How managers can move their organization from reactive emergencies to planned activities
Angela Testa, senior vice president of operations at American Campus Communities, strengthens operations without compromising a healthy work environment
Many managers are going through ordeals as a result of the pandemic and its fallout. Job loss — or the threat of it — is always stressful, and recovering and finding new employment is challenging. What can we do to help ourselves out and prepare for a possible worst-case scenario? Start with these resources:
Resume/CV. I updated my CV for the first time in more than 25 years. One crucial guideline is to keep the resume short and to the point. Potential employers don’t care what high school you graduated from. Your resume needs to make a good first impression, and fast. One in five respondents said they spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes, according to a recent survey of hiring managers. Consider these tips:
• Emphasize skills and abilities. Since a hiring manager spends less than 30 seconds reviewing your resume, make sure you customize your skills and abilities to the job they are recruiting for.
• Quantify achievements. I like to see numbers when a candidate lists achievements. Here are two examples: Reduced mean time- to repair (MTTR) by 18 percent. Facilitated preventive maintenance optimization workshops that resulted in a 35 percent reduction in non-value activities.
• Think digital. More organizations now look at a candidate’s online profile. Employers check candidates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Make sure you are not posting any that could be interpreted as objectionable. When you are looking for a job or setting yourself up for career change, it is important to have an online presence to showcase your skills and experience. Your online social media pages also will help you connect with contacts who can expedite your job search and assist you with your search.
• Keep it short. Ideally, your resume is one page. List contact information, use bullet points, focus on accomplishments instead of job descriptions, and use numbers for accomplishments if you can.
Job sites and boards. A great deal has changed since I entered the workforce. Typing resumes and cover letters and mailing them out was a full-time job. Today, managers looking for work can visit literally dozens of websites and job boards. Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Google for Jobs and Monster are the top five sites. Industry-specific job sites, such as Facilitiesnet.com and jobnet.ifma.org target the facilities marketplace.
Additional strategies. If let go, managers would be wise to consider certain ways to find work that have proven successful, according to Forbes:
• Go to the state or federal employment office. It could be the unemployment service office or one of the federal government’s nationwide CareerOneStop business centers, now alternatively called AmericanJobCenters, to get instructions on how to job hunt better and find leads. This method works 14 percent of the time.
• Ask for job leads. Ask family members, friends and people you know in the community or on LinkedIn if they know of any employers seeking someone with your talents and background. It works 33 percent of the time.
• Knock on the door of any employer, office or manufacturing plant. This method works 47 percent of the time and works best with small employers.
• Get your name and face out there. It is important to keep your name and face visible so people don’t forget about you. For instance, I’m on LinkedIn, and I post hints and tips on several different topics every day. I post ideas that I hope ultimately will open discussions and debate. My goal is to become an influencer but more importantly to keep my name and face in front of the hiring audience.
We all know about transferrable skills. As managers, our arsenal includes these types of skills that organizations are looking for. If you’re skilled at customizing your leadership style to the individual, then you’re far ahead of other managers. Successful supervisors and managers use these skills to optimize their team’s performance.
If you don’t necessarily have this skill set or formal training, then I suggest researching articles, blogs and online training to better understand how to add this competence. I studied this through The Center for Situational Leadership, which taught me how to deal with and manage all types of personalities and individuals.
Another suggestion is to join as many professional organizations as you can, but don’t stop there. Get involved. For instance, I volunteer to be on the workforce development committee for the Society of Maintenance & Reliability Professionals. This involvement has allowed me to network with others in my profession that otherwise I would not have the opportunity.
This process is new for me, and sometimes I’m outside my comfort zone. But that is expected. That’s what I’m doing with my box of paints. What are you going to do with your box of paints?
How to Find a Job: Best Practices for the Search