Do You Have What it Takes to Lead in the Professional World?

In every situation in life there are leaders and followers. While the leaders often take the grandest recognition, being a follower isn’t always a bad thing. Also, being a leader doesn’t always mean you’re the boss, manager or supervisor at your job. Natural born leaders have a few character traits, many of which you may have, as well. Many of these traits come naturally; however, you can also work to hone these character traits.

Lack of Ego

It may seem like common sense to assume natural leaders have large egos. This can’t be further from the truth, however. Natural leaders are able to suppress their own egos and make things work as a team. They are the best team players out there, and able to give recognition to other team members without trying to steal someone’s thunder. They are confident and able to offer ideas and support throughout projects. Some may confuse self-confidence with a large ego.

Communication

Natural leaders have an innate ability to communicate every detail, making sure everyone is on the same page. They will also use their communication skills to find out what others want and any issues going on with a project or work environment. Their communication skills also make them great listeners.

Standing Ground

Conflicts arise in everyday life, including at work. A conflict may arise with a fellow worker or with a client. Natural born leaders are able to tolerate conflict in a way that shows they won’t back down; however, they’re not often bullies during a conflict. Their ability to effectively communicate comes into effect during conflict. They won’t run from it, and they will go after what they want, but they will not snake or sneak to get it.

Transparency and Integrity

While there are stories of deceitful people making it big in the professional world, natural born leaders have unrivaled integrity. They are honest and transparent, allowing them to be fully trusted by coworkers, supervisors, clients and, well, everyone. Besides honesty, integrity also includes doing things the right way, giving credit where it’s due and owning up to mistakes.

Conclusion

Do you have these qualities? Are you looking to move up professionally and develop these skills to become a leader? While these traits are typically natural, there are a few you can work on to more fully develop your leadership skills. For example, many people avoid conflict, but you can stand your ground (even if it takes practice doing so). You can also work on your ability to communicate your feelings and desires in the workplace without overstepping your boundaries.

8 Hiring & Resume Trends Every Executive Needs to Know

Resume and hiring trends can confuse even executives, especially when they are getting advice from multiple sources, and some information may contradict what others are saying. So what data can you depend on?

Career Directors International created a Global Hiring Trends report after surveying professionals worldwide for their insights and preferences, and brought context and relevance to the data contained therein.

Here are a few insights from that report regarding resumes and hiring that can help executives be more successful in job search.

1.         What is the preference of executive resume length? 33% preferred 2-page resumes and thought they were sufficient length, while 37% reported that length was not an issue as long as the document included relevant information. The 1-page resume only received a vote of 6% of professionals surveyed.

2.         Would you eliminate an executive candidate from consideration based on the resume length not meeting your preference? 58% of the people surveyed said ‘no,’ 21.5% said ‘maybe,’ and 5% said ‘yes.’ All agreed that page length was not as much of an issue for executives as long as the content showcased what the executive could do for the company through their achievements and experiences.

3.         If a recruiter or hiring manager received a 1-page “brief” executive resume, but it was accompanied by stand-alone “success story” career summaries, how likely would they be to read them? The majority (59%) said they would likely read the success stories – so executives might want to consider adding examples of their skills and experience to capitalize on the opportunity to provide additional information. To be fair, 26% said they would not read additional material and didn’t have time to read multiple pieces of paper.

4.         How often are smart phones and mobile devices used to review resumes? Don’t ignore the facts – resumes are reviewed on mobile devices every day! Statistics from 2012 show that at least 18%, which isn’t sizeable, but that number is growing daily. The question you need to ask yourself: “Is it worth ignoring the preferences of 18+% of hiring authorities and consider the merits of optimizing content for a smaller screen?”

5.         What is the preferred format for receiving resumes? You may have guessed that Microsoft Word is still the preferred format for resumes, at least for 49% of those surveyed. The other half split their preferences with 23% wanting a PDF file and surprisingly, the other 26% stating that the format didn’t matter.

