Embracing The OTHER Job Market

Your Career CompassIn the OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process.  When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek.

Thus the employer must sell their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot.  Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services. 


This week’s Session will help you in Embracing The OTHER Job Market.  Thursday, June 2nd we’ll explore basic philosophies and an overview of our 12-step Process


Pilot Onboard

Let’s take a look at the basic differences in these two parallel job markets: If all you do is address the traditional job market… the one the Dept. of Labor measures… You will be creating a LOT of premature rejection and competing with your fellow job seekers directly.  NOT good odds.

 

The JOB Market The OTHER Job Market
Characterized by “requisitioned” jobs being filled by chosen job seekers. Characterized by available/needed work being fulfilled by job seekers, contractors, internal candidates, third-party consultants, retirees, part-timers, temporary workers, etc.
JOBS rigidly defined by requirements and qualifications… reflected by the screening process aimed at identifying key candidates. Work expectations are subjective, defined by mutual agreement, fulfillment of need or contract… reflected through the identification of qualified candidates.
Process overseen by Human Resource professionals, regulated to consider minimally qualified candidates, hopefully within salary guidelines. Process directed by hiring authorities seeking best available talent at marketplace salary expectations.
JOB Seeking PUBLIC is screened for most desirable candidates. Qualified and available candidates are sourced and recruited, often through process of endorsement or internal referral.
Screening defined by KEYWORDS, often accomplished through computer/internet job banks and resume databases. Screening accomplished by word of mouth and endorsement, often supplementing the organization’s formal process of recruitment.
Recruitment process subject to scrutiny of regulation and political correctness. Often selection process has occurred before active recruitment has been fully engaged.
Actual selection still subject to formal process and subjective choice. Actual selection often a rubber stamp formality to satisfy regulation requirements.

On the other hand, if an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services.

Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection!

Personal Marketing is a contact sport.

The Evolution of a JOB…

NEED IDENTIFIED

 

Replacement jobs often redefined. No definition to a new need. No competition
WORK ANTICIPATED

 

Discussion leads to decisions  on JOB definition Often job parameters are set based on market feedback
JOB REQUISTION WRITTEN AND APPROVED

 

Job Requirements must be defined… expectations creep into the recruitment process Int candidates often get priority in employment process
JOB is “open”

 

Job Requirements are often refined based on market feedback Int and ext candidates compete for the same jobs
JOB is published

 

Job requirements and qualifications define the screening process MAX competition!!

The job-seeker must STAND OUT in the “sea of unwashed faces…”

Create an expectation of who you are and what you can do for your next employer by clearly positioning and targeting your collateral materials, both written and verbal.  When stating your career objective, clearly state your appropriate work and make an offer of your services.

Networking Wave#2: Targeting Attractive Organizations

Your Career CompassTurning Opportunities In To Interviews… This topic represents what most people call ‘active job search, but, as you can learn, the HOW –TO is what creates your success in networking. It professes strategies and tactics that will generate more effective networking.  In your ‘first wave’ of networking you had the opportunity to:

  1. Reconnect with people you already know or have cause to know…
  2. In a non-threatening environment, confirm your positioning and get valuable input to your assessment and objective setting…
  3. Broaden your networking base, and gaining confidence in the process–a neat by-product that will serve you well for the rest of your career…
  4. Identify attractive opportunities, and targeted organization!

Thursday, May 5th… Turning Opportunities into INTERVIEWS:  Representing your ‘second wave’ of networking IN TO an organization


Pilot OnboardYou’ll be the first to know when you’re ready for ‘wave 2’ of networking… which, simply put, is networking your way in to attractive opportunities.  You will focus your activity and time management to the business of creating INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION with employees, customers, and vendors–the “stakeholders”– within and surrounding any targeted organization.

THE BASICS

So what are those basics that will allow you to effectively network to identify appropriate opportunities, and then secure the requisite INTERVIEWS in order to “close the deal?”

  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics. The most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.” Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…
  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format. With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”… A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity. With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • A qualification statement that can be used in introducing yourself

Let’s not forget a couple of additional ‘collaterals’ that will help you round out your ability to ‘get the word out’ and serve as evidence of your qualifications.

