The Perfect Job? It’s about Fit

Having had countless of opportunities to select ideal employees for successful companies, I now love to share my “inside” information with job seekers.  Unfortunately, I have heard this so many times from managers:

Measure up the organization for a perfect job fit

Measure up the organization for a perfect job fit

The candidate seemed so ideal for the job


…Impressive resume and background

…Dressed and spoke the part perfectly

…Warm smile & firm handshake

…Great answers

…Accepted the offer

…Joined your organization

… And it didn’t work out

What, you may ask, went wrong?  Though I am an advocate for “hiring for attitude over skill”, in most cases, I am in the minority. Hiring managers still are tempted to  select for skill and  Continue reading

Work from Home Success

Working from Home?  Now What?

Work from Home Success

Work from Home Success

Almost 70% of college students and young professionals question working in a brick and mortar office (based on a recent Cisco survey).  It’s a good thing that many corporations are expanding their remote employee workforce to coincide to the shift.  Another study shows that over 80% of US employees work remotely at least once a week.  Yes; answering emails on your smartphone is counted.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

One challenge facing employers is how to keep remote employees engaged when they do not have as many contacts with their manager or fellow employees.  Another issue that crops up:  as good as a remote worker, sometimes they are concerned that they may be perceived as not as engaged – perhaps even a slacker.  “Out of sight, out of mind” ring a bell with anyone?

Dead end for my career? Not so!

So some wonder if it could hurt their promotional pursuits and career. Worries that their boss doesn’t remember that they are part of the team and doesn’t run into them in the hall.  This, all put together, can create challenges to most but there are ways to ensure that communication is effective.  Remote workers have a challenge in establishing and maintaining an “emotional” connection to the workforce in the office due to the the reality of no face time or minimal at best.

Keep in touch:

  • Your manager may not see your face every day but ensure that s/he sees your name.  Increased efforts to communicate are needed.
  • Explore tech available to have “face” time such as skype and videoconferencing.
  • Ask if it would be beneficial for you to come in to the office once a week (if that is possible). Ask if there are meetings or trainings which you should attend in person.
  • If your manager calls you at home, be positive and prepared to offer a summary of what you are working on, results, and accomplishments.  You need to showcase your results a bit more.
  • IM, text or tweet and phone to keep in contact.  Be cognizant of generational and/or organizational preferences to determine which mode of communication is best.  If not sure, ask.
  • Network as much as possible, inside the company and outside.  Build and maintain strong relationships so people know what you do, how you do it and how well you do it.

Success starts with you

Lastly, remember that the ultimate reason that people, remote or in the office, get promoted are the same: efficiency, effectiveness and results.  Unfortunately, the reverse can be said.  The reason people get fired are the same as in the office.  Take the precautions to not let your personal surroundings interfere with work.

Your Job Search and Career are my priority.  It’s my passion!  I have been responsible for hiring and developing high potentials like you for over 25 years in Fortune 500 companies.  I’ve made selection and promotion decisions as well as coached professionals to their career success.  I’d love to discuss your career success.

Contact me at 813/843-6934 or patriciaedwards2@verizon.net

3 Words that kill your Career

Three words that Kill your Career

I’ve talked to hundreds of job seekers and employees on how to get hired or navigate their career to get promoted.  Assuming everyone wants to position themselves in the most professional way, I can only conclude the reason for some to kill their chances of success is a lack of understanding on how 3 little words can be received.

    NEVER

    ALWAYS

    THEY

Wrong words can kill the interview

Wrong words can kill the interview

NEVER is often used in a negative context.   Have you heard “you are  never on time [for a meeting, with a completed project]? ” and your recollection of the term probably triggers a memory of a poor work experience or a poor leader.  From another perspective, if you respond to a question with never,  I’d question if that could be accurate. Never means never.  So you never have been late with a project deadline?  If used throughout the interview, the recruiter could question your work style, pattern and motivation.

ALWAYS is another word that is often overused.  Both never and always are hyperboles, meaning they are an exaggeration.  Just as with never, you better make sure that you can honestly answer always to a question.  So you are always punctual with assignments and always receive customer kudos?   While confidence is important, both these words can convey over confidence.  Remember that the recruiter is carefully listening to not only the words you use but listening between the lines to understand you better.  Overconfidence can be a sign of dominance and inflexibility.

