J Patrick + Associates Blog

How To Keep Your Resume Up-To-Date: Pain Free!

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Update_Your_Resume.pngRemembering to update your resume is just one of those things everyone intends to do, but really, who ever gets around to it? That is until the day when you need it, and you need it fast. So, if you’re like most people, you dust off the old resume, throw your most recent experience in at the top and you get it out the door without a second thought.But while your efforts may have been expedient, they are far from expeditious. You are not showing yourself in the very best light. We know that most recruiters will only spend an average of 6 seconds (6 seconds!!!) looking at your resume. You could be the most qualified person on earth for a position, but if your resume is not up to snuff then you run the very real risk of being overlooked.

Let’s run through some simple, easy ideas to help you avoid the last minute rush, and keep your resume up to date so it’s ready when you need it.

Mark Your Calendar

Think about the things you do on an annual or bi-annual basis. Dental cleaning, spring cleaning, rotating the tires on your car. We have built in reminders for all these chores; the dentist office rarely lets you leave without booking your next appointment in advance, spring has a funny way of making us WANT to clean out the closets, and your mechanic (if they’re worth their salt) will practically insist on rotating the tires at every oil change.

Why not create a built-in reminder to update your resume? My suggestion would be to use something that happens every year, or even better yet, twice a year. Daylight saving time might be the perfect candiate, this way it can become something other than the bane of parents of young children and anyone who dreads losing an hour of sleep every March.

So on Sunday, November 6, set a reminder, check the batteries in the smoke alarm and sit down to clean up your resume.

Clear The Clutter

When you’re an entry-level professional, it’s common practice to pad your resume with references, club affiliations and college accolades. But once you enter the workforce, all that padding needs to be stripped away. For the first few years you should still maintain a focus on your education, relevant internships and other skills you developed along the way but be certain to keep your most recent experience at the top.

Once you’re further along your career path, your resume must focus on only the most recent 10-15 years of experience. Be certain to edit out any skills, affiliations, college awards and outdated certifications that are no longer relevant. You might be attached to that Certified Novell Engineer cert you worked so hard to earn, but all it will tell potential employers and recruiters is that you are way behind the times.

Build The Perfect Ice Cream Cone

So what exactly does ice cream have to do with your resume? Well, just as all the good stuff is at the top of an ice cream cone, that has to be the case with your resume as well. Devote the majority of real estate to your most recent experience detailing projects, presentations and quotas met or surpassed. It’s here at the top that recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about accomplishments, and read stats from your last quarter. Providing the meat of your abilities (pardon the mixed metaphors) at the top, where the eye is naturally going to go, allows the folks looking you over to get the best snapshot of your current skill level.

As you move further away from the present, descriptions and lists of responsibilities become briefer. However, this isn’t the place to generalize. Providing dynamic descriptions of your past positions paints a much richer and fuller picture of you than a rote listing of job titles.

Practice Monthly Maintenance

When you are updating your resume there’s nothing worse than trying to remember how a specific project went down, or where on earth you filed those stats. In order to avoid a rush job, or trying to weed wack your way through your memory, I’d suggest you maintain a log of ongoing and completed projects, sales or installations. Not only will the information be at your fingertips when you need it, but you are more likely to remember the details better if you’ve kept a chronicle of  it in writing.  

Just as you make it your business to stay current with certifications, training and the most recent trends in your sector because it makes you a better employee and candidate for when you are ready to move up to your next job, keeping your resume up to date is part of career maintenance.

Are you ready for the next step in your career? If so, contact one of our recruiters and...

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Tags: Job Search, Resume Optimization

Update Your Resume So It's Ready When You Need It

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Update_Your_Resume.pngRemembering to update your resume is just one of those things everyone intends to do, but really, who ever gets around to it? That is until the day when you need it, and you need it fast. So, if you’re like most people, you dust off the old resume, throw your most recent experience in at the top and you get it out the door without a second thought.But while your efforts may have been expedient, they are far from expeditious. You are not showing yourself in the very best light. We know that most recruiters will spend an average of 6 seconds (6 seconds!!!) looking at your resume. You could be the most qualified person on earth for a position, but if your resume is not up to snuff then you run the very real risk of being overlooked.

Let’s run through some simple, easy ideas to help you avoid the last minute rush, and keep your resume up to date so it’s ready when you need it.