  1. Brag bytes… Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer. “…saved 80% cost-perhire…” Used in MSWord, ‘Quick Parts’ can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  2. Personal Portfolio… Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

RESEARCHING TARGET Organizations and Attractive Positions

Step six in our 12-step Process, first level research will help you to identify attractive trends and targeted companies.  But, in THIS context, I suggest digging a bit deeper in order to help secure an interview… Learn as much as possible about the company, the potential opportunity, and the hiring authority–the person who has the budget authority to hire you. This is usually your next boss, but could be even higher in the chain of command.

Your research goals ought to include developing information about the company’s products, people, organizational structure, successes (and failures), profits (and losses), capital spending, strategic plans, philosophy and labor climate. Showing your knowledge of some of this information can give you added credibility over other candidates networking to, and actually interviewing for the job.

  • Research the company web site, looking for information relative to your function and level… a company’s financial and annual reports can provide clues to their stability and market share. Don’t forget directories, trade journals, the “business press,” and databases of articles and other news.
  • As part of your ‘second wave of networking,’ ask a friendly recruiter, business acquaintance or stockbroker what they know about the company… and by extension, call people with whom you have networked and ask what they know about the company
  • Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.
  • Call the company directly; request a sales brochure, annual report or other company information. Companies have to market themselves, too, you know!

Telephone and Networking Skills

On a scale of passive to assertive => to aggressive, let’s take a look at how we could communicate direct to contacts in and surrounding a targeted organization…

Email…safe, but too easy to be deleted before a relationship is established. Requires follow-up.

LETTER of introduction… also safe, but read more often. Paves the way for a first call to a referral… creates dialog. Requires phone follow-up.

Phone call…direct… often a cold call… requires risk. Establishes contact, interaction and, worst case, VISIBILITY.

There’s only two reasons to be on the phone during active job search…

  1. Reconnecting with valid contacts, seeking their advice and information, sharing your communication strategy, and seeking referral activity…
  2. Securing actual interviews

Cover NOTE and resume… Rather than mindlessly applying to countless jobs, playing the numbers game; develop your networking style to motivate a person to request your resume.  When requested, resume gets read more often. Establishes relationship. Requires follow-through. Face2face office visit!

Launching and SUSTAINING An Effective Job Search

Your Career CompassAs a contact sport, networking is about interaction between sender and receiver, buyer and seller… job seeker and potential employers. The great news is that you get to start from YOUR ‘sweet spot’ or middle ground where all this interaction occurs the easiest!


Thursday, April 28th… Implementation of your PMP:  Are you conducting an efficient and productive job search?  A good session to start or refresh your efforts!


In your “first wave,” you should start with people that you already know or have some connection to. If your ‘natural network’ doesn’t have a regular meeting—most do not, by their very diverse nature—groups of like-minded people are easy to identify and attend.

As you begin to reach out and broaden your ‘sweet spot,’ be selective in your attempt to create a supportive ‘community’ grouping close to your targeted marketplace.  Networking within your targeted marketplace, your unique, job search ‘community’ should play a critical role in your Personal Marketing strategies. It is an easy means to getting the word out about your business to people who may purchase and influence others to purchase your service or goods.

** Note:   But just as with any other job search activity, we get what we put into it.

Pilot OnboardThat being said, local networking events are seeing record turnouts lately, a sign that leads us to believe the networking is paying off. A Local Networking Group is any organization, which meets on a regular basis, to share and receive referrals and leads. Examples of formal Local Networking groups for small and medium sized business include: BNI (Business Networking International), Merchants’ Associations, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Associations.

Some of the largest local organizations devoted to supporting job seeker efforts are  Frisco Connect, Cathedral of Hope, the Southlake Group, Watermark Church… to name just a few. Many are associated with church support organizations… but are completely nondenominational in their approach, operation and outreach.

WHAT to start with if you have a huge personal contact network to start with… great! Start by prioritizing your list into three sub categories… Seasoned networkers with terrific phone and interview skills will undoubtedly start their networking efforts at the “B” and “SEE” list levels… but for the ‘normal’ job seeker this represents pre-mature activity.

