Companies are nothing without the right people. People with the right skills
and talent make all the difference and will give companies the competitive edge
they need to succeed today and in the future. It is therefore absolutely vital
that companies find, recruit and retain the right people.
With this in mind, I find it always shocking that so many people management
practices are still firmly in the dark ages. People management (or Human
Resources) teams often spend the majority of their time on administrative tasks
or legal issues. Others waste their time on the annual staff satisfaction
survey, the completion of staff appraisals using clunky processes and reporting
of KPIs such as absenteeism, staff turnover rates and training hours per full
time employee. What a lost opportunity!
While all of this is going on, leading companies are completely transforming
their people management teams into truly value-adding business functions. Here,
people management is done very differently and the keys to this transformation
are data and analytics. Wait, before you stop reading here because you find the
words ‘data’ and ‘analytics’ downright boring, just hang in there.
Companies can gain mouth-watering benefits when they use data well and apply
analytics tools to turn the data into business critical insights. Let me share
are some very real examples that show how collecting and analyzing data can
deliver impressive (and sometimes unexpected) insights:
More data than ever before
HR teams already have lots of data. They have recruitment data, career
progression data, training data, absenteeism figures, productivity data,
personal development reviews, competency profiles and staff satisfaction data.
In addition to these traditional data sets, companies can now collect so much
more data, data that wasn’t available before, like: capturing employees on CCTV,
taking screenshots when staff are using company computers, scanning social media
data, analysing the content of emails, and even monitor where they are using the
data from geo-positioning sensors in corporate smart phones. The challenge is to
establish what data is really going to make an impact on your company
performance. What is really useful? Despite all this data, recent research has
shown that only 23% of companies have HR systems that can always provide
sufficient data to measure the execution of their business strategy.
New analytics capabilities
We have seen mind-boggling improvements in our ability to store and analyse
data. What's more, we now have big data analytics tools that allow us to compute
huge amounts (peta bytes) of data. This enables us to combine the analysis of
traditional data with the analysis of unstructured data, such as written text,
images or voice recordings.
Different people management
This data and analytics revolution has some serious implication for how
people management is done in companies. In order to stay on track companies must
make sure that they have the right skills, capabilities and technology in place
to leverage people data and analytics. There already is a global shortage of
people with business analytics and data science skills, and this shortage is
especially noticeable among HR teams.
Originally Posted On: LinkedIn By: Bernard Marr
It is the little things that can doom the prospective jobseeker.
-A resume with a glaring typo.
-A cover letter addressed to the wrong HR person.
-A listed reference that with outdated contact information.
These are all things you should double check before sending in your resume to potential employers. However, there is another small item that is often overlooked:the file name.
The majority of resumes clients send to me for review are called resume.doc This makes complete sense sitting on your home computer, but you have to keep in mind that many HR departments receive hundreds of resumes a day. The standard "resume.doc" doesn't really help you stand out in a crowd.
When I create a resume for someone I always name the file John Doe Resume.This way the document will at least be identifiable in a list of hundreds of resume files. Recently, I came across an even more powerful way to name your document. Professional Branding is something I talk about a lot here at Quality Resumes, so why no brand your file name as well. Instead of John Doe Resume, why not something more dramatic? John Doe Marketing Guru has a nice ring to it.
Another no-no when it comes to file names is using all lowercase letters. Think of everything you write in connection with your job search as a professional piece of writing. LinkedIn status updates, casual networking emails, tweets, and yes, the file names of your resumes and cover letters. It may seem like a little thing, but small holes can sink big ships.
While we are on the topic of file names, this would be a good time to review what types of file extensions to use as well. Sometimes a job listing will explicitly state what type of file they are looking for. The two most common are Word documents or PDF's. If the request is written in the job listing, be sure to follow the directions. This is more than a simple whim of the HR department. Many ATS systems will be set to only read a certain type of file. If you send in the wrong one, your resume could show up as a blank document. If a specific type of extension is not mentioned I always recommend that clients use Word as this tends to be the standard across the industry.
