Finding the Right Job for Your Personality

Your Personality. Your Values. The Right Job for You.

A recent LinkedIn survey reported the most frustrating manager qualities. The number one complaint employees reported was that manager expectations were unclear and frequently changing.  Micromanagement, manager unavailability, managers not fostering employee growth, and professional development ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively.

If you are currently in career transition, there is a lot you can do before “committing” (agreeing to take the job) to avoid being saddled with a frustrating manager. Ensure that your personality and values match with the organization, the hiring manager you will be reporting to, and the team you will be working with.

Taking a personality assessment and developing a company culture and role profile (CCRP) will help you make better decisions.

Understand Your Personality Strength and Struggles

Take a personality assessment to understand your personality strengths and struggles. A personality assessment is simply a subjective, self-report questionnaire. There are several reliable and credible assessments available to help you ascertain your typical personality strengths and struggles, such as Personality ID, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DISC, The Big Five Personality Test, and many others. Personality assessments classify individuals into eight primary behavior patterns: adaptive vs. directing, reserved vs. interacting, objective vs. supportive, and unconventional vs. conscientious.

If your personality is highly unconventional, you tend to rely on instinct and like to operate without written rules. You are naturally flexible, versatile, and work well with broad concepts. Your personality type functions best in natural environments that encourage quick and candid responses.

Seek a company culture, a boss, and a role that best matches your personality.

Develop a Company Culture & Role Profile (CCRP) 

Developing a CCRP requires some basic knowledge, good detective work, and an investment in your time. Use a Microsoft Excel Workbook to capture data and information. Each worksheet can represent a separate company of interest. Perform research in the following areas and note the information in your Excel workbook.

Company Culture. 

Very simply, an organization’s culture is characterized by the way they do things. Culture shapes organizational social norms and attitudes. Culture is defined by how people interact, solve problems, and accomplish goals & objectives.

Groysberg, Lee, Price, and Cheng (2018) identified eight primary organizational culture styles classified by employee interactions (tendency toward high independence or high interdependence) and employee’s responses to change (tendency toward stability/predictability or adaptability/flexibility).

Caring: relationships & mutual trust

Purpose: idealism & altruism

Learning: exploration & creativity

Enjoyment: fun & excitement

Results: achievement & winning

Authority: boldness & decisiveness

Safety: planning, caution, & preparedness

Order: rules & structure

Recall our highly “unconventional” personality from the previous section? Which primary cultures might not be a good fit?  If you guessed safety and order culture, you are correct.

Internet Search 

You can find a lot about company culture by reviewing company annual reports, company web pages, LinkedIn company pages, Indeed, or Glassdoor employee comments.  Identify the company’s vision, mission, and values. Do you see evidence of what it might be like to work for the company? Check for the organizational climate indicators. Can you see evidence of the following or not?

Communication: communication seems to be open and free-flowing

Reward System: recognition of people for a job well done

Organization Clarity: things are well-organized with a clear definition of goals & objectives

Teamwork: the amount of understanding, cooperation, and support demonstrated

Suppose you value professional development, integrity, and social responsibility. Do you see evidence of tuition reimbursement for education or industry certifications, doing the right thing, or participating in a corporate social responsibility program?

Network, Network, Network 

Have informational conversations with staff at the company. Use LinkedIn to set up informational interviews to determine what it’s like to work for the company or the hiring manager. Reach out to people who work at the company or worked there previously. Connect and have a conversation. Ask: “Tell me what it’s like to work at Company ABC.” Review the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile, skills, endorsements, and recommendations.

Examine Job Descriptions

A good job description and all job descriptions are not all created equally, is a communication tool that tells potential candidates what skills and qualifications the company and hiring manager are looking for in a candidate. Deconstruct the job description. If the job description emphasizes teamwork and learning, it is likely that the culture focuses on collaboration and learning or has identified it as a gap the candidate could fill.  It is your job to find out. LinkedIn Premium does some analysis for you.  See the following LinkedIn Sections:  How you match? and Competitive Intelligence About Other Applicants.

Interview Preparation

Schedule a mock interview with Leslie Segarnick, The Interview Doctor. Dr. Les is an expert in job search and interview techniques providing coaching no charge to folks in job transition. You will need to supply him with your resume and the job description in advance. He can help you “Flip the Script” (see below.). Read his Top Ten Interview Questions & Tips article, which includes his BIO.

Interview Time: Flipping the Script

Flip the script. A few strategic questions asked during the interview can give you useful information. Ask the recruiter: “What is it like working for Company ADC?”, “What can you tell me about (the hiring manager)?” Ask the hiring manager: “Tell me about yourself.” “Tell me about your leadership style.”, “Do you prefer weekly one-on-ones?”

