Developing Your “Digital Footprint:” Your LinkedIn Profile

Before you connect to others, you must first set up a profile page on Linkedin. While your page will detail your work history, don’t assume you can copy and paste your resume and be done with it… although that IS a good place to START, assuring that you are in sync with your resume.

Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions at this point in your career.  It becomes the core of this high tech, written collateral.

As you proceed, keep your goal in mind…

  • Do you want to have that fully optimized, SEO-centric magnet that attracts interested parties TO you? (PULL Marketing)  -OR-
  • Do you want that terrific, user-friendly home page and profile that is easy for a reader to navigate? (PUSH Marketing)  -OR-
  • Do you want your profile and homepage to be appealing to both? (<== MY preference)

 A checklist of things to include:

  1. A picture. It’s been said that, “People do business with people.”

  2. A specific and high impact “headline” with keywords relevant to your industry… your headline follows you around through several of the interactive applications.

  3. Preferred contact method and data… At the bottom of your profile, you can let people know how you want to be contacted — through LinkedIn, by e-mail, or over the phone.

  4. Desired information, networking “targets”… What you want to be contacted about… At the bottom of your profile, you can select interests like reference requests, consulting offers, or career opportunities. Be sure to update your profile to stay in synch with your career.

…and don’t overlook the “power” of recommendations… start thinking of who you might want to encourage to endorse you and your services.  Job seekers: your references are a great start!


The LinkedIn site will walk you through filling in the blanks, but you’ll want to think ahead about two areas:

Positioning Yourself

Just like on a GREAT RESUME, directly underneath your name will be a short headline of four or five words. More than anything else in your profile, these words are how people find and define you.

Are you seeking to connect mainly with others in your field and industry? Then a simple, title-oriented headline like “Senior Product Development Director at The XYX Corporation” is best. Are you seeking to branch out into other areas? “Leader of High-Performing Engineering Projects” alerts others quickly to the value you would bring to an organization. Regardless of how you phrase your headline, make sure to use keywords that will help others find you.

Be Clear on What You’ve Done, and What You Want to Do…

Whether you are an active job seeker, or simply using LinkedIn to extend the reach of your personal marketing plan, POSITIONING yourself clearly is the epicenter of efficient networking… just as if you were beginning to launch an active JOB search to implement your Personal Marketing Plan!

When listing your past job experiences, use verbs as much as possible. Show what you’re passionate about, and what you’ve learned from each job. Consider listing “non-jobs” you’ve done, like chairing a conference or leading a panel.

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“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.


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.

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Are YOU LinkedIn???

Compass_Rose-pilotNEED The Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH TOUCH philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves.  While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge.  Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…  Where to begin?

The Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions. That choice is LinkedIn.

Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and with more than 380 million users worldwide (110 Million + in the US), 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. Here’s how to build a network, leveraging your available time… and put it all to work — without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.  I call this critical, rest of your career activity…

TASK#2: Building your network

Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARD Goal 1: As a beginner in LinkedIn, you’ll want to achieve your “tipping point” as soon as possible.  This is that magical ‘dotted line’ in your ‘connections’ count where you begin to benefit from organic growth of your network, with professionals you don’t already know inviting you to connect.

After you’ve created your profile, it’s time to begin to connect to others. LinkedIn will allow you to search for people you know to see if they’re already members. But once you connect to someone, you can also look at the profiles of anyone they know, and in turn anyone those people know.

Because of these three degrees of separation, your network can grow rapidly. Before you begin connecting, decide who you want to connect to. The low hanging fruit are people you already may have in your MSOutlook or Gmail contacts, alumni from your school, and employees of your current and past employers… Prioritize those who you feel are quite connected themselves, or influential in their profession or industry.

Goal 2: When you’re ready, begin to create and maintain your focus in developing your network.  Are you a gifted and available professional… or a motivated job seeker?  Stay focused.  Only connect with others who share your professional interests or are related to those interests in a complementary way… and can help you meet your goals.


I started with twenty contacts from my MSOutlook.  My first line has grown to well over five hundred by accepting and sending out INVITATIONS to people I know, are likely to be interactive within our network, or who could provide resources to me or the Candidates I serve… what’s really impressive is how this translates, numerically, into my second and third lines of contact… we’re talking, WOW!!! – The Careerpilot


Goal 3:  As you grow in confidence, and use of your social media network, consider the following…

