Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Notes from 4/23/2010 OCA Meeting, Job News!

Last week Bill Munroe, veteran high-tech marketing strategist (and active OCA member), gave a presentation to the group that was informative, insightful, entertaining, and inspiring. He talked about himself, his experience with the job search, and what he has learned along the way.

We all know Bill - he's the one who, with a sense of humility and a touch of humor, asks the pointed questions, looking for straightforward answers to get to the bottom of things. Sure, we know him, but we didn't really know him, so he started out with his credentials: more than 20 years experience in senior leadership positions, specializing in the development of innovative technology-based product solutions. Chances are you've interacted, at some point, with a product he's marketed.

I've read your resume. So, what is it that you do?
During an interview, where someone actually looked up from his resume and asked this of him, Bill realized that he needed a way to sum up his experience and easily explain what unique qualities he had to offer. He needed his own Value Proposition Statement. So he worked on one.

Then he was told he needed a portfolio and a web site. Check. And check. When he stepped back to assess his progress, he realized he was focused solely on B2B. The problem? The market in the Puget Sound area had clearly shifted to B2C.

All of this lead to a reexamination of how he was approaching the job search and a realization that he must show companies how he could Add Value. He needed to be able to answer the following questions for any organization in which he was interested:
- Can you make us money?
- Can you save us money?
- Can you solve our problems?

Getting to the Questions
To even get to that point where he'd have a chance to answer questions, Bill would first need to be invited to interview. And that means 1st, making sure his resume could legibly navigate the various automated scanners employed by today's HR. [Bill's advice: Pay special attention to how your resume is formatted, making sure it's not garbled by the time it makes it to a hiring manager's desk.] And 2nd, simply "getting noticed" - rising above the hundreds of resumes that are submitted for each job opening.

Bill says, "Hireability = Experience + Affordability + Enthusiasm + Pedigree"
Experience is obvious. You need to have the qualifications to do the job, and companies these days can be quite picky. Affordability. If a company deems you as 'too expensive,' you're a flight risk for when the economy picks up. Again, they can look for candidates that meet their criteria and aren't quite so seasoned. Enthusiasm. Because companies are skeptical and a bit wary of bringing full-time employees on board, hiring managers need to know (or feel) that you're excited about the company and it's mission / values and what it's selling. Lastly, pedigree doesn't just mean where you went to school, but where you've gathered your experience.

Bill's take on Coaches.
Along the way, Bill has worked with several of the top career coaches in the Seattle area. All of them he'd recommend, but all of them also come with different perspectives and, therefore, different opinions on how to approach the search.

I'm In Control

Lastly, Bill suggests that job seekers need to ditch the thought of, "It's not me, it's the economy." This passive view makes us victims and needs to be replaced with the attitude that, "I'm in control." Get back to that list of questions, define those answers which show how you can add value. Get noticed, and get hired.

Job News!
Last year, my uncle introduced me to Carl Dahl. Carl had lost his job with a boat manufacturing company that closed its doors. He decided on the career path he wanted to take, and while networking and interviewing, signed up for an extensive Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification course. I'm very pleased to announce that Carl just accepted an offer to start May 10th as a full-time Lean Six Sigma Facilitator with Aviation Technical Services in Everett.
Congrats, Carl!!

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