Posts Tagged hr

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

2014 phone screen

From RecruitingDaily.com – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

How to Become the HR / Recruiting Holiday Hero

http://recruitingdaily.com/wonderful-post-year/

Simple Secrets to Make Your Hiring Process Suck Less

http://recruitingdaily.com/simple-secrets-make-hiring-process-suck-less/

HR and Recruiting Professionals: Time to Pull Your Head Out

http://recruitingdaily.com/pull-your-hr-head-out/

#SHRM14 Report – Evolution of Work and the Worker

http://recruitingdaily.com/shrm14-report-evolution-people-management-worker/

Hiring Habits: Holacracy at Zappos

http://recruitingdaily.com/hiring-habits-holocracy/

Picture This: Top Career Motivators for the Best of Us and the Rest of Us

http://recruitingdaily.com/picture-top-career-motivators-best-us-rest-us/

 

From RecruitingBlogs.com – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

The Ticket Scalper Version of Direct Talent Sourcing

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/the-ticket-scalper-version-of-direct-talent-sourcing

Conundrum of Candidates’ Conjecture

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/conundrum-of-candidates-conjecture

Recruiter Poll Regarding Active Applicant Interactions

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiter-poll-regarding-active-applicant-interactions

Are You Bored With RBC?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/are-you-bored-with-rbc

Ditch the Double Standard

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/ditch-the-double-standard

What Does it Mean to Be Employable?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/what-does-it-mean-to-be-employable

Does Anything Good Ever Come From Skipping Phone Screens?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/does-anything-good-ever-come-from-skipping-phone-screens

Who Should We Blame for Poverty, Debt, Obesity and Robots?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/who-should-we-blame-for-poverty-debt-obesity-robots

Recruiting: Just a Series of Conversations

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiting-just-a-series-of-conversations

Talent Shortage or Trust Shortage

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/talent-shortage-or-trust-shortage

Job Postings Are Not the Enemy

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/job-postings-are-not-the-enemy

Grunts & Groans Sound Gross

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/grunts-groans-sound-gross

Step Inside The Outhouse That Is LinkedIn

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/step-inside-the-outhouse-that-is-linkedin

Call for Mr. Hole, First Name: Jack

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/call-for-mr-hole-first-name-jack

Wall of Shame

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/add-this-guy-to-the-recruiter-wall-of-shame

Recruiting Stuff That Made Me Shake My Head This Week

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiting-stuff-that-made-me-smh-this-week

 

From Human Capital Institute (HCI) – Succession Planning Webinar & Podcast Featuring Kelly Blokdijk

Podcast – Succession Planning

http://www.hci.org/lib/hcipodcast-succession-planning-and-you-where-start

Webinar – Succession Planning

http://www.hci.org/lib/how-do-you-get-there-here-roadmap-succession-planning

 

From Bulls Eye Recruiting – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Proactive Career Management

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/proactive-career-management/

Mind Your Own Business and Career

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/mind-your-own-business-and-career/

What Makes a Tough Job Search Even Tougher?

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/what-makes-a-tough-job-search-even-tougher/

A Yellow Guitar to Rock Out Your Talent Strategy

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/a-yellow-guitar-to-rock-out-your-talent-strategy/

 

From Medium – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Appetite for Disruption

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/appetite-for-disruption-86808d2c580b

From the Depths of Obscurity

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/from-the-depths-of-obscurity-12218514204c

The Messy Me

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/the-messy-me-e0eb750673c0

 

From LinkedIn – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn

Employers Dirty Habit of Treating Job Applicants Like Dirt

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140924235254-4569967-employers-dirty-habit-of-treating-job-applicants-like-dirt?trk=mp-reader-card

Why We Need a More Diverse View of Diversity

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140911040327-4569967-why-we-need-a-more-diverse-view-of-diversity?trk=mp-reader-card

Could 3 Boring Tips Make Your Job Search Better?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140828011309-4569967-could-3-boring-tips-make-your-job-search-better?trk=mp-reader-card

Give Your Network a Hand When You Need Job Search Help

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806010150-4569967-give-your-network-a-hand-when-you-need-job-search-help?trk=mp-reader-card

