Q. I have recently returned home from Afghanistan and am having difficulty creating a resume. What advice do you have for returning service personnel?Read More
Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.
I am the first to say that powerful job search documents are only a part of a successful career management plan. That is why I place so much emphasis on the entire process; I want clients to walk away with a success orientation and the kind of bolstered confidence that can change their career trajectory. Projects are about a lot more than a new resume, and that’s why I love what I do.
Starting in 2019, full service clients will walk away from their projects with the guide, Beyond an Outstanding Resume. The guide outlines 12 tactics for comprehensively managing your career.
The suggestions in Beyond an Outstanding Resume serve as guideposts to point clients in the right direction, helping them to comprehensively navigate their path to achieving the ultimate professional goal: Career Fulfillment – not merely “looking for a job” when necessary.
Happy New Year!
I am often asked for my “best” career advice. People want to know what will help them succeed in their job, the interview, their annual review, etc.
This comes up a lot. Especially at the start of a new year.
Of course, my responses change depending on the topic and the employment environment at any given time, but right now I’m seeing a lot of missteps when it comes to one thing:
Change and Growth Orientation
Increasingly, top employers are looking for agility and action. They are most interested in job candidates who can demonstrate a track record of action (via an outstanding resume and stellar interviewing skills) and who are actively taking steps to become better and better at what they do.
Simply put, employers want to know that you have fresh ideas and are currently engaged in growing your career and knowledge base.
When I am consulting to help a company with a high-level hire, this is an area that will often separate the “good” candidates from the “excellent” candidates.
Am I aware of current cutting-edge practices in my field?
Can I demonstrate my domain expertise and am I prepared to speak to the aspects of my field that have my attention right now?
Am I able to communicate a passion and a distinct point of view regarding where my field is heading.
Remember, the demand for organizations to rapidly evolve demands that they have talent who can lead that change. So, hiring someone who knows where any given domain is headed isn’t just a nice to have; it is critical to a company’s success. Be that person.
Welcome to 2019. Remember, if you need help with the next steps in your career, change starts here at Tandem Powered!
As startup companies grow and established companies continue to look for ways to cut costs and maximize productivity, it is common for employees to hold multiple roles at once. This increasingly common reality can make it very challenging to effectively capture your experience on a resume or LinkedIn.
Here is an example: I recently worked with a client who joined a startup as an HR Manager. Within a year, she was tasked with leading the PR team, but she continued to serve as HR Manager. To further complicate things, she was essentially pulled out of both roles for a period of time to support a round of fundraising. Essentially, this client had 3 different roles that she wanted to honor on her resume but was completely stumped by how to accomplish that.
I’ll tell you what I told her.
When it comes right down to it, you only ever really hold one position at a time. Yes, that position may evolve, new responsibilities may be added, and you may be pulled away to support special projects, but you don’t technically have multiple jobs. Just the one (complex) job.
With that resolved, you still need to find a way to honor the complexity of the role and shifting scope without complicating things. Here are two quick tips:
If, for example, you started as an HR Manager and your role was expanded (but your title didn’t change), then your title is still HR Manager. Use a brief position overview to communicate the scope of your role. Also, consider listing your added responsibilities as an achievement.
When you are pulled out of your current position to participate in a special project, that is a great accomplishment to list under your title. It isn’t, however, a new position that should be listed separately.
A best practice when developing your resume or LinkedIn is to keep things simple and easy for readers to grasp. You can always provide greater detail during the interview, which you are more likely to get because your resume was so clear and compelling.
I find a great deal of fulfillment every day in working with best-in-class companies and talented, hard-working individuals who are striving to build fulfilling careers and lives. I find joy in learning about the work my clients do, often quietly, to make things better for their organizations, their customers, and – most importantly – themselves and their families.
Again this year, as I celebrate the holidays and toast the new year, I will be thinking about how grateful I am to work with such incredible people and how fulfilled I am in helping people make positive steps forward in their career.
Thank you and happy holidays!
Here are three questions to consider as you reflect and prepare for the year ahead:
What did I like/dislike about my career in 2018?
Do I have a vision for what I want my career to look like in 2019?
Have I outlined steps and actions to make progress toward that vision?