Use the earlier preparation steps, practice time, and your first several ‘baby steps’ to develop your effectiveness BEFORE having to perform for your best contacts. “Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.” Further, try to avoid the temptation to respond to your sense of urgency in securing your next employment, with lack of adequate preparation and planning— the first seven steps—don’t be guilty of… “Ready… FIRE… Aim” It is as easy as a-b-c…

YOUR DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

Steps six and seven of our 12-step Process M.A.P., initial research and pulling together your initial contact list are in place to create focus to your efforts… What are the trends in the market that are attractive to you, and which target organizations are most needy of your value proposition?

Your evolving contact list will take you through the A-B-C’s of networking and the development of your distribution channels…

  1. Start with people you already know or have reason to “should know,” as they are the most likely to be receptive to your initial efforts.
  2. As you develop your network, identify key bridge contacts that can give you specific information or introduce you to key decision-makers and hiring authorities.
  3. Critical to your success is building relationships with people who can influence your hiring. This ‘must see’ list of influential contacts and hiring authorities is the epicenter of your job search campaign!

“WORDCrafting” Your Collateral Materials

Pilot Onboard

A “traditional” resume looks backward into your work history, creating the story of what you’ve already done… and little more. It’s like a historical document.  To embrace the OTHER job market, however, you’ll need to create a forward looking “story” of what YOU CAN DO. Ideally, your resume “story” should allow the reader to see you as a perfect fit for the opportunity’s requirements and expectations. Write for the reader!

Target your accomplishments, such as increased sales and profits, reductions in costs, etc. Focus on achievements that support your qualifications for your job goal. Are you challenged in finding the right words?

LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for you to use in self-assessment.  Access the LinkedIn Profiles of other professionals like you… experiment by searching for a person like you in LinkedIn.  KEYWORDS become personalized phrases by incorporating adjectives and adverbs that uniquely FIT you…

Those phrases should be confirmed for the reader and listener with high-impact accomplishment statements (behavioral evidence, like the bulleted information in a well written resume)… a well-‘crafted’ accomplishment statement can trigger appropriate questions that allow you to expand on your strengths, with…

…positive, supportive examples, elements of your career story—PROOF of your value proposition.

To achieve a good “careerFIT” between you and any future opportunity, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about yourself and your prospective employers. The fit depends on how well the jobs meets your needs and how well your skills and abilities meet the employer’s needs.

The employer will make a decision and extend an offer to you: now it is time for you to make your decision. Write out the factors that are important to you in a job… actually write out your list. During your career transition, learn the value of setting your offer criteria, a key element of your Personal Market Plan.

You understand that managing your own career involves three key ingredients:

  1. Confidence in knowing that your career is on the right path;
  2. Continuous research and networking leading to awareness of potential “next steps…” to keep your career moving forward;
  3. Competency with job-changing skills.

In today’s digital world of recruitment, you have two very challenging goals… Ultimately, your goal is to secure the next right employment for yourself… that must start with your identification of what right is. THAT requires some exploration, identification of key elements of your Career FIT, and planning to pull it all together, create focus… make it happen. Yes…. FIT Happens!

FULLY Utilizing Your “Communication Strategy”

Pilot OnboardYour work in Achieving CareerFIT led you to the determination of your career objective… Exactly what is the best next step for you in your career transition?  It also suggested strongly that you set your straw-man offer criteria to guide you in moving forwardKnowing what your next right employment  is.

This will help focus your actual search. With clarity in your positioning and targeting goals, you can write a great resume to convey “your story.”

 


Thursday, March 31st… Developing In-sync Personal Marketing Collateral Materials.  Learn to integrate your communication strategy with your resume and other written, as well as verbal, approaches.


Your Personal Market Collaterals…

WRITTEN COLLATERAL… 

  1. A GREAT Resume that positions you clearly as a terrific FIT with your career objectives… and in today’s technologies, a database-friendly, asci version;
  2. A correspondence template package that consistently carries your communication strategy, your message… and in today’s technologies, a reformatted, text only version of your resume ready for email needs;
  3. A high impact, personal biography and/or NETWORKING PROFILE that you can lead with in your referral based networking strategies.
  4. A clear and complete LinkedIn Profile, one that is based on your communication strategy and in synch with your other written collaterals.

