Today, my client and I discussed the following quotation by Tom Brokaw:
"It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference."
We also talked about this question, asked of her in a recent job interview:
"How have you made a difference?"
Something to think about before your next interview.
Know what you will say?
We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves. ~ George M. Adams
I love working with clients! They are always teaching me something and giving me ideas for yet another blog post. Today, for example, my client was remarking how he liked people to “get to the point” and not dilly-dally around and waste his time, especially at a job interview.
Are you interviewing for a job?
Have you been asked the standard “So tell me about yourself?” question to which you replied:
"Well, I am loyal, honest and hardworking.
I have a lot of experience. I can do a lot of things.
I have a good education and like I said, I am very experienced.
Also, I am a very responsible worker.
And finally, I am very dependable.”
Imagine that you are the Hiring Manager listening to the above response.
Are you impressed? ___ Yes ___No
Are you falling off your chair because you are so enthralled with this response? ___Yes ___No
Does the job seeker stand out in your professional opinion? ___Yes ___No
Would you consider this candidate your Number One contender? ___Yes ___No
As a Hiring Manager, have you heard the above response at least 100 times, if not more? ___Yes ___No
If you are a job seeker, I would encourage you to spend some time building your best response to the “Tell Me About Yourself” question. Here’s one way to do so through three simple steps and three pieces of paper:
Do not make the hiring manager work and work and work to get to know you. In short, get to the point. No wishy-washy. No dilly-dally. No shilly-shally. No time to waste. To the point.
Educate and train your listener about you, your brand and your value.
Make the process of getting to know you as simple as one, two, three.
Every second is of infinite value. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The client sat pondering the best words to describe herself. Our session that day focused on job interviewing. After a few minutes, “Jane” spoke:
I’d say the best words to describe me are:
As a job seeker, are you routinely using such words to describe yourself? If you are, let’s pretend for a moment. Let’s pretend that you are a tired, overworked hiring manager and that you have interviewed 1,000+ candidates in recent years. From those 1,000+ candidates, you have heard the same words -- loyal, honest and hard-working -- time after time after time. How excited, then, are you to hear “loyal, honest and hard-working” from one more candidate?
The next time you go to a job interview, take some time to find words that best describe the unique, distinct brand of you. Then, when the “what are your best qualities” question (or some derivative thereof) is asked, you will help yourself stand out. You will not come across as the same old, same old candidate. You will stand out because you have taken the time to research words that are music to the hiring manager’s ears – distinctive words that align with your target job. Help yourself shine in the employment interview! And, make it easy for the hiring manager to select you.
Recently, a client asked “In your professional opinion, what is the single-most critical skill for a job seeker to possess in order to find new employment?”
If you were to answer my client’s question based upon the five choices shown below, which one would you pick?
Without hesitation, I asked: “Do you watch Cry Wolfe? He’s a private investigator – his name is Brian Wolfe – based in California – Tuesday evenings -- Investigation Discovery. The Cry Wolfe guy is relentless – he is crazy good; talk about mastery. So, in answer to your question, I would say, be an outstanding private investigator, a super sleuth and a really good detective. In my opinion, that’s the most important skill -- all else is expected; the P.I. part can help solve your case of getting from Point A to Point B."
Listed below are a few qualities and traits of a good detective. Perhaps you will use some of these skills to resolve your job search situation:
Rejection – it’s everywhere. Here, there and everywhere when you are in job search mode. Do not let rejection distract you, derail you or disenchant you. Keep going. Keep moving. Do not stop until you are the Number One pick!
Realize that brands attract, brands repel. You have preferences; so do hiring managers.
Educate yourself on best practices of the job search.
Join conversations, meetings and groups, both offline and online to learn, grow and stay current.
Enlist the support, guidance and direction of a trusted team to navigate your way forward.
Connect with others on a consistent basis. Someone, somewhere knows somebody or something that would be good for you to know.
Transition is a process; track your progress to improve performance.
Exhibit excellence in all things job-search related.
Don’t quit on yourself or the search. Some organization, somewhere needs you.
What do you think?
Posted at 07:48 AM in Billie Sucher, Career Management, Career Transitions, Careers, Inspiration, Interviewing, Job Hunt, Job Search, Motivation, Outplacement, Personal Branding, Resume Writing, Twitter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tags: careers, employment, interviewing, jobs, life, rejection, transitions, work
Let’s say your tooth gets knocked out. Know how to fix it?
Let’s say you are getting sued by your employer for breaking your non-compete. Know what to do next?
Let’s say you want to re-roof your residence? Know how to do that?
Let’s say you want to serve cake on your wedding day? Know how to bake it?
While many tasks are of a do-it-yourself (DIY) variety, for some, trying to write a first-class résumé is akin to shingling your own house, fixing your own tooth, representing yourself in court, repairing your own car, or baking your own wedding cake. Could you possibly do all of these things? Perhaps. Or perhaps it makes more sense in the long run to engage the services of someone who knows what they are doing – be it roofing, résumé writing or whipping up a wedding cake.
Here is a specific story to illustrate how one man’s résumé writing stress was transformed into résumé writing success – just like that. While I could share hundreds of similar stories, the following résumé writing story is one of my favorites. “Benjamin” owned a profitable business here in the Midwest. He decided after 25+ years of business ownership that he wanted to move to a warmer climate. As part of the job search process, he built a résumé from an online template. No problem. His daughter, a bright young college student majoring in English reviewed it, followed by a once-over by a few trusted colleagues. No problem.
