Archive for October, 2012

Six Secrets To Having A Stellar Resume

October 25, 2012

You’re fooling yourself if you think you’re going to get a job by copying a resume out of a book.

Too many job hunters simply buy a resume book, find one that best fits them and plug in their information. Voila! Done! Those are most likely the people who don’t understand why interviews are few and far between.

Like a perfect tennis serve, a perfect golf swing or a perfect omelet, a perfect resume takes more effort than simply copying what others do. Doing your homework – evaluating your unique value – pays big dividends. Your rewards come as much from the process of thinking and defining what you want, and what you have to offer a new employer, as the finished resume.

If you want to stay competitive by keeping up with current trends, you’ve got to try some new tactics. Adhere to these practices:

1)     Using technology is preferable to having it use you. An ASCII resume is preferred by most companies (70%) when you apply by email. Not crafting your resume consistent with Internet and search technology will severely limit your reach.

2)     Prepare resumes in both presentation and digital forms. Understand the implications, limitations and strengths of each.

3)     Take the time to do it right. There are few jobs that do not require a resume as a prerequisite to even being considered as a candidate.

4)     First impressions. The quality of the opportunities you are considered for is a function of the quality of your resume and how you get it delivered.

5)     Know yourself and what you want. Until you have examined and weighed both internal and external factors, you are not equipped to make a compelling case for the kind of work you seek.

6)     Gear your resume toward where you want to be by focusing on your future career or job goals. Do not rely only on jobs you’ve already had.

The question to ask yourself is: How is my resume working for me? Is it bringing me the results I want? If not you might want to make some changes.

I can help you with that – if you want your resume to be critiqued by me, send it to careerist@aol.com and put CRITIQUE in the subject line. I’d love to hear from you!

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SALARY: Should You Divulge Your Past Salary History?

October 11, 2012

Think carefully before divulging your past salary history in an interview. Many people think that by not doing so, it might prejudice an employer’s offer, so they gladly reveal their salary history if required, so as not to be disqualified.

Instead of trying to placate an interviewer, try to focus on projecting a clear impression of what’s important to you and what you’re worth. When you withhold your salary history, it forces a candidate and an employer to negotiate based on the candidate’s future value. Do you really want to get stuck defending what your last employer paid you?

This salary issue is more than a question of being cooperative. It’s about making sound judgments. In my opinion, an intelligent disagreement and discussion about salary reveals integrity and it stimulates an important dialogue. Employers who rely on salary history to judge you, are trusting another company’s evaluation of you. Think about that. It’s almost insane. What really matters is what you can do for this company now and in the future. Is the company able to make that judgment? Why does it need your last employer’s “salary input”?

Declining to divulge salary history is not about being uncooperative. It’s about shifting the interview to a higher plane. Don’t worry so much about getting disqualified. Any candidate can be cooperative, but few can demonstrate their value and get paid what they’re really worth. Your value lies in what you can do next; not in what somebody paid you to do last year. If you learn to hold your ground properly you will earn a manager’s respect, and maybe the offer you deserve.

Joyce welcomes any comments you have regarding the various topics addressed on the blog. Also, she would like you to ask any questions you might have that relate to a career transition. That way, she can address your needs, making sure you get relevant information to what matter most to you.

 

Mistakes That Can Kill Your Success In Finding a Job

October 10, 2012

Mistake #1 – Analyzing the Job Market

If you listen to the news everyday, it is easy to get depressed and scared, and that can make you a terrible job hunter – no employer wants to interview people who are depressed and scared. Instead, switch your focus, stay as upbeat as possible and look for employers that need help. In many cases, the same companies that are firing people out one door are hiring people through another. Spend your time finding managers who have work that needs to be done. Don’t make assumptions about what jobs are not available.

Which brings us to the single largest directory of jobs that are NOT available

Mistake #2 – Spending all Your Time Pouring over Job Boards

Job hunters look at the online job boards (or the classifieds) and see opportunities beckoning. So are the jobs data bases. When 5,000 people apply for a job, the job is hardly “available”. Simple statistics will tell you that even an outstanding candidate can slip through the cracks while unsophisticated Human Resources jockeys are screening thousands of applicants. (And that’s before they get around to actually interviewing a few hundred.)

Like that little post card says, “Thank you for submitting your resume. We are currently evaluating your qualifications. Due to the large number of responses, we will not be able to get back to you any time soon.” (If ever) Do you really consider that job available? You would probably do better by buying a lottery ticket.

The other reason these jobs are not really available is because while Human Resources is reading resumes, some headhunter has met with the hiring manager, submitted three candidates, and is helping one of them evaluate an offer. Human Resources might not even know this is happening. Beep! Time’s up. On to the next resume data base.

Mistake #3 – Under-emphasizing, or neglecting to show your worth/value

Your worth is what makes an employer want to hire you. Your worth is determined by the value you offer the employer. That means you have to take the initiative in your job hunt. An employer cannot extract value from you — you must offer it. You can only offer value if you know what is valuable to the employer. That means a lot of research up front, before you approach any employer.

Earn an interview by establishing the value you offer before any meetings with the employer take place. The bottom line in any business enterprise is profit. It’s the thing that enables us to survive to work — and succeed — yet another day. Your job hunt is a business enterprise. If it doesn’t promise profit for the prospective employer, it won’t produce profit — in the form of a healthy job offer — for you.

PS: I can help you with this in my Boot Camp for Job Seekers Who Want Quick Results™, give me a call at 248/478-5662

I look forward to you sharing your comments on the blog.