DON’T BE HOODWINKED!

Posted on: August 18th, 2020 by
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Some companies will interview candidates but won’t be offering anyone a job!  They are interviewing you to find out how to get the results you did in a similar situation, but have no intention of hiring anyone.  They are proselytizing your good work.

 

Be suspect if you’re interviewed by a number of people a number of times, asking for a level of detail about the steps for how you achieved results for a project or a function.  Answer their “what” questions, but side-step the “how to” questions.  Why?  If you answer their “how” questions in complete detail, or give them a strategy or plan, they won’t need you, so why give away the answers?  I have experienced this issue a few times.  It’s a waste of your time and effort, especially if you had a unique solution to a high value issue,

 

One of the ways to figure out if your being hoodwinked is to wait for the interviewer to layout what they want to achieve in the job for which you are interviewing.  If they lay out their expectations for the open position, they’re for real.  If they ask for the plan by which you achieved the results that they want to replicate, then the interview is not for real.

 

One of the mistakes that some applicants make is to assume that as long as the interviewing continues, they are in the cue as a top candidate.   While this may be true in a third-round interview when you should be meeting with the boss’s boss, it’s not true if you continue to meet with technical or functional peers who continue to quiz you on your past projects.

 

Another tip-off is when you’re meeting with a group and they continue to focus on a specific problem that they have and you solved somewhere else.  The group is trying to obtain as much information as possible, not interview you about your qualifications.  Or when you’re meeting with a group and one or two are taking notes rather than asking you questions.  These are the scribes whose job it is to document your answers in hopes that you reveal key information that will help solve their problems.

 

About 10 years ago there was a commercial on television that showed a CEO laying out the problems of the corporation to a group of consultants.  The consultants identified the issues (the what), defined potential alternatives and the time line necessary to find a solution.  They also gave examples of solutions they achieved for other companies.  The CEO asked, “So how can you give me the same results?”  The senior consultant answered, “Hire us and we’ll show you”.

 

The same concept applies to you as a finalist candidate in an interview.   If the hiring organization has a problem that you can solve, or have solved somewhere else, tell them to hire you and you’ll provide them with a solution.

 

If you can’t market yourself as a problem solver, no one else can do it for you.

 

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


THE RIGHT TIME TO MOVE ON?

Posted on: August 11th, 2020 by
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Ever get up in the morning and dread going to work?  Ask yourself the question, “Is it the job, the situation, or is it me?”  The cause may be temporary like a speed bump.  You should see a potential solution just over the horizon.  If not, the issue needs to be objectively reviewed.  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is it me, or is it something or someone else that’s the issue?
  • Are the solutions within or outside of my control? Can I influence the solution?

 

If you’re thinking of moving on, here are the usual reasons why people leave their jobs:

  • You’re stagnating or bored, with no professional or personal growth
  • You’re not being paid for performance or your overworked and underpaid
  • You lack the resources, support, training or time to do the best job possible
  • The “fit” is incompatible: Organization, management style or attitude/relationships
  • The Covid-19 Pandemic has knocked a hole in your career plan.

If it’s just one of the above, try to work it out.  If it’s two or more, get your plan together.

 

Before you think about taking action:

  • Define your ultimate career goal and the next step toward that objective
  • Research the skills and competencies you need, then make a plan to get them
  • Research the trends, market opportunities and industries needing someone like you
  • Put a job search strategy together to “test the market” before committing
  • Assess your plans and strategy with a mentor, friend or coach who can help you

 

Some of the ways to increase your internal/external opportunities:

  • Get an additional degree, certification, training, or responsibilities
  • Ask your boss what you need to do to move to the next level
  • Ask for special projects, be a mentor, or volunteer in the community
  • Join an association, alumni group, or society in your function
  • Talk to H.R. about developmental programs, conferences or on-line courses

 

If all else fails and you have to move to a new organization, once you have obtained an offer after an extensive search, leave the current organization in a positive way:

  • Tell your boss first – You don’t want your boss to find out through others.  You may need your boss as a positive reference in the future
  • Write a positive resignation letter – Give as much notice as possible, as your boss will appreciate it.  Provide a “roadmap” for your replacement with a  project plan, or status report
  • Offer to train your replacement or be available to answer questions later on
  • Prepare for a short stay after resigning – The organization (not your boss) may want you gone early
  • Don’t burn any bridges nor slack off your performance.  Be a team player right to the end.

 

When you leave an organization, you’re leaving your reputation and achievements behind.  Make sure you do it the professional way.

 

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


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER COVID-19?

Posted on: August 4th, 2020 by
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How long will it take before we have a vaccine for Corvid-19?  What’s your guess about the “new normal” and work from home?  My guess?  It will take a year or more before a vaccine is found, manufactured, distributed and applied to millions of Americans.  Even then, there will be a wait and see period.  The pattern of working from home has been set and will continue.  Why?  Because businesses are:

  • Selling off or shrinking the cost of large office space
  • Finding that remote teams are forming effective links for getting results
  • Reducing their costs while keeping high performance to gain back revenue
  • Experiencing flexibility/alternatives in work-force planning and execution of strategies
  • and finally, they are finding larger pools of talent nationally, when before the talent pool was local, around an office, and not having to transfer a new hire to the central office.

Since the talent pool is now expanded, companies can hire a remote worker a hundred if not a thousand miles away.  Those individuals who can work remotely have the flexibility to establish their own work patterns to meet both their organization’s needs along with their own personal requirements.

 

Glassdoor research indicates that remote job openings are over 28% in the past 12 months while location-only postings are down 23%.  Manpower also estimates that one in four jobs in the U.S. specify no location, from one in 10 at the beginning of the year.  A Project Manager can be located almost anywhere and use special software to keep track of progress, connect with team members, document results and maintain liaison between customers and management.  Job functions considered impractical for remote work historically are now performed without a hitch.  The answer is technology.  Systems and capabilities have advanced to support remote work.  Those individuals who received a certificate as a PMP (Project Management Professional) are reaping the benefits as the supply/demand equation is tilted their way.

 

Employees are also finding new options for work that gives them opportunity for greater flexibility in hours, along with a potential increase in income or promotion without leaving their homes (or computer).  Jobs that lend themselves to remote work easier are finance, project management, technology, administrative roles, recruiting, human resources and many others.  Even though March and April of 2020 began the meltdown, employers are now opening up opportunities in remote work at an accelerated pace, both jobs that existed and new jobs created.

 

Of course, some jobs are not possible from a remote location, when the task or services are required to be “hands on” at a distinct location:  Examples are truck drivers, fire, police, building contractors, healthcare workers and those jobs providing personal services.

 

What does it mean for you?  Get certified, trained, or experience technology where you can enhance your market attractiveness by being able to perform at a high level in either an office environment or at a remote location.

 

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


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER COVID-19?

Posted on: August 4th, 2020 by
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How long will it take before we have a vaccine for Corvid-19?  What’s your guess about the “new normal” and work from home?  My guess?  It will take a year or more before a vaccine is found, manufactured, distributed and applied to millions of Americans.  Even then, there will be a wait and see period to see how effective it is.  The pattern of working from home has been set and will continue.  Why?  Because businesses are:

  • Selling off or shrinking the cost of large office space
  • Finding that remote teams are forming effective links for getting results
  • Reducing their costs while keeping high performance to gain back revenue
  • Experiencing flexibility in work-force planning and execution of strategies
  • Are finding larger pools of talent nationally, to work remotely.  Before, the talent pool was local and companies had to relocate new hires to the office location.

Since the talent pool is now expanded, companies can hire a remote worker hundreds if not thousands of miles away.  Those individuals who can work remotely have the flexibility to establish their own work patterns to meet both the organization’s needs along with their own personal requirements.

 

Glassdoor research indicates that remote job openings increased over 28% in the past 12 months while location-only postings are down 23%.  Manpower also estimates that one in four jobs in the U.S. specify no location, from one in 10 at the beginning of the year.  A Project Manager can be located almost anywhere and use special software to keep track of progress, connect with team members, document results and maintain liaison between customers and management.  Job functions considered impractical for remote work historically are now performed remotely without a hitch.  The answer is technology.  Systems and capabilities have advanced to support remote work.  Those individuals who received a certificate as a PMP (Project Management Professional) are reaping the benefits as the supply/demand equation is tilted their way.

 

Employees are also finding new options for work that gives them opportunity for greater flexibility in hours, along with a potential increase in income or promotion without leaving their homes (or computer).  Jobs that easily lend themselves to remote work are finance, project management, technology, administrative roles, recruiting, human resources and many others.  Even though the meltdown began in March/April of 2020, employers are now opening up opportunities in remote work at an accelerated pace, both jobs that existed and new jobs created.

Of course, some jobs are not possible from a remote location when the task or services are required to be “hands on” or at a defined location:  Examples are truck drivers, fire, police, building contractors, healthcare workers and those jobs providing personal services.

 

What does it mean for you?  Get certified, trained or experience new technology where you can enhance your market attractiveness by being able to perform at a high level in either an office environment or at a remote location.

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


THINK LIKE A HIRING MANAGER

Posted on: July 28th, 2020 by
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Picture yourself as a hiring manager having to select a key individual to help you reach your goals.  Without this key person, you may fall short of your objectives.  You had 100 applications which you narrowed down to the top 10.  You just finished a telephone screen with the top 10 applicants and will interview face-to-face with the top 3 candidates.  What will you be looking for?  How will you make your decision?  What are the key elements that the finalist candidate must have to be offered the position?  Let’s look at what a hiring manager usually looks for and how you can increase your chance of success:

 

First off, the top 10 out of 100 applicants must have a compelling resume.  Look for:

  • Experiences from their past jobs that can directly transfer to your open position
  • Measurable results that are impressive and can add value to your potential results
  • Education and skills that parallel the requirements listed on the position description

Next, the telephone screening interview.  Hiring managers look for:

  • A validation of skills, experiences and results confirming the accuracy of the resume
  • A solid assurance that they can do the immediate job and advance your performance
  • An engaging, positive and comfortable interaction between you and the candidate

Next, an in-depth face-to-face interview to narrow down the field from 3 to 1.  Look for:

  • A significant differentiator that separates one of the candidates from the other two
  • A high level of compatibility with your potential work group. Must be a team player.
  • Past results that can assure high performance in the new job
  • The ability to assume more responsibility and leadership over time
  • A stronger working relationship with the boss than the other two
  • A sense of commitment to the work, the company, and to you

 

If you, as a candidate, are trying to sell your competence to the potential boss, what are the skills and experiences that will dazzle the hiring manager?  Ask yourself the question, “Given the position description, if I were the hiring manager what would be the key background, experiences and results necessary to be a top candidate?”.

 

The answer?  Take the position description and match. line by line, your experiences and results. What have you done that parallels each line item?  Then ask the questions that the hiring manager would ask, “What did you do?  How did you do it?  What were the results?”  Practice answering these questions about each of the line items on your resume.

 

Your outcome as a candidate will depend upon four points:  Understand what the hiring manager is looking for through the position description.  Match those needs with your prior experiences.  Convey your high-performance results that you achieved against the key items on the position description.  Then establish a strong working relationship with the hiring manger as a team player

 

Hiring managers will only hire those who can do the job and easily fit into the organization.

 

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