Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year ... New Plan ... New Job!

Conducting a job search during the holidays is tough. With all the shopping, Christmas parties, and family get-togethers, it is easy to get distracted … and with good reason. It is Christmas, after all.

But today, the first week of 2010, is where the rubber meets the road! You realize that not only do you need to get back on track, you need to develop a new plan to ensure your job search success!

Here are 10 strategies for the New Year … New Plan … New Job!!

  1. Get clear on a job goal. A clear job goal helps to create a job search plan that is intense, focused, and will bring purpose to everything you do in your job search.
  2. Maintain a consistent brand! Don’t dilute your brand by trying to be all things to all employers! Identify what sets you apart from others in your field. Be clear on your promises of value to the employer. This will go a long way in helping you become memorable in an otherwise competitive marketplace!
  3. Incorporate a diversified mix of job search strategies into your plan. Don’t just sit behind your computer checking Monster and CareerBuilder for published job leads. Include other high-impact job search strategies such as structured networking and informational interviews, targeted employer campaigns, and networking via social media!
  4. Network! Network! Network! Network with family and friends; former colleagues, customers, and associates; professional contacts such as your dentist, chiropractor or hair stylist. Reconnect with old customers, vendors, and competitors. Conduct more structured networking and informational interviews, targeted employer campaigns, and learn to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to expand your network and build your personal brand.
  5. Identify how to incorporate your natural talents into your job search. Your talents are those things you do with excellence … and with the least amount of effort. Wouldn’t it be great if your job search plan included a unique set of activities that were engaging and authentic for you? How would this change the way you are currently going about your job search?
  6. Be more proactive in your job search! Don’t sit back and wait to be picked. Seek to develop new opportunities through new networking and employer contacts, and consistent follow up. Don’t leave the awesome task of managing your job search to someone else. Take ownership for your activities, connections and results!
  7. Don’t get stuck by the road blocks. When you hit a road block (and you will), rather than focus on the obstacle ask yourself “what do I need to do to get around this road block?” Focusing on the solution rather than the problem will help keep you moving forward in your job search!
  8. Network with the goal of getting RESULTS! Networking is more than just attending an event, exchanging business cards, or even having a great conversation. Networking with purpose means going into a networking event with an agenda and being equipped with the tools and strategies to help you generate conversations, develop rapport, build trust, lead the conversation so you can help others AND get results for yourself!
  9. Follow up and follow through on every employer contact. Don’t allow yourself to be stopped by the fact you don’t have a name or phone number. You have a volume of information available to you at your fingertips through various sites such as LinkedIn, the Chamber of Commerce, America’s Career InfoNet, Facebook, and Twitter. Worst case scenario, you can look up the employer’s main phone number in the Yellow Pages and use your professional charm and finesse to navigate through several holds and transfers until you reach the right person!
  10. Develop a strong support structure to help you remain physically, spiritually, and emotionally strong. Establish “office hours” in which you conduct your job search. This will create the routine and support in your job search that work often provides. Surround yourself with critical people that energize you and speak life and blessings over your situation. Align yourself with balcony people who inspire you and make you feel like you can be more tomorrow than you are today; they inspire you to win!

# # #

Valerie Plis is a Master Certified Career Coach and Strengths Coach. She is the founder of Exceed With Purpose Coaching LLC and the Job Search Ministry Network. She has a reputation for helping professionals find jobs and design strong careers. Valerie inspires, encourages, and challenges others to pursue their passion, purpose, and potential with tenacity and determination. Find out more information at www.ExceedWithPurpose.com or contact Valerie directly at ValeriePlis@ExceedWithPurpose.com or (513) 934-2955.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 High-Impact Strategies for a Successful Job Fair Experience

Job fairs are a common recruiting, screening, and interviewing strategy for corporate recruiters because it gives them a chance to meet face-to-face with a large number of candidates in a single day. It is here where employers can quickly assess candidates based on appearance and communication skills, as well as selling candidates on the benefits of working for their company.

With the downturn in the economy, job fairs are becoming more competitive. There are fewer employers participating and more candidates attending than ever before. Job fair events around the country have reported a 300% plus increase in attendance. This has resulted in extremely long lines to talk with employers and increased competition among job seekers.

