October 8, 2009, 10 am Pacific, 11 am, Mountain, Noon Central, 1 pm EST
How to POP! Your Career
So You Become the Trusted, Go-to Resource
Everyone Wants to Work With and For
Are you concerned about the many lay-offs in your industry? Would you like "career insurance" so you know exactly how to become the stand-out employee they keep instead of the one they let go? Sam Horn, author of the book POP! which Seth Godin calls "revolutionary," reveals innovative, "hadn't thought of that" ways to become so valued and respected in your organization, decision-makers and peers regard you as an irreplaceable member of the team.
Exercise: What's Your 10-10-10?
"Time is the coin of your life. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." - Carl Sandburg
Have you ever felt pulled in a dozen different directions? Have you ever had a dilemma and couldn't figure out what to do, no matter how long or hard you thought about it? Does it sometimes seem your life is out of control?
Wouldn't it be nice to have a system to help you figure out which course of action to take?
There is such a system - and it's in Suzy Welch's new book 10-10-10. There's a reason Suzy (former Editor of Harvard Business Review) has been on all the talk shows and why her 3-step process has resonated with people around the world.
10-10-10 puts metrics to dilemmas. When we're confused and stressed by conflicting priorities, answering these 3 questions can provide much-needed clarity.
For example, a client wants you to work late to finish a project for him, but you promised your kids you'd be at their soccer game. Or, you're trying to decide whether to stay in a relationship with a person you like but don't love. Or, your professional association is pressuring you to chair a committee but you're already going 24/7. What to do?
Suzy suggests you pose your dilemma as a question. For example, "Should I stay late and finish this project?", "Should I end this relationship?", "Should I take this position?"
Think of all possible courses of action. Then ask yourself what the consequences of each option will be in:
Now, compare the info you've gathered to your values, goals and needs. Ask, "With what I know now about the consequences of these possible courses of action, which decision will best help me create a life of my own making."
It is amazing how that simple process can help carve out a path through something that seems overwhelming at the moment.
POP! Your Resume and Get that Interview
by Sam Horn
Award-winning speaker and author of
POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title, and Tagline for Anything
In today’s challenging times, with millions of people looking for a job, it’s more important than ever to have a resume that captures the favorable attention of recruiters and potential employers.
You may be thinking, “Easier said than done.”
The good news is, there ARE innovative ways to POP! of the pack. Here are three steps you can take to produce attention-grabbing resumes that get noticed and maybe even get you (or your client) hired!
Tip 1. Don’t Make the Resume About You
“Enough about me. What do YOU think about me?” - Bette Midler’s character in the movie “Wings”
A resume needs to be about what the potential employer needs, not what we want. Focus on how you can fulfill their job requirements and produce tangible results.
Otherwise, a resume is like a one-sided conversation. This is what I’ve done. This is what I want. Here are my achievements, my positions, my educational background, my hobbies. Me, me, me, me.
This is a golden opportunity to be different. Instead of following the standard format which is a chronological laundry list of jobs – why not feature specific needs mentioned in the job description and pithily point out how you can fulfill each of them?
For example, one of my consulting clients was applying for a position in which she’d be the Executive Director of an association. She knew they were looking for someone who could increase membership, improve the quality of monthly and annual programs and ramp up their website presence and e-commerce efforts.
Instead of boringly listing the positions she’s held over the last 30 years – many of which didn’t even pertain to association management – she highlighted the following:
Increase membership: As President of the Northern California chapter of (her professional association,) we increased membership form 140 to 230 professional members in the first six months, and initiated an affiliate-vendor membership drive which added an additional 75 new members (and $150,000 in annual revenue).
Improve quality of monthly programs and annual conference: As Convention Chair for (her professional association), we acquired 5 corporate sponsors to pay for our opening, closing, and luncheon presentations which allowed us to book nationally known keynoters for the first time in the history of our organization which resulted in 60% more registrations than the previous year and an additional $145,000 net profit (and an unprecedented 4.7 out of 5 approval rating from attendees.)
Upgrade Website and E-commerce: As President of the Northern California chapter (of her professional association), pioneered a bartering effort to partner with the #1 internet marketing expert in the country to SEO (search-engine-optimize) our content for FREE (which included identifying and saturating our site with key words to bring us up higher in Google rankings). This resulted in a 300% increase in site-visits within 3 months following installation, an additional 1200 people added to our database (obtained with opt-in after requesting a free article), and a 245% increase in sales of e-books, teleseminars and webinars produced/donated by association members.
Imagine you were a company rep plowing through the pile of resumes and coming across this resume that proved how this applicant had already successfully done exactly what you were looking for. Wouldn’t you be sufficiently impressed to bring her in for an interview? That’s exactly what happened – and guess who got the job?
