How to prove you are the right fit for the JOB?

Extensive experience as a Career Strategy Consultant, recruiting operations manager, writer, and developer of development of career tools has taught me that our ability to hire and retain the right consultants (or employees) and nurture them to value their talents, explain their skills, and offer resolution suggestions, is necessary to the successfully delivery of projects, and it can enhance employee retention.

In addition, teaching consultants and employees how to present their interests and career goals is an essential skill and one that is necessary to achieve one’s career goals. Working for oneself or developing one’s own business takes the fine-tuning of employee talents to another level.

Success also depends upon choosing my clients well, which helps to ensure that the job is done correctly and delivered in the agreed timeframe. Extensive experience in management roles at major corporations, small and large consultancies, and my current position helps. Writing a resume is more than cataloging skill sets and expertise. The resume is an advance picture of the person who will attend the interview. Hence all of our resume services include interview preparation.

In addition, to providing Resume Writing and Interview Preparation to jobseekers, my current projects include training managers in interview practice. These projects allow me to continue to learn from managers regarding what they seek in a resume and their goals when interviewing candidates. This combination of manager and jobseeker client interactions informs and continually updates my resume writing and interviewing training skills.

Where candidates often go wrong is thinking that they need to sell themselves at the interview. The resume has already done that, and since no one interviews an unqualified candidate, your job at the interview is to validate the fit. Let us help you by creating a resume that will parse well on ATS’ and work with you on interview preparation, so you can validate that you are the right choice/fit for the role for the team.

Consider a Mid-Late Career Wind-down Job

Changing to a wind-down-career job may help mature workers reengage in their careers. As career disinterest sets in, some workers may begin to devalue their existing employment and skills as they adjust to near retirement or an end to the fight to scale to their perception of a fulfilled career.

For some, it may mean acknowledging that they are no longer viewed or valued as growth assets to be invested in or considered for important long-term projects, promotions, or career advancement at their current employer.

Mid-Late Career or Near Retirement/Mature candidates often mention burnout, boredom, and a lack of emotional involvement in their duties at their current employer. Some try and successfully distance themselves emotionally from their current occupations and colleagues as they consider the next phase of their careers.

Many Mid-Late and Pre-Retirement candidates are leaving their current jobs and choosing some form of “wind-down” employment.” The wind-down job may be a temporary position in their field of expertise and a proper bookend to a long-standing successful full-time career. Or it may be an entirely new type of role since they may consider transitioning into a different industry or acquiring a unique skill set.

The wind-down career can be a short-term assignment or a last corporate full-time position between the end of a current job and full retirement.

As I work with mid-late career resume-writing or career strategy clients, they tell me they relish and enjoy the project-focused aspect of their wind-down career jobs. And, what they value the most is the knowledge that they are performing at the highest level, valued for their contribution, and making a difference. Wind-down jobs can be fun if you can use your transferrable skills and learn new ones.

And it certainly helps if there is a sense that you are truly impacting the organization and guaranteeing an outcome. “I am not washed-up or done,” a feisty client told me yesterday, “I have been re-purposed!”

A wind-down-career job can be just the thing to revitalize the mid-late or pre-retirement stage of your career. The point where you are “done-ish” with your career but not quite ready to “stick a fork in it.”

Updating your resume? Are you a Storyteller, Bottom-up, Scalper, or a Renovator?

Some people treat their resumes like career autobiographies, into which they keep adding more info over time. Some assume the longer the resume, the better, or they utilize the pay-by-the-word look, using the tiniest font in jumble-length paragraphs, all crammed into a single page.

Taking either of these approaches to your resume can result in an unbalanced picture of your work history. Neither of which is going to impress employers.

Jobseekers’ approach to writing their resume can be broadly broken down into three categories.

·       The  “storyteller,” i.e., the job seeker who never removes anything from their resume? They will add some information occasionally, but they never remove anything. This “improvement by addition technique” may be a sound approach to topping off your tank before a long road trip; but it is not a great approach to enhancing your resume.

·        The “bottom-up” resume writer? Do you start from your earliest jobs, about which you add lots of detail since those WERE the fun days, right? The resultant resume is bottom-heavy and weighted towards your early career and skill sets that may longer be as valuable as they once were.

·        Or are you a “scalper?” This resume writer ruthlessly removes anything on their resume that is not current and relevant. The trouble with this hard-nosed approach to past experiences is that it obscures the interviewers’ view of your overall career-building climb or your diversity of skills and achievements.