THEY is my personal favorite.  This word is usually used in the context, as “I or We vs. They or Them”.  You know; you have heard it.  I learned an invaluable lesson years ago when helping a CEO with a merger in the healthcare industry.  He chastised me for my innocent habit of referring to the soon to be co-hospital employees as “they”.  As the HR Director and responsible for merging the culture of two distinct organizations, it was critical that I was inclusive of all employees.  I immediately referred everyone as to “we and us” and what a difference.  That tiny change sent a message of esprit de corps; we were all one team!  Now, when I hear an employee in a retail setting, for example, complain about management as “they”, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.  They, a seemingly innocent word, depicts a lack of community and respect.  This is especially crucial when interviewing.  If, for example, you respond to a recruiter’s question such as “Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a change you had to implement” and you constantly refer to management as “they”, you are not demonstrating a positive or cooperative attitude.  We all want to work with those who are part of the team and, despite not agreeing with decisions, carry them out.

I’ve always been a lover of words and their power.  I hope this post will help you be more aware of the words you use and, therefore, more successful in a job search or promotional pursuit.

I am a CAREER NUT!  It’s my passion!  I have over 25 years’ experience in Human Resources leadership of Fortune 200 companies.  I’ve made selection and promotion decisions as well as coached professionals to their career success.  I’d love to discuss your career success.

Contact me at 813/843-6934 or patriciaedwards2@verizon.net

New Year, New Career?

Christmas is past, a year is behind us and many of us tend to look optimistically into the new year.  Aside from the typical “I will exercise more; I will lose ten pounds; I will finish my degree”, you may want a new job, a new career in 2014.

I’d ask you “Do you have a Career Plan?”  The most common response I hear is “Well, no but that’s a good idea.  Where do I start?”

New Year, New Job?

New Year, New Job?

Don’t fall victim to “Ghosts of Jobs Past” (sorry; I couldn’t help myself from recalling the ghosts of Christmases past as described in the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Even though you may have not reached your career goals or have even had some negative career experiences, you can wipe the slate clean, just like Scrooge, and pursue a new life and, in this case, a new career.  “Start with the End in Mind”

Continue reading

HOLIDAY JOB SEARCH SUCCESS

holiday job search myths

holiday job search myths

Don’t be fooled like most job seekers and put your efforts on hold until after the holidays!  Use this special time of year to your advantage.  Actually, you could find networking and interviewing for a new job to be easier during the holidays than other times during the calendar year.

New Year Hiring

Many companies begin their budgets in January, which means they have set their recruiting targets in the fall and they continue their efforts to fill those positions for the New Year.  Combine that with most of your competition kicking back and watching old reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation” and you have the advantage  Continue reading

Santa – The Ultimate Networking Role Model

With all the holiday gatherings, both professional and personal, it’s a great time to get out and network with potential employers, clients and leads. You are armed with your elevator speech and plenty of

Santa's networking style

Santa’s networking style

business cards and determined to talk to as many people as you can but WAIT……………

Can we learn anything about networking from Santa?  Let’s examine his approach: Continue reading

Robots reading resumes?

If you haven’t heard, your resume probably will be “read” by a robot before someone’s eyes have a chance to review your qualifications against the job being pursued.  That presents challenges, especially, if you are going by the old school of writing your resume.

Applicant Tracking System (aka Robot)

Applicant Tracking System (aka Robot)

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System and most corporations “employ” this method of screening candidates for positions posted.  The truth of the matter is that you need to know the new rules of resume writing and applying for jobs in order to get to the coveted interview and have any chance at a job offer. Frustrating?

Continue reading

Linked In – Do It Right (Part 2)

In my last post,  I covered the basics of a Linked In Profile and one reader asked  for more techniques to create a winning strategy using this powerful job search/career management tool so here’s Part 2.

This post will help you to create the WOW factor you need to really showcase your talent and give you the needed competitive advantage.

... with LinkedIn

… with LinkedIn

Your ultimate goal is to interest the reader, whether that be a recruiter, hiring manager, colleague  or potential client into reading more of your profile, connecting with you, meeting with you and, ultimately, working with you.Linked In is like a “branding genie”,

Continue reading

Changing Careers? Take a lesson from a Millenial

Gotta love the millennials, those 18 – 33 year olds who will account for half of the workforce by 2020.  I envy this generation’s comfort with risk taking, always having been change and risk adverse myself.  I was just talking to an intern at my fitness center and, upon learning that she was from Colorado, asked her how she ended up interning in Florida.  riskShe told me she had several intern opportunities near her hometown of Colorado Springs; however, had always lived there and jumped at the opportunity to work in Tampa, learning about another part of the country and meeting diverse people.  As I worked out on the treadmill, I observed her with others exercising.  She is industrious, approaches members with sincere interest and has, I have heard, introduced new ideas and improvements to the center. The fitness manager raves about her and has already  Continue reading

Career Resilience: are women the stronger sex?

Don’t just take my word for it; successful author and speaker, Valorie Burton, sings the praises of EQi awareness and changing behaviors as means to enhancing resilience.

Resilience at work

Resilience at work

Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQi, has become the standard to predict work success.  Decades of research indicates that EQi trumps IQ and can be improved through  Continue reading