Tuesday, December 31, 2013

“What is your weakness?”

When answering this stress question never joke around and say “I don’t have any”. That could be the end of the interview. The answer you give is usually not as important as how you answer. Are you prepared and confident? Can you turn the question around into a positive response?

The primary reason the weakness question is asked is to put you under pressure to see how you react. You may think the question is unfair, unrealistic, unwarranted, etc., but whether you like it or not, pressure questions will get asked. So rise above it. Be prepared and turn it around into something positive about you.

The response you use needs to be practiced until it is internalized, not memorized. Whatever you do, don't make fun or light of an interviewer’s question, particularly this one, or you stand the chance the interviewer will think: 
- You haven't prepared for the interview 
- Or you can't handle pressure

The best form of an answer is “This is my weakness, this is what I have done about it, and I am better!”

Remember these points:

  • Do not elaborate. Elaborating will only make you appear to be struggling for an answer and bring more negative questions. 
  • Answer it crisply and concisely and stop talking. Your objective is to get off the topic. 
  • Keep it brief, concise and complete. 
  • Don't hesitate with an answer. 
  • Respond confidently. 
  • Prepare for the question and Practice it out loud until you have Internalized, not memorized, the answer.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Please leave a comment if you like this post.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Does your resume have a contemporary personal brand statement?


Because of the wide use of ATS scanning of resumes and contemporary styles of resume writing, many changes to “old, traditional” resume writing guidelines have occured. One change applies to the old objective statement. Using the word "Objective" is outdated; It has been replaced by a Personal Brand statement.

Suppose you’re a Service Manager in a New Car auto sales company and you need a left-handed auto mechanic. You write an ad that reads:

"Left-Handed Auto Mechanic needed for large local new car sales company. Must have 5 years experience with Diesel engines, exhaust systems, electrical systems and air conditioning systems. Some Saturday work required. Must be able to lift 45 pounds comfortably. Drug test required."

If you, the hiring manager, received two resumes, one that said:

Joe Mechanic
111 Main St        Sometown, USA         234-567-8910
Objective: Mechanic

and another that said:

Sam Mechanic
222 Main St.       Sometown, USA                  567-890-1234
Left-Handed Auto Mechanic with ten years experience servicing exhaust, electrical and air conditioning systems of Diesel and gasoline fueled cars.

Which candidate would you call in for an interview?

Joe didn't generate interest. Sam was responsive to the ad.

Sam Mechanic stated his objective more subtly.  He used the exact job title of the job ad in a summary statement, without saying “objective”, and baked the key words used in the requirements into a summary statement that describes what he does (his brand) and is responsive to the ad. Smart thinking!

This example is admittedly silly but it makes two important points. Sam responded to the hiring managers needs. At the same time his resume was all about himself as it should be. And he prepared his resume for the possibility that an ATS scan would be used. Both of these factors are very important. 


Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Please leave a comment if you like this post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why you should avoid using resume templates.


Generally templates are not ATS-ready; they may not get parsed correctly … or at all. This could cause rejection or non-response. 

People who read resumes can spot a template a mile away. Generally speaking they don't like them for a variety of reasons. You wind up looking like everyone else rather than differentiating yourself from your competition.

It is true templates often include features that make them look very attractive. That’s probably why you would pick one. But that attractive format may be the very reason you don’t get some responses. It may also be the reason you get rejections. 

ATS parsing software does not care about beauty. It has no eyes; it can’t see. It can only the ‘read’ binary code that your resume is converted to when it gets saved on a hard drive. 

If a company does not use ATS software then using a template may not be a problem. But the question is how do you know for sure whether ATS is being used or not? That’s not a problem if you physically hand your pretty resume to a human; they can see. But if ATS is used in the hiring process you may run into a pile of trouble.

Some templates are free and that certainly is appealing; however you may just get what you paid for.


Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Please leave a comment if you like this post.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Life doesn’t get simpler – you need at least two resumes today!

Just when you thought you’d finished your resume, I came along and told you that you need a another one. 

That’s right! If you have crafted a document that you just know will wow a hiring manager, are you sure he or she will ever get to read it?

Maybe. But maybe not.

If it has to go through ATS parsing software first you may be doomed.

In fact, if the format doesn't follow certain 'rules' the parsing software may not be able to read it correctly, or in some cases may not be able to read it at all.