6.         Would a recruiter or hiring professional review video resumes? Even with technology as advanced as we think it is today, only 13% of professionals surveyed said they would review a video resume as part of a candidate’s selection process. That’s a fairly small percentage, so it would be prudent to include all key information in a traditional resume in case the video presentation is not viewed. That being said, if you put the ‘maybes’ together with the 13% of ‘yeses’ you have a combined total of 33%, which might be enough to consider capitalizing on the power of multimedia as an adjunct to a traditional resume.

7.         Do recruiters or hiring professionals “Google” or search other social media before deciding to interview a qualified candidate?58% of people surveyed said they ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ check out candidates online before calling them for an interview. Be aware that your digital footprint is becoming more important and can impact your career positively or negatively.

8.         If a recruiter or hiring professional sees negative information online, would that affect their decision to interview an executive or make a job offer? Well, 57% say that if they found negative information about a potential candidate they would commence further investigation or consider someone else. Only 5% say that negative online information would not affect their decision.

Emerging trends show that LinkedIn and other social site links are seen as favorable in resumes, while video resumes still seem too risky as a stand-alone submission.

Overall, it was noted that a powerful executive resume should focus primarily on meaningful, targeted content that is easy to grasp, while portraying a clear strategy and brand.

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This post was written by  and was originally seen on Career Hub.

Beyond Work Experience: 4 Qualities Smart Companies Look For In Potential Employees

In today’s competitive job market; more and more people are sacrificing their happiness to find a way to put food on the table.  Many job seekers feel that a ‘less than ideal’ job is better than no job and send their resumes to every company with a job listing.

However, simply applying to every job that you are qualified for may not be the best way to go about a job search.  Employers are putting a much higher emphasis on “fit” in interviews and looking at factors that go well beyond benchmarks on a resume.  Identifying qualified candidates who fit in with their company culture can help them avoid hiring mistakes and ensure that they hire the right person, not just the right resume.

Conversely, being a perfect fit for a company’s culture can be a great way for a candidate to stand out from the herd or overcome potential deficiencies in other areas of their resume or portfolio.

Values

In many companies – especially smaller ones – bringing on a new employee can feel like adding a member to the family.  Knowing that he or she will get along with their co-workers is extremely important.  Companies – big and small – are building a more open, friendly, and identifiable culture. Very rarely will interviewers want the absolute best candidate IF that candidate is hard to be around.  Skills can be honed, but values and behavior is much more difficult to change.

Attitude

To borrow an old sports adage, “Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard”.  Maybe it’s trite, but that doesn’t make it less true.  Employers want to know that you take pride in your work and are, not only willing to learn, but eager to grow as a professional.  Generally, companies don’t want to hire a “full-book” so to speak, they want to know you are not coming into the the interview (or job) with a know-it-all mentality.  No one truly knows it all, so don’t even bother pretending.

Vision/Ambition

This is often a place that employers separate the wheat from the chaff when vetting candidates.  They typically don’t want someone who views the position as ‘just a job’ or ‘just a stepping stone’.  Employers want someone who is interested and invested in the company itself.  Just don’t let your ambition get too far beyond the scope of the position you are being interviewed for.

Environment

Different companies have vastly different work environments ranging from open and collaborative to cubicle laden and shut off.  Not everyone can thrive in every environment and employers are fully aware of it.   For instance, some personality types are easily distracted in a fun, loud, and creative office, while others feed off of it.  If a candidate has experience and has excelled in a similar environment to what the employer offers, they may get a leg up in an interview.

The amount of weight put into these aspects of fit will certainly differ from employer to employer.  When searching for a job, doing a little bit of research, choosing companies with clearly laid out culture, and crafting a resume to match that culture can be the difference between an applicant and new hire.

