Thursday, May 16, 2013

7-Step Resume Strategy For Overcoming The Resume Black Hole

We hear from job seekers every day who are sending out hundreds of resumes and job applications never to be heard from again. It's hard to tell if it's the resume at fault or the company not hiring, already hired, or if your resume is just sitting in a stack of 500 others never to be found. So, I've compiled a seven-step resume strategy to overcome the resume black hole so many resumes seem to go in to.

1. Manage Your Job Search, Don't Let It Manage You

There are great tools and resources out there to track the applications you submit, responses you receive and more. For example, is an excellent tool to keep your job search organized and it beats using an old fashioned spreadsheet. When you're tracking who you're applying to, what positions and more it gives you the big picture so you're not guessing how many applications you've sent in you know. It also tells you who is responding and what the next steps are.

2. Apply For Positions Most Suited For You

In a normal job market, I'd say go for it, apply to whatever you want for whatever reason you want. In fact, when I first graduated college I applied for positions that I wasn't qualified for, hoping they'd take a chance on me and train me. Well, I didn't get the exact position I applied to, but I got a call from the company saying they had another position I was perfectly qualified for. Of course, I did, and that's how my career in human resources and recruiting started.

In this economy, it's tough to advise you to apply for something you're under qualified for when there are hundreds of other qualified candidates. The chance you'd hear back is so slim that you're asking to have your resume disappear in a deluge of others and never be heard from again.

Conversely, applying for positions you are overqualified for will get you about the same results. I will tell you the truth about it. Hiring managers are NERVOUS to hire overqualified people for one reason – they don't want to risk hiring you now and having you up and leave when a better job comes along. Then, they have to start all over training someone new and it costs them money. They'd rather hire someone who meets the requirements versus grossly exceeds them. It's a safer bet right now and, unfortunately for unemployed job seekers, it's an employer's market they can be as picky as they want.

3. Reach Out And Make Contact

If you've spoken personally to a contact at the company send your resume to them. If you know someone at the company send it to them. An association with someone either over the phone or in person means you will be remembered you won't be just a faceless piece of paper in a stack.

4. Use Your Time Wisely

All of the time you're going to be saving from not applying for positions you are under- or overqualified for can be better redirected into optimizing your resume. Use the job descriptions of the positions you are applying to as a guide for what keywords to include in your resume and cover letter. You can usually tell which ones the company wants the most because these fall under position REQUIREMENTS. These should be in the TOP third of your resume, what I would call above the fold.

It's important the employer sees this in their initial 5-second review. This will gain you additional time from the employer to review the rest of the resume. Make sure to include the PREFERRED qualifications as well this makes you an even more desirable client. If you're showing them that you meet all their required and preferred qualifications in your resume, why wouldn't they call you? That would make you the ideal candidate. Then, their search is over and you have the interview.

5. Realize It's Not About What You Want

The job market has moved from a seller to a buyer's market, just like the housing market. In a buyer's market, buyers have choices and they can take as much time as they want and be as picky as they want. I assure you hiring managers are the same way. It's an employer's market and they can take the time they want and need to make the right choice.

So, don't waste your time sending out resumes and cover letters that tell the employer a laundry list of what you want and need in a job. It won't get you very far. Instead, be specific about what you can offer the employer that aligns with their needs. This goes back to the required and preferred qualifications. So, back away from the objective… better yet, erase it from your resume altogether and replace it with a powerful personal branding statement.

6. Don't Underestimate Looks

Let me tell you exactly what your resume format is saying to the employer – it's either saying organized, professional, well put together, and detail-oriented or it's saying, "Help, I'm a mess!"

If you were a hiring manager, would you rather hire someone who was professional and well put together or someone who was a mess? Point blank – your format speaks VOLUMES about you. If you want to get their attention, it better make the right first impression, otherwise it doesn't matter how qualified you are you'll never hear back from them.

7. Be Your Own Best Salesperson

Statistics prove again and again accomplishment-based resumes are far more effective than ones that just list your job responsibilities. My take is this – responsibilities are for job descriptions and resumes are for selling yourself through previous wins! I hear job seekers say all the time, "I don't have any accomplishments" or "My job wasn't numbers based." Let me be direct – if you had no accomplishments at your past positions, you would have been fired from all of them. If you haven't been fired from every job you have ever had, then you must have been doing something right! What was that something right you were doing? Put that on your resume!

