November 14th, 2011
Keeping your resume current is important to your continued career development. But unless you’re actively looking for a job, the daily demands of life, home and work can easily push this updating process down on your priority list. If you haven’t reviewed your resume in over a year, here are just a few good reasons why you should take a fresh look at it:
- Even if you’re currently employed, you never know when an attractive job opening may present itself. A current resume can help you capitalize on an unexpected opportunity – before someone else has the chance.
- Over time, your important achievements and contributions may be forgotten. Regular updating ensures that critical, measurable accomplishments are accurately recorded.
- In many cases, your resume creates a first and lasting impression on a potential employer. Make sure it’s a good one. By periodically reviewing and honing your resume, you can create a more powerful marketing tool that accurately and favorably represents you as a professional.
Use these tips to make your resume update simple and comprehensive:
- Review personal information (address, e-mail, LinkedIn URL, etc.) to ensure everything is up-to-date.
- Review your oldest job. If it’s no longer relevant, and you have at least 10 years of documented work history without it, remove it.
- Update your responsibilities and accomplishments. Consider the following: special projects; new expertise developed or job responsibilities awarded; knowledge or skills enhancement from special training or professional development; awards or other recognition; challenges you faced and solutions developed; measurable results you helped achieved (e.g., eliminating process inefficiencies, increasing productivity or sales, improving staffing or operational performance, etc.).
- Revist your objective statement. If it is not in line with your current career aspirations, rewrite it. The statement can be general, but should show some direction toward the field in which you want to work.
- Reevaluate your references. Verify that these individuals still work where you have noted and that contact information for each is correct. If you have developed new contacts who can attest to your recent achievements or heightened responsibility, consider replacing them with outdated references.
- Update your resume format. Check online sample resumes to see if yours looks outdated and revise accordingly. Additionally, you should create an electronic version of your resume if you don’t already have one.
- Proofread everything. Sloppy spelling, grammar and punctuation may take you out of the running immediately. If you’re not proficient in proofreading, ask a trusted friend or associate to help.
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December 20th, 2010
If you’ve ever been on an interview, you’ve probably heard this one:
“Tell me a little bit about yourself.”
Sounds innocuous enough, but in reality this is an extremely important question. Interviewers ask it for a number of reasons:
- to get a sense of what you feel is most important about yourself;
- to see how well you’ve prepared for the interview;
- to find out why you think you’re the best candidate for the job;
- to see how you handle yourself in an unstructured situation;
- to see how articulate you are;
- to find out what type of first impression you make.
There is a lot riding on your response to this question, so make sure you knock it out of the park. Here are a few quick tips for answering the “tell me about yourself” interview question the right way:
- Be brief. Keep the answer short – no more than two to three minutes.
- Develop and include your USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition, also known as a personal branding statement, is a one-sentence description of who you are, what you greatest strength is and the major benefit that a potential employer will derive from this strength. Plenty of help for developing your USP is available online.
- Practice, practice, practice. Write your answer out, then rehearse it until it’s second nature. The better you know your pitch, the more poised and confident you’ll sound.
- Cite examples. When you develop your answer, include one or two examples that best demonstrate why you’re well-qualified for the available postition, or highlight your most important accomplishments. Quantify these results whenever possible (e.g., cost-savings, market share, measurable process improvements, increased revenue, etc.)
- Stay focused. Make sure your response clearly focuses on the experiences and accomplishments most relevant to the available position.
The “tell me about yourself” interview question offers a great opportunity to set yourself apart from your job competitors. So don’t waste it. Take advantage of your time in the driver’s seat by selling yourself, creating a great first impression and setting a positive tone for the rest of the interview.
The Kinsa Group is committed to the success of your career search in food & beverage. With over 25 years of experience placing high-level executives and managers with top employers in the food and beverage industry, we have the resources and connections to match you with the ideal opportunity. Contact us today or Search Jobs online.
November 1st, 2010
Right now you may be asking yourself, “Why would I need to go on an informational interview?”