So remember, proofread, check your references and give some thought to your resume's file name. You never know what will help you get through the door.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:
Steve P. Brady
If you’re about to finish high school, or have been out for some time but haven’t quite figured out your next move, a tall stack of college brochures and student loan applications may be crowding out a wealth of other information about the myriad alternative educational options for next September. That may because your guidance counselor – like the majority of today’s guidance counselors – has recommended college as your next step after high school graduation – without stopping to consider if it’s the option that’s best for you. Or it might be because your parents are convinced – wrongly – that a four-year degree is all that stands between you and a life of low-income, dead-end work. Or maybe it’s simply because the societal myth of “college for everyone” is so pervasive, pursuing another alternative has never even occurred to you. That’s a shame because with the serious financial investment a four-year college degree requires, it’s a decision that should not be made lightly. And in truth there are many ways to begin building a resume and jumpstart a career without necessarily heading straight to college. A liberal arts degree is the perfect choice for some people, but if it is just a default choice because you aren’t sure of what to do next, it may be a big investment that doesn’t deliver on its return.
In today’s job market, gaining hands-on experience is often the far better way to build a resume. Moreover, work experience can also inform career decisions so that if you do decide to continue with school, you have a better sense of exactly what path you want to pursue, ensuring that no investment made in your education is wasted.
Transferable workplace skills like problem-solving, team-building and critical thinking are a huge commodity in today’s job market. Here are some ways to get these skills and build up a great resume, instead of simply hitting the default button and going straight to college
1 Take a “gap year” and make the most of it
For people who know exactly why they are going to college and what they have to gain from their degree, college is a great choice. But many young people are uncertain about what they want to study, or how relevant their course of study might actually be in the job market. In this case, taking a year off school to explore other opportunities can be invaluable. The key is using the gap year to gain self-knowledge, as well as some practical experience.
Use this time to try out different things. Travel if possible, but see if you can do more than just go backpacking. There are numerous opportunities to do volunteer work overseas, building houses or libraries, working with children, cultivating land, language tutoring—you name it. Many apprenticeships and traineeships offer these kinds of opportunities as well, along with a paycheck. Structured travel is a great way to not only build confidence, but all the soft skills that come with working in a professional environment as well.
2 Follow your passions, not just a paycheck
For some, the gap year might turn into three or four years, or more. A life-changing apprenticeship could lead to rewarding work in a particular field for several years before deciding to pursue a degree, as it did for me. It’s important to see one’s career as constantly evolving, and take advantage of the many opportunities to acquire stackable credentials. By choosing opportunities that genuinely reflect your interests, you’ll add experience, knowledge and skills to your resume naturally.
3 Pursue online courses and certifications
Offered at many local community colleges, these can be an inexpensive way to explore an interest without making a huge commitment. Many are offered evenings and weekends, so you can work and earn a living while gaining practical skills to add to your resume.
4 Try out an entry-level jobs related to your field
Often, a year or two of experience on the ground floor of a career or field can be a huge competitive advantage – and accelerate your ascension up the ladder. For someone interested in hospitality or customer relations, a job in a restaurant or café would be a great place to start. For someone with an affinity for architecture or design, work on a construction or painting crew would make more sense. Seek out entry-level job opportunities in your field of interest and use the experience as a springboard.
5 Take your online reputation seriously
In a world where technology has increased our ability to connect and be visible, the use of online platforms can work to our advantage…or disadvantage. Every day, we are building or damaging our online reputation. Hiring managers and employers will notice, so it’s important to be deliberate with the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. Consider them part of your resume, and be as careful to manage the image they project.