Tip 2. Show Them How You’re Going to Make or Save Them Money
“”Money makes the world go around . . .” lyric from the movie Cabaret
Money may not make the world go around; however showing how you’ve made money in the past for previous employers and how you can do the same for this prospective employer will definitely get their favorable attention.
The purpose of a resume is to sell yourself. Unfortunately, many people aren’t comfortable doing this. In fact, when people are asked to write down the first word that comes to mind upon hearing the word “salesman,” guess what they say? “Pushy. Hard sell. Smarmy" and variations on the theme.
The good news, you can ETHICALLY sell yourself on your resume, without sacrificing your integrity and without making false, grandiose claims.
The secret to selling yourself without making over-stated subjective claims – is to showcase MEASURABLE, monetary results you’ve produced in the past -- and back them up with metrics and evidence. That way, you’re not just “saying” you were responsible for a successful product launch (what does that mean, anyway?) you give specific financial details such as you increased revenue 30% in 6 months, or you surpassed a sales quota by $25,00, or you landed a VIP account worth $100,000.
Numbers give your claims “teeth.” Look at the example above of the person who was applying the executive director position for an association. See how every single claim was backed up with a percentage – dollar amount – or number of people?
That is not a pie-in-the-sky claim plucked out of the air. It’s not an opinion that can’t be proved. By giving measurable evidence, you are indicating exactly how you will contribute to this company’s bottom-line. You are showing you understand it cost money to hire someone. In fact, it costs a lot of money to run ads, pay someone to review resumes, interview candidates, train them, and pay their salary.
By including financial results – how much money you’ve made previous organizations or how much money you’ve saved them – you’re showing future employers they can trust you to keep to a budget and maintain a healthy Profit-Loss ratio. They know you’ve generated revenue before and can (hopefully) do it again – for them.
Most resumes I see have NO numbers or names in them. Furthermore, they focus on indistinct , vague statements such as “was responsible for training and development.” What does that mean? How many employees? Six? Six hundred? What does training and development mean? Designing and delivering supervisory seminars? Delivering safety lectures? Writing an employee manual? What?
I was preparing a pitch for an author (a book proposal is a resume for a book that is looking for an “employer/publisher”). Her bio stated she was an international speaker.
I asked for clarification. “What countries have you spoken in?” She blushed, hesitated and then ‘fessed up. “I spoke at a conference in Canada once.” Oops. That’s stretching the truth. It’s never in your best interests to over-state experience (much less to outright lie). Not only is it unethical; it’s illegal. It can ruin a reputation and you can be fired if an employer discovers you made a misleading claim on your resume.
That’s why I suggest you back up every claim with (true!) figures. By attaching a specific number to a claim, “I’ve spoken to more than 30,000 people in 10 states and in Canada,” you increase believability. Imagine the Training and Development manager says on his resume, “I’ve conducted more than 100 orientations for a total of 3500 new employees.” That’s specific. Now we know (and respect) what he’s talking about.
Tip 3. Don’t Be Shy. If You’ve Accomplished Something Special – Include It!
“There are few times in your life when it isn’t too melodramatic to say your destiny hangs on the impression you make.” - Barbara Walters
One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard is that “Our strength taken to an extreme becomes our weakness.”
For example, kindness is a wonderful quality. But if we’re kind to people who are cruel to us; our kindness becomes a weakness. Having a great sense of humor can be delightful. But if we have to be the “clown” who’s always the center of attention, that’s not so good.
Are you thinking, “What’s that got to do with resumes?”
Most people are way too humble on their resume. Humility is a lovely trait. But potential employers can’t read your mind. If you’ve accomplished something outstanding and don’t include it on your resume because you don’t like to “boast.,” you could lose out on a job you could have gotten otherwise.
It’s not bragging if you’ve done it. It’s your responsibility to let potential employers know about achievements that may get your foot in their mental door.
My son Tom is an excellent example of this. Tom grew up in Hawaii. Even when he was young, if you asked Tom what he wanted to be, he would point to the sky and say, “Something to do with up there.”
You can imagine how thrilling it was for Tom when he graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and Physics and a minor in Astronomy and Math. (Suffice it to say, I didn’t help Tom with his homework!)
Tom applied for a job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He prepared his resume and asked me to take a look at it. I was glad to do so –and was shocked to see Tom hadn’t included the fact that he and his college team had won an international contest to plan a Manned Mission to Mars.
I asked Tom, “Why isn’t this on your resume?”
Tom shrugged and said, “I didn’t want to brag.”
Yikes. I told him, “Tom, it’s not bragging if you’ve done it. Most of the applicants for this job have similar degrees. Most of them have a great GPA or were on the Dean’s List. So that’s nothing special to decision-makers at this point. If you have an impressive achievement few others can claim; t deserves to go on your resume. It helps make you stand out and gives them a compelling reason to bring you in for an interview.
Guess what? Tom got the interview and got the job. Every day he gets to do work he loves that matters. As he told me recently, “Mom, this is my dream job. I do something down here in Mission Control . . .and it affects something up there in the shuttle or the International Space Station.
