Monday, January 31, 2022

Yes, Going Back to the Office Means Talking to Humans


As more people head back into the office this year, there will be adjustments.

Some may be a bit silly of course (no more wearing pajama bottoms with a button-down shirt like you did for Zoom calls) while others will require more serious focus, such as learning to interact in person with more people all day long.

In fact, I'll bet more people than are willing to admit are a bit intimidated by the thought of those casual conversations that used to be a regular part of our day before the pandemic hit.

Do you even remember how to have an interesting, off-the-cuff conversation? 

If you're a little anxious about having casual interactions with colleagues or even bosses, here are a few things to think about:

  • Don't try to be great. No one is expecting anyone to be a sparkling conversationalist after  more than a year of working remotely. Just by simply listening to the other person and giving him or her your undivided attention (no nervously glancing for an exit or looking at your phone) you will have set yourself up to respond naturally to the speaker.
  • This is a good thing. After such a long time apart, think about how nice it is to see a colleague in person. Think of the opportunity you now have to strengthen a bond with this person, and to have more straightforward interactions without the hassle of a spotty Internet connection or one of your dog's howling in the background. This will help you relax and interact more naturally.
  • Take advantage of the situation. There were probably several times during remote interactions where you wished you could pull someone aside more casually and ask them to give you the informal "scoop" on something or explain a situation in more detail -- but a Zoom call with the entire staff didn't make it easy. Now that you can have more casual conversations in person, you take take better advantage of someone's input or knowledge and perhaps make your job easier and more rewarding.
Remember that everyone is going through some kind of adjustment as more people return to work in person. Don't put too much pressure on yourself and expect things will be easy in the beginning. By focusing on the positive aspects of casual, in-person interactions, it will make the events more enjoyable and less stressful.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The 4 Things Hiring Managers Really Want to Know

As more people job hop these days in an effort to obtain better positions, they need to understand that just because they have a pulse doesn't mean they will be hired.

Employers are still being somewhat discerning, especially when it comes to those who are seeking a "leap" in their career or even a completely new career.

For those who may lack the specific skills or experience required in a position, these are some of the abilities that will get the interest of hiring managers:

1. An ability to self-manage. Whether you're seeking a remote or on-site position, be aware that many managers are being pushed to constantly monitor employee "health and well-being," as well as provide proof that employees are getting their jobs done. Talk about how you organize your time at work, how you manage your own stress or how you are aware of how your own actions -- or inactions -- can impact others on a team.

2. Motivated. During the pandemic, we've all had to find ways to stay upbeat. If you've found a strategy to stay engaged and excited about work, share that with a hiring manager. Maybe it's listening to great music, finding satisfaction in helping someone solve a problem or enjoying the challenge of exceeding customer expectations.

3. You consider other viewpoints. Although many people would like to choose the people they work with, that rarely happens. It's just a fact of the workplace that you're going to work with people who are different from you in a variety of ways. What a hiring manager wants to know is: Can you work with others who may rub you the wrong way?  Are you able to deal with conflict in a professional manner? Can you relate a time that you resolved a conflict or learned to find common ground?

4. You strategize for success. You know the goals of an employer and set your job goals to help meet them. In other words, you recognize that your success is the company's success, and vice versa. You cannot operate in a vacuum and need to be flexible enough to shift as the company goals shift, and to align yourself to the most important goals.

No matter what job you're seeking, these are important issues that any hiring manager will consider. That's why it's important to think of examples to share with an employer throughout the interviewing process to show that you're prepared, motivated, professional and ready to take on new challenges.


Monday, January 3, 2022

How to Learn if Your Resume is Memorable

How memorable is your resume?

It might take a stranger to truly reveal that answer.

Ask someone you don't know to review your resume, either online or in a printed format. 

Let them review it for less than 10 seconds, then take the resume back and ask: "What do you know about me?"

It's often said that hiring managers don't give more than six or seven seconds to review your resume, so this test is a good way to gauge what is memorable about you.

Once you've gotten your answer, then it's time to consider several factors:

  • Did the reviewer only remember information that was in boldface, or a larger type size?
  • Did the reviewer remember only information in one area of the resume such as the upper right corner?
  • Did the reviewer only remember job titles?
  • Could the reviewer remember any of your accomplishments?
These are all important questions because they may reveal that your resume simply needs a few tweaks (more boldface, more bulleted points) or that you need to put your most important information in the upper right corner.

Try this test with several people, if possible. While this is certainly far from scientific, it does give you a good idea of a resume that isn't visually appealing or memorable in any way. If a stranger doesn't notice your qualifications, then it's worth making sure a hiring manager doesn't also miss them.