CRAFT A RESUME THAT TELLS WHAT YOU DID

#resumes #JobInterviews #managers #prospects #jobs #workers
In separate ads for Wavely, the job-searching platform, a hiring manager is looking for that special something in a prospect that his or her resume does not reveal.
The second ad shows the prospect hoping the hiring manager will find her to be the perfect candidate.
Thus, we have the competitive world of hiring.
In the past, resumes were seen as a tool to hire or get hired. Prospects tried to craft a resume that would make him or her stand out in a pile.
The resume evolved from simply listing job titles, duties and years of experience to trying to convey how the prospect brought value to the company he or she worked for. In other words, the resume turned from a roster of experience to a story of experiences.
In today’s hiring world, in many cases, there are fewer prospects for every job.
So, how does one stand out? One has to tell his or her story, as briefly as possible.
Hiring managers, in most cases, do not want to read long narratives. But they want to know not only what the prospect did – job titles seldom reveal that – but how effective the prospect was. That involves telling the hiring manager how the prospect’s effort(s) either made money for the company, saved the company money or added some other value to the company.
That’s a tall order for many applicants. Many see themselves as a performer of routine tasks – tasks the employer finds vital, but not necessarily game-changing.
How does a prospect who has experience as a clerk, for example, convey his or her value?
Perhaps the prospect can tell, briefly, how he or she helped his or her boss succeed.
Or, he or she could spell out how much time he or she saves his or her boss.
In short, stories sell, and everyone has stories.
In the past, many hiring managers didn’t always know what they wanted in an ideal candidate. They had to know it when they saw it (in a resume).
Today, hiring managers largely know what they want, and it’s up to the prospect to display that. Certainly, a hiring manager can still stumble upon an unusual candidate. But, generally, the managers have pictures in their mind of what the ideal candidate is.
For the candidates, overselling oneself can be fraught with peril. Truthfully telling your value is usually the best avenue.
Confidence is also a good trait for candidates. It’s not easy to display confidence in a resume, but, if a prospect gets as far as the interview, that’s when he or she can display confidence.
Hiring is not always easy. Getting the right job is not always easy.
For the prospect, the job description does not tell you everything. For the manager, the resume does not always tell you everything.
But both can give some clues about the job, or the candidate. One may have to get further into the process to know whether a job and a candidate are a match.
In summary, if you are looking for a job, have your resume tell the employer what you did, rather than what job you had. For the employer, look to find out what the prospect did, rather than the job he or she held.
May all managers and job seekers find the perfect matches.
Peter

HOLD YOUR HEAD UP; OR, KEEP YOUR HEAD LOW

#HoldYourHeadUp #KeepYourHeadLow #ambition #survival #jobs #goals
Hold your head up.
Keep your head low.
The first concept, the title of a 1972 song by Argent, tells you to put your head up, get noticed and go after it.
The second concept, taken from a 1974 song titled, “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, tells a soldier to keep his head low, avoid getting shot and come back to his fiancée.
In a workplace, do you hold your head up, do something unusual to draw recognition with the intention of attracting the boss’ attention? Or, you keep your head low, blend into the woodwork, thinking, perhaps, that you are less likely to get your head cut off – lose your job, or otherwise get punished.
Different types of people keep their heads in different places. Ambitious people hold their heads up. Those who just want to survive keep their heads low.
If you are in survival mode, stop. Think about what you want and where you want to be. Survival should not be a goal. It may require you to think about what you want your life to look like. EVERYONE has life goals. You can try to survive as a temporary status, but you should have a goal to do something that will get you want you want.
A job is a job, but a life goal may help you convert a “job” into a means to an end.
You may not want to keep your head low forever. You may want to raise your head slowly, and, eventually, keep it up.
A raised head is always better than a lowered one.
Then, you may have to find something to help you keep it up. Your current job or situation may not be it.
For no other reason, keeping your head up will help you help others. Others will respond to people whose heads are up. They may not see, or recognize, someone whose head is low.
“Billy,” the soldier, did not take his fiancee’s advice, according to the song. He volunteered for a risky mission and was killed. The fiancée was told she should be proud, but she threw the notification letter away, the song says.
The fiancée wanted Billy to come home alive, for her own, understandably selfish reasons, Yet, Billy was unselfish.
In short, goals can create ambition. Those who keep their heads low and blend in may never get the life they want. They learn to settle for contentment – or just plain survival.
If you don’t have natural ambition, you have to generate it yourself – and you can. You have to know what you want, why you want it and where you want to go. If you determine all of those things, you can find how to get them.
That is how ambition is created.
Peter

