customers. Ensure end-to-end process and information system interoperability for all product activity.”

Candidate B – “A revenue increase from $2 million to $4 million in 2 years by creative marketing strategies of commercial video/data product portfolios across three major markets”

Will the hiring manager want to find out how this candidate achieved those results through the “narrative style” or the “results style”? Who do your think will get the interview?

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Let me know if your want to talk: Mygreenerfuture1@gmail.com

Procrastinate at Your Own Risk

Posted on: September 22nd, 2015 by
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There are times when you want to wait, analyze a situation thoughtfully, consider all the alternatives thoroughly, weigh the different pros and cons, look at the implications to each option and sound out your considerations with others with whom you trust. When you go through all those time-consuming steps, you may be too late to pursue a career opportunity.

There are times you need to take preparatory actions, ready for the best and worst events. Here are a few of those times: (Examples I have experienced with clients)

1. You receive a poor performance rating (that may not be a true reflection of your work), but think you’ll come out OK in the longer run, so you delay preparing for the worst

2. You hear about a possible consolidation of your department or a rumor about a merger. If you are the last one who was hired or are at the lower end of the performance curve, you fail to take defensive measures.

3. You’re outplaced, for whatever reason, and given a big fat check in severance for multiple months. You believe you have a lot of time so you delay your search.

4. You’re outplaced and you drag your feet in preparing a resume and contacting others. You’re embarrassed or don’t have a good rationale to tell others why you’re on the market.

Some people rationalize that being dismissed can’t happen to them: “They need my skills”, or “As long as they keep good old Harry, then I’m safe.”. The most overused and self-delusional view is: “I’m indispensable”.

Three things happen when you procrastinate:

1. You set yourself up to fail as you’re unprepared and have to scramble to play catch-up

2. Others, who are already prepared to take action, are way ahead of you and likely to make a smooth transition to the job you should have gotten

3. If you’re laid off for any reason, you have a major hurdle to jump over convincing a hiring manager that it wasn’t your fault, but was a “misunderstanding”. A very difficult task

Add other reasons to this list and send me your thoughts. I’d like to put a composite list together. It may help the slow-to-act people realize that wanting to take action is not the same as actually taking action. Being prepared helps shorten the critical time required if you need to move quickly.

There’s a good reason for the phrase “You’re either quick or dead”

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Let me know if your want to talk: Mygreenerfuture1@gmail.com

Q: “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by

Although this is not a “core” question from hiring organizations, it’s asked enough times that you need to understand what is really being asked and how you might want to respond. Some questions look for how you answer in addition to what you say. “Tell me about yourself” is one of those direct questions. Other questions are more oblique. “Why do you want to work here?” is one of those oblique questions.

The real questions behind “Why do you want to work here?” come down to: Is this candidate looking for an interim job just to get out of a difficult situation? Are they really looking for a career opportunity to expand job experiences? Are their goals well matched with our organization or are they out for themselves only?

Another way to ask the same question is, “What are your short and long term goals?” The real question is the same: Are you for real or just a temporary employee? If the hiring agent senses that your intentions are incompatible with their objectives, the interview will be a short one.

So, what do you do to prepare to answer these questions?

First, a word of warning. It’s in your own best interest to make sure you’re compatible with the goals and needs of the organization, function and teammates. You may be able to fake an interview and appear to be a terrific candidate, but beware, as you’ll be found out in short time once you’re onboard. A good actor cannot act forever. With that in mind:

1. Collect a great deal of information. The better the information, the better your decisions. Research the organization, the history, and your potential managers. Google them. Volatile organizations or their managers will lead to a lack of continuity for you.
2. Demonstrate your knowledge about the industry, the competition, products/services, the issues that they face and the goals of the organization (though published reports)
3. Broadly share your career goals. If they can’t understand or help you on your way, why would you want to work there? Target a level or two above the open position, but make sure it’s reasonable. Talk about broadening out your functional skills, expanding your business exposure, or managing a larger organization
4. Find out what the short-term objectives of the job are, along with the longer-term goals. Make sure you’re prepared and well suited for those stated outcomes. You don’t want to inadvertently set yourself up to fail because you didn’t ask the right questions.

There’s usually a good rationale for all questions an interviewer will ask. You need to be responsive, positive and deliberate with your answers. You’re way ahead of all your competitors if you’re prepared beforehand to answer the question, “Why do you want to work here?”

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Help a colleague who needs to find a lob? Refer them to: Mygreenerfuture1@gmail.com

Strategies to Negotiate Pay?

