How to Spot a Bad Recruitment Agency

During the tough times of an economic downturn, when unemployment numbers skyrocket, job seekers need all the support and guidance they can get. Unfortunately, it is a fertile period for bad recruitment agencies to ply their unethical tricks. However, there are some indicators of bad recruiting practice which, when known, will help you spot and avoid unscrupulous recruitment agencies with poor performance standards.

Is There A Fee Involved?

If your recruitment agency attempts to charge you a fee for their recruiting services warning bells should sound immediately. Recruitment agency fees are paid by the company that hires you. You should never sign a contract in which you agree to pay the recruitment agency for something your new employer should be paying for, no matter how great their spiel about a “grand scale can’t fail personalized recruitment campaign” sounds.

Is Your Consultant Less Than Well Informed?

Then why are they a recruitment consultant? Recruitment is a high pressure sector in which competition is fierce. If consultants don’t appear to be knowledgeable about a job sector or specific position they’re not doing their job properly, which can indicate that the recruitment agency has substandard training programmers or just plain poor standards when it comes to performance. If they’re not doing their best, you’re not getting the best opportunity to find employment.

Are They Easy With “Being Liberal with the Truth”?

Then what else will they be easy with? There are many stories on the internet and questions asked in forums about recruitment consultants who say it is fine to lie during an interview or on your CV about your personal or professional history. This basically makes you as unethical as the consultant. Stick to the truth and leave the consultant to come unstuck one day.

Have Your References Become Their New Business Leads?

This can be tricky to find out, but it is a good sign that a recruiter is more interested in generating large volumes of business leads than focussing on getting you into your desired job. Contact your referees after your recruitment agent has called them and ask if they put forth any other business propositions to them. If they did, think about getting a consultant with a little more focus on your requirements.

Are They Embarrassingly Overconfident?

The brash, in-your-face antics of some recruitment consultants can drive you mad. Being overconfident to the point that they guarantee you the job is a sure sign that much of their business approach is hot air. Nobody but the company making the hiring decisions can guarantee you the job. Again, look for consultants who are honest from the start. After all, they are your initial representation to what could be your next employer.

Does Your Consultant Apply Too Much Pressure Toward Certain Jobs?

The role of the recruitment consultant is to find you a position that meets as many of your career aspirations as possible. It is not the role of the recruitment consultant to steer you away from your career interests and toward open positions from which they know they will earn more commission. You should always feel that you share a solid relationship with your consultant and that they are working in your best interest at all times.

Have You Been Asked Too Many Information Gathering Questions?

It is important to be wary of consultants who ask you too many questions which provides them with detailed information about your past employers or companies you have approached regarding employment. This is simply thinly disguised lead generation your consultant will use for other candidates.

Believe it or not, some unscrupulous consultants will ask you to name the companies you have sent your CV to, so that they can avoid sending it again, which they claim may damage your chances. The consultant now has a list of companies currently recruiting, which they can send other candidates to, increasing your competition.

Remember That It’s Not All Bad Out There

If you follow the simple guidelines above and look out for the highlighted indicators of bad practice there is no reason why you won’t find a good and ethical recruitment agency, which in turn will help you to find the employment you seek. As a last point, always remember to ask around about a recruitment agency’s reputation, as they are often built on candidate experiences and word of mouth.

Source: http://bit.ly/2gICwy7

6 Steps for a Career Makeover..!!

Are you tired of feeling dragged down by your work and have you wanted to make a change but haven’t done anything about it? As years progress, career progression plateaus. You will need to keep improvising and constantly innovating your career strategy to keep growing.

Everyone deserves to have a job that makes them want to jump out of bed in the morning. It takes time and commitment to make this happen, but it is possible.

Your career graph has to keep constantly moving forward, to keep pace with the changing times around you. If you are in the same position, role, or even the city for a really long time, chances are you will be reductant over time. Either technology or someone young and smarter, will do your job for half the pay.

Every career has various infection points. Your first job, your first promotion, the first time you lead a team, a whole function, could be a few.

All of us need career makeovers at each of these infection points. This makeover will kick-start the trajectory at your next goal. The time of these makeovers and the infection points could be different for each one of us. However the makeover is something we all have to go through, to be ahead of the game.

Here are 6 steps for a career makeover:

1) Decide on the next stage:  

The first step is to decide on what is next. This sets the next destination, and all the time frame for reaching the goal. Make sure thisgoal is the next important thing for you.