TRANSITION VS TRANSFORMATION

#transition #transformation #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #coronavirus #LifeChanges
So you want to make a change in your life.
Will that change be a transition, or transformation?
What’s the difference? Perhaps it can be summed up by saying a transition is a minor change, while a transformation is a major change.
COVID-19 has forced most of us to make small changes in our lives. It’s also forced some of us to make bigger changes.
Whatever type of change(s) you had to make, do you want to go back to the way things were?
Many would say YES, because they miss some interactions. They miss being able to do some things they liked doing.
But very likely, there are some – even quite a few – who see this period as a time to transform their lives. They actually do NOT want to go back to the way things were.
Perhaps the job they did before COVID was not satisfying to them. When the job disappeared during the pandemic, they had no thought about going back, although their old bosses really wanted them back.
Perhaps the pandemic led to more time at home, with children, family etc. They probably got to witness more of their children’s activities than they could when they were working.
Many probably discovered that going to work was expensive – commuting costs, buying lunch every day, day-care expenses etc. If they didn’t have those things, they discovered they could live on less. Or, they discovered that the pay they got was almost entirely eaten by those expenses.
So, how did the pandemic affect you? Did it give you perspective on your life, to the point that you realize there are better things out there for you?
Maybe you feel that way, but don’t know what those better things are. So, you instinctively go back to what you know, even though you didn’t particularly like that old situation.
Meanwhile, a “new normal” is evolving, We may not see a complete eradication of COVID-19 for some time, if ever.
Society has been trying to eradicate some diseases for decades. Other diseases – perhaps COVID-19 will be among them – can be kept at bay with vaccines. If you are eligible, but not vaccinated, getting the shots, including boosters, is your best weapon against serious illness or death.
Regardless, it would be safe to prepare for COVID-19 to be around for a good while. Adjust as you must, but know that you may not have to take unnecessary risks. If we all bore in mind that the virus is always lurking, perhaps we can all take steps to minimize its effect on our lives.
That will require an effort by EVERY individual.
Peter

JOBS AND RECESSION

#jobs #recession #economics #wages
The recent jobs report was double what was expected.
Yet, there is talk of recession.
It’s been said that a recession is defined by how each individual feels about his or her situation.
There are a few questions about the data, and economic perceptions here.
First, if there are a record number of jobs, are they all being filled? Many employers are begging for workers at all levels. Therefore, are they just creating empty slots on a payroll?
Secondly, if the economy has declined for two straight quarters – the technical definition of recession – shouldn’t employers be laying people off, not hiring?
In fact, many companies, Oracle, for example, are laying off people. But, is this a function of technological changes? Remember, as technologies evolve, the masters of the previous technology may not be needed when the new technology emerges. Changing technologies may mean changing staffs.
Thirdly, many people perceive we are heading toward recession because things are costing more, like food and gasoline. Inflation is indeed here, but that has many causes that are unrelated to a declining economy. The aforementioned labor shortages may be one, as companies have to pay workers more to hire or keep them. Supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic may be another, along with the war in Ukraine etc.
So, you may not feel that the economy is clicking on all cylinders, even if it may be. Inflation will ease as buyers naturally cut back. Therefore, ask yourself: is your job paying you more since the pandemic restrictions were lifted? Certainly, you are paying more for what you buy, which may mitigate your raise, but you could be paying more without getting a raise.
By the way, if you didn’t get a raise, feel free to look for something else. The jobs, and needs, are out there, and you may have more leverage as an employee than you’ve ever had.
Some describe this economy as complicated. Perhaps, it is. Suffice it to say that after pandemic lockdowns, there is pent-up demand not only to buy things, but to do things. And, many of those who sell or provide services to meet that demand are still staffing up to accomplish that.
Therefore, there will be some shortages and closings because there aren’t enough people to provide the products and services.
You, as a consumer, will feel that, and it won’t necessarily feel good. But, as the saying goes, one cannot turn a battleship around quickly. It will take time to resolve.
If you are feeling down about the economy, think of it this way: If you got a raise, chances are the raise will not go away. If prices now are eating away at the raise, and you feel you are no better off than you were, as inflation comes down, your raise will likely still be there.
If what you do for a living is becoming obsolete, and you can see it, try something else. We all have to adjust as times and technology change.
Sure, it’s no easy task to try something different. And, of course, if you learn something different, and THAT becomes obsolete, you are going to ask yourself “why did I bother?” The message here seems to be to keep learning and trying new things.
This economy is complicated. It is in transition. We all may have to muddle through for a time for things to get better.
But, we can say with some confidence that they usually do.
Peter

