The movie Legally Blonde showed Elle Woods, a young woman wowing Harvard Law School with a video résumé outlining her unique and interesting talents. While video résumés are still not the norm, many wonder if the best way to differentiate themselves from others is to use video instead of the traditional paper résumé. While an effective video résumé can help a person seeking a job or slot at a prestigious college, there are definite pros and cons.
Job seekers are accustomed to making themselves look good on paper but it is harder to make yourself look good on video. Paper résumés make your case before you walk into the interview. It is easier for a recruiter or interviewer to forgive any fidgeting in person because your paper résumé has already told them that you have the skills for the job. If the interviewer has to sit through a video with several minutes of rambling dialogue, accompanied by nervous tics, and the sound of traffic or air conditioning in the background to be able to hear your skill set, you may not get to make your case before you lose the interviewer’s interest. Since video résumés are still new, there is no real standard set yet as to how these résumés should appear and how information should be presented. It can be easy for applicants to go wrong.
Additionally, video résumés pose a risk to companies that paper résumés do not, legal risks that have caused some companies to discard all résumés that are accompanied by videos. When some companies these days black out names on résumés to avoid potential race or gender bias among those who review résumés, video résumés open employers up to potential claims of race, gender and age discrimination—even how the applicant looks in the video résumés, in some instances, can clearly cause more problems for the applicant than they solve.
Additionally, if companies are reluctant on a legal basis to view the video résumés sent to them for specific job openings, such companies do not go to online video hosting sites to view video résumés in the hopes of somehow finding the perfect person for their job. They are even less likely to search online when it means sifting for job candidates amongst films of people’s pets and music videos.
However, technology has changed much of how people search for and get jobs, and as online video becomes more and more ubiquitous, some companies are changing the way they handle video résumés. Job listing sites have combined forces with social networking sites, and online résumés in such venues are often combined with video résumés. Sites that specialize exclusively in hosting online and video résumés make it far more palatable for employers and recruiters to search for résumés.
Some companies have popped up to help interviewers and job seekers make the most of this new technology. These companies help applicants put together a professional, edited video. Some have contacts with specialized areas of the job field – engineering firms, non-profits, etc. – and can send your video résumé to companies interested in such résumés. Many employers are opening up to video résumés because in some cases they serve as the “first round” of interviews, saving the company money and time.
Properly used, video résumés can be an excellent format to showcase job experience as well as polished communications skills. There is still a novel aspect to video résumés so making still shows a willingness to embrace new technology and think outside the box. As long as applicants understand a company’s résumé submission policies, as well as ensure that their video is professional and in a venue a potential employer may frequent, it increases the chances this new form of résumé can help and not hinder their chances of finding employment.
Everybody knows about the traditional job search web sites online. We won’t mention them by name because you’ve seen their ads on TV probably more than you’d like. Most people know them because they’ve had negative or unfruitful experiences. Let’s try something new. Have you tried The Wall Street Journal Online? Most people use it for news on stocks, finance, business and some of America’s best feature writing, but not for jobs. Below you’ll find how a click of your mouse to the “Career” tabs can enhance and expedite your job search with The Wall Street Journal Online.
Wall Street Journal Jobs
The Wall Street Journal Online is a trusted financial resource and while their job search may appear similar to other sites, one thing is different: content. When it comes to the media, marketing and advertising, they all have the same mantra: content is king. The Wall Street Journal’s job search understands that premise. Not only does the site offer a premium selection of jobs, but also helpful advice from experts. Many other sites don’t use journalists and experts to give advice. The Wall Street Journal Online’s job search does.
Analysis and understanding
The Wall Street Journal Online offers supplementary content that analyzes the issues in the economy and the job search so readers understand what’s going on in the market. The Wall Street Journal Online’s jobs search provides articles on job trends, career strategies, educational opportunities and adjusting to office life and management positions. If you don’t have time to read all the selections, you can just browse the best as picked by a Wall Street Journal Online editor. The columns from Wall Street Journal Online writers are like a career coach. The writers have a voice so it doesn’t feel like words on a page, but you’re actually talking to someone about your career. Try to find that for under $20 an hour.
Not to be forgotten, The Wall Street Journal Online offers an assortment of calculators to understand how your job search impacts your finances.
Most executives and high-level supervisors must turn to executive job boards for jobs. The Wall Street Journal Online combines a traditional job search board with an executive job search board. No worries though, the content is pre-filtered with the click of a mouse. The Wall Street Journal Online’s audience exceeds traditional workers and many are top-tier executives. They turn to the most trusted resource in financial news, as The Wall Street Journal has been for decades. The site compiles the jobs that pay over $100,000 from across the United States, so you can look everywhere with a few mouse clicks.