Mark Your Calendar

Think about the things you do on an annual or bi-annual basis. Dental cleaning, spring cleaning, rotating the tires on your car. We have built in reminders for all these chores; the dentist office rarely lets you leave without booking your next appointment in advance, spring has a funny way of making us WANT to clean out the closets, and your mechanic (if they’re worth their salt) will practically insist on rotating the tires at every oil change.

Why not create a built-in reminder to update your resume? My suggestion would be to use something that happens every year, or even better yet, twice a year. Daylight saving time might be the perfect candiate, this way it can become something other than the bane of parents of young children and anyone who dreads losing an hour of sleep every March.

So on Sunday, November 6, set a reminder, check the batteries in the smoke alarm and sit down to clean up your resume.

Clear The Clutter

When you’re an entry-level professional, it’s common practice to pad your resume with references, club affiliations and college accolades. But once you enter the workforce, all that padding needs to be stripped away. For the first few years you should still maintain a focus on your education, relevant internships and other skills you developed along the way but be certain to keep your most recent experience at the top.

Once you’re further along your career path, your resume must focus on only the most recent 10-15 years of experience. Be certain to edit out any skills, affiliations, college awards and outdated certifications that are no longer relevant. You might be attached to that Certified Novell Engineer cert you worked so hard to earn, but all it will tell potential employers and recruiters is that you are way behind the times.

Build The Perfect Ice Cream Cone

So what exactly does ice cream have to do with your resume? Well, just as all the good stuff is at the top of an ice cream cone, that has to be the case with your resume as well. Devote the majority of real estate to your most recent experience detailing projects, presentations and quotas met or surpassed. It’s here at the top that recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about accomplishments, and read stats from your last quarter. Providing the meat of your abilities (pardon the mixed metaphors) at the top, where the eye is naturally going to go, allows the folks looking you over to get the best snapshot of your current skill level.

As you move further away from the present, descriptions and lists of responsibilities become briefer. However, this isn’t the place to generalize. Providing dynamic descriptions of your past positions paints a much richer and fuller picture of you than a rote listing of job titles.

Practice Monthly Maintenance

When you are updating your resume there’s nothing worse than trying to remember how a specific project went down, or where on earth you filed those stats. In order to avoid a rush job, or trying to weed wack your way through your memory, I’d suggest you maintain a log of ongoing and completed projects, sales or installations. Not only will the information be at your fingertips when you need it, but you are more likely to remember the details better if you’ve kept a chronicle of  it in writing.  

Just as you make it your business to stay current with certifications, training and the most recent trends in your sector because it makes you a better employee and candidate for when you are ready to move up to your next job, keeping your resume up to date is part of career maintenance.

November will be here before you know it. Time to get ready for daylight saving time, now known as resume brush up day!


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Tags: Job Search, Resume Optimization

6 Ways to Ensure The Cover Letter You Write Is Read

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 10:14 AM

Bullseye success in cover letter writingWriting a great cover letter that is specific to each job search application is a must in today’s career marketplace. Using a one-size-fits-all, general cover letter for all your applications and communications is not an effective means to uniquely presenting yourself in a job search. The following six cover letter tips will help you write a concise, impactful cover letter that will improve your chances of getting noticed and receiving that call for the coveted interview:

Ensure your cover letter is short —no more than a computer screen shot or a couple of scrolls on a smart phone. That’s it! Hiring managers and associates do not read much more than that length. If it is longer, you run the risk of your letter getting skipped over.

Address your cover letter to a person—an actual person! Do not send it “To Whom It May Concern” or “Hiring Manager.”  Do the homework and research who you should be addressing your cover letter to for your submission.

Specify how you found the person that you are emailing. Most people have an instinctive response like, “How did they get my name?” when receiving an unsolicited, yet personalized inquiry. To be sure your email is received positively, indicate early on in the cover letter email how you came to discover the person in order to put the receiving party at immediate ease to continue reading. Whether it was research on LinkedIn or your former co-worker that led you to reach out to this person, informing the recipient of how your email landed in their inbox makes the person feel better.

Be explicit as to what job you are looking for, if it is an exploratory request, or submitting to, if there is a job posting. Do not leave it up to the hiring manager to decide which job you are applying to or where you may fit within their organization. If you do, your cover letter may get filed under the “T” file (Trash).

