Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by
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Every hiring manager wants something. Why else would they be interviewing?   Sometimes the hiring manager knows exactly what is needed and other times not. View the hiring manager as a customer needing help to achieve goals. Your objective is to find out what the hiring manager is looking for, why, and in what priority.


How do you do that? Here are some ways to find out not only the needs of the hiring manager, but to position you as one of the top candidates.


First, scrutinize the position description. Whenever a hiring manager is writing a position description, the most important items are always put at the top of the list of responsibilities. They form the primary elements that the hiring manager must have if the goals of the job are to be met. The successful candidate, therefore, has to have these elements covered. Having successful experiences in these top 5 items will almost guarantee a telephone interview screen. As the position description continues down the list, the responsibilities diminish in priority, so you need some of those experiences requested, but not all. Few, if any candidates meet all requirements.


Second, the position description will list some of the basic requirements for candidacy. Sometimes you can substitute experience for educational requirements. If they ask for a major in finance, but your major was business with 2 years experience in the accounting department, you can usually step over the requirement. If they’re looking for 10 years experience in a function but you only have 8, if the experiences are exactly what they are looking for you’ll usually make the cut. It boils down to the degree of your experiences and their degree of their flexibility.


Third, other factors on your resume may mean the difference between getting an interview or not. Having additional headings on your resume will sometimes make the difference, like: Technical Expertise (with a listing of apps, systems, tools etc.), Awards, Certifications, Leadership positions, Community Leadership, and so on. Most hiring managers want to see technology applications that they use or want to use. Make sure you list those.


Success comes from converting these key points to your resume. As an example, convert the top 5 items on the position description in a Summary of Results on top of your resume, including measurable outcomes that the interviewer will ask about. Take the requirements and other defining statements and make sure they are clearly shown in one or more of your headings: Technical Expertise, Education, Advanced Certifications, Language, Awards, etc. Parallel those additional items with the content on the position description. Most jobs will highlight added features that will position you at a higher level if you state them.


When you tailor-design your experiences on your resume to the key items on the position description for the job you really want, getting an interview is a lot easier than sending a generic resume that tries to cover everything.


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


Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by
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Hating your job can be self-destructive or a signal to make a change. There are three different kinds of change: Those you can make on our own, those you can only influence and those that you just have to live with. Let’s look at a few of the factors over which you have little or no control. These factors will negatively affect your performance, career and in most cases, your pay:


  • Goals are absent with unclear responsibilities and objectives – This puts you in the unenviable position of not knowing what you need to accomplish, not understanding expectations and being unable to fulfill the job responsibilities that are undefined.
  • Organizational constraints prevent you from performing at your highest level – When you’re denied the resources or information you require, your performance is limited. Your manager could also be an impediment to performance by micromanaging your efforts.
  • Little training or support is provided with no supervision – If you can’t learn new skills and expand your abilities, you’re doing the same things in the same way. Stunting your growth will inhibit your opportunities.
  • You’re not treated with respect nor do you have confidence in management – This factor will usually minimize your ability to try new approaches as your not sure you’ll have the support of management. You’ll take the easy way rather than take a risk.
  • Politics prevent optimal performance and favoritism prevails over competence – When you work harder and better than others yet your performance is not recognized, or worse, when the credit of your work is given to someone else, it’s time for a change.


I’m sure you can sight many more factors that you can’t control. These are items that your bosses should be focused on, not you. However, you can assess where you are in your career and when to consider looking for a greener future.


So, how do you determine when its time to take action and find something better? Look at three different yet interrelated elements that need to be in balance:


  • Personal & professional growth – Are you growing in knowledge, skills and abilities? Rate yourself from 0 to 100. 50 means you’re standing still. Anything below 50 is a negative.
  • Pay for performance – Are you keeping up with your peers in the same function and level? If not, you’re falling behind. Rate yourself from 0 to 100. Below 50 is a problem.
  • Opportunity for advancement – Are you being developed for a higher level? Is there a chance for you to advance? Rate yourself 0 to 100. Again, below 50 means your treading water.


If you’re below 50 in only one element, you should monitor your progress more closely. If you are below 50 in two out of the three elements, start checking out the marketplace. If you’re below 50 in all three elements, your growing stale and may soon be irrelevant.


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


Posted on: September 12th, 2017 by
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I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of diverse opinions, differences, disagreements, arguments, confrontations and sometimes non-repairable conflicts. There’s always a point-of-no-return in any disagreement. Shattering a relationship with an acquaintance is one thing. Destroying the relationship with your boss is quite another.


There are no “rules” when you have a disagreement with your boss. There are, however, some insights you might want to consider. Take each one and gauge your willingness to take on a subject, the degree of risk your willing to take, for what level of result? Sometimes the risk is not worth the result.


  1. TRUST – How much trust is there between you and your boss? If one doesn’t trust the other, your ability to disagree is severely limited. Many employees don’t trust their boss. On the other hand, if your position will work to the advantage of the boss, it might be worthwhile to “fight” for an outcome that will be to his advantage. As a result, you could increase his trust in you.


  1. NEVER LOSE YOUR COOL – This is true for any discussion or disagreement. You lose before you even begin. Anger has a way of diminishing your position and weakening your credibility. On the other hand, if your boss loses his cool, you heighten his vulnerability and makes you the “cause” of his unbecoming behavior. You lose either way.


  1. UNDERSTAND THEIR ISSUES – Once you understand someone’s objectives and information you can then understand their assumptions leading to their decisions. It may not make sense to you until you comprehend the thinking behind their suppositions. This is a great chance to reach a consensus. Once you understand your boss’s thinking, integrate it with your thinking for a compromise solution.


  1. PRIVACY – It’s very hard to back down from a potential argument if you’re in front of others. You both have a need to be right when you have an audience. The issues tend to get lost when co-workers are listening in. Someone is going to lose credibility.


  1. TRY SUGAR NOT LEMONS – Many times the “What would happen if…..?” question is better than a definitive statement, like “We should do it this way!”. Taking the bosses idea and wrapping it around an expanded idea of yours, softens the position and is more acceptable.


  1. RESULTS – When the results are far greater than the risk, it’s worth it to make a stand. However, you need documented proof that your way is superior. Demonstrate that it’s in the best interest of the boss or the company to move in a different direction.


  1. RETREAT – Once your boss digs in his heels, it’s best to back off. Retreating is not a negative. Hopefully you’ll not get the backsplash from a boss’s bad decision.


CONCLUSION: Pick your battles carefully, prepare your position with substance and be ready to back off if necessary.


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


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


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