Archive for August, 2007

Can You Take It Easy In Today’s Employment Market

With the local Australian economy experiencing relatively low unemployment figures, and with the papers sprouting that jobs are there for the plucking, it is almost tempting to believe the employer or recruitment consultant will be grateful for the few resumes he or she receives and will eagerly grab any candidate.

WRONG!

I recently received this comment in an email from a consultant at a major national recruitment firm:

“Lately I have been finding more and more that I am receiving consistently poor resumes, which I generally put down to:

  • Laziness of applicants
  • Not knowing any better or
  • A perceived lack of importance seen by candidates at this stage of the recruitment process.

It may simply be a Generation Y thing where candidates feel the jobs will or should come to them with little or no effort made on their behalf? Some of the most common issues I find with resumes are:

  • They don’t sell the person well (e.g. are just a description of employment history, etc)
  • They are far too wordy: generally I feel they should be shorter, sharper, punchier and attract interest (sell someone) more quickly
  • They are not specific in content towards the role or industry people are applying for (are obviously generic resumes being sent for any job)”

This recruiter’s complaint was that he simply could not see any value in these applicants. He finds himself constantly having to tell candidates they are less likely to be selected for an interview, or will be totally rejected by either himself or the client, by presenting with documents full of mistakes, irrelevant, too wordy and with unattractive formatting.

Interested, I went on to contact other consultants and here is the feedback I received:

“People flick off CVs here there and everywhere without much thought. Often we don’t even get a cover letter, the formatting is poor, spelling mistakes, too much jargon and buzz words which don’t have much depth.”

And from another source:

“Whilst the media continues to ramp up the candidate short market there is the perception from candidates to up-sell themselves and have above-market expectations of their worth (both financially and technically). There is the misconception that there are fewer applicants for the jobs. When it comes to the top jobs there is no change, there was and will continue to be strong competition amongst candidates.”

If you think it is easy for an applicant to walk into an interview today without taking too much trouble, then think again. Unless you present yourself in the best possible light, you still may not capture that interview.

Strong communications and excellent presentation will never be redundant.

Written by Beverley Neil: beverley@d-scriptivewords.com

Advertisements

August 14, 2007 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Blitz Scenario Based Interview Questions

Scenario-based interviewing is a frequently used tool, so you should be prepared. Simply by utilising CAR you will impress the interviewer with your clear, insightful answers when you are presented with the: “Name a situation when…” questions.

In my resume questionnaire I encourage my clients to use CAR (Challenge / Action / Result) as the basis to drawing out past achievements: a truly powerful method in preparing a dynamic resume and to boost your personal interview preparation.

Prior to the interview go over your achievements on paper first. Depending on your vocation and your seniority you may be asked questions such as:

  •  “Give a specific situation when you used logic to solve a difficulty.”
  • “Give an example of the strategies you used to turn around falling sales.”
  • “Tell me about an actual incident with a difficult customer and what you did to achieve a win-win situation.”

Utilise CAR when writing down your answers (you should already have done this for your resume but if you haven’t NOW is the time to prepare).

For example, your written answers could be formatted like this:

Challenge:

When I commenced in that role I inherited a team that was fragmented by lack of motivation. This had resulted in low morale, severely reduced productivity and poor client relations.

Action:

I assessed the work environment and implemented a more open style of management, which ensured ease of access to me, also I assured team members of my openness to give guidance and advice. I encouraged employee ownership by allowing decision-making powers where appropriate and consolidated an impressive range of team experience and expertise.

Result:

We achieved an outstanding turnaround resulting in a team that demonstrated a strong, committed work ethic in an harmonious and productive environment with the ability to consistently meet all deadlines. There was also a remarkable improvement in the level of communications between team members and clients.

Then, should you be asked the question: “Tell us about a time when you improved productivity”, your verbal answer at the interview will then sound something like this:

“Yes, I can give you a good example of that. When I commenced in my last position, I inherited a team that was fragmented by lack of motivation. This had resulted in low morale, severely reduced productivity and poor client relations.

I saw that resolving this situation needed to be my first priority so I assessed the work environment and implemented a more open style of management, which ensured ease of access to me. Also, I assured team members of my openness to give guidance and advice. I encouraged employee ownership by allowing decision-making powers where appropriate and consolidated an impressive range of team experience and expertise.

I’m pleased to say that we achieved an outstanding turnaround resulting in a team that demonstrated a strong, committed work ethic in an harmonious and productive environment and with the ability to consistently meet all deadlines. There was also a remarkable improvement in the level of communications between team members and clients.”

Now you have your potential answers in place practice in your mind then out loud in front of the mirror until your answers are smooth and natural. When you have practiced often enough, even if you are not asked your practice questions, your mind will be programmed to retrieve the relevant information in a cohesive form.

Then, at the interview, when asked a scenario-based question, you can relax – you have it all at your fingertips.

August 10, 2007 at 2:19 am 1 comment


Categories

Recent Posts