“But wait”, you tell me, “I’ve checked the job description and entered all the key words that I can satisfy into my resume.”

Well that's good. Key words are important. But unfortunately that’s not all there is to consider when it comes to parsing software. What may be beautiful to the human eye is not necessarily understandable to the computer, and keywords alone will not do it for you. 

If you do not understand what parsing software ‘sees’ you may have created a document it cannot read properly; it may see a lot of garbage it is incapable of interpreting! The computer may think you have just fed it a lot of last nights' dinner.


So you need at least two resumes; one you and I can see and another parsing software can ‘see’!

So if you suspect your resume (and your cover letter) will be scanned by ATS parsing software, you owe it to yourself to seek the help of a professional to optimize it.

If you like this blog, please follow me or leave a comment. I love encouragement but I also respect different opinions. You can get more job search help by visiting  http://www.hoochresumes.com or by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

What is the best way to put your best face forward?

When people view your LinkedIn profile, your picture influences their mindset considerably. You can appear likable or you can turn them off. That definitely influences what they read about you, at least subliminally.

So what are the turn-offs?
* No picture.
* No smile.
* No expression – the poker face.
* A frown.
* A group picture of you and anyone else.
* Picture is too dark to see you very well.
* You and your favorite pet, vehicle, etc.
* Picture of an inanimate object like a flower, a scene, etc., instead of you.
* A somewhat provocative picture.

What is the optimal picture?
A head shot from the shoulders up, with a big, happy, contagious smile, on a light background, with enough lightness in your face to clearly see your smile.

How do you accomplish that?
Take more pictures, either buy a picture editor or have someone edit it for you. Crop your headshot out of a larger picture, edit the fill light, highlights, shadows and color temperature as necessary.

If the reader gets a positive image of you in their mind, they begin liking you before they read anything about you. That is the equivalent is a smile and good eye contact when you go in for that face-to-face interview.

Go to the Hooch Resumes website http://ow.ly/dgg2J

Do us both a favor and follow this blog.

Comments to this post are also very welcome. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let's say I am a hiring manager. I have your resume. I see what you have done. But I'm scraping it!


Food for thought: Let’s say I am a hiring manager. I have your resume. I see what you have done. But I’m rejecting you!


Wait a minute. Why are you doing that?

Ans: Well I don’t see any results of your work? Next resume please.

But wait. I put a lot of effort into writing my resume. Don’t all of the things I’ve done impress you?

Ans: That’s the problem. I see is what your responsibilities were, how impressive the projects you worked on were and what you have done in each. And those things are important. But you haven’t shown me that you understand my needs and can help me so I’m rejecting you.

Look, I have to skim your resume quickly because there is not enough time in the workday to read every resume end to end. In the first 5 seconds I’m going to decide if you have interested me within the top third of the first page of your resume. If you haven’t, you are toast. If you have, I’ll give you 25 more seconds maximum to cause me put you in my ‘review further’ pile. Those are the resumes I will spend more time on.

Does that make you angry? Welcome to the real world of busy hiring managers.

If a busy hiring manager wants to hire someone he or she wants to know 3 primary things: Can you do the job I need done? Do I like you? Will you fit into my group?

If your resume is all about your responsibilities, what you have worked on, what you have done and what your credentials are, but does not talk about what your accomplishments were, what the results of your work were, the hiring manager is probably not interested! Your accomplishments and results are the reasons the hiring manager will want to talk to you.

So what? Look, there are plenty of other resumes that tell the hiring manager everything he/she needs to know to go to the next step. Furthermore, by not being responsive to the hiring managers’ needs you have shown that you haven’t figured out which job requirements you should respond to. Being ‘responsive’ means you need to edit your resume to the hiring managers’ needs if you are to differentiate yourself from your competition. Those needs may be different for each job you apply to, which means you may need to edit your resume for each job. If you don’t do it, trust me, your competition will!

Oh, and don’t forget this. Don’t send in a document that is crammed with verbiage, has narrow margins and tiny font size or difficult to read font type because it will probably be scrapped before the reader reads your name. Even if you buried results somewhere in it the hiring manager may not read far enough to find them.

Does that sound harsh? Hey, you are writing a resume. It is about you as it should be, but feed the hiring managers’ needs too, crisply and concisely. Then you might get a call.


Think about it.

Do us both a favor and follow this blog.

