YES Career Services http://www.yescareerservices.com Job Search and Career Advancement Solutions Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:11:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Who Must Know YOUR brand? http://www.yescareerservices.com/personal-branding-your-career-value-add/ http://www.yescareerservices.com/personal-branding-your-career-value-add/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 18:32:38 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1542 Just this week, I presented an interactive seminar, Personal Brand: Your Career Value-Add to dozens of international postdoctoral and MBA graduate students at NC State University. I was asked by the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs as part...

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Just this week, I presented an interactive seminar, Personal Brand: Your Career Value-Add to dozens of international postdoctoral and MBA graduate students at NC State University. I was asked by the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs as part of the university’s professional development series.

Personal branding is a vast topic, with about 49 million results when the term is Googled. Whereas ‘corporate brand’ and ’employer brand’ yield an average of 26 million hits.

After my introductory story about beginning my career as a technical recruiter and finding ways to make my hiring managers STAND OUT (remember, this was 1997 and clearly an employee’s market), I orchestrated the launch of the first class exercise.

I directed the class to break out into ‘pods’ and then collaborate to answer one question:

“Share views and ideas and come up with one sentence to answer the question, What is a brand?”

As I walked around the room to listen to the conversations develop, I became excited to hear some really key words get expressed. “Unique!” “Emotional!” “Promise!” The groups synergized and after about 10 minutes I had them present their best efforts to the rest of the group. Here is what I captured:

  • A marketing tool/concept that distinguishes the recognizable uniqueness of me from others
  • Way of differentiation through invoked emotion
  • An image or essence that is progressively built through experience
  • A carefully created campaign which serves as a memory trigger to make audience feel emotional toward the brand
  • A unique and memorable technical and emotional connection
  • A differentiator or modifier that makes you unique and connects with your target audience
  • Easily recognizable name/logo that conveys personality, image, and reputation

As the groups elaborated on their responses, I found it interesting how the groups each came up with such different perspectives and yet all accurate definitions. ‘Brand’ for them meant different things, depending on their collective pod or individual perspectives. Tough to put a finger on a ‘one size fits all’ definition for this diverse group!

We next moved to specific brands. I flashed different logos on the big screen…asking the group to shout out the product or service name as soon as they knew it.

 

Pepsi

 

PEPSI!!!” The class clearly delighted in this visual.

 

 

 

Mercedes

“Mercedes…” Easily recognizable by nearly all in the room.

Then…this one:

Girl Scouts of America

It took a realizable hesitation, and then some of the class murmured, “Girl Scouts.”

‘What happened to the recognition?” I asked the class…”What didn’t you all shout it out as loudly as with the first two?”

Participants indicated they either did not remember where they had seen the logo before or had never seen it before.

The answer to this was hit upon by one of the more active participants when he said, “Because Girl Scouts is for young women and girls and many of us here are not women and so we are not the intended target audience for the brand.”

BINGO!

The balance of the class explored the building of a cache of attributes, skills, and soft skills which may be analyzed and considered and communicated toward a select target audience in a specific Unique Proposition of Value. A truly concerted effort in these and other areas of ‘brand discovery’ is the first step in unearthing your personal brand.

The seminar participants agreed that they learned that:

  • Like the Girl Scouts realize, it doesn’t not matter if your message does not reach the world. We cannot be ALL things to ALL people, we want to be ‘selectively famous’ in OUR world (either profession, industry, or geography).
  • Once a brand message is identified, it must be clearly and consistently conveyed their brand message to that audience.
  • That great brands elicit emotional responses to their name, logo, or some other representation (think Oprah Winfrey, Mother Teresa, Tiger Woods).

Don’t wait, get started and understand what your brand is and how others view you. It’s the first step to discovering your personal brand! You’ll also love these free tools to gauge your online identity!

Live Brand YOU!

Branding Wordle

Kelly Welch, Chief Brand Strategist and president of YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, is certified as: Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, Leadership and Career Management Coach, Online Identity Strategist, and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her corporate and private clients rebrand and position themselves for unbridled success.

