One of many valuable skills most of us will need in life, in our professional lives in particular is the ability to write well. Being able to write well will help you get your ideas across, secure buy-in and achieve the following with your reader/supervisor/client (whoever your intended audience may be):
- Get their attention
- Share your vision
- Spark imagination
- Demonstrate benefits and value
- Get a meeting
- Expand your idea
Delivering effective presentations is a bit of both, art and science. You will get better with each passing presentation so make sure you rehearse and time yourself.
Additionally, here are some valuable concepts to keep in mind as you prepare to deliver that next million dollar presentation:
- Dress appropriately (based on the event and audience)
- Familiarize yourself with the space (and equipment if you will be using any)
- Believe in yourself – be confident (audience doesn’t know how nervous you may be)
- Grab the room’s attention from the beginning (a joke or the most valuable finding you have) and then lead them towards it
- Move with intent to engage your audience (ask them questions)
- Minimize fillers (um, you know, um)
- Tell a quality story that leaves an impact
- Answer questions as they are asked – you know this stuff
- Presentation slides must be visually appealing and proportional
- Don’t turn your back on your audience
Resume and the cover letter are done, now onto references.
When deciding who to ask to be your reference consider folks who are your professional level or even higher. Focus on people you have worked with and who can honestly give a knowledgeable and obviously favorable review of your performance, achievements and character.
Additionally, make sure to ask people you have worked with if you could list them as your professional references (and keep them professional, no family members) – don’t assume that you can list anyone without asking for their permission first.
On the other hand, when someone asks you to be a reference, do you always say yes and if so why? If that is the case, I would like to ask you to considering saying yes only to those you honestly believe are good at what they do – don’t simply pass an ineffective employee onto someone else (no matter how tempting that may be).
You have made it to an in-person interview. Congratulations!
This means that your resume and cover letter (even references if they were called already) have all done their job to present you as a potential candidate for the position you have applied for. All good thus far, but that was paper and not “real” you; real you will take center stage next.
Above all, believe in yourself as there’s a definite reason why you are one of the people (generally 5-6 individuals are selected) they chose to meet in-person.
Here are some important things to consider as you prepare for your in-person interview:
- Arrive on time (at least 15 minutes early)
- Dress appropriately
- Believe in yourself – be confident (don’t confuse with arrogant)
- Body language is important
- Listen attentively – don’t interrupt
- Answer succinctly and efficiently
- Clarify questions which may be unclear
- Thank them for their time and announce a follow-up
- Follow-up as stated
Good luck with your interview.
Cover letters are of great importance as they complete your initial application packet along with your resume. They must be custom tailored for each particular position and organization, never a copy or a duplicate which you have used previously.
Here are some important things to consider as you write that great cover letter which will serve as an invitation to an in-person interview:
- Keep them to one page, yet powerful and inviting
- Make it personal; address it to the chair of the search committee or the hiring agent
- List the job; reference it
- Outline why you want to work there
- Outline why they should select you – value can be found in the job description
- Make it unique, make it stand out – you can do this in your closing paragraph
Good luck with your search.
Here’s a general overview of important things to consider when writing your resume. Overall, be consistent in design and content, truthful and relevant.
- Keep it simple and consistent
- Reference the job description throughout your resume; find words that matter to the employer and use them to your advantage. In large companies with hundreds, even thousands of applicants, resumes are often sorted between “yes”, “no” and “maybe” piles by computers and these relevant keywords will increase the probability of making it to the “yes” group.
Find a way to link the following three areas for each of your current/previous jobs
- Generally follows experience; posted higher only for those applying for their first full-time position (entry level, straight out of college)
- List them: Names, titles, contact info (phone and e-mail) or don’t mention them at all
- DON’T list them (it’s rare they matter or relate to the position you are applying for)
Ready to look for a new job, perhaps even a completely new career? Here are some things to consider as you embark on that journey.
1. Take a good look at yourself and identify your strengths and passions
2. Ask your family and friends what do they see as your strengths
3. Network, network, then network some more
4. Focus attention on organizations you believe are the best fit for you
5. Consider starting your own business
Above all, don’t quit! Finding that perfect match may take months even years, but it will be worth it once you do.
Most of us are familiar with or have at least heard of the 6 overarching leadership styles:
2. Paternalistic Leadership
And while each of them have their followers I have to say that none of them is “head and shoulders” above the rest and here’s why. Leadership styles or approaches, even strategy depend on the environment one is in. More specifically, they depend on the organizational culture and available resources.
On the other hand, I have met people who have said that they have one leadership style which they use 24/7/365 with all projects, tasks and responsibilities which struck me as very odd. How can one approach various problems; challenges and opportunities with exactly the same blueprint?
Strategy and operations work best when complementing one another and when they work for each other. Depending on your position and responsibilities within an organization you may be spending 100% of your time in operations while others may be spending majority of their time focused on strategy, vision and leadership and both sides undoubtedly bring value.
However, while I am not a fan of “one size fits all” approaches it is important to note that I believe that a 70/30 ratio (strategy/operations) could be seen as a viable solution and here’s why. One most keep the lights on and keep operations functioning, but ideally shouldn’t spend more than a third of their time on them if they want to be innovative and competitive.
Whenever there’s an opportunity to share you knowledge and teach others some of what you know, take it. Share knowledge as you would want others to share theirs with you. Teaching people how to do things on their own helps both them and you. It helps them feel good about themselves by expanding their skill-set and at the same time it reduces the number of somewhat repetitive questions you may be getting day after day.
Obviously, you can’t force them to learn if they don’t want to or if they are in a rush at that particular time, but you can always provide it as an option.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. – Unknown
Then again, not that you should, but you could be more of a Ron Swanson type