These platforms can also be a big help in building a network of potential employers or clients. Create a sharp, well-written LinkedIn profile that demonstrates your practical, real world skills and experience, and update it regularly. Be sure to list all your specific unique skills and abilities –whether they be a certification in mixology, the knowledge of HTML or a programming language, or the ability to wire a circuit board – not just your work history or educational experience. And remember that thoughtful, diligent network building with other skilled professionals can lead to job opportunities you might not hear of otherwise.
Originally posted on Linked In By:
Companies get a lot of flak these days for setting up processes that create a burdensome candidate experience. For example, no one likes to spend 20-30 minutes filling out an online application template that routes you to the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS), where you might receive a “Your application was received” email if you’re lucky.
But what many job seekers don’t understand is that the Internet is a double-edged sword for companies. On the one hand, companies from around the globe are connecting with talent that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. On the other hand, nothing is easier than a candidate clicking the “Apply Now” button on LinkedIn without really reading the job description and randomly applying to multiple positions, thinking “Who knows, maybe they’ll call me for an interview.”
Companies that are posting positions on LinkedIn, job boards, or on their company sites are serious about filling these positions now or in the future. Talent acquisition is a labor-intensive process, and nothing is more frustrating to a recruiter than connecting with a candidate who wasn’t all that serious in the first place.
“Oh, the position is based in another state?” Yup, just as the advertisement stated!
“It requires a 12-month contract?” Again, in the job posting.
“It’s a sales position? But my background is marketing.” Then why did you apply?
Nothing makes a recruiter’s heart sink faster than realizing that a candidate wasn’t really looking for their opportunity but was simply pressing “Apply Now” like a mindless robot. Now, why do candidates apply for so many jobs without truly doing their due diligence?
You’re Desperate. You’ve been out of a job for a while and you’re willing to take anything. However, your desperation will be all the more obvious when you cut and paste the cover letter that you’ve used to apply for every job from cashier at a gas station to business development at the hottest start-up. These cover letters are so worn that you often forget to even change the name of the company you are applying for. Recruiters can smell a desperate candidate a mile away and won’t contact you.
You’re Feeling out the Market. You’ve settled into a decent position and want to see how your resumé ranks in the current marketplace. Can your current resumé and cover letter generate any nibbles from a recruiter? Let me be clear as an HR Manager: there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, being presently employed will be reassuring to a hiring manager; it will also give a recruiter a sigh of relief, as they may know that their internal hiring process is lengthy. When bills are due, some job seekers just can’t wait for a company to get its act together and produce an employment offer. Testing the market to determine how you rank and to see if you can get a better offer is how many candidates end up moving on to higher paying jobs.
You’re Applying “Just in Case” for the Future. It’s no secret that nowadays a successful job search takes much longer than it used to. The higher the salary, the better the title; this translates into a hiring process that could take months with one company that really wants to hire you. Gone are the days of one or two interviews. In today’s competitive jobs environment, companies are increasingly making candidates tap dance and dazzle. Given that it could easily take 4-6 months for one application to turn into an actual position, some job seekers are constantly in hunting mode, which may be the best strategy of all.
So, what is the one thing that a candidate should never do? Don’t lead on a recruiter. You’ll end up not only wasting their time, but you may be blacklisted from other positions in the future. And although it seems counterintuitive to think that competitors would share information about candidates, you’d be surprised.
At a certain stage, you have to decide whether or not you intend to engage with a company’s interview/hiring process after they’ve expressed a potential interest. Let me be clear: receiving any kind of response from a company (“Thanks for sending us your resume. I’d love to set up a Skype chat with you.”) Indicates that you’ve passed the initial hurdle and they want to speak with you. What it does NOT mean, however, is that you are guaranteed a job. Sometimes you may sparkle on paper but then a deep dive by a recruiter will show that your skills aren’t a good fit for the position, or that the company culture is too different from what you’re used to.
