Killer Resume or Interview That Wows? Which Is Better?

Resume or Interview
Resume or Interview

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I recently decided to respond to a few recruiters about some work opportunities. I hate job hunting but they have a saying, “the best time to look for a job is when you already have one.” Surprisingly, I’ve almost always gotten offers or serious interest and it had me wondering about the reason for my success. I mean, some people look for work for months and aren’t able to get a single bite. I’m out here getting interest from recruiters left and right! Without even looking! So which is more important, the resume or the interview? What is the most contributing factor that’s helping me get noticed and picked up by employers?

The Resume
It has taken me years to build a good resume. What makes a good resume? One that shows that all your experience for the past 5+ years is related and not broken up or mismatched. You can see the professional growth on the resume. I’ve literally taken jobs that were a step back in money and title because the company hiring had such an amazing reputation in the industry and I knew it would look good on my resume.

I’ve always opted for a resume that was simple, clean and ONLY one page. If someone has to flip the page to see the rest of your experience, then it’s too long. CVs tend to be longer but, honestly, does anyone use a CV anymore? Generally, recruiters spend less than 10 seconds scanning a resume, so making it longer than one page seems ridiculous.

The role of the resume is to get your foot in the door so you can get to the next step, so having a solid resume can open a ton of work opportunities.

I think the key for me was to only take work that was related to my field, look ahead at what other more successful people in my industry did (Thanks LinkedIn!), and try to copy that. As a result, my resume became more niche, to the point where I don’t really need to look for work, the work finds me.

Check out my other post on how to structure a Resume.
The Interview

Interviewing also took me years to get good at and, to be honest, it hasn’t been something I’ve really perfected yet. I always got the feeling that US employers generally worship the “extrovert” and that specific type of personality that can get people up off their feet and excited.

Since I’m more of an introvert, most of my interviews have been good at best but not exceptional.

At the very least, I’m no longer the nervous nelly I once was during interviews. I think that has more to do with my experience level. Once you reach a certain level of experience, you sort of lose that uncertainty and voice in your head that asks, “Am I really qualified for this position?”

Things that I’ve definitely improved on are:

    Confidence

This has been key to capitalizing on work opportunities. I’ve noticed that I’ve no longer looked at the job I was interviewing for as something that I “needed” to validate me or take me to the next level. Now I’m able to come to the interview table and really ask hard questions like, “WHY is this position available now?” Or “What’s the company culture like?” I can take a stance where it’s almost like the company has to woo me in order to get me to move. No more groveling for the job with multiple thank you emails, no more hoping and praying for the job, none of that sh*t.

    Answering BS Questions

We all know what BS questions the interviewer usually asks. “If you were any animal what would you be and why?” “Tell me about a time you were challenged at work.” “Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work.” Those are the types of questions that come at the most random time and, at which point, you have to parrot an answer that the interviewer can agree with. Becoming skilled at these can be challenging. Especially if you’re nervous and not great at thinking on your feet.

For me, I just try to say what the person wants to hear while also tying it to why I should have the job. And ALWAYs spin it positively.

    Not Caring About The Outcome

Like I mentioned, “the best time to look for a job is when you already have one.” Having a job already and not moving without another one lined up has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. It helps me to not care and just carry on with the interview like I’m the prize. It’s allowed me to be picky about what work opportunities I’m willing to take.

I’ve seen people quit their jobs out of anger and then regret it because it’s only a matter of time before you run through your savings and then absolutely NEED a job, any job at any rate.
Side note: no matter how good you feel your interview went, NEVER quit your job until you’ve accepted their offer.

Overall having solid interview skills are important if you actually want to LAND the job.

So which is more important, resume or interview?
If I had to put my finger on it, I would say I think solid resumes are the most important to the job search. At the end of the day, the quality of your resume, your experience and the aesthetics of your resume are 100% in your control, an interview is not.

Resumes are also the way to get your foot in the door. Before the interview, there’s a recruiter picking out applicants from a pile of resumes. Only the most stellar resumes are able to proceed to the interview phase.

Not to say that interviews can’t be important, you can walk in with a semi-good resume and just blow the hiring manager out of the water by having an awesome personality and great interview skills.

Still, I find the the interview process to be pretty chaotic and arbitrary. Sometimes, companies aren’t even looking to hire but use the interview process to shop their competitors and get their employees to give off confidential information in the hopes of getting a job. Sometimes, you just can’t vibe with the interviewer. Interviewers can be rude, standoffish or downright inappropriate.

