J Patrick + Associates Blog

Is A Cover Letter Important?

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 03:00 PM

Is a Cover Letter Important

When talking about job applications, I always used to say that a cover letter was useless. 

It’s just more stuff to write.  I wasn’t a fan of the cover letter, to say the least.  While they were the norm until about ten years ago, thanks to online applications cover letters have become arguably outdated and certainly less-used.  

Today, the rule of thumb seems to be to not include a cover letter unless an employer specifically asks for one.  In fact, many employers disregard the cover letter when they see it. They just skim through the resume and throw the cover letter out like last week’s leftovers. 

Unfortunately, these employers miss the importance of the cover letter.  


The Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter actually gives the employer a great opportunity to really see who a candidate is prior to the interview.  

When well written, they can be a powerful communication tool.  Now, crafting this tool can take some serious word-smithing. So don’t just breeze through the writing process. Your cover letter should be a work of art and it can make you or break you in the eyes of a possible employer.  Consider this: your cover letter creates your first impression in the mind of the reader; definitely do not take it lightly.  

That said, a cover letter gives you a great opportunity to showcase your strengths in a longer format.  You can use a cover letter to really focus and elaborate on the specific qualities that make you the right fit for a position. They are the first step to getting that interview and eventually getting that job.


Cover Letters Can Help You Stand Out

These days, in the eyes of some, the cover letter is a dying document. Maybe it’s true that employers just don’t have the time to read through both the resume AND the cover letter.  And, yes, even recruiters don’t need a cover letter to place somebody, either. I can’t complain. Like I said before, I despise writing cover letters. But in reality, cover letters count. Without one, you miss the early chance to put yourself above the competition and really showcase what makes you unique.


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

Want To Get Ahead At Work? Take A Vacation

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Nov 06, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Even at J. Patrick executive it and audivisual recruiters take breaks for their careers

The American workforce can be described in many ways: driven, diverse, tenacious and dedicated. It can also be described as incredibly stressed out!

Taking time off is not something Americans do well. In fact, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Project Time Off, 41% of Americans did not plan to use their vacation days. 

Among the reasons cited in the survey were: 

  • A fear that they’d return to a mountain of work that would leave them playing catch-up for too long (40%)
  • Could not afford to take time off (33%)
  • They don’t want to appear replaceable (22%)
  • Want to show greater job dedication (28%)

All these reasons are perfectly logical. But they are also incredibly flawed. There are several key reasons taking your vacation time actually enhances your chance for advancement.


5 Key Reasons to Take a Vacation

1. Everyone Needs To Recharge 

There’s only so long a person can keep performing at the peak of their abilities without time to rest, recover and regroup. If you need inspiration, you need to look no further than at how elite athletes use rest to enhance performance. Just as they must be careful not to overtrain least they suffer from burnout and staleness, so too must the dedicated employee. And burnout doesn’t only affect your mood, the health implications are real.

In order to remain healthy, productive and effective you have to learn to step back to recharge. Just like a car battery, you’re valuable only as long as you’ve got a full charge.


2. Creativity Needs to be Fed 

Even if you’re not a fan of musical theater, chances are pretty high that you’re familiar with the phenomenon that is Hamilton: An American Musical. And if you’ve heard even one interview with the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, then you know that he was inspired to create the show after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, while on VACATION. What Miranda thought would be an interesting beach read, turned out to be the seed for an amazing creative breakthrough. 

For a business-related example, you need to look no further than Kevin Systrom, who dreamed up the idea for Instagram while laying on the beach. Now, I’m not suggesting that taking a vacation will lead you to write the next great American musical or the next disruptive tech idea,  but there is an important lesson to be taken from these examples. Allowing yourself time away from the demands of the office, deadlines, and day-to-day business makes room for your mind to wander. Science has given us very convincing insight into the virtues of daydreaming, and the impact it has on creativity. It’s your ideas that make you stand out at work; give yourself the time and space to dream some new ones up.


3. Build Alliances 

Relationships are everything in the workplace. No matter where you are on the corporate ladder; trust, faith and cooperation among team members are key to success. And just as one weak link can threaten the entire chain, so too can one burnt out, exhausted, running on empty, employee. 

