Crucial Job Search Tools Every Executive Needs
If you have been in a C-Suite position for some time, it is quite likely that you have spent years building the company’s brand and even spent a little time developing your own. If you find yourself in the position of having lost employment or are looking for an environment change, you are going to need to upgrade your online brand presence. Here are the essential elements you will need to embrace to make your executive job search much more effective.
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” – Tom Peters in Fast Company
Re-Evaluate Your LinkedIn Profile
You want to make sure that your profile is up to date and utilizing all of the best practices for the platform to increase your visibility. Make sure that any recruiters or potential employers can easily reach you by including your contact in your summary. Make sure you’ve included a professional profile picture and a detailed chronological résumé for your profile.
You can use the introduction section to highlight the opportunities you are seeking and why your exemplary track record makes you perfect for the job. Make sure your privacy protections are set so that anyone can see your profile. Get busy writing useful, informative blogs –sharing links to others articles are not enough. Join in forums related to your industry and share your insights. Actively engage with the LinkedIn community to optimize your online networking options. Remember to attempt to engage across a few social media platforms for maximum impact.
Revamp Your Elevator Pitch
You have 30 seconds to make a lasting impression. You have years of experience, and you might be tempted to want to unpack your expertise in an hour-long presentation. That will come later. Give yourself only one question to answer, “What do you want to do going forward?” You want to rehearse your answer so that it covers where your expertise lies and what opportunities you are seeking in your next job. Keep your elevator pitch clear, confident and succinct. Don’t let your audience glaze over in boredom or confusion. Keep them captivated and engaged for 30 seconds. It’s the length of an advert. It’s your personal advert.
Sing It from the Rooftops
Be bold and brazen. Let the world know you are actively seeking a new position. Utilize the network you have created over the last years to spread the word that you are on the job market again and eager to wrestle new challenges. Be clear about what opportunities you are looking for so that you don’t get swamped with suggestions or offers that don’t match your vision for the next phase of your career. Send out your announcements to business associates, family, and friends. Although the tone of the messages might need to be slightly different between professional contacts and personal ones.
Activate Your Networking Giant Within
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” Christine Comaford-Lynch
Yes, you have alerted everyone you can think of about your job search, but one mass email is not going to cut it. Having pushed send doesn’t mean you can kick back, relax and wait for the offers to roll in. Pick up the phone to influential colleagues in the industry with the express aim of meeting them in person. If you do get an appointment –keep it short (20 minutes), do your pitch, engage in brainstorming with the person for any new contacts they could introduce you to and ask them to keep you in mind for any possible jobs that could be in development. Stay in contact with them after the meeting on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, so you are top of mind. Always send a thank you message. Remember that there is a “hidden” job market where many jobs might never be publicized and by connecting with effective networking will put you onto this radar.
Target Your Ideal Company
You need to spend time targeting these companies by finding out the right person in the organization to contact. You are not just going to go to their website and look for any open positions (which you can also do), but it is more about using your networking skills to get a foot in the door. They might not have a job for you at the moment, but you would have made an impression with your proactive approach, and if something comes up, you are likely to get a call. It’s time-consuming but highly effective.
A Few More Tips…
- Keep active in volunteer programs. It keeps you busy, you meet new people, and you have a great answer to the question, “what have you been doing recently?”
- Prepare yourself for tough interview questions. Find strong answers to all of the questions you hope you are never asked.
- If you are struggling to find a position in your industry, perhaps it’s time to broaden your horizons and move into a different career?
- Create a playbook to attract top recruiters. This should include sharing insights, opinions and original content across many channels.
- Investigate all relevant job boards but ensure that your résumé is going to get through the Applicant Tracking System software. This means you are going to need to rework your résumé.
Executive Résumé Resuscitation
If you want to make sure that your résumé gets through the job board ATS or is in a more modern format, it might be time to hire a professional résumé writer. You want to ensure that it emphasizes your quantitative results, provides a detailed description of each of your previous employers, shows the size of your staff as well as your budget responsibilities.
If you want your résumé to truly stand out and capture your experience and expertise, let us assist you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Respected Résumés has 20 years’ experience in the field, producing more than 100,000 résumés. We have a 93% success rate in obtaining interviews
Looking To Change Careers? Read These Essential Tips
“If you don’t feel it, flee from it. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” – Paul F. Davis
Are you feeling bored and stuck in your current career? Perhaps you are feeling bored by the particular routine of your work day? There could be a multitude of reasons why you are looking to change your career but whatever they are, you have made the decision. While changing careers can seem like a daunting process to undertake, switching careers and industries can yield massive dividends.
Executives often lack advancement opportunities in their positions and should take stock of what they want to achieve in the long run. Breaking into a new career can take you to a higher level where your skill set and personal aspirations can be effectively realized. Embarking on a new career could give your personal and professional life a real boost. So what are the tactics you will need to employ to facilitate a smooth career transition?
