GET TO THE POINT!

Posted on: September 5th, 2017 by
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Let’s say you have a stack of 100 books and want to narrow the choice down to the best 10. What do you do? Simple. You quickly scan the beginning of each one, using criteria such as:

  • Most interesting – Does it pique your interest and come closest to what you’re looking for?
  • Most readable – Is it clear, understandable and flowing?
  • Writing style – Can you easily follow the story line without having to figure it out?

 

Once you have the top ten books you want, then you prioritize the books from first to tenth.

 

The same is true with how your resume is sorted when you apply for a job. The hiring manager takes all of the incoming resumes, scans them against the criteria and chooses the top ten to interview. On the first pass, hiring managers don’t have the time to read in detail each and every resume. They quickly scan each one and only read in detail those resumes that are of interest to them:

  • Resumes that get to the point quickly
  • Are focused on the measurable experiences the hiring manager is looking for
  • Parallels the position description at least 70%

 

The top ten resumes have piqued the interest of the organization and will get a telephone-screening interview.

 

Is the process of scanning, prioritizing, reading, and interviewing for the top 10 efficient? Absolutely. It saves time, effort, money and priorities of the hiring organization. As an applicant, if you understand the process, you can design and produce a resume that will get a telephone interview as one of the top ten applicants. The marketplace is crowded with people like you who want to get ahead and move up the career ladder. You have to be smarter and quicker than your competition.

 

How do you do that? Take a lesson from the experts in the media businesses:

  • Use an eye-catching summary at the top of the resume to “hook” the reader
  • Use headlines that are bold and paragraphs that captures the readers interest
  • Use short sentences with lively text that engages the reader
  • Use numbers and content that increases the credibility of the material

 

Think of yourself as a product to be marketed. Interested parties are looking at your resume with the question, “Can this person achieve the results we need over the next two years?” If your resume can describe experiences you’ve had, that the hiring organization needs, that captures the interest of the hiring manager, you will receive a telephone call to interview. After reading your resume, you want the hiring manager to say, “This is someone I definitely want to talk to”

Make your resume engaging. Make your major points early. Back up your points with metrics and experiences that will excite the hiring manager. If you don’t, someone else will.

 

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


SPOTTING A BAD BOSS

Posted on: August 30th, 2017 by
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What’s your criteria for a boss? Don’t have any? If not, you’re rolling the dice and taking your chances. The percentage for finding a good one is 75% against you, according to recent surveys of employees. What if your potential boss:

  • Doesn’t believe in training or development?
  • Sees employees as a necessary condition and easily replaceable?
  • Pays for length of service, not pay for performance?
  • Is mostly “stick” and rarely “carrot”?
  • Favors the “yes” man and dislike new ideas?

 

Well, you get the idea.   So how do you sort out the good from the bad? Here are a few thoughts:

 

  1. Organizations and managers both have a reputation that can be found through research. Go to Google and type in: Employee satisfaction with (name of company); or reputation of (company); or go to Glassdoor.com and search for employee comments. You can also Google the name of the manager with whom you’ll be interviewing. Look at his past companies, their reputation, time spent, doing what, and so on. You can get a pretty good picture of what to expect in a company and boss by digging deeper rather than not at all.

 

  1. When you’re visiting the company and interviewing you’ll get a strong sense of the culture and openness. Receptionists, janitors, secretaries and lower level staff tend to be more honest and straightforward than others. When you ask them how they like working here, do they look around to make sure no one is listening, speak in hushed tones, or fumble for the right words?

 

  1. When interviewing, watch for the boss that talks too much and listens even less. If his phone, paperwork, or other distractions are more important than you, arrives late, doesn’t know your name or is looking at your resume for the first time, beware. On the other hand, a potential boss that looks you in the eye, is focused on your answers to compelling questions, and you walk away knowing you could learn a great deal reporting to him, then you’re on the right track. You might even want to say as much.

 

  1. If you’re given the opportunity to ask questions, make sure they’re the right ones, like: What are the keys to success in this position? What are the critical results that must be attained within the first 6 to 12 months? What are the impediments that this position must overcome? If you’re not requested to ask questions at the conclusion of your interview, that may be a sign that your not suppose to ask questions. Is that the kind of organization you want?

 

  1. How you’re treated and the responsiveness to your communications is important also. It tells you how important they think you are.

 

Bosses can be a fantastic lever for your career and a wonderful person to learn from, but you have to find the right one for you. It’s worth the wait and search.

 

For a FREE resume review, send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com


SPOTTING A BAD BOSS

Posted on: August 29th, 2017 by
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What’s your criteria for a boss? Don’t have any? If not, you’re rolling the dice and taking your chances. The percentage for finding a good one is 75% against you, according to recent surveys of employees. What if your potential boss:

  • Doesn’t believe in training or development?
  • Sees employees as a necessary condition and easily replaceable?
  • Pays for length of service, not pay for performance?
  • Is mostly “stick” and rarely “carrot”?
  • Favors the “yes” man and dislike new ideas?

 

Well, you get the idea.   So how do you sort out the good from the bad? Here are a few thoughts:

 

  1. Organizations and managers both have a reputation that can be found through research. Go to Google and type in: Employee satisfaction with (name of company); or reputation of (company); or go to Glassdoor.com and search for employee comments. You can also Google the name of the manager with whom you’ll be interviewing. Look at his past companies, reputation, time spent, doing what, and so on. You can get a pretty good picture of what to expect in a company and boss by digging deeper rather than not at all.

 

  1. When you’re visiting the company and interviewing you’ll get a strong sense of the culture and openness. Receptionists, janitors, secretaries and lower level staff tend to be more honest and straightforward than others. When you ask them how they like working here, do they look around to make sure no one is listening, speak in hushed tones, or fumble for the right words?