So even though you can’t always master every single interview, the right resume can almost always open the door to work opportunities that are the right fit.

Check Out My Other Posts
How To Be Successful & Be Happy

Work Smarter, Not Harder

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

What To Do When You Dislike Your Job

 

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I’m going back to work in less than a month, my maternity leave is over and I really wish it wasn’t ending. Though it would be nice to earn real money again, short term disability and paid family leave is really nothing in terms of compensation.

During my time of just being at home with family, I realized why I’m always so on edge and why I’ve been so unhappy with my career. I finally have the job that I’ve been looking for for so long, but it’s the people that make it miserable.

You see, I thought I would be happy doing challenging work with competitive pay but I was wrong.

There’s not a single one of my bosses that I’ve liked. You can follow all my blog posts and see just how miserable this job has made me. Yet I stay because of the benefits; because I have to put food on the table.

  • I’m Beginning To Realize It’s Just Me.

I’m not a team player and organizations don’t like that. They want someone who’s going to do what they’re told, follow the pack, play fair and be nice, all while being trampled on. And I don’t know how to be a team player in that kind of environment.

Ever noticed whenever you question something at work or you you realize that you’re taking on more work than you should, they always throw out “be a team player?” Like that propaganda is going to make me forget that I am being used beyond my compensation. If I already know that I have no chance of being promoted mainly due to the culture of the company, why would I do more and why would I want to be a team player on a team that doesn’t recognize hard work and excellence?

The truth is I work better on my own. I like to solve my own problems, have my own system and have autonomy over the quality of my work. With team environments, generally, jobs want a systematic approach that’s not necessarily most efficient, consistency across the board and groupthink where everyone has the same opinion. And that’s just not me and that’s not going to change, I’ve tried.

So here I am, a black sheep in a white flock, trying to stay inconspicuous.

I Haven’t Met A Manager I Respect

I honestly have rarely met a manager I can respect. Just because you’re above me in rank or in compensation doesn’t mean you own me; the corporate world kind of forgets that.

The only manager that I have ever been able to respect was one that looked out for their employees, mentored them and wanted to see them succeed. Plenty of managers will pay lip service to that kind of idea but actions always speak louder than words with me. And someone who doesn’t walk the walk is less than a manager in my eyes.

So right now my manager is someone who complains a lot, wants to get things his way, a brown noser and someone who pretends to be nice but really isn’t. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now so I have low hopes that things will get better. I just can’t get myself to respect him.

So what do I do? When I’m working at a job that has no growth with a manager I don’t respect?

My goal for when I come back to work is to just keep my head down and take it day by day.

I’m not going to pretend like I love my job or that I respect my manager or that I’m even friends with my coworkers, because I’m not. What I can do is control my attitude and realize that I’m at this job for a reason. I can quit any day I want. But I don’t. And that’s because I still need to keep this job for whatever reason whether it’s benefits or pay.

A lot of career advice will tell you to just talk it out with your boss or change directions at work or put everything in emails, but sometimes that advice is just full of shit.

I’m giving real world advice here and that is: work’s not fair and work’s not always right. You have to keep a long-term goal in mind even when you’re doing something you hate because you’re not going to be at that job forever. And I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with you just because you can’t fit into corporate culture; it’s really not for everyone. It’s not for me either but you need to use it as an opportunity even if it’s only a short-lived one.

Worst than being at a job that you dislike is being the person who’s constantly jobhunting for the perfect job, which I don’t believe exists unless you’re your own boss and can control your work environment.

So my main point is to make an exit plan, find out what you love and find a way to monetize that. Then make a deadline on how you’re going to make that your full-time job and do it. Your day job can just be a steppingstone, something that can get you to the next place in life.

Maybe I’m not corporate made, it’s not who I am but somehow I’m going to find a way to make my job work for me and help me grow into a career that I can be proud of and love.

It’s OK if you’re failing at work or just getting by, as long as you treat it like an opportunity and a stepping stone to help get you the kind of work you love.

How To Find An Attorney For Civil Suits And What To Expect

It looks like my mold saga is coming to an end. We seriously considered finding an attorney to help us negotiate with our landlord. It was a frustrating process, but my eyes are definitely more open to the reality of what it’s like to work with an attorney.

Last month I was at a kindergarten graduation and I was talking to one of the moms. The topic of lawyers came up because she had been through a divorce. She said, “all they want to do is bill you.” I didn’t think much of it but after looking for representation of my own I realized she was right.

I Learned A Few Things About Lawyers And The Law This Week:

  • The Purpose Of Tort Law

Tort law, according to Wikipedia, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. Its purpose is to right a wrong that has been made and put that person who was harmed back as if they were whole again.

So if someone negligently drives under the influence and ran someone on the sidewalk over and then that person lost their legs, tort law tries to find a monetary amount that would be equivalent to losing your legs. In other words, how much are that man’s legs worth?

So even though we were exposed to mold in our apt, which could have dangerous health effects on us and our 2 month old baby, the fact that we weren’t dead or dying didn’t give us much of a case.

  • Lawyers Aren’t Going To Do All The Work.

I don’t know why I have this image in my mind of lawyers wanting to jump at the opportunity of righting some injustice, but that’s not even close to how they work.

They don’t want to have to prove you have a case. YOU have to go to them and prove that you have a case under the law. That means you have to do a bit of digging on what laws apply to your issue.

From there you might get a consultation and if the attorney feels you have a good enough case, then he’ll take you on and start the process of the lawsuit.

  • It’s All About The Benjamins

Even if you have a case, that still doesn’t mean you have a case worth taking on. Because attorneys need to get paid one way or another. It’s going to be either hourly billing or contingency.

For contingency fees, they usually run 33% if you settle and 40% if it goes to trial. Zilch if the case doesn’t settle or win. So what they’re really looking for are cases that can settle or win.

For most attorneys, the question on their mind is, “If I take this case, how likely will it be to win and how much will I make.”

If they can’t make money off the case, they won’t take it.

  • Personal Injury Attorneys

Our first attempt to resolve this was to find a personal injury attorney. And they are the worst. I could not get a hold of a single one of them. They all had these bulldog secretaries that just took information and messages. Whether the attorneys actually got the messages, we don’t know, but I never heard back from anyone.

I thought it was really ridiculous that they spent all this money on advertising, to bring clients in, but they couldn’t be bothered to meet with us or respond. I guess we just weren’t dead or dying enough to make a case that was worth the money.

  • Find An Attorney That Specializes On What You Need.

At first it felt like we were taking shots in the dark. I would call personal injury attorney’s and ask, “Do you do mold litigation?” I didn’t have any referral attorneys that I could turn to. If someone said no, I would ask for a referral. It seems no one wants to give another attorney a referral.

None of the lawyers would help me so I had to rely on information from the legal secretaries. One straight out told me I would have to be severely injured for them to take me. Another referred me to the state bar association. The state bar can refer me for a $35 fee. Another secretary was more helpful and told me I would need a landlord/tenant attorney and to check AVVO.

AVVO is basically like the Yelp for attorneys, they sort by area and specialty and can help you find an attorney that has the experience you need. There are also a lot of reviews, so you can choose a top rated attorney.

  • Be Prepared To Drop Your Case Before It Even Started.

“I’ve always found the legal system to be disappointing” That’s what my dad said when I told him I wanted to sue over the mold.

Well, he was right. After I finally found a landlord/tenant attorney to meet with me for a $150 consultation, we learned we wouldn’t recoup much in damages. Maybe one months rent.

The attorney was very knowledgeable but basically laid it out for us that to pursue this in court would cost more than we could get and that basically we need to negotiate with our landlord to fix the problem permanently or to allow us to break the lease. I felt a little jipped, of course I can negotiate with my landlord directly and they already told us we could break the lease. What we wanted were damages for the costs of moving and furniture!

Our search for an attorney was long and stressful. In the end we did get enough information to make an educated decision on what to do about our apartment. I honestly hope I never have to consult a lawyer again or use an attorney’s services. Because at the end of the day, getting injured from mold or anything isn’t worth a large settlement.

We learned a lot from our situation. In case you ever need legal advice, here are the questions you’ll need to ask:

  1. Have you ever dealt with cases like this before?
  2. What is your success rate
  3. What is your retainer?
  4. Do you work hourly or by contingency basis?
  5. How will you keep me in the loop about the progress of my case?

Good luck and thanks for reading!

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

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Lately I’ve been going through a slump. Like I haven’t been falling behind and I haven’t been getting ahead. I used to be so motivated in college, I even graduated a year early. I graduated college in three years with top grades. It seemed like everything was going to pan out and for the most part everything did. But after college I’ve kind of been worn out.

Life gets to you after a while; with jobs and relationships that fall apart. And even though it’s not where you imagined you’d be, you finally settle someplace comfortable.

Sometimes I miss being in college and feeling like the whole world was in front of me. It made me self  motivated and kept me going. Now that my life has settled with kids, a husband and a semi career, I find it harder to keep that positive energy I once had. Yet you hear stories of people pushing themselves to the limits. You see people going to school and graduating valedictorian while raising three kids; climbing Kilimanjaro and  Everest in the same year; running an ultra marathon.  I look at those people and realize I need motivation.  How can I get the motivation to take my life to the next level? How do I maximize my potential so that I’m getting all I can out of life?

Here are my fail proof tips on finding motivation and how to make goals/dreams a reality!

1) Make A Schedule

This seems so obvious but making a schedule and sticking to it is harder than it sounds. Your schedule needs to align what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a salesperson, you might schedule more time trying to prospect leads vs doing paperwork vs organizing your office.

Your schedule should optimize your time so that the most rewarding tasks get prioritized and the least productive ones aren’t but are still tended to.

I absolutely hate prospecting leads but it’s what will give me the biggest return for my effort, so I make sure that I do that every day, no matter what’s on my plate.

2)Break Up Goals

Nothing is more demoralizing than having what seems like an impossible goal. But unless you are trying to defy the laws of physics, like turning a flower into a rock, no goal is truly impossible. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.

One way to manage larger than life goals is break them up into smaller goals. Reaching 400 blog posts has been one of my larger goals and sometimes it feels impossible, I’ve only written 73 posts, but my goal has been broken up into smaller “just finish one post at a time” goals. When I’ve focused on how far I am from reaching my 400th post, it’s so discouraging. When I think “I just need to do one more entry or 2 entries a week” it seems more manageable.

3)Be Consistent

This means showing up and putting in the work. Don’t put in part time hours and expect full time pay. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. If only it did.

Stick with things even when it gets hard. I took a 6 month hiatus from this blog, mainly because it was getting daunting and I wanted to pursue something else. And it’s OK to take a step back once in a while to gain perspective but for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, you’ll need to show up each and every day and get things done.

4)Work With The End Goal In Mind

Know why you’re doing it! It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start comparing yourself to other people. Or start worrying about the wrong things. So often people want to do things for themselves but halfway through they start worrying about what other people think.

For me, my job is about earning money for my family, getting benefits, and having stability. I’ve written a few posts on how hard and negative the environment is. I need to keep my motivation at work.  At the end of the day, I need to look past the petty coworkers, the rude bosses, and the unreasonable clients. The end goals is to pay off the loans and gain a bit of savings before I can move on. A lot of people lose sight of their end goal and let the small stuff run them out of their jobs before they can reap the benefits.

5.  Push Through Setbacks

No matter what you do, there will always be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back.

It’s how you handle the setback that matters. You could be saving for months then have your car breakdown. Then have spent $1500 to repair it and have that feel devastating because it took you so long to save. On one hand, you spent months worth of savings in one shot, on the other hand, you had $1500 cash handy and didn’t have to go into debt to take care of that expense. A person lacking motivation might say, “what’s the use of saving if I can never get ahead?” A person with motivation will just pick themselves up and start the savings again.

When faced with a major obstacle, just remember that it’s expected. In some cases, setbacks can help you grow and find ways to be more efficient or help you learn a lesson to avoid repeating the same stumbling block.

6. Block out the negativity

The most well-meaning people like to give advice and sometimes that advice is unwelcomed negativity. How many times did I had friends or family tell me you can’t do this or that, mainly in regards to my self employment. Or that I need more stability at the expense of my own goals. If you hear that enough you start to believe it.

When dealing with naysayers you’ll have to either avoid them or straight up tell them where they can go. Nothing should be getting in your way when it comes to keeping your motivation. They say birds of a feather flock together, so if your friends and family are telling you that you can’t do something, you’re going to believe that.

I would also recommend keeping positive and motivational posters at your work or on your desktop/phone to keep you in the right mindset.

7. Build a Support Network

And that brings me to my last point, once you’ve removed all the negativity surrounding your goals you’ll need to find a group of people who support you.

If it’s not your friends and family then you’ll have to find people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you and can help either coach you or give you the moral support you need. I’m a big fan of Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and general social media to help find other people who share your same interests.

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These may sound like easy things to do but mastering all 7 and being consistent day after day, month after month, and year after year is harder than you think. The key is to take it one day at a time and implement these tips in unison.  This is essential to set up goals for yourself

If you’re able to master this, you can watch your life change and your business flourish because putting in the time and work is all you need.

