Giving Youreself Time for Rejuvenating, Replinishing and Dreaming…

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I just returned home after renting an ocean-view condo in Long Beach for one month.

One full month of playing at the beach, building sandcastles, staring out at the ocean and daydreaming, digging my toes into wet sand and then watching it all wash away.

When I’m at home, I spend my days helping clients transition into their dream career and in my “free” time I share my tips in TV and radio interviews, speaking at conferences across the country and writing for my blog and newsletter!  

So the only time I have to think about my own career is when I go on vacation. 

It’s important to carve out time in our busy calendars to rejuvenate our spirit and daydream about possibilities.  (In fact, this is one of the key assignments I give to my clients which is why I believe they have such a high success rate!)

My dream is to be able to take off one month during the summer, AND the entire month of December off (I looooove the Christmas holidays ;))    That would mean working 10 months of the year, and taking 2 months off.  I’m not there yet, but with each year, I get closer to making it a reality. 

So tell me, What is your career dream…?  :)

What your Interviewer REALLY wants to know about you…

Do you know what your interviewer really wants to know about you?

Preparing your answers for an interview is so much eeeeeasier when you know what the interviewer really wants to know about you! Once you understand what those are, you can be more prepared, more confident and feel less anxiety during the interview process.

Here are three (3) of my exclusive insider secrets into the mindset of interviewers and what they really want to know about you…

  1. Can you do the job?
    Do you have the skills, knowledge, and training to successfully perform the job? These questions are usually very black and white.How you should prepare: Read the job description 4 or 5 times to fully understand all of the job requirements. Select the top 2-3 critical skills that are most important.Think back on your career and select some “success stories” that you’ve had with each of those skills. Specifically, talk about the situation, how you demonstrated that skill, and the results. Keep it short and simple. Practice saying your success stories out loud. Your answers should be specific and focus on results and accomplishments.
  2. What “extras” do you bring?
    For most job openings, about 80% of the work has been defined. In other words, a hiring manager knows about 80% of the work that the new employee will be responsible for, but not the remaining 20%. That is because they want to know, “What can you (the new employee) ADD to the position?”What extra skills or areas of expertise do you have that can ADD VALUE to the company? For example, if you’re going for a job as a Pubic Relations manager, you may have some experience in marketing or desktop publishing that is not required for the job, but might be valuable to the company. This “extra” skill may position you as the TOP candidate for the job.How you should prepare: Before you go into a job interview, think about the additional skills and talents that you can bring to the position. Be sure to work these skills into the conversation, but only after you have discussed those skills and qualifications that are REQUIRED for the job.
  3. Where are you at risk?
    Every new employee is a risk to an organization. Whether it’s a specific requirement that you don’t meet, or a skill you don’t have, or potentially being overqualified for the position, or taking a medical leave of absence, etc. So, spend some time thinking about where YOU are a risk.How you should prepare: During the interview, beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where you a risk and reassuring him why it won’t be a problem. For example, when I was interviewing at the NBC Affiliate TV Station (where I worked for 4 years), the Operations Manager was asking a lot of what I thought were too detailed questions about my experience. I jumped in and said, “I’ve read the job description over and over, and I’m absolutely confident I can do this job. The one concern I have is that I don’t know how to work the equipment in the news room.” She looked at me, breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Oh! We can teach you that!” She hired me the next day and I worked for her for 4 terrific years :)Addressing your risks is also the reasoning behind the question, “Tell me about any weaknesses you have.” When you are asked this question, I recommend that you respond by bringing up an area for improvement, but quickly add what you are already doing to strengthen that skill.For example, let’s say that you are interviewing for a position for a Sales VP and the position advertises that the applicant should know a specialized software application. If you are not familiar with this tool, you could say that you do not have a lot of experience with it but that you are taking an on-line training class to sharpen your skills (but only say this if it’s true!)

    This approach shows that you are serious about your professional development and take the initiative to grow and improve your skills.

And finally…
Do you have any interviewing tips to share?  I’d love to hear about them…  :)

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Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

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Resume Secrets to Get More Career Opportunities, Job Offers and even a Higher Salary!

The biggest challenge in today’s tough job market is how to stand out from competition and put yourself in high demand with hiring managers. Your resume can do a lot more than land you a job interview. It can also position you as the TOP candidate going into interviews, and even help you get a higher starting salary which could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.

So what does a great resume look like?

As a leading career coach, I help professionals and executives reinvent themselves and transition into a new career every day.  Below are five (5) of my resume secrets to help you get you more career opportunities, more job interviews and even a higher salary!

  1. Feature the “right” key words.
    Key words are those skills listed as the job requirements in the job postings. Key words are different for every job so you need to look closely at the job description. Read every skill, qualification and requirement listed in the job posting. Those are the “key words” that you’ll want to showcase throughout your resume.

    I always like to list key words using a bullet format in bold fonts towards the top of the resume. This way, the hiring manager will see your key strengths within seconds of picking up your resume.

    **BONUS tip: Repeat key words throughout the “experience” section of your resume to show that you have a history, or pattern, of building those skills.

  2. Show results.
    This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from all the other thousands of resumes. So many professionals make the mistake of focusing on responsibilities on their resume when they need to instead be focusing on RESULTS. In other words, how did you add value to your previous organizations?

    Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, percentages, or numbers. For example, let’s say that you’re in sales and you’ve brought in an average of 10 new clients per month, and an average of $10,000 per client. That’s 120 clients a year, and if you’ve been doing that for the past 3 years, that’s 360 new clients! So one of your career highlights should be, Gained approximately 360 new clients which generated $360,000 in new revenue in three years.

    **BONUS tip: Quantify each of your accomplishments for every job that you list in the Experience section.

  3. Highlight leadership and teamwork.
    Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. Highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects, programs and teams that you’ve led.

    If you’re light in leadership experience, then highlight any leadership responsibilities you may have had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church, or extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.

    **BONUS tip: Use strong verbs such as: Initiated, orchestrated, implemented and led.

  4. Be specific and clear.
    Don’t waste your resume space (or the hiring manager’s time) by using “filler” words or vague overarching comments like, “received awards for various contributions”, or “launched several products”. List the specific awards you received, or the names of the products you’ve launched. By doing so, you’ll be giving your resume substance and credibility.

    Don’t worry if it’s a product nobody’s heard about or is difficult to explain on your resume. You want the hiring manager to be curious about you. That’s why they have interviews – so they can get more information about your qualifications.

    **BONUS tip: Be brief. Be specific. Provide enough information that will leave hiring managers wanting more.

  5. Relevant, targeted and customized.
    Employers don’t have time to read about every single skill and job that you’ve ever had. They just want to know, Are you qualified to do their job? Customize your resume to go for the job and company you want. A hiring manager will notice you so much more if your resume is specifically targeted to that position for which you are applying.

    **BONUS tip: Only include those jobs, skills, and successes that will help you get your next job.

And finally…

How confident are you that your resume is going to stand out from your competition?
Invest in having your resume professionally critiqued. Getting personalized recommendations from a resume expert could not only get you more high quality job interviews, but also more career opportunities and even a higher starting salary!
If you’d like me to create a fabulous, professional resume for you, check out my resume web page.

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Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

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