The job search: 7 temporary staffing myths and facts revelead

When people hear the words “temporary work,” they often think of clerical jobs or seasonal holiday positions. But as business needs have evolved, so has the “temping” professional. Temporary financial staffing firm Accountemps has identified a new set of realities for temporary workers today.

“Interim work has gone far beyond the ‘temping’ of the past,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Businesses are hiring project professionals at all levels to tap into the specialized skills organizations critically need but may lack internally.”

Accountemps offers seven facts about contemporary temporary work:

Fact #1:
Interim workers range from entry-level to executive-level. Temporary work is no longer limited to lower-skilled assignments. Firms of all sizes engage payroll clerks, bookkeepers, business systems analysts — even treasurers and chief financial officers — on an interim basis today.

Fact #2:
Temporary assignments offer career flexibility. Interim professionals have the freedom and flexibility to choose projects based on their professional goals and preferences. They can accept short- and long-term assignments and may work either a full- or part-time schedule.

Fact #3:
Contingent workers can earn good money. Compensation for project professionals is generally on par with that of full-time employees. And temporary workers with in-demand skills often command even higher pay. What’s more, many staffing firms, including Accountemps, offer their temporary workers access to health insurance and other benefits at competitive rates.

Fact #4:
Project work can help professionals bolster their resumes. Sixty-five percent of staffing employees surveyed by the American Staffing Association said they developed new or improved work skills through their interim assignments. Accountemps offers all registered temporary candidates access to free skills training, including courses on the most popular accounting software.

Fact #5:
Interim work can lead to a full-time job. Many businesses look at a temporary assignment as an on-the-job audition. A company that feels an interim professional has performed well and is a personality fit often will ask that person to stay on permanently.

Fact #6:
Temporary workers don’t have to pay to register with a staffing firm. Reputable temporary agencies never ask their job candidates for fees.

Fact #7:
Companies seek skilled interim professionals. Contingent workers with specialized expertise are in demand. Organizations of all types are relying more heavily on a flexible workforce to access specialized skills that either do not exist among their core employees or are not needed long term.

Are you a temporary employee who isn’t sure of how to update your resume? Do you have questions on how to put your work history, skills and achievements together? Then find out how Matt Krumrie can help you with your resumes needs.

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Career advice: Common mistakes job seekers make when changing careers

What are some common mistakes job seekers make when changing careers? Karen Kodzik, a St. Paul-based career coach with Cultivating Careers discusses this below.

When career changers assess their strengths and skills, a common piece of advice from job search “helpers” is to ask others around them what they are good at.

“I think this can be a trap and lead to a common career misstep,” says Kodzik, who has been a guest on KARE 11 discussing jobs and is the author of Navigating Through “Now What?” a book that helps you through the various career crossroads in life.

“It is human nature for us to gravitate towards both what we are familiar with and what we have been reinforced for. Those seeking a new direction believe that it must be a sign from the universe that they should pursue what others think they are good at. Though this information can offer some valuable insights, it is important to step back and assess if you really liked doing those tasks or using a certain skill set. When we excel in a certain area we are often put in situations to leverage that skill, again and again throughout our careers. And a result of this is we don’t explore or develop other skills that we may enjoy using more in our careers. Remember that when evaluating your next career move, just because you can do something doesn’t always mean should. Take time to evaluate all the skills in your “toolbox” and pursue those that excite and engage you the most.”

Resources
Contact Kodzik for a free 15-minute career coaching consultation to learn more how she can help you!

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Career tips: What is your personal brand and why is it important?

Guest post by Joan Runnheim Olson, M.S., A.C.C.

Identifying and managing your personal brand is critical for your career or business success.  Your brand is just one of 10 keys to becoming a career conqueror. To learn the other nine keys, attend Joan Runnheim’s upcoming teleclass on August, 7, 2013, Top 3 Myths of Career Success and 10 Keys to Becoming a Career Conqueror.

Michael Jordan has a brand. Oprah has a brand. And, whether you think so or not, YOU have a brand. Your brand is your professional reputation. It is how others perceive you. It’s your unique promise of value that you consistently deliver. Your personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are and what you represent.  Your brand includes your appearance, your actions, and your interactions with others.