 

  1. When interviewing, watch for the boss that talks too much and listens even less. If his phone, paperwork, or other distractions are more important than you, arrives late, doesn’t know your name or is looking at your resume for the first time, beware. On the other hand, a potential boss that looks you in the eye, is focused on your answers to compelling questions, and you walk away knowing you could learn a great deal reporting to him, then you’re on the right track. You might even want to say as much.

 

  1. If you’re given the opportunity to ask questions, make sure they’re the right ones, like: What are the keys to success in this position? What are the critical results that must be attained within the first 6 to 12 months? What are the impediments that this position must overcome? If you’re not requested to ask questions at the conclusion of your interview, that may be a sign that your not suppose to ask questions. Is that the kind of organization you want?

 

  1. How you’re treated and the responsiveness to your communications is important also. It tells you how important they think you are.

 

Bosses can be a fantastic lever for your career and a wonderful person to learn from, but you have to find the right one for you. It’s worth the wait.

 

For a FREE resume review, send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com


A GAP IN YOUR RESUME?

Posted on: August 23rd, 2017 by
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When you have a gap in your resume, you must find a way to turn it into a positive. Let me give you three examples:

 

  • Time off to travel – Travel is a great educational experience, which is what you need to communicate in your resume. Do not say, “After graduation I needed to take a vacation”, or “Due to the stress of my job I needed a break”. One alternative that I have successfully used with other professionals is to say, “Extensive travel throughout Europe to gain international exposure, increase my language skills and understand cultural differences: Rome, Paris, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Prague, Athens and Vienna”.

 

Another way to express your rationale is to relate the travel to your industry goal: “By researching and visiting major companies in the consumer industry along with their competitors, my goal is to understand the underlying issues and potential solutions for my next job assignment”.

 

  • Time to care for a sick relative – Hiring organizations want to be sure that the issues are behind you and will not interfere with your new job. They need to know what’s different now than before when you stopped working. Since it would be illegal for the hiring organization to ask many of these personal questions, initiate answers to the questions they cannot ask.

 

Make sure a hiring organization knows that you have a plan and show that you’re ready to do the job. Your need to demonstrate that you have kept up to date with industry standards, functional knowledge and skill development (especially technology) and have not fallen behind.

 

  • Time between jobs – There are a number of different situations. One example is being outplaced through reorganization. This is relatively easy to communicate as most everyone has personal experiences. The question is: Why were you chosen to leave? Some answers are: “The acquiring organization put all of their people in place without other considerations”, or “I was the junior person in a consolidation”, or “The functions of our department were outsourced”.

 

Another situation is the problem of moving into a different industry. This is tricky because the question is: When things turn around, will you go back? Your job is to convince the hiring organization that you want and need a new experience because: The industry you are in is on a decline, or your skills are not central to the industry, or your functional responsibilities are not being used to increase revenue or decrease costs, or you are looking for an organization in a growth mode where you can contribute to the success of the business.

 

If you have a history of high performance, have a state-of-the-art set of skills but find a hiring manager who is concerned about a short gap between jobs, then that’s probably not the right place for you. Keep your search strategy on full power and the right position will come your way.

 

For a FREE resume review, send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com


OLDER CANDIDATE ADVANTAGES

Posted on: August 15th, 2017 by
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Older workers tend to undersell the value of their experiences, both on the resume and during interviews. Not all employers are looking for younger less experienced workers, especially now that we are continuing to come out of a major economic slowdown.

 

Inexperience is not going to help hiring organizations improve productivity, generate new revenue, or reduce cost. Younger, less experienced workers will cost employers time, effort and a gap in productivity until they are trained. The untested employee doesn’t have a history of results like you do. You need ways to show it off.

 

Here’s a list of why older workers now have an advantage in the marketplace. Use these advantages while crafting your resume and especially during the interview. Older employees:

  • Usually require lower maintenance. They need less training, handholding and supervision.
  • Are experienced in setting objectives, strategy, benchmarking, then measuring results
  • Tend to have more patience to obtain quality results and persistence toward a difficult goal
  • Have the experience to train new employees or mentor up-and-coming workers
  • Tend to be more loyal and are more stable
  • Handle stress more easily as they have “been there, done that”
  • Understand the implications of decisions, so they tend to plan better
  • May lack hard skills that need sharpening, like new technology, but their soft skills are more advanced to become a supervisor
  • Have a support systems already in place
  • Have a performance track record that can predict future performance
  • Tend not to get discouraged at the first roadblock, then work through problems to a conclusion
  • Have an experience base from which to draw solutions: Not their first rodeo.

 

Of course, younger candidate have an advantage too. If you understand these advantages, older employees can mitigate their importance through action (A):

  • More proficient in computer skills. (A) Take courses or a tutor to equalize your skill level
  • A higher level of enthusiasm and energy. (A) Demonstrate vitality in your voice and actions
  • Lower pay. (A) Rationalize your value in productivity and results against a few dollars more
  • Bring new ideas and potential. (A) Emphasize your stability rather than job-hopping

 

If you believe that you’ll be told you’re “overqualified”, you may want to pre-empt the situation by bringing it up during the interview rather than waiting until it’s too late, by stating: “I may be slightly over qualified for this position, but I’m not interested in promotions. Rather, I want to contribute to your objectives of growing the business, mentoring talent and developing a high performance team”. Or, “My objective is to be a major contributor to your results and not compete for advancement. Being slightly overqualified gives me the opportunity to achieve that goal”.

 

I’m sure you can add features to this list. If, on the other hand, you are discouraged and need an assist, send me your resume and let me give you some pointers to make your resume more compelling to the hiring manager.

 

For a FREE resume review, send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com