BEING A ‘NON-PLAYER’ NOT PRODUCTIVE

#Nonplayer #jobs #complainers “LaborMarket #employers #employees
A line from a Dilbert cartoon, by Scott Adams, says. “I’m a non-player character. I can only complain about my job and comment on the weather.”
The cartoon was published July 14, 2022, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The purpose of the line is to humorously illustrate how people think – or don’t think – at work.
People may complain about a job, but take no action to improve their situations.
In other words, “I’m here. I’m stuck. And I hate it!”
One may not be able to do much about the weather, but one can certainly do something about his or her work situation.
If you like WHERE you work, but don’t like WHAT you do, perhaps there are other jobs in that locale for which you can apply.
If you like WHAT you do, but don’t like WHERE you are doing it, you can look at other employers.
Today’s labor market is the best in decades. There are employers begging for help. Your options are probably greater than you imagine.
One should not feel he or she has to stay where he or she is, because there is nowhere else to go.
Employers in this market have to be creative to not only find the help they need, but also to keep the help they have.
This kind of labor market, plus disruptions in supply chains, oil markets, the food industry etc., coupled with post-pandemic pent-up demand for goods and services, are causing inflation today.
In the Dilbert cartoon, the question posed before the non-player statement was, “What do you think the government should do about inflation?”
The government has little control, and few available actions, to curb inflation. Politicians like to blame opponents for problems no one can really control single-handedly, but the reality is that foreign wars, pandemics and other phenomenon can dictate our terms of living.
Given how good the job market is, employees can be fortunate that they are getting raises that can help mitigate inflation, though most raises are not enough to make those employees feel significantly better off in these times.
Regardless of the uncontrollable problems in one’s life – the weather, inflation etc. – being a “non-player” and just complaining about things is not an option. YOU still have some control over your life. Work on the things you can control, and work around things you can’t.
Complaining and blaming are not strategies. You may not like someone or something, so you either improve your own situation, or move away from it.
Here’s hoping the labor market stays strong, inflation eases and storms are minimized.
Peter