And who knows if Tom would have landed that dream job if he had left off that singular achievement that caught the interviewer’s attention eye and motivated him to fly Tom out for a site visit and interview?
What’s a singular or impressive achievement you’ve accomplished that could help you stand out in the stack of resumes? What can you claim few others can? What have you done that is unique?
If you were Employee of the Month, that goes on your resume. If you were the top salesperson for your company, that belongs on your resume. If you submitted an idea to the Suggestion Box that reduced workplace accidents by 30%, that deserves to go on your resume. If you graduated summa cum laude, put it down. If you compete in triathlons, include it. Who knows? Maybe the interviewer is an athlete and will inspire her to call you in.
In fact, a client once landed one of the biggest agents in the business by doing just this. I advised Leslie to put on her book proposal under Credentials that she rode dressage. She asked, “That has nothing to do with my book. Why would I include that?”
I smiled and said, “Because the agent you want to work with rides dressage.” This agent handled some of the biggest authors in the non-fiction genre and wasn’t really looking for new clients. However, she and Leslie “clicked” while discussing their horses and dressage lessons and ended up working together.
What could you include on your resume that gives it a “human” element that would give an interviewer a good reason to want to interview you? What intriguing achievement, personal mission, heartfelt hobby, or uncommon interest could help you POP! out of the pack?
Hope you found these tips helpful. If you’d like more innovative ways to POP! your career and success, visit www.SamHorn.com for articles, details about Sam’s consulting services, upcoming speaking engagements, home study courses and books and CD’s.
Sam Horn, America's Intrigue Expert and author of POP! and Tongue Fu® helps entrepreneurs and organizations create one-of-a-kind approaches that help them break out vs. blend in. Her presentations receive raves from such clients as NASA, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Capital One, Fortune 500 Forum, Inc., and Boeing for being full of real-life ideas they’re able to use immediately to reap real-world results.
Want to receive Sam Horn’s bi-monthly newsletters packed with ways to improve your personal and professional success? Visit www.Samhorn.com Copyright, Sam Horn, 2009
7. What is your 10-10-10 exercise posted on your Careerwell web page? You write, "When we're confused and stressed by conflicting priorities, answering these 3 questions can provide much-needed clarity." What are the three questions? Could you give an example?
8. You mention on your Careerwell web page a novel approach to writing a resume. Could you outline your resume approach and the three tips?
• POP! Your Presentation Weekend Workshop in San Francisco. Become a one-of-a-kind speaker with a unique and needed topic that gets you booked and asked back
• Top-rated speaker at two International Platform Association conventions
• Clients including Intel, Capital One, Boeing, and NASA
Sam lives and works on a lake near Washington, DC's Dulles Airport.
Sam's West Coast Business Manager, Cheri Grimm, operates out of California.
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Welcome listeners. Before we begin today, I'd like to remind listeners to press 5* on your phone if you have a question at any point in the interview and directly after this interview to fill out the evaluation form, especially if you would like to earn CEUs. The evaluation form is linked to your call-in email instructions.
This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. I'd like to welcome Sam Horn, an award-winning communication/creativity consultant. Her international clientele included Fortune 500 Forum Young Presidents Organization, Hewlett-pPackard, NASA, Kaiser Permante, National Governors Association, and the list goes on and on. She was a featured speaker at INC Magazine's annual convention honoring the top entrepreneurial organizations in the country. Last year I attended a workshop that Sam led at an Invent Your Future Conference and was so envigorated by the power of her presentation, thatI would like to share her with you today. Welcome Sam. Here is my first question.
Thank you Sam Horn, for your envigorating talk.
On October 29, Gary Karp, a corporate trainer on disabilty and employment, will talk about The Business Case for Workers with Disabilities, who, with technological advances, are more able than ever before. Gary, who runs around the world on wheels (he had a spinal injury when he was a teen), is also an accomplished musician and juggler and has met with the President on behalf of individuals with disabilities.
Then on November 12, Lee Richmond speaks. Lee is a professor of Education at Loyola University Maryland in the area of school counseling where she is also affiliate faculty in the pastoral counseling department.She will talk about
Killer of the Spirit: Things that happen in one's work environment that deaden one. Lee has a resume that would knock your socks off, including NCDA Eminent Career Award and former president of NCDA, ACA, and a slew of other leadership roles and numberous publications.
She is followed by Martin Yate on November 17. Martin was the lively keynote speaker at the International Career Development Conference last year. He is the author of Resumes That Knock 'em Dead and Cover Letters That Knock em Dead published in 17 languages.
A special plug for the California Career Development Association, which is holding an environmental careers conference on November 7 at Stanford, featuring leading green career specialists. Email me for registration information, info @careerwell.org or visit Visit www.ccdaweb.org... for more information and to register securely online.