Thanks to everyone who commented and shared my last post – I loved hearing about all of the ways you are staying productive this holiday season. With the New Year right around the corner, many of you may already be making resolutions to be more productive in 2015. That’s a great first step. But the next step is how to accomplish your plans.
For my next Hyatt Place Seamless Travel Series piece, I’m talking about how to be more productive in the New Year so you can achieve your best year yet – both personally and professionally, on the road and off. Here are my top tips:
What other tips do you have for a productive 12 months ahead? Please share!
This post was sponsored by Hyatt Place as part of its Seamless Travel Series. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Lindsey Pollak
By way of background, I have managed significant teams of people for over 20 years and developed a number of my team members to become very successful managers in their own right. Here are a few of the things that have helped me.
1. Allow people Autonomy within established parametersI like to give people a good degree of autonomy, within parameters that I have set. I try to give my people assurance that one of my main roles is to be there to help when they need it. When problems occur, I endeavour to work with people to establish why they have happened and help them to learn from setbacks.
2. Lead by being CollegiateI generally adopt a broadly collegiate approach. This is not just to be nice, but because I believe that it is a very effective way to work. Of course there will always be situations when decisive leadership is required and I am comfortable that this is part of my role. However, in these circumstances, I think that it helps enormously if you have already built up a mutual respect between yourself and your team.
3. Provide a Clear Vision but let people achieve this their wayI like to give my team a very clear idea of what we are trying to do and why (a vision that I would also expect them to help me form), but then give them the space to achieve these objectives in their own way. It can be very tempting to think that you know best. However being dictatorial can be demotivating for the people working for you and deprives them of a chance to learn. Of course it is just possible that you don’t know best after all and that someone else will come up with a novel and superior approach.
4. Challenge people to help them developOne of my prime responsibilities is to grow talent for the organisation where I work. This means challenging my people to take on new things and delegating tasks even if it may be a stretch for someone to carry these out in the first instance. This is the main way that people grow and the occasional false step is a reasonable price to pay for increasing people’s experience and broadening their horizons.
5. Deal with underperformance in a timely mannerWhen someone working for me struggles, my first duty is to help them. This can often require a long-term commitment to coaching and some difficult conversations about where improvement is required. I have two guiding principles:
In summary, I try to manage people in the way that I would like to be managed. I really can't see how an approach to management which fails to embrace this central principle could be successful, certainly in the medium term.
However, in common with what I suggest in point 3 above, I am sure that there are some different techniques which have worked well for other people. What have been the things that have helped you to be a great manager, or what have been the characteristics of the best manager you have had?
Originally Posted On Linked In By: Peter James Thomas
“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common opening requests in an interview. In order to make a positive first impression and start the interview right, come prepared. If you’re pressed for time, this should be the one question you think about before the big day.
First, consider what the interviewer is really trying to get at with this question. Yes, she wants to hear about you, but let’s dissect this inquiry for a moment. Dependent upon your answer to this all-important question, the interview could go in different directions. What does the interviewer really want to hear in response when she asks this question?
Here's what's going through an interviewer’s head as she’s listening:
Try to keep your answer to “tell me about yourself” about a minute or so long. As you can see, this is a jam-packed question with many layers underneath, and you want to make sure you address everything she is looking for. But you also have to answer concisely, and doing so is the hardest part. Using the former questions as a guide, here’s what you should and shouldn’t include in your prepared response:
Even if you can’t fit all of this in as an answer to this particular question, make sure you cover the following questions throughout the interview:
Originally Posted on money.usnews.com By: Marcelle Yeager
There are two or three questions you're almost guaranteed to hear at a job interview, and one of them is "With all the talented candidates we're going to meet, why should we hire you?"
It's an awful question to ask a job-seeker. The question "Why should we hire you?" is the kind of question that asks a job-seeker to grovel and beg for a job.