By taking vacation days you are not only taking care of yourself, but you are also presented with the opportunity to enhance the bond you share with your team. Planning coverage, or training someone up to watch your desk fosters cohesion and cooperation.  A word of warning here: if you don’t feel like you can trust your co-workers or manager to insure things run smoothly, it might be time to look for a new placement!


4. Appear More Productive

Project Time Off found that “People who take all their vacation days have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or a raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time on the table.” While this may fly in the face of conventional logic, the reason is simple: managers perceive happy employees as more productive. 

Now, this isn’t to say that taking vacation time is a magic salve guaranteed to fix everything that ails you, but it can give your brain and your body important time to recuperate and gain some new perspectives.


5. Financial Benefits

If nothing else can convince you, not taking time off means that you are spending those allotted days working for free. You may be the most dedicated employee or the hardest working team member who doesn’t think twice about working overtime in order to get the job done, but if your boss flat out asked you to work without compensation for 10-12 days a year, would you?

If your goal is to get ahead, get that promotion, prove yourself a great employee: you owe it to yourself, your co-workers and your boss to take time off, feed your creativity and rest your body.


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Tags: Career Strategies, Productivity, Career Path

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Offers

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 01:39 PM

Two Competing Job Offers


Your job search and interview process have finally paid off, however with two competing offers,  each presenting certain benefits that make it a good fit.  

The first thing you should do is just take a moment and remind yourself that some people would riot to be in the position you are in.

Now, let’s break down some points to help you evaluate how to best handle the “two job offers” situation.  

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Job Offers

Written In Ink

When presented with multiple job offers, it’s natural to start comparing them immediately. However, it’s not wise to do so until you have a physical copy rather than just verbal offers of both opportunities. You want to be able to weigh several vital factors, such as health benefits, vacation time, maternity leave, and commute time against each other. All of these important data points should be measured as concretely as possible.

Also remember, without a written offer, your negotiating power is limited since you're basing all of your facts off a verbal agreement.

So get it in writing and don't forget to read the fine print!     


Be Honest

When you encounter this kind of situation, it’s common to ask yourself if you should tell one company about the other offer.  In some cases, one offer may require a decision before you've received the specifics from the other proposal. If you have the opportunity to review both offers without spilling the beans then you should do so. It’s possible for a company to feel as if you're trying to shake them down or force them into a bidding war by revealing the other offer.

If you’re cornered and have no other option but to tell the company about the other offer, then do so carefully. An example would be:

“I am appreciative of your offer, and the thought of joining your company is very exciting, but I will be honest and tell you that there is another offer that is currently pending, and I’d like some time to weigh all my options.”

You will always run the possibility of them saying no or stripping the deal; however, hopefully, they’ll respect you for being honest. And in the end, you can thank them for making your decision a lot easier.



Once you have both written offers in hand, you should start by writing down what specifically you want from the new job. Make sure, however, to always keep an eye out for any red flags. Health insurance, good company culture, there are so many different variables to take into account, especially with multiple offers.

This shouldn't be a quick process where you immediately run to the offer with the highest salary. You’ll be spending a good deal of your time in this new position, so make sure to consider all factors and not just the obvious ones. To make this process a little easier, consider making a S.W.O.T analysis or another form of a comparison grid.

Before considering the negatives, start mapping out all of the benefits from each proposal. Only after you’ve compared the potential benefits is it time to move on to review the negatives. Factors, such as work environment, travel distance, and your overall happiness should be given the utmost consideration.

The simple act of physically writing them down allows you to grasp a better understanding of the benefits of both offers.


Take A Walk

Take a break. After all, it’s what you do when you need to blow off some steam or if you've hit a rough patch at work. It’s essential that you give yourself some time to think and clear your mind. 

When you're stuck in one way of thinking, find some sort of distraction, whether it be watching a movie or reading a book. Just make sure you get out, let loose, and let the two offers be the last thing on your mind for a little while.


Make a Decision

Though this kind of situation can become stressful, you must ultimately choose what feels right for you. Consider everything that is important, make your decision, and never look back.

We all have that inner wisdom lying in the bottom of our stomach -- Listen to it.