Buzzwords Myths and Absurdities in the Job Market

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140721231422-4569967-buzzwords-myths-and-absurdities-in-the-job-market?trk=mp-reader-card

Resume Reality for REAL

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140531030645-4569967-resume-reality-for-real?trk=mp-reader-card

Are Job Hoppers Flakes and Failures?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140521043046-4569967-are-job-hoppers-flakes-failures?trk=mp-reader-card

Is Who Gets Hired the Best Person for the Job?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140513044446-4569967-is-who-gets-hired-the-best-person-for-the-job?trk=mp-reader-card

The #1 Reason for Resume Rejection

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140510003311-4569967-the-1-reason-for-resume-rejection?trk=mp-reader-card

Double Trouble Hiring Standards

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140425031917-4569967-double-trouble-hiring-standards?trk=mp-reader-card

Why Who’s Viewed Your Profile Doesn’t Matter

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140423001750-4569967-10-reasons-why-who-s-viewed-your-profile-doesn-t-matter?trk=mp-reader-card

Imaginary Talent Shortage Caused by Real Trust Shortage

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140417232731-4569967-imaginary-talent-shortage-caused-by-real-trust-shortage?trk=mp-reader-card

Ideas, Information and Influence

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140407233830-4569967-ideas-information-and-influence?trk=mp-reader-card

 

From TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Article Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Does Every Day Seem Like April Fool’s Day on LinkedIn?

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/13-ways-to-instantly-impress-linkedin-connections/

 

If you like these articles, you may also like some earlier work written by Kelly Blokdijk

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2013 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/talent-topic-compilation-2013-edition/

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2012 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/talent-topic-compilation-2012-edition/

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2011 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/talent-topic-compilation-2011-edition/

 

Subscribe to TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog here: https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/

Connect with Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyblokdijkattalenttalks

Tweet with Kelly Blokdijk @TalentTalks on Twitter here: http://www.twitter/talenttalks

Like @TalentTalks Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/TalentTalks

Get Googly with Kelly Blokdijk on G+ GooglePlus here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KellyBlokdijkSPHR/

 

Note: some articles listed above may have appeared on more than one site and/or been modified from previously posted articles by Kelly Blokdijk

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13 Ways to Instantly Impress LinkedIn Connections

Remember when you first joined LinkedIn?

Perhaps you initially received an invitation to connect from a business associate… Or, perhaps you heard about the professional networking site and joined on your own… Either way, you most likely noticed a series of changes within the past 11 years of LinkedIn’s existence.

There have been numerous tips shared about how to complete your profile, add a photo, share status updates, participate in groups and of course expand your network. Now that you’ve successfully done all of that, you are probably ready to take the next step and really impress all of your connections with your professionalism, understanding of unwritten etiquette expectations, not to mention your ability to identify and share relevant information with other site members.

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So here is a list of the most up-to-date recommendations to do just that:

1)     Post riddles and jokes

2)      Post puzzles

3)      Post word jumbles and math quizzes

4)      Post lion pictures or cartoons

5)      Post same the thought, blog link or ad in several groups simultaneously

6)      Post mindless slogans such as: “hire for character, train for skill”

7)      Post IQ tests accompanied by “only 10% get this right”

8)      Post endlessly repeated cliché inspirational quotes

9)      Post eye charts

10)   Post content that would be superfluous even on Facebook

11)   Post irrelevant, off-topic content or comments in groups or discussions

12)   Post images or other content for the purpose of gathering sympathy “likes”

13)   Post any approving comments and/or sharing any of the above to further perpetuate such activity

Impressive, right? 

