As an exercise, we were to reflect on how we had contributed to our team, our department and the company each month; how did we help make or save the company money, what was our approach and how did we measure our progress? What were our accomplishments?
We used the same template for our own accomplishment documentation as we used for job seekers: Identify the Problem or Challenge, detail the Actions taken to address, and quantify the Results – this exercise goes by a number of acronyms: CARs, PARs, STARs, etc. and all work toward the same goal.
His comment to me once was “If you bump into the CEO at the next general meeting, and he asks you what you’ve been working on, what will you say? You can say: “Oh, you know, same old same old…” or you can concisely explain how you helped move a multi-million dollar project ahead of schedule by identifying a digital content tool that allowed the creation and publication of multilingual content in one-third of the time, with the added bonus of effectively saving more than $300,000 in annual labor.”
Since that time, I use this approach with my own team and myself; each month we document at least one accomplishment; three a quarter, twelve a year – we use this in reviews and internal checks to see if we’re on-target to hit goals we’ve established. It’s a great exercise to turn into a habit and will have an enormous benefit for your employees -- and you as a leader -- in the future.
These accomplishments may be kept in a personal document, in reverse chronological order. Should there be a need for an internal or external resume, the accomplishment statements are readily accessible, and can easily be dropped into a resume under the corresponding role. This also gives the resume writer – whether the employee or an outside resource (such as yours truly) – the ability to choose which accomplishment statements are most relevant to the targeted role.
I am writing this because the majority of all of my resume clients, no matter how far along in their career, do not do this or they half do it, missing the important quantification measurement, and as a result (and out of desperation), they copy and paste job description responsibilities into the resume and that never works. It never works because hiring managers know what the role is; what hiring managers want to know is what unique skills, problem solving and critical decision-making do you bring to the role? Your past accomplishments create the story of your work approach and your resume is your first work product example.
Teach your teams to articulate their successes and contributions; challenge them to quantify the results. Help them now so they might better succeed in the future.
Our #CHS Spotlight #Employer of the week - Recently named a 2020 Best Places to Work, Atlas Technologies, Inc. is a #Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) specializing in full life cycle support of mission critical, military Enterprise IT solutions to the United States Navy and Coast Guard with offices in Charleston, SC, Alexandria, VA, Chesapeake, VA, and San Diego, CA.
You can check out open positions here: http://www.atlas-tech.com/careers/jobs.php
They always look to add talent to their team. Check to see if your next career is waiting for you. You will be impressed with their excellent benefits as well as the company culture.
From the Atlas website:
What is it like to work at Atlas?
You are never alone. You are met with encouragement to better your knowledge and skills. You will be pushed to not only master the skills you were hired for, but also expand your abilities into other areas. Our success has largely been based upon our culture of cross-training. No one wants to retire from doing the same thing for 20 plus years. Changes is a part of our life and especially our industry, therefore change is embraced at Atlas.
Learning is a way of life at Atlas. This attitude is addicting. Soon you will see yourself mentoring and pushing others not only to succeed at their challenges, but to excel at new opportunities. We have many success stories of administrative staff learning and advancing into technical roles; technical staff advancing into management roles, and a high percentage of employees taking advantage of our educational reimbursement policy.
Once you learn it; improve it. We are constantly "raising the bar" for our projects, our colleagues and our customers. We have minimum standards of quality, but are never satisfied with the minimum. We strive to exceed expectations in all things we do, from the front line Subject Matter Expert, to our Back Office staff. Everyone deserves to get the quality of work and attention to detail offered by Atlas, and we aim to be the best provider, partner and community member.
Having worked in intelligence for a crisis management firm, I admire companies that get what can be a highly stressful occupation, right.
About Phishlabs: PhishLabs has been named one of the top places to work in Charleston, SC four years in a row. I have a client working there now, and she is thrilled - perfect fit and outstanding culture, even amidst the COVID-19 workplace restrictions.
Here is their recent Press Release on the subject: check them out!
PhishLabs, the leading provider in protecting against cyber threats that exploit employees, customers, and brands, has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina for the fourth consecutive year. Companies throughout the state entered a two-part survey process, which evaluated workplace policies, practices, and culture, and included an extensive employee engagement and satisfaction survey.