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Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies, Career Path

How to find Candidates with the People Skills you need

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:47 AM

Candidates with People Skills 

Everyone wants to hire a Rock Star, aka the perfect candidate. You’re looking for skills, experience and depth of training. But there’s another quality that makes someone stand out, and that’s their ability to communicate.

So here are a few tips on how to improve your ability to find and hire candidates with great people skills.


Awesome Descriptions Drive Traffic

Designing a killer job description is the first way that you’ll start attracting talent with strong interpersonal skills. Be certain to highlight specifically what people skills you’re looking for. Do you need someone to be customer facing? Someone who can deal with complaints well? Or just someone who can work well in the office? Identifying exactly what you require and being clear about it will help attract the brightest candidates..


Resumes With Meat

While a resume helps you find people with the necessary technical skills, it cannot necessarily tell you how proficient a candidate is with people. A resume that touts “good communication skills” isn’t a specific description of the candidate’s soft skills. So, start by looking for specific examples of their ability. Has the candidate headed up a team? Do they cite specific customer facing projects supported by metrics and data? Someone writing “skilled at dealing with a wide variety of people” indicates they’re aware of their ability to work with multiple types of personalities.


Interview (Should) = Reality

The best way to see how a candidate  communicates is to communicate with them. If they say they’re experienced in dealing with difficult customers, look to test that. Stage a mock sales call in which the customer gets angry or confrontational.

Also observe how they communicate with others in your office. Are they able to easily communicate or do they falter and stumble? This is also a good way to see if the candidate, and their communication style, is a good fit with your organizational culture.  


Willingness to Argue

As counterproductive as it sounds, someone who is able to argue effectively can be a great employee to put in front of customers. They can represent your company even in the most difficult settings.Candidates who show they can handle tough situations, and work to defuse even the most tense situation, are the people you want representing your company.

Give them hypothetical arguments to make. Have candidates defend a previous decisions they made in another organization. Point out to them some hypothetical flaws. Ask them what argument they would make if you told them you didn’t think them a fit for the job. How they handle the stress tells you how they’ll handle it in the field.  


Not all Follow Ups are Created Equal

Every candidate should, of course, follow up after an interview. But if you're looking for people skills, look for those who include personal or especially specific information. Do they remember every person they met, from all levels in the company? Doing so is indicative of someone who is detailed oriented, and knows how to make an impression.

People skills are what makes the difference between a competent candidate, and a real rock star. There may be plenty of qualified people out there who meet your technical qualifications, but it’s the great communicator who will help move your business to the next level.


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Tags: HR and Hiring, Career Strategies, Career Path

6 Skills You Need To Develop To Be A Leader At Work

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Skills to be a leader at work

6 Skills You Need To Develop To Be A Leader At Work 

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” - Jack Welch

Let’s get this straight from the get-go; there is no such thing as a natural-born leader. Regardless of how much power and influence one may have been born into, leadership is a learned skill. Sure, it comes easier to some and we can’t ignore that there are those who enjoy a quicker route to the top, but in order to stay there, to keep growing their influence, they had to cultivate some key qualities.

Leadership is not a title, it’s a mindset, a way of being. Whether you have your sights on management, the C-level suite, or run your own business, you’d do well to begin integrating these qualities into your everyday life now, for habits only become habits with practice.

Here are 6 things Great Leaders know:

1. Leaders Speak Less, Listen More

The only way to get a broad understanding of any situation is to first listen to what others have to say. Take everything in, consider all sides of the story before formulating your response. Then, once you’ve considered what it is you want to contribute, concision is the key to effective communication.

When you are willing to listen more and speak less, others will feel more valued if you are willing to hear them out. When you do speak, people will be far more apt to listen.

2. Leaders Value Integrity 

Someone who motivates and drives a successful team is, first and foremost, a model of reliability and accountability. Reliability is won by doing what you say you’re going to do when you said you’re going to do it. And then going one step further to take responsibility should things go sideways.

3. Leaders Are Always Adapting

There has to be more than one solution to any given problem, and a good motivator knows this to be true. Rigidity kills innovation, leaving no room for new ideas to bloom. Certainly there may be standards and procedures that must be adhered to, but a good leader leaves room for creativity to bloom.

