Highlands – Data – Resume’

How important is data on a resume’?  It’s a question people do not ask themselves often enough when creating or updating their resume’.    Think about it.  If the average hiring agent spends less than 6 seconds scanning a resume’, what catches their eye?  What creates meaningful impressions to move you forward in the process?  

  • Data is king and can provide power for how you communicate and substantiate information.

Back in 2008 when the stock market tanked and millions were left without jobs, hundreds and even thousands were applying for the same jobs.  It became prevalent to embellish a resume’ with non-factual information.  Anything to get a foot in the door.   It backfired on thousands of people. 

  • Authenticity is the name of the game today and understanding yourself and how you fit with a company is vital.

Regardless of whether there is a pandemic, market crunch, or any other influencing factor on the employment rate, a factual and well communicated resume’ wins the game.  So how do you influence your chances to win the game?  Use your data.

First, for those of you who have taken a Highlands Ability Battery, your profile has key information for you based on the job you are applying for and specifics in the posting for that position.  Matching your data to a company’s needs and verbalizing that in a Summary Statement can power you ahead in the applicant pool.  Using that information in an interview can demonstrate your ability to understand self, working with others, the mission of a company, and relate it directly to outcomes.  Boom!

Second, review your resume’ and consider any of the bullet points you have identified and whether there is a relevant number associated with that responsibility?  If so, include it!  Including numbers in your resume’ helps guide the eye of the hiring agent and it provides a data point for which they can verify your performance both with you and potentially with a reference check. 

Third, have someone else review your resume’ before you send it.  Yes, you can spell check on the computer, but does the information make sense?  Always have a second set of eyes look it over before you jump into the pool!

Need more resume’ help or want to take a Highlands Ability Battery? Contact me.

3 Actions for a Productive Outcome

Regardless of where you are in your life – high school, college or workforce – these 3 Actions can be put to the test for a Productive Outcome. It takes about 20 minutes, so ask yourself, “Do I have 20 minutes to put into creating the Outcome I want?” If so, get started:

1- Assess – Take five minutes to assess/write down where you are at this moment in time as well as what you want the outcome to be 4, 8 or 12 months from now.  It might be a grade point average, a performance level on the field, resume’ building or job search.

2 – Create – Take 10 minutes to create a timeline in which you realistically identify points of progress.  They may be grading periods, games or matches, or resume’ and interview intervals.  Points of progress help to steer you toward the Productive Outcome and maintain focus.

3 – Visualize – Take 5 minutes to visualize yourself achieving the Outcome you want.  Again, it doesn’t matter if the outcome is in the classroom, on the field, or in the board room, the important factor is to see you achieving that outcome.  It is important to play that visualization over and over in your mind and reduce the negative influences we all experience day-to-day.  Like the points of progress, visualizing keeps us focused with a positive energy.  Tim Kremer, MySpiritofGolf, works with professional golfers all over the country in helping them to maximize their talent through redefining how they see themselves and their efforts.  His work is extraordinary, grounded in brain research and transferable to most anything we do in our lives.  Take a look, http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=977dd3b2d977677c5205f00cb&id=204d6c6cbf

So, 20 minutes, 3 Actions, Productive Outcome.  Ready, set, get going!

Finding Your Balance – A Good Fit

It doesn’t matter whether you are a high school student, a college student, or an adult … finding a “good fit” for college or work is a bit like finding your balance.  Robert Fulghum wrote about it in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  He said, “Live a balanced life – learn some, think some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”  Wise and wonderful words!

As a high school student, it is important to be engaged in not just the grades of specific classes, but the activities and experience of high school.  In doing so, you build your value to colleges and universities through your experiences of participation, leadership and service.  All of which include opportunities to work, or play or dance or perform or demonstrate who you are as an individual.  It helps you to find your balance and understand where you fit in.  Likewise, as you search for colleges and universities you begin to develop an understanding of those things that are important to you in finding the “good fit” experience of higher education.

