Building a Marketable Resume
When consultants first meet with candidates, they go over the candidate’s resume together. Creating a professional resume is one of the few factors in a job search that a candidate can control so it is worth taking the time to do it properly.
Updating a resume is not a sign of disloyalty towards a current employer. Making regular updates every few months to reflect current responsibilities and important projects allows a candidate to remain ready, in case an ideal job opening appears or it is time to take the next step in a successful career.
During a time of the year that is less busy for you, take the time to create an outstanding resume. You have progressed since you started your career and your resume should as well.
The objective of the resume is to gain an interview, which is when you will win the job with your personality. Adapt the resume format to suit your strengths and showcase that you have what the employer is looking for. Avoid the latest gimmicks and build your resume upon the solid foundation of your professional knowledge and experience.
Formatting and Layout
Format the resume professionally, using a neat and clear style. Resumes are scanned in a matter of seconds so place the most relevant information to that particular job opening where it can be easily seen. Use bullet points to construct succinct phrases listing your accomplishments. Proofread carefully for typos or inconsistencies.
Show Yourself in the Best Possible Light
Include previous job titles and descriptions. Measurable results show your value to the company. Do not exaggerate or use hyperbole.
Edit the resume so that your most pertinent skills, education and experience are highlighted. If you have effectively performed duties that are required by the opening you are targeting, list them in a prominent place. Not all of your achievements need to be listed as they can muddle the document and detract from what the company is seeking.
Resumes may be scanned for keywords so include any skills, certifications or experience that is highly sought in your field. Choose words with a specific meaning that are standard across the industry, not simply vague terms or obscure abbreviations. Professional designations are important items to mention for any job search.
For each major component of your resume, consider individuals who could serve as references or professional contacts when you are looking for a job. If a project was particularly successful, the colleagues that you worked with might be able to recommend you for new positions or introduce you to others looking for stellar employees.
Any resume written in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF is easy to read and scan. When you improve your resume, update your LinkedIn profile as well. Begin to compile an online profile, for example interviews in news articles, conferences where you have spoken or other mentions that demonstrate your expertise.
Continue to Improve Yourself
Keep on top of trends in your industry and update your qualifications. Enrolling in courses, attending conferences and pursuing certifications demonstrates your dedication and assures that you will be ready to adapt to a new position and greater responsibilities. Every now and then look at yourself and ask: “what do I need to stay ahead?”
Once you have earned an interview with your professional knowledge and experience, you need to sell yourself to the company. Your unique skills and abilities make you the perfect fit for their needs. You are not only someone who should.
Reduce Interview Stress
In order for your personality to shine in the interview, eliminate potential sources of stress. Prepare clothes, a portfolio (if required) and any documentation ahead of time. Calculate how long it will take to travel to the interview and plan the timing. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and listen to your favourite music.
Research the Company
Speak to current and former employees about the office culture. Read the company website, news articles and other materials to learn about the company’s values and principles. Inform yourself about recent developments in the firm’s businesses, such as new product lines or strategic decisions. Consider your own profile and be prepared to explain how you fit into the company you are interviewing with.
Reflect and Take Action
Questions such as “describe a personal failure” or “speak about a time that you had to work as part of a team” ask the candidates to self-evaluate themselves and take action. An unresolved conflict at work or a disappointing project that was not followed by corrective action may indicate that a candidate does not value personal improvement. These examples should be linked to the job at hand and illustrate how you’ve tackled adversity and moved on.
These questions are invitations to explain how you have handled a difficult problem, provided multiple solutions and taken action. Sometimes skills such communication and collaboration prove difficult to quantify on a resume so questions like these allow you to demonstrate how your particular skills and abilities led to success for your company. Support any response with specific facts and details.
Top performers have several options but it is important not to appear arrogant or aloof. Return phone calls and messages, attend scheduled meeting and mind non-verbal communication such as body language and tone of voice. It’s feels good to be wanted by a respected firm but don’t get carried away with confidence. The goal of any job interview is to obtain a job offer, not merely compliments.