How could I, not having met the other people you're interviewing for the job and never having worked here before, possibly know why you should hire me, rather than one of the other candidates? Interviewers ask this idiotic question because it's on their script and because they've never thought about the standard interview script before.
Job-seekers give equally thoughtless and scripted answers like like "Because I'm smart and hard-working" or "Because I've got a great track record in this field" or some other rot.
I don't blame job-seekers for giving these sheepie answers to the obnoxious question "Why should we hire you?"
After all, these are the answers job-seekers have been trained to give. Our clients tell us "The interviewer asked me 'Why should we hire you?' and I told him they should hire me because I love this kind of work, I'm a hard worker and I'm really good at what I do. I felt like I had to take a shower when I got home. I hate myself for being so mewly and gross!"
Everyone has fallen into the standard interview script at some point or another. There's nothing like sitting in a room and watching in horror as words you don't believe and that don't even sound like you come spilling out of your mouth, as though an evil spirit had taken over your lips, teeth, tongue and vocal cords.
Human beings spend a lot of time in Script World. We know the standard scripts. Now we have to learn new scripts, so that we don't fall into the traditional "Please hire me, your Majesty!" script and fall out of our bodies.
It happened to me. I saw how powerfully the scripts have taken hold of us, even without our awareness. It happened at a media training day that U.S. Robotics sent me to, along with a few other executives.
They wanted us ready in case we had to be on TV at some point. "This will be a snap," I told myself walking into the media training session."I've been on stage since I was five."
No such luck! I fumbled my first videotaped interview badly. We spent ten minutes planning the interview. The PR guy from Hill and Knowlton asked me "What's the biggest point you want to get across in your interview?"
We were pretending that our company had been raided by the immigration folks, who found a bunch of people working in the country unlawfully among our employee population. That wouldn't have happened in real life, because we were scrupulous about documentation.
But some other bad thing conceivably could have taken place. We were using the immigration raid and subsequent PR crisis (this company hires illegal workers!) as a placeholder for any HR-type PR issue.
My must-get-across point was "Our company is committed to following the laws in every state and country where we operate." It was a simple message! I did the first video interview, answered all the guy's questions and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.Nothing horrible had happened, and the interview was done! We looked at the tape.
"What happened to your must-get-across message?" the trainer asked me. "Oh shoot," I said. "How could I leave that out? I'm an idiot."
"No, you're not," said the PR trainer. "Everyone does that. It's so nice to get through the interview without being put on the spot that most people let the interviewer lead them. They go with the flow. You didn't get your point across."
Of course, the trainer was right. I realized that I had fallen into the script. It's so, so easy to do that! The trouble is, if you answer the question "Why should we hire you?" with a standard, grovelly answer, you won't just hate yourself in the morning. You won't make any impression on the interviewer, either.
All job-seekers give the same, lame answers to the question "Why should we hire you?" As they speak, they disappear into the chair. They say nothing that every other candidate hasn't already said, and worse, they aren't true to themselves. Who gets hired, in the end? It's the person who knows who he or she is. You can give a more forthright and human answer to the question "Why should we hire you?"
INTERVIEWER: So, we have a lot of people to interview. With all those people wanting this job, why should we give it to you?
YOU: That's a great question. It's really the reason we're here today, isn't it? You're going to be looking at each interview, I imagine, as a way to determine which candidate 'gets' your situation the best. You're going to be looking for fit, an intangible thing. I'm doing the same thing, of course. I'm looking at the same fit from my perspective.
Taking your question literally, I can't say you should hire me over another candidate, because I don't know enough yet about exactly what you need and how you work here, and needless to say, I won't have the opportunity to meet the other candidates. I have total confidence in you, me and the universe to guide all of us to the right answer.
INTERVIEWER: :Wow! Never thought of it that way before. Really interesting perspective!
Will you get the job? You got me. Do you want the job? Every reaction you get to every interview answer you give is another clue to the culture of the organization you're thinking about joining.
