Your ‘Good” Resume just Cost You the Job you Wanted

Is the resume “dead”?  According to some, yes; it is. But the resume is still the foundation for your networking, LinkedIn profile, screening interviews and face to face interviews.

The purpose of your resume is to:

  • convey your value to a prospective employer
  • get an invitation for an interview
  • showcase your achievements

And, first, you need to get through the ATS robot which screens you “in” or “out” based on programmed keywords and key phrases determined critical according to the hiring manager.

I have reviewed over 40,000 resumes in my career and most have not met the “interview-worthy” test.  Why?

Your Resume is failing you

YOU ARE CONFUSING THE RECRUITER –  Recruiters just don’t have the time or desire to guess what job or profession you want. You have 6 – 18 seconds so make the most of it. I led a team of corporate recruiters and each, on the average, reviewed 200 resumes a day!  If your resume is forwarded on to the hiring manager, you may be one of 10 – 20 resumes and s/he will take about 5 minutes to review your resume. Bottom line: you must make those quick “reviews” count. Prospective employers need to quickly see what value you would bring to the team and the organization. If they like what they see, they’ll want to meet with you.

YOUR RESUME IS TOO GENERIC – the most common mistake I see is the resume written to address several job opportunities.  It is overly general and cheats the job seeker of creating a compelling message of value based on specific experience education closely matched to a particular profession or job.  While you can have a master resume, take the time to customize it to a specific job posting of interest.

YOU DON’T STAND OUT  – Most Accounting Manager resumes all look the same.  Most IT Sales Director resumes look the same.  YOU HAVE TO STAND OUT!

 Write a professional summary of 3 – 5 sentences and concisely describe your scope of responsibility, types of industries, clients, and transferable experience.  Help the reader of your resume to “see” you in their organization.  If a recruiter or hiring manager reads nothing else, your “Summary” should be all they need to know about you. Highlight your knowledge (relevant degrees and industry or functional knowledge), your experience (what you’ve done that’s most relevant), your accomplishments (what qualifies you best for this position), and your personal qualities (how people describe you).

YOU FAILED  THE “TV REPORTER” TEST –  Imagine you are interviewed by a reporter and have 30 seconds to make your point. Write out a few bullet points you want to make and write supporting information. 

  • Include your most valuable achievements
  • Include your toughest assignments
  • Back up your claims with numbers (did you increase sales, decrease costs, etc?)
  • What are you recognized for by those who work with you or your clients?

Incorporate these changes and your resume will better serve you to demonstrate your experience, accomplishments and open the door to an interview.

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Want to know more about how to STAND OUT and GET HIRED sooner?  I have written over 80 articles (to be published soon) and you can find them at www.CareerWisdomCoach.com

Better still, contact me and we can discuss how I can help you. Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com

Ready for the EQi Job Interview?

You better be because most organizations have learned Emotional Intelligence  is the key to identifying which candidates will be successful employees – much more than hiring for knowledge, technical or clinical expertise.

Showcasing your Emotional Intelligence will give you a huge competitive edge

There’s nothing new about the concept of emotional intelligence. The term became a part of the standard business lexicon in 1995 when author and psychologist, Daniel Goleman, analyzed jobs and found that 67 percent of the 181 competencies that distinguish the best performers at work are emotional competencies. In fact, when compared to Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and expertise, EI mattered twice as much! This explains why the interview  process is longer and more complex.

Companies are using:

  • EQi based assessments as part of the screening process
  • Internal recruiters often ask a few EQi questions to decide which candidates are passed on to the hiring manager
  • Many companies are training their leaders how to assess EQi by asking interview questions such as the following.

These questions have been carefully researched and validated at identifying the most relevant EQi attributes are critical to the specific position.

Continue reading

Older Job Seeker: Your Age is an Advantage, Not a Liability

Marty was adamant that she was not landing a job interview in her field of technology solutions marketing due to her age.  When she called, she told me that she expected me to disagree with her but I didn’t.  Silence on the other end of the phone followed when I replied, “Marty, I agree it could be a strong factor why you have not heard from one of the 16 companies you contacted or submitted applications to.” “Oh?, she replied.  “Tell me more and how you can help.”  So I did.

Yes – job seekers over 50 have a tougher time finding work but there is good news.

 The Age Advantage

Both recruiters and hiring managers are changing their attitudes towards older job candidates.  Many are impressed by decades of experience and they know the benefits of an older employee include:

  • better attendance
  • company loyalty
  • less drama

In addition, they are appreciated for:

  • wisdom in decision-making
  • stability
  • enhanced communication skills
  • the ability to mentor younger employees
  • strong work ethics

I know this to be true based on my corporate experience managing a recruiting team and also weighing in on selection decisions with hiring managers.