There is one question that I get from almost every person I work with.
“Do I need to send a cover letter with my resume?”
I’ve written about cover letters more times than I can count, but there are clearly factors – likely misinformation on the web and outlier hiring practices being promoted as standard practice – that are confusing readers and prompting this question. So, let me definitively answer it (again): Unless a job posting specifically requests that you not send a cover letter (a very rare occurrence), a cover letter is both expected and important. Here’s why:
Protocol – I know from my experience “on the other side of the table” – both as an HR professional and the current consulting I do with business clients – that the cover letter is (in most cases) still a key part of the candidate selection process.
Perspective – Many clients share that they wish hiring managers knew more about them than what is just on the resume. The good news is that hiring managers want to know more too, and the cover letter is designed to provide that additional perspective. Take advantage of the opportunity to share more about yourself – your skills, your passion, your interest in the specific role – and help decision makers understand what differentiates you from other candidates.
Process – Selecting job candidates is typically a multi-stage process of whittling down qualified applicants. Throughout those conversations and series of decisions, information you provide in a cover letter can make all the difference. Simply put, the cover letter will become meaningful in different ways as your application makes it through the multi-stage selection process.
When applying for a position, don’t eschew standard practices or pass up the opportunity to share more about why you are an ideal candidate. Send a cover letter.
Ready to move forward in 2019? Change starts here!
There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a professional resume writer and career development professional. Below, you’ll learn a bit about my philosophy & approach, and you’ll gain insight into what differentiates Tandem Powered. I hope I have the chance to partner with you. Don't hesitate to click the button below to get in touch and learn more.
Why change, and why with Tandem Powered….
1. Because you are your best investment.
Career development services are not a gadget that will be obsolete in a year or two. Rather, career development is a solid investment – perhaps the best investment you can make – because it’s an investment in yourself and in your future. You’ll walk away from our time together with a new understanding of your professional strengths, a clear grasp of the value you represent, and tools that will serve you for a lifetime.
2. Because you need help organizing your life / work story.
If you’re like many people, you’ve let your career development languish. Many of my clients come to me with no idea of how to begin to organize their job history and the way they present themselves. My process gets things in order and leaves you in good shape to continue the momentum.
3. Because you care about your professional and personal growth.
So does Tandem. I am the first to say that powerful job search documents are a small part of a successful career management plan. That is why I place so much emphasis on the entire process; I want you to walk away with a success orientation and the kind of bolstered confidence that can change your career trajectory. This is about a lot more than a new resume, and that’s why I love what I do. New for 2019: Full Service clients will walk away from their projects with my guide, Beyond an Outstanding Resume. The guide outlines 12 tactics for comprehensively managing your career.
4. Because you understand the value of a deep process.
I want you to be able to bring all of you, and so I bring all of me. I draw on my entire skills portfolio – education, professional certifications, extensive experience, and a background working with hundreds of professionals across almost every conceivable field – to provide the deepest and most enriching process possible. Get ready; we’ll get right down to the very details that will make you shine.
5. Because you want to see yourself in a new light.
I am passionate about empowering you to see yourself and your career in the best light possible by directing your focus to your unique accomplishments and the value you represent. Just imagine the possibilities when you have a new success “language” that makes it easy for you to clearly speak to your past and, more importantly, your potential impact.
6. Because you value the best tools and tips.
As someone with deep experience in Business, Human Resources, and Career Development, I pride myself on staying current in my field and employing cutting-edge and best-in-class tactics on every project. I'm an expert on both sides of the table, and I enthusiastically bring that mastery.
7. Because you are welcome here. Always.
Tandem Powered is committed to the #OpenToAll campaign. No matter your race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, veteran status, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or any other characteristic, you are wholeheartedly welcome here. I know – from my experience in work and life – that our differences as humans do in fact make our work places and communities stronger.
Let's make 2019 our best year yet!
Click on the green box below to receive Tandem's Tips and Special Offers. I'll also send you answers to the seven most common resume questions I receive.
If you read this blog regularly, you know I take on a lot of business consulting projects around the globe. The trend of video interviews is becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, many candidates are handling them miserably, so I want to share a few key pointers so that you can nail it when / if you have a video interview in your future.