If an interviewer doesn't like your answer, and doesn't like it so much that he or she would bounce you from the process as a result, isn't that a good thing?
Isn't it a great thing, to be guided toward the people who will get you and away from the ones who never, ever will?
Isn't that what we want the universe to do for us - to guide us along our path? You can help that process by speaking with your own voice at your next job interview and every one after that.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Liz Ryan
Do you engage in dialogue as a communicator or in monologue as a dictator? An atmosphere of openness leads to success in communication. It is best not to cover too much ground in too short a time. One does not have to speak loudly or forcibly. Jesus spoke graciously. If a leader speaks the truth of the Word, he displays authority under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
People should focus their attention on whomever is speaking. It is important to make eye contact at eye level whether speaking or listening. Body language speaks for itself and should be self-monitored so as not to cause misunderstanding. Consequently, courtesy and friendliness go far toward establishing openness.
Tact and empathy are essential elements of communication. Positive-minded people help others to enjoy the conversation more. At appropriate times, smiles and humor can be used in order to make disagreements more agreeable. The leader should give the other team members the opportunity to voice their opinions so that the dialogue will be balanced. Communication is a two-way process: speak and listen; listen and speak.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Donna Kelley
When it comes to hiring, too many companies are stuck using “old-school” methods for posting job availability and connecting with potential candidates. It’s time to step into the modern age and revolutionize your hiring process. Here are a few tips to help:1. Go Digital but Be Human
Your application hiring process should be a digital process one in which an applicant is compelled to upload a resume to your website job posting based upon good copy that sizzles a call to action to apply for that job opening. It is a call to action. If you are still asking candidates to fill out paper applications and turn in printed resumes then your competition is on your tail. In addition, when receiving resumes the goal should be to look for reasons to rule someone in, rather than rule someone out. Resumes are subjective and perhaps an applicant has not shared something on a resume that could solve a need that you have. Reach out and contact applicants who may not hit the bull’s-eye- but may hit the target of your job need.
2. Hire a Recruiting Company
Let the professionals do the heavy lifting. Recruiters are well-connected in the industry, especially if you are working with a recruiter who specializes in your niche. Hire a recruiter who can take charge of the hiring process. They will have the experience and networks to find highly qualified applicants for your company.
3. Online Job Sites are Largely Ineffective- No Matter What Anyone Tells You
Most companies assume that online job sites are the best place to post job openings, but the truth is that these sites are too much of a hassle to deal with. When a job is posted to an online job board, it is easy for qualified resumes to get lost amid thousands of other resumes. If you post your job opening online, expect to be bombarded with unqualified applicants.
4. Ask Behavioral Questions in the Interview
Ask behavioral based questions, so that you can get an idea of the ways the candidate would handle various situations. Put that person squarely in the job and ask them how they would solve it. After all, the reason for hiring anyone is to solve needs. When interviewing potential candidates, avoid weird questions like “What would animal would you be if you were reincarnated?” Some people think that these questions are funny, but they don’t provide any beneficial information about the candidate.
5. Test Candidates Before They are Hired
Unfortunately, many people lie about their experience and skill set on their resume. Instead of assuming that everyone is truthful about their qualifications, you should consider testing your top candidates. These tests might be focused on technical skills that will be required, or you might choose a basic background check to look for criminal history. Some companies like to use personality tests to get a better understanding of the ways an employee will fit within the current team. To be candid, the majority of personality tests are useless. Test candidates by putting them on the spot. It may be uncomfortable but in the real world, unexpected events are the norm. Have them make a phone call to solve an issue and see how they conduct themselves. Look for resourcefulness. You can teach a skill set to a chimpanzee, but the number one thing that most employers should look for is resourcefulness or creativity.
