Archive | July 2014

Think of Your Resume as a Brochure

Make sure your resume lines up with your career goals and objectives

Resume Writing TipsYour resume is the best way to show potential employers exactly who you are and what you are capable of as an employee. Rather than letting it be just a boring list of accomplishments and qualifications, try thinking about it as an advertising brochure, a method of selling yourself to prospective employers.

There have been so many times where I’ve spoken to potential candidates for jobs who know where they want to go in their career, but they put too much emphasis on positions in their resumes that either don’t apply to the position they’re applying for, or skills from a different industry that are not relevant to their potential new job. You shouldn’t feel like you need to take these positions off your resume. Instead, take those skills and experiences that do apply to your potential new job and make sure that you highlight them.

For example: let’s say you’re fresh out of college looking for your first job in the “real world,”, but the only experiences you have are old student jobs that are unrelated the field in which you are applying. While you should keep your work experience on the resume, what you should really highlight is the relevant skills you learned at those student jobs that will translate to your new position. You can still find relevant skills to highlight, even if the jobs themselves aren’t relevant to your application.

 

If you know what your goals and objectives are for your career, it’s easier to pick out these relevant skills to highlight. I recommend sitting down, taking some time to reflect about where you’re going in your career, and then taking the time to analyze your resume to better figure out how your resume can line up for the position you’re interested in.

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Why HR Leaders Will Be As Important as CFOs

Your Human Resource leader needs to have a seat at the “C” Level table

HR at the C TableIn the book The War for Talent by Ed Michaels, there is an intriguing excerpt titled “Why HR Leaders Will Be As Important as CFOs.” It’s a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the entire book. In that excerpt, Michaels makes the following statement:

Attracting, developing and retaining talented people is the stuff of competitive advantage, more so than financing strategies, tax tactics, budgeting and even some acquisitions. Hence, the HR leader has a much more strategic role to play in the years ahead, perhaps one equal to that of the CFO.

Michaels goes on to argue that today’s leaders should have much higher expectations for their HR managers, and that divisions and major locations should have a “superb HR generalist who is strategic, impact-oriented, direct, tough-minded and effective at influencing peers and senior managers.” He says that HR leaders could assume a number of new roles, including:

  • Helping to forge the link between business strategy and talent
  • Serving as the thought leader in understanding what it takes to attract great talent
  • Facilitating the talent review and action plans
  • Becoming the architect of the development strategy for the top 50 to 100 managers

This is a fantastic way for companies to approach the HR position going forward. There are few things more frustrating for companies than to bring in some excellent talent, only to watch them leave for something better a few years later. Having HR leaders taking on these types of new roles is a great way to ensure that companies will be able to attract, develop and keep their top talent in-house.

In fact, this issue is one of the biggest reasons I pursued my CERS designation last year. I work hard to make sure that my clients are able to hold on to their best talent, and a big part of accomplishing that is looking at the way HR leaders and management lead. If you show people you care about keeping them around, and if you develop strategies to prove that, then you’ll find that the amount of people leaving your company for something else will decrease.

Millennials in the Workplace

Why you should examine your hiring and staffing practices to maximize opportunities for Millennials

Millenials in the WorkplaceMuch has been made about how Millennials are at the forefront of digital innovation and social networking. However, the individuality characteristic of the generation has even broader reaches.

According to research done by the National Association of Personnel Services, Millennials have fewer attachments to traditional institutions than any previous generation, and have extremely little faith in the current Social Security system. Additional research by Pew Research Center suggests that fewer Millennials are marrying in their 20s than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and even more interestingly, that 50% of Millennials consider themselves to be political independents (although they lean heavily democratic on social issues such as same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization).

What’s clear from all of this research is that the Millennials are a generation filled with individuals who are not concerned with going against the grain and bucking trends that have lasted for decades. This is exactly why today’s companies need to closely examine their hiring practices to determine ways that they can provide greater opportunities for Millennials to join their team and thrive.

Millennials have proven themselves to be extremely capable of thinking critically at a young age. Their refusal to blindly trust institutions and others and their avoidance of labels and tradition for tradition’s sake indicates that they are not afraid to pursue their own goals and beliefs. Can you think of a better type of employee to have on staff, one that won’t simply settle for doing a job a certain way because “that’s how it’s always been done?” One who will critically approach any problem that arises within a given project and not resort to old, standard methods?

The tendency for companies hiring employees is to not take younger applicants seriously, but all research suggests that Millennials are very much worth your time, and could be extremely valuable employees.