Part IV – Q&A For Creating An Outstanding Resume

Producing a strong resume is both “art” and “science.”  Our senior resume writer – Staci Collins – held an interactive Q & A session in January 2013 to de-mystify the essential resume components for the current job market.  If a career transition is in your future in 2013 or beyond, you will need a strong resume to differentiate yourself  from the masses. This blog post is the last in a 4 part series sharing practical resume do’s and dont’s that will strengthen your resume.  And, if you missed the Part I through Part III posts, just use our blog search tool above to quickly locate them.  You’ll definitely want to have the information from these 4 blogs in your resume refinement “arsenal.” 

Format-related Questions

Q:  Why is there so much contradictory advice about how a good resume should look, or what information should be in it? 

A:  Everyone just disagrees!!!  There is no single approach.  Stay away from claims and assertions, e.g., Visionary team builder. Provide quantifiable, validated hard evidence. Everything needs to be substantiated.  You need to provide proof that you CAN; otherwise you cast doubt on your overall credibility.

Examples:

-Senior Marketing Director with 20 years’ experience launching branded consumer electronics products for SONY and Panasonic into the U.S. and EMEA markets, generating over $60 MM in revenues.

-Finance Manager with 12 years’ experience in software firms, specializing in maximizing ROI on technology, saving enterprises $120 MM annually.

-Consulting Senior Manager with 8 years’ experience implementing Oracle databases in complex global health care enterprises and government-related fields, on time and on budget.

Q:  Do you prefer a general leadership profile/summary at the top of resume, or a targeted grouping of achievements?  Other?  Is it necessary to have an “Objective” Statement? If so, what goes into a good one?

A: It is not necessary to have an Objective Statement but you must have a Summary Statement.  The Summary Statement has to be very specific.

Other Questions

Q:  Resume writing and rewriting/customizing…do you recommend having it done professionally?  This could be costly. 

A:  Yes…you should have this done professionally.  It is a rigorous process, and it helps you prepare for interviews, too.  But it doesn’t have to be costly.  Your achievements are your achievements.  The rewrites are a matter of tweaking the core resume with industry specific wording after you have done the main body of work.  The history of achievements/contributions is the difficult and time consuming part of crafting a stand out resume.

Q: How do I overcome age bias?

A: This is not easy.  Some companies are looking for more senior people.  Senior people can be viewed as helpful in guiding things.  If you are more senior it’s helpful to “own” a specialty so you can position yourself as a specialist – either working as an employee or as a consultant.  Or, find something that is emerging that you can “own” and reliably deliver.

Q: What if your most recent work experience isn’t what you want to do with your life? For instance, you left a full time position and are doing contract work until you find a full time position…

A: Employers understand 2008 and its aftermath.  They “get” long term unemployment.  You can include your interim work (highlighting contributions), but make it brief so they quickly land on your prior work.  Try to find a way to make what you are currently doing seem valuable relative to the past.  Demonstrate added value as best you can.

Q:   I have a two year gap on my resume as a stay at home mom.  How should I address this gap? 

A: You could put maternity leave.  This is understandable and even admired.  A 2 year gap is not an issue.  7 years is a bigger issue.  A 13 – 14 year gap is problematic.  Meaningful volunteering – “Fundraiser” for a local youth organization generating $100 K, a 30% increase over prior year  VERSUS  ”Class Mom” for your child’s Kindergarten class —  can close the gap somewhat.  There is evidence that the longer one is out of the work force, the harder it is to re-enter, and if you do succeed you often don’t re-enter at the level or salary you left.  That being said, though, strategic volunteering can help you beat the odds.

Q: How do you mention achievements covered under a confidentiality agreement?

A: “Genericize” them.  Demonstrate your contributions by addressing the scope of the project, promotions of team members, on time delivery, on budget delivery, etc. Speak about clients in terms of their industry position, brand position, category (e.g. Fortune 200 consumer package goods manufacturer….)

Have more questions?  Tweet Staci….

 

Staci has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels to achieve their career objectives. She has worked at Accenture and Ernst & Young in change management, HR, and strategic planning. She received her MBA from the University of California – Haas School of Business, and her BA from Harvard.

