Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some more observations on what means overqualified

Are you told you are overqualified?

Is your resume presenting you as overqualified?

If you are not getting interviews, your resume might be overshooting the "profile" of the job. Your resume might not be matching the duties, responsibilities and/or requirements for the job.

It is all about the match. And a mismatch can go both ways - under and overqualified.

If you get interviews, your resume obviously is working.

But overqualified means much more than just the mismatch.

Employers use interviews to get to know the candidate, the potential employee, better – who you are, what motivates you, what makes you tick. They are a chance to demonstrate that you have the right stuff. Think of them as sales calls. After all, when it comes to interviews, are we not all in sales?

"Overqualified” translates for them to mean you, based on your length of experience and past compensation, expect, and feel entitled to, a higher level of pay. And that you don’t have to justify why you deserve it since you have professional “seniority.” They are afraid that you will leave your position and the company as soon as a better offer comes along because you deserve more money, better benefits, and a better opportunity.

Be prepared with enthusiasm and even excitement to tell them why you want to work for them and how you will eliminate problems and add value. Without presenting solid and passionate evidence about how you will deliver each and every day, you are in danger of being seen as resting on your assumed laurels and coming across as arrogant.

Just because you have experience, perhaps even extensive expert experience, does not make you invulnerable to the pitfalls and problems of everyday work life. Even if you are the best of the best of the best, you still need to be doing your best always. Overqualified means you are presenting yourself as above it all and that very likely you will not try to do a better job of it because nobody does it better than you. And again you deserve top pay just because you are you.

As it’s been said in the circles of sales professionals, “you are only as good as your last sale.” You have to prove your worth. Be prepared to do so when you have that face to face meeting, that interview, that sales call.

Listen to their needs and tell them, show them, how you will deliver.

If you need to practice that interview, contact me.

Walt Tarrow

And check out JVS at www.jvsdet.org for job postings, seminars, events and more.

Join me and NextJobs~JVS Detroit on LinkedIn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some recommendations about recommendations

Regarding recommendations on LinkedIn or anywhere else for that matter.

Who is/are the target audience that you want to see, and be impressed by, your recommendations?
What do you want people to say about you that sends the right messages to, creates the right images for, your target audience?
Who can best represent, and speak to, your various work, education, and other experiences?
Who, and from where, are the people who are most relevant to your target audience?

Once you have answered the questions above, contact the people you want to recommend you on LinkedIn (they have to be members of LinkedIn to give you a recommendation). Provide them with a recommendation you scripted for them and ask them to review, edit if they want to, and send to you to be posted on your LinkedIn profile.

Offer to do the same for them.

LinkedIn prompts and directs you about recommendations under your experience and education on your profile.

Any performance review or evaluation you received at your workplaces from your immediate supervisors can provide an excellent source of recommendations. If you do not have copies of performance reviews, contact the company and ask for a copy of your personnel records.

Remember that the most preferred recommendations come from previous supervisors and other work associates including customers who can testify to your work performance.

You can also provide evidence of your "soft skills" such as interpersonal, communication, organization, leadership and the like with recommendations from non-work contacts who have been witness to related behaviours. Also, fellow workers and other contacts of yours can speak to personal characteristics of yours such as trustworthiness, reliability, honesty and professionalism.

Recommendations are simply testimony provided by others to verify and support your claims about your different sets of skills, work performance and achievements.

Your skills, work, and achievements easily could fill a book, but without the right "recommendations" on the jacket, that book may never be bought.

For help with crafting your recommendations, feel free to contact me.

And follow me and JVS at www.jvsdet.org and check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Job postings are at www.ParnossahWorksDetroit.org as well as the calendar of upcoming seminars and events.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interviewing Questions

So many questions, so few answers...

There are hundreds of job search books containing thousands of interview questions with suggested answers to help you prepare for your interview. Yet every interview you have seems to add at least one question you never heard before.