Playing Catch Up
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
Once you have decided on the industry or role you would like to pursue, you will have to start doing intensive research to learn everything you can about it. You have already spent years nurturing your current career and you will have to put in the hours to catch up on the trends defining your desired industry.
You will need to know everything about the products, services, customers, metrics etc. to be able to make a convincing lateral move. You want to learn all about the new industries challenges, opportunities, key players, workplace culture, industry-specific terms, and buzzwords as well as the news impacting this sector. This will all translate to being able to converse easily with any executive you might encounter at the new company where you will be able to express your opinion like an insider.
In your current position, you spent years becoming a networking specialist, aggressively marketing yourself and learning every inch of your environment. Now those same skills can be applied to the search for your new job. Having an extensive amount of information about your new career will convince a potential employer that you are not a “newbie” but someone who brings a wealth of skills, enthusiasm, and character to the party.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
You will need to rework your résumé to make it a more skills-based account of your career to date. You must steer clear of highlighting the obvious contrast between your old career and the new one you are wishing to embrace. You’re looking to show the areas of commonality between your experience and the new position.
Begin the process by taking stock of your accomplishments. Make sure you look for examples that could be applicable to your new career job search. Then use them as the basis for your updated résumé. The next phase will see you targeting the industries where there appears to be solid growth forecast in the future and where you feel you will be challenged and inspired. You might be in for a longer executive job search when you shift careers and you should be prepared for this potentially slower process.
Your Networking Net Worth
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
When you have determined the companies you would most like to work in you can start networking by joining organizations where you can interact with potential contacts at trade shows and conferences. You can also investigate which small to midsize companies are looking to expand their leadership teams and present yourself as the ideal candidate. However, you do not want to join a company where they have a high level of executive turnover as this volatility does not bode well for your longevity there. You can also engage in consulting work in your new chosen industry which will show your willingness to make this career change as well as opening you up to other networking possibilities.
This is also the ideal time to upgrade your social media skills to add new contacts to your LinkedIn network. Improve your online profile and make sure it contains referrals from other professionals. You can increase your visibility via writing guest articles, posting relevant links about the issues facing the industry and engage in forums to immerse yourself in your new career path. You have met a large number of people during your career and this puts you far ahead of the twenty something group just entering the job market. Be ready to show your vigor, enthusiasm and boundless energy in the interview so the potential employers can see you are still raring to go!
A Career-Changing Résumé
As you embark on this radical change, your résumé will need to employ a certain amount of flexibility. Using a skills-based executive summary to confront any background discrepancies and position yourself as a highly skilled individual that can match the essence of the job description. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile picture and biography.
Changing careers means your résumé must be attention grabbing. If you are struggling with matching your skill set to your new chosen career path, let us assist you. We can help you with a comprehensive skill-based rewrite that could use mixed formats, demonstrate achievements with numbers, include relevant keywords and relate to the job descriptions you are currently applying for via job boards. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Respected Résumés has 20 years’ experience in the field, producing more than 100,000 résumés. We have a 93% success rate in obtaining interviews.
Increase Productivity and Stay Motivated at Work
Are you feeling a little lethargic or slightly bored at the office? Is it becoming harder to plow through your to-do list? Do you feel like you are falling behind in your daily tasks? Are you only doing the bare minimum that is required of you? Yes? Well, you might need to change your “spark” plugs. We all need some fine tuning and overhauling from time to time to get our motivation engines operating at full speed.
“Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou
Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try. (Yoda)
Everyone has a different approach to self-motivation but we can often be energized by the good habits we form. For Sarah Robb O’ Hagan, President of Equinox, it’s exercising first thing in the morning to be in the right mindset before you actually walk into the office. For Deepak Chopra it’s engaging in meditation practice. If you’re Warren Buffett you’re reading 500 pages a day. Jack Dorsey (CEO of twitter) spends Sundays in self-reflection and reviews the past week and if you’re a Marc Zuckerberg type –you’re learning new things that are not necessarily related to your job.
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” —Vincent van Gogh
When you are coming up with your own motivational habit forming actions, you need to self-analyze and look at what has worked for you in the past and what is currently not serving you. For example, you must get enough hours of sleep to be able to function optimally at work. If you are constantly tired, no amount of motivational self-talk is going to get you through the demands of the day. While you want to aim for a great work/life balance, you might need to curb an ongoing penchant for late night socializing or you need to seriously tackle a stress related insomnia issue.
Basically, ask the question, “Am I operating optimally on a mental, physical, emotional and inspirational level?” By doing a self-audit you can look at what blocks or challenges are draining energy away from your commitments at work. Your attitude is key to the way your day is going to turn out.
“If you wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.” Elon Musk
Ingredients for a Motivational Sandwich
Here is a possible workplace motivational TO DO List:
- Decide to adopt the most positive attitude you can muster. Spread your joy. Emotions are contagious and will energize those around you as well.
- Set habit forming goals. When you take the time to put energy into deciding on your goals, they automatically set off a Rube Goldberg Machine of possible knock-on actions. Repeat the action every day until it is a habit that serves your highest goals and keeps you motivated.
