J Patrick + Associates Blog

Why Ageism Isn’t Your Real Problem

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

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Ageism as a challenge gets thrown around a lot in the executive recruiting world. There is this false assumption that because you’re a certain age that you won’t get the job. The reality is there are plenty of companies who will hire you for your expertise regardless of your age if you can properly convey your value.

Yet many executives looking for work still cite ageism as their main challenge in landing the job. Pardon the bluntness, but perhaps “ageism” isn’t the real problem here. In fact, it’s very likely that perhaps you’re making some mistakes that portray you as dated, inflexible and victimized – characteristics that are unattractive at any age.

Use our tips to make sure you aren’t coming off this way in your job hunt.

 

Your resume is outdated.

Resume trends change all the time. What worked 15-20 years ago will not work today. Furthermore, if you’re still working with the resume your college’s career center taught you to write, and have just been adding your jobs as they happen, then you’re in for a very rude awakening. You wouldn’t wear a suit from 1995, so why would you use a resume format from the same era? The days of sending in paper resumes are gone. Objectives have also been thrown out with yesterday’s trash. Additionally, everything has gone digital so if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or a way to participate in mobile recruiting then you’re going to struggle finding job.

 

The people you are contacting prefer corresponding via email—and you’re calling.

In the age of smart phones it’s a miracle if anyone uses a phone to actually talk on it anymore. The truth is several people loathe using the phone and prefer using email. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t really interrupt their day and doesn’t take nearly as much time. You may think it’s impersonal, but the reality is you can easily have the same conversation via email as you would on the phone. If you insist on calling (or worse, faxing) when your contacts clearly prefer email then you’re annoying them. It also shows you haven’t gotten with the times. That’s far worse than running the risk of being impersonal, which no one thinks of email anyway.

 

You don’t understand effective email communication.

The point of email and instant messaging is that it’s quick and to the point. If this is how a prospective employer operates for intercompany communications then you need to make sure you’re with the program. That means you must avoid sending confusing subject lines and emails that are the length of the Old Testament. MindTools has a great guide on how to properly write effective emails for business. Learning how to write catchy email taglines and first email lines is key to increasing the chances of your email getting read.

 

You make it hard for people to reach you.

Make sure your resume has a mobile number, email address and LinkedIn profile URL listing in the top section easily seen. Put some variation of your contact information in the summary section of your LinkedIn Profile, twitter bio and/or about.me pages. Google your name and see what options come up and see if it is easy to contact you when clicking on those links. Also, evaluate your email provider. Sometimes Verizon.net and aol.com email addresses can over filter emails and bounce emails being sent to you—even if you initially emailed the person. So ask friends to email you and see if messages bounce—and consider moving email to a more universal provider, such as Gmail.com.

 

You’re focused too much on the past during job interviews.

While it’s good to touch upon past accomplishments during job interviews you must remember to balance it out with some forward thinking conversation. For instance, don’t forget to mention how your skills can help the company with their current issues. You also need to talk about how you can contribute to company goals both now and in the future.

 

You’re too expensive.

This isn’t to say that companies are trying to get experience for cheap. It just means they have a budget to work with and not every position needs the expense associated with bringing on an experienced person. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t buy a BMW, if a Toyota suffices for what you need. Sometimes the executive role a company needs to fill doesn’t require so much accumulated experience and therefore isn’t worth the cost. This isn’t ageism, it’s just finances. With all of this outlined, know that I do believe ageism exists in hiring and can be a valid issue in preventing an appropriately qualified, within-the-budget executive getting hired. However, often, I see ageism is not the reason and one of the above reasons is the root of the issue. When someone cites the ageism cause without looking at what they can change or other valid business concerns, all they are doing is destroying their own mindset to get positive results from the search.

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: Social Media, Job Search, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

How to Look For a Job If It’s Been 10+ Years Since You’ve Had To

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

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If you’re a very experienced professional it may have been a while since the last time you looked for a job.

If you were lucky you got swooped up out of college and have been with the same company ever since. Now you’re starting to notice that being employed by the same company for life is a thing of the past. You may have noticed that even executives are changing jobs.

You’ve realized that it’s time to move on to bigger and better things, but you feel overwhelmed by all the changes that have happened since you last had to look. Use this handy guide to help you get back in the game.

 

Stay on top of your technology game.

Technology is always changing and more companies are jumping on board with things like new software and cloud systems. Stay up to date on all the technology in your industry to better your chances of getting hired.

If you’re not sure where to start you can use LinkedIn’s Pulse feature to stay on top of industry news.