My recommended approach is the wholesome but strategic “Resume Renovator” upgrade tactic i.e., building your new resume and career profile by striking a balance between detailing recent experience and achievements while including valuable prior experiences.

The resume renovator will take this approach each time they prepare their resume. They will detail and acknowledge their long and fruitful career but may edit out some of the early jobs entirely. They also consider the types of jobs they are applying for and align their resume and experience to validate their suitability for the roles.

How do you approach updating your resume? Are you a Storyteller, Bottom-up, Scalper, or a Renovator? 

Mid-Career Resume Writing Services:

Communications Set Backs at the Job Interview

We tend to obsess about our performance at interviews and believe we must impress the Interviewer. We have so many things to say that we decide to resize our conversation and speak only of our skills and accomplishments.

Candidates often fail to recognize that interviews must be goal-defined and specific. Under pressure, many candidates forget to pay attention to this interview strategy. They are often unaware as they ramble about their extensive experience that they have lost their audience.

We should stop and acknowledge when we are not connecting with the audience during the interview. At times, we try to communicate in a complex style, and we forget to ask thoughtful relevant questions that, demonstrate our potential as contributing team members.

Communication setbacks at the interview may not mean that you are necessarily failing to connect personally, but it can mean that you are failing to impress that you are the right fit for the position and that you will be an excellent addition to the team.

Many applicants who believe themselves to be good communicators are often blistered with confusion as to why they fail to connect with managers at interviews, be it one person or a panel interview.

This conundrum suggests that we should try to create advocates for our candidacy for the position, and this can be best remedied at the close of an interview.

Here are two stabilizing questions you can ask before the interview ends, and the Manager says, “we’ll be in touch!”

1.      “What have been the career paths of those who previously held this position?”

If the previous incumbents been promoted to more senior roles? That could be a sign that the company recognizes and rewards high achievers and promotes from within. If you are replacing someone who left to work elsewhere, that could indicate that internal career progression could be a concern.

2.      “What are some of the challenges can I expect to face in this role?”

Here is your opportunity to get beyond the surface stuff and understand what it may be like to work at this company, or for this Manager, and what kind of circumstances you may have to battle. How honest and straightforward the Manager is in responding to these types of questions will tell you whether you will thrive in this new position or at this company.

Does your recent career read like a how-to guideline for successful Job Hopping? 

Does your recent career read like a how-to guideline for successful job hopping? Have you taken on a variety of well-paying short-term positions within a short time because, and let’s be frank, they paid well, and you could WFH? 

Have you taken advantage of the fluidity in the recent job market to job skip and accept diverse and unrelated roles in various industries for short periods? Or have you taken several non-related, short-term assignments? In that case, you may risk being viewed as someone bereft of loyalty and sticking power.

But, there are positive and negative aspects to this. Some hiring managers may be reluctant to interview you since they view job hoppers as not settling, getting bored quickly, and wanting to move on without giving each job a good go. So, be thoughtful and remember that there needs to be a consistent back story to your job travels.

On the positive side, job hopping can help you build skills, among them the very valuable skill of adaptability. This is the ability to perform well in new situations and deal with change and stress more productively. This shows resilience, confidence, and adaptability to change.

How to explain job skipping on a resume or an initial interview call?

1. Emphasize your credible and verifiable achievements: 
Concentrate on what you learned and achieved at each assignment, the transferable skills gained or enhanced, and the benefits you can bring to a new organization by utilizing these skills.

2. Combine similar roles in your narrative or omit some roles entirely:
Projects or roles with similar job titles may be combined under one heading. That will downplay the fact that the roles have been at different companies for short periods and bolster your point that there was a plan.

3. Omitting some roles:
Short-term roles that are not relevant to the position you seek can be omitted because they do not enhance your suitability for the job, nor are they relevant to the interview. Plus, discussing unrelated facts in an interview is rarely helpful.

4. Dates of employment:
Regarding employment dates, try using the years only and forgo adding the months. Using years only also lessens red flag alerts and screen-out issues. 

Above all, be prepared to explain your reasons for job hopping honestly and openly. This will work out better in the long run, especially if your reasons for changing companies were due to circumstances beyond your control, such as a layoff, relocation, or company closure; companies know that many good people are being and have been and are being let go. So be honest.