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Be a Mentor: Part 2 of, ‘Seek a Mentor, Be a Mentor’ (a 2-part series) http://www.yescareerservices.com/be-mentor/ Fri, 27 Jan 2012 04:23:57 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1382 (click to read part 1 of Seek a Mentor, Be a Mentor) Be a Mentor Be a mentor. Why? If you are into ‘karma’, consider that what comes around, goes around. If you think ‘karma’ is too airy-fairy for you, then...

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(click to read part 1 of Seek a Mentor, Be a Mentor)

Be a Mentor

Be a mentor. Why? If you are into ‘karma’, consider that what comes around, goes around. If you think ‘karma’ is too airy-fairy for you, then just know that teaching others is the best way to learn and solve your own problems. Really- it adds another dimension of sustainable learning that is unparalleled.

Becoming a mentor can be very rewarding. Seeing your protégé make excellent decisions and get what they want professionally is fulfilling, and being thanked as a propellant for this success can feel equally amazing.

How to take on a mentee? First, consider success by association. Just as a mentee is looking for successful qualities and results in their mentor, you too should understand what will make you look good in the eyes of those viewing this relationship (and others WILL find out). Get to know someone via projects or other work association, and choose someone with a stable track record, who is eager, modest, appreciative, and passionate about that they do. It is important to select someone who respects you, what you have accomplished, and what you are yet to achieve. Qualities I find excellent in a mentee: curious, loyal, dependable, ethical, hardworking, and not too serious. For me, this fosters an honest communication which can grow with our careers and lives!

Be certain that you are able to commit to the time it takes to mentor a protege: Now, there is no ‘rule’ for this. My advice in this area is to be there for your mentee whenever they need you and to honor all of your commitments. You are somewhat in the spotlight as mentor, because your mentee will want to honor you with lots of praise and will tell others if they have a positive experience.

How to succeed as a mentor: Give sound options when prompted, sage advice as needed, and wholehearted attention and support always, and you will give a gift of immeasurable and unforgettable importance in the career and life of your mentee.

My favorite mentor: Personally, I have different mentors and coaches. I consider my closest mentor one who I can count on with sacred fears or doubts, joyful news and wins, and for grounded reflection and opinion on even my most whimsical ideas! I trust her implicitly and I love her as a friend. She’s very ethical, super-smart, wise, and a little zany. Our relationship is so very special and I do treasure it!

Think, who can you be a mentor to? Perhaps someone already in your life, or a person in your organization, professional association, or social baseball team. Seek a mentee for a more professionally fulfilling 2012 and remember, what comes around, goes around!

Kelly Welch founder and president of YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, is certified as: Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, Leadership and Career Management Coach, Online Identity Strategist, and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her corporate and private clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

 

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Seek a Mentor: Part 1 of, ‘Seek a Mentor, Be a Mentor’ (a 2-part series) http://www.yescareerservices.com/need-mentor-find-mentor/ http://www.yescareerservices.com/need-mentor-find-mentor/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2012 04:59:36 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1376 Seek a Mentor *Coincidental to my writing this series, the Harvard Business Review lists ‘getting a mentor’ as the number one resolution that aspiring leaders should make!  Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders If you’re serious about making wise decisions and improving your current position in your...

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Seek a Mentor

*Coincidental to my writing this series, the Harvard Business Review lists ‘getting a mentor’ as the number one resolution that aspiring leaders should make!  Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders

If you’re serious about making wise decisions and improving your current position in your organization, it’s time to consider a mentor.  So who exactly is a mentor? A cross between an ancient sage and a cool older brother? For all of you professionals, this is close, but not exactly. A mentor is a friend and a counselor who can be trusted. It’s usually a known and experienced advisor who shares wisdom and knowledge with a less experienced colleague.

What exactly will this mentor do? For you personally, a mentor will give you the “real deal” on how to steer and promote yourself within your company. Mentors may also share their personal influence, which can help you gain exposure and relationships. They can help you navigate the specifics of your organization with particular individuals inside and outside of the firm. Advice and assistance is especially valuable in that mentors are able to help you get included in meetings and work groups you are not typically involved. Mentors can help you develop a career strategy and help you understand your organization better.