To get personalized advice on your resume from Staci or inquire about Ivy Exec’s resume writing options, please email resumes@ivyexec.com

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

Part III – Q&A For Creating An Outstanding Resume

If a job search is on the horizon, you need an outstanding resume to communicate your unique, personal brand.   Our senior resume writer – Staci Collins – held an interactive Q & A session in January to answer members’ resume questions.  This Q & A session is summarized here for your reference…

Q:  How do I mention achievements without bragging?

A: Shift your resume from a responsibility focus to a contribution focus.  Highlight the problems you solved.  Highlight what you delivered.  Provide specific stories that illustrate how you communicate, how you manage, how you network.  Problem-Action-Results.

Q:  I would like to develop and advertise my “Personal Brand”.  What steps should I take? 

A: First you need to identify your brand.  This is a hard thing to do.  One often needs a “mirror” (aka, a coach, an objective counterpart) to do this.  You can start by finding lists of brand adjectives common to the industries/companies you are targeting.  For example, if you are targeting Investment Banking, your brand probably won’t have many “nurturing/caring” adjectives.  But in Health Care?  …maybe…

Q:  How do you effectively tailor your resume for different job descriptions?

A: You need to read job descriptions closely and “parrot” the terminology.  If a company describes Human Resources in terms of Human Capital Management, then use “Human Capital Management.”  You need to tailor your resume for each job you apply to.

Q:  Is a searchable human readable CV stronger than an achievements or role case-based CV in securing an interview?

A: Nothing is stronger than specific achievements.

Career Changers

Q:  How to write the resume highlighting transferable skills for a new industry?

A: If you are talking about contributions and results in your resume, they are frequently transferable when you seek the same function in a new industry. And if  you are seeking a new function, in a new industry, you can bolster your prospects by joining organizations affiliated with the new industry, seeking additional degrees/certifications (e.g., an EMBA) or even volunteering in the new industry to build your credibility and reputation.  This type of career change needs to be considered a transition vs. a quick change.  You need to be thinking 6 months, 1 year, 2 years out to accomplish this type of transition.

Q:  How do I change functions and still maintain my seniority in experience?

A: You usually have to go down a few rungs, unless you have an in-demand, emerging skill.  You can sometimes step down from a larger corporate structure to a mid-sized company or a start-up and preserve your seniority.

Q:  Do I need to define the role I want on my resume?

A: No. Companies care about what you can help them achieve.  They care less about your personal objectives.  You need to signal in your resume how companies should view you and what you can do for them.  “Senior Marketing Manager with a specialty in ABC, certifications in XYZ and a track record for MNOP…” Be specific.

Q:  I want to break into the for-profit world, having been in the non-profit world.  How do I convince the reader that I have what it takes?

A: Speak in terms of contributions and – Quantify. Quantify. Quantify.  Make sure the language you use in your resume is aligned with the language of the industry.  Gain credibility through volunteer work, apprenticeships, internships, certificate programs, etc.  The transition from for-profit to non-profit can be just as difficult.

The higher you reach the bigger and broader view you need to convey.  Career changers in particular need to research the cultures of the companies and industries they target and don a new “identity.”

Stay tuned for another blog post that will provide more answers to your questions about summary vs. objectives statements, explaining employment gaps, and more…  

Staci has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels to achieve their career objectives. She has worked at Accenture and Ernst & Young in change management, HR, and strategic planning. She received her MBA from the University of California – Haas, and BA from Harvard.

To get personalized advice on your resume from Staci or inquire about Ivy Exec’s resume writing options, please email resumes@ivyexec.com

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

FREE CAREER ADVICE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE

The path to career success is going through a rough patch in a troubled economy environment. The need for common sense career coaching has not been greater in recent memory.

Turbulent times not withstanding, I can provide you with common sense coaching that will help you to translate your ambitions into the rewards you deserve: promotions, money and personal satisfaction. No charge, no obligation.

What’s my payoff? I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a rewarding career. Now, I want to share what I have learned with you and others who are working diligently to achieve career success. My reward will be in knowing that I have helped you to succeed to the best of your abilities.

The career advice I provide is based on my experience in major corporations, including Senior VP at American Express. My qualifications also include experience as an entrepreneur, professional director, consultant on career and business strategies and author.

