When I went to the post office this week, I had to firmly grip my steering wheel with both hands as my car wanted to turn down the street to the shopping mall — all by itself! Seriously, I wanted…
The buzz among hard workers today is that they’re exhausted and ready to make a career change in 2013. Are you one of them? Here are a few tips to help you move forward: 1. Know what you want in…
Here's a great way to network better, uncover more job leads — and get hired.
Because it's a true guerrilla job search tip, you won't find it in any traditional job search book.
Instead, you'll find it in The Little Black Book of Connections, by Jeffrey Gitomer. He's a favorite of both David and myself.
Gitomer says that the key to making good networking connections is to start with your own. "Your lawyer knows other lawyers. Your accountant knows other accountants. And they both know all of their clients and can potentially leverage your position with a third-party introduction," writes Gitomer.
What does this mean for you? If you introduce the professionals in your network to each other, you can leverage the resulting good will to find new job leads.
Example: Introduce your banker to your lawyer, or your accountant to a friend who owns a small business. They will all thank you … and be more likely to introduce you to decision makers who can hire you.
Action Steps: Why not get on the phone today and set up one lunch or coffee meeting for later this week? Matchmaking like this can increase the value of your network exponentially — and get you hired.
- Kevin Donlin
Co-Author, Guerrilla Resumes
For me, Mark's story is an inspiration for Career Mavericks everywhere demonstrating that good guys do win.
In a breathless résumé spanning 33 years, his changing interests and passions have led him to work variously as an auto mechanic, scuba diver, salesman, retailer, venture capitalist and manager in a municipal government business development agency.
It's a story that might entice a literary agent more
If you think this is a lot of wasted effort, think again.
It’s possible — even common, given the blizzard of resumes most employer get — for the hiring manager to never receive your resume, even if you follow the instructions in their want ad or online job posting.
And if they don’t get your resume, how can you get an interview?
So, keep this in mind each time you contact an employer to follow up on your resume — you’re doing them a big favor. After all, why would they spend all that time reading resumes and interviewing people if they didn’t want to hear from every qualified candidate, especially you?
This happened two weeks ago to a client of mine, whom we’ll call Stacey.
She faxed her resume to a Fortune 500 company in Bloomington, Minn., to apply for a job she was eminently qualified for. But she never heard back. After three days, she called to ask if they had any questions about her resume.
Surprise! They never got her resume.
Stacey sent it again, this time by email. And she was called for an interview. Which would have NEVER happened if she hadn’t taken two minutes to call and follow up.
Action Step: Trust, but verify. Send your resume with the expectation that it will be read by the right person. Then call to make sure that it actually was.
How would a busy recruiter react to your resume? Would it make the “A” pile, or get tossed into the “round file” (i.e., the trash)?
To find out, I interviewed Victoria Potter, an experienced recruiter from Edina, Minn.-based Princeton Search Group (www.princetonsearch.com).
She reads nearly 300 resumes every week and has plenty to say about the good, the bad and the really bad.
Get a towel — her views may hit you like a dash of cold water in the face. Especially if your resume makes one of the following common mistakes …
Resume Mistake #1: A Sputtering Start
The average Internet job posting online produces an average response of 200-300 resumes, according to Potter.
So if you want to get from the bottom of that pile to the top, your resume had better open with a bang. Unfortunately, most don’t.
“Only about 5-10 of the 300 resumes I read each week really grab me. The rest are bunk,” says Potter.
Potter likes a clear objective at top of each resume, so she can quickly figure out if it’s worth her time to read further. “The words must strike me. This is not a dress rehearsal – you get only one chance to get into the head of the hiring authority,” she says.
Solution: Remember that the purpose of the first line of your resume is … to compel readers to go to the second line. And so on, and so on.
Your whole resume, but especially the first few lines, should answer this question: Why should I call you for an interview?
Resume Mistake #2: Lack Of Focus
“I hate reading an entire two-page resume and having no idea what the candidate does or what kind of job they seek,” says Potter.
This can happen when your resume tries to be all things to all people. If you list 10-20 areas of expertise, for example, you’re making it hard for readers to figure out what you truly excel at, because it’s impossible to do 20 things well. So don’t list them all on your resume.
“An unclear resume means I can’t get that candidate in the door – it’s as simple as that,” says Potter.
Solution: Give your resume to a neighbor or friend outside of work and ask them to read it. Then ask them two questions: 1) “What have I done before?” and 2) “What kind of job do I want next?” If they can answer clearly, fine. If not, revise the wording until your resume is focused.
Resume Mistake #3: Not Enough Information
“You’ve got to back up what you say in your resume with your work history and with evidence – specific facts and figures,” says Potter.
If you don’t prove your case, wary employers and recruiters often move on to other candidates – even if you are qualified for the job.
Want an example?
“I got a resume from a candidate who used one paragraph to describe 16 years at one company. That’s not enough. There must be more stories and achievements there,” advises Potter.
Solution: Never assume the reader knows what you do on the job. If you’re a project manager, for example, describe your most important initiative. How long did id take? Did you make deadline? What were the specific results?
Resume Mistake #4: Too Much Information
You can also hurt your chances by submitting a resume that rambles on for more than two pages or is stuffed with irrelevant information.
“If you’re applying for a position as a sales manger, for example, the bartending position or the summer job at Dairy Queen should come out of your resume,” says Potter.
Solution: Know what to omit from your resume. Every word, every sentence, should build a case for employers to call you over all other candidates. When in doubt, revise or leave out. The aim of your resume is to make the phone ring, not to tell your life story.
Best of luck to you!