TIME FOR A JOB SEARCH?

Posted on: April 14th, 2020 by
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The Coronavirus has really played havoc on the economy, the marketplace and those who would have been looking for a change from their current job to a new and higher-level position.  So, what should you do?  Wait?  Forget about it?  Or accelerate your efforts?

 

Let me lay out some ideas for you to consider as to why now might be a good time to search for a new position:

 

First, now is the best time to prepare.  Why?  Do to “sheltering in place”, you may have the time to create a powerful resume, research the marketplace to see where the opportunities are available, organize your strategy to tailor your experiences to the strongest part of the marketplace, research the functions that hiring organizations are in short supply, and find out where the compensation factors align with your talents and experiences.  All of this information takes time to position yourself in a professional manner.

 

Second, once the Coronavirus begins to wane, there will be a surge of opportunities to fill in order to recapture the business or momentum that was lost.  So many businesses and organizations have diminished or lost their forward motion. It will take added staff or replacements to recoup what was lost.  The skills needed for results will be:  To Increase revenue, decrease costs, upgrade systems, implement process improvement, or train new staff to develop new skills in the existing staff.  Hiring organizations will need to get a jump on their competitors quickly, or be left behind.

 

Thirdly, the job opportunities will be greatest as the marketplace begins to wake up, since other potential candidates will sit back and wait, giving you a month or two head start.  As the Coronavirus begins to diminish, hiring organizations will accelerate the hiring process by using the telephone or Skype as a primary interviewing tool rather than face-to-face interaction. This will shorten the time-line for candidate selection.  When the surge breaks, there will be a run on available talent.  You want to be at the head of the line, not at the back.  All sectors of the marketplace will be competing for talent:  For-profit companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, state and local municipalities, and especially entrepreneurial small businesses.

 

Here are some other items you may consider while you’re waiting for the market to turn around:  Get a certification to advance your functional skills; take an on-line course with the latest technology in your field; read the latest research; talk with others in your field to learn who is planning to expand; research the most innovative companies in your function to find out what they’re doing; interview a role model.

 

The Coronavirus has caused major disruptions in our normal everyday life.  For some, it will cause an irreversible career stall.  Time and opportunities will be gone.  For others, it will provide expanded opportunities.  How you deal with your available time and effort will determine how you come out on the other end.

 

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


QUESTIONS OF A HIRING MANAGER

Posted on: April 7th, 2020 by
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Wouldn’t it be helpful if you knew the questions that will be asked in a job interview?  Well shucks, there are only three primary questions for which hiring managers want to know:

  • “What results have you achieved in the past and give me examples with metrics?”
  • “Are those results directly transferable to my organization, short and long term?”
  • “Will you be a comfortable fit and positive influence in my organization?”

 

These questions may not be asked in this specific form, but no matter how roundabout hiring managers approach the interview, these three questions are what they want to know.  If you understand these questions it makes your job easier.  Figure out how to answer these three questions in a way that:

  • Shows how your high performance of the past will segue to contributions in the new job
  • Increases your value to the objectives of the hiring manager
  • Removes any concern about your ability to smoothly integrate into the current team

 

If you do it right, you’ll be placed in the top tier as a finalist candidate.  Of course, there are secondary questions beyond the three primary ones.  Usually those secondary questions are focused on more detailed explanations of the primary ones centered around the “how”:  How long before reaching results?  How did you train the staff?  How much did it cost?  How did you sell the idea to management?  How could your results be implemented here?

 

These are some thoughts as to how to prepare to answer the hiring managers questions:

  • Take your resume line-by-line and create a short story about how you contributed to the results of that item as a group or team
  • Be prepared to discuss your individual performance as a “team” member
  • Discuss the metrics of how you measured your results. Give specific examples.
  • Discuss how you expanded your skills to prepare for this open job
  • Identify how you have worked with co-workers to obtain better performance
  • Make sure you aren’t negative about your current company or management

 

From the company’s view:  Their primary question is:  Will you add value to achieve the organization’s objectives, both short and long term?  You need to be able to have a targeted answer to that question.

 

From your perspective:  Your primary question is:  Will you be able to contribute at a high level, grow professionally, fit the new culture, and prepare for a move up the organization?

 

If these primary questions can’t be answered in the positive, you may want to take a second look at the job.  You need to understand the risk / reward ratio before accepting an offer.  If a problem occurs and the wrong person is chosen, the organization can easily make a change and move on.  The individual, however, may not recover for a long time.

 

Remember:  The risk is always greater for the individual than it is for the organization.  Make sure you’re the right person for the right job.

 

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


THE PAST NEVER DIES

Posted on: March 31st, 2020 by
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I’ve been doing a lot of video watching and reading recently (“sheltering-in-place”).  One of the books I just completed is “Secret Service” by Tom Brady, published in 2019.  There was a passage that got me thinking that became the theme of this article: “You can pick a destination, but you can never predict the journey.” The corollary is: “You can’t change the past, you can only try to enhance, diminish or modify your actions going forward.”

 

Your ultimate career goal is your destination.  The strategy to get there is your journey.  How you prepare for your journey will determine your success.  Preparation means having the right experiences, skills, education, strategy and some good fortune.  Without a well-managed plan and irrepressible determination, you’ll fall short of your destination.  Anticipate and plan for the positives and negatives.

 

Four factors of your past may determine the results of your job search strategy.  The four factors are your experiences, reputation, long memories and the internet.

 

Experiences In creating a career path, look at the long-term experiences you’ll need to reach your ultimate goal.  In the short-term look at the requirements needed for the next step up toward a new and more responsible job.  My point:  Without the right experiences built into your past, your future is diminished toward your ultimate goal.  Your past experiences are a prolog to your success.

