Archives For resume

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Staying in Touch w/ LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool as far as I am concerned.  It allows me to connect with old friends, people I’ve lost track of over the years, and to establish new contacts without having to remember to get cards from everyone.  When people leave a job, I know about it, and when I meet someone in a meeting, I can learn more about them online.  If you’re in sales, you need a LinkedIn account – but I think most people know that.  What you might not be thinking about is, what is your LinkedIn profile for  -who is your audience and who did you write for?  In other words, do you have the right message on your current profile?

New Job vs. New Client

The answer should vary.  There will be times when you need a new job.  If that’s the case, you probably want to rework your summary and job descriptions to match what an employer would be looking for.  However, that same information might not be the best value proposition for meeting new clients.  For instance, you do want your prospective employer to be reading about your sales achievements – but when talking to prospects, it’s better to highlight your ability to advise people on specific technology decisions and to communicate your value as an adviser to a client.

Is Your Profile a Resume?

Most of the LinkedIn profiles I review read like a resume – they tell a story of sales achievements.  I read things like, “Made presidents club, or achieved 2X of my quota.”  Something tells me that your prospective customer doesn’t care about that.  If you have a good job, change your LinkedIn profile – tell people what you are doing to meet needs.  Share areas of expertise, interest, and helpfulness.  State your customer facing mission, sound helpful, and communicate your core areas of expertise.  This is what your upcoming meeting participants want to know.

Also, remember that LinkedIn is searchable.  Using key words such as vendor product names and technology trends like “Big Data” can help others find you in an overcrowded marketplace.

How to Speak – Be Social

Speak in first person – since this is not a formal resume, don’t make it into one.  LinkedIn is social media, so be social.   Share what you are passionate about.  If you’re on your way to a meeting – chances are  people will be looking you up before you arrive.  What would you like them to know about you?  It’s always helpful to have some content out there that generates discussion.  Consider filling in your favorite books, activities, and other personal items that allow people to connect with you.  Of course you want to avoid giving out personal information, but if you’re in sales, you need enough to advertise yourself.

But don’t blow your own horn.  If you sound like a know-it-all, you’ll turn people off.  If you have done some great things, it will be evident in the stories you share – but constantly tooting your horn can be annoying.  If you have publications or credentials, you want to list them, but you don’t need to say, “I am the best”.  Everyone knows you wrote your own descriptions, so there is not use is write accolades in the third person.  When I read, “Bob is customer driven, responsive, and ….”.  I know Bob wrote it…so now I am thinking, wow, Bob really likes himself.  But, Bob also sounds like every other sales person.

I’d rather read something like, “I believe my client’s deserve my attention…I believe there are better ways to make this or that happen, etc.”  What do you believe, and how do you live it.  These core values may be some of the best value you can write about.  Write it, live it, prove it, and get your references to endorse it.

© 2013, David Stelzl

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Word to the Wise

March 12, 2010 — Leave a comment

Most people are hired for their outstanding representation of skills and experience (whether they are real or not)…most are fired for reasons of poor character.  Work hard and demonstrate outstanding character today!

© David Stelzl 2010

Jobless?

February 6, 2009 — Leave a comment

If you’ve been let go – this is for you.   Every day I receive resumes from past work associates, workshop attendees, and seminar attendees.  Companies are trimming back, cutting costs, and looking to reduce headcount in efforts to remain profitable.  With Toyota, Lenovo, and others reporting losses, it’s no wonder executives are worried.  So what do you do?  The worst thing you can do is sit around and murmur about the economy.  Stephen Covey’s first habit is…Be proactive.  Here are some proactive steps:

  • 1. Update your resume – if you don’t keep this up-to-date at all times, you’ve been living dangerously. A few points on this – The chunking limit is seven. Don’t list 20 bullets and expect anyone to read them. Focus on achievements not tasks. No one cares if you’ve managed 5 people, were responsible for some territory in South Dakota, or had responsibility for keeping up with your pipeline.
  • 2. Make sure your resume makes sense. If you did some consulting, don’t bother listing yourself as the president of your company. The fact is you didn’t own a company, you owned a job. Call yourself a consultant, not a business owner.
  • 3. Check your dates and know you story. Why did you leave certain firms? Everyone has a story for why they were fired at some point – make sure you know how to tell it, but don’t give lame excuses.
  • 4. References! Everyone has three references of which they hold until asked for. Be different. The last time I interviewed, which was 1999, I had 36 references and handed them to interviewer before they asked. They never checked them simply because it was overwhelming.
  • 5. The Interview – be proactive! Everyone comes to the table expecting to be asked a litany of questions; what a terrible situation. You can anticipate and perhaps prepare for some of them (although most people just wing it). Instead, come with a presentation. That’s right, you set the agenda. In 1999 I called every Solution Provider Executive I could find (gathering names from every Vendor partner I knew). I called, offering to come by to discuss some business opportunities and most agreed to the meeting. They weren’t even advertising a position. I came with a presentation on how to generate a profitable business and most liked it. Following the presentation they asked what I was selling – It was at that moment that I discovered the business I’m in now. At that time I was not ready to begin, so I agreed to develop a plan for a position that I’d take on if we could come to an agreement. It was so much fun; I almost didn’t want to take a job. But of course, I was doing this for free so I eventually had to sign an agreement.

Interviewing is marketing.  You have to stand out, grab the attention of buyers, be innovative enough to create an opportunity where one may not exist, and leave the economy, murmuring, and bad feelings behind.

Monster Hit

January 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Targeted attacks are growing as companies build storehouses of data – something every company seems to be doing these days.  If you’re working with larger accounts, find the assets.  Where are these storehouses, what do they contain, and who controls access – can they detect and respond to a breach? 

Just another example in today’s USA Today – http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2009-01-27-monster-data-hackers_N.htm – with Monster’s job search site.  Britain alone reports 4.5 million British citizens exposed (no mention of other nations on this hit). This site, along with other resume posting sites contains all kinds of great information that can be used to compromise one’s identity.  Note, these sites also contain all of the data needed to understand a company’s computing environment, as well as providing contact information to an insider that isn’t necessarily loyal to the company; i.e. a potential partner in crime.

How can the data be used?  Well, the hacker now has access to information associated with both job seekers and potential employers.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, storehouse type data is being gobbled up all over the world by hackers who are exploring new ways to correlate data to be used in schemes yet to be devised.  This may include access to bank accounts, corporate accounts, and various forms of fraud and ID Theft.

What company can afford this type of press in a down economy?  Use these sound bites to grab the attention of asset owners.  Asset owners are liable, care about the company’s reputation, and either approve, or greatly influence company spending.