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Talent Topic Compilation 2013 Edition

It’s that time again to bid farewell to another year. Before we race in to the new year, here’s a rear view look at 25 of the talent topics touched upon in 2013. Please feel free to provide feedback and share your favorites with those in your network who might benefit. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

2013

2013

Wishing all good luck in the new year – praying mantis — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/may-2013-bring-mantis-like-mindfulness/

 Some of the worst job search advice EVER — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/follow-this-advice-to-knock-yourself-out-of-consideration-for-a-job/

Hidden reality of hidden jobs — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/are-the-jobs-hiding-from-you/

Job searching can be a crappy process, don’t make it worse — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/how-to-instantly-put-your-job-search-in-the-crapper/

Not all diversity looks like demographic diversity – http://www.ere.net/2013/01/22/talent-diversity-isnt-just-about-demographic-data/

Greatest job seeker gripes (about recruiters) — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/follow-up-flubs-fiascoes-and-failures-that-frustrate-candidates

Learning how stuff works is YOUR job — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/does-this-thing-come-with-an-instruction-manual

Not all unlucky numbers are bad — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/pondering-significance-circumstance-3-13-13/

Can you train a monkey to do your job?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recap-of-this-week-s-rbc-lessons-don-t-monkey-around-with-lies

Maybe it’s April Fool’s Day everyday for job candidates — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/fooling-around-with-candidates-everyday

Who decided that 80% of jobs are not posted? — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/who-is-hiding-all-of-the-jobs

What happens when clueless people become recruiters? — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/sucky-slacker-sourcing-strategies

Companies say they want to hire for certain traits, yet end up selecting something else —  http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/hypocrisy-in-hiring

Overly restrictive job requirements — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/is-there-any-responsibility-to-educate-or-enlighten-your-hiring

Recruiters that are crazy, lazy, or both — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/these-recruiters-must-be-crazy-to-be-so-lazy

Job search version of 20 questions — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/20-questions-for-your-job-search/

Age old issue of old age (and discrimination) — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/admit-it-the-big-o-stimulates-quite-a-reaction

Shedding light on the stigma of job hopping — http://wthomsonjr.com/guest-blog–kelly-blokdijk/maybe-you-should-withhold-that-job-hopper-judgment/

#1 reason for resume rejection — https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/20-questions-for-your-job-search-2/

Opposite of good employer branding — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-cement-your-reputation-as-a-dorkola-recruiter

No need to settle for terrible HR — http://www.tlnt.com/2013/09/04/why-do-we-settle-for-low-information-human-resources/

Is it necessary information or an interview question? — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/are-you-sure-you-need-the-answer-to-that-question

We all know what they say about assumptions — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/stop-showing-candidates-your-a-s-s-umptions

Everyone believes they know how to pick the best person for the job

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/the-best-person-for-the-job

Caring enough to cook up creative content — http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/refried-beans-and-recruiting-blogs

 Talent Topic Compilation Edition 2013 Articles by Kelly Blokdijk http://linkedin.com/in/kellyblokdijkattalenttalks

Kelly Blokdijk on Twitter @TalentTalks

Publication sources include:

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/

Recruiting Blogs Dot Com http://recruitingblogs.com

TLNT Dot Com http://tlnt.com

Electronic Recruiting Exchange – ERE Dot Net http://www.ere.net

Bulls Eye Recruiting via http://wthomsonjr.com/

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Reason #1 for resume rejection

When interacting with people looking for jobs over the years, frustration with the entire process always comes up in the conversation. Usually, those getting zero to minimal response rate on their job applications are understandably the most irritated. Some seem mystified and oblivious to potential causes and others automatically assume they know exactly why they aren’t getting called.

While there are always multiple factors in play, one of the most obvious culprits of lack of positive attention is a flawed resume. Despite numerous reports suggesting resumes are dead, they still tend to be almost universally required as a first step in applying for a job across the majority of the business world.

Rejected Image Credit

I’ve often stated that approximately 95% of the resumes I’ve seen could benefit from some form of improvement. Perhaps that figure sounds extreme, but the reason it is so high is that I truly believe (as do many others) that a resume is intended to serve as the best possible first impression a person can make to a prospective employer.

