Hire a resume writer who is a gifted Strategic® thinker. The Strategic® I'm referring to here is defined by the CliftonStrengths™ assessment as someone who is gifted to spot relevant patterns and issues. This person can see from A to Z in one blink. They see the big picture and the see multiple paths to get from here to there.
This type of thinking is a gift that someone either has or they don't have. The Strategic® thinking mentioned in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ cannot be taught.
You might also want to hire a resume writer who does a significant amount of writing as part of their daily activities. The measurable and quantifiable evidence is always helpful. Here's my evidence of my daily writing activity and how it stacks up to others who happen to use the Grammarly tool.
Look for a resume writing professional who has a sufficient enough vocabulary to keep up with the complexity of the vocabulary that might be used in your profession.
Look for a resume writing specialist who understands how to blend technical writing, business writing, and creative writing just right. How will you know if their blend is just right? They'll be able to show you how their past clients have achieved resume writing results like this.
7 Total Interviews
The company just called Sue back for her 7th interview. Yes, you read that correctly. Seven total interviews. Nobody at the company is qualified to understand Sue’s uniqueness. She’s now being asked to take on an individual contributor job.
She’s a deeply skilled, talented, polished and bright candidate. It’s as if the hiring manager is doing everything possible to tactically fill his round hole with a square peg and Sue is the current candidate on the stage.
Who Is Sue?
First, she’s Strategic®. She has an ability to not only see the big picture but she also has the giftedness to know how to move from point A to point B with great precision. Sue doesn’t need to be in a position that pushes her down in the weeds. She needs to be in a position where she can guide others through the big picture.
She possesses a strength called Individualization®. She’s gifted with an ability to understand the uniqueness of each person she encounters. She instinctively knows how different people can work together to produce the best possible output. She is gifted to manage people.
Sue is an Arranger®. Arrangers are gifted to arrange people in the most optimized manner in order to get things done. Combined with her Strategic abilities, Sue has her eye on the entire plan and she instinctively knows how to put the right people in front of the right tasks to maximize their productivity.
Throw in Sue’s Achiever® and she’s virtually guaranteed to guide teams to results. She is built to take people and project results to the finish line.
Placing Sue in a down in the weeds, in an individual contributor role, where she has no ability to guide other people to produce results is a recipe for total frustration, lack of engagement, and guaranteed turnover on Sue’s part.
Self-Awareness Is Powerful
Sue knows that she needs to be hired into a role where she gets to leverage her people skills, her organizational skills, and her executing skills in a highly strategic role.
When Sue takes on a role like this, she’ll likely deliver the best productivity of her entire career and she’ll fall in love with the work she’s doing. She’ll be engaged, empowered, and her results will be powerful!
What Should Sue Do In This Case?
Turn around and run!
Looking Back At 2017
Seriously, I’m in the future and I’m looking back at 2017. My top Strength is called Futuristic®. Futuristic® translates to Visionary. I’ve always seen down the road further than most people. This skill serves my coaching clients well when I'm working with them on developing a career road map that will impact their career future.
Look at a few "C" level job descriptions. Leadership job descriptions routinely ask for Visionary, Strategic, Leadership.
To make this delivery even more powerful, I slip in my number 2 Strength, Strategic®. When I add this strength to my Futuristic®, I’m able to not only see down the road, I’m also able to build strategic paths to get from here to there.
Futuristic® IN Dallas, Texas
Four years ago, I spoke at a technology event in Dallas, Texas. Following my talk, a "C" suite executive came from the back of the room to speak with me. He recognized my Futuristic® message and said: "I need that". When I asked what it was that he needed, he replied, "I need all of that and whatever you might have in your back pocket."
I've been privileged to work with this "C" suite executive in a coaching capacity ever since. This is where he is today after working with me to understand his Strengths, to improve his Self-Awareness and to improve his Emotional Intelligence.
