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Saturday, 26 March, 2011

#581583 — BI Sales Forecast Report Developer/Architect (24-03-2011)

Responsible for building technical forecast sales reporting solutions for APJ Enterprise Business operations. The Solution Architect will join the Sales Process Decision Support organization in the sales forecasting team, and be accountable for understanding business requirements and transferring them into clear reporting solutions that focus on elements of process management. The candidate must be an expert in SQL and be able to create reports via SQL scripts. They will be responsible for working with various country counterparts to ensure data consistency, validity, and process governance. The individual must be capable of managing multiple workflows, contain expert level technical skill sets, and be proficient in multiple reporting technologies. One key area of focus in the Monthly Sales Review preparation, which involves mass data collection from various data sources, data editing/analysis, and working with country counterparts to validate data prior to distribution. The Solution Architect will be accountable for extracting data from multiple sales, finance, and compensation systems and generating a report across various business product lines and business units within APJ.

Job Description:

  • Partner with regional, country, and worldwide teams to build effective reporting solutions
  • Design and develop complex reporting solutions that provide visibility into forecasts, pipeline, sales effectiveness, and performance management
  • Extract data from multiple data sources via SQL statements
  • Validate data with various countries and business units to ensure solutions are high in data integrity
  • Capable to comprehend and deliver results on complex algorithms and sales metrics related to HP forecasts
  • Ensures sales process governance through BI reporting solutions
  • Provides recommended analytical metrics to ensuring sales process adoption, consistency, and business clarity
  • Guide the strategic direction of HP EB Operations sales process analytical framework
  • Drive the stability and assurance of the APJ BI reporting platform
  • Ensure the Business reflects confidence in team reporting solutions

Job Requirement:

  • First-level university degree required; advanced university degree preferred
  • Expert level experience in building sales reports using SQL from multiple data sources
  • Typically 7+ years of experience in BI reporting and analytics
  • Expert SQL proficiency, experience in designing database and extracting data for analysis
  • Expert working with SQL Server, MS Access, Oracle, or SAP
  • Very strong in VBA scripting, MS Excel and Access programming
  • Strong technology business acumen
  • Strong experience in sales forecast reporting required
  • Strong MS Windows knowledge, including SharePoint , PowerPoint, Word, Macro, Visio and MS Project
  • Experience leveraging multiple data sources for reporting solutions, large volumes of data, compiling data extracts
  • Knowledge and experience with Data Warehousing and Data Modeling concepts
  • Experience with CRM systems required
  • Knowledge of Business Objects reporting tool knowledge, and other reporting technology are desirable while not mandatory

Other Knowledge and Skills required:

  • Strong communication skills includes verbal, written, and presentation forms
  • Strong analytical and business acumen; in-depth business and sales operations knowledge
  • Expert technical skills including database designing and scripting and at least one programming language skills
  • Experience with building forecast and pipeline reports
  • Excellence in analytical reporting design, development, and execution within a multi-dimensional organization
  • Ability to work internationally, across various forms of business units
  • Number-driven, detailed oriented, resourceful, and pro-active individual
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize and meet demanding deadlines
  • Knowledge of sales operations, sales requirements, and sales processes/workflows
  • Proven data quality and integrity process development

#584106 - Sales Readiness Process Manager (24-03-2011)

Responsible for leading the sales readiness planning and process for EB Operations. This leadership role is accountable for building and leading the sales readiness model across Asia-Pacific & Japan, while managing strategic sales processes/projects/programs to ensure compliance and adoption. As HP manages multiple sales processes (i.e. quota deployment, on boarding, account management, etc.) across countries and business units, the sales readiness leader will own various initiatives end-to-end. They will be aligned to Senior Management and ensure sales readiness initiatives are transparent and progress toward success. The candidate will own the processes, content, and communication for key sales readiness initiatives within HP, and align themselves with a Worldwide ecosystem of sales readiness related organizations. The person will lead the region readiness processes by designing a workflow and governance model to ensure progress transparency to the Business stakeholders.

