3 Tips To Help You Find Your Dream Job

  1. Use a Professional Resume Writing Service

A professionally written resume makes you 38% more likely to be contacted, 31% more likely to get an interview, and 40% more likely to land the job. You can also earn up to $5,000 more per year. The main advantage is getting around the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that most employers use to scan resumes. The ATS scans your resume and searches for specific keywords and phrases as they relate to the job qualifications. If the ATS doesn’t see the right ones on your resume, it might not even be seen by an actual person. TopResume has professional resume writers that know exactly how ATS works and how to craft a top quality resume.

2. Tell a Story in Your Cover Letter When Applying

Too often, people use their cover letters to just explain their resume in greater detail, but that’s not what a cover letter is about. It’s a way for you to tell a story about your career and specify why you would be a great match for the particular position you’re applying for. If you don’t research the company thoroughly and specify why you would be a good fit for the company, it may seem like you don’t understand the culture. I personally was never the strongest writer, so I struggled a bit with this. Luckily TopResume also offers a service that will write your cover letter for you. I reached out and told them about my career journey and they helped me turn it into an intriguing cover letter story. I never would have been able to come up with that on my own.

3. Take Advantage of LinkedIn During Your Job Search

These days, your LinkedIn profile is almost as important as your resume, if not more. Not only do most employers check your LinkedIn page after you apply for the job, LinkedIn itself is a great way to find a job. I tried to keep my LinkedIn profile as up to date as possible while working at my last job, but like my resume, I just never found the time to do it properly. Once again though, TopResume hooked me up, by rewriting my entire LinkedIn profile to make sure it was different than my resume. After that, I was having way more success getting responses from places I applied to, and I even started to see more recruiters reach out to me about jobs.

No one likes writing their resumes, and figuring out how to sell themselves to potential employers. Some people are naturally good at it. For those of us that aren’t, these tips and TopResume can make a huge difference. They certainly did for me.

Source: TrueSelf.com

LinkedIn Profile for Students and Recent Graduates

A resume or cover letter are important documents to have when applying for jobs. Networking is key to meet other professionals in the career you seeking while in college or after graduation. Creating a LinkedIn profile is very important to highlight your experience, education, and skills that will make you more marketable. Below is a LinkedIn profile checklist to get you jump started on your career path!

☐  PHOTO: It doesn’t have to be fancy; just use your cell phone camera in front of a plain background. Wear a nice shirt and don’t forget to smile!

☐   HEADLINE: Tell people what you’re excited about now and the cool things you went to do in the future.

☐   SUMMMARY: Describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, and what’s next.

☐   EXPERIENCE: List the jobs you held, even if they were part-time, along with what you accomplished at each. Even include photos and videos from your work.

☐   ORGANIZATIONS: Have you joined any clubs at school or outside? Be sure to describe what you did with each organization.

☐   EDUCATION: Starting with college, list all the educational experiences you’ve had including summer programs.

☐   VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES & CAUSES: Even if you weren’t paid for a job, be sure to list it. Admissions officers and employers often see volunteer experience as just as valuable as paid work.

☐   SKILLS & EXPERTISE: Add at least 5 key skills and then your connections can endorse you for the things you’re best at.

☐   HONORS & AWARDS: If you earned a prize in or out of school, don’t be shy. Let the world know about it.

☐   COURSES: List that show off the skills and interests you’re most excited about.

☐   PROJECTS: Whether you led a team assignment in school or built an app on your own, talk about what you did and how you did it.

☐   RECOMMENDATIONS: Ask managers, professors, or classmates who’ve worked with you closely to write a recommendation. This gives extra credibility to your strengths and skills.

Source: LinkedIn

@davidsfountainofthought

How to Ace the Top 7 Most Common Interview Questions

Applicants should be prepared to answer all sorts of different questions during a job interview. After all, employers are known for throwing in curveball questions to catch prospective employees off guard and gauge how they react. Do you know what you would say if someone interviewing you asked, “What sort of animal would you be?” or “Design a spice rack for the blind,” or “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”

Probably not.

For you, employers tend to stick to the basics when it comes to interviewing candidates. Here are the seven most common interview questions and how to ace them.

1. “Tell me about yourself.”

This is the notoriously vague question you’ll get in some form or fashion on your next job interview. This question is one of the many reasons that I insist all of my clients have an elevator pitch prepared—a two to three minute introduction that highlights your experience and ends with a goal statement that clearly indicates the position and field you’re in the market for. An elevator pitch will not only help you during network events and other professional interactions, it’s the ideal way to attack this question.

2. “Why are you leaving your current position?”

Best to tackle this one by being as honest and quick as possible without being negative about your current employer (side note: don’t be negative about any employer). Don’t over explain. The goal is to quickly share what you learned, what was missing for you (without descending into negativity), and why you’re excited to get that need or skill set met in your next role. If you mention that you are making a shift in your career or pursuing different challenges, be specific about what those changes are and how the role you’re interviewing for will fulfill that.

3. “What type of salary are you looking for?”

First off, never walk into an interview without a strategy to talk compensation. Before you’re in an interview, research the salaries of employees in your industry who hold positions similar to yours. Come up with a salary range that you’re looking for, but never be the first to say a number. The first person to give a number always loses. If they press you, insist that you’re flexible and more interested in finding the right fit. Last resort, if they still won’t give a number first, tell them the range you’re looking for, but that you’re negotiable.

4. “Why are you interested in this job/working for this company?”

