Don’t Miss These Interview Videos!

As a professional career coach, I find myself repeating the “basics” of a good interview. Everyone seems to know things like you shouldn’t speak negatively about past employers or that you should be properly dressed. But have you ever seen an interview from the employers’ point-of-view?

Over the next few weeks, we are going to show you how some of these train wrecks play out in mock interview situations. Hopefully you can see how detrimental bad behavior can be, and understand why you wouldn’t want to follow their bad example.

Our 5-part video series will show you:

  1. The selfish candidate who is clearly not thinking about how she comes across to the interviewer.
  2. The shy and nervous candidate whose non-verbal communication sinks her chances for the job.
  3. The “Too-Much-Information (TMI)” candidate who volunteers waaaay more than any company needs to know.
  4. A strong candidate who hits all of the RIGHT notes to make a positive impression.
  5. The crazy interviewer. Yes, sometimes the problem is not the candidate! Check out how to handle the illegal interview questions – and possibly inappropriate advances. Definitely a good sign you do not want to work for that company…

I’m sure these entertaining videos give you some insight on simple ways to do better in an interview.  Here is the link to the first video of the series regarding the selfish candidate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzA2yZztpYs&feature=youtu.be

Need help in better interviewing skills?  We can help.CLICK HERE to set up an appointment to speak with us.

Pricing changes effective May 15, 2017

It has been quite some time since we have adjusted our prices for our resume and LinkedIn services. To continue to provide our signature, high quality writing services and still keep it cost-effective, we are making some adjustments to our pricing policies, effective May 15, 2017.

Resume Packages

Effective mid-May, a 5% fee for processing, handling, and shipping costs will be added.

We wanted to keep the core price of our resume packages the same, ranging from $299 for entry level, $399 for mid-career, and $499 for senior level careers. When it comes to our executive packages, we encourage you to contact us directly to get an accurate quote.

Our resume packages include in-depth exploratory interview to discuss your work history, your new resume, a highly adaptable cover letter, a references page, and my book, “How to Get a Job Without Going Crazy.”  CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR RESUME PACKAGES

 

LinkedIn Packages

As with our resumes, the core price of our LinkedIn packages will remain at $125. The 5% processing and handling fee will be added.

LinkedIn packages include a fully written profile and our online class, “Using LinkedIn to Get a Job Without Going Crazy” (a $65 value).

Interview Coaching

Interview coaching will be increased to $249 for two sessions. The first 60-minute session covers strategies, establishes baselines, discusses behavioral interviews, and assigns ongoing exercises to help you be the best in your interview. The second 90-minute session is an invaluable recorded mock interview and review of the tape to provide direct feedback on your overall performance.

Get Your Quote Today

All of our written quotes are good for 30 days.  Anyone who gets a quote BEFORE May 15, 2017, will not be charged the increased prices. Now is the time to sign your quote as soon as possible to lock in your price.

P.S….       In addition, we will give you the option to delay starting your project until it is convenient for you, so long as we receive payment before the quote expires! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!

businessman scared of networking

7 Networking tips for introverts

You have probably heard the statistics – many sources such as LinkedIn, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review claim that 60 – 80% of jobs are found or secured through some form of networking (sources: Career Playbook, http://www.careerplaybook.com/guide/networking.asp). For people who are shy or naturally more introverted, this sounds like the kiss of death. However, it doesn’t need to be.

 

1.       Realize what networking is and is not

 

First of all, most job search experts and formal studies indicate that “some form of networking” is beneficial for the job search. This is encouraging because it includes one-on-one contacts, social media, tapping existing connections, and reaching out to past employers and co-workers. Networking is more than just reaching out to strangers and pressuring them to do favors for you, such as walking your resume down to the hiring manager. In fact, that rarely works.

 

Networking is far more expansive than most people realize. Even Aunt Martha telling you about a job opening she heard about from a friend at church is technically finding a job through networking. So don’t be intimidated by the 80% or more figure. It’s a lot easier to reach that many contacts then you think.

2.       Find the networking channels that work for you

 

Not all networking channels or strategies are going to be effective, especially if the entire idea of one technique strikes fear in your heart. A classic example of this are large networking groups.