While there are no guarantees, you will have significantly increased the probability of a more successful match, by taking this systematic approach. The higher the degree of match (company, boss, and job), the happier and more successful you will be in the new role!

References 

Groysberg, B., Lee, J., Price, J., & Cheng, J. (2018, Jan-Feb). The leader’s guide to corporate culture. Harvard Business Review (HBR).

LinkedIn. (2018, October 22). The “most frustrating” things a boss can do is…

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Laura Dowling, MBA-TM, CHFP, CRCR, CSBI has 20 years of corporate leadership experience in the healthcare industry, developing and executing strategies to improve operational and financial performance. She has hired, trained, managed, and professionally developed hundreds of employees.  She has a reputation for building and leading high-performing teams that exceed expectations.

Dr. Laura has 13 years’ experience as a professor developing curriculum, designing courses, and providing instruction in business administration, healthcare administration, leadership, and strategic management at Gwynedd Mercy University. She is an instructor at Gwynedd Mercy University and doctoral dissertation committee member at the University of Phoenix. Reach Dr. Laura at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-dowling-dm/

Top 10 Interview Questions & Tips

Interview preparation takes time. If you want to be good at anything, it takes practice. You must craft your STAR stories and practice your responses to interviewing questions. Below are ten interview questions and how you might respond.

Q1 Interviewer: “Why did you leave your last employer?”

Response from candidate #1: “I was laid off.”

Your response as candidate #2: “ I enjoyed working for the ZYX company for 2 (5, 8, 15, etc.) years. I started as a Customer Service Representative and worked my way up to the Customer Service Manager in 4 years. I worked well with my team and the management staff. Last year, the company lost its largest account and decided to downsize. I was in the third and last reduction in force. When I left, only the maintenance people were there to keep the pipes from freezing.

Evaluate: Who will stand above the competition, who will be remembered?

Tip: Answer questions in paragraphs, not sentences. Paint a picture with your responses to be considered for the second interview.

Q2 Interviewer: “What are three strengths that you bring to the position?”

Tip: Answer with three strengths from the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Keep in mind the three reasons you are being hired: 

  • Make money for your new employer
  • Save money for your new employer
  • Save time for your new employer

Q3 Interviewer: “What would you consider your greatest accomplishment, so far, in your career?”

Tip: Your response should match any of the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. You should have at least five accomplishment stories matching five different job requirements.

Q4 Interviewer: “Where do you expect to be with our company in the next three years?”

Tip: You want to learn everything there is to know about the position. You are looking to become a bottom-line contributor to the company and become known as a corporate asset as soon as possible.

Q5 Interviewer: “Why should I hire you? Why do you feel you are more qualified for this position than your competitor? What are you bringing to this position?”

Tip: Draw a “T” on a blank page. On the left side, write out job requirements. On the right side, write out and script work-related experiences or transferrable skills using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Tip: Practice interview questions into a mirror, into a voice or video recorder, or practice with a friend or family member. Practice until you can respond in a conversational tone, with passion and motivation. Pretend you are in show business.

Q6 Interviewer: “What questions do you have for me?”

Tip: Respond in the following manner. Yes, I have a few questions for you, but before I get to those, “Do you have any hesitation about my qualifications for this position?”

Then follow up with 3-7 questions about the job itself.

Q7 Interviewer: “What is one thing your former manager asked you to improve upon?”

Tip: State the weakness and the recovery.

Q8 Interviewer: “What would your co-workers say about you?”

Tip: Organized, problem solver, and friendly.

Q9 Interviewer: “Have you gotten angry at work?”

Tip: Use STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result, and respond that you are a good listener, you compromise when necessary, you seek suggestions, and if this fails, you bring the problem to management.

Q10 Interviewer: “What are your salary expectations?”

Tip: Can you share with me what is budgeted for this position? If pushed, have a range in mind.

On Fridays, from 9-11 AM EST, join Les Segarnick for a free workshop on Interviewing Techniques, currently run via Zoom. Register at http://bit.ly/WayneFri9a and also on the meetup of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group at https://www.meetup.com/Philadelphia-Area-Great-Careers-Group/. You must be a meetup member before you can RSVP. 

