January 21st – The #LetteroftheDay is “N” as in Negotiation, especially salary negotiations.
As of December, the national unemployment rate was 3.9%, which was up from a 49-year low of 3.7% in November. Over the past several years, U.S. employers have experienced ongoing skills shortages. Whether you are considering a new employer or a new role within your current company, negotiating salary can be uncomfortable.
Consider this: let’s say you accept an offer of $50,000 for a new role and are given annual pay increases of 3%. After five years, you’ll be making $56,275 and you will have earned $265,456 during that time. On the other hand, if you negotiate a starting pay of $55,000 (a 10% increase), after five years, you pay will be $61,902 and will have made $292,000, a difference of $26,544!
Don’t accept the first offer given to you. Research your market value and negotiate a higher starting salary. The worst that can happen is someone tells you no, and the payoff can be huge.
January 22nd – The #LetteroftheDay is “O” as in Obsolete.
Is your résumé out of date or obsolete? When your résumé is out of date, you raise concerns about your own professional experience. Even if it has only been a few years since you have last looked for a job, there may be things on your résumé that should be tossed out with yesterday’s garbage.
– It lists an objective – the most viewed area of a résumé is the top 1/3 of the first page. Replace your objective with a branded summary section that captures the value you bring to an organization
– References available upon request – this is a given and listing it on your résumé is a waste of space and an outdated practice
– Your résumé reads like a job description – your résumé is a marketing document. Focus on selling yourself and what you’ve done versus listing every responsibility you had in the position
Your résumé is often the first impression that an employer has of you. What do you want that first impression to be?
January 23rd – The #LetteroftheDay is “P” as is Page.
Back to the age-old question, “How long should be résumé be?” Simple…as long as it needs to be.
If you are a new college graduate or for an entry-level position, there is no reason to have more than a 1 page résumé.
For most mid-level professionals, a 2-page résumé is usually in order, and if you are a seasoned senior-level executive, you may need 3 pages.
You don’t want to leave out content that could be useful in gaining new employment, however the tendency that most job seekers have is to overshare and overvalue the information on their résumé. Preparing an effective, modern-day résumé is a delicate balancing act that integrates keywords into the document while capturing the essence of your brand.
In summary, don’t be scared to use 2 pages as long as it adds value.
January 24th – The #LetteroftheDay is “Q” as in Quantifiable.
There is no better way to showcase your achievements than to have quantifiable data that shows what you have accomplished.
According to The Economist, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. This statement holds true when preparing your résumé.On your résumé, saying that you grew sales is fine, but showcasing that you grew sales 7.4% within the first twelve months tells a much deeper story.
I’m glad your project was a success, but I’d rather you show me that you completed your project $95,000 under budget and 2 weeks ahead of schedule.
As you go throughout your career, keep a brag book. Document your successes on a routine basis so when you go to prepare your résumé you will have easy access to your quantifiable data. It makes a big difference.
January 25th – The #LetteroftheDay is “R” as in Rapport.
With all the advances in technology – ATS systems, on-demand interviews, predictive index assessment, etc. people sometimes tend to forget that people make the final hiring decisions, not computers
Don’t underestimate a solid rapport with the hiring team. People generally want to be around other people that they like or connect with on some level.Prior to your interview, see what you can find out about the person conducting the interview. You may find out you went to the same school, have shared interests or philanthropic causes, or have mutual connections. All of these can serve as potential talking point during a meeting that can help you build a strong rapport.