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Clearing Hurdles - the career advancement toolkit

6bd3c70e514e71e5bf4591922f3da0f7?s=47 Rowan Manahan
October 14, 2016

Clearing Hurdles - the career advancement toolkit

How to get an edge in your job-hunt. From the simple mistakes to avoid at the CV stage, to the strategic approach to interviews that will leave the competition in your dust.

6bd3c70e514e71e5bf4591922f3da0f7?s=128

Rowan Manahan

October 14, 2016
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Transcript

  1. The career advancement
 TOOLKIT @Rowan_Manahan

  2. It’s all about having the EDGE

  3. EDGE How do you get an edge? Andre Agassi started

    early - he hit 2,500 balls a day, 7 days a week from the age of 6. I call that, “taking luck out of the equation.”
  4. EDGE Sun Tzu felt the same way. He said that

    in order to go into battle unafraid, you needed to know three things: 1.Yourself. 2.The enemy. 3.The ground you’d be fighting on. Did you know these 3 things when you went into your last interview?
  5. THE
 WRITTEN HURDLE

  6. Write with the 
 reader in mind

  7. Do you know what happens to your application after you

    hit the ‘Send’ button? Somebody has to wade through all the applications for the role and compile the shortlist - and yes, that very small pile on the left is all that remains after you eliminate all the others.
  8. DRAFT Most CVs look, feel and read like a careless

    first draft.
  9. For sale.
 Baby shoes. Never worn. It doesn’t matter that

    Hemingway didn’t write these words - whoever did was a genius. Great writing on your CV begins and ends with brevity and discipline.
  10. I am a highly experienced Accountant, with a number of

    years experience in the financial area including the Multinational sector and Financial Services. Prior to taking up a career in Accountancy I ran the family business for a number of years. I possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to interact effectively & professionally with clients and colleagues at all levels. I’m a team player with a strong work ethic, while I’m an enthusiastic learner with ability to adapt quickly to new and challenging work situations. This is undisciplined twaddle, the kind of stuff I read on 75% of the CVs that come across my desk. Don’t be this guy!
  11. Eh ... hello? Because your CV has a big job

    to do if you are applying for a hotly-contested job.
  12. Draft & re-draft

  13. Costs were cut by 19 percent over three years. Sales

    grew by 37 percent year on year. And then I ended up … I see clumsy, passive language like this every day, from people who are applying for senior, high-paying jobs.
  14. I reduced costs by 19 percent over three years. I

    expanded sales by 37 percent year on year. I sought a secondment … / I was appointed ... So, first, let’s lose the passive voice and use crispy, business- like, active verbs.
  15. Reduced costs by 19 percent over three years. Expanded sales

    by 37 percent year on year. Seconded to … / Appointed to ... And it may be appropriate to get rid of all those perpendicular pronouns - which makes the language even more crispy and business-like.
  16. Ah come on! This is the reaction I get from

    most audiences when I show this material - and I am sure you would never write like this but somehow, I read writing like this every day…
  17. Passive voice In-jokes / Abbreviations Slang / Informal Overstating Mixing

    tenses These are the biggest ‘first draft’ mistakes that I see on CVs. Know ’em and get rid of ’em.
  18. I have a great eye for DEATIL And this would

    be funny - if I hadn’t actually seen it on more than one application in my time.
  19. Knowing you shit r As my mother would say, it’s

    the difference between …
  20. ’ e Knowing you shit r and …

  21. Engineering porfessional with 15+ years’ experience. Instrumental in authoring the

    Cod of Ethics for the entire Group of companies in 2009. I have always approached my career with great euthanasia ...
  22. Proofreading your peppers is a matter 
 of the utmost


    impotence (Taylor Mali)
  23. None
  24. So - lots of drafting and re- drafting, seek opinion

    and input on your CV from far and wide.
  25. Visual appeal!

