Being Prepared

Being Prepared

What transpired in college football on the last two weekends reinforces the importance of having a clear vision and being prepared. The lesson it teaches has a very strong business application. One week ago Michigan defeated Michigan State in a dramatic last-play as the clock expired, taking advantage of a fumble on the part of Michigan’s kicker and returning it for a touchdown. This weekend Georgia Tech defeated Florida State in a dramatic last-play as the clock expired, blocking a field goal and returning it for a touchdown. These were not planned plays. They were the best (or worst, depending on which team you rooted for) outcomes possible. The winning teams did things right on one play, taking advantage of the opportunity. Football teams practice recovering fumbles and blocking field goals. That’s pretty basic. But once that has happened, what next? In one word: preparation. Instinct prevailed in both these situations. Even in the pressure of the situation players somehow knew what to do with the opportunity that presented itself. They did not take time to think. They acted. Organizations must have a vision. Strategic plans follow from that vision; the challenge then becomes how to make it happen. Usually this includes following a well-orchestrated approach using available resources. But there are times when an opportunity unexpectedly presents itself. Knowing how to proceed in a timely manner is critical. The vision provides the framework for decisions. Preparation provides the ability to move rapidly, sometimes altering courses and calling in new resources. Many products that are well known today are the result of someone taking advantage of something that was...
Why Should I Read Your Resumé?

Why Should I Read Your Resumé?

Sometime ago I wrote a couple of posts about resumés. They seem even more appropriate now because every day we receive even greater numbers of resumés. How do you get someone to read yours with all this “clutter?” Most resumés focus on the individual’s experience. After all, “you” are the product it is selling. It’s easy to believe that the more things you have done, the better you will fit into a position someone wants to fill. But you might have skipped a critical step. Think about a salesperson who walks into a potential new customer and talks about the features and benefits of the product – without determining the customer’s requirements. How successful is he likely to be? Understanding who will be reading your resumé provides insight into what they are looking for. But how do you determine this? If your resumé is shared with others within the organization, how do you make it attractive to each? I can guarantee that it won’t be by listing of all the things you have done. That may come later, after at least mild interest has been created. Catching someone’s attention, and maybe their imagination, requires that they understand what you have accomplished; where you have succeeded. After all, a resumé is no more than a preliminary step, an advertisement targeted at getting you a conversation, and “into the recruiting process.” If you will look at my other posts I believe you will get some ideas. My next post will continue on this theme and also contain more specific thoughts and suggestions that will help you to break through that...
Preparing for Your Job Interview

Preparing for Your Job Interview

When someone who is actively searching for a job learns they are going to be interviewed, they now “begin to prepare in earnest.”  The goal is to learn as much as possible about the organization. The power of the internet is that anyone can quickly find out lots of information.  From financial perspectives to “what people are saying about” an organization.  Social media such as LinkedIn provides an opportunity to contact people who have specific experience within the organization.  Information in the trade press reflects how the organization is perceived.  All this enables you to form a much more enlightened opinion.  It prepares you for the interview. Armed with this information, you are now ready.  Don’t approach your interview by showing the people you are meeting with how much you know about their organization!  Rather, use this information as background knowledge and develop specific questions so you can learn more important things about the organization.  Is this an organization where you would be able to continue with your personal goals?  Does this role take advantage of your knowledge and skills?  Is the culture one where you would thrive – or at least succeed?  How much support will you have in your new role?  What are the expectations of the person in this role? During the interview you are gathering information to answer these questions: Will you succeed in the position Will you thrive in the organization Will you enjoy working with your fellow associates Is this organization worthy of your time and efforts Of course, the way the job market (or rather lack of jobs) has been for many,...