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Global Considerations Print E-mail
We receive many requests for resume reviews from individuals who are outside the United States who are conducting job searches. Most are interested in working either in their own countries or the US. With the global nature of sites such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder, job seekers anywhere in the world are able to apply for positions in the US. And with most large US companies operating on a global scale, they could easily work for a US company right in their hometowns.

Unfortunately, most of these job seekers do not realize that the Curriculum Vitae (CV) which they use in their own countries is not the right job search tool for the US or Canadian markets. Even if they are applying to a US company in their own country, a CV might not be the right choice.

US companies are bound by specific hiring laws that are designed to eliminate discrimination in hiring based on age, sex, marital status, and ethnicity. Most CVs that we see come to us for review have a section of personal data where this information is listed, often including a photograph. Due to the hiring laws in the US, any company that receives a resume/CV with such information in it, must immediately discard that resume and eliminate the candidate from consideration. Job seekers from outside the US are usually not aware of these restrictions and thus handicap their job search on a global basis by including the information.

We generally recommend that clients use two documents in their job search if they are conducting a global job search - a resume designed for use in the west and a CV that can be used in Europe and the rest of the world. Additionally, if a client is interested in working in the US, we generally recommend he/she attempt to hire on with a US company in their home country and work toward emigration to the US as an employee of that company rather than trying to hire directly into the US. With immigration and security restrictions, it is increasingly difficult to find a job in the US directly. More and more attention is being focused on immigration in the US by members of the government so the situation is not expected to improve, either.

On the flip side, US citizens who wish to work in a foreign country need a CV for their job search needs. Each country has slightly different requirements for CV's. Some want pictures included; some don't. Some want it to be one page; some want it very long. A CV is also not as hard-hitting as an American resume. An American resume is a sale document whereas a CV tends to be more of a biography.

Two different documents fill the needs of a global job search. If you are considering a job search in a different country, make sure you know which document you need and how to best approach your search.
 
Hard Lessons Learned II Print E-mail
I saw someone get fired yesterday. Okay, it was a fast food worker, not a high level exec, but it was still and employee who got terminated by the supervisor. I was having a fast meal prior to an event and as I was awaiting my food, I was observing the supervisor running her crew.

The crew was made up of teenagers who didn't seem to want to be at work on a Sunday evening. Instead of filling in time between food prep with other activities such as filling the ice machine or restocking the napkin dispenser, they were standing around looking at each other. The supervisor was having a hard time getting them moving. She was doing a good job in explaining the work that needed to be done and why they should be doing it while traffic was slow but she wasn't succeeding in getting cooperation. As a result, she was laying down the law, so to speak, and being very pointed in her instructions.

At some point, a male worker with a nose ring decided he had had enough of being bossed around and made a snide remark. The supervisor immediately gave him the rest of the evening off and informed him not to come back unless he could come up with a better attitude. Amazingly, all the other workers who had been giving her a hard time, too, suddenly decided to get to work and stop complaining.

There are several lessons to be learned from this. First, the supervisor should have taken the young man to her office to have a chat rather than having the confrontation in front of the other workers. Of course, the example she set by terminating this young man had an immediate effect on the others. The long-term consequences of the public firing on crew morale will probably be detrimental, however. I could understand her frustration, though. She had a staff of lazy, sullen teenagers and a line of customers and no one was doing their job. She made a decision and got results.

Second, and probably the bigger lesson, is that no worker is indispensable. I don't know what this young man's main function was - whether he was French fry guy or shake man - but he was obviously operating under the delusion that he had the authority and could make his own rules. He learned quickly that was not the case. Whether it is a French fry cook or a CIO, everyone can be replaced.

Third, this just proves again that attitude is everything in your career. It doesn't matter if you are the best darn shake man in the nation; if your attitude stinks your career is in danger. This young man's attitude was not only the pits but it was contagious to the others in the crew. Employers can easily replace skills. Skills can be taught. Attitude can't. Employers hire more on attitude and enthusiasm than on skills. Put two equally skilled candidates in the interview process for the same job and the one with the better attitude will get the job every time.

Feeling stressed out from the holidays? Are you being a Scrooge around the office? It's time to rethink your attitude and advance your career. Not only do what is required but go beyond the basics and volunteer to work on special projects or tasks. It can be a career energizer.
 
Hard Lessons Learned Print E-mail
I saw someone get fired yesterday. Okay, it was a fast food worker, not a high level exec, but it was still and employee who got terminated by the supervisor. I was having a fast meal prior to an event and as I was awaiting my food, I was observing the supervisor running her crew.

The crew was made up of teenagers who didn't seem to want to be at work on a Sunday evening. Instead of filling in time between food prep with other activities such as filling the ice machine or restocking the napkin dispenser, they were standing around looking at each other. The supervisor was having a hard time getting them moving. She was doing a good job in explaining the work that needed to be done and why they should be doing it while traffic was slow but she wasn't succeeding in getting cooperation. As a result, she was laying down the law, so to speak, and being very pointed in her instructions.

At some point, a male worker with a nose ring decided he had had enough of being bossed around and made a snide remark. The supervisor immediately gave him the rest of the evening off and informed him not to come back unless he could come up with a better attitude. Amazingly, all the other workers who had been giving her a hard time, too, suddenly decided to get to work and stop complaining.

There are several lessons to be learned from this. First, the supervisor should have taken the young man to her office to have a chat rather than having the confrontation in front of the other workers. Of course, the example she set by terminating this young man had an immediate effect on the others. The long-term consequences of the public firing on crew morale will probably be detrimental, however. I could understand her frustration, though. She had a staff of lazy, sullen teenagers and a line of customers and no one was doing their job. She made a decision and got results.