Appearance

I would like to illustrate how your brand can show up in your appearance. A friend of mine, a local real estate agent, loves the colors of teal and purple. This has become an important part of her brand. Her clothing and accessories incorporate these colors. Her business cards, website, and other marketing materials reflect these colors.  And, even her home and office décor include these teal and purple. Those who know her expect to see these colors associated with her.

Actions

Your brand can show up in your actions. I am a continuous learner, always updating and expanding my skills and being sought out as a career expert. I want my clients and potential clients to see me as a career expert.  Why? Because I want to attract clients that are highly motivated and invested in their careers too. My actions as a continuous learner have led to me being selected to serve as a career expert by Monster and as a career coach for CareerBuilder- two of the heavy-hitter global job boards. I was also invited to be an expert blogger on careers by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, a think tank for the now, the new, and the next in careers.

Interactions

Your brand can show up in your interaction with others. Let’s say you’re employed by a company and you consistently receive positive feedback about how you “go above and beyond” in the area of customer service. This reminds me of a story of a client who worked in collections. We know what kind of reputation they have. Well, this client has actually received thank you letters from individuals she has called on who have been late in paying their bills. Why? Because of the way she handles these folks that are oftentimes in dire straits. This behavior is “out of the norm” for the person typically doing collections. Her ability to demonstrate true empathy and concern shines through.

Joan Runnheim Olson is the career management expert for high-achieving professionals who want to maximize career success and satisfaction. Joan is an internationally certified career coach and founder of Pathways Career Success Strategies, LLC.

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Best interview tips: 7 Ways Job Interviewers Try to Trip You Up – and How to Avoid Stumbling

By Vicky Oliver

With the dramatic improvement in the job market, now is the time for all job seekers to get serious about finding a job. Landing an interview is the first step. But then you’ll need to get mentally prepared for the 45 most harrowing minutes of your life. That’s the average length of a job interview.

Job interviews are nerve-wracking for the simple reason that interviewers like to ask questions that knock people off balance. Doing so gives them the opportunity to see if the candidate can think on her feet, come up with dazzlingly brilliant answers instantly, and keep her cool.

Here are 7 types of questions that can trip you up–and how to answer them so you’ll leave the interview standing tall.

1. Questions that imply you’re too inexperienced or rusty. “I see you’ve been out of the workforce. How can you compete with people who have lots of experience in our industry?” Don’t get your toe caught in holes in your resume. Quick, talk about your social media smarts. You Tweet, you’re on Facebook, and you can navigate LinkedIn with your eyes closed. Being fluent in social technology could trump your industry inexperience. Don’t forget to show, not tell, what a quick study you are in any given field. Give examples.

2. Give-us-one-good-reason-not-to-hire-you questions. “What’s your biggest weakness that’s really a weakness, and not a secret strength?” Be honest by giving a real weakness, but demonstrate how you turned it into a successful strategy that led to a successful outcome. You might say that you’re extremely impatient, and that you expect coworkers to be competent, well-prepared, and accountable. Explain how your impatience led you to ask management for team assignments so the work could be broken down into manageable pieces and assigned to individuals according to their strengths.

3. Ethical questions with a twist or secret agenda. “How would you handle working with someone who took credit for your great ideas?” Show the interviewer how well you would manage an awkward situation. Say that, first, you’d credit the idea thief publicly for ideas that were genuinely his, hoping he would return the favor. If that failed, you’d try to work out an arrangement where you’d present ideas that were your own to your bosses. And if that didn’t work, you would try to openly discuss the issue with him, stressing that teamwork matters and positioning both of you as “strong-ideas people” to your superiors would benefit everyone. Show that you’re a problem solver.

4. Pop quiz questions designed to fluster you. “What is the best-managed company in America?” There is no right answer. The best answer is the one you defend thoroughly. If you mention a company, say, Apple, then talk about all the products they’ve introduced and how these have revolutionized consumer behavior around the world. Talk about how they survived the death of an iconic founder and have bounced back. Mention some details about their company culture, and how that has been reflected in the company’s public brand in a very positive way.

5. Questions that send you to the confessional. “What is the most courageous action you’ve ever taken at work?” These types of questions are designed to probe your values. You might say something along the following lines. You used to have a partner who’d cut out every night to be with his family, and a boss who preferred that everyone stay till 8. The boss would berate your partner behind his back. But you came to feel that this wasn’t a good position to be put in, and told the boss you felt he should talk directly with your partner. You also told your partner to meet with the boss. Together, they worked it out, even though you took a chance by giving moral direction to your boss.