4. Leaders Communicate 

While this may sound at first like a contradiction of Speak less, listen more, it’s in fact an important leadership skill. Assumptions not only cause conflict and wasted time and resources, but they also diminish trust. Once again concision is the key - it takes less time to communicate clearly with your boss, your team, your customers than it does to clean up the mess left behind by confusion and miscommunication.

5. Leaders Know It’s All In The Timing

Patience is a virtue, so we are told, and it’s also a key to understanding what true leadership means. Now is not always the best time to hold that meeting, to send that email, to ask your boss to assign you to that project. Just as entrepreneurs know that there must be a period of sacrifice before success, planning ahead and being willing to be patient often means the rewards will be all the sweeter.

6. Leaders Know the Goal. 

The point of being a leader is not glory or accolades, or even the biggest office. In business, the goal it to build a strong company and ensure that everyone succeeds. Ego, selfishness, competition and other cut-throat tactics might get you ahead in the short term, but a career to be proud of is built of stronger, more generous material.

Successful leaders are not born, they are made from integrity, respect and hard work.

Are you looking for a new position to help you meet your career goals? If so, let J.Patrick & Associates hunt for you!

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Tags: Career Strategies, management

5 Ways To Fire-Proof Your Career

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 11:00 AM


5 Ways to Fire Proof Your Career

Today's job market is candidate-driven. Demand is high and employers have to compete with each other to attract top talent. There may be no apparent end in sight, but most historical down-turns were not broadcast until they hit. I have no crystal ball and I certainly hope there’s no downturn anywhere on the horizon, but the wise person is always prepared.

And while there’s no such thing as a truly fire-proof career, there are some key things you can do to build a buffer and ensure that no matter the economic environment, that you are a highly sought after candidate.


Here are 5 Ways to Protect Your Career

1. Assess Yourself

A valuable employee is a self-aware employee. Understanding what it is that sets you apart from colleagues and competitors and what you can bring that no one else can is vital information to know. It may very well make you uncomfortable to think of yourself in this way, but if you expect employers to see you as invaluable, you’d better know this first. In order to withstand unexpected twists and turns in the economy or your industry, you must remain relevant. The first step is knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. And then, choosing to build upon them both.


2. Always Be Adaptive

Even if you’ve been at your current job for 10+ years, and are well-established in your position and industry, you need to remain flexible. Times, like tastes, change, and how good you are at what you do is only one part of building a fire-proof career. Once you venture outside the safety of your current position - either by choice or due to changes in your company - you need to be up on the latest trends across your industry or discipline. Just because your present company is content with the status quo does not mean others are. Business changes at the speed of light- keep your running shoes on at all times.


3. Always Continue Learning

Staying current with certifications might very well be part of your job responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that that’s where you should stop. Seeking out training from vendors you work with helps to add value to your knowledge base, even if it’s not germane to your current position. There are free webinars, vendor trainings,  and a constant stream of information out there to be explored. Making education a constant part of your work ethos is vital to staying current and marketable.


4. Build a Solid Referral Network

While mastering a high level of expertise, building a successful track record and establishing yourself as a highly regarded professional will always make you an interesting candidate, no one will know about it if you don’t have a solid network of peers and higher-ups to recommend you. The level and degree of recommendations you’ve gained on LinkedIn is one of the first things recruiters and hiring managers alike look for. Even if you don’t see yourself leaving your current position in the conceivable future, adding new recommendations to your profile will only serve to keep you current and in-demand. 


5. Build a Network of Mentors

Even the best C-level executives have mentors. Advisors who have been where you are, have seen what you’re seeing, and know from experience how to navigate choppy waters. But a good mentor doesn’t have to be C-level or even a VP. What makes a good mentor is wisdom and insight, and a willingness to share their expertise and experience. And just as a mentor is someone you might turn to when handling a tricky deal or situation in your current position, a mentor is also someone you want to go to when it’s time to move on. Because of the unique relationship one has with a mentor, they can often be more candid and insightful. Seek them out. Listen to their advice and then weigh it against what your gut is telling you. Just as Luke had Yoda, seek out teachers, even in the most unexpected places.

