POSITION YOURSELF WITH WORDS THAT WORK!

Posted on: February 20th, 2018 by
Comments Requested

The marketplace rewards organizations whose workforce is smaller, yet works smarter. As a potential candidate, you need a job search strategy that will position you better than others. Use word-pictures that tell the hiring manager that you’re the perfect choice for the open job.

 

Position yourself in relation to the job your seeking. Tailor your resume to fit the job opening in a way that parallels what the hiring manager is looking for. In summary, the hiring manager is looking for three things:

  • Who can contribute the most to resolve my issues short and long term?
  • Who will fit in as a team member with the least disruption?
  • Who can move results forward to the next level?

 

When you design your resume, choose effective word-pictures so the hiring manager can relate those words to the issues that need to be solved. Use words that create an image of achievement, accomplishments and results. Words like:

  • Continuous improvement…     Performance enhancement…
  • Team management…     Increased revenue and profit…
  • Decrease cost, time, or effort…     Accelerate development, and so on…

These are the words with accompanying metrics that impress the hiring manager.

 

Self-adulation doesn’t work and turns the hiring manager off. Some real examples:

  • “Strong manager with excellent work ethics…”
  • “Vast expertise in Internet/Digital Marketing within different marketing channels”
  • “Strategic, visionary and analytical mindset”
  • “Extraordinary experience in fast-paced, highly competitive environments”

These are the words that appear boastful without substance.

After your word-pictures, attach valid numbers or measurements to quantify your achievements. Descriptive words, numbers or phrases such as:

  • Reduced turnover in critical operations from15% to 8.2% within 15 months
  • Through continuous improvement projects, increase productivity by 5.6%
  • Reduced time-cycle by two-fold through a team management style

 

During the interview, when you’re asked how those results were achieved, make sure you:

  • Define the action steps your took in less than 30 seconds
  • Relate the action steps to the issues of the hiring organization
  • Be objective in your achievements and don’t overblow your results
  • Give credit to your team-mates or others who were part of the effort

 

When you use word-pictures, you’re able to position yourself in the mind of the hiring manager as a productive and performance-driven part of a team. How the hiring manager perceives you is critical to being hired.

 

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


YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS MOVE YOU UP OR DOWN

Posted on: February 13th, 2018 by
Comments Requested

At the end of most interviews you’ll be asked, “What questions do you have of me?” That’s the time to move your candidacy up the ladder or down. You’ll be assessed by the quality of your questions, not the quantity. Questions that demonstrate your business acumen or the value of your insights will move you closer to becoming a top candidate. Other questions will knock you out as a candidate. Do you know the difference between the two?

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK THAT GIVE YOU HIGH MARKS: These are questions that demonstrate your desire to perform at a high level, contribute to results, and achieve operating goals:

 

  • “What are the objectives that need to be attained by this function in the first 12 months?
  • What do you see as potential impediments that need to be overcome?
  • What are the top priorities in the short term to obtain operating results?
  • How do you see this function contributing to the long-term strategies of the organization?
  • What can we do to differentiate ourselves over the competition?
  • How can I best demonstrate my value to you in achieving your goals and objectives?”

 

Questions like those above show the hiring manager that you’re interested in the contribution and results both on an individual basis and also part of the operating team. It projects a “can do” attitude. These types of questions also differentiate you from other candidates who may ask questions from the list below.

 

QUESTION THAT GIVE YOU LOW MARKS:

 

  • What are your policies on vacation, holidays, benefits, insurance, moving, merit pay, etc? (Save these kinds of questions once the company indicates a greater interest in you)
  • Do you require references from my past employers? (They will ask if interested)
  • Do you have a drug-testing requirement? (Why ask unless you have a problem?)
  • How many other candidates are you interviewing? (Focus on your own qualities)
  • What are the promotional opportunities? (Concentrate on the job in front of you)
  • Are there other positions that I can apply for? (Not what a hiring manager wants to hear)
  • What level of technical skills is required? (This question shows you are unprepared)
  • I know your main line of products, but what else do you do? (Shows lack of research)
  • I have other opportunities, so when will I hear back from you? (Probably never)
  • Do you have a probation period? (Shows a lack of confidence in your ability to do the job)

 

Candidates are successful or fall short in the interviewing process two ways: By how they answer questions from the interviewer and from the insightful questions they ask. Most candidates spend a lot of time thinking and practicing the first part, and almost no time on the second part. When two or three candidates are finalists, the one who focuses on the results the hiring manager is looking for by their questions, will usually come out on top.

 

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


TIME TO MOVE ON?

Posted on: February 6th, 2018 by
Comments Requested

When do you know it’s time to call it quits and find your next job? These 6 signs are a reliable indicator of a troubled career. If you don’t take action to make a change, your boss or the organization will. It’s just a matter of time.

 

The workplace environment is different from what you experienced in the past:

  • The rate of change and a shifting market makes for multiple short-term careers
  • Most people will change jobs between 8 and 14 times in a career
  • Changes of less than one year cause too many questions for you to answer
  • Sharpened job skills and experience have a short shelf life when not used.

 

Many times the job “fix” is relatively easy, while other times you’ll need dynamite. Take a look at these six indicators and compare them to your own situation:

  • You’ve stalled out with compensation – Staying flat in compensation means you aren’t keeping up with inflation, your performance doesn’t inspire more dollars or for some reason you not moving ahead. Sometimes the organization is shrinking, with you in it. If so, don’t be the last one out. Assess your position.
  • Others are moving ahead leaving you behind – You may be in a dead end job. Other times when the company doesn’t grow, there’s nowhere to move up. When that happens you aren’t learning new skills or developing to your full potential. Find out why. Ask your boss for new or higher level responsibilities.
  • The job is boring – When the job becomes repetitive your performance will sag. If you’re spending more time on the job and it’s still boring, the situation is even worse. It may mean your boss is taking advantage of you by piling up more of the same work. Your not growing and you have less available time.
  • You’re not in the right industry or job – If you take a job outside of your passion, don’t stay in it too long. It’s very difficult to jump back into the job you want. The longer you stay, the harder it is to move to another job or industry.
  • Your boss is an impediment – Who knows why some bosses get in the way. See if you can move to another position internally or talk to human resources. Too much of a bad boss can turn you into a bad performer or a bad employee.
  • Security is a double-edged sword – Being too comfortable leads to stalling when you know you need to move on. If you’re not learning, developing, advancing in skills, knowledge, ability or compensation, your treading water.

 

Your reality check is the question: “Are you content with your current situation and are you satisfied with where you are at this point in time?” An honest answer is your guide. If you’re not growing or expanding your skills and experiences, you’re falling behind.

 

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


WHAT DO EMPLOYEES REALLY WANT?

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by
Comments Requested

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
Comments Requested

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