Thanks to Jessica Holbrook Hernandez / Careerealism


Top 20 Body Language Indicators

Communication can be fascinating. For most, the exchange of information begins and ends with words. However, there are a lot of other factors to consider. The tone of voice that a phrase is said in can completely change the meaning of the phrase. It can turn insults into jokes and jokes into insults. Another way to tell the true intentions of what someone is saying or doing is to look for body language indicators.

Body language is an interesting concept. The human body makes a lot of unconscious motions depending on the situation. Sometimes, the body language indicators are blatant and obvious. If you see someone crying, chances are they're upset about something. Other times, body language indicators aren't so obvious. For instance, you may completely miss someone rolling their eyes at you in derision if they aren't facing you.

There are so many ways to interpret body language and many, many more body language indicators. Below, we'll show you 20 of the most popular indicators. These can be important in almost any communication setting, whether it's business, relationships, or even meeting someone new.

1. How close are they?

Physical proximity is a frequently used body language indicator that many people don't notice. If someone is comfortable with you, they won't mind sitting or standing near you. So an interesting way to see if someone actually thinks you're okay is to go brush shoulders with them. If they back away, you have your answer!

2. Downcast eyes

We'll be mentioning a lot of head and eye body language indicators because those are among the most popular and most recognizable. One that has been a trend, especially with younger people, is downcast eyes. You've seen this, I've seen this, and everyone else has too. When someone is unhappy and they try to hide it by, say, smiling, they may betray their ruse by looking downward. This can also be a sign of being uncomfortable or feeling shameful.

3. Restless hands

Have you ever seen someone drumming on a desk or a chair with their fingers? What about people playing drums on their legs? This can be a sign of impatience, restlessness, and even sometimes anger. If you're lecturing your kids and they're drumming their fingers on the table, chances are you may not really be getting through to them. When you're speaking with someone and they're doing this, it's time to switch tactics.

4. Restless legs

This is almost exactly the same as restless hands, except it's the legs. People may cross and uncross their legs over and over again, tap their foot, or even tap their heels. Have you ever seen someone pacing? Restless legs: they're everywhere! Sometimes, people may have restless legs because of restless leg syndrome, and it may not be associated with a feeling. Or they may have to pee really badly.

5. Hands on the hips

Listen up guys, as this one is mostly for you. If someone has their hands on their hips, it shows they have lost all patience. They are likely also very mad. If you walk up to a boss at work or your significant other and they're standing with their hands on their hips, you are in big trouble. In terms of body language indicators, this one is like a proverbial punch in the gut.

6. Cocking one's head has more than one meaning

Generally, when someone cocks their head, people take that body language to mean confusion. This is not always the case. In areas where violence is prevalent, such as prison or UFC fights, people will get into each others' faces and cock their heads as a challenge.

7. Holding your hands behind your back

Of all the body language indicators on this list, this one is the most ambiguous. People hold their hands behind their backs for a number of reasons. Watch any mafia movie and you'll see the Don holding his hands behind his back as a sign of power. People in the military are taught to do it as a sign of respect. Sometimes, people will even do it to be cute. Usually, when this occurs, you must rely on other indicators to determine the the emotion being displayed. It is still quite popular.

8. Hands balled into fists

This is another really popular indicator. Unlike the last one, this one has pretty much one single meaning. People do it when they're frustrated and angry. This is usually a precursor to violence, as balled up firsts often results in something getting punched or hit. If you are speaking with someone and their hands are balled up in fists, things could go very wrong very quickly.

9. Touching

This body language has a universal meaning but can be vastly different. When someone is touching you in a non-violent manner, it's almost universally understood that they're comfortable around you. However, it can manifest in different ways. Your boss may pat you on the shoulder. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may lay their head on your shoulder. If someone is touching you, it shows that they are comfortable with you.

10. Arms crossed!

People often misconstrue what crossing arms actually means. People think it means that someone is angry. In fact, it's actually used as a defensive stance. People who have their arms crossed are unconsciously defending themselves. They may not want to talk anymore or they may be hiding something they don't want to talk about. But crossing the arms means a person is trying to comfort themselves, meaning they're uncomfortable.

11. Look up for joy

When an athlete wins a match, scores a point, or does something great, what is the first thing they do? Usually, it's look straight up. This is a sign of joy, happiness, and relief. It's true that people can look upward when they're frustrated, but there are often other indicators that happen before that to show they are frustrated. That said, there is a reason they say "chin up!"

12. Surprise!

This one is pretty obvious but we are talking about popular body language indicators. When someone widens their eyes or raises their eye brows, they're most often surprised or shocked at something. There really aren't any other reasons why someone widens their eyes. So this one is not only really popular, but really obvious and easy to spot!