- Spend more time with motivated, go-getter, courageous career warriors. You’ve heard the famous quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
- Put yourself first. Not in an arrogant, self-obsessed way but keeping yourself healthy by ensuring your needs are met and that you are taking enough time for self-development. i.e. don’t live your job 24/7 –when you go home, switch off and refuel.
- Remember to congratulate yourself for a job well done. When you achieve something wonderful at work take a moment to praise yourself. Just pause, and take a mental moment to honor your hard work and excellent results.
- Connect with colleagues. Actively engage with your co-workers over coffee or lunch. When your energy level is flagging you can draw on these relationships to keep you motivated. You will be doing the same for them.
- Break through a barrier. You can push yourself to go a little further. We have incredible reserves of stamina and inspiration, we just need to ignite them. When we get complacent and veg out in our comfort zones, we can end up losing our motivational momentum. There is nothing like giving yourself a challenge to push your professional limits, to get you out of your lazy, lethargic abyss.
- Create your end of the day “I am a total rock star” list. When the end of the work day approaches, take a moment to look at what you managed to do during the day. Make a list of the completed tasks you aced and leave the office feeling like a legend. You’ve got enough motivation to bring you back the next day ready to continue your legendary efforts.
- Remind yourself that you make a difference. Sometimes we can feel like we’re on a treadmill of never-ending tasks. But allow yourself the opportunity to look at how what you do makes a massive difference to the organization. Recognize the impact you are making and how you fit into the bigger picture. You are part of a beautiful mosaic.
- Unclutter your workspace. Get organized and create a calm, clean, uncluttered environment –your actions will follow suit. Your lack of motivation could be tied to feeling overwhelmed by “stuff.”
- Arm wrestle your procrastination. Don’t let putting things off get the better of you. Face this self-discipline failure head on and just begin already.
- Embrace deadlines. Set them. Meet them. Stay in the zone and banish distractions.
- Choose the best outcome for yourself. Choose to be successful. See yourself excelling at your highest potential and go there. Visualize the best for yourself!
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci
Yes, sometimes the workplace culture could be contributing to the sense of stagnation and if that is the case, make some suggestions for how to reinvigorate the environment for the benefit of all. Make sure you are bringing a bit of fun into your workplace. It keeps everyone happy. Remind yourself daily of your strong characteristics and excellent skill set. Personal excellence beats flagging motivation every day of the week! And if all else fails, try Amy Cuddy’s power posing option.
Get Motivated to Give Your Résumé a Boost
You might have been putting off tackling your résumé upgrade or even creating one from scratch. We can help you to find the motivation to create a career changing résumé. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here– we would love to hear from you.
Respected Résumés has 20 years’ experience in the field, producing more than 100,000 résumés. We have a 93% success rate in obtaining interviews.
Essential Networking Tips for Navigating New Connections
There is a networking event coming up, and the mere thought of it has you reaching for comfort food while trying to calm your rising panic attack? There is going to be a crowd of strangers in a room dancing around each other while sampling finger foods, and you have to jump into conversation, putting the best version of yourself out there to build a network. It can seem an insurmountable task particularly if you lean more towards an introvert personality. Whatever the reason you have for attending the event –to grow your business or find a new job, you want to come out the other side feeling energized and inspired having made a few genuine connections. And here’s how you do it.
Create Your Personal Networking Strategy Ahead of Time
Having a plan to help you navigate through, what you perceive to be an anxiety making endeavor, will give you the security blanket that will make the whole process much easier. Start off by setting yourself a clear objective. You don’t want to arrive and just wander around aimlessly hoping to bump into the right people. What is the outcome you would like to achieve?
Perhaps you decide that you would like to have engaging conversations with at least five people. Whatever you choose, it must constitute a clear plan on your part. Also, remind yourself of your own great attributes you could share with new people who come into your universe. Jot down your talents and skill sets as well as what connections or solutions you can offer others before you head to the event.
Decide on the higher purpose of this particular event. It’s not about getting others to take your business card or you theirs, but rather relationship building for the long run. What will an authentic, engaging connection with a new person bring to your company or your life? Give yourself a higher goal and imagine yourself the activist working for the greater good of your company and your clients (or yourself).
You can also do some research about possible speakers or other attendees at the event and get familiar with what they are currently involved in and how you might be able to offer them a connection, an introduction or a service that would be beneficial to them. This information just gives you some conversation starters to draw on to avoid any awkwardness in the first few moments of meeting.
“The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.” – Bob Burg
Be the Connector
Give yourself one overall goal for every event: “Let me see how I can help or give value to others in the room.” With that simple order, you have your mission laid out, and you can start facilitating connections. You are not there to “sell” yourself; you are building relationships. You want to be able to allow yourself to sincerely listen to the other person and show genuine interest in what they are saying. You don’t have to launch into your own elevator pitch; you only have to ask questions that allow the other person to tell you their story. Why did they come to the event? What industry are they currently working in and what do they love about their job?
