Think about that for a moment. Anyone can make a list of job titles they have held, committees they have been on, even positions on local boards or volunteer agencies. But the biggest question to a future employer is what did you actually accomplish?

If you can’t get that across, it doesn’t matter how important the positions were you held. In order to make a lasting impression on an interviewer, they need to understand that you get things done. That you get things done in an efficient manner. That you get things done on schedule or even ahead of schedule.

And after you say that, then you must give a specific example of a problem at your last job, what action you took and most importantly, how the outcome was far better than your Boss had ever expected. The interviewer will remember that specific example and remember you.

As an example, when asked about your customer service skills you could say, “I’m a people person”. Or you could say:

As the Store Manager for Best Products in Hopewell, Va., I received a call one Christmas Eve from a customer about a ride-on toy he had purchased for his 6 year old son for Christmas. It was 8 PM when he noticed that the specialized battery for the car was not in the box. So I told him I would meet him at the store and we would get him the battery. I called my Assistant Manager (just in case this was a set-up) and I headed down to the store. We found the battery in another box and I sent him home, relieved that Christmas wasn’t ruined for his little boy.

Now that is a true story and it sticks much better than “I’m a people person”.

So as you prepare or review your resume, think about what you have specifically accomplished and the results you have produced. Then write that and be sure to share that in the interview. The results will amaze you.

One of my Twitter followers is looking for a new job and lives in Arizona. Cathy wanted to know about  Career Centers.

The question is a great one. Career Centers can be a valuable resource when job hunting. Finding an agency that has the experience and connections is essential. And this applies if you are job searching in Arizona or any other state in the Union. Since Cathy wants to stay in Arizona (I live in NJ so I can’t  blame her for wanting to stay where its warm) she is searching for someone who knows the local economy, the local business and their needs. She is looking beyond just posting her resume on LinkedIn,  “spraying, then praying” as she sends out hundreds of resumes via online job offers, then praying she’ll hear from them.

My thanks to Cathy for getting me thinking about how people find jobs. Once you find out that most of the major newspapers now partner with Monster, you see that many people are looking at the same jobs on-line. Finding a local source with up-to-the minute listings gives anyone an edge.

In Arizona, I know that Valerie and staff at Accurate Placement offers such a service. Cathy can submit her resume to hundreds of job opportunities in Arizona via their website http://www.accurateplacement.com/ Although much of what Accurate Placement does is on-line, there are real people behind the website interested in helping people find jobs.

Once you find a good source for reviewing all open jobs, then the work really begins. There’s researching the companies, preparing for interviews and picking out what to wear. Then thank you cards to send, second interviews to prepare for and finally salary negotiations.

Remember, finding a job is a job! So use all the resources at your disposal to find the job of your dreams. Cathy is!

Nov 13 “Working to get you Working”

Posted by | November 15, 2011 | Newsletter

Last Week

Wednesday I attended a Jobs Fair for Veterans in NJ. I got to speak to Vet’s looking for jobs and some who came to the event just to support their fellow man/woman. That really impressed me. Not only are they looking out for each other under hostile conditions, but also during the transition to civilian life, which to some Vet’s may seem just as hostile. I left impressed by the level of commitment

This Week

Thursday will be New Jobless claims.Last week was 390,000. The 4-week moving average was 400,000. Perhaps we really are hitting bottom?

 

This week I will be speaking to a radio audience in Oregon. Sweet101 has a noon day news show and I will be talking about jobs and hiring. When I get the link to the show I will send it out. Hope you can listen in, it will be at 3PM est.

LAST WEEK

The Friday US Dept. of Labor October Report showed Non farm payrolls added 80,000 jobs. Unemployment remained at 9.0%. The Huffington Post reported that many people have exhausted their benefits and are no longer receiving assistance.
There is still a lot of political talk about jobs but is seems that both sides are using job creation against the other party instead of creating jobs for their constituents . I hope I will soon be proven wrong.

UPCOMING

Thursday will be New Jobless claims.The past 4 weeks have been flat around 406,000. Maybe there is a light after all?