2) Schedule and follow Schedule:

Almost all successful people in the world have a schedule. They have the schedule like white on rice. It is not list of “To do”, or a bucket list. Successful people are sticklers of a plan and schedule. Everything in their day has a time pre-booked. Make time for the things that will help reach your next IT, and do it in your most productive hours.

3) Invest in yourself:

Learn. Constant learning is the key to your success. Whatever you decide to do, keep learning. Get certified, work as an intern to gain experience. What it takes, Learn. The minute you feel you know a thing or two about something, learn the next big thing.

4) Meet people in your group:

In today’s connected world, it is a sin not to network. Connecting with like-minded people, will open up a world of possibilities. With a large network of people you can reach out for help. You will be able to get to your goals faster.

However, networking is NOT about asking the other person for help. It also means you will need to add value to the relationship and be willing to help. When you reach out to someone, make sure you find common ground and hold out the offer to help.

5) Talk about your plans:

Be willing to talk to every relevant person,seek feedback, and face rejections. These conversations will expand your horizon about your idea.

6) Overcome your fear, Visualize your future:

Finally, at the end of the day, when you are ready and convinced about your ideas or plans, be ready to overcome your fear of failure. Visualize how the future will be, and where you see the next step heading. Sometimes this is driven by data and at times, it is a leap of faith. Which is your path, take the plunge!

5 Phrases To Close Your Cover Letter & Land The Interview

Writing a cover letter isn’t an easy task for many job seekers. There’s a lot of pressure because, sometimes, the cover letter is the only piece the recruiter will read. Therefore, your cover letter must be a piece of writing that describes your achievements and how you will help the company succeed.

Additionally, you want your cover letter to illustrate how you are the best fit for the company and for the reader to believe you have the qualifications they seek. If you want to land an interview with your cover letter, you don’t want to sound vague or wishy-washy. Your cover letter should illustrate why you are the best fit and how you will help the company or organization reach success.

However, when writing the closing paragraph of your cover letter, it’s easy to have a passive voice because you don’t want to appear overconfident. For example, if you say, “I look forward to hearing from you,” that’s great — but that alone doesn’t seal the deal. The closing paragraph of your cover letter must be one of the strongest elements because it is the last impression you leave in the reader’s mind.

Here are five phrases to include in the final paragraph of your cover letter that will help you seal the deal for your next interview:

1. “I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for XYZ Corporation.” Strong cover letter closings are enthusiastic and confident. You want the reader to have the impression you are truly passionate about the position and working for their company. This statement will also illustrate your ability to fit into the company culture and how your personality and work ethic is exactly what they’re looking for.

2. “I believe this is a position where my passion for this industry will grow because of the XYZ opportunities you provide for your employees.” It’s always a good idea to explain what you find attractive about working for the company and how you want to bring your passions to the table. By doing this, you can illustrate how much thought you dedicated to applying for the position and how much you care about becoming a part of the company.

3. “If I am offered this position, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help XYZ Company exceed its own expectations for success.” By adding this piece to your conclusion, you will be able to add some flare and excitement to your cover letter. The reader will become intrigued by your enthusiasm to “hit the ground running.” Employers look for candidates who are prepared for the position and are easy to train. Therefore, this phrase will definitely raise some curiosity and the reader will want to discover what you have to offer for their company.

4. “I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications will be beneficial to your organization’s success.” Remember, you want to make it clear in your cover letter how the employer will benefit from your experience and qualifications. You want to also express how your goal is to help the organization succeed, not how the position will contribute to your personal success.

5. “I will call you next Tuesday to follow up on my application and arrange for an interview.” The most essential part of your closing is your “call to action” statement. Remember, the purpose of your cover letter is to land an interview. Don’t end your cover letter saying you’ll hope to get in touch. Explain to the reader the exact day and how you will be contacting them. When you state you will be following up with the employer, make sure you do it!

Remember, the closing of your cover letter is the most important element that will help you land your next interview. By crafting a strong, confident, and enthusiastic closing paragraph, you will leave the reader feeling like you could be the best candidate for the position.

Source: http://bit.ly/2le52gp

12 Things to Never Do During A Phone Interview

These days, phone interviews are an unavoidable part of the job interview process, and for good reason: They save everyone involved time and effort. But that doesn’t mean that phones require zero energy on the part of the candidate. Yes, you should spend more time preparing for an in-person interview, but many companies treat phone screens as the official first round of the hiring process. That means candidates are expected to go into them prepared with as much information about the company, position, and their own skills and strengths as possible.