6. Quickly Hire a Qualified Candidate
When it is time to choose the best candidate for the job, some companies are hesitant to make a fast decision because they wonder if they can find someone else with better qualifications. If you really like the applicant, then you should hire them as quickly as possible. Of course, check references and provide due diligence but there is a danger in waiting too long. Delaying the process to hold out for other options might result in a situation where you lose a great candidate to a competitor.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Bernie Reifkind
Focus more emphasis on getting employees in your team who are loyal, passionate, driven, genuine and trustworthy who possess some elements of empathy, rather than looking solely at a persons exam results or just their skills.
The people who possess these qualities are the best people in any team. Having people with skill and talent with no morals or good ethics is a train wreck waiting to happen to any business some time down the line.
People are what grow a business. You don't want 'nasty' people in your friend circle, you don't want a 'nasty' person as a husband or wife and nor do you want 'nasty' people in your business team. You want people in your team who lift other people, people in the team who inspire other people, people who help each other be the best that they can be. That I believe will then naturally start rapid growth.
Too many haters and back stabbers with all the skill, talent and first class degrees in the world will easily put a business in troubled water.
Originally Posted On Linked In By: Faye A Eldridge
As we head into 2015 I wanted to take some time to think about resume tips that will have the greatest impact on your job search in the coming year. Job searching and resume writing are constantly evolving, yet I find so many job seekers stuck in a rut. Here I’m going to provide my top ten resume tips for 2015 to help you jump-start your job search in the New Year—and beyond.
Resume Tip #1: Breakaway Text
When you read a book or a magazine, you will often notice that different methods are used to guide your attention to important content—things they want you to remember. For instance, they may print certain words in a larger type size—or in a different font. Words may be “set off” by quotation marks, separated by lines, be its own section entirely, or even be in color. All of these serve a purpose—they draw your attention to the one or two lines of text the author “really” wants you to remember.
Use this same strategy on your resume. Consider the most important point you want the employer to walk away with—and capture that in breakaway text within the top half of the first page of your resume. Keep it short. And don’t just give any information—make sure it’s the most compelling point of why they should hire you.
Resume Tip #2: Call-Out Boxes
Call-out boxes are along the same lines as breakaway text. The purpose of a call-out box is to bring attention to the information contained within it. These are great for specific keywords or skills you want to bring attention to—or for an endorsement by a previous employer that speaks to your value.
Resume Tip #3: Chart/Graphs/Design
Don’t be afraid to utilize graphic elements such as charts and graphs. Especially if you have revenue or profits that you can track over several quarters or years. A picture is worth a thousand words—and if you’ve been a powerful revenue generator, this is a resume tip that will serve you well.
Revenue generation not an integral part of your position? That’s OK. You can use charts or graphs to communicate other important info such as customer/client satisfaction, membership rates, or cost savings. If none of these apply, then skip the chart/graph and opt for some other visually engaging design elements like color, borders, or shading. The idea is to engage the reader visually to help make the content easier to digest—and ultimately remembered.
Resume Tip #4: Video Resume Link
Video resumes may never replace traditional resumes, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t become a powerful complement to them. More and more job seekers are starting to create 30- to 60-second intro videos so employers can get a better feel for the person’s personality, presence, and cultural fit within the organization. Including a link on your resume to your video resume could prove to be an effective competitive advantage over your competition. I encourage you to consider creating one—and including a link to it on your resume and your LinkedIn profile. There are some video formats that you can post to your LinkedIn profile so employers who visit can watch the video right from your profile.
Resume Tip #5: Value Propositions
Include a value proposition within your resume. Your value proposition is the most persuasive reason WHY the employer should interview you. You want them to see there’s a benefit to choosing you over another candidate. What expertise or experience can you offer that no other candidate can? This very well may be your value proposition. Use it to your advantage, and communicate that within your resume.
Resume Tip #6: Writing to the Audience
Write to your audience—recruiter, HR, decision maker. Become very savvy about being focused in your job search. A recruiter is looking for a specific set of elements in a resume and cover letter—but the qualifications and skills a potential employer/target company is looking for can be quite different. Recruiters have a different set of criteria of they want to see in a resume. We always advise our clients to customize their resumes to the specifications of the recruiter with whom they’re working—because that recruiter knows his/her clients and what they like to see. There is no one-size-fits-all resume. People who pick up on this and create specific resumes to match targeted positions will see much better resume response rates.
