Why Waiting on Money Will Block Your True Success

Lists ranking the world’s wealthiest people are delusional. At best, they provide estimates of financial net worth. At worst, they don’t provide the proper framework to understand wealth.

True wealth isn’t just based on dollar amount. It is based on the resources necessary to make things happen.

Money is only one dimension

Financial wealth is a source of power, but only one of many – something that is terribly important to remember as you bootstrap companies, deal with bank and VC rejections and sacrifice money opportunities for future growth. I shared some of these ideas in a recent keynote at the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in Austin, Texas.

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For instance, socialite Kylie Jenner’s one brief social media post criticizing Snapchat’s new design sent Snap’s stock down 6 percent. Her infamous family may have money, but what people often marvel at is their social wealth. It is an entirely different kind of strength.

In another example, Black Girls Code is creating a pipeline of young women able to imagine, found and, yes, program their own future startups. They are building the wealth of independence. It is a generation that won’t have to be dependent on outside (and often overpriced) coders to make their entrepreneurial dreams real.

Figure out your wealth areas

As you take your business to the next phase, let go of the financial wealth you may lack and focus on the other wealth you already have on hand. Is it a powerful network? A variety of skills? A unique background?

Money provides only one dimension of power. The wealth you already have, the one you take for granted, should be where you plant your foundation. Then the money will come.

Ready to take your ideas to the next level? Join Damon’s priority-empowering discussions at JoinDamon.me and get free, exclusive business guides and access to the big idea boot camp.

Here’s Why Every Resume Needs a Tech Section in 2018 (Even if You Aren’t in Tech)

Technology is part of almost every job today. Most of us use some sort of software program to do our jobs. You might think it’s implied that if you do a certain type of work that you are proficient in the required technologies. But, when it comes to job search, you should list all relevant technologies you use on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Recruiters look for keywords and specific technologies are at the top of the list.

When a recruiter is given the job of finding several good candidates for a open position, they start the process by getting what is called a “req” – it’s a list of specific hard skills that the hiring manager requires as a minimum threshold for a person to be considered for the job. Recruiters then go to tools like LinkedIn and their company’s existing ATS and put these requirements in to see which candidates match. Many times, it’s technology proficiencies that dominate the list. That’s because hiring managers want you to hit the ground running. They don’t want to waste time teaching you how to use technologies that are needed to do the job quickly and effectively.

For example…

Let’s say you work in accounting or project management. Both of these fields require heavy use of MS Excel. You might think, “well of course I am great at Excel, I couldn’t do my job without it.” But, recruiters don’t look at it that way. Their jobs are to present candidates that 100 percent match the basic requirements. Thus, if you fail to list you have MS Excel experience, you won’t show up in their search results. With thousands of people competing for the same jobs as you, it’s not hard to see how you might be missing out on opportunities because you failed to keyword optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile to include all the technologies you use regularly.

P.S. – Resume and LinkedIn profile designs have changed a lot in the last year.

In addition to making sure you have the right technologies listed on your job search tools, it’s a good idea to take some time to review all the latest trends in resume and LinkedIn profile design. Recruiters look at thousands of candidates each month. If you want to stand out, you need to understand what gets their attention. Unfortunately, it’s always changing. Smart job seekers realize putting extra time into getting their tools current are the ones that get more recruiters contacting them for positions.

This 1 Powerful People Skill Tells Hiring Managers You’d Be a Good Employee

One of the most challenging aspects of being a job seeker is knowing what skills to showcase to hiring managers. Unfortunately, many people looking for work today make the mistake of trying to showcase too much about their professional background.
Don’t try to be a Jack or Jill-of-all-Trades.

When you go over-the-top and promote everything you’ve ever done in your career on your resume or LinkedIn profile, it overwhelms the reader. You need to simplify and create a cohesive summary of your particular strengths. If you can articulate why you are the go-to person for solving a specific business problem, you will show hiring managers quickly and clearly why you are the aspirin to their pain.

One skill tells hiring managers you can deal with difficult people.