Do not write the cover letter as a prose version of your resume. Period. It is not meant to be a regurgitation of your resume. A cover letter is supposed to summarize to the reader the value you will bring to the prospective organization and how your background fills a need they have. Nothing will put your credentials in the ‘no’ pile faster than a lengthy, synopsis of your career history with no ties as to how your credentials benefits the hiring organization.

Help the reader connect the dots as to why they should take action and call you for an interview or forward you to the right person to bring you in for a discussion. Use bullets, and no more then 3-5 bullets, to outline how you are a fit for the prospective position.Lastly, of course, end your letter with the professional niceties of thanking the person for their time and assertively offering to follow up to set up an interview time. Polite enthusiasm and humble persistence are never out of style and always stand out in a positive light in today’s marketplace.Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Resume Optimization

3 Ways I Know You May Be Lying On Your Resume

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 01:14 PM

Lying on your resumeI have spidey-senses that can tell me if someone is lying or fudging the truth on their resume. I mean if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense and it’s probably false or fudged. It’s that simple to me.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are other signs, too. However, these are signs that almost 100% of the time are false….other signs are red flags and are not always indicative of a lie. I wanted to focus on the top three, in my experience:

1) Slash Titles

Unless you are a business owner where you have your title and function listed in your resume title, i.e. “President / Marketing Consultant” and you run a marketing consultancy, regular corporate HR departments do not issue formal slashed titles. In almost all cases where a slash title exists, the candidate added words to the title to make it reflect what they did (or what they think they did) and was not an HR-issued title.

2) All the percentages end in 5’s and 0’s

Even in a perfect world, percentages do not all end in 5’s and 0’s. So when I read a resume where all sales achievements end in X5% or X0% or all expense cutting efforts result in a X5% or X0% savings, I believe a candidate’s fiction writing abilities have entered the picture. Yes, I believe you are probably making it up when they all end in 5’s and 0’s. Life doesn’t work that way.

3) Ghost Consulting Roles

When you say you have been consulting, but list no companies or experiences outlining the consulting you did, I call BS. If you didn’t work, then own it and explain what you did do. Recruiters are way on to it when you say “consulting” nowadays. They want to know where, when and how.

List the truth authoritatively on your resume. Here’s how: http://resumecheatsheet.com.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Social Media, Resume Optimization

2016 Executive Resume Trends

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

2016 executive resume trendsJust like 2015, 2016 brings new and innovative ways to present resumes and tactics to utilize the information captured in the resume building process. In some cases the 2015 Trends are still very prevalent and still need to be incorporated into designing and writing a new executive resume document.

In addition to an eye-catching design layout, achievement-driven bullets and strong word choice to define your brand, as demonstrated in these executive resume samples, these 7 executive resume trends will help you ensure you are ahead of the competition and viewed as the leader of your field.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #1: Customize for the audience–not only the position.                                         

Sending a resume to a third party recruiter, you need to motivate them to want to send you to their client. Whereas, when sending your resume directly to a hiring manager, you need to address how you will create results for them and make their life more productive in hiring you. Factor this perspective in when sending your resume to a corporate recruiter or through an employee referral. Ask yourself, “What is their motivation to take the next step with your resume?” and address that point.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #2: Make it easy for readers to digest your information.                                                      

White space, white space, white space…Cramming content in multiple, information-dense, multi-lined paragraphs with little white space around each one is enough to make a reader go, “Next!” When recruiters see these types of documents, recruiters don’t want to read them. Make it easy for your readers to find information using bullets, sectioned off information chunks and simple graphics to move the eye through the document.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #3: Lead with your achievements early.

Put your best foot forward leading with your accomplishments early in the summary and in the employment sections. Gone are the days where there was a long summary or no summary. In today’s employment marketplace with shrinking attention spans, an executive must lead with the strongest first impression in the summary: their crowning, most relevant achievements. This will keep the reader engaged in 5-10 second increments and motivate them to keep reading.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #4: Treat your resume as your personal marketing collateral.

Just as you would have a business card or your biography on a company webpage, your executive resume is an extension of your personal brand. Your executive resume is your personal marketing collateral.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #5: Speak to benefits, not just your experience.                                                                     

Do not lead with years of experience if you want to be hired on merit. For example, “I have reduced operating expenses by 23% in six months” is much more interesting to an employer versus your stating, “I have 30 years of sales experience.” The latter elicits a yawn versus the former piques an eyebrow and leaves the person wanting to see where else you did that feat.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #6: Alignment with content your online and mobile profiles.