6. Questions that strip off your work mask. “What are some of your pet peeves?” Employers want to know more about your personality, so give them something that shines a light on you in a good way. You might say, “False deadlines.” Explain that you feel it’s unfair to ask someone to jump through hoops to finish a project only to have it languish on a higher-up’s desk. Then say you’d rather earn others’ respect and trust by delivering tasks on deadline–a real deadline.

7. Questions from another galaxy far, far away. “If you were to give a speech to a group of executives, what topic would you select, and why?” You might be thinking, “Whaaa? What does this have to do with the price of beans?” But smile and tell them something you want them to hear. You might want to deliver a motivational speech about overcoming obstacles. Then talk about a major obstacle that stood in your way and how it offered you a fantastic learning and growing opportunity.

Vicky Oliver is a Manhattan-based job interview consultant, and the bestselling author of five career development books, including 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions. She’s been featured and interviewed widely in the business media, including Fox News, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Forbes, Fortune, CareerBuilder, and many others.

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The Internship: What interns can do to succeed in today’s workplace

Internships are more important than ever – here are tips to help interns succeed

The nation’s employers are increasingly selective in recruiting and now demand that even entry-level candidates have on-the-job experience.  As a result, the once optional summer internship has become a requisite component of any young person’s resume, according to one employment expert, who advises those embarking on internship programs this summer take steps to ensure they make the most of the experience.

“Internships are more important than ever, but not all internship programs are created equal.  Many employers do not have any type of strategy when it comes to utilizing and educating their interns.  In these situations both the employer and the intern lose.  It is critical that young people entering an internship program take a proactive approach to managing and maximizing their experience,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

According to a recent outlook by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the entry-level job market is expected to be stronger this year.  However, the competition for these positions remains fierce and having internship experience can greatly increase the odds of post-graduation job-search success.

A survey of 2012 graduates conducted last August by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 60 percent of those who participated in paid internships received at least one job offer.  In contrast, only 36 percent of graduates with no internship experience on their resume had received job offers.

“The classroom is great for developing critical thinking skills, writing and presentation skills, and general knowledge that provide the fundamental building blocks of any viable job candidate.  However, nothing beats the hands-on practical experience that internships provide.  For those who have already graduated, internships are often the stepping stone to a full-time position,” said Challenger.

“Internships give employers the chance to evaluate a potential employee’s performance for an extended period of time in real-world conditions.  It also lets an employer gauge how the intern fits into the company culture, which is nearly as important as skills and experience.

“As an intern, it is critical to treat each day like a job interview.  You want to set yourself apart from your fellow interns by exceeding expectations.  Those who merely meet expectations probably will not get the full-time job offer,” said Challenger.

“Meeting the right people during your internship is also critical.  It is likely that the person supervising the interns is relatively low on the corporate totem pole.  In fact, he or she may be only a year or two out of college.  The intern with full-time job aspirations should make a daily effort to meet the managers and executives who make the hiring decisions.  The higher up the executive you impress, the greater the odds that a permanent position will be found for you,” he added.

“Students who do not receive an offer from the company where they interned can still benefit from the experience.  Managers and executives in the company represent the beginning of your job-search network.  Even if they cannot find a spot for you in their company, they may know executives in another company that may have openings.”

John Challenger provided the following advice for this year’s crop of summer interns to improve their chances of being offered a full-time job or the opportunity to return next summer, in the case of non-graduating college students:

Treat your internship as a real job. 

The best way to prove you are qualified for a permanent position is through action.  Think of your internship as a trial period or extended interview for obtaining the position you desire.  Always be on time and meet deadlines.  Maintain a positive attitude and show that you are eager to learn and succeed by seeking out feedback to improve your performance and develop new skills.

Take initiative and exceed expectations. 

By taking initiative you can show management what you are capable of.  Do not be afraid to voice your own ideas, offer solutions, and ask questions.  Show interest in attending meetings and seek out extra work and new projects.  When you go above and beyond the minimum, you demonstrate your commitment level and gain the attention of management.

Dress according to company dress codes. 

While you want to stand out from the pack, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.  By dressing professionally you reinforce the impression that you can adapt to and fit in with the company’s culture.

Keep track of your contributions and accomplishments. 