I deliver my career coaching via my blog, one-on-one career counseling and books

This blog provides opportunities for you to post your opinions on career-related issues, share your career concerns and engage others in discussions. Plus, you can get one-on-one career advice via ramon@commonsenseatwork.com >

You’ll find recommendations for books, articles and ezines  that will help you accelerate your career.

For more information please visit my websisite www.commonsenseatwork.com/job-advice-principles > E-mail me at ramon@commonsenseatwork.com with your suggestions for adding other resources.

You have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose, except the roadblocks on your path to career success.

I wish you success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

Part II – Q&A For Creating An Outstanding Resume

If a career transition is in your future in 2013, you need a strong resume to differentiate yourself  from the masses.  Ivy Exec’s resume writer – Staci Collins – held an interactive Q & A session to answer members’ pressing resume questions.

This Q & A session is summarized here for you…

On Line Requirements

Q:  What special requirements does the on-line environment impose on job seekers?

A: 90%+ of companies use LinkedIn in hiring. What does this mean?

–You don’t need 500+ connections, but you need more than 20.  That being said, if you are in sales, business development, consulting, and other relationship roles, probably more connections is better than fewer.

–Companies value well written, thoughtful on-line recommendations as long as they are from managers and clients and they reference “specific stories” about you/your performance.  They don’t like endorsements.  Endorsements are perceived as “manufactured” – not authentic.

–Use a current picture. An out of date picture is perceived as “out of touch,” “less relevant.”

–Use the skills section to put in your profession/sector’s key words. You should research key words that are common to your profession.  Recruiters search on the skills sections and on company names.

–Be a joiner.  Join company alumni groups, school alumni groups, professional associations.  Recruiters search these as well, seeking smaller, more select pools.

Formatting

Q:  “1 page vs. multiple page resume for experienced candidates….I don’t know what to leave out if it’s just a one-pager…”

A: Recruiters don’t care.  Companies, though,  typically don’t want 5 pages — only 1 or 2 maximum.

–If you have 15 years or less, keep it to 1 page.

–If you have more than 15 years of experience you can go to two pages.  Companies care about the last 5 years the most, but if your meaningful contributions go back further, you should include them.

–The number of pages can also depend on the industry.  For example, in high tech, some highly experienced executives have one page resumes.

–It’s important to get industry specialized/industry-specific  feedback on your resume.

Q:  Should I take the dates off college?

A: You can, but people will know you are “hiding” the dates.  You will have to deal with age at some point, so you might as well be up front about it.

Q:  How should you address periods of unemployment?

A: This is the same as above.  It’s best to be up front about it.  If you are doing a chronologically formatted resume there shouldn’t be any blanks. If you are unemployed, volunteer!  It’s better to have some “value-adding” activity, than blank space.

Q:  For a consulting background, do you recommend using general bullets to cover multiple clients or speaking to specific projects?

A: You need to be specific.

Q:  Functional vs. Chronological?

A: Recruiters and hiring managers want a brief story in orderFormat your resume in reverse chronological order by company.  When you have a functional resume it’s a lot of work for recruiters and hiring managers to map contributions to where and to when. You want to make your background/contributions user friendly.

Staci has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels to achieve their career objectives. She has worked at Accenture and Ernst & Young in change management, HR, and strategic planning. She received her MBA from the University of California – Haas, and BA from Harvard.

To get personalized advice on your resume from Staci or inquire about Ivy Exec’s resume writing options, please email resumes@ivyexec.com

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

Part I — Q&A For Creating An Outstanding Resume

(This is part one of a four-part series to be posted today and the next three Mondays.)

If a career transition is in your future in 2013, a strong, executive caliber resume is a must.  Our senior resume writer – Staci Collins – held an interactive Q & A session last week to answer members’ burning resume questions.  This valuable Q & A session is summarized here for your reference…

Recruiter Requirements

Q:  What do recruiters want to see in a resume?

A: Recruiters screen hundreds of resumes daily.  On average they spend 2 to 3 seconds per resume.  They source candidates from proprietary networks such as Ivy Exec and LinkedIn.

–Recruiters want to quickly see a clear declaration of what you do, for whom, in what sectors and with what results/contributions.

–You must be present on LinkedIn.

–Different professions absolutely require different resumes. Different jobs require different resumes.  One size does NOT fit all.

–Results/contributions must be quantified.

