Fran Kelley, MA, CPRW, SPHR, JCTC, SHRM - SCP is a professional résumé writer and has extensive experience in corporate Human Resources with AT&T. Since 1995, Fran has been a Career Coach and Résumé Writer as owner and President of The Résumé Works, LLC in Waldwick, NJ. Fran has also been a Vice President, Career Management Consultant with Right Management. Currently, Fran is an Executive Coach with Lee Hecht Harrison. Fran Kelley holds the following credentials: Master of Arts in English, Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Job and Career Transition Coach.
Published in: - America’s Top Résumés for America’s Top Jobs - Professional Résumés for Executives, Managers & Other Administrators
- Expert Résumés for Teachers and Educators - Gallery of Best Résumés - Second Edition - Expert Résumés for Computer and Web Jobs - Professional Résumés for Accounting, Tax, Finance & Law - Professional Résumés for Tax & Accounting Occupations
Society of Human Resource Management
Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches
National Résumé Writers' Association
Charter Member - Career Masters Institute / Board of Directors Charter Member - Waldwick Chamber of Commerce
In working with job seekers every day, certain trends begin to emerge. Mistakes can be costly, so it pays to be aware of them and avoid them at all costs. See if you recognize any of these mistakes in some of the things you’ve done.
1)Slow to initiate contact with networking leads
I see this all the time. A client attends a networking group and is provided with one or more networking contacts. The client waits a few days or even a week to initiate a call or email. Why? This is a fast-moving environment. Your lead provider has sometimes prepped the contact to expect your call. If a few days go by, they may forget all about it or about you! When you are fortunate enough to get a networking contact, act on it promptly with a call or email as soon as possible. Ask the person who provided you the lead if the contact would prefer a call or an email. Medium of communication can sometimes make all the difference as can timeliness.
2)Hedging on the start date the company requests
Companies today typically take a long time in making the hiring decision. Months may go by. However, once they decide, they want you to start immediately. That’s good news. Give your current employer two weeks’ notice or, if you are unemployed, see if you can start sooner. Starting when they want you to shows interest, motivation and confirms their decision to hire you. Budgets and headcount can disappear overnight, literally. Get on their payroll as soon as possible.
3)Placing salary and/or title above all else
Sometimes clients languish in job search far too long because they refuse to compromise on salary or title. When a salary range is given, assuming it is not totally out of the ball park, continue the interview process. Once the employer gets to know you, he/she may feel you are worth more. Or, the total compensation package may outweigh a lower salary. I coached a recent client in this exact scenario. She was called for an interview at a lower salary than she was previously paid. I encouraged her to go. She did and interviewed well. She did not get the job. But, she was called back by the same firm a few weeks later. Another job had turned up that paid more than what she was making previously! They had liked her on the first interview and kept her in mind for another position. With title, of course, you need to consider how it will look on the résumé for your next job search. Sometimes titles can be negotiated and sometimes the way the job is described can overcome a potentially less senior title.
4)Being inflexible on location
It is wise to keep an open mind on the location of a particular position. Maybe you would prefer working in the suburbs and not the city. But, the perfect job appears and it’s in the city. Why not explore the possibility and see where it leads you? The potential to negotiate telecommuting or flex hours may exist. A vast array of other possibilities can overcome a less than desirable location: greater compensation, potential for upward movement, more vacation time, for example. The most important thing to remember is to keep your options open. Let the interview process begin and sell, sell, sell. Remember, if you accept a less than perfect job, you will probably not be there forever. Start looking for your next position while you have a salary coming in.
5)Failing to negotiate when necessary
Clients can sometimes jump at a job offer without thinking about negotiating the compensation package. This is common with job seekers who have had a lengthy search. Just remember that what you agree to will be something you will live with for as long as you are in that position. Maybe that is just fine with you but maybe it won’t be down the line. If you’ve had 4 weeks of vacation and now have 2, will that provide you the quality of life you are looking for? Remember too that there are many components you can negotiate: salary, bonus, vacation, sign-on bonus. Some companies are open to negotiate everything and some, nothing. Most are somewhere in between. Of course if you get a perfect offer in every way, don’t negotiate just for the sake of negotiating!
If you see yourself in some of these situations, take a closer look at how you can change to be more effective in your job search.