Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Q+A: Do I put objectives on my resume?

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

"I see some resume's with objectives, what is your take on including them or not in a resume? thank you so much for your help."

A brief opening statement on your resume is most important but please do not frame it in terms of your objectives. The hirer is not interested in your objectives nearly as much as he is interested in his own. Your resume must persuade him that you are the perfect solution to his problem, not so much that he is the solution to yours.

Express in two or three sentences how you are exactly the right person to fill his position, and let him know of the unique value you will bring to his company. If your opening salvo hits the nail on the head, he will be enticed to read on to the supporting evidence.

But remember, he is not approaching your resume with an interest in meeting your objectives he is completely focused on his own.

Q+A: Do I put advancement or interests in my resume?

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

"Is it really important to put professional advancement or interests on your resume? If so, should it be detailed or brief so you can talk to it in the interview?"

The purpose of your resume is to get you the interview, so if your professional advancement activities are of good quality and relevant to the position, then you should absolutely include them. The knowledge that you are keen enough to improve your skills is a plus to a discriminating hirer and can set you apart. It demonstrates that you are engaged with your own development and the development of her industry.

As for your interests insofar as they add breadth and color to the picture you are painting of yourself these can be helpful in separating you from the pack of similarly qualified candidates. But your interests must be consistent with the image of yourself that you want to convey. If you are positioned as an effective team leader for example you will not want to mention your macrame or your stamp collection! On the other hand if you are the captain of a racing yacht that could add a very strong credential.

Detailed or brief, you ask. "Brevity is the soul of wit," they say. Don't bog it down in too much detail; it's not your autobiography. It's the trailer that you are carefully designing to get you the interview.

Why Employers Are Hiring And What You Should Do About It


There are three significant factors driving companies to hire in this market.

1. They are choosing now to innovate, expanding their capabilities and resources.

2. They are in turnaround and are looking for people to effect change.

3. They are taking the opportunity to upgrade their talent pool, snapping up better people who have become available.

These ideas were expressed to me by Allison Hemmings, founder of The Hired Guns, an agency that represents marketing, creative, media and technology people.

Asked which job seekers are finding success in this tough environment, Hemmings Google kids to the C-suite," and says, "if you have a strong digital portfolio, then people are definitely hiring."

So what does this mean for you? First you should look at the company you are applying to and figure out: do they want to turn things around, or do they want to innovate, or do they want better people than they currently have?

Then look at your own experience, capabilities and track record and see how you can best position yourself to meet their needs. This is a time when simple replacement hiring is rarely happening - there is almost always some forward-looking, larger agenda attached to each new salary budgeted. (A senior manager, complaining to me about some of her staff who are under-performing, said, "I would fire them like a shot, but I won't be allowed to replace them. So I keep them anyway.")

You must view yourself as the best in the world at your specific thing and tell your story in such a way as to convince an employer that you - and you alone - will fulfill their requirements, brilliantly able to do the job they need done and meeting their larger agenda as well.

Hemmings reminded me that about 80% of jobs are found through networking. That does leave some room for headhunters, and Hemmings recommends interviewing several recruiting firms to find a good match and someone who will be your partner in the search. She suggests using one of the big firms and supplementing it with one or two boutique headhunters who specialize in just the niche and company type you are interested in.

Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark ( www.pollockspark.com). He is an Executive Coach and Consultant to Creative and Media professionals. He works with people in film, TV, advertising, design, marketing, music and the Internet, bringing them the experience, techniques and inspiration to take their businesses and careers to new levels of success. © 2009 Pollock Spark

Monday, August 10, 2009

Career Evolution Workshop - reactions

Comments from participants after the Career in Transition Workshop given by Michael Pollock at MediaBistro. His next Workshop at MediaBistro is scheduled for October 19th.

"I've been looking for a career coach who has an expertise in media, and Michael is definitely it. He has terrific knowledge and offers so much information during this 4 hour session, I feel like I got as much out of it as several hours of private coaching... at considerably less expense."

"Michael was just great. He had good information, kept the evening moving forward, and was terrific and getting us all to a place where we could communicate comfortably with one another. I really enjoyed the content, and felt that I learned a lot. More than I expected."

"Michael Pollock, was a perfect match for tackling the subject of "Careers in Transition" for creative professionals . His techniques for engaging the group were stimulating and effective. The supportiveness of the participants made this workshop a pleasure."

"(Pollock) had good insights and information"

"... the information was great--and the way it was presented made you view things differently--things you thought you already knew...like how to present yourself.... wish it had been longer--everyone wanted to talk!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Q and A - interview hell

This came to me via Cynopsis

Q. I was recently granted an interview with a well known company within the television industry. I really want this job. My question is this...

My interview was at 10a. I arrived at 9:45a, and waited for three hours before I talked to the HR specialist. How long is okay? I felt I wasn't my best because I was frustrated, anxious and very hungry. What is the protocol here?

A. Two questions for you: Did you get the job? How would you feel about working at a company where it is considered okay to keep someone waiting for three hours?

Anyhow, here’s what I would do in that situation. Give them an hour – that is generous, and shows your willingness to play. Then say politely to the receptionist that you could certainly wait another half hour if that would help them out, but after that you have to go to another meeting, or perhaps it would be more convenient for them to reschedule to some other mutually acceptable time.

This shows respect for them and, more importantly, for yourself. You do need to be at your best when you get in there. And besides, if they’re running 3 hours behind, surely they would be grateful for the opportunity to reschedule. It’s their lunchtime too.

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