“PhishLabs has a positive reputation in the market because we deliver high value solutions and obsess over delighting our clients; That wouldn’t be possible without our team members living our values and continually raising the bar,” said Tony Prince, CEO of PhishLabs.
“The Charleston tech market is very competitive, so it means a lot to have our employees attest to us being an employer of choice,” said Suzie Rybicki, Vice President of Talent & Training at PhishLabs. “We’ve worked hard to develop a very transparent and collaborative culture and the people in our PhishLabs’ family really do make the difference.”
The Best Places to Work in South Carolina award was created by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, PhishLabs partners with enterprises to protect against cyber threats that exploit their employees, customers, and brands. With solutions that address phishing attacks across email, social media, web, mobile, and SMS channels, PhishLabs reduces the risk posed by the broad range of threats that use phishing techniques. Top enterprises rely on PhishLabs to protect against stolen credentials, malware, brand abuse, and online fraud.
To learn more, visit http://www.phishlabs.com and follow @phishlabs.
As part of the interview process, many companies will ask a candidate to construct a 30-60-90 day plan.
Even if it is not required, doing so will demonstrate to the hiring authority a candidate’s serious intentions towards the particular position they are interviewing for.
A well thought out plan will include a preliminary preparation plan in addition to a concise and detailed business plan that includes both tactical and strategic initiatives.
We cannot emphasize how important it is to lay out a detailed and well thought out plan. An investment of maybe 3-4 hours will be more than worth the time and effort when the job offer is extended. Don’t be overwhelmed – one to three pages of concise bullet points are enough to present in this preliminary plan.
Why Create a Plan?
Understanding why the company is seeking to fill a need with this position is critical: preliminary preparation includes initial company research and is more strategic than tactical. If the company is publicly traded, one would want to obtain the annual reports that are available for investors and potential investors and study them. Understand competitors, products, company culture –and most important, how you will make an immediate impact in your new role, must be considered.
The first 30 days should not only include a thorough understanding of the internal workings of the company, but also include a plan to introduce oneself to all resource contacts as required by the role.
You will need to define that you will familiarize yourself with internal systems relevant to the role whether they be customer relationship management systems (CRM), reading and understanding company policy and procedure, attending training programs, mastering product knowledge, etc.
The next thirty days includes more practical application of knowledge, less training, and more interaction and contribution. Tactical initiatives must address and support the reason for the Hiring. Strategic plans may include studying additional material or systems, meeting with the internal teams, meeting with manager to discuss progress to-date, and joining industry specific professional groups.
The tactical part of the plan should contain development and implementation of a specific "game plan" which includes setting higher goals for six months and one year, developing target lists of goals based on needs analysis, and creating and implementing a measurable results plan. Strategic initiatives would include attending professional networking events, meeting with team members to assess progress of current projects, new initiatives, etc.
Everything in the plan must be tailored to the role, the expectations of your direct supervisor and the company, and measurements of success as outlined by the company in the initial interview.
With an impressive list of press credentials and talent, the folks at BranchOut.com may be on to something.
TechCrunch says: "BranchOut, a new Facebook application makes career networking a snap. The application unlocks massive amounts of career data about my friends and friends of friends that was just impossible to get to before."
We're giving it a try and so far, we like it. It imports LinkedIn profiles, and took exactly 2 minutes to log-in through Facebook and get a profile set up. Have you tried it? Comment here and let us know your experience, and connect with us!
Here's a video to get you started.
Need some motivation during this time of year? I hope this gets you started.
The video is from the folks at Inspirationz Inc. They set out to create the world's most inspiring and best motivational video to celebrate the launch of their revolutionary motivational wall art catalog. They wanted to provide viewers with an experience they can call upon whenever you need a spiritual boost; something that to plug into to fuel and refuel a passion for life.
The result is this video, which they have named: 'IGNITE YOUR SOUL'.
With masterpieces from some of the world's greatest sculptors and painters, and prose from some of the world's greatest prophets, poets and sages who have ever lived, combined with an epic soundtrack by Rob Dougan, they hope their aim has been achieved ... but ... they leave it up to you, the viewer, to be the judge.
Inspirationz Inc. invites YOU to be the one to inspire by sharing the video with others.
