Get knotted – To Wear a Tie or Not

Little did I realize the trouble I was stirring up when I was recently asked the question “Should men wear a tie to an interview?” My answer was yes; here was a group of senior business people that suddenly became very animated about the subject of men’s neck wear. I was tempted to throw in the question of an Ascot an alternative but frankly lacked the courage. Continue reading

4 Keys to interview success – A different perspective

Let us, for one moment think about the interview process from the employer’s perspective and see if we can learn a little bit of how best we can help them make a decision in our favor.

What is the goal of every employer who is looking to hire someone? From the bottom position to the top, the objective is the same, find someone who can walk in the door on Monday morning, spend a few minutes with HR to discuss benefits, policies, etc. and then hit the floor running. Continue reading

How important is the appearance of your resume?

I met with a client the other day who came into my office beaming from ear to ear. You could have fitted a large slice of watermelon into his mouth without touching the sides.

Naturally I asked him (for the sake of protecting the innocent we will call him John) why he was so very happy and he then proceeded to tell me the story. Continue reading

Understanding a Resume

There are three key issues to understanding a resume. They are The Audience, The Author and The Content. Each of these components requires careful consideration when developing your resume to ensure that you achieve the best possible results. At times such as now when the job market is tight it is more important than ever that your resume stands out from the crowd. Remember a simple rule, Less is More, you would not tell all on a first date, you would tell enough to make yourself interesting and the same rule applies to writing your resume.

The Audience in this case can be either human or mechanical and we have to consider both of these entities. We also have to consider another scenario, that of networking where the resume is used as an introductory tool rather than as a direct job application. In the case of the human audience we are most often considering a recruiter and secondly the networking contact. The recruiter is usually busy and pushed to giving each resume the briefest of scans. To overcome this issue we need to make the resume easy to read, so easy in fact that the information jumps off the page straight into their mind. Long, complicated sentences in the opening summary can jeopardize your chances of having your resume passed on to the hiring manager. The mechanical audience is usually some form of scanning system that is looking for key words. The objective is to make sure the correct words are in your resume.

The Author can either be the person who is the subject of the resume or someone who is employed by that individual. Every time that you show your resume to someone else and ask for their opinion your will receive constructive criticism. There is a fine line between constantly changing your resume for the needs of the opportunity you are chasing and doing it because someone else has made a comment. When choosing a writer to work with make sure that they understand you and your goals, this is not a five minute exercise but requires multiple conversations before a satisfactory result can be obtained.

The Content is the most important piece of the puzzle. This is normally divided into 3 main sections, The Summary, Experience and Education. There are many variations on this theme but in essence the goal in all resumes is to know your target position, research it carefully and focus your resume on answering the needs of the company. The Summary is where you make your first impression; this is the area where you have the first 20 seconds of the recruiters time. Make the best of this and deliver a clear, easy to read section. In the Experience section we are dealing with your accomplishments, we are looking for thoughts and ideas that make you stand out from the crowd. The final section, Education is where we list College and Corporate training information unless we have recently left school where we may also list our High School information.

In summary, a well written summary section focused on what you can deliver to an organization, an author focused on building a great resume that is focused on them and a content section that demonstrates your strengths and accomplishments will provide you with the finest resume.

Job-Search Tips: Interview Types Explained – ‘Fit’

Fit interviews are a common type of interview.  As their name would imply, they assess how your personality would ‘fit’ into their organization.  This is also known as the ‘airport test’ – meaning if you were stuck in an airport with this person for four hours, would it be OK, or would you want to kill yourself (or them).

It is worth stating that the ‘fit’ interview is usually the final of several interviews.  You must first “pass” the prior interviews with the ‘fit’ being the final test. Continue reading