  

Author BIO

Les Segarnick (The Interview Doctor) is an accomplished recruitment expert, volunteer, and instructor. He has established himself as a well-respected advisor to professionals seeking new job opportunities. Since retiring as President and Owner of Action Employment Services, a national recruiting firm that he owned and led for more than three decades, Les has focused his efforts on sharing his knowledge and expertise in the areas of interview techniques and job search strategies through a wide array of volunteer activities. He is currently serving as a facilitator of multiple career development and job search workshops in Montgomery County, PA, and regularly spends time conducting one-on-one practice interviews with people in job transition, at no charge. 

Les has also lectured in a variety of classroom settings on such topics as elevator pitch, resume critique, interview techniques, job search strategies, networking, and the importance of using keywords . He has spoken to Juniors and Seniors at the Fox School of Business at Temple University on job and internships searches.

Through his experience as a hands-on owner of a national recruiting firm, Les was personally involved in more than 3,500 job placements and over 1000 practice interviews. His company specialized in engineering, sales, and marketing, and successfully placed professionals throughout Western New York and around the country. Known as the “The Interview Doctor,” his motto is “Ask Me How I Make a Difference.”

LinkedIn Updates - Keeping Up with Changes

Did you know that there is a LinkedIn hashtag for #Juneteenth which is the portmanteau of 19th and June? You can learn what others are saying by following this hashtag or by using it yourself on your posts about this momentous day in 1865 when slavery ended in Galveston, Texas. 

What else is new on LinkedIn? The menu bar is now black instead of dark gray. Speculation is that it changed for Black Lives Matter, but there does not seem to be an announcement about this, though LinkedIn did make a BLM statement. The change of the menu bar just magically appeared as black this past week.

Headlines used to be limited to 120 characters on the desktop, but you might have been in the recent rollout and now can expand it. LinkedIn has not yet updated their knowledge base article on this change to announce the official number of characters, but others have posted that you may have up to 220 characters.

Posts now have six options: 

1) celebrate a teammate (welcome a new teammate or give kudos to someone)

2) find an expert (in accounting, coaching & mentoring, design, marketing, and other)

3) share a profile with your network or search for a friend or former coworker, or connection)

4) add a job (create a new post or add a link)

5) create a poll (as long as it’s not political, or medical information or other sensitive data)

6) offer help (general, referrals, career coaching, resume reviews, introductions, volunteer work, or other)

Some other LinkedIn changes are below:

  • People Also Viewed has increased from 10 to 20
  • Hashtag displays are being reconfigured
  • COVID-19 themed banners are coming
  • Away messages for premium users are coming
  • Broadcast link field for online events is coming
  • A new search user interface is coming
  • Image cropping is coming

Need some visuals of the above? Here’s a great post from Andy Foote in Chicago. Andy also includes the reminder that LinkedIn will shorten the URLs in your posts if they are more than 26 characters. When you see the bitly links used by me on behalf of the nonprofit, those are shortened URLs also.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Rebranding to Pivot Your Career

Are you making a career pivot? Do you need to rebrand yourself? Do you know what to do to market yourself for your future forward position?

As noted in the previous article, you completed all these steps so far:

  • You decided to make a change.
  • You have done a SWOT analysis of yourself.
  • You know your passions and where you want to go… OR
  • You have hired a coach to help bring clarity, so you know your next move.
  • You have taken stock of your skillset and gaps of knowledge and have taken assessments.
  • You have made some goals for learning or moving your pivot forward. 
  • You are ready to update your career documents – resume, LinkedIn, elevator pitch, networking plan, cover letter, accomplishment stories, positioning statement, department statement, value proposition, etc. 

Now what? It’s time to research keywords that combine your unique individual skillset and the keywords of your next position, whether as a W-2 employee or as an entrepreneur. 

Where do these keywords come from?

First of all, they come from you, doing a brain dump of all the things you are good at. It’s mainly going to be a list of hard skills, but there may be some soft skills

If you are looking for a W-2 job, you can analyze the keywords in the job description. You would highlight text as you carefully read and use a free tool like WordArt or another text analyzer. 

You can also use tools like Google Trends

For keywords in LinkedIn, you need to use the job titles and keywords in LinkedIn’s database and see how words compare, by looking them up in the jobs tab. For example, compare “budget” to “budgets” to “budgeting” to find out the best version of this word to use in LinkedIn. The final choice may be different than the synonym you use when applying to a job description.

To learn more about keywords for matching job descriptions, attend the ATS workshops on June 1 or 11 by registering on links on the events listings page. 

To learn more about keywords for LinkedIn, join the virtual workshops on LinkedIn Parts 1, 2, and 3 on June 6, 13, and 20, respectively, by registering on ccls.org.