An executive resume is not a compartmentalized document anymore. It’s not the only way someone can find you any longer, and nor should it be. Ensuring your resume is in alignment with your branded.me page, LinkedIn profile, twitter account, blog, and other social media pages that are pertinent to have in your field is paramount. A hiring manager may find your work on your personal blog, but when they reach out to ask for your credentials and you send your resume, you want to make sure your online presence is in alignment with your offline / resume presence. Authenticity is everything.

2016 EXECUTIVE RESUME TREND #7: Use the resume and the process for other documents.

Don’t use the resume process to create a resume only. Use this accomplishment-gathering process and personal branding development exercises to create executive bios, 1-page networking resumes, infographics, social media bios, etc. Those that say the resume is dead are wrong. The resume may not be used in every situation every time, but the process in which to build a resume is still used to create other contemporary and traditional documents that are being requested at the executive-level job search more often.Want to ensure your executive resume is ready for 2016? Compare your resume to our samples and make sure to download our free 10-Minute Resume Cheat Sheet to compare your resume to an interview-winning executive resume.

 

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Resume Optimization

The Right Way to Use Overused Words In Your Resume

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Oct 06, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

overused words in your resumeWhile researching how to write a good resume or LinkedIn profile you often times run into the advice of using certain words like “creative” or “efficient.” The problem here is that anyone who knows how to use Google is probably using all the same buzz words in their resume as well.

Over time this leads to an apparent overuse of words that recruiters and hiring managers can spot in a heartbeat. As such, a word that was once a great way to stand out in your resume is reduced to fluff.

This doesn’t mean that certain buzz words aren’t still great for your resume. The key is to use them effectively so your resume doesn’t sound like everyone else’s.

Avoid being subjective.

With a simple Google search you can easily pull up a list of some of the most overused words on resumes and LinkedIn.

According to Careerealism some of the top overused words on LinkedIn are “motivated,” “responsible,” “analytical,” and “innovative.” In fact, the chances of you having a few of these words on your own profile is pretty high.

The issue here is that these words break a common rule of personal branding: stay objective.

These overused words by themselves are very subjective. That is to say, you are essentially stating an opinion of yourself instead of a factual account of your work history.

Essentially, if you have “Responsible and motivated individual with extensive experience” on your resume or profile a recruiter’s immediate reaction will be one of two things:

• “Gee, this guy Googled how to write a resume and must have copied and pasted what he found.”
• “Who says you are all of these wonderful things?”

You can avoid this by describing what you actually did at the job. How can you support that you are a responsible individual? What is your extensive experience, exactly? Do you have an example that shows how you’re motivated?

Use evidence to back up your statements.

If the only word to describe what you did is “creative,” then so be it. The issue is that most people don’t back it up with evidence.

What you need to do is show how you were creative by using achievements based bullets. For instance, if you are a creative Human Resources Executive Vice-President, you can outline how you created an evaluation system for a 200 person organization that resulted in an 11% drop in turnover and an increase of 25% internal staff being promoted.

This provides a picture for the person reading your resume so they no longer have to guess what “creative” means. Furthermore, this is a results driven example that would be totally unique to you as a candidate.

Use numbers.

Numbers are perhaps the most compelling way to demonstrate your skills. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those small things most people forget to put on their resume or LinkedIn profile.

Start writing your resume and LinkedIn profile with numbers in mind and you’ll easily avoid falling into the trap of fluffy buzz words. Did you increase revenue? Do you have percentages to prove how you solved a problem? How many projects did you create?

For some good examples of how to apply this technique to your resume make sure to check out our resume samples.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Resume Optimization

5 Powerful Ways to Incorporate Soft Skills Into Your Executive Resume

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

incorporate soft skills into your executive resumeUp until relatively recently companies thought that hard skills are what would get them their bottom line.

Now we’ve come to realize that soft skills are just as important when it comes to growing a company. Soft skills are considered to be behaviors and traits such as adaptability, critical thinking, people skills, likeability, time management and so forth.

Essentially soft skills are those that aren’t as hard driving or as up front. Often times they are skills that have more to do with your personality, making them slightly more difficult to put on paper. That’s why how you present them is crucial in whether or not you’ll get the job. The following are some ways to effectively & strategically incorporate soft skills into your executive resume.

Use soft skills mentioned in the job ad.