VERBAL COLLATERAL… 

  1. A well rehearsed “two minute commercial,” your answer to the most asked question during career transition, “Tell me about yourself.”
  2. Several, well though out, “elevator speeches,” examples that support your primary, positioning, key words. These are usually your representative accomplishments under the SUMMARY of your resume. (30 seconds to 1 minute)
  3. A succinct “qualification statement” that you can use as an introduction at networking events. (usually 20 – 30 seconds)
  4. An “exit statement” which explains your availability, to address the second most asked question during career transition.

Having your collaterals prepared and rehearsed prior to active personal marketing is central to your success and builds confidence.

Consistency in the delivery of your message is what creates memory… and frequency of your message helps you get there… strive for top-of-mind awareness where it relates to your candidacy.

Your personal marketing COMMUNICATION STRATEGY, your story, must be built around keywords and phrases that best describe your unique value proposition. These words come from your concerted self-assessment process. The challenge is matching the words that best describe your next right employment with the words that best describe a potential new employer’s needs.

A communication strategy that does not achieve that is doomed to otherwise controllable difficulties—and, worst…failure. So, understand that getting recruited involves two distinct elements…

  • Being screened for meeting a JOB’s requirements… a subjective process created by the potential employers of the marketplace. They set the bar HIGH, defined by functional experience, skill set, and knowledge standards so they don’t have to interview every JOB applicant.
  • Being selected by the hiring authority… another subjective process which now involves their assessment of a job-seeker’s FIT with their needs, including personality, work habits, and other ‘cultural’ standards. They cannot hire all qualified candidates. They must choose.

A job-seeker, then, can give themselves choices when they choose to embrace the OTHER Job Market. They improve their probability of success by nearly eliminating the pre-mature screening and rejection process.

Instead, the SMART job-seeker chooses to build relationships with potential employers first, researching attractive trends and targeted organizations in order to maximize probability of success, avoiding the HR-driven screening process to identify appropriate opportunities for securing their next right employment.

Helping Your Interviewer To ENGAGE YOU in Productive Communication

Your Career CompassA productive mindset, during any career transition, is your ability to relate your well positioned “story” to others, answer questions effectively, conduct productive negotiations, and, in general, fine tune your personal salesmanship skills.  So what are those basic tactics that will allow you to effectively “close the deal?”


Thursday, March 10th… Closing The Deal II: Interview Tactics, including POST Offer negotiation


  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics.

Pilot OnboardThe most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format.  With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”…  A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity.  With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • Brag bytes…  Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer.  “…saved 80% cost-per-hire…”  Used in MSWord Auto Text Format can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  • Personal Portfolio…  Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

sq-knot2

“If you practice the way you play, there shouldn’t be any difference. That’s why I practiced so hard. I wanted to be prepared for the game.”

Michael Jordan (1963- )
American basketball player & business person
regarded by many as the greatest basketball player who ever played the game

sq-knot2

Interested, Qualified and Available…

At the end of the day both third-party and Corporate recruiters deliver Interested, Qualified and Available candidates to the desktop of hiring managers. They source a set of candidates, qualify them, get their interest, present and hopefully close.

An individual should suspect the Company of compiling a pool of talent when they receive a position of interest by email–especially unsolicited.  If you choose to submit, you will typically be directed to a series of questions about the position. These are answered by the candidate and immediately scored by the software managing the talent pool. You might be amazed by the swiftness of the next step.

The candidates immediately receive a response telling them they are qualified or not for the position while simultaneously those who are Interested, Qualified and Available are sent to the desktop of the recruiter and hiring authority for the next step in the process.

We all must be challenged to understand and embrace new technology that can make us more productive and effective to the organizations we serve.  What we have, here, is the failure to merge two ineffective processes in to one very mutually advantageous one: Shared productivity in the world of recruitment.

