The supply chain is both an integral asset and an ongoing obstacle. Without one it would be impossible for businesses, companies, and corporations to produce and distribute their goods. But in any industry and on every scale, the average supply chain is overwhelmed with inefficiencies, malfunctions, and setbacks.
Trying to transform the supply chain from the headache it commonly is into the tool that everyone wants it to be is a challenge that has received a phenomenal amount of attention and effort. In spite of that, no one has discovered the silver bullet that can resolve all problems in any supply chains. More commonly, the process has been characterized by progress on one front being canceled out by failures on another.
College students face a number of challenges as they near graduation. Exams, relationships, and debt may at times seem overwhelming. Then there’s the uncertainty of career for many. And, although the following tips are going to be framed primarily for individuals facing uncertain futures, they are solid tips to enhance your career success if you’re locked into a position after graduation.
The resume objective is dead!
Objectives are either too limiting, because they’re written very specifically, or they’re bland and generic. When your resume should sell you why compromise your sales pitch? A Profile or a Summary, essentially the same thing, has much more impact, because properly done, it heightens the potential employer’s interest.
Although they’re more difficult to write, your resume is your marketing brochure. An objective fails because it’s about what you want, and marketing is about what the buyer wants, not the seller. The profile describes the product – you – and gives the hiring authority an idea of why you’d be beneficial to the company.
Here’s an example of an objective limiting in both title and function:
- Director of Marketing with fifteen years experience creating, developing and implementing revenue-producing marketing campaigns.
The title needs to go. Leaving the function in there is fine, if marketing is the only goal. But if you’re going to be applying for a similar position, you risk shooting yourself in the foot. A company won’t hire someone focused on marketing when they want a person in public relations.
When you subtract the limitations and add the benefit to the employer, you’ve not only changed the objective to a profile, but you’ve dramatically increased the chances of being invited to interview:
- Seasoned team leader with proven ability to quickly understand the needs of the market and create strategic marketing plans. Experienced in successfully defining and executing profitable nation-wide marketing strategies. Adept at consistently increasing growth and enhancing company profits while developing brand awareness and recognition.
The following objective is not only limiting, it’s generic, egotistical and uses job speak:
- To obtain a challenging position with a market leader that utilizes my experience in sales, account management, and product understanding.
For a hiring authority, the whole paragraph is a turn off. Would someone admit to wanting an unchallenging position? And how does one define a market leader? What if the company is a smart, growing one like Avis and busy trying harder? It also leaves the employer thinking, “So what? What’s in it for me?” An even worse objective is this:
- A position in Financial Management.
Traditionally the objective was used for very targeted job searches. But remember a resume is a marketing piece. So even in these instances the statements should imply how hiring you will have a positive impact on the company. For that reason, the following example is slightly better than the previous examples:
- Pharmaceutical sales rep with extensive background and excellent history of closing sales seeking opportunity as same to increase sales in an existing territory or develop new territory to its fullest profit potential
Even so, it can be enhanced by inserting two additional sentences and a lead-in phrase so it reads like this:
- Top producing pharmaceutical sales rep with extensive background and excellent history of closing sales. Skilled at interacting and working with people, and in understanding human behavior. Comfortable with asking questions, listening and building rapport. Seeking opportunity as same to increase sales in an existing territory or develop new territory to its fullest profit potential.
Now, not only does the paragraph tell the hiring authority how this person will be an asset to his sales team, but the lead-in phrase will catch his attention, perhaps immediately differentiating this sales rep from others applying. The added sentences provide clues as to the rep’s personality and why he’s a top producer. After all, not all successful sales people have identical personalities. Then put the title of the position you want above it – you can vary that with the ad.
The paragraph at the top of your resume isn’t there because it’s supposed to be. It’s there because it’s a valuable chance to entice the hiring authority into reading the remainder of your resume. If your summary doesn’t whet his appetite, why would he think the rest of your resume will?
The world’s most popular job-search book is updated for 2015 to tailor its long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today’s job-hunters and career-changers.
What Color Is Your Parachute? is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide with more than ten million copies sold. Now, no matter what your circumstances, every job-hunter can find help with up-to-the-minute information on what has changed about the job-market, plus strategies for finding jobs even when everyone tells you there are none. And if you are a returning vet, there is a new twenty-page appendix this year, specifically addressing your unique needs.