As an experienced food & beverage industry professional, you may think that an informational interview would be a waste of your time. Because typically, informational interviews are associated with job seekers who are new to the employment market, or have no clear direction for their careers.
But conducted properly, even a seasoned professional can benefit from an informational interview:
- Expand your professional network
- Set yourself apart from the crowd in a competitive job market
- Gain valuable insider feedback on potential future job openings
- Sharpen interview skills that may have become a bit “rusty” from disuse
- Practice selling yourself and your personal brand
In short, this type of interview can provide you with invaluable visibility, information and practice – all in a low-stress setting.
Tips for Successful Informational Interviews
- Do your homework. It goes without saying that you’ll get out of the informational interview process what you put into it. So read industry journals and annual reports, and study operating principals, product and financial information for any company in which you’re interested – before making phone calls.
- Use your networks. Leveraging these contacts will distinguish you from entry-level job candidates, get you in front of key decision makers more quickly and make potential employers take you seriously.
- Find out how your skills will translate. If you already know how your experience will benefit a potential employer, now is the time to say so. But if you’re unsure where you might fit into a different sector of the food and beverage industry, the informational interview provides a perfect opportunity to find out.
- Be honest. Since you’re not interviewing for an available opening, be candid about your professional strengths and weaknesses, as well as career goals. If your skills, desires and priorities are not a match for a particular organization, it’s always better to find out up front. In this case, the interviewee may be able to connect you with potential employers that are more in-sync with your needs.
- Ask about next steps. If you’re intrigued by the prospects with a potential employer, take the initiative and find out the next step in being considered for an available or upcoming position. And if the connection is not there, ask if the interviewee knows anyone else with whom you should speak. But be sure to do so tactfully, so that you leave behind a positive and professional impression.
A Final Thought
Informational interviews can happen anywhere and anytime – not just in the board room. So keep an open mind and seize potential opportunities whenever they present themselves, because you never know who might be helpful in your career search.
Jump Start Your Career Search with The Kinsa Group
If you’re in the market for a new job, or are just curious about what kind of professional food and beverage jobs are available right now, please call us today. As national recruiters specializing in the food & beverage industry, Kinsa Group offers a variety of excellent career opportunities.
August 30th, 2010
It’s like a bad dream.
You’re in an interview, dressed to impress and feeling totally in control of the situation, when the unthinkable happens – the interviewer asks a question that completely stumps you:
“If you could have dinner with anyone from history, whom would it be and why?”
“Why is a manhole cover round?”
“Which fictional character would you say best describes you?”
If just reading these questions makes beads of sweat pop out on your forehead, you’re not alone. In an interview situation, most of us would be stopped in our tracks by off-the-wall questions like these. But that’s the point: interviewers ask odd questions intentionally, to see how well job candidates thinks on their feet and respond to stress.
Because unusual interview questions can be about virutally any topic, they’re nearly impossible to prepare for. Still, here are a few quick tips to help you handle them more effectively:
- Keep your composure. The question was meant to throw you off your game – so don’t let it rattle you. Keep your face neutral and recognize that this is the wacky question you’ve been anticipating.
- Take your time. Smile, take a deep breath and avoid the temptation to blurt out an answer. Don’t panic – if you have to take a moment to gather your thoughts, it merely demonstrates that you think carefully through a situation before responding.
- Relax. When it comes to unusual interview questions, your answer is not as important as how you handle the situation. In fact, most don’t have right or wrong answers. So take the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to be brilliant, you just need to answer honestly.
If you’d like some practice answering off-the-wall questions, consider the following popular ones:
- If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
- If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
- If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
- If you were a _________ (insert: car, animal, salad dressing – you get the picture), what kind would you be and why?
- If you won $50 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
- How would you rate me as an interviewer?
Seeking a Job in the Food and Beverage Industry?
Register with Kinsa today. Our team of food & beverage industry recruiting professionals will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect career opportunity, and then prepare you to ace the interview. Click here to learn more about our unique services for food marketing, food production, food scientist, food safety, research & development and executive management professionals.
June 1st, 2010
Looking for ways to earn a raise or promotion?