The Wall Street Journal Online offers all the traditional job features you’d expect:
- Resume posting
- Job searches
- Filtering by locations, company, career, keyword, pay etc.
- Saved searches
- Systems for employers and recruiters
- An easy-to-use register and sign-in function
Try the Wall Street Journal online. You will be amazed at how it can help your job search!
Employee references can be the linchpin of a successful job search. If you nailed the resume, cover letter, phone interview and in-person interview, then it comes down to your references.
There’s no worse feeling than worrying that your references are sub-par, average or even detrimental. When a person’s made it so far in the job process, they don’t want to fret that their references will keep them from that dream job. If you’ve had some bad experiences with jobs and subsequent references, here you’ll find advice on how to get employment reference, even when leaving a job in a less than optimal way.
Reasons for bad or no references
Everybody has jobs they’d rather not list on their resume. It’s not because they did a bad job, but because either an unavoidable conflict with a colleague, miserable working conditions or an incorrigible boss ruined the job. There is no point in regretting these situations, because they’re well in the past. Learn from them and move on. The best way to move on is with a new job.
The reference essentials
When selecting references, always choose people that will say good or great things about you. The ladder is preferred, however. You want the highest marks you can get. For some jobs that may be a challenge. Often times our resumes hinge on the accomplishments we achieved at one or two jobs. If you take these approaches below, you should have success in at least getting a good employment reference despite a bad boss or bad job.
- Ask a colleague
- Ask a co-worker whom you worked with to recommend your work. This is not the best option, but it’s better than nothing when you need a reference for your top job. The co-worker should be someone you trust, worked closely with and will know your skills. This colleague can even explain how you handled the job well, despite adverse conditions, and answer a question that might have put you on the hot seat about your past job.
- Seek a mid-level manager or supervisor
- Everybody has worked at a job with a head boss who micromanages, controls and demeans. Bad bosses are everywhere. Often coworkers and other supervisors recognize when a boss is bad. Choose your immediate supervisor or even a manager who knows your work but you did not work with closely. This person should be able to explain your accomplishments and talk about your character.
- Seek a former manager or colleague
- Before I go forward, make sure the former manager or colleague does not still hold a grudge against the job. Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer will detract from you when being asked reference questions. You can’t afford to have a person with a negative demeanor threaten your job. But yes, a former manager or colleague can be a good reference even if they are no longer at the job. This person should be able to speak of your best work and your success despite adverse conditions.
- Choose a client
- People often overlook their clients, but a top-tier client that you worked with daily can speak as highly to your success as a manger. A client is not as aesthetically pleasing on a resume, but it will give them an insight into your performance and people skills.
The key nugget of advice to remember about seeking an employment reference from a bad job or bad boss is to be creative. Think outside of the box in searching for people who know your job and can speak for your skills.
No, it’s not career-related at all. It’s something my husband and I do every Fall since moving out here to our little farm.
We put in a big garden in the Spring and then wait for the plants to produce their fruit in the Fall. Bright red cherry tomatoes, Roma & Big Boy tomatoes, zucchini, perfectly wonderful sweet onions, juicy green peppers, spicy hot jalapeno and serrano peppers, pumpkins, and squash (to name a few).
Since I’ve always loved salsa and dabbled with making my own with different recipes, I knew that canning salsa was for me.
Did you know that the process of “canning” dates back to the 1800’s? Napolean Bonaparte was concerned about keeping his armies fed, so he offered a cash prize to whoever could come up with a preserving method to keep food fresh. After dabbling for 15 years, a fellow named Nicholas Appert came up with the idea of preserving the food in bottles, like wine. Later came experimentations with extreme heat, airtight containers, and tin containers until a process was cemented and perfected.
That brings us back to this morning. My husband and I (he’s my canning partner!) got everything ready and then began the process of blanching the tomatoes, the least pleasant part of the process. Peeling the skin off of scalding hot tomatoes is time consuming and HOT!
Then the fun part begins!
We take all of our ingredients that we had already chopped or processed in the food processor and mix them into the pans in equal parts. Then we keep adding hot peppers. Taste, then add more peppers. Taste, then add more. It seems like it is never hot enough.
After a while of testing, our taste buds seem to go numb from all the Capsaicin. Finally, we have to call in THE EXPERTS to tell us if it is getting spicy or not.
They usually tell us ‘No’.
