WHAT DO EMPLOYEES REALLY WANT?

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by
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I’ve been reading a lot recently about how unique the Millennials are in the workforce. Articles talk about how they’re different from the rest of us. I challenge that hypothesis. When I compare the list of so-called differences, I find it’s very consistent with the needs and desires of most people in the workforce, with a few exceptions. Here is a list of Millennial “differences”:

 

  • Their first job is unsatisfying or disappointing
  • Their full potential isn’t being utilized
  • Expanding experiences are the drivers, not money
  • Saving for retirement or creating a nest egg isn’t a high priority
  • They want to do something inspiring and feel passionate about their work
  • It’s important to have the freedom of action to contribute at a higher level
  • They want transparency and feedback on performance
  • Millennials say they need a clear vision for the future from upper management
  • They want strong leaders who can articulate direction and meaningful goals
  • They want to be empowered to attain results

 

These are the same comments I hear from employees all over the country at all ages looking to improve their careers or to contribute at a higher level. Nothing seems to be that different.

 

So what are the differences between Millennials and the rest of us? Here are a few that I see:

 

  • Millennials have a much larger debt load coming out of college: Loans of $30,000 or more
  • Due to their financial uncertainty, they tend to be risk averse. It’s hard to take a risk for another higher paying job when you’re not sure of the outcome, and still have loans due.
  • It’s easier and safer to stay with the job you have, where you’re known, with security, even if it doesn’t give you great satisfaction
  • This dichotomy of risk aversion versus a lack of satisfaction causes painful frustration
  • Some Millennials give up, feel like a victim and lean on mom and dad for extended support

 

Why don’t Millennials follow a career consistent with their college degree? Like most students:

  • High school seniors usually have no idea what career to follow, have an idealized view or can’t understand what reality is like:
  • Lawyers who want to “save the world” then find out how the world really works
  • Journalism majors who want to be another “Bernstein and Woodward” only to find out they’re writing obituaries with no chance of moving up.
  • Many graduates aren’t prepared for the technological revolution all around them
  • Millennials may not find the job of their choice at first, so they accept the job that is available. Then find it’s very hard to segue into the jobs they want.

 

It’s management’s job to create an environment to optimize the talent in their organizations. Those that don’t risk losing quality employees or diminish the results they might have had.

 

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


WHAT WORD DEFINES YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS?

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by
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Whether you’re a finalist candidate or waiting for a promotion, there’s one word that will determine your ability to get the job or move up in the organization. Assuming you’re competent, are a compatible fit in the organization and have the necessary skills and ability to do the job… the key word is: JUDGMENT.

 

Good judgment over time will accelerate your career goals. Poor judgment will hinder or prevent your career movement. Judgment usually is determined by the experiences you’ve had in the past. applied to the issues or decisions needed now or in the future. All the decisions you make, whether big or small, will determine your results because the judgments you make affect the results you achieve.

 

As you move further up the organization, judgment becomes a more and more important factor to your success. The judgments that are made by the president of an organization will greatly affect the success of an organization over time. The judgments you make in your current job will affect how you’re perceived and how your performance is judged.

 

So, how can you build the “judgment factor” into your interview so you have an edge? Simple. Build it into the response to questions you know will be asked. All interviews will ask the question, in one-way or another: “What did you do?”, “How did you do it?”, “What were the results?” Since the interviewer is working off of your resume, these questions will reflect past experiences. Here’s an example of a question and a potential answer:

 

Q – “How did you achieve the 10% increase in sales when you worked for the XYZ Company?”

 

A – “We were experiencing flat revenues over the past 3 years in 80% of our product lines within our major markets. After analyzing the markets, products, customers and competition, I made the judgment call to market the higher volume, higher priced products with a special campaign in the major markets that were lagging. I also had a contingency plan to make up for any shortfall.”

 

This response does three things:

 

  1. It shows an understanding and practical approach to a problem that was preventing results
  2. It demonstrates a business approach to a problem based on facts and analysis. A good approach in the mind of a hiring manager.
  3. It not only displays sound judgment, but also shows an alternative contingency, just in case the initial judgment doesn’t work out… which is a judgment in and of itself.

 

Having good sound judgment is one of the key ingredients to a successful interview and career. Understanding how to communicate and demonstrate that judgment will differentiate you from all other candidates. Go and do good things.

 

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


WHY DIDN’T YOU GET THE JOB?

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by
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There are four fundamental hurdles to move you through each step of the hiring process:

 

  1. Your resume has to be one of the top 10 selected out of 100 or more applicants
  2. You’re one of the top 2 or 3 candidates out of 10 with your telephone/Skype interview
  3. You must be the top candidate after your personal interviews with the decision makers
  4. You must have a mutually satisfactory offer and acceptance

 

If you don’t move to the next step in the hiring process, ask “Why?”. The answer is usually a generic “The fit wasn’t right, but we’ll keep you on file in case the right job comes up”. Don’t hold your breath! Remember: There’s only one winner, and everyone else falls short.

 

Here are some reasons why you didn’t make the cut. Most of them are beyond your control.

 

  1. There were shifting priorities or needs that moved the bar or changed the requirements
  2. The interviewer wasn’t skilled or competent enough to ask you the right questions
  3. You made the hiring manager nervous with your talent and experience
  4. The hiring manager was forced to make a different decision by someone higher

 

  1. You’re under/over qualified, under/over educated or don’t have the technical skills
  2. You blew the interview. Oh well, there’s always next time!

