For candidates, the resume is the primary job search tool. The right resume can make or break your chances of getting invited for an interview. Think of your resume as a marketing document: You have the opportunity to tailor your background (on paper) to maximize your chances of being interviewed.
Hiring managers appreciate the “three C’s”: Clear, Concise, Crisp. Once in the hands of a prospective hiring authority, the goal is to have your resume selected for you to interview. The following are a few tips that will make your resume stand out:
Limit your resume to one page, if possible.
Make good use of “white space” for readability.
Use “bullet point” format.
Tailor your resume for a specific position with a “Summary” up front.
– A summary is a three to four line description of your background, highlighting years of experience, top skills and the position you are seeking.
Read and re-read for grammar and spelling.
Keep in mind that multiple managers, making copies of copies, will probably view your resume. The optimal format for sending is via the internet.
There are many “schools” of interviewing. We like to think of interviewing as an artful skill that can be learned. Learning to interview is like learning to ride a bike and learning table manners.
Riding a bike… because the more you do, the better you get… practice does, indeed, work in this case. This is the technique.
Table manners… because there is an established protocol?universally accepted “rules of the game.” This is the etiquette.
Once you master the art of interviewing, you’ll know it for life.
The following are a few “tried and true” rules of the game that will assist in interviewing.
In the “Pre-Interview” Stage, research the company and position. Prepare for questions. Prior to interviewing, preparing for questions (perhaps through role-playing with one of our consultants) will build confidence.
Think of the Interview in three parts:
1. Introduction, 30 seconds, dress conservatively, warm smile, handshake, eye
2. Body, 1 hour, create a dialogue, ask insightful questions
3. Conclusion, 30 seconds, ask about “next steps”.
In the “Post-Interview” Stage, timely follow up is essential. Personal note, e-mail or phone call. Post interview, giving immediate feedback will demonstrate your interest in the position.
There’s much more to the art of interviewing.
We’ll be pleased to coach you on your interview.
12 Signs You Are About To Be Fired
By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor
Think a pink slip could be headed in your direction? Most people who are let go know their time is up or (in retrospect) say they should have seen it coming. While there are no sure signs of professional apocalypse, here are 12 clues your job may be in peril:
1. You’re Out of the Loop.
You no longer get advanced notice of company news or reports; and you seem to be losing your voice in organizational matters. You are not copied on memos you normally receive or invited to meetings you usually attend.
2. Your Boss Has an Eye on You.
You feel as if you’re being scrutinized more closely and that your boss no longer trusts you. Your decisions are constantly questioned, your expense reports put under a microscope, and you have less latitude to work independently.
3. You’re Getting the Siberia Treatment.
You used to know all the scoop — be it business or social in nature. Now your co-workers avoid you and the last conversation you had with your superiors was a lame attempt at pleasant banter.
4. You Had a Bad Review.
You received a poor performance rating and a disproportionate amount of negative feedback. If you received a warning or were given a “performance improvement plan,” it’s really time to start packing!
5. Your Superior is Leaving Paper Trails.
Your boss communicates with you predominately in writing. You receive memos pointing out errors, criticizing your performance and confirming any meetings or discussions the two of you have had.
6. You and Your Boss Are Not Getting Along.
Corporate management will swear it’s not personal, yet many downsizings are actually ways to get rid of unpopular or “black-listed” employees. Performance is a subjective judgment and managers are more likely to get rid of people they don’t like.
7. Your Mentor is Gone.
The executive who always championed you has left the company or been rendered powerless.
8. You Publicly Messed Up.
You made a blatant error that embarrassed your boss or made the company look bad. Or, you’re part of a team that goofed up and they need a scapegoat.
9. New Blood Has Taken Over.
Your company is about to merge, be acquired or undergo reorganization and your leader suddenly disappears. New hires have become the wave of the future and they’ve been given the directive to “shake things up.”
10. You’re Being Set Up to Fail.
You’ve been assigned to an undesirable territory or given impossible tasks with unrealistic deadlines and little support.
11. You’ve Been Stripped of Your Duties.
You’ve been asked to compile a report of all your ongoing projects and pushed hard to finish one or two specific projects. Or, you’ve been relieved of your core duties so that you can work on meaningless “special projects.” You are encouraged not to do your usual long-term planning.
12. You’re Hearing Rumors.
If you’re hearing rumors of your demise, take heed: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!
At one point or another we’re all vulnerable to the proverbial corporate ax. Don’t live in denial. If you recognize more than one of these signs, it’s time to look for greener pastures and take steps to reverse your fate.
Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
How To Have Balance
By Barb Bruno
It is very easy to have a life that is out of balance. Some people intentionally have an “out-of-balanced” life so they may achieve in a specific area. Or a person’s life may become out of balance in one area for a certain length of time so that he or she may “catch up” in that area. However, you decide to live your life, it is still good to know what you are missing.
Pay attention to all areas. For a balanced life, grow in all areas:
-Health & Fitness
People need to pay attention to their careers to meet their basic obligations. But be sure you have a “career” and not just “work.” Career has a concept of personal development. Work has a concept of “I need money to do something else with.”
It’s a good idea to review annually what you did last year and what you plan for next year. Keep your plans in a folder and review them over the years. Look for growth in each area. Or do it twice a year. You can pick a theme for a year-something that needs extra focus. Some people do a five-or ten-year plan.
Set goals for yourself. The goals you set must be measurable: you must be able to tell when you’ve accomplished a particular goal.
Set goals that make you stretch. All successful people have failed. It’s how you deal with it that’s key. If you’ve never failed, you’ve never reached.
Life planning is a lot like business planning. A common approach is this one:
1. Get a dream/vision. Formulate a purpose.
2. Write it down.
3. Create long-term, measurable goals.
4. Create a series of strategies and action steps to get there.
5. Evaluate these goals and strategies: make sure they represent a “stretch” yet are reasonable.
6. Share these goals with someone.
7. Get some good counsel and advice. Be prayerful about it.
8. Act on it.
The Dreaded Phone Interview
“48 Days To The Work You Love” Dan Miller
Studies have shown that 90% of communication is nonverbal. So how do you shine in the increasingly popular phone interview? You can’t take advantage of your good looks, great wardrobe, firm handshake, eye contact.
But there are unique elements of a phone interview that you can use to your advantage:
- Stand Up. Standing changes your breathing and your tone of voice. It makes you sound stronger and more confident. (I stand and walk when doing phone coaching so I don’t risk sounding tired or too casual.)
- Have a Mirror Handy. Yes, be looking at yourself in a mirror. Your smile and facial expressions come through
more than you may realize. Respond physically like you would in person and much of that enthusiasm will be
translated via the phone anyway.
- Have Your Answers Written Out. This is an open-book test. You can have your answers to all of the expected questions written out and actually sound much more polished than you may be able to in person.
“What are your three greatest strengths? What do you look for in a supervisor? Why did you leave your
last job?” Be ready with clear responses to these and many more.