 

Reputation Your reputation is a composite of what others think about you.  It’s primarily based on their interaction with you and opinions of your character, performance and results.  Reputations are very fragile and must be enhanced and protected over time.  My point:  Your reputation is one of the factors that drives your career, whether it’s based on your past bosses view of your contributions, the results you’ve achieved, or the contacts and references needed when you apply for a higher-level job.

 

Long Memories People in general have long memories.  Maybe not in the details, but they remember the tone or “feeling” of an event or encounter.  The more positive people’s memory of you, the greater support or accolades they have for you.  The less positive the memory, the less support.  My point:  Everyone you meet has a memory of you.  Make them all count in a positive way.

 

The internet Everything on the internet is forever, unless you take action to diminish or eliminate it.  Many job opportunities have been determined by what a hiring manager found on the internet.  Simply “Google” your name to see what’s there.  Over 35% of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated a candidate for something on their social media.  Over 40% say social media helped a candidate by their internet persona.  My point:  Don’t’ let the internet dictate your future by either having false or misleading information about you. Clean it up.

 

Your past career and achievements control your future.  Create a plan, develop alternatives, manage the strategy and optimize the opportunities that come your way.

 

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


NIGHTMARE INTERVIEWS

Posted on: March 24th, 2020 by
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Ever participate in an interview when you wish you were somewhere else?  Let me suggest four types of nightmare interviews and what to do about it.

 

The Sphinx Interviewer: This can be one of the most challenging interviews.  Sometimes the interviewer is creating a void for you to fill.  Be careful you don’t ramble on.  Other times the interviewer is uncomfortable in the role of interviewer.  In this case, find a common area of interest from the position description and attempt to initiate a discussion about a problem needing a solution.  If successful, you will be seen as a problem solver or at the least, an alternative generator toward solutions.

 

The Group or Panel Interview:  Companies are using group or panel interviews because it saves time and money.  It also puts you in touch with individuals that you will be working with as a group, if hired. Prepare in three ways: Research the company’s history, products, competition, financials and anything else you can lay your hands on.  Learn as much as you can. Ask for the names and titles of each member of the interviewing group beforehand, then look them up in Google.  Check for key information that will help you connect to each one.  During the interview, respond to each question based on that member’s function.

 

The Chatterbox Interviewer:  Some interviewers talk on and on and don’t give you a chance to say much.  This type interviewer is trying to “sell” you on the job rather than finding out about your experiences.  Nod your head to indicate that you understand the comments.  Wait for an opening to relate a similar story, so you’re sharing a common experience.  Usually at the end of the interview, the interviewer will ask, “Is there anything else you would like to discuss?”  This is your opportunity to summarize your background in parallel with the key requirements of the job.  Make it focused, crisp and use metrics.

 

The Never-ending Interview Cycle:  A candidate can anticipate anywhere between two to five interviews before a decision is made by the company.  I use the words “by the company” because the hiring manager usually isn’t the foot-dragger.  It could be the boss’s boss, HR, or the need for a unanimous group decision.  If it’s more than 3 interviews (one by telephone and two in-person) think about how actual work group decisions will be made.  Is this the right place for you?  How much latitude will you have to perform?

 

Remember:  Never let your guard down, even when you’re comfortable with an interviewer.  Their job is to not only find the things that will make you successful, but also find holes in your background.  If your interviewing for a total of 6 or 7 hours, these “holes” become bigger.  Keep your energy and enthusiasm at a high level.  All of these interviews take work time for you to travel to your destination, plus meetings.  Make them count.

 

Every interview is uniquely different.  Be prepared.

 

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


WHAT HIRING MANAGERS SEE

Posted on: March 18th, 2020 by
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According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring them.  There are good reasons why hiring managers decide NOT to hire a candidate based on their social media content.  There are also good reasons why hiring managers decide to HIRE candidates partly because of what’s on their social media’s profile.  You should understand what these reasons are and what to do to about it.

 

Hiring managers want to basically know these three things before they hire a candidate:

  • Can they do the job? Most applicants meet the job specs for becoming candidates.
  • Will they fit in well within the team already in place? No one wants a disrupter.
  • Can they assume more responsibilities and grow with the organization? Assess the potential of candidates over the next 5 or more years and what is possible.

You may meet or exceed all of these factors but still not get the job.  Why?  Because some of the intangibles, like good judgement, respect, team effort or trustworthiness gets questioned when your social media profile gets scrutinized.  You can look like the perfect candidate on your resume and during an interview, but social media research may tell the hiring managers a different story when they view it.

 

What may the hiring manager see on your social media that knocks you out?

  • Photos, videos or information that questions your good judgement (39%)
  • Excessive drinking, drugs or antisocial behavior (38%)
  • Discriminatory comments about others (32%)
  • Negative comments about a past company, boss or employees (30%)
  • Lies about qualifications or inconsistencies on your resume versus social media (27%)

A “selfie” that you thought was funny may not be for an image sensitive company.  Look at your content and what others say about you before the hiring manager does.

 

On the other hand, 44% of hiring managers made offers of employment to candidates who, through social media, presented a sterling profile, like:

  • The information supported their professional qualifications and experience (39%)
  • Their communications skills were well done (37%) … articulate and well written
  • A professional image (36%) … they looked like a positive company representative
  • The candidate showed creativity (35%)

Hiring organizations are wary when a candidate has no on-line presence.  They’re concerned that you may have something to hide.

 

What should you do?

  • Google yourself to see what’s out there being said or shown about you
  • Clean up your information as some of it can be ten or more years old
  • Correct any information that is not accurate
  • Review all information on your profile through the eyes of a hiring manager
  • Install new information with articles, photos or videos that show you in a positive light

Your on-line presence is part of the hiring process that you control.  If you don’t actively slant it in your favor, you may not ever know why you didn’t get the job of your dreams.

 

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