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Brian Beltz writes and coordinates outreach for the Law Offices of Kyle T. Green, a small Arizona law firm. He has been involved in both sides of the hiring process in companies both large and small.

This post was originally seen on the Simply Hired Blog.
Read more on the Simply Hired Blog: http://blog.simplyhired.com/2013/08/beyond-work-experience-4-qualities-smart-companies-look-for-in-potential-employees.html#ixzz2dqgqyJIP

How Career Coaching Can Help You Find the Right Job

 *This article was originally seen on Simply Hired. Kenya McCullum is a freelance writer based in California.

In recent years, it seems that the American workforce has become increasingly unhappy in the office. In fact, according to the “2013 State of the American Workplace Report” recently released by Gallup, about 70 percent of U.S. employees do not feel engaged or fulfilled in their work. Even more stunning is the fact that 18 percent of the workers Gallup surveyed reported to being so unhappy with their jobs that they actively try to undermine their employers in some way.

While workers who don’t want to suffer in silence may find a way out of a job that makes them miserable, if they take the first position that comes along, they run the risk of ending up in the same place they started — same disengagement, different company. But in this day and age, how can you really find a job that keeps you engaged and makes you happy?

Whether you’re thinking of transitioning into a new career or want to make the most of your current career, a good place to start is by finding out what your passion is and figuring out how that passion translates into a career. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and though we’re often told to follow our bliss, we have to find our bliss first.

That’s where a career coach can help.

“Oftentimes people think about coaching as only reaching out to it when you’re in dire need. Although coaching can help you work through and overcome obstacles, it’s really important to know that you’re the source of the answers and a coach can help you to unlock them,” said certified career coach Sheila Boysen-Rotelli of Professional Success Coaching. “A lot of times, it really comes from a place where you feel like maybe you’re a little bit stuck, and you’ve gone as far as you can on your own, so you need a little more support to get to that next level of success.”

But what is a career coach, and how can a coach help you attain that next level of success?

Boysen-Rotelli says that although coaching can be defined in many different ways, career coaches generally help you get into the right mindset to go after the type of job you want, while giving you the tools you need to impress potential employers when those perfect opportunities do come along.

Finding the right career coach for you

Anyone can put up a shingle and offer career coaching services, but that doesn’t mean they all have the experience needed to help you reach your career goals — or any experience at all for that matter. Since there is no licensing process associated with career coaching, it can be hit and miss when you’re looking for a qualified coach.

“Unfortunately, we’re at a point right now where a lot of people market themselves as a lot of different things, but they don’t necessarily have the education to back it up,” Boysen-Rotelli said. “A lot of folks are marketing themselves as a coach, even though that’s not completely what they’re doing.”

For example, Boysen-Rotelli says that some people who call themselves career coaches are basically selling their advice and promising solutions to their clients’ problems that they are not qualified to deliver. One way to avoid those who overpromise and under deliver is to search for qualified coaches on websites run by professional coaching organizations. For example, theInternational Coach Federation (ICF) not only provides a list of its members to consumers, it also offers credentials to coaches that certify their expertise and experience in the field.

But just because a coach has experience doesn’t mean that coach is right for you. It’s also important that you’re compatible with the coach you choose because you will be delving into many personal issues when working together. Once you find coaches who have the professional chops to get the job done, you should also get a free consultation with them before making your choice — which will help you find the one you feel most comfortable with.

What to expect from career coaching

Although all coaches have a different process, Boysen-Rotelli says that the following are some of the things you may experience when going to a coach.

Setting expectations. During the initial meeting with a career coach, you will generally have a discussion to set expectations for the relationship. At that time, you can tell your coach what you hope to get out of the process, and your coach will also let you know what is expected from you, so that you can get the most out of the experience. For example, in order to ensure that her clients have realistic expectations, Boysen-Rotelli stresses that although no coach can promise a client will get a job, she can promise to help clients gain valuable tools that will make them more attractive to potential employers.