Job ads will often times have soft skills written into them. This will give you a clue as to what the employer is looking for. For instance, one employer may emphasize that a candidate be “results oriented” while the other may prefer “high energy and enthusiastic.”

Once you’ve identified the soft skills in the job ad make sure to incorporate them into your resume. This way you customize your resume for the position at hand. This technique is far more effective than sending everyone the same generic resume. 

Provide solid examples.

Anyone can say “strong communication skills” and “detail oriented” on a resume, but not everyone can prove it.

As with any of the skills you reference in your resume, make sure you have examples and facts to back it up. For extra effect see if you can use examples using the STAR Method. That is to say, think of an instance when your soft skills fixed a problem for the company and yielded great results.

For example, let’s say your company was about to lose a big client over a misunderstanding. The client was irate and ready to terminate the contract but you swept in and saved the day with your communication skills. This is where you can say you “Communicated effectively with clients whenever there was a misunderstanding.”

Use verbs related to soft skills.

One of the biggest mistakes executives make when writing resumes is avoiding the use of verbs. A quick way to remedy that is to use verbs that are associated with soft skills.

For instance, if you work in healthcare you often need to deal with a lot of people who are going through a hard time. Your ability to empathize with patients and their families and provide them with what they need is a key indicator in whether or not you are suitable for the field.

Highlight your leadership qualities.

Being a leader in the workplace requires the use of multiple soft skills at once. Simply put, you can’t be a leader if you don’t know how to deal with people.

Highlighting your leadership qualities on your resume can help you bring in very important soft skills into your resume. It’s also a very useful way of looking for examples that demonstrate soft skills.

Try to use quantitative examples.

If you really want to impress a potential employer try to find some quantitative examples of your soft skills. For instance, let’s say one of your soft skills is being “detail oriented.” You can mention how you noticed a numerical error in a report that would have cost the company a lot of money had it continued unnoticed.

In a day when relationships build business, it’s important to highlight your soft skills in your resume.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Resume Optimization

Resources for a Well-Balanced Job Search

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

well balanced job search

I believe that a successful, well-balanced job search is more than successful strategies and tactical actions a job seeker can take to get closer to finding that right job. A successful job search offers well-balanced advice to address the mind, body, spirit and financial well-being of a person. A balanced job search prepares the job seeker to be in the right frame of mind and in good health to perform well throughout the entire job search process.

Here are suggested websites that enable a job seeker to take a balanced approach to their job search by shoring up on wellness, positive mindset, health, money, global business knowledge and efficient job search tactics action to help them be viewed as ‘in-demand’ by prospective employers.

1. Zen Habits

www.zenhabits.com

I feel Zen Habits helped me change my own life and I encourage readers to use this minimalist philosophy, lifestyle and mindset suggested put forth by Leo Baubata, the founder of Zen Habits, to put life in its proper perspective and bring more joy to day-to-day living.

2. Tiny Buddha

www.tinybuddha.com

This website helps with your positive mindset each day. It helps you learn how to stop negative thoughts, manage stress, present yourself confidently, and empower your to the choices that make your life better.

3. WELL – Tara Parker-Pope on Health

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/

This leading NYT health and wellness blog by Tara Parker-Pope gives tips on how to eat well, exercise and take care of our bodies, that will ultimately help us perform better inside and outside of work.

4. MintLife

www.mint.com/blog

Effectively managing your money before, during and after a job search is paramount. Properly managed money, no matter what your job or income level, can take mounds of pressure off of the already pressure some situation of looking for a job and/or remaining employed, allowing you to make much better, qualitative decisions about your future.

5. Harvard Business Review

www.hbr.org

Show your next manager that you are up to speed on cutting edge management through leadership and demonstrate its application in preparing for yoru interviews. This is an amazing resources for lifelong learning.

6. Daniel H.Pink

www.danpink.com

Understanding how the world of work and employment is changing can help you present better in your next interview. Daniel Pink is a thought-provoking, motivational read, whether he is referencing content from his bestselling books or sharing favorite excerpts from TED Talks. Reading his blog, always leaves me feeling motivated and empowered.

7. The Recruiters Lounge

http://www.therecruiterslounge.com/

I have always said, “Want to find a job, understand how a recruiter thinks and then employ those strategies in your search to find opportunity and be found by hiring managers.”  Go right to the source to understand recruiters with this blog.

