Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Interview Pitch

Prior to an interview, it would be wise to plan ahead and do a little homework!

Try researching the company and the position if possible, as well, the people you will meet with at the interview. Review your work experiences.

Basically, have your facts ready!

Now remember, the pitch is just a sample idea of what you could possibly use – don’t let it appear as if you’ve memorized it (it could kill the whole process)

Also remember keywords are an integral part of any pitch

Mentioned below is a small SAMPLE pitch (about 30 seconds)

"I am particularly interested in the position offered, and as my resume reveals my background and work experience in project management is ideally suited for this position"

I also have experience in (add whatever line you feel is best) (but only one line and that too, if required)

I look forward to taking on new challenges and contributing to your knowledge base and converting strategies to competitive positions (closing line, only if required).


While you are describing your accomplishments, be sure to use powerful keywords to signify the importance and magnitude of those feats. It is not the time to be modest. Use strong action verbs that really drive home what you’re trying to say. Use industry terms, where appropriate, if you are seeking a job similar to your current position. The company will understand this terminology and be relieved to know that you are competent enough to comprehend them as well

Before we jump in with questions and self-assessments, let's get one thing upfront and on the table. An interviewer develops an impression of you in the first few minutes of your meeting, and spends the rest of the interview confirming, not altering, their initial impression. Therefore, practice, practice and practice some more

Be calm and answer the question with a positive and confident approach and keep the tone casual. When you answer, clearly show that you have researched carefully and acquired more in-depth knowledge about the company

During the interview, remember to be an active listener, pay attention, and ask good questions. You should show respect to the recruiter, answer clearly, and keep your enthusiasm high. Exhibit good posture and maintain eye contact. When shaking the hand of a recruiter, use one firm squeeze and do not break eye contact.

Wishing you the best

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting A Professional Resume Writer To Write Your Resumes

In the midst of hundreds of resumes that any recruiter or employer receive for any given position, your resume needs to stand out from that crowd.

In other words, you must make the Recruitment Manager want to read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant.

The only way to achieve this is by designing an "accomplishment driven resume".

Now what makes a resume that focuses on achievements, so effective?

It can be said that most job seekers tend to list their responsibilities of their past and current positions without highlighting on their achievements. Although responsibilities are an important factor, the crux should be on achievements. If you are seeking a high-level position, it becomes even more necessary

In other words, you have to show proof of those results that you were able to achieve and that you would be able to repeat it should the future employer hire you.

Presentations and fancy dressed up resumes are just not enough. Of course, there are instances there when the odd one that has been selected just because of the fanciness, but these are only rare cases.

You must be in a position to describe how you have increased the company’s bottom line or managed any projects that lead to increase revenue and company savings. Of course then there is the case when you are able to show how you have restructured the organization, leading to increased employee morale and company profitability. Now the interviewer or resume reviewer must get the picture that you are capable to repeat these performances.

This is the kind of information that managers seek out amongst the clutter of resumes that they receive.

Another important aspect for an "accomplishment driven resume" is the resume format itself. Try not to mix your achievements and responsibilities together. In other words, you can write an overview of your responsibilities in a paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments with bullet points.

Basically, if everything looks the same, nothing will stand out.

By applying the above points, your potential employers would not only be able to see what you have achieved in the past, but what you could offer to them in the future as well.

Now that the achievement issue has been discussed, let’s get to the next step.

If you have been sending out your resume and not getting interviews, you can certainly blame your resume.

Without a good resume, companies virtually have no idea that you even exist - unless you are invited to an interview by the hiring authority, you may as well be invisible.

We live in a market economy and you must learn to market yourself effectively and aggressively or suffer in a 'go nowhere' job while your friends move on to new opportunities and brighter futures.

As a matter of fact, the primary job of your resume is to only open doors !

Now the question arises, whether you should write the resume yourself or hire a "professional resume writer".

There are chances that if you do the writing, that key elements could be missing and a jobseeker generally doesn't discover this until a good portion of time has been poured into the job search.