Just to be fair, it turns out that the person who made his way from the back of the room is also Futuristic® and Strategic® as I am. We've worked hard to achieve what you just read above. This is not how the "C" Suite leader was thinking when we first met.
Futuristic® in Denver, Colorado
Just over three years ago, I stood in front of a group of smart cyber security professionals as their invited speaker. I talked to this group about the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) or sometimes called, Emotional Quotient, (EQ) and how working with a skilled Emotional Intelligence Coach to develop higher EQ would become a career differentiating decision.
Futuristic® in Las Vegas, Nevada
Three years ago, this month, I stood in front of a group of “C” Suite executives in Las Vegas as a speaker. I talked to this group about moving past sole reliance on their high IQs to develop high EQ as well. Did anybody hear me? Yes, a few people did.
Articles I’ve read recently predicting the future in 2020 and 2025 suggest that Emotional Intelligence is a hot skill to possess in the future.
Experience the Future Now!
The 2020 and 2025 articles aren’t wrong. I became trained and certified to coach Emotional Intelligence skills in 2014 because I saw EQ becoming a must-have set of skills not for 2020 or 2025 but for now. Right now, in 2017.
Yesterday, I received a message from someone I originally spoke with in August of 2015. I distinctly remember the 2015 conversation. I recall that the person on the other end of my phone resonated with what I was sharing at the time but he didn’t take immediate action. Our conversation centered around Self-Awareness, Strengths, and Emotional Intelligence topics.
Yesterday’s message to me from this person read like this:
Do It Now!
The issues referenced in this email include this person’s Strengths, Self-Awareness and his need to develop more polished Emotional Intelligence. I can help this person today. I could also have helped this person two years ago and he likely would have been able to skip some of the lessons he has learned “the hard way”.
Looking Back From the Future
As I look back at 2017 from the future, I’m 100% certain that those high IQ professionals I’m privileged to serve today, where we’re working to develop stronger Self-Awareness and stronger Emotional Intelligence, will already be ready for action when 2020 and 2025 arrive.
The truth is that those who engage in this type of coaching today will be well-ahead of the curve when 2020 and 2025 arrive.
Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you could do today. That’s my Activator® (Let’s Go) speaking!
I try very hard to load my Monday morning schedule with calls that will get my week started off with a bang! This past Monday was no exception. Yes, this is a testimonial from one of my coaching clients but in reverse, what my coaching client delivered to me was encouragement on a silver platter.
When was the last time you passed on encouragement to someone else on a silver platter? Do you have any idea how much your actions or words of encouragement might mean to someone else?
This testimonial came to me by way of me digging as deep as I possibly could to deliver value to this coaching client. This is the same value I strive to deliver to each and every one of my coaching clients.
I can’t wait to tackle next Monday’s loaded schedule!
Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810
This morning, I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from someone who fits into my connection strategy on LinkedIn. Yes, I’ve had a LinkedIn Strategy for many years that I’ve stuck with on my way to a nearly full LinkedIn network.
Immediately after accepting the new connection invitation, a LinkedIn page popped up suggesting that I send invitations to 436 people. Not only was this a suggestion, 436 names with titles and photos popped up with the connect box conveniently checked 436 times.
If I were to click the “Add Connections (436)” button, what do you think the odds are the LinkedIn would freeze my account for sending connection invites to 436 people I don’t personally know?
- If you’re going to use LinkedIn, create strategies for your personal use of LinkedIn and stick to them.
- I like shiny objects just as much as the next person. In this case, LinkedIn offered up a “shiny object” that on the surface looked great. Once I thought about the potential penalties that would likely be levied against my LinkedIn account if I were to add 436 people to my account all at once, the “shiny object lost its luster.
Taking Action…Why It’s So Hard for Some People to Do
- He says, “I’m stuck in my career.” The career coach, who is built with Visionary and Strategic abilities, knows precisely how to get his prospective client un-stuck. Sadly, the prospective client doesn’t take action.