What You Can Expect

There is good news and bad news about job fairs. The bad news? You will probably won't find your dream job at a job fair. The good news? There are still many benefits to attending a job fair:
  • attending a job fair is part of a strategic job search mix
  • the employer connection may result in a decent survival job
  • you may speak with an employer who gives you the name and contact information of another individual within their organization
  • this is a great way to make and collect important business contacts
  • network with other job seekers and recruiters
  • meet with multiple employers in one day
  • rehearse your marketing pitch in a low-risk environment
  • get valuable feedback on your resume and/or job search plan from a Career Coach or Professional Resume Writer

5 Strategies to Prepare for a Job Fair

  1. Develop a Plan. The day before the job fair, visit the sponsor's website to get a list of exhibitors or employers. Go through the list and mark the employers that you "MUST SEE" versus the ones you would "LIKE TO SEE." Do some advanced research on the companies so that you can speak intelligently about their products or services during the job fair. You want to avoid approaching an employer asking them about their products or services or making a statement such as "Wow, I don’t know anything about your company," which I have heard all too often. If necessary, organize and print important information about your "must see" employers and keep it in your portfolio with your supply of professional, error-free resumes (hint, hint). Review this information while waiting in line to speak with the employer. This way when you approach their booth you can speak intelligently about their products or services. You may also want to prepare two or three strategic, high-impact questions to ask during the short three to five minute exchange.
  2. Use a 10-second branding message to introduce yourself or answer common Job Fair questions such as "Tell me about yourself" and "What type of position are you interested in?" This 10-second message should be clear and concise and should focus on what you can make happen for the organization (i.e., "design and implement high-impact Employee Assistance Programs resulting in reduced turnover and retention of top talent").
  3. Make a remarkable first impression. You must treat this first interaction with the same amount of care as you would the actual interview. The 7/11 Theory suggests that within the first seven seconds of meeting someone you can form up to 11 impressions of them. It is vitally important that you dress the part of a professional who is prepared and polished in his/her appearance and delivery. Pay attention to your body language while waiting in line to speak with the employer. Introduce yourself with a smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Continue to make eye contact and to smile during the conversation. Show enthusiasm and exhibit open body language. Use respect and formality in your conversations (i.e., Yes, No, Pardon Me, May I take a pen?). Don't treat the employer as if they are your new best friend and don’t interrupt the employer or your fellow job seekers. The impression you make during that short three to five minute exchange determines the next step. Most employers will make notes on your resume regarding their initial impression of you.
  4. While at the booth, try to speak directly to the employer. Avoid the "trick or treat" trap where you focus too much on the cool freebies. Ask for their business card and literature about their company. If things are too busy, make a note to come back and move on to the next employer. If you must drop off your resume without speaking directly to the employer, jot a short note on your resume that says "You were so busy that we didn't get a chance to meet. I'm very interested in talking with you."
  5. Follow up on the contacts you made by sending thank you letters which emphasizes your 10-second marketing message. If you want to ensure your correspondence is read, keep it short. When you follow up again (which I recommend you do), use a multimedia approach. Snail mail the initial thank you letter, send a short follow-up email a week or so later, leave a short voicemail message a week or so later, and so on. Research them on LinkedIn and send them an invitation to join your network. The employers will be speaking with a lot of individuals so this is a great way to stand out and be remarkable.

Top 10 Ways to Stay Motivated During an Extended Job Search

The job search as we have known it for many years is changing at an unprecedented rate. In fact, finding a job in today's workforce requires a new kind of sophistication -- more than education, skills, and experience. It requires approaching your job search as a niche product, understanding the depth of your marketable skills and devising a plan to translate those skills into distinct values for a potential employer.