 

While I’m not an introvert, I personally hate large networking groups. When I started my business, I dreaded going to large business after-hours events, but felt obligated to do it as I heard it was a “good idea.” What I found was a room filled with 300 people, all just shuffling business cards at each other. Of course, I never gained any valuable connections through this method, primarily because I never felt comfortable in the environment. I found myself constantly checking my watch to determine how soon I could leave.

 

For your own networking strategies, think about what you are most likely to do on a regular basis. Is it messaging your existing contacts? Is it attending classes? How about researching key managers at target companies and approaching them through email? Don’t forget about getting involved in Groups on LinkedIn. Write down at least 3-4 different tactics that you are most likely to actually do and then incorporate them into your weekly job search activities.

3.       Check out small groups for different interests

 

If the cattle call environment doesn’t work for you, focus on small networking groups. www.Meetup.com  is a great source for finding places where people are meeting face-to-face. Even better, these don’t have to be specifically related to job searching. Common interests, hobbies, and fun activities can be a great way to get used to meeting new people in a low-pressure environment.

 

By the way, there are small, supportive groups for job seekers, such as my own in the Denver metro area: http://www.meetup.com/Brown-Bag-Job-Search-Group/  By staying under 20 people, this creates a genuine atmosphere that isn’t overwhelming to the introverted job seeker.

4.       Reach out to individuals before attending a large event

 

At times, attending a large event is extremely helpful for your job search. To ease into it, reach out to individuals that you know will be there and make a plan to meet them.

 

For example, one of my professional associations, the Domestic Estate Management Association (DEMA), will be having their annual conference in Arizona in August 2016. (http://demaconvention.com/  ) Drawing over 200 private service professionals from all over the country, it can be intimidating for a newcomer. However, several have already reached out to me personally, planning to grab lunch or coffee at the event. This way, they know for a fact they will have some one-on-one time with someone, not just walking into an event filled with strangers.

 

5.       Practice your personal introduction

 

By now, you’ve probably heard of the “elevator speech” – a prepared and practiced personal introduction to break the ice with someone you just met. Most people consider this a commercial or pitch to convey who you are, what you can do for someone, and what you have to offer.

 

Be sure to write out and practice your introduction before you meet with anyone. Listen for the way it sounds: is it genuine, sincere, and honest? An elevator speech that is a true reflection of who you are and not just a gimmick will be easier to remember and will make a better first impression.

 

6.       Listen more than you speak

 

This is where the introvert’s strength really works in their favor. Introverts are masters of observation, quietly taking in the details and paying attention to what’s going on.  In networking situations, this comes across as someone who listens well. In general, people like to talk about themselves, especially to someone who is paying attention. With just a few prompting questions, you can get the other person to lead the conversation and leave a great impression at the same time.

 

7.       Follow up

 

The real value in any networking tactic is following up. Whether it’s writing a personal message to a new social media contact or emailing a person after an event, following up is the key to solidify the relationship and build positive results. After all, you don’t want to go through all of the uncomfortableness of unfamiliar networking just to let your efforts fall flat.

fistful of business cards

A fistful of business cards

I bet we all have them – a huge stack of business cards that we’ve gathered at various networking events, coffee meetings, leads groups, and random encounters. I just grabbed a stack out of my own purse today that’s at least two inches thick.

And do you know what most of these represent?

A missed opportunity. Or at least a bunch of dead weight I’ve been carrying around.

Let me get you my card…

Let’s be honest. Not every business card I receive is a fabulous opportunity. I have taken cards just to be polite with no intention of contacting the person again, for various reasons. Maybe this sales person was too pushy. Or maybe the person is in such as wide off field from me that I can’t really see how we can help each other in the future. But I always take the card, adding it to the noxious stack in my purse.

The problem with this is that these sub-par cards are standing in the way of the valuable contacts I did want to reach. Just this morning, I spent 10 minutes digging for a card, pawing through the stacks and still not finding the right one.

The real problem is organization and discipline.

Now what?

The biggest trick is to sort the stack as soon as possible and then TAKE ACTION. Just holding onto a card doesn’t do you any good, unless you are playing poker.