- He needs to lose weight. His life literally depends on it. Why is it so difficult to leave one’s comfort zone of over-eating and not exercising to do better? He has such a hard time acting to do what he knows he needs to do. He’s been reprimanded and held back in his career because he comes across too harshly to his peers and subordinates. He knows he has a problem, but rather than taking action to identify and address the problem with someone who specializes in solving such problems, he continues repeating the same behavior. Why is it so difficult for this person to leave their comfort zone that includes bad behavior to pursue behavior that others will appreciate?
- She wants to get in better shape. She doesn’t like to exercise alone and she knows that if she tries, her get-up-and-go and motivation won’t last long. Rather than finding a way to connect with someone to exercise with her to create accountability, she keeps putting the idea on the backburner and fails to act.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder™ measures 34 traits that each one of us possesses. The StrengthsFinder trait that leads to taking action is called Activator®. A person who is gifted with this trait “can make things happen by turning thoughts into action.” This is the person you want to call on when you need to get a project out of paralysis of analysis mode and get it moving forward.
If you have trouble getting things started in your professional life or in your work life, chances are that your Activator® trait as measured by the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ may not be high.
Why not find out where your Activator® sits amongst your 34 traits? Once you know, you’ll develop clarity around why getting started might be difficult for you. A strengths coach can help you to build a strategy to compensate for your lack of Activator® if that’s who you are.
Out of 34 traits that make up the Clifton StrengthsFinder™, Activator comes in at number 29 out of 34 in terms of frequency of landing in a person’s Top 5 traits.
What this means is that only 11% of people who have taken a StrengthsFinder™ find Activator® showing up in their top traits. If you possess this trait high in your traits list, you have something special.
If you’re not an Activator® but you need to get an effort moving forward, find someone who has high Activator® and/or consider hiring a personal coach who is gifted with Activator® to help you get moving in a positive direction.
Many job seekers get stuck because they don’t see the strategic paths from where they are that lead to where they want to go.
While your resume is always about you, it should always be written for the benefit of another person. We’ll call these other people the audience for your resume.
- If in your profession, you use language, acronyms and/or abbreviations that 100% of your audience does not use or clearly understand, you might get stuck.
- Most people write resumes about themselves as if they’re writing their resume for themselves. This approach will frequently get you stuck.
- If your resume’s audience can’t figure out who you are, where you are, how to contact you, what you’re great at and how you can specifically solve their problems, you’ll likely find yourself getting stuck.
- If you're ready for a leadership role and you're sending out resumes that carry laundry lists of technology rather than evidence of what you've done to lead, guide, mentor and grow other people, you'll likely get stuck in the hands-on individual contributor role you're in today.
- When employers are asking for job candidates who are visionary, strategic, collaborators who can influence, guide and execute and you aren't crystal clear as to which of those traits describe you, it will be very difficult to write a resume that addresses the traits and behaviors employers are seeking.
- Your resume should give evidence of accomplishments, contributions and the value you've created for past employers in order to demonstrate that you can create similar value for the future employer.
Research by The Ladders suggests that you now have 6 seconds to make a first impression when you share your resume. In those first 6 seconds when a resume reviewer puts their eyes on your resume, you’re making a first impression whether the impression is a good or a bad impression.
Your resume's first impression should be clean, clear and logical enough to entice a data-overwhelmed resume reviewer to slow down to read your resume.
Your resume's first impression is either an impression that will open an interview door or it is an impression that will keep you stuck in your current situation.
Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810
Dictionary.com defines Courage like this: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
Many authors have suggested that leadership requires courage. The Clifton StrengthsFinder™ specifically isolates and measures a person’s courage in a trait called Self-Assurance®.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder™ defines Self-Assurance® like this: People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance® theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
More than 16.7 million people globally have now taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder™ assessment. When 15,000,000 had taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder™, I crunched some interesting numbers.