Are you tired of spinning your wheels? Do you feel like you are working around the clock getting litle results for your effort? To maintain your momentum during this demanding process requires a plan that is both practical and strategic. Without a plan, most job seekers will quickly lose energy and self-confidence. Here are the top 10 ways to stay motivated during an extended job search:
  1. Collect and sharpen your job search tools. Working hard is not the same as working smart. The old saying "dull knives work the hardest" definitely applies to job seekers who may be using out-of-date job search tools and strategies. Are you working smart or are you just going through the motions? Searching for a job is a job. And, just like any other job, there are industry-specific tools, strategies, knowledge, and processes that will help you work smarter. It is critical that you are following a proven process -- from start to finish -- that has a track record of helping professionals get jobs! Need help doing this? Check out our One Critical Day.
  2. Rework your budget. Since financial pressures often result in anxiety and worry, it is important at the onset of a layoff to rework your household budget. Identify what areas you can cut back on spending, or better yet, omit completely from your budget. Talk with your creditors. What special payment plans do they offer for dislocated workers? Limit your extra spending and remove all credit cards from your purse or wallet. Commit to using credit cards only in the event of an emergency. For more resources, visit Dave Ramsey’s Budgeting Tools.
  3. Leverage your talents in your job search. Your talents have a strong influence on every aspect of your life -- the way you think about things, your relationships, and how you go about solving problems. Your talents are also connected to your passion and purpose and explain what energizes, excites, and motivates you to do your best work. Take this time to learn more about your strengths and the specific qualities that make you remarkable and memorable. Learn how you are naturally wired for work and then leverage those talents throughout every aspect of your job search to keep you energized and engaged.
  4. Continually expand and maintain your network. Networking is consistently cited as the most effective job search technique. Look for a variety of networking events to attend including job support groups, professional associations, chamber events, community events, etc. Remember, networking is the process of connecting with an extended group of people who interact and remain in contact for mutual assistance and support. True networking is what happens the day after you make a new connection.
  5. Commit to continuous self-improvement. Staying on top of what's going on in your field helps you remain connected to the work world. Social Networking (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging) has become a very important strategy in a job search and can be used to connect with experts in your field to stay "in the know" with latest industry progress, products, services or trends. Post, tweet, and blog about this information to reinforce your professional brand.
  6. Set monthly, weekly, and daily goals. To stay on track with your job search, and to prevent being consumed with the day-to-day whirlwind of a job search, it is important to set monthly, weekly, and daily goals. The "whirlwind" is the energy, time, and attention required simply to maintain the job search. It is the "whirlwind" that can sabotage your energy, motivation, and progress of your job search. Your goals, however, are the critical strategies that keep your job search moving forward. Identify specific goals you need to accomplish for the month. Break those down into a weekly schedule and then daily tasks. Schedule your job search efforts and then honor that commitment. Visit Franklin Covey's website for a free 30-day sample planner.
  7. Surround yourself with positive support. There are two types of people in our lives. There are the "basement" people who continually reach up, grab us, and pull us under. They often say things like "That's not going to work." "You'll never find another job like your last one." "You will have to take significantly less money." Studies prove we are able to cope better when we surround ourselves with a good support system. These positive influences, also known as "balcony" people, hang over the rail and cheer you on. These people inspire you and make you feel that you can be more tomorrow than you are today. They are the ones shouting "You can do it! I believe in you!" This support and encouragement gives you the extra boost you need to keep working toward your goals.
  8. Volunteer your time and talents. Volunteering provides opportunities to do the "work of the heart," whether that's helping to improve the quality of life for someone or volunteering for an organization in which you have great passion. It just makes you feel good about yourself. While volunteering you continue to expand your network, develop new skills, and create current work experience stories which you can share during an interview. This type of unsolicited effort shows initiative, drive and ambition -- qualities valued by employers. Plus, the volunteer experience can sometimes result in a direct job offer. For more information about volunteer opportunities in your area, visit Volunteer Match.
  9. Avoid becoming the family’s "honeydew." Yes, you are not working. Yes, things need to be done around the house. When you are out of work it is too easy to fall into the "honey, will you do ...?" trap. In a healthy job search market the typical length of a job search would be one month for every $10,000 in salary. Government reports show that the number of months continues to grow very sharply. Falling into the "honeydew" trap significantly prolongs your job search. If you want to find a great job quickly, you must commit to 40 hours a week of effective job search effort.
  10. Take care of yourself. Searching for a job is hard work. Investing six to eight hours per day can be physically and mentally exhausting. Occasionally, you will want to reward yourself and schedule time to go to the movies, work out at the gym, spend some time relaxing, work on your favorite hobby, or spend quality time with your family -- do something that makes you feel good. Appropriate self-care will go a long way to maintaining your momentum and motivation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Twitter in Your Job Search

The more I learn about Twitter the more I love Twitter. The more I use Twitter the more I understand its ability to help individuals and businesses build powerful brands and develop strong networks. I feel both empowered and humbled by the fact I connect and communicate daily with experts in my field that I otherwise would have never had the privilege of meeting had it not been for Twitter. No other networking venue provides this level of real-time connectivity 24/7.

It's not what you know ... or who you know ...
but who knows you!

Benefits to Using Twitter in a Job Search

As I mentioned, aside from the ability to literally network 24/7, there are numerous other benefits to using Twitter as one of your job search strategies. A few of those key benefits include:

  • Twitter is a great tool for building and reinforcing your personal brand. When 45% of employers report they search social media to learn more about candidates before bringing them in for an interview, using Twitter to showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities can play an impact in securing the interview.