Almost all jobs involve working with other people. Customers, vendors, internal teams, coworkers, etc. You will need to interact with other human beings. Being able to communicate and collaborate effectively with people is a major strength. That’s why candidates with customer service backgrounds are seen as valuable to hiring managers. When you have extensive experience dealing with difficult or dissatisfied people and can outline how you successfully turned them around and made them happy, you stand out as an employee that can keep things under control. You eliminate potential headaches for the hiring manager. Any time you can take problems off a manager’s plate, you’re showing your value and become a more attractive candidate for hire.

P.S. – Think about how you can weave this into your behavioral interview answers.

Now that you know how valuable that customer service experience is, consider ways you can share your expertise in your answers to behavioral interview questions. By contemplating in advance what aspects of your skills you should showcase in your interview responses, you come across more professional and a better fit for the role. When it comes to job search, the key is massive preparation. You’re trying to land a job that will pay you thousands and thousands of dollars. The bigger the salary, the more prepared you should be!

Want Your Resume to Look Current in 2018? Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

Studies show employers are literally getting thousands of online applications for their open positions today. Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to apply to a job. Unfortunately, that creates a nightmare for recruiters. Narrowing down hundreds of candidates to the few they should interview is tough. Looking through tons of resumes makes even the most accomplished recruiter blurry-eyed. Over time, they start to see patterns in resume designs and begin to make assumptions about candidates based on what they see. 

“People hear what they see.” – Doris Day

Studies show seasoned recruiters spend about six-seconds (yep, only six!) skimming your resume to decide if you even make the first cut. In particular, several design blunders send the message you’re using an outdated resume format. Not only do these mistakes make it harder for recruiters to read and understand your skills and experience, it also gives them the impression you haven’t done your homework and aren’t up-to-date on the latest job search techniques. All of this sends a negative message that can get your resume in the circular file a/k/a trash can.

1. A fancy script font. That Times New Roman font someone told you to use to make your resume look, “classy and intelligent” is extremely tough to read. Any font with curly-tailed ends might look nice, but it actually slows down reading comprehension. Stick to a clean-lined font like Calibri to make your resume more readable.

2. A wordy, self-serving Objective statement. Imagine walking up to a stranger and the first thing out of your mouth was how accomplished you are and what you want in a new job. How do you think the person would react? That’s essentially what you’re doing when you put an Objective statement at the top of your resume. Think about it: you’re applying to their job. They know what your objective is! Replace this stuffy paragraph with simple list of key skill sets that help them know what your specialize in.

3. Matchy-matchy margins. Having fully-justified margins that line up on either side of the page might look clean, but it creates uneven spacing between the words on your resume. This is very difficult to read. Recruiters will not retain as much information about you. We read fastest when there is just a single-space between each word. Left-justify your text so that it can be read normally.

P.S. Don’t forget to PDF it.

All your hard work formatting your resume can go right out the window if you don’t save it as a PDF file. In doing so, you can see if the formatting is off. I can’t tell you how many times a job seeker has been tossed from the pile because the file they sent had saved funny and the formatting was all messed up. Recruiters see this as lack of attention to detail and a reason to eliminate you from consideration.

There are must-haves on every resume, but the three formatting mistakes above aren’t some of them. Avoid looking out-of-touch by updating your resume so it quickly and efficiently provides the information employers need to put you in the “yes” pile.

Why This 1 Part of Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume Should Look Exactly the Same

When looking for a new job today, we need both a resume and a LinkedIn profile. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates that match a hiring manager’s needs. They then often ask for a copy of your resume so they can pass it along to the hiring manager with the link to your LinkedIn profile. Why? The resume format is different from the LinkedIn profile, offering varying or additional information that helps the hiring manager decide whether they want to interview you for the job.

Don’t get creative with your work histories. Here’s why…

The one section of your resume and LinkedIn profile that should always be identical is your work history bullet points. Employers look at what you did at each job to understand the size and scope of your experience. When you list different things in each work history, the hiring manager is left confused and asking, “Which one is the truth?”  You see, employers have become very skeptical of job seekers. Studies show as much as 85 percent lie on their resumes. Which means your differing work histories are raising a a major red flag.

P.S. – Stick to the facts.

Besides keeping the work histories the same, you should also keep the information objective and quantifiable. Don’t look desperate by selling yourself with overly subjective self-promotional text that makes the hiring manager feel like you are trying too hard.