Keep track of the projects you worked on, your individual contributions, and the results achieved.  Having a tangible record of your achievements with the company is a helpful tool in convincing a manager why you should be hired full time.

Network, network, network. 

Developing contacts inside and outside of your department is extremely important.  Schedule lunches or meetings with company managers and executives to give them a better understanding of what you’re about and what you plan on accomplishing.  Find a mentor to teach you the ropes of the organization and offer advice on company politics.  The contacts you make through your internship could prove invaluable throughout your time at the organization and throughout your career.

Ask about available entry-level positions. 

Let your employer know that you would like a job with that particular organization.  Ask about what positions are available and express your interest in them.  An employer will be more likely to consider you for a position if they know you are interested in it.

Stay in contact. 

If you don’t get hired for a position immediately after your internship ends, stay in touch.  Check-in with your contacts and provide updates on your progress.  This will help to keep you in the forefront for the employer’s mind when a position opens.

Related Resource

What today’s employers really think of today’s college graduate

 

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Job Search Advice: How to know if you are ready for a career change

By Karen Kodzik
CultivatingCareers.com

Karen Kodzik is a Twin Cities-based career management coach, speaker and author of the book Navigating Through Now What?. She provides tips and advice on how to think through making a career change in this guest blog post below:

Thoughts of any change can be equally exciting as well as daunting.  Changing jobs or careers is no exception.  Whether you initiate change or change is imposed upon you, change does not come easily to most.  There are many stages you may want to consider as you consider making a change in your work.

Pondering.  This is when you recognize that your current work situation is no longer serving you or fulfilling you.  You see the benefits of changing jobs outweigh the negative consequences of staying.  However you may not be sure you are up for changing jobs, you may not have the time or energy or you may not believe there is a better job out there.  In this stage you are daydreaming about better days and pondering “what if?”

Considering.  This is when the idea of change moves from daunting to exciting.  You start to think of possibilities in a more concrete way.  You may seek out the counsel of someone who has made a similar change before you.  The idea of change starts to materialize however still lacks a clear goal, timeline and game plan.  Your thinking moves from “what if” to “why not?”

Planning.  This is when you start to gather concrete information, mobilize resources and create a project plan for tackling change.  Sometimes this stage can be overwhelming given the myriads of information available and not knowing what information is most relevant to you.  A plan provides the road map for career change, ensuring more likely success in transitioning to something new.

Implementing.  This is the stage when it’s time to move beyond thinking and planning to making change happen in you career. This is embarking on sustainable activity that moves you closer to your goal.  It is about addressing and overcoming set backs and obstacles.  It is where you are committed to the belief that change can and will happen.

Recognizing these stages of change are fundamental to realizing rewarding careers.

About Cultivating Careers and Karen Kodzik
Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Management Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 15 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen is highly regarded in the Twin Cities market. Uniquely qualified as a HR insider, management consultant and coach, Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. She is a contributor and source for the Minneapolis, St. Paul media on job market trends, employment and career related topics. Her recently published book “Navigating Through Now What?” has been a valuable resource for anyone finding themselves at a career crossroad.  A popular and passionate presentor and speaker she quickly and easily engages her audience, leaving them empowered and equipped for any career transition.  She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reach that next point in their career.

The Cultivating Careers team includes top notch career professionals who specialize in LinkedIn, interview prep and practice, and standardized assessment. This team helps us provide our clients to exceptional customized individualized consultation as they prepare for the next step in their career.

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Executive Resumes: A recruiter shares secrets to writing a resume that gets you noticed

By Matt Krumrie
Executive Resume Writer

If you are an executive you need a resume that does more than just show your work history and experience. You need an executive resume that screams success, an executive resume that shows you can take the next company you work for to the next level.

How do you do that? By following these steps, says Lissa Weimelt, an executive recruiter and President of Minnesota-based Search Pro Services, a retained search firm for managerial to executive positions. There are a number of things Weimelt looks for in an executive resume, and these two stand out:

1. What problem did they identify (or were they brought in to fix) in their company and what was the direct outcome of the action they took to specifically address that shortfall?

It could be new customer development, cutting expenses, initiating new product lines, you name it. It has to be more than just initiating a program. Then, what were two or three major achievements out of that key area they drove, related to bottom line?