Comments to this post are also very welcome.

You can get more help on this topic by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com and by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What is the cost of failing to get professional job search help, even when you still have a job?



Simply put, it is the cost of failing to be able to conduct a top quality campaign!

The cost can be measured by lost income, the cost of obtaining good quality help, psychological stress, family strife and personal health of the job seeker and those dependent upon him or her.

The problem grows as the time to find the next opportunity grows.

Joseph Juran first discussed cost of quality analysis in 1951. In the 1970’s Philip Crosby defined COQ (Cost of Quality) as the Cost of [Quality] Conformance plus the Cost of [Quality] Non-Conformance. In the 1970’s Xerox Corporation internalized COQ throughout the corporation and added a third dimension, the Cost of Lost Opportunity, defined as the cost of lost business by doing nothing about the quality of all operating procedures, not just product quality.

How does all that relate to job seekers?

When job seekers strike out on their own to conduct a job search campaign they often fail to conduct a quality search thereby losing or delaying a new opportunity for themselves. They may have created a flawed resume and/or cover letter. And they may fail to think seriously about what their search strategy will be and all too often they fail to understand proper tactics that will support their strategy. These four elements of a good job search, resume, cover letter, strategy and tactics, are non-trivial subjects. What those of us who have searched in the past have done to find a job or career has been immensely transformed by modern technology.

There is a cost associated with losing a job opportunity that grows with the length of time it takes to find the next opportunity. The income lost by extending the time it takes to find the next opportunity is enormous compared to the cost of reducing that time by one week of salary and benefits. The cost of securing top quality search assistance normally does not exceed one week of former salary. Think about it, the return on investing one week of salary to a search is a pittance of the total income lost without a job.

The best time to invest in preparing for a top quality job search is when one is employed and not under the financial pressure of being without a job; one can view it as a kind of insurance policy. But most of us wait until our employment status goes wrong. Perhaps that is human nature.

Today there are some job search consultants who understand the new technology, strategy and tactics changes from a technical perspective. You can get more help for your job search by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 


Comments to this post are very welcome.


Please follow this blog.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Your resume should be saved in at least three file formats.

Every job seeker needs three files of their resume, each for different purposes. There are many different hiring procedures used by companies looking to add staff. Some are manual systems. Some are fully automated. Some are a mix of the two. They may ask you to submit a particular file type (*.doc, *.txt, or other type), they may ask you to attach it to an email, copy/paste it in the body of an email, or copy/paste it into their online application form.

Why should that be important to you? It’s important because you have to submit it in a manner that is compatible with whatever system the hiring company uses. In fully automated systems a human won’t see your resume unless ATS parsing software grades you into a ‘high’ fit. Many automated systems are fussy about what file format they will read. So if you aren’t careful about the file format you submit, you might get overlooked. But that’s not all. There are also some companies that utilize OCR readers to read your resume and upload it to a server. In that case not only is the file format important but also font size and a multitude of other things.

As hiring processes have evolved to include more technology, document creation that is compatible with the technology has become more complex, requiring additional knowledge and expertise. If you are in doubt about how to make your resume and cover letter technologically robust it is advisable to get help.

Let’s look at some hiring processes:

Automated hiring procedures typically use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software, usually accompanied by parsing software. Some parsing software can ‘read’ many different file formats. Others can only read a limited number of file formats. All can read *.doc (Word 97-2003) and *.txt files. Not all parsing software can handle *.wps, *.pdf, (*.rtf sometimes) and others. So it is prudent to err on the side of caution and keep a *.doc and a *.txt file as a bare minimum.

If a manual system is used, meaning a human will read the resume and not rely on automation software, usually any file format can be used. But there are exceptions. If the hiring process is a mix of manual and automated, sometimes the document will be manually printed and then scanned by a Optical Character Reader (OCR) which will load the document into a server for further processing by ATS and parsing software. Please be aware, some companies have not upgraded their word processing software to the latest Word version, so they may not be able to open your *.docx files.

Optical Character Readers (OCR scanner) have limitations on what they can convert into ASCII text and load onto a server. When part or all of the document cannot be converted into ASCII text, OCR will convert it as a bit mapped file such as a *.jpeg. But most parsing software is looking for text, not jpegs and either won’t read the bit mapped information or will abort the parsing process altogether. If either happens your resume is doomed. This as one key reason you need to have a *.txt document. (Another reason is the company may insist that you submit only a text or ASCII text document (text and ASCII are the same thing).