Well, we've said these very same things, so it's great to hear it from the CEO of a company that's hiring. If you're not familiar with ERP SoftwareAdvice, they help buyers find the right software for their business. Like the big consulting firms, they research the market identifying the best solutions for each buyer. Unlike those firms, their advice is available to everyone, for free. In the last year, their website helped 15,206 organizations find the right software. Check them out and enjoy the POV of Don Fornes, CEO.
CEO Don Fornes
Don’t Name Your Resume, “resume” & Nine Other Head-Smacking Tips for Job Seekers
At Software Advice, we’re hiring like mad, or at least trying to. You might think a growing company with interesting jobs, great pay, top-notch benefits and a cool office would find hiring to be a breeze in a recession like this. Nope.
We want A players on our team - we have 19 so far.
However, we typically sort through about 150 candidates for each hire we make. Only about twelve of those 150 candidates get to a first-round phone interview.
Why so few?
It’s not worth our time to interview any more than that. The incremental effort of interviewing more than twelve out of 150 candidates produces a very low marginal yield of qualified hires. There may be a superstar hidden in the other 138, but it’s not worth our time to dig too deep to find her. Yes, we look at each application, but we do so with an eye for why we should reject the candidate, not why we should hire them. That quickly gets us to roughly a dozen interviewees, and then we switch our mindset to start thinking about who we want to hire.
With that as context, I want to share some of the screens I use to whittle down 150 applications to twelve interviews. I’m not talking about the usual hiring criteria; yes, we absolutely look at experience, achievements, academic credentials, etc. That’s all core and critical. Instead, I’m going to talk about the head-smacking, silly things people do that make me click “reject” in our applicant tracking system (ATS).
One more bit of context: our typical hiring profile is a recent college grad, zero to five years out, looking for a sales or marketing job. Keep that in mind. Here goes:
1. Don’t name your resume, “resume.” About a third of applicants name their resume document, “resume.doc.” “Resume” may make sense on your computer, where you know it’s your resume. However, on my computer, it’s one of many, many resumes with the same name. I used to rename them, but then I noticed the strong correlation between unqualified candidates and the “resume” file name. Now I reject them if I don’t see something really good within ten seconds. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand themselves (e.g. “John Doe - Quota Crusher”). If you’re qualified enough to sell or market for us, you won’t miss the opportunity to at least use your name in the file name.
2. don’t use all lowercase. i’m not sure where this trend originated. is it some text messaging thing? it’s so easy to capitalize properly on a keyboard. how much time is this really saving you? to me, it screams out, “hi. i’m lazy. my pinkies are really heavy and I’d rather not move them to shift. when i start working for you, i’ll look for other ways to be lazy. i’ll also rebel against authority figures like you, just like i’m rebelling against the english teachers that dedicated their lives to helping me become literate.” seriously though, this bad habit buys you next to nothing and is bound to offend countless detailed-oriented hiring managers.
3. Don’t write like a robot. I’ve noticed a funny phenomenon with many grads that are entering “the real world.” While their speech is still littered with “ums,” “likes” and “you knows,” their writing is exceedingly formal, long-winded and boring. The people that are reviewing your application were young once too. They may still be young. Most of them have a sense of humor. They get bored. Please, don’t make them parse dense cover letters and resumes that read like some robot ate a thesaurus and puked. Just use concise, well-written prose. Keep sentences short. Toss in a joke or two. Show us a little bit of your personality. We’re going to have to work with you more than we see our spouses, so show us that we’ll enjoy it. No robots.
4. Don’t spam hiring managers. It’s easy to tell when a candidate is just applying to any job out there to see if anyone will call for an interview. Unlikely. Hiring managers want to know that you are excited about the position. They know that passion for the role is critical to success. Take the time to understand the company and the open position. Write a cover letter or email that explains your interest in the role and your qualifications. Tweak your resume to match the hiring criteria. On our web application, we ask applicants to answer three questions. Why? Because spammer applicants will just enter simple answers of a few words; applicants that care enter well-written, thoughtful answers. We delete the former immediately. Remember, these jobs are competitive; the only way to compete is to stand out...in a good way. Spam won’t.