This 2015 edition includes up-to-date research and tips about writing impressive resumes and cover letters, doing effective networking and confident interviewing, and negotiating the best salary possible. But it goes beyond that, in helping you to better know who you are, with its classic self-inventory—called “The Flower Exercise”—because the best answer to What shall I do? flows from knowing Who you are.
If you’ve ever had a break in your work history or you’ve transitioned to a different line of work; had difficulty remembering some straightforward, data-driven accomplishments you could mention; or have experienced any number of difficult situations that are difficult to portray in a positive light on a resume: you can relate. The resume is a necessity, but not the end-all-be-all solution to many career dilemmas.
Yes, there is a way to put spin on these situations to make you shine in your final document. And yes, you absolutely need one to get hired. But eventually the employer will want to ask you tough questions in an interview, check you out on social media, or talk to your references. What to do then?
Get some coaching with that resume! (Yes, you would like fries with that.)
1. Digital dirt
A resume can’t clean up digital dirt. If you’ve had negative things posted about you online, you need to bury it. A well-written LinkedIn (and Google Plus) profile will help. So will blogging, press releases, and article publishing. But, a resume won’t do you a bit of good if an employer Googles you and finds a blemish you’d rather they not hold against you.
2. Being let go
A resume alone can’t help you answer the question, “Have you ever been fired?” You need coaching to craft a concise script and answer this with your best poker face. Staying calm only comes with practice and preparation, which a resume can’t do for you.
3. Barriers to employment
A resume can’t help you with your in-person image. If you think you’re being overlooked due to a disability, ageism (old or young), or any other serious discriminatory practice, you need a coach. Or perhaps you’re just struggling to look or feel the part. You need a solid strategy to deal with these obstacles that a resume can’t help you with.
4. Moving up
If you’re vying for a promotion, wanting to achieve an executive-level position, or just transitioning to a new field, a resume alone might not cut it. You need a portfolio of documents and writing to reflect how savvy you are as a communicator. A coach can help you know how and when to use an executive bio, cover letter, reference dossier, and LinkedIn profile.
Also, you’ll need insider information to know what the company’s real struggles are. Finding out what the job ad isn’t saying by interviewing your network with targeted questions you go over with your coach can give you the advantage over your competition.
All of these challenges necessitate developing a relationships with people that will advocate for you. Relying on a resume alone will just lengthen your search. You can apply for years to posted positions and get nowhere because people really do tend to hire people they know, like, and trust. If you are not working on “Digging your well before you need it,” as the title of the famous book by that name recommends, you may end up struggling for years. A coach can help you build your network, learn to do informational interviews, and make progress faster.
A resume is tough for the best of candidates to write for themselves. But, throw in one of the above stumbling blocks, and you can end up in an endless cycle of obsessing over how to deal with it.
Avoid this stress by getting some fries with that. Coaching is one add-on my clients never regret.
Are you caught up in piles of paperwork while trying to break through the series of incoming phone calls, simultaneously trying to sort out new projects and get back to those who are waiting to hear from you?
A recent article on LinkedIn presented the “Favorite Job Interview Questions” from 13 CEO’s. The article was interesting in several respects because it provides great insights into questions being asked. In addition, it offers a “scorecard” on the quality of interviewing today.
While some CEO’s scored very well with their questions, other didn’t and the final score shows quality interviewing on the losing side. I’ll use a simple scoring scale, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2. Let’s begin with the first six questions.
A nice article on 13 job interview questions you may want to watch out for…
What do you do when you’ve sent out several resumes but you’re not getting any interviews? Or maybe you’ve made it past the interview stage but you still haven’t landed the job. There might be a few things you’re getting wrong.
The good news is, most of these pitfalls are easy fixes. In “9 Mistakes that Could Sabotage Your Chances at a Job Offer,” Emily Co outlines a few critical slip-ups you could be making that could be costing you a job offer.
We all have days where we wake up and just don’t feel like doing any of the work in front of us.When tasks both small and large have piled up into a daunting mountain of work but all you feel like doing is binge-watching TV on the couch all day.”
For some, caffeine or an energy drink is enough. But when that doesn’t work, Ken Daum of Inc. has some tips to help you stay motivated in The Best Way to be Productive When Your Energy is Gone
Studies show that music can improve your mood, increase concentration, and even inspire new ideas.
When you’re searching for a job, the fact that you’re currently unemployed might weigh on you as you consider what potential employers will think about the time you’ve spent out of the workforce.
If you’re out of work and want to demonstrate you’ve spent your time wisely during that period, there are several things you can do.
Here are six job search tips that can help you use your employment gap to your advantage.