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
People often ask me “What do employers look for? What does it take to get hired?” As you know, there have been hundreds of books and thousands of articles written on this topic but I offer you this information based on my 25 years’ experience as a corporate talent management leader for Fortune companies, and for the past 5 years as an executive career coach. I have had vast experience in hiring talent at all levels, including leadership and the C-suite.
What Employers Seek in Top Talent Selection
Most positions, and especially, ones in leadership, require professionals who possess a high acumen in the following 3 areas and, though they may sound like common sense, are not easy to master. In fact, it has been my experience that it is very difficult to find a management or executive candidate who possesses all three of them:
Whether you haven’t interviewed for a job in a decade or if you interviewed just last week, you may not know the “whys” of interview questions and the selection process most organizations use to hire the best talent.
In a previous post, I shared a little known fact (I don’t believe in keeping secrets) based on my 25 years in Talent Management for top Fortune 200 companies. There are truly only three questions to a typical interview though they may take the form of many and be asked in different ways.
Now I turn your attention to 5 common questions that are asked and are critical to you being seen as a viable contender for the position to which you applied. At this point, your resume has been screened by computer “eyes” as well as a human recruiter. You may have been through a telephone interview, simulation test, behavioral assessment and panel interview. Now you sit across from the person who you hope will be your next manager and you have this one (and only) opportunity to answer these Continue reading
Are you ready to take your career to the next level – manager, director or even the C-suite? If so, you must prove that you are the most compelling candidate and stand out as the clear choice. How?
- Speak to your past accomplishments
- Translate your achievements to fit the needs of the organization
- Be prepared with your vision and strategy
The leadership interview experience is far different from what you have had in the past.
And you thought your prior job interviews were grueling…………
What’s critical for your success?
- Deep knowledge of the industry
- Business acumen
- Analytical skills
- Emotional Intelligence
Beyond these, though, a leader candidate is expected to demonstrate the following:
- Executive Branding
- What are your strengths?
- What are your values?
- What do you do better than anyone else?
- What differentiates you?
- The interview process is longer and more complex
- Day long interview agendas are typical and include interviewing with individuals, panels and over lunch and/or dinner
- Your leadership may be “tested” with problem solving exercises, simulations and case studies – especially if chosen as a finalist
- Be proactive and share your 30-60-90 day plan even if not asked
- Present what you would do the first 30 days, 60 days and 90 days
- This requires a deep understanding of the prospective organization, its challenges and its competition
- Your plan reveals your priorities and your forecast of success milestones
- Research, research, research is essential to be able to answer the interview questions
- The questions you ask will reveal your preparation for the interview as well as your knowledge, creativity and grasp of the position’s role in the organization
Other expectations as you progress up the career ladder:
- Impressive on-line foot print
- What does your Google search look like?
- Do you have leadership presence on LinkedIn?
- Linked in connections – who do you know and who knows you?
- Thought leadership
- Have you shared knowledge and best practices with colleagues in your field or industry?
- Linkedin group discussions
- Linkedin updates
- Are you discoverable in other online searches?
- Organizations and affiliations
- Awards and honors recognizing your contributions
- Emotional Intelligence is often the deciding factor when you face stiff competition and most of the candidates have similar work experience to yours. Employers interview and hire for individuals who are:
- Agile and adaptive to change
- Stress tolerant
Job seekers competing for leadership positions must know and be prepared for a long and arduous process, convey an executive presence and succeed at proving that they are worthy of being selected.
Interested in reading more about job search and career success, career branding, resumes and linked in profiles that get you noticed, and acing interviews? Check out more than 60 articles on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com or contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com
Identify your Strengths through Obstacles & Failures
There is a lot of talk about knowing your strengths, leveraging your strengths and sharing your strengths toward career success. If you have been interviewing for a new job recently, you were probably asked to explain your strengths and weaknesses, usually one of the hardest questions for job seekers to answer.
Several best sellers have been published which promise a method for you to identify your
ID your Strengths gained by past challenges
strengths by answering a quiz or series of questions about yourself. These are all quite good but you might still come up empty when asked the question during an interview and you cannot come across with a text book answer; you have to be authentic. You have to be you! When coaching job seekers, I ask them a question that results in a quizzical look on their faces.
“Let’s talk about the last huge obstacle or challenge you faced at work.” But, they usually respond, “I thought you wanted to know my strength.” 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
You or the BMW?
The Employer’s Dilemma: The Ultimate Driving Machine or You?
One of the better career websites,TheLadders.com, recently asked me to offer some job search advice to young professionals and I am delighted to do so; however, I hope the information is relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their level or industry. I have interviewed many job candidates, during my career, and I offer you these suggestions based on that experience. While the selection process seems like a huge mystery, it is quite simple. You, as a job seeker, need to understand the “why’s” behind the interview process and I am also offering you some “how’s” which will give you a competitive advantage. So back to that BMW………………….
Consider the average cost of selecting a new employee:
- entry level professional = slightly used BMW 128
- mid level manager = new BMW 320i
- senior executive = brand new BMW 500 – 700 series
You may be surprised at the high cost of hiring and selection. Studies show that the cost of interviewing, selection and training replacement employees costs between 30% and 80% of the employee’s annual salary.
In my last post, Why only three interview questions count, I explained why the hiring manager’s interview questions are simply designed to answer the following:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you do the job?
- Will we like to work with you?
The first two, designed to identify if job seekers have the education and experience, as well as 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