We asked HR pros about their top phone interview pet peeves, they had no shortage of advice to offer. Apparently, it’s quite easy to mess up your phone interview. But here’s the thing; it’s also not hard to come across well if you keep some key things in mind.

1. Never Take The Interview Somewhere Noisy

It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised what interviewers say they can hear in the background of their phone interviews—everything from barking dogs to screaming children. “Prepare for the interview by securing a quiet space in advance, even if it means escaping to your car parked in the garage,” advises Chere Taylor, founder of Fulcrum HR Consulting. “If you can lock your home office door, by all means do it. We’ve all been there and sometimes things just happen, but the more time spent anticipating what could go wrong, the better prepared and organized you will appear to the interviewer and the greater likelihood of success.” That doesn’t mean that if your washing machine beeps once in the background all hope is lost, but the more effort you put into being in a quiet place, the more focused you’ll be.

2. Don’t Talk About Your Personal Life

…Unless you’re directly asked a question about what you like to do in your off hours. “The point of a phone interview is to focus on getting to know a candidate’s  work experience and goals,” says Mckenzie Roark, campus talent specialist at Lithko Contracting. “A recruiter is trying to qualify them to see if they are the best fit for a role, and learning about their personal life doesn’t help. For example, when asked where you see yourself in five years, we don’t want to know that you hope to be married or that you want to buy a new house. That is nice but that isn’t relative to anything professional.”

3. Resist The Urge to Multitask

It might be tempting to cross something off your to-do list while on a phone interview, but recruiters and hiring managers can easily tell if your attention is elsewhere. “My number one pet peeve is people who decide to multitask while on the phone interview,” says Dan Krupansky, Talent Acquisition Manager at PrimePay. “I have heard candidates washing dishes, making lunch in the microwave, going for walks, letting their dog out, and grocery shopping during the interview. I even had one person use the bathroom and flush the toilet while speaking with me.” Needless to say, this doesn’t reflect well on your level of interest in the position you’re interviewing for.

4. Skip The Money Conversation

To put it bluntly, it’s simply too early in the process for you to be the one who brings up salary expectations. “Chances are if a candidate is participating in a phone interview, this is the first time they have talked with the company, and the first call isn’t the appropriate time to talk about ‘what’s in it for you,’” says Justina Strnad, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Shiftgig. “Trust me, if you are a great candidate and make it to next steps, the hiring team is going to be very transparent about what’s in it for you later on!”

5. Never Put Your Interviewer On Hold

Phone interviews don’t take that long, and there probably isn’t anything else going on that is really truly so urgent that you need to pause your interview. “Do not put me on hold to take an important call that just beeped in,” advises Jeremy Payne, head of people operations at Remote Year. “I am your important call. If you are expecting extremely urgent news (like information about a family illness), be sure to preface that in the early minutes of the interview, so the recruiter is aware of the situation and so you can work with them to reschedule if that interruption does occur,” he says.

6. Never Skip The Q&A

“After wrapping up a phone interview, it is typical that the interviewer will ask the candidate if they have any questions. I can’t stress this enough: ALWAYS ask questions,” says Roark. “If we have had a great phone interview and then we wrap up and they don’t have any questions for me, it pretty much ruins the whole interview. It tells me that the candidate is uninterested in the role, which in reality, might not be the case at all,” she notes. But surely, if you’re interested in a job, you can think of something to ask your interviewer.

7. Don’t Be Late

It seems basic, but surprisingly, a lot of people are late to phone interviews. “About a quarter of the people with whom I schedule phone interviews aren’t on time,” says Sophie Cikovsky, who handles U.S. recruiting for Infinite Global. “While this bothers me personally, it’s also indicative of someone who isn’t very detail-oriented,” she explains. “In order to identify this early in the hiring process, I started asking all candidates a few years ago to call me as opposed to calling them at an agreed upon time. That way if I hear from them at 1:13pm or 12:49pm instead of our planned 1:00 pm interview time, I have an early indicator that they might not be a great fit.”

8. Don’t Assume Reception Is Good

“Make sure you test your headset and connection before dialing in,” recommends Payne. “There is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter who has a structured interview guide in place having to repeatedly ask the same question over and over because they could not understand your answer due to static or dropped signals.” Test call a friend beforehand or even call yourself from a landline if necessary; it will take less than a minute.

9. Never Talk Over The Interviewer

You might be eager to get your point across or talk about your experience, but interrupting the interviewer is awkward and rude when you’re speaking on the phone, even more so than in face-to-face interviews. “Interviewing can be stressful and sometimes that stress manifests itself in speaking too fast, speaking too loud, talking over the interviewer, or attempting to answer the interviewer’s question before they have actually finished asking the question,” says Taylor. “Don’t do this.” There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive, and interviewers can always recognize it.