So what is the third file format you need? That is the file that you might want to use FOR HANDOUT ONLY to a warm, live person with eyes who can read and appreciates beauty. The FHO file should never be used to apply to a job online, electronically. Why? Because to make it beautiful will require you to utilize document creation techniques that will usually cause ATS parsing issues! Because you will not apply electronically with this file, it can be saved in any file format you find convenient to use.

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.


Get more help on this and other job search tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Follow this blog. Comments to this post are very welcome.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Just because your resume is beautiful to look at, don't assume ATS parsing software can read it!


Some can, many cannot. The parsing software your resume will be scrutinized by could have been written by any of the over 100 companies that write ATS software. Or it could be written by a 3rd party software company. And it could also have been a “home grown” variety, that is, written by the hiring company.

The point is, there are many different parsing software packages, each different from one another, with unique capabilities …. and limitations.

Why be concerned? Good point! You shouldn’t have to be. But the reality is if you are applying to a company that uses ATS in their hiring process, they are likely to be using parsing software to search for key words and phrases and other information to determine if you are a possible fit. But not all can ‘read’ certain formatting attributes that may be an intimate part of your resume. So it is advisable to get help from someone who understands the technical side of parsing software, what and how it ‘reads’, how your resume is stored on a database server and most important, how your resume should be written so there are no parsing issues.

If a human reads your resume you don’t have to worry. We have eyes and can see everything on it. But if ATS is used at the beginning of a company’s hiring process, before a human sees the resume, your success in getting contacted to set up an interview may be seriously compromised.

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.


Get more help on this and other job search tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Follow this blog. Comments to this post are very welcome.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Some fundamentals that job seekers should understand about Recruiters and the Recruiting Industry


After my first career as a hiring manager primarily in high-tech industries I joined a recruiting firm and became an executive recruiter where my eyes were opened wide regarding the recruiting industry. In this discussion I want to share a few of the things I learned with all job seekers. There is much more beyond what space will allow here that I can share with those that are interested.


The salient point of this discussion is this: Is the external recruiter who calls you capable of helping you? There are plenty of good recruiters to go around so choose wisely! “Capable” is the operative word.


By “external” I am referring to recruiters who work in a recruiting firm, not recruiters who are internal employees of a hiring company.


Here are some rules of engagement:


Rule #1 –
 Never pay a recruiter for help! Recruiters are paid by their client companies.


Rule #2 – Never assume a recruiter works for you! Again, recruiters are paid by their client companies. You are a meal ticket, not a client.


Rule #3 – Find out if your recruiter is capable of helping you before you align yourself with him or her! Again “Capable” is the operative word.


Rule #4 – Make sure the recruiter does not change anything in your resume without letting you review and approve it before it is submitted to their client! Find out why the recruiter wants to make changes. Make sure any changes represent you accurately, honestly, are grammatically correct and have no spelling errors. Many recruiters are not good resume writers.


Rule #5 - Does the recruiter appear bothered or annoyed by your questions or unable to answer them thoroughly and confidently? If yes, do not walk away, run away!


Here are some things you might try to find out about a recruiter before you engage with him or her:


Is the recruiter speaking to you about a real job? (Watch out for the old “bait and switch” sales approach! They may only want your resume for possible future openings.)


Does the recruiter understand what you do in enough detail to represent you to their clients intelligently?


Will the recruiter agree not to change your resume without your permission and review of the edits?


How much experience does the recruiter have recruiting in your industry?


How much detail does the recruiter know about the industry the job is in?


How much detail does the recruiter know about the company?


How much detail does the recruiter know about the hiring manager?


Recruiters can be an excellent tactic to support your job search strategy. There’s a lot to learn about the recruiting industry, what kinds of firms there are and how they work, what the pros and cons of using recruiters are, how to search for a recruiter, what you should ask and how to attract recruiters to call you. If you are going to use them, do it with your eyes wide open!

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.


Get more help on this and other job search tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com.


Follow this blog. Comments to this post are very welcome.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Your Job Search could be like sailing on uncharted waters. Don’t get hung up on a reef.


Get your collateral documents into good order. Decide on the best search strategy for you. Become knowledgeable about all the search tactics that can support your strategy and learn how to execute them properly.