Mentors are a career imperative! To navigate your career with success, to network, to draw the paths to your goals, mentors can help. Often, people seek mentors when they’re fresh out of college and new. I say that mentors are invaluable for anyone, whether they are looking to revive their current role, or seeking a promotion.

I advise my clients to seek a mentor and be a mentor.

First, seek a mentor. If you are interested in finding the right mentor, start looking at individuals in other parts of your organization. Understand who is there. Find out what they do, what their job is, who they influence and what other professional activities they participate in. Do your research and know why you are genuinely interested in them as mentor(s).

To approach a potential mentor, it might be helpful to start off by saying, “Can I buy you a cup of coffee and get ten minutes of your time? I’d appreciate hearing your point of view on the organization. Your perspective would be really beneficial to me.”

(Don’t be discouraged if they say no. Find another target.)

Where should you hold your meetings? I prefer meeting on neutral turf. Maybe the company campus early before work, a private conference room, an offsite location like Starbucks, even by phone.

What should you talk about? Come prepared with topics to explore, proposed solutions to problems you are facing, and questions. It is not the mentor’s job to be your solution, but instead to act as sounding board and guide for you.

Gaining momentum: After your initial meeting, you can ask, “Would you mind if I called you again in a couple of months?” You can do this a couple of times and tell him or her that you appreciate the time spent as your mentor. Express gratitude! Your mentor is investing in you.

A quality mentor will communicate, be respectful, honor a covenant of confidentiality, and provide thoughtful feedback. For your part, you should arrive on time when meeting (duh!), keep the relationship sacred, and be loyal. Hand-written thank you notes go a long way and are highly encouraged.

Be honest and appreciative, and your mentor will delight in your successes! Make a commitment today that you will create a short list of possible mentors to approach for 2012. Who will you ask?

Kelly Welch founder and president of YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, is certified as: Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, Leadership and Career Management Coach, Online Identity Strategist, and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her corporate and private clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Leadership as Equilateral Triangle http://www.yescareerservices.com/leadership-off-basketball-court/ Wed, 12 Oct 2011 18:21:36 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1318 “When I start getting stressed, I go back to the triangle and make sure everything is balanced out…” Due to NCAA regulations, all names have either been deleted or fictionalized to negate any possibility that this post is in any...

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“When I start getting stressed, I go back to the triangle and make sure everything is balanced out…”

Due to NCAA regulations, all names have either been deleted or fictionalized to negate any possibility that this post is in any way endorsed by the people or entities about which it was inspired and written. This fictionalization does not change the power of the message I want to share with you, my readers.

As part of the annual Walk to School Day, students from the AB Combs Leadership Elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina walked along with teachers, staff administration, parents, siblings, WoolEBull (the Durham Bulls mascot), the Struttin’ Wolf mascot, plus our own Al E. Gator.

The walk commenced in an assembly, where the remainder of the school joined in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater area to listen to the rocking sounds of the Athens Drive High School band.

Some 900 people attended the assembly where students and teachers were honored for various accomplishments. Pride and spirit was at a collective high.

Just then, a special guest speaker was announced. Jane Doe (not her real name) is a junior at Team Spirit College (not the school’s real name). She plays woman’s basketball. But that morning, she touched lives and inspired us all with her strengths as a relator and achiever!

Jane took the microphone from principal intern Erin Swanson; she resembled an unassuming young woman who was ready to hit the courts for practice. Her hair was casually tossed into a messy bun, and she wore shorts and a Team Spirit College sweatshirt…hardly the sign of a professional authority. Then she began to speak directly to the audience of elementary students. Instantly, she connected with them by asking focused questions and getting them to participate.