10. Skip Filler Words

It’s tough not to say things like “um,” “uh,” and “like” in everyday speech, but these verbal habits become much more pronounced when speaking on the phone, says Chris Dardis, a recruiting expert and HR professional with Versique Executive Search. “In face-to-face interviews, they’re not as noticeable because there are other things like your hair, suit, or body language to distract people,” he explains. But in a phone interview, the only thing you have to go on is what you say and how you say it. “That’s why it’s so important to eliminate these words from your speech when doing a phone interview.”

11. Don’t Go In Blind

Not knowing anything about the company or job you’re interviewing for is way more obvious than you’d think. “Many people think that a phone interview means they’re getting away with something, that they don’t have to put as much effort into researching the role or company,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for giffgaff. And if you have your laptop in front of you during the interview to do a few quick searches, they won’t know the difference, right? Not exactly. “Seasoned interviewers will know whether an interviewee is researching while on the phone; they will take too long to answer the question and punctuate their answers with a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ as they type. The interviewer can often even hear the typing as they ask the question,” he adds.

12. Nix Long-Winded Answers

“The key to success during a phone interview is clear and concise answers,” says Dardis. “People’s attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone. You don’t want your future employer to lose interest in the conversation.” He recommends practicing answers to questions you know will be asked ahead of time in order to be clear on what you’re going to say. That way, you can prevent rambling before it starts.

Source: http://bit.ly/2gCaCrs

5 Powerful Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

Today more than ever, organizations rely on the energy, commitment and engagement of their workforce in order to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century. As a former Nany SEAL, I can assure you that one of the fundamental reasons we continue to dominate our battlefield and defeat a very dangerous and decentralized enemy is due to the fact that we have 100% employee engagement. We have ecosystems of empowered teams that are fully engaged and working in a “decentralized command” environment.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs – meaning that they are emotionally invested in committing their time, talent and energy in adding value to their team and advancing the organization’s initiatives. More Gallop research shows that employee disengagement costs the United States upwards of $550 billion a year in lost productivity. So one could see why this is both a serious problem that most leaders and managers face with today’s workforce – but also an amazing opportunity for companies that learn to master the art of engagement.

The current business environment, and the world in general, is moving faster than it ever has before. Organizations across the globe are faced with more change than most can handle – in order to compete and dominate their segment they are required to grow faster often giving them less time to focus on managing all of their financial goals. They are forced to grow quickly with fewer resource – to do more with less. Managers have to learn to excel in managing themselves, their teams and meeting organizational goals simultaneously.

It is a common understanding of a vast majority of leaders that the employees are a company’s most important asset. But in reality, that is only true when the majority of the workforce is fully engaged in their work. If not, they are either adding minimal value or actively working against the organization.

There are three types of employees in any organization:

Engaged (15% of the workforce). These employees are loyal and emotionally committed to the organization. They are in roles where they excel and where their talents are truly leveraged. They enthusiastically invest in their work and take on responsibilities outside of their job description. They are generally more likely to become emerging leaders and will stay with an organization much longer then disengaged employees.

Not Engaged (67% of the workforce). These employees can be difficult to identify because they are often relatively happy and satisfied in their role. However, they do the bare minimum and are not invested in the company’s mission, vision, values or goals. They are less likely to be customer-focused and are not concerned about productivity or company profitability. These team members are both a threat and great opportunity – because with the proper approach, they can be transformed into engaged employees that thrive in the organization.

Actively Disengaged (18% of the workforce). We have all worked alongside these people. They are consistently negative, create a toxic environment, dominate their manager’s time and are usually vocal about their unhappiness. What’s worse, is they are often subject matter experts well-respected in their unique skillset. And because of that, they often have significant influence over others. These employees can easily spread toxicity throughout an organization and can rarely be transformed into true “A” players.

Most studies point to the fact that employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity and profitability. That seems self-evident, yet many managers still struggle to define, measure and improve engagement in their teams.

The Leader’s Role in Engagement

Leaders improve engagement by defining and communicating a powerful vision for the organization. They hire and develop managers that are emotionally invested in the organization’s mission and vision and give them the resources to build great teams with the right people in the right roles. They empower.

The Manager’s Role in Engagement

Great managers ensure they acquire and develop great talent – they get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right seats. They actively prioritize engagement. Their team’s activities align perfectly behind the mission narrative of the organization.