 

Use phone apps on your job hunt.

Everyone these days has a smartphone, but did you know that developers have come up with several apps to help you on the job hunt? You can download them onto your phone to access nearby executive level positions, collect business cards and much more.

 

Be open to video interviews.

recent Forbes article noted a new trend among recruiters who are using video chat to conduct interviews. More than two thirds of the recruiters and hiring managers surveyed expect video interviews to increase in the next three years.

What does that mean for you? Don’t be surprised if a potential employer asks to chat on Skype.

 

Learn how to leverage social media.

Social media has changed the job hunting game. Forget the classifieds in the newspaper and good luck finding executive level positions on massive online job boards.

In fact, a huge percentage of employers are now using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find candidates. In fact,

You can use our 99 Job Search Tips from an Executive Recruiter eBook to learn about using social media effectively on your executive job search.

 

Update your resume.

You can’t use your resume from 20 years ago on your job hunt. It’s not as simple as adding your new work history to an old resume.

Quite frankly, even resume styles have changed since you last had to look for job. For example, having an objective at the top of your resume is now seen as a thing of the past.

Craft a new resume that shows your leadership skills. You can look through some of ourexecutive resume samples to get a feel for what is now expected.

The job hunt has changed significantly thanks to technological advances and the rise of social media. Use our tips on how to look for a job if it’s been a long time since you’ve had to and avoid being caught off guard when someone asks you about software, social media or a video interview.

 

Originally posted at How to Look For a Job If It’s Been 10+ Years Since You’ve Had To
- Lisa Rangel
 

Tags: Social Media, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

How Being Private Is Affecting My Job Search

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

How Being Private Is Affecting My Job Search

Is Being Too Private Killing Your Job Search? Four Ways to Use Social Media and Be Found Online!

A high-level executive is eager to find a new job.  He uses Facebook for personal things, is present on Linkedin but barely uses it, and sees no value in Twitter.  He states he is looking diligently at job boards and networking strategically but has gotten nowhere in his search. He believes it is vital to maintain his online privacy, and it seems to be working:  he is so private, no one can find him!  It is impossible in this day and age to conduct a job search without using these social media tools in a robust and proactive way. 

There is one thing most people looking for a job may not realize: Recruiters automatically filter out the less technically savvy from their applicant pools by using these tools. So make sure you are present in these mediums, or consider yourself filtered!

There are certainly legitimate safety reasons for some to remain under the radar and off the grid. I am not advocating publishing your social security number or the answers to your banking security questions on public domain. However, with the exception of a select few individuals, both passive and active job seekers need to have a branded presence on the web to ensure the other aspect of their search strategy can be effective. Everyone must have a vibrant online presence in order to be found by the right people--those who can lead to the next opportunity.

  • Have at least 250 LinkedIn connections. 

-          You are already on LinkedIn, so make it work for you. If you consider people on all levels from many different aspects of your life (professional employment, education, childhood, family, friends, neighbors, vendors, clients, service partners, personal services, hobby enthusiasts, extracurricular activities…you get the idea.), you can reach this connection threshold. This will improve your qualitative search result dramatically to yield you better job search leads.

-          Side consideration: If you are thinking, “LinkedIn never really worked for me.”, ask yourself, “Do I REALLY work it?”  Would you walk into a networking event, not speak to anyone, and then come out and say “Wow, what a waste of time…no one spoke to me and I did not receive one lead!” Of course not!  You need to think of LinkedIn in the same way--use it to proactively reach out to others to make it work for you.

  •  Strategically use Facebook contacts to help your boost your job search network. 

-          Using Facebook for mostly personal stuff is okay, but consider contacting certain people offline to connect with them and determine if you can help each other out in a professional and meaningful manner.  You won’t be able to help everyone and everyone will not be able to help you, but all you need is a few key contacts to help bring you to the next level in your search.

  • Start using Twitter, even if you don’t tweet!

-          If you are not sure what to say in the 140 character limit, then don’t say anything!  Instead, create an account to follow recruiters in your industry and/or discipline that post positions in which you have an interest. You can be a silent presence on Twitter until you are ready to tweet—which may be never. But until then, do not let this goldmine of opportunity pass you by.

  • Create a searchable webpage housing your resume, achievements and means of contact.

-          This page only needs to include your general location, phone and email. Specific identifying information does not need to be listed. Even general location does not matter if you are open to relocation or are looking for virtual positions or jobs that naturally require significant travel.  You can even create an email address for your public page that is different from your personal email address.  As hiring managers run searches for what you do, doing this ensures you can be more easily found by them.