College students looking for that first job coming out of school, you begin to understand the kind of environment that you would find satisfying or the kind of people you want to spend the bulk of your day with as you go about creating a career.  Life begins to take on a new balance that is based on an evolving set of values, interests and abilities.  Do you know what yours are?

The culture of an institution like high schools, colleges and universities as well as the culture of a work environment all provide opportunities for you to find your balance.  But it does take some effort, it doesn’t happen by accident and you must pay attention.  Just like Mr. Fulghum said in his book, “Live a balanced life – learn some, think some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”

Opportunities Impacted by Social Media

Do you have a social media presence?  What does it look like?  Universities and employers alike are using social media to “check out” their candidates.  Everything from your email address and voice message to your pictures and comments on Facebook or other social media sites are available for public scrutiny and feed into your public image or “social entity.”  They can make or break your opportunities for admissions or landing that job.

Just as different people have different perspectives on issues, different generations view and address issues differently.  The kind of abbreviated spellings or language that you use with friends is altogether different from that you must use with admissions office staff or potential employers on any emails or text messages.  Coaches, admissions advisors or employers do not want to “wait while your party is located,” when they call your cell phone. Get rid of it!  Be sure your message is clear, concise and professionally appropriate.  Your email address should also be professionally appropriate.

Now ask yourself these questions and consider who may be on the other side of the computer monitor checking you out.  What does your “social entity” look like?  What do you need to do to make yourself more marketable?

Your social media image can provide lots of insight to your character and work ethic.  That’s why institutions now hire people to scrutinize their candidates’ media presence.  The competition out there for college admissions and for the job market is tremendous.  So make yourself more marketable by scrutinizing your own social media before you put it out there for others.

Your Elevator Speech

If you walked into an elevator, the door closed and you found yourself next to a college recruiter, coach or potential employer and had 30 seconds to promote yourself, what would you say?  When the door opens and they walk away, what would you have said that makes you memorable enough that they want to know more?

The old “Elevator Speech” is a business technique that has been used for decades, but it is still effective.  In fact, for young people who have less experience promoting themselves to future employers or college admissions offices, it is a great way to collect your thoughts ahead of time so that when opportunity strikes, you’re prepared.  I find that when young people are asked to, “Tell me a little about your self,” they get caught like deer in headlights or ramble with no impressive points.

So prepare ahead.  I can help you do that so that the initial meeting or unexpected opportunity can be managed with a prepared and relaxed “30 second Elevator Speech.”  Promote yourself by being prepared.  What will you say in 30 seconds that will leave them wanting more?  Contact me.

Your Image to Others

Do you have a social media presence?  What does it look like?  Universities and employers alike are using social media to “check out” their candidates.  Everything from your email address and voice message to your pictures and comments on the Internet are available for public scrutiny and feed into your public image or “social entity.” Some even check your credit rating.

Just as different people have different perspectives on issues, different generations view and address issues differently.  The one thing we all have in common is we don’t like to wait or have our time wasted.  Does your voicemail ask that we wait while the party is located?  Change it.  Do you make flippant remarks or have blaring music?  Change it.  What works with your friends won’t work with college admissions, college coaches or potential employers.  So set yourself up for success and make sure your contact media is appropriate for your targeted audience.

Now ask yourself the question again and consider who may be on the other side of the computer monitor checking you out.  What does your “social entity” look like?  What do you need to do to make yourself more marketable?  Are there photos, trends, or comments that could jeopardize your opportunities?  Clean it up.

Protect your image to others and manage your social media so that you put you in the best possible position to take advantage of opportunities.  If you’ve had a social media experience that netted a positive result or a learning experience, post your comment above so others can benefit.

Follow Up On That Interview

Are you interviewing with a college coach, college admissions staff or with a potential employer?  The rules of engagement are the same, Follow Up!  Making a great first impression is important, but it is also important to leave a Lasting Impression.