13. Looking around for something better to do

People can express boredom in a lot of ways. Many times they aren't trying to but it just kind of slips out in various ways. One such way is looking around when they're bored. If you're talking to someone and they keep looking around, they're looking for something else to do besides talk to you. This is almost always a bad sign, especially when you're out talking to someone at the bar or, even worse, when you're in a board meeting at the office and the people in the room are doing it.

Do note that since smartphones are now a popular thing, people may now grab their phone and check their social networking sites or email while you're talking to them. This means pretty much the same thing.

14. The Stomp

This one is mostly something kids do but adults are prone to stomping around too. It's usually done as an expression of anger, and that's how most people associate it. There is a second reason people stomp though and that is to be intimidating. Stomping toward someone can be used as a tool to frighten someone or even animals. How often have owners stomped near their dogs to scare them away?

15. Clearing your throat

People clear their throat for a variety of reasons. Sometimes you may be ill and you have some stuff stuck back there. However, in a perfectly normal social situation, people often clear their throats when they're nervous or anxious. If you're watching a stand up comic and no one is laughing at their jokes, you'll often see them cough or clear their throat into the mic. It has a second use where people use it to show irritation. More often than not, though, they're using it to show that they are uncomfortable in some capacity.

16. Jutting out your chest means something

This is one that human beings borrow from other animals on the Earth. Jutting out one's chest is a sign of dominance and attraction. Men may jut out their chests when they're trying to be intimidating or look strong. This is often used as body language when they meet a woman they like. Women, you're guilty of this too, as you may jut out your chest to better show off your attributes.

In terms of frequency, they flip flop. Men often jut their chest more as an intimidation signal and less often when showing attraction. Women use it more frequently to show attraction and less frequently to show intimidation. Both genders do use it for both.

17. Watch how you walk

Body language doesn't just take place when you're sitting or standing still. Watching how people walk is often one of the most obvious, albeit lesser known, body language indicators. People who walk briskly and with a purpose look more confident. Someone who is running is obviously in a hurry to get somewhere (or get away from somewhere). Bad posture while walking can show depression, while over-dramatic use of your limbs can show that you're furious.

18. Closing your eyes

Thanks to today's sitcoms, closing your eyes have become a very popular body language indicator. People usually use it to show frustration, irritation, and impatience, much like they're regrouping in their minds to try to deal with a problem again. Watch out, though! Due to its overuse in comedy scenarios, people may be trying to use it as a tool of comedy. Usually you can tell the difference.

19. Rubbing your eyes can send mixed messages

If you're speaking with someone and they remove their glasses, pinch the bridge of their nose, and rub their eyes, they are probably not happy with something you just said. In general use, this body language is used to convey feelings of being tired. This is usually done from a young age, as kids rub their eyes when they're tired all the time. In adulthood, people who are not happy with something will often use that body language to show it.

20. Staring

So who remembers high school? In high school, most people were either staring or being stared at, so pretty much everyone is familiar with the stare. Believe it or not, there are two reasons why people stare. Attraction is the main one, as a man or woman may frequently gaze at someone they're attracted to. However, a lesser known second reason people stare is for dominance. If you're staring down someone and they're staring back, the first to break the stare is considered to be the less dominant one.

Body language wrap up

Doing just 20 of these was difficult. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of body language indicators out there. The head, eyes, posture, torso, arms, legs, hands, and feet, as well as walking, talking with your hands, and pretty much every motion your body makes has the potential to convey an emotion. The biggest problem is that most people don't know that body language can be so sensitive.

What's even more amazing about body language is its use. You can use body language to see if someone you're attracted to is attracted to you too. In many cases, especially at job interviews, potential employers can analyze your body language to see if you're confident in yourself. At the risk of sounding cliché, everyone everywhere uses body language to show their true feelings. Once you learn what to look for, actions can literally speak louder than words.

Of course, we're talking about listening with your eyes. It's equally important to listen with your ears too, or you can still miss what's really going on.

Thanks to Joseph Hindy / LifeHack / Lifehack


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Key Differences Between Six Sigma Black Belts And Green Belts

The process of Six Sigma clearly identifies important roles in any project's success. Champions and Master Black Belts may often be the instigators of Six Sigma projects, however the implementation and success of each individual project is largely down to the work of Six Sigma Black Belts and Green Belts.

Six Sigma Black Belts

A Black Belt is a full-time change agent within the organisation. With a demonstrated mastery of Six Sigma concepts and tools, as well as a proficiency in achieving results via the Six Sigma processes, Black Belt's are tasked with delivering high impact projects that help the organization achieve its overall strategic objectives.