IN JOB INTERVIEW, BE YOUR BEST SELF

#JobInterviews #BeYourBestSelf #jobs #employers #employees
Many theories abound about how to behave in a job interview.
The best advice is to not just be yourself, but be your best self.
If you try to be someone you aren’t, to try to impress the interviewer, that fakeness will show, either during the interview or after you are hired. Perhaps the worst thing one could do is to convince an interviewer that he or she is hiring someone he or she is not.
Therefore, be who you are. Be proud of who you are. And, tell the interviewer that you would be a great hire, just the way you are.
However, one should be conscious of some nervous habits one has, and try to control them. Nervous habits, though usually harmless with regard to job performance, can be a turn-off. That’s part of being your best self.
While being yourself in an interview, you also have to convince yourself that YOU would hire you, if you were the employer.
There’s a natural tendency to either dwell on our weaknesses, or to be overconfident in ourselves. Part of being your best self is to be confident, without being overconfident. It’s also to embrace one’s strengths, rather than be consumed by one’s weaknesses.
As you are being interviewed, don’t hesitate to interview the interviewer. Asking questions is not a sign of weakness. Questions can be empowering. After all, you want to be sure the job for which you are applying will suit you, as well as you suit the employer.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask for what you want. If the answer is no, then perhaps the job will not suit you. In this labor market, one should not be forced to take a job that will not work for him or her.
Also, be aware that no job, or situation, is perfect. When you evaluate it, try to figure out the potential for your growth. Sometimes, starting with something less than perfect can lead to bigger and better things down the road.
If you are allowed, take time after the interview to think about whether you want to take the job. Very likely, an employer will give some time, albeit not a lot of time, to think about it. The employer, too, usually wants time to think about whether to hire you. Be skeptical about situations that appear to be no-brainers. Sometimes, once you get in, such situations are not what they seemed during the interview.
If you get time to think about whether to take a job, it won’t hurt to talk to people you trust about your decision. Don’t necessarily rely on the advice of others, but use that advice to help you make an informed decision.
Some jobs can be temporary ports in a storm. If you feel that way about a job for which you are interviewing, don’t give that away. Very few employers – at least good ones – are looking for temporary hires. It’s OK to look at a job as a step toward something better down the road, even if it may not be with that specific employer. But, if you intend to work at a job for a time, and then leave, give it your all while you are there.
Part of being your best self is being secure, even confident, about who you are. You may be different from other candidates, but it’s incumbent on you to display how those differences will benefit the employer.
Be advised, also, that an interviewer may, for some reason, not like you. If you sense that, say thanks, but no thanks, to the job.
Today’s labor market is tight, but not necessarily easy to navigate. If you perform in an interview as your best self, you likely will not go wrong.
Peter

PASSION, BILLS AND LIFE

#passion #bills #life #DoWhatYouLove #jobs #LoveWhatYouDo
“Passion doesn’t pay bills.”
So says the beginning of a TV ad for Etsy.
This makes one think of childhood, and something everyone’s parents may have said.
You may passionately want to be a rock star, the conversation then proceeds, but not everyone can be a rock star. You have to find something steady that will make you a living.
Play your guitar at home, during your off hours.
It’s certainly true that not everyone who wants to be a rock star will be. Competition is fierce, and there’s a lot of talent out there. The difference between one who makes it as a rock star and one who doesn’t may involve a lucky break or two, or meeting the right person.
But the conversation with one’s parents almost always seems to devolve into encouraging the child, regardless of age, to settle for something he or she may not want.
We can extrapolate further. How miserable, and regretful, will this child be 40 years later that he or she did not pursue his or her passion?
Very likely, a lifetime of paid bills may be no consolation.
One should have a twofold consideration in the pursuit of life. What do you WANT to do? What do you have to do to get what you want? If you don’t get what you want immediately, what do you do in the meantime? The second part is: What do you do to ensure you have a good life throughout? What plan do you put in place to make that happen? How do I make enough to live well, save well, invest well for the future etc.?
The answer is to be both idealistic and practical. Give yourself some time to pursue your passion. If you fail initially, put a Plan B in place as you continue to pursue your passion. What you earn in Plan B can buy you time to get to Plan A.
Sock away a portion of what you earn toward your future, and invest it prudently. Don’t raid that stash for frivolous expenditures.
Perhaps you are the person who has not yet found his or her passion. Perhaps you started with a relatively secure Plan A, and it is treating you OK. You are content. Yet, you want something more.
(Remember, too, that secure Plan A’s are fleeting. They may not last as long as you want them to.)
Or, you may have a passion that is not necessarily paying your bills, but you want to keep pursuing it.
In short, if you have a passion, don’t be afraid to pursue it. Pursue it because you enjoy it. If it pays off financially, consider yourself fortunate. Do something, preferably something you don’t hate, to accommodate your practical needs for as long as you need to. (Hopefully, for as long as you want to.)
Try to live the life you want with few regrets, so you can reach your death bed not wondering what could have been. Not everything you want to happen will happen, but make sure that if things don’t happen, it is not because of something you did, or didn’t do.
Passion may not pay all of your bills, but if they pay some, you would probably have achieved your goals. If they don’t pay any bills, make sure your Plan B does not stop you from pursuing your passion.
Peter


