Successful organizations are dynamic structures. Their leadership succeeds in large measure because of the continued evaluation & selection of top talent that the management determines will fit into their culture and will provide results based on the company’s strategic and tactical objectives.
Our Interview Prep Kit has been designed to ensure you have the tools you need at your disposal to prepare yourself for this critical evaluation of talent compared to other candidates being interviewed. The objective is to assist you to position yourself as the kind of talent that will bring significant competitive advantages to an organization.
The resume is your first chance to show a potential employer or recruiter that you are a highly polished executive in your industry. Remember that a well-written resume won’t get you the job, but a poorly written resume will surely eliminate you. We recommend that you develop a resume keeping in mind the following guidelines.
Top-level candidates have career direction. They accept new positions; take on new responsibilities, and even volunteer for special projects at the office because they understand how it will impact their careers. Your objective is where you can showcase your career direction to potential employers. Try to keep it no longer than two sentences.
To help you develop a strong career objective that you can be committed to, think about:
- Where to do you want to be professionally 5 years from now?
- What skills will you need to develop to get there?
- What projects, positions, teams, or companies will allow for you to develop those skills?
- What skills need to be developed first?
- Why is this career objective important to you?
- Have you talked about your career objective with your family? Are they behind you?
For most positions, we recommend that you put your chronological career path first.
Some people like to put education credentials first. We feel that it depends upon the industry. Typically, with highly technical positions, or with career paths that require advanced education levels to excel; it will make sense to put educational credentials and accomplishments before the career path.
Your career path information should be chronologically organized starting with your present employer and position. Try and use no more than two or three sentences to outline your basic duties and responsibilities.
Employers do not want to have to hunt for information that will tell them why they should hire you. Therefore, use bullet points to outline your major accomplishments. Most executives are looking for individuals who can make an immediate impact.
Executives think in terms of three basic impacts:
- Maximizing profits
- Optimizing cost structures
- Increasing revenues.
Decision-makers will be looking at the impact you brought to your past positions in terms of quantifiably documenting your progress from /to in what time frame. For example: Increased revenues from $ 100 million to $ 120 million, and improvement of $ 20 million or 20 % over three years.
To help you develop a list of accomplishments, consider the following:
- What major projects have you worked on that no one else wanted? What was the end result ?
- What problems or challenges did you face that stretched your skills and permitted you to grow?
- What projects did you work on that helped your company generate revenue? What was the amount?
- What projects did you work on that helped your company control costs? What was the impact?
- Have any people that you managed excelled?
- Have you been honored with any company awards? Describe what helped you achieve the award.
- Have you been honored with any industry awards? Describe what helped you achieve the award.
Limit your bullet points under each position to two or three that reflect the skills and abilities that you feel identify with what the employer is looking for in a candidate. If you are working with a recruiter, they can help you in this area.
Organize your educational path chronologically starting with your most recent formal education first. Be sure to include any specific accomplishments, awards, or clubs in which you participated.
List any continuing education classes you feel appropriate. You might want to list various computer training you have had, night school classes you have taken, or even seminars you have attended.
What do you like to do outside of work? Employers like to see well-rounded people. Workaholics do not always make the best candidates. Rather than just list the activities or groups you are involved with, try pulling out specific points of responsibility that relate to what a company may view as being of value to their organization. For example, if you are the Treasurer for the local 4H club, be sure to highlight your fiscal responsibility.
Resume additional thoughts
- Use short sentences.
- Be direct.
- Use bullet points to isolate specific points of interest.
- Highlight position titles and company names.
- Don’t try to fit too much information on one page. It will look cluttered and be hard to read.
- Use a clean font that will fax with clarity.
- Have several people proofread your document.
- Have a copy of your resume ready to e-mail as a Word document.
- Use descriptive words that help to paint a visual picture of what you can do and who you are.
- Don’t put your resume in a fancy cover.
- Spell check your document.
Be sure to provide at least three business references. If you don’t want to list anyone from your current employer, think about customers, vendors, or competitors that you may have dealt with at one time or another.
If you are considering a career change and would like to discuss your career objectives, please use our online Resume Submittal Format. You may also wish to review comprehensive career guidance and interview tools available at www.GlobalESGCareer.com or download our Top Talent Interview Guide.
The Resume Cover Letter
Your resume outlines factual pieces of information of your career that an employer needs to evaluate to determine if you have the skills and experience to do the job. Well, as any strong sales professional will tell you, features and attributes do not cause people to make a decision. It is the perceived benefit that they feel they will get from those features and attributes that will steer them in the direction of either saying yes or no to something.
As Search consultants, we are trained extensively in helping employers understand how the features and attributes of our candidates will benefit their organizations. Our recruiting professionals spend extensive amounts of time conducting research in specific industries. The knowledge that is collected allows for them to be aware of what employers really need to see in candidates at any given time, and therefore they know how various skills and experiences of a candidate need to be positioned in the market place.
Your cover letter is your chance to sell benefits! What is a benefit you ask? The answer is anything that will answer the employer’s question of, “What is in it for me?”
To help you develop a cover letter that will give you a competitive advantage, follow these guidelines.
List your benefits
- Do you have a unique ability to control costs?
- Do you have a unique ability to develop ways to generate revenue?
- Do your skills allow for you to solve problems quickly?
- Do your project management skills allow for more efficiency?
- Have you managed people that have been successful?
List your accomplishments and skills
- It is OK to repeat a few of the accomplishments you may have listed on your resume.
- Using the lists you have created, develop clear and concise sentences that will be put into a letter.
- Be sure that you are using action words
Style, format and present your resume
- Use high quality paper.
- Align the date on the right margin.
- Align your name and address on the left margin.
- Align the company’s name and address on the left margin under your information.
- The salutation should be formal and address your contact as Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Last Name).
- Use no more than three (3) paragraphs.
- Align your closing on the left margin.
- Be sure that you have equal space between the top and bottom of the letter.
- Always personally sign your letter.
- Keep your letter to one (1) page.
Successful organizations are dynamic structures. They succeed in large measure because of the talent, insights and actions of their leadership.
Congratulations on being chosen to interview for a new position. Now that you have the opportunity, you are the only one that can control whether or not you excel to the “getting an offer” stage.
At Global Executive Solutions Group, we recognize that the interview process can be stressful and uncomfortable, especially if you have not been through an interview in a while. Therefore, to help you prepare for the interview we have developed this guide.
Objective of the interview
Your objectives going into the interview:
- Get an offer.
- Get the information you need to evaluate whether or not this is the right opportunity for you. At the end of the interview, you should be able to determine if you want the position or not. If it is only a first interview, you should be able to determine if you would like to continue the process or not.
The potential employer has just one objective:
- Determine if you are the best fit for the position and their organization.
- If it is only a first interview, then they will need to determine if they should continue the process or not.
Conduct yourself with confidence and determination to get the position. You have other options, of course, and your interviewer knows this, but wants to think that you want a position with this company. Don’t play coy. Sell yourself. This is your first meeting and the position, as well as future promotions, may depend on your presentation. Are you gong to sell them on the idea of hiring you, or will they sell you on the idea that this opportunity is not for you? You must present a positive attitude to the prospective employer. You must NOT seem disinterested or appear to be job shopping.
The interview should be a two-way conversation. Ask questions of the interviewers. This shows your interest in the company and the position. It also enables you to gather the right information to make an intelligent decision afterwards. The questions you have prepared can be asked to the different people who interview you.
Remember, the objective of the interview is to obtain an offer. During the interview you must gather enough information concerning the position to make a decision.
We are confident that the techniques and tips outlined in this document will give you a leg up on the other candidates you are competing against for the opportunity. We are also confident in mentioning that the stronger you can present yourself in the interview process, the better the compensation package typically will be.
Eleven Reasons for Rejection
Poor Attitude. Many candidates come across as arrogant. While employers can afford to be selfcentered, candidates cannot.
Appearance. Many candidates do not consider their appearance as much as they should. First impressions are quickly made in the first three (3) to five (5) minutes. Review the appearance checklist.
Lack of Research. It’s obvious when candidates haven’t learned about the job, company or industry prior to the interview. Visit the library or use the Internet to research the company. Then talk with friends, peers and other professionals about the opportunity before each meeting.
Not having questions to ask. Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the position. Prepare a list of intelligent questions in advance.
Not readily knowing the answers to interviewers’ questions. Anticipate and rehearse answers to tough questions about your background, such as a recent termination or an employment gap. Practicing with your spouse or friend before the interview will help you to frame intelligent questions. qualifications and skills, it’s the interview dialogue that will portray you as a committed, responsive team player.
Relying too much on resumes. Employers hire people, not paper. Although a resume can list qualifications and skills, it’s the interview dialogue that will portray you as a committed, responsive team player.
Too much humility. Being conditioned not to brag, candidates are sometimes reluctant to describe their accomplishments. Explaining how you reach difficult or impressive goals helps employers understand what you can do for them.
Not relating skills to employers’ needs. A list of sterling accomplishments means little if you can’t relate them to a company’s requirements. Reiterate your skills and convince the employer that you can “do the same for them.”
Handling salary issues ineptly. Candidates often ask about salary and benefit packages too early. If they believe an employer is interested, they may demand inappropriate amounts and price themselves out of the jobs. Candidates who ask for too little undervalue themselves or appear desperate.
Lack of career direction. Job hunters who aren’t clear about their career goals often can’t spot or commit to appropriate opportunities. Not knowing what you want wastes everyone’s time.
Job shopping. Some applicants, particularly those in certain high-tech, sales, and marketing fields, will admit they’re just “shopping” for opportunities and have little intention of changing jobs. This wastes time and leaves a bad impression with employers they may need to contact in the future.
The resignation process can be stressful and filled with emotion. Especially if your company culture is very team oriented. There is a good chance that you have developed fairly strong relationships with many people in many different parts of the company.
To help you through this difficult process, we recommend the following process:
- Don’t resign until you have a formal offer and start date from your new employer.
- Be prepared to resign both verbally and by letter.
- Resign verbally to your direct report. Try not to get emotional. At times this may be difficult, especially if you have a very special relationship with this person. Thank them for the opportunities they have given for you to grow personally and professionally, and give them a wellconstructed reason for your resignation. Don’t focus on the possible negative reasons you are leaving. Rather be sure to explain the highlights of your new opportunity.
- If you are a key player on the team, anticipate that your boss may show some degree of frustration. Remain calm. Recognize that they are acting on the emotion of one of their best people leaving them. You will find that if this is an initial reaction from your employer they will quickly recognize their attitude and become more relaxed.
- Prepare your resignation letter. We recommend that you keep this letter brief and very formal. Remove all emotion from the content. Including comments that are based upon emotion may give your employer the ammunition they need to develop a counter-offer. Your letter should be addressed to your immediate supervisor and a copy should be sent to your Human Resource Department.
Here is a sample resignation letter.
Your Name May XX, 200X
Your Current Position
Mr./Mrs./Ms. Direct Supervisor
Direct Supervisor Title
Company Address Information
Dear Direct Supervisor’s First Name,
I am writing you to announce that I have decided to resign my employment from (enter your company’s name) effective (last date of employment – you should give a two (2) week notice). I appreciate the opportunity that you and (company’s name) have given me to develop my professional skills and my career.
My decision to resign is based upon an opportunity that I believe are consistent with my career goals, and therefore, is irrevocable. I do not wish to enter into any discussions that may be designed to have me reconsider my decision.
I will make every effort to leave on the best of terms by completing my assignments and making smooth transitions for those whom will be taking over my responsibilities. I look forward to having an exit interview discussion if you feel it is appropriate.
- Continue working to the best of your ability while you work through your notice period, which we recommend being no longer than two (2) weeks. Notice periods that extend longer than two weeks usually lead to unnecessary tension between your current employer and yourself. After all, you are excited about your new position, and probably want to start impacting your new company. Think about how your enthusiasm for your new position could impact your peers.
- If your employer asks you to leave immediately, do not let this be a concern. Your employer probably recognizes some of the possible negative ramifications your resignation may have on the rest of the company.
- If your company does not have formal exit interviews, you should ask for one. Exit interviews are great ways for you to exchange valuable information that may help a department or company grow. During the Exit Interview do not be negative. Rather, point out the opportunities for growth or improvement you feel exist. If you are going to bring up a problem, be sure to offer potential solutions.
- If you are working with one of our professional recruiters in our firm, be sure to discuss with that person your personal situation. Let them know your fears, comfort level, and concerns. You will find that they probably have dealt with candidates with similar concerns and therefore will be able to help you through the process.
- Don’t second-guess your decision to resign. Remember that you went through the interview process; the hassle of taking personal time from work, invested time to educate yourself on the company, and perhaps even had many emotional conversations with your family members for a reason. You need to recognize that you would not have let the process come to this point if at anytime you thought that it was not the right thing to do.
Pre-Employment Physical (Drug Testing)
The use of drug testing as part of a pre-employment physical examination is becoming more prevalent. It is predicted, that within five (5) years, drug testing will become one more standard for getting a job. Some firms are testing for drug use as part of a pre-employment physical without telling the applicant that he/she is being tested for drugs, Personnel Journal reports.
Some over-the-counter products can produce positive drug-test results. Among them: Alka-Seltzer Plus, Allerest, Bronkaid, Contact, Donnagel, Nyquil, Primatene, Promlamine capsules, Sinutab, Sudafed and Triaminic. Poppy seeds in your food can also produce a positive drug-test result.
You should not take any medication 48 hours before your pre-employment physicals, but if you must, be sure to list all drugs taken and advise the examiner