Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by
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There are many different ways to design a job search strategy. You’ll need to find the best alternatives for the most favorable outcome. The approach I’ve found to be the most advantageous is the 60-40 rule: 60% effort in your interactive network and 40% of all others.


THE 60% RULE This involves an assertive, interactive, well-designed networking strategy. The people who know you best are the best ones to introduce you into hiring organizations. They can market your experiences from prior jobs, champion your skills and abilities, refer you to their extended contacts, introduce you within professional associations, connect you to colleagues who are hiring and identify potential opportunities in the marketplace.


It’s a known fact that the highest percentage of new jobs is found through networking: Up to 70%. It’s no wonder that a majority of your efforts should be focused on the most likely pathway to a new and exciting career change. But it takes a great deal of energy on your part to put these networks together. The first step is to list all of your potential contacts (a minimum of 100), then prioritize them into groupings: Greatest likelihood of success to the least. Then start to make contact: The more personal face-to-face is best. Talk about the overall industry first, and then the most likely companies, lastly opportunities they may be aware. Never ask for a job.


THE 40% RULE – All other search strategies. Of all the different options, figure out which ones will have the greatest advantage to you. Here are a few alternatives:

On-Line – Connect with potential hiring organizations through major job posting websites. While this is a powerful way to find and apply to open positions, remember that thousands of other candidates are also applying. Make sure your resume is both compelling and is at least 70% paralleling the requirements of the job posted.

Ads – While considered the “old” way to find open jobs, regional and area newspapers are the best source.

Consultants – Connect with consultants in your field. They know what’s going on and where.

Trade Publications – Your expertise will be recognized in a trade-specific publication.

Recruiters – Most recruiters specialize in an industry, function or specialty. Find out who are the top producers in your field and contact them. They will keep your resume on file.

Educational Career Centers – Your higher educational institutions are great sources of knowing what’s going on with alumni looking for talent.

Associations: Most every function has a paralleling association, along with a job board.


No matter how you design your job search strategy, you must have a compelling resume, one that will get the immediate attention of the hiring manager within the first 10 seconds. You want the hiring manager to say, “This is someone I want to talk to.” It’s at this point you’ll get a telephone call for an interview.


There are multiple ways to achieve your goal. Choose the right ones.


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


Posted on: August 1st, 2017 by
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Many executives have told me that the journey through their career was much more fun than the arrival at their ultimate career destination. Why is that? Here are a few reasons given to me:


  • When you’re moving through your career, much of your achievements are based on your own individual efforts. When you’re at the top, results are through the efforts of others. Doing is much more fun than hoping, watching and waiting.
  • As you move up through the organization, your interacting with peers to achieve results. At the top, you have no peers. Your it! As they say, “It’s lonely at the top!”
  • When working on problems, you have people to bounce ideas around and discuss alternatives. When you’re at the top, you’re supposed to have answers. If you appear not to have answers, you scare subordinates.
  • “I had much more fun when I was a manager. When I became a vice-president, it’s like someone turned the lights off”


You must be very good at what you do to reach the top. The question is how fast and how far can you go? Everyone has a pace and destination in mind. You also need a plan. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you somewhere! The key is to have a long-range destination in sight, move toward your goal in a strategic way, and enjoy the journey.


How do you determine your destination? People succeed at what they love to do. How many people do you know that are highly successful and hate what they do? From what I have experienced over the past 40 years, reaching your destination requires three fundamental things:


  1. You must be passionate about what you do. Unless you’re handed a boatload of money, your passion will sustain your career drive, whether you’re an entrepreneur, private, non-profit or public sector professional or consultant. Passionate people tend to work harder, longer and at a sustained high level than those who are more casual about their work.
  2. You’ve got to be very good at what you do. Second tier performers seldom reach their ultimate destination. High performance comes with education, the right experiences; usually with a mentor or someone to learn from, and the right organizations that fit your career needs. If your not the best at what you do, then someone else is, and that person will succeed where you may fall short.
  3. You need to be both a model as a leader and as a team member. Leadership is just as important as followership. Very few people, if any, can be the best at everything they do. But being a strong team member within a successful group can be just as effective as being the leader of your own team. Both are important and both will help your career.


Put these three things together and you have the greatest chance for career success.


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


Posted on: July 25th, 2017 by
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Want to know what a hiring manager is thinking while scanning resumes? Or maybe how the hiring manager views potential candidates during an interview? You would have a distinct advantage if you could read the mind of the hiring manager. So let’s take a look at the hiring manager’s decision-making process, what’s important, and how to prepare.


It’s really simple. A hiring manager wants to know three things about candidates:

  1. How is this candidate going to contribute to the results of my organization?
  2. Does this candidate have the critical skill sets for success short and longer term?
  3. Will this candidate be a positive influence in my organization or a disruptive force?


Impacting results: Hiring managers are looking for candidates to contribute to their results: To reach key objectives, within a budget, on time, and produce results for the organization. If you can’t add value, why would a boss be interested? Show the decision makers that you have accomplished similar results, or can produce equal or better results in the future. How? Show measurable successes paralleling the results for which they are looking. If you can’t, they will seek someone else who can. Your prior results must guarantee that you can succeed over all others.


