So You Have a GREAT Resume…NOW What?

Compass-seaLStep #3 in Our 12-step Process had you beginning to develop your Personal Marketing collateral materials.  Like any good chemist with a fully stocked laboratory, you’ve made all those 1001 decisions, you’ve begun to practice your verbal collaterals along with your resume’s development… it FEELS like you’re ready for an active job search.  Better prepared, YES… READY?  Not without confirmation and coaching of your references… BEFORE you tackle social media branding.


NEXT Week’s session: LinkedIn TASK#1: Developing a Profile that is in-sync with yet amplifies your communication strategy


Pilot OnboardHow can one accomplish this critical element of your Personal Marketing Plan, your ‘digital footprint?’  Use the time you spend on LinkedIn to address your three critical tasks:

1.   Task #1 is to keep your profile as a dynamic reflection of what you learn from your networking experience, tweaking your way to better search page results.  This is worth more time in the beginning of your career transition, but regular time throughout.

2.   Task#2 is to be interactive by participating in appropriate Group discussions, ‘like-ing’ comments of your choice, private messaging the writers of those comments as potential new contacts, following targeted Companies, and regularly ‘updating your network by ‘share-ing’ articles or posting brief ‘white papers’ than express your knowledge and expertise.

3.   Task #3 is using available JOB seeking functionality.

More and more business professionals are using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves. For the uninitiated, however, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can be daunting. Where to begin?

For first-time users, or the “technologically timid,” or for anyone in career transition, the answer is LinkedIn.  While Facebook may be #1, it is more analogous to a cocktail party.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, while it is a solid #2, is more like attending a chapter meeting of a professional association.  Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and with its Membership base growing exponentially, it serves virtually every industry and profession.

Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of savvy, some consistent time, and a commitment to controlling your ‘digital footprint.’  Set your job search habits to take full advantage of LinkedIn’s ever-changing algorithm and functionality.

LinkedIn can be your ‘digital roadmap’ to finding new contacts and being found!

Your Personal Marketing Collateral Materials

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 collateral materials 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.

As we learned last week, 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.

So, What’s YOUR Story?

To manage your career you should…

  • Keep your “offer criteria” in that dynamic state of change that allows you to adapt to market conditions…stay aware of ‘next steps.’
  • If your current goal is to find a new position, then you should prepare your search as a “business model”, manage it accordingly, be flexible, and be ready for the unexpected.

THIS Week’s session:  CareerFIT II… Understanding how and what to communicate about yourself during active career transition.


Pilot OnboardYou 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 career transition strategies and job-changing skills.

To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concepts.  Consider some of the factors listed below … Examine each factor through the questions listed – and then ask “does this opportunity fit me?”

Work Requirements and Expectations: What is the next  appropriate work for you? Is the work process or project oriented?  If it’s process oriented, are the requirements and expectations clear?  What kinds of projects will you work on? Will you work on one project at a time, or multiple projects? Are the projects long term or short term? Will you work on a project long enough to see the end result? Is it important to you to be able to see the project as a whole, including the result? Or will you be content to do the work without a big picture understanding?

Work Environment: Will the work space be a source of comfort and confidence for you? How formal or informal is the environment? Hectic, fast paced? Will you have the opportunity to have flex time, or to tele-commute? How many hours a week does the employer expect you to work? Will you have the freedom to wear casual clothes? What is a typical day like at the company you are considering?  Would they allow a “trial visit” or at least a site visit?

Career Path: Is there a defined succession plan? What position(s) can you move to next? How long do new hires generally stay in the same job? How quickly do people get promoted? Are your opportunities for professional development well defined and available to you? Are mentors available?

Training and Personal Development: what kind of training will you get from the employer to do the job? What kind of training will you get to stay current in your area of interest? Are the answers to these two questions different? Does it matter to you if the answers are different?

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GETTING RECRUITED

Determine your career objective…Know what your next right employment  is. This will help focus your actual search. With clarity in your positioning goals, you can write a great resume to convey your story.

“WORDCRAFT” your resume and other collateral materials…Create a forward looking “story” of what YOU CAN DO. 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 (think 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.

ACHIEVING A Good CareerFIT In Your Next Employment Opportunity

Compass-seaLIn order to market yourself, you must first know yourself.  The job search process is essentially a highly personalized marketing process.  The process starts with your candid self-assessment, which allows you to gain a thorough and workable understanding of who you are in product marketing terms.


Next Session:  Thursday, August 3rd… Achieving CareerFIT:  Developing your unique ‘communication strategy.’