In many of my articles, I dive deep in to the methodologies, tools and strategies leaders and managers need to successfully navigate the murky waters of twenty-first century organizational transformation – for leading change. I showcase how to build a culture that is more nimble and adaptive founded on the principles of trust and accountability. The issue at hand is with such low engagement in the workforce, it is very difficult to create a culture of trust and accountability.

70% of organizational transformation efforts fall significantly short of realizing the company’s goals. Why? Because change is hard, takes longer and usually has higher hard and soft costs than managers and leaders generally plan for. Change can be intensely personal for employees, causes fear and can actually reduce productivity when approached improperly.

Humans are emotional creatures – and most managers hold the misconception that their team members are largely rational in their decision-making process. Yet studies show that we base 70% of our decisions on emotional factors and only 30% on rational factors. But this can also be a great way to improve engagement. Improving engagement is simple – but clearly not easy. Here’s how.

5 Powerful Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

How do managers know who is engaged? Their team members need to be able to confidently state the following:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality.
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best – every day.
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
  • My voice is heard and valued.
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

The steps for improving engagement aren’t complex, they simply must be prioritized. Which means engagement must be a core function of the manager’s role.

All else then falls into place.

Step 1 – Put Everyone in the Right Role

Again, get the right people on the bus and make sure they are in the right roles. This means that all talent acquisition and retention strategies have to be aligned with meeting company goals.

Step 2 – Give Them the Training

No manager or leader can expect to build a culture of trust and accountability – and much less improve engagement – without setting the team up for success. This means providing the proper training and development while removing obstacles.

Step 3 – Task Meaningful Work

Engaged employees are doing meaningful work and have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the company’s mission, purpose and strategic objectives. Again, this is why they first have to be placed in the right role. I’ve made the mistake of hiring great talent just to get them in the door – but didn’t have a clear career path or role for them. If you don’t sort those details out quickly, they will leave.

Step 4 – Check in Often

The days of simply relying on mid-year reviews for providing feedback are long gone. Today’s workforce craves regular feedback – which of course leads to faster course correction and reduces waste. Use both formal and informal check-in strategies – and use them every week.

Step 5 – Frequently Discuss Engagement

Successful managers are transparent in their approach to improving engagement – they talk about it with their teams all the time. They hold “state of engagement” meetings and “engage” everyone in the discussion – and solutions.

Again, these principles are not complex, but must be prioritized. Companies that get this right will drive greater financial returns, surpass their competitors and easily climb to the top of “the best places to work” lists.

Ten Things A Recruiter Look For In A Job Candidate

I’ve been into HR industry for more than 15 years. Since then I’ve hired thousands of people.

Here’s what I look for in a job candidate.

1.  Look for someone who is awake and aware of their surroundings. This sounds like a trivial item, but it is fundamental. Many people view a job search as a clerical task, like filing their tax return. They put no thought into it. The show up at a job interview unprepared, never having spent a minute thinking about the role or how they would approach it.

2. Look for a candidate who owns their story. Many people don’t. When they talk about their career, they say “I got hired at Company A, and that was okay for a while but then they laid me off. My sister knew about a job in Kansas so I went out there, but then that company shut down.” Their whole career history is about things that happened to them. There is no agency or ownership of any of the moves they’ve made. I want to hire someone who makes their own decisions!

3. Look for someone who has their own opinions. I hope the candidate doesn’t stare at my face as they speak, hoping that their words meet with my approval. Who cares what I think? I am just another person on the planet, one of seven billion.

4. Want to hire someone who can see the intersection between the work they’ve already done and the work I am hiring someone to do. It doesn’t have to be linear, left-brain relevance. They could have worked in a different function or industry. Those things don’t matter nearly as much as a person’s ability to put themselves in the hiring manager’s shoes and say “I hear what you are saying. It sounds like your problem is X  — here’s how I’ve solved that problem in the past.”

5. Look for someone with a sense of humor. We spend too much time at work to be serious all the time. If work is stiff and formal, it’s no fun. Time-and-motion-type “efficiency” is overrated. Real efficiency comes from tapping the human power we all bring to work — if our leaders allow us to use it!

6. Hire folks who are confident in their own abilities. I don’t want to hire someone who is afraid to speak with their own voice. How could a fearful person help me solve my biggest problems? I don’t want to hire the most docile or submissive candidate. Some managers do, of course — but how long could you stand working for someone like that?

