Is Your Resume a Silent Career Killer?

March 9, 2010

Spend a few moments taking the following vital signs on your resume:

No response: Does your resume go unanswered when you respond to ads?

Experience: Does it list the functions you performed in your jobs, such as “responsible for …”?

Personality traits: Does it include phrases such as “team player”, “detail oriented” and “effective communicator”?

Aspiration: Does it leave out the specific role you are seeking and how you are positioned to make a meaningful and relevant difference to a prospective employer?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then your resume is in need of an overhaul. To get it on a healthy track and captivate the reader’s imagination, make sure your resume communicates

  • The measurable results you achieved by performing your day-to-day functions (or from special projects), and how they impacted various stakeholders and/or the bottom line.
  • How your personality traits helped fuel your results (the phrases alone are just generic and used by everyone).
  • Your interest in assuming a specific role and your ability to deliver value that goes beyond the scope of management’s expectations.
  • An expression of your work ethic, such as how your competitive intensity, disciplined and focused approach, or extraordinary commitment to getting things done was manifested.

Taking the time to invest in the health and vitality of your resume will surely yield better results.

Read more tips on Resume and Pitch Strategies and other topics  on the Get What You Set web site.

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Applying Sunshine & Oxygen on Career Change

January 26, 2010

If you want to change your career, you’re in great company as most people make 5-8 significant job/career changes in their working life.  Change is hard, especially when you’re transitioning into another career.  How do you compete with professionals already entrenched in their area of expertise when you’re looking to break into the field?

Ponder this.  If you can convince an employer that your skills, experience, market exposure and personal attributes will more than compensate for lack of specific industry expertise, then you have a better chance of out-selling a seasoned veteran.  Let’s explore something as nebulous as work ethic.  I’d rather hire someone who pours everything they have into everything they do than a tired “expert”.

Having a strong work ethic is a very attractive attribute.  But it’s not enough to say just that because everyone uses this generic term.  What’s more impressive and meaningful is if you can communicate what’s so special about your work ethic and how it manifests in the workplace.  For example, sell an employer on how you have:

  • Rapidly ramped up to speed on various projects
  • Brought a relentless focus and passion to your work
  • Rebounded from failures
  • Hurdled over otherwise immovable obstacles
  • Stepped out of your comfort zone

In thinking about the value of work ethic, consider this metaphor.  Every large tree has expansive roots that spread out far beneath the surface.  These roots are your attributes that stabilize and nourish your professional essence.  And it is this essence that carries the load, withstands the winds of change and enables you to branch out far beyond your wildest expectations.

The reality in the business world is that here are too few superstars and far too many mediocre employees.  That’s why when someone comes around with a “let’s get-it-done” work ethic, they bring the sunshine and oxygen that companies are so desperate for.

Read more tips & strategies on Career Transitions on the Get What You Set web site.


Are You a Sub-Prime Candidate?

October 27, 2009

Just as investors view sub-prime loans as toxic financial waste, hiring managers may feel the same about your resume and the way that you interview. How could this be?housing_slump

We received a resume from a candidate with 30 years experience in the equipment leasing sector. She worked as a program manager and sales person for the industry’s leaders. She was downsized in an industry that is shrinking by the minute, leaving precious few job openings. Knowing that she will have to look to another industry for job opportunities, this is what her resume stated:

Business Objective: To obtain a sales position which will allow me to utilize my experience and skills to contribute to the success of my business group and company.

Ugh!!

She then dryly listed her functions and said nothing about her tangible and believable accomplishments. C’mon, you’ve been gainfully employed for 30 years and have nothing to brag about?

What’s even worse is that she lost a golden opportunity to tell the reader how her skills and experience transfer to another field. When we asked her to verbalize her “transferable skills”, she was at a loss for words. Do you think she’d be any better in an interview?

She could communicate the relevance of her skills by saying that she:

* Has the expertise to remove the issue of affordability out of the sales cycle by introducing a digestible payment option called leasing.

* Is a master at finding solutions that link buyers to sellers.

* Has enabled various companies across vast industries to replace no’s with yes’s, as she’s been the virtual “glue” that has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars of commerce to flourish

By spelling out what she’s accomplished and how it is relevant for another industry, she’ll be better positioned to find a role that “transfers” her skills. The trick is articulating your professional value. Otherwise she’ll continue to be merely sub-prime and not “hiring” worthy.

Read more tips & strategies on this and other topics  from the Get What You Set web site.


When You Must Create Your Own Job

September 15, 2009

Create Your OwnWe consulted with a candidate who is an expert in the market space where mobile technology intersects with business commerce. After many months of fruitlessly searching for a job, he needs to re-assess his go-to-market strategy. Most companies and recruiters he’s speaking with don’t have these jobs to fill, at least not yet. While he’s in a technology sector that’s rapidly emerging, many companies have yet to embrace this new media tool.

Thus, he would be better served by changing his search paradigm from seeking a job to building an opportunity that will enrich an enterprise. Companies that have a commercially viable application for this technology and have not yet leveraged it have an unrealized revenue opportunity that he can actualize.

In other words, the job that he wants is the job that needs to be created. His success will be a function of his ability to target specific “market aggressive” companies and demonstrate how he can create a bridge that connects unmet opportunities with the promise of otherwise unmet profits.

If you can articulate your potential to add value somewhere in the business cycle, then opportunities will present themselves, doors will open and your career will flourish. Sometimes you, as the prospective employee, need to create the imperative for a job opening before it can be filled.

Read more tips & strategies on this and other topics  from the Get What You Set web site.