I recently shortlisted about 50 candidates to attend a panel interview session. Of the 50 that I invited, about 20 RSVP’d their attendance. One day before one of the sessions, a candidate called to tell me that he’d been assigned a last-minute work project and asked if he could switch his interview date to the second session. No problem, I said. Then, on his appointed interview date, he never showed up, called or emailed.
Another candidate emailed to ask if she could change her interview date due to an “urgent family situation.” Again, no problem. When she didn’t show up, I called the number on her resumé. “But today is Monday,” she said. “Indeed, it is.” “But I thought the interview was for Wednesday.” Buh-bye.
Both candidates had probably 1) applied for our position on a whim without real strategic insight or 2) applied at a time when they really “needed” a job but then their situation had changed. Again, either situation is acceptable. At the end of the day, companies hold all the cards when it comes to the hiring process. Many companies post positions in order to “pipeline” qualified candidates for future hiring quarters that may be months away! Job applicants owe it to themselves as “businesses of one” to be just as strategic as these companies and get their names and resumés in front of the right people. But if and when your situation changes, you need to be upfront. Don’t burn any bridges. Believe me, recruiters have seen it all. When you’ve decided not to pursue an opportunity, an email like this does the trick:
“Thank you so much for contacting me about the opportunity I applied for a few weeks ago. ABC Corporation is a company I’ve admired for many years, and hearing from you really makes my day! I need to be honest and inform you that my situation has changed since I initially applied. I’ve recently had a performance review with my manager and have decided to stay with my current employer for the time being. Please let me know if you’d like me to refer any candidates to you, however, as an ex-colleague of mine may be interested in this opportunity.”
The example above is so, so simple. There’s not a company in the world that wouldn’t understand this candidate’s rationale. It shows that you are straightforward and “own” your career. Perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t put you on a company’s blacklist for standing up an interviewer or failing to respond to an email.
Companies are talking to dozens of candidates for a single job posting. As a qualified candidate, you have every right to present your qualifications to “see” what will happen. How many times have you heard of someone blindly applying to a company and ending up with a great position and package or getting a great job with the same firm several months later? It happens all the time.
So the next time you sigh and grunt about having to jump through a million hoops in order to be considered for a job, try thinking about it from the employer’s side, which is cluttered with possibly thousands of “just looking” applicants from India to Indiana and everywhere in between!
Glen L. Loveland has spent the past seven years working in HR in China. He’s worked for Pearson plc, The Walt Disney Company and China Central Television. Connect with him on LinkedIn
Originally posted on linked in by:Glen L. Loveland
Recently I got a haircut. Usually, not an event to write home about, this one was in two ways. First of all, the haircut was great, and reasonably priced. If anyone moves to Kansas City and wants to know a great stylist send me an email. Secondly though, the stylist made a point on which I think it is worth elaborating.
She mentioned about how she talks to clients when they ask questions about colors, styles, and cuts. She talked about how she does her best to make sure that when she relays that information she does so in a way that makes the customer feel enlightened, but not talked down to. This made me think in general about the way we relay information in the workplace.
People ask us questions all the time at work. Especially if you teach, like me, you are likely to get 100 questions a day about both the little, and the larger things in life. I would like to suggest that when we are answering the questions of others, that usually at least two things are happening. One, we are relaying the content information requested, and two, we are relaying our opinion about the question itself, and by extension, the questioner. So what kind of perceptions are we inadvertently telling our customers and coworkers that we have of them? This is a small list I came up with after just one day of listening to people answer questions.
“You have still got more room to grow and I want to push you to get there because I would like to see you achieve your potential.”
Instead, my students have heard some version of how much I do not like them, and understood how mean I am.
No one likes to get the content answers they weren't hoping for to their questions, so disappointment, frustration, and anger can always cloud an ability to hear the underlying positive message being given. However, if we are not being conscious of the underlying message we are giving it can also easily push people to ignore valuable content in the message itself. After all, how many of us, in a moment of pique, have rejected worthwhile advice because the person who said it came across as so much of an arrogant know-it-all.