Job Description:

  • Provide sales readiness process, program, and project leadership to Senior Management teams throughout Asia-Pacific & Japan
  • Build the vision plan for regional sales readiness initiatives/model and engage with the country teams to ensure success
  • Develop new sales readiness tools and solutions to ensure sales teams are ready for strategic initiatives across the region, countries, Business Units, and worldwide
  • Provide analytical insight from reports; communicate various forms of sales analysis
  • Lead HP change management opportunities to ensure minimal disruption to the Business
  • Partners with worldwide organizations to ensure APJ sales readiness vision plans/objectives are well communicated
  • Work with the country Sales Process Decision Support leads, consultants, and analysts to ensure readiness governance
  • Drive the stability and assurance on adoption of programs and strategic sales initiatives, manage project targets, ensure compliance across the Business

Job Requirement:

  • First-level university degree required; advanced university degree preferred.
  • Typically 8+ years of experience in a business related function, preferably sales, sales operations, strategy, or planning
  • Strong background in successfully meeting program or project timelines, ensuring multiple countries and teams meet designated deadlines/targets
  • Excellence in understanding the environment of sales (processes, success requirements, etc.) and capable to generate new solutions/tools to ensure sales readiness
  • Success managing projects and programs across multiple countries, proven experience working with multidimensional organizations
  • Experience in designing and implementing end to end sales process solutions and workflows
  • Experience with CRM systems a plus but not required
  • Experience with analyzing and extracting intelligence from analytics/metrics, and communicating results to stakeholders
  • Success in analyzing sales process movement/trends/changes, and working with management to act on the analysis
  • Ability to understand and implement different project and development life cycle methodologies

Other Knowledge and Skills required:

  • Superior communication skills includes verbal, written, and presentation forms
  • Strong background in managing sales related programs and projects, needs to have a strong sales acumen
  • Excellence in analytical process analysis to ensure process management adoption
  • Experience working with various sales platforms, infrastructure, and tools
  • Strong leadership, staff development, engagement skills, and ability to build internal ecosystem consisting of various global organizations
  • Proven success is resolving sales process adoption and governance challenges
  • Strong ability to influence senior management around process best practices
  • Ability to work internationally, across various forms of business units
  • Capable of driving and leading change within an operations
  • Number-driven, detailed oriented, resourceful, and pro-active individual
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize and meet demanding deadlines
  • Strong experience with interacting with senior management and executives
  • Knowledge of sales operations, sales requirements, and sales processes/workflows
  • Proven data quality and integrity process development

#589155 – Transformation and Innovation Program Manager, Sales Compensation (24-03-2011)

Key member of MBP Core team to enable Margin Based Pay for the HP sales force. The focus for this role will be to formulate deliverables for Country Sales managers to facilitate Management of Change and Sales & Business organization transformation with the introduction of MBP.

Job Description:

  • Leads Strategic programs / projects / work streams, Management of Change, leading business transformation, and innovation projects.
  • Be responsible to formulate and co-ordinate activates including MBP Sales communication, Training, Dialogue sessions, Feedback sessions, and feedback surveys in support of Country Sales managers. Work closely with WW Sales Comp communications team to formulate deliverables in these aspects.
  • Partner with Business Intelligence team to formulate Margin based reporting.
  • Work with BU, Sales and SCO to develop, design and implement key business processes in support of Margin Based Pay implementation.
  • Project manages the implementation of MBP with specific country Sales teams.
  • Organize country review of success and/or shortcomings MBP implementation with Country Sales & BU leaders. Communicate and relate the relevance MBP implementation with country business and sales tracking and planning routines.

Job Requirement:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration or comparable study required
  • 5+ years experience in a Process Management role of complex projects with a heavy focus on proven results
  • Experience managing relationships and projects worldwide, shifting priorities, and managing resource constraints
  • Sales compensation experience a plus, Finance, IT, and/or Sales experience desired
  • Ability to manage and drive decisions and ensure that country MBP contacts keep to their commitments cross functions and cross cultures
  • Ability to drive time sensitive deadlines and resolve issues quickly
  • Ability to understand business requirements of margin and facilitate operational solutions to achieve objectives
  • Clearly communicate deliverables and timelines and appropriately escalates
  • Experience working on and developing business processes and gathering business requirements and communicating with systems and process owners
  • Strong leadership and communication/presentation skills
  • Experience working with BU and Sales is a plus in order to understand how the business works and what sales needs to be successful

#589248 – Business Account Manager, Sales Compensation (Enterprise Business Software) (24-03-2011)