8. MeetUp.com

www.meetup.com

Feed your mind and your network by seeking out Meet Up groups that are aligned with your professional goals and personal interests (or the other way around). By finding like-minded people and engaging those with differing perspectives we grow our connections, increase our opportunities and expand our minds.

9. Tim’s Strategy

www.timsstrategy.com

Tim Tyrell-Smith has a blog that embodies a number of writers (full-disclosure, I am one of those writers) that address many career topics, effective job search tactics and resume strategies for all phases of one’s career. His blog is a job search tactic gold mine…

10. Jackalope Jobs

www.jackalopejobs.com

Jackalope’s  blog brings tactical expertise in ways to optimize your connections and your network to get closer to open opportunities. In addition, Jackalope Jobs has a great tool that enables job seekers to take their LinkedIn and Facebook network’s and leverage these contacts to see how the job seeker is connected to open jobs. Perfect complement to existing social media.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Resume Optimization

Is Resistance Killing Your Job Search? – 6 Job Search Mindset Killing Mistakes

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Sep 04, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

job search mindset killing mistakesEveryone knows that the job search can be a stressful time marked by hopeful ups and defeating downs. You get excited about new leads and suffer disappointments on your hunt for that perfect job that can become the next step in a successful career. This is normal. However, during your job search, you could be your own worst enemy by not accepting this is normal and, instead, taking it personally. Without even knowing it, you could be throwing up resistance and making mistakes that will kill your job hunt success from the start and throughout the process. These mistakes can be both physical and even emotional and will hamper your ability to land that great new job.

Whether you are top level executive looking for that next big advancement in an already successful career or you are a recent college graduate seeking that first job to kick off your career, you could be guilty of throwing up emotional roadblocks or making common mistakes that will stop you in your tracks from ever setting foot in the door of many companies.

6 Job Search Mindset Killing Mistakes

There are many common mistakes that job seekers make when looking for that next big job. Some of the most common you see are in their actions before they ever land that first interview.

• Research Fails – Often candidates believe they are properly prepared for their interview by researching all there is about the company. However, they fail to research their needs and their history and aligning what they bring to what the company they are looking to join needs. This can cause a candidate to flounder in the interview and erode confidence.

• Talk Down Accomplishments – During the interview, many candidates seeking to appear humble often talk down their own accomplishments making it seem like they really didn’t do anything in their past employment. Be proud of your accomplishments, but don’t be boastful.

• Go It Alone – Often job seekers feel they must pursue their next job like a lonely hunter in the night. The truth is, you can get a lot of valuable information and learn something from others in your position as well. Talk to them. Seek out the help of recruiters, similar positioned colleagues and job search experts, but don’t rely on them as your only source for new opportunities.

• Begrudging Attitude – No one likes searching for a new job. But in the end it all comes down to your attitude. Approaching it with a bad attitude will only result in poor quality work on your part. Be excited for your new opportunity and enjoy the hunt as you broaden your horizons. You may even learn a thing or two along the way.

• One-Size-Fits-All Resume and Cover Letter – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending the same cover letter and resume to many different companies. If you are truly interested in a position, you should do your homework and tailor both your resume and cover letter specifically for that position.

• Negative Head Trash – Assuming all setbacks are because you are not a desirable candidate or only unique to you is the biggest emotional and mental drain at the root of stalled job search. It is important to realize ALL job seekers have positives and negative aspects of the search and it is normal. It does not mean you suck. It means that was not the right employer for you.

Emotional Roadblocks

Your own emotions could be getting in your way as well. What’s worse is you may not even know it. Often if you aren’t getting where you want to go it is because of your emotions. You don’t believe you are worthy or are capable of that next big step. These feelings are often felt deep down and you may not even be aware of them. So, on the surface you are seeking that next big career advancement, but on the inside you don’t think you are ready even if you really are. This can cause you to appear less confident during an interview and you may not be willing to take the risks you need to take to get where you want to go.

Final Thoughts

Remember, when you are job seeking, look at your actions in an objective manner. Really look inside yourself and ask yourself why you are having a hard time and not finding the type of job you want. You could find that it isn’t because you simply can’t find something, but that you have become your own worst enemy creating unnecessary resistance in your job search. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We are all guilty of it at one time or another. Just pick yourself up and recognize what you are doing and correct it. You will soon find that you not only find the perfect job for you, but you nail the process every step of the way so your job search comes to an end.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization

On-Demand Economy Executives – 6 Tactics To Land Lucrative Assignments

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

 On-Demand-Economy-Executives The Economist reports that the On-Demand Economy in the U.S. currently employs 53 million free agents. A growing number of those free agent consultants are executives. The odds are that you will be among them, as a bridge to your next full-time job or as a new career path.