So, yes, the title of this blog post is misleading. There is no such thing as a fire-proof career. There’s no sure-fire way to insulate yourself from the ups and downs of your industry or the economy. However, since there isn’t, what you can do is make sure you to hit the above points in order to make yourself a whole lot more fire-resistant.


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Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies

5 Simple Strategies That'll Make Your Employees Love Your Company

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Dec 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM

5 Simple Strategies

According to a recent survey conducted by the Association for Talent Development, there are 5 reasons that motivate employees to stay with their current employer:

  • A good manager for whom they enjoying working for
  • Feeling appreciated by their manager
  • The opportunity to advance their careers
  • A promotion or a new title
  • The opportunity to learn or develop skills

Employee retention is one of the most important focuses for a company. High employee turnover can have both financial and non-financial repercussions. In addition to facing increased costs in employee selection, training, and separation, there is also a reduction in employee morale and productivity to consider. 

Here are some strategies to keep your talent pool happy, healthy, and productive.

Provide Competitive Employee Benefits

Provide competitive benefits that meet your employees’ needs is essential in retaining your best talent. Comprehensive health insurance that includes family plans, life insurance, and competitive 401Ks gives employees a sense of safety and builds trust in your company. Be sure to routinely re-evaluate your benefits package to accommodate employees’ needs. 

Small Perks Can Make a Big Difference

Small perks can be little and inexpensive things that can go far in the retention of your employees. Fitness stipends, telecommuting options, at work stress-relief programs help employees manage work with their everyday life, reduce stress and can even increase productivity. Offering occasional catered lunches or company retreats also help to enforce the company’s culture and build stronger relationships among employees.

Foster Employee Development

Promote from within...

When a position opens up in your company, consider your existing talent pool before looking outward to fill the space. Promoting from within motivates employees to work hard and creates a clear career progression path for employees. For example, Sodexo employees name career growth and opportunity as the #1 reason why they choose to work for and stay with the company.

Leadership Training Programs

Offering training programs for current employees show your employees that you’re committed to their development. You can offer training programs in new technology, industry standards, and anything else that will equip your employees to progress in their careers.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Creating programs and policies that encourage work-life balance will show your employees that the firm cares about their well being. Offering work-life balance workshops can teach employees how to better balance their work and personal lives and reduce work-related stress. Policies such as flex time and personal time-off can lead to employees having more of a handle of their schedule and be able to work it around their personal life.

Create an Employee Buy-In Strategy

Finally, to improve employee retention, help employees “buy-in” to the mission and vision of the company. Help employees understand the impact their daily tasks have on the company’s mission and make the connection to how the mission benefits them. Other things such as sponsoring employee and family events encourage team building and family inclusion at work events also work well as buy-in strategies. Clearly defining the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) around the company’s vision to help foster excitement, motivation, and engagement among employees can help keep your employees happy.

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Tags: HR and Hiring, Career Strategies

Top 5 Tips for Introverted Executive Job Seekers

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 10.18.44 AM

If you consider yourself shy, or introverted, what can you do to help yourself land the job you want?

This is a comment I received recently:

“Reaching out for extroverts is easy…for us people who are socially awkward, it can be so painful to just say hello to someone. It’s worsened by the fact that I dread small talk more than anything else out there…”

If you are shy, or introverted, hear this message: you are not alone. I understand what you mean because I feel the same way you do.

Working as a recruiter, and now in my own business, I can tell you that a lot of people are uncomfortable reaching out to others, and many people dislike small talk. That said—outreach and social connection are an essential part of your job search. So what can you do?


Introverts and extroverts—they are everywhere

Personalities of all kinds populate the workplace. Outgoing and more private personalities reach for different jobs, opportunities, and responsibilities. Depending on what statistics you read, about one of every three people is likely to identify themselves as an introvert.

One traditional differentiator for introverts and extroverts is how they naturally seek to recharge themselves. Do you gain energy by working a crowd and talking to people? Or do you naturally step back from crowds, listen and think before you speak, and refresh yourself with alone time? Another tendency is sensitivity to stimulation—are you exhausted by small talk in a relatively short time?