Company Requirements

Q:  What do companies want to see in a resume?

A: Companies want to see that candidates understand their resume is and isn’t about them.  It’s really about the companies they worked for and the contributions they made to those companies.

–You need to research companies/sectors you are applying to so you can gauge industry practices/terminology and incorporate them.

–You need to clearly show why elements on your resume mattered to the company and the end results achieved. Focus on contributions….NOT responsibilities.

–You need to show years of experience, what sectors you worked in, what types of clients you helped.

–You need  to show obstacles you/your team faced and overcame.

–You must quantify results as much as possible to achieve credibility — think metric supported facts….NOT vague assertions.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that will provide practical answers to resume questions about format, content, career changes, and more…

- – – – – -

Staci has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels to achieve their career objectives. She has worked at Accenture and Ernst & Young in change management, HR, and strategic planning. She received her MBA from the University of California – Haas, and BA from Harvard.

To get personalized advice on your resume from Staci or inquire about Ivy Exec’s resume writing options, please email resumes@ivyexec.com

I wish you success with your career!

Ramon Greenwood, The Head Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

Grist For Your Career Path

“One of the main reasons why most people don’t get what they want is they haven’t decided what they want. They haven’t defined their desires in clear and compelling detail.” A quote from Jack Canfield’s excellent book, The Success Principles.

Ask your self where your want to be, say five years from now. Assess what your strengths are today. Define what you have to do to get from where you are to where you want to be in five years.

And then work with all of your energy and strength to close the gap from here to there.

I wish you career success!!!

Ramon Greeenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

5 Tips To Really Stand Out And Land A Job

By Vickie Elmer

Ivy Exec CEO and Founder, Elena Bajic, was interviewed by Aol Job’s writer, Vickie Elmer. Below are Elena’s thoughts on some of the ways to stand out from the competition to land a job.

Every time you apply for a job you have the chance to be a standout, a star, or at least a unique individual with a string of talents that may be a great match for the employer’s needs.

But many don’t see themselves that way or sell themselves that way. And they don’t find the ways they can really shine before they send off their resume. They need to assess how their talents and traits could really benefit the person who’s about to read their resume and hire someone crucial to their team.

So this year, give yourself enough time and many opportunities to stand out in your job search. This may mean cutting back on the number of resumes you send out a week or a month. But a few carefully crafted resumes and cover letters that connect the dots may do more to open doors than sending out hundreds of copycat CVs.

“It takes quite a bit of energy” to do some research and become a “standout candidate,” said Elena Bajic, founder and CEO of Ivy Exec, which offers targeted career advice and jobs for members. She agrees candidates need to be selective in applying for jobs; “pick and choose those that are highly relevant” to their skills and expertise.

Then follow these five tips to make yourself a standout as you apply for work:

Know the traits that impress.

Some will be written right into the job posting. Others may be in your future employer’s core values or mission statement. Sometimes they can be identified by reading a few blog posts or an in-depth profile of the CEO or senior executive in charge of the area where you hope to work. Look at industry trends and best practices, too. The American Management Association identified the four Cs as skills employers really want: critical thinking and problem solving; collaboration; communication and creativity/innovation.

Ensure your resume matches your job.

Anyone looking for a job in sales and marketing needs to promote themselves very effectively. An editor cannot afford misspelling or grammatical errors. A manager must show that they are organized and can engage people with their resume. An IT manager’s resume needs a different structure and look than an interactive advertising manager. Different jobs and sectors require varied approaches. So each time you send out your resume, take just 10 minutes to adjust it so it’s a closer match to the job posting.

Follow-up-twice.

After the resume’s gone out, send an email or make a call to promote yourself again. Then another one a week later. When one candidate did this with Bajic, she gave his resume a second look, which led to an interview. “I don’t receive may follows-ups,” she said, “maybe 5 or 10 percent” of job seekers connect even once after applying.

Speed your replies.

When she’s requesting an initial phone interview, Bajic sees those who respond in an email quickly, in a few minutes or so, as a high energy person who’s engaged.” Someone who does not reply for two or three days may imply that they are less energetic and engaged or not all that interested in the job, she said. Other employment experts say it’s important to show you’re energetic and a quick study especially if you’re a mature job seeker or one who has been out of the workplace for a few years.

Prepare for phone interviews.