  1. Check in on “Network Updates.” Found on your LinkedIn homepage, Network Updates are kind of like your Facebook news feed. Check these periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing.
  2. Be identifiable. Find out who’s checking out your profile by allowing others to see who you are if you view theirs. Connect with those who have viewed your profile if their might be mutual interest.
  3. Export connections. Transfer your LinkedIn connections to another contact management system. LinkedIn enables you to easily export your connections. Just click on “Contacts,” “My Connections,” and then scroll down and click “Export Connections.” You have the option of either exporting as a .CSV or .VCF file.
  4. Easily find email contacts on LinkedIn. Speaking of connections, the “LinkedIn Companion for Firefox” is a great plugin that helps you identify the LinkedIn profiles of people who are emailing you. It also enables you to easily access other LinkedIn features via your browser.
  5. Leverage the power of LinkedIn Groups. Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them? In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Some groups have their own job boards.  Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities. Don’t forget to engage in the Discussions of a group… your activity will enhance your search ranking.
  6. Take advantage of advanced search options. LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature provides a much richer search experience. For example, say you want to find out if you’re connected to anyone that works at a specific company. Type the company name in the company field in Advanced Search, then sort the results by “Relationship” to see if you have any first or second degree connections to any employees.
  7. Link your Twitter acct to LinkedIn. Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter, and vice versa. Learn how to connect your Twitter account in your “settings” area.
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Be YOUR OWN BEST ‘COACH’ During Job Search

Compass_Rose-pilotNEED Even the implementation of your job search effort can be a great lesson in ‘perfect practice’ almost makes PERFECT!  The job seeker will gain confidence and skills by going through the first eight steps of the Careerpilot’s 12 step approach to job search.  The ninth step is best accomplished in waves, again to buiuld confidence and create success…

WAVE I

You’ve already begun to implement your PMP when you connected with your intended references back in Step 4.  Your first efforts are rightly aimed at creating visibility for your candidacy, without causing premature rejection.  You may also be using this first wave to settle on your positioning and targeting (Step 2, leading to Step 3)… If you are truly committed to finding your next ideal employment, you’ve already dug a little deeper into assessment (Step 1) of your personality, experience, knowledge, and skill sets.

Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARD Your First Wave, then, is beginning to ‘get the word out,’ reconnecting with established contacts, and beginning to develop new contacts… both without prematurely creating rejection.  Waypoint #3 reminds you to “Always have a next contact to make… for the rest of your career.”  This is both an effective career strategy and an efficient job search tactic!

The by-product of a dynamic first wave is the identification of actual job leads… you may even be invited to forward your resume to influential people… and you’ll certainly begin to secure referrals to develop your personal contact network…

Networking is a contact sport

The real value in your first wave is gaining confidence in your job search manner, more comfort in telephone work… KNOWING that, YES You CAN take the chill out of cold calls down the line!

WAVE II

Your first wave of activity will actually create the impatence for turning the opportunities you identify into INTERVIEWS.  Further, having successfully developed visibility in the marketplace, you will now fold in your Internet-based search for open opportunities to supplement yourembrace of the OTHER Job Market!

WAVE III

You’ve broken the mysterious “code” of the traditional marketplace… You’ve taught yourself the value of efficient networking.  It IS a skill that can me practiced and mastered.  In your third wave, you’ll be combining your best practices, discovered in the first two waves.  You can become your own best coach!

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, INITIAL Contact List, Job Search OBJECTIVES, NETWORKING, Target Organizations

TASK#1 on LinkedIn: Creating Your HIGH-IMPACT Profile

Compass_Rose-pilotNEED The Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH TOUCH philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves.  While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge.  Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…

Where to begin? The Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions. A terrific launching site for such an effort is LinkedIn. Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and 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…However, it can be accomplished  without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.  Let’s get down to the business of developing a high-impact Profile… Your TASK#1  … 

Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARD While your page will detail your work history, don’t assume you can copy and paste your resume and be done with it. Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions at this point in your career.  It becomes the core of this high tech-high TOUCH, written collateral.

As you proceed, keep your goal in mind…

  • Do you want to have that fully optimized, SEO-centric magnet that attracts interested parties TO you?…Let’s call this PULL Marketing  -OR-
  • Do you want that terrific, user-friendly home page and profile that is easy for a reader to navigate?… Let’s call this PUSH Marketing  -OR-
  • Do you want your profile and homepage to be appealing to both?

A checklist of things to include:

  1. A picture. It’s been said that, “People do business with people.”
  2. A specific and high impact “headline” with keywords relevant to your industry… your headline follows you around through several of the interactive applications.
  3. Preferred contact method and data… At the bottom of your profile, you can let people know how you want to be contacted — through LinkedIn, by e-mail, or over the phone.
  4. Desired information, networking “targets… What you want to be contacted about… At the bottom of your profile, you can select interests like reference requests, consulting offers, or career opportunities. Be sure to update your profile to stay in synch with your career.

…and don’t overlook the “power” of recommendations… start thinking of who you might want to encourage to endorse you and your services.  Job seekers: your references are a great start to a powerful, influential network!

You’ll want to think ahead about two areas:

POSITIONING Yourself

Just like on a GREAT RESUME, directly underneath your name will be a short headline of four or five words. More than anything else in your profile, these words are how people find and define you. Are you seeking to connect mainly with others in your field and industry? Then a simple, title-oriented headline like “Senior Product Development Director at The XYX Corporation” is best.