Here is a list of ten questions that a helpful job seeker emailed to me just today. The company provided him with these questions to help him prepare for his interview for a logistics/warehouse position.

1. How does our position fit in with your career goals and objectives?

2. What separates you from the rest of the candidates? In other words, why should we hire YOU?

3. How would your previous Supervisors and Co-workers describe your ability to be dependable?

4. Please give us examples in one of your previous positions that addresses your productivity level while still maintaining a high level of accuracy and quality?

5. Tell me about one of your previous positions that you enjoyed? Why did you enjoy working for that company? What are some things you would have liked to see change?

6. Please describe how you would handle the following situation: At 9:00 am the Warehouse Supervisor gives you several shipments that need to go out by 10:00 am. By (9:45 am you realize you will not be able to accomplish this and your Supervisor is nowhere in sight).. How do you think you might handle this?

7. There are times when we work without close supervision or support to get the job done. Tell us about a time when you found yourself in such a situation and how did things turn out.

8. When we talk about customer service, we often think about external customers or the people who are not part of our organization. Tell me about a time you were confronted by a frustrated ‘customer’? What did you do to resolve the situation?

9. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead on a project at work?

10. Listening is an important part of providing good customer service. Describe good listening skills. Please give us an example of a time when you’ve demonstrated good listening skills?

Question #2 is one of the two basic questions that are asked, in a great variety of ways, ultimately by all interviewers.

Those two essential questions are:
Why should we hire you?
Why do you want to work for us?

The number one reason that applicants lose interviews is lack of preparation.

And having, and practicing, good answers to basic interview questions is essential interview preparation.

What answers do you have?

What messages do you need to deliver at your interview to be a winner?

Be prepared to be a winner.

If you have any tough interview questions you would like to have some help with creating good answers, please contact me.

Walt Tarrow

Follow me and JVS on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is Your Job Search Out of Control? - Part 3 of 5

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

Whose job is it?

Whose responsibilty is it?

If it is not your job, why is it theirs?

Why should you/it matter to them?

And if it does not matter to them, is it not time for you to take matters into your own hands?

Is it not time for you to take responsibility for your own actions? Your own behavior?

What is the good, what is the benefit, what is your gain, if you criticize their behaviors?

What do you hope to accomplish? Are you on a mission to make everyone behave your way? Is that time well spent on your job search? What do you have to gain?

Or are you better served by doing what you need to do to make it worth their while...instead of expecting them to behave your way and getting upset when they do not?

Being critical and getting upset over others not doing what you expect them to do for you, in many cases a complete stranger, is childish, self-centered, non-productive and a waste of time.

And if you express your impatience, frustration, even anger at their "rude" and "unprofessional" behavior, are you presenting as an employee with whom they would want to work?

Did you ever think about taking the time to consider why that person is being rude and not professional? Maybe they have way, way too much work to do.

The most recent measure shows a drop in productivity in the US. That is an indication that workers are having to do more with less and not being able to do it. That may be called overwork in some circles. So you label the overworked employee who did not respond to you in a prompt and obedient way as rude and not professional. Thanks a lot, buddy!

Why not take this great opportunity to show them that you are the right person for the job, the person who handles unpleasant people, difficult situations, disappointment with a positive attitude and a smile!

Expressing your indignation with their actions only brings you down to their level and excuses your own lack of responsibility. Be responsible for your own behavior and only your behavior. Conduct your job search in a considerate, professional, and responsible fashion.

It may not be natural. It requires you to be thoughful, mindful and patiently persistent.

So take the high road. It will put you in control. And it will get you there much easier, faster and take away a whole lot of stress.

Stay in touch with me and JVS.

We are here to help.

Walt Tarrow

Visit us at www.jvsdet.org, be a fan of JVS Detroit on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and look for jobs and events at www.ParnossahWorksDetroit.org.

And find me and our group NextJobs~JVS Detroit on LinkedIn.