When returning from a networking event or meeting, I find that I can make the most of these new cards by following these steps:

  1. Sort the stack by A, B, and C contacts. The “As” are ones you definitely want to follow up with and the “Bs” are your second choice. “Cs” are the least desirable contacts.
  2. Throw away the “Cs.” (Yes, it’s allowed.)
  3. Send an email and LinkedIn invitation to all of your “As” and “Bs.” Make sure that you check them out first so you can send a custom message and tell them why you want to connect.
  4. Record the people you’ve contacted. This can be in an Excel sheet or even writing it on the card. Be sure to include the date and method of the contact.
  5. Set up follow up dates for your “As.”
  6. If you’re a pack rat like me, you may choose to keep the cards – but only your top choices. However, bundle them in rubber bands with the date and name of the event or the month if these are general connections. Another option is an actual binder with business card insert pages.
  7. Once the contact responds, save their information in your email program.
  8. Continue the relationship – perhaps in a personal meeting or phone call. Always think about what you can do for them. Can you offer recommendations, other contacts, or information?
  9. If you build a solid relationship, ask for more cards – so you can recommend the person to others!

LinkedIn Connections: the new stack of business cards

Many times, people connect on LinkedIn and then do nothing to further the relationship. This is the equivalent to throwing that business card in the purse. If you don’t do anything to get to really know the person, it’s just clutter in your Connections.

The trick here is to SEND A MESSAGE after the person connects with you, regardless of who initiated the invitation. About 95% or more of LinkedIn invitations I receive are the same generic boring greeting: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

I give people the benefit of the doubt because I know that many people don’t know how to change the standard message. However, after I connect with someone, I always send a follow up note thanking them for the invitation and asking about how I can help them.

It is the follow-up email that generates business and valuable professional relationships for me. From these actions, I have gotten contacts with key managers, executive job seekers, complimentary coaches, personal professional development opportunities, and strategic partners. This is where the magic of LinkedIn becomes obvious.

But you have to communicate for it to happen.

is your resume hitting it out of the park

Is your resume striking out or knocking it out of the park?

The job seeker steps up to the plate. You can feel the determination coming off of him like waves spreading across the field. The HR manager pitches the job, a hard fast ball that flies past the job seeker, who just misses it. Setting up for the second pitch now, a deceiving curve ball.  The job seeker swings hard and fans it, catching nothing but air.  It’s all riding on this final pitch.  Another fast ball, but all he does is watch it sail across the plate to have the umpire call the last strike.

Ever feel like that when sending your resume out to employers? When looking for a new job or opportunity, it can feel like the bottom of the 9th and the entire game is riding on your shoulders.

Follow these simple tips to knock your job search out of the park!

Batter on deck

Having a solid resume is very much like having a quality bat. You never see professional ball players at the plate with a whiffle Ball bat; it wouldn’t be able to compete. Nor do you see them trying to swing something they can’t lift.

Your resume is very similar. If your resume is lacking critical information and key words, it acts like a light piece of plastic that shatters on contact with a professional pitcher on the mound. If your resume is overloaded superfluous fluff or excessively old work history, it becomes slow and unwieldy in the hands of anything less than a superhuman.

When writing your resumes and cover letters, be sure to include things like contact information, key skills specific to the target job, and relevant duties. Don’t forget to highlight past achievements, such as sales metrics, customer volume, call volume, awards, and any other quantifiable metric appropriate for your target job.

One of the latest trends in modern resumes is to “get to the point.” Recruiters and hiring managers alike need to understand your strengths and abilities within 30 seconds.  If your resume is filled with too much padding just to be fancy, you can easily strike out.

Gotta swing to be a hitter

In baseball, the Strike Zone is based on the batter’s height and the width of the plate. Every batter’s ideal pitch is different, much like every job seeker’s ideal job is different. When considering different positions, think of each one as their own pitch. Something outside of your strike zone – for example, way out of your skill set, experience, or education – is not something you should swing at. Typically, HR uses those differentiators to determine their top candidates.

HOWEVER, you can’t tell what the top qualifications are just by reading the job description.  In every job posting, there are factors that the employers value more than others. For these reasons, you should apply to any job that catches your interest, especially if you hold most of the skills and experience desired.  You gotta swing to be a hitter!

Transitioning to a new role or industry?  Remember, HR tends to be pretty literal in screening candidates based on key words and qualifications, just like the umpire calling each pitch.  HOWEVER, you can still land a new job by reaching out to the hiring managers directly.  Many successful major league players are known for chasing a pitch outside of their normal strike zone and turning it into a single, double, triple, or even a home run.  The trick is knowing that they can make it work – and then proving it to the world.