The role of Six Sigma Black Belt is best described as project management, incorporating leadership, analytical and coaching skills. Specific duties may include acting as a Six Sigma technical expert (a reference for Green Belts and team members) as well as acting as a coach and mentor to Green Belts within the team. Black Belts will often recommend high performing Green Belts for certification.

In practical terms, Six Sigma Black Belts will normally perform a 'tour of duty' of between 18 and two years as Black Belts within an organization, executing numerous high value projects each year. Often viewed as a stepping stone to promotion within an organization, effective Black Belt training is essential to the Six Sigma process.

Indeed, Black Belts are so central to the execution and delivery of Six Sigma projects that Black Belt training is often the first step for companies implementing the Six Sigma process.

Six Sigma Green Belts

The most obvious and fundamental difference between Six Sigma Black Belts and Six Sigma Green Belts is that the latter still maintain their normal job duties within the organization.

Six Sigma Green Belts still require a high level of training and will be expected to demonstrate their proficiency in delivering Six Sigma projects – indeed Six Sigma Green Belt training often produces Green Belts who are trained to much the same standard as Black Belts.

Depending on the structure of the organization Green Belts will serve as either part time team leaders – specifically as part of local Six Sigma projects – or part time team members. As they retain their normal duties as well, it is hoped that Green Belts will also be in a position to bring elements of their Six Sigma training into the everyday activities of the organization as well.

In particular a Six Sigma Green Belt may be expected to:

  • Recommend Six Sigma projects based on their own areas of expertise
  • Act as Six Sigma champions in their local area or area of expertise
  • Occasionally lead Six Sigma teams in local projects
  • Teach and share their knowledge of Six Sigma tools and methodologies with project team members and co-workers
  • Complete at least one Six Sigma project every six months

Again, effective Six Sigma training is at the heart of the process. Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts are the core of the Six Sigma process are their knowledge of the tools, skills and concepts of Six Sigma can make or break the success of the process.

Not only do smart organizations recognize this and invest in Six Sigma training (GE notably requires a large proportion of its employees to undertake Green Belt training) but increasingly, ambitious individuals are adding Six Sigma certification to their own CVs.

Thanks to ValueStreamGuru / Value Stream Guru


What Are The Qualities Of A Six Sigma Black Belt?

Once a Six Sigma project has been identified, the Black Belt becomes, in effect, the project manager with all the duties and responsibilities that entails. As a result Six Sigma Black Belts are the drivers of the Six Sigma process – making it a highly challenging and rewarding role.

As project leaders, Six Sigma Black Belts must be able to deliver a range of skills including leadership and problem solving, analytical skills and a keen understanding of the data and, of course, the ability to train others in the methods and tools of Six Sigma.

Leadership and Problem Solving
As with any leadership position, a Six Sigma Black Belt's role begins the moment the project is identified and the team is put together. They must build confidence in the process and be able to motivate the team to deliver. As the project progresses the unavoidable hiccups and challenges must be addressed positively – keeping the team's energies focused on delivery. In short, Six Sigma Black Belts must be strong leaders and demonstrate a mix of focused determination and excellent interpersonal skills.

Administrative, Analytical and Data Skills
Any Six Sigma project is predicated on delivering measurable improvements in business processes. A Six Sigma Black Belt must have a keen understanding of the data, an obsessive attention to detail, an ability to analyze that data and the skill to separate opinion from fact. Finding the problem areas within the business – they must then be able to exploit the six sigma toolset and implement improvement plans that can deliver measureable results

Ability to Train
For Six Sigma to become part of an organization's culture, the values, skills and tools must also become part of that culture. The Black Belt's skill set must therefore extend to training and coaching duties as well. Black Belts will typically mentor and train six sigma green belts.

Whereas the ultimate responsibility for the success of the Six Sigma process lies with the Executives, Champions and Master Black Belts who identify and instigate each project, the day-to-day success of failure of a project is largely determined by the Black Belts chosen to lead them. A Black Belt's role is to execute and deliver tangible, measurable results that help the company achieve its business improvement objectives.

Starting with effective Six Sigma Training, becoming a black belt is often seen as a natural stepping-stone to advancement within the organization. As the use of improvement methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma become more prevalent, Six Sigma Blackbelts are becoming increasingly sought after as organizations look to capitalize on their skills and what they can offer to their organizations.

Thanks to ValueStreamGuru / Value Stream Guru