Critical skill sets: Hiring managers are looking for candidates who have critical skills they need to fill a hole in their work group. Unless you have unique skills, you must meet about 70% of the needs of the open position to be considered for an interview. Anything less and you’ll not make the cut. Every job has critical skills that must be met by the top candidates. These skills are listed on the position description and are usually at the top of each “must have” grouping. Sometimes you can interchange one skill set with another if they are comparable.


Organizational fit: Hiring managers are looking for candidates who will complement, supplement and comfortably interact with the current staff. Candidates must be a “team” player. A disruptive force will hinder the work, plus take time and effort to straighten out the problems. Conflict within a working group will negatively affect performance. Hiring managers understand this dynamic and will take steps to prevent it. That’s why the work team is often involved in the interviewing process: Not as a decision maker, but certainly as an influence affective the decision. Peers have a genuine insight as to who will work out and who will not.


When interviewing, you have about an hour with each individual or group to help them understand your potential contribution to their results, gain their trust, then influence them that you are the best choice to hire. Stick to the basics: Validate your past performance and results; show how your critical skills are compatible with the skill set required; and show you’re a team player.


You need to fit their culture and want to be one of them.


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


Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by
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If the annual budget shows that pay increases are to be an average of 3% for the year, it means that the spread of individual pay raises can be from 0% to 6% or more. Where you are within that spread will depend on a number of factors, some of which are:


  • What has been your performance during the year? Are you a high performer? How is your performance measured? Do you and your boss agree?
  • Where you are within the range? If you’re at the lower end of the range and a high performer, your raise should be higher than if you are at the upper end of the range and a low performer.
  • Do you directly affect the performance of the unit? Those that directly add to revenue or reduce costs are more likely to receive higher raises than others.
  • Is your organization’s philosophy “pay for performance” or are you on a “pay for length of service” program. If pay is indexed to your years of service and you receive pay increases at a predetermined rate each year, performance is less of a factor.
  • Some organizations provide for reduced compensation but have above average benefits, like company paid health insurance, a high 401k match by the company, and so on.
  • Other companies are just the opposite, where compensation has both high pay and terrific incentive compensation, but just adequate benefits. These are mostly high growth companies.
  • There are other factors but we’ll stop here.


So, back to how your pay raise works.


One of the ways to gain insight into how your organization manages pay raises is to do your own research: “What is the percent target point that your organization pays, relative to the industries in which you compete?” In other words, each company competes against others in their industry but may have a target of paying as low as the 25th percentile or as high as the 75th percentile. This information will tell you if you have an aggressive pay program to attain and retain the best talent.


With all things being equal, lower paying companies within a competitive industry may find a higher turnover rate, as high performers leave for greener pastures. Some companies feel that people can be replaced easily. Higher paying companies on the other hand, may seek out higher performers, pay them better and attract, then retain them at a higher rate.


Implication to you? The success of your organization will affect your compensation. In a turnaround situation, you may be hired and paid extremely well, however the risk is also high.

Stable companies with slower incremental growth tend to have stable employment.


Implication to you? People in general tend to gravitate to the organization that more closely parallels their own philosophy and are comfortable with the pay practices.


Implication to you?   Your company’s pay practice and management philosophy will directly and dramatically impact your total compensation over time.


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


Posted on: July 11th, 2017 by
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Ask yourself, “What ‘s the purpose of a reference?” If you think that a reference is for someone to say great things about you, think again.


There are two fundamental reasons for a reference:


First, to validate the basic information you provided about your work history: Title, length of service, compensation, job responsibilities and function, reporting relationship, reason for leaving and other essential job related facts. Almost no company will provide performance or personal data. There is little you can do to influence this factual information. Information on your resume, in LinkedIn, social media and the company data must be the same. Any differences and your resume will be tossed in the trash. It’s too much trouble for companies to problem solve the discrepancies while there are other candidates who don’t have an issue.


Second, to provide information about the content and value of your prior work. This reference takes the form of professional or supervisory managers that you usually are asked to provide. These are managers who are most knowledgeable about your work/performance. Past bosses are the most requested. Here are some ways to optimize the value of these references:


  • The higher the boss, the greater the value in the eyes of the hiring organization. Officers are the best since they have a wider view of your contribution. If you had a problem with your direct boss, see if you can move up the organizational ladder for a better review.
  • Check with your references to make sure they are willing to provide a positive reference for you. Some managers are reluctant or can’t, for whatever reason.
  • Of those managers that agree, provide them with an outline of the job you are pursuing and the key responsibilities you are to assume. That will give them a good idea of the key questions they may get.


  • MAJOR POINT: Refresh their memories about the performance and results you achieved in their organization. Most managers will remember some but not all of your contributions
  • MAJOR POINT: Suggest that you send them an outline of the key items of the new job in parallel with the key items of past results from their organization that supports your candidacy
  • MAJOR POINT: Send them the key talking points you want them to give. Thank them for their help and support. Tell them that you appreciate their efforts on your behalf and you’ll let them know how it turns out.


Try not to give the same references to several organizations at the same time. Hold back your references until after you interview. You’ll want to save your references for the opportunities you really want to pursue, after you have interviewed with the new organization. Don’t overuse important references with jobs you later decide you’re not interested in.


References are the last step in the job search process. Use them wisely and effectively.


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