Watch for a Good Fit
At a certain point, the company is certain that the candidate is capable of doing the job and meeting the high standards so the interview becomes an opportunity for both sides to evaluate each other and determine whether the match is suitable for both sides. Is there a good personality fit between the candidate and their potential superiors and colleagues? Does the company culture complement the values of the candidate? Will the working relationship be fruitful or frustrating.
Executive search is a human capital endeavour. It is a people business, and when dealing with people, there must be a set of working guidelines to follow in terms of etiquette: the common courtesies that are practiced in the corporate world.
Shikari Group’s philosophy as it relates to candidate etiquette is to encourage the professional with whom we interact to always err on the more formal side. Rule number one to remember when working with a search professional is this: our role is to assess your qualifications and cultural fit as a candidate for searches we are conducting on behalf of our clients.
Consultants evaluate both the company and the candidate in order to find placements that satisfy both parties. Everything you say and do impacts our decision as to whether or not we decide to move you forward in the process. Having an overall understanding of this general rule is critical in your working relationship with a recruiter.
Writing a Job Profile
Consider the following when drafting a job profile:
The goal or the purpose of the position: This is the most fundamental part of your project. Do this incorrectly and the rest of your work will be useless. Consider what you need accomplished by your new employee. This may be simple or complex depending on the position, generally it will be stated in a broad term. For example: The main goal may be to provide sales leadership to a specific company division in Maryland for the XYZ Product line.
Essential Functions: These are the items at the very core of the position. These should be the most basic functions of the position required to accomplish the tasks or functions that are fundamental to the position. They should be functions that are actually required to accomplish the primary goals of the position. Some good tests to consider are; if you removed that function would it fundamentally change the position? Are there a limited number of other employees who can perform this function? Also consider the frequency that the function will be performed, the amount of time that will be spent on the function, and the consequences if the function is not performed. Consider the importance of these functions.
Concentrate on what you want accomplished not how it is to be accomplished. If possible, allow room in your job description for creativity in how a task is accomplished. This can lead you to new and better ways of accomplishing old tasks, sometimes even revolutionary new ways. Consider what the minimum qualification (skills, knowledge and abilities) would be required to perform these functions successfully. It is important to establish a true minimum qualification list in order to help other screen your candidates effectively.
Secondary Functions: Are the secondary items that would be nice to have included in the position but in themselves would not disqualify a candidate from consideration?
Budget Considerations: Do you have room in your budget to pay for a person with the qualifications you need? If not, you may have to reconsider your goals for this position. Think long and hard about this as if you can’t afford to hire the person you want, don’t waste everyone’s time on a pipe dream. Consider what a person with your required qualifications would currently be earning, and if you need an experienced person, what you will need to include to entice them to come to your company.
Other Considerations: Special conditions for employment, such as Location, Relocation, Security Clearance, Company Policy. Level of independence and responsibility – is the person highly supervised or do they operate on their own with minimal supervision. Make sure you have calculated in an appropriate amount of time for a new employees learning curve. Once you have gathered all of this information you are ready to write your job description.
Writing the Job Description: Now all you have to do is put all of the information you have collected so far into a cohesive package.
Distribute, Review and Modify as Necessary: Forward it, for review and approval, to all appropriate parties up through company’s top approving authority for coordination and approval from all required parties. Make any required changes based on the feedback you receive.
The Writing Process
The process of writing a job description is largely made up of collecting & analyzing data and determining the important functions & requirements of the position. Once this is done, writing the position description is relatively easy.
In the process we will:
Determine goal or purpose of this position.
Evaluate essential functions of the position required to reach that goal.
Consider secondary functions of the position that could enhance the ability to accomplish the goal.
Check on budget constraints.
Look at other potential considerations.
Assist in writing your Description.
Distribute, review & modify if necessary.