The girlish basketball star then began to take on a more serious and proud tone. She discussed her journey to where she is today from where she has come. As she told her story, it became crystal clear that this was no ordinary college sophomore. In her young 20 years, Jane has displayed more drive, more goal setting and achievement, more ambition, more maturity, and more confidence than most any adult I have ever known. She lives her life defining goals, beginning with the end in mind, constantly prioritizing, and putting first things first. Below, I will paraphrase the points of her awesome talk from my memory:

  • As a girl, I showed great talent and promise in my home town. In middle school, I wanted to play basketball, and dreamed about playing in high school.
  • More than playing ball in high school, I wanted to play varsity ball. This was my singular goal and I worked hard and played serious. In my freshman year, I started on the varsity team.
  • That year, I decided that I was going to play basketball at the university level for scholarship. In my sophomore year I received that scholarship to Team Spirit College.
  • Once I joined Team Spirit College, I knew I was there to be an impact player. I was a Freshman All American and won the ACC Freshman of the Year award that year.
  • I knew I wanted to represent the USA playing in a world league. Just two weeks ago I was approached by my coach to represent the USA at one of the (world participating) games.

“The mission at AB Combs elementary is to develop global leaders, one child at a time.”

Next, Jane confides in the audience that she needs a new goal. As our individual minds soared with possibilities, the speaker revealed her newest goal to us that crisp, fall morning. We were all honored to hear that Jane will be “shooting” for another global goal, and that is to play basketball in the Olympics. I speak for the crowd when I tell you that none of us doubted for a second that this would be an imminent achievement for the athlete. Next, Jane Doe mentioned playing for the WNBA. She will get there and as she captured us with her transparency and authentic words, I decided she can have a parallel career as a motivational speaker.

As Jane charmed her audience, we found ourselves cheering for this young heroine with sincere enthusiasm. She spoke of priorities, goals, inner drive, and keeping all of the three key parts of her life in balance. Jane sees her school, her sports, and her social activities as an equilateral triangle to keep aligned. “When I start getting stressed, I go back to the triangle and make sure everything is balanced out…”

No one side of the triangle is more or less important than the other and in order for her to be at her best, her triangle must be aligned. “I don’t want my triangle to ever be a…a…an (hint from random member of the crowd offers, “isosceles”), and she quickly laughs and affirms that she does not ever want her triangle to be an isosceles triangle. Jane encouraged her listeners, now rapt with attention, to “get to know your teammates as individuals to synergize your efforts, both at work and play.”

Throughout her talk, Jane made it very clear that she works with purpose and passion. She reiterated the keys to her success:

1. Not being satisfied with status quo.

2. Striving and driving to the next level.

3. Maintaining synergy and balance in her “Life Triangle”.

Jane, thank you for bringing inspiration and mentorship to our leadership school. You have created fans for life and we support you from the bottom of our hearts. We felt your genuine care for the mission of our school and the future of our students. Again, you are amazing and thank you for your compelling messages which apply from the kindergarten through all of us adults who heard you that day!!

Kelly Welch founder and president of YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, is certified as: Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, Leadership and Career Management Coach, Online Identity Strategist, and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her corporate and private clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Affecting Behavioral Change: As easy as A-B-C! http://www.yescareerservices.com/affecting-behavioral-change-as-easy-as-abc/ Thu, 15 Sep 2011 02:55:12 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1298 Fresh start. You hear these words, and you might think resolutions, midnight, poppers, New Year’s. Fresh start.  My sons (and maybe your kids) hear these words, and they think lunchboxes, unknown teachers, new friends, different classroom, and back to school....

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Fresh start. You hear these words, and you might think resolutions, midnight, poppers, New Year’s. Fresh start.  My sons (and maybe your kids) hear these words, and they think lunchboxes, unknown teachers, new friends, different classroom, and back to school.

As school kicks into gear and autumn approaches, I knew I had to start started thinking about what I needed to do to get back into gear. I needed to be ready and extra-organized on their behalf. Our whole family was feeling the anxiety as we had slowed down in the summer to recharge, and knew what we would be up against soon.

I have a couple of things that I would like to go differently this year, as I’m sure we all do. Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. So it follows, I am taking action, and there some key things I planned on doing differently this year.