  26. Font choices Delineation White space LEAD THE EYE

  27. August 2009 to Present Headhunted by Widgets Incorporated (IRL) as

    the Senior Management Accountant, reporting to the Financial Controller. Widgets competes in the blah-blah sector, the local affiliate has a turnover of €92 million and employs 175 staff. Along with the typical analysis, audit and reporting functions, my brief encompasses: • Line management for 11 staff – 3 Accountants and 8 Clerks • Development, implementation and updating of all policies and procedures in my remit • Capital expenditure projects from inception to completion • Collaboration on key projects – insurance, systems development, stock control Key Contributions • Migration from legacy system to SAP – project team member • Merger, acquisition and diligence activities from time to time • Conducting training in finance for non-financial management September 2005 to August 2009 Joined Fidgets Ltd as Trainee, reporting to the Management Accountant. Fidgets is Short, punchy introductory paragraph. I’ve used the protocol of Job Title in bold and Organisation in italics.
  28. August 2009 to Present Headhunted by Widgets Incorporated (IRL) as

    the Senior Management Accountant, reporting to the Financial Controller. Widgets competes in the blah-blah sector, the local affiliate has a turnover of €92 million and employs 175 staff. Along with the typical analysis, audit and reporting functions, my brief encompasses: • Line management for 11 staff – 3 Accountants and 8 Clerks • Development, implementation and updating of all policies and procedures in my remit • Capital expenditure projects from inception to completion • Collaboration on key projects – insurance, systems development, stock control Key Contributions • Migration from legacy system to SAP – project team member • Merger, acquisition and diligence activities from time to time • Conducting training in finance for non-financial management September 2005 to August 2009 Joined Fidgets Ltd as Trainee, reporting to the Management Accountant. Fidgets is You don’t need to delineate all your responsibilities - “Along with the typical functions …” covers that nicely.
  29. August 2009 to Present Headhunted by Widgets Incorporated (IRL) as

    the Senior Management Accountant, reporting to the Financial Controller. Widgets competes in the blah-blah sector, the local affiliate has a turnover of €92 million and employs 175 staff. Along with the typical analysis, audit and reporting functions, my brief encompasses: • Line management for 11 staff – 3 Accountants and 8 Clerks • Development, implementation and updating of all policies and procedures in my remit • Capital expenditure projects from inception to completion • Collaboration on key projects – insurance, systems development, stock control Key Contributions • Migration from legacy system to SAP – project team member • Merger, acquisition and diligence activities from time to time • Conducting training in finance for non-financial management September 2005 to August 2009 Joined Fidgets Ltd as Trainee, reporting to the Management Accountant. Fidgets is We all have responsibilities. The reader is interested in what you did with those responsibilities.
  30. Everything about your document should shout, “I am quality personified!”

  31. Eh ... hello? Because your CV has a big job

    to do if you are applying for a hotly-contested job.
  32. Brevity is key

  33. Curriculum Vitae (abbrev. CV) A brief account of a person’s

    education, qualifications, professional history and occupations, typically sent with a job application. ORIGIN: early 20th Cent.: from Latin, the course of life The dictionary definition of a CV - operative word: BRIEF
  34. No one wants to feel like they are ploughing their

    way through War & Peace as they read your CV. Aim for 900-1100 words. That is going to require you to compress your early - and, from the reader’s perspective, not very interesting - experience into a few tight lines. The other place your CV can sprawl out of control is in the Education and Training section …
  35. EDUCATION & TRAINING INSTITUTION QUALIFICATION YEAR Project Management Association Project

    Management Prince 2
 (Practitioner Level) 2015 College, Location Masters in Business Administration Thesis: Implementing ERP in the multinational setting 2013 Company, Location Advanced Presentation Skills 2013 ACCA ACCA – Membership 2009 College, Location B.Comm – 2:1 hons, Top 10 in class Electives: Human Resources and I.T. 2005 School, Location Leaving Certificate 525 points achieved 2002
  36. EARLY CAREER JOB TITLE COMPANY YEARS Do the same thing

    with your early career - anything more than a decade old merits only the bare minimum space.
  37. 5 Magic words

  38. • Dynamic, forward-looking sales professional • I am a self-starter,

    brimming with enthusiasm • I have highly developed people skills • I am a blah-blah-blah, keen to apply my xxxx skills in a blue-chip environment Most people open their CV with a profiling statement and most of them are very badly written indeed.
  39. Bland / Generic Buzzwordy Self-centred “Meh”

  40. Five magic WORDS Ask for feedback from people who matter

    - feedback on your accomplishments, your approach and your style.
  41. Best friend Impressive colleague Amazing boss Total arse These people

    will all have interesting things to say about you! (There’s an article on how to use this language in the handout pack.)
  42. It takes a lot of work to gain sufficient edge

    that you end up on the correct pile …
  43. THE
 SPANISH INQUISITION

  44. The job interview hasn’t changed a whole heck of a

    lot - we’ve always been concerned with the same key things.
  45. Are you able? Are you willing? Will you fit in?

