Archive for September, 2009

What Am I Doing Wrong? I’ve Been Looking and Looking for a Job!

September 19, 2009

“What am I doing wrong?” That question was asked of me last week by one of my new clients, a sales executive who’s been in a career transition for about a year now. This was our first coaching session. I gave him my honest answer…”I don’t know; let’s see what we can figure out.” I started by asking some routine yes/no questions to get a sense of what he knew about himself:

  • Can you speak about your product (you) with confidence and clarity? (He was unfamiliar with the concept of personal branding).
  • Do you know your product’s strengths and flaws?
  • Can you describe your competitive advantage?
  • Do you have a clearly defined target goal?
  • Have you identified organizations that are aligned with your target goal?
  • Is your resume absolutely a-m-a-z-i-n-g in educating the reader about you?
  • Do you make it easy for someone to interview you, or is it more like ping-pong with pain?
  • Can you name five things you do better than the next person?
  • Can you name five of your best attributes that will make a positive impact on the employer’s bottom line?
  • Can you cite five good reasons why somebody should hire you over your competition?
  • Have you been consistently networking, both in person and on the Internet?

My client answered “no” to each of the questions.

If you are looking for work in today’s competitive market, do yourself a favor; before you hit the streets, back up, rewind, and ask some hard, tough questions of yourself – be honest with yourself. When you can answer “yes” to these basic questions, plus others, you’ll be well on your way to landing your next job. And I’d encourage you to start this process sooner than later. I suspect you will notice an immediate difference in how employers respond to you, if you choose to do so.

PS: If you need help with the process, give me a call at 248/478-5662

Is Your Resume “Employer/Recruiter” Ready?

September 9, 2009


If a recruiter, or professional acquaintance, were to call you tomorrow with a hot job lead and request that your resume is sent to them immediately, is your resume totally updated and ready to send? Is your resume one you are proud to show others? Does it reflect your value – is it a “10”?

September is International Update Your Resume Month. Does your resume need updating, or a total rework? Despite all the technology today, a resume is an essential tool when conducting an effective job search, or when making an upward move in your own company. It is the only way others have to determine the value you bring to a position when you aren’t there to speak for yourself. So, it’s critical that your resume accurately reflect your skill set and the specific contributions you offer for the job you are seeking. Your resume must answer the decision makers question “Why should I call you for an interview instead of anyone else?”

So, how do you know if your resume is a “10”?

  • Does it indicate the type of position you want?
  • Does it show your unique skills and core competencies for that position?
  • Does it show how you have achieved specific accomplishments that reflect the skill set needed for the position?
  • Does it show some of your career highlights that give a thumb-nail sketch of your capabilities and the specific value you have to offer a new employer?
  • Does it showcase your credentials and education, but not references?
  • Does it show your expertise and why you are the best candidate for the job?
  • Does it have strong content and a good visual presentation?
  • Is it formatted so that it flows well and is easy to read?
  • Does it look professional for the level of the position you want?

Ask yourself this question: With the huge investment in time and money for your education, your solid career credentials, experience and salary expectations of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000+, do you want to be represented to a prospective new employer by an amateur resume?

If you were the decision maker at the company you are targeting, would you call you for an interview after reading your resume?

Your resume must speak for you when you’re not there, so it must be the BEST – you’re competing with your peers and you won’t get a second chance to make a GREAT first impression. Isn’t it worth doing right?