Oh now you are curious… OK, well for one, I have a morning schedule that I had my kids brainstorm on and create. If they build it, they value it. Along those lines, we have a Daily Dinner Plan for the month. Each family member has a ‘day’ and chooses the dinner they want to have for the month (September had 5 weeks, so we each chose 5 different meals). Then, the recipes are saved on my pc. This makes planning and shopping a breeze. I have less stress because I know what to expect, and more money because my planning pays off in lower grocery bills! How have I celebrated? By spending more time with the kids and just reveling in the feeling of a good plan!

Now that you’ve had summer vacation- what are your plans for renewal or change this fall?

▪         What will you do differently? Why?

▪         How will you think differently?

▪         Why is that important to you?

▪         How will you know when you have been successful?

It’s not always easy- things worth working for do take effort-Here are some tips for putting your answers into actions:

1. Be specific. It’s easier to stick to a resolution when you know exactly what you’re doing. Try to be as specific as possible when it comes to articulating your goals. How often do you plan to eat at home? When will you get up each day to exercise? How many new contacts will you make? If you can measure it, you can manage it.

2. Know exactly where you are in the process of reaching your goal. Most of us are already practicing certain behaviors consistent with reaching our goals. We need to recognize this and realizing we’re not “starting from zero” So, re-measuring the distance to “goal-den” glory is more satisfying!

3. Practice disciplined optimism. I just finished reading, Conquer the Chaos by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau, founders of Infusionsoft. One the key tenets of this book is the importance of disciplined optimism. The idea being to have unbridled optimism concerning your goals, but possess the discipline to take on and conquer obstacles which get in your way to keep moving forward. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. But don’t get thrown off by some set-backs-vow to resolve and evolve!

4. Decide what you will do not what you won’t do. As we all know, positive thinking is a key component to reaching your goals. Positive words go along with that. It’s easier to have specific goals and combat bad habits when you have an action that you will do instead, rather than just vowing to stifle bad reflexes. For example, if you are trying to control your impatience and to keep yourself saying something you will later regret, you might decide that when you feel yourself starting to feel impatient, you will take a moment to count to ten or name all of the colors in the rainbow. You distract yourself from the frustrating moment, and you give yourself a realistic way to combat your natural feelings.

5. Celebrate! Any forward movement warrants celebration! Congratulations on moving in the right direction! Taking those first steps to change or get back on track are often the toughest. Know you are in it for keeps and celebrate small wins! Celebration is one of the largest techniques that any coach will use. S/he insists that her client take a moment and reflect and celebrate. Like parents rewarding good grades with a special prize, I encourage you to be really aware of your achievements, and to pause to document and then celebrate them to habitualize forward momentum!! Feel free to drop me a line and let me know how you are winning and celebrating!

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Are You Hiding (Social Media) Skeletons in Your Closet? http://www.yescareerservices.com/hide-social-media-skeletons-your-closet/ http://www.yescareerservices.com/hide-social-media-skeletons-your-closet/#comments Sat, 06 Aug 2011 17:34:19 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1292 Can you survive a social media background check? Skeletons in the closet, a scary thought. And with our world, so dominated by social media, these skeletons often come in the form of a politically charged status update or an ignored...

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Can you survive a social media background check?

Skeletons in the closet, a scary thought. And with our world, so dominated by social media, these skeletons often come in the form of a politically charged status update or an ignored LinkedIn profile, littered with unprofessional comments. In a perfect world, the only thing you have to fear finding its way into cyberspace would be a less-than-flattering photo from middle school. But unfortunately, we did not inhabit this “perfect” world.

Keeping your closet clean of skeletons requires some effort. You might have to watch your words and tone as you type out a status – even if you’re frustrated by the driver ahead of you or if you’re just making a joke. You have to keep an eye on what your friends’ post on your wall and what pictures they upload. It takes diligence to keep a professional social media presence.

Hey, you might not like this fact of life. “Why should employers or recruits care about what I do on my Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts? I do it away from the office.” To that, I would just say, most employers have always cared what you do after hours.

