Extracted from Getting THE Call: Executive Coach Reveals Job Searching SECRETS Employer’s Don’t Want You to Know.
How Effective is Your Resume?
Have you ever wondered if your resume was the best it could be? Well, here’s the test. After you post your resume on the web seeking new employment, does your phone ring from people who’ve seen your resume? If not, it’s worthless!
Sounds pretty simple, right? But it’s not. Here’s what I’ve learned from being an executive Career Coach for more than 20 years.
- First, for your phone to ring, your resume must be written in a language every employer understands.
- Second, your resume must get in front of the right people.
- Third, your resume must be compelling enough to cause the right person to actually read your resume, see your Potential Value Added (or PVA), and want to call you.
If your resume cannot deliver all three of the above, you’ll never get the calls you want.
So how can you do that?
This article will focus on the first: how to ensure your resume is written in a language any employer can understand: called Employer Speak.
What’s Most Important to Any Employer?
Have you ever wondered what’s most important and what’s not; especially when there are too many things to do and too few hours in the day to get it all done? To survive requires focus and prioritization.
Many new leaders let their leader decide what’s most important because they fear making a mistake. However, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and consultants don’t have this luxury.
Here, we’ll be examining both Private-Sector Corporations like Microsoft and Public-Sector Organizations like School Districts and Government Agencies, to better understand what’s most important to their survival.
What matters most to the survival of
To help you better understand Focus and Priority, we’ll first be examining Private-Sector Corporations (like Microsoft) to find out what matters most to their survival. As an Executive Coach, I often asked senior executives from Private-Sector Companies, “What matters most to the survival of your company?” The first answer I normally got was People. People are an important resource, but not the most important resource. Just quit your job and see how quickly you’ll be replaced. Some said, Technology, which is important, but again, not the most important. So, what really matters most? The only people who don’t struggle with this question are Small Business Owners. These guys get it.
Any small business owner will tell you that the most important
thing to their survival is Positive Cash Flow.
Without Positive Cash Flow (or PCF, the company can’t pay their bills, and they’re soon out-of-business. Without PCF, the company’s bankrupt. Game over! And, according to the Small Business Administration, this is the primary reason 80% of start-up companies fail within their first three years.
What about your business unit? If you can link what you and your business unit do for your company’s PCF and how it has improved or achieved better results, your business unit is essential to your company. In the same vein, if your business unit can’t be directly linked to one or more of the activities that generate PCF, your unit could be considered non-essential and therefore expendable – not a place you want to stay for long. So, what activities generate Positive Cash Flow?
Here are the four most important activities that generate Positive Cash Flow for Private-Sector Companies like Microsoft:
- Increase Revenues: To increase revenues from the sale of products and services involves those in sales, marketing, sales support, business development, or strategic development. Can you find and recommend new and innovative ways to sell more products or services like bringing in new customers, selling more to the same customers, discovering new uses for old products, or finding new ways to bring more money in the door, are how revenues are increased.
- Decrease Operating Costs: Decreasing operating costs, or saving money, is everyone’s job. Can you find and recommend new and innovative ways to reduce costs like consolidating, eliminating, cost sharing, getting a better price from a supplier, conserving, saving time or being more effective, efficient, and consistent?
- Better Use of Available Resources: Everyone’s job is to better use the resources they already have. Can you find and recommend new and innovative ways to better use the resources your company already has like streamlining, eliminating redundancies, consolidating, conserving, waste reduction, process improvement, reducing time required, becoming more efficient, doing more with less, better maintaining equipment and vehicles to extend their service life, and finding quicker or easier ways of doing things. And how much money or time could be saved annually?
- Anticipate Problems Today to Save Money Tomorrow: Anticipating problems today to save money tomorrow is also everyone’s job. Since lawsuits are very expensive, can you find and recommend new and innovative ways to anticipate problems today to save money tomorrow like creating important policies and procedures, creating better contracts, ensuring the right insurance is in force, ensuring compliance with outside agencies, creating better physical and cybersecurity procedures, creating better property accountability procedures, or eliminating unsafe conditions?
If you work for a Private-Sector Company like Microsoft, your career depends on your ability to identify, measure, and increase your value-added (individual productivity and sustainability) to one or more of the four activities that contribute to PCF. This step only pertains to half the Job Market. What about all those who are not profit driven like nurses, teachers, firefighter, and all those who put themselves in harm’s way every day to defend us and keep us safe? Not every organization is profit driven. So, how do they identify, measure, and increase their value-add?
What matters most to the survival of
Since these organizations do not focus on profit generation, what matters most to them is providing a service that serves the greater good (like schools and government agencies). Public-Sector Organizations use what is called a Band Of Excellence (BOE) to measure and assess their level of services. For those who work in the Public-Sector, like teachers or government workers, they are required to achieve, maintain, or exceed the Band Of Excellence (BOE) set by their organization.
So, what is a Band Of Excellence?
A Band Of Excellence (BOE) is a set of performance limits ranging from the Minimum (The Standard) – being the performance lower-limit and the Maximum – being the performance upper-limit. And the difference between the Minimum and the Maximum is called the Band of Excellence. If your performance stays within the Band of Excellence, you remain employable.
Here’s a simple example:
The biggest government agency on the planet is the US Department of Defense. In 1992, as a former US Army Officer, one BOE all soldiers had to meet was the Annual Physical Fitness Test. The BOE Minimum (or Standard) was 200 points overall. The BOE Maximum was 300 points overall. So, the BOE was 200 – 300 for the test overall to remain promotable.
If a Soldier failed to achieve 200 points overall, he was retrained and re-tested. If he failed a second time, he was considered non-promotable and administratively processed for release from the military.
Take teachers and government workers as an example. To remain employable, they’re continuously assessed by their supervisors using assessment standards for specific job tasks and behaviors. Employers use these activities to assess both individual and unit performance against their BOEs.
Public-Sector BOEs are measured by daily observations, customer feedback, certification, performance reviews, external audits, visits, compliance inspections, annual qualification, and continuing education. BOE’s are used to measure and assess both individual and unit performance, which includes results, behavior, and potential.
As long as each member continues to meet their BOE Standards, they remain employable. If not, they are retrained, retested and either put on probation, reinstated, or released. And, if they achieved or maintained their BOE Maximums, they should expect some form of recognition.
BOE’s are needed to measure excellence in Public-Sector Organizations because they’re not driven by Positive Cash Flow. They are used to make periodic assessments to determine if individuals, units, and systems have achieved, maintained or exceeded their BOEs. Without a BOE, you can’t measure performance or even tell if you’re improving or getting worse.
BOEs are also used by Private-Sector Corporations
to help generate Positive Cash Flow.
To create any Public-Sector Organization, it must go through these three phases:
- Phase 1: Must serve the greater good (schools or government agencies)
- Phase 2: Must create a BOE to maintain or enhance that service
- Phase 3: Must consistently achieve, maintain, or exceed their BOE for service
This is how they maintain the funding needed to operate, which comes from city, state, and federal tax revenues. And, if the organization can no longer meet their BOE Standards for services, they run the risk of losing their funding.
If you work for a Public-Sector Organization, like school districts or government agencies, your career depends on your ability to identify, measure, and increase your BOE value-added.
Summary: The two things every company in the world must have to survive:
- Private-Sector Companies (like Microsoft) must generate PCF and achieve, maintain, or exceed their BOEs
- Public-Sector Organizations (like School Districts) must achieve, maintain, or exceed their BOEs to receive funding
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away; one of the great paradoxes in life.
Employer’s Speak PCF/BOE!
In future posts, I’ll focus more on how to ensure your resume gets in front of the right people. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, learn more here.