Long-held myths about introversion and extroversion sometimes color how people think of others and themselves. Consider these myths about introverts and extroverts:

• All introverts are shy
• All extroverts are outgoing
• Introverts do not make good leaders
• Extroverts are generally good public speakers
• Introverts are introspective
• Extroverts are not introspective

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you may not be comfortable starting conversations, or reaching out in a way that would further your goals—or your job search.


Getting what you want just the way you are

Being comfortable building and presenting your personal and professional brand is an essential aspect of a successful job search. For some, this could mean gaining skills to help along the way. For others, it means becoming confident with the person you are right now.

For everyone, language is a vital part of communication. How your resume and cover letter are written, what you say in an interview and how you say it, and the way you follow through create the impression of who you are and how you might perform in the workplace. Part of my job as an executive resume writer is helping you use the language you need to get your brand across.

For anyone interested in functioning more smoothly in social and professional encounters, consider these top tips:

1. Know your pitch:

Before an interview, or networking engagement, think of your own “elevator pitch.” More than just a statement of your name and interests, understand what you have to offer, and what you might bring to a conversation.

2. Queue some topics:

A successful tactic for breaking the ice is knowing two or three questions that help you get a conversation started. A good resource for managing small talk is Debra Fine’s book, The Fine Art of Small Talk.

3. Know where to go:

At an event, workshop, or party, keep in mind there are others present who are less—and more comfortable—than you are. I sometimes try to find someone in a room who looks uncomfortable, and focus on setting them (and me) at ease. I walk up and introduce myself. I might ask what brings them to the event. Both of us gain an association. Alternatively, identify people energetically engaged in meeting and connecting with others. They often welcome your introduction and are happy to help you meet others.

4. Networking:

Making and cultivating social media and other contacts is important in a job search. You might find it difficult to cold call, or email, a connection and ask about a particular job. Instead of asking about a potential position, ask for helpful advice and feedback on your search.Informational interviews are a great way to less formally connect with people, and professionals, who might aid your job search.

5. Do your part:

When you are in a position to help others, reach out and do your best. For introverts, reciprocity is a great way to build a relationship—and your confidence.

You do not need to “conquer” or “overcome” being shy. Introvert or extrovert, thoughtful, or verbal—know your natural inclinations. Use your awareness—and the right tools and tactics—to make the most of your talents during your employment search.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Career Strategies

How Executives Use VUCA to Get Ahead

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:00 AM



Business instability thwarts the best laid plans. Yet volatile and dynamic market conditions offer executives the opportunity for game-changing achievement.

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) are here to stay. Once considered a cyclical process, technical and financial expansion—and contraction—cause ripples of change on a weekly basis throughout global economies. If you are an executive, or seeking a job shift, how can you use unpredictability to your advantage?


VUCA—what is it really?

While change is certain, VUCA is something different. The common factor of VUCA variables is instability. Change may usher in a period of instability, which is often foreseen and can be managed. VUCA has elements that cannot be managed—but can be exploited to help your company and enhance your resume.

Many C-suite executives take an oppositional perspective on our new VUCA world. Viewing VUCA as an unavoidable enemy, these leaders double-down on strategic planning and hope for the best. But the best way to deal with VUCA is to embrace it.


What does uncertainty look like?

American Airlines, Yahoo, and Twitter—what do these companies have in common? Consider these stories:

• In 2013, American Airlines Group saw only $1.8 billion in profits and merged with US Airways. Identified by Fortune magazine as one of the companies that lost the most money in 2014, an organizational reshuffle and providential fuel cost reductions gave American Airlines renewed vigor—and a revenue increase of 60 percent.

Melissa Mayer, the Google executive turned Yahoo CEO, continues her quest to restore Yahoo. While the results are not in, Ms. Mayer is being closely watched as she continues to use market and company maneuvers to refine her turnaround plan for the company. Ms. Mayer has widened the audience who respect her agility and ability.

• Another web company, Twitter, is in the grips of turnaround in the highly uncertain Internet ecosystem. Interim CEO Jack Dorsey is saying all the right things after the departure of former CEO Dick Costolo. Can Mr. Dorsey navigate VUCA to build the relevance of his brand—and his legacy? Time will tell.