Every day I hear from people who have been out of work for a while, sometimes years. What went wrong with their search? Is it really just them? Or could it be what they did to prepare or how they conducted their search? Or could it be their resume and/or cover letter that is holding them back.

I also hear from people who are currently employed but want to make a change. Sometimes the last time they searched was 20 years ago. And they feel they can do what they used to do to find a new job without any professional help.

And I hear from new college grads with great aspirations and little or no work experience struggling to find non-sales jobs.

Things have changed in the world of job searching. There are contemporary ways to write a resume, much different from the past. If you get advice from people who don’t understand that you will probably wind up with an ‘old’ style resume … and cover letter.

The electronic age has changed everything and it has been exasperated by the economy and unemployment: how you write resumes has changed, how many people are searching has changed, how many resumes companies receive has exploded, how hiring processes have changed in reaction and how people review your documents is much different than in the past. You are sure to be aware competition has increased dramatically. Differentiation is more important today than ever.


Professional help is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The cost of not getting help early pales by comparison to the time and money you lose by not doing it right the first time.   If you are not in tune with the present regarding job search strategy, tactics and collateral document preparation, how can you expect to compete? The message is clear; you cannot. The conclusion is also clear: get professional help.

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.


Navigate your way through the uncharted waters starting here! http://ow.ly/dgg2J

Monday, August 5, 2013

One important reason you should avoid using resume templates.



Generally they are not ATS-ready; they may not be parsed correctly, or at all. Generally they include features that make them look very attractive. That’s probably why you picked one to use. But that choice may be the reason you don’t get many responses. It may also be the reason you get rejections. Parsing software cannot see; It has no eyes, so it doesn’t care about beauty. It reads binary coded text.

If a company does not use ATS software to make their hiring process more efficient and less costly, using a template should not be a problem. It’s also not a problem if you physically hand your resume to a human. But if ATS and parsing software is used in the hiring process you may run into a pile of trouble (the ‘bottomless pit’).

Some templates are free and that certainly is appealing, but you may just get what you paid for.

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.

Send your resume to kl@hoochresumes.com for a free critique. And visit http://www.hoochresumes.com for more advice.

Comments are always welcome here.

Anonymous commented: Helpful info...is there any way to discern which employers use ATS software? My only knowledge of this suggests that companies with 1000 or more employees are using it. How accurate is this? 

The answer is: Yes, there are some clues like requirements to fill out long questionnaires (they are often created by ATS) or requirements for text or ASCHI text files of your resume. So make sure your resume is ATS-ready and you won't care. I provide Word doc and text files to my clients as well as a For Handout Only copy to present at interviews.

Almost all large companies, most medium size companies and even some small companies use ATS in their hiring process. Price is often not affordable to small companies.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What is your brand?

Hiring companies need to know who you are, how to reach you, what you do, what your qualifications are and what the results of your work have been. You will get interviewed if you can peak their interest in your brand AND show them the results of your work. They will know if they want to read beyond the first third or so of your resume in 5 seconds or less. They won’t spend more than 30 seconds to decide to call you. The key to the first 5 seconds is the statement of your brand. It needs to excite them to read further.

For the purposes of a resume, your brand is a statement of what you do that includes one or two eye-catching general accomplishments comments aimed at exciting the reader to read further. It is accompanied by a list of your core competencies.

What you do, what you have accomplished and what your core competencies are is a sufficiently complete brand statement for a resume and should be presented crisply and concisely (no long paragraphs) so that you can get the readers eyes quickly to your specific accomplishments and work results presented in your experiences section.

Hiring managers want to know what you do and what your competencies are, but they will hire you for what they believe you might help them achieve, specifically the results they need to accomplish themselves.

Feed their needs!

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.

Get more help with resume writing and other critical search topics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. 

Comments about this post are very welcome!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What do salespeople and job seekers have in common?

Quite a bit actually. Both need to sell the benefits of buying something. For the professional salesperson it is a product or service. For the job seeker it is the benefit of buying his or her services.

Most salespeople are trained for their job. Many job seekers are not trained for sales. And many don’t want to be in sales.

Fundamental to all sales is the ‘close’. A close is defined as "to put an end to; to finish." There are trial closes and final closes. The final close is used to bring the buyer to a decision, whether it is to buy or not buy. Usually professional salespeople will use ‘trial closing’ in their conversations with a buyer to identify objections they need to overcome and to guide the buyer toward the ‘final close’.