Job Description:

  • Single point of contact to senior region stakeholders and global E2E functions for effective sales comp plan deployment
  • Ensures governance approval processes are adhered to across complete Sales comp cycle
  • Manages sales plan design exception process, per SID defined guidelines
  • Shares business intelligence back into the E2E teams
  • Drives specific programs as appropriate
  • Consults and drives process improvement with sales teams.
  • Understands BG coverage model and interfaces with SID on regional requirements/solutions for country exceptions
  • Point of contact for senior region sales stakeholders for sales comp plan deployment
  • Provides sales consultation on coverage, plan usage, measurements, design calendar and deliverables

Job Requirement:

  • First-level university degree or equivalent experience; advanced university degree preferred
  • 8+ years of related experience in IT/business operations
  • 6+ years of project management experience
  • Quality improvement training required and certification preferred
  • Consultative, communication and business strategy skills
  • Cultivate and manage relationship with senior sales leaders
  • Able to influence and sell ideas
  • Able to represent global sales compensation strategies
  • Creditable and able to say no / close issues with executives
  • Able to manage virtual teams to create solutions and proposals (feasibility, coverage models)
  • BG expertise and knowledge of sales, compensation practices, sales processes and systems

Other Knowledge and Skills Required

  • Advanced knowledge and subject matter expertise for HP operational processes, industry trends, and customer/partner requirements.
  • Advanced understanding of core HP businesses and the revenue cycle.
  • Superior communication skills (i.e. written, verbal, presentation), leadership, consulting, influence, and negotiation skills. Mastery in English and local language as well as other languages as required.
  • Ability to lead complex process improvements using industry standard quality improvements tools and concepts, and has thorough understanding of change management processes and procedures.
  • Excellent program management, problem solving, and analytical skills, and the ability to execute a program within the scope of overall strategies.
  • Strong financial and business acumen.

Critical Competencies to Drive Business Results

Data Analysis & Reporting
Systematically analyzes business data, and develops reports that ensure accurate, usable information for business decision-makers.

Tool Development/Enhancement
Develops, improves and educates on tools used in area of control in alignment with corporate business needs, requirements or goals

Stakeholder Negotiation & Commitment Building
Collaborates effectively with others to ensure shared commitment to an enterprise and mutually beneficial results

Compensation Acumen
Understands compensation, its role in maintaining performance excellence, and how its systematic application contributes to HP business success.

Process Management & Transformation
Identifies process short-comings and works with others to improve or transform processes

Problem Solving
Approaches problems in a rational manner using sound strategies that ensure comprehensive understanding and effective resolution

Change Management
Develops methods for supporting innovation and change across the organization

#589215 – Business Account Manager, Sales Compensation (Enterprise Business) (24-03-2011)

Job Description:

  • Single point of contact to senior region stakeholders and global E2E functions for effective sales comp plan deployment
  • Ensures governance approval processes are adhered to across complete Sales comp cycle
  • Manages sales plan design exception process, per SID defined guidelines
  • Shares business intelligence back into the E2E teams
  • Drives specific programs as appropriate
  • Consults and drives process improvement with sales teams.
  • Understands BG coverage model and interfaces with SID on regional requirements/solutions for country exceptions
  • Point of contact for senior region sales stakeholders for sales comp plan deployment
  • Provides sales consultation on coverage, plan usage, measurements, design calendar and deliverables

Job Requirement:

  • First-level university degree or equivalent experience; advanced university degree preferred.
  • Typically 10+ years of related experience in IT/business operations.
  • Typically 8+ years of project management experience.
  • Quality improvement training required and certification preferred.
    · Consultative, communication and business strategy skills
    · Cultivate and manage relationship with senior sales leaders
    · Able to influence and sell ideas
    · Able to represent global sales compensation strategies
    · Creditable and able to say no / close issues with executives
    · Able to manage virtual teams to create solutions and proposals (feasibility, coverage models)
    · BG expertise and knowledge of sales, compensation practices, sales processes and systems

Other Knowledge and Skills Required:

  • Advanced knowledge and subject matter expertise for HP operational processes, industry trends, and customer/partner requirements.
  • Advanced understanding of core HP businesses and the revenue cycle.
  • Superior communication skills (i.e. written, verbal, presentation), leadership, consulting, influence, and negotiation skills. Mastery in English and local language as well as other languages as required.
  • Ability to lead complex process improvements using industry standard quality improvements tools and concepts, and has thorough understanding of change management processes and procedures.
  • Excellent program management, problem solving, and analytical skills, and the ability to execute a program within the scope of overall strategies.
  • Strong financial and business acumen.