Students, pay attention to the articles and tips provided for job candidates.  They carry the same importance for you.  The difference is you will substitute the word “coach” or “admissions staff” for the interviewer as you read the articles.

I can help you structure that targeted follow-up message, but you also need to pay attention to the trends.  Here are some good reads that confirm my message to you and the collegebasics link has some good examples of follow-up communications for high school students making those college visits.





Contact me for your specific situation to get a great result!



3 Keys to a Great Interview

This month has been about planning and presenting your self.  I addressed the importance of creating a Plan and then following up with Updating Your Resume’.  Now it’s time to talk about Presenting Your Self…the Interview.

Key #1 – Presentation – Presentation is all about your image.  From your first impression to walking out the door you will be evaluated.  Dress appropriately, make eye contact, provide a firm handshake, and smile!  When you sit, sit square in the chair, not slouched or leaning on one elbow.

Key #2 – Target Responses – Be specific in your responses to questions and speak with confidence.  Even “I don’t know” can be spoken with confidence and followed up with “But I will find out.” They will be listening and watching for how you react in situations and how you solve problems.

Key #3 – Questions – Have your own list of questions.  The interview should go both ways.  Be sure that you are not asking for information that is already available on their website or in literature about the school, organization or firm.  Your questions have to demonstrate interest on your part and that you have done your homework.

Creating a great interview for a job or college admissions begins long before you walk through the door.  Be prepared to Present Your Self effectively, answer questions with Targeted Responses, and take your list of prepared Questions.

Bring It Up to Date – 6 Resume’ Reminders

There is nothing worse than sitting down after four years and trying to reconstruct the work you’ve done, courses you’ve taken and awards received in order to write or bring your resume’ up to date.   April is the perfect time to review or initiate a resume’.   With summer employment possibilities or first job opportunities, now is the time to get it done.  Consider your resume or athlete profile as a “work in progress” and keep it updated regularly.  Have you recently added….

  • Courses or Special Classes for Training
  • Conferences (as an Attendee or Presenter)
  • Athletic Showcases or Camps
  • Publications you have written
  • Scores on National Exams or most recent GPA
  • Awards or Recognitions

Students, employees, employers and stay-at-home parents who may one day re-enter the workforce all need to pay attention to their profile or resume’ and bring it up to date.   In addition to keeping it current, be sure that the presentation of material highlights the most current or relevant information for the position you are targeting.  If you were doing the hiring, what makes you look like the best candidate for the job?  Need help with writing a targeted resume’?  Contact me.

Mapping a Summer Plan

Whether your summer begins May 7th , June 4th or June 25th, the landslide of summer workers/participants will hit in full force.  You need to be prepared to submit applications and do interviews before everyone else.  So work backwards.  Identify your target date for starting work and work backward with your plan.  You will need time for interviews, phone calls, application completion, Internet or local searches and networking.  That means you start now mapping a summer plan.

There are some terrific web tools for identifying summer employers as well as tips for effective interviews.  Here are just a few:

www.quintcareers.com                Great for searching College Internship Opportunities

www.getthatgig.com                     Opportunities for students 16-21 years

www.teenjobsection.com          Interactive map of opportunities across the country

www.snagajob.com                       Getting and making the most of your job

The important thing about starting now is you begin looking at the opportunities.  And opportunities do not apply only to work.  Opportunities may refer to athletic team participation, experiences or internships.  What would you like to do?  Are there jobs/opportunities you are particularly interested in doing and things you just would not consider?  What transportation barriers exist or what options are available if a good opportunity presents itself?  How many hours a day will you be available to work/play/volunteer?  Is summer class part of the equation when figuring schedules for work?  Different employers will embrace your availability as a summer worker and as a student working to get ahead.  Others may find value in your performance and embrace the opportunity that you may be available for the next few seasons.  The here and now impacts tomorrow!

By starting your search now, you have some time to explore options and activate a network.  Just like business people network to expand and strengthen their own client base, students can network to find great summer opportunities through parents, relatives and family friends.  Now is the time to get started!