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
No; I am not talking about having inappropriate postings on FaceBook. Everyone is wise to cleaning up or managing visibility of social media postings which could jeopardize your job search.
Your Online Footprint – Build it and they will come
I am talking about simply NOT having an online presence that is relevant and conducive to your career. Here is the classic example. When I am talking to a potential client, I ask about their LinkedIn profile and usually hear, “Yeah; I have a profile but don’t do much with it.” That is exactly the problem. It is not sufficient to simply have your profile posted, even if LinkedIn gives you an “All Star” status.
The Profile is just the beginning, folks.
Most people incorrectly remember Kevin Costner’s famous line as, “If we build it they will come”. In the movie, Field of Dreams, he plays an Iowa corn farmer who hears a voice telling him: “If you build it, he will come.” He interprets this as Continue reading
Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor
If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer. In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!
More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge. What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.
Hired or Not?
Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year. Additionally, some companies use Continue reading
Do you paint outside the lines with Linked In?
When you were a child, did you carefully color inside the lines or did your colors sometimes stray beyond the boundaries? There are so many guidelines and rules to remember when writing your resume (i.e. two page maximum, ATS requirements for strict formatting of dates of employment and its lack of forgiveness if any of those, largely unknown, rules are broken – “in the Block Hole” your resume goes).
But Linked In beckons our creative genius to unleash creative opportunities to tell our story and showcase our awesomeness to the world. Sadly, though, many Linked In profiles fall victim to the resume rut and Continue reading
How many others are competing for that job to which you applied?
Though research numbers vary, many workforce planning pundits estimate that there are 300 – 500 applicants for every position filled. The job market is fiercely competitive. You know that. The internet is mostly to blame. It is just too easy to submit resumes in response to job postings on the big job boards. Sadly, many applicants do not meet the job requirements and qualifications spelled out in the job posting but it is just so easy to click that “submit” button. The rule of thumb – meet at least 80% of the qualifications before you apply. That’s step 1. Step 2 is: Stand out!
So what must you do to stand out? If you have visited your local bookstore or amazon.com recently and reviewed the management/leadership section, you may have noticed lots of business titles on “branding”.
Now, make the mental leap of associating yourself as a brand. This may be a new concept for you but, as a job seeker, you will be more successful if adopting a marketing strategy to sell your talents and strengths.
Your job search is about more than skills and experience – it’s brand.
Let’s say you are a territory sales manager and pursuing a promotional position as Regional Vice Continue reading
Show ’em your Career Smarts……emotional intelligence that is
Show ’em your Emotional Intelligence
Unless you are alone and counting beans in a cave, the ability to understand yourself and others, communicate and influence others are all critical skills and abilities of career success. With increased emphasis on collaboration and diversity, EI is becoming even more important and companies are hiring with those attributes in mind.
What is EI?
EI is generally defined as a person’s ability to understand and manage his/her own thoughts and emotions as well having insight into others and responding in such a way to influence outcomes. Generally speaking, the higher levels of EI you have, the more easily you can sell your ideas to others, resolve conflict, inspire and lead teams in complex and ever changing work environments.
How can I present my EI in my resume?
Start with the job posting or job description. If it requires interpersonal communication skills, ability to work with a team or manage other people, you have a competitive edge if you can Continue reading
What the recruiter really wants to know
1. Can you do the job?
2. Will you do the job?
3. Will we enjoy working with you?
Tell me about Yourself
Believe it or not, those are the three main questions the recruiters need to ask and they are the focus of every interview.
Every interview question you’ve been asked was designed as a deeper dive into those three key questions. With varying words and scenarios and situations, every question is simply a follow up to better understand you in three areas:
- Your skills and abilities
- What motivates you
- If you are a good fit for the organization.
Can You Do the Job? – Skills, Abilities, Experience & Strengths
It’s not just about your skills, but also about leadership and interpersonal strengths. Technical skills get you in the door but those other attributes help you climb the ladder. As you get there, managing up, down, and across become more important.
Recruiters can’t tell by looking at a piece of paper what some of the strengths and weaknesses really are. They ask for specific examples of not only what’s been successful but what you’ve done that hasn’t gone well or a task you have, quite frankly, failed at and Continue reading
Entrepreneurs need similar marketing tools as job seekers.
I recently received a request from a successful business owner – a resume and professional bio. Since most of my clients are professionals seeking new career opportunities, I assumed she was
Even the Boss needs a resume
changing life directions and seeking a corporate position. Wrong. She shared that she was redefining her marketing strategy and had been asked, by potential investors, for her “credential documents.”
If you have your own business or considering a start up and you think “no more resumes – ever!” think again. Thinking you will never need to go through the grueling process of writing about your experiences and accomplishments? Continue reading
Another year is behind us and many of us look ahead to exciting changes in the new year. Typical resolutions are: “I will exercise more; I will lose ten pounds or I will finish my degree”.
New year – new career?
To those of you who respond “I want a new job or career direction in 2015” 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?”
Don’t fall victim to “Ghosts of Jobs Past” (sorry; I couldn’t help myself from making the correlation of past jobs to ghosts of Christmases past as in the Christmas Carol. 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.
You enjoy your job, love your company and are ready for more responsibilities, new opportunities and, oh yeah, more money.
It’s rare for employees to be automatically promoted based on seniority or time spent in the job. Regardless of your organization, there is no doubt a process to get promotions.
“So How do I get Promoted?”
Know your Strengths and compare them against the job postings or descriptions you want. What are the keywords and themes of this job? If you have an internal resume, are those key words listed? Internal recruiters will search for them just as external recruiters will.
Showcase your accomplishments in your current role. Arm yourself with several examples to demonstrate your successes and be able to respond to anticipated questions. Be prepared to speak to what you have done so far, whether it is in an interview, in the elevator or at the company picnic. Provide a summary of the situation, what you did and the results.
Quantify your accomplishments with metrics such as scope of responsibility, number of people involved and impacted and monetary results – whether you saved money or increased revenue.