Critical Competencies to Drive Business Results

Data Analysis & Reporting
Systematically analyzes business data, and develops reports that ensure accurate, usable information for business decision-makers.

Tool Development/Enhancement
Develops, improves and educates on tools used in area of control in alignment with corporate business needs, requirements or goals

Stakeholder Negotiation & Commitment Building
Collaborates effectively with others to ensure shared commitment to an enterprise and mutually beneficial results

Compensation Acumen
Understands compensation, its role in maintaining performance excellence, and how its systematic application contributes to HP business success.

Process Management & Transformation
Identifies process short-comings and works with others to improve or transform processes

Problem Solving
Approaches problems in a rational manner using sound strategies that ensure comprehensive understanding and effective resolution

Change Management
Develops methods for supporting innovation and change across the organization

Thursday, 24 March, 2011

#490745 — Process & Capabilities Analyst II (24-03-2011)

Job Description:

  • Communicates project status, process standards and changes, and issues and workarounds, clearly and succinctly to business and operations support team.
  • Owns the research and data analysis for moderately complex projects.
  • Represents the needs of the business during process improvement projects.
  • Collaborates with operational teams and business stakeholders to gather business requirements, supporting the design of new or improved processes of low complexity, and understand business/customer impact.
  • Utilizes standard project management and quality improvement methodologies as appropriate.
  • Supports processes/programs that impact multiple business units and/or countries.

Job Requirement:

  • First-level university degree or equivalent experience.
  • Typically 2-4 years of related experience in IT/business operations.
  • Typically 1-3 years of project management experience.

Other Knowledge and Skills Required :

  • Broad knowledge of HP operational processes.
  • Intermediate understanding of core HP businesses and the revenue cycle.
  • Solid communication skills (i.e. written, verbal, presentation). Mastery in English and local language as well as other languages as required.
  • Sound knowledge and experience in process area and able to suggest process improvements.
  • Basic project management skills.

Critical Competencies to Drive Business Results

  • Data Analysis & Reporting
    Systematically analyzes business data, and develops reports that ensure accurate, usable information for business decision-makers.

  • Tool Development/Enhancement
    Develops, improves and educates on tools used in area of control in alignment with corporate business needs, requirements or goals

  • Stakeholder Negotiation & Commitment Building
    Collaborates effectively with others to ensure shared commitment to an enterprise and mutually beneficial results

  • Compensation Acumen
    Understands compensation, its role in maintaining performance excellence, and how its systematic application contributes to HP business success.

  • Process Management & Transformation
    Identifies process short-comings and works with others to improve or transform processes

  • Problem Solving
    Approaches problems in a rational manner using sound strategies that ensure comprehensive understanding and effective resolution

  • Change Management
    Develops methods for supporting innovation and change across the organization

Monday, 28 April, 2008

5 Easy Ways to Commit Career Suicide

5 Easy Ways to Commit Career Suicide
Watch out for these career-derailing missteps!

BANG! Without warning, the rifle discharged, tearing a hole through the floorboard of the car of an Army colonel। The rifle belonged to a young lieutenant who had been invited to go hunting with the colonel।

Though no one was hurt, the incident left everyone in the car shaken. Worse, the lieutenant hindered his own promotion, according to executive coach Bruce Sillers, who was a member of that same battalion at the time of the incident.

You may never have committed as grave a faux pas as this lieutenant, and if so, be thankful. Nonetheless, we're all capable of making mistakes that can send us straight to the career doghouse. Here are five big no-nos to watch out for.

1. Sending inappropriate e-mail
Most of us are bright enough to realize that chain letters or off-color jokes have no place in business communications. Where most office workers get into trouble is with the over-hasty e-mail reply.

Ever read an e-mail too quickly and fired off an angry reply, only to discover later that you had misinterpreted the first sender's message? You end up not only wasting everyone's time, but poisoning your work relationships -- perhaps permanently.