2. What leadership skills did they showcase in that role? Did it include recruitment of new talent, retention of key individuals, growth/investment/training in current employees? Did they leave the company in a position more secure/successful than it was before?

And, how did they motivate the team around them? What was their style, and what results did they gain from the direct use of that style?

“It speaks to what is important to them,” says Weimelt. “Words like team player or motivator mean nothing. I want to see an example of that on the resume that says someone other than them is important.”

What are five things an executive resume needs to stand out?

1. They need a good executive summary at the beginning. It must include skills sets for keyword searches as many HR professionals who read resumes are not skilled in assessing or understanding talent at this level.

“I like it in plain language, broken down into leadership, financial, operations, marketing – use categories that relate to what is needed from an executive leader,” says Weimelt.

2. It must address their leadership style – use an example if possible.

3. It must address challenges they faced and how they met or, just as importantly, did not meet those challenges.

4. It must address major accomplishments on each significant job, using an example and the result/success of that accomplishment.

5. It must be in plain language that does not put the recruiter to sleep. No more than 2 pages no matter what. A resume is not a career biography, it’s a marketing tool that quickly shows the next employer you have the skills to match their needs.

Remember, the resume doesn’t guarantee you get hired, but it does prevent you from getting hired. How so? Keep this in mind:

A good executive resume gives an executive talking points for an interview, or to use when networking with a recruiter,” says Weimelt. “It does not communicate their entire life story. When I meet with executives, I ask them to give me a five minute presentation of their background. Most cannot do it, and many want to take 20-plus minutes if I do not interrupt them. Most HR folks spend no more than 3-4 minutes reading a resume. So, they need to hear that in order to be able to condense their career experience, strengths and value into salient points. Dividing their background into topic areas as in a above helps them frame around skill sets, and then devise interesting and pertinent stories around that for the interview.”

Weimelt discusses the role a resume plays. A good resume can help lead to a good interview, because a lot of the resume is based off what’s on the resume. A poor resume can result in a poor interview and the executive not showcasing their talents – selling themselves short – because the recruiter may not have good points to expand on. They want to talk about your results.

“A good resume helps a poor interviewer interview better, stay on target, and gives them a roadmap to talk about the right things in their background,” says Weimelt. “For a poor interviewer, or worse yet, a long-winded interviewer, a resume is like a good Garmin. It gets you to where you want to go without getting lost along the way.”

A resume is also the chance to highlight some of your personality and soft skills – all important aspects companies seek in a leader.

“An executive resume should reflect something personal that the interviewer can pick up on,” says Weimelt. “Your personality, what is important to you, what you value, what you are proud of, who you are and what people think and more importantly, feel, about you. Those features help an executive stand out from the crowd, humanize them instead of just a list of degrees, accomplishments and verbiage that everyone else has. You can put those things under a category called “Personal Statement” or something like that, or embed them along the way in the resume, which I like better. I once had a client who had two jobs that were grueling. We put language in his that defined his lessons learned. He got a great job after four interviews in a down market. I thought it was very brave of him, as it told about his personality, leadership style, sense of humor and showed his human side. He also had many accomplishments, but his lessons learned made a much greater impact.”

You’ve made an impact as an executive, now show that in your executive resume.

To do just that, hire executive resume writer Matt Krumrie to write your resume, one that will show the next employer just how you can lead them to success.

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Best resumes: Why the Michael Jordan of resumes won’t get you noticed if it’s not the right fit

By Matt Krumrie
Resumesbymatt.com

I recently had a resume client who told me these exact words after submitting his resume draft to him:

“I don’t feel like this highlights me as The Michael Jordan of Sales.”

I was a little surprised, to be honest. The resume was a good one. It highlighted all his successes, biggest achievements, sales history and revenue/business generated, proof of accomplishments and language that would set him apart as a leading sales person in his field – print advertising. It referenced him as a top producer, told how he generated new business and retained clients and listed him as a top three sales person out of 50 in his territory.

So when he got back to me and said “I don’t feel like this highlights me as The Michael Jordan of Sales” I was a bit perplexed. I thought “is there something he has done so extraordinarily well that is missing?”

Turns out, nothing was missing and this new version was a considerable improvement over the original he was previously working with. He was upset I removed his previous experience in a band and in real estate, both which did not match his future goals (more on that below).

But it got me thinking. Is there a Michael Jordan of resumes? What would it take to create the world’s best resume?

