Friday, August 30, 2013

CAREER SUCCESS: This Made the Difference in Landing Their Jobs

In the past week, I heard from two people about the same
new job a client of mine landed. First, I heard from the successful candidate himself: "...I  just wanted to say thank you again for your help last week before my final interview. It's amazing the amount of clarity I was able to get in our short conversation.  Oh... I did get the job!"  Then, I heard from his mentor letting me know that both he and another referral landed their jobs. Of course, this  really made my day as a career counselor. And,  I've since been thinking about what each person had in common. One important thing they had in common - both came to me for interview coaching and were very prepared for their interviews.

Being prepared for the interview is extremely important. With each of these clients, we talked about strategy. We looked at what each would be bringing to the role - the competitive advantages over other candidates. We also looked at barriers, or disadvantages, and how to overcome those on the interview. It wouldn't be by saying "my skills cross over" or "I can do this job."  It would be by sharing examples of success in a role. Each of the clients I coached prepared several examples targeted to the job requirements and were very prepared to share their stories in the interview, using the following PSR format:
  1. Talk about the Problem at hand and any barriers you had to overcome.
  2. Give the Solution to the above problem with enough detail for the interviewer to see you in action on her or his team.
  3. End with the Results you gained or what I refer to as the "exclamation point."
 You will want your answers to be no more than 1-2 minutes. The objective is to give specifics but not too many details. And, you don't want to mention the product name and/or organization names for the prior role too much. This is because you want the interviewer to picture you doing the same thing for their company. If you follow this advice, the interviewer is more likely to remember you and your story even after you leave the interview. See the importance of being very prepared with examples relevant to the new job at hand!  And, always interact as your professional, authentic self when giving these story examples to your interview team.

In wrapping up a month of Tuesday Tips about Resumes, here are two more. First of all,  it is extremely important to make sure your bullets are not too short or too long. If they are too succinct, you aren't telling your story to the reader. If they are too long and wordy, you will lose your reader. For those of you who are more wordy in your writing, have a goal to edit and reduce the content of your resume by at least 10%.
Secondly, a dear friend and colleague, Pat, advised me to read the content backwards as a final review. This causes you to read for correctness and not to be "unconsciously" filling in content. 

With all of the above advice on resume and interviewing success, I wish you much enjoyment over the long, Labor Day weekend and remind you to watch for Tuesday Tips next week!

Marianne   408-295-6656

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