Before you reply to an e-mail that has elevated your blood pressure, apply one of these useful tests: Ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable explaining my response on a witness stand?" or "Would I want my response to be published on the front page of The New York Times?"

If the answer is no, take time to cool off. Store the message in a drafts folder and review it later. Are you sure this is what you want to say, especially if you're directly insulting the recipient? Can your words be interpreted more negatively than you intended? And finally, would you want this message to find its way to your boss -- or to the HR director?

By the way, don't rely on any "unsend" feature, either. That feature will fail when you need it most. And be very careful of hitting Reply All -- or your supposedly personal conversation could be the talk of the office.

2. Putting down co-workers
...........
3. Contradicting the boss in public
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4. Committing social blunders at a company event
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5. Burning bridges when you resign
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To read more, go to:
www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9079721

Career suicide can happen all too easily, in several different ways. Fortunately, by taking common-sense steps, you can reduce its chances of happening.

This article is contribute by Calvin Sun. Calvin Sun is a business consultant, speaker and writer. His areas of expertise include executive coaching, leadership development and organizational effectiveness.

Thursday, 12 July, 2007

Six Things You Should Know About Pre-Employment Tests

Six Things You Should Know About Pre-Employment Tests By S arah E .

Executive candidates often are surprised when asked to take a test or other assessment for a job. They shouldn't be.

Pre-employment testing is on the rise. In the past five years, 60% of companies have increased their use of workplace-behavior assessments, according to a survey of more than 500 human-resources professionals at U.S. companies from Spherion Corp., a staffing firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Employers typically use assessments to confirm a candidate's cultural fit or skill competency, according to Doug Wolf, vice president of consulting services at Select International Inc., a Pittsburgh-based provider of career-assessment tools. Bear in mind that for questions about your work style or personality, he says, there are no right or wrong responses. "If you answer honestly and don't get the job, it means the position wasn't a good match for you in the first place," he says.

Candidates should take the assessments seriously, even if they feel they aren't necessary. A shoo-in for an executive job at Mindbridge Software Inc. torpedoed his candidacy when completing a personality assessment in 2004, even though the results met the employer's expectations, says Scott Testa, chief operating officer of the intranet-software company in Norristown, Pa. The proctor told him the candidate arrived late, wearing a t-shirt and shorts, which, he says, was disrespectful and showed a lack of seriousness. "The guy thought he had the position, and he did, but then he blew it," he says.

Here's what job candidates should know about pre-employment testing:

- Senior executives are not exempt. In fact, the higher you aspire to climb the corporate ladder, the more likely you are to be evaluated on how well you might fit in personality-wise, says Joel H. Wilensky, an executive recruiter in Sudbury, Mass. His clients require most candidates to undergo assessments, he says. "It's almost an absolute for jobs that pay salaries of $300,000 and up," he adds. According to Mr. Testa, Mindbridge administers personality assessments to all prospective hires to see if they'll fit into the company's culture. But he says the company most closely scrutinizes the results of assessments from senior-level candidates. "We have the most to lose if they are a bad hire," he says.

- Curb your antagonism. Many senior candidates scoff at having to take a test, says Deborah Sawyer, a partner in Atlanta at executive-search firm Morgan Howard Worldwide, whose clients require assessments for most candidates. "They see it as being unnecessary and don't put enough energy into it," she says. "Then they can't make it to the next round." You can derail your candidacy if you show your displeasure, says Mr. Wolf. "Complaining says a lot to an employer about your overall attitude, tolerance for stress and how open you will be to future opportunities," he says.

- Your candidacy can benefit. Erin Vadala, 40, took a personality assessment two years ago for her public-relations-manager job at Warner Communications in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. "I was surprised at how accurate it was," she says, noting that the results indicated she's outgoing. "I'm constantly talking to people and telling stories," she says. "When you are a public-relations professional, you can't be a wallflower."

- Clear your schedule. Ask recruiters about how long a pre-employment assessment might take. You may need to devote anywhere from a few minutes to several hours of your time, says Bill Erickson, executive vice president of human-capital management at Kenexa Corp., a provider of pre-employment-testing technology in Wayne, Pa. Some assessments are oral and administered on site by an industrial psychologist, while others may be completed online from any location, he adds.