Out of 34 traits, Self-Assurance® comes in at number 33 in terms of how often it shows up in a person’s Top 5 traits or themes. Out of 15,001,435 StrengthsFinder™ assessments, Self-Assurance came up 710,060 times in assessment taker’s Top 5 Traits. This number equates to .047% of the time.
When I dug further, I found that for men, Self-Assurance® came up .061% of the time in their Top 5 themes. For women, Self-Assurance came up .025% of the time in their Top 5 themes.
Self-Assurance®, as measured by the Clifton StrengthsFinder, ™ is a powerful influencing theme. What this means is that people who have this trait and people to turn this trait into a strength are specially equipped with a talent that fits well in leadership roles.
If you lead or you want to lead, find out where the Self-Assurance® falls among your 34 traits on the Clifton StrengthsFinder™.
Don’t stop once you find out. The power behind the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ occurs when a person:
- learns their potential strengths
- when they take ownership over their potential strengths
- when they turn their traits into strengths and
- when they properly aim their strengths towards work or activities where they can produce the best version of themselves
Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810
The term “emotional intelligence” was coined and formally defined by John (Jack) Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University in 1990.
Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey define Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional meanings, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual growth.”
Research has shown that there is no difference between emotional intelligence in men and women. Women do however frequently score higher in some emotional intelligence skills than most men.
Men are more likely to dismiss the value of emotional intelligence than women.
A “C” suite coaching client of mine who has been working with me as his coach for several years now, shared these ideas with me yesterday.
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
- “I’ve become much more efficient in my relationships.”
- “I now pick up on other people’s behaviors that I didn’t notice before because I was too busy focusing on myself.”
- “When you understand emotional intelligence, you learn to break through other people’s acts. It’s as if you learn how to decode other’s sincerity or lack thereof.”
- “Knowing my emotional intelligence has caused me to make a lot of behavioral adjustments that I could have never made before when I was unaware of how I was coming across to others.”
- “Developing EQ has pushed me to learn how to leverage my gift as a Strategic leader and I no longer feel the need to convince others that I know everything. I stick to the strategy and delegate the details to people on my team who are more capable of carrying out detailed assignments.”
- “My recent presentation to the Audit Committee was a 10 on a scale of 10. My presentation to the Board of Directors was a 9.5 on a scale of 10. These ratings came to me from my boss.”
This was one of my most favorite conversations of all time. To have worked with someone for several years to improve behavior, the most difficult task on the planet, and to learn about these kinds of results was priceless. Then the feedback got even better from my perspective.
While these are not the only benefits to be gained by understanding one’s emotional intelligence, these are benefits that came to my client’s mind in one conversation.
This “C” suite executive’s life has changed because of the work we’ve done together to improve his emotional intelligence. No, I’m not guessing at this. I’ve been told on many occasions by this same client that the work we’ve done together has impacted him professionally as well as at home with his wife and his son.
It’s never too late to learn the current state of your own emotional intelligence. It's also not too late to learn how to improve your emotional intelligence. The benefits of doing so are virtually endless. The sooner you get started the more time there is to create lasting impact.
This video title just landed in my Inbox. It didn’t sit well with me.
I coach Strengths every day. My clients are passionate people who are already good at what they do. Often, the people I work with don’t like comfort zones. By learning their Strengths, they learn how to step outside their comfort zone to stretch and to grow.
My clients come to me because they want to fine-tune what they do to produce a great performance. They’re interested in being maximized and they can’t wait to learn more about themselves.
In the realm of Strengths Coaching, we start off with an assessment that has been taken over 16,000,000 times around the world to identify a person’s unique traits. We all possess the 34 traits that are identified through this assessment. What makes each us 100% unique is the order in which our traits line up.
The order in which one’s traits line up determines how they have potential to deliver a great performance. Everybody can deliver a great performance of some kind.
The traits that show up near the top of one’s assessment report are the traits that can be turned into Strengths. Decades of research shows that when people are given the opportunity to do what they have potential to be great at, the impact on the individual, team, or organization can be powerful.
Some of the benefits include Personal Clarity, Self-Confidence, Direction, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Engagement with one’s work, Stronger Relationships and more.
DON’T FOCUS ON WEAKNESSES
The idea here is to identify one’s natural talents. From there, we can work to mature a person’s top talents into full-blown Strengths. Strengths have no cap on them in terms of just how great they can become.
I don’t ignore weaknesses. In fact, I help my clients to identify their weaknesses. Then, I help my clients to build a strategy around their Weaknesses so their weaknesses don’t derail the pursuit of maximizing their Strengths.
There is no value whatsoever to be gained in trying to turn a weakness into a Strength. There is tremendous value in maximizing one’s Strengths.
When you’re ready to find Clarity around what your natural Strengths are, call me.
Interviewing is an art versus a science. There are no tricks. There are no gimmicks.
Mastering an interviewing comes down to pure communication. You have control over some of this communication but you’ll never have control over all the communication that occurs in an interview.
While you can prepare for an interviewer’s questions, you’ll never know exactly what will be asked of you in an interview.
What you have 100% control over is what you choose to say during your interview.
- You have control over how you choose to articulate your past stories of accomplishment, contribution and value delivered to previous employers.
- You have complete control over knowing how to articulate what it is that you bring to the table in terms of skills. Focus on skills that matter most to your interviewing audience.
- You have control over how you talk about past successes and past failures. You should use both successes and failures as opportunities for learning and growing. How you express what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown makes all the difference in an interview.
- You have control over the questions you ask in an interview. Ask questions about the company. Ask questions about the job itself. Ask the hiring manager to articulate his / her management style. Research shows that people leave bad manager relationships far more often than they leave because of larger company issues.
- Those who strategically take interviewing to the next level invest in learning their unique personal strengths. They know how to articulate what they have potential to be great at and they know how to articulate what they should say “NO” to based on how they are wired.
Those who approach interviews with extreme Clarity, Confidence and Direction are the ones who get offers for the best jobs.
It’s About You but Never for You
While your resume is always about you, it is never for you. The purpose of writing a resume is to help someone else, someone in your resume’s audience, to get to know you quickly.
By quickly, I’m mean real fast. Research suggests that resume reviewers give your resume 6 seconds of initial attention. In those 6 seconds, it is your job to demonstrate what you have to offer that aligns with what your audience is seeking.
The goal for your resume in the first 6 seconds of your audience’s resume scanning process is to give your audience enough evidence that your resume is worthy of their time to read.
You have to earn your audience’s commitment to read before they’ll move past visual scanning mode.
People Don’t Read Anymore
Think about it. Our minds have been conditioned to scan 120 characters in a Tweet. When people write comments on Facebook, how often are those comments short and incomplete sentences? It isn’t that nobody can read. The reality is that most people will start out scanning before they commit to reading.
Write your resume so that it can be visually scanned in 6-10 seconds and make sure you are delivering what your audience cares about more than what you care about.
Your Resume is a Highly Complex Document
If you’ve ever struggled with resume writing, it’s okay. Writing a great resume requires a mix of Technical Writing, Business Writing and Creative / Strategic Writing. Knowing exactly what matters to your resume’s audience is where you begin the process of creating your own resume.
Top 10 skills required in 2020 according to the World Economic Forum report
All of the top 2020 skills listed above can be measured with the combination of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient Inventory.
Your Unique Strengths
In the hands of an experienced Strengths Coach, the results of the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ can be interpreted to show a coaching client exactly and precisely how they are internally wired. The 34 traits represented in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ are broken down into Strategic Thinking Traits, Influencing Traits, Relationship Building Traits and Executing Traits. How a person's traits uniquely line up determine whether they'd be a better Engineer or a better Engineering Manager, a better Accountant or a better Chief Financial Officer and so on.
Notice in the chart above for example that People Management, Coordinating with Others (Collaboration) and Emotional Intelligence are all people-oriented topics. People skills or Soft skills are, have been and will continue to be highly valuable skills moving into the future.
The EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient® Inventory is an assessment used to measure a person's Emotional Intelligence. This assessment can only be purchased and interpreted by someone who has invested in training and certification through the assessment's owner.
Through this assessment, a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach can show their client where their Emotional Intelligence stands relative to other people who do similar work. The good news is that the 15 different emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0® can be improved upon when working with an experienced coach.
The business wants, needs and expects job candidates who have a blend of Strategic Thinking skills and Emotional Intelligence skills to name just a few. It takes time to fine-tune and polish the traits found in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ into Strengths. It also takes time to fine-tune and polish the skills found in the EQi-2.0 assessment.
Those who invest themselves to learn about their natural Strengths and those who invest in themselves to improve their current level of Emotional Intelligence are the individuals who will earn the best jobs of the future.
Psychological research suggests that a person’s IQ (Cognitive Intelligence) is worth +-10% of career success. The same psychological research also suggest that EI / EQ (Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient) could be worth +-60% of career success.
If you want to progress in any career, what initially gets you going and what gets you to a certain level of success is frequently going to be a different skill set than the skill set you need to continue progressing.
What is the skill set required to progress in any career?
Here are some specific examples. This is what the business is currently asking for from the Director to the “C” Suite in technology job descriptions. Every trait or skill mentioned below that can be measured can be improved upon if a person is naturally gifted with a specific trait.
For some skills or traits, you either have them or you don't. We're all wired differently and we all have potential to deliver a great performance. It's simply a matter of figuring out how a person is uniquely wired and then aligning them with the right work to maximize their performance.
Notice that most of the traits or skills mentioned below are people skills or soft skills.
- Leadership Presence (can be developed)
- Leadership that is both Visionary and Strategic (can be measured)
- Leadership that inspires people (influencing skills can be measured)
- Thought Leadership (can be measured)
- Deep Problem Solving Skills (can be measured)
- Complex Analysis Skills (can be measured)
- Excellent Verbal Communication Skills (can be learned)
- Excellent Written Communication Skills (can be learned)
- Excellent Collaboration and Partnering Skills
- Superior Presentation Delivery Skills
- Integrator of People, Process and Technology
- Change Management Skills
- Consensus Building Skills
- Budgeting Skills
- Business Analysis Skills
- Contract Negotiation Skills
- Vendor Management Skills
- There's more...this list just gets the discussion started!
It is a person’s cognitive skills that gets them into an engineering degree program. It is their cognitive skills that gets their technology career started. Cognitive skills are the skills the brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, calculate and pay attention.
What you see in the list of employer requirements above require some cognitive skills. Most of what is required to move beyond leaning almost purely on cognitive skills are emotional intelligence skills, soft skills or people skills.
These are the skills that when developed, enable us to lead, influence, persuade, mentor, manage, collaborate, build partnerships, negotiate contracts, manage vendor relationships and more. Additionally, beyond what a person learns in engineering school, the further up the ladder one wishes to climb, roles require much more emphasis on business skills than on technical skills.
What if you don’t want to be a manager, director or “C” suite technology leader?
At the Analyst, Engineer or Architect levels, development of the soft skills mentioned above will provide exponential return on investment to your career. Not everybody is built to lead, guide, mentor and grow other people and you shouldn't feel as if you have to move in a managerial direction in order to progress in your own career development.
In addition to people skills, there are also business skills mentioned above. Business skills in this case include the ability to read and interpret financial statements. The ability to present one’s case for technology in terms that a business audience can clearly understand without having to bring in an interpreter. The ability to speak to a CEO, COO, CFO, etc. in their language rather than your technology focused language.
When you invest in yourself to master skills that go above and beyond your IQ or cognitive skills alone, your career progression will go places.