Some people have told me that my standards are too harsh and that it is unfair to judge someone’s entire career from a single document. That opinion may seem reasonable on the surface, but delve into what it represents from a business standpoint to see if it holds true. Let’s consider that a person applying for a professional level job is expected to demonstrate the following in order to be eligible for an interview:

  • Ability to communicate professionally both verbally and in writing with one’s target audience
  • Attention to detail and concern for quality in work-related physical documents or electronic content
  • Comprehension of proper word usage, verb tense, grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting when producing business-oriented correspondence

The above is an extremely limited list and doesn’t even get into actual hard skills, technical abilities and specific job related experience, training and education. Unfortunately, if lacking, the components listed are precisely the items that will undermine otherwise qualified candidates’ ability to convey their competence in their field.

The reality is, even if not explicitly expressed in the above manner, most occupations require a person to have a reasonable grasp of basic communication skills. If there is any doubt created in a person’s best first impression introduction message such as their resume, cover letter or even online profile, they will miss more opportunities than they will ever know.

Stubborn job seekers prefer to make assumptions about all sorts of possible reasons they aren’t getting any calls. Of course, in some rare cases, there could be some room for blame beyond a badly constructed resume.

But many people just prefer making excuses and speculating about how evil applicant tracking systems, discriminatory HR representatives and biased recruiters are at fault and show no willingness to hold themselves accountable for presenting a positive image. Instead of taking an objective view at how it is perceived when they fail to submit something worthy of being considered for their target job, these job seekers are the primary source of their own aggravation.

Article by Kelly Blokdijk – As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies and compelling, customized communication materials to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net 

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20 questions for your job search

The following are some of the most common “tips” or topics seen in the job search advice arena. Which do you believe are true or false and why?

warning sign

True or False Statements:

1)      No one will hire you if any of your Facebook photos contain alcohol

2)      Since it’s practically required to have your photo on LinkedIn, you should also include one on your resume

3)      Hiring companies always prefer candidates that have a blog

4)      You will differentiate yourself by submitting a video resume

5)      Cover letters are never read and won’t do you any good

6)      Handwritten post-interview thank-you notes help you become a top candidate

7)      Being active on social media proves you have advanced technology skills

8)      Your “digital footprint” (ultra stupid term) is more valuable than your resume

9)      If you have inconsistent work history, you must use a functional resume

10)   Hiring managers will be impressed with your infographic resume

11)   You need to build and maintain a consistent brand across all of your social media profiles

12)   You should share industry articles with hiring managers after your interviews

13)   If you don’t get a response after applying online you should call the company to speak with the hiring manager

14)   Candidate with highest Klout score should always be top choice

15)   If you get laid off, you should put “looking for new XYZ position” on your LinkedIn headline

16)   Job seekers 40+ years old never get interviewed because hiring companies discriminate

17)   You should do a lot of research before your interview so you can tell the company how you will fix their problems

18)   Contacting a lot of recruiters will help you get hired faster

19)   It makes sense to apply for jobs when you meet 50% of listed criteria

20)   Always circumvent HR because they never want anyone qualified to get hired

Answers:

1)      False – though there’s no need to leave your privacy settings wide-open if you fear your happy hour happenings might be mis-judged

2)      False – keep your resume focused on your career qualifications unless your appearance is pertinent to the type of work you do (modeling, acting)

3)      False – most people involved in hiring aren’t spending their spare time scouring the Internet to find new blogs – caveat: unless blogging is what you are employed to do

4)      False – don’t expect people to click the link, wait for the video to load/play and then watch your show – caveat: unless visual presentation/public speaking matters in your occupation

5)      False – not everyone cares about cover letters, but unless you know your recipient’s preference best of take advantage of the opportunity to communicate additional information

6)      False – while not entirely unheard of, whether typed or handwritten thank-you notes rarely influence opinions enough to make a difference in being added to the short list

7)      False – considering you are amidst billions of other people on the planet also active on social media, don’t expect special attention

8)      False – it might be concerning if there is no sign of you whatsoever online, but the vast majority of employers still rely heavily on traditional resumes to evaluate prospective hires

9)      False – if your employment history is in such a state that a functional resume seems necessary, you most likely need to apply for jobs where a resume isn’t required at all

10)   False – unless you are pursuing work where your graphic creativity is pertinent, at best a hiring manager might think your document is cute

11)   False – whether personal or professional, all you really need to keep in mind is: what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet

12)   False – aside from sending something that was requested, don’t add any uninvited extra mail (spam) to anyone’s inbox

13)   False – be patient and keep in mind most companies have a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” screening process and your extra eager attitude might get you noticed for the wrong reasons

14)   False – with limited exceptions, your Klout, Kred, EA, follower count or any other measurement score might be interesting, but rarely connected to hiring decisions

15)   False – your LinkedIn headline space should be maximized to express what others – your target audience – need to know about you professionally

16)   False – some claims of discrimination are valid, yet practically all employers desire the most qualified person for the position to be hired regardless of demographic attributes

17)   False – you should research available information in order to be prepared and informed, though it might be presumptuous to suggest you know how to fix internal problems

18)   False – companies hire based on qualifications, recruiters may facilitate portions of the process, but their loyalty is to the company/client not candidates

19)   False – at a minimum, you should strive to meet at least 90% of the required experience and background criteria being sought

20)   False – it is in HR’s interest to serve the company’s interest in attracting and selecting the best qualified person for each open position

Many of these topics or statements may produce an “it depends” reaction and the example answers are not intended to be a full explanation of every possible situation where certain actions may or may not make sense.

What do you agree or disagree with on the above list?  

Article by Kelly Blokdijk – As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies and compelling, customized communication materials to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Pondering Significance & Circumstance 3-13-13

Most people in my personal and professional life are familiar with my HR background and how I’ve had a varied and diverse set of experiences both before and while working in that occupation. Another aspect many are aware of is how I’ve leveraged my traditional work in the “employment arena” to engage in some independent/freelance projects along the way.

A few of the primary activities I’ve been known for have been resume writing, job search coaching and career management consulting. Initially, I never set out to pursue that path, but over time it sort of took on a life of its own. Generally I viewed that as another branch of my own professional development with an added beneficial side-effect of using my knowledge to help others in their careers.

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When my HR management position was eliminated March 13, 2009 (Friday the 13th), I took advantage of the opportunity to assess MY overall career situation. Doing that myself was a form of practicing what I preached.

At the moment of my layoff I was literally one course away from completing my masters degree – one of my proudest accomplishments. As many of my classmates would attest, it was a grueling process to pursue an advanced degree while consistently balancing the demands of a 50-60 hour work week. Combining that level of burnout with the prospect of the emotional exhaustion that typically accompanies a job search in a decent economy WAS my dilemma. By then we were in the midst of the HELLACIOUS “great” recession – essentially the worst job market so far in my working life – I felt the time was right to explore “now what?”

Therefore, I reflected and contemplated whether I could transform KMB Resume Writing & Career Services, my part-time independent practice that I fit in when possible concurrently with corporate HR / talent management roles into a viable standalone “day job.” My analysis included coming up with the following list of the type of assistance I had been providing during the prior 12+ years.

– Accelerated job search progress for professionals across a wide-range of industries via high-quality presentation and consistent reinforcement of qualifications through “positive first impression” career marketing materials and corresponding messaging.

– Organically established 100% referral-based clientele through word-of-mouth, relationship-building and reputation for low-pressure, inquisitive and consultative style, paired with distinct value-added support based on recruiting industry insight and employer / hiring decision makers’ perspective.

– Customized and authored creatively designed and compellingly written resumes, bios and online profiles to position and prepare business professionals for their next opportunity.

– Delivered individualized job search strategy, defined action plans and developed tailored approach based on each professional’s specific circumstances and target positions.

– Coached and guided individuals through job market research, personal competency assessment, interview preparation, offer negotiation and LinkedIn lessons.

– Helped professionals differentiate themselves from the competition through identification, definition and focusing of their unique value proposition.

– Conducted interview practice and feedback sessions to fine tune presentation on paper, online and in person.

– Advised senior executives on nuances of conducting discreet, confidential job searches and navigating complexities related to search firms, leveraging professional networking contacts and related correspondence.

– Facilitated outplacement style group workshops and one-on-one counseling for displaced workers, career advancement seekers and those pursuing individual professional development.