INTERVIEW PREP

A productive networking call sometimes can result in a screening interview, so BE PREPARED.  Most interviews follow a predictable format, with steps that both the interviewer and applicant follow to decide if both will benefit from working together.  The best interviews are ones in which both participants are equal and have a mutually beneficial, interactive conversation regarding the opportunity at hand.

Think of an interview as the natural extension, the successful result of your effective networking.  Many networking conversations actually become screening interviews, where influential contacts are assessing your qualifications, skill sets and experience relative to an opportunity at hand.  “Perfect practice” of the basics builds the confidence necessary to perform well in formal job interviews.

IMPLEMENTION Of Your PMP

Your Career CompassSteps four and five of our 12-Step Process M.A.P. are in place to provide you with confirming feedback that you have selected an appropriate approach to the marketplace.  Coaching your references, then branding yourself in the digital world of recruitment will help you validate your initial decisions.

This validation that the marketplace needs you and your value proposition helps you to have the necessary confidence in your story.

  • Discuss your resume with your references… does your story capture the real YOU? Have you missed any key bits of supportive information?
  • Use LinkedIn, your “digital footprint,” to pull interest in you to your Profile, and to push your message out to the marketplace through your network of contacts and Group activity.

Thursday, February 11th… Implementing Your PMP: The first and ensuing ‘waves.’


DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

 The next two steps, initial research and pulling together your initial contact list are in place to create focus to your efforts…  What are the trends in the market that are attractive to you, and which target organizations are most needy of your value proposition?  Your evolving contact list will take you through the A-B-C’s of networking and the development of your distribution channels…

  1. Start with people you already know or have reason to “should know,” as they are the most likely to be receptive to your initial efforts.
  2. As you develop your network, identify key bridge contacts that can give you specific information or introduce you to key decision-makers and hiring authorities.
  3. Critical to your success is building relationships with people who can influence your hiring. This ‘must see’ list of influential contacts and hiring authorities is the epicenter of your job search campaign!

YOUR CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

Pilot OnboardHave an implementation strategy and stick to your plan.   Your Personal Marketing Plan should evolve as you progress in your job search. I would recommend early on in your search you attend several events where other job seekers hang out. These are great places to meet new people, develop and practice your elevator pitch, and get some support.

However, within 6-8 weeks you want to begin moving AWAY from those kinds of events to places where potential employers and people close to potential employers hang out. The former of these events will usually be free.

The latter may cost you something. That’s why you want to work out the bugs in your verbal and printed “brand image” in the early stages of your job search. So you can be more effective and efficient when you implement your PMP. Yes, this means you will say “no” to some things.

You want to be strategic!  Remember that an occasional job search is the most predictable part of your career-long strategy!

Critical to the efficiency and productivity of your campaign is the regularity and frequency of the activities you are willing to commit to, and the uses of your time, that will create top-of-mind awareness of YOU (the product) in the desirable or chosen marketplace.  In other words, what are you willing and able to commit to to get HIRED!…to LAND your next right employment?

READY… The first seven steps of the 12-step process are there to prepare you to be successful in a job search campaign.  You are READY!

AIM… Steps five, six, and seven are there to help you focus your efforts.  You’re ready and have your targets in sight… you have the correct AIM!

FIRE… Anyone can pick up a weapon and fire it… most of us can push the button that launches a missile.  But the practiced, prepared, and confident marksman is the one most likely to have the skill to actually hit their target!

Steps eight, nine, and ten are what most job seekers call an “active job search.”  I encourage you to develop your PMP before you need to, implement it wisely with a first wave to “get the word out,” distributing your story to the widest possible network.  By its nature, your first wave will identify target opportunities.

In the skilled implementation of your PMP, your second wave of networking your way to those target opportunities will naturally overlap your initial efforts to get the word out… in fact, as you grow in confidence with your networking abilities, you will create your own productive ‘style’ of networking for the rest of your career!

Creating a GREAT Resume

Your Career CompassAre you challenged in finding the right words for your resume? LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for you to use in self-assessment. Access the LinkedIn Profiles of other professionals like you… experiment by searching for a person like you in LinkedIn. Modify and improve your Personal Marketing Plan’s implementation model as needed… “Listen” to the marketplace, learning from it and adjusting your PMP accordingly.