Developing a keyword analysis is both an art and a science. You are much better off making informed decisions from data drive sets of keywords than just guessing words off the cuff. Do your research, but make sure you are hyper-focused on your future forward position so you are clearly branding yourself! 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Tips for Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Applicant Tracking System

Links for upcoming workshops on 7/31/20 & 8/24/20 can be found here: http://bit.ly/ATSBlackHole

Nearly 75% of resumes are never seen by human eyes when submitted through applicant tracking systems for online job applications. Why? Formatting and more. 

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an automated resume screener and there are over 200 ATS systems available today. Resumes go through a parser and are read by a bot before a human. The bot assigns a mathematical score to your resume against the job description as it reads entire phrases and not just keywords. The terminology for the technology that reads phrases in your resume with the words before and after the keywords is called contextualization.

Your score is then validated and is moved on to be viewed by human eyes — or it goes into the black hole because it did not match at a high enough percentage. This is extremely frustrating for those who are qualified for positions but can’t get past the bots. 

You must have a base resume and then customize the keywords to match each and every job application. If you don’t know how to do this, there are workshops available this week that will teach you how. 

Here are some other tips for the ATS “deconstructed resume”, which is different than your “pretty” resume that you snail mail, email, or hand to someone.

Tip #1: Customize your “future-forward” resume with key titles and keywords for the position you are applying to

Tip #2: Remove all images, graphics, logos, or pictures, as they may not be readable by the ATS

Tip #3: Use a font no less than 11 point and Arial is recommended for the ATS resume

Tip #4: Don’t hide keywords in white text and try to cheat the system, as they come out black on the other end

Tip #5: Remove irrelevant positions from your resume

Tip #6: Beware of special characters – no arrows or checkmarks; solid black bullets seem to work for most ATS systems

Tip #7: Avoid any kind of shading, tables, lines that cross the entire page, fancy borders, and section breaks on the ATS resume

Tip #8: Check for spelling errors—the ATS may miss keywords if they are misspelled

Tip #9: Place your contact information at the top and not in the header and make sure you have included your customized LinkedIn URL.

Tip #10: Add the dates of your employment after your employer, city, state at the far right of the page

Tip #11: Send your resume from a Word document, unless requested otherwise. PDFs can be readable or non-readable images. Uploading a resume is preferred to copying and pasting your resume into text boxes.

Tip #12: Do not upload your resume multiple times. This may hurt, rather than help and raise red flags. 

Tip #13: Mirror the language in the job description on your ATS resume to showcase your expertise; use the niche terminology

Tip #14: Only type typical resume sections and use the sections of LinkedIn as your guideline

Tip #15: Quantify your accomplishments and achievements in bullet points in your work experience rather than stating your responsibilities

Tip # 16: Use jargon and buzzwords from your industry so the applicant tracking system tools that index and crawl submissions pick up these key phrases and terms 

Tip #17: Use keyword and text analyzers with your job description so you have a helping hand with technology for data-driven decision making 

Tip #18: Develop two resumes: pretty formatted and deconstructed for ATS  

Tip #19: Include your social media handles on your resume to show you are current and relevant with your technology skills

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne M. Williams, Ed.D. Candidate is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for: 1) jobseekers in career transition, including veterans and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. In addition, Lynne is also the owner of Around the Clock Executive Helper, a writer of resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Lynne presents unique research-based workshops on LinkedIn, resumes, the Applicant Tracking System, the Art of Networking In Person & Online, and other career-related, social media, and technology topics. She is currently working on writing her doctoral dissertation and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?. In addition, she writes a weekly career column in Vista.Today Montco.Today and Delco.Today and other publications with LinkedIn tips and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams with a personalized message and visit the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group website and read our SCORE Success Story!

Try a Value Proposition Letter as a Job Search Strategy

Value proposition letters are only 100-150 words that succinctly explains what your unique qualities, skills, and accomplishments are.

It states how you will add value. Using persuasion, value proposition letters explain how you can solve a problem or fix a pain point better than anyone else thanks to your expertise and unique offerings.

If you are a job seeker, you can use it to focus on the actions you will take if hired. It can be used for most positions where you can offer some technical expertise or specialty knowledge. 

This letter sets you apart from the competition and can also highlight your transferable skills. The Value Proposition Letter is certainly not meant for an entry-level position because you need to be able to highlight your quantifiable achievements. However, it might be a key tool for a high-level executive.

Entrepreneurs can also use the same concept and send out letters to prospective clients. 

There is a particular format to follow, and you can find the instructions by clicking on http://bit.ly/ValuePropLetter.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today. Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams