Seven Things Never to Say at Work: Communication Skills

Words matter! At work, the words you use are like your calling card; communication is as much a part of your reputation as is your performance.

Stay sharp with the seven things you should never say at work.

CommunicationWhat you say—and how you say it—matters in both your business and personal lives. No matter how “causal” your workplace might be, communication is how things get done.

Some phrases might be acceptable at home, but they could make you seem incompetent and unprofessional. They should be banned from the workplace.

Seven common phrases to remove from work conversations immediately (it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to drop them at home, too):

Continue reading “Seven Things Never to Say at Work: Communication Skills”

Management Coaching Skills: 3 Ways to Get the Best!

Management coaching is always a challenge, and the most successful managers know it.

Few will argue that an excellent manager is also a good coach; they understand and work with employee strengths, as well as support team members to shore up weaknesses.

Management Coaching Management coaching builds teams and fosters respect, as well as a sense of ownership in the job. It clarifies responsibilities and accountability.

There is no one solution for what makes good management coaching, but various traits combined; they allow managers to respond to the challenge.

Want to brush up on management coaching skills? Start with these three issues:  Continue reading “Management Coaching Skills: 3 Ways to Get the Best!”

Tips for Hiring the Wrong Person Every Time, Guaranteed!

There will always be poor candidates applying for any given job. Of that, you can be sure. Why are you hiring them every single time?

Hiring the worng people every time is expensive and time-consuming!

Bad candidates are in any given applicant pool, and their shortcomings are not immediately obvious. However, hiring them does not have to be a forgone conclusion!

Even in today’s interconnected and social world, hiring manages and human resources personnel cannot catch the few rotten apples instantaneously. Good hiring practices take time, dedication and determination to weed out good from the bad. Companies must begin with an organized and a smart talent acquisition system.

Without a strong strategy, a company will hire the wrong person every time. Guaranteed! This means the endless energy and expense of starting the process again.

The smart choice is taking the time to do it right the first time. Poor hiring can be embarrassing to a company, leading to significant (and expensive) setbacks.

The biggest problems are hiring managers that focus on intangibles like “great potential,” believing the candidate will improve or resting solely on things like “gut feelings.” These make it extremely difficult to understand if the person will actually fit well in the company.

There are few guarantees in life, but use these four rules of negligent hiring, and you will always bring on the wrong candidate:

Continue reading “Tips for Hiring the Wrong Person Every Time, Guaranteed!”

Still Unemployed? Close Your Skills Gap to Get the Job!

Are you looking for the right job for this economy? You may be part of the widening “skills gap” in the U.S.

To find the right job quickly, you need to get up to speed! Develop the appropriate abilities employers require, starting with the information in this infographic.

Are you looking for the right job for this economy? You better get up to speed with the appropriate skills.In a recent survey of hiring managers and human resources departments, most candidates lack the skill set required by employers. This “skills gap” may be what keeps you from getting the perfect job.

Increasingly, there is a difference between the skills recruiters and human resources departments are looking for, and the skills most candidates possess when applying for a job. This problem adds to the widening breach between academic abilities and basic requirements that businesses demand for workers to remain competitive.

When looking at the numbers, skills gap becomes even more significant. It is what is driving structural unemployment in the U.S. to the highest levels in history.  Over 12 million working-age Americans were unemployed in 2010 while at the same time, the country experienced a shortage of 7 million skilled workers, according to numbers put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What makes this news really bad—this employment situation does not seem to be getting any better; unfilled skilled jobs are expected to reach 21 million by 2020.

The skills gap survey, conducted by DeVry University and the Career Advisory Board, asked employers to prioritize the skills they value most. Of all respondents, the top two skills were a larger view of the big picture (strategic perspective) and high integrity. Good understanding of technology and ability to network were at the bottom of the list as least relevant skills to get a job in this market.Human Resources: Free live ovation demo

A lack of academic achievement is seen to be the cause of the gap between jobs and available workers. This is on top of the difference in “soft skills” that make a candidate a good fit for a company. Having the right soft skills can make up for lapses in technical proficiency, since employee can learn practical skills. Hiring managers indicated that, if you don’t have them now, don’t worry; most of the essential skills can be learned!

It should not be surprising that the right mix of skills puts you in demand to hiring managers, recruiters and human resources departments.  The challenge is to minimize the disproportion between an employer’s immediate needs and the skill set the job seeker actually has.

This infographic outlines what job seekers can do to make themselves more attractive to employers…

Continue reading “Still Unemployed? Close Your Skills Gap to Get the Job!”

Resume Fatally Flawed? How to Make It Clear!

resumes (Photo credit: realisticresumes)

By this time, you should know that typos and grammatical errors can be fatal to a resume.

However, there is one flaw that is the most deadly of them all—the perfect resume killer!

Rambling and unclear language.

Compared language that is all over the place, the occasional typo, outdated technology references or even an unexplained employment gap are somewhat excusable.

Resume/ovation tech blog

A resume that does not concisely reveal the person you are and what you have done will be dead on arrival. It doesn’t matter how qualified you may be. A human resources staffer, hiring manager or recruiter cannot judge you on your qualifications if they are not able to FIND your qualifications.

A candidate may have the greatest technical skills in the world, but if they can’t immediately take it from reading a resume, that’s bad. What’s worse is reading your CV several times, and it still makes no sense.

How to avoid incoherence—the most fatal resume flaw:

Continue reading “Resume Fatally Flawed? How to Make It Clear!”

A Great Resume: Broad Skills or Specific Talent?

Time to Freshen Your ResumeOn a job search, is it better to be adequate in a range of skills, or a pro in just one?

Creating a strong brand—through well-written resumes—can be an invaluable tool. However, for years we were taught to craft resumes as a generalist, showing the candidate as someone ideal for a broad range of opportunities.

The job market has changed and being a generalist may not be the best way to get a hiring manager’s attention.

Six ways to brand yourself as appropriate for something specific, with a narrow focus on a specific job opening:

Continue reading “A Great Resume: Broad Skills or Specific Talent?”

No Bad Hires: Interview Questions to Ask First!

SAN MATEO, CA - JUNE 07:  Job seekers wait for...
(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

For both employers and job seekers, the whole process of filling a vacant position rests on one thing — a great interview.

Much hangs in the balance, and the dialogue of the interview can be the deciding factor. Hiring the wrong employee—not just lacking skills, but a poor fit for the company culture—can cost thousands of dollars in lost time, effort and productivity.

Interview questions should be more than a routine discussion about experience, education and work history.

Great interviews go deep into the aspirant’s enthusiasm, drive, dependability and creativity. Focusing only on responsibilities and skills is a mistake; you have to decide who the candidate is—as a person.

Employees without drive, motivation and commitment to the company will eventually be indifferent and incompetent. That is unfair to the employee, co-workers and the company as a whole, as well as being a burden on resources—and a money drain.

Seven character questions to ask, and why they are crucial to find the right candidate. For job seekers, answer these questions and you will be ahead of the pack:
Continue reading “No Bad Hires: Interview Questions to Ask First!”