- If taking a test by phone, ensure there will be no interruptions or distractions, says Ernest Feiteira, regional manager at NAS Recruitment Communications LLC, a human-resources-communications provider in Woodbridge, N.J. Candidates for jobs at the firm who successfully complete first-round interviews are administered a brief personality assessment by phone, he says. Those who perform well must then complete an online assessment, which takes about an hour and must be done within 48 hours, he says.

- Exercise your brain. Familiarize yourself with pre-employment assessments by taking free ones on the Web, such as this personality quiz from eTest Inc., a pre-employment testing and assessment company in Atlanta. Practice tests can help you feel more comfortable for when it's your turn in the hot seat, says J. Larry Tyler, founder of Tyler & Co., a retained search firm headquartered in Atlanta. "You'll remove the fear out of taking a test," he says. Playing problem-solving games such as Suduko also can help sharpen your mind for test-taking, says Mr. Wolf.

- Weak results may not matter. Ms. Sawyer says in 2002, a candidate for an executive position at a client of hers was hired even though results from a behavioral assessment suggested he was a poor fit. "He did well in the interviews and they thought he had the innate competencies to do the job," she says. "They said, 'We're going to dismiss it and go on our gut.'"

What To Do (And Not Do) When Emailing Recruiters

What To Do (And Not Do) When Emailing Recruiters

With many job postings now requiring candidates to apply via email, first impressions are made not with a handshake but with words on a computer screen. How formal should your first email to a recruiter be?

Just as it's usually a good idea to dress your best for an interview, emails also should be professional and polished, say hiring managers. If you decide capital letters aren't worth your time, you might be in for a long job search.

Kristen O'Hara, a senior recruiter for Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services Inc., an information-technology outsourcing company, says she has seen it all, including emails with funky fonts and distracting backgrounds.

"Honestly, there are some emails that have completely ruined a candidate's chances for me," she says.

To avoid sabotaging your job search, here are some tips to follow when sending cover letters by email:

1. Forget what Instant Messenger has taught you.

Job recruiters report that young professionals are the applicants most likely to send too-casual emails.

Liz Shupe, interim director of the career-development center at the University of Richmond, offers one explanation: "They're treating it like an IM."

When using Instant Messenger with friends and acquaintances, it's acceptable to use abbreviations and incomplete sentences and to forgo capital letters and punctuation. In business correspondence, however, stick to the rules your English teacher taught you.

"We tell our students that an email is the same exact thing as a cover letter, without the addresses on top," says Ms. Shupe.

2. Don't be cute.

Your adorable email background of puppies snuggling with kittens has got to go.

"I remember a particular email written in that 'comic' font," says Ms. O'Hara. "That's just not professional to be sending to a work contact." She recommends plain-vanilla fonts, such as Times New Roman and Arial, and black text on a white background.

Ms. O'Hara also warns against sending emails from quirky email addresses. Slackerboy@ or Sexgoddess@ might not get the chuckle you hope for. If you leave your cellphone number as a contact number, make sure your voicemail message is appropriate, and that means it shouldn't include music, she says.

3. Customize your cover letter to the job.

Wynne Billings, a corporate recruiter, says many of the emails she reads show a lack of effort on the part of the applicant.

"It's like they just cut and paste the same cover letter to everything they're doing," says Ms. Billings, who works for Apex Systems Inc., a technology-staffing firm based in Glen Allen, Va. "It's so not catered toward our job."

It's a big plus if applicants can show they know a lot about the position they're applying for, Ms. Billings says. She recommends job hunters use part of the job description they feel matches their skills or experience to explain why they'd be good for the position. "Nine out of 10 people don't do that," she says.

4. Don't ramble.

"Get to the point," says Hank Stringer, a former high-tech company recruiter in Austin, Texas. He doesn't like it when candidates use gimmicks to try to attract attention, citing as an example a missive from one applicant that blathered on about high gas prices. Messages should be straightforward and concise, he says.

Mr. Stringer, who founded Hire.com, a recruitment-management software and services firm, says recruiters often have only seconds to devote to each cover letter they receive, and many are looking for just three things: the titles of the positions you've held, the companies you've worked for and your educational background. Anything else, such as a long story about yourself, can get in the way, he says.

5. If attaching a cover letter, write a brief note in your email.

There's no rule about whether a formal cover letter should be attached to an email or whether the email itself can serve as a cover letter.

