Archive for February, 2010

Do You Go After the Right Interview … Or the Right Job?

February 26, 2010

What are you doing to find your next job? Are you blindly chasing interviews, or are you focused on finding the one job that’s right for you?

If you’re not sure whether you are looking for the right job, you need help defining the job you want. Often, a good place to start is with the job you have. Write out your responses to the following exercises. The results will help you keep an eye on what you really want.

1. What
Describe the job you would want to be promoted to at your current (or last) company. Be honest with yourself, and be realistic. But let yourself dream about what you really want to do next. List the title, salary, responsibilities, and level of authority. What are the three most important goals you would have to achieve in that job in order to be successful? What are the daily tasks you would be expected to perform?

2. How
How would you do this job if you had it? List the things you would need to do to achieve each of the three goals you described above. How would you perform the day-to-day tasks better than they are being performed now?

3. Why
Why should you be assigned this job? What profit would you add to your company’s bottom line if you accomplished your goals? Make your best estimate. If you need to do some thinking and research to figure this out, do it. The profitability question is at the heart of every hiring decision.

If you’re not satisfied with what you came up with, select another job and do the exercise again. Keep practicing until you feel good about the work and the job you want to do.

4. Reality Check
Review your plan with someone you respect and trust at the company, or with someone who understands your business. You may even be able to review it with your boss, explaining that these are your professional goals over the next year. Ask for suggestions to improve your plan. Listen carefully to all comments. (If you think this exercise might land you a promotion at your current company, you’re right. The same planning that will net you a new job elsewhere should work with your employer too.)

Now, use what you’ve learned here to define the job you want to find. Take some time to think about these questions – even write them down. Do not interview for jobs that fail to meet or exceed these requirements. Why waste your time settling for anything less?

Once you have identified the right job, you cannot be as powerful a candidate for any other job. In fact, you will fall on your face in such interviews. Don’t go after interviews — go after the right job.

Does Your Resume “Cut the Mustard”?

February 12, 2010

Did you know the busiest hiring season of the year is here? Now through the end of March – employers fill more positions than during the other months. This means that if you are thinking about changing jobs, or are currently in a career transition, NOW is the time to get your resume up to a “10” and send it out.

Your resume MUST be superior to those of your competition. Companies often get dozens of resumes for every opening, and they look for any excuse to hit DELETE to screen you out of the competition. So, with your competition as strong as it is, and with the economy still sluggish, it is more important than ever that your resume shows your unique value and is technically perfect in order to survive the scrutiny of the reader. You have only 10 to 20 seconds to capture the reader’s interest – make it count!

Your resume has to get through three critical points – the HR department, the company database and the decision maker – before you are likely to get asked to interview.

How does your resume measure up?

  • Is it concise, yet shows optimum value? Results and strategic impact need to be shown on one or two pages rather than three or four.
  • Do you have supporting documents that highlight your value proposition, such as a one-page resume, a testimonials page, or an executive biography?
  • Does your resume show your brand so your uniqueness stands out?
  • Do you have a lot more accomplishments listed, than you do responsibilities? Accomplishments SHOW VALUE AND get YOU CALLS FOR interviews, responsibilities don’t.

Your resume must convey to the reader what makes YOU unique. It must showcase your credentials and expertise, so that the reader can see why you are the best candidate for the job. It must have strong content and a good visual presentation. Information must be focused on job requirements, presented in the most easy-to-read way, and must contain solid documentation of achievements and education. How does your resume stack up? Is it a “10” or could it use help?

Ask yourself this question: With the huge investment in time and money for your education, your solid career credentials, your noteworthy accomplishments and salary expectations of $30,000, $60,000, or $100,000+, do you want to be represented by an amateur resume? Our careers are very important to us. Is it worth having your resume be anything less than it can be?

When you have a resume that works:

  • Your job search is much shorter
  • Your resume and cover letter that is far superior to 99% of your competition
  • You understand the specific value you bring to the table, so you can share that value with prospective employers, in how you can meet their specific needs
  • You don’t have to struggle alone through the whole process – you will have a career expert to guide you
  • You get called to interview for the types of job you really deserve, and have a choice of positions, and you won’t have to sit around waiting for the phone to ring
  • You’ll receive higher compensation in your new position, so that you know you’re getting paid what you’re worth

Bottom line:  When your resume is a ”10,” your job search is much shorter, you get interviews for the type of job you really want, and you get paid the money you deserve – why ? Because your VALUE comes through effectively.

If your resume is not a “10,” it’s a waste of time to send it out!

I welcome any comments you have on this.