7. Look for a candidate who values their life outside of work.

8. Want to hire someone who knows what they want from their next job and their career. I am excited when a candidate says “I want to work in the corporate world for a few years, and then start my own business.” We all need an entrepreneurial outlook and mindset these days, whether we work for ourselves or someone else. People with an entrepreneurial mindset look out at the horizon to spot problems before they can cause trouble. I don’t want to hire someone who only focuses on the work on their desk.

9. Hire people who expect more out of their work than just a paycheck. I want to work around people with ideas, sparky people who try new things just to see what will happen. I want to get their texts at six in the morning that say “I just had the craziest thought, stepping out of the shower! What if we tried…”

10. Finally, I look for a candidate who takes responsibility for their decisions. Sadly, many candidates don’t. They show up as victims, rather than the most important and powerful person in their own life.

We all run into roadblocks and hardships. It’s part of life. How we deal with them is everything. I want to hire someone who has faced adversity and who overcame it. They have muscles!

You deserve a manager who wants to hire someone as smart, capable and awesome as you are.

If you have to dumb down your resume or play a part on a job interview to get hired, you know one thing — that manager doesn’t deserve your talents!

You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a manager who gets you and thus deserves you.

If you aren’t willing to kiss frogs and slam doors on the wrong opportunities in order to bring the right ones in, we can all sympathize with you — but you will not grow the muscles you need until you face that challenge and surmount it.

Why Some People Get All The Good Job Offers

When working with job seekers, I often hear something like this, “I want to be more like my friend, ___. He’s always getting contacted about good job opportunities. His career has been one great position after another.” Then, they sigh and talk about how easy the person makes it look. Finally, they start to discount the person’s success with statements like, “He got a lucky break when he worked at ___.” Or, “He’s kind of intense when it comes to networking.” They say anything they can to make themselves feel better.

You can imagine their surprise when I say,

“Your friend isn’t lucky. He’s figured out the two most important activities needed to be in control of your career.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” It’s true, but most people don’t know how to translate that to actionable advice for their career. Until now…

If American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest can do it, so can you!

A great example of someone who has figured the two steps to a killer career strategy, is Ryan Seacrest. He has six jobs right now. He’s mastered the process I’m about to share with you. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. All it takes is this:

Step 1: Know what your workplace personas are. Companies hire people who can solve problems and alleviate pains. After all, it’s costing them an average of 130-140% of your annual salary to employ you. Your workplace personas are how you like to create value for an employer. It’s the way in which you excel at saving and/or making them money – enough money to justify the cost of employing you. There are eight key personas in the workplace. All of us dominate in 2-3 of them. When we know our workplace personas, we can choose opportunities that leverage them. This is how people build successful track records. They use the skills they most enjoy to do the job. A total win-win.

Step 2: Consistently educate people about your workplace personas. Once you know your workplace personas and start to build a successful track record with them, the next step is to learn how to share your success with others in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging. Smart professionals know this is done via strategic networking. When you have meaningful conversations with people about problems you love to solve for your employer and discuss how you do it, you’re organically marketing your skills and abilities. The more you do this (i.e. answer questions for people, offer free advice and assistance, share how your company overcame similar challenges with your help, etc.), the stronger your professional reputation becomes. At which point, when people hear about jobs that are open and problems employers need solved, their interactions with you come to mind – and the phone calls and emails start coming in with those coveted job opportunities.

Want the best jobs? Act like a business-of-one.

The most successful small businesses build their reputations and market their services. They’re known for delivering results, which leads to an increase in referrals. You’re a business-of-one, which is the smallest type of small business. That means, you have to be even more vigilant about building your reputation and marketing your services – or suffer the consequences. Gone are the days where you could just keep your head down, do a good job, and stay with a company for 30 years. Today, you need to always be growing your skills AND letting people know about your growth. Otherwise, you will find yourself at the mercy of the job market.

Stop envying your peers and start doing what it takes to be the in-demand professional you long to be known as. Especially, now that you know how to prepare so opportunity can find you!

Source: http://bit.ly/2kv1N3N

6 Questions Great Leaders Ask Their Teams

It’s humbling to ask questions. After all, the moment that you ask a question is the moment you reveal what you don’t know. To some, asking questions is a death-blow to their ego, while to others, it’s a stepping stone to clarity. In fact, during research for their book The Innovator’s DNA, the authors discovered that the strongest leaders (and the people destined for the C-suite) asked questions because they were humble enough to acknowledge they didn’t know everything and confident enough to admit it.