So I asked a recruiter who I trust very much, Rick Deare of Deare & Associates, a sales and executive search firm about this. I said “Rick, just what would make this resume the Michael Jordan of sales resumes?”

I told the story of this client to Rick, explained his background and goals. I told him how I had to convince this client that the fact that he was in a band, while pretty cool indeed, wasn’t going to help get hired in medical device sales. I had to tell this client that his experience in real estate was not going to get him hired in IT sales. This guy was extremely talented no doubt and I was very impressed by what he had done.

The problem was this, and what so many other people who write their own resumes encounter – they want to include their entire career biography into the resume. I always tell clients this – a resume isn’t a career biography, it’s a marketing tool that quickly shows an employer that you have the skills they are looking for and that they should bring you in for an interview to meet you and see if you can expand on what your resume says and if you are a fit for their company and culture. The resume is your step towards an interview. It’s your sales sheet when networking, it’s your bridge to a future meeting or interview, an introduction to your successes. In other words your resume should match your next employer’s needs, by taking your accomplishments and successes and tailoring it towards that industry, company and job needs.

Here is what Deare said:

“From your brief description, his accomplishments seem to be impressive but to parlay these into a Michael Jordan of sales resume may take more than the mighty pen of a professional writer,” said Deare. “In no way do I mean to discount his achievements but a “Michael Jordan of Sales” resume might require some bullets such as these:

  • Highest sales revenue ever achieved in the history of the print advertising industry.
  • Wrote and published the New York Times Bestseller “How I Became the Michael Jordan of Sales” with a forward by Harvey Mackay.

Deare was kidding (sort of), but his point was this:

“In order for a recruiter or hiring manager to be so wowed by his resume as to consider him the best that ever was, he may have to augment his accomplishments with some extraordinary eye-catching achievements that supersede those of other solid/top performers,” he said.

Deare added these additional thoughts:

“A resume for a print advertising salesperson, no matter how great the performance history, is not likely to impress a recruiter or hiring manager in the medical device, biotechnology, software and many other industries,” said Deare. “Domain/Industry experience is as much an attention grabber as the bullets. In interview selection, it’s about professional relevance. As a recruiter, the Michael Jordan of Sales resume might hit my desk but if my search criteria involves 7+ years of experience in the software arena, the resume isn’t going to get more than a brief scan. To their credit, many professional salespeople will not readily accept the idea that industry relevance, product/service or specific business knowledge/experience is as important as selling skill. While I recognize their point, you really need to be the Michael Jordan of Sales to sell that at the hiring manager level.”

Deare continued:

“If your client is following traditional job application routes as a job seeker, he may benefit from some knowledge about modern recruiting/HR technologies at the corporate level. Applicant tracking systems automatically screen resumes for specific types of experience like the industry experience mentioned above. He may also benefit from having a job search strategy that involves leveraging the new resume in pursuit of relevant opportunities. He probably needs to understand that even that Michael Jordan of Sales resume isn’t going to make it through the ATS if the content doesn’t specifically align with the nature of the position posted.”

I get many questions about resume format. I feel the format I use is clear, concise, short and to the point and powerful. I don’t like long-winded resumes that include lengthy paragraphs and are not backed up by proof of accomplishment.

Deare discussed resume formats.

“I don’t believe there is a single “best” resume format, but there is certainly a “right” resume format and a maximized individual approach,” he said. “A professional salesperson needs to produce a resume that is factual, brief and on point relevant to sales experience, performance history and selling skills. It doesn’t have to be boring, shallow or tame but it is a written resume and has some limitations inherent to the form.”

As a sales and executive recruiting specialist, Deare reads a lot of sales resumes. Here is what wows him:

  • Industry relevance: Does this individual have the specific experience we are looking for?
  • Performance ranking: “#1 national sales performer 2008-2012 in a field of over 50 Account Managers.”
  • Revenue: “Average yearly revenue 2008-2012 of $6.2m”
  • Margin: “Average yearly gross margin”
  • Relative contribution: “Contributed 54% of local revenue as 1 of 9 local Account Managers.”
  • Company contribution – how individual successes translated into team and company successes.
  • Record setting achievements and awards – single client, monthly/annual revenue, etc.
  • New business breakthroughs – new major account successes
  • Existing account increases – with strong evidence of exceptional client relationship/client service skills
  • Education
  • Public, volunteer, community, charitable giving

The bottom line is this: The best resume won’t get you noticed if it’s not the right fit. No matter how great your experience is, it has to fit what the employer needs. Show that and you will get noticed, even if it’s just the Scottie Pippen of resumes.