He submitted his résumé via U.S. mail to the hiring manager. His qualifications, in his opinion, perfectly matched the employer’s requirements. When he did not hear back from the company, he followed up to see if the job was still open. It was. And to him, that was a problem. A Chamber contact referred him to me for “an opinion” on his résumé. We didn’t do a couple of minor changes – we did a total overhaul of his existing résumé document. He resubmitted the new résumé to the same hiring manager and the very day it was received, Benjamin got a phone call: “When can you be here to interview with us?” He did not mention the prior résumé submission, nor did the hiring manager bring it up. Bottom line, the newly created résumé opened the door just like that and ultimately, Benjamin got the job.
Can you do your own résumé? Sure. Absolutely. No question about it.
Can your DIY résumé generate results for you? I certainly hope so!
Perhaps, though, if your DIY résumé is not working for you, maybe you will do what Ben did. Ask around. Get a referral. Fix your résumé. Snag an interview. And get hired -- sometimes, just like that!
Suppose that you have been invited to a face-to-face interview after doing a superb job in your phone interview. Suppose that a 15-member selection committee will be present to witness your 60-minute PowerPoint presentation. Suppose that someone you trust suggests removing your large wedding ring that contains two carats of fabulous bling. Suppose that you did, though you wondered why.
Suppose that you are a trial lawyer who has retired. Suppose that you cannot stand the “monotony of doing nothing” (trial lawyer’s words) and that you pursue a job that will get you out of the house and make a few bucks to boot. Suppose that you are wearing a monogrammed shirt and cuff links to an interview for a job paying about $35,000. Suppose that a trusted confidante suggests that you wear a dress shirt minus the monogram and cuff links. Suppose you heed her counsel and immediately snag the job.
Suppose that you are a teenager or college student who wants a job at your local ice cream shop for the summer. Suppose that you roll up in your Mom’s Mercedes for the 20-minute interview. Suppose that the ice cream shop owner asks you the year of your Mercedes and you tell him it’s new. Suppose that the shop owner says he is going to give the job to someone who doesn’t drive a Mercedes. Suppose that you drive to another ice cream shop in your brother’s beater car and get offered a job on the spot.
Suppose that you are a successful executive waiting in the prospective employer’s lobby for the hiring manager to greet you for a job interview. Suppose that you are finishing up one of your favorite author’s romantic novels. Suppose you are holding the book in your hands when the Hiring Manager calls your name and offers “Ah, I see you like smut” to which you state you don’t consider that particular author a writer of such. Suppose the interview never gets back on track. Suppose that in your next interview you wait patiently for the manager to welcome you – no controversial book in hand.
Suppose that you received a new bottle of the hottest cologne of the season for your birthday. Suppose that you went to a job interview and the corporate recruiter asked “So who are you wearing” to which you replied the name of a clothing line. The recruiter tells you he is not talking about your attire, he is talking about your cologne and oh, by the way, the hiring manager is allergic to a lot of scents – gets a nasty headache.
Before you go to a job interview, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What, if anything, am I wearing, doing, or sharing that could compromise my candidacy?
2. When I exit the interview, how do I wish to be remembered?
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Recently, one of my clients asked: “So are there any specific questions you could give me that would help me think about what career I “should” pursue at this point? Before meeting you, I took some tests/assessments and so far, I am still confused.” I have been thinking about “Jed’s” question since he asked it. Listed below are 35 questions for you to consider if you are in the midst of a career transition:
What do you most like to do in the workplace?
With whom do you prefer to work?
Where do you prefer to live geographically?
What are your best skills?
What type of work interests you?
What have you always wanted to do workwise?
What, if any, additional training would you like to pursue?
Of the many skills you possess, which do you like the best and enjoy the most?
Describe your ideal job in detail.
Describe your ideal “boss.”
What are your salary expectations?
What is the going rate for your skillset (per three reliable resources).
What are your primary interests?
What values define you?
What needs some work as it relates to you and your brand?
How did you get from there to here in your career?
In the 7th grade, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a ____________.
In high school, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a ______________.
If you attended technical school/college/graduate school, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a _________________.
And now, as an experienced worker, what is your response to this question: When I grow up, I want to be a _______________________.
Looking back, what, if anything, might you have done differently?
What choices are you struggling with/wresting with now?
If you could “start over” this very minute, what would you do?
What are the biggest concerns an employer will have about your current credentials?
What do you think you were built to do occupationally?
What’s in your DNA as it relates to the world of work?
How are you hardwired?
Who are your biggest fans and supporters right now?
What headline would you most like to see on your LinkedIn Profile?
What are you not interested in doing occupationally?
What are your three to five favorite skills of the hundreds of skills you possess?
Who does a job / occupation that is of interest to you and why?
What is your definition of “career success?”
What keywords would you choose to search for a job on Indeed.com?
If you could wave a magic wand and voilà, do the job of your dreams, what would you be doing and what job title would appear on your new business card?
If an employer asked you to submit a “tweet bio,” what would yours say?
If you attended a 250-person dinner party and presented a speech titled I Need Your Help Finding a New Opportunity as a (an) ___________________(job title) using these skills: 1. ____________ 2. ___________ 3.____________4.______________ 5.___________________ in the city/state of _______________________________ with an employer involved in the ___________________ industry, what would attendees hear from you?
Example: I Need Your Helping Finding a New Opportunity as an Outplacement Consultant using skills of 1. Career Counseling 2. Training 3. Resume Writing 4. Public Speaking and 5. Interview Coaching in Houston, Texas with an employer involved in the energy industry.
Posted at 02:31 PM in Billie Sucher, Career Management, Career Transitions, Careers, Inspiration, Interviewing, Job Hunt, Job Search, Motivation, Outplacement, Personal Branding, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: careers, choices, employment, job search, jobs, outplacement , personal branding, transitions, work