The Art of The Brag: 7 Effective Ways to Toot Your Own HornBy Mim Nelson-Gillett

mim-headshotDo you get tongue-tied when asked about your strengths on a job interview? Are people often surprised by your skills? Would you rather eat glass than risk sounding like a braggart? If so, keep reading!

Tooting your own horn (gracefully) is a vital business competency. This age of hyper-communication does not reward obscurity. Nevertheless, most of us still don’t know half of the best things about the people around us. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

No one knows exactly what you can do faster, more resourcefully, more precisely, or with as few end-user problems, as you do. If your boss (or prospective boss), your clients, or your customers don’t know what you’re capable of, they may find someone else to do it. You would tell them about an issue that put them at a disadvantage, wouldn’t you? Well, they have just as much of a right to know what you’re great at.

You can get more buy-in, strengthen your network, become the go-to person in your specialty, and garner more respect and trust if you follow these four principles:

1. What you can do is only relevant to someone who needs it.

It’s about your skill, not about ”you.” Know who your audience is and target your message to their needs. You may not need to tell your coworkers you doubled your sales from last year, but the VP of marketing may benefit from knowing how you did that.

2. Give credit where credit is due.

Nobody achieves greatness alone. By acknowledging others’ contributions, you also point to your role in the achievement. It can be more powerful to let that be implied, rather than stated outright. No harm in making that acknowledgement in front of your boss, though. Read more…

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A top recruiter on what anyone can see after 30 seconds with your resume

Hello. (Inspirestock/Corbis)

This question originally appeared on Quora: What do recruiters look for in a resume at first glance? Answer by Ambra Benjamin, Engineering Recruiter.

 I don’t look through stacks of resumes anymore. I hate paper. I do everything online.
 There has been for many decades, a mysterious Wizard of Oz-type viewpoint of the recruiting world that I think is somewhat misappropriated. People seem to be truly fascinated by what goes on behind the curtain, when in reality, recruiters aren’t running the covert operation many think. “Does this candidate seem like they stand a chance of being a good match for this role? If yes, proceed to next step. If no, reject.”
 I’ll highlight how I personally absorb a resume. I should preface this by saying that currently I primarily recruit for senior-level software engineers. In my past life I recruited for PMs, MBAs, finance, sales, and pretty much all of it. Everything I’m about to say broadly applies to all of these fields. I also was a campus recruiter, and you read resumes of new grads a bit differently since experience is less meaty. So for non-new grads, here’s how it goes in my brain:
  • Most recent role. I’m generally trying to figure out what this person’s current status is, and why/if they might even be interested in a new role. Have they only been in their last position for three months? If so, probably not the best time for me to reach out, right? Unless they work for Zynga, or somewhere tragic like that (said with great respect for Farmville, the app that put Facebook apps on the map). If it’s an incoming resume, I’m wondering why the candidate is looking now. Are they laid off? Did they get fired? Have they only been in their role for a few months and they’re possibly hating it? But most importantly, is their most recent experience relevant to the position for which I’m hiring?
  • Company recognition. Not even gonna lie. I am a company snob. Now don’t get all Judgy McJudgerson about my judgy-ness. Hear me out. It’s not even that I think certain companies are better than others (although some most certainly are). It’s purely a matter of how quickly can I assign a frame of reference. This is also known as “credibility.” Oh you worked at Amazon? Then you’re probably accustomed to working on projects at scale. You’re at a well known crash-and-burn start-up? You have probably worn many hats and have been running at a sprinter’s pace. There are some pretty blatant if/then associations I can make simply by recognizing a company name. Because recruiters have generally been doing this job for awhile, we notice patterns and trends among candidates from certain companies and we formulate assumptions as a result. There are edge cases and our assumptions can fail us, but again, this is a resume review; we’re talking a less than 20-second analysis. Assigning frame of reference is often more difficult to do when a candidate has only worked for obscure companies I’ve never heard of. When I can’t assign company recognition, it just means I have to read the resume a little deeper, which usually isn’t an issue, unless it’s poorly formatted, poorly written, uninformative, and wrought with spelling errors—in which case, you might have lost my interest.

Read more….http://qz.com/525496/done-what-a-recruiter-sees-on-your-resume-at-first-glance/

Simple Tips for Effective Written Communication: Resumes, Applications, and More By Ellen Mehling, Career Development Consultant, METRO

 

Summer is here! A time for enjoying the sunshine, possibly some traveling, and, hopefully, taking it easy. In the spirit of this more relaxed season, here are some easy-to-do tips for communicating in writing.

Always customize your résumé and cover letter to the job posting. Keep the information the reader is seeking in mind and make sure that s/he finds it easily. Delete or de-emphasize information unrelated to the duties and responsibilities of the job. Your profile/summary is especially important, as it comes right after the contact information and gives you a chance to capture hiring managers’ attention so they read further.

Choose a font for your résumé and other communications with care. Typefaces can influence how what is read is perceived. There are many to choose from that are easy to read, but a good choice for a blog post might not be a good choice for your résumé and vice versa. Do a little research and get some feedback from others to make sure you are creating the right impression.

If there is a job number, make it clear. Include it (along with the job title) in the Subject line when applying via email and in a “Re:” note in bold above salutation in the cover letter. These are easy-to-do, small courtesies to the recipient/reader that show you understand how the job is referred to internally. Human resources staff may review application documents for a number of different positions each day; they will appreciate that you are specifying the position you are applying for.

 

 

Read more….