JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Zen and the Art of Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jul 20, 2011 7:01:00 AM

 executive job search - poise and power 

As I was driving home Sunday from a weekend away, I tuned into an NPR interview on the radio. He was taking about stress-free productivity. Something job seekers need desperately! Along with everyone else practically! His ideas sounded oddly familiar...

Yes, it was David Allen of Getting Things Done fame. I'd read it years ago - it's a classic in the field of personal organization - and used the system for awhile, then fell away (alas, the end of most good intentions). But his words about having too many different kinds of things to do on our minds causing significant stress resonated big time for me.

So I pulled out my iPad when I got home and did what he said to do: take everything on your mind and write it down in a way that makes sense to you. And then have a system for checking it and also for continuing to enter anything that is a to-do and that preys on your mind. I used Notes but there are lots of apps I will explore. (Put that on my list!)

OK, I did that. The rewards Allen promises are valuable: the ability to be highly productive and react in perfectly appropriate ways to stressors. He describes the "mind like water" that martial arts practitioners use for perfect readiness and power. 

I think daily pauses (mini meditations if you like) for deep breathing and contemplation of a serene image (water receding from the beach, then rolling in again, for instance - my image) help get us into that frame of mind of poised readiness and response.

Looking for your next job involves a myriad of things to do and keep track of: executive resumes sent, personal branding initiatives, targeted cover letters written, networks contacted, appointments planned and kept, research on companies, interviews planned and attended - all with various schedules and levels of importance. What better time to apply Allen's ideas?

The Zen job search would be one conducted with full confidence that you had the bases covered and WRITTEN DOWN according to your system, so that you can act from a place of calm productivity.

The Zen interview is when you can bring a mind open and a readiness to respond to the interviewer with calm interest, quiet confidence, generous openness to the other person, and keen listening (to hear the subtext of questions), and make an appropriate on-brand response that speaks to the employer's needs. A Zen mind is also ready to ask insightful questions and proactively project its personal brand in appropriate ways into the conversation. 

So, "mind like water," T.S. Eliot's "the still point in the turning world," and Yeats' "I hear lake water lapping, with low sounds by the shore." Now we are ready. Bring it on.

 

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, interview style, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, executive job search, Job Interviews, personal brands, career brand, salary negotiation, salary negotiations, job interview, power of attraction

Make $7000 to $30,000 by Making ONE Resume Change

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 28, 2011 9:44:00 AM

Ever wondered about how to handle the One Resume Change to Increase Your Salarynegotiations with an employer over a job offer? Most people just wing it and leave money on the table.There are some great books out there about how to optimize the offer. One key tip is to never be the first to put out a specific number. But I'm not going to talk about salary negotiation strategy as commonly understood today.

I'm going to talk about something that is usually not considered an important factor in salary negotiation, but I have found to be incredibly powerful. And that is the impact of a clearly defined value proposition in your resume and your LinkedIn Profile. Here are two stories.

Job Seeker One: A senior engineer got a job after only three weeks of job hunting with his new resume. (I am disguising information about this person to protect confidentiality.) He'd been searching with his old resume for a year with no luck, in part because he had switched to another field for a few years and wanted to return to engineering. To overcome that obstacle, we needed a really strong value proposition and we developed one. It was the reason he was asked for several interviews and had an offer from an industry-leading company right out of the gate.

He didn't love the compensation packaged offered - it was in the middle of the range for his position. He contacted me and I merely suggested that he point to the value prop in the resume. He did so and was offered $7,000/year more along with a full relocation package.

Job Seeker 2: An IT consultant (employee) got a job after only a couple of months of searching with his new resume. He'd had no success search with his old resume for about a year. We had spelled out his value proposition VERY CLEARLY in his resume. He received and accepted an offer at $30,000 more a year.

What's a value proposition in a resume look like? Here's one part of the engineer's value prop:

"Enabled identification of potentially catastrophic failures early in the product life cycle, thus reducing risk, slashing remedial costs downstream, and avoiding billions of dollars in possible losses from warranty claims."

Here's just one cell in a value table from the IT consultant's resume:

"As a result of (here I included a grid of personal attributes and impacts), the consulting firm gains contract extensions, more referrals, improved consultant billing & higher revenues."

If you were an employer, wouldn't you want the $$ results these people have proven they can provide? Your resume is a golden opportunity to turn your career gold into actual currency. Don't miss your chance!

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, executive job search, salary negotiation, salary negotiations, compensation

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