More than just what they, the employers, think, the employers are now concerned what others will think about what their employees are doing. Got that? What you post (or leave posted) on social media reflects on their businesses. Often it’s out and public for the entire world to see. If it’s offensive or unprofessional, it could mean a loss of business and ultimately market share. If you have a questionable social presence, you are not worth the risk for any possible employer.

Employers and recruiters are now using screening companies like Social Intelligence Corps to search through social medias for negative material about applicants. More than ever, your presence on social media is an addendum to your resume.

How many stories are we all going to have to hear about social media costing someone a job before we believe that it happens? A rude comment typed out for everyone to see is even more damaging than a snide, offhanded comment made by the water cooler (which itself, we all know has its negative effects.) Do yourself a favor and pre-screen your own social media. Read your Facebook like someone who doesn’t know you would. Would they think that’s funny or offensive? If you have to ask, go ahead and delete it. A mildly offensive comment (even if it was really funny then) is not worth a potential loss of a job opportunity. Go ahead and start scrubbing that closet squeaky clean!

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Conquering the Hidden Job Market http://www.yescareerservices.com/conquering-hidden-job-market/ Sun, 15 May 2011 19:59:56 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1254 In my business, I often get asked about the coveted “inside track.” It’s a mythical place where a resume is just a formality and all the best jobs are handed out casually by a nice, informed HR employee. This heavenly...

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In my business, I often get asked about the coveted “inside track.” It’s a mythical place where a resume is just a formality and all the best jobs are handed out casually by a nice, informed HR employee. This heavenly realm, obviously, is only reached by the lucky few. It’s a place of peace and success, veiled by mystery and (often) cynicism.

For 14 years, I worked in HR, exclusively in recruiting for eight of those years, and I have watched the hiring process evolve. In the beginning, during the ‘dotcom years’, after checking for baseline intelligence and a good amount of enthusiasm, we hired just about everyone. If you could fog a mirror, you were hired! Sometimes, it felt as if we really just needed warm bodies for the endless number of new positions. I think I once made an offer to this kid, pending verification of bachelor’s degree (just kidding).

We all know that is not the case these days. Recruiters spend their time sifting through an ever-growing pile of resumes to fill an ever-shrinking number of jobs. They track keywords on resumes databases and exhaustingly plow through potentially qualified candidate after potentially qualified candidate, attempting their best efforts to shrink the pile. The task of hiring for one position, when you have hundreds of applicants, is overwhelming. It can be, well, like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

As a result, hiring managers always prefer starting from a recommendation. When they operate on recommendations, they’re saving time and money, which we all know are important resources. The hiring process, as a whole, is oriented this way. Trust me, as soon as a position becomes available, and sometimes even before that, the search begins. Hiring managers ask their families, friends and colleagues about people they know who could fill the position. Hiring managers are always open to suggestions because they know that good people know good people. I definitely agree! When I worked in HR, I urged my hiring managers to consider seriously the recommendations of top performers. Top performers know that their reputation is at risk when they recommend, and they know what it takes to handle a position well.

A personal connection, therefore, is key. Especially for top executive positions, it highlights your name in a very significant way. How does this work? Start connecting inside the company by researching it. Ask someone besides the hiring managers about the position. What difficulties will the new hire face? What is the history of the position? What are the challenges of the department overall? For the bigger positions, try to understand more about the company on the whole. What is the mission of this company? How has this company changed in the past five years?

When you’re asking these questions, you’re learning inside information about the company and the position, and this company is learning about the person you are. If you can frame these questions well enough, you can distance yourself from the stereotypical schmoozing job hunter; you’re a dedicated and interested individual looking to ADD VALUE to that firm’s bottom line!

… which matters because companies hire the person, not the résumé. If you can establish that crucial connection with the company, you can show how your personality and skills can manage the challenges of the position. Experience can only get you so far. Driven, motivated applicants always stand out from those other ill-tempered or bland applicants. Attitude matters, and it shows.

As a hiring manager, I could spot the sparkle of promising applicants as soon as they walked in the door. They have modest but determined demeanors, and they’re passionate about the position as we discuss it. With grace and thought, they navigate the hiring process, prepared for interview and the salary negotiation.