With many cases of identity theft occurring every year, online privacy is obviously extremely important.  But when you need to advance your career, get out of a dysfunctional company or end your time in transition, there is a way to prudently advance your online professional profile that doesn’t risk your security.   Otherwise, you have to consider the consequences of staying hidden and determine if it is a cost you are willing to pay in the form of stagnant career or unemployment.

 

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: Recruiter Tips, Social Media, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

5 Common Networking Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Oct 01, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

5 Common Networking Mistakes To Avoid

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Andy Lopata.  I hadn’t actually heard of him before but apparently he’s known as Mr Networker by the Sun.  I liked what he went on about as it seemed very aligned with our thinking here and what I have learned through working with Simon and also what I have observed and learned through my own experiences.   The points outlined below aren’t just a regurgitation of what I heard from this talk.  The talk spurred me on to think about this topic and in this article is what is occurring to me now.

Networking has been quite a ‘hot’ topic recently and seems to be the ‘thing to do’.  Everyone is doing it!  I thought that it might be useful to jot down a few learnings and observations of what feel like pretty common networking mistakes made when building connections:

 

Attending a networking event and ‘selling’

Ok, so when we ‘network’ –many of us have the underlying agenda where we are after something.  Usually we want the people we meet to help us in some way.  We are after a promotion, a new job, some insight and inspiration on what to do next and so on.  We would like the people we meet to help us in our career and lives.  This is fair enough - however, going to a networking event and spending all of your time trying to ‘sell’ yourself or whatever your company offers isn’t particularly useful.  How many people are there to ‘buy’?  None right? So don’t sell!  Go there to get to know the people around you.  Don’t shove your life story or current major problem or need in their faces.  They don’t know you yet so they aren’t going to help you if you just ‘sell sell sell’. No-one likes a salesperson – so don’t be one.

 

Collecting numbers

Networking is not about the number of contacts you have.  Do you have 5000 facebook contacts? 6000 linkedIn connections? Maybe a couple million business cards and a few zillion email contacts?  Is that good networking? Nope! Networking is not about collecting up the largest number of names you can get.  That’s not going to help you.  Maybe you have the biggest database of names and contacts in the world.  However – that isn’t of any use to you unless these people are going to help you when you drop them a line.  When push comes to shove and you ask them for help – what will happen?  Will they remember you? Will they care? Or are you just another number in their database?  Networking well and building up useful connections is all about really knowing the people in your network and them knowing you.  People only want to help you if they know you, trust you, respect you.  If you are just a number – you mean nothing.  If they are just a number – what’s the point?

 

Not Being Genuine

Too many times have I seen people try to talk to me or get in contact with me simply to ‘network’.  I get several invitations on LinkedIn each day from people wanting to ‘widen their network’.  If I join their network – then what?  Will we become good mates and help each other out?  Do they know me? In some cases maybe there is something genuine there – but in most cases I’m thinking not.    Now - what about meeting and greeting people.  Well if you’re being genuinely interested in getting to know the people around you – then you are more likely to build a useful connection and grow your network effectively.  If you are simply building a network superficially so that you can call on them when you want something and you don’t really care about them as individual, unique, talented people – they’ll suss that out and not really like you for it.  There was a guy I knew at Uni.  He graduated, became a big banker, joined some hedge fund and went off and became a big ‘networker’.  He rings you and contacts you if you are deemed ‘useful’ to him.  That is seriously self-centered, superficial and – not genuine.  Thus – can he contact me for help if he wanted it? Nope.  He is not a part of my ‘network’ – because I don’t believe in that approach.  So if you want to meet people and network – that’s absolutely fine – but do it authentically and genuinely. 

 

Dismissing the network you already have

We all have a network ready and waiting for us before we even start going out to ‘network’ and grow it.  It’s a common occurrence to forget about the people who we already know.  At school, university, through friends, family, extended family, friends of friends, work – through each of your jobs – you have met many very interesting and talented people – all of whom will have a different take on life and their careers.  Their experiences and interests will be varied and vast.  It can be very easy not to realize just how many people we really know or just how valuable our network actually is.  Maybe you know or have come across many people but you do not really ‘know’ them.  Why not spend some time getting to know them. Dig deeper. Find out what makes them tick – what experiences they have had, what they have done in their careers, who they hang out with, who their mates, family, friends are.  You are closer to getting what you want and meeting whoever you need – than you think.  Your mates brother, dad, second cousin, next door neighbor - could be just the person who could help you.  So – do not dismiss or forget about the people you already know. Get closer to the network you already have.  Form deeper relationships with them and you never know who you may come across.

