Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Resume Advice | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

“Video Killed the Radio Star” led the charts in 1979 as the debut album for The Buggles and was the first music video shown on MTV at 12:01a.m. on August 1st, 1981. Video has now turned it’s destructive nature on unsuspecting job search candidates looking to amp up their brand with hot technology in hopes of grabbing the next lucrative position available in today’s intensely competitive job market.
Staying true to your brand
Two of the biggest brands in the world can attest to the danger of straying away from a great brand in hopes of becoming hotter, sexier and trendier. In 1985, one of the most memorable brand failures of all time occurred when Coca-Cola launched New Coke to replace its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola (a.k.a. Coke). The result: marketing failure and public distaste, literally. Within a short time, the original coke was back on the market and so were their sales numbers.

Last October, after remaining true to the iconic American brand customers had grown to love, respect and appreciate, The Gap launched a new logo. The new look also unleashed a newfound fury inside their customers that had become as attached to The Gap’s logo as it had their merchandise. Following customer-driven social media outbursts, led mostly by Facebook fans, Gap switched back to the original logo after less than a week.

3 Reasons Video Resumes Will Die Young

Reason #1: Hiring Managers Time is Limited. 85% of hiring managers read only the top half of page one of a resume (WSJ) and according to a recent survey by Career Builder, 38% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds reading a resume. Net result: job seekers have a half page to capture the 60-second attention span of a hiring manager.

Reason #2: Message Quality. Given that the time is limited to 60 seconds, it now has to be a video that’s compelling, engaging and entertaining. Unless you’re looking for a career in the arts, the message has to combine your experience, education, accomplishments and expertise with a catchy yet not kitschy skit to captivate the viewer. If you can compete with David Letterman’s Top 10 or Jay Leno’s “jay walking” segments to land a Finance Director interview, maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

Reason #3: Cost. As a professional career coach, I’m an advocate for investing in yourself and your job search strategy. Hiring a professional resume writer? Great idea. Hiring a video resume producer? ABANDON SHIP. If you have money to spare, donate it to the Red Cross to support any one of the recent natural disasters.

Considering that traditional resumes sent via email already get caught by spam filters for simply being sent as Word documents (hint: get yours through by sending it as a PDF). If you want to guarantee yours never lands on the hiring managers desk, just attempt to send a video file. Can you say corporate IT red flag? Give yourself every chance possible to land the job (and, in this case, save some money doing it). Stick to a good old-fashioned resume, just polish it up and put your best foot forward.

Unexpected Layoffs Prove Why It Pays To Be Prepared

Posted: August 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Search Networking, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Unexpected Layoffs Prove Why It Pays To Be Prepared

I was working late one night last week when the office phone rang and, out of habit, I picked it up. On the other line was a client I worked with months ago who was surprised to hear my voice. The first thing she said was, “I thought I’d get your voice mail calling this late.”

When I looked at the clock it was 7:30p.m., so much for calls going to our voice answering system after 5:30p.m. Thank goodness we had the chance to speak, what she shared is valuable for many professionals given today’s economic challenges. She was informed a week before that she would lose her position, after 15 years with the company, along with hundreds of other professionals. If you think it’s only their company, think again.

douple dip recessionDouble Dip Anyone?

When I was young, and now actually, I loved those dipped cones at Dairy Queen. Who wanted just chocolate ice cream on a cone when it could be dipped in chocolate?  Give me the choice between just one recession and what looks like a double dip recession – at least from an employment perspective and I’ll take the single thank you very much.  As 67% of employers announce their plans to increase hiring in the next 12 months, this month also held news of new layoffs in finance, technology, banking, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries as well as the government. These sweeping job losses are spreading farther than our borders, they are hitting abroad reaching into Europe as well.  Just this month Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Blackberry all announced layoffs coupled with offshoring by G.E., who has said the offshore plans will not affect U.S. job (and I’m as successful as Oprah).

The effects hitting states are being felt close to home as well. While Connecticut sent out layoff notices to shed 6,500 employees on July 12th, just this morning I sat in a local park having coffee with a meter maid that had 20 years of tenure with the City of Chicago, until yesterday when she was given two weeks notice and two weeks pay. August 30, 2011 will be her last day of employment after which she’ll be back on the streets but this time it’ll be to look for a new job rather than to write tickets.

Expect The Unexpected

When I chatted with Lisa* that night, she said “I never thought this would happen. I never thought this would be where I was sharing my resume.” She was calling to thank me for coaching her months before and for creating a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile that she had shared 18 times in the past week. 18 times! I was astounded that she had leveraged her resume and LinkedIn profile to that extent so quickly. She went on to say, “This isn’t something people think about.” and “There’s one job, three people already have the same job and only one is going to get it. It’s crazy. You’re competing with your co-workers for the job.”

She wanted to thank me for helping get her ready for the unexpected. Here was this tornado of organizational change swirling around her and she was able to remain calm knowing that she was ready to put her best foot forward day one despite the emotions that accompany ‘losing’ your job after 15 yrs. of loyalty to a company you truly love and appreciate.  It all worked out for Lisa, she’s been offered at new position that she’s excited about. It literally does pay to be prepared, and in Lisa’s case, it paid off with a new job at the company she loves, and with a 10% salary increase.

