Monday, March 30, 2015

Practicing Your Behavioral Interviewing Skills

Reading books and looking at website's are a great way to learn more about behavioral interviewing, but how about creating answers ahead of time?  This is something interviewees often don't think about, and then suffer the inevitable inability to answer several simple behavioral questions in an interview.  You know these questions well - they start with the following:

"Tell me about a time when..."
"Give me an example of..."
"Describe a time when..."

Try developing some scenarios of how you have handled issues or created successes in the past within the workplace.  From increasing profit and revenue, developing new business, and cutting expenses to supervising staff, managing inventory, and participating in project teams, you have many examples to offer that typically haven't been considered.  Start by looking at your resume and determining if you can supply more detail within the interview about specifics cited in each position’s bullet points.  Utilizing existing lists of behavioral questions available online and in books and those you have already been asked in interviews can help you create an entire collection of answers.  Here are 12 typical questions to get your started:

--Describe a time when you worked under a great deal of pressure or tight deadline?
--Tell me about a time when you were a member of a great team. What role did you play in making the team great?
--Tell me about a time you had to multitask?
--Tell me about a time when you were creative in solving a problem?
--Give me an example of a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker and how you resolved it?
--Tell me about a time when you suggested a better way to do something at work?
--Describe how you handle crises? Describe a particular crisis that you handled well?
--What would your last boss/manager say about you?
--Give me an example of when you were given a task to accomplish without any real direction from your manager?
--Describe what motivates you?
--Tell me what you know about our company?
--Why should we hire you?

Why come up with these examples in the middle of an interview.  Preparing 20 or more answers ahead of an interview will allow you to concentrate on questions that you truly cannot anticipate.  To your interview success!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Just Say “No” to the Resume Objective Statement

Although there have been many blog posts and articles concerning why an objective statement should no longer be used on a resume, it always bears repeating.  Too often I see the traditional objective statement on resumes saying what a jobseeker wants from a job, company, and career.  Plain and simple, it is always about what the company wants until you are in negotiation for the salary and benefits package.
Instead, use a job title, and let the reader know what relevant experience they will be evaluating in the resume. This of course means you may have two, three, or more resumes, concentrating on the different types of jobs you are pursuing.  You can follow that job title up with one of three choices:
1)      A summary statement (keep it to a short paragraph – no long statements).
2)      Three or four of the best and most relevant bullet points from your resume (remember to reword these back in your resume experience under the specific job for which they apply).
3)      A set of keywords and key phrases tailored to the job you are targeting.
Now, in a very short presentation you can better communicate your relevant experience prior to the reader reviewing your entire resume, and help HR, the Hiring Manager or Recruiter make a more informed decision.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ONET – The Career Exploration Resource

If you are looking to change careers, have never known what you truly want to do for your career, or know a high school student deciding on a college major to pursue, then ONET is your source.  We all realize to make a truly good decision, it is all about the data, and you can gather a great deal of that data for a career path determination on the ONET site.
Whether you search by an SOC code (Standard Occupational Classification) or a job title, an impressive summary of over 12,000 different job types awaits.  From the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for a specific job, to expected salary, related professions, and typical education needed, it is your go-to research resource.
Give ONET a try and discover a wealth of information concerning your next career. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Set Yourself Apart from Others with Your Resume

I want to talk to you today about the importance of setting yourself apart from others with your resume.  Your resume is not a one-size fits all document, and you are not a one-size fits all employee.  So let’s look at a few suggestions that will help you with your resume:

1)    More than one page is okay.  That rule came about for college students who were just graduating and had no real work experience.  Two to three pages will be the norm for most jobseekers.
2)    Showcase what makes you a beneficial employee.  When companies interview you they want to see that you will make difference in their organization.  Here are some items to consider:
§  Increasing profit or revenue.
§  Supervising employees (hiring, interview, dismissal, performance reviews).
§  Reducing costs.
§  Managing a budget.
§  Creating or co-creating proposals, policies and procedures, employee manuals, tips sheets, spreadsheets, etc.
§  Dealing with, assisting, or other regular contact with big name clientele in your daily work, like GE, AT&T, 3M, IBM, Bank of America, and Garmin.  This also includes big name companies within your city or region that others outside of the area might not know.
§  Managing inventory.
§  Sales numbers.
§  Building new business.
§  Training and coaching employees.
§  Negotiating pricing (with customers or vendors).
§  Starting a new department or branch from scratch.
§  Improving customer service.
§  Project Management.
3)    Use bulleted points instead of paragraphs.
4)    Use action words/verbs to start each bullet point (manage, develop, implement, systematize, increase, decrease, coordinate), remember to use the proper tense, and not overuse the same action verbs (get your thesaurus out or use the one Microsoft Word provides).
5)    Avoid generalizations like Microsoft Office and instead use each application – for instance:  Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.
6)    Proof, proof, proof your document.  Read it to yourself, wait a few hours and then come back to the document and read it out loud (this is a great way to catch syntax errors), and then read it backwards (better to catch spelling, punctuation, and double word errors).

Follow these simple tips and you will have better resume, and increase your chances of an interview.