This coming Friday is Veteran’s Day. Please say thank you to those who are serving. I know some people say “it’s their choice of a job”, but the demands are great and the sacrifice often is the same as our fire fighters and police officers here at home. I think all who serve deserve thanks.

I updated my OneStopJobsOnline Face Book page this week, check out the welcome video tab.

There are days when everything just seems to fall into place and others days where I just can’t seem to catch a break. What makes the difference? I get up from the same bed, eat the same breakfast, shower, shave and dress in the same manner. I drive to work along the same route and listen to the same news radio station. I park in the same parking spot at work and enter through the same door. Yet some days things go exceptionally well and other days it seem like I should have stayed in bed.

The same thing happens when  you are job hunting. What seems to work one day seems to be out of kilter the next. Why that happens may be summed up in two words; preparation and opportunity.

As an employee and manager, I find the next day goes best if I have made the time to organize myself the day before. When I have reviewed my day planner and noted what I have accomplished and what I need to do the next day, I am more prepared.

Doing this before I go to bed allows my sub-conscious mind to work on it overnight, developing answers to questions and getting everything in order. When I wake up, it’s all in place. I’ve done the preparation and all that is left is to put myself in the way of the opportunity.

The same holds true with a job search. Doing what is necessary each day, that is the preparation, will put you in the path of opportunity. Preparation means doing the research about the companies you are applying for. Preparation means having compelling, true, specific stories about how you have; increased profits, saved expenses or improved customer service at your current or previous jobs. Preparation includes rehearsing the interview, knowing what types of questions will be answered and practicing the answers. Preparation means tailoring each resume or application to the specific job, not just “spraying and praying”.

Doing what is necessary each day will put you in the place where your preparation intersects with your opportunity. And the result will be everything falling into place as you hear those magic words “you’re hired”.

When I hear people talking about the hiring process, what they are really relating to me is their WIIFM. Since they are the jobseeker, it must be about them. Right? However, for every interviewee, there is an interviewer, the person who is offering the job.

Most people approach job seeking with the goal of providing as much information about themselves as possible, making sure the person they are interviewing with knows how skilled they are. They list previous jobs, awards and community volunteer projects they have accomplished. All of this screams Me, Me, Me. Yet there are hundreds of Me’s out there today. The DOL statistical average is just over 6 applicants for every job. Back around 2001, it was 1.1 jobs for every applicant. Times are different now and Me, Me, Me will not work.

If it’s not Me, Me , Me, then what will work today? Actually, it’s the same thing that has always worked. Having the employer see you as solving a problem that they have. In the past, the problem might have been that XYZ Company needed computer programmers and they couldn’t find them because everyone was hiring computer programmers. Today, the needs of the employer and the problem you would be solving may be more subtle. And employers have the luxury of meeting many applicants for each position offered.

If you are applying for a dental technician’s job, you are really applying to be one of the family. The Dentist interviewing you is looking at how well you will fit in with the rest of the staff. He or she is asking themselves, “will this candidate understand my customer service philosophy and take care of my patients the same way I would? Will they be great ambassadors of my business away from work as well as while they are in my office? Are they interested in learning, in keeping up with trends in my business and in the dental field as a whole? You can apply the same logic to any industry.

Your job in the interview is to make sure they see you as the person who can solve their problem. Having 3 degrees and a wealth of experience may have gotten you the interview, but the dentist is going to be talking to 8 more people who have similar backgrounds. If you can’t solve a problem for them, you won’t stand out, you won’t get short listed, and you won’t get the job.

During the interview, your questions should help steer the interview towards your goal of being seen as the problem solver. As I have said many times, you must have stories about how you have; 1. saved companies money 2. increased sales for a company and 3. provided great customer service for a company. People remember stories. A future employer will use your story to justify his or her decision to hire you. They will tell their office staff, the people you will be working with, “your story”. If they have a partner in the practice, they will use “your story” to prove to their partner that you are the best candidate.