By the time we finished, we had gotten 30 jars out of the process. We usually put up about 80-100 jars a year, much of it given away to friends and family. I love doing it, regardless of the steamy kitchen, tomato-splattered appliances and clothes, and burning mouths. I love the way the house smells when all of the veggies are cooking together combined with that spicy smell of peppers, vinegar and salt.
Later, my mom and sister stopped by and we opened up a jar, sat down with tortilla chips, talked and ate. See? That is the other thing about food, it brings together family and friends.
If you are thinking about canning salsa and want some tips or have questions… I’m not a pro or anything, but will help if I can.
I see/hear lots of people debating about “objectives” versus “career summaries” on resumes.
For those of you who don’t know the difference, here is a quick explanation.
Starting back in the stone ages, when a person created their resume (typed, written by hand, chiseled with a sharp stone and slate, etc.) they would typically start the resume with an objective statement like this:
“Objective- to obtain a challenging position where I can utilize my skills with a company that provides opportunity for growth“. Or something similar. What exactly is this telling the employer? “What can you do for me? How much will you pay me?”
It’s important to remember the main thing when creating your resume… it is not what the company can do for you, it’s what you can do for the company! Frankly, when a hiring person is going through a stack of resumes, they really aren’t caring what your goals in life are, or how you would like the company to open up opportunities for you. You have to prove to them that you are there to HELP THEM. Remember, it’s not about you. It is the first thing the reader will see, and I guarantee that you will NOT leave a lasting impression. Your resume will most likely end up in the circular file.
An objective statement by itself doesn’t do that.
A career summary explains what it is that you can do for the company, what your expertise is in, your brand, your strengths. All of these things tell the employer that you can DO THIS FOR THEM. If the career summary is followed by bulleted keywords, keyword action phrases, core competencies, etc., even better. The first half of the page is the area that gets looked at and decided upon instantly. Better to pack a punch. Here is an example of an effective career summary:
“Dynamic executive leadership career in international, billion dollar organizations with a rich mix of finance, operations, internal/external processes, technical savvy and business development. Intimate knowledge of financial processes, operating results and profitability. Expert in executing team-driven process improvements to increase revenue growth operational efficiency, and overall profitability. Executive MBA. Expertise in:
*Financial & Procurement Controls
*International Sourcing, Operations & Finance
*Contract Negotiations & Procurement Controls
*Technology & Process Implementation
*Strategic & Financial Planning
*Start Ups, Turnaround & Revitalization”
Much better, more impactful, don’t you think?
Now, I have seen (and written) some resumes where it says something like, “Objective-Executive Finance Position” that was followed by a career summary. In that case, it was/is more like an introduction to the person, their brand, and the position they want.
Go over your resume thoroughly and remove/rewrite your objective so that it is speaking to the employer telling them what you can do for them. Replace it with a fresh and dynamic career summary. You need to sell yourself on your resume and a one liner objective isn’t going to do it.
Editor’s Note: I love anything written by Jack Canfield. He inspires millions with his “Success Principles” and “Dream Big Collection” (which I personally own and attribute to my own successes). I love this article because it is so basic and yet so many people still don’t get it. I know that I always found myself working harder for the boss who thanked me, or occasionally acknowledged my extra efforts. It only takes a second, but a simple ‘thank you’ can impact someone’s life forever.
That being said, I figured rather than refer to almost every area of the article in a separate post, I would add the entire thing here. Enjoy– and thank someone today.
Practice Uncommon Appreciation
by Jack Canfield
A recent management study revealed that 46% of employees leaving a company do so because they feel unappreciated; 61% said their bosses don’t place much importance on them as people; and 88% said they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work they do.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, teacher, parent, coach or simply a friend, if you want to be successful with other people, you must master the art of appreciation.
I’ve never known anyone to complain about receiving too much positive feedback. Have you? In fact, just the opposite is true.
Consider this: Every year, a management consulting firm conducts a survey with 200 companies on the subject on what motivates employees. When given a list of 10 possible things that would most motivate them, the employee always list appreciation as the number-one motivator.
Managers and supervisors ranked appreciation number eight. This is a major mismatch, as the chart below so clearly shows.
10 Ways to Really Motivate an Employee
Notice that the top three motivators for employees don’t cost anything, just a few moments of time, respect and understanding.
When I first learned about the power of appreciation, it made total sense to me. However, it was still something that I forgot to do. I hadn’t yet turned it into a habit.
A valuable technique that I employed to help me lock in this new habit was to carry a 3” x 5” card in my pocket all day, and every time I acknowledged and appreciated someone, I would place a check mark on the card. I would not allow myself to go to bed until I had appreciated 10 people. If it was late in the evening and I didn’t have 10 check marks, I would appreciate my wife and children, I would send an e-mails to several of my staff, or I would write a letter to my mother or stepfather.