Second, and probably the bigger lesson, is that no worker is indispensable. I don't know what this young man's main function was - whether he was French fry guy or shake man - but he was obviously operating under the delusion that he had the authority and could make his own rules. He learned quickly that was not the case. Whether it is a French fry cook or a CIO, everyone can be replaced.

Third, this just proves again that attitude is everything in your career. It doesn't matter if you are the best darn shake man in the nation; if your attitude stinks your career is in danger. This young man's attitude was not only the pits but it was contagious to the others in the crew. Employers can easily replace skills. Skills can be taught. Attitude can't. Employers hire more on attitude and enthusiasm than on skills. Put two equally skilled candidates in the interview process for the same job and the one with the better attitude will get the job every time.

Feeling stressed out from the holidays? Are you being a Scrooge around the office? It's time to rethink your attitude and advance your career. Not only do what is required but go beyond the basics and volunteer to work on special projects or tasks. It can be a career energizer.
 
One Size Does Not Fit All Print E-mail
As we approach the New Year, you might be considering a career change or a career direction change. The change may be within your industry or it may be a career change that is completely unrelated to your current job. If you are considering making a change part of your 2006 plans, you should consider your resume now and what tools you will need to accomplish your goals.

First, you need to look at your goals to decide if you will need one resume or more than one. Usually, if you are making a career change toward something that is related to your employment experience, having just one resume prepared will work just fine for you. However, if you are considering several goals that are quite different from each other, more than one resume will be needed.

Making a career change that is still within the same industry is one of the easier changes to accomplish. The resume will reflect your industry knowledge, your experience working with related concepts, and your track record of success. The resume format will be more traditional, containing solid employment history information coupled with demonstrated accomplishments in your industry. It is also important to show in the same-industry resume a record of being able to adapt and learn concepts that are quickly applied. More than likely you will not be starting all over from the beginning in this career change and will be looking at a lateral move that offers different or better opportunities. This is made easier by showing your success in the past working within the industry.

The resume for the complete career direction change is more difficult. You need to know what the employer in the targeted career field is seeking but be able to relate your career history to those needs. Finding ways to relate differing industries in a way that will make you a viable candidate can be a challenge but it can be done. A professional resume writer is trained in looking for similarities between industries and finding accomplishments and skills in one that can be transferred to the other.

For example, I composed a resume for a gentleman who was moving from being an airport worker to being a network technician. He had schooling in his new direction but no experience. In his previous industry, he had been ramp supervisor for a major airline at a major hub airport. It had been his job to coordinate and choreograph all activities related to luggage/cargo onload-offload and to make sure that fueling and restocking of aircraft was accomplished. He had an excellent record in his work that we were able to translate into the needed work skills as a network technician. He managed multiple projects that were time-sensitive simultaneously. He had an excellent safety record as did the crews he supervised so he had the trust and cooperation of both workers and management. He had a head for security issues and had proven he could think out-of-the-box on unusual security issues that arose.

We brought all this into his resume and he landed a job very quickly based on his past work experience. His new employer commented that he could train him in the network skills he was still lacking but that he needed a leader to step in and take control of the IT department; leadership skills were harder to find that network skills. His career direction change was a success and he is now a Vice President of IT for a major international cargo carrier.

One resume size does not necessarily fit all needs, especially if you are conducting a career change. Most people realize this but they don't know what to do about it. That's where we can help.
 
Use the Season to Energize Your Network Print E-mail
I talked about using the holiday season to network toward your next job. Even if you are not currently considering a job change, keeping your network alive and vibrant is vital so it doesn't wither away. The holiday season is a great time to renew contacts with people in your network, and even extend your network with people you meet during the social events of the season. Some ideas for reviving your network include:

Send holiday cards. This is a practice that is starting to feel the effects of email and instant messaging but remains a great way to keep in contact with people. Choose tasteful holiday cards and be sure to write a short note inside. You can write in your telephone number or email address at the bottom of the card, under the signature, to make sure the recipient has your correct contact information. If you have lost the mailing address for a contact, it is a good excuse to pick up the phone and call. That brings me to the second suggestion¦

Call your contacts. If you called a former supervisor to wish him/her a happy Fourth of July, you would be viewed as a nut, but calling to touch base and wish him a happy holiday is viewed as a thoughtful gesture. Make the most of the excuse the holidays provide to pick up the phone and just chat with someone.

Use email as a starting point. The amount of humorous holiday emails that make the rounds is astounding. Most of us read it and then pass it on to people in our address book. Rather than doing a mass-forward, do a single forward with a personal note to your contact checking in and renewing the contact. For example, I recently received a video file that a friend emailed to me of a house decorated for Christmas with lights that flashed in time with a holiday selection from the Trans Siberian Orchestra. It was astounding to watch and I forwarded it to a contact of mine who works for Gaylord Entertainment. I knew he would find it more interesting than the average person because it related somewhat to his industry. I wrote a quick note to him about it and asked what new projects he was working on. The email resulted in a renewed contact and a possible new project.

Leverage special events and performances. There are numerous free holiday performances and events to which you could invite a contact. A performance of a string quartet, an ice skating performance, or even a holiday luncheon make great opportunities for getting together with someone to renew contacts.

Volunteer. During the holidays, many charities and service organizations seek volunteers to help with the increased work load. By volunteering, you can extend your network of contacts to new people who also volunteer to serve. Volunteering also provides an opportunity for getting groups together to perform community work. Organizing such an effort with put you in contact with many people not to mention raise your profile on the radar screens of potential employers.

Renew your contacts this season, even if you are not considering a job change. Not only will it help you keep your network warm, but it may bring opportunities that you had not considered.
 
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