Archive for March, 2015

How To Tell If Your Resume Will Bring OPTIMUM Calls For Interviews

March 30, 2015

Two days ago, in the front of my home, several crocuses popped up, signaling the beginning of spring. I know most of you are so ready for warmer weather and the sights and sounds that spring brings.

Silent PhoneMany of us think of the New Year as a time for new beginnings, but I think of spring as a time to take inventory of where I am and make plans to ensure I am on the correct path for where I want to go. (I go to a hotel and spend a weekend reflecting and making my plans) If I need to make adjustments, because I’ve gotten off track or I have intentionally changed my goals, I make the necessary corrections to get me on the path to success – and draw up a new plan of action.

This might be just the time for you to evaluate where you are and where you want to be – whether you are currently working or not. If you are not where you want to be, decide what steps you have to take to get there, and who needs to help you along the way. Once you have done that, it’s time to take ACTION

While our economy is still challenging, smart job seekers are taking control of their career now, and wisely implementing simple procedures to increase their chances of finding a new job.

Good news is, it’s surprisingly simple to take control of your career right now. In addition, what’s really cool is that once you put these procedures into place, your job search will take on a new energy, even during times like these.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a stellar resume – one that shows your value and beats your competition hands down. Your resume has to grab the attention of the employer so they will want to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

Are you passing / sending out a resume that is not totally effective? Here’s how to tell:

  • Your focus / target is missing or unclear
  • Your skill set is missing or incomplete
  • Your key words are absent or might not be the most effective ones
  • Your uniqueness, accomplishments or successes are weak or are missing completely, so that your specific value is not evident to the employee
  • Your resume isn’t formatted so that it is easy to read and that information flows well
  • Your resume has misspelled words
  • You’ve used a template and it looks like everyone else’s

Why: If your resume is not a “10” you are hurting / killing your chances of getting calls for interviews, no matter how great your skills and accomplishments are. You only have 15 – 20 seconds to impress the reader and be considered for the “keep” pile. If your resume isn’t great, you’re just not going to be in the handful of people chosen to interview.

I know this might seem harsh, but I want to make sure you know the truth. In these economic times, you have to take special care that your resume stands out, or you don’t stand a chance of being called for the type of job you want, let alone, getting the pay you deserve.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

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Your References – Do They Help or Hinder You?

March 16, 2015

If you’ve gotten to that point in your job search where an employer is interested in learning more about you, they will undoubtedly be interested in talking with your references. Are you prepared to supply references that will aid you chances of success, rather than hindering them?

ResumeEmployers will want three to five professional references. A professional reference speaks about your performance on the job. Good professional references may include recent supervisors, co-workers (not subordinates), customers, vendors, suppliers or volunteer members. Use friends or members of the clergy as a last resort – they cannot provide the type of work information an employer will be looking for in making a decision to hire you.

Once you have thought carefully about whom you will use for references, get their permission – make sure they are willing to be contacted by prospective employers. After receiving the ‘go-ahead’ from them, supply the following information on your reference page:

  • Full name and job title

 

  • Organizations name

 

  • Daytime phone number

 

  • The references private email address

 

  • The references professional relationship to you (former supervisor, current vendor, colleague, etc)

 

Make sure you contact each one of the references and go over what kinds of things they might say about you so you will not have any surprises. It’s good to discuss with each reference, just what kind of information they will give.

You will improve your chances greatly if you have a powerful LinkedIn page, particularly if your page includes recommendations and endorsements. Make sure your page gives a powerful representation of you and include your page URL on your resume and in your signature when you email others.

PS:  If you are not confident about your LinkedIn presence, or you’re not yet on LinkedIn, I can help!

 

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

Does Your Business (Networking) Card Reflect the Impression You Want to Convey?

March 11, 2015

If you’re not already doing so, have a business card made up to hand out as part of your job search – actually, it’s good to have one for networking whether you are conducting a job search or not.

Networking business cards, which have the look and feel of a traditional business card, give you the opportunity to provide critical career and contact information with people you meet in social and professional situations.