Want the Michael Jordan of resumes created for you, or better yet, one that will get your noticed?

Hire Matt Krumrie to write your resume and get noticed.

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Six Ways to Shift and Broaden Your Perspective–and Lead More Effectively

by Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou
Adapted from their new book, “From Smart to Wise”

Our leadership perspective is based on the sum total of the knowledge, experiences, and choices we made before. It defines us, shaping our thoughts, decisions, and actions. It represents the way we see ourselves and situations, how we judge the relative importance of things, and how we establish a meaningful relationship with others and everything around us.

Smart leaders tend to look at the world through colored lenses that skew or limit their perspective, which affects their decisions and actions. Some have a perspective that’s narrowly focused on short-term goals, deepening their depth of knowledge in their domain of interest. Other smart leaders are guided by broadly focused long-term visions that help them to differentiate various patterns and see how these will help them succeed. Both perspectives are limiting.

When they remove those lenses, smart leaders can gain a broader perspective. By changing their “smart” perspective and cultivating practical wisdom instead, they can lay the foundation for a wise leadership style that’s more effective.

What is a wise leader perspective? Wise leaders are able to continually reframe and reinterpret events through integration and find new meanings within a rapidly changing context. Guided by a noble purpose, they develop a flexible and resilient mindset that makes them act and lead with wisdom–and become more influential leaders.

To move from a smart leader perspective to a wise leader perspective, start by seeing the world differently. Here are six ways to do it.

Become aware of your limitations and transcend them.
Senior managers at Allianz Global Investors, a global asset management company, attended a workshop called Dialogue in the Dark, led by visually impaired trainers who conducted the entire workshop in total darkness. The goal of this experiential learning program was to shift leaders’ perspectives by making them aware of their limitations, while increasing empathy for others. What is your biggest limitation of today? How did you get to have it and how do you plan to transcend it?

Learn from desperation and spark epiphanies.
High desperation can spark epiphanies, so pay attention to what your next crisis has to teach you about perspective. While in a WWII German concentration camp for three years, Victor Frankl realized one day that although the Nazis could torture his body, they had zero control over his mind or spirit. This empowering shift in perspective helped him survive and then to inspire his fellow prisoners to take control of their own mindset. What is the fear, high desperation, that you are attempting to run away from? How do you pay attention to it so that you can walk through the other side of desperation and discover something very new?

Act on inspiration from talks or books.
The CEO of a well-known tech firm attended a talk on service-oriented organizations, including the generosity-driven Karma Kitchen, where anyone can eat for free in exchange for committing to volunteer in the restaurant in the future. He was so inspired by the talk that he acted completely out of character and drove straight to the hospital to spend four hours at the bedside of his 80-year-old neighbor. When did you last get inspired by a talk or a book? What actions did you take?

Take an extreme turn–out of your comfort zone.
Getting outside your comfort zone is a quick way to experience leadership from a new perspective. In early 2000, while awaiting the court decision in the antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, Bill Gates decided to step down as chief executive and focus on his passion for software. This jolted his perspective, and that same year, Gates and his wife established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, taking his leadership in an important new direction. Where is it that you are holding on to an old and unworkable mindset? What extreme step you can take to experience and lead yourself differently?

Ditch your old glasses and look through fresh eyes.
Sometimes, shifting one’s perspective is as simple as really seeing what’s in front of you. When Alan Mulally took over as CEO of Ford, the company was losing market share and facing deep losses because of increased competition and globalization. One day, when walking through the Ford parking lot at Detroit headquarters, Mulally suddenly noticed the hodgepodge of Ford brands that had no common attributes in shape or style. This moment of clear-sightedness led to Ford’s trimming its bloated portfolio of 97 models to just 20, selling off Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin in the process, and focusing on smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. What do you need to ‘unlearn and let go’ so that increased focus on what you have could make you very effective and successful?

