Job Seeker – You cost the same as a BMW

You or the BMW?

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:

BMW3

  • 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:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you do the job?
  3. 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

Why Only Three Interview Questions “count”

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

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.
  1. 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

When the recruiter asks “Tell me about yourself”

Learn from my mistake……..

I recall, early in my career, when I responded to that interview question with a not so brief biography, starting with where I was born, where I went to school, my family members and do I need to go on?

Tell me about Yourself

Tell me about Yourself

The recruiter stifled a few yawns but didn’t interrupt me.  I was well into my 10 minute life story when I suddenly saw the look on his face and knew I was doomed; it was no surprise that I was not hired.  I couldn’t even chalk this faux pas to a case of the nerves; I was just not aware how to interview.  Interesting that I later found a career in human resources management and was responsible for selecting candidates.

No one teaches you how to interview. 

Guidance counselors and career services offer overviews and there is information on the internet but you probably haven’t had someone guide you Continue reading

Fifty Years Old and Searching for your Ideal Job?

TOO OLD to GET HIRED?

It almost breaks my heart when  clients tell me they are convinced that they won’t  get hired due to their age.  I assure them that we baby boomers are amongst the largest workforce groups  and corporate America continues to need us.  If you are, however, like many  and have sent out scores of resumes, applied to hundreds of job board postings and just aren’t getting anywhere, let’s talk.

older job seeker tips

Whether you want to or have to work as long as you can, it’s critical for those 50 and over to stay professionally relevant.  That translates to being essential and vital despite a demanding job market.

50+ years old Job Searching:  A Double Edged Sword

Most employees over 50 are known and valued for their experience, work ethic and stability; however, they are sometimes perceived as inflexible and resistant to change – especially changes requiring them to learn new technology.  In this 2012 AARP survey, over 75% disagreed with a statement reading  “I have a difficult time keeping up with all the technology required in my work.” Continue reading

Can Emotional Intelligence get you hired? The Harvard Business Review thinks so.

Can Emotional Intelligence Boost my Job Search?My Career?

Though the Harvard Business Review has published many articles, over the past decade, on the role Emotional Intelligence pays in successful careers, I was delighted to see this publication on the magazine rack recently.  It is a special printing of a collection of articles from all the leading experts who claim Emotional Intelligence is critical to career success.

What may be surprising, and even disappointing, to job-seekers is that there are skills and characteristics that are even more important to potential employers than those directly job-

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

Harvard Business Review endorses Emotional Intelligence with a special edition publication June 2014

related. Your education and work experience, skills and abilities are crucial; however, other skills that speak to the candidate’s “emotional intelligence” could carry more weight than those acquired through specialized training or hands on experience.

  • Great sales people are those who develop a trusting relationship with customers
  • Brilliant IT pros can relate to the end user’s needs and provide solutions by listening and problem solving
  • Outstanding customer service employees know how to turn angry customers into loyal “fans”
  • Gifted miracle-workers (healthcare professionals) offer empathy and hope in an ever changing, fast paced and stressful high tech work environment
  • The best managers are those who care about, develop and unite their teams

Time after time, career success is found to be strongly influenced by personal qualities such as:

  • Self awareness
  • Impulse control
  • Perseverance
  • Influencing others

Emotional intelligence is an awareness of your actions and feelings and how they affect those around you. It also means that you value others, listen to their wants and needs, and are able to empathize or identify with them on many different levels, including influence, handling conflict and building teamwork.

EI & Your Job Search

As part of your job search strategy, you can demonstrate emotional intelligence in your resume, social media strategy and job interviews.

Self-Awareness– People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don’t let their feelings rule them. They’re confident because they trust their intuition and don’t let their emotions get out of control. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of emotional intelligence.

 

Self- Control – This is the ability to control emotions and impulses, not allowing themselves to become too angry or make rash statements. They think before they act. Characteristics of self-control are thoughtfulness, integrity and resilience.

 

Motivation– People who are self motivated are able to defer immediate results for long-term success. They set goals to keep themselves on track, are highly productive, and challenge themselves.

 

Empathy – Empathetic people are insightful to others’ wants, needs, and viewpoints. As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening, and relating to others.

 

Relationships with Others– It’s usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. They are excellent communicators, resolve conflicts and are masters at building and maintaining lasting relationships.

 

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

As a certified facilitator and trainer in Emotional Intelligence, I can offer you a personalized assessment to determine your level of EI.  The most effective way to improve EI is to follow the following  “3 step” plan:

  1. Assessment
  2. Action Plan
  3. Accountability Partner

I’ve written other posts on this topic.  Search under the categories to the right.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence boosting your job search strategy, contact me at Patricia @ CareerWisdomCoach.com or call 813/843-6934.

 

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

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

Got EQ? Get Promoted Faster!

How Emotional Intelligence gets you promoted

What separates mediocre professionals from really great and successful professionals?  Technical and hard skills may qualify you for a position and get you the interview but your soft skills and emotional intelligence will get you the job.  They make you stand out from the hundreds of others interviewed.  They are what makes you sought after as a go-to problem solver.   Career Builder.com’s surveys always point out that employers value emotional intelligence over IQ!

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

And  not just a little but significantly.  Over 60% of hiring managers responded to the survey that they would not hire or promote  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

Recruiters’ Brains When Reading Resumes

Estimates vary on the length of time recruiters and hiring managers spend reading resumes.  Some experts estimate a frightening six seconds but most estimate the average is about 30 seconds. In either case, you have very little time to make your case, prove you possess the qualifications for the position applied for and leave the recruiter “wanting more” – to be gained in the coveted interview.

heatmap of a resume #2

Other studies actually track the eye movement and brain activity of these recruiters as they peruse the resume (or Linked In profile ).

In the examples below, note that the red areas correspond to more brain activity and in the left hand example, there is red at the top third section, but it disappears thereafter – so does the interest of the recruiter as s/he moves your resume to the “No” pile. Continue reading