Monday, October 12, 2009

Sell Yourself Into That New Position With a PowerPoint Presentation

Once you define your market plan, you need to take that professionally formatted resume and turn it into a flashy PowerPoint.

Craft a presentation that makes a "WOW" statement about you, your accomplishments and your goals. It has to be a presentation that, as the individual views it, will gain and keep their interest. But it must be short enough and to the point so interest is not lost, but in depth enough for them to see the value you can bring to the team.

Don't forget to include a few pages, allowing a tweak to a specific company. A little something that ties you directly to them, the industry and the job that you are targeting.

Upon completion, there are several ways to use your presentation. The greatest thing to remember, is that it can be used as an attachment to e-mail. Target the companies that you want to work for, tweak the company info segment in your presentation and send it to the email address of company executives and known hiring managers.

In many cases, you can send it along with your resume when applying for a position, but to be perfectly honest, I doubt that it will be viewed much this way. More often than not, your resume is printed out and anything other than possibly a cover letter, or T-chart, will remain unprinted. But, it can't hurt. It just might gain enough curiosity to be viewed and shown to many key people in the company.

Another use for the PowerPoint is to post it within Your LinkedIn profile utilizing the SlideShare presentations tool. (slide presentations also help your LinkedIn climb to top billing by Google, after you have your rating @ 100%)

I've also heard about an individual that loaded his PowerPoint presentation onto a laptop and used it during his interview. A salesperson is comfortable with doing this, but you should be as well. After all, as you search for your next career move, you have to sell yourself. The sooner that you are at rest with this concept, the sooner you will land that next position with confidence.

You can also post the PowerPoint on your career search website. You can either Google and get a free one (be careful that one like this doesn't add a lot of sexual or dating advertisement, which certainly wouldn't help you land that job). The safer way is to invest a small amount, like ten bucks for a year from someone like "GODADDY.COM" Then get someone as you network, to help you with setting it up. You can usually buy a domain with your name as the domain. Then, this info can be included in your resume header and in your LinkedIn.

One more thing to think about would be a resume video. This also can be e-mailed and included in your career search website.

Invest a little time, even if you need to get a few folks to help you. Maybe suggest a network group workshop to get this project under way.

I hope this helps. It just may be that one thing that stands you out above the other applicants, to land your next career position.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Okay, I Got the Interview That I Wanted, Now What?

Yes, I recently landed a job. That's why I hadn't posted anything for a few weeks. I was out of town, then got called to an interview, had to quickly prepare, interview, got called with a job offer, and within a quick week, was walking through the door of my new employer.

Many things have been posted about the interview and the process. I won't go into deep discussion about telling you to practice, practice, practice.

Nor will I cover common things about what questions that you will be asked or how to sharply dress (by the way, err to the formal side. I was told to show up in business casual, even a golf shirt would do. I wore a jacket and tie).

Other things that are covered in depth are things like, provide bright and professional copies of resumes in special folders along with your business card, putting the resumes and everything else needed for the interview in the car the night before so it's not left behind, making a dry run to find the interview location, studying traffic patterns so you arrive about ten minutes before the interview. Don't arrive sooner and for heavens sake, don't be late. You will be watched from the time you drive onto the company property, until you leave. Be courteous to everyone that you meet. These brief encounters may help to determine your fate.


Take your time during the interview, think about the response that you are about to make. Be professional. Be as brief but as thorough in your responses as possible. Make the interviewer interested enough to ask you more. Don't ramble with your response and don't do all the talking.

Do your home work. Know the company. Search the internet for recent news articles about the company where you are interviewing. Study their web site. You don't have to memorize everything there, but know what's there. Also, if you are changing industries, know a s much as you can about the industry.

One thing that I've learned from one interview to the next is that you should always have ten to twelve good questions prepared to show those that are interviewing you, that you have a deep interest in becoming a team member in their company. You should not ask them all at once, one after the next, but rather, work them in at appropriate times during the interview.

During my Career Search process, I've refined my list of questions. I'll share those with you. They may not work for you as I have them listed, nor the order in which I listed them. But this may provide you a little guidance, should you need a little help.

1.) How do I excel at this position?
2.) What are the position major responsibilities?
3.) Beyond the job description, and what you've already told me,what are your expectations?
4.) How would you describe the candidate that is a great fit for the company?
5.) How long has this position existed? Why is it vacant? How long has it been vacant?
6.) What situations, with respect to this position, need immediate attention?
7.) What are the growth areas and/or what is the career progression from this position?
8.) What are the company goals? What is the company vision for the next 5-10 years? What about long term goals?
9.) How has this economy affected this business, the company?
10.) How do you see my candidacy for this position?
11.) What skills, experiences am I lacking to perform this job successfully?
12.) What is the next step in the hiring process?
BONUS QUESTION: Do you have a business card (this way you'll more than likely have their e-mail address so you can send a "Thank You" e-mail)?

Be energetic, this shows an interest in the position.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ASK FOR THE JOB! Don't ask directly, but you can say something like this; It looks as if my skill set and experience are a match for this position. I'm definitely interested in this opportunity. I think that I would be a great fit and look forward to the next step in the hiring process.

Also, hand the interviewer a copy of your business card (and tri-fold, if you have one)while you are asking for the job.

Don't forget to send a "Thank You" e-mail and a handwritten "Thank You" note as soon as you can physically get it done. I can't tell you how many stories that I've heard over the past few months where the folks interviewed, were selected above a tie, because they sent a simple "Thank You".

Well, I'm certain that I forgot something. Practice, practice, practice your interview!

I hope that this blog article helps you land that next job and soon!