Keep your answers brief. Video interviewing is uncertain (and new!) territory for most candidates. When something is uncertain, it’s human nature to either freeze up or blab. Video interviewees know they can’t choke, so most tend to go on and on (and on). The majority of video interview platforms do not allow for second chances. Go in thinking: Direct. Succinct. On topic.
Position yourself in good light. Rearrange lamps, move your table, open blinds. Position yourself in strong light with no shadows. You’ll look better, and it completely changes the psychology of how the hiring panel will view you.
Smile. It’s very disheartening to see a video interviewee looking sad and scared. Because this is uncertain territory for so many people, it’s tough to not look sad and scared. Organizations don’t want to hire people that look terrified. I hear a lot of “If they can’t handle this confidently, how are they going to handle leading a team?” sorts of things. Breathe. Sit up straight. Smile as though you see a friend in the distance (not like a crazy person).
As people begin to think about the year ahead, it's fitting that interest in one of my most popular service offerings, Tandem's Toolkit, is picking up.
What makes Tandem's Toolkit special? YouFinder.
YouFinder – an easy to complete, 20-minute assessment – opens the door to an entirely new way of looking at yourself and your career by bringing to light details of your Type – your strengths, your natural talents, and your preferred way of moving through life and work. Beyond providing general information about their Type (based on YouFinder results), I provide Tandem's Toolkit clients with an enhanced written analysis that includes individualized tips and areas for exploration.
In addition to the career-boosting benefits of YouFinder, Tandem's Toolkit clients receive the suite of job-search documents that make up Tandem's Essentials:
A powerful resume that's fully aligned with resume best practices.
A cover letter template that's individualized, compelling, and ready to be targeted for each opportunity of interest.
A resume follow-up letter template that will allow you to professionally reassert your interest in positions you've applied for.
A LinkedIn-ready companion to your resume that's primed for posting on LinkedIn or other boards of interest.
One of the hallmarks of my service – what I believe is a huge differentiator – is a commitment to creating a “best in class” experience. That means, in addition to staying on top of what’s going on in the world of Human Resources and Career Development, I want to ensure that I am always providing the highest quality, most relevant services and tools.
Over the years that has meant regularly refining my approach to HR consulting – striving to offer tools and advice that can help make organizations the best employers they can be. On the Career Development / Resume Writing side, it has meant continually tweaking my process so that it provides the most value for individuals on a quest to find and maintain fulfilling careers. It’s about a lot more than a new resume, and clients love it.
Clients routinely report that Tandem's Toolkit leaves them feeling well prepared and more confident as they embark on their next career endeavors.
Ready to make 2019 your best year yet? Get in touch for further details about Tandem's Toolkit and other service offerings that might meet your needs.
Recently I received an email from a client who is in a highly-specialized field. In that email, he shared that – despite feeling very confident about his qualifications and job search documents – he was feeling really distressed about his overall job search.
I shared some tips with him, outlined below, that I think others will likely find helpful, even readers who are not in highly-specialized fields.
Keep your expectations realistic: Stress is a common response to being in the job market. Even when it goes well, it is just not a fun process. However, that stress can be compounded by unrealistic expectations. First, When you are in an exceptionally specialized field and / or have a lot of clarity around the kind of role and work environment that will suit you (i.e., you are being picky), you are naturally limiting your options. That’s not a bad thing, but you must be prepared for a more protracted job search. Also, keep in mind that the lifecycle for organizations to source candidates and fill positions is – in most cases – quite lengthy. Don’t hit the panic button if you aren’t contacted within a couple weeks of submitting.
Consider a headhunter: Having someone working the field on your behalf can be a smart idea. She or he may have unique insights into opportunities that just aren’t going to show up on, say, Indeed. I strongly encourage you to use your existing network to find a trusted resource with specific expertise in your field. Needless to say, old fashioned networking should be a priority regardless of whether or not you work with a headhunter.
Broaden your scope: Start to think about ways in which your specialized skillset could add value to different organizations. Pick an organization that interests you and challenge yourself to think about the unique value you could offer. You may find that you’ve been narrow-scoping and what you identify might just surprise you.