For example a job-search campaign can stretch out for weeks or months.

Let's look at some numbers that will determine whether a resume writing service is worth the investment.

First, the salary you are seeking, say $36,000.

Now, let's divide that number by 2,080 (based upon 8 hours per day, multiplied by 5 days and further multiplied by 52 weeks) and you will come up with $17.31 per hour (gross).

Every day, you will lose just over $138.45, and for every week, $692.30.

Let us say your job search takes 6 months, you will lose an estimated $18,000.

Compare these with the costs that you might have to shell out for hiring a “professional resume writer” and you will see that their charges come to only about (2) days of your expected salary.

Of course, there are the ones (like poor me!!) that you could get cheap, but then that requires a lot of research. Whenever, you do a research, you must remember to pay yourself as well.

Another grey area is the cover letter.

Since the cover letter is what most hiring managers read first, you have less than 10 seconds in which to make your reader want to put down your cover letter, pick up the phone and call you for a job interview. This 10 seconds makes or breaks you. It provides the information that hiring mangers use to make decisions on who gets called, interviewed, and hired.

It's your cover letter which decides that!

A cover letter with a concise format is easy to scan and shows respect for the reader's limited time.

Recruitment Managers don't have the time nor the inclination to sift through the hundreds of resumes they receive. If your resume is not available on the manager's desk at the correct time, with the correct format, the job assignment is going to go to the person whose resume and cover letter managed to get there first, even if you're the better person for the job.

Is this not better than waiting for an interview with your fingers crossed!

So, while resume preparation on your own is possible, there really is no substitute for letting a resume writer do it. Besides, if you are not getting any feedback on the resumes you have written, it is time you tried out a "professional resume writer".

Mainly because, it really doesn't pay to cut corners when it comes to your career.

If you still need more information, contact me, and perhaps we could discuss whether the fault lies with your resume !

Article Courtesy :

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Changing Your Career At Forty

Changing your career at any age can be a little nerve rattling; however as adults approach the age of 40.

Several factors keep many in jobs they would otherwise let go. These factors include age discrimination, opportunity to further education, and much needed encouragement to get started. After counseling people in their careers for 18 years I have seen numerous people successfully change careers after 40. The key to these changes has often entailed:

1. Taking an inventory of skills.

Here is a simple way for you to get started. Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a very large T on the paper. Write on the left side of the T, skills or jobs you have most enjoyed over the years. On the other half of the T, skills or jobs you did not enjoy. Consider your past work history, hobbies, and volunteer experiences when filling in your "T" area. Here are a few examples: Working with people, data, things, instructing others, artistic, mechanical, scientific, managing, influencing, sales, working with your hands, job location. Be as specific as you can with your likes and dislikes

2. To get additional career ideas research the classified Ads - Even consider local businesses that you feel you would enjoy working at or even owning.

Then, make a note of them, and add them to your list of potential careers to further research.

In the Millennium new career opportunities are opening up everyday, and many new small business are emerging! Consider how you may use your skills and expertise to take advantage of this growing need in society. Click on "starting a business" to see the books we currently have on-line to help you start your own business. Working from your home and starting out small can be fun, too.

For more info, check out the below link;

3. Choose a career you can enjoy, not one that is only directed at making money.

You will need passion and enthusiasm to learn new things, and to push yourself to greater heights. The more you enjoy the work you choose, the more time you will spend at it. This can help you increase your income potential in the long run. Why not create a life based on the best person you want to be. Not what someone else tells you to be. Life really can be fun if you create income based on what you truly enjoy doing.

4. After researching careers you find interesting, narrow down your career selections.

Learn more about each career you find interesting. Helpful books for in-depth career research can be located at your local library.

5. Put your plan together.

Do you need more education? Additional financial resources? A new resume? Support from your family members? An intermediate job? Write a plan of action, then follow it step by step.

Changing your career at 40 is very possible. Remember changing your career can also include starting your own business.

