Bullet Proof Your Career with 5 Key Strategies

Hi Everyone!

The job market is a
little dicey these days, and you need to be career savvy in order to keep your
job, or get into a new one.

So how can you
bullet proof your career so that you stay in high demand with people who could
potentially hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you?

A new client I’ll
call “Shawn” recently called me and said that he had gone through a
change in management which resulted in losing his 7-year position as a Leading
Program Manager of a prestigious high tech company.

He told me that
after one year of searching, he had taken the “only job he could get” which was
working part-time in the IT department for another company. After talking for a
few minutes, it became painfully clear why Shawn wasn’t able to get back on his
career path.

  1. Keep yourself marketable. Shawn shared that the high tech
    industry was starting to require a project management certification for
    project and program managers.  However,
    Shawn wasn’t stepping up to get the required training.What he WANTED was to get re-hired as a Program Manager, and then have the
    new company pay for his certification.  What he GOT was two years sitting on the bench without a job.   

    Never let your career sit on a shelf longer than 6-months. Never!  Keep
    the same drive and discipline that you had when you were employed.
    Get focused. Get a plan. Make it happen. Wallowing isn’t allowed. 
    Instead, seek out opportunities to keep yourself marketable. Use your
    “in-between” jobs time to get advanced training and education to
    help advance your career.  Consider expanding your skillset by
    freelancing or consulting. Join an association’s Board of Directors, or
    at
    minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible,
    expand
    your network, and keep yourself marketable.
     

  2. Fish where the fish are. Another mistake Shawn was making was
    not having a solid job search strategy. Where are your potential
    employers? Find out by r
    eading trade magazines, industry publications,
    company websites and classified ads in your local newspapers to learn
    which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot
    jobs are.
    Start attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking
    events and  association meetings.  Also, join professional
    networking sites such as LinkedIn.com (you can connect to me!) to get
    connected to industry leaders and company decision makers. Make it a
    priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire
    you, hire you, or introduce you to potential employers.
     

  3. Be a resource to others.  Never give the impression that
    you’re hungry for a job.  Instead, you want to be seen as someone who
    drives initiatives, solves problems and leads teams.  This is one
    reason why you want to consult, freelance, or volunteer while you’re in
    between jobs. Get personal with your professional network.  Send out links to
    reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think might
    interest those in your network.  Invite them to business networking
    events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers.  Influencers
    are drawn to those who are resourceful.
     

  4. Give your resume the “it” factor. When it comes to resumes – looks are
    everything!  If you’ve been applying for jobs that you’re qualified
    for, but you’re not getting the interviews, then you need a stronger
    resume.Hiring managers can have stacks and stacks of resumes piled high on their
    desk which means that if your resume doesn’t have the “it”
    factor – you’re toast.  Don’t lose out on a great job because your
    resume doesn’t stand up against your competition.  Instead, invest in
    a professional
    resume critique
    . You’ll get specific strategies based on your goals,
    strengths and accomplishments to get the attention of hiring managers and
    put yourself in high demand! 

     

  5. Consider Hiring a Career Coach.  Everyone
    has career bumps, so it’s completely normal to be stuck sometimes.  The important thing is to have a strong
    support system in place of mentors and career coaches who can offer
    support and guidance. A great career coach can give you
    the tools, support, and a step-by-step roadmap to help put your career
    back on track. Making an investment in a career coach means investing in
    yourself and your career, and could result in cutting your search time by
    as much as 50-percent, plus MORE money in your pocket with a higher
    starting salary.   

  6.  

The point is that if you’ve been
unemployed or at a lower level position for longer than six months, then you
need to shake things up! 
Try
different career strategies and start thinking outside the box. And never, ever
give up your drive, ambition and courage that it takes to move your career
forward.

Your job is out
there waiting for you. You just need to go get it!

Managing Perceptions – The Secret Ingredient to Getting Hired

Hi Everyone!What I’ve learned in my career about getting hired is the art of
managing perceptions.  Every step in the hiring process is filled with
other people outside of my influence making quick decisions and snap
judgments about my skills, experience, and more personally, about me. 

So
the more aware you are of the messages that you’re sending out to
others, the more you can shape and manage those perceptions to showcase
your best assets and greatest qualities.Below are four
strategies to help you master the art of managing perceptions and speed
up the hiring process so that you can get into a new job quickly.

1.    Perceptions are real.  You
influence people through your actions and your words.  As wrong as it
may be, it’s human nature to make very quick judgments about people,
and those judgments are accelerated by warp speed during the hiring
process.  With hundreds of potential candidates for each job opening,
hiring managers and HR professionals have to assess and determine very,
very quickly the right job candidates from the wrong candidates.

So
the key is to send clear, positive messages through your networking,
resume, and interviews that you consistently add value to an
organization. 

2.    Shaping perceptions.  The really important question is, What are the perceptions that you want people to have about you? 

When
you’re in the job market, you need to be sending a crystal clear
message that focuses on the value that you consistently deliver to a
company or client. Your “value” is a unique blend of your strengths,
successes, and the results you’ve achieved for an organization.  Also,
be passionate about the kind of work you enjoy doing.  Your value and
your passion will make you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues,
business associates, and even job applicants.

3.    Resume Power. 
Companies will only interview the top 1 to 3-percent of job candidates,
so if you think the “look” of your resume is good enough – think
again.  The truth is that companies don’t always interview the best
qualified – they interview those with the best resume.  

Don’t
write your resume yourself.  Instead, if you want to position yourself
as a top candidate then have your resume written by a professional. A
professionally polished resume sends the message that you’re serious
about your career, as well as the job you’re going after.

4.    Interviewing Perceptions. 
Driving perceptions during a job interview is about the way you dress,
the way you interact, and largely about your attitude.  Be prepared,
organized, confident and passionate.

Last week, I interviewed
three consultants to do some project work for me.  When I asked each of
them whether they could do the work successfully, one candidate
responded, “Yes, this is my bread and butter.  And not only can I do
this work successfully, but I like doing this kind of work.”   Calm. 
Confident.  Passionate.  He gave me peace of mind in knowing that
hiring him would bring little, if any, risk.  I hired him on the spot. 

Job candidates who get hired give clear and consistent messages
about the value they bring to an organization, and a passion for the
work they enjoy doing.  When you’re able to successfully manage and
shape perceptions through your networking, resume, and interviews,
you’re much more likely to stand above your competition and get hired.