The fact is, the most influential leaders realize that their questions are more powerful than their answers because questions shed light on two important things:

1. What’s important to you

2. What’s on your mind

As a direct report, when you know what’s important to your manager and what he or she is thinking then you also know what youneed to do to produce the right type of work for him or her and for your team.

Here are six questions great leaders ask their teams:

1. What does success look like?

This is a simple question you can use to clarify and align efforts. Miscommunication amounts to a $62.4 million dollar loss for large companies and a $420,000 loss for smaller companies, so it pays to get on the same page right from the outset. Also, “check-in” frequently to ensure everybody’s still heading in the right direction.

2. What’s holding us back?

This is great for identifying the one obstacle standing between the team and a decision. Once you identify what’s in your way then you’ll have a better idea as to the courses of action you can take to overcome it.

3. Who has experience with this?

The only time reinventing the wheel actually makes sense is when the wheel turns out better than before, which isn’t easy to do given that a circle is a circle. Keep in mind that people speak up (or remain quiet) based on the environment you create. Not everybody will automatically chime in when they have something to say, which is why it’s up to the leader to set the right environment for those discussions (and questions) to occur.

4. What’s the climate here?

This is a great question because it opens the door for candor. I was asked last week, “What’s one thing that you see business teams doing wrong?” My answer: candor. They lack candor. Candor is a business imperative because you can’t move forward without it. In their book The Loyalist Team, the authors (a team of four) share their insights about what makes high-performing teams sustain their greatness. After working with thousands of teams across six continents, the authors concluded that “individuals on these teams are skilled, accomplished, and driven, but what sets them apart is that they trust, challenge, and push one another to exceed expectations.” And you build trust through candor.

5. What if this setback is really an opportunity in disguise?

A setback could be anything. Maybe a sales team didn’t hit their numbers for the quarter, or maybe a product launch missed its launch date (and subsequent launch party). More than anything though, a setback represents change—a difference between what you expected to happen and what actually occurred. So, instead of wallowing in it, try finding the opportunity. Search for patterns that might’ve indicated this setback would indeed happen and study them so you’re better prepared next time. This is the main purpose of conducting after action reviews—to learn as a team what works, what doesn’t and why.

6. What hasn’t been achieved yet?

The natural follow-up to this question is “How might we?” Every new innovation stems from curiosity. Take Polaroid, for instance, who created instant film after a three-year-old asked, “Why do we have to wait for the picture?” Questions help people organize their thinking around that which they don’t know yet.

Questions build leadership capacity because they help people make their own decisions, not to mention build the psychological safety needed to ask deeper questions. The bottom line: if you want a better answer, ask a better question. 

Source: http://bit.ly/2xmbRNK

Why These 3 Annoying Cover Letter Blunders Make Recruiters Cringe

With unemployment at an all-time low, many employers are complaining they’re struggling to find the talent they need. Meanwhile, millions of job seekers are frustrated by the lack of responses they’re getting from applying to jobs online. Especially when they take the extra time to write a cover letter.

Recruiters Say Most Cover Letters Stink

One of the most common things recruiters say when it comes to cover letters is, “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” That’s because the majority of job seekers copy free templates off the internet. And sadly, these templates are pretty outdated. Given how many applicants recruiters have to go through to find candidates (the average is 100-plus applicants per position), they quickly become adept at skimming cover letters to determine if the applicant has sent them a dud. If they see one or more things that indicate the candidate’s cover letter is just like every other one, they’ll throw it in the trash. Having worked with thousands of recruiters, I can tell you, the following are the three worst things you can do in your cover letter.

1. “To whom it may concern.

Nothing screams “I’m out of touch” more than addressing the cover letter with this phrase. While you may not know the hiring manager or recruiter’s name, you can at least write “Dear hiring team” to make it a bit more personal.

2. “I’m a [insert bragging here].

If you met the recruiter face to face, you wouldn’t launch into a long monologue about how talented you are. That would be weird. And yet, people suddenly go into over-the-top self-promotion mode when they write a cover letter. The cover letter shouldn’t be about how amazing you think you are. Instead, it should focus on how you know the employer is exceptional at what it does. It’s your job to show the company you understand what it’s all about, and by default, would fit in with their corporate culture.

3. “If you look at my résumé you’ll see, blah, blah, blah.”

There is zero need to recap your resume in the cover letter. The recruiter is capable of looking over your skills and experience. Repeating yourself in the cover letter is a big waste of the recruiter’s time–something they don’t appreciate.