The story they tell about you will be how you will solve their problem. Your story may be that “not only do you have the expertise in a particular procedure that they would like to offer, but you have already volunteered to teach the rest of the staff once you are on the job”.

So, make sure that you spend time asking questions to find out what problem the employer is trying to solve by hiring. Then spend the rest of your time making sure the interviewer understands your story about how you will solve their problem. This puts WIIFM on the employer, where they see you as the only person who can solve their problem.

Now when you tell your story about how you used your story during the interview, your story will have a happy ending because they hired you!

Having interviewed over 1,000 people in the past 35 years, I have looked over at least 4,000 applications. One of the first things I look for are Red Flags and there are four that I focus on:

First I look for gaps in employment. Large gaps indicate to a potential employer that the candidate may have hot and cold streaks, substance abuse issues or may have legal problems that prevent them from holding a job (meaning the candidate was behind bars). Certainly a gap in employment doesn’t automatically mean something bad. There could be many reasons for not working including being the primary caregiver for an ill family member. As you proof read your resume, take a look at how it flows. If it looks “spotty” you might want to focus on skills you developed at different jobs and don’t list dates

Second, I look for many jobs in a short period of time. This to me indicates a person who either isn’t clear about what they want or the person doesn’t get along with people once he or she lands a job . I would assume that if I hired this person, they would already be looking for another job before they went through orientation. If you have had multiple jobs, try to emphasize jobs relates to the company you are applying to today, and not list everything.

Third is a tough one to get around, terminations for cause. Yes, things happen beyond our control and we sometimes make decisions that we later see may have not been the best. Most employers do background checks and many more are using social media to verify information supplied on an application. If you aren’t asked why you left a job, don’t volunteer that you were fired. However, honesty is the best policy in this situation. If asked, be prepared to talk about what happened, but never, never blame others. Your job is to get the employer to focus on your overall skills and what you can bring to the company.

Lastly, many people put down that they resigned for personal reasons. During the interview, when I ask about this, I have gotten statements such as “my last boss was a jerk” and “I didn’t get along with my co-workers”. With any new job, there are going to be things about it you don’t like. And if you find the job is not what you expected, you should move on to something more satisfying. Ideally, you would line up a new job before leaving so you don’t end up with a) gaps in employment or b) many jobs in a short period of time. If you did leave because your boss really was a jerk, don’t tell me that. As your future employer, all I will be hearing you saying to me is “one day you will be a jerk”.

Depending on the application format, you may or may not have control over how your application is presented. Certainly with your resume, you can craft it to highlight your strengths and minimize any potential red flags. Being aware gives you the chance to think about your responses and to make sure that the employer stays focused on what you can offer the company.

Having any of these four red flags doesn’t mean you won’t get hired. But it does mean you need to be prepared. It is possible that the subject will never come up. The overall tone of your resume and application may keep the interview on track. Focus on being positive, never blame others and make sure when you leave the interview, they know you are the right person for the job.

Welcome to One Stop Jobs Online

Posted by | July 21, 2011 | Uncategorized

Unemployed? Underemployed? Fresh out of school?

Today it is tougher than ever to find jobs. With the US unemployment rate still above 9.0%, there is a lot of competition for each job. Having the right tools to compete is critical to success. Having been in management for over 35 years, I have interviewed over 1,000 people. I have hired, promoted and mentored hundreds of employees and know the exact words to say to get the job you really want.

First impressions mean a lot… especially when you’re competing against 100 people for the same job. My blog posts will focus on skills and tips that will give you confidence in an job interview. I will discuss topics such as; resume red flags, the “over qualified candidate”, what makes a successful interviewee and what you must do the moment you see a job listing, even before you respond to the advertisement.

To be successful, you need to take charge of your job search. Learn more than you need to know. The extra information will give you the edge as you pursue your job.

I look forward to seeing your résumé posted on my site. Use the contact page to update me on your progress and to let me know the minute you hear the 2 sweetest words in this sour economy, “Your Hired”.

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