Step into the box

Even before seeing a pitch, a baseball player performs a unique ritual as he steps into the batter’s box to get fully focused.  When the pitch comes screaming at him at 90 miles an hour, he is so focused that he can see the stiches on the ball.  As it gets into range, he raises his front foot, twists up from the feet and drives that sucker into the ball. He uses his whole body to drive power into the bat and launch that ball into the stratosphere.

Technique matters for job seekers too. Just doing the minimal effort when applying to a job is like swinging a bat with noodle arms.  If you really want to get an employer’s attention, track down the HR manager or even connect with higher-ups in your target companies using things like LinkedIn. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is very much alive in this day and age. Exercise the muscles of your network to fully engage all of your strengths to hit it out of the park.

 

 

 

 

Get your job search ready for the New Year

When most people think of the pending New Year, typical resolutions spring to mind: exercise more, eat right, and – of course – get serious about their job search.  However, while many people know they want to get something new, deciding what to do first for the job hunt is not always apparent.

Try this checklist to get your job search into full swing…

  1. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

Even if you updated your resume as recently as six months ago, take another critical look at it.  Did you get the results you wanted?  Are you pulling in key words that are relevant for your industry today, or are you using outdate terms?  Have you summarized the older, less pertinent work history to highlight your more recent accomplishments better?  Don’t forget about the format and look of the resume itself.  An outdated format can not only look boring to the reader, but may actually make an online application system choke if it’s built exclusively with tables, text boxes, or graphics.

As for your LinkedIn profile, many of these same rules apply.  However, it also needs to be dynamic, engaging, personable, and informative.  LinkedIn allows us to include more information than just the resume alone.  That’s one of the reasons why employers will automatically look at an applicant’s LinkedIn profile before contacting him or her for an interview.  Plus, recruiters search for passive candidates on LinkedIn. You want to make sure that you are layering in the right key words to attract their attention.

  1. Set up your job search agents or saved searches

January is known as being a boom time for new job postings online.  Make sure that you have a saved search for your target jobs on the major employment sites, including LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, and so on.  Remember to include sites specific to your industry, such as Dice for IT positions and EstateJobs for private service.

Big tip: don’t set up every job board to send you a notification every single day.  You want to rotate these, so that you don’t end up seeing the same job over and over.  This creates “perceived scarcity” in your mind; in other words, after days of viewing the same positions, the brain rebels and cries “I don’t know why I’m doing this!  There’s never anything new!”  If you set up your email notices on a rotation, such as Indeed on Monday, CareerBuilder on Tuesday, LinkedIn on Wednesday, and so on, you overcome the perceived scarcity as you continually see new information.

  1. Plan on networking

Yes, networking is still a main tool of job searching.  This includes online resources, such as LinkedIn, and the live, face-to-face meeting with people.  If you aren’t sure of where to meet others in your field, start with professional associations, Meetup groups based on your industry, alumni groups through your college, and LinkedIn Groups based on your interest.

NOTE: LinkedIn is changing the way Groups behave!  Where it used to be relatively easy to join Groups, you now have to be invited by an existing Group member.  If you want to see more of the upcoming 2016 LinkedIn changes, please join my free webinar, “LinkedIn Updates for 2016:” https://www.eventbrite.com/e/linkedin-updates-for-2016-tickets-20002774838

  1. Research your market

One of the best things you can do for your search is get familiar with your local market.  This means not only learning the names of companies, but determining what industries are growing, which are declining, and what is the next to emerge on the scene.  Local business magazines, the Chambers of Commerce, the Office of Economic Development, and the Department of Labor can be great resources in these areas.

For example, the IT / Tech industry in the Denver and Boulder market has been heating up considerably in the past 6 months.  Recruiters are actively sourcing candidates and are still struggling to fill the positions.  However, the Oil & Gas industry, a longtime staple in the Colorado market, has been struggling for over a year.  Yet, every week our company receives calls from people wanting to break into Oil & Gas.  While it’s not impossible, it’s exceeding difficult for newcomers, just based on the economic health of the industry right now.  For these career changers, they may want to research other options that will capitalize on their transferrable skills.

  1. Become solutions-oriented

The traditional job search starts with applying to a job online and waiting for HR to call to set up the interview.  However, the modern job search often requires the creativity to think outside the box and the courage to implement the plan.