If the connection is enjoyable and easy, you can extend the questions to more personal ones about family and personal interests. We all like talking about ourselves and our passions. If you can get someone to open up and share their life narrative, you are excelling at networking. When your attention is firmly placed on the other person and less on yourself –you will be thought of as the most captivating, interesting person in the room. A real connector.
“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” – Keith Ferrazzi
Once you have heard the other party’s story, you can add in some of your own that resonate or align with what they have told you –looking for places where you naturally connect. When you meet other people, you will immediately see how they could benefit from meeting someone you met earlier. You might be in the position to assist each party by introducing them. You are now really adding genuine value to people without ever having made your own sales pitch. You are making a lasting impression through linking people at the event.
The success of this tactic does lie in your ability to be a real listener. When you talk less, you can focus on what the other person is saying and remember the details they are conveying. You are always listening to look for perfect ways to be of service to others in a traditionally stressful environment. Later you can make notes about what they chose to share with you which can form the foundation of the connection email you will send within 48 hours of the event.
“The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot. The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot. Thus, good schmoozer’s are good listeners, not good talkers.” – Guy Kawasaki
Quick Networking Tips & Tricks
- Find your nervous counterpart: There will definitely be someone just as nervous as you in the room. They could be standing alone wishing that the event was over already. Go up to them and put them at ease with a big smile and friendly ear.
- One at a time: Spend more time with fewer people, so you focus on the quality of the connection, not the quantity. You don’t have to get through the entire room and come away with every business card but not able to remember any one person clearly.
- Be a cluster buster: Don’t try and socialize in a group of people you know and ignore the rest of the room. Seek out those you don’t know and who are completely different from you to be able to truly expand your networking group and your own horizons.
- Story before pitch: Before you launch into business speak, make sure you have started to build a connection by sharing a personal story with the other person. Stories connect us. We are transformed by sharing our stories and helps us make connections of more substance.
- Arrive early to the event when there are only a few people, so it is not such a daunting task to start talking. You don’t have to face a large crowd initially and can slowly start striking up conversations.
- Everyone is important: Don’t dismiss anyone because you think they might be too low on their company’s food chain –you never know what kinds of connections people have in their companies.
“Networking is an enrichment program, not an entitlement program.” – Susan RoAne
Want to Make Sure Your Résumé is as Engaging as You Will Be?
If you want to follow up on any of the new relationships that might be in a position to offer you a job make sure your résumé is engaging too. We’ll spend quality time crafting a perfect résumé with you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Respected Résumés has 20 years’ experience in the field, producing more than 100,000 résumés. We have a 93% success rate in obtaining interviews.
How to Pass the Pre-Employment Personality Test
Sure Fire Winning Tip
We’ll be giving you some of our expert advice in this article on how to ace your pre-employment personality test but upfront we just want to put it out there…the most obvious route to success is to…BE YOURSELF!! You’re amazing, unique, exciting, adventurous –feel free to add in any brilliant personal characteristics of your beautiful self to the list. That being said, let’s look at how to bring all of your wonderful character traits to the fore in your “test.”
The Right Type
Sometimes employers are looking for a very particular personality type to suit the requirements of a specific job. They might be looking for an extrovert, outgoing person to fulfill a sales position and the test allows them to find a suitable match. It doesn’t mean your personality didn’t make it –your strengths could just be in another field which you would be much more suited to in the long run. Research which character traits are most aligned with the job you are applying for and look to yourself to find where in your life you most accurately inhabit those qualities.
The Pre-Test Test
You can’t study for these tests, unfortunately, but you can practice with sample tests to give you an idea where your strengths are residing and where your challenges are hiding. Make sure you always answer every question honestly. You don’t want to give elaborate, extreme answers to every question –it’s too much and totally unnecessary. You’re looking to display the most appropriate aspect of your personality that matches the question. Your answers must truly reflect your personality because if you get a job based on false information you might find that you are not able to meet the demands of the job.
If you try to give the “right” answer to every question it might indicate to the employer that you are trying to fake it until you make it. Their deception detection alarms will go off and the test will have beaten you. Sometimes the same question will be reworded and disguised slightly for the simple purpose of revealing untruthful answers. These are the tricky control questions. You must remember you are a human being so if you say you have never experienced envy you might be seen either as a robot, alien from outer space or untruthful. Consider the test failed.
Forget Woody Allen
Leave your over-analyzing Woody Allen brain at home. Overthinking answers by overanalyzing questions is going to leave you muddled and confused. The word “test” can unseat the most confident of souls and send your head racing into panicked thought spirals:
- “Will I come across as crazy?”
- “I am really nervous will this affect my score?”
- “Will I understand all of the questions?”
These fear-based revolving questions must be banished quickly so you don’t drown in your own negative thinking. You have passed many tests in your life –that is why you are sitting in the interview in the first place. Remember who you are, and be true to the glorious human being you have become.