  • You can connect with leaders and high-profile people in your industry. No one has to "accept" your invitation to be in their network or to be their friend, you simply begin "following" the people you want to connect with. Plus, those strong networking connections often result in people getting together outside of Twitter (i.e., local networking or professional events).
  • Using Twitter to search and follow people is one of the easiest ways to connect with target employers.
  • Because you are networking with leaders in your field, you can remain "in the know" on leading industry resources, trends, tools, and information.
  • You will be building a strong network that will continue to serve you in your career ... even after the job search is over.
  • You begin building an electronic diary of micro blog (140 characters or less) posts. These are powerful nuggets of information that you can reuse in your cover letters, interviews, follow-ups … or to write an article).

Getting Started with Twitter

To begin using Twitter, simply go to
http://www.twitter.com/ and create an account. You will want to choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession (JohnSmithEngineer). Your Twitter handle will become part of your "brand" ... so choose it wisely. Other tips for getting started with Twitter include:

  • Use an abbreviated version of your branding statement as your bio. Include a link to a site that provides more information about you (i.e., LinkedIn profile, personal website, or Visual CV site).
  • Invest in a professional photograph. This helps to reinforce your professional branding message and positions you as being prepared, polished, and professional.
  • Create a professional Twitter background that will reinforce your personal brand and position you as being memorable. You can use http://theclosetentrepreneur.com/create-a-twitter-background-using-powerpoint or Google "free Twitter background templates."

4 Steps to Begin Using Twitter in Your Job Search

Now that you have your professional Twitter handle, bio, and background complete, you are ready to begin.

  1. Make it all about THEM. Using http://www.twitter.com/, http://www.tweetdeck.com/, or some other Twitter application, you can begin creating and posting your 140-character messages. As you get started it is important that you tweet often. Tweet multiple times a day. Tweet about an article, a favorite quote, a book you're reading, tips, or nuggets of interesting information related to your expertise. Tweet about an upcoming conference or training event you plan to attend. Make sure your tweets are interesting and positive. Include links to online resources that may be of benefit to others. People whose posts are self-serving or self-promoting typically do not succeed with this venue. Think about what you can post that would be of help to others. It may feel strange to begin tweeting when you have no followers. But hang in there. After a few short tweets, you will have people following you and you will be on your way to building your Twitter network.
  2. Start communicating with your network. Networking is about connecting, interacting, and remaining in contact ... and networking is what you are doing on Twitter.

    Twitter is not a one-sided communication tool. Quite the contrary. You have the ability to post information, ask questions, reply to someone else's post, send a direct message (aka direct message or DM), or forward someone else's tweet to your network (aka retweet or RT). Look for opportunities to ask questions or comment/contribute to someone's tweet. Take time to develop rapport with your network and to build trust. Following these guidelines will position you as being someone likable, trustworthy, and professional -- just the type of person others like to help.
  3. Always keep it professional. Although you are tweeting valuable information that is benefiting others, I do recommend that you occasionally tweet something positive about your job search ... "Just got a call for an interview tomorrow. They are intrigued with my Six Sigma Cert. Keep your fingers crossed!" These occasional posts are not blatantly self-promoting and will remind your network that you are in a job search. Also, be careful not to share information which is too personal. No one really cares that you are stuck in traffic, getting ready for bikini season, or having lunch with your BFF.
  4. Start building your network and connecting to employers by following others. Once you have a great profile, some interesting tweets, and a few followers, start following others. You can do a keyword search on Twitter to locate experts in your industry, other subject matter experts, specific topics of interest, as well as employers.

    You can also search Twitter by keyword much like you would Monster or CareerBuilder (i.e., Cincinnati Jobs, Healthcare Jobs, Web Design Jobs, IT Jobs). You may want to explore Twitter applications designed to help people in their job search such as
    http://www.twitterjobsearch.com/, http://www.microjobs.com/, or http://www.tweetmyjobs.com/ ... just to name a few.

You can refer to the following list of employers or search Twitter by employer name (i.e., Verizon Jobs, Cintas Jobs). This is a great way to tap into the hidden job market. And once you begin following and receiving job leads directly from the employer, you may want to consider turning on your mobile alerts for these accounts so you can be among the first to know when the company is hiring! You can also follow a few of your favorite online job boards through Twitter such as Indeed and SimplyHired.

The objective here is to start building your network and connecting to employers by following others. As you begin following others (even those high-profile leaders), you will be surprised as many of them follow you back.