LABOR SHORTAGES TO AFFECT SUMMER VACATIONS, TRAVEL

#LaborShortages #SummerTravel #labor #jobs #workers #employers
Resorts, restaurants and other entertainment venues are reporting labor shortages.
These employers say the number of applicants for work at summer hot spots are down. They may not be able to fill the jobs they have available.
NBC News reported on this problem May 15, 2022.
There are a number of issues here. First, these jobs are usually seasonal. The ideal applicant is a college or a high school student out of school for the summer.
Why aren’t they applying? There could be a number of reasons, but suffice it to say that the workplace, in general, is changing.
Since the pandemic, workplace safety is a bigger concern than ever. These young folks may be more cautious about a job that involves interacting with a lot of people, particularly if they don’t know the vaccination status of those people. After all, they don’t want to get sick, or worse, over a job.
Also, many of these jobs, particularly in hospitality, don’t pay well. As employers of all stripes are fighting over fewer workers, perhaps these students may have found other, more lucrative and less stressful job options.
Thirdly, as much as kids want to hang at, say, a beach area for the summer, what are their housing options, and are they affordable? No one wants to spend everything they earn to eat and sleep near a resort workplace.
These labor shortages contribute to the inflation we all see. If employers have to pay more to attract workers, customers will have to pay more.
That goes for every link in the supply chain. If there are labor shortages at the end of the chain, there are probably labor problems throughout.
It’s great for the economy for workers to have options. As an employer, perhaps you have to make working for you a better option. You have to find the “sweet spot” that makes you, your employees and your customers happy. It’s a tough balance for some establishments, so one has to be creative to make it work.
If you are a worker, by all means evaluate any available option you have. Money is certainly important, but a work situation that fits your needs and that you like is critical. Otherwise, you will not be happy no matter how much they pay you.
For the first time in a long time, workers are in the driver’s seat in many instances. These workers, in general, are NOT sitting home collecting government checks. They want to work, but also want to be treated well, want to feel safe and secure and want to feel, for lack of a better term, at home.
It can be a tall order to create an ideal workplace. Certainly, some jobs or tasks will be no one’s favorite thing to do. But the employer has to make those burdensome, necessary jobs and tasks as rewarding as possible.
The old idea of ruling a workplace with an iron fist will not attract or retain the best workers.
You need rules, certainly, but you also need an atmosphere that workers want to be in and want to make even better.
You might be surprised to learn that you can create such a workplace without too much hardship. You just have to think, ask questions and learn what people want.
It never hurts to ask workers what they are looking for. The answers may yield simple solutions
Peter

GRADS GLAD TO BE OUT; NOW WHAT?