 

Give to get and remember it’s not all about you

People want to help those who help others.  Or – people want to help those who help them!  So if you just take, take, take – you won’t continue getting for long! Don’t make the mistake of just calling people up when you need something.  Also don’t make the mistake of expecting those you ‘network’ with you give you whatever you want, when you want. It’s not all about you!  If you spend all of your time with others – talking about what’s on your mind – what you need, what you’re after, how they can help you, what you care about – it’s a one sided, pretty boring story!  It should be a 2-way thing.  Offer to help wherever you can.  Be genuine about it – and you never know what will evolve from that.  Try it and see!  If you offer up a useful contact and help someone out – they will be grateful, remember you for it and respect you.  They will remember that you are a great person to know and that you can help each other out.

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

The LinkedIn Checklist: Your Advantage To Getting Hired

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Aug 09, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

The LinkedIn Checklist: Your Advantage To Getting Hired

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Every day at J. Patrick + Associates, we see first-hand the intense competition in the job market.  Trust us in saying that anything you can do to help your chances is definitely something you should do. 

One of the most important recruiting tools in the JP +A tool kit is LinkedIn Recruiter.  The tool enables our recruiters find the right candidate for the job almost 100 percent of the time.

Your LinkedIn profile is something that you shouldn’t take lightly--you never know who could be around the corner looking at your profile.  In fact, it could be the employer of your dreams looking for that certain someone to bring on board.

There are many different items you could add to your LinkedIn profile.  But which ones are the most important?

For starters you’ll want to add a professional picture. This is often the first thing that draws in potential employers.  Remember, once it’s out there, anyone can see it. If it is inappropriate for your industry, chances are you will not be hearing from any recruiters or hiring managers.

Another must-have in your LinkedIn profile is a detailed professional summary. Don’t be afraid to showcase your areas of expertise and other skills in which you excel.  If a hiring manager or recruiter stumbles upon your profile and your summary is top notch, they’re likely to be very optimistic when viewing the rest of your profile.

This next tip may be the most important.  When building your LinkedIn profile, don’t skimp on the job descriptions.  Detail, detail, detail! Let everyone know what you did, how you did it, and when you did it.  Many times the recruiters at J. Patrick + Associates have come across profiles that list high-ranking, important, even mission-critical jobs.  Unfortunately, all too often there’s just not enough information there to connect them with the job requirements that the recruiters must fill.

Also, your educational background is a fundamental component of a complete and professional LinkedIn profile.  Ensure that you enumerate and describe all the degrees that you have earned.  Listing your colleges may also help in another way: if the recruiter or hiring manager sees that you went to the same college as they did, it’s frequently a leg up.

On LinkedIn, just as in the old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar job hunt, you must connect with people.  Connecting in LinkedIn is extremely important; it helps you distribute your profile and your personal brand throughout the LinkedIn network. 

Furthermore, ask your contacts to endorse you.  Endorsements, like references, serve to showcase your capabilities as a professional and your desirable qualities as a person.  People trust and value people who are already trusted and valued by others.

Speaking of reputation management, are there any articles that talk about you in a positive light? For that matter, have you published any articles showcasing your experience and expertise?  If so, definitely add these to your LinkedIn profile.  Publications that showcase your abilities and past success could be the tipping point that gets you on a future employer or recruiter’s short list.

Last but not least, provide your contact information.  Be as complete as possible. Whether it’s an email address, phone number, both, or more, remember that LinkedIn is your tool to connect with potential employers. You can’t harness the power of the Internet without connecting - and nothing is more frustrating for a recruiter than a possible candidate that cannot be contacted.  While a recruiter or hiring manager could certainly send you an inbox message via LinkedIn, don’t let this be your primary means of contact.

LinkedIn has grown to become one of the most important business social media sites in the world today, and it is only getting bigger.  With around 225 million users (and growing) you have to do all you can to stand out from the crowd.

 

 By Jake Pinto

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

Managing Your Online Reputation

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Look as professional online as you are in personEmployers do check the social media presence of job applicants at some point in the interview process. Some check upon stumbling onto your background when searching for talent on LinkedIn, others right before the interview and other employers do a thorough investigation before extending an offer. No matter what the employer’s process is, you have to assume, people will want to check you out online during the recruitment process.