Employers Posting Jobs on Twitter
(this is a collective list from various online resources)

@attjobs @mtvnetworksjobs@TRCareers
@Accenture_Jobs - Accenture
@accesscareers - Access Communications
@aculis - ACULIS, Inc.
@ADPCareers - ADP
@AllstateCareers - Allstate Insurance
@AssurantCareers - Assurant Solutions
@ATTjobs - AT&T
@BKCareers - Burger King
@comScoreCareers - comScore
@DaVitaJobs - Davita, Inc.
@JoinDeloitteUS - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
@Ecolab_Jobs - Ecolab
@EMCCareers - EMC
@EMCCollege - EMC
@Ernst_and_Young - Ernst & Young
@Expedia_Jobs - Expedia
FSCCareers - Follett Software Co.
@forresterjobs - Forrester Research, Inc.
@fullhousecareer - Fullhouse Interactive
@GartnerJobs - Gartner, Inc.
@HersheyCompany - Hershey Company
@HewittCareers - Hewitt
@Hyattcareers - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
@HyattSanAntonio - Hyatt San Antonio
@JobsatIntel - Intel
@WeHaveFreight - J.B. Hunt
@KTPA_Careers - Kaplan Test Prep Services
@KWCareers - Keller Williams Realty
@kissitocareers - Kissito Post-Acute Care
@KrogerWorks - Kroger
@LN_Recruiting - LexisNexis
@MattelRecruiter - Mattel
@mattelmba - Mattel
@mayoclinic - Mayo Clinic
@Careers_At_MSSR - McCormick & Schmick
@JobsBlog - Microsoft
@MTVnetworksjobs - MTV Networks
@MTVGamesJobs - MTV Games
@MySpaceJobs - MySpaceJobs
@Raytheon_Jobs - Raytheon
@RazorfishJobs - Razorfish
@SodexoCareers - Sodexo
@CareersAtSRMC - Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
@TRCareers - Thomson Reuters
@jobs - Twitter
@UPSjobs - United Parcel Service
@UPMCCareers - UPMC
@DOScareers - US Dept. of State
@VerizonCareers - Verizon
@WBCareers - Warner Brothers
@KingstonCareers - City of Kingston
@VanMarriott - Vancouver Pinnacle Marriot
@IBMUKcareer - IBM/UK
@KPMGRecruitment - KPMG
@PepsiCo_UKjobs - PepsiCo
@JobsatRBSgroup - Royal Bank of Scotland
@Green_Dot - Deloitte Australia
@ibmbejobs - IBM/Belgium
@IBM_CEEMEA_Jobs - IBM/South Africa

Building a Twitter following is not something that happens overnight. For Twitter to be an effective job search strategy, it will require an investment of your time. The old saying "if you build it they will come" does not apply here. This is something you must work at daily. It is a slow process and happens over a period of time. However, the benefits to using Twitter as a career-management strategy are numerous and, in my humble opinion, worth the investment.

The bottom line? I've been convinced that there is great value in using Twitter in my career. Unlike LinkedIn where you connect with people but a strong networking connection rarely happens, I am connected with and communicate on a daily basis with experts in my field that I simply would not have connected with had it not been for Twitter. It is easier to complete that networking cycle of interacting and remaining in contact when there is an ongoing stream of communication going both ways. Aside from all the benefits to my career ... I enjoy it!

Signing off ... @ValeriePlis.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Using Social Media in Recruiting

There's been a lot of chatter about about this topic. I'm interested in hearing real stories! What about you ? How are you using social media to recruit and evaluate candidates?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Landscape of HR Recruiting is Changing

By Valerie Plis, Master Certified Career Coach

When laid off or downsized from work, most job seekers migrate directly to the online job boards to begin their job search. Unfortunately, the very strategy that is the most comfortable and convenient -- and most widely used -- has quickly become one of the least effective.

Here's the deal. A recession makes the recruiting process very hard. There is a tsunami of high-quality applicants for every published job lead - far more than the employer can interview. The problem for the employer is the expense to post the ad, not to mention the time and resources needed to sift through the thousands of resumes. This is truly like trying to find a needle in a haystack and it is prompting employers to rethink their recruiting strategies. Therefore, as the employer changes their process, it is critical that job seekers change their strategies.