Your resume and LinkedIn profile are critical job search tools that must send the right message. Making the right first impression includes looking honest. Keeping your work histories identical will help make sure employers don’t question your accomplishments

1 Networking Technique that Helps People Change Careers Faster

If you want to change careers, you better be networking. Studies estimate as much as 80 percent of all jobs are gotten via some sort of referral process. Forget those online job boards, the moment the ATS (applicant tracking system) recognizes you don’t have the exact experience for the job, you get tossed. Most of the time a human eye never even saw your resume. Your only shot to getting into a new industry or type of work is to use your connections so you can get in front of an actual person.

When it comes to your career, your network is your net worth.

LinkedIn has proved that most of us are just three degrees of separation away from someone who works at a company we’d like to work for. They refer to them as “weak ties” and they are the ones that open doors and can get you in front of someone who would be willing to listen to why you’d be a great addition to the team – in spite of the fact you don’t have the exact experience needed. With this information in mind, here’s one tip that’s proven to get you a new career faster…

Network outside your industry.

Meeting people who are in different industries and do different types of work from yourself not only provides you with a better understanding of other careers, it also widens your network in new directions. Just because you’re in healthcare, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend time getting to know people in engineering or marketing. Those people have friends, family, and significant others who just might be in the career you aspire to transition to. You’ll never learn that if you don’t make new colleagues outside your current career focus.

There are lots of ways to do this, some include:

  • Volunteering on a non-profit board
  • Attending local business events
  • Taking a continuing education class or certification

The key is to get out of your comfort zone and try to meet people you don’t already know.

Dread the idea of this? Maybe you aren’t ready for a career change.

I realize networking with strangers can feel stressful, but how badly do you want to change careers? Get over your fear and remember why you are doing this. Only you can control your career happiness. Failing to expand your network because it makes you uncomfortable is a sign you aren’t ready to do what it takes to find greater professional satisfaction.

This 1 Job Interview Question Reveals if You Are a Good Team Player

Job interviews are designed to help a hiring manager determine if you’re a good fit for the team. Behavioral interviewing is the technique many employ to figure this out. It’s a set of open-ended questions designed to make you give a detailed answer. The hiring manager then listens to the response to determine if your personality, aptitude, and experience are in sync with what is needed. As a career coach, I’ve seen many job seekers make the mistake of answering these questions without proper thought. They fail to see how the answer could be misinterpreted in the interview. My job is to get them to think about the answer from the manager’s POV and to provide something that is accurate, but phrased in a way that makes sense. In short, job seekers need to learn how to speak hiring manager’s language – or they don’t get hired!

This question reveals a lot about what frustrates you on the job.

One of the most popular behavioral questions I see job seekers screw up is:

“Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation on the job. What did you do?”

It’s not uncommon for a job seeker to choose a story about an internal situation and not even realize how it is throwing coworkers under the bus. For example, you might say:

“One time, I had a deadline for a customer, but I needed some information from another department. I learned that they hadn’t done the work and that they were really backed up and weren’t going to get me what I needed in time. So, I did the work myself to make sure the deadline was met and our customer was satisfied.”

You might think this answer shows your can-do team spirit, but it actually does the opposite. The problem is that when you focus your response on how a person(s) made the situation difficult, you shine the light on the fact that you may tend to blame people for problems that arise. This is a warning sign that you may be the kind of employee that is always pointing fingers when things don’t go well. A better response would be:

“One time, I had a deadline for a customer, but I needed some information that wasn’t easily available. I realized if I didn’t do the additional work to get the information, the customer might not get what they needed on time. So, I worked with my teammates and manager to get it done. It was a great feeling to see the customer satisfied.”

This answer tells the same story, but frames it more positively. What is said here is accurate. A true teammate understands when another team is in trouble and does what it takes to help out – without having to point out their failure.

PS – The best answer stays clear of co-worker issues.

If you really want to avoid answering this behavioral question wrong, I suggest you keep your answer focused on a situation that details problems with a vendor, customer, or any other external challenge related to the success of the business. Hiring managers want to hear how you solved problems that saved or made the company money. That’s what you are getting paid to do!