Pursue unlikely connections and look for odd juxtapositions.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Venkataswamy, or Dr. V, created a revolutionary approach to curing blindness in India by studying McDonald’s. He was able to develop a high-efficiency, standardized, repeatable business model that organized patients in operating rooms and broke the procedure down into a series of discrete processes so that nurses and doctors could quickly move from one patient to the next. His company, Aravind, is now the largest eye care provider in the world. What unlikely metaphors and connections can help you come up with an innovative mental model and a business model for your work?

* * * * *
Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou are coauthors of the upcoming book From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom (Jossey-Bass, April 2013). Kaipa is a CEO advisor and coach and a senior fellow at the Indian School of Business. Radjou is an independent strategy consultant. Both based in Silicon Valley, they write popular blogs for HBR.com, speak and consult internationally, have been featured prominently in the national business media, and are esteemed thought leaders in the field of leadership development and innovation. Learn more at http://www.fromsmarttowise.com/.

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5 Reasons you should update your resume – even if you are not searching for a job

By Matt Krumrie
Resumesbymatt.com

A job seeker contacted me last week. We had talked a while back, but he decided he just wasn’t ready to update his resume. He wanted to wait until he was ready, he said. Understandable, life is busy, so I figured he would contact me when the time was right.

But this time, he was frantic, and needed a resume – and  he needed it fast. Why? Because his dream job had opened up, he just found out about it and the deadline to submit resumes was in two days. He had not updated his resume in 4 years, since he was hired in his current role. Not only that, he didn’t really keep track of any of his successes and accomplishments in his current job, so he was almost in panic mode . Through some hard work, digging on both of our parts and communication back and forth, we got the resume in on time. Crisis averted. And in this case I actually knew the recruiter too, so he was able to get an interview set up because he not only applied through the company system, but was able to contact the  recruiter directly and they were impressed with his matching background and the glowing recommendation I put forth on his behalf. The lesson was learned though, updating a resume now can help out in more ways than you realize later.

Here is how and why:

1. Stress reduction: There is nothing like panic setting in when that dream job opens up and you are not ready to apply. It doesn’t even have to be a dream job – just a better job, or for some who are unemployed or underemployed – that new job they are hoping to apply to. With an existing, updated resume, all one has to do is make a few tweaks to direct it to that job and focus on networking instead of updating the resume.

2. More time to network: Notice the last statement in the above paragraph “more time to network.” If you have followed anything I write in the Star Tribune Jobs section, you will see I am a huge advocate of networking. Anytime a resume client contacts me, I ask him or her how they are networking, who they are contacting and what they are doing to reach out to people. A good resume – backed by a strong networking plan is what is needed in today’s job market. Here’s the problem though, without an updated resume, you can’t network, because you are not prepared when that colleague, former boss, recruiter or HR person says “send me an updated copy of your resume.” By this time, five other qualified candidates have already sent in their resume and are on that hiring manager’s radar. Be ready in advance by updating your resume now.

3. Skills update: Notice how the client I referenced above didn’t keep track of his skills and achievements? By updating your resume now, you are forced to look at what you have done in your current role. What new skills have you added? What additional training have you completed? What big projects did you work on? What new products did you launch? How about that promotion? What awards did you win? How have you succeeded as a manager? The list goes on. Updating your resume forces you to update and look into all those important items to be added to the new resume.

4. Fill in the skill gaps: By updating your resume now, it also covers another important step. It allows you to analyze your current skills and accomplishments and compare it to what is needed or asked for in job descriptions related to your field. For every job you are interested in, look at the job requirement, skills needed and background needed. Does your background fit? I mean, does it really fit or are you just pretending it fits because you really want the job? Are you missing key technical skills? Key leadership experience? Do you need to take on new projects to develop those skills? Are you short a few years of experience? Do you need more education? Are you missing the computer skills? An updated resume can help you fill in the missing pieces – before you want to apply for that job.

5. Confidence: If your resume is updated, you feel more confident in your job search. Why? Because you have a better understanding of what you have accomplished and how your skills, achievements and experiences can benefit and match the needs of the next employer. Your confidence will shine through when you network, whether it’s in person, over the phone or via email – a more confident you will improve your professional image and make you stand out among your more sheepish, less prepared and intimidated peers.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. The best time to prepare for the next job, or that dream job, is when you have a job. Get ahead of the game and get ahead of your competition. Update your resume today, launch a successful job search tomorrow.

Want to update your resume now? Contact mattkrum@yahoo.com or learn more about how Matt Krumrie can help you write your resume.

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