Here are some ways to not only clean up your online image, but put forth a positive image that will leave employers wanting you on their team:

1)       Google your name in Google Search – Perform a search on your name to simply see what comes up. This will help you come up with a game plan not only to clean up your profile, but to proactively strategize on what to include to improve your online image and set you apart.

2)       Search on your name on other Search Engines other than Google, such as Bing and Yahoo. While search results should be consistent, sometimes they vary. Double check and ensure you are coming across as you wish.

3)       Maintain a professional, but fun, Facebook profile. Mind the pictures you post and consider limiting tags by others to pictures on your wall. Ensure your wall and photos are professional in nature (so take down the party pic of you dancing on the bar with your friends). Post academic achievements (I received an A on my chem. Exam!!), athletic wins (I just did my PB during the 5K race!) and non-profit initiatives (Loved participating in the food pantry fundraiser last night…consider joining me at the next event).

4)       Check your name in Google Images – Here you will see what pictures are online that are connected or tagged to your name in a public manner.  You may not have all of your and your friends’ Facebook pictures come up, depending on the privacy settings. However, all public photos that are tagged to your name will arise.

5)       Check your privacy settings on Facebook and other online media. Assume nothing you put on the web is ever private—that is my cardinal rule. If you are in doubt if you should put it up, well, maybe you should not do it.

6)       Write a professional LinkedIn Profile that is optimized with key words to improve your ability to be found by recruiters and land an interview. 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find their next hire. You need to be here.

7)       Create a Twitter account to follow target companies and network with contacts who can help you lead to your dream job. Twitter provides real time data to improve the content of your communication with key contacts.

8)       Consider removing information that references topics that should not be considered as part of a hiring decision, such as religion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or other group represented in Title VII or the American with Disabilities Act. It is discriminatory to ask for this data or use it in a hiring decision. But if the information is offered by the applicant, it can (wrongly) be used in a hiring decision in an unconscious manner.

9)       Share positively across all social media channels. Negative rants are major turnoffs to employers, as no one wants to hire their next problem. Demonstrate your ability to communicate constructively and don’t overshare.

10)   If you do have negative information about you that you cannot remove, or share a name with life-long criminal, one option you have is you can create new content by launching a blog, writing online book reviews, creating a personal website URL (i.e. www.yourname.com), and using other tactics to bury the information.

11)   Not coming up anywhere online is almost as bad as having a negative online image.  Employers wonder do you get technology and/or what have you been doing all this time? So get online to get hired.

Maintaining a professional online image without losing your personality is very doable. Take the time to craft the image that is true to you and resonates with employers to land that first job—making your time in school all worth it.

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: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

15 Ways to Fiscal Cliff-Proof Your Career

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:00 AM


describe the imageYou can triumph and advance your career in this fiscal cliff economy! Whatever happens in Washington over the next few months, the fact remains that the uncertainty posed by the fiscal cliff have many people worried about how it will affect their job and their career. The rumblings about how the fiscal cliff outcome can affect people at work is loud. Despite this growing concern, I believe you can win in this economic turmoil. How, you ask?

As a general rule, focus on what you can control and ignore what you can’t control to stay sane and win during this tumultuous economic time. Companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees…so here are some things you can do to demonstrate this characteristic in you:

1) Remain calm, stay focused and simply do your job. If your employer sees you as someone who is resilient and productive amongst the economic noise, they will note that you might be worth keeping around if cuts are to be made.

2) Be the voice of reason: stop talking about what can go wrong and focus on what can be done right. Again, employers want to keep the employees that are positively contributing to the environment and not the Chicken Littles who are running around that the sky is falling.

3) Stay social – ask a work colleague out for lunch and call a long distance professional buddy to chat. And, for God’s sake, don’t talk about the fiscal cliff or any other negative economic fodder. Chat about productive topics.

4) Join a professional networking group and stay abreast of what is going on in your discipline and your industry. Make new friends.

5) When doing your performance appraisal spell out how you contributed to revenue initiatives, saved money and streamlined processes. Tell your boss how fabulous you are in concrete, measurable terms.

6) Be grateful and happy…seriously. If you come across happy and grateful, your employer does not have to worry about making you happy. One less thing to worry about on their growing to-do list can help you stay employed. I find that demanding, disgruntled, never-satisfied employees who contribute to the problem rather than the solution do not tend to stick around long.

7) Update your executive resume and optimize LinkedIn profile to reflect these winds outlined in your performance appraisal. Have these documents ready to roll if needed.

8) Audit your LinkedIn connections and see that you are connected with vendors, clients, external and internal partners. Maximize your reach.

9) Get LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements…can’t hurt, right?