Thursday, January 21st… Evolving In Sync Personal Marketing Collaterals: Your resume, et al


As you move through your search, make adjustments as you would a business model. Ask for input from people you respect. In order to market yourself, you must first know yourself. The job search process is essentially a highly personalized marketing process. The process started with your candid self-assessment, often integrating feedback from colleagues and supervisors who know you best. Or consider ‘interviewing’ incumbent professionals, those who have positions and roles that are attractive to you.

This explorative step allows you to gain a thorough and workable understanding of who you are in product marketing terms. Especially if you are starting a resume “from scratch”, or if you are truly unsettled on next steps along your career path, this becomes a necessary first step in the process. What YOU Do Best, and are motivated to do for a future employer… What do you do best? What are your strongest transferable skills? Discovering your “pattern of success and satisfaction” is your goal, here. Your ability to express the collection of your functional strengths will measure your marketability.

Pilot OnboardYOUR STARTING POINT

A GREAT RESUME REALITY THERAPY:

  1. There is no such thing as a perfect resume.
  2. If you seek editorial advice from 100 trusted colleagues, HR folks, or even highly skilled and experienced Career Consultants and resume writers… You will get 100 different pieces of editorial ‘advice.’
  3. Books and The Internet will allow you to choose between hundreds of ‘excellent templates,’ formats, and example resumes to FIT your positioning and targeting (read chaotic choice, here)
  4. The ideal resume CAN BE created for any JOB that posts a realistic set of requirements and an accurate job description.

However… A lesson that the marketplace has taught us over the years is that realistic requirements and accurate job descriptions are elusive, moving targets. That said, a GREAT resume, then, is a journey that SMART professionals choose to pursue for the rest of their career… NOT a destination sought before entering the marketplace during active job search.

Look at your “journey” like your own personal marketing LABORATORY—one in which you’ll spend significant time during active job search in order to develop an effective communication strategy and tactics. Be your own best Marketing Department… know the time tested, vital ingredients and components that you will need for your laboratory…

CONTACT INFORMATION

This component sounds like a ‘no brainer;’ however, even this basic requires some experimentation and choices. A great resume is written for the reader, not to please the writer. So, even YOUR NAME requires that you select exactly how you want your reader to access your background and credentials… Their ‘offer criteria.’

Your choices…

  • FULL legal name, including recognized credentials… or,
  • Your full name, including middle name or initial… or,
  • The name that you are usually called, potentially including… or,
  • A nickname (a rare choice for a professional resume)

YOUR MAILING ADDRESS also requires some choice. Does it potentially create a discrimination based on your ‘neighborhood’ or geography? In today’s digital world of recruitment, your actual residential address is rarely used until hired. So, you may elect to use just your city and state… or simply use your email address as a preferred method of contact. If hired, however, be prepared to give your employer more complete and accurate mailing address.

Make a choice of which PHONE NUMBER you want to use. The traditional stacking of home, office, and cell numbers gives you little control. Rather, select the single best number to reach you during normal working hours— remember your are writing for the reader. An alternative is using a number that can be forwarded to you, where-EVER you are.

…And what about your EMAIL ADDRESS? Please be aware that while your family and friends might enjoy communicating with you at ‘happymom@aol.com,’ you will be more professionally received at ‘JaneDoe1@gmail.com,’ one of your FREE alternatives. Google allows you to forward from an email address that you can create to present a more professional “brand” for yourself—for example… ‘QCPro@printmedia.com,’ an opportunity to express your positioning and targeted industry. You’ll want to create and control for accessibility during active job-search.

You thought these were going to be EASY choices?  Remember that, in the digital world of recruitment, your contact information is your best ‘unique identifier’ of who you are in the mega-databases out there.