Are you seeking to branch out into other areas? “Leader of High-Performing Engineering Projects” alerts others quickly to the value you would bring to an organization. Regardless of how you phrase your headline, make sure to use keywords that will help others find you.

… BE CLEAR on What You’ve Done, and What You Want to Do…

Whether you are an active job seeker, or simply using LinkedIn to extend the reach of your personal marketing plan, POSITIONING yourself clearly is the epicenter of efficient networking… just as if you were beginning to launch an active JOB search to implement your Personal Marketing Plan!

When listing your past job experiences, use verbs as much as possible. Show what you’re passionate about, and what you’ve learned from each job. Consider listing “non-jobs” you’ve done, like chairing a conference or leading a panel.

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Are You PREPARED to Conduct an Efficient and Productive Job Search?

In my 12 Step approach to effective job search, the first EIGHT are meant to prepare you, and build your confidence, in conducting an efficient and productive job search.  Do not take these prepatory steps lightly as they will dramatically influence your success in securing your next appropriate employment.  In Step Eight you create your Personal Marketing Plan… Step Nine is where you finally begin to implement your plan… regularly and consistently!  Your implementation is built around effective and constant development of your network.  Read on…

NETWORKING

Building a network is a vital part of today’s strategic career development. Each planned contact can lead to others if you ask the right questions and explore the possibilities.  Networking is a two-way street, sometimes with you, the information seeker, being able to provide information to the same person from whom you are seeking it, and at other times being a source of information to other people. In order to get information from others, we must be a good source of information. All it takes is being willing to share information, ideas and resources.  It’s the INTER-ACTIVE, front-end of relationship building.

To put it another way, “What goes around, comes around.”  A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable.


 

Pilot Onboard  If employed, be aware of confidentiality issues and scale down your efforts accordingly (There is an excellent article inside of LinkedIn: Conducting a STEALTH Job Search).  If you are unemployed and in active job search mode, and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one.

  1. Start with people you know from previous employment.    However, most jobs are not found at the first level of networking.  In fact, very few jobs are found simply by calling the people you know.
  2. Constantly build the layers of your network.  Even at the second level, the number of job openings you will find is still modest. Networking does not usually start to pay off until about the third level, and sometimes even beyond that.
  3. Attend professional association meetings and network.   Most of us probably work in a line of work that has a national professional association to which we could belong, and most of these associations have local chapters.Get the Most From Networking…

Remember TIME MANAGEMENT…

Allow for regular time in LinkedIn in order to direct and focus your networking activity.

Make networking calls in a block of time.  Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive.

Be sure to ask the person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Career Transition, INITIAL Contact List, Job Search OBJECTIVES, LinkedIn Contact Development, NETWORKING, Personal Marketing Collateral Materials, PRE-Offer Negotiation, References, Research, Resume Development, Social Media, Target Organizations, Your VERBAL Collateral elements

What Makes a Resume GREAT???

There is no “template” or formatting of a perfect resume.

Let that set in for a moment.

Most jobseekers have experienced the Internet’s ‘black hole’ in resume reception and feedback.  Sure, you could listen to any number of ‘experts’ on making it through the digital screening process of today’s world of recruitment…OR you can accept the fact that a resume that is requested by a real human being is viewed and acted upon more often.


FACT: Your best ‘unique identifier’ for any database your resume has found its way to is your name and contact information… it helps an employer find YOU, as opposed to anyone who FITs their screening profile (keyword match…a ‘hit’).  So, THE most effective strategy of beingfound and acted upon is to be personally known within an organization’s recruitment circle.  Simple solution?  Network your way to an opportunity before applying for it!


The point being, you’re the one who needs to decide if your résumé is ready to go. Do you want to drive yourself nuts by having a slew of people give you their “expert” advice, revising your résumé twenty times over? Or do you want to take your destiny into your own hands? Now, there are certain rules on writing effective résumés that you should heed in no particular order. These are ten sure things that need to be in place to offer you the best chance of success…in BOTH the digital world AND the ‘REAL world’ of recruitment.

1. Quantifiable results are a must. Employers are not interested in a grocery list of responsibilities (strategic) or duties (tactical); they’re drawn to evidence of what you’ve actually DONE. It’s always stronger to incorporate significant accomplishments that are quantified with numbers, dollars, and percentages.

2. Closely related to #1… Please no clichés or unsubstantiated adaptive skills. The new rule is to show rather than tell. Yes, you may be innovative; but what makes you innovative? Did you develop a program for inner-city youth that promoted a cooperative environment, reducing violent crime by 50%? If so, state it in your profile as such.