Take care with this and don’t take it on the fly. When the HR manager calls for a phone screening interview, ask to schedule the next day–and use those 24 hours to research the company and the job you’re seeking. Take time to envision the job and what it entails, Bajic says. Ask yourself: What is the company trying to achieve here? That way your questions will be more in-depth and your impact better.

Remember too that what works to make you a standout with IBM may not be as impressive at Apple or a small start-up in Ann Arbor, Mich. Core traits that work for small entrepreneurial organizations may be miles apart from the ones that turn heads at a Fortune 500 corporation. The key is to draw on your list of strengths and best traits and bring up those that your future boss really values. It’s knowing what will stand out and shine in the galaxy where you’re hoping to land next that could lead to success.

 Click here  for original article.

This is a guest post contributed by the Ivy Exec Blog. Ivy Exec is an exclusive site where pre-screened, high caliber professionals find relevant job opportunities with leading companies. To find out more, please see connect with them on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/IvyExec>  or read their company information on CrunchBase <http://www.crunchbase.com/company/ivy-exec> .

For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in Ramon Greenwood’s widely read Common Sense At Work Blog. His e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned is available from Amazon

Career Advice: Are You Too Busy To Take An Aspirin?

Bosses who truly want to achieve career success delegate as much responsibility and authority to their subordinates as they can handle. Therefore, they have more time and energy to advance toward their career goals by shouldering duties of greater visibility and value to their employer.

 Effective subordinates take on as much responsibility and authority as they can carry. This is the way they can grow into more rewarding jobs.

This dynamic of career rewards is as obvious as the nose on your face. Then, why don’t more people do it?

First off, ambitious careerists rarely want to give up power. Egos get involved. Sharing of responsibility and authority–sharing of power–goes against the grain of what has propelled them forward on their career path. The ambitious manager who really wanted to give up turf is a rare bird indeed. But they do it because they know it is the only way to get ahead.

The Headache Syndrome

Then there’s what I call the headache syndrome, as in “I’ve got a headache, but I don’t have time to take an aspirin.”

It goes like this:

“I am swamped,” the boss declares. “I have to have some help. I’d like to delegate some of my responsibilities, but I can’t find anyone who is ready to take on more work. It would take me longer to find someone willing and capable to do the work than it does to do the job myself. And besides, I can’t be sure the job will be done the right way if I don’t do it myself.”

Down the hallway, subordinates have a different view. “The boss won’t delegate responsibilities.” They are resigned to the situation, so they stop offering to take on more work; their growth is restricted. “Why should I keep trying to help the boss,” they say. “I’ve got a easy thing of it. Let the boss do the work, if that’s what he wants. Just send me my paycheck.”

The Fortress Mentality

These conflicting and self-defeating views result in a fortress mentality where no one wins.

But hold on. This siege creates big opportunities for truly ambitious careerists at all levels of the organizational pyramid.

Career Tip: There are six actions you can take to capitalize on this situation if you are willing to act aggressively with common sense as your guideline.

1. Achieve 110 percent of your goals.

2. Make sure your boss is aware of your accomplishments.

3. Delegate responsibility to others who can do the job as well as you can.

4. Work diligently to improve your knowledge and skills.

5. Volunteer to take on more responsibility.

6. Never steal the spotlight from your boss.

For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in Ramon Greenwood’s widely read Common Sense At Work Blog. His e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned, is available from Amazon.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Head Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

Career Advice: Turf Hogs Are Dangerous Beasts

Turf Hogs are dangerous beasts with voracious appetites for power. These marauders are easy to identify, but difficult to deal with.

Left to their own devices, they will run amok. They can disrupt your career path.

 Turf Hogs work hard at gaining credit for the ideas and work of others. They assume authority where none has been granted. They claim to be team players while invading the territory of others.

When confronted, their usual defense is “Who, me? I was just trying to be a team player and help others for the good of the organization.”

As you travel the road to career success, you most likely will have to deal with Turf Hogs at some point.

What’s To Be Done With Turf Hogs?

Career Advice: Dealing with Turf Hogs requires patience and a careful touch. Their I-was-only-trying-to-help rationale is hard and dangerous to cope with without appearing to be overly protective of your turf.