Resume Tip #7: Use a Networking Resume
Put together a brief snapshot of your accomplishments and value proposition that you can pass out to your network. It should be short, visually engaging, and benefit-laden. A quick snapshot of what you do and the value you offer gives your network a fuller picture of what you do. And it can actually help them spread the word about your expertise to interested employers—or cause them to think of contacting you if they hear about a great opportunity that aligns with your skill set.
Use a quick, one-page bio-type of document that doesn’t necessarily cull through your entire career history but instead offers a glimpse into the value and expertise you can offer a future employer—and highlights your achievements and successes most relevant to your career target now. Please note: this is not the ideal piece to put in the hands of a prospective employer—BUT if you’re networking with family, friends, or connections, some people are more visually inclined. So being able to *see* what you do can help them to help you even more!
Resume Tip #8: Include LinkedIn
Believe it or not, I still hear from job seekers who are not on LinkedIn—and I still see resumes that do not include links to profile URLs. This is a wonderful way to engage your audience and to help them learn more about you and what you have to offer. Don’t neglect to include your LinkedIn profile URL at the top of your resume where you have your other contact details. And for goodness’ sake, do NOT copy and paste your resume into your profile! Give them different and equally compelling information there.
Resume Tip #9: Delete “General”
Delete the term “general resume” from your vocabulary altogether. I occasionally have someone call us and ask if we can create a “general resume” for them—and the answer to that is “No.” Well, we could—but it wouldn’t do you any good. A resume is not a place to be a jack-of-all-trades; it’s a place to be specific about how you’ve mastered what you do and how great you are at it. In fact, you’re so awesome at it that the employer NEEDS to interview you or they’re going to lose out on some pretty great benefits. So the next time you feel slightly tempted to create a general resume … RUN! Instead, create a master resume—and then pull information from that master resume to create more-focused versions that you can use to apply to specific opportunities.
Resume Tip #10: Jump Off the Job Board Bandwagon
Employers are jumping ship—and it’s probably time you did too. This year, I’ve made it my mission to bust the job search myth that applying on or posting your resume to job boards are the ONLY ways you can find a job. Using job boards should be only 20% of your job search efforts. The other 80% should be invested in other methods such as informational interviewing, networking, cold calling, direct-mail campaigns, targeting specific employers, or researching decision makers.
The frustration and hopelessness job seekers feel stems primarily from a lack of knowledge about other ways to job search. They hop onto the job boards, start applying away—and never hear anything back. Then they end up thinking their expertise isn’t valued, or that there are no jobs out there—when the truth of the matter is …
There are lots of jobs out there. They’re just not all on job boards.
Take some time to educate yourself about alternative methods for job searching. It will take far less time than you think … and yield far better response rates than anything you’ll get from a job board. I foresee a swift decline in the number of job seekers using job boards this coming year.
And while I’m on that topic, let me just say this about that. I am not against job boards. I am against the misconception that job boards are the exclusive way to find a job—and that a job seeker’s efforts should be focused exclusively online. This creates frustration and despair for far too many people.
So there you have it … my top ten resume tips for 2015. The last resume tip may have been a combination of resume and job search, but the point stands. These are the tips and trends that I see making the biggest impact on your job search in 2015. What’s your best resume tip for 2015? I’d love to hear it! Please feel free to share it with me below.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:
Jessica H. Hernandez,
We've always said that human resources should be the most powerful part of an organization. So why, in reality, is its impact more often felt in a negative way?
Because human resources, unfortunately, often operates as a cloak-and-dagger society or a health-and-happiness sideshow. Those are extremes, of course, but if there is anything we have learned over the past five years of traveling and talking to business groups, it is that HR rarely functions as it should. That’s an outrage, made only more frustrating by the fact that most leaders aren’t scrambling to fix it.