Let’s face it, in the workplace people are bound to not know us nearly as well as our friends and family. They cannot read between the lines of what we say and understand what we mean. Therefore, as business professionals it is our responsibility in order to help our clients and to grow our business that we are consciously aware of the messages we are sending to those around us, both in what we say and in what we don’t. The devil is in the details and the nuanced messages we send out to those around us daily can have a powerful affect on our success our failure in the workplace.
The irony of writing a piece like this is to leave people guessing about my intentions while writing about how people need to be conscious of their intentions. So, let me be clear. I find communication interesting in general and the nuances of communication in the workplace even more so. I would love to hear how people in different fields perceive the importance of delicacy in how we relay information to each other, so I welcome feedback in that area especially. However, reactions of all kinds are very welcome.
Originally posted on linked in by:
I’ve been coaching folks on how to present at conferences for almost 10 years. Among the amazing people I’ve had the honor of giving feedback to—on their launch—include: Dropbox (now worth $10b), Mint (sold to Intuit for $170m), Yammer (sold to Microsoft $1b+), Clicker (sold to CNET/CBS for $100m), Powerset (sold to Microsoft for $100m), Red Beacon (won best overall at the LAUNCH Festival, sold to Home Depot), Brilliant.org (I’m an investor, they won best 2.0), Boxbee (I’m an angel investor, they won best overall), AdStage (I’m an angel investor, they won best b2b) and countless others.
I’ve got a small set of rules on how to present well. Here they are:
1. Show the product in the first 15 seconds. A demo is worth 1 million words, and the people who have great products show them. If you don’t show your product we assume it’s because your product is bad.
2. Show don’t tell: Instead of telling us what your product does, show us. Have an awesome ‘driver’ giving your presentation and just walk us through how it works.
If you were demoing Uber here is what you would say:
3. Synchronicity: What’s happening on the screen must match what you’re saying. So, if you want to go off on a tangent about a topic related to your product — which is allowed — make sure you have something on the screen. In the case of demoing Uber, here is what might happen.
4. Examples matter: Always give amazing examples that demonstrate your product’s value. In the example above I use the example of having too much to drink with a client and getting in an Uber during the chaos in the parking lot. Why this example? Well, we can all relate to it. We’ve all taken clients out, we’ve all had more than two glasses of wine, and we all know the madness of getting out of a sporting event.
The examples we give help folks understand our product’s value proposition. It’s up to us — as founders — to make people understand our products. If you use fake examples, or worse, fictional characters and locations, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to get folks to understand how your product might help them. Don’t use Micky Mouse and Gotham City in your presentations.
There are a ton of smaller points I can get into, but I will save that for another blog post since this one is way over my 600-word count limit of my “blog post a day in 2015" challenge.
Originally posted on linked in by:
Every career advisor says "Update your resume at the end of the year." But why? If you're not job-hunting, who cares what your resume says, right?
Here's why it matters. In our career coaching practice we hear about a hundred times a year, "I wasn't thinking about changing jobs, so my resume wasn't up to date. One day I got a call from a headhunter, out of the blue. It just seemed like too much trouble to update my resume in a hurry, so I let the opportunity pass."
It will take you an hour or two to update your resume for 2015. It's a great project to tackle during the last week of the year. It doesn't even matter whether you're planning to change jobs, or not.
When you revise and rev up your resume for the new year, you get a chance to remind yourself of how you've grown professionally over the past year. That's priceless, right there!
If you're working now, you're going to have a performance review at some point in 2015. Why not start preparing for it now, by recalling and reclaiming the awesome things you accomplished on the job in 2014?
It's new day in the workplace. Everyone is an entrepreneur, including you. If you don't already have a side business consulting, now is a great time to launch one! It's easy to get started.
Ask yourself the question "What could I do part-time, alongside my full-time job or my job search, that would help somebody solve a problem and earn me some extra money?"
