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How to Craft a Great Résumé / LinkedIn Profile

November 6, 2019

Hiring managers don’t really care what you’ve done. They may ask about it, but it’s not what they’re trying to figure out. What they care about is what you’ve learned and what you’re ready for. Here’s how spell those out in your work history.

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Hand drawn steps with the steps in a hiring decision.

The Evolution of a (Hiring) Decision

September 18, 2019

From the perspective of the hiring manager, finding the right person to fill a job opening can be an arduous process. When we’re on the candidate side of the table, we lose sight of this complexity. Our goal is to get a job and, as they say in baseball, we “swing for the fences” at every step. We say things like “I would love to work here” before we know much at all about the role, the team, the company, or the compensation. We confuse our end game (get a job) with the incremental objective of moving forward in the interview process. We allow our primary goal to blind us to incremental goals.

The key is to move yourself along the process one step at a time.

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New Job starting day or date circled on a calendar with a red marker

Got a Job Offer? Your Start Date May Be Earlier Than You Think

July 29, 2019

Whether it’s with a new company or a new role within your existing organization, new positions are tremendous opportunities to leap forward in your career. However, beware that you and the hiring manager may have very different ideas as to your actual start date.

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Man in a suit, palm up, gesturing stop.

Good Boss / Bad Boss

July 27, 2019

Good bosses matter. The context you create for your top talent can mark the difference between a mediocre and a top performer. At one point in my career I went from being ranked a mediocre performer by the worst boss I ever had to being in the top 10% by the best boss I ever had. I was working just as hard for both bosses. The only thing that changed was my boss.

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Pictogram of two rowers

Engaged Employees: Rowing? Or Drilling Holes?

July 23, 2019

Disengaged employees outnumber engaged employes by more than 2:1. To put this in perspective, imagine you have ten people rowing in a boat:

  • Three would be rowing in the right direction.
  • Five would not be rowing at all.
  • Two would be drilling holes in the boat!

This is crazy. There is no need for the modern workplace to be so dysfunctional.

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Group Of Business People With Their Hands Together

Diversity in Counsel … Unity in Command

July 21, 2019

Alfred Sloan, when he ran General Motors in the 1920s and 1930s, would refuse to make a decision at a meeting if no one could argue a strong case against what was being proposed. He felt that if no one had any objections to what was being decided, it was because they had not thought long and hard enough about the question under consideration.

Alfred Sloan understood that the best ideas — along with the best decisions — are forged in the crucibles of healthy conflict. If there are no objections leading up to a decision, then either people just aren’t trying hard enough or your team isn’t working on hard enough problems. Clear thinking, innovation, and good decisions depend on diverse perspectives and opposing points of view. 

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The question "What is Culture?" written in chalk on a blackboard.

What is Culture Anyway?

July 8, 2019

When it comes to building great organizations, just about everyone would agree: culture is important. Culture is the heart and soul of an organization. When we hire people, we hire for “fit” into our culture. There are even companies who have Chief Culture Officers. And, of course, there’s the ever-popular trope that Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch.

But what is culture anyway? If it’s so doggone important, how do we know what we’re looking for? And how, perchance, might we shape and build the culture that we want?

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An introverted man on the left and an extraverted man on the right

Where Do You Think? A Key Difference Between Introverts & Extroverts

July 5, 2019

There are many contrasting and complimentary differences between introverts and extraverts: where we get our energy, what stimulates us, how we feel about small or big groups, to name but a few. The contrasts are rich and numerous. However, as a long-time Myers-Briggs practitioner, I find that the most defining characteristics of the introvert / extravert spectrum is where people think.

In general, extraverts tend to think externally; they need to verbalize their thoughts to think. Thoughts are actually formed as they are verbalized. They speak to think.

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Sonar rings radiating out in the upper right quadrant

A Quick Guide to Informational Interviews

July 3, 2019

How do you decide what direction to head next in your career? Would you like to be more visible inside your company? How do you increase your chances of getting a job offer inside of a company that interests you?

Over the course of my speaking and client engagements I find myself frequently recommending informational interviews as a tactic to learn, as well as gain exposure for your career. Informational interviews are a great way to explore opportunities, discover mentors, and get information about a field of work from someone who has firsthand knowledge.

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Three Reasons You Should Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up To Date

June 29, 2019

While LinkedIn has become the database of record for our careers, it is so much more than that. It is the one place on the Internet where we make our professional declaration of who we are and what we do. As such, it is extremely useful in building and maintaining a rich network of professional relationships. A current and complete profile makes it easy for friends and network connections to remember where you’ve been and what you’re working on.

In Helpful: A Guide to Life, Careers, and the Art of Networking, I write about eight reasons to keep your profile up to date. Here are three of them.

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