If you attach your cover letter, the text of your email can say: "I really want to work for your company, please see attached resume and cover letter," says Ms. Billings. "Even maybe just tell me briefly why you want to work for my company, just give me a sentence, then I'm going to open that cover letter and resume."

Mr. Stringer also warns against being too creative in the subject line of an email. He recommends: "Experienced candidate seeking position as [name of position]" or "Experienced candidate seeking position with [name of company]."

"Use one word to describe yourself, but do not go overboard," he says.

Sunday, 3 June, 2007

You Can Say Too Much Without Even Speaking

You Can Say Too Much Without Even Speaking

Can a shrug mean too much?

No matter what a job candidate might say, using the wrong body language can make them appear disinterested or even deceitful to recruiters.

"It's so important for people to be cognizant of their body language because while their words may be saying one thing, their body language may be saying something else," says Kimberly Bishop, senior partner of Korn Ferry International, a Los Angeles-based retained executive search firm.

Learning how your body language may be perceived can prevent you from committing body language blunders that can sabotage interviews. Carole Martin, president of InterviewCoach.com in San Francisco says her clients are stunned by their body language when they watch their recorded mock interviews. After she points out their mistakes, some say "I wouldn't hire me," says Ms. Martin. However, once aware of their body language, she says about 80% correct it on their second taping.

Here are some tips on getting your body language right in an interview.

1. Maintain the right amount of eye contact.

Using too little or too much eye contact can impact a recruiter's perception of you. If you avoid eye contact after being asked a question, or you look down, it can suggest dishonesty, says David Moyer, president of Moyer, Sherwood Associates, a retained executive search firm in New York.

Ms. Bishop says many candidates look to the right or left of the interviewer or out the windows instead of making eye contact which can indicate disinterest or lack of confidence. To show a recruiter you are interested, alternate looking at their eyes mouth and shoulders, says Martin Yate, author of "Knock 'Em Dead The Ultimate Job Search Guide 2007" and a former headhunter in Savannah, Ga.

However, be careful not to overdo the eye contact. Some job hunters concentrate on maintaining eye contact too much that they develop a "stalker stare," says Tonya Reiman, a body language expert in Smithtown, N.Y. who works with recruiters and job hunters.

"People who don't break from eye contact enough give me the willies," says Mr. Moyer.

2. Don't fidget.

Fidgeting is a telltale sign of nerves, and although many recruiters make allowances for nervousness, they will also expect you to handle pressure with ease if you're seeking a high-level job. If you display your nerves too much during an interview, you may be at a disadvantage. "If you can't handle stress in a job interview, how can you handle it in the job?" asks Mr. Yate.

Aside from displaying your nervousness, fidgeting is annoying and distracting to recruiters.

Ms. Martin, who conducts interviews for client companies, remembers a candidate who played with her hair throughout the entire interview. "I wanted to grab her arm and tell her to stop," say Ms. Martin. "I probably didn't hear half of what she was saying because she was annoying me so much."

Although everyone has their own personal fidgets, the key is to control them during interviews so they don't distract your interviewer. To keep yourself from fidgeting, Mr. Yate recommends bringing a prop, such as a pen and pad, to keep your hands occupied.

Curtis Muldrew, 41, says he learned how to stop twisting and untwisting his pen during interviews by only touching his pen when taking notes. "Interviews are events where I really have to practice because my movements can be distracting to the interviewer," says Mr. Muldrew, chief information officer of HeartScreen America, a large population and direct-to-consumer heart screening services company in Andover, Mass.

3. Be conscious of posture while standing and sitting.

Slouching, whether you are standing to greet the interviewer or sitting down, suggests a lack of self esteem, says Mr. Yate. During an interview you should appear confident and engaged in the conversation and poor posture can send a message that you are indifferent or too casual message, says Ms. Bishop.

When Jim Ettwein, 59, began interviewing with companies after being a self-employed consultant, he reminded himself during interviews to sit up straight and lean slightly forward to show interest. "I have a tendency to sit sideways in a chair by using the back of the chair as a prop," says Mr. Ettwein, who began working as a partner at a large consulting firm in West Orange, N.J. in the beginning of January.

