REJECTION IN 20 SECONDS!

Posted on: April 14th, 2018 by
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When a hiring manager screens a resume he’s basically looking for two things: What makes an applicant stand out and what knocks them out. This article will focus on the second part: Getting rejected quickly.

 

Weeding out applicants is easy: It’s the things that applicants do that are not appropriate, attempts to be funny, detractions from the resume content, or a lack of common sense. Here are some real life examples:

 

  • Hype – Most applicants will attempt to make their experiences look a bit better. That’s generally OK, but it can be too much and look suspicious. Examples:
    • “Increased the customer base by 200%” (If you went from 1 to 3 customers you’ll be found out quickly and discarded)
  • “Part of a merger team” (If you only got the donuts and coffee, you won’t get far)
  • Superlatives – This is where a lot of resumes get tossed, when exaggerations are thrown around without facts to back it up. Here are a few:
    • Excellent Communications and Organizational Skills (how do you prove this?)
    • Multi-talented Creative Professional (what did you do, how, for what results?)

When you use superlatives, be careful you don’t challenge your credibility. Be ready for concrete answers: What, when, where, who, how and why?

  • Inserting humor – Comical email addresses may be appropriate to college chums, but hiring managers usually are not amused. Ladykiller.com, Singleguy.com or Princess.com should be used for friends or family (maybe). Create a professional email address.
  • Overly creative formatting – Marketing and graphic art resumes can sometimes go overboard with designs that take away from the content of the resume. It may overpower the results you have achieved. The same goes for unusual fonts or color. Either add an attached portfolio of your work or suggest that examples are available upon request.
  • Spelling or grammatical errors – You have complete control over these mistakes. With spellcheck and friends to edit, your resume should be error-free. If you can’t write a resume with good English and proper spelling, how is a hiring manager going to trust you with a project or report that is going to be distributed to management?
  • No dates – Nothing will add unanswered questions from hiring manager than a lack of dates for schools, employment or gaps in time that is silent. Almost any problem can be worked around, except a termination for cause. You need only to go back 10-15 years.
  • Too long with too little – Some resumes 3 or more pages and say very little about accomplishments or results. Keep it within 2 pages if you can. A list of responsibilities won’t help you stand out in a group of applicants. Make your achievements jump off the page: 20% sales increase in 18 months, reduced costs by 12% through process improvement, introduced a time-saving system.

Hiring managers have no time for careless or undeveloped resumes. Your competition is going to do it right, why can’t you?

 

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


RESPONDING TO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Posted on: April 10th, 2018 by
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Many an interview and job opportunity is lost because:

  • The candidate drifts off topic and doesn’t succinctly answer the question being asked
  • The candidate mumbles, stumbles or presents their ideas in an incoherent way
  • And the most egregious error, the candidate talks way too much about things the interviewer isn’t really interested in.They overkill the subject.

 

All of these problems stem from the candidate trying to overwhelm the interviewer with an enormous amount of information about their experiences.  They attempt to hit all of the possible talking points, all at once, responding to an interview question.

 

The solution to these problems is to use the “Mini-pitch”. What’s a mini-pitch?  It’s a 20 second response to each question that you knowwill be asked.  How do you know what questions will be asked? Simple. All the hiring company knows about you is on your resume.  Something on your resume has motivated them to contact you.  Their questions will revolve around each of the items on your resume:

  • What did you do?Answer by stating the issue causing the problem.
  • How did you do it?Answer by defining the action you took.
  • What were the results?Answer by identifying the outcome of your action

 

Responses to each question should be given in a 20 second mini-pitch.  Why?  You want to create a strong impression with your answer. Here’s an example:

 

THE SITUATION:  Your resume says you’re an Assistant Marketing Manager and that you increased revenue for a consumer products company

 

THE QUESTION:  The hiring manager asks, “HOW DID YOU GET THOSE RESULTS?”

 

THE MINI-PITCH RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONis in 3 steps:  Step 1 – Define the issue. Step 2 – Define the action you took.  Step 3 – Define the results you achieved. Example:   “Our revenues had been flat for the past 2 years”. (3 seconds) We researched buying patterns, and compared new products against our in-house products.  We then introduced a new product to a new market”. (10 seconds) The outcome was a 12.2% increase in new orders from new customers over an 18 month period”.(5 seconds)

 

This 49-word mini-pitch is delivered in just 18 seconds.  It gives the interviewer a succinct answer to the question while providing the impression of a results-oriented candidate who can communicate with impact.  Over a series of questions and mini-pitch answers, you become a candidate rather than just an applicant.  You should have a mini-pitch answer prepared for each and every line item on your resume, practiced and smoothly delivered.

 

It’s essential that you understand, create and practice a series of mini-pitches for each item on your resume.  It separates you from other applicants who will not be as prepared as you.

 

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


IS THE TIME RIGHT?

Posted on: March 27th, 2018 by
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The U.S. Labor Department has said that 6.3 million jobs are open and need to be filled by someone like you. That is, if you have the training and experience for which the marketplace is looking. What’s going on? What should you do? How do you explore your potential?

 

As you know, the marketplace responds to current economic conditions. In 2008, the conditions were terrible, companies reduced their workforce and many people suffered job loss and worse. Now it’s just the reverse. It’s an opportunity when organizations across all sectors must expand and upgrade. This causes pay raises and promotions to supply the talent needed. It’s a risk if your unprepared and didn’t upgrade or expand your skills and experiences over the past 10 years.

 

The Labor Department also said the number of people hired increased at a slower rate and the number of people quitting their job for another job is low. This produces opportunity. Companies are scrambling to find the talent that they need. What are those areas of need? Jobs in process improvement (doing things quicker or better with higher productivity), manufacturing (a surge in jobs), data analysis (“big data” –taking huge data points and finding worthwhile information), security in technology (stop hackers, keep information safe), support functions (finance, administration and staff functions that reduce cost or increase performance).

 

So, what should you do? Here are five preliminary steps:

 

  1. Check out the marketplace – There are many websites that will survey your field of expertise and position descriptions describing requirements. Talk to people in your industry and function. Find out what’s going on at your level and tenure.   What’s your peer group doing? Are they advancing without you?
  2. Check your skills and experiences against what the marketplace says it needs. If you have 75 to 80% of what’s needed, you’re doing well. At 50% you’re marginal. Identify the skills or experiences you need to be ready for a change. Put a strategy in place.
  3. Put a compelling resume together. Make sure it hits the major points that most position descriptions require. Define the measurable results for which hiring managers are looking. Use metrics that are results oriented.
  4. Test the marketplace. Send out a few resumes to jobs you feel you are well suited. If you get favorable responses, you can then make a decision of whether to move ahead or not. Like a suit or dress, there’s nothing wrong with trying it on to see if it fits.
  5. If you’re unsure, ask a professional to help you. A co-worker or past boss may be able to assist your efforts with your resume or job search strategy. Talk to a job search specialist who has an excellent track record. Will they continue to work with you until you are placed in a new position? If not, find someone else.

 

Now may be the time to accelerate your career. Take these five steps to find out.

 

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


5 KEY QUESTIONS BEFORE “YES”

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 by
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There are key questions you need to find answers before accepting a new position. The risk is yours if you don’t. Research is available that shows why good employees quit. Employees usually don’t fire the companies they work for; they terminate the supervisor for not providing the support that is needed to do the job.

 

Usually during an interview you’ll get some insight into the management style and expectations of the person to whom you’ll report. You may also interview with the bosses boss, the work group and possibly peers. You’ll come away with strong impressions. Trust those opinions.

 

These items are desirable in a new job:

  • A high level of trust with your supervisor
  • A compatible team effort among co-workers
  • Open communications, clear expectations, fairness and honesty
  • Management support including job training and development for a future role
  • A common effort and commitment to the goals to be reached

 

What are the five negatives?

  1. A supervisor who is always checking your work, who may not trust you to do the job unless it’s their way. They are micromanagers who stifle growth. Why not ask the hiring supervisor what is their style of management? You might get some insightful answers.
  2. A supervisor who is only interested in their results and not interested in helping you to learn or advance in the organization. Ask what kinds of training and development are available? Is there a progression of responsibilities? If you lack opportunities to grow in the job, you’ll become stale and not be able to expand your skills.
  3. A supervisor who appears to be insensitive to your ideas or what you have to say. If the relationship is only one way, the supervisor may be inflexible and lack empathy. This type of supervisor only believes in downward communications and is more autocratic than participative. If problem solving isn’t a group process, the best solutions won’t surface.
  4. A supervisor that is only interested in the work to be done and isn’t interested in you as a person or your needs to have balance in your life. In other words, the supervisor’s needs are always primary no matter what the costs to the employees. High demands without discussion, long work hours without and end, weekend work without justification will cause resentment and will eventually affect the quality of your work.
  5. A supervisor that doesn’t recognize performance but is quick to criticize. You want to be recognized for your contribution, feel valued and rewarded for results. If not, you become discouraged and lack the motivation to continue to produce at a high level.

Your career is too important to be sacrificed by a supervisor who won’t or can’t support you. Ask the kinds of questions during the inteview that will confirm that your making the right decision. If the supervisor balks at your questions, you will have gotten your answer.

 

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


IMPRESS THE HIRING MANAGER, OR NOT!

Posted on: March 13th, 2018 by
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How do you impress the hiring manager? What gets attention? What gets skipped? When a hiring manager screens a pile of resumes, certain things jump out, while others do not.

 

Understand that the hiring manager is looking for 10 or 15 people out of a 100 that he wants to telephone-screen. These are the people who have something the hiring manager wants: A specific result, some needed experience, or a practical solution to an immediate problem. After reading your resume the hiring manager should say, “This is someone I want to talk to, as they have the skills or experience that I need”.

 

Generally, these are the items that get more attention from the hiring manager:

  • Results (especially metrics) that parallel what I’m looking for to fill the position. If you don’t have the skills and experiences that can do the job, I’m not going to waste my time.
  • Companies that you worked for that I recognize: In the same industry, same job scope, or a competitor where I can learn something. That can be an advantage to you.
  • Do you have career progression over time? Do you have increasing responsibilities that will benefit my organization?
  • What are the “stall” points, gaps, things that don’t make sense? Did you take time off to travel around the world? Raise young children? Start your own company? Why hide it?
  • Have you only been in one place for an extended period of time? Are you constrained by location and not be available when I need you?
  • Is the resume organized and error free? If you can’t do that well, why even talk to you?
  • I want to know if you’ll peak out early or continue to advance my organization.

 

Generally, these are the items that get glossed over initially or get you demerits:

  • Your school name is less important than your major and level of education. Experience and results achieved is much more important to me than your Alma mater.
  • Decorative or lavishly formatted resumes usually take away from important information. It’s distracting. Attach a portfolio of your work if you feel the need.
  • Don’t include a photo. If I want to see what you look like, I’d be hiring you for the wrong reason. I want qualities in a person that don’t show up in a photograph.
  • Personal information that has nothing to do with the job. Your personal issues are of little interest unless it affects the job.
  • Too many words like I, me, my, and not enough words like we, team, group results.
  • Superlatives about how wonderful you are that can’t be verified: “Creative solutions leader”, “Strong manager”, “Multi-talented professional”, “Collaborated with, contributed to, or assisted in” (means you were a minor player).
  • Have you stayed too long in one place, or have fallen into a “maintenance mode”? I can’t afford a hiring mistake.

 

You usually get only one chance to impress the hiring manager. Make it count.

 

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