Get on your boss’s A-List. If you consistently show your boss that you’re doing a great job, you’ll progress further, faster. Here are a few quick tips to get you noticed, separate yourself from the pack and create a lasting positive impression:
- Communicate clearly. When in doubt, err on the side of clarity and ask questions when things are unclear. Provide your boss with regular updates about your projects and plans. But be careful not to go overboard – ask him directly if you’re providing enough information or too much.
- Honor your commitments. Underpromise and overdeliver. Don’t shy away from new challenges, but make reasonably sure you can hit an objective before taking on the additional responsibility.
- Know what makes your boss tick. Learn your boss’s pet peeves – and avoid them. Find out what his priorities are – and incorporate them into your own (e.g., if your boss is a “numbers guy,” quantify all your results). Anticipate his needs, by providing what you know he’ll want before he asks. Show him you understand the issues he faces and you’re sure to make your mark.
- Provide solutions – not just problems. Everyone makes mistakes. So if something does go wrong, view it as an opportunity to set yourself apart from chronic excuse-makers. Own up to the problem and come to the table with potential solutions. Your boss will appreciate your ability to think for yourself and manage a difficult situation.
- Be positive. When you celebrate a departmental success, send a congratulatory e-mail to those involved and copy your boss. The gesture will draw attention to your success as well as your leadership skills. During more stressful times, strive to maintain a positive attitude. For every two complaints or suggested improvements, point out eight positive things.
- Take a calculated risk. A boss will notice a talented employee who demonstrates his desire for excellence by occasionally sticking his neck out. So when the time is right, volunteer for a difficult assignment or challenge the status quo to improve a work process. Your courage and enthusiasm will increase your visibility and earn the respect of your boss and co-workers alike.
The Kinsa Group: Another Great Way to Further Your Food and Beverage Industry Career
The Kinsa Group provides access to diverse executive, management, research, food science, quality assurance, operations, sales/marketing, and engineering career opportunities in the food and beverage industries. Contact us today to find out how we can help you further your career, faster.
April 20th, 2010
To get ahead in this world, you have to “put your best foot forward.” But, there’s a fine line between respectable self-promotion and shameless bragging. So how do you use self-promotion to advance your career, without coming across as a show-off? Use these quick tips to tactfully toot your own horn:
- Realize that context is everything. To successfully self-promote, your comments need to be relevant to the conversation. Bringing up your latest success while your boss is talking about his favorite TV show will not earn you any points. Bide your time until the conversation switches gears. Research has shown that once a topic has been raised, a subsequent boast is not viewed as inappropriate – because it’s in context.
- Wait for the right moment. Believe it or not, it is okay to steer a conversation toward a topic relevant to your accomplishment. However, changing topics doesn’t give you license to just blurt out what you’ve done. Be patient and wait until your conversation partner asks a question that gives you the opening you need.
- Be a tortoise, not a hare. Self-promotion is about building a long-term reputation for yourself; establishing trust and respect in your workplace (or the marketplace). So get in it for the long-haul by making self-promotion a habit. Set daily goals for doing something small – sharing an idea, reaching out to someone, showing up at an event – and measurable results will follow in time.
- Promote your ideas. Beyond talking up accomplishments, you should also spread your ideas, concepts and vision. By promoting your ideas (as opposed to just your deeds) you will give co-workers and superiors something to support – without being “turned off” or threatened by your success.
- Know yourself. Are you like most people, who err on the side of caution and don’t talk themselves up enough? Or are you the type who tends to talk easily about yourself and your accomplishments? If you’re unsure, ask a trusted friend into which end of the spectrum you fall. The art of successful self-promotion depends upon having the self-knowledge to realize when to toot your own horn, and when to let your actions speak for themselves.
Let The Kinsa Group help you put your best foot forward. When you come in for an interview, our experienced recruiting specialists will learn about your skills, interests, experience and needs – then help you identify where your strengths lie. We can help you master the art of self-promotion and find the perfect food and beverage industry employment opportunity. Just give us a call.