October always brings fun activities, including fall festivals and apple-picking. My husband and I visited a couple of apple orchards in Central Massachusetts and brought back some wonderful Delicious and Galas.
In today's labor market, you need to present yourself as a standout candidate, especially during interviews --
just like the best apples which get chosen from hundreds in an apple orchard. One of my favorite career columnists, Joyce Lain Kennedy, provides a checklist to help you achieve standout status.
As a seasoned career coach and resume writer, I know what works--and what doesn't-- in creating résumés which get noticed by hiring managers. If you follow the strategies I've outlined in my article: 10 Things I Know About Resume Writing, you'll notice a difference in your response rate and how you perceive your capabilities.
Are you putting lots of effort into your job search, but getting nowhere fast? Is it time for you take a risk, a giant step to move forward and end the pain once and for all? You may be surprised; the problem might not be what you think. A Career Action Planning (CAP) Session is guaranteed to get to the root of any career or job search issue and will give a plan to solve it. Learn more here:
In support of your career success,
P.S. A great big "Welcome" to my new subscribers!
|The Qualities of Being a Standout Job Candidate
Joyce Lain Kennedy, noted career columnist and author, writes a monthly column: "Careers Now" where she answers questions from readers. Last week, she credited Mark Gleckman, a managing partner at Winter, Wyman (winterwyman.com), for providing a checklist to achieve standout status when interviewing:
- Listening skills; the ability to respond effectively to what's said.
- Quality of questions.
- Speaking to the position's requirements, with examples of how the candidate matches up.
- Body language, eye contact, comfort level and likability.
- Solid preparation for the interview
- Résumé or marketing note tailored to employer's hiring needs.
- Well-written but concise thank-you letter for interview.
- Courage to ask any of these questions at interview's end: How did I do? Was I successful in answering your questions about my experiences? How do I stack up against the competition? Can I clarify or expand on any of my answers?
Read the entire column here:
|10 Things I Know About Resume Writing
1. Length is relative: Your resume's length depends on your experience and profession. If you're a recent college graduate, one page will do. If you're a seasoned executive, two or more pages are acceptable. Even though electronic resumes aren't affected by length, some job boards impose word count limits for online postings.
2. Go "chronological":This format lists your jobs from present to past. Hiring managers like this format, because it's easier to understand your career progression. Avoid functional formats - skills and achievements at the top, employers at the end - because hiring managers will have trouble matching your achievements and skills with each employer.
3. Scrap the objective: The overworked objective: "Seeking a challenging position in a progressive organization" is your resume's ticket to the trash bin. Hiring managers don't care about what you want. When reviewing a resume, they're tuning into Channel WIIFM: "What's in it for me?" All they care about is how you can solve problems for their company.
4. Brand yourself: Replace the objective with a title, which reflects your professional brand. Examples: Benefits Administrator; Java Software Programmer; Not-For-Profit Executive; Retail Store Manager. Adjust these titles, depending on the position you're seeking, only if your résumé's content substantiates your ability to do the job.
5. Use keywords: Resumes posted online are read by scanning software, targeting specific keywords, to select or reject candidates. Your résumé must contain keywords specific to the job requirements as well as your profession and industry. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, 5th Edition, has a great chapter on keywords.
6. Flaunt accomplishments: Accomplishments convey how well you did your job, i.e., with sales increases, cost savings, or productivity improvements. Include 4-5 accomplishments under each job. Quantify in tangible metrics, e.g., "Expanded $1 million territory by 25% ($250,000) annually."
7. Describe employers: Write a business description under each employer. Doing so will convey clear information about companies which may be unfamiliar to hiring managers. This descriptor, which can be 1-2 sentences, should include the product or service offered, clients served, sales volume, and number of employees.
8. Customize: Avoid using an all-purpose resume. Customize your résumé for each position you apply for. Use the job description in the ad for clues about how your experience matches the position requirements then write the content accordingly. Include your most relevant experience and minimize other career history.
9. Deflect age discrimination: List the most recent 10-15 years of your experience (with dates) which is what interests hiring managers the most. Summarize or abbreviate prior experience, without listing the dates. If you received your college degree over 15 years ago, you can omit dates of graduation.
10. People - not resumes - get jobs: Career CrossXroads's 9th Annual Sources of Hire Survey revealed that networking is the most effective strategy for landing employment: 51% of US job openings in 2009 were filled by internal transfers and promotions; 26.7% of external hires were filled by referrals. So, don't just post your résumé and wait. Tap into your network to find an inside contact who can hand deliver your resume to hiring managers in companies where you want to work.
© 2010 Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. All Rights Reserved. www.career-success-coach.com
|One-on-One Career Coaching with Joellyn:
Career Action Planning (CAP) Session
Is your job search stuck and is your career stalled? Is it time to take a risk -- a giant step -- to move forward and end the pain once and for all? You may be surprised; the problem might not be what you think. A Career Action Plan (CAP) Session gets to the root of any career or job search issue and gives a plan to solve it. Visit my website to learn more..
About The Career Success Coach
Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin is a Certified Career Management Coach, who works with executives, managers, and professionals who are ready to make a change in their employment situation -- but they don't know what that change looks like -- or what their next step should be. She helps clients establish a satisfying career path - not "just another job". Her proven, step-by-step career coaching program starts with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session, to help clients determine exactly where they are getting stuck, stalled, or confused in the process of making their desired job and career transition. She serves a national client base (not just people in Central Massachuetts) and can work with anyone in the US with a phone and computer access for web conferencing.
Following the CAP Session, clients can opt to sign up for private coaching with Joellyn, using her 8-module Career Coaching Program. This program, combined with personal mentoring from Joellyn, has helped countless clients find their most ideal career path which offers them optimal levels of compensation, satisfaction and opportunities for advancement, whether it's a different position within their current employer, a new position inside another company -- or starting /revamping their own business or consulting practice.
Joellyn will be happy to discuss your situation on a fr*ee call, prior to scheduling a CAP Session. Contact her at 508-459-2854, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.career-success-coach.com to learn more.
Quote of the Month: On "Perseverance"
"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." -- Harriet Beecher Stowe
© 2010 The Career Success Coach
All rights reserved.