Pilot OnboardWhen a Company looks for qualified employees, they seek functional evidence that demonstrates a job seeker’s ability to perform to expectations… JOB REQUIREMENTS represent the HR screening process!

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.

Your “Motivated Strengths”

What DO you do best?  What are your strongest transferable skills?  Think broadly in terms of managerial and technical/ functional strengths involved in what you have to offer.  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.  This collection of keywords and their supportive evidence creates your communication strategy, the basis of your value proposition.

The old “round peg in a round role” theory of career planning is dysfunctional.  In the typical professional environment today, job descriptions are changing faster than ever before to keep up with the challenges of an economy in transition. In the traditional job market, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers.  The commodity is JOBs and the competition is fierce.

In The OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process.  The commodity is available, productive WORK… 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.

Seize control of such challenges.   Understand the nature of FIT.

OFFER CRITERIA

Write out the factors that are important to you in a job…actually write out your list. During your career transition, you learn the value of setting your offer criteria.

1. Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead;
2. Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research and networking;
3. Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.

To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept.

  • Keep your “offer criteria” in that dynamic state of change that allows you to adapt to market conditions.
  • If your current goal is to find a new position, then you should prepare your search as a “business model”, manage it accordingly, be flexible, and be ready for the unexpected.

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.

To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept.

 

WHAT IS This “Other” Job Market???

Compass-seaLIn every marketplace, there are buyers and sellers.  In the traditional job market, the one that our Department of Labor measures for us, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers.  The commodity is productive work and the competition is fierce.


NEXT SESSION: Thursday, July 20th… Embracing The OTHER Job Market, our introductory event covering an overview of the 12-step process and ‘The Basics’ of efficient job search.


Pilot OnboardIn 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. 

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.

Learning To Fish vs. Buying a Six Pack of Haddock

A 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?”

  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… utilize the three basic guidelines–including pre-offer negotiation tactics.
  4. Have Questions to Ask that provide info on offer criteria

Next Session:  Thursday, July 13th… Closing The Deal II: Interview TACTICS including POST-Offer negotiation.


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 collateral materials,” 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.

“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

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.

An Interviewer’s Perspective: Reverse Engineered

Compass-seaLHow does a concept from the field of engineering get itself into the dysfunctional event called INTERVIEWING?  ‘Reverse engineering’ is a detailed examination of an idea or product with the aim of producing something similar. In fact, this method could also apply to the job interview because sometimes, in a job interview, the candidate does not properly understand the question the interviewer has asked, and therefore the answer, of course, would likely not be the best.


Our next Session is Thursday, July 6th… Closing The Deal I: Interview STRATEGIES including PRE-Offer negotiation.


Pilot OnboardIn other words, the most important element of the job interview is that the candidate clearly and fully understand each question if that candidate’s answers are to meet the interviewer’s expectations.

It’s a sad fact that most of the people who conduct job interviews—namely, those representing employers—have never taken even one structured course about carrying out a thorough and productive interview. And it’s unfortunate that many professional interviewers do a less than satisfactory job at it.

Anatomy Of The Interview

The job interview itself is a professional conversation between employers’ representatives and job applicants (EQUAL participants) for the purpose of selecting the applicant who appears to be the best candidate. Of course, interviews vary in many ways based on type of job and on level within an organization. But in all cases there are similarities.  So, what are the criteria that interviewers must satisfy for themselves in order to go ahead and recommend the hiring of an individual?

The answer, of course, includes many criteria, which will differ from one interview to the next…and which at times will be influenced by prejudices. In addition, in most cases more than one interview takes place before a final decision is reached.  But, in all cases, if the desired result is ‘good data’ from which to reach an acceptable decision, THREE issues must be discussed:

THE JOB SEEKER… The interviewer(s) must confirm that you meet the organization’s ‘requirements’ stipulated in the job description.  As they form criteria for the screening process, this portion of the recruitment process must be conducted in the past tense… the job seeker’s skills, knowledge areas, and experience.  While this should be the most objective, fact based portion of the process, it often is not.

THE JOB… The interviewer(s) must determine if the job seeker meets their ‘expectations’ for the role being filled.  This is a more subjective approach that leads to dysfunction in the traditional process.  As expectations ‘frame’ the job seeker’s qualifications in the selection process, this portion of the process must be conducted in the future tense.  The challenge is that all data gathered, by definition, is subjective in nature.

THE FIT… While many applicants might meet an organization’s requirements for a given role, and be highly qualified to perform well, actual selection as a new hire is the most dysfunctional part of the recruitment process.  At best, the interviewer(s) must be limited to a myriad of subjective criteria, like company culture, likeability of the candidate, and personal ‘norms’ to name a few.