POSITIONING STATEMENT

When a reader makes it through your contact information, in the top portion of a great resume they must have a clear picture of what you are motivated to do for them. In today’s digital world of optimized screening and recruitment, THE Careerpilot encourages a very simple, straight-forward approach—one example…

DISTRICT OPERATIONS MANAGER

Business Development | Operations Analysis | Project Management

Process Improvement | Quality Assurance | Staff Development

Note the ‘defining keywords.’  It would be ideal to edit your resume template to precisely FIT each job or employment opportunity’s title and requirements. However, this professional’s more generic template might start with the following positioning…

GENERAL MANAGEMENT

Strategic Planning… Operational Analysis… Manufacturing Process Improvement… Multi-unit Leadership… Customer Service

YOUR QUALIFICATION SUMMARY

Pardon this metaphor, but if the readers are attracted to the title of your story, isn’t it natural for them to look at the ‘table of contents’ or the chapter headings?  In a great resume, you make this reader’s choice EASY by supplying a high impact presentation of your qualifications.  As was the case of your positioning statement and keyword definition (above), your qualification summary can be presented in several attractive formats.

One of the more common and effective is a narrative paragraph the covers the depth, breadth, uniqueness, and a glance at your work ethic and personality FIT… all in 4- 5 tightly word-crafted sentences. For example, following the positioning above…

Successful general management professional with over fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in the (targeted) XX industry. Fully accountable roles have demonstrated consistent leadership in strategic planning, business development, operations analysis, multi-unit responsibilities, project management, process improvement, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction. Uniquely valued for team-building and staff development commitment. Solid reputation as a customer’s business partner and staff’s respected leader—listens, responds and implements effectively.

…more to follow

CLOSING THE DEAL: Winning Interview Tactics

The next time you meet with a potential employer, open the conversation with this simple phrase:

“In preparing for this meeting I took some time to…”

Then simply highlight the two or three critical things that you did to prepare and watch what happens to the atmosphere of the call. You will blow away the last interviewee (your competition) who opened their meeting in silence, waiting to be interrogated!


LAST Session of 2015… Thursday, December 17th… Closing The Deal II: Interview tactics, including POST-Offer negotiation.


The less you talk about yourself, the more you have to prepare to talk about them. And the more you talk about them, the more likely they will be interested in you. Not exactly the secret formula you were hoping for. But it is an obvious formula—so obvious that most job seekers ignore it.

Here are ten keys that you can use to create your own successful pre-interview habits:

  1. Learn about their business—their products/services, customers, industry trends, key initiatives, financial status, and competition… what are THEIR specific needs?
  2. Discover something about the person you are meeting with. Google them, talk to their colleagues, or call others in the industry who have insights. Use a targeted organization networking approach.
  3. Identify the benefits of your value to this potential employer. The benefits need to be clear, concise, credible and compelling!  It is important to remember, they are looking for the best FIT… so should the job seeker.
  4. Prepare ideas that hold value for your ‘next employer.’ Your language needs to reflect a focus on solutions…meeting their needs!
  5. Move from ‘meeting their requirements’ to ‘meeting and exceeding their expectations… let them experience your motivation and performance potential.
  6. Plan questions that establish your expertise and get them to think in new ways. The more thought provoking, conversation generating your questions are, the more your prospective employers will respect and remember you!
  7. Communicate your “value proposition” prior to the actual interview.  Ask them to review and provide you with feedback. Getting their buy-in before you walk in the door is critical, and it demonstrates your commitment to delivering value.
  8. Identify the resistance that you are most likely to encounter and prepare ideas, case studies, testimonials or expert opinions to help reduce their reluctance to move forward.
  9. Plan how you will close the interview appointment and decide what agreements you need to ask for…for example, follow-up timing.
  10. Remind yourself to be warm, friendly and courteous to everyone that you encounter. Your potential employer is constantly deciding how much they like you, how much they believe you, how much they trust you and how much confidence they have in you. It takes time—often a long time—to build your personal brand. And it takes only a few seconds for it to be destroyed.

“Adjusting Your Sails…” Re-Charting Your Course When Faced With ‘the challenging waters of career transition.’

Have you ever had to take a step backward in your career, perhaps accept a lesser position or lower compensation? Or a step backward in the marketplace-deferring a near-term opportunity in favor of a longer-term one? The path forward isn’t always a straight line.  If you’ve ever gone backward in life you’ve probably found it difficult at best.