And coaches should have realistic expectations as well, Boysen-Rotelli says. While the ultimate goal of coaching is to help clients find their passion, coaches realize that in today’s economy, clients may be more concerned about paying the bills first.

“It’s challenging right now to find something new and not everyone’s in a position where they can spend months and months exploring their passion,” she said. “From a sustainability standpoint, they need to find the next paycheck before they can do that — and that’s understandable. But what you eventually want to get to is the place where you’re finding a way to marry up your passion and your livelihood.”

Assessments. Boysen-Rotelli gives her clients the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory assessment tests in order to help find job options that will make them feel most happy and fulfilled. This is an important starting point in her relationship with clients, as it helps her understand what’s important to them and how their personalities fit with certain careers.

One of the most important aspects of coaching, says Boysen-Rotelli, is the clients’ ability to make mental breakthroughs that will help them gain the success they’re looking for. In order to do that, she assigns homework exercises to her clients that require them to reflect on where they want to go and how they can get there.

“I find that in most coaching engagements, homework really is a big part of it,” she said. “I think a lot of people have the misconception that coaching is about going to this sage, wise person who is going to tell them exactly what they need to do to be successful. But that’s not exactly what coaching is. Really the client’s the one doing all the hard work, and homework is a big part of that.”

All careers have their ups and downs, but if you’re experiencing the downs and not the ups, there’s always a chance you’re simply in the wrong career. More likely, though, you just need some direction and advice to find the career that’s right for you and understand what it takes to thrive in that career.

10 Tips to Improve Verbal Communication in Your Job Search

This post was originally seen on Career Rocketeer and was written by Perry Newman.

Every situation you are in during a job search requires verbal communication so here are some pointers to improve your ability to communicate with others when networking, at a job fair, in a job interview etc.

1) When preparing an “elevator speech” and responses to questions you anticipate being asked during an interview carefully contemplate what you want to say and how you will say it and then consider if it is useful or useless information. Then go over it again to make sure the response is as succinct as possible in getting your point across.

2) Make an effort to know as much as possible about the background, feelings, and knowledge base of the people you speak to because the responses you get are greatly influenced by these factors.

3) During an interview, or when questioned by someone you want to network, avoid speaking in generalizations and speak directly to the question, topic or idea at hand. This will earn you more respect than trying to be evasive.

4) Be genuine. People want to know your opinions so make sure they understand what you have to say [without overkill] before yielding the floor or moving on to a new question or topic.

5) Speak clearly, pleasantly, and with confidence, and throw in a smile or two every so often to make the listener feel he or she is a part of the conversation.

6) If you’re a natural with humor don’t be afraid to use it. People are comfortable with someone who can make them chuckle. Tactful humor in the right situation is OK.

7) Listening is the key element of communication. You can’t respond appropriately if you fail to hear what the other person has to say; especially when it comes to reading the tone, nuances and body language between the lines. When someone else is speaking listen closely with the intention of grasping what they have to say without focusing your mind on formulating an immediate reply.

8) Show that you are interested in what’s being said by others. You can do this in two ways, by asking the right questions at the right time and by making regular eye contact.

9) Conversely pay attention to what you shouldn’t do. Don’t rush, interrupt, or finish the other person’s sentences, or come across as always in the right.

10) Watch your body language. Too much fidgeting, tapping your pen or fingers, eye rolling, or making exasperated faces show that you don’t care what someone is saying.

As always, I’m available to critique U.S. resumes and offer suggestions to you at no cost. You can send me an email with your current resume to perry@perrynewman.com

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Perry Newman CPC/CSMS is a nationally-recognized career services professional; an executive resume writer and career transition coach, certified social media strategist, AIPC certified recruiter and charter member of the Career Rocketeer team. Passionate about all things related to career management, Perry has been critiquing Career Rocketeer readers’ resumes at no cost since 2009. For a complimentary critique, email your resume to perry@perrynewman.com.