Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Competency #20 I Can Generate One Job Interview for Every 10 Job Leads I Get

Do you send out resumes and cover letters or apply for jobs online and never get a response, let alone an interview?  Have you wondered why?

Typically, there are at least one or more of the following factors at play:

1.  Applying blindly- that is, not knowing someone who works there or can connect you to someone who does, and even better, has some control over whether you’ll get a job interview. There’s no secret formula, here, folks.  The bottom line is this:  your path to a job interview is through people. The hidden job market is alive and well. People who find job leads through people they know are better positioned to obtain job interviews.  Most employers find their talent on LinkedIn, and employers will find you only if your LinkedIn profile is complete.  Don’t know what complete means?  Find out.

2.  Unfocused, untargeted, incomplete, sloppy, or inconsistent written communications: all documents and messages you create, whether it’s your resume/cover letter, LinkedIn profile, executive summary, or email, must be targeted and consistent. If your resume suggests you have a different goal or different skills sets than your LinkedIn summary, employers will avoid you.

3.  Mismatched skill sets or keywords. Are you applying for positions you are actually qualified for? Have you reviewed the job description for keywords, and have you used these words throughout your written communication?

4.  Lack of follow-up.  While many people think that following up is too invasive, the reality is that employers take note of applicants who follow-up after they’ve applied.  It shows interest in a era where the majority of people who apply never follow-up. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” 

A final reminder:  In case you haven't created an answer to the question, "why should I hire you?"do so PRIOR to seeking job leads.  You'll eventually need to explain what makes you the perfect person for the job.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The 7-Minute (Career Management) Workout

3-minute assessment.  2-minute reflection/prioritizing.  2-minute plan of action

Many people want to start their job-seeking process by focusing on one single item, such as their resume, cover letter, interviews or career branding, before any other tasks. This is flawed thinking. Objectively, you know that it is impossible to “fix” or create an interview-worthy resume without doing the requisite self-assessment of one’s career management skills. Even if you hire someone to write your resume, you’ll still need to provide a clear job objective, and related strengths and accomplishments- along with a host of other pieces of information.  Since managing one’s career is a lifelong process, it’s absolutely essential that you understand what it takes to successfully seek, obtain and retain a job.

Have you heard of the 7 Minute Workout?  It’s a great way to accomplish a whole body workout in just 7 minutes.  Well, here’s your 7-minute (Career Management) Workout. The Workout is designed to help you assess your career management skills for today's workplace .  Who doesn't have 7 minutes?Conmpletely worth your time.  Do it as a gift to yourself.  Ready? Set. Go!

3-minute assessment: Career Management Skills. Print it, follow the instructions and rate yourself on the 25 skills

2 minutes: Circle your 4’s and 5’s, reflect on your results, and determine your 5 most critical skills-gaps

2 minutes: Determine your plan of action by doing the following: 

Quickly assess who can support you and where might you find assistance in your efforts to learn the   necessary skill?

Quickly draw 3 columns, 5-row table.  Label each column as follows:

   Task, Who/Where, Deadline
   List a single skill you want to work on in each row
   Commit to an amount of time and a deadline for ameliorating each gap

      7 minutes, and a plan for action.  Which career muscles need the most of your attention?