10) Be active online…post interesting articles, endorse other people, and participate in groups to stay visible in online mediums.

11) Research professional development initiatives you can do…certifications, professional credits, and ongoing learning initiatives improve your credentials and create natural networking opportunities, whether they are in person or online.

12) Book yourself to attend a conference…when was the last time you went to one in your industry? Promote yourself as a leader in your field and for your company.

13) Time to turn off the news…don’t listen to it. Unless you are contributing to the senate meetings or advising the President on how to proceed, you really don’t need to listen to the play-by-play.

14) Sign up for interview coaching class or work with a private coach to hone your message and improve your confidence. This type of preparation can help you with a promotion at work, communicating during your performance appraisal and interview for a new job, if needed.

15) Help others. Be a resource to your network. Connect people who can benefit from knowing each other. This will be remembered when you ask for help.

The bottom line is keep your eye on the prize—retaining and excelling in your job—by just over-delivering on what you are supposed to do. Even you lose your job due to economic circumstances beyond your control, the good karma that will come from doing most of what is suggested above will increase your opportunities to be hired quickly. Again, companies want to hire and keep productive, resilient and happy employees. Companies realize they cannot make you that way, you have to come to them that way, despite the fiscal cliff looming or the financial opportunities arising.

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: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Information Security, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Seven Ways to Design an Effective CIO Executive Resume

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Seven Ways to Design an Effective CIO Executive Resume

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Designing a high-impact executive resume as a CIO, or if you are evolving to become an information technology (IT) executive, is one of the most effective means of communicating your skills, promoting your achievements and demonstrating how you are the best candidate for a coveted CIO role. The key difference in creating an effective CIO executive resume versus a professional-level IT resume is to integrate human capital management skills and fiscal acumen abilities alongside with technical hardware, software and cloud solutions throughout the resume. The bottom line is, as an IT executive, you need to demonstrate how you can utilize human and technological resources to improve corporate profitability. Period. Here are nine ways you can achieve this goal:

1. Practice what you preach. IT recruiters tell me that nothing irks them more than an IT executive that does not include website or social media links on their resume. I am told that a CIO or upcoming IT Executive that has very little to no presence on the internet, or worse, a poor presence on the web, demonstrates that either they are not a lover of technology or that they are a poor promoter of themselves.

2.  Gravitate from tactical implementation and graduate to strategic perspective. When compiling your CIO resume, be sure that you showcase your corporate contributions to top line, expense line items, workflow productivity and  the bottom line. Graduate from citing specific tactical skills and responsibilities, that can be common in a staff-level or middle management information technology resume, to outlining initiatives where you have added value and projects that you have led to achieve results. The key with a CIO resume, as with all c-level resumes is to include the long-range effects of your work in addition to the short-term results. You want to show how you can strategize on the big picture and cause movement with what is directly in front of you.

3.  Showcase soft skills alongside strong financial achievements. Don’t have readers get lost in your resume with a  list of systems, software, hardware and applications in which you have expertise. Your  CIO executive resume will be read by technical and non-technical types and you must cater to both audiences. We know you have impressive credentials and achievements, but don’t let the metrics overshadow your human capital accomplishments. Outline how you incorporated technology and human capital to drive workflow productivity, revenues and profits for the business.

4.  Demonstrate that you can attract high quality talent and lead teams to achieve results. Effective IT Executives not only manage technology, but they successfully manage people to manage technology to bring results. Successful CIOs set up deals, influence key decision makers, nurture vendor relationships, possess sharp negotiation skills and attract key talent. Do not lose sight of the importance of your people skills contributing to your past and future success.

5.  Use appropriate context when communicating to prospective employers.Talking about your biggest achievement is not always best. Reframing it, however, to showcase your accomplishments in a way that is digestible for the prospective employer is always preferred. If you saved $7 Million dollars on one initiative within a $125 Million dollar employer, but now you are applying to a $18 Million firm, you may be perceived as being overqualified for this next position. Either choose achievements that are within the fiscal scope of the prospective company, or consider using percentages to outline your accomplishments. Another tactic to use is to focus on downplaying or highlighting the size of regional budgets, global budgets, business lines, or other business entity sizes to match the prospects.

6.  Showcase results and downplay technical jargon. Outline your technical and human capital achievements in universal language and not just financial jargon. Appeal to the many types of audiences by whom your resume will be read. You may be most comfortable speaking in acronyms or technical vernacular, but not all CEOs and executive hiring teams are aware of techspeak. I suggest that you speak about technology in approachable terms to be understood by many types of executive management. This will demonstrate your ability to work with non-technical types in a subliminal manner.