While HR doesn’t want to receive your calls or emails, there is nothing in the rules against reaching out to key managers at your target companies.  Of course, it must be done the right way, but start with accepting the fact that managers can be just as frustrated with the hiring process as you are.  Even if the company has a policy against the managers receiving resumes, the worst that will happen is that your resume will be sent to HR – which is where you have already applied.

Look for solutions to the job search, as well as offering solutions to the employers.  In the end, this is what they really need. Someone who can take them to the next level through determination, drive, and that legendary can-do attitude.

Don’t be a Scrooge in your job search

Dickens Scrooge Man with Candlestick Walking in Winter Forest at Moonlight.

The holidays are nearly upon us. It is a time of goodwill, new beginnings and kindness. For the modern job seeker, many just put off their resumes and job searching till the first of the year. People are natural procrastinators in that respect. After all, there are not a lot of job postings or hiring going on this time of year. Everyone seems to have other things on their mind compared to a boring old resume or keeping up with their networks.

This only makes things worse for you later on.  After all, we can all learn from Scrooge that if “nothing changes, then nothing changes.”  With that in mind, what to the three Holiday Spirits – Past, Present, and Future – have to teach us about the job search?

The past: foundation to a good outcome

I like to think of the resume a representation of the past. It is quite literally a timeline of your past achievements, where you came from, and the skills you have acquired in your professional history. If your past is jumbled and unclear, your resume can feel like a looming spirit of past transgressions and culminate into a vicious cycle of infrequent interviews and even fewer job offers.

Take the time this season to explore your past and bring it to light in a positive way. Demonstrate yourself to be a viable candidate for the job you are going after with a history that shows the skills and talents employers are seeking.

The present: networking and meaningful connections

A healthy network is key in the modern era of job searching. Are you on LinkedIn? If not, we always recommend getting with it. HR departments will be looking you up on LinkedIn, making your professional social media presence more important than ever before. More importantly, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people in your industry or with companies you would like to work for. A strong network will get you more attention from companies and the hiring managers within them.

If your network is not as established yet, you deal with another malignant ghost haunting your holidays. It often feels as if you don’t know the right people, or you can’t get the recommendations, or you are simply out of the loop.

While building the network, don’t forget to take some time with your network over the holidays, even if it is sending out a simple season’s greetings and wishing them well. One of Scrooge’s biggest mistakes was to not value his current employee, skipping over the personal connection that actually creates a positive work culture.  It took a ghost to show him Tiny Tim’s plight, even though he employed his father for years.  Be sure to reach out to your connections to show that you care.  A little kindness for your network will get you far once the holidays are over.

The future: building an effective strategy

The future looms over us all in this life and is often a source of anxiety and stress, especially for those of us out there looking for a new job. As far as most are concerned, the future and planning for it stops at decided what job their target job is. However, it takes real work to set up action steps to achieve that new position.  Without a clear strategy, life actually continues on the same path – and for Scrooge, that was foretold as a lonely and grim future.

To become a master of your own destiny, start forming a real job search plan and proactive, effective strategy. Ask yourself the following:

  • What is my target job?
  • Who are my potential employers?
  • Where are they advertising their positions?
  • What is their own presences on LinkedIn or other social media sites?
  • Do I have connections at these companies already?
  • Who should I be contacting and how do I track down their contact information?
  • When will I schedule time for my job search?
  • How will I track the results of my applications and interviews?
  • Who are my best advocates within my network?

Once you answer these questions for yourself, you will have a clearer idea of how to start your job search. If you aren’t clear about how to implement every aspect of your search, consider checking out additional resources, such as books, thought leaders, or even coaches to get you moving forward.

Taking charge of your fate

Like Scrooge, we can’t avoid the ultimate fate that waits at the end of our lives.  However, we can choose how we shall live, and that includes the opportunity to work at a job that we truly enjoy.  The important thing is to establish some realistic goals, fine tune your resume, and build a network that will help you reach it. From there, you become a better architect for your future and take it from the hands of fate.

Don’t put things off till after the holidays. Take the time now to build a great resume that highlights your glowing reputation, establish a strong and meaningful connection with the people in your network, and work out an effective set of goals to put yourself ahead of the other job seekers this winter. Happy holidays!