3. Tailor your résumé to each job, when possible. Employers don’t want a one-fits-all résumé that doesn’t address their needs or follow the job description. It’s insulting… Start with your ‘positioning statement,’ clearly specified, including keywords that an employer might use to “find” you.

4. Your résumé needs to show relevance. Employers are interested in the past 10 or 15 years of your work history; in some cases less. Age discrimination may also be a concern, so don’t show all 25-30 years of your work life with equal use of vertical space. Following your Positioning Statement, a ‘qualification summary‘ can help the reader quickly determine interest in your ability to meet their needs.  In this manner, your ‘professional experience’ can be written to show that you not only meet their screening requirements, but can perform to their true expectations of performance.

5. Keywords are essential for certain occupations that are technical, or functionally specific in nature. They’re the difference between being found at the top of the list or not at all. Again, you simply must have your keywords peppered throughout their résumé.

6. Size matters. The general rule is two pages are appropriate providing you have the experience and accomplishments to back it up. More than two pages requires extensive experience. In some cases a one-page résumé will do the job. Your use of the available ‘vertical space’ is the key.

7. No employer cares what you want. That’s right; employers care about what they want and need. If you happen to care what they want and can solve their problems and make them look good, they’ll love you. So drop the meaningless objective statement that generally reads, “Seeking a position in a progressive company where I can utilize my experience and skill to grow along with the organization.”

8. Make it easy to read. Your résumé should not only be visually appealing, it should be visually readable. Employers who read hundreds of résumé s will glance at them for as few as 10-15 seconds before making their YES-no–Maybe determination… before deciding to read them at length. Make your résumé scannable by writing shorter word blocks, three to four lines at most. Keep your bullets flush left… and no excessive graphics/fonts.

9. Make sure your accomplishment “bullets” are in-sync with your Qualification SUMMARY.  No excess baggage…everything in your resume should support your candidacy.

10. WOW them. Use WAR stories, told in brief statements in your professional experience section in the form of accomplishments. That’s right, grab their attention with quantified accomplishments early on.

(What did you face)… Volunteered to assume the duties of…

(Actions taken) website development and design, while also excelling at pubic relations,

(Results) resulting in $50,000 in savings for the company.

Such strong statements will entice the reviewer to continue reading. And, as a bonus, will trigger the right questions to keep the conversation in a FITting mode during an interview.

At some point you need to go with what works—a document that will land you interviews. It may not even be a formal resume or CV.  It could be a BIO or a well-written letter of introduction.  I don’t care if it’s written on a napkin and delivered in a Starbucks’ cup (it’s been done). If it’s getting you interviews, go with it.

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Job Search OBJECTIVES, Personal Marketing Collateral Materials, Resume Development, Social Media, Target Organizations, Your VERBAL Collateral elements

Achieving CareerFIT

Why CareerFIT? I just want another job…

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 every marketplace, there are buyers and sellers.  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.  This is why assessment and objective setting (first two steps of our 12-step process) represent CAREER Strategies, not simply job search tactics.

Seize control of such challenges.   Understand the nature of FIT.  You understand that managing your own career involves three key ingredients:

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

What is a Good, Career FIT For You? 

To achieve a good “fit” 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:

  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.  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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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Career Transition, Job Search OBJECTIVES, Resume Development

Embracing The OTHER Job Market

In 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 “Traditional 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.

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Job Search OBJECTIVES, NETWORKING, Research, Target Organizations, Turning "opportunities" Into INTERVIEWS

ANSWERING QUESTIONS Effectively

The key to being successful in an interview is to answer each question well, with strong content and credible delivery.  To do this, you must anticipate and practice what to say, display confidence and enthusiasm and show that you have a positive attitude.  The way you deliver your responses can be just as important as what you say.

Look directly into the interviewer’s eyes; give short, crisp, smooth answers that don’t sound memorized.  Put energy in your voice. Consider one of the following guidelines in answering questions relative to your communication strategy…

  • ANSWER the question….
  • Highlight strengths, giving examples as appropriate… plays to behavioral interviewer style and tactics. Minimize weaknesses.
  • At least address the issue of the question before
    • Blocking
    • Turnaround
    • Answering in your terms
    • Confronting or changing the subject!

PRE-Offer Negotiation

Become knowledgable of ‘MoneySpeak’ as it relates to your salary requirements.  Be confident in ANY discussion of your salary, either past or future (NOTE: There is no present tense where money is concerned!).  Remember…

“He who mentions money first, LOSES.”

PRE-offer negotiation is a very common use of guideline#3 in answering questions effectively.  And, as alwats, answer the question and then STOP TALKING.  You will feel pressured to defend or explain, compensating for your nervousness and emotion at this moment.  This is definitely worth practice time with your accountability partner.

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Posted in Interview Preparation, Interview SKILLS, INTERVIEWING, Interviewing STRATEGIES, PRE-Offer Negotiation, Research
September 2020
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