Want your cover letter to stand out and get recruiters to call you? Then you need to share something attention-grabbing. A strong opening line that generates curiosity, such as,

“I remember the first time I learned the importance of your product,” followed up by a powerful personal story that ties you to the employer’s mission is the best way to showcase you’re a match for their corporate culture. This is referred to as the disruptive cover letter technique, and it provides recruiters with refreshingly original content that makes them want to speak to the candidate who wrote it.

Don’t turn recruiters off with a boring, just-like-all-the-others cover letter. Instead, focus on creating something that engages the hearts and minds of recruiters–ultimately, motivating them to want to talk to the talented person who was wise enough to write something that’s both relevant and unique.

Source: http://on.inc.com/2fRwFd3

8 Reasons why Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful !

If you don’t have a powerful and visible personal brand, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in almost every aspect of your professional, business and personal life. Personal branding has become a requirement for anyone looking to grow their business, get a better job, get noticed by the press, take their career to the next level or meet new, high quality friends.

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands — the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual. Everyone has a unique personal brand, whether they know it or not. But what we should all be striving for is a powerful, attractive and visible personal brand. I define that as an online and in-person authentic display of the engaging aspects of your professional and personal activities and interests.

Here are the eight reasons why I tell people you must have a top-notch personal brand if you want to be successful today:

1. Opportunity finds you.

When your personal brand is attractive, customers, clients, vendors, press and even companies looking to hire, will find you and reach out to you. I am the CEO of a new social media platform, and I had them contact me for the job. I didn’t even know the position was available. I have gotten media appearances, writing opportunities and speaking engagements because I get noticed and folks reach out to me.

2. Online networking power.

When you have a compelling personal brand, people find you interesting and desirable, so they are willing to connect with you. I get dozens of new LinkedIn and Twitter connections every day. People look at my profiles, follow me and want to know more about me.

3. In-person networking power.

When I’m at a networking event and I engage others, I have many aspects of my brand to share. It makes me more interesting than the guy who walks up to you and says, “Hi, My name is Joe, and I sell insurance.” I have many facets to my brand, both professional and personal. That makes people want to connect with me and do business with me. I can demonstrate proficiency and have the online assets to back them up on many topics like photography, entrepreneurship, my Man-Up Project and fatherhood, blogging, speaking, social media, men’s health, non-profit work and more.

4. Build your business.

When I had to reinvent and rebuild my photography business in 2007, which was failing because of the rapid decline of film, it was my powerful personal brand that drove much of our success. Customers, clients and vendors are more likely to do businesses with a company when the leader has a killer personal brand. Good examples are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Fred Smith, Warren Buffet and even Donald Trump — whose personal brand may be bigger than his business. Where would their companies be without their personal brands shining on their company brands?

5. Get hired.

According to SHRM, 84 percent of hiring managers use social media to hire — 96 percent use Linkedin, and 53 percent use Twitter. Many companies post jobs on Twitter before anywhere else. But the most revealing statistic is that 66 percent of hiring managers use Facebook to hire. They are doing that because they are trying to find out more about you than just what’s on your resume. They want to know you as a person and understand whether you are going to fit into their corporate culture.

It’s a logical approach for selecting the best candidates. Candidate A has an impressive resume. Candidate B has a similarly impressive resume, but their strong personal brand shows that they have a blog with articles on topics relevant to the company’s business. They tweet about news and ideas from the industry. They do yoga, run half-marathons, and they volunteer for charity. Who do you think is getting the interview and the job?

6. Make new friends.

A powerful personal brand doesn’t only benefit you professionally. When you are interesting and people can find and notice you, they will connect with you on a personal level. I have had people read an article I have written or see one of my social posts and reach out to me. I’ve become friends with many of them, and I might even admit that I have gotten a few dates from my “attractive” personal brand.

7. Serendipitous success.

When you are out there with your powerful and attractive personal brand good things happen — sometimes just by luck. There have been too-many-times-to-remember when simply being noticed for one part of my brand caused something else to happen. The person who noticed my popular Facebook account and reached out to me — she became my executive assistant. The doctor who found about my upcoming book — we ended up doing men’s health videos together and have become good friends. The senior executive and one of my company’s vendors saw my engaged social media and decided to give my company an exclusive on a new product launch.

8. Confidence.

Developing your personal brand requires you to find your authentic voice. The process of creating one develops who you are — the unique you — the Me, Inc. When you find your voice, and your audiences start to react positively, that builds self-confidence and self-esteem and allows you to find yourself in a meaningful way.

Source: http://bit.ly/2nEGAUT