To appear interested in the position, Mr. Yate suggests sitting with your backside at the very back of the chair which will create a slight lean forward, showing that you are engaged in the conversation. Remember to keep your shoulders back.

4. Avoid "closed" body language.

Body language such as crossed arms and clenched fists show defensiveness and tension, says Mr. Yate, who adds that they are physically closed positions.

Mr. Moyer refers to crossed arms as "the universal sign of unfriendliness," because it suggests that the candidate doesn't want to open up. Women tend to cross their arms when they are cold, says Ms. Martin, who suggests bringing a cardigan or dressing warmly if you tend to get cold so you don't inadvertently send the wrong message.

Crossing your ankle over your knee with hands locked behind your head in what Mr. Yate calls the "rebel without a cause" look can make you look like unruly or difficult to work with, he says. "It's the way an angry 17-year-old sits," says Mr. Yate.

Instead, sit with your ankles crossed or feet flat on the floor and use open hand gestures which suggest friendliness, he says.

Tuesday, 29 May, 2007

15 Questions For Setting A Career Change in Motion

15 Questions For Setting A Career Change in Motion

It's difficult to excel in a job or career where you're unhappy, but even when people know a job isn't working for them, they can be slow to make a change. One reason: They aren't sure what they want to move on to.

Sometimes a minor change -- such as a flex schedule, working at home more, or a new boss -- can make a world of difference and renew your commitment to a position. At other times, a more radical shift, say, to an entirely new job or career, is in order. Either way, confidence in your direction is often the best motivator when it comes to making a change.

How can you get a crystal-clear sense where you want to go? Understanding what has and hasn't worked for you in past jobs is the best place to start. It can clarify the tweaks you may need to make for your current position to work for you. If you know you're ready for something entirely new, it can help you direct your job search or career exploration.

Below are questions that may help you think about where you've gone and where you may want to go. Answer them honestly. After all, if you can't own up what you want, you can't make it happen.

There are no right answers. What's important is that you have answers. Coming up with them will help you draw conclusions about what you want from your career and a job.

1. What attracted you to your current job? Compare this to what you like and dislike about it now. Repeat this exercise with previous positions.

2. When you first entered the work force, where did you want to be in 10 years? Is that still what you want? If not, what's changed and why?

3. Name one thing you expected to like or to excel in but didn't.

4. Name one thing that you dreaded or thought you wouldn't be good at, but you enjoyed and succeeded at, impressing yourself and others.

5. Do you associate big companies with prestige, resources and opportunities, or bureaucracy, politics and layoffs?

6. Do you associate start-ups with innovation, highly-motivated people and the chance to be part of the next big thing, or with chaos, no resources, no paycheck and people who can't deal with having a boss?

7. Think of the best boss you ever had. What did you like about his or her work style? What would you copy if you were in his or her job?

8. Think of the worst boss you ever had. What made him or her bad to work for? What did you learn to not do from him or her?

9. You're at a party and someone asks what you do. Is it important that your employer is recognized and admired? Or would it more important to be working on something so ahead of the curve or obscure that you're sure to get a blank look and have to explain?

10. What was the coolest project you ever worked on? The one that left you exhausted, but inspired and even reluctant to go home at the end of the day. What was so cool about it?

11. What project made you lie in bed in the morning, think of day ahead, and moan, "When will this be over?" What made it so dismal?

12. When you work from home, do you feel productive and happy to be in charge of your day and your distractions? Or do you feel isolated, unmotivated and too drawn to everything -- the kids, the TV, the cookie jar, that picture you've been meaning to hang -- but not to work?

13. Do you feel energized and learn a lot during team meetings or are they a huge time sink? Would you rather be handed your assignment and left alone to get it done?

14. When you dress for work, do you want to wear a suit, haute couture, khakis and a sweater, or your exercise clothes?

15. Do you need to make the absolute most money you can all the time, or is very attractive pay good enough?

The answers to these questions should give some new and valuable information about yourself and your career direction. Think of that information as a tool you can use to carve out a more rewarding work situation. You might make use of it in a conversation with your manager, a hiring manager elsewhere in your company, a head hunter or maybe a career coach, depending on what kind of change you want.

Making change happen is challenging, and it rarely happens as quickly as you would like it to. But with these 15 answers, you have a good start. And you just might find you're looking forward to a change, rather than worrying about it.