 

Here are some of the things to make “next time” successful:

 

  1. Most resumes describe the activities or responsibilities of the individual, while hiring managers want to hear about your results, how you got them and how you can help with short and long-term issues.
  2. There are a number of skills you need to have in a telephone or Skype interview in order to be more successful than your competitors. The differences will make you more effective. Learn and apply them.
  3. There are 4 basic styles of interviewing that hiring managers use, which if you’re not prepared to handle, can put you at a disadvantage. Learn how to succeed in an interview with each one so you’re more prepared than others.
  4. There are about 50 questions that have a high probability of being asked in an interview. Develop and practice highly successful answers beforehand so you can have targeted solutions, rather than stumbling or mumbling responses.
  5. Most answers to interview questions should be answered effectively in 30 seconds.   Learn how to focus on the issue, action and result that will make you the best candidate.
  6. Responding to an offer is an art and science. Understand what can and cannot be achieved, why, and how to weave the best opportunity for you and the company.

 

Becoming a skilled candidate in the steps of the hiring process increases your chances of accelerating your career. Understand what’s important to the hiring organizations first and then design your strategy around the skills that will help you achieve your goal.

 

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


POTENTIAL VERSUS RESULTS

Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by
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Have you ever interviewed for a job knowing that you have the potential to do a great job, but for some reason you didn’t get an offer? Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Would you be more likely to hire an employee to fill an important position who has the potential to do the job, or someone who has successfully done a similar job somewhere else? Who is most at risk?

 

Part of the answer is driven by the needs of the hiring manager. If the position is critical to the success of the organization, then a candidate who has demonstrated similar results would have a higher potential for success. If, however, the hiring manager wants to train someone in a certain way and immediate results aren’t imperative, then a candidate with potential could work.

 

A candidate who has had success in the same role within a smaller organization or a similar role in a comparable function has greater transferable skills and experiences than others. Since a hiring manager wants to optimize the success level with the new hire, the closer a candidate comes to meeting the requirements and expectations of the position description, the greater their chances of becoming a top candidate for interviewing. There are exceptions, of course.

 

The fact is, the further away a candidate’s skills and experiences are from the job that needs to be done, the greater the risk the hiring manager is taking. If the decision to hire is the wrong one and the new employee falls short of the performance needed, it’s the hiring manager who pays the price. He falls further behind, the job remains open and his boss is not happy.

 

On the other hand, the employee who falls short pays a steeper price: He has a short term exposure, a lack of success, time and effort lost, and a career mistake that can take a long time to recover, if at all.

 

The point is, if you’re hired for a job you can’t do, everyone loses. Other thoughts:

 

  • Check out the top 5 items on the position description. They are the most important skills or experiences that are needed to fill the job. Other items are less so.
  • When you review the position description, if your experiences are less than 75% of the requirements, tread carefully as you don’t want to fall short when you find out the job is much more extensive and complex than you first thought.
  • When interviewing, find out what the key issues are to be solved, the expected time-line for solutions, the resources, budget and other critical factors for success.
  • If your experiences are less than 50%, beware. With an offer, you’re taking a very big risk.

 

Lastly, for the very ambitious, be careful you don’t outpace your competencies or experiences and market yourself beyond your capabilities. Change isn’t kind to the unprepared.

 

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


SUCCESSFUL SKYPE INTERVIEWS

Posted on: December 26th, 2017 by
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Which is more effective interviewing for a job, the telephone or Skype? The telephone is less effective in making a positive impression. Why? With Skype, you have more opportunity to present yourself in a positive way: Appearance, demeanor, eye contact and pictorial clues. When you can’t see the interviewer you have no way to gauge your impact: Head nodding, smiles/frowns, blinking or boredom.

 

If you have a choice, pick Skype over the telephone. You’ll be more successful if you know what to do and what not to do:

 

  • Practice Skype interviewing with an experienced friend. Get comfortable with the process of Skype. This is an important skill to learn.
  • Create a comfortable environment. Don’t have a bright light behind you or you’ll look like a shadowy figure. Have a neutral background.

 

  • Keep children, pets and visitors out of the room. Disable the telephone. Put a note on the door, “On a conference call”
  • Dress and act the same as if you were in the interviewer’s office

 

  • Prepare key words on small post-it notes so you don’t forget important items. Place them on the monitor screen. The interviewer can’t see them, but you can, to make sure you cover all the key points. Have your resume handy
  • Keep the red light of the camera at eye level. Assume the camera light is the eye of the interviewer, because in a way it is. Too high or low and your image gets distorted.

 

  • If you write notes on an important point, write one or two words on a pad. You might want to say, “That’s an important point”. Don’t make many or lengthy notes as it would be impolite.
  • Always look at the camera while making a point or when talking. You’ll appear a stronger candidate. Eye contact projects confidence, honesty and self-assured strength.

 

  • Never, ever eat or drink while interviewing. Have a sip of water handy if your mouth gets dry, but make sure your don’t spill it on your lap or short-out the computer.
  • Use the rest room prior to the interview. Some interviews will go over an hour, which means the interviewer is really interested in you. Don’t spoil the moment by having to leave.

 

  • Everything you do is magnified because all eyes are on you. Put a pleasant smile on your face and pay attention at all times. When your eyes drift away or begin to close, it means you’re not interested. Stay focused and engaged.
  • If your interviewing with a group, make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Asking if there are any more questions about each subject shows that you’re a facilitator and are interested in everyone’s input: A team player. Use their names whenever appropriate.

 

Skype interviews are popular and it’s necessary for you to perform well. Show that you’re comfortable with advancing technology as your new job may depend on it.

 

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