06Jun

It’s flattering to be offered a management promotion. It shows the confidence your boss has in you, and the bump in your paycheck would certainly be welcome.

But before you say yes, take a deep breath and think about what it means. Not everyone wants to be a manager. Not everyone who is a manager should be one.

Being a manager comes with dramatically different responsibilities. Instead of being responsible only for yourself, as a manager you’re responsible for the work of a team. You’ll be dealing with different personalities and styles. You’ll face pressure from your boss to meet a whole range of new measures. Besides getting projects done on deadline, there will be budget considerations and quality standards. At the same time, you’ll hear from your reports about being pushed too hard or not getting the resources they insist they need.

You’ll be expected to coach your team, supporting them and giving them the feedback they need and want. At times, that means delivering feedback about poor performance. As a CNN Business article points out, you have to sometimes be willing to be seen as the guy delivering bad news.

Says Leigh Steere, co-founder of research group Managing People Better, “The No. 1 task that managers shy away from is confronting poor performance.

“They may be conflict avoidant. Some say ‘I’m not comfortable judging others.’ Or they want to be viewed as a nice manager. [But] it is not nice to withhold feedback from somebody that they need to learn and grow.”

The skills it takes to be a great manager are far different from those of being a great worker. Too often companies promote great workers because they perform at the top of the curve, only to discover that as a manager their performance is lacking at which point their rise in the organization halts — or worse.

While management training can make a difference, too often this training is limited to legal issues and administrative procedures. Even when the training includes coaching and feedback and similar matters, it takes constant reinforcement and personal commitment to be effective.

So when the opportunity comes along, think it through. Ask managers you respect for advice. Discuss with your boss the changes you’ll need to make. Then ask yourself, are you willing to give up what you do in order to manage others? Is that you?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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Green Key

How to Address Strengths and Weaknesses in an Interview

While the majority of a job interview is talking about yourself, perhaps the most daunting part is being asked about your strengths and weaknesses. This can be a challenging and stressful question to answer, as you may struggle with how your response can help or hinder your candidacy.

How to Format Your Resume

Even if you know what to include and omit, formatting a resume isn’t as simple as it may seem. It’s important to be on top of the tricks that may give you the upper hand.  

What are Automatic Tracking Systems?

Large corporations and staffing agencies are now using Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter through resumes electronically. With the increased volume of applicants, it’s faster for a computerized system to parse resumes into a structured form. By recognizing specific text and key words, this can expedite the hiring process and create a fair pool of applicants.  According to a 2018 Jobscan study, 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems. 

However, this organization strategy is not perfect. Flaws in the system can cause perfectly qualified applications to filter out of the pool. Luckily, there are a few ways you can prevent your resume from getting rejected. 

How do you format resumes for ATS?

Right from top, the Huffpost says not to put any information in the header or footer. “The problem is that software may not read information correctly or at all if it appears in those top and bottom margins,” they claim.  The parsers are looking for fielded information and may not find it in those areas. Instead, it is safer to put your name and contact information right below the header. 

Additionally, try not to get fancy with columns and graphics. Unless your resume goes straight to the hands of a human reader, its best to avoid visuals like this. The system will struggle to parse them and they’ll likely get deleted. To avoid this, save your resume as a .txt file and look at it from there. If you can still read everything unformatted, you are probably in the clear. 

Using suitable keyword optimization is also crucial. You’ll want to use keywords in your resume that mirror the job description in the listing. Indeed.com instructs, “Look for role-specific terms that the article reuses multiple times. The more prevalent a specific keyword is, the more importance you should place on it within your own resume.” Also, if you have held multiple positions in one company, be sure to reference the company name on every role. Otherwise, the ATS might not recognize each position as associated with that company.  

Formatting a resume is the first step in job searching. In these computerized times, learning the methods to get your resume recognized is pivotal. To further perfect this process, check out our recent articles outlining what to include on your resume and what to leave off your resume.  

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Green Key