Posted on: September 8th, 2015 by
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OK, so you want the new job but the pay isn’t exactly where you want it. So what do you do? Accept it? Feel resentful? Turn the job down? Neither one. Suggest to the hiring manager there may be other ways to solve the issue. Here are some win-win strategies:

Suggest a 6-month performance review instead of a yearly review. In that way you can receive a merit increase that could bring you up to the pay number for which you were looking in the first place.
A one-time bonus can make up the difference in pay, whether it’s a signing bonus, extra funds built into relocation, or a short-term bonus for a special project However, a bonus does not add to your base compensation as it’s a one-time event.

Ask the boss if additional responsibilities can be built into the job that would merit additional funds to be added to the pay level. In this way, the boss can move an added burden from his plate onto yours. You, on the other hand, increase your value to both the organization and the boss.
Suggest a more impressive title that doesn’t upset the organizational chart, but gives you a little bit more status, or a title that puts you further up your career ladder later. A change from Distribution Manager to Manager, Distribution may have greater meaning within another industry or job category but makes no difference to your boss. What’s on your resume does make a difference to you, over time.

If you know the organization’s structure and hierarchy of decision-making, ask if you can be included in meetings involving higher management. Even if you don’t participate beyond note-taking or communication sharing, it puts you in a position to know what’s going on, in addition to being seen by the decision makers.
If you’re offered a key position with a new start-up business or one that is having some financial trouble, ask for an employment contract. Beyond the normal content, add such things as automatic cost of living escalators, bonuses, and most importantly, include a severance formula. Just in case the business doesn’t survive, is bought out, is merged at a later date, you should have the option of staying on or leaving.

Most policy issues are negotiable except those dictated by law. So items like vacation, some benefits, association memberships, Rotary Club memberships, more flexible hours, relocation expenses and similar costs can be yours or the company’s, depending upon what you build into the hiring deal.
And lastly, if you know of a special project being formed or a project involving other groups across the organization, ask if you can be part of it. This puts you in a highly visible position early within the organization.

Oh, and by the way, get these negotiated changes in writing as part of the offer. Some supervisor’s recollections are notoriously bad.

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Let me know if your want to talk: Mygreenerfuture1@gmail.com

What’s Your Current Pay? Expected Pay?

Posted on: September 1st, 2015 by
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These are two very different questions and need to be answered carefully. Your answers depend upon who’s asking the question. If it’s a recruiter asking: Give them the straight answers. A recruiter will have 3 or 4 different opportunities and will slot you within a reasonable range. The recruiter should also give you information about the job, the company, the pay range, the issues to be resolved and the position description.

When contacted by a company, you may not have the best information to respond to the question. Usually on-line applications, position descriptions, ads in publications have the compensation listed, a pay range and a list of benefits. You don’t want to be too far below the minimum nor too far above the mid-point of the pay range. So, what to do?

1. If you’re currently being underpaid, but overproducing, state it. However, make sure you have backup information and measurable results to prove it.
2. If you’re overpaid but looking for more responsibilities, state it. Your honesty will pay dividends because the hiring company will verify the information. If you fabricate it, then you have a real problem.
3. If you can, give the hiring organization a “pay range”: From X to Y. In that way you have more flexibility to negotiate later on, when an offer is made.
4. Don’t evade answers or a lot of red flags will go up. If you spell out the reasons why your total compensation (salary, bonus, benefits, incentives) are out of whack, then the hiring organization can make adjustments. Help them understand your value.
5. If you’re being paid under the marketplace value, then help them understand why you’re leaving your current employer. Explain why you’re worth more, especially if you have skills, ability or experience they need.
6. If you’re being paid over the market value, ask yourself why another organization will want to pay you more than other candidates. If, however, there is something to convince the hiring company that you are worth more compensation, make sure they know their investment in you will be well worth it.
7. Redirect the question and ask, “What’s the range of the open position?” or “What do you see as the key issues that need to be resolved within the next 12 months?” Then talk about your experiences in solving similar problems.
8. The higher the responsibilities and the greater your experiences in parallel with their issues, the better chance of your being paid more than the stated compensation. Why? If you can show them that you’ve successfully solved a similar problem before, you become of higher value to them. You represent a higher percentage for success.

In summary, always focus on what you can do for the hiring manager in the short and long term, rather than what someone else paid you before. Stand on your record of achievements that are measurable and you can verify. Never, ever lie.

For a free assessment of your resume, send it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Request more information: Mygreenerfuture1@gmail.com