 

CHECK OUT MY OTHER MOTIVATIONAL POSTS AND SUBSCRIBE!

 

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

The Power Of Change

The Power Of Positivity

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Quiet by Susan Cain: Summary and Review

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I’m an introvert and my husband is an extrovert. For some reason we’ve always felt like ying and yang. But for the longest I always felt in a way inferior to my extroverted counterparts. Like there was something wrong with me for not being as pumped as they were about a weekend full of parties or not immediately knowing what to say in a social setting. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I realized my personality had a lot of other gifts, that being an extrovert wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and that being an introvert wasn’t half bad.

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, pretty much captures the plight of introverts. The book is amazing at explaining the differences between introverts and extroverts, how we became a society that rewards extroverted tendencies and how introverts can hone in on their gifts and embrace their introverted nature.

Apparently our society was not always extroverted happy. We used to be a country built on rewarding those with value. It wasn’t until the 1920s, when salesmanship became increasingly important, that the extroverted personality became highly sought after.

With several case studies, from Rosa Parks to Rick Warren, Cain describes the differences in management style for extroverts and introverts. Turns out that introverts are just as capable when it comes to rallying people. Whereas extroverts tend to inspire action from those who would otherwise been passive, introverts are more likely to take good ideas from the group and implement them to increase productivity.

Cain then goes to discuss working habits. Creativity, she says is directly related to introversion since creativity requires independent contemplation. Have you ever seen an artistic masterpiece completed from a group? Extroverts prefer group work and introverts prefer independent work. In my own personal opinion this is true. I try to avoid the group work environment as much as possible. Unfortunately that’s near impossible, since most jobs love meetings, group projects, etc. I would be more than happy just doing something on my own.

Groupthink has become an increasingly integrated way of working. Many companies are using groups to get projects done. Groupthink relies on the premise that the ideas of the group are greater than that of the individual. Open floor plan work spaces are becoming the norm. Brainstorming eventually caught on as a way of group thinking without judgment. Cain points out many flaws including social loafing-group laziness, production blocking-only one person can create ideas at a time, and evaluation apprehension- fear of looking stupid.

Quiet then goes on to question whether extroversion and introversion have physiological roots. After looking into many studies, she suspects it does. She also questions whether environment plays a role in this. It does, but only to some degree. I find this to be a relief since I had spent my late teens and early 20s trying to be extroverted to no avail. I became a salesperson as a way to break this ingrained habit. In some ways I became extroverted from this, wanting to meet people and feeling more confident, but I was still introverted and wanting my alone time.

The last few chapters she discusses how an introvert is supposed to survive in this extroverted world. She points out a lot of introverts play extrovert when the occasion calls for it. She reflects on a few clients and friends that would put on a show when they needed to. They relied on social cues and body language to navigate appearing extroverted for the sake of others. She also mentioned that this was optional, there were introverts that opted out of faking it til they made it. She acknowledged that some introverts find acting contrary to their natural inclinations as a lie or a falsehood. This really resonated with me because I felt like I had been playing extrovert for so long. Not only that but I was failing at it. Other times I felt like giving up and that I needed to stop lying about who I was. It’s a relief to read that other people experience the isolation of being an introvert and misunderstandings around it. I spent so long trying to fix my “lack of confidence,” not really understanding I was just very introverted and I had other strengths like self-awareness and empathy.

Chapter 10 really piqued my interest. It discussed how introverts and extroverts get along. Of course my husband and I are the typical introvert/extrovert couple. Everything she said in this chapter had hit the nail on the head for us. Our fights were very much as described, with me pulling away moody and him belligerently trying to fix the problem. It could be a match made in heaven or the relationship from hell. One that could only work for with lots of compromise since the two very different styles of communication often led to some sort of conflict long term.

Overall I found this book to be pretty awesome! It was nice to find out I wasn’t just some unconfident, quiet weirdo that couldn’t socialize. I would say it’s not really a self help book, more like a really well researched informative guide to introversion. Susan Cain really did her research as she cited many case studies, personas and personal experiences that help her get her point across about the introverted persons experience. This is one of the most bought book on Amazon and I can see why, she is the expert on the introverted/extroverted personality discussion. This isn’t a very light book though, like one of those self help books you’d pick up as an afterthought at the airport, but one that is highly intelligent, thought provoking and honest.

Buy Now

Check out my other book reviews!

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Motivational Book Club: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson

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