Test The Waters
Before you get to the personality test make sure you have asked the employer questions about the company, the position, the type of person they see fulfilling the job and then show them the character traits you actually possess that meet their criteria. If you discover that the type of person, they are looking for is too far removed from your own personality then you will have uncovered that you might not actually want to do the job.
You are also conducting your own “test” of the company. The more you know about a company, from doing your research online, the more of an advantage you will have when it comes to questions about company culture. You will already have some idea of their workplace environment and can prepare to answer questions where you can match your relevant traits to the company culture.
Just be prepared that some of the forced choice tests (multiple choice) can be very long, many are over 100 questions. So be prepared for it. Make sure you arrive fresh, wide awake and clear headed. There are also free-choice assessments which give you the freedom to select the number of behavioral descriptors you like based on your personal preference. What you end up choosing is part of the “test.”
Whatever you do, don’t fake it. You really don’t want to land a job based on untruths. It’s not the greatest trampoline to jump to success. You are not going to be able to adapt your behavior to the imaginary person you presented in the faked answers. Bet on yourself every step of the way.
Give Your Résumé a Little More Personality
Before you can get to the stage of interviews and personality tests you have to first create a résumé that honestly reflects your personality, expertise, experience and skill set to make a powerful first impression. We can help you to bring out all of your most wonderful character traits in your well-worded résumé. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Negotiate The Salary You Deserve With These Tips
“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.” – Carrie Fisher
Salary negotiation can be one of the scariest aspects of your work life. Whether you are starting out in your first job, moving companies or looking for a raise – you have to go to the negotiating table prepared.
A survey conducted by Salary.com found that 37% of people always negotiate their salaries, 44% negotiate occasionally and 18% never ever negotiate, or have even brought up the subject. Companies expect you to negotiate your salary. How you engage in the process is also very telling for an employer as they can see your healthy self-worth in action and can get a first-hand example of how you will be negotiating for the company in the future. Those who decide not to negotiate at the first salary discussion could stand to lose an estimated $500,000 by the time they are 60.
In the U.S. the practice of bargaining is not part of the culture and people find it difficult to haggle for what they want. The employer is looking to hire you at the most cost effective salary and it is your job to raise that lower figure to one that is more in line with your skills and experience.
“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.” – Howard Baker
The Newbie Approach
Obviously, if you have years of experience and a massive skill set you might feel more confident in the negotiating process, but if you are fresh out of college what can you use to increase your potential earnings?
- Always negotiate.
- Stay professional and don’t let emotions dominate the conversation.
- Stay friendly and enthusiastic.
- Don’t feel you have to accept the first offer straight away (even if it is totally perfect for you). Ask for the offer in writing so that you can have some time to review it.
- Ask questions about the benefits, vacation time, moving allowance and signing bonus.
- Do your research on the offer and benefits but be prompt in replying with a well-crafted email.
- Keep reiterating your interest in the job.
- Be ready to answer questions on why you have chosen a particular sum and specific package benefits.
- Take the PayScale Salary Survey to see how the offer extended to you matches other similar jobs. The more data you have at your disposal the better you are able to justify your ask.
- Be realistic. You must do your homework so that you don’t put forward a completely outlandish salary suggestion. Data is your friend. Don’t rely on the grapevine. Go to places like Glassdoor and PayScale to get accurate information.
“What is your desired salary?’ The unwritten rule when it comes to salary is this: whoever proposes a number first loses. When you interview, you should never feel pressured to answer this question. Simply let your interviewer know that the most important thing to you is how well you fit the position.” – Travis Bradberry
In the Groove
When you have been in the work world for a longer period of time and you are feeling more confident in your abilities, you can afford to spend more time at the negotiating table. You can employ patience and all of your best listening skills to reach a great outcome. You don’t have to bring up compensation until the employer does and you can engage in asking many questions about your roles and responsibilities at the company. You don’t want to give the hiring manager or employer a salary range but rather a very specific number that speaks to your extensive research into the positions current going rate.
Researchers at Columbia University discovered that “Precise first offers were seen as more informed, prompting smaller adjustments”. This means that you truly understand your value. You have a very clear and specific number in your head. Make sure it is near the top of the range. Websites like She Negotiates can assist you with free resources to optimize your negotiation skills. Guys are welcome to use the site as well.
Raise Me Up
“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” – Sir David Frost
For those people looking to negotiate a raise, the best time to broach the subject is apparently on a Thursday. You should also be bringing up the subject of a possible raise at least 3-4 months in advance of your performance review.
With the right timing on your side, you can enter the boss’s office armed with a positive, confident demeanor and a brag list of how you have taken on additional responsibilities, exceeded expectations, garnered awards – all in the last year. You want to show how valuable you are in your position, to your boss and the company as a whole.
Practice your salary negotiation pitch in the mirror so you have rehearsed every element you wish to get across. Make sure that you rank your requirements in order of importance so you can show where your career focus is at the moment, but never mention your personal needs –keep it to your professional ones.