It might be web design or administrative help. It could be bookkeeping or programming. Everybody has marketable skills, and everybody can grow entrepreneurial muscles by selling their expertise as an independent consultant, even if you only have one client. One is plenty!
If you don't have a second income stream -- another oar in the water, that is -- going already, now is the perfect time to launch one!
To rev up your resume for 2015, pull up a copy of your old resume and review it. Ask yourself "What's changed since the last time I looked at this?" Maybe your career goals have changed.
Whenever we look at the branding paragraphs we wrote a year ago to describe what we do at Human Workplace, they are always terribly out of date.
People and organizations evolve all the time. Sometimes the biggest changes are imperceptible in the moment, but after a year, lots of aspects of your brand and direction will shift!
Ask yourself "Does this resume still represent who I am now?" The answer is likely to be "No!" That's a good thing. If you still see yourself the way you did a year ago, then a good question to ask is "Why am I still at the same place on my path that I was a year ago?"
We recommend that every resume begin with a Summary paragraph that goes just under your name and contact information at the top of your resume. For the Human-Voiced Resumes we write and teach people to write for themselves, you're going to need a Human-Voiced Resume Summary.
What makes it a Human-Voiced Summary? It sounds like a person is talking to you, like this:
Entrepreneurial Marketing Manager
I'm passionate about helping small brands get bigger fast. I specialize in startup Marketing and PR. In 2014 I helped Angry Chocolates gets its edible nail-polish line national press and international distribution to ramp sales from $0 to $15M in one year.
What did you make happen in the past year? You can lead with that Dragon-Slaying Story right in the Summary of your Human-Voiced Resume. Hiring managers want to know what you've done to help other employers and clients -- that's what gives them confidence you can do the same thing for them.
Once you're happy with the Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume, move on to the body of the document. That's where you've listed your current and/or past jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position or the job you hold right now.
What can you add to those descriptions of the jobs you've performed so far?
What did you accomplish on the job in 2014 that you'd like to becomepart of your Human-Voiced Resume branding now? Here are some ideas:
Don't restrict yourself to revising the part of your Human-Voiced Resume that describes what you've made happen on your current job. As you look at your resume with fresh eyes, you may see changes that you can make to your descriptions of past jobs, maybe even jobs you held years ago.
Our client Pam was a preschool teacher before she became a sales manager. Pam was laid off in September 2014 and took our course Job Search after Fifty.
"I used to think about taking the preschool era off my resume altogether," she said. "I thought that corporate hiring managers would look down their noses at that experience. Now I see that everything I learned about patience and how people learn, I learned as a preschool teacher."
Pam had described her preschool teaching experience in throwaway fashion on her resume for years. She listed the name of the preschool and the title "Teacher, Threes and Fours" with dates of employment and nothing else.
Now that Pam is revving up her resume, she's looking at her preschool teaching experience with new-found altitude. Here's how she describes that part of her background now:
"I taught communication and conflict-resolution skills and built self-esteem in very small children, using games, stories and lots of patience. When you see the world through a three-year-old's eyes, you become a stronger communicator and coach."
Are you surprised that Pam's new altitude and revved-up Human-Voiced Resume got her interviews for Sales Managers, where her traditional, boring resume hadn't? Of course not! Every thinking manager wants to hire thinking people, too.
Pam didn't lob her resume into any faceless recruiting portals, also known as Black Holes. She sent her Human-Voiced Resume directly to each hiring manager that she identified.
She sent the HVR in one envelope with a pithy Pain Letter written just for that manager. Pam knew all about pain-based selling because of her sales experience. Now she knows about pain-based job-hunting, too!
Rev up your own resume for 2015 and put a lot more punch and humanity into it. It's way more fun and satisfying to present yourself as a human being than to sound like every other workplace battle drone with a boring traditional resume. It's a new year -- the perfect time to step out of your box and try something new. We are rooting for you!
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Liz Ryan
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