Each industry is unique. The specific recovery plan for an airline is not going to work for a web communications company. Yet an understanding of how to work and achieve in volatile circumstances is common to success across the board. Whether you are in an executive position, or in transition, alignment with VUCA offers more opportunity than fighting it.


Create achievement from ambiguity

How can you capitalize on VUCA to ride the changes and get where you want to go? Consider these tips:

Volatility: Volatility has come to mean rapid, momentous market energy. This uneasy quality is easy to use with the right attitude: just accept that change is a constant condition and respond by using strategic thinking to create scalable processes. Recognizing the opportunity within volatility offers you a chance to position, or reposition, your company—and showcase your executive ability.

Uncertainty: Uncertainty is the nagging feeling you do not know enough to make a solid decision. Trust that impulse. When uncertain—talk to experts, ask for feedback, and gather information to support your innate decision-making ability. Respected decision makers acquire trustworthy information. If seeking a C-suite, or other professional position, speak with mentors, associates, and other advisors to develop the information you need to create, or illuminate, your direction.

Complexity: Perhaps the richest of all VUCA variables, complexity speaks to the interrelatedness of the dynamic factors affecting your business—or your job search. Step back to identify and understand the elements at play in your present professional or personal environment. This will enable you to develop a critical, comprehensive plan to address issues that are stifling your job search, or limiting success in your current position.

Ambiguity: In any job search, or employment transition, ambiguity is present. Like complexity, awareness is key to managing and using ambiguity. Ambiguity, by its nature, creates tension. Use that tension to renew a job search, investigate new directions, or as motivation in your current executive position.

The element common to each VUCA variable is emergence. Steering your company through volatile economic conditions is a high-level resume achievement. Capitalize on VUCA to create the change, and achievement, you need—to get the new job or promotion you deserve.


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: Career Strategies

How To Get The Job As An Outsider

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Oct 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

How To Get The Job As an Outsider

It’s no secret that executive-level positions are often times given to internal employees. They’ve been with the company a while, they know how it works and the company already feels comfortable with them.

This can present some unique obstacles to an outsider trying to get in. However, it’s not impossible to make a move to an executive-level position in another company. All it requires is learning how to leverage the obstacles to your advantage.

How to Get the Job As an Outsider

Explain How Being From the Outside is a Strength

Research suggests that when people are trying to find a creative solution to a problem it oftentimes requires that they find an outsider. Simply put, the outsider has no preconceived notions about the situation, they also aren’t completely involved in it, whereas insiders maybe a little too invested and therefore blinded to solutions.

The ability to see a situation from the outside enables a person to find solutions easily. They can see holes where others can’t. They can also think outside of the box. This is a huge strength to play on when vying for a position within another company.

Here’s another strength: you may know more about the market and the competition than they do. Being from the outside enables you to see the company as a consumer. This a whole new way of looking at it that can be extremely beneficial when implementing marketing campaigns, revamping customer service or addressing product development issues.

Reach Out to the Right Contacts

Your best bet to getting any position (externally or not) is to come in with a personal referral in hand.

Connect with individuals within the company you’re looking to get into. You could start with your personal network and then expand outward with a LinkedIn search. You can also find many of these individuals partaking in LinkedIn groups.

The key is to find individuals who have enough clout within the company to help sway high-level hiring decisions.

Please keep in mind that just as with in-person networking events there is etiquette to follow when networking on LinkedIn. Customize your connection message, have a genuine interest in this person, and get to know them on a professional level.

Look for Companies That Are Open to Outside Management

Not all companies have policies in place that allow them to hire outside management. You don’t need to worry about them.

Instead, find companies that are flexible about opening up management positions to outsiders. This is easier than most people would think. Chances are that if they are posting an ad publicly then they are open to it, otherwise why would they bother when they can just look internally?

Big job boards can get convoluted easily. Instead try specific searches on LinkedIn or go straight to the company’s Careers section on their website.

You should also stay open to recruiters. Take their unsolicited calls and hear what they have to say. They’ve been hired by companies to search the candidate pool and find the best people.

By leveraging your skills and being strategic you can move up by moving over and get the job as an outsider.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Networking, Career Strategies