Don’t be nervous about hearing a “no” from the other side. A “no” is actually the negotiation starting point. It’s a conversation starter in the context of a salary negotiation. Never be afraid to counter offer. Keep your focus firmly on the future and how you see yourself contributing even further to the success of the team and the company. If it seems that a raise is not possible, see what else can be negotiated instead, like additional vacation days or a better title.
Whether you are negotiating as a first-time employee, seasoned job hopper or are looking for a raise in your current company, the more you do it, the better and easier it will become. Hopefully, each negotiation will bring home a substantial raise in your paycheck!
An Exceptionally Well Crafted Résumé Outlines Your Value
With a great résumé, you will have already made a strong impression on the hiring company that has given you an interview. This means you are in the perfect position to sit at the negotiating table with confidence that your skill set already matches the job being offered.
We can help you put your best foot forward before you even walk in the door. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
The 10 Most Popular Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
When you enter the interview room you know you are going to be facing a list of pre-prepared questions chosen specifically to gain information about your character, experience, perspective and problem-solving ability. Working through a list of standard questions that seem to pop up in most interviews, can give you a sense of confidence in the moment when nerves are high.
You don’t want to sound like a robot giving rote answers but you also don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants so your answers end up sounding like word salad. You are never going to use only the words “yes” or “no” as a finite answer but you are also not going to deliver monologues that would make Shakespeare proud.
Questions stimulate our neocortex which is responsible for our sensory perception, motor commands, conscious thoughts in human and language and spatial reasoning. Every fiber of our being is geared to answer any question put to us. A great interview answer is a fantastic combination of improvisation and preparation.
The person asking the questions controls the situation. How do you respond to that kind of power dynamic? Do you clam up in the face of what you perceive to be an interrogation or do you strive to gain back control of the room by dominating the conversation?
Take a moment to self-analyze your normal response to being “questioned.” The interviewer is asking very pointed questions with the express purpose of gauging how calm and confident you are under pressure. They want to see that you possess enough knowledge to match the question asked and if you can deliver your answer in a self-assured manner.
You could always take an improvisation class at your local comedy club or you could rehearse a few answers to the most asked questions and then ask a few to create a few more for you and put you under pressure.
The Sound of Silence
Don’t fear a silent moment in the interview. It’s totally alright to take a moment to formulate your answer. You don’t have to answer in a split second and stumble over the initial thought process. Impulsive talking is a bit like impulsive shopping –you get home and feel a little disappointed in yourself.
Repeat the question out loud to yourself, take a thoughtful “um” and then start. If you aren’t entirely clear about what they are asking you simply request that they repeat the question. If their question is extremely broad or vague ask a question to clarify their question.
The most important thing to remember is to listen, engage and enjoy telling these wonderful new strangers about the fantastic life you have been leading and how your experiences are a match for their job opening. You are not on trial; you’re building a bridge to a possible ongoing relationship. So show your best side.
Time to Shine
Before you go for your interview, call ahead to find out the format that the interview will take. The format chosen will highlight the kinds of potential questions that could be asked. Here are some of the most common questions to get you started.
- Tell me about yourself?
- Don’t be tempted to confess your entire life story starting at five. Hit the highlights that are relevant to this particular job interview. This is the elevator pitch –its clear, to the point and should invite their curiosity in you. Mention 3 life accomplishments and then link them to the position that you are applying for.
- What do you think are your weaknesses?
- It’s not the ideal time to be talking about where you lack in life so don’t get overzealous and start a laundry list of self-complaints. Steer away from perceived personal weaknesses in your character and stick to how you are currently improving your professional challenges. “I am currently taking a course on improving my Excel spreadsheet prowess so I can deliver production schedules faster.” The interviewer is looking at your self-awareness level as well as your ability to share honestly.
- Why should we have you on our team?
- List your experience that directly matches the position and finish with a positive intention, “I look forward to being part of your team who are renowned for cutting edge innovation.” This is the best question ever –you get to sell yourself and your unique set of skills that are perfect for this company. You also have the opportunity to show that you are interested in this specific company –you can mention the mission statement or information you might have gleaned when you researched the company.
- How have you dealt with challenging situations you have faced at work?
- This is not the time to bad mouth past employers, the interviewer wants to know about your conflict resolution techniques. You are on your best behavior in the interview but they what to know what happens if you are faced with a stressful, pressurizing situation. Identify an issue from your past and calmly go through the steps you used to handle the situation professionally. You can mention the methods you used to assist with stress reduction.
- What are your future goals, where do you see yourself in the next 5 -10 years?
- This question is asked to reveal whether you are ambitious, have realistic expectations and if the position you are applying for aligns with your future goals. Your answer should reflect where this position in the company might be able to take you in the future. This should not be a question that takes you by surprise. An interviewer would want to see that your career is important and that you have put some thought into it. You can easily keep to short term goals.
- Why are you leaving your current position?
- Keep upbeat and positive in your answer. It’s always a hard question to answer but it will almost always be asked. Again steer away from being negative about your last company and rather frame what you are moving towards. Keep it simple and short.
- What are your strengths and your greatest professional accomplishment?