5. Don’t expose your licentious personal life. We’ve all read about social media missteps - those unfortunate photos of you passed out drunk, covered in flour (“antiqued” as my co-workers call it), profane words written on your face. Honestly, I understand. If Facebook and camera phones were around when I was in college, I’d still be blushing in embarrassment. Now that you want a career, put that stuff behind you. Start managing your reputation online and off. One of our three application questions asks for the applicant’s proudest achievements. Today some guy answered that he had produced and stared in his own music video. Kinda cool, I thought. That is, until I clicked the link and witnessed the puerile lifestyle of which he remains so proud. Reject. As a rule, I’m not going to pry too deep into your personal life, so don’t jinx yourself by showing us you at your worst.
6. Don’t talk badly about your former employer. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This is especially relevant in the hiring process. When I read negative comments in an application or cover letter, I’m shocked. My problem with this is twofold. First, it typically takes two to tangle. I assume there is a high likelihood that this applicant finds trouble wherever they go. Moreover, talking badly betrays a lack of “political judgment” - a critical skill set for the workplace, whether you like it or not. When I hear a candidate say that their last employer was incompetent, a micro-manager, or unfair, I assume I’m next on their list. The candidate may be right; their former employer may be horrible. I’ll pass on the opportunity to find out.
7. Proofread your resume. It’s unbelievable the number of spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in resumes. Again, this is a blaring clue telling the hiring manager that you don’t check your work and you don’t pay attention to detail. More than one error and I’m clicking reject. Why so harsh? Because I don’t want to have to double check your work when I hire you. Hiring managers want leverage, not more work. It’s really easy to have someone review your resume. Friends, family, career counselors - all these folks should be willing to give it a quick read. Fresh eyes can catch those typos you’ve glanced over ten times. Take the extra effort and avoid the nearly automatic “reject” reflex that hiring managers have when they spot your errors.
8. Format your resume nicely. Take the time to format your resume nicely. It’s one of those small clues hiring managers look to for an indication of your attention to detail, organization and pride in your work. If you send me a sloppy resume, I’ll reject it knowing that you are likely to do sloppy work if I hire you. There are standard formats out there; use them. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t get creative (unless you are applying for creative jobs in design, advertising, etc.). For sales, marketing, finance, administration, etc., stick to a clean, one-page format like the Wharton School Template. Don’t make us figure out your resume format when we’re busy trying to figure out you.
9. PDF your resume. Not everyone uses the same operating system and word processor that you do. I use a Mac. I don’t have Word - don’t want it. My ATS can’t handle .docx files. A lot of the resumes I see come through horribly garbled. So much for that nice formatting you did (Did you?). PDF, or portable document format, is a simple solution. Anyone with Adobe Reader - most any corporate computer has it installed - can open a PDF file and see exactly what you intended them to see. Most ATSs read PDFs just fine. Most any Mac application can print/export to PDF. If your Windows apps won’t, go download one of the many free PDF creator applications and PDF your resume. It’s so easy. It’s so free. It’s so appreciated.
10. When you get a job, don’t job hop. Finally, here’s one last piece of advice that goes far beyond the job application. When you get a job, try your very best to stay at it for at least two years, preferably more. We understand that the job market is fluid and you are not likely to stay with us long enough to get the gold watch. However, we do want to get a couple years of productivity from you if we’re going to invest in training and mentoring. One of the first things I look for on a resume is some demonstration of tenure. Had three jobs in your first year out of college? Reject. Four jobs in your first five years out? Reject. I’ve got to assume that you were fired repeatedly or you’ve got a bad case of career ADD. Got a good story about all that job hopping? Unfortunately, I can’t afford to take the risk.
I know I sound like a grumpy old man. I just can’t help but share this inside scoop on our screening process. I know it might reduce my screening effectiveness if I share my criteria. However, if you read this and fix your application, that tells me you are coachable and you care. Let’s interview.
If you are an A player, I hope you’ll get a good laugh out of this. Moreover, I want you to know that there is a company out there working hard to find you. We’ll hire you. We’ll appreciate you. We’ll reward you handsomely. Please apply! Just take your time on the application.
Don Fornes is the CEO of ERP Software Advice, an online resource that reviews HR and ERP software. This article was originally featured at: Don’t Name Your Resume, “resume” & Nine Other Head-Smacking Tips for Job Seekers and is reprinted here by permission of the author..
We have to admit, this "exchange" floored us. There seems to have been a lack of professionalism of both parties here, but we're interested in your take?
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