#graduations #GraduationSeason #education #jobs #careers
It’s graduation season, and we tend to see it as an end.
But, it’s really a beginning.
Consider the adage: it’s the first day of the rest of your life.
Most grads have plans. Some will go to college, grad school or some other higher education. Others will get jobs. The main thing to hope for is that where you go next is someplace you want to go.
At graduation ceremonies, the exiting students will hear messages like, “find your passion.”
If your passion won’t pay the bills, exercise your passion, but also find something that will make you a living.
If you are graduating from college, hopefully you are not saddled with debt. If you are, hopefully your education will help you pay it off comfortably.
If you are graduating high school, hopefully you’ve thought long and hard about either college, work or some combination – say, work full time, school part time or vice versa.
Remember, too, that college is not for everyone. Make sure that if you go on to college, you are prepared in every way. It’s OK if you do not think college is for you. There are other endeavors you can pursue that will educate you and potentially make you a living.
Most importantly, always think about the future, no matter what you will do. One day, you could get married and have a family. One day, you will retire. On the latter, here’s hoping that you can do it on your own terms. Not everyone can say that.
Both of those life endeavors require preparation, financial and otherwise. If you have a job, set aside a portion of your paycheck — even $5 a week – for savings. Start with a bank savings account. As it grows, get some good investment advice and act accordingly.
Be disciplined enough not to dip into your savings for frivolous expenses. You want a good nest egg for your retirement. Those who retire comfortably had made good decisions when they were younger.
You CAN create a nest egg and still enjoy life now by watching where your money goes. That means prudent spending.
Also, whatever you decide to do, remember to give rather than take. As you give and help others, most of what you want will come to you.
So, as you go through graduation ceremonies, celebrate and enjoy. Then, give thought to where you go next. Work hard, but play, too. Form relationships. Make everything you do less about you and more about others.
No matter what you do, your potential is infinite if you make it so.
Go into adulthood with the attitude of setting goals and achieving them, no matter how long it may take and no matter what circumstances befall you.
It’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s how you deal with everything that happens. Finding something good in every situation is a good first step.
As stones cross your path, find ways to go over them.
Best of luck to all the grads.
Peter

RETIRE ASAP? GO FOR IT!

#EarlyRetirement #retirement #jobs #work #time
Are you planning, or would you like to, retire early?
Most, probably, would say, “of course.”
Others don’t plan to retire, unless forced to.
Still others would insist on a definition of “early.”
Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and has a same-titled radio show on WSB radio in Atlanta, gives five reasons to retire as soon as possible. He discussed them in his Oct. 10, 2021, column.
Moss’ five reasons: drive time, no love lost for your job, a roller-coaster schedule, a lack of recognition for what you do and being capped out in terms of financial advancement.
Let’s talk about each of these. First, commuting can be a bear. It takes time from your life as a whole, it adds stress to your body and it’s costly, in terms of fuel and wear-and-tear on your vehicle.
Moss also says that grueling commutes can cause stress in a marriage. According to one study, people who drive at least 45 minutes each way to work are 40 percent more likely to get a divorce, Moss writes.
Work-from-home, or remote-working trends inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic may change commuting patterns for the long term. If your employer is flexible in this area, you might decide to work longer. Think of having a beach house, or mountain cabin, from which you could work. Would that interest you?
Perhaps you don’t really love your job, or even like it, as Moss points out. Would working from home change that perception? If you are just grinding out a living at a job that, to be kind, doesn’t inspire you, Moss suggests perhaps finding a new way to parlay your skills by consulting, or starting your own business.
Remote-working options may alleviate another of Moss’ concerns – the roller-coaster schedule. Many people have jobs in which they have to be on site at specific times. Those times could vary from week to week, turning one’s body clock upside down. If you have one of those jobs, chances are you don’t like it. If you can get out sooner, you should.
Being recognized for your good work is also important. Your boss saying nice things about you and your work are fine, but you probably need more tangible rewards. If those are not forthcoming, maybe it’s time to go.
You may also be at the very end of the pay scale for your job category. If so, then ask yourself: am I just marking time for my pension? Or, especially if there is no pension, could I go somewhere else and advance financially? If you are at the top of your pay scale, you may be near retirement age anyway. If you can afford to retire, do it.
There are many things to learn ahead of “early” retirement regarding health insurance expenses and, more importantly, what you will do with your time.
You also have to study the likelihood, even though it’s tough to predict, whether one day you will come to work and be forcibly retired, or otherwise unemployed. Know that if this happens to you, you are not likely to be forewarned.
So, think about your situation, and do what is best for you. At the same time, realize that there are ways to escape bad work situations, if you need to.
In short, if you like your job, stay as long as they will have you. If you don’t like your job, stay open to other options. They are out there.
Peter