    You can distil pretty much everything you get asked in a job interview down to one of these three …
  46. Plus the less tangible Cold Noodle Test (Once we’ve whittled

    it down to the final 2-3 candidates, all of who are highly capable, all of whom seem highly motivated, and all of whom have a track record of seamlessly fitting in to any new role or organisation they move to; then the question comes down to “Do I like this person?” “Do we share a sense of humour?” “If I was stuck here past midnight, eating cold noodles, would I want to be doing that with this person?”)
  47. Know your enemy

  48. “ The deepest principle 
 in human nature is 


    the craving to be appreciated
  49. It doesn’t matter what it says on the job description

    - your job is to make your boss’ life easier.
  50. “ If you wish to persuade 
 me, you must

    think 
 my thoughts, feel my
 feelings, and 
 speak my words. That means you need to be able to get into their head during the interview process.
  51. So start stalking! We’ve talked about the toolset for this

    in the discussion on networking and intelligence-gathering, and if there is an opportunity coming up in your department, it is absolutely imperative that you understand what is going on in the heads of the decision- makers in that department.
  52. Conviction!

  53. It has somehow become uncool to sound like you know

    what you’re talking about? (Taylor Mali)
  54. “I think” “I believe” “I feel” Any of these three,

    plus the dreaded interrogative tone of voice and you are dead meat.
  55. We I : And be very careful of the “we”

    to “I” ratio!
  56. Nuggets

  57. Most candidates walk into an interview with a passive mindset.

    I suggest you map it out in advance and walk in with an agenda to deliver.
  58. The predictable stuff …

  59. The tricky/dirty questions …

  60. Your agenda …

  61. And no idle assertions!

  62. 5 MAGIC WORDS Best friend Impressive colleague Amazing boss Total

    arse Remember this? Important for your CV, but vital for your interviews. What is most impressive about you? What difference does that make on the job? You have to know this!
  63. Five magic NUGGETS Bring those nuggets into the interview room

    with you and be ready to drive that agenda, pretty much no matter what they ask you …
  64. You will not get this right in your first draft.

    Lots of donkey- work and sweat here. (2,500 balls per day, remember?)
  65. Establish rapport Build relationships Empathetic and tuned-in Diplomatic / measured

    “Machines talk to me” Killer negotiator Some good examples that I’ve heard in the recent past - all true, all verified with examples, all delivered with confidence.
  66. This is a great book on the topic and can

    really help you pinpoint your key areas of innate, hard-wired, talent. You may not discover anything new about yourself using these kinds of tools, but the process is valuable because it (a) gives you a clear overview and (b) gives you the oh-so important vocabulary for use on your CV and in interviews. https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/ Purchase/en-US/Index
  67. Know the basics

  68. The modern selection process can feel like a never-ending hurdles

    race.
  69. Screening/HR Interview Cascade Line manager Psychometric testing Structured / CBI

    Social / Informal There are so many stages they can put you through and so many approaches they can take.
  70. Are you able? Are you willing? Will you fit in?

    But remember, it all boils down to these three questions, no matter how many different ways they ask them.
  71. “Give me an example of 
 a time when …”

    “If you saw XXX, what 
 would you do?” “Have you ever had to YYY?” “How would you solve ZZZ?” This is the kind of language you will hear in a Competency Based Interview. You response should be to tell a 2-3 minute story.
  72. Situation Process Outcome Words Per Minute? 140-160 2 minutes =

    300 words 3 minutes = 450 words
  73. Opener Why this job? Nature of the role? Weaknesses /

    Strengths? Team / Leadership style? Communication approach? Task / Problem approach (+examples!) Sectoral / Organisational issues? Best moment? Why you? Any questions? You have heard a version of these questions in every interview you’ve ever done. You should have crispy, effective answers ready to go for all of these. (More donkey- work and sweat!)
  74. So whether it is the written stage, or the interview

    stage(s) of the selection process …
  75. You have to develop your edge. Know yourself and what

    you’re best at, where you have made a difference, the value you have brought to the organisations you have worked for. Know your enemy - the people who will be deciding your fate, and the competition you are up against. Know the terrain - what’s really going on? What’s changing in the landscape? What’s coming down the road? What can you do to help?
  76. The career advancement
 TOOLKIT @Rowan_Manahan

  77. None