7.  Be what they want but never lose yourself in your resume. The content in your resume, social media profiles and communications should be congruent with your personality, beliefs and work style, while still meeting the needs of the prospective employer. Ensure your resume will be in line with the person who shows up on the interview. Always be who you are on paper, online and in person.

The resume of a successful Chief Information Officer must not only demonstrate that you  know the why and how behind the technology, but it also must tell a story on how you have communicated effectively with managers, lenders, shareholders, vendors and others key partners.  Frankly, the best CIOs will show how they identify and implement current technology that breeds financial benefits that improves the company’s position within its marketplace. strategically, design and implement business plans and inspire leadership within the financial departments and with the executive management team to solidify its company’s future.

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

Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Is Your Resume Ready for Mobile Recruiting?

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Is Your Resume Ready for Mobile Recruiting?

Lisa Rangel, Resume Writer and Career CoachBy Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

 

The job search game has changed, yet again!  Just as you learned job search tactics for your resume to be digested on social media, your resume has to now contend with being read on iPads, iPhones, Android phones, Blackberries and every other type of old and new tech device in between.

One Sunday night, I had a friend of mine send me their resume in the spirit of networking asking if I could facilitate any introductions. As I opened the document on my iPhone, I noticed that the contact information on the resume was missing. The employer information was absent, as well. Just blank spaces on the resume where this information should have been placed. Yet when I opened the document on my PC, the contact and employer name information was where it was supposed to be—it was just placed in a table. I learned (and my friend learned the hard way) that information placed in tables are not read by iPhones. 

 

While I have been reading resumes on smartphones of some type since 2006 or 2007, it is now apparent the job search and the recruitment model is going mobile like many other industries. How can job seekers be ready for these technological adjustments and what should they expect?

 

(1)    Make your communications ridiculously concise. Cover letters should be as short as a screen shot. For certain social media channels, you have to convey your intent in 140 characters or less  to get the ping back from the job poster to contact them offline.

 

(2)    Test your resume and cover letters on various mediums and devices to ensure they open and appear properly. I have been opening resumes on PDAs, and now smart phones, since 2006 (maybe 2005).  Some recruiters have been doing it much longer than me.   Resumes in dated Word versions have a lesser chance of opening on a newer phone. Are your Mac docs compatible with PC, Droid and other non-Mac gadgets? Can your PC-based docs open on iPhones and iPads?  Perform some quality controls with your documents and see what can open where.

 

(3)    Use your mobile phone number on your resume—remove land lines from your applications. This will enable you to receive recruiting SMS text messages from employers who use this technology. ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) such as Bullhorn and Bond Adapt house this information in applicant data files and can send out mass job alerts via SMS text, as well as email, automated phone messages, etc.  Landlines cannot receive texts—and who knows if your kids or parents will answer the phone!!  Yikes!

 

(4)    Get your QR Code. Jury is out on how these codes will be used en mass by corporate and search firm recruiting departments to benefit from their features in an economies of scale capacity. But until that is figured out, get your code and look like you are cool, hip and happening (without using those words, of course). QR Codes are being used at job fairs for all types of candidates, especially technology and digital jobs, and at various types of industry conventions at vendor booths and promotional venues. Currently, they are in use and can help vying recruiters find you as an early adopter of this technology.

 

(5)    Engage recruiters online on Twitter, LinkedIn and other appropriate social media venues (blogs, industry groups, networking groups) for your career. If a company is seeking a social media savvy marketing executive, they will not post an ad in the NY Times. They will find relevant sources and viable candidates where they expect this next hire to already reside. Be the job you want—and they will find you.

 

(6)    Get your resume posted on online and social media forms. A paper resume is often the last version of your resume a recruiter will see. Your personal website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter bio, Branchout/Facebook Timeline, About.me or VisualCV may be the first thing they see in searching online for people like you with your credentials. Those virtual documents need to be equally as engaging as your print resume, as they are often the first impression seen by others.

 

(7)    Embrace the use of job search apps on your phone. These are very much in development for many companies and organizations. The major job boards and social media channels all have a mobile version (Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed.com, TwitterJobSearch, etc…). These can help you keep track of responses  on your submissions and comments and stay up to speed on new job openings posted by the recruiters you follow.

 

Mobile recruiting is still in its infancy for many industries and companies. But if you are in a progressive industry or profession, it is paramount that you embody these new trends into your daily job search activities.