THIS Week’s session, Thursday, November 5th... Implementing Your PMP, including a look at LinkedIn Networking.  Remember that when you significantly change your positioning and branding statement (adjusting your sails) you are essentially re-starting your campaign.  Your ship can only follow one charted course!


As most of us are achievement oriented, we push forward, not backward. We look for ways to make progress, not digress. We don’t like the thought of giving up ground. Psychological studies confirm this.

  • We place more value on what we have than what they don’t have.
  • We will spend more money to keep something than to replace it.

Yet sometimes digressing or giving up something along our careerpath, at least temporarily, is exactly what we need in order to grow and succeed in the long-term. If we are currently in or approaching an unsustainable set of circumstances, we may need to stop and take a step backward.

Going backward can be a trivial decision or a life-changing one. It can involve a minor inconvenience or a major overhaul. It can be a brand new career or a slight role change.  The key is that it be OUR decision and not one thrust upon us by a soft job market.  When faced with the decision to keep forging ahead or taking a step backward, the first decision is “can I make what I’m currently doing work by continuing ahead?”

If your informed answer is “no” then the next question is “how far backward do I need to go?”  You generally wouldn’t need to go back to the very beginning or want to give up any more ground than you have to. Any amount of going backward can be tough, but starting over can be overwhelming.

You don’t need to build all new skills if you have existing skills you can leverage…can you spell transferrable skills and strengths?   Starting over may seem attractive, but it can create as many new problems as it appears to eliminate. While it may seem like the easiest option, it can be the laziest which is rarely the best.

When confronting difficult issues, address the source of them without creating unnecessary new ones. Keep what is working. Only go backward far enough to learn what needs to be learned and do what is needed to get back on track. Once addressed, refocus on going forward. Let go of your prior concerns. Accept that you had to take a step backward. It’s alright. It was actually part of a bigger step forward. As the cliché goes, just don’t throw out the baby with the dirty bath water… Keep the baby!

Consider what part of your life – professional or personal – may no longer be sustainable. Are you dealing with a chronic issue that is so debilitating that you can no longer ignore it?  Are conditions so challenging that you need to rechart your course… getting so difficult and complicated that the effort is no longer justifiable? Are your habits moving you further away from your desired future instead of toward it? Have the ‘next steps’ along your careerpath become so dysfunctional that you can no longer handle it?

Consider the following nautical wisdom…

The PESSIMISTS complain of challenging conditions…

                              The OPTIMISTS expect the conditions to change soon…

                                                          While the SKILLED Sailor simply adjusts his sails!

Back to ‘real life,’ now,  Ask yourself:

  • Has this situation gotten to the point that the effort is no longer justified for the return I am getting?
  • Would the time, money, and effort of going backward be repaid in a reasonable time frame if I chose to stop and go backward?
  • If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, will it merely exacerbate the situation?
  • Am I putting another temporary fix in place that doesn’t address the real issue?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your situation is a candidate for stopping whatever you are doing and taking a step backward. Rather than perpetuating your difficulty another day, release, cycle, or occurrence, accept responsibility for making a change.

Admit that maintaining the current direction isn’t sustainable. Rather than continue to treat symptoms, decide to address the source. Rather than maintain the troublesome status quo, identify what needs to change. Is it you? Probably. Is it also someone or something else?  Probably. Accept the need for change and rather than cover up, cope with, run from, or overlook the inevitable, decide to address it.

Once you have decided to stop and back-up, solicit the feedback and help of others… return to an informational networking approach in your job search, seeking wise counsel. Have the conversations that need to be had. Involve your key stakeholders. Do the research and analysis needed. Identify the issues to be addressed, learn any lessons to be learned, agree on the solution that solves the issues, and edit your Personal Marketing Plan to be implemented. Do what is needed to start heading in the direction that enables the future you desire.

Adjust your own sails!

Take heart. Most every great advancement was preceded by a step backwards. Most every success was preceded by a failure. Most every self-improvement was preceded by adversity. It is through mistakes and obstacles that we gain experience and grow.