So this magical inside track? Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t. From my experience, it seems to be a lot nearer to those determined, personable applicants. The moral of the story is to do your research, be curious, listen closely, and let your personal brand shine. The like, know, and trust factor can show up in your favor whether you are in ‘job search mode’ or not, letting others know about you can yield some great opportunities! And believe me, companies need YOU as much as you need them, and they are waiting to welcome the RIGHT talent into their organizations!

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Wanted: Entrepreneur. Experience not necessary. http://www.yescareerservices.com/wanted-entrepreneur-experience-not-necessary/ Thu, 14 Apr 2011 13:41:51 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1202 Experience. It’s something you can’t buy. Fortunately, it’s something you don’t need to succeed as an entrepreneur. Experience brings certain wisdom and expertise to any field, and in entrepreneurship, experience can buy you credibility in front of investors. But evidence...

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Experience. It’s something you can’t buy. Fortunately, it’s something you don’t need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Experience brings certain wisdom and expertise to any field, and in entrepreneurship, experience can buy you credibility in front of investors. But evidence seems to indicate that it just isn’t a necessary ingredient. So the question begs, if you don’t have the experience, how do you get noticed – and respected – by these venture capitalists?

1) Get ahead of an emerging trend: Find the hottest market and put your creative spin on it. If you can anticipate trends and changes in your field, you are invaluable investment. Think about Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. They changed their field fundamentally. Investors respect innovation, and if your idea is unique, it will be remembered. They also appreciate the guts and dedication that is involved in any creative idea. Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm to get ‘crazy’ ideas. Getting creative spawns ‘sticky’ and innovative blockbusters!

2) Demonstrate dedication: Venture capitalists and investors are looking for entrepreneurs who are gutsy and bold but who are not loose cannons. When you’re not experienced, it’s imperative that you work hard to prove your dedication. If you put in the time, you will have answers for the tough question, anticipate complications, and have a stunning and memorable proposal to present. How do your past accomplishments showcase your dedication and tenacity? There is really no substitution for this one.

3) Be at the right place at the right time: This is an exhausting strategy. Unless you’re extremely lucky, it will be difficult to be in the right place, at exactly the right time, to propose the answer to a difficult question. It takes precise timing. But this tactic is really worthwhile! You are fulfilling a need that investors have already determined.  If you can be “discovered” at their time of need, you become a necessary investment. You must be listening 80% of the time and talking 20% of the time in order for this to work. <Hint> increase your ‘on brand’ network to get in front of more people who will resonate with your message.

Investors, more than anything, invest in the person. They gamble on the person rather than the idea because, in the long run, IT IS THE ENTREPRENEUR who determines the success of the project. They look for focused individuals who push limits. They search for active thinkers who break rules for the sake of innovation.

The moral of the story is: Work hard to prove that your brand encompasses the things which are so revered for your goals, through personal connections and public accomplishments, and you’re golden. Regardless of experience.

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Negotiating More- Asking With Confidence http://www.yescareerservices.com/negotiate-asking-confidence/ Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:34:36 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1183 The offer was meager. It wasn’t even worth considering. My client and I deemed it “insulting.” Nearly a month later, the offer had transformed and now included an envious salary and relocation package to New York City. What happened? Did...

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The offer was meager. It wasn’t even worth considering. My client and I deemed it “insulting.” Nearly a month later, the offer had transformed and now included an envious salary and relocation package to New York City. What happened? Did the premier advertising firm just change its mind? No, my client had done his research and thus was ready for the delicate dance of salary negotiation.

Research is absolutely imperative in the process of salary negotiation. Before you ever start the interview and negotiation tango, you need to understand the people of your targeted company well. What do they value? What are some problems that they are tackling? Where could they use experienced employees or leaders? If you can answer these questions, you can begin understanding what applicant they need.

Based on your research of the company, you can connect the dots for them: from your experience and skills to their bottom line. If you’ve done your homework, you will be ready to demonstrate just what makes you a no-brainer. You will be in a much better position negotiating salary and vacation time when your target company sees that it just HAS to have you. In this economy, you can no longer hope that they will infer how essential you are; you’ve got to spell it out for them!

