July 29, 2009

Who is reading your resume?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 7:44 pm

These days if you don’t get your resume into the hands of the “right person,” you might as well not send it out at all. 

One of the greatest mistakes job hunters make is to send their resumes only to individuals who receive hundreds of resumes a week.  These are the individuals listed in advertisements, on job boards or as the “contact person” for company career sites.  Insight:  Most resumes that are sent this way are not reviewed by this individual – or any individual for that matter.  The sheer volume of responses makes an initial review by an actual human being unrealistic in many instances.  The company or job site may be using a parsing program to first load resumes into a database.  An autoresponder is sending you that seemingly personalized, but formulaic acknowledgement letter.  If your resume does not contain the all important keywords and narrowly defined years of experience, your resume may never be retrieved later for review – even if you are qualified.  When resumes are initially screened by an individual, let’s be fair, the sheer number of responses this person may have to plow through may make a thorough reading of each resume - including your resume - impossible.  Further, the person in the ad is rarely the hiring manager and he or she may not have the deep expertise to properly assess your credentials.  (The hiring manager is too busy for this amount of initial screening.)  Also, if you applied to a specific ad, your resume now sits in a large pool of other respondents who are your competitors wanting this same position.   This all adds up to a low percentage deal for you. 


July 23, 2009

Counteroffers – The Cliff Notes

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 7:30 pm

Does this sound familiar? You have thought carefully about a career move and weighed the benefits for you, your family and your career. You have decided to accept the new position and are now ready to give notice. When you speak to your boss, he or she says some version of: “Wait a minute. You won’t believe this, but we have big plans for you and I was just about to tell you about them! Let’s discuss what can be done to make you stay.” Surprising and enticing promises are made. You find this is flattering. Others involved in this drama, however, begin to view you as unfocused, indecisive or even opportunistic. You start getting emotionally confused and pulled off your center. What’s happening here?


July 17, 2009

Who’s in your network?

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 2:28 pm

It is well documented that over 50% of individuals obtain their next position as a result of networking. At essence, networking is ultimately about raising your visibility with the people who can hire you to do what you are interested in doing. It is true that the end goal of networking is to obtain job leads, but networking is more of a journey than this simple definition suggests. What happens is this: You start by speaking with people you already know. Where appropriate, they link you to people they know (and so forth) which hopefully results in an increased flow of useful information about you, your career interests, the market and ultimately job opportunities. It is important to realize that not everyone is in a position to offer you the same kind of help. Yes, you are seeking job leads, but not everyone may be in a position to do so. It would be more useful and satisfying for you to think of networking in the following way. You are seeking to connect with people who can fulfill the following helpful roles in your job search:


July 6, 2009

Your True Calling

Filed under: general — Paul Kilman @ 7:55 pm

As a search firm owner, I have the privilege to speak with many people about their careers and life aspirations.  In the searches we handle, we are expected to identify strong performers with the targeted skills our client needs who recognize that our client’s opportunity could be that right next step forward in their respective careers.  To be the kind of performers we are looking for, these people are usually happy in their work and possess a healthy outlook about the challenges their careers present on a day to day basis.


July 1, 2009

Your Cover Letter

Filed under: insights — Paul Kilman @ 11:19 am

A good friend of mine asked me to critique the cover letter she wanted to use in her job search.  Without going into the details of her situation, let me share what I counseled her – and also believe will be helpful to you: 

It is my opinion that effective cover letters need to be short and written with the employers perspective foremost.  Imagine the first sentence of such a letter reading something like this:  “Can your firm use the help of a skilled employment attorney?”  Note how the employer can immediately understand what you are offering and whether it makes sense to read any further.   Believe me that most people do not have the time or patience to read long cover letters to figure out who you are and how they might be able to use your background.  It’s up to you to say how you can be of service to them.