Focus on the skills you enjoy using the most, and build a career based solidly on your likes.

Changing a career is a process that can be fun, self awakening, and can give you a new zeal for living. Get started today and ask the people who care the most about you to give you the support you need. If you need further help contact your local college and ask if they provide career counseling or consult the yellow pages and look under vocational counseling

For a more precise tool in determining careers that you may be compatible with, check out the Quick Job Search Guide It provides information on careers a person is better suited to as well as self employment options, too. The assessment is easy to understand, and most importantly can be taken in the privacy of your home to determine careers that you are better suited to

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thought Process Management


Mahatma Gandhi endorsing products!

I still remember being a bit shocked in seeing Apple's 'Think Different' advertisement campaign in Silicon Valley a few years ago. It was initially disconcerting to see Bapu (as he was popularly known as in India) being used posthumously, to help sell products in a foreign land.

Isn’t that branding at the highest level or was it going against branding principles ?

Looking back, I now feel that was perhaps the beginning of a deeper appreciation and acceptance of what Indian philosophy and personalities can contribute to business thought and business success, in line with today’s business processes and thinking

The late Sumantra Ghoshal, had categorically mentioned sometime back that a very different and new kind of management philosophy is blooming and that it will soon become the dominant thinking force and will cover the purpose, process, people and philosophy.

In fact, he was right.

We are now moving beyond strategy to purpose and beyond structure to process and also beyond systems to people.

India has now become the place for “business process outsourcing” (BPO). Gradually, it has also become a hub for “knowledge process outsourcing” (KPO).

In the last few years, so much has been written about Business Process Management, and about technologies supporting it such as BPMS, SOAP and Web Services. Most of these theories, tools and techniques refer to processes of a highly structured nature.

Typically, BPM theorists and practitioners have focused on highly structured processes, like back office processes of industrial or administrative nature. These processes happened to be highly standardized and repeatable and are able to generate a consistent output and in most cases are likely to be automated. Besides, all process instances are executed in a very similar way and it is easy to draw a flowchart detailing the sequence in which tasks are executed. It is also possible to formalize the business rules that guide the decisions which are normally based on the evaluation of some process variables.

But recently there are also other kinds of processes have caught the attention of process management specialists. They are known as knowledge processes, or knowledge based processes (KPO).

Knowledge based processes or KPO can be in a way defined as "high value added processes in which the achievement of goals is linked to the skills, knowledge and experience of the people carrying them out". Some examples of KPO could be management, R&D, or new product development processes. However, it is to be noted that knowledge processes cannot be managed by following the standard “business process management” paradigm.

However, some people maintain that knowledge workers don't like following procedures, because they feel it limits their creativity; but most of the time they will be happy to follow a procedure as long as they see value in it, perceiving that it helps them work better and produce a better process output.

They are, in a way, more difficult to implement through discipline than administrative human centric processes (as some discipline is needed). It is better to focus on obtaining buy-in from the people affected by the processes through early involvement, communication and expectations management. In fact, the best way to ensure process improvement is to generate an environment in which people are motivated, enthusiastic and passionate about process management.

To ensure a smooth flow of process is to choose a person with leadership skills and an appropriate level of responsibility, and influence him in such a way that they are responsible for the continuous improvement of the process. In other words, give them a clear objective to achieve and an incentive to reach the goal. In addition, also ensure that the flow of information between executors and the process owner is fluid and also encourage people to contribute to process enhancement through incentives. View employees as a part of the process and their input as their stock value and reward contributors accordingly, in addition to monetary incentives.

This new interesting and subtle process has been fast gaining acceptance, a process that was pointed out by the late Sumantra Ghoshal, sometime back. It is now popularly known as “thought process management” and has widely gained acceptance and recognition in world business philosophy.

Thought process management, will not only shift the basic doctrine of shareholder capitalism but moderate it as well. Accordingly, it would mean that if people are adding the most value then people will increasingly have to be seen as investors and not as employees. Shareholders obviously invest money and expect a return on their money and expect capital growth. Now, people will also be seen in the same way. So they will invest their human capital in the company, will expect a return on it and expect growth of that capital.