Once the negotiations start, remember to be confident. No one wants to hire a cocky, arrogant applicant, but do not be afraid to be assertive. If you’ve done your research, you have reason to trust yourself.  You know that you are asset to this company, and you have provided this company with legitimate reasons to believe that you can do the job well.

This client of mine held his own in the negotiation process and was rewarded for it. As I said, the first offer was unacceptable. At that point, he had to decide: to say no or to negotiate. After a good amount of research, online and offline, he was able to formulate a counteroffer. Throughout the rest of the affair, he remained poised and confident. He never let them see him sweat! At the end, he secured an envious salary, compensation for transportation, family relocation package, a significant bonus, and partnership equity contingent on an industry certification. If he had not prepared for negotiation, he would not be as happy as he is now! Take this story as your inspiration and dare to negotiate!

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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Letter to discouraged client: A repeatable system for clarity: http://www.yescareerservices.com/repeatable-system-for-clarity/ Fri, 04 Mar 2011 04:20:52 +0000 http://www.yescareerservices.com/?p=1111 Dear client, I know you are in a crisis: You work in a small, privately funded CRO as a scientist. Your brand exudes your passion and commitment to creating molecules which will, when properly created and tested, save lives. Quite...

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Dear client, I know you are in a crisis: You work in a small, privately funded CRO as a scientist. Your brand exudes your passion and commitment to creating molecules which will, when properly created and tested, save lives.

Quite contrary to this, your senior leadership team is not really interested in the cause. They seem only interested in attracting investors and selling out in order to start another venture. The worst part is that they want to hurriedly push the drug past the initial testing stages ‘creatively’ interpreting early study results to fool would-be investors, and they want you to look the other way.

Since you and the CEO (and CSO) seem to have differing goals, he: wants to attract investors and sell the company to make money to repeat the process and you: are very altruistic, idealistic, believe there is a place for integrity in an org, and love your job. What to do? I feel the heaviness of the situation as you describe your days at the office.

Here’s my advice: Cover yourself with a cloak of clarity in all that you do in this company until you can move to another organization. Your skills and reputation are of utmost importance, and a really professional way to take and make a stance is through consistency. In this case, you are looking to get to the root of the requests made from the CEO and sometimes CSO (this system is usable on all in your office), to ensure you are responding to the real need.

Here, are the steps for a repeatable system for clarity:

1. Substantiate– Get to the root of what your leaders are really asking- ask about short and long term goals associated with this and data or proof to substantiate what that person seems to be requesting. Repeat back the bottom line of what you think they want for ultimate clarity (don’t leave this part out, you’ll need it in step 3). Document.
2. Respond– Be clear on what you will or won’t do- either respond directly as to whether you can meet the request once you are sure it is clear. Then,  if you cannot, respond back in a counter position which details what you ARE able to do to respond to his request. Document.
3. Action and follow up– Take action according to what was agreed upon in #1 and #2. Document. Then, close the loop back and look (or get in writing) agreement that you have ‘closed the loop’ on the request. If the request has changed, repeat process from step #1. Document.

Can you begin to see the sun through all of this?

This should give you more control over the situation and lessen your anxiety. You are doing nothing wrong. In fact, you seem to be holding the bar of ethics and integrity to a point I am not sure the CEO wants to raise himself to, so you are in the right. Let’s just go into a mode to ‘cover’ you until you can make your next move. You deserve to work alongside others with similar values and purpose as you.

Oh and P.S., recent statistics show that professionals are now staying in their jobs an average of 18 months. This is shorter than ever! It is more important you stay away from a potentially noxious situation than to try and wait out your tenure because of ‘how it will look’ on your resume…

Keep me posted as I am here to support your success.

Kelly Welch from YES Career Services is a veteran HR professional, Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, and Leadership and Career Management Coach. Resourceful and creative, she is reputed for her dynamic insights and passionate commitment toward helping her clients rebrand and position themselves for career success.

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