3 Ways You Can Be Prepared

1. Avoid Comfort – If you’re feeling like everything’s great and you’re cruising along comfortable everyday, chances are something is going to change. Be ready for the next change and always be looking to create that change rather than respond to it. Do you think Ted Turner sat around being comfortable on his way to creating CNN?

2. Get Your Resume Ready – The #1 myth in this business is clients are unemployed. 90% of my clients are actively employed professionals looking to up their game and stay on top of what’s next for them. Have your resume ready to go when a great opportunity comes your way; otherwise that opportunity will go to someone else who has theirs ready to go.

3. Stay Connected – Kids, Exercise, Work, Hobbies, Social Networking. How are you supposed to find time to stay connected with colleagues and associates? It’s a matter of making the time. 80-84% of today’s jobs are found through networking; if you stay connected regularly it makes it that much easier to activate your network when you need them. Dedicate 30 mins. each week to networking.

3 Resume Tips From Recruiters

Posted: January 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Resume Advice, Resume Feedback Advice | Comments Off on 3 Resume Tips From Recruiters

“I’m on, Dice and CareerBuilder and I had a phone interview last month but I think the problem is my resume.” – Client X. I’d love to quote the client that said that but there are so many it’s hard to choose just one. In today’s market, where 9 out of 10 resumes end up in the trash, a market-focused resume is essential to landing an interview much less a job.

Resumes That Get Results

85% of hiring managers only read the top half of page one of your resume. If you were reading only the top half of your first page, what position would you hire you for? 38% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds reading your resume. Net result: You’ve got less than 60 seconds to impress a hiring manager in less than half a page.

The resumes that get results in today’s highly competitive market are focused on facts, figures and results all organized in a clean, concise layout with a focused summary right upfront in the top half of page one. How do you create this on your own? The first way is to have the right components present on your resume.

The 6 Resume Components

  1. resume templatePersonal Information | Name, Phone Number, eMail and Address. (tip: include a link to your Linked In profile)
  2. Summary | Have one and make it relevant to today’s market, your skills and accomplishments.
  3. Professional Experience |  Include the most recent 15 years of experience.
  4. Education | Avoid including the year of graduation as it discloses your age; Remove high school.
  5. Awards | Include these great accomplishments in their own section or within the position bullet points.
  6. Community Involvement| Hiring Managers, and companies, like to hire professionals that volunteer. Include philanthropic activities that are not affiliated with a protected class (e.g. religion, ethnicity, etc).

Rosanna the Recruiter’s 3 Resume Tips

get resume coaching todayNow that you’ve got the right components, what are some good rules of thumb? A great colleague, and friend, Rosanna, is a recruiter in the technology industry and took to Facebook this week to post her 3 resume tips. When thousands of resumes come through your “door” via Linked In, Facebook and eMail everyday sometimes you want to share advice. Here are her 3 Resume Tips:

1. 3 page resumes, BAD.
2. Functional resumes, equally bad!
3. Long cover letters, a WASTE OF TIME.

Rosanna wrapped up her resume ‘rant’ with this statement: Your resume is your brand, not a badly written novel of your professional life. In the year 2011, it is unacceptable to have a bad, old-fashioned resume. If you’ve got a great resume and are looking for a job, reach out to Recruiter Rosanna and let her know you found her through Career Coach Adriana’s blog. (hint: avoid sending a bad resume)

Need Resume help? Simply ask. Avoid the $695 professionally written resume writers; I’ve helped thousands of people with their resumes and never charged $695. I hear horror stories from clients day after day, week after week about $500, $300, etc. paid for resumes and when I see what’s been done…cringe! Your resume is just one tool in the job search toolbox that will get you results and get you hired!

10 Great Last Minute Gifts for the Job Seeker's Soul

Posted: December 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Interview Tips, Resume Advice | Comments Off on 10 Great Last Minute Gifts for the Job Seeker's Soul

This holiday season buy a gift that will inspire, ignite and excite a job seeker’s soul.  Think about the last time you opened a present and were truly excited to receive it. The best part about gift giving is knowing the person and what to give them.
Looking for a new job, particularly in one of the worst economic climates since the Great Depression, brings about frustration, a lack of energy and exhaustion. Those who are employed might not understand how difficult and tiring it actually is to job search, albeit full-time or part-time.

Here are 10 great last-minute gift ideas for the today’s job seekers:

  1. 30 or 60-minute massage (aha, relaxation)
  2. Fandango movie gift certificates (2 hours of mind-numbing release)
  3. 30 day subscription to premium service
  4. New briefcase
  5. Nordstrom gift card to buy a new interviewing outfit
  6. Gift certificate for a new market-focused resume
  7. The hottest new job search bookCareer Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game”
  8. Fresh manicure (to use the day before an interview)
  9. gift card (everyone deserves a night out)
  10. Babysitting services (for interview day or just to get away)

The best part about many of these is that you can log online, order the gift card and viola – shopping and the gift – are done in less than 10 minutes! Now that’s a holiday gift that makes both of you happy.