First of all, you must be certain that the Turf Hog’s actions are damaging the organization; and that you are not simply protecting your own zone.

When the Turf Hogs’ grabs for credit move beyond irritation to erosion of your responsibilities, it’s time to confront the culprit.

Invite him to meet with you in your office. Make it a closed- door situation. Be ready with a detailed list of his transgressions.

Cite more than one clear-cut example of your complaint with his actions. Be sure to document damage done. Fashion your position along these lines:

“I see by your recent memorandum to my boss explaining that you have some ideas about how I can do a better job. I appreciate your taking the time to offer suggestions about my job performance, particularly since I am sure you have a full time job just carrying out your own responsibilities.

“Don’t misunderstand me. I can use all of the help I can get. But I expect you to come directly to me with your ideas. I know what my responsibilities are and the priorities our boss has assigned to me. And I know what yours are.”

Chances are The Hog will fall back on the “Who, me?” dodge.

Restate examples of your point. Detail damage done. It’s a good idea to continue along this line: “As I see it, we both are charged with doing our jobs in such a way that we can achieve the objectives the boss has laid out for us. The best way to do that is to respect each others’ responsibilities and authorities as we work together.”

Don’t be surprised if your Turf Hog spreads the word to the boss and others that you are not a team player. Be prepared to make your case to The Boss if he asks you for an explanation. Demonstrate that you are a team player.

Career Tip: Don’t expect The Turf Hog to change, but you can keep the beast at bay if you take a strong, fact-based stand against his encroachments.

For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in my widely read Common Sense At Work Blog. His e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned is available from Amazon.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

 

 

 

When Your Silence Speaks Volumes: Successful Nonverbal Skills

We’ve all heard the saying “Silence is Golden” but what if it isn’t? When it comes to nonverbal communication, we speak volumes without ever saying a word; in job interviews and career development, sending the wrong message can be a deal breaker before there’s even an offer on the table. By investing a bit of time and energy into gaining an awareness and understanding of the things your body is saying for you, you can ensure you are that much closer to the career of your dreams. And although nonverbal skills (yes, they are skills!) can take a lifetime to master, here are a few tips to get you started on the right track.

The Eyes Have It

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, avoiding eye contact with others sends the message that you are hiding something. Even if you are just shy or nervous, do your best to hold your head up high (that “hangdog” look does not scream “confident”) and maintain eye contact for at least three seconds when you meet someone. Be aware of that timing, though, because confident and self-assured can turn into aggressive and even creepy pretty quickly. Thereafter, make a conscious effort to look into someone’s eyes when they speak to you and when you respond to any questions.

Service with a Smile

As much as I wish they were sometimes, people are not mind-readers. They interpret what’s going on in our heads based on the looks on our faces. Make every effort to avoid misperception by making a conscious effort to smile. It will do you – and your relationships, business or otherwise – a world of good.

Do you know anyone who “lights up the room” with their smile? Doesn’t it immediately make you want to like them and make you feel better? What about when you’re on the phone and you can just tell that the person on the other end of the line is smiling? It’s true! We use different facial muscles when we smile; exercising these muscles not only makes us more attractive, but it also causes a change in our tone of voice. So give it a shot the next time you walk into a room full of colleagues – by lifting the corners of our mouths, we also lift our spirits and the spirits of those around us.

Reach Out and Touch Someone

We all know how awful the “dead fish” handshake is, so, first, don’t be that guy! Perhaps more importantly, recognize that having a good, strong handshake conveys so much more than social courtesy (or rather, your awareness that nobody likes a limp handshake). Allow me to explain.

A firm handshake conveys a sense of confidence in oneself and instills a sense of trust in the person on the receiving end. She knows that she can depend on you to represent her in a positive way, no matter the situation. It’s not about being strong; it’s about revealing strength: strength of character.

Since nonverbal signals form the basis for over 90% of a first impression, make sure you are sending the right kinds of signs to those with whom you want to develop business relationships. Believe me, they, and your career, will thank you for it!

What are some of the things you have seen others do that put you off even though they never said a word? Have you observed nonverbal actions that resonated with you in a positive way?

This post was written by Erin Schwartz who manages marketing programs for 123Print.com, a leading provider of high quality customizable items like business cards, address labels, postcards, and other promotional printing materials for small businesses and solo practitioners.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work