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
The Most Qualified Candidate is Hired
That is what you would expect, right? Shouldn’t the candidate with the most relevant education and experience be hired? In a perfect world – yes; however, many candidates do not convey their value in the job search process. That’s exactly what I help people to do in my career coaching practice.
- Do you know and communicate your strengths?
- Does your resume and linked in profile convey your most significant achievements?
- Are you able to provide examples to hiring managers of how you can transfer your past experience and knowledge to their organization?
- How well do you respond to the behavioral interview questions?
- Are you ready for the emotional intelligence-based interview questions?
Even If Not Hired, You Will Be Told Why Not
If you have been in the job market during the past few years, you have not been contacted unless chosen for the interview and or position. If you are not considered qualified, it is likely you will hear nothing from the organization. Even if you go through the multi-stepped interview process, possibly take time off from a current job, incurred the cost of childcare in order to interview, and complete background questionnaires, you may not hear anything unless chosen for the job. And it is even more likely that you will not hear anything from the recruiter or hiring manager about why you were not selected. 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
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
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