I did whatever it took until it became an unconscious habit. I did this every single day for 6 months—until I no longer needed the card to remind me.
Appreciation as a Secret of Success
Another important reason for being in a state of appreciation as often as possible is that when you are in such a state, you are in one of the highest emotional states possible.
When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on, and complaining about, what you don’t have. Your focus is on what you have received… and you always get more of what you focus on.
And because the law of attraction states that like attracts like, the more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract, and even more to be grateful for. It becomes an upward-spiraling process of ever-increasing abundance that just keeps getting better and better.
Think about it. The more grateful people are for the gifts we give them, the more inclined we are to give them more gifts. Their gratitude and appreciation reinforces our giving. The same principle holds true on a universal and spiritual level as it does on an interpersonal level.
I challenge you to discover ways to immediately appreciate someone in your life, starting today!
For more tips and suggestions on how you, too, can find ways to appreciate those in your life, read Principle 53 in The Success Principles.
© 2009 Jack Canfield
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Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com
Editors Note: Kristi Musgrave is a colleague and friend of mine, as well as today’s Guest Blogger. She has oodles of management experience as well as interesting stories to share. Enjoy!
“I’m laid off?”
I couldn’t believe it. I had worked for a large biopharmaceutical manufacturer for six years. I loved my job. I worked up from a temporary employee in the Microbiology Lab to the Laboratory Supervisor, and ultimately the Quality Operations Manager. During that time the plant had developed into a very successful manufacturing operation. But now we were closing. I understood the financial reasons behind the decision but it was a shock. Now I had a decision to make, do I stay with the company and transfer to one of the other facilities or do I end up laid off?
I was laid off and it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.
Being laid off was the beginning of completely different part of my life. It gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and career goals. As a result, my husband I simplified parts of our lives and learned to live with less, I added a new job title “Mom”, and I changed careers.
Just like most major events in our lives this was a learning experience for me. I learned about different resources I never knew about, programs for free training, extended unemployment benefits, and free career counseling.I even learned that I could happily live without some of the extras I had become use to.
So, what did I specifically do to make this a successful transition? Here are a few things to consider doing after being laid off:
- Take advantages of all unemployment benefits available – In addition to the standard number of weeks of unemployment pay, some states offer extended paid benefits in certain circumstance. There are also state funded programs for free training. Displaced workers who qualify for the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) program can receive a variety of benefits and services, including job training, income support, job search and relocation allowances, a tax credit to help pay the costs of health insurance, and a wage supplement to certain reemployed trade-affected workers 50 years of age and older. That is just one example of the many programs available.
- Evaluate your career goals – This might be something done informally while sitting on the coach at home or more structured with a career counselor. I was able to participate in free career counseling through a local university. Students attempting to complete their master’s degree in counseling are required to complete a number of hours of supervised work prior to finishing their program. I was able to meet with a counselor one on one and discuss my situation. I had access to different career aptitude tests and personality inventories that helped me to better understand what I wanted out of a career and offered career suggestions.
- Streamline your life – Once we found out about the layoff we looked for ways to eliminate all the unnecessary extras that slowly drained money from our budget. We cancelled our satellite service. Since we live in the “country” this meant no television. This is something we talked about doing but just didn’t have the guts to do it. We also eliminated home phone service since we both already had cell phones. We cut grocery bills, drove the more fuel efficient vehicle instead of the newer less efficient one, and opted for home cooked meals instead of carry out. We looked for ways to make ourselves less dependent on two full time incomes.
- Look for nontraditional opportunities – In addition to looking for jobs similar to the one I had, I looked for jobs with alternate work arrangements, flexible schedules, and home based opportunities. I even identified several jobs that I could do where the combined income would be similar to what I made before.
Being laid off can be difficult, but it can also be a time for reevaluating what’s important to you and making some changes in your life and career. For me the end result is a job that I enjoy and more time doing the things that I love.
It’s that time of year again, folks!
September is International Update Your Résumé Month, officially proclaimed by Career Directors International (CDI). During the entire month, CDI members will dedicate their efforts to boosting industry awareness and encouraging the public to update their own résumés.
Since most careers require a résumé in order to gain employment, it’s important that job seekers take a proactive approach in order to be ready for any and all opportunities that crop up. Too often people try to write a résumé at the last minute, which is the worst time to prepare a document that needs to be perfect. A well-crafted résumé takes time and research, and Update Your Résumé Month is a perfect reminder to be prepared for new opportunities.