Business Handshake SeriesKeep your networking cards clean and crisp and bring them EVERYWHERE you go — to networking events (obviously), career and job fairs, professional meetings, social gatherings, parties, weddings, and anywhere else you may run into potential contacts…everywhere. You should keep copies of your resume handy as well, but there are obviously numerous times where a resume would simply be too awkward to handle. Here are some tips for you:

Designing your Networking Cards – Networking cards are the same size and shape of business cards (3-1/2” wide and 2” high), contain key contact information like business cards, but instead of listing a company and job title, a networking card focuses on your job objective or unique selling proposition. Be sure to include all your pertinent contact information, including your name, phone number, email address, and your link to LinkedIn.

Don’t sell yourself short. Put your profession or job focus, your strongest skills or highest degree right under your name.

Exploit the reverse side. Fill the top half of that space with key bullets about your professional achievements, the name of a prominent prior employers and addresses for your Web page, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Be creative — within limits. Printing cards on shiny paper looks distinctive, but defeats their purpose – people can’t write on them. Your photo probably doesn’t belong on your card. A photo enables a hiring manager to remember your face — and discriminate against you.

Use a simple typeface, high-quality paper and an elegant design. Match your résumé font. A professionally prepared card shows you mean business.

Create different cards for different opportunities. This piece of advice especially makes sense if you possess many talents and are unsure what to do next. For example, you could have one card for sales and maybe another one for management.

Printing Details – So, how do you go about getting networking cards printed? You can have networking cards printed for you at a local printer or on the Web — or, you can try designing and printing them yourself on your computer. One site to use on the web is VistaPrint.com (I use them myself and have been very satisfied with the results – they are very reasonably priced)

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume, an effective LinkedIn Profile and a system to navigate the Hidden Job Market. I know what it takes to get results. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then give you a complimentary resume critique, let you know what you can do to improve your LinkedIn Profile. I look forward to hearing from you.***

 

Salary: What to Do and What to say when You Are Asked

March 4, 2015

These days, if you are conducting a job hunt, you are sure to be asked, “What salary do you expect?” Whether it’s a job application you fill out on line or at a company; a phone interview or an in-person interview; or talking with a recruiter, it’s almost a guaranteed thing you will be asked that question.
I know that from talking with so many of you, there is a lot of confusion about what to do when asked this question.

Often, on an on-line form you have to fill that question in before you can advance in the application. Try putting in the word “confidential” instead of a number; if it won’t let you do that, put in a lot of 5’s so the company knows you are not misrepresenting your salary.

As for a phone, or in-person interview, think carefully before divulging your past salary history. Many people think that by NOT doing so, it could prejudice an employer’s offer, so they gladly reveal their salary history if asked, so as not to be disqualified. Just because employers keep insisting & pretending you must hand over your salary information, does not mean you have to come up with new ways to answer them.

What you can say, however, is “My last company considers that information confidential, but I’ve been doing some investigating, and for this position and this area, I would expect a salary of between $$$$ and $$$$” Of course, in order to say this with integrity, you have to have done your research to find out what those numbers are.

Find a JobAlso, your focus should be on projecting a clear impression of what’s important to you & what you’re worth. When you withhold your salary history, it forces you & an employer to negotiate based on your future value and how you can help that company succeed. Do you really want to get stuck defending what your last employer paid you? Usually, sharing your old salary will almost always result in a lower job offer. 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 & in the future. Why does it need your last employer’s “salary input” to evaluate this?

However, when you are dealing with a recruiter, it is quite different from when an employer asks the question. It can be beneficial to share your salary history – if you trust him/her completely!

Sometimes you go to an interview and the question of salary never comes up, but you are interested in the position and want to know whether to pursue it any further. It then becomes up to you to find out what the salary is.

To do this, keep it short and to the point – ask “What’s the pay like?” this is an honest, enthusiastic question that you need to know in order to make an informed decision. You are not asking for a specific number, just a salary range, so it’s best to get it out in the open.

Of course, the only reason any employer pays you for the value you will bring to help them succeed. Therefore, it is essential to know and to express this value so the employer sees how you are the best candidate for the job.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the job opportunities you want – you need to start with a stellar resume – one that highlights your value – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique. Just email your resume to me at careerist@aol.com & put “Resume Critique” in the subject line & I will critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you. ***