The 2015 Guide to Private Service Agencies and Educators is here!

guide to private service agencies and educators

CLICK HERE to join our newsletter and get you free copy of the guidebook

After several months of careful editing and revisions, we are finally ready to release the 2015 edition of “The Guide to Private Service Agencies and Educators.”  Featuring over 20 agencies, major schools, and notable educators in the luxury lifestyle management, this guide is a valuable resource to anyone looking for a job in the domestic services industry, from nannies to estate managers and everything in-between.

Best of all, you can get your copy for free!

Just sign up for our free eNewsletter to download this helpful PDF: http://eepurl.com/bgVrJr

Already receiving our eNewsletter? Give us a “like” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/personaltouchcareerservices

After you sign up for the newsletter, you will receive an email telling you how to download your own copy – plus an extra-special free gift to help you prepare for the tough interview questions.

 

The Resume: Your Character Sheet

businessman fighting in knight suitWhen writing a resume, many folks just put all the things they have done in the past to paper and never give it a second thought. Those same folks often end up on the wrong side of adventure in the world of other job seekers. Everyone is the hero of their own life story. Problems arise in the realm of business, and only the right person for the job will do. They need a hero; are you ready to answer the call to glory and daring exploits?

 

Your resume is in essence a character sheet for you, like in a game of Dungeon’s and Dragons or character stats in an MMORPG game. It shows your skills, your experience and other important attributes that are integral to getting the right job for you. The Hiring Manager (AKA: Dungeon Master) uses these pages to assess whether someone is the right fit for a job, rolls some dice, and sets adventurous job seekers on their path to riches, fame and honor. If your resume is all over the place with unnecessary information it’s possible, even likely, that it simply gets tossed aside and forgotten. No one deserves to be banished to the dark realms. Follow these steps, and you too can start your own quest as the fine upstanding hero.

Step 1: Choose a Class – Warrior, Wizard, Scribe or Thief?

First thing you should always know before starting your adventure as an intrepid job seeker is to choose a class. Are you a warrior, forged through years of battle that left your homeland to find fortune? A capricious thief and master of stealth? Maybe you are a mighty wizard, wizened by years of study, with a compendium of spells that make even the most impossible of tasks seem like an afterthought as you bend reality to your will? The possibilities are endless.

 

The most important thing to remember when choosing your class is to highlight it throughout the resume. Often times, this is represented in the very headline of your resume. Are you a sales executive? Are you an administrative assistant? An office manager perhaps? Whatever the general title of what it is you do, you must show that throughout the resume with skills that relate to that. There are certain elements each “Class” considers to be necessary skills in the eyes of the Dungeon Master. If that is not present on your character sheet, it’s obvious you won’t get the job. What kind of wizard can’t cast spells? What kind of sales consultant can’t talk to people?

 

These are the type of things you must consider when writing a resume. Pick a focus and run with it for the type of job you really want to get. If you want to be the party thief, you had better show that you know how to pick locks and lurk in the shadows!

 

Step 2: Character Background and Skills

Every hero has a story, and so should you! This is represented on your resume with your cover letter. Here you tell them, in no uncertain terms, why you are the best candidate for the job. It should all tie back to your Class, but more importantly, this is where you explain what you can do for them. Your resume and cover letter, while concerning you, are not about you. Both of these tools are about what you can do for others, and should be treated as such.

 

Your skills are your top attributes. Again, these should relate to your Class. All thieves should know how to sneak, all warriors should know how to swing a sword, and all Administrative Assistants should know how to use Microsoft Office. If you list a bunch of skills that have nothing to do with your actual ability or your Class, you only hurt yourself by bogging down your resume with irrelevant information. Stick with not only what you know, but what is also relevant for the job.

 

Step 3: Experience Points

Lastly, lets discus experience. In games, it is vital for improving your character’s ability in their particular skill set. This is usually represented with a numerical points. In life, you don’t really get that luxury. If you hand a resume over to the HR department and it contains “500,000 XP – Employee Level 13” it is highly unlikely you will get any calls back (unless, of course, it’s a Federal job for a G6 or higher).

That’s not to say experience points don’t belong on your resume. Rather, your experience points take the form of accomplishments you achieved in previous jobs and even the previous jobs themselves. If you have been working at a company for three years and want to move into a new company, don’t take it for granted that the Dungeon Master knows your accomplishments from a different department.