- Put it out there. Don’t be shy or feign modesty on revealing your successes. This is your moment to truly shine. What was your position in the last company, what did you actually end up doing and how to you excel in those duties? Don’t mention strengths that you think will best suit the position they are offering –talk about your actual strengths.
- What are your salary expectations?
- Research what the going salary is for the position you are applying for on sites like Glassdoor or Payscale. When you see the salary range, state the highest figure but also communicate your flexibility in that regard. You can also answer that it can be discussed at a later point in the negotiations or you could ask them what is the range they usually pay for people with your same background and skill set.
- Which animal do you most identify with in the wild?
- These quirky questions don’t mean that the interviewer has had a momentary lapse of sanity –they are testing your ability to think on your feet. There isn’t a right answer but every animal does have attributes that you are aligning with by choosing them. So you might want to think about how you want to be perceived.
- What do you like to do after work hours?
- Personal questions like these are all about gauging how you will fit in with the company culture.
There are hundreds of questions that could be asked in an interview situation but essentially it is up to you to answer succinctly, positively, calmly, and confidently. It’s the opportunity to show how you would be the perfect candidate for the position while revealing some of your best character qualities.
A Great Résumé Gets You a Seat at the Table
An exceptional résumé will make an impact on the hiring manager and get you the interview. Let us assist you with getting in the door so you can introduce yourself in person. A perfectly crafted résumé is the ultimate calling card. If you are sending in loads of applications and are not making it through to the interview stage it might mean that your résumé might need some tender loving care.
There is a myriad of reasons why your résumé might not be making it into the hands of the recruiter or hiring manager. We can help you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Essential Interview Tips for Proactive Job Seekers
You have spent hours crafting your perfect résumé and begun the process of applying for your dream job. The next challenge is preparing for the interview process. Maybe this is your first foray into the corporate world or you are a seasoned professional who is looking for a career shift? Wherever you find yourself in your career you have to spend a considerable amount of time preparing for your job interview. Your résumé might have gotten you through the door but now the hard work begins and preparation is everything.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe
Always be Prepared
A cool, calm, confident exterior in an interview is achieved through intensive preparation. You are going to work on a three-prong attack: Research, Rehearse, Readiness.
Imagine you are writing in an in-depth investigative journalist piece on the company you are interviewing at in the next week. Read their website content and take notes on their product range or services, key figures in the company and their defining milestones. While you are there, ask yourself what elements of their website you would improve? Then search online for their social media presence. Which platform do they use predominantly and is it effective? Look at what people are saying about the company on their social media sites. You can also see how they are framing their products on platforms like Twitter and how they are interacting with the public. Peruse what current and past employees have to say about the company on Glassdoor. Research the requirements of the job and ensure your skill set can be drawn on in the interview to match your experience with the company’s needs.
Make sure you know who will be in the room on the day. Call ahead and find out how many people will be sitting in on the interview and their names and titles. Research them. Look at their LinkedIn profiles and pick out a few points that you could use in the interview process.
Try out the company’s product before the interview. Get a strong feel for its attributes, packaging, and price. (or particular service offered). At every point of the research phase make note of any potential questions you have for the interviewer. Create a list of potential interview questions that could be asked of you pertaining to the industry and your experience.
Stand in front of a mirror and answer interview questions from your extensive list. Find answers that not only speak to the question but also weave in your expertise and show examples of past behavior. Also be sure to find out ahead of time what interview format the hiring manager will be employing. Perhaps they use brain teasers, case questions or standard leadership questions –whatever the format, be prepared and practice them. Practice the possible questions you will put to the interviewer or panel in the room. Where possible ask specific questions directed at the interviewer that reveals your understanding of their role in the company. Remind yourself of positive body language stance, posture and gestures. Look at the mirroring technique and make sure your arms are never crossed (sign of defensiveness).
You want to look great at the interview. If you feel fantastic in what you are wearing, your confidence will get a boost. Aim for “basic and conservative” or do a little digging and find out the dress code of the company and dress to fit the environment. Your chosen outfit must be clean and pressed. Check that your hem isn’t loose. Shine and polish shoes. Give yourself a manicure. Find the right bag or briefcase –clean it out completely. Add only what you are going to need for the interview:
- Notebook and Pens (spare pens are essential)
- At least 5 copies of your résumé
- Pack a reference list that includes the individual’s name, title, company, department, contact details as well as a few lines on the relationship.
- Portfolio of your work or samples of your best projects
- Band-aid, lip balm, breath mints, water, umbrella
- Interview cheat sheet of key points to remember for the interview
Get a great night’s sleep to ensure you are alert and energized for the interview. Plan your route to the building, even go the day before to make sure you know how long it takes and where the location is exactly.
“Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.” – Audrey Hepburn
You are now completely prepared to face the actual interview. Be on time – which actually means arriving at least ten minutes early. Inhale some lavender essential oil on a tissue to keep calm as you wait in the foyer or before going into the building.