Final closings and trial closings are also important to job seekers. Trial closes are used to set expectations. In an interview they are used to reach an agreement that a specific action will be taken. They are also very useful in networking when someone you are networking with agrees to do something for you. In interviewing the final close makes it clear to the decision-maker that the job seeker wants the job.

A job seeker does not have to use forceful closing or trial closing techniques to be effective. In fact it is usually inadvisable to be forceful. But it is important to let an interviewer or hiring manager know that you are interested enough to want to pursue the job further and to know what the next steps are or to let the hiring manager know you want the job at the last interview; and if during the interview you decide you do not want the job it is advisable not to close at all.

Closing does not have to result in the outcome you would like. A decision not to hire you or not to pursue you further is as valuable to you as a decision not to buy is to the professional salesperson. It enables you to change your focus to the next job opportunity and not waste valuable time on one that is not going to get you hired.

So why should a job seeker want to know how to close an interview or networking conversation? Wouldn’t you like a positive ‘hire’ signal from each interviewer you speak with? At the end of an interview with a hiring manager wouldn’t you like to have an idea of where you stand amongst your competition for the job? Wouldn’t you like to know what the next steps will be so you don’t go home wondering about how the interview went, when you should expect to hear and from whom and whether to contact them and when to contact them?

As a job seeker you have become a salesperson by default, selling the benefits of hiring you. If you take the time to learn closing skills and practice them often as you interact with people in general you will be ahead of most of your competition. That’s what you want isn’t it? You will become more comfortable with closing skills by practicing as often as possible. For professional salespeople I’m surely ‘preaching to the choir’.

Some example closes one might use (the close is the last part of the dialogue) are “Thank you for all the time you have given me. I feel very positive about what I have heard and I know I can help you. I really want his job. What are your feelings toward me?” or “Thank you for your time. You’ve been very helpful to me. I would like to pursue this position further with you. What are the next steps? Or When should I expect to hear from you? Or I hope you feel as positive about me as I do about what you have told me. Will you be giving the hiring manager a “thumbs up” signal about me?

If you like this post please click the 1+ button below.

Get more help on this and other tactics by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com or by visiting http://www.hoochresumes.com. And leave a comment if you like this post.

Monday, July 8, 2013

What does it take to convert a job search into job offers?


What does it take to convert a job search into job offers?

If you are having a tough time with your search or are just considering looking for a new position you are not alone and the competition is tough.

The answer to getting a job offer may be found in your sales skills. If you are one of the many who want nothing to do with sales this may not be good news to you, but the reality is that as a job seeker you are now a salesperson by default! Even if you are a professional salesperson, selling yourself is different than selling a product or service.

In order to sell yourself to a hiring manager it is necessary to describe the benefits of hiring you.  Those benefits are your accomplishments and the results of your work.

So how do you sell the benefits of hiring yourself? Ask yourself these questions:

Do your collateral marketing documents, your resume and cover letter, respond to the hiring managers’ specific needs?

Will these documents successfully pass through the parsing technology used in hiring processes today?

What about the tactics you might use in your search. Do you understand how to network properly? Do you know how to find and reach hiring managers and get past their gate keepers successfully? Do you understand how to present yourself when you reach a hiring manager? Do you understand how the recruiting industry works, what kinds of recruiters there are, how to select one that can help you? Are you competent at interviewing and salary negotiation? Do you understand inbound marketing tools like LinkedIn and how to set up your profile so people looking for your skills will find you quickly and easily?

These are marketing and sales topics you need to understand to properly market yourself. The earlier you get help with each of these search tactics the shorter your search will be because by learning them well you will differentiate yourself from your competition. Differentiating yourself is the key to getting hired.

Of course you have the option of ignoring all of this advice and “go it alone”. But most people find that simply jumping quickly into a job search without sufficient knowledge and without a good plan is the recipe for a prolonged search. Many people will simply pound the job boards and feel like they are being productive only to find out they are really not making any productive headway.

The lesson to learn is GET HELP EARLY! It will shorten your search!

If you like this blog, please follow me or leave a comment. I love encouragement but I also respect different opinions. You can get more job search help by visiting  http://www.hoochresumes.com or by emailing me at kl@hoochresumes.com