Many folks list their responsibilities at each position, which is good, but you can do one better. When writing your employment history, phrase things so that they show actual achievements in the job. For example, “Responsible for shipping and receiving” is bland and weak, whereas, “Shipped packages all over the globe and received inventory for 5,000 square foot warehouse” demonstrates things in a measurable and unique way that is sure to capture the attention of the hiring manager.

Don’t forget experience points gained through your education, special certifications, awards, organizations and specialized training. All of these things add into your collective “Experience Level” in a way that is measurable to the HR department and managers alike.

 

Step 4: Slay the Dragons

Looking at your resume in this light, you can see the importance of targeting your resume in your chosen field. We all want to be the hero in our own story. With these tools, you can slay the dragon, save the kingdom and get the job you really want.

Agency Spotlight: Distinguished Domestics

Distinguished Domestic logo 2015Awarded the DEMA Agency of the Year award in 2012, Distinguished Domestics is highly respected in the industry.  Located just outside Beverly Hills, California, they are an agency for professionals that truly enjoys the work they do. Respect is the name of their game, and Elise Lewis was kind enough to tell us more about her agency.

1.            How long have you been in business? 

I started my first agency in Los Angeles in 1988, pre computers and before anyone had ever heard of an Estate Manager.  After the birth of my third child I decided to sell the agency.  One year later, in 1990, I opened Kensington Nannies, Ltd. which is still in existence and the parent company to Distinguished Domestic Services.

2.            What makes your agency unique? 

I think what makes our agency stand apart from the rest is the passion that I have for what I do.  Coming in to the office each day doesn’t feel like work to me, I truly enjoy my profession and would not trade what I do for any other job.  I treat each candidate with the utmost of respect regardless if they are applying for a housekeeping position or a $250K Estate Manager’s position.  I value the experience that each professional has acquired over their years of working at private residences.  When meeting with candidates, I give them my undivided attention so that I can truly get to know them and make a long term placement for them.  In addition, I have a very loyal longtime client base, most of whom refer other clients; I have a large “word of mouth” reputation in Los Angeles, which I feel blessed to have.  At this point in my career and based on my years of experience, I try not to work with a client who I know will be trouble and treat their employee’s unfairly.  Also, after years of experience in this field, I am not intimidated to ask details concerning the “vibe” of the Employers demeanor and the working environment.  I am a true employee advocate.

3.            What types of positions do you place? 

We place most positions in a private residence.  Estate Managers, House Managers, Butlers, Drivers, Chefs, Couples, Gardeners, Facility Maintenance Personnel, Personal Assistants, Handymen, Security, Companions, Housekeepers and Nannies.

4.            What is your ideal candidate? 

My ideal candidate is someone who truly enjoys their line of work, is honest, has great references and is willing to commit to a long term placement.

5.            Do you place across the country or locally?  If so where. 

We place all over the country for our clients who are willing to pay relocation; it is usually for the big jobs on an Estate (Estate Managers and/or couples).  Most of our placements are in Southern California and primarily in the Los Angeles area.

 

6.            Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc.?

The degrees/certificates that each candidate has are always a bonus.  We do not require them as criteria to register with us.  However, we do receive specific requests attached to the job order from our clients who may require certain education be mandatory for eligibility.  Our requirement to register with our agency is a minimum of three years’ experience in the field in which you are applying to, with verifiable references.

7.            Where do you announce your open jobs? 

We post them on our website and occasionally we will put them on LinkedIn and/or send out a tweet.  For some of the national searches, we also post on the DEMA website, The Caretakers Gazette website and The Domestic Herald website.

8.            How should a candidate apply for a job? 

Do you want an online application, resume or both?  We have a form on our website that a candidate can fill out which we check daily, if they meet our requirements then we send them our full application.  It is always best to send us a resume as an email attachment.  If they are already a registered applicant, they can either call our office or send us an email.

9.            Do you belong to any professional associations?  

We are a member of DEMA (Domestic Estate Managers Association) and we were awarded The Agency of Year award in 2012.  I have also attended conferences for APNA (Association for Professional Nanny Agencies) and INA (International Nanny Association).

10.          How can people contact you?

We are in the office every day Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.  We welcome phone calls, but would prefer receiving an email with a resume prior to a phone call.  In today’s day and age, emails are a 24/7 thing.

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