I am honored to have been recognized for writing a top job search article in 2017 by JobMob under the category of “Job Applications”.
Originally posted July 8, 2017, on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com and later on LinkedIn, here it is for your reading enjoyment and job search empowerment.
Most people agree: the key and foundation of an effective job search is a strong resume. But creating one is easier said than done, as most job seekers know from experience, and it takes a lot more than an impressive career history to catch the eye of the hiring manager.
Three strategies to an interview-worthy resume
- Accomplishments – not Duties
Many resumes resemble job descriptions and nothing can be less compelling, less effective in demonstrating your value to potential employers, and downright boring to read. Your resume needs to grab attention and incent the reader to continue reading.
Hiring managers want to see results.
- What improvements have you made to processes
- Have you increased sales or expanded business
- What cost savings have you contributed
- Have you created new programs
If the answers to the above are “yes”, back up that claim with data and metrics. Numbers and Continue reading
Consider these facts: On any given day, almost 500,000 job applicants apply to the Monster job board in hopes that they will be contacted for an interview. Additionally, an average of 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a job posting that seems a perfect match for you isn’t the answer either because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. (Source: http://www.ere.net)
Now that you understand what you are up against, how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?
Demonstrate your credibility.
Showcase your strengths, reputation and value.
#1 – STORIES
Enhance your job search strategy with Stories. But not just any stories; your storyline must be about WHAT you did for WHOM to produce WHAT RESULT. Throw in the obstacles and challenges you faced and you just made it a story people will remember. Why is the obstacle important?
It invokes emotion in your reader
It creates suspense – the listener will want to know the end of the story
#2 – QUOTES
It may sound overly formal or old school; however, when you receive a compliment that speaks to your differention, your BRAND, ask “May I quote you on that?” Of course, s/he will say yes and humbled that you would want to use their statement of endorsement. Continue reading
You got called for a job interview and you think it went well. Now you’re being called back for a second interview. It’s a promising next step, but you’re not hired yet. You’ll have to perform well in this second round and it all depends on how you prepare.
The second interview is different from the first interview
In the first interview you probably met via telephone, SKYPE or in person with a recruiter for about 30 minutes. In this second interview, you’ll most likely meet with the hiring manager or several senior managers and you might even meet with some of your potential colleagues. Ask your human resources contact for the roles of the people with whom you will be meeting and ask for their names so you can research them on LinkedIn.
Interviewers are impressed when job candidates have researched both the company and the background of those interviewing them.
Ask them how they define the company culture, how they came to work for the organization and what it takes to be a success
Interview #1: a screening; Interview #2: the “real deal”
Prepare for your second interview by expecting a series of questions to identify your technical skills, how you’d add value and relate your experience to the new position, as well as behavioral or Continue reading
You found a job posting that really intrigued you, customized your resume and cover letter to match up the keywords and hit the submit button. The telephone screen went well and the two interviews too – or so you thought until you were told by the hiring manager that you were OVERQUALIFIED.
Have you ever been blindsided with those words after spending hours and hours applying and interviewing for what you thought could be your perfect match?
Are you “Over Qualified” or is there another reason you weren’t hired?
Newsflash: you may never know the real reason you weren’t hired. Very often, recruiters and employers tell candidates that they found another candidate who was a better fit. Or you might be told that you were not hired because you are overqualified.
What to do? If you are still in the interview and have an opportunity to respond, here are my suggestions:
- Hit the pause button before responding
- Muster up all your strength to avoid a defensive response
- Seek out clarification
This scenario is a perfect occasion to showcase your emotional intelligence.
Self awareness – identify your emotions and thoughts
Managing your emotions – avoid being defensive!
Reading the other person – his/her communication style, body language and other clues to demonstrate the degree of receptiveness to your questions
Influencing the other person – through authenticity, calmness and honesty, seek to clarify the reason for their conclusion and decision Continue reading
Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.
These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.
As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.
For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.
- Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection
You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation. Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing. A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.
- Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile
Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading
Most clients contact me because they are totally frustrated with writing and rewriting their resume with no results. Daniel, who called yesterday, told me he has submitted his resume to over 75 job postings in the last few months and has not heard a word from any recruiter or company. He told me he now realizes that he is doing “something wrong” and asked me to help him land his next position.
Want a great resume that “takes you to your next position”?
In 5 Easy Steps, You can Transform your Resume!
- Your SPECIFIC LOCATION is not necessary
Not only are job seekers concerned about potential identity theft and safety issues, but your street address is not needed on your resume. Simply list your city, state, and zip code so that the recruiter and hiring manager knows that you are local and within a reasonable commute.
- A HEADLINE tells the world what you are or aspire to be
The mistake most people make is either not having a headline or using their current job title. Why limit yourself, especially if you are considering a career change? Help the recruiter by writing a short headline of key words describing yourself or using the job title of the position you are seeking. You get “extra credit” for the headline, too, if it contains keywords which are discoverable by the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) when the recruiter is searching for candidates with specific experience, knowledge and abilities. Continue reading
Before becoming a Career Coach, I was an HR “purist” and my entire corporate career (25+ years) was spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing, developing and counseling employees. Additionally, as an HR manager, I hired almost 40 people to work with me and many of them came from other occupations with no experience in HR.
All of these professionals had two things in common:
- A strong desire to work in the field of Human Resources
- Absolutely NO experience in Human Resources
But they all had common experiences and strengths:
- Communications – verbal and written
- Problem Solving
- Analytical expertise
- Conflict Management Skills
- Influential Ability
- Ability to “Work in the Gray” and See the Big Picture
Shawn was a stubborn client. Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation. When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he. Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.
A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work. But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.
“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”
Most professional job seekers are savvy enough to know that over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for top talent. And most hiring managers complete their due diligence by Googling job candidates to research additional information. So no problem, right, because you have a profile and it mirrors your resume. Well, not so fast. Just HAVING a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough; it has to be optimized, have the keywords that the recruiter is searching for, showcase your achievements prominently and much more.
Unfortunately, most LinkedIn profiles do not pass the test and, as a result, actually turn off a recruiter or hiring manager and COST otherwise qualified candidates a job interview and job offer.
That is exactly why I quit my Fortune 200 company corporate HR and Talent Management position and started a career coaching practice; I talked to too many professionals who did not communicate their value in an effective, much less a compelling way, on their resumes, networking pitches, or in the interview. They may well have been more qualified than the final candidate, who ultimately was hired, but they just did not market them effectively and strategically. Continue reading