Be prepared to give specific answers about why you want this job and why you think you’ll be good at it. Research the organization ahead of time and discuss something about the company that requires more than just a 10 minute Google search to find out. Brownie points if you can share some ideas that you’d bring into the role — if they’re open to hearing them. Focus on the actual work you’ll be doing and not on other factors like benefits or salary or work schedule.

5. “Tell me your greatest strength.”

This is your big chance to brag, so take it by the reins. Pick a skill that is relevant to the job you’re interviewing for based upon the research you’ve done. Emphasize how you used that skill to succeed in your current or former role, and try to share that gift through the words of someone else. For example, did your last boss tell you that you’re great with details? It’s more powerful to share your gifts through the words of others. Describe how you plan to use that skill in the role you’re interviewing for if given the chance.

6. “Tell me your greatest weakness.”

This one can be tough if you’re caught off guard, but if you plan ahead, it’s a breeze. Pick a weakness you’ve been working on. Tell the interviewer how it has challenged you in the past, and explain to them steps that you have taken to improve this weakness. Lastly, give them a specific example of how you have improved this weakness by actively working on it.

7. “Do you have any questions for us?”

Never, never, never say no! The interviewer wants someone who seems interested and engaged, so go into the interview a handful of insightful questions that you’ve thought of ahead of time. The interviewer is likely to answer at least some of your questions during the interview, so having a few prepared ahead of time will mean you’ll likely have at least one that you can still ask. An incredible question to always ask is: what does success look like in this role?

Job interviews can be the most stressful part of job searching, as they are high-stakes interactions. The slightest trip-up can kill your chances at a job you may be perfect for. But with the right about of planning and preparation, you’ll have no doubt that you’re prepared for the challenge and ready for anything.

Good luck on your next job interview!

Source: Ashley Stahl, Cake Publishing

Do You Have These Critical Soft Skills

The Hiring Formula for Success offers a means to fully understand how the non-technical and fit factors impact a person’s ability and motivation to achieve results. It’s important to recognize that ability without fit is the primary cause of underperformance, dissatisfaction and excessive turnover. As important is the recognition that it’s what people have accomplished with their skills that’s important, not the amount or list of skills themselves.

Here are the most hiring mistakes attributed to the non-technical factors:

  • A mismatch between the hiring manager’s style and the new hire’s need for management and coaching.
  • Lack of intrinsic motivation or full commitment to do the actual work required. Ability to do the work is far different than motivation to do it.
  • Lack of fit with the pace of the organization. The pressure to perform is a primary factor defining a company’s culture and a person’s likelihood of success.
  • Lack of fit with how decisions are made and how work is accomplished. This is another aspect of what company culture looks like on-the-job.
  • Lack of fit with the team. Much of this relates to the new hire’s inability to collaborate cross-functionally coupled with the lack of appreciation for the needs of others.
  • An inability for the new hire to properly manage and organize his/her work properly. This is true whether the person is an individual contributor or a manager.
  • For management roles, in addition to the above, it’s an inability to build, manage and develop the team assigned.

Labeling these factors collectively as “soft skills” minimizes their importance since without them people will underperform. Despite this, too many interviewers focus too much on the person’s technical ability – the so-called “hard skills” – and not enough on the factors that actually determine on-the-job performance.

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 3.09.44 PM.pngDespite the challenge, it is possible to assess all of these non-technical factors by using The Hiring Formula for Success relationship shown in the graphic. Simply stated, “The ability to do the work in relation to fit drives motivation and ultimately performance.”

The performance-based interview described in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired has been built on this concept. The process starts by rethinking the job description as a series of key performance objectives (KPOs) embedding the required hard and “soft skills” into a series of outcomes. For example, rather than saying a person must have a specific degree, specific experience and be results-oriented, it’s better to say something like, “Complete the XZY project within 120 days under tight budget and schedule constraints.”

Here’s the basic process:

First, conduct a comprehensive work history review. Going step-by-step through the person’s background determines general fit for the role on a scope and scale basis and if the person possesses the Achiever Pattern. This indicates if the person is in the top tier of his/her peer group.

Second, ask the Most Significant Accomplishment question for each performance objective. By digging into the person’s major accomplishments most related to the KPOs of the open role it’s possible to assess all of the factors shown in the graphic. The trend of growth over time is an important indicator of potential.

Third, ask a realistic problem-solving question. This is not a hypothetical question. It must address a real problem the person is likely to face on the job taking the form of, “What would you need to do to address this challenge (describe) we’re currently facing?” The purpose of this question is to understand the process the person uses to figure out a solution, not the actual solution. Using a give-and-take format this process reveals the candidate’s planning, problem-solving, creative and strategic thinking skills.

As part of the Performance-based Hiring learning programs we suggest that each interviewer be assigned a narrow role focusing on just one or two of the non-technical factors. While each interviewer will ask a similar major accomplishment question, it will be prefaced with something like, “I’ve been assigned to assess your project management skills. Can you give me an example of a major recent accomplishment you believe best demonstrates your ability in this critical area?” It takes about 15 minutes of fact-finding and peeling the onion (i.e., asking all of the who, when, what, where, why and how questions) to fully understand the accomplishment and make the comparison to the actual performance objectives of the job. To increase overall assessment accuracy, it’s best if the interviewers share their evidence using a summary form similar to this Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard.

Check out Performance-based Hiring learning programs for more information.

Source: Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group

 

My Last Reenlistment into Navy

On August 3, 2019 I reenlisted back into the Navy Reserves after successfully reaching 20 years of Naval service. I intend to retire from Naval service in 2023 to pursue a new career. Here are the the pictures that capture my moment during and after ceremony.

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