Lisa Rangel is the owner of Chameleon ResumesTM (www.chameleonresumes.com) and a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Consultant and Certified Job Search Strategist.  Lisa has 13 years experience as an Executive Recruiter, and is the author of Do-It-Yourself Branded Resume Kit and Interview Confidently, Get Hired & Don’t Sell Out! – How to Land Your Next Job on Your Terms

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Best Job Search Advice Ever? Pretend You’re Fired Today….

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

By Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

Guest Blogger

Few years ago, a good friend of mine gave me this piece of advice after she had been released from a position unexpectedly.  I find senior managers can be released from a position if they do not share in the management philosophy leadership promotes or believe in the plans the company is implementing to grow. Being fired is not only related to poor performance, which is something I have learned from working with candidates over the years. It can take one by surprise.

So back to the advice.  She told me, “The best thing you can do, Lisa, is pretend you were fired today. You would start to make a list of all the activities you would do to land your next job. Take that list while you are working and do one item a week to ensure you bases are always covered.”

She formulated this golden nugget of advice in hindsight.  She thought she was secure with her firm since she was growing revenue.  So she never went to lunch with people in her network. She did not have a resume ready or even loosely constructed.  She did not make calls to former colleagues or school mates in business to stay abreast of their progress. I mean she was too busy working hard in her job.

She did not see that the direction of management was changing and, essentially, she did not share in this philosophy of this new direction. And one day, she was let go. She was blind-sided.  She shared this piece of advice with me to ensure that it did not happen to me.  And I have shared it with countless people over the years to pay it forward.

So let’s pretend you’re let go today.  What would you do?  Here are some things I would do to get myself back in the saddle again (this list is by no means exhaustive or in any particular order):

(1)    Pull out the resume and ensure it is updated and reflective of my achievements (not just a list of tasks. Be sure I have a cover letter that can support my resume

(2)    Make sure everyone I worked with at any level is connected to me on LinkedIn

(3)    Get recommendations on LinkedIn where it makes sense. 

(4)    Put my vendors, clients, prospects and other external corporate connections into LinkedIn to connect with me.

(5)    Devise a target list of companies where I would like to work based on industry, geography, discipline, or benefits needed

(6)    Shore up on certifications and necessary professional development requirements in my field

(7)    Look up when conferences related to my profession are taking place and make plans to attend

(8)    Join profession/industry related association to network with like minded individuals

(9)    Brush up on interviewing skills through a course and/or with friends that I trust to help me

(10)Make coffee / lunch appointments with friends, former colleagues and other professional connections to stay current on what is going on in their lives, at their companies and in a global sense.

(11) Help someone with their professional goals: maybe introduce two people that can help each other; get your former colleague into a company he has been looking to gain as a client; mentor a student that is looking to obtain their first job

(12) Get a massage—in other words, do something to take care of yourself physically and mentally

Now take the list---and start doing it now while you are working.  Don’t get overwhelmed. Just put in your schedule one item per week to start.  Call a former colleague and meet them for breakfast.  Arrange to meet someone from another department you have not seen in months for your 3pm Starbucks run. Contact a local college for an interviewing tactic class.   Is there a college grad in your extended family or neighborhood that needs help finding a job? Call them and ask what you can do to help.  Helping people makes you feel good, allows the person you are helping get what they need and they will remember you when/if you need help in the future. We must give to get.

But Lisa, I am already not working…what do I do?  Let’s audit the list.  How many of the items above are you doing?  When was the last time you invested in yourself – professional conference attendance, skill certification or personal care (you feel tired and spent, yes?—so take care of yourself to have all your energies to focus on the search).  Have you created a target list? Are you marketing yourself using LinkedIn connections you know and those you do not know?  Or are you just responding to job postings…you need to network and market yourself to land your next job. Passive searching will not work in this economy.

Bottom line is this. You do not need to practice this concept perfectly.  And you certainly do not want to be so on top of networking for your next job (unless you are not working) that you lose your current job.  But the key is to build your network in a genuine manner by helping and giving at a time when you do not need it, so if this happens to you, it will already be in place – or at least started – to help you when you do need it.

Lisa Rangel guest blogger resized 600

Lisa Rangel is the owner of Chameleon ResumesTM (www.chameleonresumes.com) and a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Consultant and Certified Job Search Strategist.  Lisa has 13 years experience as an Executive Recruiter, and is the author of Do-It-Yourself Branded Resume Kit and Interview Confidently, Get Hired & Don’t Sell Out! – How to Land Your Next Job on Your Terms

Tags: Social Media, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization