Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Advice for Executives ... Timing is getting better for you by Patty DeDominic.

I was asked by an accomplished executive recently what I thought he might be doing wrong...... and for any added suggestions to generate some stronger job offers. Here's what I told him:

YOU are probably doing all the right things. Continue doing what you know is the smart way to reach out for job offers.

Treat potential employers as you would treat your best clients.

This economy has caused more stress in the past year than I have seen in my 30 year career.

Just keep doing the good things you know you need to do to strengthen your network and your personal brand. Be out in front with and for them. Go to professional organizations, talk to your colleagues and keep your references updated on your education, accomplishments and plans whenever you can. I would also "write to" your target more in other blogs/letters to editors and magazines, e-zines etc. I think a lot of short, smart and to the point articles strategically positioned can help build your personal brand. Branding is something the coaches have telling people to build for years and now more and more are understanding this fine art.

It really is a "GIG Nation" now a days...and as you tend your network you will see the quality of your Gig's increasing so long as you leave em happy in your last gig.

Many have started their own blogs. USE CARE! This can be a good idea for many professionals who want to keep current and continue to stay on the radar. Just remember that blogs and your Linked In profiles and Facebooks and the myriad of social media have the ability to hang around forever so please only write that which you will be OK with showing up on the front pages of USA TODAY or the Walls Street Journal. Media trainers have warned for years, there is no such thing as "Off the Record"

Public directors and officers of SEC and other larger corporations are usually are discouraged from email and blogging. So use caution and unless you are very very skilled at minding your words, you may wish to have one or two proof readers give it a sniff test before you launch yourself "out there".

One final tip for those seeking recognition for past accomplishments.

Forget about it.

Your history can help predict your destiny but employers rarely make offers just because of what you did on your last gig: Employers of today and tomorrow want to know what YOU can DO FOR THEM... How are you going to MAKE OR SAVE THEM Time and Money TODAY AND in the next big project? Get good at being able to get YOUR VALUE (as it pertains to THEM) across to potential referral sources, clients and employers and the offers will multiply!

We welcome your comments. Patty DeDominic


Mary Elizabeth Bradford said...

Job Interview Tips - "Tell Me about Yourself"

What is the one question you KNOW you will get asked at the beginning of each and every first interview?

"So, tell me a little bit about yourself..."

My clients continually share with me that although it seems like this should be an easy question to answer, they struggle with exactly what to say!

The really good news is that I am going to give you a short script to answer this question and you will only have to fill it out once! It will work for multiple interviews. This is a simple way to break down what to say each time you are asked to share a little about yourself.

You will want to keep your response to something you can say in under a minute. This ensures you don't lose your listener.

Your template begins with a statement such as:

"Well, as you can see from my resume, I have ...."

What you state from there should first include any relevant academic information, years in the industry or position, and short highlights of the key positions you have held. It may sound something like this:

"Well, as you can see from my resume, I have 15 years' experience in the construction industry. After graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in construction management, I was hired by Turner Construction to work as a project manager in their hospitality division. That's where I got my feet wet in project management. I quickly developed a reputation for bringing projects in on time and under budget."

"Then I was recruited by company X..."

Continue with this theme through to your current position. Invest the most time talking about your previous positions that are most relevant to the position for which you are interviewing... In most cases, this will be the position(s) you have held in the last 5 to 7 years.

Your template ends with the statement:

"...I am really excited to be here and to learn more about the qualities you are looking for in a top candidate. Would it be okay to talk about that now?"

Your interviewer(s) will love your positive attitude and you will get to learn more about the position - right from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Jot down the key points they share with you because these are your talking points for the rest of the interview!

Don't forget to practice your template several times out loud until you feel comfortable. This will reinforce your confidence, too.

By using this simple technique, you will calmly and confidently answer this question - and impress your interviewer in the process.

Don Lowman said...

The Value of the Personal Touch

I have been in Asia Pacific this week meeting with Towers Perrin staff and clients in Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney — all in the space of five days. I learn something new each time I come to Asia — about our people, our clients, and our competitors — and as I head home, I feel energized, personally engaged and very glad that I came over. And to think I almost cancelled the trip out of concern for managing costs.

If I hadn’t visited, I couldn’t have personally shared in the excitement of some incredible new business wins with brand new clients.

I wouldn’t have been able to greet new colleagues in China or Singapore during their first week at work or shake their hand and thank them for deciding to shift the direction of their career to come to Towers Perrin.

I wouldn’t have learned from clients addressing challenges like employee engagement and talent management in a very different context and culture than their North American or European peers.

And I couldn’t have conveyed in quite the same way how much the senior leadership of our firm values each employee’s contributions and each client’s business and how we plan to increase our investment and grow our business throughout the region.

Companies everywhere will need to carefully manage costs in 2009 and we will all think of using video or audio conferences instead of traveling. But when we put additional physical distance between ourselves and our customers and employees I know there is a real opportunity cost and a real loss of value.

What we manage to save in money can be more than offset by what we lose in employee and customer engagement. And we inevitably miss out on some valuable learning opportunities as well. I will challenge myself to travel smarter in 2009 but to stay in touch personally whenever I can.
From Don Lowman's blog