The interviewer comes to collect you and you:
- Shake the hand that is offered (strong but don’t use a vice grip)
- Maintain eye contact
- Exude enthusiasm and confidence
- Listen actively. Stay in the present and listen to the full question before answering. Nod in agreement to their discussion points.
- Don’t talk too much. Your answers should be concise and to the point.
- Try not to be overly familiar. You should take the lead of the interviewer’s tone and demeanor. You are interviewing for a job, not attempting to make a friend.
- Steer clear of slang, colloquialisms and any references to race, age, politics, religion or sexual orientation.
- Make sure there isn’t a hint of desperation in the interview.
- Aim for honesty and authenticity
- Never bad mouth a previous employer
- This is a sales call. You’re selling yourself as the product -so close the deal.
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
After your highly successful interview, follow up with a personalized thank you note or email within 24 hours, which is another opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job.
Looking to Craft the Perfect Résumé to Get You in the Door?
If you are sending in loads of applications and are not making it through to the interview stage it might mean that your résumé may need some revamping. Perhaps it is not formatted to pass through the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and its stringent word parsing parameters. Perhaps you are using a template that does not suit the industry.
There is a myriad of reasons why your résumé might not be making it into the hands of the recruiter or hiring manager. We can help you. We’ll spend quality time crafting a perfect résumé with you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by submitting an inquiry here – we would love to hear from you.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Résumé Template
You have put in enormous hours and extreme effort to excel at your goals. You have joined clubs, gotten involved in community outreach projects, and participated in socially conscious initiatives. Perhaps you have been working on your career path for years and you have accumulated a list of impressive achievements, accolades, and awards at your various jobs over the years? Then you decide to find a job or change jobs and you try to squash all of your unique, hard-earned expertise into a one size fits all onesie résumé template? Smart move? Maybe not. Why are you choosing ordinary, everyday solutions for your individual, epic story?
Template Fatigue Syndrome
Don’t dabble in the drab. At the very least think about the HR person who has to trawl through thousands of applications that all look and sound the same. Make the decision to stand out to them. If you have decided to condense your worth into someone else’s words in a generic template, you are going to be run of the mill. Hiring managers might have to start to claim benefits for template fatigue. They have to actually read through these documents that all sound the same, using the same words.
There are loads of articles that speak to the most overused words on résumés. These include, “extensive experience”, “successful”, “track record”, “motivated” and “creative”. Just don’t use them. It’s time that you took more thoughtful, researched hours to craft a document that is going to speak on your behalf. You aren’t in the room yet to show your charm, exuberance and super skills. Your words must go before you and do the extremely hard work of getting through the recruiter’s gate. Don’t be boring and borrow, be yourself.
Building your own résumé from scratch can feel harder than a thesis but you will definitely experience the benefits of your efforts. A template reeks of the shortcut. Don’t be that person. Copy and paste will land you in the waste. Then there is the problem that so many of the templates out there are truly awful. You really can do better.
Creating your own résumé is about having a conversation with yourself:
•What have you achieved?
•What are you proud of in your career?
•How would you describe yourself?
•What are your best attributes?
You need to find the way to impart your individuality using your own words. In the process, you are learning a new skill –promoting yourself in an authentic, natural tone.
Steal to Start
This is not a process that you should take lightly or try to do quickly. This is the most important bridge building activity you will be required to do in your career. It is going to connect you, in all of your glorious complexity, to your new work environment. Make the structure strong and lasting. You can use this document throughout your career (with a few updates and tweaks).
A good starting point is to research the résumés of leaders in your field. Save examples of those ones you found captivating and pulled your attention immediately. As you examine them you will start to see the different layouts and formats they have used that were relevant to their particular field. Take note of the language they used to convey their achievements. When you really feel you are getting a powerful sense of what works and what doesn’t –throw all of the collected résumés away. You are now ready to design your own.
What’s Your Story?
You have the inspiration and it’s time to get original. Consider the story you are wanting to weave about yourself. What do you want the reader of your résumé to come away with at the end of it? Why would you be a good fit for their work culture? What are your special superhero skills? Why are you more suited to this job than the other candidates? Your life milestones define the résumé you choose.
But steer away from using tables because online application systems can’t read them. Also never use skill ratings, leave those to rotten tomato film reviews. You don’t want to go for flashy graphics or large monograms –you need every bit of space to talk about you and your special offering. Use your very own words, be honest and make sure it’s easy to read.
For many people the thought of starting it all from scratch is terrifying and they feel they lack the necessary design skills to make an eye-catching format. Start off borrowing the best elements of templates to add the first brush stroke to the canvas and then find your own artistry coming to the fore.
Or You Can Have Our Experts Do It For You
If the idea of finding the right design format to house your experience and expertise scares you into paralysis – we’re here to help you. We’ll spend quality time crafting an incredibly-effective résumé with you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by reaching out to us at the link below – we’d love to hear from you.
Respected Résumés writers have 20+ years’ of experience, and have produced more than 100,000 powerful résumés. We have a 93% success rate in landing our clients interviews, and we’d love to help you stand out.