According to the wikipedia, thought leadership is a buzzword or article or jargon used to describe a futurist or person who is recognized among their peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights.

Phew ! Just like legal advisers, we are now going to have to hire more astrologers and tarot readers as who could be better thought-process advisers other than them ! (pardon me, and please view this in the sense it is portrayed)

Although, Ghoshal was right about a new management philosophy blooming in the business world, the term, “thought leadership” was incidentally first coined early back in 1994, by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the magazine, Strategy & Business. The term was used to designate interview subjects for that magazine who had contributed new thoughts to business.

Among the first "thought leaders," were British management thinker, Charles Handy, Stanford economist Paul Romer, Mitsubishi president, Minoru Makihara, and University of Michigan strategist, C.K. Prahalad and his co-author, Gary Hamel, a professor at the London Business School. Since then, the term has spread from business to other disciplines and has come to mean someone who enlivens old processes with new ideas. As a result, there are thought leaders in the sciences, humanities and even in government.

Then there is Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Dr. Chopra left a lucrative career in medicine to establish an unprecedented hold in American thought by an Indian.

The only other person who had such a large hold was Antony Robbins with his NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) theory.

Dr. Chopra combined this 'there is more to it than money' theory with lessons from Yoga, Indian scriptures like the Bhagavad-Gita, and common sense Indian thinking about good and healthy living. Interestingly, Dr. Chopra adopted eastern values, while successfully linking it with western business tools. He is also a regular guest on television prime time programs and has influential friends and followers in Hollywood, and enjoys a high profile social life.

He mentored and extensively inspired his students to take a more holistic view of management and leadership, so that it can be linked to a broader society.

"The best way to describe it is inclusive capitalism," says C K Prahalad, a consultant and University of Michigan professor who ranked third in a recent Times of London poll about the world's most influential business thinkers. "It's the idea that corporations can simultaneously create value and social justice."

Mahatma Gandhi also did not play within the expected rules of the day, and took his ahimsa (non-violence) strategy straight to the British using people power and the media. Such innovative and out of the box thinking, is becoming the norm given the pressures from competitiveness and need for profitability in world business.

Sometime back, Harvard’s Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, an Associate Professor of Management at Harvard Business School co-authored the book, “management by profession”. Basically, the book is developed through a sociological analysis of elite, US business schools, it also covers these business processes in detail. They tend to view these not only as a profession in a technical sense, but in a normative sense which considers things like responsibility, mutual respect for the various constituents in a business enterprise such as employees and customers, and accountability.

They did also mention that most of these ideas were catalyzed through their discussions with the late Sumantra Ghoshal.

His legacy lives on.

A passage to India

Some US companies have appeared to have recognized the shifting intellectual tide. A number of business houses, now regularly send people to India, thus reversing the traditional flow of corporate knowledge. Infosys, for example, runs an intern program in which Americans go to work in India. US companies that include Intel are also now becoming more attuned to Indian culture.

Intel is not alone. Other high-tech firms including Adaptec, AMD, Intuit, and Rockwell Automation are also offering Indian cultural lessons to their employees. Unlike some diversity training, which is aimed at avoiding law suits, Indian cultural programs are specifically aimed at boosting performance. Some companies, like chipmaker AMD, have gone further. For its Indian Global Immersion Program, the firm flew teams of Indian workers – at $17,000 per person – to Sunnyvale, California, and Austin, Texas, for a month of cultural training with US managers.

In the increasingly global world of business thinking, an American Spring could be followed by an Indian Summer.

The Thinkers 50 List lists the most influential global business thought-leaders for the year 2007.

Hence, thought leadership is an emerging discipline in its own right.

Our ability to understand its core practices, then to effectively apply them are the keys to positioning ourselves and our companies for next level of growth.

Article Courtesy;