Look, HR should be every company’s “killer app.” What could possibly be more important than who gets hired, developed, promoted, or moved out the door? Business is a game, and as with all games, the team that puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together wins. It’s that simple.
You would never know it, though, to look at the companies today where the CFO reigns supreme and HR is relegated to the background. It just doesn’t make sense. If you owned the Boston Red Sox, for instance, would you hang around with the team accountant or the director of player personnel?
Sure, the accountant can tell you the financials. But the director of player personnel knows what it takes to win: how good each player is and where to find strong recruits to fill talent gaps. Several years ago we spoke to 5,000 HR professionals in Mexico City. At one point we asked the audience: “How many of you work at companies where the leader gives HR a seat at the table equal to that of the CFO?” After an awkward silence, fewer than 50 people raised their hands. Awful!
Since then, we have tried to understand why HR has become so marginalized. As noted above, there are at least two extremes of bad behavior.
The stealthy stuff occurs when HR managers become little kingmakers, making and breaking careers, sometimes not even at the leader’s behest. These HR departments can indeed be powerful, but often in a detrimental way, prompting the best people to leave just to get away from the palace intrigue.
Almost as often, though, you get the other extreme: HR departments that plan picnics, put out the plant newsletter (complete with time-in-service anniversaries duly noted), and generally drive everyone crazy by enforcing rules and regulations that appear to have no purpose other than to bolster the bureaucracy. They derive the little power they have by being cloyingly benevolent on one hand and company scolds on the other.
So how do leaders fix this mess? It all starts with the people they appoint to run HR—not kingmakers or cops but big leaguers, men and women with real stature and credibility. In fact, managers need to fill HR with a special kind of hybrid: people who are part pastor (hearing all sins and complaints without recrimination) and part parent (loving and nurturing, but giving it to you straight when you’re off track).
Pastor-Parent types can come up through the HR department, but more often than not, they have run something during their careers, such as a factory or a function. They get the business—its inner workings, history, tensions, and the hidden hierarchies that exist in people’s minds. They are known to be relentlessly candid, even when the message is hard, and they hold confidences tight. With their insight and integrity, pastor-parents earn the trust of the organization.
But pastor-parents don’t just sit around making people feel warm and fuzzy. They improve the company by overseeing a rigorous appraisal-and-evaluation system that lets every person know where he or she stands, and they monitor that system with the same intensity as a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance officer.
Leaders must also make sure that human resources fulfills two other roles. It should create effective mechanisms, such as money, recognition, and training, to motivate and retain people. And it should force organizations to confront their most charged relationships, such as those with unions, individuals who are no longer delivering results, or stars who are becoming problematic by, for instance, swelling instead of growing.
Now, considering your negative experience with human resources—and you are hardly alone—this kind of high-impact HR activity probably sounds like a pipe dream. But given the fact that most leaders loudly proclaim that people are their “biggest asset,” it shouldn’t be.
It can’t be. Leaders need to put their money where their mouth is and get HR to do its real job: elevating employee management to the same level of professionalism and integrity as financial management. Since people are the whole game, what could be more important?
Jack Welch is Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. Through its Executive MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute provides students and organizations with the proven methodologies, immediately actionable practices, and respected credentials needed to win in business.
Suzy Welch is a best-selling author, popular television commentator, and noted business journalist. Her New York Times bestselling book, 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea, presents a powerful decision-making strategy for success at work and in parenting, love and friendship. Together with her husband Jack Welch, Suzy is also co-author of the #1 international bestseller Winning, and its companion volume, Winning: The Answers. Since 2005, they have written business columns for several publications, including Business Week magazine, Thomson Reuters digital platforms, Fortune magazine, and the New York Times syndicate.
A version of this column originally appeared in BusinessWeek Magazine.
Photo: Hurst Photo / shutterstock
By Jack and Suzy Welch
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