Fewer Executive-Level Openings Projected

From 2010 until 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall full-time jobs will grow about 14 percent. However, top executive positions are only projected to increase 5 percent. It’s in your professional self-interest to learn how to be hired for the plum executive-level contract assignments.

If your first choice is to land a direct hire role, then don’t give up on searching for a permanent position. However, rejection might be the way the marketplace is telling you to do course correction in how you are going about the process and expand your options on where you look for work.

Why You Should Consider Free Agent Consulting Assignments

There are many reasons why you could choose or find it necessary to become a free agent. Currently, these are the most common:

• Demand is there. With the current volatility, more executive positions become vacant abruptly. The top tier or board wants it filled on an interim basis while a comprehensive search is done. As that interim, you may or may not have a shot at the permanent job. But you are earning income, achieving and learning. That’s what counts. Another need comes from start-ups which require specialized skills short term. A third represents the way companies are maintaining manpower flexibility.

• Executives want more control over their lives. Traditionally this is known as the “work-life balance” issue. Executives with highly specialized skills that are marketable find that they can take this option, without downsizing income. Also, in this era of 80-to-100-hour workweeks, the stigma is gone in choosing to be a free agent.

• The infrastructure is in-place. Executives don’t have to hit the pavement searching for assignments. Established headhunting firms unofficially or officially have units for contract work. Also, there are boutiques tailored entirely to place executives in interim posts.

Okay, you have decided you are going to experiment with or commit to this way of working. The odds are that you will have the greatest satisfaction and success if you are open to modifying how you usually compete for professional opportunities. Just as with full-time jobs, you will have to compete to be hired as a free agent for contract roles and here are 6 proven tactics to land plum assignments:

Executive Free-Agent Playbook

1. Get up to speed on current formats for resumes. You may not have searched for work since college or your M.B.A. Even in a year or two the winners’ approach to resumes might have changed. Also, different industries and different companies now may have their own preferred formats. Research tone, organization of categories, length, fonts and use of color.

2. Create resume oriented for short-term projects. You will continue to follow the overall guidelines for the resume geared for full-time work. For example, you will begin with “Summary,” not “Objective.” However, you highlight recent assignments and the results you achieved for employers. That presentation will describe the project, objectives, skills leveraged and what can be quantified in terms of outcomes. Yes, you can use a pattern resume. But, you increase your marketability if you custom-make the content for the specific kind of assignment you are applying for. In cover letters and interviews, emphasize the value you created that was measurable.

3. Switch mindset from job history to recent achievements. If this will be your first kind of project work, then focus on what you have just accomplished for your full-time employer. Introducing a job history per se in isolation distracts. The exception is if the achievements from the last few jobs align with what is needed for this assignment.

4. Leverage skills, results and references from current or recent projects to landing the next one. For now, you have mutated from the permanent employee with a set job description and routine to a free agent. The latter is always looking for the next assignment. That means you have to continually sell what you can offer to the next buyer. What is most marketable are the outcomes in current or recent assignments. Bundle that into a powerful elevator speech.

5. Have a great attitude, even when turning down assignments. Employers hire human beings, not just a set of skills. In the downsized workplace you have to fit in with the team to get things done. That’s why you will be screened as to your ability to go with the flow. That counts even when you decide that an assignment is not the right fit for you. Yes, you can turn down some offers, but not too many. And do that with humility and gratitude.

6. Be hungry. In his iconic 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech, the late head of Apple, Steve Jobs, told the graduates to “stay hungry.” Of course, you don’t want to transmit the message that you are desperate. But you have to let the world know that you are available for assignments. Those include recruiters, contacts from project work and past jobs and those in your industry groups.

Staying Open

Few careers, especially executive ones, are linear. X doesn’t necessarily yield Y any more. What you manage to absorb and achieve in contract work can, if you are flexible, create myriad possibilities. You may be offered a full-time position with that or another company. Other plum assignments could be presented. You may decide to launch your own business.

In essence, time spent in the on-demand economy could have a major payoff in your long-term career.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Job Search, Resume Optimization