Friday, June 29, 2012

White Paper - Top 10 Tips for Improving your Technical Resume

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Global Engineering Jobs blog.
This week, I'm very pleased to be able to share with you Talascend's new White Paper - '10 Tips for Improving your Technical Resume'.

Some of our most experienced technical recruiters from all over the US, got together to agree the most common mistakes they encounter when they're working with hundreds of resumes every week.

The know what works and what doesn't, and I think this is advice that anyone looking for jobs in engineering in any form needs to hear.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are you ADEPT? 5 Options that might be better than ‘doing’.

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Global Engineering Jobs blog.

Why is that task still on your to-do list?

(c) Talascend 2012
You’re not a procrastinator. You are busy, but no more than usual. But there it is – that thing you were supposed to have already done and you just can’t get to it. Nothing is more annoying than the feeling that you are behind on something; lingering tasks can distract you in all kinds of ways. 

Stop for a moment and assess the task again. If you’re not doing it and you can’t quite work out why, the chances are that you really shouldn’t be doing it at all. I would encourage you stop for a moment, review the task carefully as it stands and consider the other options available to you.

You may have a task on your to-do list that is actually closely related to another task. By bringing the two tasks together, you could accomplish what you need to faster.

John has an action from a meeting last week where he agreed to write a blog for the marketing department. He has been struggling for ideas. A day later he is writing a report in response to a colleague’s request for information about how a major new project in the area will affect the local staffing market. As he’s beginning the report, he realizes this would make a perfect blog. He combines the two tasks into one, sends the document as a report to his colleague and as a blog to Marketing. As a result, both tasks are done well in half the time.

If one of your team can handle a task that you are struggling to find time for – hand it off. You can still track progress and have input.

Jane needs to produce a spreadsheet for the CFO; while this is an important task, she has all the numbers and it’s fairly straightforward. She gives it to one of her team to do, but asks for an update within 24 hours and sets a meeting to review the work and either take it back or offer redirection. The task is completed very quickly, without Jane having ever lost control of it.

Some tasks don’t merit your time or anyone else’s. If you can’t think of a reason why you’re doing something, or you think it’s a duplication of something else – just dump it.

Last week John agreed to produce a report on the Top 10 client sales opportunities in his region. It seemed the sensible action to arise from the meeting he was in at the time. But the meeting organizer had not realized that the CEO’s strategy team were already building this into their quarterly report. In the cold light of day, there is no point in John performing this exercise. He explains his reasoning to those involved and drops the task altogether. The task is done anyway, and he has more time for other things.

If you think a task is worth doing, but it’s not urgent enough to merit your time now – actively defer it. Don’t just let it drift. Set a time in the future when you will do it.

Eg. Jane knows that the meeting reports from Monday need to be done. It’s Wednesday already, but she has more meetings and a load of urgent tasks. She is expected to report on her meetings immediately, but the task is simply not as urgent as the jobs she has on her plate. Instead of leaving the task undone, or turning away from the more important tasks, she decides to move the task to the following Wednesday, communicating this decision and her reasons to her boss. She can then forget about it and focus, her boss is kept informed and the more important tasks get the attention they merit.

The task you have in mind, may not be the actual task you need to perform. You might better accomplish the same result with a different action.

Eg. John plans to write a two page proposal laying out a new process. He has not been able to find the time to do it. It occurs to him that what he really needs is to get input and motivation from the team around him. So he changes his action, turning his document into a meeting. He  sets an appointment the following day for himself and four of his colleagues to discuss the process. Using all the ideas he takes in and the momentum the meeting gives him, he sends out an e-mail summary of the agreed actions and accomplishes the objectives of the original task within 24 hours.

Aggregate, Delegate, Erase, Push, Transform.

If something just doesn’t seem to be getting done, you can bet there’s a reason. Before you struggle on with it, make sure it’s the right thing for you to be doing in the first place.

Richard Spragg writes on various subjects including global engineering staffing and global engineering jobs.