Monday, April 22, 2013

What Do You Have To Offer? Pt III


As I would expect, some people might be cynical about how to apply the F.A.B. presentation to their own particular situation; especially concerning accomplishments. Some individuals worry they don’t have any and think this kind of presentation won’t work for them. Perhaps. Accomplishments don’t always need to be grandiose but they do need to be real. There might be some that you are overlooking so let’s talk about some examples:

Recent College Grads – If you worked prior to or while engaging in your studies, this is helpful. Especially now, when many are financing their degrees, if you were balancing work and studies, and maintained decent grades, that is an accomplishment. If you participated in any extra-curricular activities, i.e., sports, teaching assistant, etc. and again balanced those activities with your studies and also kept up your grades, this is an accomplishment. The same goes for any leadership responsibilities. As an example, I know that some companies require certain level GPAs and will allow a slightly lower GPA for those who were involved in other activities, such as those listed above. If you did none of these things and focused on your studies exclusively and you have high scores, your studies were your job, of sorts. BTW, in this scenario your professors, coaches, etc. can be references. I’m not going to lie to you, these are not the most powerful tools available but, if you’re young, you’re not expected to have a long list of accomplishments or accolades. Your presentation will be shorter, no doubt, but if your goal is to try to separate yourself from crowds of others, this is one way by which to do it. Awards are also accomplishments. As for the benefits, anything that shows leadership and responsibility can be a suitable benefit communicated in your presentation.

Military Veterans – I have a special appreciation and respect for Vets. With virtually no support or help after they finish their enlistments, they have it tougher than any other demographic group out there. I know and remember well what it was like after I left active duty in 1986, especially combat arms-related folks have a tough transition. And for anyone who dismissively says, “Too bad, they enlisted” my reply is yes, they did, and as a result they deserve a fair shot and more, for their service. If you were in an MOS with transferable skills, then you have something upon which to build. If you were combat arms related I would focus on leadership, maturity and responsibility traits, which are always desirable. In the current era many Vets can point to overseas deployments and their responsibilities, especially people-related responsibilities, and best if you are able to translate into relative dollar amounts that which was under your supervision and care. For example: when I left the military and did the duffle bag drag back home, I focused on the enhanced security aspect of my previous work and my first real job after the military was sales of security and alarm systems. No it was not a career job for me, but it got me headed in the direction wherein I find myself today. I am not trying to over simplify things, your task in the current employment market is not easy, but good things are never easily obtained. Most Vets have dealt with some challenges; this is just a different kind of adversity.

Starting over at 50 – I can’t say definitively, but I suspect companies are using actuary tables to decide upon whom to downsize, because it’s too ironic that so many people, a little before or after they turn 50, lose their jobs with companies to which they were so loyal. The time when companies valued their employees seems a faded memory. Nonetheless, you must move ahead. Indeed, some job and entire industries are going away. Whether you choose to or have to change market focus, however possible, concentrate on your transferable skills, anything that can be applied to another market sector or industry. This is your best option, and before any interview do some research as best you can, so when asked, you can articulate how your skills are transferable.
Highly Technical Professionals – This is the one sector that is predominantly reliant upon resumes with lengthy details. Some would argue there is less interaction among these skilled professionals with most hiring resume based. Yes, it is but that does not mean a person cannot benefit or enhance their odds during a process by injecting increased interpersonal repartee. Technically-skilled market sectors are also increasingly competitive. 

Next time, we’ll talk about what you can do with the information you’ve assembled. 

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