Employers are beginning to use a combination of old and new methods to make recruitment work better, cost less, and attract a better-qualified applicant. Here are a few ways in which the recruiting landscape has changed:

It's a fact: A-list employees tend to know A-list candidates and 80% of recruiting professionals say that referrals from current and former employees are the single best source of great hires. Therefore, companies are dusting off (or creating) their employee referral programs whereby the employee is paid a cash bonus of $500 to $2,500 for referring a candidate who is successfully hired. With an effective referral program, recruiting is not left up to a select few but rather every employee in the organization becomes a miner for talent.

What does this mean for the job seeker? It is important to connect, interact and remain in contact with your network, especially those folks who are working with your A-list employer.

According to the recent Social Recruitment Survey, employers are recruiting extensively on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter because it helps them uncover a better-qualified recruit. The report also showed that employers are likely to invest more in these types of candidate sources, trimming down their spending with job boards. Here are a few interesting stats from the report:

    • 76% of companies surveyed plan to invest more in employee referrals
    • 72% plan to invest more in recruiting through social networks
    • 80% of companies are planning to use social networks to find or attract
    • LinkedIn use grew from 80 to 95% in 2008
    • Facebook use grew from 36 to 59% in 2008
    • Twitter ranked third at 42%

What does this mean for the job seeker? What would you do today if you knew you would find your dream job tomorrow through Twitter? Of course you would create your Twitter account and begin using it right away. Unfortunately, you don't know which job search strategy will result in your next job offer. I often use a fishing analogy when speaking to job seekers about the importance of a strategic mix of strategies. If you want to catch a variety of fish faster, you need to have multiple "poles in the water." Social media is simply another pole in the water.

Employers are interested in developing their own pool of candidates using their website. Job seekers can go directly to the company's career site to review job openings, search jobs by keywords, apply for jobs, and set up job notifications much like the functionality of a job board. In addition, the interactive career site (including video, blogging, chat, and widgets) is designed to showcase and brand the company's culture, share the latest news on what's happening with the company, and, attract, capture and communicate with the A-list candidates.

What does this mean for the job seeker? Using a variety of internet resources can help you identify a list of targeted employers. Visit their website and bookmark their career page. Visit it often. The reason employers believe this strategy recruits an A-list candidate is because it requires the job seeker to be more proactive at seeking out their A-list employers.

The bottom line ... employers are indeed hiring; they're just fishing in a different pond. What this means to the job seeker? They need to swim in a different pond.

# # #

©2009 Exceed With Purpose Coaching LLC www.ExceedWithPurposeCoaching.com All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Writing High-Impact Accomplishment Statements

When it comes to remarkable resumes, employers are not interested in knowing what you can do; they want to know what you've made happen! Employers are most interested in RESULTS. That's why your resume must be more than a historical document describing your knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and work history. It has to be more than a comprehensive job description outlining every task or responsibility you've had throughout your career. Honestly, there are few things more boring and drab.

In addition to an employer-centered job goal and critical keywords, a compelling resume also must include high-impact accomplishment statements that truly showcase the valuable you can bring to an organization. This is a good predictor of what the employer can expect of you in the future. Therefore, rather than say I was "responsible for increasing existing customer sales," you can literally transform the employer's perception of your value proposition by saying something like "Generated $1.3M in sales by developing meaningful customer relationships and providing exceptional technical support." Now that's a high-impact statement.

How do you go about writing these high-impact accomplishment statements?

Step 1 -- Rough Notes
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Starting with your most current position, write down any accomplishment, contribution, or achievement that comes to mind, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Do not stop brainstorming until the 10 minutes are up. Highlight any accomplishment, contribution, or achievement which directly relates to your job target.

Step 2 -- Get Organized
You can organize your rough notes by identifying the tangible result and a brief explanation of how it was done. For example:

Tangible Result - Generated $1.3M in sales from existing customers

By Explanation - by increasing meaningful customer contact and providing exceptional email and telephone support during initial installation of products

Step 3 -- Write your Accomplishment Statement
Now you need to make your accomplishment statements resume-ready by rewriting each statement using clear, concise language.

Generated $1.3M in sales by developing meaningful customer relationships and providing exceptional technical support.

If you do not have any statements which directly relate to your job target, begin the statement emphasizing the talent or transferable skill. Example, "Developed meaningful customer relationships and provided exceptional technical support which resulted in $1.3M in sales from existing customer accounts."

Once the resume does its job -- that is to get you the interview -- then you must be prepared to back up those claims with compelling work-experience stories. These stories will provide "proof" of these statements and go a long way in positioning you as being the most valuable and remarkable candidate for the job!