However, expect to encounter these perceptions

Unfortunately, there are negative attitudes towards employees over the age of 50 and these include concerns about them being:

  • less tech savvy
  • less agile
  • resistant to change
  • less adaptable
  • not as innovative
  • not able to work well with younger employees

The good news – you can overcome these biases

  • On your resume
    • Utilize a progressive format – no objective statement
    • Communicate in contemporary verbiage and use current keywords
    • Reference experience and knowledge of technology
    • Showcase achievements with metrics and data
    • Do not list experience or education prior to the year 2000
  • In your Linked In Profile
    • Your photo – is your clothing and hair style contemporary?
    • Do all your connections have gray hair?
    • Networking with Gen X and Y keeps you current
    • Avoid obsolete or dated language, phrases or words
  • In the Interview
    • Watch your language – avoid “1980s and 1990s speak”
    • Use examples from recent experiences
    • Don’t say “Back when I ………” or “It used to be…….”
    • Cite references to your current personal development
      • Refer to process improvements you have made recently at work
      • Share a change you championed or examples of your adaptability
    • Demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to work for the long-term
    • If asked about hobbies, refer to those involving vitality, health, exercise

Having done all this, you may still encounter recruiters and hiring managers who assume they can’t afford you because you come with a much higher price tag than a younger candidate.  That’s the reality; maybe it is true in your case and maybe it is not.  Be prepared to state a salary range which is commensurate with the position, your experience and value and what is fair.

Looking for more strategies to land your dream job, your perfect career?  Contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com for a free consult.  I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes,  interviewed and hired hundreds of professionals and I know what it takes to get hired.

 

3 Job Search Blunders Older Job Seekers Make

Job seekers over 40 and 50 years old are challenged.  Ageism exists and finding a new job can be frustrating.  You have two battles to fight:

  1. Recruiter and Hiring Manager Perceptions of You

  2. Your own Perception, Confidence and Job Search Strategy

You will probably hear the dreaded word, “overqualified”, from a recruiter or hiring manager at some point in your job search.  Often that term really means:

You require a salary so high that the company either cannot afford you or it can find someone else (stay tuned and read below how you can convince them that you are worth your salary) at a lower salary.

  • If you are hired at a lower wage than you used to earn, you won’t be as happy and either start looking for another job or not be as committed to the job.
  • Based on your experience, and especially if you have held a management position, you will start trying to change things or tell people how to do their jobs.
  • You may not get along with the younger employees or your manager if younger than you.

Much of an older job seeker’s perceptions that they are too old or overqualified are self imposed. Continue reading

GREAT RESUME but NO INTERVIEWS? Think again.

WHY YOUR RESUME ISN’T GETTING YOU INTERVIEWS

It is not Relevant

  • Either your experience doesn’t match up to what is required of the position or it does and you have not shown how.  Do you meet 80% of the qualifications noted in the job posting.  If your education and experience are a match to the job requirements, make sure it is very clear in your resume.  Use the same keywords and phrases as noted in the job posting. Don’t forget that  includes Education, Experience, Certifications and Skills noted throughout the description of the position.
  • Don’t assume that the recruiter will connect the dots.  With responsibility for filling 10 – 50 job vacancies, they are simply too busy to do that job for you.    You may very well have the background which is a perfect match for the position but you need to communicate that so the reader of your resume sees that within a few seconds.  6 seconds to be exact according to  https://cdn.theladders.net/static/images/basicSite/pdfs/TheLadders-EyeTracking-StudyC2.pdf

 

Location, Location, Location – not just a Real Estate Mantra

Continue reading

TOP JOB SEARCH ARTICLE 2017

I am honored to have been recognized for writing a top job search article in 2017 by JobMob under the category of “Job Applications”.

Originally posted July 8, 2017, on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com and later on LinkedIn, here it is for your reading enjoyment and job search empowerment.

https://careerwisdomcoach.com/2017/07/08/the-recruiter-told-me-i-am-overqualified-truth-or-something-else/

 

 

Is your Resume Interview-Worthy?

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

  1. 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

3 WAYS TO STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITION

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

Ace the Second Job Interview to Get Hired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The recruiter told me I am OVERQUALIFIED – Truth or something Else?

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:

  1. Hit the pause button before responding
  2. Muster up all your strength to avoid a defensive response
  3. 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