I’m not a superstitious person, so I don’t think 13 is any luckier or unluckier than any other number. No matter what day it is, and no matter what obstacles show up, I feel fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by supportive people in my life. TalentTalks came about partially through unintentional preparation before 3-13-09, along with a heck of a lot of hard work over the four years leading up to 3-13-13.

Between my regular duties in HR and assorted side projects, I seem compelled to serve as an advisor to help individuals or organizations optimize their talent. Along with that I feel a responsibility to advocate on behalf of those not being seen, heard or noticed for their talent. The phrase “creating a voice for talent” is how I define that philosophy. Regardless of any future career developments that may occur, I will always value the incredibly unique learning opportunities I’ve experienced and the extraordinary encouragement I’ve encountered from those around me.

Article by Kelly Blokdijk – As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies and compelling, customized communication materials to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Respect the urge and resist the cheesecake

Every now and then I see a bumper sticker that makes me giggle. One of the silly trends I remember from my youth was when people would remove a couple letters from their In-N-Out Burger bumper sticker so it read in-n-out urge. It was harmless humor, possibly referring to craving a chocolate shake in a palm tree decorated cup or perhaps an innuendo with a more risqué interpretation.

Either way, I’ve always admired the simplicity of In-N-Out Burger’s business model. Their reputation is built on cleanliness, quality and value. One of the reasons they’ve successfully grown and retained their favored position amidst a very competitive fast food industry is their streamlined menu and consistent focus on doing what they do best.

Instead of inventing and offering new items that confuse customers and complicate their service structure, they keep it easy to understand and quick to process. Obviously, it makes perfect sense for this concept to be reinforced in their jingle: “That’s what a hamburger is all about!”

Over the years as I’ve coached job seekers from various backgrounds, I’ve come across professionals who resemble the specialized In-N-Out way and others who follow a more diverse smorgasbord approach to describing what they do. When translating that idea to building a resume, I recommend and prefer being very targeted even if that means creating multiple versions.

Most people don’t like to hear that type of suggestion and many stubbornly resist that advice. They think it is best to keep their options open by covering the gamut of work experience, even the parts that have nothing in common with their future career goals. Imagine your auto mechanic doing dental work or a web designer being an airline pilot and a hairdresser. Even if someone happens to be simultaneously qualified for multiple professions, most of us can’t comprehend a logical way that those things might fit together in our workplaces.

Unfortunately, people who try to include everything they’ve ever done or every skill, duty and responsibility they’ve mastered tend to appear scattered. As the recipient of (probably thousands of) resumes, I can confirm that these are the first to be added to thanks, but no thanks pile. Of course being unfocused isn’t as embarrassing or detrimental as having a resumes full of typographical errors, grammatical issues, punctuation problems, improper word usage or freaky formatting, but it doesn’t exactly equal a stellar first impression.

When you see someone dining at The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, you notice how overwhelmed they get and how long it takes them to place an order because they have to review so many pages of information in the spiral bound menu book. Even though all of the entrees are beautifully pictured and described, they are also drastically different types of cuisine that aren’t usually blended in one place.

That is what a generic “I’ve got a little of everything and I can do it all” resume looks like. Each individual item might be delightful in the right context, but displaying the entire collection all at once is burdensome to the reader.

Contrast the distraction-filled half inch thick Cheesecake Factory novella to the jumbo menu board at In-N-Out where main choices are clearly illustrated and highlighted so you know exactly what’s available in one glance. It makes decision making much more efficient when everything fits in a sequential and orderly manner.

The trouble with too much information is that if I’m hungry for a tasty #2 cheeseburger with grilled onions, no tomato, fries and large diet coke, I don’t expect to see shrimp scampi, teriyaki pizza, jambalaya, eggplant pasta, pulled-pork ciabatta, barbequed chicken chopped salad, lemon chiffon cheesecake and cinnamon iced latte. That stuff all sounds delicious, but I bet plenty of people still select one of the burgers if that is what they are in the mood for…

While composing their customized messages, job seekers should consider their audience and just point out the critical pieces and ingredients related to their target position. That way their unmistakable theme song can say: That’s what (my specialized expertise) is all about!

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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